Author Topic: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement  (Read 15310 times)

little_brown_dog

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I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:13:24 PM »
I HATE breastfeeding.

I know Iím not supposed to say that. Iím supposed to love it. But I canít.

I have been committed to breastfeeding since day 1. I did everything right. When I was pregnant I read up on breastfeeding and watched videos of correct feeding and latching. I put my daughter to breast within 20 min of her birth. We did skin to skin. We nursed on demand even though she never could seem to get the hang of it. We asked nurses and lactation consultants for assistance throughout our hospital stay. We went to the hospitalís breastfeeding class. When she was hospitalized for jaundice a couple of days after discharge and had to immediately be put on formula due to dehydration, I pumped aggressively around the clock to feed her and keep my supply going.

At home, we had a consultant visit us. We kept trying to nurse, even when a textbook ďgoodĒ looking latch caused pain and she never drained the breast enough to keep her full or prevent blocked ducts. We went to another professional lactation evaluation where it was determined she was an inefficient feeder. We were instructed to keep practicing and then pump and bottle feed (double feeds). We did this for weeks. If I screwed up and dared to get 4-5 hours of sleep when my daughter was feeling particularly generous at night, I was rewarded with blocked ducts and fever. Ironically, my supply is also slow to respond and we have been on and off supplemental formula every time her appetite increases.

To date, we have had 3 lactation consultations and a breastfeeding class. For the pain I had my daughter professionally evaluated and we tried nipple shields, which then made her feeding even less efficient. For my supply I tried herbs, renting a hospital grade pump, pumping every 2 hours, and cluster pumping. At almost 9 weeks old, she still canít feed efficiently to satisfy herself and I canít survive more than 1 natural feed a day without extreme pain. My supply continues to lag and Iím always 1 feedís worth under where we need to be. Despite spending 3-4 hours a day on a hospital grade pump, thereís no stash of liquid gold in my freezer. Iím always pumping just to get through the next feed, and I still need to supplement with formula a few ounces a day.

I can't go anywhere for very long because I need to pump. I even pump in the car while my husband drives on the rare occasion we do go visit family or friends.

It feels like the only option left is to endure until I break. Even my very supportive consultant seems to have run out of suggestions, and can only keep telling me to just take it one day at a time. When I asked what other moms in my situation did, she admitted that the vast majority of women in my situation usually quit by this point.

Iím reaching out to see if there are any other moms here who experienced something similar. What did you do? How did you come to accept your situation?

KCM5

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 12:27:41 PM »
I have not experienced something similar (except the pain - oh the pain of a "good" latch! It got better for me).

Read some studies to reassure yourself that going to exclusively formula won't doom your child to a lifetime of mediocrity (it won't) and, if you want to, move on. I'm not saying you have to or even that you should. Only that you can. You don't have to nurse if you've tried all of this (that's a lot!) and it's not working.

There is no shame in working as hard as you have and then moving on to a safe option when you have determined that nursing just isn't working. And there's a lot to be said for your own mental health affecting your ability to care for and enjoy your child.

zhelud

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 12:28:32 PM »
Well, some people are going to be very unhappy with my response- I was in a similar situation to yours. It just didn't work. Son wasn't gaining weight at all. Breastfeeding and pumping around the clock.  At 5 weeks I was sitting with him in the pediatrician's waiting room, so he could be weighed to make sure he wasn't starving, and I thought "what the hell am I doing? Breastfeeding obviously isn't doing him any good, and it's driving me crazy too."  We switched to 100% formula the very same day. Never regretted it, and in fact I wished I had given up much sooner, since we were having problems from the very beginning.  I didn't even attempt breastfeeding his little brother when he arrived.

It seemed like such a big deal at the time, like a test of motherhood or something, but looking back, I realize it was just one of thousands of decisions about their care I have had to make over the past 15 years. Whatever you decide to do, know that in a few years it will seem pretty insignificant.

Louisville

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 12:31:28 PM »
Good God! Give yourself a break.

I'm not a mom. I'm not even a woman. I was, however, a 100% formula fed baby (way back in the '60's, when I'm sure formula was worse than now). I am in perfect health and have slightly above median intelligence.

Breastfeeding is a great advantage to give your baby. But it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out. There are lots of other advantages you can give your kid, many arguably more important than breastfeeding.

GatewayTwo

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 12:32:20 PM »
FWIW, we had a (sort of) similar situation.  I have b/g twins, and my son was a champ, but my daughter had trouble (when she did latch, it frequently resulted in extreme pain, sometimes bleeding for my wife).  We did the pumping and formula supplementing, etc, eventually going to just formula for her.  After she had time to grow for a bit and to mature in both size of mouth / maturity of digestive system, my wife gave it one last try (breastfeeding was very important to her, and my son had been able to keep the supply up, so there weren't problems there), and it worked.

I share that more as a "there could be light at the end of the tunnel" story, than a recommendation.  My personal philosophy is that whatever works best for you and your family is what works. 

As an alternative, you could "reset" a little bit by going to just formula (or mostly formula) for a few days / weeks, pumping to keep supply up (if you care) and then trying again. 

Hm, since I didn't say it above, it wasn't until 5 months until my daughter could really nurse properly, and my wife says that she still feels like the time spent struggling has impacted their bond. 

tl,dr; Just find what works for you, and don't let the extreme opinions on either side of the debate get you down.  Mama (you) knows best, really.

CheapskateWife

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 12:34:27 PM »
+1000 to giving yourself a break!

You have gone above and beyond to make this work and its not.  Give that sweet baby some formula, cuddle away, and stop making yourself feel guilty about this.  Your situation is why formula is a god-send. 

