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Infant feeding

Not enjoying breastfeeding

34 replies

AnnieM18 · 04/09/2018 08:34

Hi ladies. I’m not trying to start a discussion about the merits of breastfeeding or debate anyone’s personal choice, I’m just wondering if there are any other mums out there who are breastfeeding but not enjoying it? My LO is nearly 8 weeks and I’ve been ebf since he was born. He’s a big healthy boy so far. He wriggles and squirms a bit when feeding (he gets trapped wind and a little silent reflux at times) but other than that we’ve had no latch issues and no pain. So it should feel easy and wonderful yet I really don’t enjoy it. I feel so guilty for feeling like this as it’s supposed to be a wonderful bonding experience but I keep looking for excuses to put him into formula. He feeds SO often, (within an hour of the end of the last feed a lot of the time), which I know newborns do, that I just find it exhausting and draining and I feel chained to the sofa and like my boobs are constantly out. I also don’t feel that comfortable feeding in public, though I do it. I keep feeding him myself because all the medical professionals say how beneficial it is for a baby’s health. So I juggle my own desire to stop with a feeling of obligation to continue breastfeeding. It’s getting me down. Other than that, I am so happy with my new baby and he’s so content (when he’s not hungry!) so I don’t have PMD Anyone else feeling the same? Or anyone else ft like this and given up? How did you feel afterwards?

OP posts:
funmummy48 · 04/09/2018 08:46

I think that there's a lot of misinformation about breastfeeding. There's an expectation that it will be easy, automatic, stress free and give you a big whooshy feeling. In fact, it can be hard work, takes a bit of practice and can be demanding. Be kind to yourself. If you can carry on, do but don't feel you're failing if you decide to move over to bottle feeding. You've given your baby a really good start. X

coffeeforone · 04/09/2018 08:58

What @funmummy48 said!

I felt similar to you OP (but I'd say I 'hated' bf, rather than 'didn't enjoy') - stopped after 6 weeks and never looked back. No guilt at all. I'm expecting DC2 and will switch so much earlier if I feel the same this time round.

Couldyoupossiblybeabitquieter · 04/09/2018 09:01

I remember having a conversation with half a dozen other mums at a postnatal yoga class - everyone said that they wished they'd been warned how painful, boring and stressful breastfeeding can be. I should add that everyone in the group was very pro-breastfeeding and none of us were sorry that we'd done it. We just agreed that it would have been a less lonely and isolating experience if we'd gone into it better informed about the possible roadbumps. Instead, we were all sitting in our own little bubbles for the first 4-6 months, thinking that we were the only breastfeeding mums in the world who weren't finding it the sweetest experience of our life.

hlr1987 · 04/09/2018 09:12

I dislike it a lot. Weaning onto solid food and just doing night feeds has helped. I mostly do it because I should, because there are times when it's easier than FF or solids and because it's hard to justify stopping without sounding like I'm petulant to my DH. Sometimes it's nice, mostly I feel like a cow.

Babdoc · 04/09/2018 09:14

I wouldn’t get too hung up on the health benefits of breast v bottle, OP. The pre baby boomer generation were mostly bottle fed, and are the longest lived and healthiest generation in history!
Your baby will not be deprived or poisoned if you formula feed him.
Feeding should be enjoyable for you both, and it clearly isn’t for you. I’d switch to bottle before you become resentful of your baby. It honestly doesn’t matter long term.
As a doctor, I’d always support a mother’s right to choose whichever method she is happy with.

PasstheStarmix · 04/09/2018 09:15

Have you considered mixed feeding? I breastfed for six months and couldn’t get ds to accept a bottle as if left it too long which was part of the reason it went on for so long (that’s and guilt for stopping.)

PasstheStarmix · 04/09/2018 09:15


MissKittyFantastico84 · 04/09/2018 09:20

I HATED those first few weeks - my baby fed all the time, sometimes for 10 hours a day. I too got angry at how often I was sat around with my boobs out - it feels undignified and ugly. BUT i am one of those who stuck with it and it did get infinitely better - to the point where, months down the line, I actually enjoyed BFing. I would not have believed it at the time, but it does get easier, even though that's what everyone says.

However, if you hate it and it is making you miserable, stop and never look back. Fed is best. Formula is food, and absolutely fine. Best of luck to you. x

laurG · 04/09/2018 09:32

I agree with the other poster. Do what is right for you. No one should judge. I found breastfeeding extremely hard. I really felt misinformed about the whole one told me that a newborn would feed 24/7. No one told me about cluster feeds, latching issues or the fact that half the time the baby use me asa dummy rather than feed. The shape of my boobs also Meant
could only really get one position to work. This meant being surrounded by piles of cushions/props. Extremely hot and uncomfortable. What didn’t help was lack of sympathy from health visitor/lactation advisor. Both told me that all the things I could hard were simply normal and I just had to get on with it. They may be normal but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t hard or that I’m weak for struggling.

Some people cope better than me but I just couldn’t handle it. I dreaded every feed and think it made me bond less well with my son. So I quit at 4 weeks and started expressing. Gets 40% breast milk rest is formula. It works for me.i feel so much better.

It is your call but honestly don’t feel like you should keep ploughing on just because everyone else says you should. I felt like I was missing out in enjoying my newborn because I hated the feeding so much. It stressed both of us out. I cried a lot, struggled with feelings of failure but now I know I did the right thing.

