honeydew / 7230 posts
@IRunForFun: Just walled you!
clementine / 874 posts
@IRunForFun: The video I am talking about is actually on this thread!
But, honestly, I hope you have peace of mind no matter what you decide. There is no wrong decision.
persimmon / 1431 posts
BFing is so rough. No one prepares you for the difficulties. I gave up Bfing with LO1 at around 4 weeks. I was a wreck and my baby was miserable. I did combo feeding with formula and EPing. I was really disappointed at the time, but after a couple months had passed, I realized I had no reason to be disappointed. My baby was fed, I knew exactly how much she was getting, and I had no regrets.
Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, I realized there will always be different issues. If you breastfeed, you might have bottle rejection. If you bottle feed, you might feel disappointed that you don't have that experience. With LO1 I bottle fed. With LO2 I'm breastfeeding now, but I'm anxious about how much she is getting, if she's getting enough hindmilk, and she is also rejecting the bottle.
As someone else said, fed is best.
pomelo / 5509 posts
@twodoghouse: Thank you!
papaya / 10343 posts
I could've written your post. Had most of the same issues. I stuck it out until 8 weeks, literally crying through most nursing sessions because it was so painful. I ultimately quit because my daughter had MSPI and I had low supply anyways. Looking back, I want to tell myself I should've quit earlier. I made myself, my husband, and my daughter miserable because I was just so sure I could make it work. And I didn't. So what was the point? But at the same time if it had worked out, somehow, I think it would've been worth it. I'm pregnant again and I have no idea how hard I'll try this time. I want to say that if it isn't working pretty early I'm just quitting because I'm not going to ruin the newborn phase for myself again being in so much pain. But that drive to want to do it is hard to overcome. My vote is just go with your gut. If you want to be done, BE DONE. If you want to try a little more, go for it. Either way, you're doing a really good job. And your LO will be just fine either way.
pomelo / 5084 posts
@IRunForFun: God it makes me mad when new moms feel like this because everyone acts like breast milk is the ONLY WAY TO GO! It's not. I knew I was not going to be a big nursing fan and as it turned out, I just didnt have the supply. I didnt give it a second thought to supplement with formula, and then exclusively FF at 12 weeks when I went back to work. Have not looked back. DS is a thriving, happy, smart, healthy 14 month old now and it was the best thing for all of us to DO WHAT WORKED. Good luck mama. Don't beat yourself up over this.
@IRunForFun: PS they do make a prescription nipple cream I wouldnt have known about if a friend hadn't told me. Call your OB and ask for a Rx - it has a numbing agent/pain killer in it!
honeydew / 7463 posts
I stopped pumping and BF early (4 weeks) because I too had PPD and PPA and it was just making it so much worse. I have ZERO regrets. None. I felt guilty for a few days but as my boobs healed and I didn't feel the immense pressure of being the sole source of nourishment, I felt so much better.
My best friend also is suffering from ppd/PPA with a 4 week old and her pediatrician and therapist have both told her to quit. It's just not worth it.
As for your husband, I don't think he has nearly as much say as you do. It's your body and you're the one dealing with the physical pain and emotional distress. I would share some articles about how it can impact depression. And maybe look into whether you might have D-MER if you're super unhappy while BF.
kiwi / 714 posts
Okay so it's not exactly the same, because I have IGT and learned after four days of starving my daughter and ten more of pumping every two hours I produce practically no milk- like 10ml was my max. HOWEVER. I can vouch for formula- it's amazing, my daughter is healthy/happy/brilliant. We are as bonded as we can possibly be- no way on earth would the way she got fed that first year impact how much we love each other.
I loved knowing exactly how much she was eating, being able to make the days worth of formula in our pitcher, put it in the fridge, and pour as we went. I loved watching other people get to feed her and share in that experience. I loved that the pressure to keep her thriving wasn't entirely on me.
I went through an incredible amount of sorrow and guilt for not providing "the best" and not getting the experience I anticipated, so I completely understand the hesitation you're going through. I don't want to come off as antibreastfeedinng, because I think whichever way you chose to feed your child is great! But if you aren't enjoying it, and you think you'd be a happier more present mother using formula, I can't recommend it enough. What's best for your baby is YOU, no matter the milk source. We are lucky enough to live in a time when a completely amazing alternative to breastmilk exists, there is absolutely no shame is using it.
grapefruit / 4455 posts
I sort of regret it my first time because I felt I didn't try hard enough. With my second I knew I would formula feed for medical reasons, and after that I don't regret it for either child. It was right for and my babies at the time!
