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Did anyone regret their feeding decisions?

(38 Posts)
quesadillas6 Fri 25-Sep-15 15:21:46

I'm currently having a bit of a horrible time breastfeeding, after having a relatively easy time breastfeeding my first. I'm thinking through what's best for me and my family, but unsure yet how I'll proceed long term. I just don't want to give up and regret it.

I was wondering if anyone regretted their choices, regardless of how you fed your babies. Did you breastfeed and regret it? Or vice versa? Or switch from breast to bottle and wish you hadn't? I breastfed my first for nearly 7 months total. I agonised for ages about introducing formula at bedtime, which I eventually did at nearly 5 months, realised it wasn't such a big deal and wished I'd done it sooner.

Pootles2010 Fri 25-Sep-15 15:32:28

I breastfed DS until returning to work at 8 months. I don't regret it, as such, but sometimes wonder if ff would have been easier. I had quite a hard time of it, and wonder if I made it harder for myself.

ReallyTired Fri 25-Sep-15 15:36:34

Sometimes circumstancs dictate how your baby is fed. There is little point in feeling guilty over something you have no control over.

How old is your baby? Have you got any real life support to sort out breastfeeding problems?

VimFuego101 Fri 25-Sep-15 15:43:09

I spent 8 weeks expressing as DS couldn't latch on (undiagnosed tongue tie). If i have another baby with TT I know what to look out for - but if it was something that couldn't be resolved I would never, ever express again, I would just use formula if BF didn't work out. Expressing was the absolute worst of both worlds - no cuddling to bond with baby while I fed, or easier night feeds, I used to wake up, FF him and then express.

madmother1 Fri 25-Sep-15 15:47:09

My kids are 15 and 17 now. I fed DS for a year and it was hard work. My DD I fed for 6 weeks as she just didn't like it. I was literally in tears and felt very guilty switching to a bottle. Guess who has hayfever and allergies. The breastfed child! As your children grow up, you will realise that it doesn't matter a jot. Just look after yourself and it'll all come out of the wash x

hazelnutlatte Fri 25-Sep-15 15:48:09

Dd1 was formula fed after I had difficulty getting breastfeeding established (couldn't get her to latch so had to express into a syringe, then a cup). Midwives recommended I buy a breast pump and continue expressing and trying to get her to latch but I switched to formula as it all seemed too overwhelming at the time. Dd had lots of problems with the formula and I later wished I had persevered with breastfeeding.
Dd2 is breastfed, I had lots of problems with it in the first 6 weeks (poor latch, weight loss, severe pain and then thrush) but I carried on and am pleased I did as breastfeeding is so easy compared to formula once I got over the initial problems.

hazelnutlatte Fri 25-Sep-15 15:51:00

There's is no way I would manage with expressing long term though, that sounds incredibly difficult!

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Fri 25-Sep-15 15:52:16

I breastfed my first baby till she was two. I don't think she ever tasted formula. Sounds "ideal" but the reality was I had bad PND and I was scared to stop bf-ing as I couldn't think what else to do with her blush, I was terrified of her crying so even though bf-ing made me feel trapped I couldn't think of an alternative. I'd also got into my head that if I tried to make up bottles, i'd do it wrong and poison her (!)
Number 2, I happily bf-ed for 3 months exclusively, then introduce naturally tailed off by the time dc2 was around 9 months. I was a much happier and more confident parent that time around. A massive part of that was being able to leave my baby happily with others, not being so tied to my baby.
I think breastfeeding is brilliant .. but if I had a third dc I'd very likely introduce that bottle of formula even earlier. For me (not saying this is the best choice for everyone) mix-feeding is the ideal.

lynniep Fri 25-Sep-15 15:56:36

Nope. Not at all. I breastfed DS1 exclusively having been told repeatedly that I must keep going with it by health visitor and gp, but he fed and fed and fed and my milk never seemed enough.
It was my Dstep-M who saw how exhausted I was when he was about 3 months and told me to supplement it with formula. He was so much happier. I actually finally got a decent milk supply when he was 4 months old, but kept mix-feeding as it was much more convenient. Never regretted it.
DS2 was also mix fed from 2 months. He preferred the bottle and I switched when he was about 3 months as thats all he wanted. Never regretted it either.

OffMyAyersRocker Fri 25-Sep-15 15:58:03

I combination fed dd1 from about 8 weeks and it seemed like the best of both worlds. Night feeds were bf and it was so easy.

Dd2 is so far exclusively bf at 5 days but that's because it's been easier. If it were harder this time I'd have done combo feeding earlier.

quesadillas6 Fri 25-Sep-15 16:56:39

Thanks, all interesting replies. My current problems are poor weight gain, poor latch, pain, general disinterest in breastfeeding and (I suspect) me rapidly headed towards depression. Oh, and it's twins. One of them is a great feeder, the other a nightmare. I just don't know what to do anymore. I believe that breastfeeding offers the best start, but is it such a great idea if it's at the expense of my mental health? But will I regret it if I give it up, particularly for the one twin who's good at it?

I've actually done another thread about deciding whether or not to give up, just wondering here whether others regretted their decisions.

ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Fri 25-Sep-15 17:07:18

I bf DC1 until she was 15mths. She never had a drop of formula. I really struggled with it in the first few weeks but was then too sleep deprived to understand the instructions on the steriliser or how to make up a bottle so stuck to it &, eventually, was glad I did. DP worked long hours & we didn't have local family or friends so it didn't matter that I was tied to DC1 as I had no one to leave her with.
DC2 fed brilliantly at the start but developed reflux. As he was still gaining weight, I was recommended to keep feeding him. I have no idea why I listened to that advice. I think we would have all been happier had he been bottle fed as then he could have had the medicine that would have brought him relief from his pain which would have reduced his crying, let me have more slept & so I would have been less grumpy with him & DC1. I feel really bad for sticking to bfing with him.
DC1 is now in Y1 & DC2 is 3. I look around their friends & there us no way of knowing who was ebb, who was ff from the start & who was miced fed.