Gin1984

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 12:40:55 PM »
My daughter did not latch.  I pumped for 11 months and supplemented with formula.  I pumped every two hour and yes I pumped in the car, at school, work.  My life did resolve around pumping.  It was fine for me because I had pretty much had my life resolve around school/work.  My husband did EVERYTHING else with the baby though so I had support. 
Do what works for you.  If pumping works, do it.  If it does not, stop and give formula.

okits

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 01:09:56 PM »
1) I want to commend you for how much effort you've put in to make BF work.  Something that is natural does not always come naturally (or easily, or sometimes, at all.)

2) Can you articulate why you want to breastfeed?  Are you putting pressure on yourself because you "should"?  External pressure/judgment?  To be frugal (formula is damn expensive)?  Does your baby have health reasons that make breast milk especially beneficial?  Is one consideration the health benefits for you?

Once you can identify your reasons, perhaps it will become clear what you can do that will satisfy or at least partially address them.  Maybe you keep going full-tilt for as long as you can bear it. Maybe you cut back to 50% frequency in pumping/BF and let formula do some of the heavy lifting.  Maybe you go to 100% formula.

I didn't have your exact situation but I had a lot of challenges (and time/energy expended) around lactation issues.  There's a lot of expectations and emotional baggage around breastfeeding (and even if you acknowledge and identify them it doesn't make them go away.)  My baby defied a lot of my hopeful, idyllic visions of motherhood, and so I had to adapt.  It is okay if things don't go according to plan (I think that's the definition of life!), adapt to the situation at hand and what is most practical and optimal (for the entire family.)

pbkmaine

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 01:27:42 PM »
Nonmother here, so I have no skin in this particular game. Quit! The baby has already gotten a lot of benefit from your milk. Why torture yourself? I was exclusively bottle fed and I have been somehow able to live a full, rich life. If you line up my friends' kids, you would not be able to tell which ones were bottle fed, which were breast fed, and which were a combination. One of my neighbors hated breast feeding. She described it as having a giant tick feeding on her blood. Her son did fine. I think he runs a hedge fund.


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SunshineAZGrl

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 02:01:46 PM »
My encouragement is to keep going if you can, but don't be ashamed if you have to quit or maybe decide to do 50% breast and 50% formula. Obviously, it's very beneficial to baby if you can make it to 6+ months and does save a significant amount of money, particularly if your going to buy premium formula. From my experience of nursing 4 children for 9+ months each, pumping never worked to keep my supply up and always resulted in less milk return than actual nursing. My advise is to cut as much pumping as possible in favor of actual nursing. Of course, I see that in your situation feeding from the breast is very painful for you. Nursing definitely does hurt for a while (like 1-2 weeks of constant breastfeeding) but once your nipples adjust it doesn't hurt anymore and I personally find pumping more painful than nursing. Don't forget to use vegetable oil or natural nipple cream on them if they are dry or cracked. I did occasionally pump for times I would be away from my child and with my 3rd child when I had an infection and had to pump and dump because of antibiotics...I had to pump both breasts every 2 hours to keep my supply up so if exclusive pumping is your choice then that's what it might take. i couldn't keep up with that schedule for long and would just switch to formula if I was in that situation. As for supply, definitely evaluate your diet.. I know, I know... but you need lots of protein and fats (fish, animals, eggs, nuts, etc) and several servings of non-starchy/green vegetables and some fruits too for your body to keep up with making milk and keep you clear from infection. Lots of sugar and wheat/flour products can increase infections and throw your hormones even more out of wack. I also drank mother's milk tea 1-2x per day and that seemed to help with supply too.  Also I don't know what they mean by inefficient nurser? Is it that he doesn't seem to get enough or is lazy about nursing? I know bottles will make a baby more 'lazy' with breastfeeding, which goes back to my initial advice to give the breast as much as possible. As far as making sure baby is full/getting enough, what I know is it's important for a baby to get the hindmilk (which is the milk that comes when the breast is nearly empty and is more fatty). So one strategy that I used to help that was to nurse on one side until the breast is completely empty and then switch to the other side.. you could even start on the side that feels 'less full' first, nurse as long as possible, then switch to the fuller side. It is important for supply to try to nurse on both sides at each feeding. All that said, there's no reason to feel bad if you have to call it quits: happy mom=happy baby! My 4th baby is 11 months and I am starting to wean her from nursing because I am just done even though I could continue and have no real reason to quit other than my freedom!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 02:25:30 PM by SunshineAZGrl »

KCM5

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 02:05:01 PM »
One of my neighbors hated breast feeding. She described it as having a giant tick feeding on her blood. Her son did fine. I think he runs a hedge fund.

So you're saying she should definitely keep nursing right? A hedge fund - the horror!

pbkmaine

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 02:05:57 PM »
LOL


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okits

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 02:10:19 PM »
One of my neighbors hated breast feeding. She described it as having a giant tick feeding on her blood. Her son did fine. I think he runs a hedge fund.

So you're saying she should definitely keep nursing right? A hedge fund - the horror!

Heh, I had a similar reaction.  "A hedge fund?  Well, sometimes these things happen..."  ;)

pbkmaine

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 02:12:18 PM »
I think I've managed to start a rumor that bottle feeding leads to immorality...


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Cassie

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 02:26:42 PM »
With my 3rd and last baby I decided to breastfeed and had a similar situation. At 6 weeks I gave up.  All my kids  long adults are fine.  It really sucks to have all the pain, your life revolve this and worry that your baby is not getting enough to eat. You have went above & beyond. Hugs:))

Margie

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 02:37:26 PM »
This can be such an emotional decision, I struggled for months with my first, blood dripping off of me, infections, you name it.  Every bad part of nursing I lived through.  I had set a timeline of 4 months that if it didn't improve I would quit and that's that.  Except - it got easier around the 3 1/2 month mark.  So I continued.   I was able to nurse for 11 months.  It was wonderful from 4 months to the end. 
Then, I had my daughter, I braced myself for the first time nursing and an RN asked if I was OK.  I told her I was getting ready for the pain.  She said relax mom, it's a new baby a new experience.  And it was.  So easy I literally can't compare the experience.   
I would try getting enough rest (and I know that's a challenge in itself) and good food.   Get help with the housework or let everything slide a bit.  Get dad to nurture you so you can nurture baby.
The best part of nursing and the worst is the same - only mom can do it.
Hope it gets easier for you soon. 

