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Confession : I don't want to breast feed

(104 Posts)
beansbananas Sat 31-Dec-16 16:12:12

I know that the general rule is that breast is best, and that if you can then you should breast feed your baby. And before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I do actually intend to try and breast feed when my baby arrives, it's just that if I'm honest it's not something I actually want to do. Am I the only one who thinks it's a terrifying concept and a little bit gross? The thought of sore, bleeding nipples, mastitis or thrush is overwhelming to me, and I have seen so many of my friends in tears and at breaking point over trying to keep breast feeding despite the pain or struggles to get them to latch on properly, and get enough milk. The peer pressure is just ridiculous, and I hate the expectation that you should keep at it, no matter what. Does anyone else feel like this? I don't feel like you can admit you don't want to breast feed without being horribly judged, so would love to know if there are other mum's to be who also find it daunting and also hear any survival tips from mum's who have persevered with it.

gamerchick Sat 31-Dec-16 16:19:56

Well you don't have to if you don't want to.

If you do want to attempt it, why not compromise and just give the colostrum. Your milk will come in anyway a few days after birth whether you nurse or not, it means you'll avoid the soreness and whatnot and its a shot before you decide whether to continue.

There are choices even if that's not for you.

MrsRaymondReddington Sat 31-Dec-16 16:20:46

DD is 6 weeks old and I didn't breastfeed. It was my choice, I just didn't want to. So I'm afraid I can't give any advice about persevering with it, but if you don't want to do it then don't. I've had a couple of moments where I've questioned my choice but that's only because I'm super sensitive to others opinions, but actually I haven't encountered any negativity. There was no pressure from my midwife or anyone else. Whatever works for you and baby is what you need to do. And it's important that you're happy as well. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

YoScienceBitch Sat 31-Dec-16 16:21:04

You don't have to. I did for 10 minutes then never again. Hated it.

SoupDragon Sat 31-Dec-16 16:24:41

I think it's something that is a bit weird until you've tried it. I know we are "designed" to do it but there does seem something strange about producing food for your baby. And I speak as someone who breastfed all three SmallDragons for about 5 years in total. Actually even now it seems a bit odd but, at the time, it felt right.

You might find it feels right at the time.
You might find it feels wrong.
Either way your baby will be fine.

reallyanotherone Sat 31-Dec-16 16:25:14

I am pro bf.

However i do think if you don't want to, you should feel you can say you don't want to. It's your choice smile

What I don't like is when people dont really want to bf feel they must justify it, so give ot a half hearted go, then tell everyone they "couldn't", usually backed up with an example of perfectly normal bf behaviour- feeding frequently, not sleeping through etc.

So coming out and admitting you just don't want to, or didn't like it, actually does more for the bf cause than perpetuating the above myths, iyswim.

So stand proud and just say you don't want to.

Bluntness100 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:25:55

You don't need to and you don't need to justify it to anyone. I didn't want to, not for any of the reasons you stated, I simply didn't want to. So I didn't.

Only stupid comment I got was from one idiotic midwife who accused me of not wanting saggy boobs and that's why I wasn't doing it. 🙄The idea had never occurred to me, I simply didn't want to, no rhyme or reason to it. My baby, my choice. Feed your baby as you please. Don't feel pressure or the need to justify it.

beansbananas Sat 31-Dec-16 16:26:32

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It is a relief to know I'm not alone! I do think I'll try, as I think I'll enjoy the bonding experience. But I'm thinking I'll prob introduce a formula bottle for the dream feed pretty early on, so I can get some sleep and share some responsibility with my husband!

JeepersMcoy Sat 31-Dec-16 16:27:51

I often hear on mn about this overwhelming pressure to breastfeed. I bf until DD was 18 months and got the opposite. I regularly had people telling me I was mad and should stop pretty much from the start!

This seems to be one of those things that you just can't win at and will get pressure to do the opposite whatever you decide. Really you may as well just do as you wish and ignore anyone who says otherwise.

DailyFail1 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:28:06

A friend was told by her doulla to massage her nipples daily with lanolin or vaseline from month 8 of the pregnancy to stimulate prolactin. She had no problems at all breastfeeding - in fact was leaking milk all over the place by 9 months smile

DailyFail1 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:28:38

But yeah it is up to you. Don't buy into the pressure if you don't want to.

Passmethecrisps Sat 31-Dec-16 16:28:59

I was desperate to bf dd1. Tried and failed miserably. Broke my heart over it.

Am pregnant now and at the moment am ambivalent which actually feels a bit healthier for me than the utter desperation followed by being distraught

Mermaid36 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:29:46

Just to say, I've been breastfeeding my twins for 9 months and I've never had thrush, mastitis, cracked/sore nipples etc
It doesn't happen to everyone!

Best thing is to try it, and go from there

newmumwithquestions Sat 31-Dec-16 16:29:51

So breast isn't best if it stresses you out too much, so it may not be best for you.

That said I was in a lot of pain my first week of breastfeeding (sorry if this is tmi but I had bleeding nipples). I expressed and spoon fed every second feed as the latch was very painful. But I persevered and it got better quickly. For me the benefits have massively outweighed that initial pain. I'm currently breastfeeding 12 mo no2 and that initial week of pain with no1 is a dim and distant memory.

