Loathing bf but no excuse really...

(55 Posts)
stowsettler Wed 13-Mar-13 11:26:06

DD is 2 wks 2 days today. BF going technically well - plenty of milk, latching on ok, piling on the weight, reasonably good sleep patterns...all in all a situation many on this forum would kill for.
But I HATE it. I have very big boobs but am quite short, so I can't get her comfortable on my lap because there's not enough room between boob and lap for her to fit! Tried rugby ball hold, feeding lying down, everything, the only way to feed her is across my lap with me bending slightly over her - I can't even lean back because my nipples face outwards and slip out of her mouth. This is killing my back and I do not experience any of that fabled closeness that bf is supposed to promote.
She feeds for 20mins then has a 20min break, then is back for more. Night feeds last about 2 hours - thankfully she doesn't need too many of them, but they are making me miserable. I'm a real control freak, and the total lack of control over things, either to benefit me or her, is making me totally miserable. She will hardly ever settle for me, but does so fine for DP and this is making me feel totally useless and a real failure. It feels like she doesn't want me at all, except for milk and this has me sobbing every time.
I'm sat here crying because I know I should be grateful that we don't have any REAL problems, and the fact that I still loathe the whole process makes me feel even more of a failure. Some of the issues people on here have to cope with are so, so much worse.
Will it honestly get better? Because I just can't see it.

purrpurr Mon 18-Mar-13 10:16:45

Stow, you sound rather desperate. Are you getting any support from family or friends regarding this? It sounds horrible. I know so many people have said it gets much easier after x amount of time, but if you're this miserable then surely even an hour of feeling this miserable, let alone several weeks, is too much?

Piemother Mon 18-Mar-13 12:04:19

I found bf v hard for similar reasons when I had dd1. A friend wrote on my fb 'bf is effing hard work' until I saw that I thought I wasn't 'allowed' to dislike it or moan about it. I also remember getting to 6 weeks and realising exactly why this is often the cut off point for a lot of mums be ause it feels so arduous......but......get over the hill and its a lot easier but it takes longer to get into the groove than you expect. EVen with dd2 (who is bf now) I did think ducking hell why am I doing this again!! But again they settle a bit and its gets easier.

I am very never mind the bollocks now about bf. you can keep the airy fairy bm is liquid gold attachment wonder stuff blah blah. I get on web it and I'm c grateful it worked for my girls but its hard gojng and I tell new mums the whole truth.
And if you have a wobble stick to mn and stay away from the fb pages - the cloth nappy sling wearing amber bloody beads crew they will do your head in wink

Phineyj Mon 18-Mar-13 18:46:23

IMO the most important thing is to feed the baby, not how you do it.

DangerMousey Mon 18-Mar-13 21:26:18

Hey stow so sorry to hear you're going through this. I just wanted to say be kind to yourself.

I won't lie: I had a horrible time trying to BF DS1 when he was born, he had a bad latch, cluster fed every night from 11pm - 5am as well as every 2 hours during the day, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I was literally delirious with exhaustion. DS lost over 10% of his body weight as well, he was fussing and pulling on the boob and i was feeling resentful and upset by the whole experience.

I 'gave up' in the end at day 12 and put him on formula exclusively. This was the hardest decision I have ever made but it was definitely the right one for me and my son. He is now 14 weeks old, has put on shedloads of weight and is a thriving, smiling happy little boy. I have suffered from PND and anxiety since he was born, largely due to the experiences we had in the first couple of weeks of his life, and I am just coming out of the other side now, feeling much better thanks to a wonderful health visitor who's really helped me.

If you decide to formula feed your DC please do not feel guilty about it - you have given it a good try and if BF is making you that upset, then stopping might be a good choice for you.

One thing to note though: if you do decide to FF, don't expect your DC to suddenly become a predictable, Gina-Ford-esque baby who feeds every 4 hours and sleeps through the night! I am a control freak by nature and have been completely side-swiped by the chaos that DS has brought to my life. And when I put DS on formula he still fed every 2.5 - 3 hours round the clock for the first few weeks making up all the weight he'd lost during the BFing days, and still had his days and nights confused for a few weeks. I think it was week six before he did a decent long stint of 4 hours sleep at night - suffice to say I was exhausted.

