:( I hate breastfeeding - help!(52 Posts)
DS is five weeks old- have been breastfeeding on demand except for one formula top-up because of low blood sugar. Basically - I hate it. He eats constantly, and even now it's hurting less I'm just fed up with being pinned under a baby. I feel horrible for feeling like this but would just love someone else to be able to take him for a few hours, as opposed to what happens now, which is DP can 'tide him over' for ten minutes while I frantically have a shower/ eat a meal before he gets hysterical again. He's gaining weight fine - seems to have a tiny bit of reflux but otherwise no problems. Everyone keeps telling me it'll get better but so far it isn't. He's just started smiling, which again everyone assured me would 'make it all worthwhile'. It's undeniably cute, but definitely doesn't make me wish any less that I could just have a couple of hours to myself. I feel like my self has been stolen, and feel really horrible and defective for feeling like that. Any words of wisdom?
Sorry to hear you are having such a tough time op. I don't really have any words of wisdom, I'm afraid. I had exactly the same situation as you (including the DH holding the baby for ten minutes whilst I also frantically had a shower!) I hated everything about breastfeeding and couldn't understand the women who said they loved it or missed it. I was so resentful that I was just feeding him all the time and that he wouldn't settle with anyone else, not even for an hour whilst I got some sleep. I hated the sensation of it too. The whole first 6-7 weeks were all about the feeding and I read all these websites which wee evangelical about bf and said how you should be feeding the baby around the clock, every time it cries etc and that made me feel worse. I thought that was the norm and that all women did this and loved it and I was the weird/crazy one for not enjoying it. On top of that, my friends has babies who slept well by 6 weekes, had routines, took naps on their own, they could go out with them etc and all I did was sit at home attached to the baby. And anyone could tell me was 'it gets better' ugh that drove me mad! Looking at my own situation now, 8 months later, I wish I had done mixed feeding with formula at bedtime or something like that. I didn't only as DS wouldn't take a bottle.
Sorry, I am really rambling now but the point is, you are allowed to hate breastfeeding! The normative pressure coming from the pro bf circles is really unhelpful because it makes you feel crap if you don't conform by loving it or whatever. Bf made me so miserable in the first weeks that in hindsight it really affected how I felt about my baby - I didn't feel properly bonded for ages.
I am still bf, I think because it got so muh quicker around 8 weeks and DS was doing his feeds in no time which made it easier for me to deal with it.
But yes, at 5-6 weeks I was crying on a daily basis so I totally know where you are coming from! Hopefully someone wiser will
Come along to comment. I just wanted to say you are not alone.
Sending you lots of support!
Mix feed, there is nothing wrong with it, it gives you a break and is nice for your partner or family to do.
Maybe your DP can do the feed around the time they get up for work so you can get done extra sleep and the one when they get in from work to give you a rest to take a bath or something.
They could even do the bedtime one so you can get some extra sleep then too.
I read on here of a lady who was is the same place as you, she started doing the above to move to formula and found the break made her feel so much better she actually ended up bf longer.
There is nothing wrong with mix feeding or going over to ff full time, the best thing for your baby is a happy, unstressed mummy.
Take care and good luck
It will get better, but probably not for another month or so.
If he's a good weight and feeding on demand is getting you down, then you could consider stretching out the gaps between feeds and getting yourself into a routine? Babies adapt amazingly quickly.
I know a lot of people find the whole feed on demand thing wonderful, but it really gets me down, so I feed to a schedule instead. In the early stages while he gets used to it, it can be helpful if your DP takes him out for a walk or something to give you a bit of distance and so your bub doesn't constantly have to smell milk!
Either mix feed or try a dummy to stretch out times between feeds. Your DP needs to try both because it is more likely to be successful. I assume he works so doesn't have much time during week but still agree a half hour slot in the morning and evening when he will take the baby and try formula and/or dummies to give you a break.
I bloody hated it too. You're allowed to not like it. If someone hung off your foot 24/7 it'd piss you off, but because you've got breasts and are using them for their intended purpose you're apparently supposed to be in a state of perma-bliss. It does get a bit less relentless as time goes on, although in my case it was only a bit. DD cluster fed all evening, every evening until she was 20 weeks old. I developed PND and gave up altogether at 7.5 months but I wish I'd stopped sooner.