Tamster

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 02:43:20 PM »
To little_brown_dog, big hugs and congratulations for sticking with breastfeeding so long, and trying everything, and exhausting every resource (yourself included). Nine weeks is a long time. My hat is off to you.
My oldest son was early and a horrible nurser. He was jaundiced, we had to do the billi lights in the hospital and at home. He had formula, because my milk hadn't started and he was starving. When things finally got going, he was fussy and not latching. We saw the lactation consultants at the hospital. They gave suggestions, none of which worked. He was still having some formula at that time, and then after a week we switched to just breast exclusively. You know how bad the pain is. I remember sitting there nursing him, in tears, wondering why motherhood hurt so much. And wondering when I could sleep. Then one day it got a little better, and things were easier. My second son had no issues, nursed like a champ from the first. Completely different experience.

I just want you to know, you're not alone. And it's okay to take care of you. It's okay whatever you decide to do.
~Tam

TrMama

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 03:23:46 PM »
Stop the madness. Situations like this are exactly why formula was invented. Use it.

I nursed both my kids and had (what I thought) was a horrible start with my first. The pain was horrid for the first 3 weeks. There's no way I would've made it 9 weeks like that.

My kids are 7 and 9 now. You know what? You cannot tell at all which kids were breastfed and which had formula. It never, ever comes up. If I had another baby tomorrow, I'm not sure that I would choose to breastfeed again. And this is coming from someone who was absolutely adamant about breastfeeding when I was in the thick of it.

Give the baby a bottle and take a nap. Take some decongestant before you sleep to dry up the milk so you won't wake up with blocked ducts.

tweezers

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 03:30:44 PM »
Have you had a lactation consultant (or pediatrician) who has experience diagnosing tongue tie?  I ask because my sister had an experience very similar to yours.....three different LCs and ~8 weeks of tears and pain and anxiety.  It was the student pediatrician who confirmed it (not her regular ped or the three lactation consultants she'd seen previously).  They snipped the frenulum just a bit and my sister said noticed a difference immediately, and within a week her son was nursing like a champ, off the formula supplementation, and she was enjoying motherhood.

If that's been examined and addressed, I would given yourself a break and feed your baby in a way that allows you to be the mother you want to be (i.e. one who isn;t in pain, anxious, and dreading each feed).  Formula feeding your baby isn't a failure.  Be gentle with yourself.

serpentstooth

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 03:30:53 PM »
Pumping made me hate my daughter and my life and switching to formula is the best decision I made. PM me if you want to talk.

CheapskateWife

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2015, 03:39:18 PM »
She described it as having a giant tick feeding on her blood. Her son did fine. I think he runs a hedge fund.

Bahahahahahaha!  Sorry, that is just too funny

Jakejake

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2015, 03:51:54 PM »
My daughter was breastfed for several years, we had no problems, and she recycles, composts and bikes to work.

Seriously, we didn't have problems, but if I'd had issues like yours I would have switched to what worked for us and felt massive relief once I did it. You'll have lots of battles to fight once your little one is older, this doesn't have to be one of them. Plus a happier mom is likely to make for a happier child, so you can feel guilt free knowing that a decision to switch might well be in their best interest too at this point.

KayakMom

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 04:09:47 PM »
My encouragement is to keep going if you can, but don't be ashamed if you have to quit or maybe decide to do 50% breast and 50% formula. Obviously, it's very beneficial to baby if you can make it to 6+ months and does save a significant amount of money, particularly if your going to buy premium formula. From my experience of nursing 4 children for 9+ months each, pumping never worked to keep my supply up and always resulted in less milk return than actual nursing. My advise is to cut as much pumping as possible in favor of actual nursing. Of course, I see that in your situation feeding from the breast is very painful for you. Nursing definitely does hurt for a while (like 1-2 weeks of constant breastfeeding) but once your nipples adjust it doesn't hurt anymore and I personally find pumping more painful than nursing. Don't forget to use vegetable oil or natural nipple cream on them if they are dry or cracked. I did occasionally pump for times I would be away from my child and with my 3rd child when I had an infection and had to pump and dump because of antibiotics...I had to pump both breasts every 2 hours to keep my supply up so if exclusive pumping is your choice then that's what it might take. i couldn't keep up with that schedule for long and would just switch to formula if I was in that situation. As for supply, definitely evaluate your diet.. I know, I know... but you need lots of protein and fats (fish, animals, eggs, nuts, etc) and several servings of non-starchy/green vegetables and some fruits too for your body to keep up with making milk and keep you clear from infection. Lots of sugar and wheat/flour products can increase infections and throw your hormones even more out of wack. I also drank mother's milk tea 1-2x per day and that seemed to help with supply too.  Also I don't know what they mean by inefficient nurser? Is it that he doesn't seem to get enough or is lazy about nursing? I know bottles will make a baby more 'lazy' with breastfeeding, which goes back to my initial advice to give the breast as much as possible. As far as making sure baby is full/getting enough, what I know is it's important for a baby to get the hindmilk (which is the milk that comes when the breast is nearly empty and is more fatty). So one strategy that I used to help that was to nurse on one side until the breast is completely empty and then switch to the other side.. you could even start on the side that feels 'less full' first, nurse as long as possible, then switch to the fuller side. It is important for supply to try to nurse on both sides at each feeding. All that said, there's no reason to feel bad if you have to call it quits: happy mom=happy baby! My 4th baby is 11 months and I am starting to wean her from nursing because I am just done even though I could continue and have no real reason to quit other than my freedom!