However, he has now gone longer between feeds, and taken progressively bigger bottles more efficiently, and now feeds 5 times between 7am - 10pm and sort of sleeps through the night if you dont count the 4-5 times we have to get up to put his dummy back in

But I think this is largely due to the fact he is nearly 4 months old, and much bigger/more predictable/more settled. I imagine that BF'd babies of the same age also feed less often/more efficiently/and sleep longer stretches at night.

Basically, whatever way you feed them, the first 6-10 weeks with a newborn are a total headfuck real challenge i my limited experience. But I found FF a better option because DH could help out with some feeds. And DS started gaining weight. And my nipples stopped bleeding.

So do whatever feels right for you and your partner and your child, and try to cut yourself some slack. Nothing can prepare you for what it's like having a baby.

LadyWidmerpool Mon 18-Mar-13 21:31:42

thedicewoman describes the position I used, it made a huge difference and felt much easier and more natural than any of the other holds. Hope things get better soon.

narmada Mon 18-Mar-13 21:43:52

You shouldn't feel guilty if it isn't working for you. Go to expressed or formula if it makes you happier....

I do think it is very important to ppint out, however, that bottle feeding is highly unlikely to lead to the routine and predictability you crave at your dd's tender age.

I hope you won't think this patronising but I wonder if this is as much about adjusting to motherhoid and the sometimes suffocating neediness of small babies than it is about method of feeding.

Your dogs will have to come way down the pecking order for a while yet. Could you stick the wee one in a sling? That usually sends even the most reluctant baby off. Then you could walk the dogs.

Do you have a DP? Could they walk dogs before work?

smile4me Mon 18-Mar-13 22:06:03

Hey Stow, don't be so hard on yourself, your baby's only 3 weeks old! Her feeding behaviour is pretty typical for that age unfortunately. If you hate bf, just because you hate it, then don't feel guilty about giving up, but it's definitely not guaranteed that FF will suddenly make your baby get on a predictable routine. Some babies do that naturally, but they really are in the minority (that applies to bf and ff babies). I am bf, but don't get the warm fuzzies from it, but at least there is no sterilising bottles or boiling water and I'm far too much of a tight ass to buy formula

I am also a shortie with bigger boobs and use a tripillow, although find somedays positioning is fab and others it's difficult. Must be the way I'm sitting or something. If you want to carry on it's worth experimenting and getting some help, but you really sound like it's not what you want.

OhGood Mon 18-Mar-13 22:17:03

Hi Stow how are you doing? God you are so in the thick of it now - whatever you decide to do re BF or FF, and I believe that's your business - just remember you are in the hardest part right now, and you need to give it 6-8 weeks (by 'it' I mean suddenly having a newborn) - and I cried in the kitchen every day for 3 months. It gets easier.

Right now, just do whatever you need to to survive - whatever it takes - and hang in there because in a few weeks you'll find you're surfacing, and a few weeks later you'll be going for lovely walks with the dogs and baby in a sling. (Or not if you're like my friend whose dog refused to be seen with her if she had her baby with her.)

If things still aren't coming together, then there are a lot more things you MN can do to get more help.

Good luck, and don't worry - you're having a completely normal reaction to having a baby-shaped hand grenade chucked into your life.

narmada Mon 18-Mar-13 22:59:22

One thing I meant to say, but forgot to, was to second whoever said above about getting your baby checked for tongue tie by someone who really knows what they are looking for (sadly, GPs and HVs, nor midwives, do not usually fall into this category). You really shouldn't have red, painful nipples three weeks in.

And three weeks is prime growth spurt territory. Could your DD be gearing up for a mahoosive bit of growing?

