My battle!



Well I've been pottering around giving people advice and telling them not to give their babies bottles if they wish to breast feed. I do not speak from a medical view, nor the view of someone who knows what they're talking about professionally. I can only talk from experience. I have absolutely nothing against bottle feeding. I believe everyone has a right to be comfortable with the way in which they feed, but if you really, strongly, truely want to breast feed, I would strongly protest you do not give a bottle to a breast fed baby unless you're willing to deal with what will/could happen. The "I'll just give her one a day," theory isn't going to work in most cases! If you give a baby a bottle he/she will get used to the flow and/or easy nature of the bottle. He/she will then begin to protest againt breast feeding (not in all cases but in most) and you will have the hugest fight on your hands to get all the way back to where you started. Which, I believe, is alot harder than sticking at it in the first place. I believe the key to acheiving breast feeding is reassurance and guidence. I don't believe the NHS is in any way good enough at promoting breast feeding. I guess this is where my story starts. After being so uninterested in breast feeding when I was pregnant, it was completely different when she was in my arms, nussling at me! I tried so hard to breast feed Caitlyn. I fought through nights in hospital with her screaming and keeping everyone awake when a midwife told me I should just give her a bottle to keep her quiet. Well, after days of being awake and no one telling me that things would get better, (and that she wouldn't starve,) I did it. I gave her a botle. I have never been so upset in my life. After that, she got more and more distressed with the breast. Soon enough I was ready to give up.. I couldn't though. My heart was in it. It took so much fighting, and she has been having formula and breast for a long time. She would favour one over the other at different times. I was lucky, she never started to reject my breast. Other people are not that lucky! She is now totally rejecting bottles and I have never been so happy, but it was hard! It was hard to see her favour a piece of plastic over what nature intended (for us, not everyone.) I know there are circumstances where it is best for a mother to subsitute feeds with a bottle but I really and truely want to stress that if you want to breast feed (I understand not everyone does) then please, please, do not set out to mix feed. It was truely heart breaking for me and I know a few more women on here are going through the same struggle.

Breast feeding can be hard, tiring and sometimes almost impossible but the battle is worth it. You can do it girls, you truely can!!

I hope I did not offend anyone when writing this. It was meant for reassurance and guidence to those that want to breast feed, not to push anyone into deciding to breast feed, nor put anyone down who does not wish to. I am pro-choice when it comes to this.
I'm glad it's worked out the way you wanted.

For me, I was desperate to exclusively bf but just didn't enjoy it. I know I'm lucky that I seem to have ample supply when Ally does bf and that he hasn't refused the breast. He prefers it still. With #2 I'll definitely be setting out to bf but at the same time I'm not going to get stressed about it :) For me now, I actually like breastfeeding because I'm not doing it all the time. I've even worked up from 1 bf a day to 2 and now I'm going to work on getting the 3rd in. But I won't be going up from 3 I don't think.

I agree the that NHS doesn't give enough support unfortunately :(
I agree. I wanted to bf right from the beginning and was lead to believe it was easy- just pop her on and bobs your uncle. Had I known the truth perhaps I wouldn't have felt like I was failing.

I too had my baby taken from me in the hospital during the night and she was given a bottle so I thought it was ok.

now.... she is rejecting the breast.

If I had my time over again I would stick it out knowing that I could do but it is hard.
i was very lucky my hospital has laction experts on hand and helped me latch him on. i had to give him a bottle in hospital one day as his blood sugar was low and they needed to get it back up. luckly he hated it and wouldnt drink from it and prefrerred my nipple. he still hates bottles now. i also had a private room so didnt keep anyone awake at night trying to feed him. i was one of the lucky ones who only had sore nipples for a few days and jack latched on well from the start. :hug: to those who stuggle though x
I wish they'd just given Ally a bottle in hospital. Seeing him being tube fed was very unpleasant for me...I guess he couldn't have a bottle though as he wouldn't wake up to feed. I think that one reason I found bf so hard is because I felt like a failure at it when he got so jaundice.