very good advice- the only thing to add is that although all the books and experts say it shouldn't hurt that much, with all my kids it hurt (toes curl, tears in my eyes) almost every latch for the first 3 months. I had lactation consultants check my latch and my babies were growing so I don't think I was doing something wrong.
You are awfully committed and I think if you are still hanging in there with all those challenges you really want to make this work.  It does get better. it stops hurting and it gets easier.

starbuck

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 04:13:25 PM »
I have a 5 week old baby. I did zero research beforehand about breastfeeding. I knew I would give it a good faith effort, because there are supposed to be benefits for the baby (what I didn't really know), it's less costly than formula, and sounded easier to take care of feeding when out and about, and all my friends with babies were breastfeeding. Five weeks in, I don't really like breastfeeding. My kid was a shitty latcher for the first few weeks, so I spent a lot of time with a pump (still do.) He has now stepped up his performance and is a mediocre latcher, but I still don't enjoy breastfeeding. While I was pregnant, several women told me how wonderful and magical breastfeeding was. I'm still nursing, but if it starts to get more difficult again, I'm stopping with no guilt.

It feels like the only option left is to endure until I break.

If my experience had been your experience instead, I would have quit a long time ago. Don't feel like you need to ruin yourself to be a good parent. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of your kid.

(Also, when I told my Mom about the nursing troubles I was having, she told me that I was formula fed. Along with all my siblings. And that I was the only one that she had without an epidural, but only because labor happened to fast for her to have one.)

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 06:51:00 PM »
Another mom here to chime in.  I had an easy time breastfeeding my first, but a much harder time with my second.  I applaud your efforts to breastfeed, and I know how much you must want to do what we are always taught is "best" for the baby.  I think it is time to stop.  Your situation sounds miserable.  I don't know how you've kept it up this long.  It is Ok to stop.  Your baby will be much better off with a happier, more relaxed mother.

justajane

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2015, 07:10:33 PM »
I had a really rough start with my first and ended up having to use supplemental feeders and lots of other things to make it work. I can't remember if the struggle lasted till 9 weeks, but it was very, very difficult. I did see the other side of it, but it's okay if you don't. All three of my kids got a lot of formula in their first year. Your baby will be fine whatever you decide.

I enjoyed breastfeeding sometimes, but I can't say it was my favorite thing ever. It is very limiting and somewhat oppressive. I would have moments of joy doing it, but overall it was a long slog. I just calculated in my head the other day, and I've breastfed for over four years. Shit, that's a long time! Looking back, I would tell my younger self to not stress over it so much. Pumping is horrible. So, so horrible.

I did want to inquire about the pain. What does it feel like? Is it shooting pain that feels like shards of glass in your nipples? Is it toe-curlingly painful? If so, it could be a yeast or staph infection. Alternately, it could also be Raynaud's Syndrome, which is a blood flow issue. I had that terribly with all three of my breastfeeding experiences. Both are treatable, and my breastfeeding experience was oh-so-much-better when the pain subsided. PM me if you want more details about successful ways to treat these things or how to diagnose the pain. Some OBs and lactation consultants know about these things, but some don't. I knew more about how to treat a yeast infection than the lactation consultant in the hospital did.

Letj

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2015, 07:27:52 PM »
I have not experienced something similar (except the pain - oh the pain of a "good" latch! It got better for me).

Read some studies to reassure yourself that going to exclusively formula won't doom your child to a lifetime of mediocrity (it won't) and, if you want to, move on. I'm not saying you have to or even that you should. Only that you can. You don't have to nurse if you've tried all of this (that's a lot!) and it's not working.

There is no shame in working as hard as you have and then moving on to a safe option when you have determined that nursing just isn't working. And there's a lot to be said for your own mental health affecting your ability to care for and enjoy your child.

I had a very similar experience with my first. How I got through it was offering the breast every time the baby wanted to eat and endured the most excruciating pain at each feed like a knife cutting through my flesh. After two weeks the tissue was tough enough and it became comfortable. It was so comfortable that I was sad when she left the breast voluntarily after a year. Breast feeding the second was a breeze.

lakemom

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2015, 07:49:52 PM »
I'm not going to read through everything so very sorry if I'm repeating.  Go have the little one evaluated for being tongue tied and/or lip tied (more rare).  Depending on the severity of either or both of these situations it can cause inefficient nursing coupled with nipple pain that just. won't. go. away.  Its hard to get some doctors to look for this, but a bfing friendly family practice or pediatrician should be able to help you out.  It can be hard to find someone to clip this (simple outpatient surgery generally) but there are doctors out there that will do it.  Kudos to you for hanging in there!!!  Best of luck solving these problems because breastfeeding should be enjoyable (at least most of the time!).

Maya

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2015, 08:06:04 PM »
How old is your baby? Tongue tie clipping can solve a lot of latch problems if that's the diagnosis

We struggled, but things fell into place around 5-7 weeks. If I was still struggling like you describe I'm not sure what I would have done. I'm really committed to bf, but if you are resenting your baby, or your current life definitely give yourself permission, or at least a date where you can quit if you still want to.

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2015, 08:20:09 PM »
I HATE breastfeeding.

I know Iím not supposed to say that. Iím supposed to love it. But I canít.

I have been committed to breastfeeding since day 1. I did everything right. When I was pregnant I read up on breastfeeding and watched videos of correct feeding and latching. I put my daughter to breast within 20 min of her birth. We did skin to skin. We nursed on demand even though she never could seem to get the hang of it. We asked nurses and lactation consultants for assistance throughout our hospital stay. We went to the hospitalís breastfeeding class. When she was hospitalized for jaundice a couple of days after discharge and had to immediately be put on formula due to dehydration, I pumped aggressively around the clock to feed her and keep my supply going.