stowsettler Mon 18-Mar-13 23:13:57

Thanks again all. Writing on phone with DD at boob so sorry if I miss a few points. She hasn't been checked for tongue / lip tie but sometimes latch is fine so I think she can do it, just can't be bothered.
DP is great with helping with the dogs and I do know I'm being over-emotional about this.
I keep trying to identify the biggest issue for me and I think it's twofold: firstly, being a control freak, I'm really struggling with admitting I can't do it all myself. Ridiculous I know, but I've always been the one who just gets on and copes with everything. Secondly is a bit less profound but more problematic: I hate anything touching my nipples, it grates on me like nails on a blackboard. Therefore every feed is torture, regardless of how well DD latches. Night feeds, when boobs are full especially so.
DP is being great, and is putting no pressure on me to continue BF - all the pressure is coming from me - and he works from home so helps a lot with DD.
I think I've decided to introduce one FF a day to give me a break (expressing feels like torture too) and hopefully madam will go for it. After that it's back to one feed at a time. I need to get over myself and maybe accept eventually that bf may not be for us. I still want to try to get to 6 weeks though.
Thanks again for all the support - it really makes a difference.

narmada Mon 18-Mar-13 23:38:52

Generally babies can't 'not be bothered' to latch properly. If she is slipping off a lot, clicking while feeding etc, then it is entirely possible she has a tie.

What you said about the dogs is exactly how I felt about my first DC when second came along. Neglectful, how would DC1 cope with her demotion from top dog, etc. I think this is normal.

If your nips are super-sensitive, that must be horrible. Is this something that predates the pregnancy and feeding? If not, might be worth getting checked for thrush although I think this is fairly unusual at this stage/ age.

No harm in introducing one day FF but my advice would be, don't make it the middle of the night one - this one is really important for your milk supply if you do decide you want to carry on. Late evening feed is popular one to do with formula/ expressed as you can get DP to do it and you can go to bed earlier smile

HOpe it works out for you. It will, and in a few months you will look back and think 'what was I worrying about??' Formula is fine, it's not poison. SOmetimes those of us who 'always cope' and 'just get on with things' can be not very nice to ourselves. Especially if you are also a perfectionist and hate feeling a failure (you're NOT, you're doing brilliantly BTW).

Piemother Tue 19-Mar-13 00:01:01

6 weeks was my original goal with dd1. Don't feel you have to make a decision until then. Actually ever. If you end up mixed feeding long term the baby is still getting a load of bm - it's all still great.

I second getting a pillow. You can get v shaped pillows in Dunhelm for I think 9.99 but might have been less plus cases fit them in loads of colours. I wish id had one with dd1. I use it all the time with dd2 - sometimes to out her on and sometimes to prop myself up to feed.
I never feed without my iPhone either - u am always reading/mning/whatever - helps keep me sane grin

stowsettler Tue 19-Mar-13 03:17:48

Ok thanks, I will get her checked for tongue tie anyway then. Nipple issue does indeed predate pregnancy (so NOT an erogenous zone for me) so I doubt it's thrush. Agree re 3am feed - I couldn't give that one up cos I,m always leaking like a sieve by then! Late evening sounds good. Thanks again, will keep you posted x

chocoluvva Tue 19-Mar-13 10:02:41

I remember how it feels to be cringing and curling your toes while your baby clamps their amazingly hard little gums on your sensitive nipples sad Are you fair-skinned? They do become de-sensitized eventually. Try to relax and do deep breathing when your baby latches on. (I'm sorry if you're already doing that.)

It sounds like you're doing really well with your baby so please give yourself credit for her thriving so well. Despite the fact that our grannie's generation didn't have washing machines etc, I think we have it harder - they used to stay in bed for about three weeks after the birth and the baby was washed, nappy done etc by someone else - eg, sister/neighbour/ granny. No one expected anything of new mums but to gather their strength and feed the baby. You're exhausted, emotional and adjusting to the biggest change in your life you've ever had.

You will get used to the massive change and you'll be back to your normal organised, independent self before you know it I promise.

