Our breastfeeding is sadly over and I'm struggling to let go.(4 Posts)
DS1 is 20 weeks and bf started out brilliantly; he latched from Day 1, never lost any weight and we both got on great with it. Then we hit a rough patch when he was 12/13 wks with him fussing a lot but we got through it, had a few good weeks, then he had his 16 week vaccinations and started a nursing strike. He would only feed asleep so I had a few weeks of barely leaving the house to make sure I could feed him (he was too fussy and distracted to feed outside the house anyway). Then he stopped feeding in his sleep during the day so I had to give him bottles and just feed him at night. Now that's stopped too, he was taking a 4am feed from me but now he won't and I think my milk has gone. On the one hand I'm trying to console myself that we did 4.5 mths and he seemed to self-wean off it plus I have my freedom back but I'm sad and ashamed that I'm not still breastfeeding. I went to a baby class yesterday and all the mums were breastfeeding at the end and I just wanted to cry. I miss it:-(
You did amazingly well and gave your baby the best possible start. Keep in mind that only around 12% of women are still EBF at 4 months.
I can totally understand how you feel, having battled tooth and nail (too many problems to detail) to breast feed and having gone through my own nursing strike. It only lasted a few days for me but every time my baby refused to feed from me it felt like my heart was breaking a little bit more - there's only so much of that anyone can take, and the priority is ALWAYS to feed your baby, you did the right thing giving bottles.
I'm still hanging in there, but often think it would have been better for my mental welfare, and kinder in some ways on my baby and family to have moved to bottles a while back. Your priority is a happy, well fed baby, and it sounds like you've achieved that, so you have nothing to feel bad about. That said, I think it's natural for you to be sad and disappointed and all I can say is give yourself time to feel that, but please also allow yourself to feel immensely proud that you made it as far as you did, and satisfied that you did the right thing for your baby.
I echo the lovely post above, you have done everything you could and you've done so well to get this far.
Like you, I think that my BF days are numbered at 4.5 months. I fed DS for 15 months and DD has in many ways been easier to feed, but a period of illness has hit my supply hard and supplementing is having an inevitable effect. I feel so guilty about it but keep trying to think about what I would say to a friend in a similar situation... Ie, you did your best, so cut yourself some well earned slack .
I'm sorry you're feeling so rubbish - the guilt is awful, isn't it? You have done amazingly well to get to 20 weeks.
You sound very unhappy about ending bf at this stage: are you aware that there are ways back to bf - relactating and exclusive pumping etc? It should be doable as you've fed your DS successfully for so long already. More information in this book.
I hope I'm not making you feel worse by mentioning this if you've decided for certain that you want to stop, only I didn't have this information with DS1 and I probably would have given it a try if I had.
You sound like an amazing mum and I hope you feel much better soon.
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