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Feeling really bad about stopping BF

(47 Posts)
sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 19:13:37

I know some people may have a go at me for saying this but here goes - I have posted on here before but have changed my name.

My DS is 9 weeks old, a gorgeous little boy who I love to bits.

Anyway last week after really struggling with my conscience I decided to give up BF and switch to formula. BF was a real struggle from the beginning.

I feel so sad and guilty because I really, really wanted to breastfeed him. Today we went out shopping and I went into a parent and baby room to feed him - all the other mothers were BF. I felt awful and such a failure.

Has anyone else been in my situation?

Yorkiegirl Fri 07-Jan-05 19:16:05

Message withdrawn

lowcalCOD Fri 07-Jan-05 19:17:40

can i only repeat whaat i was told after giving up for various tedious reasons wiht ds2?
" its not on his cv"

its so true
no one will ask you about it after about year one so give oyurself a break!

and also you may do it agin with yournext baby
have you any milk still?
woudl you wantt o try agin quicklY?

amynnixmum Fri 07-Jan-05 19:18:26

Don't feel guilty. If bottle feeding is better for you then it is the best option for ds too. You've given him a good start with 2 months of bf so you've done well.

miranda2 Fri 07-Jan-05 19:20:59

I know just how you feel - except I think you've done amazingly well getting to 9 weeks!!! I stopped at 3 after it really hurting and I just hated feeding - currently pg again and unsure whether even to try bfing this time as I don't want to set myself up for failure again. I felt dreadful about stopping - I think it contributed to my pnd as I had never even considered bottlefeeding. But my son was instantly happier, slept better, etc - and is clearly just as healthy as any bfd baby could be now, 3.5 years later! The bfing mafia is incredibly strong - I still get people having a go at me now. Even saying 'breast is best' feels like a pointed criticism, doesn't it? Most of our generation were bottlefed and we're all fine, so please try not to beat yourself up about it. You've given your baby all the colostrum, which is the 'magic' bit if there is one, and (whispers) bottles are so much easier...!!

Blossomhill Fri 07-Jan-05 19:21:37

Sadmum - I was you about 7 years ago. When ds was born I was so ill after losing quite a lot of blood. I was very anaemic too.
I struggled on with bf for about 6 weeks but I struggled and 9/10 had to top up with a bottle as my milk just wasn't enough. The final straw for me came when after a week of feeding ds with my nipples ouring with blood my mil said "give it up, you've given him the best start" and I knew she was right. So I started giving formula and had a few bf's for a while. I did feel ever so guilty and down and when I gave ds his formula it may as well have been alcohol as I felt bad even feeding it to him as it wasn't the best He was so much happier on formula and to be honest it gave my body a rest, that it really needed. I carried on feeling guilty and bad for a while afterwards and like you say a failure. Looking back I know I was far from being a failure. I tried my hardest but it just didn't work out. That baby is now a very healthy, strong 7 year old.
I had dd when ds was 19 months and have to say she went straight on to the bottle. Have to say that was my choice!!!
Hugs to you ((((xxxx))))

sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 19:24:46

Thanks for your kind words everyone

All the ppl I've spoken to about this, from my mum to my HV have told me not to feel bad, I've given it my best shot etc but I still feel guilty. Actually they are probably all sick of me moaning about it!

lowcal, TBH I found the whole experience so demoralising that I wouldn't want to try again with DS. I'd still like to give it a go if I have another baby tho.

lowcalCOD Fri 07-Jan-05 19:26:56

bet you are tired too
it will all feeel years away once oyu get a good night's sleep.

aloha Fri 07-Jan-05 19:27:21

Sorry you are so sad. What was the problem? Whatever it is, it may be totally different with another baby.

sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 19:28:42

miranda2, at your phrase BF mafia - I know exactly what you mean.

sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 19:39:08


DS was born 4 weeks prem by emergency C section. He was very sleepy to start with and wouldn't latch on.

A midwife got me to express my colostrum into a syringe (hard work), he was fed tlike that for the first two days.

A couple of midwives got him to latch on but I couldn't manage it myself. I found it incredibly painful to start with. Eventually we found a solution. I expressed milk and gave it to DS in a cup. This is how was fed after coming home from hospital.

The cup feeding was really difficult, DS seemed to find it very hard (so did we)and so we switched to expressed milk in a bottle. I found this really tiring.

I visited a BF counsellor who eally helped and TBH I wouldn't have continued as long as I did without her support. She was great. She suggested BF DS with nipple shields - bingo, he was able to latch on. I was thrilled but still found ithard to get him into right position, latch on etc. Then he managed without the shields which was fantastic. But he was very fussy/distressed at the breast, constantly crying, windy. Additionally it was very difficult to settle him.

The whole thing was just very, very stressful and upsetting.

lowcalCOD Fri 07-Jan-05 19:44:13

oh well I am sure that if you had another you wodul be fine
or maybe not, it doent matter
you ahev tried more than most poeple would
I bf no1 hten botteld no2 then to my great suprise bf no3
so you never know

hercules Fri 07-Jan-05 19:44:25

I know I'll be slated but I hate it when the term "breastfeeding mafia" is used. The mafia kill people and are criminals....

