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Postnatal health

Breastfeeding vs sanity: which best for baby?

15 replies

Sleeplessinnorthlondon · 29/08/2015 16:36

Hello - I've been diagnosed with prenatal anxiety and as being at high risk for pnd. The gp has been fantastic and helped me start thinking about plans for after birth. I am very keen to breastfeed but also want to be generally as able to love and support my baby as possible and the gp has said that the dosage of medication I may need to do this would possibly prohibit breastfeeding. This is all very theoretical at present but wanted your views on this from anyone who has been in the same boat. My plan is to start breastfeeding and see how I go without drugs for as many weeks as I can, also including some formula so the baby is used to it, then if I'm not able to cope start the ads and switch to formula. I know you can breastfeed on some ads but as they take a while to kick in and have at points been suicidal would be combining with diazepam which you can't breastfeed on. My gp is being fantastic and says breastfeeding whilst ideal not the be all and and all and some women just can't for whatever reason. What do you think about the plan? Selfish or sensible? Thank you :) xxx

OP posts:
PotteringAlong · 29/08/2015 16:38

Sensible. Nothing selfish about a mother who's around to love and care for and cherish their baby.

PotteringAlong · 29/08/2015 16:40

The bottom number is the drugs and Breastfeeding helpline. It's staffed by specialist Pharmacists. It might be worth giving them a call.

BreeVDKamp · 29/08/2015 16:41

Definitely sensible!! Give it a bash if you want to but you don't need a reason not to breastfeed anyway.

Good luck! Flowers

FrancesOldhamKelseyRIP · 29/08/2015 16:45

Sounds perfectly reasonable. High risk of PND doesn't make it inevitable. You may find bf more relaxing and easy than ff, or vice versa. See whether bf is working for you and how your mood is, and take it from there.

Whatever happens, line up as much post natal help as possible, be kind to yourself and very best of luck.

ManeEvent · 29/08/2015 16:46

Hello Sleepless, I was also diagnosed with prenatal anxiety and the consultant told me I was in the highest possible risk category for PND (it was my sixth pregnancy, with five losses before hand, which also increases risk of PND.

Obviously the baby needs its Mummy more than any of the added benefits of breastfeeding, and I would take that as my base position and see any breast milk that the baby got as a happy bonus, but not necessary iyswim

FWIW when the baby was born I actually did better mentally than anyone could have forseen and did not need any AD's

The thing that helped me most was some understanding counselling that I started in pregnancy and continued after the baby was born.

It felt like an insurmountable effort to get the baby out and about on public transport so early after the birth, but having a safe space and knowing that appointment was there made such a big difference to me, and I had got used to the counsellor and the journey before the baby, so had already done some groundwork.

Have you been offered any support like this?

Guessing from your username it might help to have a local recommendation- I went to CITY PREGNANCY (can google them) who offer free of charge counselling to women in our situation. You can self refer to them if you want.

Good luck with your pregnancy x

Lweji · 29/08/2015 16:53

Sanity wins big time. And I'm all for breastfeeding in general.
Your baby needs a healthy mum more than any breast milk.

Sleeplessinnorthlondon · 29/08/2015 16:58

This is so helpful!! Thank you!! am having counselling, it's helpful but only to a point unfortunately as although the techniques are good and the counsellor kind as the anxiety has got worse I've felt I've needed more. ManeEvent you sound like a hero!! Xxx

OP posts:
quesadillas6 · 29/08/2015 17:08

Sanity wins every time. I'm currently having a similar dilemma, but for different reasons. Im planning to start breastfeeding and see how I go. Managed six months last time, but fully expecting to give up sooner this time. And I'm ok with that.

Good luck with it all.

Gileswithachainsaw · 29/08/2015 17:13

sanity definitely.

A kid won't remember being breast or bottle fed. but they will remember mummy being sick or crying all the time.

you're no use to your baby if your in a state Flowers

AnotherTimeMaybe · 29/08/2015 18:06

Bf sometimes releases hormones that help us relax. Try it and see how it goes, but nothing in the world beats sanity!!!
Also because some doctors have no clue as to if a drug should or not be taken while bf, check out here
Put the drug name and it should guide you

Good luckFlowers

ManeEvent · 29/08/2015 18:18

Oh just thought, the other thing that helped me was a list of points from the consultant which was more a sort of primer from an older mum than anything medical. (she'd been with me through 4 pg's so she was slightly overinvested Grin

It said things like 'no overnight visitors to stay after baby, ban any visits for first few days if you want, limit visits after this to 30 mins, you are allowed to eat ready meals, get DH to keep the inlaws on message so you only have to deal with your family etc etc In essence things to keep the stress down so I was only dealing with baby.

yy to previous posters about checking meds with experts, everyone medical without very specialist knowledge veers on the side of caution and tells you you can't take anything, I had a ten minute discussion in boots about whether they could sell me aspirin when BF even though I kept telling them it was for DH Confused so a knowledgeable expert is really useful

addictedtosugar · 29/08/2015 18:28

Sanity wins. Happy mummy stands a chance of happy baby. Miserable mummy will be awful.

But yes, yes, yes to breastfeeding network drugs helpline

Setraline and bf both mine.

Sleeplessinnorthlondon · 31/08/2015 09:45

Thanks so much to all of you for all your help - helplines excellent and mane event would love to see that primer if possible! Thanks everyone for all your support xxxx

OP posts:
Bogburglar99 · 31/08/2015 09:56

Absolutely sanity and I say that as someone who works in public health.

Across a population if you have high rates of breastfeeding, on average you get better outcomes for some things. The cocktail of factors that makes an individual child thrive and do well are very different in each case. The developmental benefits of having a happy mother who is coping well massively outweigh the benefits of being breastfed. Personally I wouldn't hesitate to ff from the off if that's what you/ the Drs feel you need to do when it comes to it.

My friend wanted to breastfeed but found it extremely physically difficult, plus had PND, and reverted to ff. her little girl at 6 is healthy, beautiful, bonny, highly sociable and working a year above her age at school. I don't doubt having a happier mother contributed to that.

Best of luck.

Skiptonlass · 27/10/2015 11:54

Sanity, hands down!

Breastfeeding is tough. I'm three weeks in and although my latch is ok, I'm knackered and struggling a bit with lack of sleep.

I think with your history my advice would be this:

After delivery, latch them on and get them some colostrum- that's the really good stuff, packed full of antibodies and nutrients. Even if you end up not bf ing, try to give a bit of colostrum. They only need a couple of ml per feed.

It'll take a Few days for your milk to come in. I had a major wobble at day three - hormonal, no milk, shrieking banshee baby, it really was shit. The next day my milk started up and things got better. I'm up and down with it, nights are tough (get your dh to do night changes!) and ds is a little guzzler... I think we might try one formula bottle a day so that begets used to taking a bottle and I get a break. Sleep is VITAL.

Most importantly, don't be dogmatic about it - formula isn't poison and the crucial thing is that you and baby are ok. You might bf just fine. You might struggle a bit. You might love it or you might hate it. It's ok to bf. It's ok to do a mix or breast and formula. It's ok to ff exclusively.

Good luck with the birth, and if you find yourself at 2am with a Velcro baby who appears to be sucking every ounce of fluid from your body, then you have my sympathy! I'm up a lot at 2am feeding.., PM me if you need to!

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