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Anyone else ashamed to be bottlefeeding?

(31 Posts)
mum2c Mon 25-Jul-05 19:12:40

I've had to introduce supplementary feeds for my dd because her weight gain has been so poor and this is despite lots of help and advice from mw, hv and bf counsellor. I desperately wanted to be able to breast feed and have to say that I feel thoroughly ashamed to be giving her a bottle. This is to the point that I don't go out anymore and avoid inviting people to the house in case I have to feed her and they will find out. I feel so judged and a bad mother. Am I the only mother to feel like this?

Caligula Mon 25-Jul-05 19:15:51

No you're not. Lots of mothers feel like this. But try and remember that most mothers aren't judging you - they're far too busy worrying that you're judging them, or just getting on with it!

You're feeding your baby a combination of breastmilk and the next best available option. You're NOT feeding her vodka! Don't beat yourself up about it, you're doing your best which is all any of us can do.

ZoeC Mon 25-Jul-05 19:16:18

I have almost stopped breastfeeding after 4 months because I became so miserable and resented my dd2 so much, but I have friends who love breastfeeding and will extended breastfeed as long as they can - I've not told any of them that I've stopped and I will probably try and avoid telling them if possible.

In my head I know I should just tell them, and I don't feel bad about stopping, maybe just worried about what they'll think of me.

You have clearly tried your level best and have no reason to feel ashamed, hope this feeling passes for you.

tribpot Mon 25-Jul-05 19:30:18

Yes. I failed to get breastfeeding established and was bitterly disappointed and upset with myself. I started avoiding contact with friends who'd successfully breastfed because I didn't want to deal with their reactions

Unfortunately for me there may be worse to come - dh has food intolerances and an autoimmune condition, which is why I was so desperate to breastfeed. If ds turns out to have either problem I know I will be prostrate with guilt, even though there's no way to know whether breastfeeding would have prevented it.

On the other hand, my Mum is fond of quoting a neighbour of ours when we were growing up, who used to say "is the child alive and well?" If so, nothing else matters.

tiktok Mon 25-Jul-05 19:31:53

Calig is right....mothers for whom bf is important take it really badly when they use bottles, and it becomes a very personal issue for them, and a source of sadness. When we are disappointed and bereft of an experience that was all tied up with our feeligs of ourselves as mothers, then no wonder it becomes personal and very hurtful. There are a lot of private tears shed about it
But believe me, mum2c, people really don't judge you - if they know how much you wanted to bf, they will be sad for you, and they will not think you are a bad mother. If you come across the occasional person who thinks that (and I have never met anyone who fits this description) then you will know who to cross off your Xmas card list!

No one is a greater supporter of bf than I am, but I r never ever think anyone is a bad mother for not doing it, or for not doing it exclusively. That is the truth.

Georgiesmum Tue 26-Jul-05 12:28:37

I breastfeed for the first 3 months but my dd was not settling properly so I had to change to bottle. i was sad at first but she is so much happier now that I think its the best thing I have ever done. although I must admit I do feel a little frowned apon at clinic where evry else breast feeds but thats there choice!

tiktok Tue 26-Jul-05 12:32:03

Georgiesmum - do they actually frown at you, or is it just that you feel they are doing so ?

starlover Tue 26-Jul-05 12:33:38

mum2c i feel exactly the same!
i had a real, real struggle with breastfeeding and am now bottlefeeding ds. he was bf until 3.5 months... but i still feel bad

moondog Tue 26-Jul-05 12:36:40

Just to say that I am sorry you feel so bad.Noone would be judging you (although we all feel that in low moments about all and every aspect of our parenting. I felt reviled out shopping last week when dd threw a major tantrum in front of loads of people.)
The only thing that anyone would feel is sympathy.

Please don't feel like this. You sound like a lovely caring mother. Enjoy your little girl.


spursmum Tue 26-Jul-05 12:40:42

I could never get bf established and felt awful about bottle feeding till a student midwife turned round and said "who cares what you do as long as you and the baby are both happy and healthy". If bottlefeeding was so bad there wouldn't be all the different versions available!

moozoboozo Tue 26-Jul-05 12:49:46

Please don't feel bad. Sometimes, you just have to do what's best for you and your baby, and if anyone says otherwise tell them to bugger off!!!!! I introduced a bottle to my DS when he was 6 weeks old, but still continued to bf. I believe that if I hadnt done this, I woulnt still be bf now, (DS is nearly 8 months) as it is, he still has one bottle before bed, and it works for me, DS and DP. What other people think doesnt matter. As someone said, you arent giving the baby vodka.

