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Please please help me to stop breastfeeding

(38 Posts)
getagoldtoof Mon 01-Oct-12 22:35:41

I can't cope anymore. My son is 12 months old. He breastfeeds every 2 hours +. He breastfeeds at least 6 times in the night, and at least 6 times a day. I can't stand it any longer. He is unwell now, and has been attached to me all night and day for three days.

I am 5'7" and weigh less than 7 1/2 stone, I feel like and look like death. I am weak.

He does pick at solids, but doesn't eat much. I don't push it, but always make food available, and have a set mealtime.

I don't know how to stop this, it's awful. In an ideal world I would be feeding him less now, 2-3 feeds a day would not feel this exhausting. I get angry with him, but it's not his fault, I'm just angry with myself!

getagoldtoof Fri 05-Oct-12 12:19:12

Thanks asmywhiskey, that's a lovely thing to say. I just spoke to a bf counsellor who recommended 'compressions'... I will give that a go. I do need to eat more - that's a given. I am in bed now while DS is napping, I can't be bothered to go and clean the kitchen to make a snack. Erghhh. I know it's a dreadful attitude and do wonder if there is something deeper to it, but will keep going and see how compressions/night weaning help. It's great to know others have been through the same thing.

AllBellyandBoobs Fri 05-Oct-12 13:15:55

Hi, I feel similar with my 18mo dd who has recently upped her day feeds and still has 3-4 night feeds (we co-sleep as she's always been a terrible sleeper and I couldn't keep getting out of bed to see to her). I've decided to give her until Christmas and then I'll try night weaning her (DH will be off work for 10 days or so which will make it easier to catch up on my sleep!), and then after 2 I will try and start reducing her day feeds. I'm glad that dd loves bf so much, it really comforts her, but I have the same apathy about daily tasks as you do. The house is a mess, I can't be bothered to cook or wash up, etc... I put it down to being so tired from lack of night time sleep so I'm hoping night weaning might make all the difference. Good luck to you

I'm really pleased to see that you've sought medical advice and great news that you're not depressed! However I am really shock and quite cross that your doctor has given you such misguided information about the benefits of breastfeeding; what does s/he think happens at 6 months for the benefits to just disappear?!

There is some useful information here

Of course it is completely up to mum and baby to decide when to wean and certainly giving up won't harm your baby, but to say there are no benefits to breastfeeding after 6 months is complete rubbish... It makes me wonder what else your doctor might be wrong about; for example you say you 'can't be bothered' to get up and make a snack.. Presumably you think you need one, I can't help thinking this isn't normal.

When DS was first born I completely lost my appetite, I think for the first time in my life I felt complete, fulfilled and happy. The 'gap' I used to fill with too much food had been filled with love for my gorgeous boy - I didn't need to overeat any more and food wasn't as interesting to me. I don't know if this familiar to you at all? But the thing is food is important, would you say you 'couldn't be bothered' to feed your baby? I don't think so because you know how important that fuel is. You not eating properly (you might disagree with this but losing interest is as damaging as purposely going without, especially if you're underweight) is posing a threat to your health and possibly your milk supply.

I don't know if you want to quit breastfeeding or not, but I think your doctor is just trying to stop you feeling bad about it if you do (not that you should) - I think what he/she really means is you have given your child a great start, not "oh well there's no point to it now anyway" - after all it is the only food source specifically designed for your baby, other things can be good, but they cannot be more beneficial at this age IMO

getagoldtoof Fri 05-Oct-12 16:31:52

Ahh, bellyandboobs, you are going through the same. Your plan sounds great, I really hope it works. I'm so please your DH will be able to help!

cupoftea - the doctor said basically this 'you need to make a choice; to continue to breastfeed, benefiting nobody; or to give up, and move on to the next phase of your child's life, with a possible benefit to your health.' He also said that breastmilk causes tooth decay - and that my son would still be bf as an adult if he had his own way (!). I couldn't be bothered to argue. I knew there were benefits, thanks for the link, it's helpful to read about it.

I wouldn't 'not bother' to feed my baby, but I appreciate what you're saying. I Have always had a bit of a strange relationship with food- as most women seem to. Something for me to think about. Thank you.

Actually I believe if left to nature children self-wean between 2.5 and 7 years old, and if I recall correctly breastmilk only causes tooth decay if other food or drink remains on the teeth.

I do think your health and sanity is the most important thing at this stage because yes your child can manage without breastmilk now, my point is just that if he's happy to continue and so are you then there are ways to make that happen.

I have had big problems with food myself, I think you're right that a lot of women do have weird relationships with it. I wasn't saying for a minute you'd not bother to feed your child - I simply meant to use it as a point that your health and nutrition is as important as his.

I hope you are able to get some support in RL and your LO gets better soon thanks

tooth decay

I'm not being purposely pedantic - I just have a bit of a bugbear with people in an influential position giving incorrect information about breastfeeding, it's hard enough with well-meaning friends and family giving advice smile

Spiritedwolf Fri 05-Oct-12 18:59:09

Glad to hear you're not ill. Shame that your doctor isn't informed about breastfeeding, I had a bad experience with one recently about feeding too.

