Feeling guilty for stopping BF...(11 Posts)
I couldn't BF DS1 and he ended up being hospitalised at 5 days old due to bad jaundice because he wasn't getting enough milk.
Had DS2 9 days ago & tried BF but didn't get all the obvious signs that my milk had come in, had a few latching problems so was giving top ups as I just couldn't bear to leave my baby crying whilst I persisted with trying to get him to latch.
I decided to stop BF mainly due to a lack of confidence on my part but I feel so guilty. Because I got so stressed I was advised to increase my dose of anti-depressants which meant I couldn't BF anyway but I keep second guessing myself about whether I should have tried harder & stayed off the increased dose for a bit longer.
I'm haunted by the last feed I attempted, was in floods of tears anyway, had DS1 on my lap & had to turn him off my lap to feed DS2. I was so upset I just couldn't see to latch him on & said I couldn't do it & handed him to my mum for a bottle. I'm welling up here just thinking about it.
I'm still leaking small amounts of milk & just can't shake the feeling that I didn't try hard enough.
How you feed your baby is just one tiny part of mothering. You can call a bf helpline to talk through your feelings. x
As one midwife said to me - formula isn't poison. Plenty of healthy, happy human beings were raised on it. I didn't even have colostrum and I'm here, with my own child now. Other than a few allergies I've been ridiculously healthy throughout the years too. We all do what we can, trying bf first and if it doesn't work, ff. Your baby will grow and thrive and you will be the best mum you can be.
An emotionally stable and healthy mum is far more important than breastmilk. What your baby needs is comfort, security and love more than anything, and if BF is not helping you provide these things then it really is best to stop.
Remember, BF is just one thing out of the many hundreds of things that mums do!
Formula isn't the devils works, you tried and gave it your best shot. Lots of people were ff when they where babies and are healthy strong people.
Please don't give yourself a hard time.
You tried your best. No one can take away your feelings of guilt (I have the same) but you can decide to see this all differently.
Try to concentrate on your 'successes' not your 'failures'. Parenting is made up of a million things, not just one and you are doing your best.
In my experience, I've found it very hard to cope with stopping breastfeeding while my milk was still leaking, it's like a constant reminder. Do all you can to let it dry up and try to stop dwelling on that last feed, your children won't remember it and it is one tiny moment in a whole lifetime with them.
OP you've done the important bit and given him the colostrum. He'll be fine. You just have to make sure you are ok now.
I didn't really 'crack' breast-feeding with DS2 until about 4 weeks.
If you want to, it isn't too late to do mixed feeding, or even to try full breastfeeding again.
It isn't often easy and does require persistence - if you do want to do it, get some help in RL.
And if you don't, then let it go - as others have said, formula isn't poison.
Hels, if you want to breastfeed, then this is an option for you....your medication does not have to rule it out. There are many anti-depressants which are safe with breastfeeding, even at a high dose. You can either post here and ask or check them out yourself toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT or www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk, and discuss with your doctor.
Guilt is a horrible feeling and of course it's not justified ! Guilt is the feeling we get when we knowingly and deliberately do harm.....and that does not apply to you! You are sad and disappointed and haunted (haunted is your word)....no need for guilt.
It's irrelevant that formula is 'not poison' - people always come on here and say this, and it makes no sense to me! No one really thinks formula is 'poison' or 'the devils work' - women upset about using formula are not worried they are 'poisoning' their babies, but they are upset that breastfeeding, which they wanted to do, didn't work for them.
Hels ,you may have a choice to breastfeed, and if breastfeeding is important to you, then you can think about it. Whatever your choice, you will feed your baby closely and lovingly and responsively, and this is important for both of you....and it can be done with a breast or a bottle
Thank you everyone. I know it's silly & totally irrational but am getting there. Bertie is thriving on formula, nearly regained his birth weight now so I can relax a little.
You're all right, a healthy & happy mum is more important to him than breast milk.
It's not silly or irrational, hels....don't belittle yourself or your feelings!
It's perfectly normal to be sad about something you wanted to do and which has not worked out for you. Give yourself a break - you are less than a fortnight postnatal and feeling tired and low. You're allowed to feel upset and disappointed, and then to move on and enjoy your baby and feeding times, however the milk is delivered to him
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