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I know I need to get over this, I'm just not sure how

(8 Posts)
Chanel05 Wed 06-Jan-21 16:14:58

My dd is now 4 months old and is ff and thriving.
When I was pregnant I had my heart set on bf, didn't look into anything bottle or formula related or bring just in case bottles to hospital. I had a very traumatic labour, which resulted in a cat 1 emcs with major pph and i didn't hold my dd for 3 hours. I was bed bound and totally unable to lift her or care for her independently for over 2 weeks.

My hospital provided no post partum support; 6 hours after I gave birth a midwife put dd on my chest and disappeared. I was unable to move her at all due to the complications with my surgery. Half an hour later a midwife told me I was starving my baby as I was struggling to bf and hadn't given her formula. She was then ff in a cup by a midwife.

My dh sourced bottles and got everything ready for us at home after 5 days stay in hospital and supported me with pumping, which I did every 3 hours, day and night. I managed to give her some colostrum in a bottle over a week but then no more milk came.

It was only at a doctor appointment that I was told my milk was never coming in because of my severe pph and my body wouldn't make it.

Although a lot of time has passed, I still feel very sad that I didn't get the chance to bf. I attended a bf clinic 9 days pp and was told it wasn't going to work for me. I was devastated having spent so many hours desperately trying to bf and pumping constantly.

We may have no more children due to anxiety we felt over my birth (and I still feel quite traumatised by it) and I just feel like I've been totally robbed of the chance to bf.

Someone have a word with me and tell me to pull my big girl pants on end get over it!!

OP’s posts: |
Ingvermama Wed 06-Jan-21 16:19:44

First of all, sending big hugs as this has been a traumatic situation for you, your partner and the baby. So many people feel guilt for not being able to breast feed due to either complications or illness, and this guilt is quite normal.
Your baby is most likely happy, healthy and growing okay? She had some colostrum, which is liquid gold! And you tried your hardest to breast feed.
It will ease with time but you will feel bad about it for a long time, I know from personal experience.
Maybe could you speak to a counsellor about it, talking things out can really help x

Parker231 Thu 07-Jan-21 17:45:34

I’m sorry you feel so bad about this.

I can’t put myself in your position as I decided to ff from day one. If it’s any comfort I can confirm that DC’s grew up healthy and DH and I both have a great bond with them. You can’t tell which children started life bf or ff.
Formula gives babies an excellent start in life.
Enjoy your baby.

CouchPommeFrite Thu 07-Jan-21 18:07:55

Firstly, you need to forgive yourself, this was not your fault, you underwent a very stressful procedure to just give birth and were very poorly afterwards. You seem to have a great and supportive Dh. And of course you are entitled to feel cheated out of something you believed you would be doing.

I have almost been in this position. Ds1 was delivered by EMCS, we went home after 5 days but were back in hospital the next day in the cardiac unit for him. Trying to feed whilst he was hooked up to a pulse-ox machine that kept alarming as his oxygen stats dropped whilst surrounded by hospital staff was traumatic for me and Dh.

In the end I quit breastfeeding after a few weeks as my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I expressed as much as I could but seeing pink milk in the bottle just felt wrong.

With Ds2 I was even more determined that this time it would be better. Except no one told Ds2. ELCS struggled to latch due to sticking his tongue to the roof of his mouth. This is something you can push down with a bottle teat, not something you can do whilst breastfeeding. I even had a breastfeeding expert come and sit with me for hours to help me feed, she said I needed 3 hands to feed! He was also jaundiced so they were monitoring him for that (I wish they had just taken him back into hospital) I was also trying to comfort my just turned 3 year old Ds1 who had never had to share me.

I cup fed, spoon fed, I expressed for weeks and eventually resorted to mixed feeding. This all stopped when he was diagnosed with severe reflux and seeing all of my breast milk and effort thrown up was just too much. The paediatrician put him on a anti-reflux formula and he was a transformed baby.

Can I tell you now that my sons are almost 18 and almost 15. I still have a little pang about it but they are healthy. That is the number one thing isn't it? That your baby is thriving because of your love and caring, not because of how you feed them.

In the dim and distant future this won't matter so much but right now it is raw. You need to look at that baby of yours and know you can say you tried your best. It is all we can do flowers

CouchPommeFrite Thu 07-Jan-21 18:08:12


ThePlantsitter Thu 07-Jan-21 18:12:25

It's not a lot of time to get over a traumatic birth. I had difficulties breastfeeding my first for other reasons and I know the sadness you're talking about. I almost felt ashamed too but I think it's all part of the confusing feelings of new motherhood. It's OK to feel sad. It will pass and I promise at some point not having breastfed will seem like a non issue, but you do need to give yourself a bit of time and self-love.

Are you getting support around the birth trauma?

NataliaOsipova Thu 07-Jan-21 18:15:18

Honestly, you will look back and regret that you spent this time feeling bad about which way you fed your baby rather than just enjoying being her mum.

Or, if I’m absolutely brutal, you can think about it like this - a century ago, your baby would probably have died. You’d have tried everything you could: cow’s milk, sugar and water - people tried everything they could - but a large number of babies died in infancy. “Failure to thrive” was the term. Thanks to formula milk, your DD is thriving. Thank goodness for progress and science. Something to feel grateful for...not bad about.

I’ve been through similar (not as traumatic as your experience, but I can relate) and I feel for you....but please try just to enjoy your baby. You’ve done your best; that’s all anyone can do.

notetaker Sun 24-Jan-21 09:35:15

When I was upset about not being able to BF my DS, I remember my nana saying to me, “I know how you must feel, I never successfully fed any of mine.” It really stayed with me, because of course she fed them successfully - they’re now four wonderful adults.
It sounds like you’ve hab’s an awful lot to cope with OP, and also like you’re doing an incredible job. I hope you’re recovering well and getting the support you need. You’re definitely allowed to feel upset and disappointed that you weren’t able to feed your little one as you’d hoped, but please be kind to yourself too flowers

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