Ainu to be a bit upset by this comment and to think maybe I gave up attempting to breast feed too easily?

(136 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:47:57

I wanted to breast feed. I planned to breast feed. I tried to breast feed. DD (11w old now) wasn't a fan, screamed blue murder every time we tried, never once latched on. I paid three separate lactation consultants and tried to take all their advice. My nipples are flat and that didn't help. DD gnawed as them and cracked them every time she tried to latch and they were in danger of getting infected. I expressed colostrum into a tiny syringe for hours after my c section and then I pumped for three weeks as often as I could. I never got supply up properly because I couldn't pump as advised ten times a day, I didn't know how to do that and be with DD at the same time IYSWIM, I couldn't hold her/comfort her while pumping and DH couldn't take more paternity leave than allowed so he could be home to take care of her while I pumped.

Today a fellow new mother asked me if I had not breastfed because it 'didn't fit in with your lifestyle'.

She probably meant no harm and I know she herself went to impressive lengths to establish breastfeding. She is a bit on the smug side in general but I don't actually think she was trying to make me feel small.

But I have been down all day ever since.

I am wondering if I did give up too easily.

I chose to prioritise my mental health (have suffered depression in the past) as the whole thing was getting me very stressed plus I was skipping sleep to try to pump and therefore not having the energy to bond with DD the way I wanted.

I thought at the time it was the right decision but today that question made me feel shit.

I dd feel guilty when I stopped but I told myself (which is true!!) that important though bfing is, to me it was not a be all and end all, I feel I have other things to offer DD even if my breasts were useless to her sad

I am generally very hard on myself though and so now I can't shake the thought that I stopped too soon and too easily just because it wasn't working out as easily as I wanted.

It wasn't remotely because I wanted to drink coffee and booze etc which is what that comment made me feel.

Ugh. Why am I doubting myself now?!?

Oh and what should I have said to her? I just kind of mumbled something about it not working out.

AIBU to feel rubbish and slightly ashamed for not finding more ways to try to make it work?

Cuddlydragon Sun 26-May-13 22:27:29

Urge, that kind of smug passive aggressive cow bag really annoys me. Breastfeeding has feck all to do with bonding. I really loved cuddling my gorgeous baby whilst giving a bottle. It's such a big deal in the early days but so irrelevant later on. Enjoy your gorgeous healthy baby and let the other mother feel as smug as she likes, she's only making herself look small.

batteryhen Sun 26-May-13 22:29:04

You sound like me. I had a CS with my DS, and when I left hospital he still hadn't latched on. I was hand expressing colostrum into a syringe and trying desperately to get him to latch on. We ended up back in hospital because hlister so much weight.

I also tried expressing, but only managed to get 1oz every half hour. I rang the breast feeding support lines, spoke with HV,MW, and lactation consultants. I took fenugreek, and domperidone, nothing helped. I never felt engorged or that my milk 'came in'.
My HV said I should be expressing 12 times a day, but DS would take half hour to feed, I would then try to express for half an hour, and this went on day and night. I was miserable and on top of all this DH was away during the week so I was on my own.
If some bint had said that to me when I was trying so hard I would have told her where to go in no uncertain terms. My DS is now 9 months and our bond grows day by day. You are feeding and loving your child, whether it comes from a bottle or boob is irrelevant xx

Well done you smile

NotYoMomma Sun 26-May-13 22:31:27

Why do you feel judgy about them though? You don't know what's going on in their minds/ lives and why should people have to justify themselves to you?

My cousin didn't BF but didn't divulge to everyone it was.because of medication she had to take to control epilepsy

I tried BF and ended up on a slippery slope of anxiety/ depression but if you were just an acquaintance I would simply say that we.had decided not to BF

Because it.isn't your business.

And if you judge women for that then that says more about you and the people that judge.

