Hating it....again...(55 Posts)
am BF my DD2 & really not enjoying it. She is only 10 days old but I am struggling. She seems to be cluster feeding morning & evenings. She'll go for 3 hours in between but with a 3 year old to look after too I hate it. she feeds in the evening and then can be crying again soon after & wont settle unless I offer boob. She then often falls asleep before taking full feed so I guess she's sucking for comfort. I'm considering dummy. I know she's due a growth spurt now & this may explain what's going on but I can't see an end to it at the moment.
I didn't enjoy BF my first either and remember all the same anxieties...is she getting enough, is she crying through hunger, if she has wind & I feed as first resort will I just make it worse, is she being sick because I'm overfeeding (she was sick a lot!). I am having all the same doubts again & the anxiety when she's unsettled makes me feel sick.
I wanted to give up first time round but by the time we tried bottle she refused to take it. I ended up bf her for 12 months. I am dreading being tied down again & want to give up but admitting that is making me feel like a failure & incredibly guilty.
She is now finally asleep after feeding off and on since 4pm. I have tried to explain worries to midwife but she just says that her weight is great ( only lst 3% birth weight) so she must be feeding ok.
Everyone has their own opinions Hannah. Most people in civilised society present them in a more sensitive way though and can understand others may not agree
OP it's your family do what is best.
For those in the future happening upon this thread and looking to make an informed decision, then I hope that you will find the following article from The Ecologist useful:
breastmilk vs formula
Thank you for your feedback myrubberduck. Luckily, mumsnet is UK based and follows the spirit of our long fought right to have free speech. I have my opinions, you have yours :-)
Lots of helpful advice and supportive comments and then this;
"Sorry to be harsh, but breast feeding is boring and relentless but so is nappy changing, but you couldn't stop that! "
Hanna Are you seriously comparing not bf with not changing soiled nappies?? really??
I suspect that the world would be a better place if you took your (no doubt well thumbed) copy of "the politics of breastfeeding" and shoved it up you arse.
Ilove - ?????
You seem to be sneering at me
I was correcting misinfo. Here's an explanation of what I said:
A lot of women have or have had hepatitis, a lot of women have or have had an STD. Add them up (UK stats only, natch) and it's many, many more times than women who have HIV. If these many women think their breastmilk is likely to be harmful, because of misinfo on mumsnet, this would be a bad thing, yes?
Yes, some women will be based on the sofa for many hours with a breastfed baby, during cluster feeds....but this does not mean it is impossible to feed or hold the baby somewhere else during that time You know, like paralysed or something. It can be comfy on the sofa, for sure, and it's nice for mothers and babies to have that time snuggled up....but it is not essential, and with other children you have to get up from the sofa and hold the baby/feed the baby in another spot sometimes
Hope I have clarified for you!
"HIV is 'vertically transmitted' in breastmilk, but no other diseases have been shown to be transmitted in this way"
oh is that all? well that's alright then!?
some bf babies do take 5-6 hrs a day of sofa time, particularly if they will only feed well when using biological nurturing, cluster feeds alone could regularly take 3 hours for us
Back again! And am grateful of replies but my head is still spinning with the prospect of making a decision. I need to try something though. This morning has not been successful. Little one has been usettled & screaming. I've been crying. I feel like I am repeating all the same mistakes I did with my first.
She wouldn't settle. Does everything to suggest she wants feeding and in an attempt to be more relaxed this time I offer boob, on the basis that 'you can't overfeeding a bf baby' but then end up stuck in unhelpful cycle....she falls asleep so doesn't take proper feed, she gets more wind or is sick. So next time she's unsettled is it hunger or over tiredness. Tried everything to get her to sleep this morning, been out with pram, worn her in bjorn, constant rocking.ended up going put for needless drive. She's asleep but doubtful for long. All the while I am thinking how I can't spend all my time switching between boob & getting her to sleep when my other daughter home ( she's in nursery today.
I appreciate switching to bottle won't solve all issues. But I am not at all confident in my 'mothers intuition', Supposed to recognise her cries...well, I don't. Or when I think I do, I get it wrong. But I feel like knowing how much she's taking and when she might need it will help.
Right now my confidence is all time low & I'm doing a terrible job. Surely bottle & happy mumis healthier alternative?
Yes, it is possible to bf subsequent babies - one advantage of bf is that you usually have a spare hand/arm, and you'll often need it to play, read to, cuddle the toddler
Betty, your experience, as you say, is very individual to you, and I hope things are better now.
