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How can I get over not bf?

(15 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Sat 03-Oct-15 08:07:49

I didn't bf both of my dc's for very long. Ds1 was around 10 days and ds2 8 days. I found it really difficult for various reasons but mostly because I found it incredibly painful,

I couldn't seem to get either baby to latch properly and although both loved feeding after day 2 there was no skin left on my nipples and the whole feed would be agony, multiple attempts to break latch relatch and baby would be hysterical so I'd give in and put up with the pain until it was unbearable. So I expressed and bottle fed which won't have helped rectify the latch. This teamed with lots of other circumstances and I stopped and gave them formula.

I always regretted not bf ds1 so I really wanted to give it another go with ds2, but I hit all the same problems only this time with an older child to look after too.

Ds2 is 3 months now and every day I feel sad that I'm not breastfeeding him, I look at him and feel he deserves better and that I'm letting him down.

If I see a mum bfeeding I feel so envious, even though both boys are absolutely fine I can't shake off the feeling that I haven't given them the best start, I had milk I was able to feed them the natural way but took the easy option. I feel almost ashamed of formula feeding.

I've even considered trying to relactate but realistically if I couldn't even feed from word go in hardly going to achieve that.

I at least wish I'd seen it through until 6 weeks to give them the best start and to establish whether I was truly cut out for bfeeding, people say it gets easier at 6 weeks and in hindsight 6 weeks is a drop in the ocean but at the time it felt much bigger, I wish I'd got them checked for tongue tie as having read up I think that may well have been the problem.

I'm not looking for a pat on the back or sympathy but I need to find a way to move on and accept the decision I made as it's eating away at me atm.

Seabiscotti Sat 03-Oct-15 08:25:25

I couldn't breastfeed either. My DS couldn't latch on at all and I struggled to produce milk. The midwife suggested to me that formula would be best.

My best friend was similar to you, with the pain etc.

I think a happier, relaxed, mum is better for baby. Don't beat yourself up any longer. Breastfeeding is not possible for everyone and I think it would help mothers, if this was addressed more in all the reading bumph given out. flowers

littlejolee Mon 05-Oct-15 20:47:20

First of all bit hugs I know exactly how you feel and the horrible guilty feeling.

Second, don't beat yourself up (far easier said b than done I know). A pain free mummy is a happy mummy and babies are SO receptive to you that your lo will pick up on your discomfort and pain and so a happy mummy means a happy baby.

Third, formula has come on leaps and bounds in even the last few years and a lot of the studies claiming that breast milk is the be all and end all don't take into account things like the parents health and intelligence when they do these studies. And as long as your lo got some colostrum, then they got all of the immune system supporting goodies that are in breast milk.

Fourth, I had a similar experience to you although my ds only latched properly once, then was found to have low blood sugar, my milk hadn't come in because I was induced and the hospital gave him a bottle and he just refused completely after that. I tried for about two weeks to bf but my boobs were so sore, my baby was constantly hungry and everyone was miserable. I felt awful for giving him formula and 'failing' him but looking back it was the best decision. Because before I was in so much pain I couldn't concentrate on my beautiful little boy and after my head cleared because it wasn't clouded with pain I bonded so much better with him. Feeding time was a lovely calm time to cuddle up and sing to him, not a time to dread and cry through. I know it's tough now, and even two years later I still get the odd twinge of regret that I couldn't bf but it really does get easier. All I can say is if you have someone who you can trust, tell them how you feel and have a good cry, you'll feel better for it and likely realise after the flood that how you feed your baby isn't as important as them and YOU being fed and happy xx

DriverSurpriseMe Mon 05-Oct-15 20:52:39

Well I'm different because I didn't feel guilt. I know my body and had the exact same issues with baby #2 as I did with #1, so I went straight to formula without a second thought.

Just remember though, that time gives you perspective. You'll look at your children with their peers and won't be able to tell which were breastfed and which weren't.

Once you're well and truly past the baby years, you won't really think back to it at all.

RandomMess Mon 05-Oct-15 20:59:31

Bf is a skill that both parties have to learn or it is absolute agony (been there). You didn't have the support required to have a hope in hell of making it work when the latch didn't sort itself out within a few days.

It's ok to feel sad that it wasn't different, 8 days is still 8 days you put up with that for you child to give them the best start possible.

Please remember formula is much better these days, we have safe drinking water and can sterilise things - you've not made your dc suffer.