Also, I had PPD and PPA with my first. I kno it now and don't feel bad but I didn't know it for awhile! It's tough. Take care of yourself! (ETA: recruit and accept help.)
@cookiemomster: Perfectly stated!
apricot / 271 posts
I quit at 3 weeks and EPed for another 3 weeks. wrote switching to exclusively formula. I'd say I am 90% thrilled with the decision and 10% regretful. I have really sensitive nipples and hated everything about nursing. I found he transition to motherhood to be SO jarring and tough and like many PPs I dreaded every feeding. DS lost a ton of weight and wasn't gaining, and he was so lazy/sleepy, that the pediatrician had me nurse, then pump and supplement. It was exhausting. Nursing was so painful and just made me feel awful. I dreaded every feeding and resented the baby. I saw multiple LCs and there was nothing technically wrong. It got to the point where I was hysterically crying during every feeding. I was trying to do it for 6 weeks, as so many people (here and on real life) say that's be turning point, but I couldn't do it. Finally the best LC came over and in tears I said to her, "am I ever going to like this?". She was like, no. Lol. And she basically gave me "permission" to stop. She and my husband were both like, you can't go on like this. So I EPed and had tons of milk but after a few weeks of that, I just wanted my body back. I was a slave to the pump and I also don't really buy into the health benefits. I switched to formula and DS is 4 months now and doing great. The pediatrician supported me and commented on how much happier I seemed after I quit.
Nursing was not right for me. I personally hate it and cannot deal with being my baby's only source of food. My DH only works part time so he can handle many feedings. Bottle was definitely right for me. However, my main regret is that I didn't pump a bit longer, but for two superficial reasons: it was helping me lose weight, and formula is so expensive!
I could go on and on. I actually think I started a thread about this when I was in your shoes but I don't know how to search for it. But I remember hoping that people would tell me that I wouldn't regret it.... so that I could allow myself to quit.
Whatever decision you make is the right one. Hang in there. It all gets so so much better so soon. In a matter of weeks, you won't even remember feeling the way you feel.
persimmon / 1123 posts
I had similar issues with DD, and like you, improvement didn't happen quickly. I think we turned a major corner around 8 weeks. I stuck with it because it was something I personally really wanted.
The thing is, I remember how hard that was, and will say this is totally a personal decision. Unfortunately for your DH, I don't think he gets any sort of say in this one. Even when nursing is "easy" you are giving up so much. If it is affecting your mental health do NOT beat yourself up about switching. Happy mama = happy baby.
If you're still on the fence, give it some time before you make a decision. It will get easier. We went on to have a long and successful nursing relationship.
Good luck! Whatever decision you make is the right one for you.
wonderful clementine / 24134 posts
Im so sorry. It really is a lot of work!
I agree that DH doesn't get much say in the matter except for asking ways he could support you better.
One other tip I remind people of, is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If there is a particular feeding session that really is just hard (say 2 am or at dinner when you want to eat). Give up that nursing/pumping session and let DH handle it with pumped milk or straight formula. Same goes for pumping after feeding. If thats too much, just nurse (or pump whatever is less painful) instead of both. You make the rules.
Also you can put lanolin or other nipple safe cream on before pumping to help with the friction!
pomelo / 5257 posts
I think you need to do what's best for you. Some advice I got was "don't quit on your worst day," which I think is great. But if every day is your worst day, then don't feel bad about switching. In fact, don't even think of it as "quitting" or "stopping" something. Think of it as taking by an alternative path. It may be a different one than you pictured but it takes you to the same place: a happy, healthy, well-fed baby.
kiwi / 698 posts
@MrsSCB: "Don't quit on your worst day" is a good motto. I set myself a new date and told myself if things hadn't gotten better by that day, I would stop. Each time, things had improved just enough that I would set a new benchmark. Sometimes it was just two days. Sometimes it was a week. I still don't know if it was totally worth it, but it was a strategy that made me feel like I had more control over it all.
GOLD / wonderful olive / 19030 posts
@IRunForFun: I had a similar situation wit my first, and honestly happy mommy means happy baby. We switched to formula at 6 weeks and I don't' regret it. I tried breastfeeding again with #2 and it went better and we made it 4 months. I think if you gave it your all and you feel done then be done, don't feel guilty doing something that is making you unhappy and is painful. That's just my two sense (my kids are healthy and happy even with having formula!)
apricot / 262 posts
We switched to formula at 3 weeks because of supply issues as well as for my mental health. Once my milk dried up it was like a fog had lifted. It helped that my DS really thrived on formula and my husband didn't have strong opinions either way.
