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AIBU to give up breastfeeding?
252

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.

OP's posts:
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pianodoodle · 21/08/2013 20:04

I only expressed to have some back-up for emergencies I couldn't have done it all the time I don't blame you!

Might be worth a try if she sucks the bottle after you squeeze a few drops could you try and squeeze a bit from a boob just in case she decides to go for it? Might be a long shot but you never know! Obviously without the head forcing and other people fussing around you etc... that was awful. Just have a cuddle and let her decide!

You've done amazingly well to go this long with the expressing I wouldn't worry about switching to formula if you need to!

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pianodoodle · 21/08/2013 20:06

P.S hope someone is treating for your PND I had it too x

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Rufus43 · 21/08/2013 20:08

Well done for getting to 10 weeks. You need to do the best for both of you and that by the sounds of things is move to formula!

Well done again!

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MrsSpencerReid · 21/08/2013 20:09

I haven't read every reply but wanted to share my thoughts, DS was prem, never latched once and I expressed exclusively till he was 8w, I couldn't carry in any longer, moved him to formula and despite dealing with a milk allergy, a month later we were both much happier, I truly believe my stubborn expressing greatly contributed to my pnd and had I swapped him to formula once it became clear he wouldn't latch I think I would have enjoyed him so much more, in fact my biggest regret is that I kept expressing for so long, DS is now a happy healthy 16m little monster, ALL his friends were ebf and you cannot tell the difference, he is no sicker or developmentally begins or whatever other crap people have scared you with, at the end of the day baby will benefit more from a happier mum drinking formula than having a stressed and sad mum drinking breast milk, at the end of the day you have to be happy with the decision you make but in your shoes I'd throw the pump out the window. You have done amazingly to get this far and you are a brill mum Thanks

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BramshawHill · 21/08/2013 20:11

Switch to formula and start enjoying your baby! Young babies aren't meant to be trials you just have to get through, take away your biggest obstacle (breastfeeding) and you can relax and enjoy all the cuddles, little smiles and general sheer loveliness, you want to look back and remember all that, not the pain and stress and crying. Good luck!

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lucybrad · 21/08/2013 20:14

I agree with above - stop beating yourself up, or worrying that the baby will be sickly because of formula. You have done so well getting to where you are - and a happy mummy is far more beneficial. I hate all this pressure mums are under to breast feed - I know its best in an ideal world, but not many of us live in that world - you do the best you can. Well done!!!!

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RoseLavenderBlue · 21/08/2013 20:18

I so empathise with your situation OP, and in fact I read this thread while expressing for my 3 weeks old DS, so felt I had to add my reply. You have done brilliantly but it's time to get onto the formula, give yourself a break and enjoy your baby, and your DH too, as it's not easy for the dads either.

I bf initially in hospital but only with the aid of midwives/health care assistants literally forcing DS's mouth onto my boob. I had had a C-section with complications and lost 2 litres of blood so my iron was low and was weak. I just couldn't get him to latch by myself and my nipples were so sore I was just in tears at every feed. He was cup fed formula in hospital but on the way home, DH and I went to buy some bottles! All the HCP's I encountered were supportive and encouraging but didn't judge or boss when I said I was feeding him mainly formula, sorry to hear you have been given a hard time.

It's taken me until now really to accept the situation, but it's hard especially when DS is hungry and turns his face to my boob with an open mouth when I am about to bottle feed him. But I feel I need to be in the best possible condition, mentally and physically in order to look after him properly and I was in no fit state when tired and crying. We've got into more of a routine now and DH can share the feeding.

Just wanted you to know you're not alone and it's really helped me as well, to see so many supportive comments about the situation. Bf does not work every time, and you have to what suits you and your baby regardless of what anyone else thinks. All the best!

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thegraduand · 21/08/2013 20:19

If you baby is struggling with reflux talk to someone about prescription formula. We ended up on Enfamil AR with DD as well as Ranitadine and Domperidone, the Enfamil was amazing we could see the difference from the first bottle. There was no screaming during the feed, less screaming afterwards, it was life changing for all three of us. It had advantages, being on prescription meant we had free formula, but you had to be organised, there was no running out and popping to Tesco at 10pm. But if you are going to go formula (and make whatever decision makes you happy) definitely talk to a GP or pead about it.

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5amisnotmorning · 21/08/2013 20:27

I am still breastfeeding my DD who is now over 2. She was ebf for the first 6 months and has been ill way more than her bottle fed friends!

