We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Giving up on breastfeeding - emotional support(9 Posts)
My bubba is 16 days old and we've had such a saga with feeding. For the last 6 days she's been having my milk in a bottle with the intention of getting her back to the boob. Yesterday a lactation consultant gave us nipple shields to try. We've had 2 successful feeds with support, on our own we've had 2 unsuccessful feeds and one successful feed. All feeds have involved me and my bubba breaking down in tears because it's so damn hard. I'm dreading her next feed 😕
I just feel I've reached the end of the road for breastfeeding. I'm exhausted from feeding and pumping, emotionally drained, crying all the time and I feel like I'm deliberately distressing my bub for my dream of bfing.
On the other hand everyone says it should get easier, she will 'get it' eventually. It will make life easier in the long run and she'll get the health and bonding benefits. So I keep giving it a bit more time, keep upsetting everyone every 3 hours and facing the same heartbreaking decision to stop 😭
I feel for you, its like torture for both when it's not working out. My baby could never latch on, but I tried (intermittently) until she was 6 weeks, then I felt she was losing interest in it and the meltdowns were to much to bear. I continued expressing until 2 months, but the whole process is so gruelling at a time when you are most vulnerable, it was a relief when I stopped. Whatever you decide, you need to make sure you are happy and healthy so you can look after your wee one. That's the number one priority. Breastmilk or formula, so long as baby is fed, all will be well. Easier said than done, but try not to be too hard on yourself.
It’s really hard is it.
I am in a similar situation and yesterday I actdidnt our baby on breast at all. I think I am at the point of giving up on her latching.
She is 4 weeks old and exclusively breast fed - I am pumping round the clock. Luckily I have a very good milk supply with a large freezer stash already but I’m not sure how long I will be able to carry on.
DS was breastfed until he was 7 months - that in itself is making me feel guilty if I stop with DD now.
Honestly if you feel like you need to go onto formula then just do it. There is nothing wrong with it.
Had a grim time with Dd1 - had to do mixed bottle/breast from 3 weeks to about 8 weeks. But it worked and she breastfed exclusively after that.
Dd2 went fine. Thought i’d cracked it.
Dd3 - nightmare. Then my mother died when she was 8 days old and I gave up bf - best decision ever.
You are the only person who can decide when to call it a day. Yes, bf is best for your child but not if it’s making you miserable. It is really important imo that you take your mental health seriously. If anyone criticises you for giving up they are a stupid fucker and you will be perfectly entitled to beat them to a pulp.
Bottle fed babies still love their mums. We all do the best we can - there is no such thing as perfect.
Oh bless you it's really hard isn't it? We expect bf to be all easy and natural and often it's not it's takes time for both you and baby to learn how to do it.
Its absolutly fine if you want to stop, equally it's OK to continue in one form or another if that's what you want to do to. Mix feeding is an option for many mums.
The only thing I would suggest is if you decide to stop decide on a good feed rather than a bad one (if possible) but be kind to yourself, Having a new baby is tough!
I've just given up bf my 6 week old and am broken hearted. For his health it's the right thing though, and that's what parenting is I think. I hope you do the right thing for both of you, these babies are here to be loved and enjoyed, there are no medals for exclusively breastfeeding if it's harming both of you
Equally, if things could be different and I could make it work out for us I'd do it in a heartbeat. I miss my lo falling asleep at the breast so much. It's just taken me 2 hours to settle him without
@Bitchfromhell I'm so sorry to hear that. It's just devastating. At 6 weeks you've given your DC such a great start with your milk, he'll get loads of benefits from that, well done
Thank you for the love everyone. Just an update for us things have improved. I was feeling all calm in my decision to stop after posting this and reading your replies. When feed time came around I figured we'd give it one last honest shot. I ditched the shields and tried to feed, she latched and ate!
That night I kept trying her on the boob with mixed success, I still pumped. Then we had a couple of days with bfing during the day and bottles/pumping at night. I had another professional tell me to hand my baby over to someone else to feed her with a bottle so I could have a 'break' which made me sob again. Then I went home and decided no, I have a baby who has finally woken up and latched, I'm not undoing that work with more bottles.
I set up a 'bed camp' with water, food, nappy changing things & Netflix. We've been here for the best part of 2 days apart from a long walk today. Bub is bfing exclusively, seems happy and is having plenty of wet & dirty nappies. The only time I've cried was yesterday when I thought id have to go out to the GP as I thought I might have mastitis coming on (I don't), but turns out there's an ap for that and I had a consult in less time than it would have taken to book an appointment at the surgery! First day I got 3hrs sleep in about 36 hrs as she was feeding v little and v often, today she's slept more and ate more efficiently so we've both had better rest and it feels like this could work out.
I'm so proud of my bub for sticking with me. We feel like a team now. She has a weigh in tomorrow morning so fingers crossed she's gained well 🤞
Go you! I came on to say that you are doing the right thing for you and your baby, and now, reading your updates, I am so impressed with your bed camp! This is exactly what it took for me to establish BF with my DCs; literally bedding down for a few days and just letting them do what you describe, little and often, slowly building up. So pleased that it seems to be working out for you. Enjoy bed camp
Please login first.