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Choosing not to breastfeed from the beginning?

  1. jetsa

    grapefruit / 4663 posts

    @daniellemybelle: yes I know one of those people! She was so just ehh about it if it works great if not no biggie and it worked. She's like I don't understand what the big deal is it's so easy. She was never sore or anything. I was so jealous, I wanted to bf and it was the hardest thing I've ever done.

    @runnerd: it's your decision. When we were little ff was the way to go, bf wasn't pushed. We all turned out fine.

  2. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @loveisstrange: Again, I'm kinda going to disagree a bit here. We (our family in our house) are constantly challenging our daughter to at least try things once. I would expect that we would do the same that we ask our child to do.

    How do you know it will be hard for you or won't work for you or make you uncomfortable unless you try? And by try, I mean like literally at least try it for one or two nursing sessions. I'm not even saying try for weeks on end until you are in tears.

    Kinda like giving birth. Unless there is a serious medical reason, doctors ask you to at least try for vaginal delivery because there are advantages. But if you try and it doesn't work, whatever, go down for the C-section and no one should judge you because it didn't work.

  3. MamaG

    pomelo / 5298 posts

    Completely your decision! I didn't have any passion about BF, but my DH was adamantly for trying. I tried and was in tears after a week and miserable. From that point my daughter was FF and she's thriving. She's off the charts for height and weight at nearly 3.

    I'm currently pregnant with #2, and want to try again from a financial perspective. But really have no desire to BF.

    I don't judge anyone who elects to skip BF. It's a very personal decision.

  4. ValentineMommy

    pomelo / 5791 posts

    I FF from the start. Never BF-ed. Never even considered BF-ing (well, I thought about it, but I just knew it wasn't for me). The hospital didn't give me any grief about it, nor did my doctor. No one ever asked me why or said anything about it really. It's your choice completely.

    Turns out, my body must have known I wasn't into it, because my milk never came in. I never became engorged, never leaked, in fact, my breasts never changed at all during pregnancy (or after).

  5. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: I disagree. If it's okay to use formula after you've tried XYZ, then why is it not okay to use it from the get go? And who decides what XYZ is? I find the "everyone should at least try" argument very frustrating as a FFing mom because everyone has a different definition of what "trying" is. While you might think I "just" have to do one nursing session, someone else might think I have to endure months of frustration, pain, and heartache before I'm "allowed" to switch to formula. I hate that I have to get permission from someone else by "trying" before I can feed my baby in a way that works best for my family.

    I don't understand why anyone else cares how a baby other than their own is fed, as long as they are being lovingly nourished.

  6. blackbird

    wonderful grape / 20453 posts

    You know what, this thread kinda makes me sad. The OP specifically doesn't want any "breast is best" comments and here she is, getting comments on how she should at least try it, she should give it a shot, you never know, etc. How discouraging.

    Nobody goes into a thread about EBFing and says, "how about you just try formula? Just a little. You may like it!"

    No, that angers EBF moms. And it's disrespectful of the poster's wishes. And as a mom who didn't BF, it's really frustrating to have someone tell you that you should "just try".

    I see @charm54 beat me to the punch.

  7. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Charm54, @blackbird: Yes, exactly.

  8. loveisstrange

    pineapple / 12526 posts

    @Charm54: @blackbird: Yep. +1

  9. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @blackbird: exactly. My EBF BFF was having trouble with her LO who wouldn't sleep. I didn't suggest "you should just try some formula! Just once!"

    Blarg . Sorry OP for having this turn into a debate because I know that's not what you intended. It just frustrates me that you have to deal with the judgement when you're clearly a loving, educated mom who has researched this decision in depth.

  10. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @blackbird: @Charm54: Love you ladies! You said it perfectly.

    I feel bad for the ladies that commented that said they didn't want to BF but felt like they had to. It isn't for everyone and no one should feel pressured to try it if they don't want too.

    I hate that I felt judged that I started weaning R at 6 months. BF isn't for everyone and there isn't anything wrong that that.

  11. ShootingStar

    coconut / 8472 posts

    @blackbird: I don't think it's disrespectful to suggest that she try, depending on why people are suggesting it. To say that "breast is best you should try it" is one thing. But I'm going to suggest trying it just because she might like it. She might get enjoyment out of it, or feel that bonding with baby that *some* people feel.