I guess we'd all have done things different feeding wise if we could go back in time!

(this is a really rubbish reply that's quite irrelevant, I know...)
Well said.. i am going through this battle and it's breaking my heart.

When Brooke was four weeks i was told to top her up after a feed as she wasn't full up on just the breast. Well topping up with a bottle was easy and convenient, it soon led to replaceing a feed. Then it replaced two feeds, then all but the first feed of the day.

I have been trying this past week to get her back on the boob all the time but it is not easy as i just seem to have nothing there. She cries so much as she is so hungry so i have to top her up. I left her three days on the hv advise and couldn't bear to see her starving.

I'm loosing the battle again and i'm beating myself up every minuted of the day.

If you do truely want to bf, do it. Don't do what i did, it's hard and i'm finding it nearly impossible to go back :(
You've also struck a chord with me.

At the start breastfeeding him was so easy, he latched on so well, never sore and every midwife who came to see us said he was latched on perfectly....

then when he was weighed at 14 days he was still well under his birth weight and the HV advised formula feeding him. I ignored this advice, and ignored it again the next week when his weight had fallen further and instead tried all the tips from on here and from the lactation consultant and thought nature wouldn't let him starve. His weight dropped every time and the HV kept saying to give him formula and yes it is easy to start (and in the end we did) but I don't think we will ever get stopped and up until a few days ago it broke my heart. If I could go back in time I would have given it one more week, just to see if his weight would start to even out..... (my husband says I'm mad, he would love our baby to be breastfed but says he would have got sick if he had been starved any longer.)
That was really interesting to read Toria :)

Im not a BFing mummy but still was good to read. Shall bear this in mind if I ever have another LO as i desperatly want to BF next time round!
I agree! Last night I left Kieran with my mum to get some shopping and she used a fast flow teat on his bottle of EBM I had left eith her instead of using the slow flow one I had told her to and now he won't go back onto the best. Been trying all last night and today and he won't got back on :cry:So it's formula feeding from now on.
The most important thing for a mama that wants to breast feed is SUPPORT.

Breast feeding is tough, it's hard, it's a pain in the tits! But for women who have a bawling screaming baby and it's 4:30am for the 25th night in a row, who have no support, are almost always going to give in to a bottle. I've done the research, I had it in my mind that I was going to breast feed, NO MATTER WHAT. But let me tell you, after 5 weeks of feeding for 70-90 minutes every 2 hours (that translates to about 30 minutes with no baby on the booby), no sleep AND the continued burdens of life - I lost my marbles and very much considered just giving in. I just kept remembering, one more feed... just feed her one more time. Then by 6-8 weeks things got massively better. Then at 12 weeks they got even better when she started sleeping 4-5 hours at night...

But had I not had the support of my friends and relatives to keep me going, to remind me that I was doing the right thing, and to help me remember all the reasons why I decided to do this to begin with - I would not have been able to continue.

I'm 34 years old and a mom of 2 (breastfed my first one too) so I knew what to expect. I shudder to think of the trials that the first time young mamas on here who aren't really sure what's going on, and are getting a lot of input to just make a bottle...

It's hard to offer support here without being interpreted as preachy or pushing my beliefs on someone.

I have thought it to be similar to weight loss. Loosing a lot of weight is hard, it's making lots of sacrifices. It's sometimes painful if exercise is involved. It's not fun in the beginning... but after a while it starts to pay off... you start to see little bits of hope and seeing the results of your hard work and dedication after a few weeks.

If a woman posted that she was thinking about going off her exercise regiment, and getting off her diet cuz it was too hard, and she didn't think she could do it - people would want to help her and tell her to keep going... trying to support her and help get her through a rough patch mentally. It's much the same with breastfeeding. I don't think I've met anyone here who's anti formula. We're just pro breastfeeding... and especially to those ladies who exhibit a plain desire to do so who seem to be hitting the rough spots that we ALL face!

Again this is a hard thing to do... but in the long run there are so many benefits - cost being only one and probably the most obvious.