It is very unusual for bf mothers to be 'literally' on the sofa for 5-6 hours. Yes, bf babies may well need your contact and may well be on and off the breast for that amount of time when they are in a 'cluster feeding' stage (which formula fed babies have as well!), but you really, really, don't have to be on the sofa for this amount of time. Life can go on around the cluster feeds
But how do people manage to BF second or subsequent children then!?? Obviously this is possible and all these 'abandoned' toddlers don't all grow up emotionally and physically scarred! They can manage without nightly baths for a while and won't keel over if they have the odd Little Dish kid's meal for tea now and again.
I found bottlefeeding with two an absolute pain in the bum when I had two. Littlest was still very very needy (contact, cuddles, not necessarily asleep, needing bouncing) and there was no way of comforting him often whereas a breast might have quietened him. Then there's the endless washing of bottles..... and....well, sometimes you have to put the new baby down and let them have a howl while you get on with other things for the other children!
I am sorry for your experience bettyanddon and hope your 2.5 year old is better now and your advice to do what's right for the family is good, but to imply that BF is incompatible with having older children is possibly not helpful!
Op, I had very similar issues except much longer cluster feeds with no evening help and a toddler. I moved to formula and am 10x happier plus my baby is a lot more content. Just my experience.
I think it is wrong to leave a toddler too much to allow for the time to BF. I am only saying this as my 2.5 yr old developed a serious medical condition that I failed to notice - I was letting her go the toilet by herself and didn't spot the symptoms. This was because I was stuck on the sofa BF for literally up to 5/6 hours. Talk about the guilt I feel now!
I don't think its realistic to suggest that toddlers can read quietly or play in front of you for this length of time. They need love and attention not to mention proper meals, baths, teeth done and a relaxing bedtime. If you are on your own with no help I don't see how it can be done if you have a cluster feeder in the evenings. I have seen suggestions that you can use a sling but IME only very experienced BFeeders can manage this. I had only just got the latch right a few weeks before my baby started marathon feeding.
IMO you have to do what's right for your family.
Out of all the myth and scare-stuff posted here, I'll pick on one only to correct, because it really is misleading - the idea that babies getting donor milk could get an STD, or hepatitis.
HIV is 'vertically transmitted' in breastmilk, but no other diseases have been shown to be transmitted in this way.
Just to add: thrush is very, very unusual in a baby as young as this. A second opinion is needed, IMO.
Oh dear...this thread is full of bad experiences, misinformation, second-hand scary stories and a whole ragbag of myth
OP - you need to find a sound source of information and support that will not tell you what you should do, but will listen and help you work out from options what is going to suit you, in all respects....physical and emotional. Find a source which will not guarentee you will be happier if you follow what they themselves did; find a source that understands how breastfeeding works and can share that with you, and how mixed feeding works, too.
Then decide for yourself
A good breastfeeding group is often a good source of info, as are the breastfeeding helplines. You might want to start with the helplines, with such a young baby (as it's hard to be out and about so soon). Not all breastfeeding groups are as good as each other, and some really offer friendship and support rather than detailed information - but the helplines are staffed by breastfeeding counsellors who do (usually) know what they're talking about
Lazzaroo I'm glad that your baby is more settled today. Good luck with whatever it is you choose to do
Hannahberry as someone who has worked in third wield countries I agree that historically companies producing formula were highly unethical in their marketing of products. However to simply say that there is no problem with BF in these countries is far too simplistic, of course there is. Many times babies die due to their mothers being severely malnourished themselves through illness/famine etc and not being able to produce enough milk. And I'm sure historically this happened frequently too.
OP I'm sorry about the thrush, hopefully you can get it sorted quickly so you can move forward however you want to. Hopefully the midwife was helpful in other ways too.
HannahBerry you're not really being very helpful to the OP and you're not very knowledgable either. Whilst I agree with you about formula being marketed in the developing and third world and choose to boycott Nestlé personally, HIV and hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases , can be passed on via breastmilk. this is one of reasons milk donors in the UK need screening.
wouldya fancy an untested blood transfusion HollyBerry?
point is, that no, when formula wasn't available and affordable to all, people weren't all able to just "get on with it" and had to resort to things less preferable than formula which I'm sure they didn't take lightly
BM is in the same class as blood products body fluid wise in terms of testing and infection control!
Oh wow ILoveSalad, one can pass a sexually transmitted disease via breastmilk?!!
