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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 09:41 AM   31
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Thanks for this, i realised and i too am so upset about not BF, it gets to me sooo much!
My story: I was always usure weather to BF or FF, i really wanted to BF but everyone around me was saying no that FF is so much easyer bla bla bla, i had no support, MW did not even give much support, neither did HV.
One of the main reasons i was unsure was that i get bad exzema on my aerolas and everyone told me it would be 2 painful etc, so i decided to give at least the first feed after birth and see how i feel.
I ended up with a EMSEC and no MW spoke 2 me or asked how i was planning on feeding. When i came round and met my son (not until afternoon they would let me see him - he was also in neonatal straight after birth) They just started him on bottles They already put him in a routine of 40ml every 3 hours. When i got him upstairs in hosp with me i secretly BF him a few times, i asked for help but was only told 'thats it ur doing it' i didnt feel confident as he started screaming for more, and as i had no support or info given to me before that i was not aware this was normal. I tried again when i got home, once again he was suckling so much i thought he wasnt getting nothing, when i told HV she didnt even tell me it was normal. i gave up soon after, oh and parents telling me i didnt have enough milk etc.
A few weeks later i tried to relactate but again everyone told me i was being stupid and with all the hard work i soon gave up.
It kills me its bad to say but its wha ti look forward 2 most about having another baby is trying to BF, i think oh realises now how much it meant to me.

It hurts when everyone goes on about how BF is best, and the adverts that also state this loud and clear. makes me feel like a shite mum!

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 10:08 AM   32
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You're definitely not alone! As I read your post I kept thinking I could have written a lot of it because I had very similar experiences and just recently "gave up" on breastfeeding/pumping altogether.
I'm also working my way through the sadness and guilt as I truly wanted to breastfeed. I spent 3 days in the hospital and got minimal help during my time there. My nipples were too inward for my daughter to latch correctly so I was given nipple shields, which kept falling off, frustrating my daughter and me more. Every time she was hungry I went into the breastfeeding room and tried to feed her. I remember some of the sessions went well over an hour and it was exhausting for both of us.
The first 2 days she was soothed after being "fed" but by day 3 she was very hungry and not at all happy after I'd tried to feed her. The lady sharing a room with me suggested I give her some formula as she's probably starving and after giving it some thought I decided that was the best way to go as I'd rather have a full, calm baby than a starving, frantic one. I hated seeing her screaming and knew it'd be selfish of me if I'd decided to keep trying breast only. So she got her first bottle and was very satisfied. For the feedings after I continued to try to breastfeed first, which led to a screaming baby, shaking her head left to right, red as can be.. I was absolutely exhausted and emotionally drained. Another bottle she got.. then we came home and I was so thankful I'd decided to get a couple bottles before she was born for the "in case it doesn't work" scenario. I remember that night the milk came in and my breasts were HUGE!! Huge is even an understatement but that's another matter. Well, they were so full I had no nipples whatsoever. They were just round as could be and my daughter had no chance in the world to latch at that state.
The midwife visited us the next day and was shocked when she saw my breasts. She told me I need to massage them and try to get some milk out or else it could lead to problems. Problem was I was in excruciating pain. I remember telling my husband I'd like to take an ax and chop them off they hurt so badly. So you can imagine, taking all this into consideration how virtually impossible breastfeeding became for us.
When I tried a recommended lying position from the midwife I was crying as my daughter latched for a couple minutes. I was in so much pain but I waited until she was no longer latched in hopes she'd get some milk. Once she was off it was another dramatic scene of screaming as I couldn't get her latched again so my husband made a bottle and we decided then and there it was enough. I ordered a Medela Swing pump and had success in the first couple of days. Problem was I had no time to pump as much needed to increase the supply. Every 2-3hrs., 45 mins. a session my midwife said. I mean, how am I supposed to find that kind of time with a newborn?! When I pumped both of my hands weren't free and I had to lean over in an awkward position to best get the milk out. I managed twice a day maximum of pumping and on good days maybe got 80ml maximum out, which was enough for one feeding. On top of it all I was barely eating anything because I was so busy taking care of my daughter and trying to sleep and get some basic housework done so I began to wonder how rich my milk even was and if it was all even worth it.
Well, I stopped pumping altogether two days ago and the pump's up for auction on ebay. I'm very much looking forward to getting it out of the apartment so I can close this chapter once and for all. I'm so sad about this "failure", well, what I feel to be failure on my part. My husband and mom told me, look at her, she's healthy and growing, you tried it and it didn't work, you're doing the best you can! I know that's all right but it still will take time to completely get over. I just had such high expectations during the pregnancy and knew it wouldn't necessarily be easy to breastfeed but never could have imagined it being that difficult. No mother wants to see her baby in so much distress and frustration when he or she is so hungry. For some it works out well and I'm happy for them! For others it unfortunately doesn't and we must resort to formula. It's not the end of the world though - both my husband and I were formula fed and we're healthy.
So I'm trying to keep my chin up about it and walk forward. Lingering in the past won't bring anything positive our way. Just know you're most certainly not alone. Give yourself time to heal and talk to those you trust about the pain you feel. Just remember it does no good for you or your daughter to be so sad. She's getting formula, yes, but she's a full, satisfied baby and that's what matters most. Sending big hugs your way.