Sadmumupnorth- guilt comes with motherhood. You'll never be guilt free again no matter how you bring your child up. Breastfeeding is only part of bringing up a child.
You would still feel guilt no matter how long you fed for when you stopped. Dont stress about it and just enjoy this time.

Congratulations btw.

aloha Fri 07-Jan-05 19:45:20

Poor you. I hope he's more settled now. If you have another child they may well be more awake and good at breastfeeding - after all, it does take two. Also, you have a new baby so feeding is a huge part of your life. Really, nobody else cares how you feed your baby.
I hate the term breastfeeding mafia tbh. But it's better than breastfeeding nazis, which I also see bandied about

sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 19:55:25

I am more than willing to give it a go again if I have another baby.

Sorry if I offended anyone using the term BF mafia, it just sort of reflected how I feel. But TBH the guilt is all my own, no-one is making me feel guilty.

NewbarnsleygirlWalliams Fri 07-Jan-05 20:01:38

Don't feel guilty about it SMUN. I was adament that I would BF and DD would'nt latch on properly so I expressed for a day or so and then I decided, sod it I'm going to Bottle feed instead and I don't regret it for a minute.
I put all the enthusiasm I had of BF into home cooking for dd and as a result she is a fantastic eater. She will eat anything.
BF isn't for everyone don't worry!!
I'd just also like to say that I think there is too much pressure on mums to BF and we're told it's good for the baby and it has all these health benefits, well my mum exclusively BF me until I was 1 and I was a very sickly child (vomiting, asthma, colds, fevers etc) and I became a very fussy eater. Dh on the other hand was bottle fed and was a very healthy child and has no health problems. Like I said our dd is incredibly healthy and a great eater.
Sorry to rant but I think theres alot to be said about this topic! You do whats best for you and don't feel guilty about any of your decisions!

hercules Fri 07-Jan-05 20:17:31

Interesting newbw. I found the opposite. I mean I had lots of pressure to bottlefeed and very little support in bf.

bee3 Fri 07-Jan-05 21:18:14

The most important part of all this is your relationship with your baby.

I struggled to bf for the first 8 weeks with my ds...huge problems with latching on, weight loss (baby, not me, unfortunately) and I was in a constant state of anxiety and stress. I eventually 'gave up' and moved on to bottle feeding, and the relief was enormous.

I found that I actually started really enjoying being a mum. I was a calmer, smilier person. At the time I felt awful awful guilt, but looking back, it was the turning point for me - I properly bonded with my baby, fell in love all over again and we haven't looked back.

Don't beat yourself up - for you, it might turn out to be a really positive move, and that can only be good for your babe

bee3 Fri 07-Jan-05 21:22:13

I meant to say as well, that ds would only ever latch on with nipple shields, and was also v fussy at the breast. It was such a difficult time for me. I really feel you {{{hugs}}}

jabberwocky Fri 07-Jan-05 21:40:53

You've got lots of company with this sasmum. I had thought that I would just love bf ds but actually I grew to hate it. At the end he actually started beating on my chest with his little fists whilst bfing and I would be a nervous wreck at the end. I did go on to express and give it to him in a bottle, but felt oh-so-guilty and sad for the longest time. Now I wish that I had been a lot kinder to myself and just congratulated myself on surviving the first few months. (I also had an emergency c-section and my body felt so beat up that it was nice to get a break so that at least part of me could heal!)

Yorkiegirl Fri 07-Jan-05 21:53:18

Message withdrawn

sadmumupnorth Fri 07-Jan-05 22:13:07

So many people on this thread have said things that really ring true, thnak you all for your kind words

JulieF Fri 07-Jan-05 22:23:49

I had to reply to you sadmumupnorth. You deserve a uge well done for managing so far. I went through a lot of what you did, a small, sleepy ds who refused to latch on, lots of expressing and cup feeding.

Luckily for me, I was eventually able to make b/f work but I was so close to giving up and I said at the time that I would never tell someone else that they must go through this.

I am not going to tell you not to feel guilty, because imho, that does not acknowledge the way you are feeling right now. No-one can tell you what you should or shouldn't feel, what I hope you are soon able to do, is to come to terms with these feelings, accept you did the best you could in your circumstnaces (which is a heck of a lot more than many others would have done) and to enjoy your baby.

I bottlefed my 1st child and was helped through my feelings of guilt etc by a breastfeeding counsellor. I don't know about the other organisations but NCT ones are trained in de-briefing, so feel free to give them a call. Don't think you can't call them because you have given up, they can help you come to terms with it and move on.

Enjoy your baby!

phoebeki Fri 07-Jan-05 22:42:56

Well thank goodness for MN!! I went through all of this when giving up bf with DS1 8 yrs ago. I never felt so alone, every single baby in my NCT group apart from mine took to BF like ducks to water. When I called it a day after 6 miserable agonising weeks I felt a total failure. When I produced my avent bottle at my NCT coffee morning I might just has well whipped out a bottle of vodka such was the stunned reaction! I would have felt a million times better had MN existed then.
There are literally hundreds of people out there who know exactly how you feel because they have come out of the other side.
You will be a better mother because you will be a happier mother.

bee3 Fri 07-Jan-05 22:47:30

Phonebeki - me and dp used to joke about starting a rival NCT coffe morning for bottle feeders, with everyone wearing disguises and having to do a secret knock to get in

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