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Am I the only one? Be honest!

OK, this might be a little controversial, but I'm really curious. I'm just wondering about everyones positive/negative feelings about bfing. I sometimes get the impression from what I read, here and elsewhere, that bfing is supposed to be an overwhelmingly wonderful and amazing experience. It's almost making me think that there must be something wrong with me!

Don't get me wrong- I'm a huge supporter of bfing, I'm very proud that Beth had never tasted formula until last week (7 months) and if I have more kids I will definitely bf again. But completely amazing? Not so sure.

* Knowing that she needs her mummy for something that no one else can do- especially at first when she didn't really recognise different people
*Knowing that I'm doing the best thing for her
* Watching her put the weight on before weaning and knowing that it was all down to me
* That little milky smile when she's had enough
* When she fell asleep feeding, looking thoroughly contented- so cute!
*So convenient- no bottles, powder etc to take out and about
*Not worrying about what I eat
* No periods!

*Hearing her cry in the night and having to get up while my oh turns over and goes back to sleep- oh how I hate that feeling!
*Not knowing how much she was taking when her weight gain slowed right down- got me quite stressed
*Low supply- having to express several times a day for a while, felt like I had no time to rest, do housework or even play with her
*When she wouldn't take a bottle for 3 months so I couldn't get a day or evening out, much as I love her I felt really trapped and I also wanted her to get used to being looked after by others- very frustrating

So... what are your feelings?


  • positive - it's completely free!
    - its on tap
    - always the right temperature
    - changes to suit her needs
    - has all those lovely antibodies so she doesn't get as ill
    i'm definitely going to try bfing for as long as i can and well done you for lasting 7 months! thats a lot longer than a lot of ladies i know. xxx
  • constant feeding at the beginning was hard work, being drained in the early hours when only boob will settle them.
  • I've found it a necessary evil for the first 2-3months ish until I got the hang of it and gained confidence.

    I would do it again, but it's bl###dy hard work, very draining both physically and emotionally.
  • i agree its hard work in the early days but definately worth it.My lo cut her feeds dwn when she started on solids so i have never really felt its a chore or that i cant go anywhere.We are still bf at almost 10 1/2 mths and i will be bf the next one thats due in 5 mths time!! xxx
  • Positives:
    *Knowing that only I can feed her - it's our special thing
    *Knowing that she's thriving and it's all my doing
    *Knowing I'm giving her the best thing for her
    *The way she breaks off, catches my eye, smiles and chatters at me
    *The way it calms her whatever she's wound up about

    *Not knowing how much she was taking when her weight gain slowed right down- got me quite stressed (c&p'd directly from Poz's post as it's what's happening to me at the moment!)
    *Not feeling able to leave her for longer than an hour as her feeding pattern is so sporadic and she won't take a bottle without getting very stressed
    *Clammy, milky sheets - partic in the early days but still occasionally now
    *Not knowing where I am with my fertility - we don't want to wait forever to ttc no.2.

    Bf has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me and the thought of stopping makes me want to cry! We were lucky enough not to have any problems at all - at no stage have I found it hard or tiring, so much so that I sometimes worry there's something wrong! I haven't even had to use nipple creams - it just feels like the most natural thing in the world. I feel very lucky.
  • Hi, I agree with all the positives given already but I have recently been thinking of the negatives...
    1) With my first I would put him in his highchair & give him his morning bottle whilst I pottered about doing my breakfast etc, he was 9 mths old at the time.

    2) Although my LO took EBM from a bottle the first 2 times I went out he has since refused & screamed until I was back to feed him! So it stresses me out each time I go out & leave he as I worry he'll just sceram for whoever is looking after him & are babysitters won't want to babysit anymore!

    3) Being woken in the middle of the night & being the only one who can do anything! Grrrrr! I'm so tired at the mo!

    4) Nipple twisting - he actually twisted my nipple today when he had finished a feed - ouch! He does like to hold on when he pulls away.

    5) Scratching - my chest is a map of scratches & he pummels at my boob during a feed, natural I know but my first baby was very chilled & didn't do either! He also sometimes gets a really tight grip on my boob too which isn't comfy!

    6) Other peoples embarrassment - I don't care if others about & get annoyed when some people get embarrassed that I'm BF'ing even though nothing can be seen!!!

    Otherwise I like BF'ing but I don't find it an overwhelming, wonderful experience & could take it or leave it, I do BF as it's what our boobs are there for & it's free & the poo doesn't smell as bad as when formula is introduced! I was planning on BF'ing for a year (credit crunch & all that - save the pennies) but I'm not sure if I can be bothered & might give some formula when weaning at 6mths.

  • I was thinking about this during feeding last night and no, there aren't that many positives at 4 am when he hasn't settled since three! :lol: But it occurred to me that the main negatives as far as I am concerned are those that are related to feeding in general, not just breast feeding - namely the exhaustion of getting up in the middle of the night every night and the (current) constant demand for feeding. There are a few specifically breast feeding negatives at the moment. I have cracked nipples and am just getting over a couple of blocked ducts so my breasts are very sore. Combined with his need to feed every hour to two hours and the fact that he wiggles like mad latching on (and is very strong), I am incredibly sore, particularly at night. And psychologically I am finding the constant feeding quite tough. He doesn't seem to settle well between feeds anymore and nothing I can do other than feeding him seems to soothe him so I end up feeling like all I am good for as far as he is concerned is food. Basically, I am not mum, I am just a boob. Objectified by my own three-week-old son! That is quite something for the feminist in me to take.

