Pinklizzy- A lot of what you posted I felt as well! And I still feel guilt as well. Maybe even more now that I have accomplished breastfeeding my daughter. With my first I quit after 6 weeks and felt horrible about it. Every little problem he had I blamed Formula. When I found out I was pregnant with #2 I was terrified to have another child because of breastfeeding! Kind of silly really all the things to worry about I worried about that the most. I quit with him after 9 days because of the fear that we were going down that same road as I did with #1. He was a big baby, still is really and I was scared it was because of formula. Which is even more silly since #1 was formula fed and hes never been chubby ever and still a string bean. And baby sis who is exclusively breastfed is a butter ball! 21 pounds at 6 months old. Her second chin sits on top of her first so formula making fat babies is bologna! Before her I also stopped going to mommy groups because I was scared of being judged or felt guilty, jealous and sad when Id see moms breastfeed. Even now sometimes when I see someone breastfeeding a toddler I feel sorry for my toddlers. Even though seeing their personalities Im not so sure I could imagine breastfeeding them now But now that Im the breastfeeding mom at the playgroups Ive noticed how distant some moms will get or how they will explain why they arent bfing even though You didnt ask. I also tell them I know exactly how they feel and Ive been there too. No matter if I bf my daughter till shes three Ill always relate to bottle feeding mothers more I think. And before my daughter I use to imagine these bfing moms sitting around and bashing bottle moms so it made me feel self conscience but in reality Ive never been anywhere even to bfing playdates that moms sat around bashing formula feeding moms.
Breastfeeding my daughter has been HARD. It took THREE months for it to get easy and pain free. Im glad this is my last child as I cant imagine going through that again but I forced myself not to give up this time. As much as being able to breastfeed my daughter has healed me in some ways its hurt too to compare it to her brothers journeys. Maybe once our kids are older we wont ever worry or cry or feel bad about how they were fed again. I hate that any of us ever had to feel like that.
The labor and delivery part of the hospital I went to was wonderful nurses were excellent, my MW was caring. After a thirteen hour induced labor, an hour and a half of pushing with no epidural, and trying to survive on three hours of sleep the night prior, I was beyond exhausted. When I was moved over to postpartum, or Mother and Baby, I didn't have such a wonderful experience. My MW was gone, off to see another patient having her baby, and the nurses made it seem like my fault that my baby just would latch on.
I had the lactation specialist in my room three separate times in the same night, trying to get her to latch but she refused. They checked her for lip and tongue ties, made sure her pallet was in tact, and everything was fine - except that Kiera was already at a 6% lose in weight and her jaundice was increasing. "She has to poop it out," is what they kept telling me. But how could she do that when she wasn't eating? I tried to express, but she still wouldn't take it.
They wouldn't let me leave until she latch on and had four good feedings and at that point I was there for four days, crying every time they came in to ask how she was eating and slowly driving myself crazy because what was wrong with me that my baby wouldn't take to my nipple?
I ended up lying to the nurses to get out of there, determined that she would latch as soon as I was stress free and out of there. At home, she latched on once and feed for a good while. I thought I had it, I thought since she found out how to get food she'd continue to latch on with just some help. But that was the first and last time she did.
By the end of the first week, I gave her a bottle. I was already producing milk, and was pumping trying to keep my supply up. She took to it instantly.
My heart broke seeing how fast she drank the bottle and how easily she took to the bottle. I never felt worse in my life. I sat in the dark of my room and cried as I watched her become milk-drunk and new it was going to just be harder from then on to get her to latch.
I didn't stop though. I tried my hardest to get her to latch on the next few days but still nothing. Already I was only producing 2-4oz of milk total while I read other mothers being able to produce 6-7oz. By the end of her second week of life, I was only producing 2oz every so often, about 6oz a day which I saved for her nightly feedings, and resorted to FFing during the day.
I'm reaching the end of her 3rd week and I produce only when she cries for a bottle, but I get nothing from pumping or self expressing. I wanted this bond so bad, I wanted to be able to give her all the nutrients she could get. And now, I just can't shake the feeling that I've lost something so special, that I've failed her somehow.
Oh hun I am so sorry to hear about your experience. It is so hard when it doesn't work out but please believe me you have not lost anything. You are her mother THAT is the important thing and you are giving her all your love regardless of how you feed her. I only managed 2 weeks of BFing and it was just horrible start to finish. I think we are led to believe that BFing is always an amazing bonding experience but for me it actually put the bond in danger because I started to dread every feed, and the second one feed was finished I started to dread the next one. Soon, I was getting cross everytime my son cried because I was thinking, oh god no, not another feed, please. Stopping BFing was the best thing for us. My son is nearly 2 now and we have the most amazing bond. I still feel a little jealous when I see someone BFing but I can shrug it off better now.
Thankfully my health visitor was very supportive and she helped me to not beat myself up about it, but I know others who were well and truly given the guilt trip and I'm sorry your nurses made you feel as though any of it was your fault. It wasn't. It takes time to believe that though, and it takes time to get over it. It took me months and any time anyone spoke about BFing or simply fed their child in front of me, I had a little cry when I got home. I just want to let you know that it does get better though and we all feel for you. Big hugs
Does the guilt ever go away? I had my daughter three weeks ago, I tried breast feeding but because I incorrectly latched at hospital I had blisters and feeding was excruciating. By the time I had a pump and things to help I was so mentally down I just couldn't bring myself to feed..I was engorged and in pain for days but I just feel like I've lost that bond?
I have an older daughter now five, similar happened and now I feel guilt towards them both, I feel like I've not given them the right start. I keep looking up how to re lactate but I just want to be happy and move on
It does get better, I still do feel very guilty at times and sad that I never got to experience the enjoyment and bonding that I thought I would by breastfeeding my babies. I think the weaning process helped a lot because I was able to spend lots of time and energy making yummy food for my babies and it was something I could do for them.
I do still actively avoid anything to do with breastfeeding if I can though.
I tried bf exclusively, but my lo was born 1 month early & was very weak after long labour. He didn't find the strenght to suck so I was pumping. It was horrendous. They got him goi g on formula in NICU and advised to combine and the switch to just formula. LO has always been small feeder. He's now 3 and still underweight. He's never made it on the charts. He is however healthy so that's good. I bf fr 8 months, never felt full, always worried he wld be hungry. But even now LO never asks fr food and he can hold a small cookie fr a good hour in his hands before eating it. Prego now and don't want to go through mental worry again. I have a pregnancy induced illness as well that is affected by bf. So, straight on ff after birth this time around and I'll think I'll be a better mother for it!! I'm not worried about the bonding. Love is in the air. Not just in milk.
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