    Personally, I went into BF-ing so afraid it would be awful and knowing that with my job there was going to be a limited time I'd be able to keep up with pumping. I had a lot of thoughts about maybe it was going to be a waste. But I actually really liked it (most of the time!). I was personally motivated to at least try BFing because I had a November baby and I thought BF would help keep him healthier during cold season. HA, joke was on me. My baby's been sick since March with barely a day in between with: a severe cold, which turned into pneumonia, which caused an asthma-like wheeze for weeks, then a double ear infection, then a stomach virus.

    I did supplement at the beginning, then we were EBF for a while, and now at 6.5 months, today is my first day at work with no pumping and he'd going to be FF.

    Feed the baby the way you want. Try formula, maybe try BF, see what works for you and for baby. The most important thing is baby is fed and no one else's opinions matters on how you do it. And if you really don't want to try because you're not at all interested, then that's ok too :).

  12. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    Again, I'm sorry if anyone felt that the comment was pushing "Breast is Best" because it was not intended that way. I tried to really phrase it more in a way that as parents, we should be open to trying new things but be confident in our decisions.

    I totally agree that for some, breastfeeding is not worth the pain and sacrifice. It is not best for all and people shouldn't judge decisions.

  13. Lindsay05

    pomegranate / 3759 posts

    Completely personal choice. There is no right or wrong. As long as baby is getting food, it does not matter.

    As far as "at least try", if a mom knows she doesnt want too and feels forced into it, I can almost guarantee there will be no bond and possibly cause anxiety leading to a poor relationship from the start. Yes, the opposite could occur as well. But in the end, food is food. No matter if it comes from breast or bottle.

  14. MamaMoose

    GOLD / squash / 13464 posts

    @blackbird: I have to disagree with you there. Maybe not on HB but in real life any time I had a BF'ing challenge I certainly had people jump to tell me "well why don't you just start giving her a little formula then?", which was the last thing I wanted to hear. Just this weekend my MIL (who ff from the start) was telling me that the ONLY reason people of my generation BF is because society guilts us into it and clearly no one would really WANT to BF their child for as long as I did.

  15. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts

    @MamaMoose: I had the same thing. Xander was low in weight on the growth chart and I had sooooo many people ask me why I didn't just give him formula or start feeding him solids early. It was so discouraging.

    So I think both sides get it!

  16. blackbird

    wonderful grape / 20453 posts

    Oh i know it happens IRL. I don't see it too much on the boards...it's so predominantly pro-BF and I think we are just kinder in general. But the point is...it made you feel bad, right?...and it wasn't helpful or encouraging

  17. mlm2934

    grapefruit / 4311 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: I think @Charm54: said it better than I could. I understand that some people think I should try it - and I may decide to, I can't predict what I'll feel on delivery day - but I don't think I have to be able to say I at least tried before settling on FF if I don't want to.

    Not going to debate or anything, but my full reason for not wanting to BF is multi-tiered and not just a fear of failure keeping me from trying.

  18. MamaMoose

    GOLD / squash / 13464 posts

    @blackbird: I'll be honest with you, it didn't make me feel bad at all. I was 100% confident in my decision and didn't really care what anyone (other than my doctor and my LO's doctor) had to say about it. It just made me annoyed with whoever said it me. Particularly when it was my MIL but that's a whole different animal

  19. NavyRN2012

    persimmon / 1447 posts

    @runnerd: just wanted to give you some support! Both of my children were EFF and they couldn't be healthier! Whatever decision you make, your baby will be fine. Don't ever feel guilty for making a decision that you feel is best for your baby.

  20. LovelyPlum

    eggplant / 11408 posts

    @runnerd: I have not read the comments, but I will say this: I've come to realize (well, coming to realize) that I can't do everything. What I mean by that is, lots of people are passionate about one aspect of parenting, be it cloth diapers, breastfeeding, natural birth, immediate skin to skin, delayed screen time, etc, etc, etc. I can theoretically see value in most of them, but quite frankly, I can't do it all. The problem with an "ideal", even when it is backed up by some research, is that ideals happen in a vacuum, and my life is not a vacuum. All I can do is what is best for my family, given the time, energy, resources, and information that I have at the time.

