I don't enjoy breastfeeding - am I missing something?(31 Posts)
This is not a bf vs ff debate. I support all mums regardless of how you feed. I'm posting this because I feel like I'm alone in my feelings and I'm looking for others to come along and tell me it's not just me. (Or confirm I'm a weirdo!)
I had primary lactation failure with dd1. Really tried to bf but, due to my milk never coming in I moved to formula. I felt like a failure because I wanted to bf on GP advice. I had zero bf support. Dd then developed colic and cried all of the time. It was hideous and she was diagnosed with having a lactose sensitivity. It took me 4 years to muster up the courage to try for another baby as I was traumatised by the colic. When we did ttc I suffered a mc at 13 weeks which devestated me. When I fell pg with dd2 I had a difficult pg due to pg causing me to have high bp and having to take medication due to a genetic clotting issue. Because of all of this, I knew she would be my last baby and I was determined to bf - I think partly because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and partly because I was terrified of history repeating itself with the colic; the only thing I could do differently with dd2 was feed differently. I am a self confessed control freak and making a different feeding choice gave me a sense of control. It was tough in the first few weeks but dd2 is almost 11 weeks and we are established. My supply isnt abundant, I never get engorged, never have to use breast pads, often feel 'empty' after dd2 has fed a lot causing her to become frustrated and scream at my boobs. But, her weight gsin has been brillant; she is a big baby who feeds at least every 2 hours in the day and 2-3 at night. My milk is clearly fine because weight gain is so good. I've got my period recently which really affected my supply and gave me a bit of a wobble, but with expressed milk and a very small amount of formula (2oz per day after bf before sleeptime), we got through it and I'm continuing to bf. But, here is the thing; I don't really like breastfeeding at all. I'm not going to stop because it seems daft to change what is clearly going so well, I'm just shocked at myself. I thought that, once everything was established I'd feel like all the mums I read about who love it and do not want to stop. There is a thread on here in which a mother describes her huge sadness at stopping after 5 years and all I can think is that I'm sat here counting the days until 6 months. I don't understand why I dislike it and don't have those 'feel good' feelings that other women describe. It isnt just that id like a break from dd2 either (although i completely admit od love to hand her over to dh for a few hours). I think it's partly because, in the evenings, my flow slows right down and she gets frustrated I find that really difficult. Or when she squirms as she feeds or scratches my boobs; I feel almost like I'm being assaulted (I know that is madness, I just hate it when she does that) Dd2 is such a wonderful baby and I'm absolutely loving having her, it is so different from dd1 where I spent most of the first 6 months in tears. I'm content and so is she. It's just the feeding that I dislike. In the early weeks I felt so proud for persevering because it was hard, now it's easy yet I feel fed up and bound by it. Why do i feel like this? Am I just more selfish than other mums? As much as I know it makes me a bit of a martyr, I am going to continue bf because she is thriving and I won't be having any more so it's only for a short time. I just need to know if I'm the only one who feels this way. The mums I know in rl either love it or ff. Again, I do not want a bun fight. This post is, unashamedly, all about me and not a judgement of others.
I'm happy breastfeeding, generally. But that doesn't mean I love every single feed. There are periods of time where it can be a chore, or it's a bit painful or whatever. There's also a big difference between feeding an 11 week old and an older baby. My DS2 is 9.5 months and feeding is much less frequent and generally fairly quick. The early days seem like a distant memory now.
I didn't love breast feeding either. I didn't hate it but I did it because I wanted to if you know what I mean. I'm an introvert and I don't like being touched too much. I think that's why I never embraced the invasiveness of feeding. I did it exclusively for a year though.
I don't think you're awful. Remember you can stop at any time for any reason. It's always your choice because it's your body.
Some women get a horrid feeling when they have let down. It's quite common.
Is there any chance you have mild postnatal depression? If not, don't worry about it. This doesn't make you a bad mum, it just makes you honest about your likes and dislikes.
I don't really like breastfeeding either. I like the power the boob has to calm them down, I like that I can feed lying down and not have to get up in the middle of the night and very occasionally I like the closeness of just me and the baby.
But generally I'm not a big fan and look forward to stopping (but also struggle with the idea of stopping, hormones!!!).
Currently breastfeeding number 4 who is 2 months old. She takes two small bottles a day just to make sure she will take a bottle and my plan was to switch her over to bottles by now but I'm not sure I could be bothered. I can't decide which is more hassle!
Thanks both. I'm not depressed at all. Infact I am really happy and it all feels very easy most of the time. I am sensitive to sounds and touch though - I wonder if that had something to do with it?
Sometimes it's lovely, but most of the time it's just another chore. But so is faffing with bottles and feeding from a bottle. I did it mostly for the baby's immune system and for them to bond to me.
I did it because it felt like he right thing to do rather than because I loved it. It sounds like you maybe need to up your supply a bit more though if your baby is getting frustrated. Big hungry babies can be really hard to feed! Are you eating and drinking plenty and looking after yourself? Lemonade always worked for me when I wanted to up my supply a bit.
I didn't like breastfeeding but I wasn't having any major issues with latch or supply etc. I found it quite isolating and I just wanted my own body and space. I'm not sure if that was to do with my labour and the constant examinations. I stopped bf at 4 months when my son got diagnosed with cmpa. I switched to a df formula, I think I felt like I'd been given permission to stop and then that felt okay in my mind.
I keep saying it. Even when it's 'easy' bf is hard work.