I am also pregnant with DC2 and if all goes well, will be CHOOSING to mix feed from as early as possible to allow DH to be able to help more and give myself a break.

You are amazing to have done this so far. My friend with PND was able to describe how she always felt people were judging her choices in the early days and how she felt like she was letting her DS down. It might be a symptom of the PND so please listen to the unanimous mumsnetters here.

Oh and if the dr thinks formula will make the reflux worse then check they don't think it's caused by cows milk protein intolerance as they will need to prescribe the dairy free formula.

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breatheslowly · 21/08/2013 20:38

If it is any help the haranguing you are getting from HCP will inevitably stop if you stop BF as there isn't really much they can say or do once you have stopped. I had a difficult time after having DD and stopped trying to BF after 5 days. My GP said "fair enough, don't worry about it" and the HV wasn't bothered either. I also have a pediatrician friend who said that she sees mothers tying themselves in knots trying to BF and she wishes she could say "just FF, it's fine", but obviously her hands are tied by the NHS guidance. HCP are not all militantly pro-BF and you may have just been unlucky in the ones you have met.

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Paintingrainbowskies · 21/08/2013 20:46

YANBU you've given your baby a great start, well done.

If you do want to continue keep seeing different GPs, seek advice from An independent lactation consultant and possibly try fenugreek for the low supply.

I saw 5 different GPs before a GP who specialised in children finally diagnosed cows milk intolerance. Once I had specialist support from the hospital things were much better.

Fenugreek did wonders for my supply.

I mainly exclusively expressed for 14 months, really hard work and sometimes I'm not sure how I did it.

My advice is to set another little goal, sometimes my goal would just be to get through the next pump. Twelve weeks might be a good goal to get to.

However, having said that if you are ready then start to wind down.

Enjoy your baby x

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DancingLady · 21/08/2013 20:52

YANBU. Just stop. If you hate it, if it's making you miserable and your baby unhappy, stop. Formula isn't the devil's work, it's just formula. Your baby will be fine and you may feel a lot better.

I had a nightmare BFing. Everyone gave me advice on increasing my supply, baby latching on etc... what NO ONE did was just give me permission to stop.

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Sunnysummer · 21/08/2013 20:58

You poor thing! Bfing is great if it works, but you have given it a huge try and covered the key 6 weeks, it sounds like you need a break Confused.People who've never exclusively pumped don't always understand the exhaustion of having to not only pump but then to handle the bottles and the feeding. it takes up so much time, and your pain must make it even worse.

The benefits of a rested and happy mother will far outweigh any downsides of stopping bf, hope the next stage is a much happier one for you!

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lotsofcheese · 21/08/2013 20:59

Caramac, I posted earlier but didn't have time to reply properly.

My dd was born at 35+6, she couldn't latch & was given formula by NG tube in scbu. Like you, I expressed night & day, hoping she would get the hang of it. I had lots of support from scbu & midwives, plus specialist Breastfeeding advisors.

We spent a month faffing ability with nipple shields, biological nursing, trying to get her to latch. She lost nearly 10% of her body weight & was at the point of being re admitted for tube feeding. My right boob gave up the ghost with expressing. I was putting myself under immense pressure. I couldn't let it go. It was soul-destroying.

I finally admitted defeat after a month. It was heartbreaking, but something had to give, and it wasn't going to be my sanity.

Please be kind to yourself & enjoy your baby.

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IfYouLeaveMeNow · 21/08/2013 21:04

Your body, your baby, your choice xx

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Andcake · 21/08/2013 21:06

Yanbu - congratulations on your baby. My ds lost weight after birth and refused to bf (maybe undiagnosed tongue tie) re hospitalised and tube fed.
I expressed every feed for about 3 months it was hell. I felt so guilty - hated bottle feeding even though it was expressed milk in public due to the feeling of going judged (yes it happens the other way round to).

Rather than giving up expressing fully I reduced it to two sessions a day (which produced 50% of his milk) one first thing another about 10 pm. The rest was ff. it gave me my day and time with baby back -usurped some of my guilt as I read somewhere that just 50 mls of bm a day gives the health benefits.
So my ds had bm for 6 mo when I stopped. He is now over a year and it was such hard work I really wish I'd just told myself it was ok to not pump and enjoy my baby.
I should have been cuddling my baby not pumping!

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glendatheveryexcitedwitch · 21/08/2013 21:10

Hugs xx

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Passmethecrisps · 21/08/2013 21:10

Heavens above. You have had a great deal of support spin am not sure if I am adding anything but I wondered if my own experience might help at all.