    And quite frankly, there are lots of times that I feel like I was "supposed" to feel passionately about something that would have been good for my baby, but I just...didn't. And I spent lots of time agonizing over why I didn't care, about how maybe this meant I didn't want what was best for her, etc. My example was skin to skin/delayed cord clamping. I didn't get it right away, and in that moment, I did not really care. It don't mean that I don't love her or want what is best for her. It means I'm human and I picked my battles. And I'd encourage you to do the same

  21. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @runnerd: Thats cool, again, I don't think you need anyone's permission to say its okay. But I am happy to hear you would at least keep an open mind about considering at least giving it a try.

    I think there are so many things we (parents in general) say I would never do XYZ, but when the kid comes along, you never know how you will feel about it once you are in that situation. But make a firm decision when you are actually there in the situation and can actually look at the facts of the situation (versus making a firm decision ahead of time based on "what ifs" of the situation).

  22. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    Do what your gut tells you. I wasn't crazy about the idea of breastfeeding. I did it because of social pressures and I don't necessarily regret it, but we had MANY difficulties. We had thrush for most of our "relationship". Mastitis. Clogged ducts. I never felt bonded like other mothers say they do, which only added to my guilt.

    Do not feel an ounce of guilt for not even trying. The point is FEED the baby, not what comes before that (breast or formula).

  23. Mrs.Someone

    pomelo / 5228 posts

    The most important thing is to have both a happy baby and happy mommy. Do what you feel is right for your family

  24. mlm2934

    grapefruit / 4311 posts

    @LovelyPlum: such good advice!!

    @T.H.O.U.: I agree that you have to be in situation to be 100% sure - I just need to be 98% sure in time being so I don't drive myself batty

    Thanks for all the input guys!! It had been really helpful and I hope if anyone else is feeling how I do, they will stumble across this thread when searching!

  25. mlm2934

    grapefruit / 4311 posts

    @junebugmama: and that quote is perfect!! Lol

  26. jape14

    pear / 1586 posts

    @runnerd: I'm late but I just wanted to thank you for posting this! I am having similar thoughts and am pretty conflicted about the whole thing (I'm due in August), so it was nice to see that I'm not the only one. I've also spent a lot of time reading things online, listening to podcasts, and reading scientific research that still leaves me feeling conflicted about it at best, so I'm still not sure what I'll end up doing. Anyway, just wanted to throw in some more support for you and your decision!

  27. Madison43

    persimmon / 1483 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: I want to teach my daughter to try new things too, but I also want her to understand that she doesn't have to try/do anything simply because it's what everyone else is doing/ or is what someone/anyone/ society expects her to do.

    Threads like this definitely bum me out. Education about breastfeeding is so critically important, I get that, and support it completely, but it sucks that the pendulum has swung so far towards breastfeeding like a mom who has clearly thought hard about her options, has to worry about judgment.

  28. googly-eyes

    GOLD / pomelo / 5737 posts

    @LovelyPlum: Great advice!

    You don't have to try. It's ok.

    I like the idea of seeing how you feel that day but I also would hate for you to be vulnerable or overwhelmed on that day and do it just to appease people. So I guess my advice is sure, wait and see, it's possible you'll end up loving it. But trust yourself and forget the mommy judgment.

  29. futuremama

    clementine / 854 posts

    @LovelyPlum: love this and feel exactly the same way!

    Just wanted to throw in that I have several friends who never even gave breast feeding a thought, and they all have well behaved, intelligent, beautiful children. Do what is right for you. Your baby will be much happier and healthier with a happy mom regardless of how they are fed

  30. immabeetoo

    honeydew / 7687 posts

    I agree with @blackbird - I find it really surprising, and mildly offensive that anyone would choose this thread to say "I think you should try". Come on now!

    My statement about bf-ing being the only easy thing about the early days wasn't implying any judgement about what I think @runnerd ought to do - more specifically responding to her initial post about not wanting to BF because it was only for " the hardest part". I was SO dreading it, and thought I'd hate it because of all the horror stories I'd read on the boards - so I try to chime in with an alternate experience when I think it's appropriate - I don't think I can edit, but if I could, I would now that I see she's elaborated that it is a multi-tiered objection to trying.

    Guilt should never, ever be the root of a parenting decision, and it bums me out to see folks saying their nursing decisions were influenced by it. (Unless that guilt means you're sharing a sweet treat with your toddler because you're a jerk for eating it where you thought he couldn't see you. )

  31. LovelyPlum

    eggplant / 11408 posts

    @runnerd: @googly-eyes: @futuremama: That's my mama's motto for everything...At least for me, it's been very good advice!