    That being said, the positives are there. I quite enjoy feeding once he is latched on (although his marathon sessions can be a bit wearing). I still feel strongly that this is what my breasts are for, so it is fulfilling in that sense. It is incredibly convenient - every time I think I can't take any more I think of the faff around formula feeding and determine to carry on. And, above all, I have a bonny, healthy boy who clocked in at 10lb. yesterday (at 24 days old).

    So, being stubborn, I'm going to continue, at least until six weeks. I may have to reevaluate if he hasn't settled down a bit in terms of number of feeds by then (and if my breasts are still this sore) but by the sound of it things should get a bit more manageable about then. But, no, this hasn't been the instinctive, transcendental experience that some evangelists would have had me believe.
  • The things ive found difficult so far- are not knowing how much he's taking and feeding in public.
    I can't imagine ever being able to do it. We've been out twice with him so far when he's needed a feed (he's 11 days old) and i've fed him in the baby change room, propped up on the change table-it's been horrible, made me want to cry that my baby has to eat in a toilet because im too self conscious-maybe we'll get there when we're better at it, i don't know but it makes me sad x
  • Thanks for your replies everyone, you've made me feel a bit more normal! And as I say, knowing everything that I do I would still definitely bf again.

    TheHistoryGirl- you're right about the constant feeding not being just a bf issue, but the number of times I've wished that I could turn round to my oh and say 'Right, your turn now, I need some sleep!' And to be fair, my oh also desperately wished he could give me a break at the beginning.

    Pixiebob- sorry to hear that you're finding the feeding in public thing difficult- it really does get easier! Have you managed to get to any baby groups yet? They're really good because you'll often see other mums bfing and also because it's usually all women you might feel a bit more relaxed.
  • Holly is 7 weeks now and I have had no problems at all with sore nipples or not being able to latch on but I have found breast feeding very hard from an emotional point of view. At first I almost resented her for wanting a feed because I was so exhausted and just wanted some time to myself but I am determined to do the best for her and we are in a much happier place now.
    I don't like having to time when I go out according to when she needs feeding (which is every 2 hours in the day altho she goes 8 hours at night) but I LOVE that feeling of pride I get every time she gets weighed!
  • I think I agree with pretty much all the positives and negatives that have been said so far!

    One pos I would add that that you always, no matter where you are, have an instant, foolproof, guaranteed way to stop lo crying!

    And only 1 neg that I don't think has been mentioned yet is BITING! Ow ow ow!! But then I am still bf and lo is 15 mths!!! (Trying to stop.....)

    I would like to add though, that apart from the first few weeks (when I had some difficulty getting bf established) I think the positives outweigh the negatives by a ton!


  • It all started off pretty negative for me as we were not able to BF due to numerous problems, and I think I've only continued (expressing) as I have as I'm too stubborn to admit defeat.

    Anyway my take on it and how I feel.......
    If I'm honest I feel a bit cheated - I've had periods as normal and not lost any weight since I came out of hospital so not had any of the main benefits they use to 'sell' BF when you're pregnant!
    I also get really fed up that the healthcare profession don't recognise express feeding as breast feeding, Ok so I'm not getting my boobs out for her to suck from but where the hell do they think my milk comes from???? (I'll get off my soapbox now!) If they do take me seriously, they tell me there's no way I can provide enough milk for her so must be topping up with formula
    Oh, and not aimed at anyone here but - I also get fed up with mums who do BF looking down their nose at me because I'm not direct feeding, as if I haven't tried??? Lost count now of the number of times I've fed my LO in public feeding rooms wiping away the tears because of a sneering look or just generally feeling like an inadaquete mum.

    I more than likely will try again with number 2 but there's no way I will beat myself up over it if I fail again, I don't think my sanity could cope with this all over again!! I so envy all of you girls who have succeeded, I respect your hard work and determination to succeed and so wish I could have been 'part of the BF clan!"

    Corinna x
  • I love being able to breastfeed my lo. I do concur though there are downsides but to me, the positives outweigh them personally.
    I love when Lorelei is feeding and sometimes just sits watching me like she knows I'm her Mum and what I'm here for image I was a little nervous that she'd not take to me as had a few friends who had this problem but thankfully was never an issue. I had a em c/section with her and was disappointed at not being able to give birth 'naturally'- it was something I really wanted and felt very down about at first but being able to fed and nourish her really helped me and was definately a big part in picking me right back up again.
    On the downside, I hate that I could set out of a day wearing a bra and top which fit me fine and after an hour or two, both get tighter as boobs refill so to speak lol It sometimes actually feels they are being pumped up! And that feeling when get the old let-down tingle and you realise you've forgotten to stick a breastpad in- not fun lol

    Rosa x
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