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Support for those wanting to BF but can't.

(15 Posts)
Nezzi Tue 23-Sep-08 17:21:50

Hello all

I saw that there was a support thread for those who exclusively BF & thought I should start one for those who would like to BF but have been unable to for whatever reasons.

I had my son almost 4 weeks ago and have never BF him as he has never latched on. I have posted on MN, spoken to counsellors, seen an NCT counsellor all with no success. I blame myself for not trying harder with my DS but I couldn't stand to see him push & scream when I put him to my breast. It was as if I was trying to poison him sad

Now he is almost exclusively FF with one EBM feed per day.

I swing between feeling like a failure & feeling free but mostly I feel as though I have failed; I had taken it for granted that I would be able to BF my DS.

Sorry for the long post blush but if you can relate to my post then please join in

tiktok Tue 23-Sep-08 17:40:55

Nezzi, so sad to hear your story

There are a number of women on mumsnet who will relate to it.

It might not be too late for you to save breastfeeding, but I can understand you may feel you do not want to risk distressing your ds again.

You can also get support from MOBI - mothers overcoming breastfeeding issues

Nezzi Tue 23-Sep-08 17:50:23

Tiktok to my rescue again smile
Thank you for the link, I've never heard of that website before. I'll look properly when I've got more time.

SaintRiven Tue 23-Sep-08 17:52:23

can relate. dd was put on hideous antiepileptic meds at 3 months and lost all tone in her mouth and tongue. She had to go onto a bottle. I felt like a total failure sad
Still feel bad about it 4 years on and wonder if her brain injury would be less severe if she'd had more BF.

ataraxis Tue 23-Sep-08 17:54:24

Hi Nezzie,

I am really sorry you are feeling like a failure but please try to realise that it is not your fault. I had a similar thing with DS1 (5 years ago!) - he fed brilliantly for 2 weeks and then just stopped latching on. I completely beat myself up about it and felt a total failure as a mother. Similar to you, I had a lot of advice and went to a BF support group, none of whom could help. I expressed until I was ill and in hindsight totally hindered the enjoyment of my first child.

Please do not beat yourself up over it. I am now on DC3 (10 days ago) and have since recognised that the important thing is that mother and baby are well and happy.

I hope that you can start to enjoy your time together without guilt.

dannyb Tue 23-Sep-08 19:04:25

I had this problem with my first child who is now 6. I spent 6 months feeling absolutely wretched about it and it consumed every hour of every day and I felt like I had failed him so badly. I hated giving him bottles so much that I weaned him onto cups at 7 months so that it looked like he'd been BF and forgone bottles completely. What I learnt over time was that breast milk is such a tiny part of life and so unimportant in the grand scheme of being a parent that if it doesn't work it's best to accept it and move on. Formula isn't poison, millions of babies thrive on it and thank goodness for that because that is what it is there for, for when you can't BF.

However, in contrast to my DS my DD breast fed fantastically from the moment she was born so it doesn't mean that because it didn't work this time it won't next time round!

Lotster Tue 23-Sep-08 19:26:51

I must agree you shouldn't feel bad, I half and halved with formula with my son because thrush and his Dyson like suck ripped my nips to shreds. My B/F councellor told me to drop feeds to allow them to recover enough to continue.

I couldn't express much and felt so bad, (our hormones see to that even if usually you could be philisophical about it!)

But when I think my mum never put me to the breast once, not the fashion then apparently and a busy shop to run - I still managed to turn out healthy! Like Dannyb says, it's a small part of motherhood.

I really commend you for still expressing for him. Every drop is a gift and you should feel proud. Don't know if it's gospel, but I saw the late Tracey Hogg the Baby Whisperer tell someone in a similar situation to you on one of her progs, that the baby on needs a small amount from you to get benefit from immunities etc. I'm sure it was something so small like 30ml but don't quote me.

Your efforts to do your best show your love and commitment. Don't beat yourself up hon, it's hard enough!

Lotster Tue 23-Sep-08 19:28:13

p.s. I found Aptamil tasted the most like my milk, and has all the pre/pro-biotics too. Son also liked Hipp Organic.

lollyheart Tue 23-Sep-08 19:29:42

Im so glad ive found this.
Ds2 is 2 weeks old and i feel like ive failed.
He would not latch on from birth so was cup fed ebm for 48 hours and then he managed to latch on twice so we were sent home where it all went wrong he was just to sleepy to feed and we ended up in the scbu because of jaundice and dehydration we spent 4 days in there.
I tryed really hard to bf and with lots of help he just wasnt getting it he would latch on with a sheild at first but he didnt have the energy to suck hard enough to get anything out so i had to give him a bottle top ups with ebm.
He got used to the bottle and would be fussy when i tryed to latch him on so i would just end up giving the bottle.
He had 2 weeks of breast milk via a bottle but have stopped exspressing now i have 2 other young dc it wasnt really working so he is now ff.
I would give anything to bf as this is prob my last babysad i also failed to feed my other 2 because of latching probs.
This might sound strange but its nice to hear im not alone and other people have probs too iyswim.

