Giving up BF, so sad :-((21 Posts)
I am gutted! Tried so so hard, battled through emergency CS and mastitis along with three weeks of cluster feeding 1-5am only to now be giving up at 5 weeks due to over active letdown I cannot solve. So sad as I have truly done my best :-( My LG started fussing at breast around 3 wks and is still doing it at 5 weeks :-( I think my problem is overactive let down, my milk is coming out far too quickly for her particularly at night and she almost chokes, it's awful! I have tried everything, block feeding, feeding lying down, hand expressing before feeding her, nipple shields to even the flow, nursing uphill, or with baby sat down, and winding baby. Sadly nothing works for us and I have made the heartbreaking decision to stop BF as I can't handle the distress of her fighting me day and night at the boob. Just wanted to vent my sadness and frustration! Any tips for making the transition easier? Do I go cold turkey or just gradually introduce FF?
I'm sure there will be lots of people along with a lot more experience, but I just wanted to say you sound like you have done an amazing job battling on. Don't beat yourself up. Formula is not poison; however, if you've had mastitis I would not recommend going cold turkey.
Have you thought about expressing? Might be an option. You can hire hospital grade pumps from Medela. My DC2 was Premmie and just never really got bfing. So I expressed and gave him breast milk in a bottle.
Whatever you decide to do don't beat yourself up. You are doing what is best for your family.
I was also going to suggest expressing. It is more faffing, but the baby gets the benefit of breast milk (and you save the cost of formula). With 2 of my DC I gas to supplement feed, expressed but managed to move onto full bf. My problem was different to yours, but if your let down is that strong, then expressing should be easy.
Expressing is a big hassle but may help you gradually decrease and feel better emotionally.
Stopping bf at any stage is emotional. Five weeks of feeding a newborn is about 300-400 attempts. Hundreds of tries of something that distresses you both is a seriously big deal. Huge pat on the back
I would suggest seeing a lactation consultant for help and support. If you have oversupply you will need to stop down very slowly to stop getting mastitis. Dropping a feed every few days.
I would stay away from expressing as I found it made my oversupply and fast letdown much worse.
It will get easier and settle down in time and as baby gets bigger they find it much easier to cope with the fast flow.
block feeding was what helped sort ours issues out it made the let down and supply have a look on kellymom but seeing a LC they will be able to guide you.
Also make sure you stay away from oats and other things which boost your milk. My morning porridge would make my supply go nuts.
I was going to suggest expressing before each feed which is what my friend did as she had the same problem (it was like turning on the hose at full pelt I'm told) but see you've tried that.
Agree you have done an amazing job so be proud of yourself.
Another friend expressed for 9 months, there are some wonderful support groups for this. With your letdown you might be able to just hand express which is a lot simpler as no equipment to carry around when you are out.
That way you might find if you express all day you might have one time in the day when the flow isn't as strong where you can give her a very mini feed once a day that why she won't forget how to bf then when she is bigger and can cope with the flow you could try returning to BFing if you wanted to.
What ever you do you have given her a wonderful start and even just that first feed has helped her so don't feel bad about ffing at all it is so well balanced now days and a happy mum is better than a stressed one any day.
Good luck, hugs x
She sounds like my baby DS. After 5 weeks of what you describe he was finally diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie. Have you seen a breastfeeding specialist/ lactation consultant/ peer supporter?
Meant to say support groups in America for expressing.
Have you spoken to the breastfeeding Network, they are wonderful and always there. Baby Cafe (look up local ones) are very supportive too.
My friends son had a posterior tongue tie as well and once it was snipped (privately, had to drive an hour to get it done!) his feeding improved so much and now he is still feeding at 8 months. His did unfortunately rejoin shortly after it was first done and had to be snipped a second time.
Just to say again, I know we are all offering ideas but it is ok to just stop if you feel that is best for you, don't forget that.
Do follow advice and don't just go cold turkey or you will get a lot of pain.
First up OP I want to say you sound like you've been very sensible so far and sound like you've really thought through your decision - please don't let anyone make you feel like shit for your choices.
I did ask my local breastfeeding "buddies" for help when I made the decsion to stop and they were awful. Oh what a shame. That's such a shame. You've through the worst now - can you not just persevere for a bit longer. Really upset me and made me feel selfish and a failure. Luckily by that point I was in the mindset where I had recognised that my stress and upset wasn't helping DS so was comfortable with my decision. If you ask a group for advice I hope they're more supportive of your decision.
I tried expressing for a few days but found I was just spending so much time expressing then bottle feeding. I went cold turkey after 3 days. It was uncomfortable for 2 but not unbearably so. Cold compress, cabbage leaves do work, and plenty of pain killers.
