Finding breastfeeding so hard(19 Posts)
DS2 is 3 weeks. For the last few days he's been feeding a lot. I know he's probably having a growth spurt but I'm struggling in general, even before this. I really miss DS1! I don't get time to play with him. I feel like I'm constantly fobbing him off and off loading him to someone else. I'm fed up of sitting on the sofa feeding while life goes on around me.
I know this is probably sleep deprivation talking but I just don't know what to do.
It doesn't matter what you choose to do. Your baby will still thrive and be healthy either way.
BF is the best when it suits both of you. If you are stressed BF , then it has a detrimental effect on your baby. Then bottle is best.
The options are. Breastfeed as you are.
Breastfeed and express.
Mixed breastfeed and formula.
Take your time to decide. Try one bottle and see how it feels. Whatever you choose is fine. Don't feel guilty for choosing to stay as you are or changing as there is no reason too.
You'll look back and wonder why you put yourself under such stress one day.
It's so hard. Dd2 fed constantly for 6 weeks. DD1 was only 1.5 and I barely saw her. However I wanted to stick with it as long term I knew I'd get more time I.e not spend time doing the bottles, one less thing to pack when you leave the house. It's sibling hard and the guilt is horrendous but it does get better soon. I found those kids' magazines a god send. I would sit with DD1 doing them whilst feeding.
I would try take it a day at a time if you can: you could always give a bottle of formula to get a break for a couple of hours and it wouldn't affect your supply.
It's bloody tough I feel for you
I might get my husband to give a bottle of formula tonight and see how I feel with a bit more sleep. I know it should get better and that's what I'm holding out for. I really can't be bothered with washing bottles and making formula this time (bottle fed DS1) so would like to get past this stage but I just don't know if I can handle it!
If you can keep it going to 6 weeks it will get a whole lot easier. The early days are hard as they are trying to establish your supply.
If you can stick with it, it's the ultimate in fast food without the faf of bottles and sterilising etc.
Sleep deprivation makes everything harder. My advice is to try to push through the 6 weeks barrier - somehow everything seems to settle after that point and feeding "clicks" into place. During the meantime, eat lots of
For me bf was also a time to spend with my other kids.
Reading or colouring on the sofa or watching a Disney favourite!
One of the best ways to avoid any jealousy imo! Some of my kids are just a year apart and wanted snuggle time when I was relaxed and not busy elsewhere!
And personally think bf is easier when you have other kids than 'bottle duty!' instant silence and no cleaning /making /along formula in etc.
How do you feel about co-sleeping? I don't think I'd have lasted as long breastfeeding without co-sleeping and mastering feeding laying down. It's not what I planned but it's the best way for everyone to get some sleep and with an older DC it's not so easy to sleep when the baby sleeps.
Silverdream, why would you say this: "If you are stressed BF , then it has a detrimental effect on your baby. Then bottle is best."
OP - this is a particularly difficult stage of any new mother's life.
There is no evidence that switching to bottles would give you more sleep - there is not much research on this, but what there is indicates that breastfeeding is more likely to lead to more, not less, sleep in parents (obviously, individual experience varies a lot).
Can you call one of the bf helplines and talk it through?
It sounds like you really would prefer to breastfeed, if it could feel easier and fit in better with your other needs, so there may be things you can do to help with that.
I'm feeling a bit better this evening. The sleepless nights don't bother me other than making me more emotional! My biggest issue is how much he feeds in the day so I feel like I'm neglecting my first son. I'm also having latch issues on one breast so I'm in pain. It had got better but over the last few days it's sore again. I'm going to a breastfeeding session tomorrow so will speak to the lactation consultant there.
Thanks for listening to my whinging.
Hope it helps tomorrow. It is a difficult adjustment for older siblings. Have you got a sling? I've never quite mastered feeding in a sling but if you could then that'd really help. Also, find things that you can do while you are feeding. Days that it's just me and both DD involve a lot more telly than I'd ideally like but it's what we have to do sometimes to get through. It does get easier. Also, I know some people are reticent but I had problem with latch on one side and I used a nipple shield which really helped and within a few weeks I was able to stop using it.
Just a thought. Even if you switched to FF your other child would still be watching the feed. In other words don't worry too much about that because I am not sure it would buy you much more time with them. A newborn is just time consuming. Hope tonight is going well. It all evens out after a while and as others have said TV, music, stories and sticker books are good things your older child can do with you. You are doing well !
Depending on the age of your dc1, I had a little box of activity stuff next to the sofa for ds1, which I rotated every couple of days. Magazines, colouring and sticker books, stories etc. This would come out when we were on the sofa and I was feeding dd. Helped reduce the CBeebies time a bit. And even though ds1 did much of it himself, because we were talking about the pictures etc he felt he had time with me too.
Another thing I did was write a list of different activities to do with ds1. Really basic stuff, but every activity I could possibly think of. E.g. Jigsaws, painting, play doh, wooden trains, bob trucks, football, play house, Lego, shops etc. So that if I did find myself with a spare ten mins when dd was sleeping / happy, I didn't have to think up an activity I could just look in my sleep deprived state at the list and choose something!
I am currently feeding my 4 week old and I sympathise so much - I have no idea how I would do what I am doing if I was looking after a toddler as well. No chance.
You haven't said how old DS1 is but I've always involved my DD1 with stuff with DD2. Get him to help with nappy changes or get the wipes or show his toys to the baby. That will give you all a bit more interaction in the times that you're not feeding the baby. You could also get him a doll/teddy and get him to put a nappy on it, dress it, put it to sleep etc. Another good tip, that I think I saw on MN, is to speak to the baby about your older child. The baby just knows that you're talking to it but the older child can hear all the nice things you're saying about them - how he's so grown up and a brilliant big brother etc etc. Also, tell your older son that it won't be like this forever and that the baby will get a bit bigger and won't need milk all the time and then make plans for the things that you'll do when you have more time together.
It does get easier and down the line I think bfing is easier than bottles (I've done both) as you don't have the faff and you have to carry far less with you which, for me, minimises the stress. So long as you've got your breasts your baby will always be fine!
Just thought I'd update after seeing the lactation consultant today - baby has a huge tongue tie. She was incredibly surprised I was still feeding him seeing how bad the tie is. So going to take him to the clinic and hopefully things might improve with the feeding which might mean he feeds less as he'll be more efficient
Oh well done for keeping going! So pleased it will become easier soon!
Another update in case anyone comes across this with similar issues. The tongue tie was thick and 70% of the tongue long. Had it cut a week ago. We had a tough couple of days after that as he was in discomfort and getting used to his new tongue. But his latch has massively improved over the last week and he's feeding a lot more efficiently so I no longer feel entirely welded to him (just mostly!).
We're also seeing an osteopath so hopefully he will continue to improve.
Brilliant !!! So glad you got help with the tongue tie and are able to feed the way you wanted without being exhausted and without him being hungry. Long may it continue !
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