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breast feeding and loss of freedom!

(27 Posts)
scrunchie Mon 12-Oct-09 13:10:24

I know it may have been a bit naeive of me but I had no idea that this would happen to this extent. Baby feeds frequently - 3 1/2 months now - and from reading on here that is par for the course and may well stay this way for a while.
I was really looking forward to giving up BF at 6month when he went on to solids.. and am pretty taken aback to find that actually solids are only an addition at that age and that they actually still need milk. I know it can be formula and have no qualms about swapping over but can't believe that I did not know this already!
I don't think that formula is necessarily the answer - it is still a faff but I guess there is the advantage that others can give it. Yes I know there is EBM too, but also a bit of a faff.
I guess it improves if they start sleeping at night more. But honestly, the feeding is really hard and sometimes it feels like he trying to kill me! DH suffering too - even though he often sleeps in spare room. I guess this is just par for the course when you have a baby..
Well just wanted to vent really! If anyone has ever had similar thoughts, would be lovely to hear! I knew it would be lifechanging, but from the way having a baby is portrayed, women are back to their normal lifestyles really quick...

scrunchie Mon 12-Oct-09 13:11:12

Meant to add, that I know that's just in the media and therefore very different to RL.

tiktok Mon 12-Oct-09 13:16:27

scrunchie - you've said it, really It's not in real life that women get back to their normal lifestyles quickly...or even ever. There's a baby involved and this changes life for good. But this doesn't mean you can't ever do stuff, go to stuff, enjoy stuff. It just means that yes, someone else's needs have to be met before you do it!

When a baby starts solids, someone other than you can feed him. He doesn't have to have breastfeeds round the clock, and he can have a cup if you are not around (with water, juice, formula in it - doesn't have to be expressed breastmilk).

What particular things are hard for you, in what way does it feel as if the baby is trying to kill you?

RoseBlossoms Mon 12-Oct-09 13:25:31

I felt to same way to some extent i still do even tho ds is 18mths. I'm a SAHM we have a rountine in which ds thrives. I just find it v. tieing i try/ have to be home most days for 1pm so he can sleep if not he is a nighmare until bedtime and doesnt sleep at night v.well.

The feeding is very tieing and boring but i kind of miss it now. I could go anywhere and do almost anything with him! He will start sleeping more soon (have you tried dream feeding?) You dont have to stop feeding i found once ds was on 3 meals a day (about7mths) he went down to 2/3 feeds.

Are you getting out and about with your lo?

They are only little once i really does go so fast!

Knickers0nMahead Mon 12-Oct-09 13:28:58

if you think that you may move onto formula in the future, then i would suggest trying him now. Ds is 11mo and will not take formula or a bottle.

notyummy Mon 12-Oct-09 13:33:09

I didn't find expressing a faff at all - did it every morning off one breast whilst dd fed on the other. Dh could then do a feed later in the day, or I froze it for the occasions I wnet out/back into work for a 'keep in touch day'.

Might be worth a try? Would also mean that he gets used to a bottle so you know that he will prepared to swap at some later date.

oneplusone Mon 12-Oct-09 13:35:34

Yep, my DC's are now 3yrs and 6 yrs but I well remember the early months of constant breastfeeding and the loss of freedom.

It has taken me a long, long time, but i think only now have i finally realised the DC's are here to stay shock and that life will not one day go back to 'normal' (ie as it was pre-DC) once they start school/nursery/whatever.

Hopefully you won't take as long as me to really adjust your mind to the fact that there are now 3 people in your family whose needs have to be accomodated and to not resent the fact that often your needs come at the bottom of the list.

Having DC's is a HUGE adjustment (especially for the mother) but if you recognise this and allow yourself plenty of time to adjust you will be fine.

wukter Mon 12-Oct-09 13:35:55

I sympathise, mine is the same age as yours, and though very good, I find it very restrictive, particularly as DD is a snacker rather than a feeder. I have decided to treat it as a 15 month pregnancy and just write off these months as hers. Does that make any sense...

