Baby nearly 6 months old and I am still feeling guilty for bottle feeding.(51 Posts)
Just been reading threads on bottle vs breast feeding and I would like to know if there are other mothers who for some reason couldn't breast feed their child and are made to feel guitly for it and also made to feel as if they are not a good mother. I have friends who used to/do breast feed and they are supportive about me bottle feeding, but there are so many people out there that undo their good work with negative comments and attempt (usually successfully) at guilt tripping. I fed my son myself about 3 times, due to the fact that in hospital I found it almost impossible to get out of bed and therefore needed the midwives to help feed my son. I had a retained placenta and had to have blood transfusions and I was extremely weak after the birth, removal of the placenta etc, so much so that I was at the verge of passing out. having only moved to wiltshire a few months before and having no friends here I had no one except my husband able to visit me in hospital and I was extremely depressed. I found it difficult to bond in the beginning with my son as I was apart from him for a few hours after the birth and I feel that all these things together made breast feeding a no no for me. I punish myself enough for not breastfeeding still and I wanted to know if anyone felt similar to me, even if you don't I would be interested to hear your views.
Jemimah, it sounds as if you made the right decision for you and your baby in the circumstances and you don't have anything to feel guilty about.
Guilty about what? Do you think that formula feeding is going to negatively affect your ds in some way? I don't.
I have bottle fed all 3 of my children and they are perfectly bright, intelligent and healthy boys - I very much doubt they would be any different if I'd breastfed them so no, I don't feel in the least bit guilty.
Honey, is your son healthy? Of course he is. Don't beat yourself up. You love him, provide for him. All they need is for us to do our best by them. He is your son! He loves you. Please don't feel guilty cos someone else disaproves of your method.
got to go out soon so can't reply in much detail - but I had a lot of probs establishing bfing, then DS ended up in hospital with jaundice/dehydrated at 2.5 weeks, which completely threw my confidence in bfing so I switched to formula, so I know how it feels. The longer you get from the baby days, the easier it feels, particularly when bfing friends starting weaning/giving up bfing, so you all end up doing the same thing anyway. don't get demoralised at what people say on here, if that's what you are referring to re:guilt tripping - first of all we're just a bunch of random women on the internet, so you gotta try and ignore things, and secondly things come over a lot starker on here, coz not being able to see the non-verbal cues people are giving, and coz people are freer with criticism on here than they would be face to face. at the end of the day you have to give yourself permission to stop bfing - I know it sounds daft, but you have to have faith that your decision was the best for you and your baby at the time (as it is a combination, not just baby's needs in isolation)and then stuff anyone stranger that tries to suggest otherwise.
Don't feel guilty jemimah. Some of the things we do when they're tiny just seem so enormous and we get ourselves so, so wound up about it. A couple of years later and it's 'oh did I bottle feed him - so I did' etc
Don't let anyone make you feel feel bad about what you do. All the best
I felt very bady (constantly tearful for weeks) when I had to stop BF...I was never very successful and fear I wouldn't be again.
It has made me very conscious of what I now feed DS (ground seeds/nuts on his cereal, oily fish, no salt, loads of fruit and veg) and all the guilt has now gone as I know he's getting a great diet. Now he's older I know he's doing brilliantly and look back at dismay about all the energy I poured in to the guilt when I could have been enjoying motherhood to it's full.
When you have your first child it makes you crazy for a while (I was anyway) and the slightest comment from others or even not being able to open the sterilizer can send you in to a gibbering wreck. The mothers groups were the worst for me because everyone was so serious and competitive and yet younger than me. It gets much much much better but it's still early days for you so in the meantime you have my total sympathy.
Its always worse on days like today where I feel really low and feel a useless parent. I am so tired, yet I always have a night of unbroken sleep as baby goes through. I find it hard being here away from friends and family and without support I feel like everything I do isn't good enough as I haven't the reassurance that I'm doing ok. I know that I know what I'm doing as I used to be a nursery assistant, but I feel like I don't do things as I should. The breastfeeding thing is a similar thing to the starting solids, I had to start my son at 4 months as he wasn't getting enough from his bottles, he was having way more bottles than he should for his age and he still wasn't satisfied. I know he is happy on solids though, which is one good thing. I feel sometimes like I am missing out on something by not feeding him myself. If that makes any sense.
