Post # 1
I don’t know how this post will be received, but I feel the need to share how I feel and maybe get some feedback? Hopefully I’m not alone…
My son was born on Thanksgiving after a long day of labor that resulted in a c-section. While in the hospital, the nurses encouraged me to breastfeed. I felt like it was very stressful because I couldn’t tell if he was getting enough to eat or latching properly, etc. I expressed my concerns to one of the nurses and she just told me that it was normal to feel that way. She then explained how I was doing it incorrectly and tried to show me by yanking on my already sore nipple. To me, that wasn’t helpful at all and didn’t comfort or encourage me especially with a crying newborn and bleeding nipples. I obviously know that “breast is best” but I think this is when I started hating breastfeeding. The morning after that, I decided that I would exclusively pump. That way I could make sure my son was getting the right amount and i could see what he was getting. When I told the nurse my decision, I felt very guilted and like she thought I had failed at what I was “supposed” to be doing. I probably read into this, but that’s how I felt at the time. The feeling I got from her was that if I wasn’t feeding him from my breast, there was no way we could really bond. Which I know now is complete bull shit – you can bond in other ways than feeding.
Anyway, I started pumping while still in the hospital and felt much better about the whole situation. I wasn’t getting as much milk as my son wanted, so we supplemented with formula. Fast foward about two weeks, and the situation is still the same. I was pumping 5-6 times a day for 15-20 minutes each session (both breasts at the same time). I never got more than 2 ounces so we always had to supplement with formula. At this point, I was even more frustrated. Not only was I spending a ton of time pumping, but I also had to spend time feeding him. And I still wasn’t getting enough milk to keep him satisfied. I started hating pumping and dreading the times that I had to do it. I starrted to pump less and less. After about 5 weeks, I was completely weaned from pumping and my milk had completely stopped coming in.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to accomplish with this post. On one hand, I’m completely happy with formula feeding because it’s stressfree (since I can make sure I know the exact amount he’s getting) and my husband can help with everything. On the other hand, I still feel pretty guilty about not breastfeeding for longer. I also feel guilty / bad about not enjoying it – I feel like doctors and other mothers just assume that you’re breastfeeding and seem shocked when they hear that I quit just because I didn’t enjoy it (not because of a true problem with it). My husband is supported and keeps telling me that our son got the benefits of breastmilk for a full month before I stopped. I know this is true, but I can’t help feeling like I should have stuck it out for longer for him. At this point, there’s no going back and I am happy (for the most part) with my decision and our situation.
Is anyone else experiencing something similar?
Post # 3
@meggyo: I am not a mother yet but I know that there’s a huge pressure to breast feed and often people can make you feel guilty about it.
I was bottle fed. So was my sister. We’re healthy, don’t have any allergies, etc.
I really think that you need to give yourself a break. If it’s painful and/or uncomfortable for you, or even if you just didn’t want to do it, it’s your body and your decision IMO. I see nothing wrong w. bottle feeding and I resent people trying to make women feel guilty for it.
I don’t plan on breastfeeding. More likely than not, I will have trouble anyway due to the surgery I had (boob reduction). I will probably try it, but I don’t plan on doing it. It’s nobody’s business but my own.
Post # 4
Sorry – another “I’m not a mother” response, but I had two friends recently have babies…once was telling me she has to wear cooling pads b/c her nipples are sore all the time and the other has to use a plastice “nipple” b/c her baby never learned how to “latch on” naturally. And a third who is preggo and, like her first two kids, is planning on just using formula (no breast feeding).
Just wanted to let you know that you aren’t the only one out there who has troubles!!! I think it is pretty normal!
Post # 5
Baby due in April.
I am not planning on breastfeeding for completely selfish reasons.
1) we are planning our wedding for september and i dont want to be sore in my wedding dress or tied up too much during the last stages of planning with having to breastfeed. it means my fiance can help out more
2) we are going on our honeymoon in september and i dont want to spend all my time breastfeeding if we take baby, and if we do decided to leave baby with my parents we are going to have to ween off before then anyway.
All 5 of my cousins have yound children. 4 of them never breastfed, 1 tried but wasnt getting on very well with it. She decided to ween off early and she too thinks the midwives were looking down on her for doing this.
1 of my cousins is a midwife herself, she didnt breastfeed.