Madratlady Fri 25-Sep-15 17:11:23

I wish I'd tried harder to bf DS. And I tried very hard but I should have kicked up a fuss before his discharge from scbu and with the midwife when we got home. The support just wasn't there in the first few days. I expressed for 4 months but he had to have formula as well as I couldn't express enough.

confusedandemployed Fri 25-Sep-15 17:14:31

I regret horribly the lack of support there was for me to continue bf when we were having problems, combined with the emotional blackmail of trying to make me continue. DD gained weight like a good 'un but I was in ever-increasing agony. Turns out she had a tt and managed to mangle my nipples so they were still scarred when she was 15 months (I stopped bf at 4 weeks!!).

However, I found ff enormously convenient, DD took to it like a duck to water and I was finally able to bond with my baby girl without cringing in agony. So ff was without doubt best for us and I don't regret it for a second. I still get the red mist when I think of that bitch midwife who tried to guilt me into carrying on bf while being totally unable to see that there was something wrong.

BasinHaircut Fri 25-Sep-15 17:26:44

I expressed for 6 weeks as DS wouldn't feed from me (and ended up in intensive care) because I wanted him to have breast milk.

When I look back I should have just used formula after we realised there was a problem with bf because expressing is so stressful and time consuming.

I am also still angry about the lack of support, both in hospital and from my hv to re-establish bf after he came off of a tube feed.

I so desperately wanted to bf, failed and there was no support even though I kept asking for it.

If I had another I wouldn't even try.

quesadillas6 Fri 25-Sep-15 18:09:09

Setting a date and re-assessing then might be an idea. Although at the moment tomorrow seems too much! I desperately want to bf, like I did before, but it's been so difficult this time, is it worth it? If I stop, I'll always wonder if I should have carried on. If I carry on, it might affect my mental health. Decisions....

stargirl1701 Fri 25-Sep-15 19:56:38

I mix fed DD1 and seriously regret introducing formula. She has eczema and allergies most likely as a consequence of the environmental factor of formula/vulnerable gene interaction. She may have to live with these for her entire life. I wish I lived somewhere where BF was normalised and supported...I wanted to ebf so much with her.

I am 13 months in with DD2. Ebf for 6 months and then BF/solids since then. No regrets there.

ReallyTired Fri 25-Sep-15 21:29:43

I find it really sad the lack of support for breastfeeding problems.

Stargirl lots of breastfed children experience eczema. Ds outgrew his eczema and dd ezcema is much better than it was. Ds was seven when he had his last ezcema flare up and he has been ezcema free for six years.

NickyEds Fri 25-Sep-15 22:07:25

I regret being so ill informed about bf. I wish i'd read more about it before having ds. I wish I'd been better prepared and I blame myself for being so naive.

It's hard op because when they take the placenta out they put the guilt in. It's incredibly hard when feeding doesn't go the way you planned but probably the best way is to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, then make the decision knowing you've done your best, then never look back and just get on with enjoying your babies!

Twerking9to5 Fri 25-Sep-15 22:38:07

I honestly would prioritise your mental health. I only managed a couple of days bf with each of my two due to previous surgery. Felt horribly guilty first time round and much more relaxed second. Despite having a medical reason I was unable to successfully bf, I still faced pressure to keep trying and it really upset me. Yes, breast milk is of course ideal but formula definitely isn't going to mean you've ruined your babies health/chances in life. I would have done more damage mentally had I kept pushing myself.

You're doing a great job, good luck with your decision.

icklekid Sat 26-Sep-15 03:31:04

I breastfed happily and without issue for 3 months then ds refused the breast and after a long struggle my mental health was the reason we moved to formula. Whilst I was trying to continue I expressed which he happily took however I knew that wasn't something I would do long term. I don't regret it as I don't think of it as my decision -ds was the one who was choosing not to bf however it does make me sad still. In the end my mental health was more important and he's now a very happy 14 month old!

Hillijx Sun 27-Sep-15 13:22:07

I ebf dd1 for 4 weeks and then switched to expressing as it was so painful (undiagnosed thrush, which by the time it was diagnosed I feared putting her anywhere near my nipples again!) I expressed until she was 6 months and then switched to formula. Although it worked out well in the end as she had the milk I was so upset at the time and felt I had failed her. But she was my first and After the initial newborn hormones left I realised in the long run it wasn't that big a deal. I ebf dd2 for 6 months and am so happy I managed it. Dd3 won't take a bottle so now I have no choice in the matter!!

mental health is harder to recover from than feeding disappointments, can you spend one or two days bottle feeding them and expressing so you can see how you feel about bottle feeding them? Twins must be so hard, well done you.

Terrifiedandregretful Fri 02-Oct-15 09:26:41

I am glad now that I persisted with bf (still bf once a day 20 month dd) but I also kind of regret not quitting bf 1 month in as the first few months were just so awful. Incredible pain, unending feeds during which I couldn't even reach for a drink as it took me two hands. I still cry when I remember it and it puts me off having a second. I agree with others though that the issue was the lack of knowledgable support.

Lilipot15 Sat 03-Oct-15 19:14:13

You've maybe already decided and whatever you decide, hats off to you for starting to breastfeed twins. They will have received the really good early colostrum so whatever you decide to do you have given them a good start.

AllThereIs Sat 03-Oct-15 19:22:22

The only thing I would change is the months and months of soul crushing guilt that I gave up bf when I did. DS was ff from two weeks, he's now almost three and shows no ill effects. So long as they're fed, who cares how.

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