It was not your sole responsibility to make bf work because you have breasts!!!

I hope that helps and hasn't made you feel worse. When it's painful it really is excruciating and 6 weeks may as well be 6 years when your nipples are raw and bleeding and everything is falling apart.


elQuintoConyo Mon 05-Oct-15 21:27:09

I had similar problems. And I was so, so sore at one end from the forceps birth and 4th degree tear, that I couldn't support the pain of breastfeeding as well. I wept for weeks. I was fortunate in that no one has ever said anything negative, to my face, about us ff-ing.

Honestly? Time, that's the only thing that helped. By the time LO got to 2yo, it never crossed my mind again.

flowers for you. You're anything but a failure.

starfishmummy Mon 05-Oct-15 21:35:24

I couldn't bf. Not one tiny drop of milk at all. Ds actually getting some food was the most important thing so ff it was. Persevering would have been for me not for him, which would have been very selfish and vain on my part.

Purpleboa Thu 08-Oct-15 07:19:24

Sounds like you did everything you possibly could. You sound like a wonderful mum so please don't be so hard on yourself. Not everyone can bf, it's just down to nature and your baby. As someone who is breastfeeding, take it from me: it is not necessarily the 'best' option. I'm glad I can do it, I guess, but it's hard work. I'm solely responsible for feeding her and pretty much getting no sleep. I'm unavle to be away from her for any period of time longer than a couple of hours, and she likes to cluster feed of an evening. So basically I don't have an evening anymore! Oh and she won't take a bottle, so that's not an option. Worried about how I'll wean her!

The majority of mums in my first time mums group are ff their babies. Their babies are thriving, strong and happy. And because the mums are getting enough sleep, they're able to be better mums. Meanwhile, I'm constantly exhausted, grumpy and can get frustrated with my DD . How is that best for the baby?? I'm seriously contemplating ff baby number 2 from early on.

Not sure if that will help but I just wanted you to know that your LO is not missing out on anything, IMO.

TaliZorah Tue 13-Oct-15 14:00:54

I couldn't breastfeed. I had loads of milk but DS wouldn't latch and shredded my nipple, and would only accept one breast and would scream and fuss. I tried expressing but I couldn't express as much as he wanted.

I switched to formula for my own sanity. I don't feel guilty, I did what was best for both myself and DS - DS needs a mummy who isn't stressed and he doesn't need to be getting upset every feeding

Every bit of breast milk is helpful - breastfeeding for 8 days is great! I got to 2 days, when I was bleeding I stopped. Try to focus on the fact your sons are happy and healthy and you did the best you could, you can't do any more

Mum guilt is awful OP - I don't have it much with feeding, but every time DS cries if I can't immediately get to him I feel like a shit parent.

Scattymum101 Fri 16-Oct-15 13:47:33

I still feel upset 8 months on. I combi fed for around 10 days as dd had tongue tie that mw refused to have snipped and I was in such agony that I just couldn't do it anymore. I've thought about relactating but honestly don't think I could have managed it with two under 3.
I'm sorry you're still struggling with it. I've made my peace with it a bit more now that she's a bit older but I'm gutted I'll never get to BF my child properly as she was our last baby.

Fuzzyduck21 Thu 22-Oct-15 10:11:38

I am currently feeling horrendous guilt. My ds is 5 weeks old and from the beginning he wouldn't latch properly. He would scream with hunger but scream at the breast. He did latch and feed enough for the mw and hosp to be happy but once his stomach had expanded after a few days it seemed he wasn't getting enough milk. When he latched he fed for a few mins and then pulled off crying. Relatched eventually then pulls off crying after a few secs. Says to me he's not getting enough out. Had to give formula as he was crying so much and gave up trying after relatching a couple of times. This continued to happen at every feed. Went to bf support group and was told he was tongue tied. Got it snipped and he latched much better for a few days but still pulled off crying. Lactation consultant said I have underdeveloped breasts/breast hypoplasia (not enough breast tissue) and this may mean I dont produce enough milk. Also means I have very small nipples and funny shaped boobs which would make it harder for him to latch. Tried nipple shields but to no avail.

I manage to get him latched around twice a day and he will feed for 5 min at each breast. Then will top up and formula feed for rest of feeds. I'm pumping as much as possible to try and increase supply but don't know why I'm doing it - for my own benefit really. Only managing 2-4 times a day though. And now I'm on bloody antibiotics so have to pump and dump and terrified he won't ever latch again.

