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Arghh - brand new mumsnetter needs help - on the feeding issue I'm afraid...

(15 Posts)
wishbird Mon 14-Jul-08 11:29:57

Wow! Seems this is a hot topic! Came to this site for the first time over the weekend looking for some support and info, feeling quite low - and ended up in tears for the rest of the day! Dunno if I went to the wrong threads or what...but feeling terrible now.

I have 2 teens, that I happily and proudly BF exclusively for 6 months, and continued with solids through to 12 months - no probs. Have just had a new baby - 4+ weeks old - and feeding has become the biggest issue! BF for first 3 weeks - hard work - he was snacking every 10 mins - but determined through occasional weepy moments, and very tender boobs to persevere. Then got nasty dose of mastitis in one breast - unbelievable pain - worse than anything, and couldn't just "feed more" as suggested - so was going on one 'cylinder' for a while. But after couple of days of screaming baby, and sobbing all the time - I decided to mix feed, and he now has breast first, and tops up with bottle. Was feeling both relieved that baby was so much happier - like different baby, and I was able to stop my crying. Felt bad that he wasn't on best breast exclusively but thought at least getting some of the good stuff - and he seems super healthy and happy.

But now - after reading some of the posts here I feel terrible and don't know what to do now? Seems some seem to think I don't deserve to have him if I'm not prepared to pesevere! Is formula really that terrible? Don't get me wrong, have always advoceted breast, and never thought I wouldn't be BFing - just feel so guilty now - I know that parenting isn't always easy - I have 2 teens - both healthy and happy (mostly - for teens anyway!) that I raised alone - and feel I would do anything - chop off arm, hot coals etc - for them - so why do I feel I can't do this? The offending breast is still quite sore, even after full course of antibiotics - and I think I'm just scared of using it. And the other just doesn't satisfy my hungry little man - and yes I know that to increase production I just need to feed more - have tried - but he just seems to want more. I thought that him being happy, and me being saner and happier was a factor - but it seems that this is a wrong view?

Sorry - rambling on now - sorry for sounding a bit sorry for myself - just feeling really miserable - so what am I asking help for? Guess it's partly facts on how bad formula is? Does it cancel out the limited breast he's getting? Maybe, if I'm totally honest, perhaps I'm looking for some understanding, and maybe justification for my decision? I'm I really that selfish and bad mum? Your thoughts/opinions really wanted (though perhaps not the 'shouldn't be a mum' ones - not sure I'm strong enough for that...sorry!)

[Also apologies for not using the right lingo - don't know it yet - will get the hang of it soon I'm sure!]

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 14-Jul-08 11:34:06

I don't want to give you any bf'ing advice as I don't really feel qualified to do so. So hopefully someone will be along soon - keep an eye out for TikTok, she's a bfc and is full of great advice.

Don't beat yourself up so much, what's done is done, but you are able to re-establish bf'ing if that is what you want to do. Again one of the bfc should be able to give you tips to help boost your supply.

Good luck xx
Oh, and welcome to MN smile

MarsLady Mon 14-Jul-08 11:35:34

Firstly.... Welcome to Mumsnet grin It's not really that bad here (but you do need rhino skin sometimes).

None of the posts are meant to make you feel bad and I'm sorry that they did!

The best thing that you could do is call one of the breastfeeding helplines to see what you can do if you want to move back to exclusive breastfeeding. the helplines are on the right hand sidesmile

Now explain the soreness is it in your breast?

How about DS? Has he been checked for tongue tie?

Of course there is a WEALTH of information here but NONE OF IT is supposed to make you feel bad, it is so that you have the information to make informed choices. smile

Enjoy MN. grin

ib Mon 14-Jul-08 11:48:38

What do you want to do? If you want to go back to exclusive bf you can - I topped up ds from 10 days 'till he was about 6 weeks (I think, it's hard to remember!) and then managed to get back to exclusive bf. He's still bf now and is 18 mo.

But....I really wanted to because I felt the formula was damaging him (turns out I was right, he had a milk intolerance). So I was happy to put in the hours (and it took a lot of work). I also didn't have teens to take care of.

I guess what I'm saying (not very well) is that if you want to do it you can and there is the support out there to help you do it. But if you will end up resenting your baby because you don't want to do it, then you probably shouldn't - giving formula is NOT child abuse!

tiktok Mon 14-Jul-08 11:56:57

wishbird, sorry you have felt bad as a result of reading threads here

No, formula does not cancel out breastfeeding

People can have strong views about the way formula is marketed, but they don't have views against the mothers who use the have to be reading something that isn't there if you think anyone here thinks you shouldn't be a mother, or that you are selfish or bad - eeek! But I understand - when your feelings are already a bit raw, you read things that are not there

Best thing to do now is to call any of those numbers given in the link, and speak to someone about your options. Major drawback of mixed feeding is that it turns into full formula feeding, even when you don't want it the counsellor on the phone will talk to you about turning this round, if you are wanting to maintain breastfeeding.

Hope you find the help you need.

slim22 Mon 14-Jul-08 12:11:31

Gosh, sounds like you committed a crime!!! wink
Don't be intimidated by what you read here.
You did what was best for you, you got yourself through a difficult patch and sound ready to re-establish exclusive BF.

Just feed feed feed and go with the flow. It's exhausting, but you know that already.

