The Loss of Breastfeeding - Guilt, Grief & Support Thread

Discussion in 'Formula Feeding' started by MrsPOP, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. daddiesgift

    daddiesgift Mom of Two

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    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 :haha: 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.
     
  2. SmurfVader

    SmurfVader New Member

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    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.
     
  3. Smiler82

    Smiler82 Well-Known Member

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    Oh hun :hugs: 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 :hugs:
     
  4. fides

    fides Well-Known Member

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    aww, Smurf, huge :hugs:
     
  5. Shirley.

    Shirley. Member

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    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 ����
     
  6. pinklizzy

    pinklizzy Mummy to two little bears

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    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.
     
  7. Qmama79

    Qmama79 Mother of Finley Ethan(3)

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    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.
     
  8. cupcake.

    cupcake. Well-Known Member

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    I know it has been ages since anyone last wrote here..

    My Baby is 6 months old tomorrow and has been breastfed only for a couple of days, then combination formula/pumped breastmilk and when she started being extremely colicky i couldn't keep the pumping up. So after about 4 weeks she was purely formula fed.

    I'm still grieving that loss. I still think things should have been different, I still feel so guilty and like I let my daughter down. That I couldn't provide the most natural thing a mother should provide...

    The problem was that she couldn't latch properly after birth. Noone at the hospital thought twice about it, even though there were "breastfeeding consultants" there which is why i chose that hospital in the first place! All that was done was give me nipple shields. Noone thought to look for lip or tongue tie and it turns out that she has tongue tie but i didn't think to have her checked either. I should have, i should have insisted they do more than just give me nipple shields! I let her down...

    She was born small and just got weaker and kept losing weight. She had to be readmitted and during those days i never tried to latch her on because i Just wanted her to get food in her tummy, i wasn't caring how so she got bottles.
    We never got her back on the breast which i now know is due to her tongue tie.

    I just don't get it, it seems to be a simple thing to just get it snipped and they have to get into babies mouth anyway to check in there after birth so why didn't they just check her tongue.. why didn't i think to ask them to do it. It would have probably spared her another hospital stay, getting blood drawn from her head and getting fluids through a needle in that tiny tiny hand. I can't help thinking she might not have been so colicky if she had been able to breastfeed or at least i would've had a way to calm her.

    I prepared for anything, clusterfeeding etc and was determined not to let anyone prematurely tell me i had supply issues. And I didn't, my baby was crying all the time and every time my breasts would leak so much and when i pumped i got good amounts but when she was so colicky there was no way i could put her down for even 10 minutes to pump.

    It's just so hard, feeling like i failed my daughter. And i also feel i missed out on an important experience when having a baby. So much so that I sometimes which i could have another baby to do it over. I do want more but i'm not broody at all for another baby i have my hands and heart full for now, it's just i crave the experience of breastfeeding. I feel cheated in that sense, i should have had that experience. I wanted it so bad :'(

    And everyone says "maybe next time" and heck yes next time! I will make sure of it and i will make sure to have the right support next time to establish breasfeeding.
    But that doesn't take the pain away now and will never take away the pain that i couldn't breatfeed Mariella. What if next time it's just so easy and i end up loving that baby more. I'll probably be feeling so bad that a potential new baby gets what Mariella should have received also. Breastmilk is best so when i can provide what's "best" for my next baby i will probably feel even worse that i couldn for my first lovely DD..

    I just feel like i'll never get over it and i will never feel okay about habing to prepare a bottle of formula for my sweet little girl. She deservs so much more than that :'(
     
  9. fides

    fides Well-Known Member

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    I know it is an old post, cupcake, but I have been off B&B for a while and I just read your post. I hope you are feeling better about things.
     
  10. cupcake.

    cupcake. Well-Known Member

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    Awe thanks :hugs: i‘m okay this isn‘t a huge issue anymore since she‘s older and eating solids and only taking 2 bottles a day now. She‘s healthy and happy and getting smarter everyday - i‘m also very glad that she hasn‘t developed any allergies so far because if she had i know what I would blame it on.

    That said I still am extremely disappointed in the hospital and their staff. It just should not have been an issue. Period. I was asking for help because she did not drink and checking her for tongue tie should have been the very first thing to do.

    I learned from that and will be going in to a second birth a lot more educated and prepared. I will insist on checking and if necessary cutting lip or tongue tie. I also already know I won‘t stay at the hospital, after the birth I will be going straight home. But that is still probably around 3 years away since we‘re not yet wanting a second.

