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The emotional highs and lows of breastfeeding.

(15 Posts)
cashewsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 11:59:06

I am current b /f my DD 2after being unable to b/f my DD 1. I have found it an incredibly emotional experience both good and bad and would like to know others who have experienced similar. From the pain of being unable to b/f , having to switch to ff with DD1 , to the latch problems with DD2 and now she's almost 5 months old were very pro. Did anyone have good support to get them on the boob or really bad advice etc which meant they had to ff? I've found it a wonderfully emotional experience x

gretagrape Mon 23-Sep-13 12:04:48

Got some very bad advice about technique which has resulted in severe tendonitis in both wrists. Also, my son had CMA so until diagnosis was very unhappy during feeding.
For me, all in all, there really wasn't much about BF'ing that was positive and I'd say it had quite a negative affect on our bond (which improved immensely once moving to FF - my only consolation is the health benefits that my son got.

I loved BF my DS. I BF DD for a few weeks but struggled and gave up much earlier than I had planned to.

Happiest when I saw him really growing and filling out and feeling - woah, I made that. It also made me feel quite sad and guilty about not feeding DD for very long, but I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.

I probably loved it the best once he was walking and eating food and turning into a little person all of his own but would still toddle over to me to help himself to the buffet smile

I had fab support on here when we had trouble at the beginning with significant weight loss, it honestly made the difference between continuing to BF and giving up.

PicnicPie Mon 23-Sep-13 12:54:09

I struggled immensely in the beginning. I was in a lot of pain and felt a lot of pressure to breastfeed from certain people as well as a lot of negativity as to why I was bothering to continue when I was in so much pain, from others. I cried almost every day for the first few months but just could not bring myself to give my daughter formula. I felt too guilty to give it up especially as my daughter was thriving - as the HV put it.

By 3 months we were sailing and feeds were less frequent and quicker. By 6 months I introduced solids and again it was less frequent but more enjoyable because it was nice to have a cuddle and some quiet time. We had a great routine and the night feeds were so quick and easy.

With my impending return to work I have now given it up completely at 9 months. I wanted to do mixed feeding but it wasn't working and it had to be one or the other. After lots of to-ing and fro-ing I decided that having formula worked best for us.

I feel very sad about stopping. I get very emotional about it as its such unique bond. But what matters most is that we are both happy, and it took me a long time to realise that. Sometimes I look back with sadness at the early weeks and remembering how unhappy I was. It was horrible. But I got through it. I remember sitting for hours on end with my baby stuck to my nipple wondering if this was my life now? But it was just a phase.

God willing if I have a second DC I will breastfeed again. But if for some reason I can't, I will definitely not put myself under as much pressure or feel as guilty as I did first time around.

Jackanory1978 Mon 23-Sep-13 13:35:29

Really really hard until 9-10 weeks. No mw ever actually checked our latch/position & I had really cracked nipples with actual open sores. It was pure agony each time he latched on. I also had mastitis 4x's, thrush infection twice & raynauds syndrome of the nipple.

However I am a very stubborn person! My ds was on the 25th centile at birth & looked really scrawny for weeks. EVERYONE ie. well intended interfering relatives told me he needed formula to put weight on & they irritated me so much that I persisted with ebf just to prove them all wrong. It was the only thing that got me through the agony. Have to say the hv were amazingly supportive, especially when I broke down crying at the weighing clinic the day after a wedding were everyone had critised my babies weight; & compared him unfavourably to another ff baby of the same age who was twice the size & slept through the whole wedding.

Now my ds is 5 months old, still ebf, haven't started weaning yet (hadn't even had a bottle of expressed milk; he refuses, no nights out for me) & is enormous!! On the 95th centile. I absolutely love bf him & will feel a pang when I eventually stop. I love all the snuggly cuddles & it's so easy now. I also feel quite proud that I've managed to make him grow & thrive all by myself.