Good luck smile

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Mon 14-Jul-08 12:17:39

hi wishbird, and welcome to MN We're not all mad here. Or at least, not completely mad wink

Another thing you might find helpful, is to search through the bfing threads for ones about treating mastitis. The first time I had it I was sitting on the floor with glazed eyes and a temp before I even realised I had an infection; second time MN helped me beat it - at home, no drugs - before it got to that stage.

Marslady's right, you do need a bit of a rhino skin to hang out here, but it's totally worth it. My top tip is to ignore the advice that you don't like

wishbird Mon 14-Jul-08 12:54:38

Hi all,

Thank you all for your kind words - already a smile is sneaking accross my face - feel much better! I think I probably did read too much into some (only looked at a couple though before running and hiding!) though it does bring out some very strong views - which is a good thing mostly!

I think it would be good to call for help - would like to resume exclusive BF as I'm aware that bottle will get more dominant as time goes on - just a bit scared I think - poor teens had very little of me before bottle came along, and my super supportive partner (very lucky!) was also in tears of frustration cos he couldn't really help.

So can I just start feeding again on offending side? will it hurt (be prepared!)? Marslady - what is tongue tie? Never heard of it? Baby does 'click' when he's feeding - have tried loadsa different positions, but he keeps doing it - like he's losing suction? Does it with bottle too - not just on breast.
Soreness is in breast - and it got a bit softer whilst on antibiotics, but got harder again now - though nothing like it was! Just tender, and have to remember not to hold baby on that side! Have tried expressing, but not overly successful - dribble from offending boob, and only half ounce from other? baby is super healthy though, and gaining weight at phenomenal rate since birth - through just BF first weeks, and since on mixed - bout a pound a week!

Thanks again for support - as you all know it can be a very lonely time sometimes - good to hear others opinions/views/experiences.

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Mon 14-Jul-08 12:59:49

feed as much as you can on sore breast, as the baby's suction may help to clear any blockages. I seem to recall it hurting, but not in addition to existing pain, if you know what I mean. (blocked duct much worse, ime!)

see these tips

good luck - my ds was a pound-a-weeker too, fab isn't it!

slim22 Mon 14-Jul-08 13:13:28

agree with phD.
Feeding from the offending breast helped me.

MarsLady Mon 14-Jul-08 20:31:11

an explanation of tongue tie

It may not be this but it's always worth checking. If in doubt get a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor to check. smile

I'm glad we've made you smile again. Do enjoy MN. It's the most amazing resource. Great jokes, crap jokes, self-censored, deep, lightweight, wonderful, frustrating, down right stupid but we love it! grin

littlemisssplendid Mon 14-Jul-08 21:23:22

I know how you feel. My 11 week old is bf but has sometimes had ebm topped up with formula if I haven't been able to express enough for the dream feed(and once when I drank too much wine). Didn't think anything of it until I read some threads on here and now (irrationally - I know) think I'm big old failure if I don't exclusively bf for a year at least.

Try not to let ot get to you. There are millions of healthy people out there who were ff and sometimes you just have to get a bit of perspective. Do your best and try to bf but there is far more to being a good mum.

StealthPolarBear Mon 14-Jul-08 21:31:52

Welcome to MN!
"Seems some seem to think I don't deserve to have him if I'm not prepared to pesevere!"
If anyone has said anything like that then they hopefully will have been jumped on later in the thread. MN debates on bf and ff can get quite heated, but none of the regular posters I know would say or intentionally imply anything like that.
Sorry you're struggling with mastitis, no experience sorry, but MN is the best place for advice whether you decide to go back to ex bf or move to ff.

Can I ask - you ex bf your teenagers for 6 mo? (when they were babies obviously ) What made you go against the advice and the standard way of doing things at the time?

Chatster Mon 14-Jul-08 22:02:10

Message withdrawn

wishbird Tue 15-Jul-08 12:56:44


Well I feel so much better today - gonna give the offending breast today a try at a time when DS (getting the lingo now!) is not doing his ravenous terrier like slurping - give him the other first...and just take it one feed at a time! If he needs topping up for a bit longer, I will not give myself a hard time about it...grin

StealthPolarBear - I loved BF my teens (when they were babies that is - can just see my poor DS1 if I lobbed one out at him now at 16...bless! I BF until they seemed to want something more. In fairness - DS1 probably was about 5 months - he was a hungry hippo, and I was quite sad when he stopped BF at just under a year old - his choice not mine. DD was about 6 months - she loved her boobies! went on longer too - though prob not past 14 months...but back then they were both having cows milk too from a cup from about 7 months - Ex BF and this 'follow on' stuff was a 'new gimicky thing' at time. Think thats why I'm so shocked at myself for having gone down the partial FF route - never crossed my mind with the other 2 - seemed perfectly natural to me to BF - and I was pretty young (smash some stereotyping there!) - and at a time when I didn't know anyone else who BF - everyone thought I was some wierdo hippy - health experts included!! In hospital with DS1 - I was the only BFer - I was a bit of a novelty!

Thanks again all who've offered some kind words and good advice - my DS2 is a gorgeous happy young man - that's what's important!

P.s - am a big sling fan (know this is food strain, but hey...) and got couple off internet. Have a Wilkinet (love it - as does DS2 - esp when colicky in the evening), also a Karri me - that I love more but worried DS2 will get too hot? all that lovely soft jersey material seems very warm? What are others experiences/views? I also have a brand new Maya wrap that won't suit DS2, as he wants to be upright if anyone is interested? Cheers x

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