At home, we had a consultant visit us. We kept trying to nurse, even when a textbook ďgoodĒ looking latch caused pain and she never drained the breast enough to keep her full or prevent blocked ducts. We went to another professional lactation evaluation where it was determined she was an inefficient feeder. We were instructed to keep practicing and then pump and bottle feed (double feeds). We did this for weeks. If I screwed up and dared to get 4-5 hours of sleep when my daughter was feeling particularly generous at night, I was rewarded with blocked ducts and fever. Ironically, my supply is also slow to respond and we have been on and off supplemental formula every time her appetite increases.

To date, we have had 3 lactation consultations and a breastfeeding class. For the pain I had my daughter professionally evaluated and we tried nipple shields, which then made her feeding even less efficient. For my supply I tried herbs, renting a hospital grade pump, pumping every 2 hours, and cluster pumping. At almost 9 weeks old, she still canít feed efficiently to satisfy herself and I canít survive more than 1 natural feed a day without extreme pain. My supply continues to lag and Iím always 1 feedís worth under where we need to be. Despite spending 3-4 hours a day on a hospital grade pump, thereís no stash of liquid gold in my freezer. Iím always pumping just to get through the next feed, and I still need to supplement with formula a few ounces a day.

I can't go anywhere for very long because I need to pump. I even pump in the car while my husband drives on the rare occasion we do go visit family or friends.

It feels like the only option left is to endure until I break. Even my very supportive consultant seems to have run out of suggestions, and can only keep telling me to just take it one day at a time. When I asked what other moms in my situation did, she admitted that the vast majority of women in my situation usually quit by this point.

Iím reaching out to see if there are any other moms here who experienced something similar. What did you do? How did you come to accept your situation?
I never really had supply issues.

With my first kid, though, I had screaming pain and cracked and bleeding nipples.  I had difficulty getting a good latch.  My boy has a small mouth.  We didn't settle in really until he was 6 weeks old, and even then, I was plagued with plugged ducts off and on until I weaned him at 13.5 months.  I had mastitis at least once, that I know of, but probably more than that.  I just didn't realize it's what it was.

My second boy is 6 years younger.  I thought it would be easier.  It wasn't. Still the screaming pain and cracked and bleeding nipples.  The visiting nurse made me get a different breastfeeding pillow "My Brest Friend", and it made a world of difference.

But I still had plugged ducts.  Even though I pumped more often and worked fewer hours.  And this time, I knew what they were.  Turmeric, hot compresses, you name it, I tried it.

From 7 months to 8.5 months, I had a plugged duct EVERY WEEK, and it took 2-3 days to get rid of it.  Then I'd get another one.  At 8.5 months, on the 7th week in a row, I called the doctor's office on a Friday  morning. They never called back.  I called FOUR TIMES, eventually got a nurse, she blew me off and said "we'll make an appointment for Monday".

Fuck that.

Sunday I stopped pumping and we got the formula.  It took about 6 weeks to fully wean - I did not intend to fully wean, but with both boys, they weaned themselves exactly 6 weeks after I stopped pumping.  It was SOOOO much better. 

It's seriously not really worth it.  I think many many people give up too early.  It really does take a long while to build up a decent breastfeeding pattern, and get over the pain, and all that.  But only YOU know if you've done enough for you.  If you are miserable you are not going to fully bond with the baby, and you'll be exhausted.  Please just take care of yourself.

I'm glad I pushed through with my first, and glad I fixed the latching issue with the pillow with my second. But nothing I did fixed the plugged ducts, and except for quitting my job (which I wasn't going to do), I just didn't have any other choice.  I don't regret switching to formula at all.

(I know many women who nursed, never pumped, and supplemented with formula, and women who only pumped and supplemented with formula too.  There are many ways to feed a baby.)

JROH

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2015, 08:23:06 PM »
New mom to 10 week old twins here.  I can relate to your struggles!  First off, you rock.  You've been dragging yourself through the mud to breastfeed your baby so props to you.  And, you are only supplementing a few ounces a day...way to go! 

My babies were born early, in the NICU, no skin to skin or breastfeeding at birth, etc.  I thought I was destined to fail at breastfeeding but I really wanted it to work.  First thing you need to do is relax.  You're doing the best you can and no one is judging you.  Decide what your goal is.  If it still breastfeeding, then plug on.  If breastfeeding is no longer important to you, don't worry about it and switch to formula.  If you land somewhere in the middle, fantastic.  Your baby will love you no matter what your decision. 

I had a lot of trouble with supply in the beginning.  I was pumping round the clock with "practice feedings" each day with both kiddos.  Once they reached full term (they were six weeks old at that point) I started to transition them.  It took my daughter a week to figure it out and then another week to get good at it (read: she could feed in an hour or less and not need a bottle afterwards).  It was really frustrating. 

My supply dramatically improved once she started feeding well.  My son still hasn't gotten it down.  He had tongue and lip tie diagnosed at 8 weeks and we are now in week 10 and he is just starting to latch properly and take a significant amount of milk from the breast.  I think it will be two more weeks before we can transition him to almost exclusively breastfeeding.  So for now I breastfeed and pump every 2-3 hours.  Your boobs are bound to be sore....that's a ton of use!!

The whole time I have supplemented with a small amount of formula.  At first I felt guilty and then realized that was silly.  I am okay with supplementing.  It works for me. 

I have days where I am in pain.  Sometimes I fight through the pain and others I decide pumping is easier and bottle feed the kiddos.  Sometimes I give them straight formula and give my boobs a few hours break.  The point is, do what works for you and your family.  If you really want breastfeeding to work, stick with it and come up with a combo that makes you feel successful and allows you to be the mom you want to be.  Decide what your new goal/objective should be and know that it may change as you continue your journey. 

A few tips that have helped me:  when I'm in pain I bring a heating pad to bed with me.  I keep my pumping supplies in the fridge so I don't have to clean them as often and bonus, the flanges are cold which can provide relief to sore boobs.  When my daughter latches and it hurts, I pull her off and we start again.  I use coconut oil or lanolin gel after every feeding to keep things moisturized.

