Should I quit breastfeeding?(10 Posts)
I feel a bit bad about this as my reasons are kind of selfish.
My baby is only 10 weeks old but he's had to have the odd bottle because I've had a few medical issues so have needed to go for urgent appointments while my DH looks after our baby. And we travelled back home to visit family and LO didn't like bf'ing all that much on the plane but the bottle did the trick.
I bought the bottles that are supposed to mimic breastfeeding, but he still prefers bottle to breast.
Anyway, he's prob 90% breastfed, 10% bottle.
But here are the reasons I'm considering quitting.
He's much happier on a bottle, much more settled and easier. When bf'ing, he is literally always feeding and I find it difficult to leave the house (and I have two other DC to look after). I mean, really difficult to leave the house. I find it difficult to leave the sofa. This isn't a temporary cluster feed thing, this is the way it's been for the last 10 weeks. I'd probably just suck it up and get on with it (bf'd my other DC for a year) except for these reasons:
I mentioned I have had a few medical appointments. My medical issue means I need to take certain tablets I can't take while bf'ing. So I'm not taking them (under my doctor's approval). I'm putting my baby's feeding first and I'm not sure if I should. My health being poor terrifies me! I have three DC, as I said.
Third reason: sometimes my LO cries when I try and bf and stops when I give him a bottle. I don't know if I have the energy for a boob battle.
I know he's so little... and bf'ing was and is important to me. I just want life to be easier!
What would you do?
I am pro breastfeeding but I also am pro choice. I think you should do what will make you happy and own it. Don't feel pressured to continue BF or feel you have to justify to people. I only have one child and literally can't imagine how people do who have more children!! Xx
It's a decision only you can make. For what it's worth I'm expecting number 4 and my plan (although I know it might change when the hormones kick in!) is to only breastfeed for 2-3 months this time.
I just don't have the energy for it and selfishly, I really want my body back after 4 pregnancies and feeding 4 babies.
Why not introduce a second bottle a day and go from there?
I would stop calling it quitting for a start. look at it as making a considered choice.
Breastfeeding is important (in my mind) but so are other things like yourhealth and the needs of your family.
If your not r day to give up the breast milk part, can you express for a while and give it ina bottle? This obviously won't address your medication issues but it might work as a gradual step towards switching.
(And I've just realised I went from first to third reason with no second !)
I do feel a bit like you, babybladder. Three babies and three lots of breastfeeding equals years and years of my body busy being pregnant / feeding and I look forward to getting it back to being mine and not so tired!
But then I wonder if I'm short changing my youngest when I went so long with his siblings (and really enjoyed bf'ing them. Don't enjoy it as much with my youngest as it's endless all day when I'd like to get out and about and do things with him and his siblings as well!).
I find myself wishing time away, which I don't want to do. Cheesy as it sounds, I really want to be present and enjoy these moments as he's my last baby.
Arg so torn. I know how lovely and healthy bf'ing is. And want the best for my baby - and I can do it and have enough milk. But I also want a bit of freedom and my health totally back!
I think you're right, 1sttime, that whatever decision I make I should "own" it!
soupdragon, I have thought about expressing. I know - if I stop - I'll have to express off anyway to slowly get the milk off. I have a big, hungry baby so I think my body makes a lot to compensate! Like what you say about rephrasing it to calling it a choice, not quitting!
(I also live in a VERY - almost aggressively - pro-breastfeeding neighbourhood. A small piece of me would feel a little embarrassed with a bottle. I'm ashamed to admit that.)
I think you should for all the reasons you say. Protecting your health is not selfish, it is the responsible and adult thing to do. In fact I think to do otherwise could itself be considered selfish and reckless.
Your last line of your most recent post is telling. Did you yourself look down (however secretly) on those who chose formula before now? It is never comfortable to have our assumptions challenged, particularly if they are bound up with our identity as a parent. Formula is a perfectly excellent food for babies. If all other things are equal, breast milk is marginally better but in your case (as almost everything in life) all other things most certainly are not equal. So the balance would clearly tip towards formula from the information you supplied.
You don't need anyone's permission to stop. You don't need to ensure absolute identical treatment for all your babies - you did not have the medication issue with your first ones. And you have said yourself the baby is happier with a bottle.
I planned to BF my youngest for a year. In the event I manage about 12 weeks mixed feeding.
Lots of reasons for it. He was tube fed, I was on medication. But mainly actually I realised my older children needed me and were just as important. Allowing DH or grandparents to care for the baby allowed me to have time with the older ones etc.
I am actually in awe of the women on here that manage to BF 3rd/4th/5th babies long term without it impacting on the family.
So if I was you ( from experience) I would stop.
I am definitely pro-breastfeeding but also pro-choice I think you have to look at your success - you have breastfed your baby for 10 weeks, looked after 2 older children and coped with your own ill health. Quite impressive. I believe that parenting should be about being 'good enough' and not trying to be perfect. Whilst 'breast is best' - bottle feeding is definitely 'good enough'. Your baby has had over 2 months of 'best' and now you are considering going on to 'good enough' definitely not a failure. Good luck with any decision you make.
You've managed 10'weeks!! Well done you!! With my second I managed just about 9 weeks, only two ebf - I don't feel guilty - it was a mix of jealousy from DD, my own hormonal problems with DMER and just how truly awful it made me feel!
It's not quitting, you be made a really good decision to BF for 10 weeks - if it doesn't work for you and your family and your condition then you've already done a great job!!
sycamore - before I had my first DC I assumed bf was easy. I didn't think of myself as overly judgey about it, because I didn't have any children then and so didn't have much of an opinion. But when DC1 was born and I found it incredibly difficult I realised how wrong I was. Then my twin was totally unable to bf her DC and i had a long look at my preconceptions. So I think you're right - I am a reformed bf judgey person! After my sister couldn't, I did a whole load of reading about formula and realised how fab it is and how lucky we are to have it. But you're right, bf is so tied up in who I am as a mother of young babies. I don't know why, perhaps because it was a long hard road with DC1 to get there. I guess that's why I'm clinging on even though I suspect I shouldn't!
iknowwhatyoumean - that sounds so tough! You definitely made the right decision! I hope all is well with you both now?
lorisparkle - thank you so much! I totally agree that parenting is about good enough. It's impossible trying to be perfect!
flumpybear - I had to look up DMER, it sounds awful! Poor you for having to go through that!
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