I didn't regret my decision for a minute and wish I'd switched sooner. The relief of sitting there feeding DS a bottle and watching him have a lovely relaxed big feed instead of stressing about latch while he's screaming with hunger, concern over how much he was getting, trying ro get in a comfy position without disturbing him when I'd actually got a decent latch. .
Thank you for all of your kind words, I have felt like this for a while but been too scared to verbalise it for fear of people thinking I'm simply making excuses. Stupid I know! MrsHathaway thank you
Mcbaby Yes I was thinking of dropping a feed every few days. I let my mum give her some formula this morning and she drank 160ml of it Clearly she was hungry But glad she certainly has no bottle aversion!!! Thing is as soon as I held her she started rooting, obviously can smell my milk and she got upset when I didn't give my boob straight away.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to wean little Miss off the comfort aspect of BF? I was thinking of gradually lessening how often I give her the boob but had to cave earlier and sure enough she suckled for all of 30 seconds before falling asleep! This is precisely what breaks my heart about giving up, she takes such comfort in BF. How do I break the cycle? Any tips would be v gratefully received xx
Costalotta we have been to a couple of breastfeeding groups and they all say her latch is perfect, annoyingly! If only it could be fixed with a snip!
Ohidoliketobe That's awful, what a shame they were so unsupportive. And they wonder why with such shitty so called 'support' some Mums don't persevere or even attempt to BF often. Luckily one of my friends is a BF counsellor and has been great, v supportive, she knows I've tried everything I can & totally supports me wanting to stop now.
It's early days. You have done brilliantly. I was in a similar position - ooh 21 years ago when groups, professional advisers (doctors/nurses) made me feel very guilty because I wasn't doing what the book said.
Your best is good enough for your baby and as someone up thread said formula made properly isn't a poison and your baby has had the benefit of breast milk for five weeks already which is a massive bonus. She now needs the benefit of nourishment combined with a happy mummy who isn't exhausted all the time, given in a way that stops her choking and lets her relax.
I've said it a hundred times over but childbirth and breastfeeding are very very small parts of being a mother. Your little girl will remember her mummy being there on her first day at school, at her first concert, cooking her favourite dinner, laughing in the sandpit with her, licking ice-cream on the beach, being there as she opens her GCSE results and having her arms to sob in when she is dumped for the first time. She will remember the safe and loving, warm and welcoming home you provide. She will not remember being breast fed.
A bit of practical advice - I'd make the switch to formula complete asap and express as much as you need to keep yourself comfortable. This will slow production as quickly as possible and it will be better for your dd than a half way house if she is rooting.
Good luck. You are a lovely new mummy and this is just one little step along the way to being an experienced mummy. All babies are different and all mummies are different.
I am weaning an older baby at the moment. The best advice I was given is to give at least as many cuddles esp skin-to-skin as you would do whilst bf (so don't escape to the other room while the baby's father gives the bottle). Replicating the snuggle while she's having her bottle should work well.
They forget very quickly.
Have you tried a dummy whilst snuggling her in to you?
Re the latch comment, the friend I mentioned with the tongue tied son was also told her latch was fine. Apparently babies need to do three things in order to feed properly and the tongue tie means they can only do two at once so it appears like they are on ok but they aren't getting a proper feed. Might be worth having someone look for whilst you reduce your feeds just in case. Harder spot with the posterior tongue tie than the normal one.
Good luck with the transition.
(I didn't want to give DS a dummy - not sure why now - society perhaps? But it really helped me and from 3 months DS only really had it at nap times or poorly, really helped him to focus on sleep and a god send to my sanity)
Mine got as much comfort from a dummy as breast and it allowed me to stop very easily.
Ruby I have no advice as my own DD is only 5 days old and I'm struggling with bf. Sounds like you've had a tough time of it and you should be proud
beaufort your comment is fantastic and so well put. for you too
No expert here but this was my experience. After my 3rd bout of mastitis, 3 milk blisters and wanting to feed every hour I decided I had had enough that was when my Ds was 7 weeks. I to love breastfeeding and was very upset by it. But I had a 6 year old on summer holidays to look after too and I felt so poorly I could hardly do anything with him. I made the decision to initially drop to 2 feeds a day one in the morning and one before bed and never feed at night to reduce my milk supply. The engorgement stopped after about 5 days. I used the cabbage leaves and ibuprofen. Luckily I have not had mastitis again and am still doing the 2 feeds and my son is now 11 weeks. Not sure how long this will continue as my supply is reducing gradually. It was emotional at first but was the right thing for my family. He gets on great with his formula and is really content. Im glad I did it and proud I lasted as long as I did. Be kind to yourself you are doing great.
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