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Please help me decide - should I stop BF

(28 Posts)
ironwoman123 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:27

DD is 6.5 months and EBF and was a bottle refuser. She's slowly taking more each time I try her with a bottle. Previously she would take the bottle until about 10 weeks then would absolutely refuse, scream and cry.

I gave up trying but decided I would try again and to my surprise she's taken some milk from the bottle.

So now I'm really undecided and I don't know what to do. Should I stop breastfeeding.

In the beginning I didn't have any clear idea of how long I wanted to breastfeed. I BF my son for 6 weeks but stopped as I wanted my body back.

This time I had mastitis 3 times and really struggled. I was so close to stopping but I powered on. Anytime I have thought of stopping, DD refused the bottle anyway so my decision was made for me.

I've like breastfeeding. It's been difficult but I enjoy the bond. Don't get me wrong it's been really hard work. I've done every single feed and she can still wake up every 2 hours during the night.

I've never had more than 3-4 hours sleep for 6.5 months.

My son who was FF from 6 weeks slept through from 5 months and before then was just waking once in the night.

I know switching to bottle doesn't gaurentee her sleeping better but I'm hoping it may have some improvement? And then maybe OH can do one or two too so then I could sleep.

Also I have 3-4 nights out that I would really like to attend over the next few months. 2 of them are an overnight and whilst the plan is to take my DD with me, it would be lovely to be able to leave her.

So my question is really, can anyone help me decide.. do I stop?

Or do I continue to combination feed (feeding one or two bottles of formula a day and the Rest BF)?

But then do I risk her refusing suddenly again?

I probably wouldn't feel comfortable leaving her overnight if she's only on one or two bottles a day as she may need or want me to BF her during the night and then I wouldn't be there?

I really enjoy the convenience or BF but I'd equally love to get my body back and just feel a bit more me.

But I also LOVE the feeling of BF her. The closeness and the bond. How she relies and loves me so much.

But then the thought of a night sleep is so tempting!

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 02-Apr-17 20:52:26

Only you can really answer the question, sorry! Only you know which aspect is most important to you. I can tell you what I did/will do, but that won't help because my feelings on each of your points might be completely different.

Bue Sun 02-Apr-17 21:29:42

On the sleep front, you may find that as soon as she is eating good amounts of solids, sleep improves...

Shop Sun 02-Apr-17 21:47:23

If she's already 6.5 months I wouldn't worry about leaving her for events in the coming months. Just go & enjoy yourself, she won't starve missing an overnight feed. Your dh can offer a bottle if she wakes.

ironwoman123 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:13:38

Thank s.

She is on 3 meals a day and doing really well with food.

The main thing is just the freedom part really. I really could do with a few hours / night away. I know that may be selfish but it's been a really hard 6 months and I would really just like to feel like me again.

Regarding the feeding her whilst I'm away, I worry she'd get so upset and not settle. I mean I think she currently feeds mostly for comfort and usually feeds to sleep. I'm not sure if she'd get the same comfort from a bottle unless she was taking the bottle at every feed and associated it with comfort.

I think the answer is to maybe do a trial run and see how it goes. Just the thought of some freedom is particularly exciting grin

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 02-Apr-17 22:20:10

I went out for the evening when DS2 was about 6 months, having expressed plenty just in case. He wouldn't take a bottle the whole time I was out, but was totally happy and just fed lots when I got back in.

ironwoman123 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:34:49

That's reassuring. Guess I won't know unless I try but the whole thought of her screaming or being upset and needing me really just ruins the thought of a night out or away.

I think if I knew she'd be fine as she's just having her normal bottle that she always has then I'd relax more.

My OH is home this weekend from working away so I'm going to get him to try to do the bedtime routine with her and night feeds to see how it goes.

Would I need to pump to maintain supply?

OnTheUp13 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:53:51

My DD is 20 months and still BF & I have nights in the spare room or out of the house. Maybe once a month i go into the spare room for an Undisturbed night as she still wakes 3/4 times for boob.

As others have said it's totally your choice but I just wanted to let you know that you can still have the odd night off smile

OnTheUp13 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:54:33

Also I didn't have to pump to keep my supply but I understand all women are different

ispymincepie Sun 02-Apr-17 22:57:12

There is no guarantee formula will help baby sleep longer and bf is sooo much easier!

PickAChew Sun 02-Apr-17 23:02:24

You're struggling. Try combination feeding for a while (some from you and some bottles from whoever is on hand!) and see where it goes. You might find an equilibrium where she feeds from you, sometimes and takes a bottle others (was like this with DS1 until 18 mo) or the breastfeeding might wrap up quite quickly.

Either way, you've given her a good long spell of getting the best she can have. She does need a happy well rested mum, though, whatever happens next. Particularly at this stage when she starts getting into everything and you need your wits about you!

Waterlemon Sun 02-Apr-17 23:17:22

I found the website invaluable when I was bf. I had a horrendous time with ds1 which was mostly down to being given wrong advice by "experts" but with ds2 we got to 9 months.

as he was weaned, I replaced a feed for a meal. So by 7/8 months I was only bf first and last thing, I can't remember what I did for the night feeds, but i do remember he usually only woke once by that age.

I followed the advice on kellymom about dropping feeds slowly. As with ds1, as soon as I started dropping feeds, I had massive supply issues. 2nd time round my body was able to adjust far better.