Post # 6
@meggyo: You are not alone!!! My baby 4 months old now and I got the hold of pumping and feeding him with bottle both on the same time. It was very difficult on the beginning. And just like you breastfeed exclusively doesnt seem satisfying him for the first couple days in the hospital. And all the nurses does just pushing him to my sore breast and nipples and dont even telling me to supplement with formula. So on the second day he was crying every hour and I called the nurse so they helped me with the latching and I did breastfeed him for 15 – 30 minutes every 2/3 hrs BUT apparently dont have enough milk for him so he still crying. Oh boy I was frustrated. And finally on the day we got home my good friend told me to supplement with formula and that was the first day that my baby could sleep for 4 hrs straight.
I tried and tried at home to breastfeed him exclusively but he just couldnt latch and it doesnt help that I got thrush on the second week. The thrush make my sore nipple feel burning and hurting all the time. So finally by the time the thrush were gone the lactation nurse told me that the hormone that supposedly help making more milk already stabilized so my milk supply just going to be that…
And it was tough to pump and then feed him and then wash all the pump parts and by the time you’re done you have to start all over again. But I just suck it up for the most part and now I just started weaning from pumping. I still pump 3 times a day and I only make 3-4 oz every time while my baby drinking 5-6 oz each feeding and he feeds every 3-4 hrs.
I do feel guilty but really I did my best and you did too. Breastfeed not always work for everyone.
Post # 7
@meggyo: I’m a bit confused by your post. Were you solely pumping the whole time you attempted to breastfeed? Did your LO latch on in that time? My milk didn’t come in until day 5. We supplemented with formula until my milk fully came in and he seemed full. It took a lot to have confidence in my supply before we trusted it as his main source of food. I ask about the pumping because sucking equals letdown and supply. The more the baby sucks from you, the more that you make. It’s supply and demand. I pump right now during the workday, but breastfeed at night with him. He was sick recently and demanded the boob all the time, so my supply shot up to meet his demand. I hate pumping, but love being able to provide for him while I’m at work.
Post # 8
Oh I’m so sorry about your bad experience. The medical community, as a whole & for the most part, are SO ill informed in regards to breastfeeding and tend to cause more harm than good. They give us BAD advice, don’t take into consideration the emotional strain that breastfeeding had (even with easy experiences), and often times are the #1 culprit of moms not “succeeding”.
TBH completely honest, your questioning your supply, feeding quantity, and overwhelmed feeling of demand ARE all normal and MOST moms experience these ALL to atleast some degree. It sucks that those that are supposed to be helping us in this journey don’t know OR convey this properly and it’s US, moms, who get the shotty end.
I didn’t successfully breastfeed my first and it was only through lots of support and CORRECT information that I was able to stick it out this time. Relactation IS still an option if you would like to look into it.
kellymom.com is the very BEST breastfeeding resource I’ve found and if you could get in touch with an IBCLC (internationally board certified lactation consultant) and your local La Leche League you may be able to find the support you’re looking for… even if it is just to find sympathy in your feelings of “failure” and “guilt” (whcih as a mom we do to ourselves alot).
(((hugs))) Breastfeeding is HARD, even harder than natural childbirth… I just wish we moms were told about it so we could prepare ourselves and not be let down when it’s different than what we’ve been conditioned to expect.
Post # 9
I did just want to add some of the “mistakes” made in the information you were given and some misinformation regarding feeding and especially pumping…. Being fully informed after my first experience helped me “move” the blame from myself and helped me feel more confident the next go-round.
1. Nursing is not just about nutrition so babies, especially newborns, are going to need/want to nurse OFTEN aka all the time…
2. The max tummy size of babies is LITTE
Day 1: 5-7 ML or 1/2 tbsp
Day 3: .75-1oz
1 Wk: 1.5-2oz
1 Mth: 2.5-5oz (a baby from 1-6 months doesn’t increase daily intake)
3. Going by babies output is the way to check if they are getting enough, not so much “amount” of intake
Baby needs the same number of dirty & wet dipes as days old until day 4 when they should have 5+ wet & around 3+ dirty (or atleast not seem uncomfortable or constipated)
It can take up to a week for your milk to come in & is NORMAL for a breastfed baby to lose up to 10% of their body weight
4. Pumping is NEVER a good way to meaure supply b/c it doesn’t empty the breast efficiently AND it doesn’t provide the needed hormonal release of a nursing baby to “let down” efficiently and build supply
Pumping is HARD to build a supply and while it has been doen successfully it’s the hardest route to take for a successful breastfeeding relationship
5. It’s normal for moms to not love breastfeeding or even like it all the time… When it comes down to it there will be days, even for the successful nurser, that you think another route would be better, those are the days you do it for the benefit of the child and not yourself….. the medical community always portrays breastfeeding as “wonderful”, “natural”, and “easy” which leaves us with unrealistic expextations that can cause emotional turmoil or depression when it doesn’t go like that. Blegh.