  32. RLCeigh

    cherry / 155 posts

    Lurker-- rarely comment but I wanted to quickly share my thoughts
    My son is nearing 3 and I didn't read blogs when pregnant or know much about this debate. My midwife asked me if I was going to BF and I said sure, why not. Didn't really think much of it.
    Ended up having a c-section after 4 hours of pushing which I also hadn't read up on, and so I had lots of feelings of guilt about not having the perfect birth. But I was able to breastfeed.
    And it was pretty easy for me- phew! I also hadn't read the horror stories so I didn't know how lucky we really were.
    And I loved it, the bonding and it made me feel empowered. ...and I want every mom to feel that.
    But now I realize that that's just my experience. But you don't need to BF to feel that! You'll be feeding your baby and snuggling and it will be amazing.
    Mom guilt stinks- so I say, your choice is perfect!

  33. Shutterbug

    grapefruit / 4703 posts

    @runnerd: Super late to the thread, and it sounds like you're feeling more confident in your choice now, but I just wanted to share my BFF's experience in case it will help you. She knew right away that she didn't want to BF at all (her main reason was feeling uncomfortable with the actual physical BFing, seconded by the feeling tied/scheduled). She was very clear about her plans with her OB all the way though her pregnancy, and in the hospital they wrote it on the white board (there was a spot that said something like "I'm breastfeeding/bottlefeeding" and you circled the one that applied). She wasn't asked ONCE about BFing by anyone in the hospital, and we live in the liberal northeast. She had an extremely positive experience, and was sent home with several boxes of pre-made bottles of formula. I hope you have a similarly happy result!

  34. JerricaBenton

    pomegranate / 3872 posts

    Sounds like you're feeling more confident, which is great! Just wanted to add that sometimes it feels like everyone thinks x or is doing y from reading HB or other blogs but IRL things can look very different. I know plenty of women who chose not to breastfeed from the beginning and plenty more who breastfed for a very short time. Actually I don't know any other extended bfers in my area. I hope you don't get any negative feedback about your choice.

  35. ladybee

    grapefruit / 4079 posts

    @runnerd: Honestly, I had people tell me my child wouldn't feel as bonded to me or that they wouldn't be as loved if I didn't BF. So I tried EPing for two weeks. I cried EVERYTIME I pumped because my baby would cry and I'd be hooked up to a pump. Plus, I had a low supply thanks to my difficult delivery that turned into a c-section. It was the most horrible experience of my life. My parents pretty much forced me to give it up and it was the BEST thing I ever did. I've gotten to enjoy every minute with my son and he is bonded/loved.

    It's disgusting that people feel like they have a right to pressure people about such a personal decision. Does anyone tell you which position to have sex or if you should use tampons or pads? No, because it's none of their damn business. Just like how you want to feed your child is no one's business. I was formula fed and I am a successful, loving person.

    I'm glad you are feeling confident in your choice. Do what feels right for you. If you want to try it, go for it. If you don't, please, please, don't feel bad about it.

  36. Crisark

    pomegranate / 3398 posts

    I have three children who were all FF. I did have difficulty with my first and wasn't able to but I didn't want to. I just didn't have the desire. And I regret nothing.
    Don't feel bad no matter what you choose.

  37. Zbug

    persimmon / 1355 posts

    This is slightly off topic, but this thread has made me curious. Right after I gave birth, we did immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding. If you choose to formula fees, does the baby immediately get a bottle? Or are their stomachs so small that they do something else?

    Sorry about this being off topic and hopefully not one takes offense to the question. I just have no idea how it works. I have several pregnant friends as don't want to be insensitive or clueless if one of them decides not to BF!

  38. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @Zbug: you should start a new thread

  39. littlek

    GOLD / squash / 13576 posts

    I have a lot of friends that choose to FF right off the bat. You have to do what is right for you.

  40. sweetooth

    nectarine / 2705 posts

    I love this thread. I can't tell you how many hours I spent googling breastfeeding issues during those first few months. I did not have a good experience and it definitely left me longing for a better beginning as a mom.

    I have a good friend who helped me during my transition through a difficult BF experience into the FF life. She said, "When he is applying for college, do you think there's going to be a box to check "Formula Fed" or "Breast Fed"?" It made me crack up. There are so many decisions you make as a mom, especially during those beginning stages. I say, do what you feel is right. In the end, I'm SO much happier as a formula feeder and I know my boy is nourished. I've definitely considered going straight to formula for #2.

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