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 10:27 AM   33
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I know exactly how you feel. I hate that I feel like that as well, that people can make me feel so crap for something that really wasn't a choice.

When my LO was born she was poorly with breathing issues and was taken away to the SCBU. I didn't hold her for 3 days and then only for about a minute. During this time i pumped every 2 hours so she could have my expressed milk. She was fed with a NGT.

When she was well enough we started to try and breastfeed. It was some of the hardest times for me in the middle of the ward with a screen around me and my poorly baby hooked up to various things who was screaming her head off as various nurses and experts tried to get her onto the breast. She just couldn't drink and after a few days of this I felt terrible. The only times I held her was when someone was trying to force her onto the breast and she was screaming her little head off.

After investigation it turned out she has a floppy larynx that was making her have issues with breathing whilst feeding. We also found out her throat was burnt with terrible reflux. To conquer her feeding aversion we had to use sugar syrup and bottle feed with thickener in to try and keeping food down. She never one managed to latch on despite beat efforts, and if she had we would have still had to bottle feed with the prescription thickener.

I was very upset because I had bought in to the breastfeeding no matter what syndrome. My Mum told me I had quit on my daughter and was letting her down (despite this decision being made for medical reasons). Everyone else I know BFs and I feel they look down on her when I feed her with a bottle. Just the other day one of them said on FB I'd never formula feed my baby. She isn't a cow so why would you give her cows milk? Not aimed at me, but yeah it hurt that I AM FF my baby and no she isn't a cow. People are just thoughtless sometimes.

For the record I now believe there is nothing wrong with FF a baby. LO is doing well on it, but I hate bein judged as if I am making the 'easy' choice or I just didn't tough it out. Not everyone had that choice.

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 10:39 AM   34
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Just wanted to send you a huge hug. I could have written this myself and have felt all of the same emotions. My daughter was severely tongue tied and wouldn't latch so I started exclusively pumping. To cut a long story short, in week 4 I was hospitalised with a breast abscess and told to stop expressing straight away as I was on the verge of septicaemia (I couldn't even get my nipple in the pump). Despite this I haven't ever really forgiven myself for not being able to breast feed my daughter and it didn't help that my family wanted me to go against the surgeon's advice and to keep going from one breast alone.

I felt very alone and couldn't find many real-life stories of women with abscesses. I have lost half of the milk ducts in one breast and know that if I ever have any more children, I can't even risk breast feeding due to the risk of reinfection. This makes me even more sad. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story and I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you're not alone. X

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 10:51 AM   35
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I feel the guilt also, and it is hard riding the middle road as well, I am working on bf but I express and supplement with formula. My boy falls asleep a few minutes into bf and then gets so frustrated sometimes he can not latch. By the time he is screaming his head off and thrashing I just give him a bottle of EBM or formula if I am out of EBM. I asked for help on the bf board and all they said is stop giving formula and keep offering breast but if he isn't taking it, I just let my baby cry and scream?? So I am still working on what works for us.

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 11:00 AM   36
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Thank you thank you thank you for this thread. I am glad I am not alone in how I feel. Everyone has told me as long as baby is fed it doesn't matter - but it does. My OH especially does not understand how I feel.

I wanted so much to BF. Some of you may know that I had a truly awful pregnancy but gave birth to an amazingly healthy baby boy. His first feed he was like a pro. Latched on for 40 minutes. After that it got harder. I spent time in our local birthing centre getting BF support. I was woken every 3 hours, had my boobs manhandled, pumped etc. in the end Thomas would need formula or he would get nothing, not even colostrum. The midwives expressed their concern about me not being able to BF but I was determined to. I'd managed to keep my son in the womb until 40+3 I wasn't going to fail at something so natural.