I will say, the first time my husband was able to feed DS from a bottle was a magical experience for him. Obviously you can get that pumping, but with FFing my husband was an equal partner in feeding our baby, which was huge for their bonding as well as for our relationship.
persimmon / 1096 posts
My first two LOs had dairy allergy issues, so without following an elimination diet my breastmilk was making them very colicky. I stuck out BFing for 4 months with LO1, but once we found out about his allergy I switched to a hypoallergenic formula and was so, so happy I did - he was a new baby after 2-3 days, my husband could help more, he naturally fell into a 4 hour schedule and started sleeping like 11 hours overnight. It was amazing. With my second I knew what was making him colicky (MSPI that time), still wasn't willing to cut dairy (and soy too) out of my diet, and decided to switch to formula at 10 weeks. Also zero regrets. My third baby is now 6 week old and either has a milk protein allergy or MSPI, not sure yet but the same stuff is going on. This time around I decided to cut dairy and soy, keep breastfeeding for a while, and just play it by ear. The reasons I'm sticking it out this time are purely vanity and laziness though I want to drop the postpartum weight faster, which BFing really helps with for me (that's not always the case though). I also don't want to spend $ for hypoallergenic formula AGAIN for an entire year, and it's so convenient when we go out or travel not to have to pack bottles and water and formula.
But there are a lot of negatives too. He's not on a great schedule yet, which is important for my sanity. Sleep sucks. I don't get to play/do as much with my two toddlers because I feel like I'm constantly feeding this LO. His latch still isn't great, so that's led to sore nipples for me, as well as terrible gas for him.
More than anything, I want to say that I think breastfeeding is great, but formula feeding is better in some cases and any kind of feeding that keeps mom and baby happy and healthy is best! As a PP pointed out, as long as you live somewhere with access to clean drinking water, formula is a wonderful alternative that we are lucky to have. And to be honest, I don't and didn't find breastfeeding any more bonding than bottle feeding and will plan to wean LO3 around 1 year if we make it that far. I want my body back!
And if it was my husband, well-intentioned as he may be, he doesn't get a say here. That's like having an opinion about getting an epidural. If you aren't doing this hard/painful thing along with me, just support whatever decision I make.
Thanks again to everyone for the feedback!!
We made it through another day/night and *some* feedings in the past 24 hours haven't been painful, so I'm hoping we are making progress. Monday will make it a week of doing the thrush treatment so that's my next short-term goal. To see if there's more improvement by then.
I just ordered the preemie flow nipples for our bottles and I did have a conversation with DH last night where I really broke down how low I'm feeling about this and how bad it's getting and he was a lot more understanding, so that's good. Though he'd still like me to try and pump and give her *some* BM if my nipples heal and I decide to do some formula. I told him I'd have to see what happens.
Overall I'm feeling in a better headspace today and trying to enjoy it since things are so up and down. Hoping they continue to be up though!
kiwi / 625 posts
@IRunForFun: this was almost exactly my lovely intro into breast feeding as well. To boot, around that 6 week golden mark, when finally my supply was working, we were off the shield, my thrush was gone, my son went on a nursing strike for 3 days!!
At the end of it, I pushed through and nursed him for 2.5 years.
Good luck - I know the misery!
nectarine / 2705 posts
Glad to hear that things have improved a bit and you have had some good talks with your DH.
I had the hardest time with breastfeeding with my first son. And it definitely robbed me of some magical memories of those first three months of his life. I can't even tell you how much time I spent googling breast pain, thrush, etc. It was traumatic for me. Luckily it was a lot better with my second son, so I can see why people say "it gets better" - because I have experienced both sides now.
But if I could go back and tell the new mom, myself, that formula is fine. It's great! You don't need to be a hero here and stress yourself out over being convinced that you are SUPPOSED to make this work - I would. I wish I could tell myself to focus on enjoying those early days with your brand new baby and don't focus on breastfeeding pain and trauma.
Happy mama, happy baby is way better. So is sleep and not dreading feeding your baby. I was in that boat too. Oh it was so hard...hugs!
persimmon / 1475 posts
Some days I do. It's usually only when my friends talk about getting over the hump and feeling like it was worth it. I quit around 6 wks, but I wonder if I should have stuck with it.
But, I was feeling extremely anxious, my nipples were bleeding, and I was absolutely hating everything. I was even starting to resent LO. I hate to admit that, but it's true. I knew she had to eat but the pain was unreal. I had to psych myself up for each feeding.
Sending hugs. I hope you have easier days ahead.