Anyway, thanks Toria for the post. I'm glad you were able to persevere and breastfeed as you hoped.

And thank you to all the ladies on here who even without knowing, helped support me as I sat up at 3:30am and 4:30am and 5:30am for countless nights in a row crying my eyes out as I was so tired. You helped me remember it would get better, and it did.

I agree! Last night I left Kieran with my mum to get some shopping and she used a fast flow teat on his bottle of EBM I had left eith her instead of using the slow flow one I had told her to and now he won't go back onto the best. Been trying all last night and today and he won't got back on :cry:So it's formula feeding from now on.

Don't give up! Give him a chance... get skin to skin with him... hand express a drop or two from your breast into his mouth... spend the next few days with him no bottles just you and him naked in bed together. I bet he'll remember. Don't give up!
Good for you Toria for being able to suffer through all the hard stuff!
I think that is the saddest thing is that women overall don't know how freaking hard it is to breastfeed. Most of us before hand have the idea that it is the most natural thing in the world, just easy as pop the baby on the breast, and it is just not. We have lost something along the way, and I think sharing our experiences of the trials is the only way to get it back. After reading of so many of the difficulties women here have had, I realize how freaking luck I am as I have had a really easy time. Bren latched on the first time, and I never got sore, or cracked nipples, my milk came in quickly and Bren gained weight after the initial lose. But having said that, it was still so hard at first. There were days, weeks that I felt like all I did was sit on the sofa and feed. Now 4 months on, it is sooo much easier. I think that no matter how long you BF, I think just in giving it a go, you have done something so wonderful for you and your baby!
OMG !! :cry: I'm actually shedding a tear here. It's so reassuring to know I'm not alone.
I'm really angry with my hospital !! I was adamant that I wanted to breast feed solely, and as soon as I said I was sore in the hospital, they told me to give her a bottle. I point blank refused, and asked for more help latching on.... they spent about a minute pulling her about like a ragdoll and manhandling my boobs, and then insisted she have a bottle as she wouldn't be getting enough otherwise. ( bear in mind I went home the day after I had her ). They didn't give me or her time to learn, and I've had a nightmare ever since. I keep giving up breastfeeding, but the desire to latch her on is soooo strong, that I can't resist when she roots at my cheek.. or when I'm so full because I've 'given up'. I'm tired.. frustrated.. guilty.. and on the verge of the descent into PND !!! If it wasn't for this site, and actually typing the words out onto the screen, knowing that you lot are all here for me and each other.. I don't think I would have gotten this far with BF !!!

Sorry to ramble......... :blush: :hug:
Thanks for writing this Toria, I would like to breastfeed as I have been led to believe its what I should do and yes I wanted to try it but after reading this I will think twice before thinking about using a bottle at all!!

Good thread. Ive always wanted to breastfeed never really gave it much thought because I was naive and thought it would just come naturally. Should I make it very clear to my MW/hospital that I dont want my baby bottle fed?
Good thread. Ive always wanted to breastfeed never really gave it much thought because I was naive and thought it would just come naturally. Should I make it very clear to my MW/hospital that I dont want my baby bottle fed?


And get in contact with a good lactation consultant in your area to be in touch with AFTER you have LO. Knowing your consultant and having her number handy will be important when you run into issues... (if you do).
Good thread. Ive always wanted to breastfeed never really gave it much thought because I was naive and thought it would just come naturally. Should I make it very clear to my MW/hospital that I dont want my baby bottle fed?

yes you should make it clear. i was in the same boat my LO had trouble latching on from the start (had a v. traumatic birth was 3hours before i saw/held her) and it took a good few days before she was feeding properly.

During my stay in hospital i was told she needed some formula (she was crying loads and wouldn't settle) and i should give her a bottle, obviously i wanted her to not go hungry so i did agree in the end they could give her a small amount of formula but through a syringe or cup. Which they did, this is always an option whilst you are having troubles...if you have troubles with it that is.

Don't be bullied or pressurised into doing anything you don't want to. (Breastfeeding or bottle feeding) its your baby and your choice.

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