(Closed) Considering quitting breastfeeding. Desperate for advice!

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 16
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Lots of good advice here. 

First: don’t give up if you don’t want to.

Second: Give up if you want to.

I had similar feelings (and PPD) and I gave up at 5 weeks. I agonized with the decision, but I don’t regret it one bit; I was a much better mom when I quit. I have a healthy, brilliant toddler now.

Post # 17
Member
833 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I had to stop when my babies were a few weeks old bc I had several infections and was on too much medication that I couldnt breastfeed on. The Dr said I could pump and dump my milk for several weeks or just stop. I was exhausted so I just stopped. I have regretted that decision every single day since. Yes my life is easier with formula but I wish I was giving my twins breastmilk. They both have had various digestive issues and I look at some of these formulas with gmos and corn syrup and that’s the only option if they need dairy free and soy free. I would never judge someone for how they feed their baby, just telling you my experience with how much I regret stopping!

Post # 18
Member
7265 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Diclaimer : Also not a mom, currently TTC.

I’m basically the last of my group to have kids, and my friends are all over the map as to how they fed their kids. My BFF formula fed both her kids. BFing was stressful and she had the baby blues….dealing with that while trying to establish BFing was just not healthy for her mentally. Her children are both normal, healthy, well-adjusted children.

Meanwhile most of my other friends do currently Boyfriend or Best Friend, and were blessed to have no problems.

That being said I have one friend who exclusively pumped. Her baby was in the NICU for two weeks after birth, and coming home she starting out BFing but struggled a lot. Just being there and talking through it with her I think a few of the problems were more on her (mentally) but her supply was fine so she started pumping. She’s been successfully pumping and using a paci, and her daughter just turned 1.

My SIL just had her first baby and is going through something similar to you. Her supply is good, latch is great, baby falls asleep while eating. She too is not pumping or using a paci because her midwife says she shouldn’t. Honestly? I think a huge part of being a mom is doing what is best for YOU and your baby. She’s so stuck on doing everything *exactly* the way her midwife says it should be done, and it’s really stressing her out.

 

Post # 19
Member
6952 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

My heart goes out to you. In my experience, 2-3 weeks in is when a lot of new mommies go “What the fuck did I do to my life?” Mine happened around two weeks in when I was up, at night, in the dark, by myself- AGAIN- breastfeeding and I looked down at my baby and was like “Okay, I’m over this. It’s not fun anymore and I’m ready to go back to sleep.” 

I don’t have anything new to tell you- breastfeeding is the best option for babies- where possible. But having a healthy mommy is more important. If breastfeeding doesn’t support you in being able to be a healthy mommy, it might be best for you and baby to consider other options.

Also- I had a friend who was trying to avoid using a pacifier with her baby. Around 6 weeks in she was like “This is bullshit” and tried to start using one but by then her son wasn’t interested. It made things much more challenging for her (and made me deeply committed to using one as soon as possible!) I hope you get a good outcome at your next doc appointment and things ease in the next couple/few weeks.

Post # 20
Member
816 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You are at the hardest point of breastfeeding and you are likely hitting a cluster feed.  At that time there were days I was literally nursing ever 20 min.  It was VERY hard … VERY but it does get better if you want to stick with it.  At about 6-8 weeks both of you become good and breastfeeding time also shortens.  Keep in mind that at 3 weeks your baby’s stomach is still very small and because of how digestible breast milk is they feed far more frequently.  If your little one is catching up on weight that will also influence it.  Your little one is forecasting a good jump growth and they do this by suckling nonstop on those days so that when they growth jump your milk supply is already there. A few things though: did they do a weigh in for you lo before and after feeding?  This will make sure if you have enough milk.  During this time make sure you drink tons of water (I was drinking almost 2 liters per day) and you can try eating oatmeal to increase your supply.  If that fails brewers yeast and mothers milk tea will help.  If all fails and you still wish to breastfeed you can be put in domperidone which will boost your supply.

 

I had a very hard breastfeeding struggle: baby with jaundice, tongue tie (did they check for that btw? It’s rarer but can affect and lead to shallow latches), reflux, and eventually low milk supply but after 6-8 weeks it got so much better and I’m glad I stuck though it. But you know if this is the best choice for you and your little one.

Post # 21
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I have a nine month old,  and I almost gave up around the two month mark,  but I am SOOO glad I kept going.  I had an oversupply and fast letdown and my son had reflux.  So basically any time he nursed,  it was a cry festival for both of us. He’d try to stop the fast milk flow with his tongue,  which caused a lot of painful blisters for me and he’d cry after eating because of the GERD.  

Once I figured out how to handle the letdown issues and his reflux got under control,  our breastfeeding relationship has become one of my favorite aspects of our day. 

That being said,  if breastfeeding is not for you,  there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula. 

Post # 22
Member
3027 posts
Sugar bee

Don’t sleep with the baby! Suppose you fall asleep and roll on her.

I know someone who did this and the baby suffocated and died.

Post # 23
Member
7320 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

If I were you, I’d give it a little while longer to see if it gets easier/better. You are still very early on, and it IS hard. But the last thing you want is to look back with regret and wish you had stuck it out for a few months to see if you could make it work. In hindsight (when you aren’t exhausted and sleep deprived and in pain), it always seems like such a short time, and I know I regretted not try to Boyfriend or Best Friend my first son longer.