Many times the “un”-success of breastfeeding mothers isn’t even “our” fault really but the medically community FAILING US! (hugs) again for your frustration. =/
Post # 10
thanks for all the feedback. it’s definitely nice to know that i’m not alone in this! i also know that i really did as much as i could and (as my husband likes to tell me often), i definitely tried! at the same time, the guilt of knowing how beneficial breast milk can be can be a little overwhelming.
@cascadecherub: yes, i was exclusively pumping from the time i got home from the hospital. i talked to my pediatrician and she explained the supply and demand aspect of breastfeeding. she told me to pump both breasts together and to make sure the length of time was correct (she gave me advice on this). i still found it stressful.
@runsyellowlites: i’m definitely going to check out kellymom.com. i’ve only “stopped” breast feeding for a week or so now, so perhaps i’ll look into relactation as well. at least it’ll be good to know all of my options.
Post # 11
@meggyo: Girrrrlllll DO NOT feel bad for not breastfeeding longer. I tried and hated it as well. Some women are just not for it. I never felt like less of a mom or woman I just couldn’t physically and emoitionally do it for long. My daughter was a formula baby..(:
Post # 12
@meggyo: Knowledge is definitely power! OH and 5-6 times a day pumping is SOOO not enough… you have to pump EVERY 2 hours around the clock to establish your supply since you aren’t getting the same hormone release to “lay” prolactin triggers.
So that’s another piece of “bad” advice given.
Many moms don’t realize that other than “breast is best” Pediatricians, Obgyns, and Nurses don’t have really any formal training in breastfeeding, it’s mechanics, and troubleshooting… even the LC’s that are nurses generally only have a few hours of continuing education credit on the matter. Pfft.
Check out this site to see you can find an IBCLC in your area… these women KNOW the in’s and out’s of breastfeeding and are going to be your best bet on accurate information and skilled help!
Post # 13
if i’m being completely honest too, i was never really THAT into the idea of breastfeeding from the very beginning too. so while the knowledge and education could have been better from the nurses, i’m not sure it would have made a huge difference.
as i was just reading the websites about relaction, i realized i really have no desire to start it back up. i’m actually relieved to be feeding him formula.
Post # 14
Not a mom yet either, but I wanted to say
ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!
Post # 15
@meggyo: I’m sorry that your experience with breast feeding was so unpleasant. I’m not a mom yet but I am a pregnant with my first baby and do plan to breastfeed. I think that a lot of women do become discouraged and worry that their little ones aren’t getting enough milk. You however should not feel bad or guilty for choosing to switch to formula, since this is what works for you. Breast may be best, but today’s formula is so well made that babies do get the nutrients they need. I feel from your story that you were not properly supported by the professionals that could have made this a more pleasant, albeit challenging, experience for you. As a nurse, I know how impatient some other nurses can be with patients, you deserved better from your care providers. I hope you can become comfortable with your decision, and know that you made the right choices for you and your family. Wishing you all the best 🙂
Post # 16
@meggyo: I wouldn’t feel any kind of pressue to start breastfeeding again! My mom didn’t breastfeed my brother or me, and we will both didn’t want for love and affection and are completely healthy (save my allergies, which are genetic in my family!)
I worked in nurseries and preschools throughout college and I’m going back to school to open my own day care, and many, many women bottle feed through children, because it’s their CHOICE. I think a lot of the information about breastfeeding in this thread comes from a good place, but I could tell by your initial post, that you have no interest in it, and that’s fine!
I also have no plans to breastfeed my future children, save for maybe the first few days out of the hospital. I have a few medications that I need to take that I can’t if I breastfeed and I don’t feel like putting myself through that.