JordTyler Tue 23-Sep-08 21:21:57

This sums up exactly how i have felt for a while. DS is 16 wo, and i had to stop 3 w ago. I fought with him since he was a week old to feed him and it just didn't work, he was given bottles at various times at his dads request(nieve dad). So when i was feeding him it just wasn't there. He stopped putting weight on all together at 9 weeks and was always upset(hungry). In the end my mum had to say why the hell are you still fighting. It was all in my head, i had coached my self into carrying on whatever!

Anyway, he is a different boy now, even though i still hate saying it! He's also catching up weight wise, first 3 days of FF gained 8oz!!

I have found helping someone else successfully BF has really helped, which i am doing with my best friend. Makes me realise its not because i didn't know what to do, or anything i did wrong.

glad i'm not the only one who dwells on it.
LOLLYHEART: this is also my last baby so i know exactly what you mean, last chance saloon sort of thing?

Nezzi Tue 23-Sep-08 22:01:02

Lovely to see all of your posts and to read all of your encouragement/stories.
I will say more tomorrow as I have to go to sleep now before I disintegrate.
A good night to you all...

katyjo Wed 24-Sep-08 21:56:10

What a lovely thread! I switched to ff 3 weeks ago.
I bf my ds until he was 13months and assumed all would be fine when dd was born. The first few weeks went well then we got thrush and she stopped latching properly. I tried everything, dragged my 2 year old and dd around to bfc, lll, etc but Dh had to tell me enough was enough, I was on my knees with exhaustion.
My little girl is 4 months old and I still give her one feed a day, loster your post made me feel so much better.

I know I tried everything but i still feel like I have failed her, I would do anything to go back and fix what went wrong, but I can't.

Since I stopped focussing on bf I have been able to enjoy my wonderful dcs. grin

fruitbowl Wed 24-Sep-08 22:10:50

We do feel so bad about it don't we? I struggled so badly to feed my DD (now 3.5). I had flat nips (never new before this!!) and she just couldn't latch and I had no idea how to help her, coupled with what felt like her violently rejecting the breast, being dehydrated, colicy, my milk coming in late post CS and anaemic / slight PND. Right blinkin mess! I mix fed for months and hated the FF so much, I fought back with avengeance and even helped set up a peer support group to help other mums. While I'm proud of that, I still think it was unhealthy the way it took over my life. These emotions run deep girls don't they. We know we shouldn't be hard on ourselves but yet...

Bloody well done to everyone who even tries with BF, I say. What lucky babies they are to have you as mummies. x

cupcake76 Thu 25-Sep-08 13:10:42

Message withdrawn

Nezzi Fri 26-Sep-08 11:32:41

Firstly, can I say, I started writing this last night but then the website went down for maintenance. The 2nd time I tried, the battery went on my laptop so here's hoping for 3rd time lucky hmm

Hello all

Sorry to start this thread and then not get back to it... I'm still adjusting to being a mummy.

Fruitbowl, these emotions really do run deep, it suprises me how irrational we all get.

Saint, I'm so sorry to hear your story, it makes mine sound trivial. I'm sure there was absolutely nothing you could have done to change your daughter's situation.

Ataraxis, you're totally right, I'm sure babies woud rather be FF by a happy mum than BF by a miserable one.

And Dannyb, BF is a tiny part of motherhood. There's so much more that we all do for our babies that we need to put this BF lark in to perspective. All the other nurturing is just as important and will continue long after BF stops.

Lotser, I've never heard of Tracey Hogg but I'm holding on to what you say about the small amounts of BM that helps babies. I express some milk each day and give it to my son so I hope it's enough to help him thrive. I use Aptamil too, my MW recommended it to us, she said they use it in hospitals.

Lolly, your story sounds so much like mine (except I don't have other children) I too wish I could turn the clock back; knowing what I know now I would make better choices. Maybe it still wouldn't work out for us but at least I wouldn't think I'd messed up early on.

Cupcake, I agree, information about BF is all around whilst we are pregnant but the notion that it might not work out is never mentioned. I totally assumed that it would happen naturally and like you I put more effort into choosing a pram and sling etc. If I'd known about the potential difficulties with BF I would have researched more before I gave birth and I would definitely have sought more help in the 1st few days.

My rational mind is telling me to relax, accept FF and accept that I can't have everything I want. If I had a friend in the same situation I would be telling her not to beat herself up about it and to be happy that she and her beautiful baby are both healthy.
I had a perfect pregnancy, not one day of morning sickness; and a perfect labour and birth so I should be happy and move forward. Thanks to MN and all the support on here I think it's starting to sink in smile

V long post, really sorry blush

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