Breastfeeding struggles(7 Posts)
I've been ebf for just over 5months and we've had our struggles but overall it's ok.
However, my DD doesn't feed a lot and doesn't sleep great. Assume linked but I can't get her to feed more. Been to support groups and they say latch and position all good. She is an efficient feeder but she'll only feed what I feel is 'properly' once a day. The other feeds feel a bit like she'd air it or leave it. I've tried leaving her until she's Starving post 4hours but I always crack as am so conscious of trying to get enough in her each day to ensure she sleeps a bit at night.
I've tried feeding her as soon as she wakes, every 2 hours, every 4 hours, when she shows cues etc and nothing seems to make a difference. She still hardly feeds much (except at midnight and 3/4am when she has amazing feeds!)
Anyway. Tonight my DH has gone out and I just felt tired and worn out and alone. I really couldn't deal with her having another shit feed at bedtime (so far today she's only fed for 18minutes in total since (and including) her 7am feed. I just want her to feed properly then have a decent chunk of sleep (every 3 hours isn't bad and could be worse I know but feel like she could be doing more, dare I say it but 'like all the other babies in my group')
So I gave her a bottle of formula. And I feel so sad and shit now. I know there's nothing wrong with formula and I'm a firm believer in fed is best and it's all personal and down to each parent. But I personally want to breastfeed. Exclusively. I just feel like I can't and I feel like my DD prefers the bottle. She took it brilliantly and went to sleep straight away with zero tears zero fuss zero sucking her hands for ages likes she usually does after I feed her. So now I feel like a failure.
My advice - CHILL! You did the right thing at that moment in time. In a matter of weeks I'm guessing you'll start to introduce solids and at that point your baby will be no longer exclusively on bm, so you've really not compromised anything. So relax.
At 5m your supply shouldn't be compromised by one feed but if you're worried, try to express a little off.
I think you've done absolutely the right thing, you sound exhausted. This need not jeopardise your well earned BFing relationship (unless you have decided, as is your right, that enough is enough.)
You are the opposite of a failure. You are doing amazingly!
My daughter is 5 months too and so similar to yours! I went round the houses for months trying to work out why sometimes she feeds well and other times acts like I'm trying to kill her when I attempt to breastfeed (this changes on a feed by feed basis!) but now just go with it! I express every day for her, so always have enough milk in the fridge that if she'd rather have a bottle, she can have one! It's more faff but it's meant I can keep breastfeeding, which is important to me. Don't fret over formula, your daughter is exclusively breastfed regardless of having one/occasional bottles of formula!
I found five months a hard age for feeding. They are starting to be distracted during the day but need a lot of milk. My daughter was waking 3 times in the night and I worried far too much about bad sleep habits, but she really was just hungry (and she was feeding often and well during the day too). It has got much better since starting solids, but it takes a bit of time because they don't eat a lot to start with and they can be uncomfortable as their digestive system adapts. And, as other people have said, one bottle of formula (or even more than one bottle) is not the end of breastfeeding, so don't beat yourself up over it!
One formula bottle at 5 months won't hurt your supply! My DH gave my DS his first bottle at around 3 weeks as I really needed some sleep (and as my health visitor said: better formula and a happy mum than exclusive breastfeeding and an unhappy mum). And I am still now breastfeeding my DS at 2yo! SO as someone said upthred: CHILL! IT will all be fine. You are not a shit mum.
Thank you all. I sound so melodramatic now reading it back - do emotions stable out at some point?!
Just to update in case anyone wanted to know, she only slept 2hr50m after the bottle then bf and she slept a rare 6hours. I am chilling out and not trying to work out how and why and what I should do today! Have expressed a bottle today as advised and have a supply waiting in case needed!
Again thank you for replying to my meltdown x
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