Really upset about stopping(12 Posts)
I've just come out of hospital after a week in there in a drip with horrendous mastitis. I haven't breastfed since Saturday so my chest is still quite sore. I made the decision to stop bfing because I just cannot put myself at risk of going through that again.
I'm really upset as I really didn't want to stop, but the thought of getting mastitis again is just terrifying. I haven't ever been in so much pain except for labour, my temperature was nearly forty, and I still can't hold my little girl properly as nothing can touch my chest. I've had it before, although not quite that badly, and have nearly had it a few more times. I would be too scared at doing it again and it would take away any enjoyment.
But I am so, so sad. I miss that there was something only I could do for her. I miss the closeness, and the convenience (although feeds are now about twice as quick and I can wear normal clothes again). I just miss it and I had no time to get used to the idea because I had to stop so suddenly - I didn't even know that the last feed I have her would be her last.
Please don't say I don't have to give up if I don't want to, because I really just could not cope with the thought of constantly worrying about getting blocked ducts again. I did absolutely everything I could to clear it, was on antibs within two hours of feeling fluey, and still ended up in hospital, so it's not like I can say I could be more prepared next time. I just need a bit of help working out how to stop crying about it.
Sorry to hear you a re going through this. Mastitis is absolutely grim and it sounds as though you have had a serious infection. I had a similar experience with DC1 and being hospitalised with a small baby is no fun either! I hope that you are getting some support in RL whilst you recover from this. Please try to remember that you have done your absolute best for your DD. She is much better off having a healthy mum and being formula fed than she would be being breast fed by a mum who keeps getting sick.
Look you tried. You did your best and that's all anyone can do. The rest was out of your control.
Don't let this ruin your time with your baby. There are soooo many ways to be an amazing mum. It's not defined by the milk she has. You can still do everything for her.
It's so easy to get caught up in doing the best for the baby and taking a back seat. Well you matter too and your health and happiness are Just important. You can still be the mum you want to be. The milk doesn't change that. Now go buy that formula, go take a bath and freshen up and rest. I promise you in a few weeks/months when baby is crawling around and licking shoes you will wonder why you worried so much about milk.
Wishing you a speedy recovery
Be kind to yourself. When you feel guilty think of what you would say to a friend in that situation and say it mentally to yourself. You have given your baby a great start with your milk already, in spite of it having been difficult for you. Many would have stopped much sooner. You have done a great job. As for the closeness, when your pain has gone make sure you get plenty of cuddles and skin to skin. Take a bath with her perhaps. Carry her in a sling. There are other ways apart from breastfeeding. Make bottle feeds a nice snuggly time.
Your hormones won't be helping at the moment either. And you are recovering from a serious illness. But bf isnt the one thing that only you can do for your daughter. You are her mum and nobody else can be that, you are special to her regardless of what milk she has to drink.
I had an horrendous experience with DD1. I ended up in hospital for 8 days with sepsis from infective mastitis. I had some resus help after an allergic reaction to Flucloxicillan on the IV.
I stopped bf after I got home. I just couldn't cope. She was 3 weeks old. I got better and decided to relactate at 11 weeks. We never returned to ebf but we continued our 'bf journey'.
It has been very different with DD2. I had 3 episodes of blocked ducts but managed to clear them. I started taking soya lecithin and this prevented any more.
Parenting success is baby fed. Bf or ff. Baby fed. You are succeeding! You are a success.
I feel for you op. It's ok to feel sad that what you hoped would happen now cannot. That's natural to let yourself grieve for this loss.
Mastitis is horrible, when I had it it filled me with an awful dread. Very scary.
However, onwards and upwards. You will still have a great relationship with your baby now you are formula feeding. We all do our best for our babies. Enjoy your cuddles (when the pain recedes)
There is so much pressure to bf, both internal and external, yet research on children's brains shows that love and affection matter so much if the are to thrive. Yes, there are health benefits to bf (I say this so I don't get slammed) but these can be overstated, in this sort of situation you are talking about a calculation of mum's health and wellbeing, it seems very clear to me that you must make that decision with confidence that you are doing the very best thing (which you are). Go ahead and grieve, see if you can talk it through with a professional (MW with responsibility for postnatal mental health?) but continue feeding your LO how you need to and enjoying watching them grow
Squdgy I was on your other thread.
You're allowed to be upset, of course, but I'm going to give you a little tough love now - you haven't given up anything, you've switched your feeding method. Giving up implies a failure in someway, but you certainly haven't failed. What you've been through was serious and you need to remember how serious it could have been on your health.
Do not for a second think that you're doing your Dd an injustice.
I would set some rules for yourself because I think it is really important that you maintain that closeness with your dd that breastfeeding gave you and replicate the parts you enjoyed:
- only you bottle feed, or occasionally dh for you to have a break
- invest in a wrap sling to keep her close to you
- have lots of skin to skin with her.
You've made a choice and you are comfortable and happy with the reasons for that choice, do you feel there are any other options? Have you explored every one? Put breastfeeding to bed, close the chapter on it and move on. Don't feel sadness over a time of your life which should be utterly amazing.
What everyone else has said and remember that stopping bf leads to a change in hormones that makes many women feel depressed for a couple of weeks. The feeling will pass.
Hugs for you OP
Agree with pp, healthy mum + fed baby is much better than sick mum + fed baby.
Thanks all - very sensible words. I know you're all right! Feeling a bit better now, both physically and mentally. I'm still sad but I keep telling myself about the benefits - I can do a KIT day at work, I can have a bit more freedom, I can wear what I like. I can't even remember what my normal bra size is as it changed as soon as I got pregnant! DD is happy on formula and apart from her now smellier nappies hasn't changed at all. I also have a bit more time as she can drink a bottle in fifteen minutes whereas she used to feed for up to an hour. It's not what I would have chosen to happen but I did it for nearly four months and me ending up in hospital again is the last thing she needs. Onwards and upwards.
I got mastitis 3 times with my PFB and the 3rd time ended in an abscess requiring emergency hospital admission and surgery under GA.
I still had the mindset that I had to carry on BFing DS, until a very kind nurse said to me "it's ok to stop now." I cried with a mixture of sadness and relief. And everything was fine.
Your DD is happy and it's all good
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