What if you have a Dd who didn't want to BF?

themidwife Sun 26-May-13 22:34:50

Ignore the smug bitch! Obviously in my job I am pro breast feeding in general but I feel very angry when mopping up women's tears saying they are a "shit mother" after they have been to hell & back with a difficult birth & struggling to feed with flat nipples & babies who won't latch only for some stupid "friend" to pile on the guilt. The only really essential thing is that you & your baby bond & are happy & loved up. thanks

chirpchirp Sun 26-May-13 22:35:49

I was in a very similar position to you a few years ago. I was really positive about breast feeding and so keen to do it. Then when DS was born he spent 4 days in an incubator due to a wheeze in his breath. I expressed for all my might and fed him through a syringe. It hurt like hell but I was determined to carry on. Then finally got to try breast feeding after three days and DS just wouldn't latch. Took all the advice from the support workers and continued to power through. Then we discovered DS had a tongue tie so after that was sorted I convinced myself things would get easier and continued to try. Kept going through two painful bouts of mastitis telling myself it would get better.

After 11 weeks of both me and DS bring utterly miserable, cry all the time (again, both of us) and me spending hour after hour attempting to feed a frustrated child who just couldn't get enough milk from me my DH came home with box of milk and told me enough was enough. He hated seeing us both so unhappy.

Maybe it was because someone i trust and love made the decision for me that I found it easier to come to terms with but I know it was the right decision for us. Within days we were so much happier and DS started putting on weight. Please don't feel bad about the decision you made, it was the right thing to do. You need to be there in so many other ways for you DC.

Oh and the woman was being a cow. Ignore her.

jacks365 Sun 26-May-13 22:36:19

Don't give it another thought. I've tried and failed. With dd4 it just didn't work, she wasn't latching properly so my nipples were bleeding and sore, I had a lactation advisor and mw helping to no avail. My daughter screamed at every feed and fought it. She was losing too much weight. Expressing was useless as I just wasn't producing enough milk. Changing to formula was the best decision I made, my daughter went from a crying angry unsettled baby to a happy contented one straight away. If anything I feel guilty for putting her through that the poor thing must have been permanently starving. She is now 19 months and a happy healthy child who loves nothing more than to run up for a cuddle so no issues with bonding, she has thrived on formula.

Never beat yourself up for doing whats best for you both. Good luck for the future.

Wolfiefan Sun 26-May-13 22:36:43

I always assumed I would bf.
I tried EVERYTHING for 4 months. I too saw specialist, expressed (awful electric thing on loan from hospital that did both boobs at once. I felt like a reject fresian cow!), drank fennel tea, took recommended drugs, fed incessantly on demand, cried, felt useless and like the worst mother on the whole planet, stripped off (at home!) to do skin to skin. My poor baby was slowly starving. It was hell. Then ff.
Child 2 was on formula within 48 hours.
Breast feeding is wonderful. When you can do it! Your DD is much better off with a parent who takes care of herself as well as her baby. You bond with a child when you laugh together, cuddle, comfort them and tell them how much they mean to you.
FWIW my stick response is "my boobs don't work. They are for display purposes only." Embarrass them into silence! Haha!

dozily Sun 26-May-13 22:38:55

What a horrible thing to say sad

If she'd found bf as hard as you did, she'd have given up too.

I was lucky and found bf very easy. That doesn't make me better than you and it doesn't entitle me to make rude judgmental comments. Enjoy your lovely baby smile

SimplyRedHead Sun 26-May-13 22:39:50

You are feeding your daughter good nutritious milk and caring for her perfectly. It doesn't really matter where that milk comes from.

As for missing out on bonding, she's the only person who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside - that's a pretty strong bond if you ask me!

SuffolkNWhat Sun 26-May-13 22:39:56

Oh I find that bonding comment really offensive. It implies that DH hasn't bonded with DD because he never fed her. Bull. Shit.

BF is one way out of MANY ways of bonding with our DC and quite frankly anyone who suggests its the best/only way gets a very hard stare.

stiffstink Sun 26-May-13 22:40:27

OP, three weeks of expressing is hard work. I did it for fifteen weeks and I regret it hugely.

DS had tongue tie and by the time it was sorted he would not entertain a nipple so for some inexplicable reason I decided to express every feed like some crazed dairy cow.

I will gladly tell anyone who asks that it was stupid. I was expressing two feet away from DS but might as well,have been in another country.

But if anyone dare criticise me about my choices... Oh boy they need to run like the wind!

