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Thread: Giving up breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Giving up breastfeeding

    Hi, this is my first time on this forum so I'm really sorry if this has been posted before.

    I have a nearly 6 month old boy who has been almost completely breastfed with the exception of one bedtime bottle a day. He has always been a laid back happy baby as long as his tummy is full, but suddenly he's become very fussy, waking at night and no longer satisfied by my milk so I started weaning him with a bit of baby rice which he loved but even after that he was still fussy and hungry so stupidly started to give him more bottles and out of shear desperation to make him sleep through the night again and I went cold turkey on breasfeeding and put him completely on 4 bottles a day for the last week. I now totally regret this, as his sleep hasn't improved (although he is happier on bottles) and miss breastfeeding terribly, I'm so tearful and I'm not sure if this is hormone related or not but I just want to breast feed him again. Is it too late to go back? And is it the right thing to go back if he is happier on the bottle?
    Thanks. x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    Oh mama, I hear you. You're exhausted and no one thinks clearly when tired. My LO is 7 months old and though we're still BF'ing, I found that the 6 month point was much harder than I had expected. Yes, she sits up, is mobile, and is less of an in the arms baby. But she's much more vocal about getting what she wants/needs when she wants/needs it.

    And, yes, sleep, which was never great, got even worse! What happened? Cognitive leap!

    In a 2 week span she cut two teeth, learned how to sit up on her own, and now, can pull herself to standing in the crib. No amount of solids or cereals is going to help her sleep through that. Especially when study after study has affirmed that solids don't improve sleep. It's a tale grandmas and others overly invested in our kid's sleep like to tell.

    I suspect that is exactly the same thing happening to your LO:

    teething?
    new movement?
    new awareness?
    more verbal?

    Give it some time -- 1 night, 1 week, 4 or 6 weeks even -- LO will change his sleep patterns again. That's what the 1st year is about: constant transitions.

    Instead of changing your relationship with LO, think about what can change in your life that gets you more rest? Extra help from DH? A sitter and some free time on the weekends? LLL meeting to talk with more mama's in your shoes?

    I don't know enough about lactation to offer any advice about restarting your BF'ing. But I imagine if you're still making milk, then it's certainly possible.
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    That makes a lot of sense. I've been wracking my brains as to why he may suddenly be more fussy and wakeful and I guess it could be all of those things combined. i've ended up co-sleeping through the early hours which does get me more sleep but not an ideal situation. I've got a very active two and a half year old too so I'm just doing anything for a quiet life but I just underestimated how much i enjoyed breastfeeding and how calm it made me feel. My daughter got me stressed out yesterday and I instantly felt like I wanted to sit down and breastfeed but he refused to latch on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    You've been away from it for a pretty short time - I think there is a very good chance you can get back to it. There is no underlying problem, your milk supply will not have gone away entirely (though you will have seen a very big drop) and your baby will remember how to nurse (though bottle preference may well be a problem). Here are some resources that might help:

    kellymom.com/ages/adopt-relactate/relactation-resources

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    Right. Are you feeling engorged? Do you know you still have milk? He is not "happier" on the bottle. It's just takes longer for formula to digest because it's harder on their system. Don't mistake that satifaction. And everything in terms of more wakefulness right around 6 months IS normal. They nurse considerably more when they teeth. As the oxcytocin in your milk helps relieve pain.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7

    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    Not engorged at all, in fact I've not had that feeling for a good couple of months and I can now go to bed without wearing a bra and pads as I no longer leak. I'm guessing thats normal by this stage?
    Do you think I can just stop giving bottles and go back to offering the breast as much as possible? Or possibly decrease the amount of bottles he's having by one every few days?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    Check on the link from Kellymom. If your childis now completely on formula you will probably need to wean slowly back in the other direction.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,593

    Default Re: Giving up breastfeeding

    Before his habits changed how long was baby sleeping? And how many times the day did you nurse baby?
    What I am wondering is how long your milk supply has been impacted -if it's just this recent issue or if possibly it has been going down due to long sleeps even prior to this.
    Anyway the way to build up milk supply is to get baby nursing at the breast frequently as much as you can. If baby won't nurse then you have to do it by pumping. You can continue to supplement baby as needed but I would suggest maybe smaller feedings more frequently given so that baby is not been filled up with large amounts of formula and then not having any interest in nursing. As I believe the Kelly mom article suggests comfort nursing is often what comes back first when there is breast refusal. comfort nursing is also what will bring your milk production back even if you are needing to supplement in the meantime.

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