My DD simply wouldn't latch initially - screamed and screamed until she went blue. She was cup fed and syringe fed then bottle fed. The midwives were lovely but clueless about how to help. Grabbing baby and my boob and ramming the two together seemed to be the extent of it. I expressed for just two weeks and I genuinely felt it was ruining me. Two weeks of formula and my dd was hospitalised for reflux. HOWEVER, this could have been spotted at any time - no one knew that this is what was wrong with her and the formula caused constipation which I reported at least 5 times to the HV. It could have been avoided.

She is now on nutramigen and has been on domperidone, ranitidine and is now on omeprazole. It is entirely manageable and once she went on the right formula she was like a new baby.

I do still feel teary when I think about not being able to BF but when I look at her and think of what she went through I know it was right to stop.

I am appalled you have been made to feel this way. One positive from my experience was how united and supportive every medical person was - many were amazed I made it to two weeks.

You have given your baby an amazing start. Give yourself a rest.

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Devilforasideboard · 21/08/2013 21:15

I stopped after 6 weeks of expressing (DS never latched properly) but still have a wee 5-15 minute bf every day which gives him some of the good stuff (google 'teaspoon of breast milk' to see how much benefit there is in even a tiny bit of the stuff) and a nice bit of chill time for us both. Funnily enough without the pressure he latches on without a problem now. Still falls asleep after a few minutes though. Be kind to yourself whatever you decide.

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SmallFarAway · 21/08/2013 21:18

A unanimous AIBU? Is this a first? Grin

OP, not that you need the validation of a bunch of random strangers on t'internet but I do hope the unanimous cry of YANBU helps you to make your peace with the decision to switch to formula.

I had to give up BFing before I had planned to and I was initially riddled with guilt but I look now at my robust, healthy, happy toddler and realise tha it doesn't matter a damn how she was fed. It only matters that she was fed.

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pommedechocolat · 21/08/2013 21:20

Ff.

Be kind to yourself.

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CheckpointCharlie · 21/08/2013 21:21

Oh you poor things and Grin at your DH falling asleep in the stationery cupboard!

Stop.

And go and see someone about helping you with your PND. I had undiagnosed PND for three years and believe me that has affected my bond with my dd way more than bottle feeding/ breast feeds ever could.


You said you were expressing every half hour I think. Take the pressure off, leave your boob to refill for longer and then do one express every three hours or so, that might help and you could maybe get one feed a day for your baby if you wanted to try and carry on a bit? not an expert so that might not work



If I was with you now I would give you a massive one of these (((((hug))))) and one of these Wine

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DontAskIDontKnow · 21/08/2013 21:24

Lip tie doesn't affect breast feeding? Who told you that? I would like to punch them! My nipples nearly fell off in the first 6 weeks of breast feeding because of my dd's lip tie. I'm sure her colic was partly due to the bad latch.

Luckily we didn't have to deal with reflux and she was always keen to feed, so as she got bigger and I toughened up things improved and we managed to keep going.

A helpful GP refused to look at getting the lip tie cut (diagnosed by a lactation consultant) and told me that I could just express instead. I knew that I wouldn't be able to express long-term. It's too much hard work when you've got so many other things to do when looking after a baby.

It sounds like the best thing for both of you would be to either switch to formula, or maybe just express for one feed. Tricky when your supply is going a bit, but that way you can tell the judgemental arseholes that your baby is still benefitting from getting your antibodies.

Don't forget that most people don't get past the first 6 weeks breast feeding, so keeping going for 10 weeks is significant.

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NamelessMcNally · 21/08/2013 21:32

Wow. You are so tenacious. I have a friend who managed what you are doing for 4 weeks and she was utterly impressive. Now is the time to let it go and try to accept that your baby needs a well mummy and daddy more than breath milk.

If the health care professionals tell you to keep trying tell than to fuck off and try to improve there bf stats elsewhere.

If the GP tells you that they won't give you enfamil then tell them you won't leave your office until they do.

Then insist on an urgent CBT referral for your PND.

Bring the sheer bloody mindedness that has brought you through the last 10 weeks to bear on getting the right food for YOUR baby and the right support for you.

I am happy to lead the MN flash mob who will tell all who oppose you to fuck off. You would be U to keep BF.

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queenofthepirates · 21/08/2013 21:40

My brother was only formula fed because he was a bit hapless and wouldn't latch on. He's got a doctorate in Physics so hey hoo.... never did him any damage.

I, on the other hand, was BF and am now a single mum Grin.

Life is funny like that but you have done your bit.

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