Maybe try exclusively pumping for a few days to give yourself relief if it is your daughters latch that is causing you pain.  Then when you feel up to it, try and latch her on. 

Also, if your lactation consultant doesn't have any more ideas, ask her to refer you to another consultant who might have more insight for you.

So far for me the struggle has been worth it. I think it is pretty amazing that I am able to provide nearly everything my kiddos need from my own body.  Good luck to you in your journey and know that whatever you decide will be what's best for you and your family!

Dee18

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2015, 08:49:33 PM »
The one thing I wish I had deep down truly believed as a new mom was this:  you get to be a mom the way you want to be.  Enjoy the freedom that comes with knowing that.

lizzzi

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2015, 06:32:05 AM »
Good for you for trying so hard! I breast fed both my girls (born 1975 and 1978), but didn't have the best of experiences either time. No one told me about the excruciating pain...but it did go away after a while, and it didn't last as long with the second child...and also I was expecting it, so didn't freak out. I never had enough supply of milk, no matter what I did. I always supplemented with the first child, and after four months she just seemed to get bored with breast plus bottle, and kind of weaned herself to bottle only. The second child for some reason could not tolerate formula, and so we did breast feeding only, but she stayed on the small side of normal, and I started her on cereal as soon as I possibly could...per instructions of the pediatrician. I never pumped... the first child just went everywhere I went, or took a bottle. The second child, who spit up every formula in every form of dilution, just went everywhere with me for eight months, until she finally was taking bottles, and of course, eating food by that time. Both girls demanded food fairly early...they saw what the adults were eating at the table, and they wanted it, too! (First one got little jars, second one I just ground up everything for her in that little hand grinder thing.) Anyway, my point is, it's not a perfect world, and the babies don't read all those books about what is best for them and what we're "supposed" to do. So I would just relax, don't torture yourself...your kid's not going to starve...in a year or so nobody's going to know or care whether your child was breast fed or bottle fed. (Forgot to say that I had the mastitis only once...oh God...what misery.) Anyway, if breast feeding is causing you that much trouble, I would just hang it up and go to a bottle.  Hey, it's all good.

soupcxan

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2015, 07:05:16 AM »
Ignore the anti-formula stigma; you need to do what's best for your kid. We really wanted to BF but our new DS was not gaining weight as he should've been. We tried a lot of stuff to make BF work but it just didn't for us. We went to formula and the sky didn't fall. And now DS is at the top of the growth charts.

MayDay

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2015, 07:18:19 AM »
I nursed my son until ~21 months, and it was easy peasy.

I nursed my daughter until ~7 months when she suddenly had a nursing strike.  It was a chicken/egg thing.  She didn't want to work for the milk, so she wouldn;t nurse, then the supply dropped and there was less milk, so she was even less willing to try to get it out. 

I fought it for a solid month- drugs (domperidone), herbs, extra pumping, trying to get her to nurse by swaddling her in a dark room (meanwhile my 2.5 year old was destroying the house, lol).  In the end, it wasn't worth the battle- I was going to have to pump multiple times a day to keep/build up my supply, while trying to keep 2 little ones alive and well, and, well, fuck that.  It sucked. 

So she went to all formula.  That sucked, because 100$ a month.  But other than the money and the fact that even on freaking formula she didn't sleep all night, it was worth my mental health not to try to keep it going. 

I am a huge proponent of nursing, and of trying really hard to make it work.  When it works well (which is most of the time!) is it so great, and easy, and cheap.  When it doesn't work well, and you've tried to fix the issues (which you clearly have), well, yay formula!  Aren't we lucky we have it! 

mm1970

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2015, 09:35:10 AM »
Quote
I spoke with my husband last night and we decided that we were both fine with reducing the herculean efforts to achieve more balance, even if that means we have to increase her formula intake. I am going to try weaning down to pumping 4x a day, and Iíll continue to practice natural feeding with her whenever I feel up for it. Iím sure my supply is going to take a bit of a hit with the reduced pumping schedule, but Iím hoping I can still keep her on at least 50% breastmilk.

This sounds like a really really good plan.  My really good friend's first child never nursed.  She only pumped, which was less efficient, so he was 1/2 and 1/2 breastmilk and formula from birth.

He's 10 now and taller than me.

justajane

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2015, 11:16:07 AM »
Pain Ė The pain I feel is somewhere between a stabbing, needle like agony and a burning sensation. Itís not just soreness or tenderness. It appears when Iím already tender from trying natural feeding earlier that day. The discomfort continues for up to an hour after we stop trying, and my chest feels like itís burning. This happens even if my nipples seem fine afterwards (no cracks, bleeding, bruising, compression). If I skip a day in between natural feed attempts, I can feed her with little discomfort (remember, this means only 1 natural feed every other day). I pride myself on being pretty tough and resilient when it comes to physical pain, but this is so bad it makes me legitimately nervous to try feeding her.

If the pain continues that long after a feed, it could be some sort of ductal infection from either yeast or other bacteria. That would also explain why it improves after a lengthy time of not feeding. Is it one breast or both?

Here are some resources to peruse if you like:
http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/thrush-resources/
http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-CP
http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipple-blanching/
http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/sore-nipples-breasts/

Kelly Mom is an awesome resource for breastfeeding moms. But ignore anything they say about formula and the like. They are about 100% breastfeeding, so YMMV. But the site is very good for helping to diagnose and treat pain.

Two minor things that worked for me if it's a yeast infection, even better than the pharmaceuticals solutions like diflucan, were grapefruit seed extract oil (diluted and used as a wash) and AZO yeast tabs.

elaine amj

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2015, 12:20:46 PM »
Please do whatever you need to do. The torture you are putting yourself through isn't healthy - for you or your baby. Your baby is going to benefit much more from a sane, relaxed, happy mama than all those other benefits of nursing. I say this as an extended breastfeeding mom who nursed my first until 10 months (supply ran out because I was pregnant with #2) and my 2nd until 16 months. (plus I pushed myself through claustrophobia issues exacerbated by nursing). I am pro-breastfeeding - but your case sounds particularly awful. You've given it everything (and more!).