@IRunForFun: Progress is great! I remember being at the stage where some feedings hurt and some didn't but even that is a step in a great direction.
pomegranate / 3226 posts
I didn't read all the comments, but I just wanted to post some support. I had a similar issue with my son, but not as bad. I could not BF round the clock because it was too uncomfortable. We got his tongue and lip ties lasered but it was not the silver bullet everyone promised. I wound up BFing during the day and pumping at night. My husband slept on the spare bed in the baby's room and would feed him a bottle when he woke up. I slept in our bedroom with our cats and set my alarm and got up to pump. This started around week 2 or 3 and continued til week 8.
I still remember how luxurious it felt to simply sit in the glider in the dark, while still half asleep, to BF in the MOTN instead of turning on the lights and hooking myself up to the pump. I hated MOTN pumping so much, but I didn't want to deal with pumping during the day while I was alone with the baby.
Have you tried hand-expressing instead of pumping? It seems sort of exhausting, but I wound up doing a lot of it later on when my body wasn't really responding well to the pump. It might be less painful while your nipples recover.
cherry / 188 posts
I stopped at eight weeks after literally driving myself crazy. I had very low supply - probably IGT though I was never formally diagnosed, I have a lot of the markers, and insulin resistance too. We'd been supplementing with formula since the hospital - he lost too much weight while we were there and the doctor wouldn't discharge him until we gave him a bottle of formula. I tried everything - lactation consultant, support groups, supplements, Metformin, power pumping with a hospital grade pump, everything short of getting black market domperidone shipped from overseas. Nothing worked, my son would barely latch because, you know, nothing was coming out of my boobs, I felt like I spent more time with the stupid pump than the baby and I was getting REALLY depressed. I cried all the time, I felt like the worst mother ever, I resented my son when he cried. It was awful.
Finally one day I was like, "You know what, I don't care what anyone else thinks. I'm fucking done. I tried to have this baby for so long and I can't even enjoy him." So I stopped. And even though my mood and our bond improved right away, I still had a lot of guilt about not giving him the magical wonderful qualities of breastmilk cause after all, Breast Is Best is even written on the frigging formula containers, right? And then I found the Fearless Formula Feeder, and read the Emily Oster article, and Courtney Jung's Lactivism, and then I could finally release the guilt because I realized that breastmilk is not unicorn tears or a magic potion that makes your baby bulletproof and a genius. Is it the biological norm? Yes. Does it have some advantages over formula feeding? Yes, but the inverse is also true, and the health benefits of breastfeeding are much more modest than some folks would like to believe.
In the end, I really don't think it makes a difference how you feed your baby. My son is two now and just as smart, just as healthy, just as bonded to me as my friends whose babies were breastfed. You can't look at a kindergarten class and pick out who was fed with what. What really matters is a healthy happy mom and a fed and happy baby. With a baby born at term in an industrialized country, it really is six of one, half dozen of the other. (With a preemie or with a child in a place without access to clean, safe water to mix formula with, the analysis is quite different, though.) But yes - things got much better for me and my son once I switched to formula.
cantaloupe / 6131 posts
Also everyone talks about how BFing prevents illness. My boys get/got like 75-90% BM and the one thing the research says is kids get less ear infections with BM and my oldest got tubes and my youngest is scheduled for tube surgery in April because they get NONSTOP ear infections - my oldest to the point where he had a speech delay from poor hearing. My boys also had reflux which BM is supposed to be better for but they still needed big guns reflux meds. They both had jaundice that required serious intervention that without formula would have been detrimental. I like the feeling of nursing a sleepy cuddly baby but for my boys that doesn't happen too often and overall everyone is happier with bottles for the most part. Not having the pressure of my boobs being their sole source of nutrition is great and like I said before, formula and bottles is what made my nursing and pumping relationship possible. I definitely would have quit like at 2 weeks without it.
pomelo / 5678 posts
I had a hellish experience breastfeeding my first and almost stopped. She had a teeny tiny mouth, like pliers. I was suffering in every way. I ended up not stopping. If I had been encouraged to stop I may have. At the time I honestly didn't understand how anyone could do it or enjoy it. I couldn't even look at ads with mothers happily nursing. I had a bad experience with a nurse who made me feel I was failing. I had huge, excruciating clogs and blisters. All this to say, offering a different perspective, somehow I tenaciously did it and ended up nursing until 2.5 and I'm glad I did. I pumped when I had to. It got better. Nursing baby 2 was much better.
@Greentea: Mine has a teeny tiny mouth too! Midwives and the LC have said everything should also improve as her mouth grows.
@IRunForFun: I had same issue - and it did
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