That said, PPs are right that there is nothing wrong with formula feeding if breastfeeding isn’t working out. I Boyfriend or Best Friend my second son for nine months, and it STILL felt like the sun came out the day I decided to quit. I was so relieved to give myself permission to be done. It wasn’t horrible, but I did not enjoy it, either. I did it for him, not for me. Mom’s health is important, and that means emotional health as well as physical. If you are dreading waking up or feel like you are in a tunnel with no light at the end, then stop and DO NOT FEEL BAD. Some women are better mums when they are not absorbed in trying to Boyfriend or Best Friend, and there is no shame in that. 

Post # 24
Member
3109 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

I think you might regret giving up now, because at 3 weeks everything is so hard still. The cluster feeding will stop and your baby will develop more of a routine, that should happen around 6 weeks. I’m 10 weeks in and honestly it has been so hard, we are still having major latch issues, I have a low supply, I’m almost always experiencing pain but we are continuing to work on things and I keep setting small goals for myself to continue pushing toward.

Another thing is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, some breast milk is better than none so if it’s simply too much for you, you can supplement with formula or pump and bottle feed when needed, or use a pacifier for comfort. If possible I would suggest holding off until your supply is regulated at around 6 weeks, I wasn’t able to wait that long and I do regret it because I believe it affected my supply, but the pain was too great for me so I ended up pumping a lot for a while, during the early days. Now I breastfeed the majority of the time and top up with about 4-6 oz of formula per day, when LO has taken both breasts and still cries for more, we supplement, and we use a pacifier when I’m too sore to let her comfort nurse any longer. It’s not perfect but it’s what we’ve had to do to keep our sanity. I hope that maybe one day I can exclusively breastfeed her if we can get the latch and supply issues under control. 

In the end you have to consider all things but just do your best and know that it will get better. 

Post # 25
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Hug for you! 

My babe is a little over a week and I am shocked that the first time I heard of cluster feeding was in the hospital when I couldn’t get him off my tits for 6 hours. Now that we are home it’s so hard to feel like I can’t do anything or go anywhere because I am tethered to this little human. The frustration is normal. I know there’s a light and I know that it will get better. I also love being there for him and know that one day he will test my patience and be mean to me and I will wish for the days when I was all he needed in the world. 

Breast is “best” but so is natural birth. And so is a pregnancy with moderate weight gain. And so is letting labor happen naturally, and having the baby vaginally and blah blah blah. There are no guarantees that any of these things will be what is right for you and your little family. Any decision you make is in the best interest of your baby and your well being. You are a great mom. 

Post # 26
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
HughJazz :  agree with this. Any choice you make is the right choice. In my experience breastfeeding sucked and I hated in the early months, yet I ended up nursing my son for 25 months. However, I’m ttc again and dreading all of the nursing already. For me it did get better around 4 months. Best of luck with your decision! Hugs!

Post # 27
Member
2452 posts
Buzzing bee

We had to start supplementing with formula before we took DS home from the hospital because he lost so much weight. They had us on a regimen of attempting breastfeeding, then feeding him formula with a tube, then pumping to up my supply. it was a nonstop process. Well even with this it took 10 days for my milk to come in. And even then what I had was minimal. 

I kept up the breastfeeding/supplementing/pumping schedule for about 3 weeks and it was hell. I finally gave up on it becuse he refused of latch and I was getting so little by pumping. it was a hard decision to make and there was a lot of guilt involved. but I know it was the right choice for both me and my baby. 

He’s now a happy, healthy seven-month-old and am happy with my decision.

Post # 28
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I have an almost 4 year old; I breast fed up until my little one was 8.5 months. I remember (how could I forget!!!) being extremly tired and frustrateed and depressed at 3 weeks postpartum – but I pushed through it. I started co sleeping – which helped with feeding througout the night – I started eating sesame snaps to boost my calcium, milk supply and energy levels (sooo helpful!) and I also started to carry baby around in a carrier so she was free to feed off me all day long (sigh!). 

Motherhood is hard; breastfeeding is harder. But it is worth it…and bottom line – if you are unhappy, don’t feel guilty with switching to formula. A fed baby is a happy baby…and a happy baby, makes for a happy mumma 🙂 

chin up bee – the sun comes out for everyone… 🙂

Post # 29
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

This is a hard decision to make right now because you’re in the thick of it. It DOES get easier, and soon this will be a distant memory. There will be a tipping point when nursing becomes much easier than fixing bottles, sterilizing them, taking them with you…if my daughter (9 months) is hungry, I whip out a boob wherever we are and she’s done 5 minutes later. For me, I had to let go of a lot…the house wasn’t going to be clean, I was just going to be tired and watching lots of Netflix, but then I blinked and she wouldn’t fall asleep on my chest anymore and those lengthy nursing sessions were over. 

The MOST important thing is your mental health, though. If it’s too much, there is nothing wrong with formula. But if you feel like you might personally regret it or want to hold out for those easier days, I promise they aren’t far away!

The best advice I heard was to never quit on a bad day. Do you have anyone who can come give you a little relief? Feed the baby and take a little nap while someone else watches her, or go get out of the house alone, or just take a nice bath. You need to be gentle with yourself and take a step back, and then you can make a decision that makes you happy and that you’re comfortable with. But rest assured that no matter what you choose, you’re a good mama and your baby will be fine!

Post # 30
Member
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

So agree with all of this advice!! It gets so sooooo much easier. But fed is best!

View original reply
Supersleuth :  Girlfriend, I don’t think she asked for your opinion about co-sleeping, and since you’re not a scientist or pediatrician, you might want to back off.

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