Ladyhawke127 Tue 19-Mar-13 11:01:51

Oh, poor you! That sounds perfectly miserable for you! It does sound as though your positioning is bad. I had this trouble when I started with little hawk. I now use a normal pillow. To begin with I had hid head in one hand and my boob in the other, pointed my nipple to his nose and then scooped him on, chin first to ensure a good latch. Little hawk could feed for hours too, so I feel your pain there too. It sounds as if you are letting your little un be a lazy latcher and that's why you are so sore (guilty here too, to begin with) but you can't put up with too much of that type of punishment. Take baby off, and relatch properly. It does get sooooo much better, and is much more convenient, but a happy baby needs a happy mummy. If that means that you would be better to stop then that is what is best for you. Breastfeeding is not the be all and end all, and if your mental health is suffering as a result, then perhaps you need to draw a line under it an go to bottle feeding. Do not feel guilty about doing this, it is a decision that overall might be better for you as a family. If you do want to continue, then please take it from me that it does get better and that it does feel so bloody relentless at the start. I have ad days on the sofa doing nothing else! Breastfeeding is a real skill that needs time for both of you to perfect and doesn't happen overnight. Trusting the process is hard too, for an organised person, as you don't know how much is going in etc, and it is easy to get cought up clock watching (guilty here). I have to say that once the two of you perfect your art, then it s terrific! Unsettled baby- boob- happy baby. Tired grumpy baby- boob- happy, sleepy baby. It is as much psycological comfort as it is actual feeding for your baby. Overall you must do the right thing for you. If that means giving up breastfeeding then tha is what you should do. If you wish to continue, then try nd find a support group on la leche league group to help you. Good luck with what ever you decide.

Ladyhawke127 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:05:16

Oh, poor you! That sounds perfectly miserable for you! It does sound as though your positioning is bad. I had this trouble when I started with little hawk. I now use a normal pillow. To begin with I had hid head in one hand and my boob in the other, pointed my nipple to his nose and then scooped him on, chin first to ensure a good latch. Little hawk could feed for hours too, so I feel your pain there too. It sounds as if you are letting your little un be a lazy latcher and that's why you are so sore (guilty here too, to begin with) but you can't put up with too much of that type of punishment. Take baby off, and relatch properly. It does get sooooo much better, and is much more convenient, but a happy baby needs a happy mummy. If that means that you would be better to stop then that is what is best for you. Breastfeeding is not the be all and end all, and if your mental health is suffering as a result, then perhaps you need to draw a line under it an go to bottle feeding. Do not feel guilty about doing this, it is a decision that overall might be better for you as a family. If you do want to continue, then please take it from me that it does get better and that it does feel so bloody relentless at the start. I have ad days on the sofa doing nothing else! Breastfeeding is a real skill that needs time for both of you to perfect and doesn't happen overnight. Trusting the process is hard too, for an organised person, as you don't know how much is going in etc, and it is easy to get cought up clock watching (guilty here). I have to say that once the two of you perfect your art, then it s terrific! Unsettled baby- boob- happy baby. Tired grumpy baby- boob- happy, sleepy baby. It is as much psycological comfort as it is actual feeding for your baby. Overall you must do the right thing for you. If that means giving up breastfeeding then tha is what you should do. If you wish to continue, then try nd find a support group on la leche league group to help you. Good luck with what ever you decide.

Ladyhawke127 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:05:44

Oops! X post!

monsterchild Tue 19-Mar-13 15:16:12

Hi stow, I can sympathize I too am short and well endowed. The pillow helped a lot. Also for lying down I found my"top" breast was easier to feed monster baby than the one against the bed.
Nipple pain for me was due to adhesions which can still be painful. Ds had a tongue tie but he's doing just fine.
Do what you need to do for your baby to be healthy.
And the dogs will understand, they are very good that way!

AmandaJay Tue 19-Mar-13 15:26:26

Your hormones are all over the place, I promise things will get better for both of you. Have you tried one of those long breastfeeding pillows which can be used across your lap with baby on to make the baby higher (and are also fantastic for supporting your back when lying down). The bf will help get your hormones and body back to normal - it's fantastic for losing weight whilst eating much much more and of course the health benefits to both of you are unquestionable. I bf for 4 years and my DD had no infections whatsover for 4 years. I would recommend looking for a bf support group in your area which is also a good opportunity to get out of the house and meet other mums in your position. Good luck and please don't give up.

