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am i useless?

(25 Posts)
busybee123 Thu 04-Mar-04 16:39:33

My baby is 3 weeks old and up until a few days ago, I was breastfeeding. He would feed for 3 hours at a time and then be screaming for more so I would top him up with a bottle. It was such a drain on me emotionally and physically so I decided to give him just bottles, and he is more settled now. I have 2 other kids aged 4 and 2, so time and attention is limited and it seemed the best decision at the time. Trouble is, my health visitor is very pro breast feeding and making me feel bad for 'giving up so soon' as she puts it. Am I just a useless mum?

Blackduck Thu 04-Mar-04 16:45:13

Simply answer -NO. IMO you have to do what suits you and tell everyone else to go hang......I bf for about three months and then gave it up as I just couldn't keep up with ds and was physically losing so much weight that my mum was more worried about me than ds.....If your ds is happy and content and you are able to cope better thats waht matters....

mummytojames Thu 04-Mar-04 16:50:23

your health visitor needs to be shot you got enough on your plate as it is with three kiddies to look after and you shouldnt feel guilty about giving the baby bottle instead of breast i bottle fed my ds from the begining and hes 6 months old now and very healthy so dont let her try that one on you if you were feeding for three hours at a time maybe your body wasnt expressing enough milk to fill him up so realy you were doing the best for you and your baby by giving him the bottle instead
but please dont feel useless because you switched to bottle youu done what you felt was best for you and your baby and that makes you a great mum and realy the health visitor should be there to support you as well as the baby in what ever you chose to do
eg i bottle fed from the beggining and the health visitor told me that the way formula has advanced so much now it nearly (not exactly)the same as breast milk and will still give your baby all the nutritional values that he needs so realy it was up to me what i chose to do and i chose bottle knowing that it would be best all aroundso dont worry about the milk just enjoy the time you get with the kiddies well tmo anyway

hercules Thu 04-Mar-04 17:00:45

You are not a useless mother at all and it is your body and your decision.
I have to say I am glad a hv is very pro bf as so many arent and are uniformed. It was pointless her telling you you gave up too soon though as you had given up and this is only going to make you feel guilty.
If you're not happy you are doing none of your children any favours.
Mummytojames- i have to disagree with you, formula is not anywhere nearly the same as bm.
For one thing bm is alive!!!
see here

hercules Thu 04-Mar-04 17:05:49

It is totally up to the mum as to what is best for her but hv too often give wrong advice and though your hv was wrong to question busybees decision it does not take away from the fact that breastmilk is far superior to formula.

This is not to make you feel guilty but if someone reads this and thinks that bm and formula are very similar and use this to help make their decision in the way they feed their baby then that would be wrong.
This does not mean the mother cant choose but means they are fully informed.

Also it would be wrong for a hv to say that your body isnt producing enough milk. Many women have given up bf believing this to be the case.

hercules Thu 04-Mar-04 17:11:13

Congrats for the recent birth of your ds

tiktok Thu 04-Mar-04 17:18:53

BB, you know the answer to your question - of course you aren't useless. If your baby was feeding 3 hours at a time, then one of two things was happening

* he was not positioned and attached in a way that allowed him to feed effectively

* he was screaming not 'for more' but to be in your arms next to you rather than anywhere else. A bottle might well zonk him out, but it doesn't mean he was hungry for it

Both those scenarios are very common, and they both mean you need support and help from someone who knows what they are talking about.

You can start breastfeeding again if you feel you want to, but it will help you to give one of the breastfeeding lines a call - NCT's is 0870 444 8708, but there are others. That way you can speak to someone who can genuinely listen to you, and help you work out if starting again is right for you.

Good luck either way

handlemecarefully Thu 04-Mar-04 20:30:52

I would personally like to shoot your HV with a semi automatic weapon for laying this guilt trip on you! Stop feeling guilty - NOW!!!!

handlemecarefully Thu 04-Mar-04 20:35:08


Sorry but I disagree with you than bm is 'far superior' to formula. Admittedly breast milk has the edge and confers some advantages such as protecting against allergies etc, but its not 'far superior'.

I was bottlefed 35 years ago, my health, weight, physical and mental development was and is fine.

hercules Thu 04-Mar-04 20:42:06

handlemecarefully,I didnt say far superior so not sure why you did this in quote marks or was it inverted commas?

I too was bottlefed and am perfectly healthy apart from allergies. My db was bottlefed and has asthma and excema still as an adult. Of course noone can know whether he would have been fine if bf.
btw I do think bm is far superior if the mother WANTS to breastfeed.

handlemecarefully Thu 04-Mar-04 20:59:42

Ok fair do's

But you did say 'far superior' - you did, you did, you did!!

hercules Thu 04-Mar-04 21:01:31

lol handlemecarefully

btw i fed ds for a v long time and he is quite podgy, slight asthma, rhinitis and very allergic to dogs and cats!

