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Thread: Guilt

  1. #1

    Unhappy Guilt

    Breastfeeding was not working so well for my baby or me. My nipples were hurting so bad I was near tears. I started to pump and give her my milk that way but I am so tired all of the time so I started using both breast milk and formula. Life became much easier when I stopped pumping so much that now I want to move to only formula but the guilt for wanting to stop pumping is eating me alive. I cry when I think about it. I feel like a horrible mom and that I'm being very selfish for wanting to stop pumping. Is anyone else going through this? How do I stop feeling so unbelievably guilty?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Guilt

    Do you want to stop using formula and try to get your baby back to the breast? Or do just want help with your feelings? Or do you want both?

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guilt

    I am undecided. For selfish reasons I'd like to only use formula. I'm just so tired all of the time that formula has helped keep me sane. For feelings of guilt and for my baby's best interests I'm like her to have my breast milk. I'm just so torn!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Guilt

    Well, the reality is that you are going to be tired no matter what. Motherhood is exhausting in the early days to say the least. Breastfeeding affords some wonderful long term pleasures that formula cannot. Studies show that breastfeeding moms get more sleep. Plus, it's free. It's also perfectly made by your body for your baby. It allows you not to wash bottles or worry about the proven health risks of formula. That all being said, if you feel it's what you want to do - that is your choice. If you decide you wanted to try to bring the baby back to the breast and rebuild your supply, it's not to late. There are lots of mamas here who can help you.

    For myself, I cannot even imagine how moms jump up and down all night long to make bottles or worry about taking bottles when they leave the house or if the formula will go bad. I'm just too lazy for that. I'd rather just roll over in my sleep and lift up my shirt.

    If you decide you want to bring your baby back to the breast, it will be some work and effort required. But I believe the effort is worthwhile. My early nursing days were just awful. My nipples were raw and near the point of bleeding. I was covered in painful blebs and had to really struggle. You are not alone in that.

    I'm sorry you feel so badly about the way your nursing relationship ended. But if you decide you want to try to resume it, that is a possibility that I know the great mamas here will be happy to try to help you out with. No pressure. I just wanted you to know it's not too late, and it's still possible that you can breastfeed.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Guilt

    Agree with pp! There can be a steep learning curve with bf, but it ended up making being out of the house with babe so easy! There are lots of great things about nursing after the initial tough period. That said, if you dont want to do it, dont. It doesnt define you as a mother. You can also do both, it doesnt have to only ff or only bf.

    You might find solace in the blog
    http://feedingthebaby.tumblr.com/
    Though I suggest it with the caveat that they are personal stories, not bf advice at all.

    If you do want support for the pains and joys of nursing, you've come to the right place!
    Kate

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Boring ole Michigan
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Guilt

    Pumping IS hard. It is a lot harder then BFing. I was doing what you were at first and I found myself using more and more supplements because it was so hard/exhausting to pump every 3 hours to keep my supply up. My supply was dropping fast. At first the supplements were 90/10.. then it went to 80/20.. then 70/30.. 60/40 and eventually 50/50. This went on for about a month. I could not get my son to latch right and the lactation consultant at the hospital did not help at all. It turns out that I have what is considered "shy" nipples that don't don't poke way out. I tried a nipple shield one day and suprisingly my son latched right on! That was at 6 weeks and he has not had a drop of supplement since.

    If you are interested in trying to get her back to the breast we can all help you. We have mamas on here that have had every type of struggle imaginable and are willing to offer advice and support.
    July 27 2011

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,621

    Default Re: Guilt

    Mama, we can't help you with the guilt. Either you can let it go, or you can't. It's up to you.

    But maybe we can help you with pumping and nursing. As the PP said, we've had mamas here who have had every kind of nursing experience and someone is sure to have advice that is relevant to your situation. Let us know if that's something you want.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lehigh Acres, Florida
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Guilt

    I agree with all the mamas. It's not easy in the beginning and it's also not for everyone. I formula fed my first, pumped and fed my second and nursed my 3rd. ALL of them are happy and healthy. Don't beat yourself up. You need to just take a deep breath and really think about the pros and cons and go with your gut. We are all here for you

    Married to Josh 05/07/2005
    Grace 12/17/2006 FF
    Emma 01/22/2008 EP
    Frank 06/26/2011 EBF

    "While breastfeeding may not seem like the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby" Amy Spangler

    **** 8 beautiful months and going strong ****

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Guilt

    Pumping is exhausting. Trust me, before I became a mom, I thought,"how can people give up on breastfeeding. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going" and all that jazz. And then I found myself with a baby with a weak suck and I was both breastfeeding and pumping around the clock and I completely understood why people quit.

    That said, I'm so glad I didn't. DD is 4.5 months and breastfeeding is so much easier. I don't have to worry about buying formula or mixing it. Or paying for it or bringing it with me when we go somewhere. It took awhile to get here but it's worth it.

    If you think you'd like to try breastfeeding again, let us know what's going on so we can help. If you want to stay with formula you owe it to yourself and your baby not to feel guilty. As pp said, it's only one part of parenting.
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Guilt

    I just wanted to send out some too.

    Pumping is the worst. I only pump a few times a week when I'm at work, and I want to smash my pump into a thousand pieces just from that; so I can totally get why you want to quit pumping.

    I also know how hard nursing is in the beginning. I was in crippling pain and absolutely miserable for the first eight weeks of my son's life. I hated breastfeeding. But breastfeeding gets easier. Much, much easier, unlike pumping. In fact, eventually it becomes much easier than formula.

    Perhaps if you try to get your baby to breastfeed again, it will help with some of the guilt. Whether you are successful or not, at least you will know that you put in one last ditch effort to give your baby your milk. Like other posters have said, there are a lot of women here that are willing to help you with this. However, ultimately I think mommal is right, you are the only one who can let go of the guilt.

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