I have a history of depression and anxiety, and found I felt quite good in pregnancy and since my baby was born 9 weeks ago I'm the happiest I've been in years (possibly ever!), I also feel fulfilled and worry much less about everything. Babies are lovely! That said, like some lovesick teenager I also need to prompt myself to eat (if its not sat in front of me) and take care of myself because I'm so wrapped up in him. I think this is common, my HV asked me most visits if I was managing to eat (and I'm overweight!).

So if its largely a practical problem of getting more food into you at the moment... you want to remove the barriers, you said: " I can't be bothered to go and clean the kitchen to make a snack."

You don't need to clean the kitchen right now, just make the snack. In your next shop, buy foods you can snack on when you don't feel like making something and store them beside the place(s) you breastfeed. Dried fruit and nuts, trail mix type things, are healthy but high calorie and you can keep packets to hand. (obviously there's lots of less healthy things too!) Yogarts are just a trip to the fridge and a spoon away.

So see it as a practical problem, if you have a partner/mum/friend who can help you out by batch cooking things which can be re-heated in the microwave or eaten cold, then take full advantage. If you tend to skip lunch then have either your partner or yourself make up a 'packed lunch' at breakfast time as if you were going out. Larger portions at the meals you do eat, and maybe adding a pudding (or a starter if you're a savory person) or a slice or two of bread on the side.

You might find if you start eating more solid foods then your son starts to follow your example. Beware of caffiene (diet drinks as well as tea, coffee, energy drinks) suppressing your appetite and disturbing his sleep.

Take care, you've done a great job feeding him so long (I'm just beginning, much respect!) just do what feels right for you both.

Ifancyanewname Fri 05-Oct-12 22:46:07

Hi getagoldtoof, I thought I would check in as we were kind of in the same situation with night feeds and exhaustion ( I on the other hand have plenty of weight to spare!) .
After saying I was going to try Jay Gordons night weaning the other day I did give it a go, I gave it a go for about 2 hours of tantrums when I'd fed her and tried to put her down.....then DH took over for an hour, then I just gave up...I was totally spent. I have never left my girls to cry but that night I had got to the end of my tether and then some, so I just walked out and left her to it and she settled herself down after about 20 mins...... then woke up twice and settled herself after a couple of minutes that night. Both nights since then she has settled herself back to sleep within a minute of waking!!! I cant believe it! I was in tears the day after I left her to cry thinking if I wanted to sleep I'd need to do it for a few nights but it seems to have worked.
As a result I am happy to keep feeding her so long may it continue. Hope you are getting on ok x

Ifancyanewname Fri 05-Oct-12 22:47:50

ps, dont believe the bollocks about "no nutritional benefit after 6 month"...wonder which follow on milk company informative source he gets that from

SirBoobAlot Fri 05-Oct-12 22:57:13

Well your doctor is talking bollocks is the first thing I needed to say. Every day of breastfeeding is benefical to you both.

That said - I understand why you're so tired.

When DS was 18 months, I night weaned him. I did pick up, put down, hugged him a lot and offered him water each time he woke up. It worked for us, but I'm not sure if your little one might be too little to manage this right now.

Think maybe you need to shift your focus on this slightly. Getting your DS to eat more solid foods will reduce the breastfeeds, but if you take out the breast milk before he is eating well, it may be quite detrimental for him. And you, really, as he will then be asking more.

Don't be angry with yourself, but do address your own diet as well - have lots of healthy snacks on hand, and try to include lots of foods high in iron in your diet to help with the tiredness.

Is he struggling with teething at all? I do know of some children who did similar to you DS, then had a burst of teething, and suddenly went to eating foods quite happily as it was no longer painful for them.

getagoldtoof Tue 09-Oct-12 09:19:56

Oh goodness me ifancy - that sounds too good to be true! Well done, i am really happy for you. He obviously needed a good night's sleep finally! My son is no longer unwell, but still a bit sniffly, but I feel if I wait for the sniffles to go ill be waiting until summer!

I am having my first period since I got pregnant and it has really affected my milk supply. It sort of feels like I might as well give up. He will try to stay latched on, but not much is coming out.

When I don't feed him at night, he screams. The longest I've left him is 2.5 hours.

I think letting him cry a bit is a necessary evil. Just going to have to bite the bullet tonight and rope DH (who has 'the 'flu') in to help.

On the plus side, I have embraced butter, full fat milk, cakes and crisps alongside my usual meals. I am trying to up my portions, too.

getagoldtoof Tue 09-Oct-12 09:20:35

Sorry ifancy - I meant she!

getagoldtoof Tue 09-Oct-12 09:35:56

Thanks sirboob, we are addressing solids - by sitting him down for longer, and giving him some nice cutlery. He is doing quite well, but it seems a long way off for him to get all he needs from food. It could be his teeth, yesterday we gave him some pumpkin seeds, but as I was eating some I realised you need back choppers (molars?) to get on with them, so perhaps with more teeth we'll have a better outcome. My DH is no longer supporting my bf, he finds it hard as it makes me the main person our son looks for and my husband wants him to eat 'real food'. I hope if we can up the solids and cut down, everyone will be happy.

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