At a crossroads with breastfeeding(15 Posts)
I'm hoping for some considered opinions to help me make a decision.
My ds is 14 weeks (6 weeks prem) and ebf. I also have a dd who is nearly 3. Bf wasn't very successful with my dd, for various medical reasons, and I was very sad to switch to formula when she was 3.5 months. It was the right decision though and she thrived on the bottle.
Fast forward to now, and I am really happy that bf is going so well with my ds, he's maintaining weight and hitting all milestones as expected for his corrected age.
The issue I have is that I am starting to feel like my body isn't my own. I can't be arsed to express (I am so lazy, I know!), my reasoning is if I'm not bfing, then I'd rather use formula. I'm fed up of wearing bf friendly tops, I'm fed up of needing to eat and drink to ensure my supply is stable, I desperately want to diet and exercise, I want to sleep through! I'm fed up of not being able to cuddle my dd properly because my ds is feeding, or being winded, or has fallen asleep in my arms. My dh gets to have all the fun with my dd and I miss it.
On the other hand, I know this will pass and he will feed less frequently and will stop screaming if I dare to put him in the bouncer for a few minutes.
I do wear him a lot of the time which he likes, but I am just feeling a bit like I've been taken over.
If anyone can share their experiences, or offer any advice, I would be really grateful.
Well, firstly there's no guarantee that switching to formula will make your DS sleep through. Babies wake because they're not designed to go long stretches without feeding. Their stomachs are tiny to start with and can only process small amounts of food, given regularly. Some (IME rare), babies do sleep through the night from early on, but most do not, so don't assume this will magically happen if you switch him to formula.
As for feeling that you're neglecting your DD and not getting to spend time with her I think you have to make a point of doing things with her when the baby is sleeping or in his bouncer or whatever. Its a bit of a juggle initially with two and its a new (and not always easy), thing to manage. But its great that your DH is getting more involved with her care - my DH really stepped up to help with DS1 when DS2 was born and it was actually great for them. I did feel a bit sidelined at times, sitting there BFing while they played, but if her dad is spending lots of time with her that's a positive, not a negative thing.
I dunno, I EBF both my DC and I got a bit fed-up too, but in the end I decided a) it was the best food for them and b) its actually a short phase of their lives and its really worth it. The benefits of BFing are well known, so I won't repeat them here, but one thing that's not often discussed is that BF babies tend to have much better gastro-intestinal health than their formula-fed compatriots i.e. they get fewer bouts of diahorrea and vomiting, and I've certainly found my two EBF DC to have excellent resistance to those kind of illnesses. In terms of dieting and exercising too, I ate loads and walked loads and shifted my baby weight pretty easily with that and BFing. I know that not all women find that's true, but you can be active and BFing - you just need to make sure you're eating enough and drinking plenty of water as well. Its not an either/or choice - you really can do both. Good luck whatever you decide.
I gave up for a lot of the reasons you've mentioned. It does sound like feeding is well established, could you maybe introduce one bottle at a set time - say 10pm. I think this wouldn't mess up your supply as long as you stick to the same time, I've had a few friends who've done the same successfully.
Either way, you've done well to get this far and I'm sure that your DS would be fine on formula too. Happy Mum, Happy BAby afterall
Thank you for your replies. I know that it's best for ds overall if I can carry on, and I do want to. I know that it does continue to get easier, especially juggling the two dc, and that this time will fly by. I suppose when you're in the middle of sleep deprivation and endless loads of washing it feels like there's no end in sight.
I might introduce a bottle at 10pm so that dh can do a feed and I can get an early night with a good uninterrupted stretch of sleep. That way I might have more energy to juggle the two during the day and give my dd some better attention.
Sleep makes everything more bearable. Best of luck op
Buy some really really nice breastfeeding tops. And also some breastfeeding vests. (Wear under normal top, unhook vest like a bra, it comes down, top goes up.)
It's amazing how much nicer breastfeeding is if you have nice tops. (Or am I just really superficial.)
One of my breastfeeding dresses is so nice I still wear it now! (Ds is 2 and still breastfeeding but only at nighttime.)
I know that it's best for ds overall if I can carry on
This is the answer for me.
Mine is ten months and I'm struggling to stop because I feel guilty.
Ps I like clothes by these people. (Sorry - can't do links.)
Stop bf whenever you need to,without feeling that you're depriving DS of anything. DS1 had a year bf. DS2 had 6 weeks,due to DS1's demands.
I bf for 8 months on my ds. Like you I thought about stopping around 5 months as I really wanted my own body back. I also had a really bad reaction to anyone else touching me while I bf, like I was smothering and couldn't bare to be touched by anyone other than the baby.. It upset me not being able to cuddle my other children.
DH & I decided to introduce a night time formula bottle and it helped a great deal. Ds did not necessarily sleep better but it meant I got more sleep so was better able to manage. Ds is now 14 months and I really miss the bf days.
I second pp suggestions of nice bf friendly clothes and a good bra.
Whatever you decide congratulate yourself on sharing your body for this long and doing your best for your ds.
I think you should just do what you want to do. If you feel like you would be happier if you switched to formula then just go for it and dont beat yourself up.
Some nice bf bras from www.hotmilklingerie.com cheered me up when I was feeling a bit the same.
He's still tiny & was prem.
I would continue for every single feed that I could bear to.
Every feed will help him.
Mixed feeding worked brilliantly for both of mine. I would have stopped much earlier with both if I hadn't been able to get a break once or twice a day. Sleep is so worth it! don't feel guilty about this choice, there's way too much guilt in parenting I think . good luck OP.
Well just talking about the cuddling, if you switch to bottle then you'll have no free hands to have a hug from your DD.
My DS would never be put down, I do honestly think it is boys but never did until I had one
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