I had some troubles with my first but after a few weeks she figured out how to latch properly and was fine. My son couldn't figure it out and it was 2 months of awful torture. I still shudder when I think back to that time in our lives. The worst part is - I was so traumatized by it all, my poor baby was also badly affected. I would go into a blind panic when it came time to latch on - and would pull him away just as he was opening up. It often took me 3-5 attempts to actually let him latch on....and then I would curl my toes tightly on my footstool and let out a soundless scream.

He ended up a serious, thoughtful baby - few smiles, giggles, or laughter. There was a precious week or two when he was a happy cheerful sunshiny baby, so we knew he had it in him. Very attached to me, wouldn't let anyone else hold him and cried a LOT. He tolerated his father. Now he is 13 and a very cheerful kid.

I still wonder to this day if his babyhood was because of what I did to him because I was so darned bullheaded about the nursing. Yes, we did manage to figure it out and he nursed until 16 months. Eventually, it even became somewhat pleasant.

But...IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. If I had to do it all over again, I would switch to bottlefeeding.

Sibley

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2015, 12:56:10 PM »
I'm not a mother, and don't really plan on having kids. But, here's your job as a parent: To raise a responsible, respectable, productive member of society. Oh, and the parent doesn't get to define what that looks like.

So, do what you need to to do to accomplish that goal. Feeding the baby is important. There's nothing in there about how or what to feed the baby! Breastfeeding is great. So is formula feeding. As long as there's feeding involved, you're good. :)

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2015, 07:14:07 PM »
Just chiming in to say I also had HORRIBLE pain- at least for the first 3 months, with every feed, the whole feed.  Then it started just being during latching.  By say, 6 months it was mostly pain free- until he got teeth.  I consulted a LC and searched every corner of the internet for advice, and nothing helped.  So maybe this gives you a bit of hope that the pain will go away?

But everything else combined with the pain- if you want to stop, STOP!  No one can tell which kid in kindergarten was breastfed :)

simplertimes

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2015, 07:33:26 PM »
I didn't get to read all of the replies, but wanted to chime in.  I have breastfed all three children until age 3, and while I did not have the latch problems/pain you describe I did attend la leche league meetings for several years and learned a lot from the leaders as they gave advice to other moms.

Have you visited the La Leche League online forums for advice?  Also another EXCELLENT website is Kelly Mom:  http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/bfhelp-mother/

You could also go to a La Leche League meetings as well, I personally found them invaluable with my first child. 

You may actually be dealing with OVERSUPPLY rather than under supply.  If you are producing too much milk, your breasts are constantly engorged with hard/clogged ducts.  The fevers you describe sound like mastitis and may actually need to be treated with antibiotics, so you should look into that.

The cure for both clogged ducts and mastitis is actually more breastfeeding, not less.  The problem with pumping in between feedings, in combination with milk supply herbs is that it could all end up sending your supply through the roof!  Too much milk equals hard, firm breasts that make it harder for baby to latch.

Also, too much milk (google "oversupply" or look on the Kelly Mom website for more info) can cause the baby to feel hungrier more often, because they are getting too much "foremilk" which is lower in fat than the "hindmilk" which arrives at the end of a feeding.

And yes, look into "tongue tie" which can be at the top of the baby's lip between their lip/teeth, or underneath their actual tongue.  Many doctors and even lactation consultants overlook this possibility, but it is actually quite common and causes painful breastfeeding.

muckety_muck

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2015, 09:15:46 PM »
I commend you for making it this far, given all the issues you have been faced with. Echoing another poster, if you're still trying to make it work at this point after dealing with all of that, you must really want to make it work. Here we go..

SUPPLY
-Lactation cookies (TONS of oatmeal). The more oatmeal you can eat everyday, the more it will help your supply. Just keep it up though... as soon as you stop eating oatmeal, supply tanks again
-Mothers Milk tea
-Fenugreek (makes you smell like maple syrup but it works
-Your supply should regulate somewhere around 3-4 months, so you really want to continue cluster feeds/pumps, oatmeal, massaging while feeding baby, skin to skin contact as much as possible, looking at a picture of your baby with their mouth open while you're pumping, etc. Try to increase supply sooner rather than later. It will be much harder in a few months.

RECONCILING what you've been told in classes, pre-baby, etc with REALITY
-This shit HURTS the first few weeks/months. I wanted to punch a hole in the wall it was so bad the first few weeks. I remember thinking "this is a normal thing, that 235,409,295 women before me have done. What is wrong with me/my baby that it hurts SO BAD!"
-Kellymom and thebump.com were great resources

BREAST ISSUES
-hot showers, facing the water, massaging the milk out will help the clogged ducts. So will hot washcloths stuffed into your nursing bras. Don't judge. it works!
-Have you googled thrush? I had similar pain (felt like shards of glass going through me) when baby would nurse, and this was our diagnosis.

Good luck. Hang in there. It really does get better. And if it doesn't, then you have not failed. There is no trophy or medal for breastfeeding. You have given your baby the BEST start, the first few months are the most crucial for breastmilk aiding development. If you really want to have breastmilk for your baby instead of formula, there are other avenues if you decide that you are done with pumping/breastfeeding on your own. "Human Milk for Human Babies" and "Eats on Feets" are two groups I know of. I donated frozen milk to mothers with preemies and babies with dairy allergies... usually find your local chapter on facebook.

arebelspy

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2015, 02:30:17 AM »
I sent this thread to my 7.5 months pregnant wife, and she is scarred for life.

But also had some good thoughts, so thanks everyone!  :)
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La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2015, 08:40:42 AM »
You have tried much, much harder than I would have!

