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Sense of loss after stopping breastfeeding early, support/advice needed please

(8 Posts)
SatHereSitting Mon 08-Jun-09 11:09:09

DS is 5 weeks old and was breastfeeding really well untill last week when I started to get really sore nipples and started suffering really bad shooting pains in my breasts after every feed, ds also started only going about 40 minutes between each feed.

To be honest it was just one more thing I couldn't be doing with, after suffering bad SPD for the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, then 5 days back to back labour, then a trapped nerve in my back and two infections in my c-section scar. I was just sick of being in constant pain and decided to switch him to formula.

I told my health visitor this the day after I stopped and explained how painful feeding had become, she was supportive but failed to pick up on the fact that both me and DS were suffering from really bad oral and nipple thrush by this stage, despite me mentioning DS mouth being covered in white stuff.

Anyway days later I self diagnoised the thrush and we went to the doctor. I now have some cream and DS has some oral gel.

The thing is I cannot get over the fact I've stopped breastfeeding, I left it for days thinking I'd made the right choice and was aware that my milk was drying up. I then changed my mind because I was so upset and tried to express some off and also put DS back on the breast but it was so sore still and from expressing I could see there was barely any milk left.

Today I looked in the mirror and realised my breasts had returned to their pre pregnancy state and I feel devastated. I'm so angry that I didn't realise I had thrush earlier on and have sorted this sooner. DS was a real breast baby and loved feeding, now I can tell he dislikes his formula and is a really fussy eater.

Is it normal to feel such a sense of loss after stopping breastfeeding? I just can't seem to get over it. I've heard about relactation and tried putting DS to the breast yesterday but it was still so sore and I know there is nothing left in them. I'm crying as I write this, I don't know what I'm expecting anyone to say, just needed some support I guess, Thanks

flamingobingo Mon 08-Jun-09 11:10:37

Call an NCT BFC to talk about it - they're trained to just listen to your feelings about bfing. That's why they're called counsellors, not advisors.

You're completely normal feeling such loss. You should find a well-trained bf counsellor really helpful.

MrsMotMot Mon 08-Jun-09 11:58:32

I echo flamingobingo. And send a big hug. You really should feel proud of yourself that you fed for so long in such difficult circumstances. Every bf makes a difference, and your son is lucky to have such a brave mummy!

nosleeptilbedtime Mon 08-Jun-09 13:24:09

I am sorry to hear you have had such a hard time, well done for breastfeeding for 5 weeks.
I do think it is not too late to establish breastfeeding again though if you are really sad to have given it up.
Maybe you could mix feed your baby with a couple of breastfeeds a day, one at night and one in the morning?
my sister did this and it worked well for 10 months as she had to go back to full time work early and didn't want to express milk.
If you have only just stopped BF then your supply won't have gone completely, and could be restarted by plenty of sucking from baby, as often as you can. If your nipples are sore try Lanisoh or Kamillosan cream after each feed, when the thrush clears it will be easier too.
Good luck

LupusinaLlamasuit Mon 08-Jun-09 13:28:32

Oh you poor thing. How shit that the thrush wasn't picked up.

I really feel for you: I know lots of people who have had that sense of loss and I suspect it probably is normal, because people invest a lot into the BF relationship. I agree with the other posters who say speak to a BF counsellor to get some of it into perspective.

And I know you might not want to hear this also but you could perhaps consider relactating since it is so recent, but you WOULD need lots of stamina and support to do this... But people do and have.

Is the pain/thrush better? And how is your scar etc now?

twinmam Mon 08-Jun-09 13:46:05

Just wanted to offer support and say I can understand exactly how you feel. I gave up mixed feeding after 8 weeks and switched entirely to formula. I had been expressing for one DD and bf'ing the other with formula top ups in between. We never managed to get DD1 to latch (later discovered she had gastric reflux which prob explains this)I then got an infection and the GP (wrongly!) told me I couldn't bf on the antibiotics and it was all too much. I can see your sense of it all being too much from your post and can remember exactly how it felt, the exhaustion, the frustration, the guilt, etc. It is normal to feel a sense of loss, I think. I do still feel a bit sad but not gutted as I did when I stopped bf - my girls are now 16 months. I think cheated describes it more - I feel like my girls and I were cheated out of a positive bf experience because I think that with the right support we would have made it. If I could turn back the clock I would shout and stamp my feet for more help and support tho at the time I just felt too exhausted and dispirited. I know that's not much help to you. What I would say is you have done a really good job so far. If you decide you do want to relactate I am sure it would be possible and the NCT would be a good place to start. If you decide it just is too much for you then please remember that your sense of loss will fade and that you have done a great job and will continue to do so, I'm sure.

millingtonsmummy Mon 08-Jun-09 13:58:02

So sorry to hear that you've needed to stop BFing before you and DS were ready. I add my congrats that you fed for 5 weeks, that really is a great achievement, especially considering everything you've been through.

Like the others have said, get in touch with a BF counsellor and see if they can offer any practical advice.

I had to stop feeding DD before I felt ready and struggled with BFing from day one. I too was really upset and emotional for such a long time after I switched to FF. I wanted to say that if this is the end of BFing for you try to be proud of your achievement ... you really should be. Your DS will thrive however he's fed especially with a mummy who clearly has his very best interests at heart and loves him dearly. He's a lucky chappy! Big hugs.

BlackberryFool Mon 08-Jun-09 14:13:26

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