4andnotout Mon 12-Oct-09 13:39:20

I agree with Knickers suggestion of introducing a bottle as my dd4 is 11 months and will only bf or will take a few sips from an open cup if under duress! I too feel completely tied to dd4, she doesn't have a set nap time so I can still take her out but I only get a couple of hours completely away from her each week. (and in that time I have 20 other children to entertain!)

anothercoldcupoftea Mon 12-Oct-09 13:41:10

Scrunchie, I'm hearing you. I'm on DD2, and rediscovering the joy of loss of life all over again. But that means.... that I did actually get a life back (briefly) after DD1, and she's only 2 now. So there is light...! Once they're sleeping, it is so much better (sleep deprivation is a killer, no wonder its used as torture), and once they are established on solids (eg by 7 months if you don't start until 6 months), then I found with DD1 that it was so much easier. You drop a couple of milk feeds, they don't need so much sleep in the day, and then they start on the good stuff (IMO) - walking, talking (talking back!), being funny.

Keep chugging away. Try a bottle of EBM as above so you get to bed early occasionally (worked with DD1, DD2 won't take a bottle, grrr). This too shall pass.

(says she, who felt like chucking DD2 out of the window at 4am today hmm)

MrsBadger Mon 12-Oct-09 13:51:00

like everyone else says, you will develop a new 'normal'... and that's ok too.

LaTruchaaaaaaaaaargh Mon 12-Oct-09 13:53:31

It got much easier for us as we went on. When it got easier, FF seemed like the faffy thing to do.

They get quicker at it and need less pretty soon. And then, if your DC is anything like my DD, teething kicked in and lord! I was pleased I was bf then. It made many things much easier with an older baby.

I had no real idea about bf either. I thought I'd give up at 6 months. I thought that was just what you did. She ended up quitting with very mild encouragement at 19 months. I absolutely loved bf but do understand. I still feel a bit ill when I remember those early days.

Hang on in there.

scrunchie Mon 12-Oct-09 22:07:43

Guess I should have called the thread - having babies and loss of freedom.. it isn't all due to the BF - but feeding does limit you to an extent due to the amount of time and frequency of feeding.. an example tried to go out for a walk today.. 15minutes into the walk, we saw hunger cues.. and it was easier to come back home rather than go into a local cafe in order to do a feed (as recently been taken a long time to complete feeds).
And that was my outing for the day scuppered.

Tiktok, feel that the baby is "trying to kill me" with the amount of feeding. At the moment think it must be 3month growth spurt, but even before this, it's the broken sleep over the last few months.. and because there is a baby to take care of in the day it isn't like I can just stay in bed the entire next day any more.I feel physically exhausted the entire time, but somehow manage to function.

I didn't know about drinking from a cup - and water/juice as well as milk - not just EBM or formula.. how come I don't know this basic stuff?! Thank you tiktok.
Have given EBM in a bottle at night before - tho we stopped doing this after DH went away a few weeks ago for a long weekend as did not get back into the habit after he came back.. and last week baby rejected bottle but I guess we need to persevere with this.

Like the idea of thinking it all as an extended pregnancy and also of accepting NOW that priorities have permanently changed.. even when I stop BF it isn't going to spring back to how it used to be.

pasturesnew Mon 12-Oct-09 22:10:23

IME feeds got quicker after about 4 months, if that helps? Hang on in there!

tiktok Tue 13-Oct-09 09:26:07

scrunchie - I don't know why people don't know about cups for babies instead of bottles, but you are not alone in finding it a new idea. I honestly don't see the point of teaching any baby over the age of, say, 5 months to take a bottle, when with help, most can at least start to manage a cup.

It's different for babies who need to take large volumes ('cos mum is away for the whole day) as very young babies won't manage large amounts from a cup - but as an adjunct to breastfeeding, a cup is fine. Even very young babies can manage a cup if you are not there and they deffo need something.

1stMrsF Tue 13-Oct-09 21:37:51

I think it also just becomes a bit easier to cope with. My twins are 5 1/2 mo now, ex bf and I thought the same as you - would bf til 6 mths and then stop. In fact my first goal was just 3 months. Now, I intend to bf for at least 12 months - it's just so much easier and quicker now (4 months was a turning point) that I don't see any reason to stop. Lots of ideas above for getting you a bit of freedom away from the baby (although you need some help from trusted friend or family to achieve them) but I would also suggest just giving it a bit more time to get used to your 'new normal', during which time it will get a bit easier.

AnybodyHomeMcFly Tue 13-Oct-09 21:44:18

It does get better scrunchie, I promise. I know exactly what you mean - and there is a huge growth spurt at 3-4 months in which you do just feel like a milk machine - but by six months you will very likely find that the feeds are further apart and gradually, gradually, you do get fewer demands on your boobs.