You said he's got a bit of reflux - it might be possible there's some silent reflux there too, causing the constant feeding to ease the acid pain. Possibly worth chatting to your GP about it?
I absolutely hate it too but still going at 8 months because she refuses a bottle. Loathe, loathe, loathe it. Many of my friends have felt the same s
Anyway, many of my friends have felt the same so you're not alone. Massive advice is to give baby a bottle now (ebf/formula, who cares?) so you're not still doing it against your will and hating it in months time. It will probably get better but it might not turn into something you love ever. Give yourself a get-out option in the form of a bottle and don't end up like me!! X
Madcat - is there anyone who can help you wean your bub onto a bottle? My DSis was the same but had to go back to work at 6 months and ended up going to Tresillian (do they have these same in the UK?). Her DD refused the bottle for 11 hours before finally caving in, but they will never starve themselves to death!
You don't have to breastfeed, right?
Before I'm jumped upon, I'm fully supportive of the right of each and every woman to breastfeed if that's what she wants and what works for her but I'm aware that for some women breastfeeding can be utter misery and it concerns me that many will struggle on because the feel that they have to.
If it's making life misery, it's painful, if it's affecting how you feel about yourself, your life and your child there is an alternative. Don't feel that you must put yourself through hell because it's the "right" thing to do/fear of being viewed a failure/peer pressure. You are allowed to say "This isn't working for me, there is an alternative and I'm going to use it!".
Go easy on yourself.
OP, you've done the hardest bit now.
Also your DP needs to try a bit harder. Maybe feed the baby on both sides first thing and then hand him over to his dad and go back to bed - with strict instructions that he's not to bring the baby back for two hours?
If you hate breast feeding, stop doing it. I did after about 3 weeks with DD1, and didn't even try it with DD2. Both are fine, strapping, healthy teenagers and they don't hold it against me.
I didn't like it early on and couldn't understand a friend who said she missed bfing. But it did get better (though not for a while!). At 12 weeks she seemed to fall into a 3-hourly schedule of her own accord, and at 4 months she was finally big enough for me to feed without being proppped up by a gazillion pillows, so feeding out and about was much easier. From then on it was a breeze and I bf'd until she was 1.
Are you sure he actually needs feeding that much, or is he comfort sucking? Maybe try a dummy, or a sling if he wants to be held by you.
5 weeks is so teeny tiny for him, but it is beyond hard for you, so lots of sympathy, and [tea]. Oh - and make sure your DP is doing everything he can, by which I mean shopping, cooking, cleaning.
OP I'm sorry things are so tough!
Here are some points from an avid, extended breastfeeder -
- It's ok not to like it. As amazing as breastfeeding is, if you KNOW that it's making you feel awful, then you can, absolutely, start mix feeding or stop. Five weeks bf - you've given him a great start. A brilliant start. And there's no reason why you couldn't start to mix feed and probably be ok with your supply etc. if you take it carefully.
- Firstly as others have said, it WILL get better. Probably not for another 2-4 weeks though. Have a think - if bf is very important to you and you'll regret stopping, then have a good think about what you want to do.
- Also. He's five weeks. Still little, but not two days old or anything. Feeding on demand doesn't have to mean that you can't impose ANY sort of control. If you have a total cluster/non-stop feeder, you have to, for your own sanity! If you go out for an hour, he won't starve. He may not like it, but if it's what's needed for YOU to stay sane and be able to keep up with him, then do it. You could maybe express a bit, but maybe not. Go out! This isn't a bad point to get him used to being with Daddy for an hour or two. Wait until he goes for a nap, go out. Come back a couple of hours later. Again, I'm suggesting this not to keep you bf REGARDLESS, but to make suggestions that might give you the oomph to keep going IF you think you'll regret stopping if you do.
You are doing great, and enjoying your lovely wee boy is just around the corner, I promise you.