Some people can deal with

AnnieM18 · 04/09/2018 09:58

Thank you for that. I appreciate your opinion. That’s true about the baby Boom generation, I hadn’t thought of that. And you’re right, I don’t want to start resenting my son and sometimes I do a tiny bit even though I love him dearly and think he’s amazing. X

OP posts:
AnnieM18 · 04/09/2018 10:06

Thank you all for your replies. I already feel so much better and like I have a choice. Believe it or not I haven’t really felt like I do. My husband would support any decision but Like you, LaurG, a health visitor told me we’re mammals and we’re supposed to be attached to our babies 24/7 feeding and to basically get on with it. Not helpful and made me feel awful for struggling.
Babdoc, you have made me feel better about my right to choose as well. I almost feel like I haven’t had a choice and “should” bf.

I think all of your replies have helped give me the courage to try formula to see how it goes, without as much guilt!
Thanks ladies!!

OP posts:
Happyandshiney · 04/09/2018 10:11

I breastfed my twins for 18 months, the first 12 weeks were very hard and I absolutely wouldn’t have said I enjoyed it.

After that though we all finally got the hang of it and it was much, much easier and I did come to enjoy it.

It does get easier the longer you do it.

SnuggyBuggy · 04/09/2018 12:00

I also really underestimated how much time you spend breastfeeding. I don't hate it in itself but it's kind of like how most people enjoy a good shag but few would enjoy being compelled to have sex for hours on end day after day.

NotSoThinLizzy · 04/09/2018 12:03

Im still breastfeeding a 11 month old and I've hated every minute but he wouldn't take a bottle of anything so I was stuck. Even trying to wean him now is a nightmare. I know how you feel

ApolloandDaphne · 04/09/2018 12:06

I hated it and did it for less time with each of my DC. It made me feel really low and blue as i was feeding. I was much happier once i was bottle feeding.

Fireballfriends · 04/09/2018 12:21

OP I felt like you. It's really hard, the first 3 months in particular. However I found that feeds got progressively shorter and less frequent and it was so much more manageable - I'm talking 5-10 mins maybe 4 times a day.

I'd recommend mixed feeding and see how you feel. That way, when the feeding settles down a bit you can either give up the formula if it's a faff or give up the breastfeeding if that feels better. Or continue both.

Good luck.

NonJeNeRegretteRien · 04/09/2018 12:37

Yup I absolutely HATED the first few weeks of breastfeeding. HATED them.

mayhew · 04/09/2018 12:44

I found feeds got much quicker on average after the 2 month mark. My body and the baby got much more efficient. I also used the time to read or listen to the radio. Which was nice.

AnnieM18 · 04/09/2018 16:03

NotSoThinLizzy I feel sorry for you if you Don’t have the choice and hate it.
I have him a bottle this afternoon and it felt great. So liberating! It was easier than feeding him myself and he loved it! I might continue to do that and try to mix feed for a while. If breastfeeding gets easier I’ll drop the bottle or if I find bottles easier, I’ll stop feeding.
It’s SO good to know other mums feel the same. Thanks so much all of you . I thought there was something wrong with me that I didn’t like bf!!

OP posts:
AnnieM18 · 04/09/2018 16:11

NotSoThinLizzy I feel sorry for you if you Don’t have the choice and hate it.
I have him a bottle this afternoon and it felt great. So liberating! It was easier than feeding him myself and he loved it! I might continue to do that and try to mix feed for a while. If breastfeeding gets easier I’ll drop the bottle or if I find bottles easier, I’ll stop feeding.
It’s SO good to know other mums feel the same. Thanks so much all of you . I thought there was something wrong with me that I didn’t like bf!!

OP posts:
Sparrowlegs248 · 04/09/2018 16:16

Totally understand OP. I too had no problems by, it came easy, no pain or issues really but Jesus it was relentless!! BUT it did get better, and quickly. Its so much easier (imo) to give a quick bf than a bottle, you can go out without taking stuff with you. Mine both ate well from the start and neither were fussed about daytime feeds from about 12 months. They still fed at night.

A big improvement with my second was introducing a bottle early, my first would never take one. My second had one daily from 5 days old. Made a world of difference.

EssentialHummus · 04/09/2018 16:50

I’ve been there OP! For me the turning point after a proper crisis at eight weeks, was introducing a bottle of formula for the 10pm feed - my nipples got a break, I slept while DH fed. From there it all got easier. But I’ll echo what many people say and you probably won’t believe - DD is 11 months now and I’d have to concentrate really hard to remember which of us fed what.

BertrandRussell · 04/09/2018 16:57

You should do whatever makes you happiest. But as an aside-I don't get the "sitting around with your boobs out" reference. At least when you're past the first difficult bit. One boob at the most, and not very "out" surely?

BigBlueBubble · 04/09/2018 17:02

It’s hard work, uncomfortable and I don’t enjoy it. I’m always on the hook for feeding because nobody else can do it. I haven’t had a break in 7 months. It’s probably ruining my breasts too. I persevere because I’m stubborn and determined to do the best for my child and I’m too lazy to make formula

EssentialHummus · 04/09/2018 17:34

big I’m glad that you’re doing what you feel is right for you, but can you see the effect that the last sentence of your post may have on someone in the OP’s frame of mind?

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