On a serious note I'm actually an obstetric doctor & have a good knowledge of bf but even I found it incredibly difficult & received very little support, & definately no support from the mws after his birth. I was really surprised at how little support there was & it was interesting to see it from the patients perspective. I will never in the future think badly of any mums who ff or give up bf because it's a very difficult skill to learn if noone really helps you.

gotadifferentnamenow Mon 23-Sep-13 18:56:04

Toddler breastfeeding. OMG I love it. After months of pain (undx tt) I achieved at best nursing indifference, but appreciated that it was easy and he really obviously loved it. But since about 14mo - wow, I love it. I love how he can actually choose between it and other forms of comfort (and seeing that, although it's not always the right one, it's definitely his favourite). I love being able to properly negotiate the terms of it (no twiddling etc - I hear you can train a baby out of this, but it's lovely knowing he actually understands it as my request). I love how he stops feeding to chatter with me and then goes back to it.
I/we still have bouts of ambivalence. But gosh, my heart just swells hearing him ask me "sit! Milk!"

cashewsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 23:09:17

Jackanory, you're amazing;) ! There is a mixed bag of support out there. Some good some bad. My DD2 is also on the 95th after being on the boob. It's very satisfying to see them doing so well when it is so difficult. I really believe that if women know what it is really like to bf successfully and get the right support at the right time more women would do it. Many i have found give up and then feel guilty about it. There is always the choice and i believe firmly in that but proper support goes a long long way. well done you. Brilliant xx thanks everyone for sharing x

cashewsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 23:13:34

Gota.... Wow! X

dopeysheep Mon 23-Sep-13 23:21:00

I'm going to lower the tone and say I get quite emotional when I see how great my boobs look now, and then again when I think how they will deflate when I stop feeding.
Yes I am very shallow.

Wingebag Mon 23-Sep-13 23:27:07

I hated bf for the first few weeks as I was in pure agony - bleeding nipples, poor latch, cluster feeding. I used to put my sleeve or a pillow in my mouth to bite down on as it was so painful when she first went on. I actually asked DH to phone social services to find someone to look after her because I couldn't. hmm

It got better, but I still wanted to stop at 6months.... Except she is now 8 months & I just LOVE feeding her! grinShe won't take a bottle so it's booby cuddles every time for us.

When I started to wean @ 6m I felt both immensely proud that I had solely kept her alive & growing, but yet sad that she now needed something other than me.

I am so, so proud of us grin

cashewsmummy Wed 25-Sep-13 13:21:11

Winge that's ace! Dopey you are shallow but I get you x

NinaGE Fri 27-Sep-13 16:12:32

I was determined to bf during my pregnancy and read as much as I could. my husband was really supportive and was probably more enthusiastic than me...I was a bit worried about the logistics about doing it in public. when the time came my lo latched on fine (or so I was told). I was in the hospital a few days as I had an emergency c section so took the opportunity to ask as many midwives as possible to check everything was ok and I was told it was. However by the end of the first day I was in pain and was told I would get used to it so I persevered. once out of hospital things got worse with pain. we had bf support workers coming to the house they all thought it looked good. eventually I was referred to a lactation consultant they referred him to see a tongue tie specialist and swabbed me for an infection. I had an infection and my lo didn't have a tongue tie. the pain was so bad by this point I was expressing all his milk which I hated. it was painful and I started to feel really distant from him. the course of antibiotics didn't do much I don't think I didn't feel as unwell but it made no difference to the pain. the gp then said to take anti-inflammatories for two weeks which meant any expressed milk had to be thrown away and I would have to put my lo on formula so at that point I gave up on bf. the expressing was still painful and nearly three weeks later my nipples still hurt! I am going back to gps in a couple of days to chase it up. I feel incredibly sad about it all as I did really enjoy bf and still find myself having a little cry about it. I feel a little let down by my gp and the the hospital. I think there must have initially a problem with the latch and there has been an infection later on. I feel my gp didn't really want to try and find a solution that meant I could continue bf.sad

crikeybadger Fri 27-Sep-13 17:50:18

That's really upsetting Nina. I don't know if your GP gave you the right advice ( maybe they did) but they might have found it useful to talk to Wendy Jones who runs the Drugs in Breastmilk helpline first to see if there were any alternatives to throwing your milk away. hmm

I know you are still in pain, but if you wanted you could relactate. One of the breastfeeding helplines would be able to talk this through with you.

NinaGE Tue 01-Oct-13 22:53:34

hi crikey badger....I have been reading up on relactation and was thinking about it. but yes I am still in pain on the right side. have a follow up appointment on friday so hopefully he may have another plan! my hv suggested that I ask him to prescribe something for thrush in the ducts as thats one of tge few remaining things it could. so if it is treatable maybe I could try relactation. I hope so smile

Sunflower1985 Wed 02-Oct-13 02:25:36

If you get treated for thrush then get Daktarin gel for lo's mouth too - to stop reinfection.

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