But you're right, it's one of the many many Things Which We Were Never Told pre kids.

Gemzooks Tue 13-Oct-09 22:17:51

it gets quicker, as others said, also, it's a tiny chunk out of your life really, it just SEEMS like forever. now I'm on to DC 2 and I really cherish the bf because I realise just how quickly it's over.. I bf DS till he was 12 months and now he's 3 and such a big boy, it passed like a dream. so try to enjoy the moment, I know it's hard but it passes..

mrsmeeps Tue 13-Oct-09 22:34:02

It does get easier and less all consuming - my DD is 7 1/2 months now, on 3 meals per day, and only having 4 breastfeeds in 24 hours most days. She was a feeding machine for the first 5 months.
Current feeds tend to take less then 10 mins too, so I no longer get a chance to sit down and read my book grin

cory Wed 14-Oct-09 08:36:23

I found the move onto solids made a big difference, actually. It felt like I never got out of my armchair the first 3 months (didn't help that dd had feeding problems), but by 7 months we were definitely out and about and breastfeeding had turned into short snuggles, rather than my main occupation.

I did suffer badly with the lack of exercise in the early months: I have the kind of body that craves long walks every day, and this was hard the first few months when dd had to feed pretty well constantly. But it's not forever.

HerMomminess Wed 14-Oct-09 11:11:08

I feel your pain Scrunchie. My DD is now 10 weeks old and feeds are getting longer not shorter. I feel trapped by the feeding, and then guilty that I don' t stare at her lovingly.

The above not helped by the fact that she had a vomiting bug 2 weeks ago. Now she has had green stools for a week and down to 9th centile. Had immunisations y' day and in waiting room surrounded by enormous ff babies(mind you the moms were equally morbidly obese). There I was whipping out the boob for this teeny thing. HV now calls her petite.Euphemism??

Feels like I am doing everything I can and still she is so wee.

Discussed with BFC who would see us if necessary, but I don' t want to fixate on weight(it won' t be up in 6 days anyway)It was hard enough after the initial 'not enough milk'after she was born.

Sorry.Multiple issues here I guess. DH allowed me a short run over weekend(pelvic floor struggled to cope) but it was magic. I have considered FF compliment just to allow me a return to some of the things I used to enjoy. Worried now that she has a bit of lactose intolerance after the bug and FF would be detrimental. And that doesn' t seemto be the answer anyway.

As for EBF:nearly killed me when I had to increase supply. Very little gain for v long expressing so not worth it.

I don't know Scrunchie. I SO wanted my DD. And I feel so guilty that I harp on about things I used to enjoy. I don' t want to wish my life aaway. Wished the days over when pregnant to stop work. Now wish the BF days over...then wishhing to return to work (never thought I would say that)

Thank goodness for MN. BTW There was an excellent thread re whether moms to be are told reality or not re BF. Have a read.

If tiktok is out there I wouldn' t mind some advice. I know green stools are ok if thriving. She is a cutey, alert, smiling, but still with head lag tho.

Hang in there.

jennijones Wed 14-Oct-09 12:01:47

My third baby is now 9 weeks old, and all I can say is: hang in there, it will get better!!!
I stopped bf when my girls were 6 months old, they had started on solids by then and I looked around for ages and eventually found a bottle they could drink from - for both of them I had to make the hole a bit bigger, but then it worked and they could drink from it fine!!
So when you feel like you have no life and all you do is feed, just remember: it's not like this for much longer!

Jenxx

PS. I'm new to Mumsnet, so can anyone tell me what DD stands for? And DC? And DH? Sorry, I feel really thick asking!!

anothercoldcupoftea Wed 14-Oct-09 12:07:23

darling daughter, darling child, husband etc - there's a list of the abbreviations somewhere on here, not sure where though!

MrsBadger Wed 14-Oct-09 12:21:20

acronym list here

rachels103 Wed 14-Oct-09 15:32:38

I know what you mean. The daytime doesn't worry me as I'm quite happy to bf out and about, but I am getting to the point of wanting a night out now, but with ds not settling properly til 8.30-9 it doesn't seem likely in the near future. The thing is, it will pass, and it's not that long a period of your life - I really missed bfing ds1 when he stopped and I figure it's my choice not to give a bottle so a few months not going out is a small price to pay.

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