I didn't know that! I had better inform the whole of the medical profession that they are mistaken!!
(BTW, ILoveSalad, Wet nurses had been around, and doing a very noble job of not killing babies, for thousands of years before formula was invented, of which has and is still contributing to the deaths of babies in the poorest countries of the world IYKWIM?).
sorry OP x posted with your update
"I also agree that I feel a huge amount of pressure to be on top of everything & able to cope on my own....I must get better at asking for help!"
it is so hard to ask for help but really, do! you'd advise a friend to take help so take it yourself
Make sure you BOTH get treated for thrush at the same time, it's a right bastard to get rid of and you can keep giving it back to each other if you aren't both treated
best of luck
no actually not having formula available didn't make everyone able to BF, the lady who lived next door to my mum in the 70s was a wet nurse for people who couldn't afford formula, so not being able to buy formula didn't make people able and willing to BF, it just meant they had to resort to the very unsafe practice of using an un-tested wet nurse (who trust me you wouldn't want to share body fluids with, her BM wasn't the the only think she loosely shared around the town IYKWIM!)
Evening! Just checking in & I'm o grateful for everyone taking the time to reply. Saw the midwife today. Baby doing well & is back above her birth weight but I did explain some of my concerns (probably not as honest as I should have been though!).
She noticed that little one has oral thrush. So now I feel bad about ot having seen it myself & that this could explain her comfort sucking & sickness. Anyway, this means that dummy/bottles at least on hold until it clears up.
I can also say thank god for baby bjorn! She happily went in it this morning & fell asleep really quickly while I got on with other things.
I also agree that I feel a huge amount of pressure to be on top of everything & able to cope on my own....I must get better at asking for help!
In parts of the world, where formula is not available, strangely enough women breastfeed without any trouble whatsoever (see the Politics of Breastfeeding by G Palmer). Where the mother has died, for example, essentially a wet nurse would do the job. There are other ways of saving a child's life without giving them a bottle of formula. The human race had got this far long before Nestle was created!
What I am suggesting is that through very clever and unethical marketing (+) we as a society have become indoctrinated that there is a choice not to breastfeed. Thus, when given a choice of doing something that is really hard, boring and relentless or not doing something that is really hard, boring and relentless, it is not surprising that many women chose the latter. But my point is if that choice was taken away from you, you'd just get on with breastfeeding because you'd have to.
From own my experience, I hate breastfeeding at times and had debated the decision to give up so many times. But I then realised that these companies had created a need where one had never existed before, in order to make profit at the sake of children's health. (How many children have died of being fed breastmilk?).
I am not anti- formula. I am anti the commercialisation of formula. It has become a mass- market product, where it should be a medical product, used only in the rarest of circumstances. Unfortunately, the formula companies are in bed with the medical profession (for example see recent SMA Midwife of the Year award).
This is my opinion and I know it goes against the grain. Sixty years ago, if I had shouted about the dangers of tobacco, I probably would be flamed then too.
(+) An example of this was Nestle Nurses (sales women dressed as nurses in South African hospitals in the 60's to encourage formula feeding).
lazzaroo, you have my sympathy. I hated BF too. I don't know why, but I really did. With my first, I expressed alot and he had my breast milk for 4 months. With my second I mixed fed and she also had breast milk for 4 months. I felt so jubilant when I stopped both times. I have a great relationship with both my DCs & they are incredibly healthy with not an allergy between them.
Do what works for you. Long-term there are far more important issues that will determine the outcome for your DCs than whether or not they were breastfed.
Big hugs & good luck whatever you decide to do.
ILoveSalad, once again, I am sorry about your poor experience of BF support groups and that you didn't find much support there. However, you said
BF groups are useful if you have physical problems with BFing
If you are physically feeding fine but just hate it and want to find another way of doing it other than exclusive on demand BFing they can be the worst place to be!"
And although that was obviously your own experience, it simply isn't true that they are there just to help with physical problems relating to breastfeeding or as your other posts describe not to help women who wish to stop breast feeding. Part of BF support is helping women to stop breast feeding safely in a way where they are not risking illness such as mastitis.
Just wanted to say, I'm a peer supporter too and I do a group with a brilliant and very experienced BF counsellor and I have heard her several times give info about dummies and bottles to mums where appropriate. Yes it's our job to support bfing but it's also to give women the info to make their own choices and be happy with them. That does mean that you have to give the info about bottles and dummies interfering with bf- not to make mums feel guilty but so they are fully informed.
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