I have stopped going to baby groups as I get very upset seeing others breastfeeding but being isolated is making me feel worse. I understand how hard it is. I feel like I could have tried harder and not given formula so quickly but was I meant to let him starve? It's so hard.

No offence to anyone but for some reason I also feel very ashamed to ff. Another reason I avoid baby groups. Why the hell are there bf groups but no ff groups????

It really sounds like you did all you could. Yes pumping is an option but it's not realistic to pump all feeds, sort bottles and look after a newborn. Like I said I struggle to pump twice a day sometimes. And I sometimes don't get to even wee for hours. There is no way I could have done what I've done with two children to look after.

I also need to find a way to come to terms with my situation so am watching with interests. Sorry I can't offer much advice but I find it helpful to hear other people's stories and makes me feel less alone! Xx

ateapotandacake Tue 27-Oct-15 17:45:37

You guys have really chimed with me! My DS is 5 weeks now and we are now FF. I was exhausted and ill after the birth (bled a lot) and so found his non latching v stressful so gave a bottle. Managed a couple of BF once home but then he wouldn't latch without a shield and only once I was expressing like mad so there was gallons of milk for him. The shields were agony. My partner wasn't very supportive about BF and we had TONS of visitors and I was embarrassed to get the enormous knockers out and put a shield on in front of any of them. I continued expressing and gave expressed milk at night and FF and BF during the day until I started to go a bit mad with it. I began to lose it if I hadn't expressed and would cry when he would latch or stay latched (sometimes he just SCREAMED BLUE MURDER at my poor boob). So I decided to stop it. I stopped expressing over a couple of days and put away the nipple shields. That was end of week 3 and we are doing fine now. He's happy. Fuzzyduck21 everything you say sounded like me. But I've joined a baby group and am just getting on with it. It helps it's only a little group I think. I'm a midwife so felt like a complete failure but I've even been to a baby shower with a ton of people from work and just refused to feel judged or inferior. I love my son, what we are doing is working for us and that is all that matters.
Pajama I don't think there's a magic thing to help you move on. I sort of made a decision to no longer beat myself up about it. I sometimes get a pang in the shower for some reason but generally feel positive. I haven't had any negative responses, and this site helped a lot with feeling less alone.
We are all the best mum we can be, there's no right or wrong when it comes to feeding. Formula is a great substitute for breastmilk and you can only give it your best shot. Pyjama if you want to try relactating go for it, but get some really good support. Or just draw a line and say this is where we are and some things aren't meant to be.
Fuzzyduck21 please don't feel ashamed. Formula is fine. We are great mamas. I know exactly what you mean though- it's driving me insane that when you want advice about formula the advice begins 'breastfeeding is best but...' And the BF groups are technically positive discrimination! I'll be in a formula feeding one with you!

Fuzzyduck21 Sat 31-Oct-15 17:40:14

Super message ateapot! I feel like creating a group where I live for bottle and formula feeding mums - don't see why there should just be groups for bfing! No wonder we struggle with our feelings over it...x

OffMyAyersRocker Sat 31-Oct-15 17:54:29

I don't know if you are still reading OP but dd2 is 6 weeks and I've come to terms with it. I feel guilty because l bf dd1 but dd2 had a tt and after it was cut at 2 weeks then she was no longer able to latch properly. I've been expressing ever since. I said l need to do this until she is 6 weeks, now its 8 weeks but l do hope to go to 12 weeks.

She was ebf for 2 weeks and on and off for the next 3 and is still getting breast milk now so l have accepted l am doing the absolute best l can. You need to see it the same way, you're doing you're absolute best i.e. caring for your dc.

I hope you are feeling betting now flowers

rallytog1 Sun 08-Nov-15 17:25:19

As time passes, it does become much easier. My dd is 2.5 now. I still feel emotional when I think or talk about how bf didn't work out for us. But now I see her as a healthy, intelligent, feisty and sassy child who brings so much joy to so many people, it helps me to realise that in the big scheme of things, it's really not important. What matters is that we made the best decisions we could in the circumstances we faced at the time. Which is what parenting is all about really - no one will ever be a perfect parent, we all just do our best.

You sound like a wonderful mum who's put her family first, and I don't think anyone could ask for more than that.

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