I wouldn't say I love it, its nice at the end of the day to have snuggles and know that the baby will nod off to sleep without too much fuss after a feed. I did enjoy it when he was very small as I did like the excuse to just sit and watch him!
But now it's just something else to do on the list of chores.
It's handy because I'm lazy and I probably will continue for as long as possible but if I start to actively dread it I'll find a way to stop that suits us both.
i loathed it with every fibre of my being. you are not alone.
Thank you all so much! So much of this resonates! Thank you
Didn't hate it but didn't like it very much either. Somehow managed to combination feed both up until 8 or so months but loved the freedom of dh giving a bottle for a change.
I was crap at it though, never able to make enough milk.
Hated it. Had no problems other than the usual but I still hated it. I felt it was a crap duty I had to do.
The claustrophobia, the dependance, having to whip a boob out 24/7, having to feed all night during the 4 month sleep regression.......
The relief I felt when I finally quit was immense. I didn't get to 6 months with either, though almost. I just got to the stage where I dreaded every feed and it was affecting me.
I can't pretend to understand extended BFs. Clearly they experience something I never have.
And God, being grabbed by the throat at every feed with needled sharp nails. I used to want to scream in risibg panic "get off me! STOP!"
With DD1 (very tough start to motherhood and breastfeeding to be fair) it took quite literally months and months for me to 'love' breastfeeding. I can't even really remember why there was a turning point -- only that there was and I ended up feeding her for a good couple of years until she self weaned. I looked forward to nursing her little sister and had a much easier time of it.
When I didn't love feeding DD1 in the early days it was sheer bloodymindedness that kept me going. Set myself a target of six months and it was one day at a time until I got there, at which point I wouldn't have dreamt of stopping!
I'm now ff DS2 primarily because I hate breastfeeding. I'm quite touch-phobic myself and I don't enjoy pregnancy either, so after 9 months of that I just want my body back. Breastfeeding also makes me feel really unpleasant, I get really bad sweats and leakage so I feel smelly and uncomfortable. It's not easy for me either as I have flat nipples so have to do a fair bit of 'manipulation' to get a latch. This puts me off feeding out and about. I just don't like the feeling of it or the way my body feels doing it. I wish I felt differently because I know it's all quite selfish, but I need to feel happy this time after breastfeeding battles contributed to PND with DS1.
A lot of people say they can't be bothered with the faff of washing and sterilising bottles but I prefer washing up to breastfeeding!
Yeah, I think if you like breastfeeding then washing bottles even just once a day seems like a lot, but if you really dislike breastfeeding then when you eventually start formula feeding you are so grateful that you don't care.
Elspeth I really struggle with the scratching. I'm glad that I'm not alone. Also glad to hear that people still managed it despite feeling like I do. I can't wait to have my body back and I know there into much longer to go. It's a lot like an extended pregnancy.
That's how I felt OP - that with breastfeeding the pregnancy never really ended. I had my two pregnancies close together too, so I think that's why the urge to reclaim my body has been really strong this time.
Could it be this?
Have you tried a teething necklace that you wear? Some babies will play with them instead of the scratching. I fed for a long time but there were periods I had nursing aversion/disliked it/was irritated by the scratching, etc.
I think if I had bottle fed, I would have had times where the making up bottles/cleaning/sterilising/buying formula annoyed me too!
11 weeks is still in the feed all the time stage. It does get easier as baby feeds less frequently and gets more efficient.
It's never to soon to teach 'nursing manners' so pull baby's hand away when they are scratching, etc.
I have recently been on a thread saying how much I hated it abd was in a minority. Most women loved it or says once it gets easy it's great .
The thing is I did find it physically easy. I just didn't enjoy it physically or mentally.
I ebf ds1 for 3m then mixed fed and stopped asap. The others I mixed fed from the start and totally FF from 3-4 months.
I always dreaded BF. Even if easy and fast. Where as is click watch when a bottle was due and really really look forward to it. I loved it.
I feel sad I missed out on finding it lovely and bonding. I marvel at the women who hate it and push on through for months or years. I was never depressed but I suspect I may have become depressed if the option to stop was taken away.
Also I felt very bonded to mine from the start but loved escaping to leave DH in charge.
11 weeks is still early days in terms of the breastfeeding relationship . The mum who was sad after five years of bf probably felt like you did at around the 11 week mark .
Ds is 12 months . I don't love it and sometimes it's a bloody pain and I'm knackered BUT it's convenient and makes him super happy and sleepy and it's just a big part of our relationship now which I guess , when it is time to end, I probably will feel sad about .
Last week I stopped breast feeding my 4 month old and put her exclusively on prescription formula due to cmpa. She's my 4th and I've always been a die hard pro breastfeeder (for my children, couldn't give a monkey's what others do). It just hadn't worked out so well this time. I did it for 15 weeks but I didn't enjoy at least half the feeds. I didn't realise how much I wasn't enjoying it until I went onto formula (telling in itself as I made sacrifices in previous babies for breastfeeding but didn't contemplate going dairy free to continue feeding this one). Now we've been on formula for 10 days and I realise I simply didn't enjoy breastfeeding this time round. No rhyme nor reason as I've happily fed my others for 9 months. Im not analysing it, I'm just enjoying my pre pregnancy bras and being able to share the feeding.
I hated it. Felt completely 'touched out' the whole time. I just wanted my space. I fed both DD's until 6 months because I knew it was the best thing for them, but was so glad to stop.
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