Happy to share more (incl things that may help) but I don't want it to sound like a lecture in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Hope it all goes well whatever you decide to do.

AaLittleEggLayOnALeaf Sat 31-Dec-16 16:31:43

You should definitely try as you both might take to it easily, and it's free! But if it's not for you then the truth is that babies thrive on formula. I found the first week tough but really it's been a convenient way to feed my DD. I'm too lazy to sort out bottles. Once you've made your decisions make sure you enjoy your baby and think no more about it smile

LondonRoo Sat 31-Dec-16 16:33:19

IMHO that's absolutely fine! We live in a highly developed society with access to clean water... Formula feeding is completely safe for our babies.

Moralising and slapping guilt on mothers who can't or who decide not to is just ridiculous and IMHO deeply unhelpful.

You'll love your child, play with them, keep them warm and clean and look after their health. That's what makes you a good mother, not how you feed your baby.

You might find Amy Tuteur (skeptical ob) interesting to read too - she argues the benefits of breastfeeding are over stated.


BreatheDeep Sat 31-Dec-16 16:34:12

If you don't want to, don't. That's OK. If you want to give it a go and it's not for you, that's OK too. If you give it a go and you want to carry on, that's OK too.

I tried and failed with my first. He had tongue tie (that was missed until over a week after he was born) and silent reflux. It was too much for me to cope with so I switched to formula.
I am currently breastfeeding my second - it has been so easy from the get go and I haven't had any cracked nipples or anything with him.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Some people want to, some people don't.

GrumbleBumble Sat 31-Dec-16 16:36:33

I was a bit hmm before young Grumble arrived. I was however determined to give it a try. I ended up bf for 18 month. None of the expected horrors happened for us - he slept midnight to 8am or later most nights from a week old, I never got cracked nipples or mastitis, he wasn't clingly etc. So if you want to give it a try then do it might work for you but if you don't don't beat yourself up. I couldn't tell you which of his classmates were bf and which were ff as they are all healthy, happy kids. Either way enjoy your new baby and don't worry about other peoples opinions.

GruffaloPants Sat 31-Dec-16 16:37:23

Before I BF I kind of hoped it wouldn't work out.

However it did, and I happily fed DD1 for more than 2 years. Still feeding baby DD2. I'm now a big BF fan.

I've never had bleeding or cracked nipples, mastitis or thrush. They aren't inevitable.

Once I established BF it felt right and natural for me.

Do what suits you and your baby best, whatever that is.

fruityb Sat 31-Dec-16 16:37:53

I wanted to for colostrum and I did breastfeed for about five weeks but I was a combo feeder and if he didn't get enough from me I gave him a bottle as well or instead of. He was always bottle fed at night as I wanted him to go longer and it seemed to work. I could breastfeed for an hour and he'd still take a bottle after so I just don't think he got enough. Please yourselves and not other people!

I enjoyed it and would do it again if we had another, but I never saw it as a long term option anyway. I couldn't express really it just didn't work. DS put on a pound in his first week from BF so I know I did some good! No one judged me and even the midwife said if he needed a formula top up to just do it.

Silverdream Sat 31-Dec-16 16:39:11

There is evidence that bf can be detrimental to the baby. This happens when a mum feels under pressure to bf (from her herself or others) the stress she is feeling has a very negative effect on the bonding / attachment and a negative psychological effect which far out ways the positive of being bf. If bf goes ok then the positive effect on the baby is wonderful.
Do what is right for your situation and feelings it will then be the best thing for baby.

UnicornPee Sat 31-Dec-16 16:40:48

If you don't want to then that's absolutely fine.
Don't let the hippy boob feed earth mothers guilt trip you.
I'm pregnant with my third and won't be BF like I didn't with the other two.

AyeAmarok Sat 31-Dec-16 16:41:03

I wasn't particularly fussed one way or the other. Figured I'd give it a go and if it worked, it worked. I'm not entirely convinced on the benefits over formula (in the western world, when all other factors are accounted for) so IMO if BF is not making your life easier (for whatever reason is important to you), don't do it.

It did work for me. I did have the cracked nipples and pain at first but it wasn't unbearable. The midwives that came out were great, no pressure, very much a case of "I'll show you how to get him to latch more comfortably then you have the option of continuing if you want to".

But the frequent feeding, getting no sleep and the pain from bleeding nipples and engorgement isn't bearable for everyone, so it's a perfectly legitimate reason to stop. No need to be a martyr.

Do whatever works best for you. But you may as well give it a go as if it works easily for both you and baby and you don't find it weird in reality, then it's so much less faff than bottles, especially in the middle of the night.

Best of luck with your pregnancy and birth!

kmini Sat 31-Dec-16 16:41:47

I breastfed DS for almost 12 months and as a general comment it was lovely. I also found it so much easier than bottles. however, as most have already said, it's not for everyone, both physically and emotionally. As one poster said, best approach is honesty - be proud of your choices and make a balanced and educated one that's right for you and your dc.

SprogletsMum Sat 31-Dec-16 16:42:38

I don't want to breastfeed my dc4 I did with all the others and I just don't want to do it again.
I will though because I'm a skinflint and won't pay for something I can make for free.

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