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AIBU to give up breastfeeding?
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MisselthwaiteManor · 21/08/2013 16:24

I've just about had enough.

Baby has a lip tie which GP says no one in the country will cut. She was cupfed from birth against my will and has never been able to latch properly. I have been expressing every single feed for two months (she's now 10 weeks old). My milk supply in one boob dried up so its one boob getting pumped every time, my god the pain.

My milk supply has now more than halved, I don't know if it's due to the fact I'm on my period. For the past week I've been expressing every half hour to get enough for the baby, it's still not been enough and we've been giving the odd carton of formula.

I've just had e-fucking-nough of getting up every hour in the night and all day to wash the fucking pump and express again. Every feed is a nightmare because if there isn't a bottle waiting in the fridge she has to wait and she obviously gets distressed. DH gets no sleep either because he feeds her while I express the next bottle to try and stay ahead.

I would be onto formula like a shot if it wasn't for the amount of shit I am getting from every angle. The midwife drummed it into me all through my pregnancy how the baby will be full of disease if I use formula. The GP has said under no circumstance switch to formula because the baby has bad reflux and apparently it'll make it worse. Home start have been badgering me twice a week for weeks asking if I'm breastfeeding properly yet. I told them I don't need their help anymore (they tried and couldn't get her to latch either) but they will not go away. The health visitor is the same, phonecalls all the time asking if I'm doing it right yet.

AIBU to tell them all to fuck right off and give my baby formula? She's upset with the situation so I can't see a benefit to breastmilk for us anymore but I feel like the worst mother in the world.

I have PND which is clouding my head and my judgement so please tell me what you would do.

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hettienne · 21/08/2013 17:52

Why on earth are Home Start badgering you - that's so strange!

Is it just your volunteer being overzealous or is it the office/co-ordinator calling you? They shouldn't be harassing you at all if you aren't interested, I would make a complaint.

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Squitten · 21/08/2013 17:55

My DC1 was a nightmare BF and it ruined my first week's with him. I distinctly remember being in hospital alone at night, during yet another epic scream-fest, and the midwife helping me said "Just do what you want. No matter what everyone here says, it's YOU who has to do this at home on your own. Do what you need to do." Sensible woman! We ended up FF in the end.

Oh and DC2 was a dream BF. Got a blocked duct one time and that was it - total natural. So next time might be totally different!

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IJustNeedANap · 21/08/2013 17:57

YANBU. All the problems you've had it's amazing your still doing it. I BF but I'm not anti FF at all and I think it's each mothers choice how they feed their child and that's it. If BF makes you misrable then it's not worth it, these days are so precious and go so fast don't let them be tainted by all the problems you are and making you misrable. Just enjoy your LO and tell anyone else to fuck off xxx

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softlysoftly · 21/08/2013 18:03

Dd1 bf was a fucking nightmare. Stopped trying at 8 weeks and life improved instantly. I could enjoy my baby and being a MUM at last not a struggling tired milk machine.

Did feel guilty.

Then had dd2 terrible sleeper but bf went like a dream so easy fed until over a year.

And here's the kicker suddenly STOPPED feeling guilty about dd1 because for all the research, all the pressure etc it made no difference both are so far healthy happy and bright and I am equally bonded to both.

So yes give up, and feel no guilt and feel the sweet relief as you tell all the "involved" people they can melt away please now it's decision made.

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SunMoonStarship · 21/08/2013 18:05

Sorry I haven't read the whole thread (kids' dinner time!).

But, have you tried nipple shields?

I couldn't BF due to flat nipples. DC1 was given bottles in hospital. MW suggested nipple shields. Both my kids managed to latch onto the shield as it was like a bottle teat. I then weaned them off the shield (but know loads of Mums who BF with nipple shields for months).

This was a life-saver for me (as I was desperate to BF for various reasons) and I want to tell everyone!

If you don't want to try (I used the Avent ones BTW) or try and it doesn't work- then fuck it and switch to FF! Who cares. I expressed for a bit and that wasn't the hard bit. It was the warming of the milk when the baby was ravenous that was a nightmare!

Good luck!

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propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS · 21/08/2013 18:07

tell them all to fuck off and do what is best for you. You are not some inanimate object . How dare these various bullies treat you like you exist solely to feed a baby. You have tried your very best but breatfeeding really hasn't worked out. You should not be left feeling so miserable and in pain. Feed formula without another thought xx

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Shenanagins · 21/08/2013 18:15

I am in a similar situation without the lip tie issue but getting the polar opposite in terms of support.

my hv has tried to help me get him to latch but to no avail. I have also seen a bf consultant and again to no avail.

the key difference is that both have said that it's not a failure to ff and i must do what works best for my family. I am giving myself one more week and if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. I didn't have these problems first round either so a decision to stop doesn't mean that you can't do it for the second.

hope you get it sorted soon.