Jemimah, people who try to make you feel bad about bottlefeeding only do it because they are insecure about their own abilities as parents. People who are happy and confident about their own parenting skills don't need to keep asserting their "superiority" And later on when he's 5, nobody will even ask if he was bf, you get different issues then to beat yourself up with![grin}
Thanks, I never thought of it that way. I have low self confidence so I guess that doesn't help me much.
Jemimah, when ds2 was a baby, (he's now 6) it was the norm to put babies on solids at 4 months. And my MIL gave me a hard time for not putting my ds's on solids at 2 months as she saw this as a sign of advancement. At the end of the day we all do what makes sense at the time. You sound like you need some pampering!
I am hoping my husband will agree to couple counselling as not having a great deal of emotional support from him makes it worse.
I totally agree with what everyone else said here so far. I bottlefed my son 5 years ago (for a variety of health reasons) and I never felt bad about it. I'm trying to BF again my 1 month old DD but it's not going great. If she turns out at 5 the same as her brother I can't wish for anything better. Feeding method really isn't all that important for me. I compensate with good genes!
Jemimah, my love, just keep in mind that feeding is a tiny, tiny part of parenting and will have no effect whatsoever on your relationship with your DS. I often think that the idiots who go off on the breast feeding tirade do so because they are insecure in their general parenting abilities, and so latch on (pardon then pun) to something straightforward that they do have control over (ie feeding) as a sign of how good a mother they are. Being a good mother is not about whether you use breast or bottles, its about the love, nurture, care, discipline, independence and experience you give to your child over the next 50 years! And that is what your DS will remeber, not how his milk was dispensed at a few months old.
Jemimah - your friends are supportive. You know you did what you could and made the right decision. Who else matters? Who are the 'many people out there' who are trying to 'make' you feel guilty? No one can 'make' you 'feel' anything if you don't want to feel it. You know, your friends know, your husband knows, that what happened was not your fault. Guilt is only the 'right' thing to feel when we have deliberately done something wrong! here's nothing to 'punish' yourself for, and nothing for you to forgive.
Is what you are feeling closer to sadness and disappointment? Maybe you had hopes of bf, and they haven't been realised. It's ok to feel sad about things that didn't happen - and it won't be the first time you feel this as a mother. But as you gain in confidence and you see how happy and healthy your little boy is, the joy will ovecome the sadness.
And you did a good thing, breastfeeding those three times. Even that makes a difference to health.
Noggermum, please don't turn this into a rant against people who enjoy and support breastfeeding.
it wasn't meant to be TikTok, I breastfed myself - and intend to do the same with number 2 - so can hardly rant against it . However, I do remain concerned that when you read some of the breast v bottle posts on mumsnet, rather than offering support to a mum's individual choice, many contributors do get pretty "high horsey", and these people are usually, unfortunately, the breast feeding supporters. I remember one post in particular where one contributor alleged that bottle feeding a baby was a breach of its human rights and amounted to child abuse - this is not going to help a mum struggling with feeding and on the verge of PND as a result. I support all mums regardless of how they chose to feed, and would hope that everyone else on this site does likewise - that's what its for
Well, when it comes to high horsiness and mad analogies, I think the score is about even between those that say 'isn't breastfeeding great?' and those that disagree!
Fortunately, I would say most of us here are pretty low horse
I think that I was really naive when pregnant as I was convinced I was going to breastfeed and that nothing would get in my way. I was really looking foward to it aswell. The times that I did manage to feed him myself it felt so natural and I found that I didn't really feel like its ok to bottlefeed as everyone else could feed him too, I felt more like breastfeeding would be something that only I could do. That probably sounds really selfish towards other family members, but I didn't feel it was at the time.
Like the Low Horse Tiktok
Jemimah - not sure what else to say. I really hope that these feelings will pass and you can really settle into being a mum soon.
Sorry, Jemimah, that was in response to tiktok!Jemimah, I have bf all of my sons and Iknow that I would have felt the same as you if I couldn't because bf is a big thing in my family. But if you look at formula, its a very good substitute and as far as baby's concerned its the love and cuddles that count. And first-time daddy's sometimes are a bit lacking in the support department. My dh improved with each baby!
I think if he wasn't very good when it came to the "daddy" things then it wouldn't be so bad, but he is a doting father (doesn't always do things the way he should) but he adores his little boy, but seems like he is the only important person to him in this house. I've gone off subject now a bit haven't I.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.