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I am so close to giving up completely - pls don't judge me

Ds is 3 weeks old & I have been trying oh so hard to bf. My nipples are still very cracked & sore. I have had mw's & bf councillors round every day & every one says my latch "looks" fine and I feel I'm going round in circles being given the same advice each time. Clearly it's not fine otherwise I'd be healing!!

So last week I came to the end of my tether & declared I was stopping, but I felt so guilty I continued but on a more mix feed basis and expressing.

Now I'm expressing daily, all night feeding & early feeds are formula & I've been trying to bf at least 2 feeds but still can't get past the pain & it's not enjoyable.

Midwife came out Monday & suggested I stop bf & express/formula for a few days to give my nipples a break & a chance to heal as I was crying non stop & miserable, but I'm terrified of my milk supply reducing or drying up altogether!

The thing is (and this is so hard to admit) I feel I have no bond with ds as I look at him & see this person whose causing me such pain & agony & not my beautiful boy. I have to make a concerted effort to hold him, comfort him etc & it breaks my heart.

My mum says I should just stop bf & go to bottles as I'm so depressed & having had severe depression & self harming in my past she is worried I'll go down the pnd route.

The truth is I am more relaxed bottle feeding, but devestated at the thought of not being able to bf. I don't want more pain & misery but I can't seem to make my mind up one way or another.

Help me. :?


  • please please do what is right for you and your baby. If you know deep down it's effecting the relationship between you and your son and that it is making you unhappy then stop.

    Your son will love you no matter how you feed him and won't remember whether he was breast or bottle fed down the line.

    I am in a similar emotional state, I am repulsed by the prospect of bf and the thought of it makes me physically sick. People keep telling me to give it a go and that when baby arrives it'll feel like the most natural thing in the world but I am terrified I won't bond with my daughter when she is born if I am so unhappy so will probably go straight to bottle.

    Sending you lots of hugs x
  • Oh honey, it's so hard at the begining isn't it? The way you're feeling is perfectly normal, tiredness, lack of sleep and trying to learn how to breasfeed makes for a very stressful time.

    With regards to the cracked nipples, have you tried Lansinoh cream? It works wonders if you put it on after every feed.

    A good latch can be very difficult to perfect. It took me six weeks before I felt that my dd was latched properly most of the time. I spent ages on the net looking at videos and diagrams of babies latching and tried to put it into practice. Even though mw and hv told me my latch was good it wasn't. I also experimented with loads of different positions and found that I was able to latch best in an armchair with three cusions behind my back, a v pillow on my lap and my feet resting on the sofa cusions. It didn't make going out very easy though! I did have cracked nipples, and for a week I was having to take paracetamol to stop the pain, it was so bad.

    The best thing to do is to take each feed at a time thinking "I'll do one more feed" or "I'll just carry on for one more day". The early days are the hardest and I felt I turned a corner at 6 weeks when it started getting easier, and then again at 12 weeks.

    You do need to think about what is best for you and your family, and if breastfeeding is really making you unhappy and impacting on your family then you have a very good alternative out there with formula. You mustn't feel guilty if you do decide to stop, if you're sure you gave it your absolute best shot and couldn't have done any more then don't feel guilty.

    Good luck xx
  • G/C but I understand your feelings.. and didn't want to read and run.

    I just want to say to you the best Mummy in the world is a happy Mummy. You couldn't ask for more as a child to be loved and cared for by someone who adores you. They don't care how they are fed just that they are.

    Don't be hard on yourself and don't pre judge yourself. Do what works for you in the here and now and know that whatever decision you make you are the perfect Mummy for that perfect baby and they will love you regardless of what you decide.

    My Uncle is a doctor and told me that BF the first week if you can do it is brilliant anything else is bonus.

    I mix fed both mine. Daughter BF for longer. Son gave up of his own accord.

    Like someone mentioned. Take one day at a time. The pain does subside and it will get better but be kind to yourself too and don't put yourself thorough unneccassary torment.

    Take care and know whatever decision you reach is the right one for you both.

  • lamby!! i feel your pain sweetheart. the only i can suggest in the mean time is NIPPLE SHIELDS!! they saved me. boots own ones!!

    i was absolutely dreading feeding sophie and like you, almost felt guilty as i "hated" her for hurting my nipples and not been able to love her as much as i know i could. the first time i used the shields i was soooo relieved and now my nipples are back to normal and i managed to wean her off the shields so now we are having pain free feeds!

    at the end of the day mate its completely your choice. if your not happy, make yourself happy. dont worry about what anyone else will think, its not them with nipples on fire!!
  • You mustn't feel guilty or upset with yourself. Reading your post is like telling my own story of bf my DD. It definitely got in the way with bonding which was the absolute opposite of how it's supposed to encourage bonding!!! It was at the point with me that whenever she wasn't feeding I didn't want to hold her and would put her in her chair or pass her to someone else- we didn't do much cuddling at all in the first few weeks!

    We tried nipple shields but unfortunately they didn't fit me well so didn't work for us. I know for this time that medela make different sizes which I'll try this time.