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ipswichwitch · 21/08/2013 18:20

The only failure here is on the part of the HCPs who have made you so miserable with constant bullying and hectoring. The fact you have expressed for so long is testament to the sheer effort and determination you have put in - I expressed for 3 weeks for prem DS until he could bf himself and I know how utterly draining that is.

I think it's time for you to call it a day and switch to ff. it's not giving up, it's a progression to something that will work better for you and your baby. The HCPs can get to fuck (and I would complain), since its not them having to deal with all this. Enjoy your beautiful baby, don't beat yourself up about it, you really will be doing what's best for her and you, it may go a long way to helping your PND and even improving the reflux if she's not waiting so long for feeds then gulping it down as she is now.
Big unMN (((hug)))

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skyflyer · 21/08/2013 18:37

YANBU tell them all to fuck right off and give your baby formula if you want.

Bf is great if you are happy doing it. If you're not then don't do it. Ignore those people, formula is not going to do your baby any harm.

It's nobodies business but your own.

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Celadorhasacatandawaveequation · 21/08/2013 18:39

Get the formula and get some rest. Sleep deprivation makes everything far harder to deal with, and when you're rested and not continually expressing you'll enjoy being with your baby far more Smile.

She needs a happy mum, so be kind to yourself & ignore the pressure from others. Don't feel guilty.

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Melonbreath · 21/08/2013 18:53

You have not failed or given up. Your baby has had that all important colostrum and breast milk for the first few months.
Giving up is admitting defeat. You haven't been defeated you are making the decision that best aids your baby in your situation. I'd call that a success.
Buy the formula, feed your baby and get some sleep.

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byanothername · 21/08/2013 18:54

Only one thing to say here: massive congrats on breastfeeding for 10 weeks in these circs and congrats on your lovely baby. You must be a bloody brilliant mum for all that you've been through and achieved in the face of great difficulty (I know what it's like - had to express for months on end due to having a premature baby, there were a lot of tears. Mine and baby's). You've done absolutely brilliantly. Hero status. Good luck now and take care x

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thebirdsandbees · 21/08/2013 19:01

Is it inability to latch or preference for the bottle? Bottle feeding is easier for babies (uses less facial muscle, etc) the milk also comes out faster and in larger quantities. I gave my newborn a bottle of expressed milk once a day for a week and he started to fuss at the breast after a while so I stopped immediately. Is there any reason why your baby's lip and or tongue was not snipped at birth or soon after? Shouldn't the MW's syringe fed your baby colostrum and then cup fed?

Well done for pumping so long. It must be tough going. I never enjoyed pumping and much prefer to feed straight from the boob. DS (16 months) and I love breastfeeding. I feel quite sad when I hear of people battling with it because I know how great breastfeeding can be. I understand there are some mother or babies who just can't breastfeed.

Give yourself a break. You have done a great job. Some mothers never bother to breastfeed at all. It's entirely up to you whether to give formula or breast milk. Don't burn yourself out at both ends. You sound like a great mum. Good luck!

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thebirdsandbees · 21/08/2013 19:01

*tie

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Bunnygotwhacked · 21/08/2013 19:08

I haven't read the whole thread but I think i agree with posters when I say well done you now get the formula out you've tried more than most would and i include myself in that it isn't working out.
For the reflux when i ff ds1 I gave him something called omneo comfort milk which has since changed to cow and gate comfort it' used to be very good this is 2007 i used it so might be worth getting a second opinion on it but there are many different types out there if one doesn't suit her another will

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feesh · 21/08/2013 19:15

OP I have been through almost the exact same situation. Baby twins now 8 months old. Girl twin just Would Not Latch, it might have been a tongue tie or something, but we live in the Middle East where no help for that is available. I nearly killed myself trying to pump for her for 10 weeks, every three hours around the clock. I only ever got enough for two feeds a day for her. My boy twin breastfed fine, which proves that sometimes it is just the baby and you have done NOTHING wrong.

Same as you, was manhandled by tens of well meaning health 'professionals' who only made it worse for my daughter. She was also cup fed by the nurses.

At around 10 weeks, we went to formula for both twins and never looked back.

Incidentally, while I was cutting down on the expressing, I found that my total daily expressed amount didn't change whether I pumped 8 times a day or just 3 times a day. If you are logging the volumes you are pumping, try cutting down to just 3 pumping sessions and see if you still get the same amount.