stowsettler Tue 19-Mar-13 18:10:01

Right, well I went to the GP this morning, thinking that the excruciating pain in my boobs was not normal and suspecting thrush. No thrush and no tongue tie. The pain in my boobs, particularly agonising in the nights / early mornings, must just be down to oversupply. Doc just advised to keep taking painkillers and express off the worst.
She asked me if I enjoy BF, and when I said I hated it, she asked me why I was still doing it then, which in a strange way comforted me. She gave a really balanced view of both FF and BF, highlighting pros and cons of both.
I still get extremely sore nipples and very, very uncomfortable sensations when feeding at all times of the day, probably down to my super-sensitive boobs and I think this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
I have bought some formula and I've decided that I will give her a FF late evening (or rather DP will as I'll be asleep). I still get times when I think I really don't want to stop BF, and other times when I wonder what on earth I'm doing, putting myself through this torture when I don't have to.
Positioning is a faff but not the biggest problem I have, so I'm not worried about that any more. So, if she gets on ok with the FF tonight we'll take it one BF at a time over the rest of the day.
Thank you for all your advice and sympathy, I do hope I won't need to whinge on here for much longer!

narmada Tue 19-Mar-13 18:16:53

Glad you feeling better. BUT..... GPs by and large are not experienced enough in issues of infant feeding to recognise tongue tie, especially if it's a posterior tie.

You need to see a LC if you think you might want to carry on. But go to formula if you need to: in all likelihood it will be fine smile

Re oversupply - the best way of tackling this if this is a problem (and again, you would need to be confident it was and a Lactation Consultant could help there) is to express off a tiny bit to make you more comfortable and then block feed - e.g., feed off one boob for hours at a time. Then switch to the other boob a few hours later.

THat may all be an irrelevance if you've decided in your head that this is it, in which case: go for it. Do whatever makes you all happiest.

caughtinagiggleloop Tue 19-Mar-13 18:25:10

I had a bit of a problem with this for the first couple of months but once DD had grown a bit, it was a lot easier to find a comfortable position. I tried with a variety of different cushions and pillows until I found one that was just right but eventually she didn't need one. I also found it really boring at first but then I started loving it when I realised I had the perfect excuse to sit down and do nothing for anything from 10 to 40 mins. I just stick iplayer on or a DVD and relax.

SoYo Tue 19-Mar-13 20:49:54

Stow I had to check twice that you're not actually me & I wrote these in a middle of the night haze! DD is 3 weeks tomorrow & I too hate the feeding. It's 90mins every 3hrs, nipples are agony despite latch ok etc & it makes me feel miserable & dread my beautiful girl waking up.

I decided 3 days ago enough was enough & something needed to give. After much crying, wringing of hands & guilt we're now giving one bottle feed a day (well DH is, she won't take it from me as I smell too milky). I can't tell you how liberating this has felt, the missing one feed giving me a nice long feed free window (I express for 10mins in this time) & the knowledge that I could stop BFing & she'd still be fed if I needed to or it got too much. I have to say the first day she didn't take the bottle well, yesterday she took it nicely but didn't settle as well as after a BF & today she gulped down 6oz in 20mins & slept for 2.5hrs on my chest. It's made the other breastfeeds seem much easier & given my nips a break too.

This might not be the right thing for you at all but it's always good to know there are others in the same position! I was also told by someone today that when she's 15 & hating me she won't give a stuff how I fed her & I'll just be glad we've both survived to that stage!

Give yourself a break & good luck. Just do what you can so you both survive & you can enjoy your lovely baby!

stowsettler Wed 20-Mar-13 19:35:33

SoYo, so glad dropping a bf has worked for you. I have now all but decided to give up completely. HV came today and, fair play, was brilliant. Offered umpteen suggestions to all my problems (latch, positioning, nipple soreness, deep breast pain etc) and I'd tried them all. She seemed genuinely surprised that I have ALL these problems and I think came about as close as she's allowed to agreeing that maybe bf is not for us. DD def does not have tongue tie btw. I am going to see the bf specialist tomorrow as a last ditch attempt but tbh I think I've finally given myself permission to admitdefeat. And it feels wonderful. I can now enjoy my beautiful daughter.

narmada Wed 20-Mar-13 20:56:28

Go for it then. If it feels wonderful it is probably the right thing for you.

Wonder what the deep breast pain is? Letdown ( horrible ache, Like period pains in boob) or ductal thrush?

Still stand by what I say about MW not being adequately trained to spot ties. Cannot be done IIRC without suck- testing for want of a better phrase, eg putting a pinkie into baby's mouth and seeing how tongue moves....if she didnt do that, she hasn' t checked properly.

Good luck whatever you decide, you have given it a really really good bash.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now