The next 2 weeks were a blur. I remember there being a lot of tears from me and Thomas. He would latch for a few seconds, unlatch and scream. This went on for 45-1 hour before I gave in and allowed my OH to feed him.

When Thomas was weeks old he was hospitalised. We thought he'd been exposed to chicken pox. Doctors warned us that it could possibly be meningtitis. In the end we found out it was a bacterial infection that had turned into a blood infection. He went from drinking 3oz to having to be forced to take 1oz.

The doctors wanted me to pump milk for him so they could monitor his intake, except I couldn't do that. They provided formula and a pump. My OH fed him and I pumped to try and keep up my supply. We came home about a week later and my milk had gone.

I've tried relactating and nothing. What's wrong with me? Why couldn't I do it?

I feel awful for not being able to give him the milk that he needs. He's thrived on formula, and I'm happy he's healthy don't get me wrong... but it wasn't meant to be like this

My SIL managed to continue BFing when her son had reflux. She just sat him upright at the breast. So if she could do it with that then why couldn't I do it?

I hate it. I hate when we're out and I have to take a bottle out of the pram bag to give to him. I feel like an absolute failure.

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 11:35 AM   37
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My heart is breaking reading this thread.
Mothers should not have to feel like this. I wish there was something I could say to help, but I realize that there isn't. I just hope that this makes people think twice before touting insensitive assumptions about those who don't breastfeed, and at the same time...those of you experiencing this guilt... you MUST see this in perspective! It is a food choice. Your baby will not remember nor care where the food came from... your baby WILL know that you are the one who tends to their hunger, who provides them a warm bottle and a snuggly pair of arms to eat their meal in.

I have a close friend who is experiencing this right now, and she noticed how "What should be a rational, logical decision has turned into a heartwrenching choice", because of what a hyper-focus this receives in forums and certain mommy groups.

Just the word 'fail' is breaking my heart... as if it is a skill that you must master, and if it was unsuccessful, then you just didn't do it right... rather than the simple recognition that it wasn't a good fit for you and your LO. For any NUMBER of reasons!

We have so much coming our way that will give us plenty to beat ourselves up about as mommies... we cannot begin our journey this way. We must recognize our strength, our tenderness, our gift as a mother. Do not focus on how your breasts functioned, or how your baby took to a specific style of feeding. Focus on the things that you know you do with love and utter passion for your new role as a mother, remember how lucky your LO is to have been given to you. I thank my lucky stars every single day that Thor and Lauren and Trevor were all given to me, and not someone else... because I know damn well that I will always give them what they need, I will always make them feel loved, and I will always take care of them. I am so grateful they weren't given to someone evil, someone innately selfish, or someone who's just rather indifferent. They were given to ME...and I will love them actively for my entire life.
You will, too, and your LO will never know nor care whether their food came from a breast or a bottle. If you like, you can share your story with them, so that they know how hard you have and will always work to give them what you believe is best for them... but leave it at that.
This is my story, LO, of how I was so dedicated to giving you what I believed was best for you. And even though it turned out to not be best for you and me in the end, I gave it everything, and then I saw enough to recognize when to stop fighting, and just let it be...and enjoy being your mommy. And just focus on loving you. And I'd never take back a single moment.

Sorry... I'm in tears writing this. No mother should ever have to feel this way.

Old Jan 12th, 2012, 11:59 AM   38
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I am SO glad to see that I am not alone on this!

I have suffered from sever PND with both of my boys, who are now 4 and 6. All because of no help with BFing from the right people, they were so quick to jump on me to FF, so I gave in without perservering because my boys were hungry, only to find conflicting judgement.
One minute the HV was moaning at me that my babies were hungry and to give bottles, the next they were talking down to me because I hadn't 'tried' hard enough.

Fast forward to my little girl, I managed to get her to latch right away but then she refused to feed for 12 hours, I was at my wits end and gave in with a bottle whilst still trying to get her onto the breast.

We've managed to combi feed for almost 4 weeks, but my milk just was not satisfying her and we've now switched to FF only, I don't feel as guilty this time around, but still have moments where I feel like I've failed.

At the end of the day we need to do what is best for our LO's, and sometimes BFing isn't the best option for some people.

I've since found out from family members that the women on my dads side all suffer with low milk supply issues... Why the hell didn't they tell me this 6 years ago when I was suffering badly and refusing to deal with my son as I felt he deserved a better mum??