I know it's hard to supplement when it feels like you're the only one. My mother was a champion nurser (apparently I personally nursed until my brother was born, age 2 1/2) and my sister had exclusively nursed two. When Sis's third baby was born, she had to go back to work full-time and had also decided against cosleeping (which she had done with the first two.) Baby wound up needing formula. Not that I needed it, but that helped give me "permission" to put my kids on bottles when things went south (they were older--think 6-8 months).

Still, I admit I felt like a failure putting formula bottles in the day care fridge next to the other baby's bags of breastmilk. Oh, well. I have other strengths as a parent!

It's not that I disliked breastfeeding, it was fine, but I don't MISS it. Know what I miss? Giving Little Brother his bedtime bottle while we watched Jeopardy! Or even how he would wake up at 11 pm for a quick cuddle and just one more bottle. If I had had a third baby, I would have weaned to formula after a few months (history showing that my milk dries up when my period comes back, which it does early).

What you've decided to do sounds 100% reasonable. It keeps your options open, too, if you want to put baby back on the breast eventually. And if not, that's cool, too.

everinprogress

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2015, 09:47:19 AM »
Not my own personal experience, but a friend of mine had a horrible time breastfeeding- had no or next to no milk, and was super determined she was going to breastfeed. She spend the first 3 months pumping every two hours around the clock!!!! with pretty much no success. Finally, she decided that she was going to stop driving herself crazy over the breastfeeding thing, stop with the sleep deprivation, and focus on just bonding with the baby, and switched to formula feeding. I absolutely respect all the effort both she and you, and many others with breastfeeding difficulties have put into the process- at some point switching just makes sense, and that point is different for everyone. I was lucky that breastfeeding worked without too many problems for us, besides having milk come in somewhat late. Best of luck, whatever you choose

JJNL

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2015, 10:46:40 AM »
I don't have children myself so I have no personal experience with breastfeeding, but I will tell you this: my sister and I were both bottle-fed (she 100% and I after just a few weeks) and we've turned out just fine. My mom tried breastfeeding with me, but I was losing weight and this was the late 70s, so they told her to just switch to formula. With my sister they started out with formula immediately. I think the pressure put on women to breastfeed these days is INSANE. Yes, in general and all things being equal it's better for your child than bottle-feeding, but IMHO this is NOT the case if it goes at the expense of your sanity / all of your energy as a mom. Your child needs a happy, loving mother first and foremost. If that requires bottle-feeding, go ahead and do it. Added advantage: the dad can get much more involved. Back in the day my dad loved the switch to bottle, as it meant he got to spend time feeding me too, making him feel like he was contributing more.

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2015, 11:11:32 PM »
A friend of mine recently had a baby and all the same problems with nursing. She switched to formula and the relationship with her baby is much better since.

This is not a contest and you don't need to live up to somebody else's standards.

Your plan sounds good. If it does not work switch to formula full time. You're baby will be fine.

I was formular fed almost from the start and work at a lawfirm today. Is this as bad as being a hedge fund manager? I don't know. Just saying that this really is not 'the most important thing you will ever do for your child'. Just one small decision out of many.

Goldielocks

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2015, 11:19:49 PM »
Sounds like one breast feed a day is working for you.  What's wrong with keeping that up and going to formula for the rest?   Yes, your supply will drop off, but it does take quite a while to deplete fully, if you are good about pumping on the days you can't feed... AND you can choose a feed time that works for you -- usually first in the morning or before sleeping.


I had a nightmare with both kids too, and no where what you are trying to go through.
e.g., 4 months with first (tapering off quickly at 6 weeks) - tongue tied, she was constantly on me.   e.g., feed 45 min, break for 20, feed for 45minutes.. feeding for 8 hours  day like this..   I could not get off the chair to do much of anything, and I was in so much pain.  She was tongue tied and correcting it helped a bit but not enough.

My son was in intensive care for a week after birth , and then on monitors, that really interfered with "natural" breastfeeding and the whole cycle.  Pumping wasn't working well for me with a 2 y.o. at home and I was in pretty rough shape, too.  So my milk never came in more than a couple of feeds a day, and we stopped by 6 weeks.

My big recommendation is focus on the things that bring you joy with your baby.  There is enough about babies that doesn't bring joy, and forumula is a viable option, for certain.

Venturing

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2015, 12:33:13 AM »
I was also going to suggest having Bub checked for both tongue tie and lip tie.

I found breast feeding horrendously painful (nothing fun about a baby sucking on your bleeding nipples!). We saw all sorts of people to no real benefit. Eventually I went to see a doctor who specialised in tongue and lip ties and he immediately diagnosed a lip tie. I wish we had seen him waaaaAy earlier on!!

I'm still feeding my daughter who is now 16 months. However, those first few weeks of breast milk are the most important, and you've already achieved that. Chin up mumma, you're doing a good job. A few of my friends have developed post natal depression, in part as a result of issues with breast feeding, look after yourself.

BeanCounter

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Re: I hate breastfeeding - looking for support/encouragement
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2015, 07:13:34 AM »
Nonmother here, so I have no skin in this particular game. Quit! The baby has already gotten a lot of benefit from your milk. Why torture yourself? I was exclusively bottle fed and I have been somehow able to live a full, rich life. If you line up my friends' kids, you would not be able to tell which ones were bottle fed, which were breast fed, and which were a combination. One of my neighbors hated breast feeding. She described it as having a giant tick feeding on her blood. Her son did fine. I think he runs a hedge fund.


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I just want to add +1 to this. I breastfed both of my babies. I was lucky I was able to do that and it was fairly easy (pretty painful the first month or so though) Some of my friends could not. Guess what- 7 years later our kids are all doing fine. You cannot tell the difference between the BF kid vs the formula fed kid. Heck, I wasn't breastfed and I've been healthy my whole life! It really doesn't matter. And you did the first 6 weeks so you've done enough for sure. Quit killing yourself over this and go buy some formula and enjoy your baby. In 3 months it'll be time for whole foods and milk anyway.