    At around 3/4 weeks old my DD got a bit better with her latch and took a dummy which I really believe helped her. I still preferred bottle feeding breast milk or formula though as it had much less stress attached and I could actually enjoy feeding her.

    I did persevere with bf for 10 weeks but at least two feeds were formula and one was bottled breast milk. I was told by my gp who had experienced what I had that the is no evidence that baby gets anything besides nutrition from bf after 3 weeks, all antibodies, etc. Have been passed by this point. This helped me to slowly stop feeding and focus more on building my relationship with my DD and enjoying her. I was still a little sentimental the last time I bf her but I was a much happier person once I'd made the decision to stop.

    That was entirely my choice and yours is yours to make but please don't feel alone. Good luck x x x
  • Lambchop,

    Why would anyone judge you for giving up? And if they did they'd be totally in the wrong. Also, breast feeding because you feel it's what you ought to do is crazy, you do what's right for you and your baby and your sanity and happiness.

    All that said, what you are describing is so very common. All the literature tells you it shouldn't hurt but the fact is for many women it does. It is very early days though and if you really do want to give BF a go FOR YOU then you still can.

    Here's my story which might help. I was like you sore and cracked, and like you reached meltdown at 3 weeks and decided I needed a break. I expressed all one day and formula fed all night and after 24 hours off I felt loads better. But I did then dread going back to BF as I couldn't face the pain again. So I went to a BF cafe and got some support and if I'm totally honest sat there crying for 90 minutes straight(!) but actually once I'd managed to stop the tears, trying again wasn't as painful or dreadful as I had built it up to be, and I managed to get back on track: BF during the day and bottle feeding during the nights (on formula).

    When we got to 6 weeks I tried BFing 24 hours a day to see if I could do it and we haven't looked back, DD has been exclusively breast fed until we stopped a few weeks ago when she was 15 months old. When we were mix feeding in the first 6 weeks I had started to worry my baby only slept well at night and put weight on because she was on formula, but once we dropped it the sleeping didn't change at all and she continued on 75th centile and remains there today.

    SO! Firstly, your midwife wouldn't have suggested you stop and have a break if she thought your milk would dry up. ALso, trust me, it takes A LONG TIME to dry up completely! (I still have milk weeks after giving up completely). Also a woman in my BF cafe gave up for 7 weeks and managed to relactate when she decided she wanted to give it another go so it is possible. So relax, follow her advice, and take a few days to work out how you really feel about things and what you want to do. Keep expressing if you can to keep up the supply. But whatever you decide will be the right decision because it's your very own personal decision.

    Feeling like you have no bond with DC because of the pain is totally familiar to me, am sure this is also very very common. In the early weeks I used to cry when DD woke up for a feed because I dreaded feeding her so much! This will pass, you still have crazy hormones at the moment too so give yourself a break and some time to settle down.

    Also, your Mum is bound to advise you to drop BF because she loves you and worries about you and sees that it's causing you stress at the moment, but I just want you to know from someone who has been there that you can do this if you want to and what you are going through is totally normal.

    Finally, LASINOH!!! You can apply it before and after feeds and it's so wonderfully fantastic you can practically see it healing you while you watch. So if you haven't already, get some!

    Loads of luck and love and come back again to chat if it helps.

  • I'm using the lansinoh and am still not seeming to heal, my left nipple looks like one wrong move & it'll sheer off!!

    I tried to bf again today, my left was too painful & I had to take ds away after 10 mins, my right was much better mostly painless but ds kept pulling away a bit so kept slipping into a bad latch. After 30 mins it got too much so I gave him a bottle of ebm & he drank 4ozs & is now zonked out.

    I think I need more than the 24 hours I keep giving to heal, dunno why I keep trying when I know they need more time as I end up miserable after each failed attempt.

    Expressing is getting better, boobs were so engorged this morning they were agony & I expressed 10ozs out them both image

    Midwife is back tomorrow & there is a bf support group at my GP surgery on Monday so I'll head to that. It's just I feel so relaxed doing bottles & expressing/formula but miss the convenience of bf'ing.

    I had a bath with ds last night which was nice, he found his way to my boob & fed a little. I'm still struggling to feel that bond though, I know I love him but feel as though something is missing. :cry:
  • Honey take a deep breath. You are doing fantastically. For some people it just doesn't work for whatever reason. Not every baby has read the manual. He has had the goodness that is in the first few days. It is much more important for your baby to have a happy relaxed mum and formula than one that is on the edge and breast milk. Your post made me cry I feel so much for you. No one is judging you. As for the bond, bf-ing my daughter doesn't make me feel like I have some special bond, I just have what she needs and I am too tight (and broke!) to buy formula. I am lucky, I had several weeks of painful feeding but now she has the hang of it I don't even know she is there and she has teeth now. Please don't force yourself through this, formula is there for a reason. You should be enjoying this time you can't get it back and you don't want to look back on it with regret. Is it possible you have a touch of PND especially with your history. Please look after yourself an if that means giving it up then so be it xx hugs xx
  • You poor thing. It is complete madness that you feel guilty about finding breastfeeding hard, YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO FEEL THAT WAY!! There are many women who are on medication and therefore not allowed to BF so have to forumla feed and those babies are perfectly healthy. Please stop beating yourself up and try and think a little more positively: you arent 'giving up' BF. You are making a brave and rational decision to switch to formula in order to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy. Sending big hugs and best wishes to you xxx
  • Lambchop, are you sure you don't have thrush on your nipple? Why not try some canestan (clotrimazole) cream after feeding (not before) or get the GP to have a look. Babies can get it in their mouths too so this should be checked or your LO can pass it back to you even if you use the cream. This might be why LO is having difficulty feeding too.