I'm glad I managed to get colostrum into Millie, but FFing is best for us.

Here if you need to talk, proud survivor of PND, I look back now and can't believe the lack of support when I was having my darkest moments, it was all thanks to my now OH who made me see that self harming and suicidal thoughts were not the answer to a problem that wasn't even my fault

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 12:09 PM   39
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Thank you so much for this thread.

I have felt like a total failure for the past 5 weeks and felt like I was in limbo with combination feeding.

I have no qualms with anyone's choice of how they want to feed, whether they choose to formula feed or breastfeed, it's personal choice. But when your choice gets taken away from you it's the most devastating thing to deal with.

Here's my story (it's pretty long though!)

We had a horrible time with the hospital's aftercare, it was shocking. The midwives didn't help me with breastfeeding, everytime throughout our stay that I asked for help with feeding I was made to feel like a nuisance. They would come in to 'help' me feed, but just take a hold of my breast a force it into her mouth, they didn't even bother to try and show me what to do, and there was no support offered either. Eventually I just tried it alone, and when we were discharged I didn't think there was an issue.

2 days later we had to phone our local birthing centre as Poppy was distressed and wouldn't settle. They weighed her and she had lost 13% of her weight. They told us we should have had a midwife visit at home as well, which we hadn't had, so it may have been picked up on sooner had we had that.

We were immediately readmitted to the hospital (which I was dreading from our previous experience). Poppy was dehydrated and nearly ended up on the NICU, but thankfully she was able to stay with us.

They got me to express to see how much milk I was producing, and I got 2ml after 10 minutes on each side. She got put on a feeding routine of going on each breast until she took herself off, then she would have whatever I had managed to express and then be topped up with 3oz of formula.

Obviously we wanted what was best for our daughter, but not once did they really push to help us with the breastfeeding. They never advocated putting her back on when she came off, just to resort to the formula. I can understand making sure she got the formula straight away to make sure she didn't get worse and could make a start at getting better and putting on weight, but there was no discussion about trying to increase the breastfeeding.

We are still on this routine 5 weeks down the line as Poppy can sometimes get a good latch but even after what should be a good feed she is still hungry and my confidence with feeding is shot to pieces so I have to give the formula as I'm so scared of starving her in the same way that happened after we were discharged. Other times she just doesn't want to latch on, and we'll try for ages but she knows that she can have the bottle and I think that plays a big part in it.

I have tried putting her back on each time she comes off the breast, and sometimes we spend ages trying to feed, but it's the issue with confidence in myself that hinders us and I always go back to my safety net of the formula. I never want to see my child that distressed ever again.

I still persevere with the breastfeeding, even though I know she gets very little from me, because I know it's the best thing for her even if she only gets a bit and selfishly I'm so scared of losing my bond with her if I stop. Deep down I know that wouldn't happen but it's how I feel. I also feel so incredibly guilty at the thought of stopping completely.

Thankfully Poppy is now putting on weight and is completely back on track, but that's all due to the formula, she would never be where she is now just through breastfeeding.

I've wrestled with guilty feelings these past few weeks, and I think without the support of my husband I wouldn't have been able to cope at all.

I totally empathise with anyone who has had similar experiences, and understand the feelings that go with this.

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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 13:29 PM   40
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so sorry to all of you ladies who felt guilt about stopping or not being able to breast feed. I felt HORRIBLE guilt and felt like a horrible mom for stopping. Mostly because of what I read online, in books and what other bfing mothers I knew would tell me how horrible formula was for babies. I went my whole pregnancy saying no matter what I was bfing. Well it just didnt turn out that way. I did for a month and LOATHED breast feeding. I was hospitalized with mastitis in both breasts twice to the point I had blood poisoning and MANY infections caused by not going to the doctor right away. I dreaded him even waking up cause I knew id have to feed again. It made me ball my eyes out even when it didnt hurt at all. I became scared of my son, I feel it hurt our bond more than anything. Long story short FF was and is AMAZING for the both of us! My son is healthy, smart, handsome, not over weight, or too small or too big. Im no longer in pain constantly, feeling uncomfortable in public and feeling stuck at home. Ive already decided that the next child will get formula from the start. Of course I will give baby breast milk if I have some but I dont plan on ever giving only breast milk or breast feeding ever again.

I felt horrible at first but now I couldnt feel any better about my decision!! Its best for me and him. We are happy so who cares what other people have to say!

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