Mind you, I was tempted to do the same last night when ,my little treasure wouldnt go to sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!

shuteye Tue 26-Jul-05 13:14:18

Do NOT feel bad, breast feeding for one week is better for your baby than not at all. I was also determined to breast feed but after dry, cracked nipples and ds not drinking enough I just expressed milk and it was so much better, it came from me but it was drunk from the bottle, yes pumping is time consuming and became a drag esp when I had to return to work but, it was my milk. If I had to I would have used formula, many of my friends who were very small breasted have been unable to produce milk so used formula. I only did it for the 1st 6 months and then moved to formula as well. We all do what suits us, I am pleased you wanted and tried to breastfeed, you will always have the memory of a baby suckling on your breast which is a wonderful feeling (minus the sore nips of course)

Georgiesmum Tue 26-Jul-05 13:15:02

tiktok, a couple actually do and because I am the youngest there its like they think I canrt be bothered or that i scared to ruin my figure when thats not the case. I did it for 3 months!!

It does get you down tho!

tiktok Tue 26-Jul-05 13:17:36

GM, this is awful. Have they actually said this to you? HVs or other mothers?

Georgiesmum Tue 26-Jul-05 19:03:04

NO THEY HAVE NEVER SAID IT but you can tell cant you. Im not bothered tho- i know whats best for my daughter and thats all that matters!(grin)

MaloryTowers Tue 26-Jul-05 19:07:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mosschops30 Tue 26-Jul-05 19:15:02

Message withdrawn

sandycheeks Tue 26-Jul-05 21:29:09

I know how you feel mum2c, I failed to establish bf with both of my children, and I felt terrible. I always presumed that I would bf all my children as I was exclusivley bf by my mother. You are obviously a devoted mother who wants the very best for your baby, so you have nothing to be ashamed of. Get out of the house, don't hide away.

nooka Tue 26-Jul-05 22:34:55

Hi mum2c
Don't worry about it. You will probably be suprised at how many mothers you notice bottle feeding once you do go out. Not everyone does breastfeed for all sorts of reasons.

Another time it might work out fine for you, but this time you've certainly done your best. Can you think about the advantages maybe? I saw a friend of mine at a gym class we take our dds to five weeks after having no3, and her dh had the baby. She told me that every Friday he did the night feeds. Now some people achieve that with expressing, I know (and all credit to them!), but all the same it did make me think about how things might have been different!

I was so glad to stop breastfeeding at three months with dd (did 6mths with ds), and one side effect was that my dh got to do some of the feeding and cuddling and I do think that has benefits too.

People may judge you, but then they judge pretty much everyone (and hey, don't we all)

bobbybob Wed 27-Jul-05 05:53:07

mum2c if you are giving supplementary feeds I presume you are also bfing? If that's the case can you bfed her whilst out and about or while you have visitors and give the bottles at another time. or does it not work like that, tell me if I am talking rubbish, but it would be great for you to get out.

frannyf Wed 27-Jul-05 08:21:39

Anyone who judges another mother on how they feed their baby doesn't seem worth losing sleep over, in my opinion. I am also a big supporter of bf, but with every day that goes by I realise there is a whole lot more to mothering than breastfeeding! Don't cut yourself off from other people because of how you think they feel about this - it is none of their business anyway. Don't let this spoil these first few months with your baby...

mum2c Wed 27-Jul-05 12:38:53

Thank you to everyone who's responded to this. I think it's going to take me a while to come to terms with things but appreciate all of your posts.

chipmonkey Wed 27-Jul-05 14:06:47

Mum2c, I have fully bf all 3 of my babies and would never judge someone for bottle feeding! A lot of this has come with experience, I know several people who can't bf either for medical reasons, failure to latch on, insufficient supply etc or simply because they feel that it would be too disruptive to their family's lives. My attitude is, firstly, that you don't always know the reason why that bottle is being used, and secondly, whatever the reason, its none of my business anyway! By the way, my besr friend introduced bottles very early on as her dd was so hungry but that same dd was still climbing into her bed 18 months later looking for "my booby" so it doesn't mean the end of bf by any means! As a matter of interest have to tried Motilium to boost supply? Some MNers have found it very good.

hamster Wed 27-Jul-05 14:35:23

I breast fed for about 2 weeks. Then decided to bottle feed.
It was a mixture of things that made me decide to change including blocked, sore boobies, sore lady-garden, and I'm not going to lie...extreme tiredness. I am happy with what I decided, and it made life a lot easier.
I also feel that ds was a lot more satisfied, as he slept for longer periods and cried a lot less. Plus he had a happy mummy!

Not ashamed of it at all.

Neither should anyone be.

Mum2c, my sympathy is with you. Nobody has the right to make another person feel bad for doing what they feel is the best by their child.

chrissi Wed 27-Jul-05 14:41:33

No you are brilliant! I felt very disappointed to have to put by 1st on a bottle after 4 weeks – the same reasons as you. You're caring for your baby the best you can and thats what matters.
I'm managing to bf my 2nd but miss that 'eye contact' that you get when bottle feeding. Plus as my boy was gettiing older he liked to touch his bottle – which progressed to him being able to hold it – I loved seeing him trying to be independant!
Don't hide away, get out there and enjoy yourself.

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