Levanna Thu 04-Mar-04 22:47:11

Hi busybee, sorry you've had to go through this, giving up breastfeeding can be quite a difficult and emotional time, even if it's later down the line, and has just 'run it's course'! Without the added pressure from your HV. It's a shame she couldn't maybe have been more constructive, and offered something along the lines of the info ticktok has given you, and that there maybe isn't the support and info there for you that may possibly have made breastfeeding more successful for you and your DS.
Of course you aren't useless! You tried, and your lovely DS has recieved your colostrum, which I think no-one can dispute the benefits of. I'm glad neither of you are stressed now, and that everything is going a bit more smoothly . Of course breastmilk is important, but maybe a happy mum, baby and family are more so....

bunnyrabbit Thu 04-Mar-04 22:55:21

Didn't have time to read this thread, only your original message.

Useless? NO!!! You have given your baby three weeks of breast. The most important 3 weeks. From now on it's what's right for you and for baby. If formula works for you and makes a happy baby and a happy mummy, then IMHO it is the right thing to do and no one can say otherwise.

I had to give up after 3 weeks and my DS is now 26 weeks, weaning and thriving. I punished myself appalingly when I realise I couldn't breast feed him anymore. It seemed like the most important thing in the world, but that seems so long ago now, there's so much more to enjoy.

I wish you much joy with your new little man, and quite frankly, b******s to the HV.


busybee123 Fri 05-Mar-04 10:33:16

Thanks for your messages everyone. I still feel a bit upset that I have given up breast feeding, as I feel that its the only thing that only I can do for my baby. But he is so much more settled on the bottle, and I can actually get some much needed rest between feeds now ( well as much as possible with 2 other kids under 4 and a half anyway!!)

hercules Fri 05-Mar-04 11:24:22

Please don't feel bad!
A friend of mine struggled with breastfeeding and now bottlefeeds. She insists that she is the only one to feed her baby and holds him close to her every time.
You do a million things with your baby eg cuddle,carry, feed (bottlefeeding is still feedng!), nappy changes, baths etc etc and you shouldnt see these as any less just because others could do them.
You are not going to have a teenager shout at you in a few years time that you didnt bfeed them.(just other things).

hercules Fri 05-Mar-04 11:25:22

btw a useless mum is one who allows their ds to use a flash camera 30 cms away from their dd's face which then ends up in a trip to A & E!

suedonim Fri 05-Mar-04 13:00:19

Oh, oh, I must take you to task on your teenager comment, Hercules! My ds1, who was only bf for about 3 weeks, said exactly that to me. He, apparently, would have achieved better exam marks if he'd been b-fed like his younger siblings.

It was a comment made mostly in jest, but if I'm honest, it did hurt, even though I know that more studying and less time socialising would have made quite a difference, as well.

hercules Fri 05-Mar-04 13:31:42

Must have been the lack of breastfeeding eh then not hte lack of studying. I must remember that one when I'm back at school especially parents evenings for year 11. "So did you bfeed your ds? No? Well that explains everything."

Blackduck Fri 05-Mar-04 13:40:54

Lets be honest, most teenagers will seize on ANYTHING as an excuse....

hercules Fri 05-Mar-04 13:46:40

anything apart from themselves.

suedonim Fri 05-Mar-04 14:04:55

Lol, Hercules, I'd love to be a fly on the wall if you started asking parents that!!

SoupDragon Fri 05-Mar-04 18:50:24

Busybee, have you considered mixed feeding? It doesn't have to be bottle OR breast, it can be both. You might like to give him his bedtime feed (which I always found particulary snuggly) and morning (which was nice too) and use bottles for the day. It CAN work but doesn't seem to be offered as an option.

FWIW, my mum never even tried to breastfeed me. She tried to feed my eldest brother but didn't bother with the subsequent brother or me. Do I resent her for this? Not at all. You at least tried!

stripey Fri 05-Mar-04 21:17:05

busybee123 does your HV even have kids? It makes me laugh sometimes when HVs think they know everything yet have no kids themselves. I think anyone who had bf 3 kids would emapathise with your decision and realise there is more to life than breastfeeding. Coping with a new baby (& sibilings) is stressful enough without feeling you have to live up to the HVs expectations. Well done for bf at all you should be PROUD of yourself!!

miranda2 Fri 05-Mar-04 21:27:45

Have only read the Original post:
You are not NOt useless!!! Please don't do what i did and get pnd because you are so guilty about giving up feeding. I did the same as you and it was fine, ds now a bouncing and very loving 2.5 yo.

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