My two have thrived on formula, and more importantly so have I. I don't know if it's the reason they have always slept through the night, since about 12 weeks, but I am well rested and so are they. My friend brought a breast fed baby over the other week who is exactly the same age and because he still wakes at night for feeds, he seemed to permanently tired and grumpy. My two are happy little souls and I am sure that's because they get such good unbroken sleep. They've also only ever had 2 colds and no other illnesses.

Do what you need to do. There is a lot of martyrdom over baby raising these days. Babies are better off with a happy mum.

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appletarts · 21/08/2013 19:34

This is the first time I have ever agreed with someone to give it up. Try a proper breastfeeding counseller? Or just give up, get on anti-depressants and enjoy your baby. If they badger you about it tell them to do one, you can get away with anything being post natal.

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Saffyz · 21/08/2013 19:36

YANBU

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neunundneunzigluftballons · 21/08/2013 19:45

Sorry I have not read all the replies but lip ties almost always are associated with tongue ties and often undiagnosed posterior ones. That useless bit of information aside you need to look at the overall situation and decide what is best for you. A really good lactation consultant changed my breast feeding future dramatically because well meaning health visitors and lll leaders were out of their depth but you may be beyond that. By the way just to say it is definitely not all or nothing you can consider doing some expressing in combination with formula. Whatever you do you are a hero in my eyes.

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PetiteRaleuse · 21/08/2013 19:46

Another voice to say yanbu. Stop, use formula. You might need some time to find the right one but feeding your baby should NOT be stressful. And shame on the HCPs for making it so. I am pro bf in principle but hated doing it, and would never have got to 10weeks, expressing or otherwise. Give yourself a very well earned break.

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Nora2012 · 21/08/2013 19:49

I agree with the earlier post about the nipple shields, this was a life saver for me. DD lost a lot of weight very early on and I was having to feed on and off every hour and it was so painful. I was in tears every time but getting pressure as you are to not switch to formula. My mum brought the nipple shields and I cried with relief using them, there's information online saying it should be a temp fix only as they may lead to a reduced intake of milk but I personally don't believe this to be true. And DD started gaining weight. Wimple should be helping and encouraging you to do whatever you feel is right not making you feel guilty for moving on.
You sound like you've done and amazing job so far, so just do whatever makes you and your baby happy. Enjoying your time together is the most important thing and this certainly doesn't sound any fun for you all! Screw everyone else and do not feel guilty for a second!

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pomdereplay · 21/08/2013 19:56

If you want to stop, do. You've given your baby a great start with your breast milk at great personal sacrifice, so congratulations -- you really should be proud of that.

However, if you want to keep breastfeeding then consider speaking to an international board-certified lactation consultant. I had an even shakier start than you report (could write pages upon pages on it), but the IBCLC was helpful and they also are qualified to snip tongue and lip ties -- though you'll likely have to pay. For what it's worth I am now still nursing my 18-month old DD and it's actually helped my own severe PND and PTSD.

It's all a very personal journey though, I wish you all the best with yours. Flowers

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JADS · 21/08/2013 19:57

Op. You are amazing! I did something similar with ds but expressed for 6 months in the end. The weird stuff I did makes me laugh now, but at the time I tried everything. I spent hours browsing odd American sites for tips and tricks. I think I went a bit bonkers and dh agrees.

Ds had a tongue tie which was divided at 4 weeks and a lip tie. I am pretty sure the lip tie was the issue.

Move onto formula and don't look back, you will feel better. You haven't failed and you aren't giving up.

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MiddleAgeMiddleEngland · 21/08/2013 20:02

Sorry, haven't got time to read the whole thread just yet, but it sounds as though you have been terribly treated. Please don't feel guilty if you ff, it's not the end of the world.

Only anectodal, I know, but I totally "failed" at bf, DD1 bf for 2 days, DD2 never did (and was about to be taken into intensive care to be put on a drip). Both are now healthy teenagers, have had a total of 5 days off school with illness since Reception, and the one who never bf is training for her first marathon.

If anyone criticises you for ff, do try to stay strong, it's what works best for you, and you'll feel a lot less stressed.

Good luck.

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theboutiquemummy · 21/08/2013 20:03

I just want to give you a huge hug I could have written your post its such an awful feeling and to make it worse LO was a very hungry baby so wanted to feed every two hours

There is medication you can get from the gp to encourage lactation

In the end I combination fed until LO actively refused to bf any more

Do what's right for you and your baby and if anyone tells you otherwise bugger them

Please see if there's anyone you can talk to re your PND

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