Waterlemon Sun 02-Apr-17 23:21:13

That link doesn't work for some reason so try this one

OhWhatAPalaver Mon 03-Apr-17 01:17:40

I'm in exactly the same situation, have mastitis at the moment and dd is 9 months. I really want to stop bfing now. I thought I'd seen the back but mastitis but clearly not sad
My dd will take a bottle of expressed milk but she doesn't associate with comfort either and she doesn't have a dummy so I feel like I'm her only means of comfort. Dp can't even put her in her cot without her waking (we need to stop feeding to sleep) so I really do feel like night times I am the only one who can settle her.
Sorry for rambling on, I'm tired, ill and grumpy tonight!

ironwoman123 Mon 03-Apr-17 06:53:40

Oh no that sounds dreadful!

I seen every single hour of the clock last night. It was literally hell and now I've got a full day as my older son is on Easter break.

I'm so done. I'm so tired it makes me want to cry.

MsComplicated Mon 03-Apr-17 10:12:19

I so understand how you feel. My DD is 8 months old and Im still breastfeeding, Im completely exhausted and desperate for some me time but at the same time Im worried to leave her as I havent yet and me being the only means of her going to sleep (with a feed) worries me that she just wouldnt settle. She will take an expressed bottle but wont sleep from that.

I have really bad days (where she bites me or feeds constantly through the night etc.) but in the back of my head Ive set a goal of doing it until shes one so Im trying to power through in the hope that she will soon start dropping some feeds. She is a bit better now though, she has about 5 feeds in the day and will sleep through about 80% of the time!

I also have DC1 home from school today so I feel your pain! wink

ElspethFlashman Mon 03-Apr-17 10:18:21

Tbh once they're on 3 meals a day they're not particularly hungry during the night so I would start reducing the feeds at night anyway.

Definitely buy a dummy - it can be an absolute godsend. You may find the minute you out it into her mouth she falls back asleep.

And check out The No Cry Sleep Solution. Whether you continue BFing or not, it's too disruptive to both her and you to be waking every hour.

yikesanotherbooboo Mon 03-Apr-17 11:31:26

Do what is right for you now and try not to worry about one off occasions or the future. In the Middle Ages when my children were babies it was very common to have to return to work at 11/12 weeks. I and many women I knew worried a lot about dispensing milk to baby until they were getting decent calories from food ( admittedly thus varies from child to child) but all 3 of mine were drinking from cups by six months so leaving them at that point was no problem and I kept up breast feeding when I was around for as long as the baby was interested ( range 7 mths to 4 years)

ironwoman123 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:00:15

I'm trying to get her to nap without feeding today but it's not going great she was crying but I kept rocking and singing to her and she eventually fell asleep. I think part of the issue is her feeding to sleep.

I don't know I'm kind of ready to give up. I don't want to go past 1 year and I fear that by 1 she will be so awarevand attached to BF I won't be able to stop. Not without a big emotional disruption to her.

OhWhatAPalaver Mon 03-Apr-17 12:15:36

My eldest bf till 13 months but it seemed so much easier with her as she slept better through the night. Dd2 wakes hourly/2 hourly and always needs bfing back to sleep :/ whoever said the second is easier was lying 😄

mikado1 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:26:46

I think if you are thinking at all of continuing, keep at it, I don't think you'll ever regret it but may regret giving up if not 100% sure. You have done the hard bit and you've gotten through! You've hearddl it before but don't give up on a bad day and every feed counts are so true. Niģht weaning not recommended until 12m but we found that if dh went in to settle he settled back happily without a feed so that way I got it down to one night feed (that was around 10months I think). I was quite single minded and wasn't giving up bf but was also determined to get some sleep. Yes to a soothe, lullaby music and amything

mikado1 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:39:47

* soother and anything that might work!

ironwoman123 Mon 03-Apr-17 14:36:10

She refuses a dummy too I've tried all sorts. Even went to the shop today to try a new kind but nope, she's not interested.

Each nap today I've rocked and sang and played music to her. She was upset and I was seconds away from latching her on but she finally fell asleep. I feel bloody awful. But I can't continue like this anymore. She can't self settle herself at all, only thing that works is if I breastfeed her.

Tried her with a bottle again this afternoon and she took half an ounce.

Today has been awful sad

WantAnOrange Mon 03-Apr-17 14:51:20

I think all parents have those days and feel like this sometimes regardless of how their babies are fed. If you really don't know how about taking it just one feed at a time? You don't need to make this decision now. You can breastfeed today and change your mind tomorrow. That's ok!

It is a tricky time to change as presumably you've only recently began solids? So it's already a time of transition.

I've found breastfeeding is so different from FF in that FF is linear. They gradually increase and then they start solids and gradually decrease.....BF has been more like waves for me. We've had periods where it's really intense and I feel overwhelmed and then times where it all calms down and I can look back on those times and think 'it felt like a month but it was only a week'. I've had to learn to roll with it, accept it and also to carve out time for myself. You absolutely can leave your baby for short periods, even if EBF and she will be fine! A few hours a week can be be hugely restorative.

ironwoman123 Mon 03-Apr-17 15:08:57

Thanks. I had a small nap during her nap and feeling a bit more positive. Truth is I do want to BF her but I can't deal with the current sleep deprivation and feeling of being trapped.

Then I wonder when will it end? When I get to 1 year she won't want to stop. And I don't want to be doing it long term. I want an end in sight and I just don't know when that will be.

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