ChunkyChicken Sun 26-May-13 22:44:44

Expressing is, IMO, the worst of both worlds. None of the "ease" of bfing, all of the inconvenience of ffing (the washing & sterilising etc etc etc). If someone even tries to do that, I feel like they've gone above & beyond the call of duty. You did your best & sometimes it just doesn't work out. It's something that happens a lot in parenting & you just have to make your peace with it.

And velvetspoon I have a similar feeling. I wouldn't ever say anything or obviously judge to their face, but sometimes I feel that people who 'don't like it' are maybe putting vanity ahead of what is, so we're to believe, a healthier option for their child. It is not a choice I would make, but then, that's people for you I guess - we can't all be the same! grin

Summerblaze Sun 26-May-13 22:45:15

I was the same. I really wanted to breastfeed and tried really hard. For me it was the pain. I tried to push past it but it was torture for me. I was sobbing through every feed. I used to look at her with love and adoration when she was asleep but as soon as she woke up, she became like a monster. I was not bonding with her at all, so I decided that I would stop. It was the best thing I ever did.

DS1 didn't like it at all. I had to feed him with a syringe just so he could get the colostrum. He lost a lot of weight as he wouldn't feed so I stopped. He put on weight and much preferred bottles.

DS2 was much like DD. I tried and tried but just was miserable and with 2 other DC's to look after, I had to priorities my health.

Cannot stand smug parents. Lets hope her little darling doesn't decide in a few years that he can't stand vegetables and through them around her kitchen.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sun 26-May-13 22:45:51

Ah see, I breastfed DD for 23 months, and I got the judginess for doing it for too long - there are judgemental twats everywhere whatever you do.

I did once tell a full on bitch of a smug breastfeeding mother that I bottle fed though, the look on her face when she asked me why smile

..

The look on her face when I replied "well how am I supposed to get brandy into my boobs??" grin

These types of people are only good for two things - ignoring, or antagonising for shits n giggles smile

Hope you're feeling better though OP, never nice to be on the receiving end of it! Just be comforted in knowing that it's down to whatever problem she has, nothing to do with you and your choices at all. With people like that, its always them. Even when its "you", its still them grin

thebody Sun 26-May-13 22:46:23

Sweetheart, you don't have to explain or justify yourself to anyone.

Breast v formula= who cares. Your choice and your life.

Unfortunately some people turn parenthood into some sort of smug competition, these people are invariably a huge fucking pain in the arse.

Your choices are the right choices and breast is not always best at all.

Each mum and baby at unique and please please never feel guilty about such a tiny insignificant part if your child's life.

It really really really doesn't matter.

WuzzleMonkey Sun 26-May-13 22:49:18

You did really well to do as much as you did for your DC.

This lady was a plonker.

Look at it this way - she's done you a favour as now you know to avoid her. I cannot TELL you how much happier I became as a mother after I ditched EVERY SINGLE person who made a bitchy comment to me about my parenting.

Seriously, I spent 4 years putting up with side swipes like this till I realised that I would be happier just spending my time with nice people.

Cull her now!

NotYoMomma Sun 26-May-13 22:55:07

Why chunky chicken if a woman said she 'didn't like it's would you assume she was putting vanity before the health of her child?

When did that woman mention appearance?

AlbertoFrog Sun 26-May-13 22:55:33

I cannot stand these competitive new mothers.

Sounds to me like you're a wonderful mum. I would have given up a long time before you did.

I was very lucky in that I did manage to breastfeed but I'm not smug. I'm a crap mum in very many other ways and if it weren't for Cbeebies and Mumsnet I'd go insane grin

Summerblaze Sun 26-May-13 23:03:16

Yeah and harden yourself up for the next round as soon it will be judging on weaning (puree or babyled) and when you did it, sleep routines, to give unhealthy snacks from time to time or not, potty training, disposable nappies, toys, slogan t-shirts, what book level junior is on, what school, SAT results etc etc etc.

There are lots of judgy twats about.

lotsofcheese Sun 26-May-13 23:03:43

Similar story to yours OP: I had 2 premature babies & bf never worked either, despite huge amounts of expressing, nipple shields, etc etc. I share your sadness: it's like grieving in some ways.