    The thing is though, Bfing is, for many people, very painful and the question is whether you feel that it is worth pushing on with it now for the reward in a few weeks time or whether it has become too difficult. The other girls have given some great advice though and hopefully some of it will help you.

    If you have to stop you could always continue expressing even a little each day just to get a little extra breast milk into your baby, then you might feel a bit better about switching to formula. If you can persevere it will get so much easier over the next few weeks and will, believe it or not, likely become an enjoyable experience.

    Good luck with your decision xxx
  • How are you feeling today?
  • Hi socks, thanks for asking.

    I'm tired, hubby was on his headwetting so didn't roll in till 7am and is still in bed. Thomas was up really unsettled till 1:30am, then up for feeds at 3am & 7am. He seems to get trapped wind so have been using infacol.

    I still can't bf, tried again yesterday but it's just not working. I'm gonna express & ff for the next few days, heal my nipples & head to the local bf group on Monday to see if someone there can help.

    I'm certainly more relaxed giving bottles, but still struggling with my emotions. I feel pretty low all the time these days, I just can't seem to shift it.
  • I also feel like I'm getting sharp shooting pain in my boobs, really takes my breath away!!
  • Yep sounds familiar! I felt like giving up too but I'm now still breatfeeding my 14 month old. The pain was that bad I had my foot pushed firmly againt a chair to kind of ditract from the pain, I used nipple shields for a time and even took paracetamol before a feed! it really all passes, its just finding a way to get to when it feels natural.
  • lambs, defo get up to the baby cafe on monday, ull see u are not alone mate! the stabbing in the boob sounds like i could possibly be thrush, or the start of masitis. if it gets worse or continues then see someone about it.

    well done for keeping at it and dont worry, the low feelings will go soon im sure... chin up image
  • Firstly I'm going to echo the others; you are NOT failing your baby by switching to formula, or mix feeding. I had to express for Daniel (lazy baby!) and started having to do the same for Harry as we couldn't get him to latch. BUT your supply will still be fine - I was only managing to get 3oz a day using both boobs, rest was formula and now Harry is exclusively breast fed again.

    My nipples havent been as bad as yours - very sore and cracked a little but nothing like what you're going through I'm sure - so I've bought some nipple shields (just need to figure out how to get them on! lol) to give me a couple of days break. Once your nips have healed you can always try again, but in the meanwhile he wont starve. Daniel was ff after 3 weeks as my supply gave up (wasnt eating enough) and he's fighting fit, tall and strong for his age and incredibly smart - it never did him any harm.

    I agree with Lucy that the pain in your boob could be start of mastitis - please get it checked out hon as thats the last thing you need. You've done amazingly well to keep going as long as you have, and at the end of the day he will get all the nutrition he needs from formula if need be, your bond with him is much more important. But I also know that you have to do what feels right for you both. I've got no support with the bf, all my family (including hubby) keep telling me to stop so you need to tell your hubby to get 100% behind you about it. xxxx
  • Hello!

    Just reading your post about the shooing pain and it could be thrush. I developed it at about 3 weeks and it is horrible. Syptoms are very sore, red nipples that can hurt even when clothes rub on them. Shooting pains through your breasts (this means it is in the milk ducts) which happens after feeds. It used to keep me up at night it was so painful.

    Have a look online and see if your symptoms match up. If so pleas get to the GP straight away for treatment as it is a pain to clear and will not go without medication and I wish I had realised sooner!

    If it's not thrush sorry to go on I just want to stop anyone going through what I did!

  • Hello!

    Just reading your post about the shooing pain and it could be thrush. I developed it at about 3 weeks and it is horrible. Syptoms are very sore, red nipples that can hurt even when clothes rub on them. Shooting pains through your breasts (this means it is in the milk ducts) which happens after feeds. It used to keep me up at night it was so painful.

    Have a look online and see if your symptoms match up. If so pleas get to the GP straight away for treatment as it is a pain to clear and will not go without medication and I wish I had realised sooner!

    If it's not thrush sorry to go on I just want to stop anyone going through what I did!

  • Hon it sounds 99% that you have thrush, and thats why your poor nipples aren't healing. Don't feel guilty if you do have to stop but I promise that if the thrush is treated things start to get better. I remember that lack of bond feeling, and things not being how I expected them, whichever decision you make, try and make sure its for you and the baby, not for other people xx
  • I was just going to say thrush too, have you been checked? Hope things are improving for you xx
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