Hi just wanted to chime in and tell you that you're doing brilliantly - don't worry EVERYBODY feels this way at this time, 5-6 weeks is a killer in my experience! You're exhausted, emotionally drained, sore boobs and probably still sore fanjo, and for some reason putting pressure on yourself to have it 'together' by now. Bollox. It takes as long it takes, so chill
That being said, you have received some solid advice on here - defo get the reflux checked out by hv/gp, silent reflux can be v painful for wee babies so he could be so dependant on you not just for your milk to ease the pain but for comfort too. Defo try mix feeding - I did for all 3 (I had 3 v hungry ds's like you!), I was plagued by mastitis throughout so getting them able to take a bottle was essential. I did ebm at first to get them used to it, then moved on to formula - if they really take against a bottle btw, try a different brand - we did this for ds3 who for some reason didn't like the avent bottles his brothers always used but took a tommee tippee straight away - bizarre!
And finally, the biggest evil of them all, the dummy...DO IT! My sister has a 4wk old dd and has just caved and got her a dummy and she said it's changed their lives! At the end of the day, You need to get some sleep, your ds needs to get some sleep (independently from you) and he may like one for a bit til the reflux passes then live without one again, you never know! Oh and keep him propped up a bit in the cot to help with reflux - lying completely flat makes it sore apparently.
Hope your feeling better and you've got the reassurance you needed from coming on here - you're not alone!x
I remember 5/6 weeks being incredibly tough too and by then I was ff.
I fully empathise with you feeling like you've lost yourself. I felt exactly the same way. But I did find myself again as you will too.
And finally it's really ok to give your baby a dummy or a bottle of ebm or formula and send DH on a walk around the block
several times so you get some space.
If it's making you miserable then stop. It was the same for me and I agonised over stopping and beat myself up about it, but he's now a healthy, bright six year old who I let have candy floss with his breakfast this morning just for a quiet life. This stuff seems so important when they're tiny, but honestly, it's not such a big deal. Better for you to be happy IMO.
If you do decide to stop, don't feel anything other than pride in your lovely baby and his first 5 weeks on the breast.
Happy mum =happy baby
Do what works for your family and be kind to yourself, as long as he's fed (whichever method) clean happy and loved! Your doing amazing.
In my opinion it goes to fast enjoy it as much as you can
I have a 13 week old. We had difficulty breastfeeding to start with and at 5 weeks I was just back onto it after weeks of pumping all day and bottle feeding EBM at every meal. It was brutal. I know how you feel!
At 8 weeks I went on a hen do leaving EBM and had such a great time! Only out for a few hours but felt really free! Any chance you can do this?
Now at 13 weeks it's much easier and I feel like I can continue. I can't remember when but I set myself a target of getting to 12 weeks and once I made it it felt ok to carry on. If it hadn't I was going to switch to formula.
You are both so new to this and will still be recovering from the birth and adjusting to your new life, which unfortunately means feeding constantly weather breast or bottle, but it will pass if you feel you can continue another week or month then great! If you can't, we are lucky to have the option of formula. No one will judge you here, we know how bloody hard breastfeeding is! Xx
I think that some of the advice here is exactly what the OP does NOT need - ie "it will get better if you press on" etc.
I felt under a lot of pressure with DD1 to carry on bfing, when I hated it. I was in a lot of pain every time she fed - sore, bleeding nipples which meant that the milk she brought back up was pink. I cried every time DD cried because I knew that meant I had to feed her. I was heading for PND big time. I also hated the fact that I was pretty much housebound - I could never have fed in public, I was in so much pain.
In the end DH took things into his own hands, and just came home with bottles, steriliser, formula etc and made the decision for me. I have never been so relieved. I cried again, but was so grateful for him for telling me in a practical way that it's OK not to breastfeed, when everyone else had been encouraging me to keep trying because it would get better.
I actually ended up in hospital, because it turned out the pain was due to a great big abcess in my breast, which eventually had to be drained under general anasthetic when two lots of ABs didn't work, but that's by the by really.
Really OP - if you hate it that much, stop doing it. Your baby won't mind.
MiddleAged that's a great post. I struggle to understand the huge guilt some Mothers feel re. BF but I know that it's a real thing...and that it can really spoil those first few months. Why struggle on? The baby has had the benefit of those important first weeks....
MiddleAged just because it wasn't the right solution for you doesn't mean that the advice that is being given isn't true for many women.
I experienced both - with DS1 it was miserable for about 8-10 weeks and then it was easy and fantastic and I was glad I had stuck with it. With DS2 I ended up on hospital with an abscess and pushing on would have been disastrous for both of us.
Only the OP can work out which advice best meets her needs.
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