I have moments of guilt & sadness, then remind myself that how you feed a baby is only a small part of being a parent. Please be kind to yourself x

ihatefleecesandbootcutjeans Sun 26-May-13 23:07:09

What a cow. Ask her if she is naturally a bitch, or if its a lifestyle choice to make other mothers feel shit.

It sounds like you did brilliantly under difficult circumstances.x

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 26-May-13 23:32:39

If you choose not to bf because you prefer to use your breasts for modern art type painting and quite fancy using gloss paint

Perfectly valid reason and fuck all to do with anybody else as is any other reason medical to lifestyle to vanity.

And I say that as someone who has often been described as a militant breast feeder ( still haven't worked out what that means but may be something to do with the 15 month old dc at harrods deli counter)

And by the way the only polite correct response to a person like that is " now you must be pleased,I bet you've waited all day to attempt to look so smug.glad to help your obvious self esteem issues" then smile and exit.

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 23:38:55

This thread is brilliant - no sniping and no judging; as everyone else said the way your baby feeds is not the be all and end all, you bond in so many diferrent ways every day. Enjoy all the snuggles and ignore the "fellow mother"!

Didactylos Mon 27-May-13 00:28:06

No one has the right to judge you on this. Im sorry that your feeding plans didnt work the way you hoped, and that you went through tiredness and pain to try and make them work. You did what you could and when that wasn't working you've done the best possible thing for your baby, made sure shes getting nutrition to grow and a loving mum who can care for her and give her attention, cuddles &stimulation. Youve made the right choices for yourself, child and family. And bonding- Nanny ogg is right, your DD is not a gosling that imprints the first thing seen as its mother - its a process, not a moment, you've been bonding with her since you knew you were pregnant and will continue to do so throughout her life.

About your judgmental acquaintances comments - Was this loon there, in your shoes with a crying baby and chewed off nipples trying to pump while exhausted? No, and no matter what her breastfeeding efforts and experiences were she knows nothing of your experiences and reasons for your choices, and she doesn't need to. You don't have to justify and explain and lay out all your pain and upset over the experiences you describe above to some inadequate, who's looking for you to give her validation of her own life choices and confirm her in her ' I tried harder/mother of the year fantasy.'

I hate these moments and Ive had a few over the years when someone says something that's just so personal or out of polite social convention that you are gobsmacked and don't know how to respond. I also know I have made a few mistakes of that kind myself where I have assumed something or phrased something poorly or asked something too personal (though I must admit never deliberately with intent to hurt)

So Ive practiced an questioning look and gentle 'that sounds rude (or was quite intrusive) - was it meant to' in a questioning tone. Most people back off as its normally a mistake/poor judgement and have a chance to apologize. If they meant the comment then there's two possibilities - either they are too cowardly to follow through their snide attack and back down, or they repeat the comment. Then you've filtered out the possibility of a mistake and you know they are just plain rude and can tell them so.

BridgetBidet Mon 27-May-13 00:34:12

My Mum had me at Jessops Hospital in Sheffield in the late 70s. She breastfed me and had a few problems getting me to take in an era where everyone bottle fed and the ward sister told her that she was cruel, depriving me of food, doing the worst thing for me, had made me do a green starvation poo and should give me a bottle unless she was a nasty neglectful parent. All the nurses wanted her to do was give him a bottle because they thought it was best.

I gave birth in exactly the same ward 33 years later and struggled to breastfeed just like you and was told that I was cruel, depriving my son of the best nourishment, doing the worst thing for him, had made him do a starvation poo and would make more of an effort unless I was a nasty neglectful parent. (The nurses on my ward were desperate to stop me giving my child formula until he became desperately sick with jaundice and nearly died.)

The difference between me and my Mum was that in her day they tried to guilt trip you into bottle feeding, these days they try to guilt trip you into bottle feeding.

The best piece of advice I ever got off my Mum was not to listen to any advice and do what feels right for you. Because in 30 years time you won't give a shit if you followed the latest trend about feeding your baby or not, you'll only care if you and your baby were happy and did what was right for you.

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