Grief over not breastfeeding?!(14 Posts)
Is this a real thing? Or should I be cautious it's not a into PND?
Quick story: I exclusively fed DD for the first 5 days of her life, then stopped because I had cracked and bleeding nipples. After 48 hours I felt sad about it so put her back to the breast. For a week all she did was feed but this was ok as we sorted her latch and I was no longer bleeding or sore.
After a week she started screaming after a feed, she would always have both breasts and feed till she latched off. Id offer her the breast again, she would latch on but all she would do would be to cry so I started to top her up, which began to become a vicious cycle, for a few days she would feed for 20 mins per boob, then have a 4 oz bottle, then it was 15 mins a boob and a 5 oz bottle, then 10 mins a boob and a 6 oz bottle.
I really wanted breastfeeding to work, I tried fennugreek, fennel tea, doperiodome from the doctor. I even saw a lactation consultant who checked for tongue tie and all the other tricks for getting feeding to work, ie going to bed for a week, pumping lots to get supply up etc. Nothing would work and she still screamed for a bottle after a bf.
She would start her feed on the boob fine, just "needed" formula too. It began to make me cry whenever she needed to eat :-( then 3 weeks ago I got a sick bug and she wouldn't breastfeed all weekend and then refused boob one I was better. I pumped some milk into a bottle a few times but she would just scream and spit it out and then guzzle formula. I had mastitis twice too, just to make things even worse!
Is it normal to feed a bit heartbroken almost at the feeding stopping? It's horrible feeling this way and I know deep down I've done my best but somehow it doesn't feel good enough :-(
Yes I think it's normal.
But you DID breastfeed for the five most important days. YOU THen went through the mill trying to continue. YOUR Dd is very lucky
Some caps for emphasis, some randomly inserted by evil iPad
You have done your very best. Your baby is fine.
Before long you'll be worrying about solids! Feeding is so emotive but represents a real small snapshot in time.
Have a cup of tea and give your baby a cuddle. You went above and beyond the call of duty!
I had similar. My son is 3yo, I have just started to feel ok about the situation. I had no support, other than talking over things with wonderful DH, I mean no outside support.
So, um... no real words of wisdom but
I understand how you might feel. But look at your baby girl? You're her whole world and more to her her just as she is to you. She loves you whatever happens. As someone has just said she'll be on to solids before long and that's something new to think about. Please don't be hard on yourself. You tried and it didn't work out but all the have you have a beautiful baby girl that's all yours to love forever xx
I understand. I am still not 'over it' and ds is nearly 3. He's my last and youngest and I so wanted it to work this time. I planned to BF for at least a year.
Anyway for a variety of reasons it didn't work out and I think many are my fault. I would do it differently again. He's a healthy happy boy and we have a great bond though.
I've even considered having one more baby to get it right but hopefully I'm sensible enough to know that's silly. I wonder if the sadness will ever go as I feel I've missed out on something special. I feel more sad for me than him in many ways!!
I think it's a perfectly normal reaction. Failure to breastfeed can be a trigger for PND because you have the double whammy of a mental guilt and a physical withdrawal of the hormones. Have you called a the La Leche League? They might be able to help. Most people fail to breastfeed so there must be loads of people dealing with the guilt. I'm not sure what the healthiest way to deal with it is?
I still feel awful about giving up at 2 months. My experience was similar and I stopped when thinking about the next feed made me cry with dread and feel wish I had not had a child.
I'm now mainly angry that the support in hospital and the first week was non-existent (and wrong) and the subsequent help was mainly just implying that I should try harder and made me feel like shit. My mental health really suffered and over a year later, I still feel that I was an inadequate mother.
However, rationally, I know that carrying on would have tipped me into PND and that I found motherhood an awful experience until I stopped. And every time I feel the guilt and self-loathing creep in, I remind myself that I became a better mother, who loved and cuddled her baby more and was able to enjoy motherhood.
My DS dropped 17% weight after the first 5 days of BF as he just became too sleepy and weak to suck properly. So I expressed milk and bottle fed it to him, waking him on a schedule to regain the weight, then he didn't want to go back on the breast. I continued to express for him until 8 weeks when it began to slide more towards formula. Oddly enough at the time I was just so desperate for him to have food I didn't give a damn where it came from. Now I look back wistfully and think 'what if I'd really forced the issue?' But honestly, I don't see how him screaming with hunger and me crying while I struggled to make him BF again would have been 'better' for him, or better for me. I'm not devaluing anyone's grief and despair but what I have tried to do is just not let it spoil this time for me. I have so much to be happy and grateful for. The way I feed him until 6 months is just one of hundreds of things I'm going to do for him, and I haven't gone 'wrong' as a mother because he's now FF. He got Breast milk for his formative weeks. He spends most his naps sleeping on me still at 20 weeks, and I carry him in a carrier most the time, so he doesn't lack for the connection and closeness to me. I don't tend to be particularly fussed with other people's opinions on my parenting so I don't feel a sense of shame about it. It's definitely there at the back of my mind as a small sadness and a 'what if?', but I look at DS and he's a joy, a thriving, healthy and happy boy, and I don't want this to be tinged with regret. No one who identifies that BF isn't working and makes the best decision for the sake of them and their child has failed, or is a bad mother. It's easier said then done, but be kind to yourself.
I posted a similar thread last week. DS1 is 20 wks and after ebf for the first 4 mths, then mix fed, he is now ff. I had a nursing strike to contend with and despite perseverance and we had to give up. I went through a stage of never leaving the house as he would only feed when asleep and the one 4am feed he was then doing for a few weeks is now no more. I'm devastated about it especially as I loved breastfeeding but I'm just trying to focus on the positives. I went shopping for 'real' bras at the weekend with underwire and everything which felt great! I have a few nights away planned which I can now do and best of all, feeding is pleasurable rather than a battle of wills. He lights up when he sees a bottle and is happy, bright and healthy. I still wish I could have done another 2 months but life goes on.
Redling - your post is almost word for word what I think and have experienced
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