    I will never really be okay that I had to formula feed because the hospital didn‘t pay close enough attention. But I have a bright and healthy little girl which is obviously the most important thing :)
     
  11. Buddysmum89

    Buddysmum89 proud mum of Seb & Lilith

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    Gosh it's been so long since I've been in this thread! I only had 1 baby last time :haha: I now have two! Everyone meet my daughter, Lilith!:cloud9:

    [​IMG]

    I had a horrible pregnancy with her and developed obstetric cholestatis!! I was so itchy haha! So she was born at 38+3 by elective c section and weighed 6lb 11.5oz!

    But again, the guilt is eating me up! I didn't breast feed at all this time around! Since I had a bad pregnancy I just wanted my body back! Does that make me selfish :(..it does doesnt it! But saying that she's flourishing exactly how she'd be if I did breast feed her!

    My sister in law breast fed both her babies..in fact she's still going with the youngest who turned 1 in June!..she always asks me if I wanted to breast feed both? And that I should of tried :/, I tried and tried with my son..so much so that I used to dread feeds with how sore my boobs got, completely traumatised me from wanting to try again! No milk=hungry baby!

    How is everyone else doing?
     
  12. MissMarpleFan

    MissMarpleFan Well-Known Member

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    Cute baby!

    I find the Fed is Best Facebook pages to be a great source of support.

    If we ever have another baby, my only b-feeding goal is to try, now that I at least know how to hold her and attempt latch.

    The lactivist consultants left me feeling like a horrible failure, but I now believe that due to a variety of health conditions (mainly endocrine issues), I never could’ve made enough milk for her. She cried after every feed and had to be filled up with formula anyway. The punishing schedule of BF, pump, and FF left no time for sleep or anything else and could easily have caused depression if I hadn’t been so over the moon about a first healthy baby after 6 pregnancies that almost nothing could get me down. I kept at it for 7 weeks but it was such a weight gone when I gave myself permission to quit pumping. I would quit earlier if I could do it over, I only made a half a bottle a day by the end.

    I’m so grateful for the miracle milk (formula) that has helped my beautiful baby thrive and gives me more time to spend loving her, holding her, and playing with her.

    I’m angry about the demonization of formula by some other mothers, perfect strangers while shopping, the lactation consultants, and obnoxious newsletters from our “baby friendly” hospital.
     
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  13. blueblue

    blueblue Finally a Rainbow

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    Marple, I've only just seen this. Sorry you had such a hard time. I had similar situations with both babies, I mixed fed both of them. This time around I refused to pump as I ended up so down about it last time and it ruined the first year.

    I'm angry too that formula is demonised, for me it enabled my little ones to thrive and I have zero guilt about mixed feeding them. They both failed to thrive (no weight gain) in their first week and supplementing was necessary.

    Breastfeeding is very hard and it doesn't always work out. I don't think it's true that everyone can or everyone has enough milk, I certainly didn't! I think we do women a disservice by glossing over this, it's not the case of trying harder will make it work in every case. Sometimes the cost is too high and there is more to motherhood than just milk.
     
    MissMarpleFan likes this.
  14. Twinki.930

    Twinki.930 Active Member

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    i really felt this ... with my son i really wanted to BF i tried so hard to get him to latch and my husband and his mom kept insisting that i FF. i was so upset in the delivery room because i felt like a complete failure ,later we found out that my son had a tong tie ,and i wanted him to get it fixed but my husband and his mom thought it was pointless because he was eating well and gaining weight. i came to despise the other women i saw BF in public and it was an anger and sadness i've never felt before , i regret not standing up for what i wanted for my son. the next couple months i had PPD .i tried to explain to my husband that he wasn't very supportive when i wanted to breast feed in the beginning. he then said that i only wanted to breastfeed for my own selfish reasons. that obviously broke me even more and became really resentful towards him , and didn't let him do much of anything with our son because i wanted to prove to myself that i could take care of him with out his help and maybe give myself some kind of confidence in still being a good mom.my son is now 1 year and 8 months and hes such a happy baby and after i got over my PPD i sat down with my husband and told him why i did what i did and told him how i felt a while ago he came to realize his mistakes and apologized and promised things will be different with our next child .i think what made me the most upset was not having the reprocesses i needed when i was expecting and after the delivery maybe if i had been more informed things could have been different
     

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