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Thread: Quitting breastfeeding-the right decision?

  1. #1

    Default Quitting breastfeeding-the right decision?

    So here is our long story made short

    DD was born perfectly healthy, full term, but could never latch in the hospital despite repeated visits from LC's. 2 weeks later with no latch and at my wits end I visited an IBCLD outside of the hospital who discovered immediately that she had a tongue tie. It was clipped and I was assured that with time we would have a renewed breastfeeding relationship. Weeks passed and her latch did not improve. Days were filled with anxiety, pain from a bad latch, and pumping to provide breastmilk via bottles.

    Along with this, we have had green mucous poops since birth and DD is a VERY fussy baby. My anxiety took over, trying to connect the two and spending hours researching and reading every story, blog, webpage, etc. on what could be causing mucous poops and why she cries all the time. Pediatrician said it could be milk intolerance and that I could try to cut dairy. My anxiety was relentless and that night I went and got a hypoallergenic formula. We did over a week on this, I continued to pump to maintain supply.

    Her poop changed color but continued to have mucous and so I said Okay let's go back to breastmilk and try actually NURSING. Well 2 days in and I had to quit because she continues to have a shallow latch no matter what I try. I loathed the nipple shield. Pumping exclusively is also such hard work. Nothing seemed to calm my anxious mind.

    Husband is supportive of whatever I want to do, so he says. But I still feel the judgement and disappointment when I talk about wanting to give up and just do formula.

    All this being said (and sorry if it seems rambling and disjointed), I have done a lot of self-reflection today and realized that my anxiety over all of the issues we have had and the guilt of nothing feeling right has made me decide that it might be best to switch to formula. I feel like my mental health is taking a toll and I fear I am going to dark places if I continue down this path.

    Just wanted to share my story (baby is crying so this is not a very well written message!) and hopefully get some support!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Quitting breastfeeding-the right decision?

    Hi erc45. I am so sorry you are having such a serious struggle with breastfeeding.

    I have seen many moms decide to no longer nurse, and I have seen some go on from that decision and be ok with it from then on, and I have seen others regret the decision later on when things slow down and are not so intense. So based on those situations I have observed, here is my opinion.

    If you are ready to "let go" of your desire to nurse your child (I do not like the word "quit") and you feel you have done what you are capable of doing in trying to nurse your baby, gotten the information you need, and taken full advantage of all the help and support that is available, leading you to be at inner peace with this decision, that will be important in deciding whether this is the 'right" decision for you.

    I suggest, tell your husband you feel judged and try to have a calm discussion about it. It may very well be there is no judgment except in your head, but you need to clarify that. He may be disappointed in the situation but that does not mean he is disappointed in you. Also he may just not know how to best support you, so tell him. Perhaps it would help for you both to understand that some benefits of breastfeeding have nothing at all to do with the milk but rather, how (not what) baby is fed and cared for. There are ways to make bottle feeding more "normal" in a biological sense (so, presumably, healthier) and also of course many ways aside breastfeeding to deepen the attachment between mom and baby (and dad and baby of course.) As far as anyone else judging you, who cares. It is your baby and your decision.

    But I do want to offer you some clarity about the concerns you are having, because Dr. Google and even real doctors are very misleading in this regard.

    Basically there are two main serious breastfeeding problems. Poor weight gain and latch pain/injury. That is it.

    As long as your baby is gaining normally, they are getting enough to eat and the right thing to eat. There is no need to worry about poops being green or mucousy and these do not necessarily indicate a dairy allergy or any other allergy. Newborn babies are very fussy and some just are way fussier than others. They expect to be held most of the time and protest if this is not done. Colic (inconsolable crying for long periods) is common as well and despite what people say, no one has any idea what causes it and in fact the current thinking is moving away from what baby eats (or her mom eats) even being related to colic. This is not to say that some babies are not having an allergic reaction to something mom eats. Some do. But 1) it is uncommon and 2) as long as it is not causing baby to gain poorly, it is not in any way hurting baby to the extent that it is an emergency that must be addressed in the early weeks when mom and baby are just getting the hang of breastfeeding! In other words this allergy concern can go on the back burner while you figure out your real issue- the latch pain. By the time you get latch straightened out, the other issue may have just disappeared as such "issues" usually do just go away on their own.

    So to me the breastfeeding issue here is your baby's latch being painful for you. THIS Is a very real and very serious breastfeeding issue. Perhaps if you and your helpers could take a step back from the other concerns and concentrate in that one area, it would help alleviate your anxiety.

    You talk about your anxiety and the "dark path" so let me address that a little. New moms are anxious. New moms also are sleep deprived and very hormonal, all this can lead to intrusive and often disturbing thoughts. If your thoughts are momentary and you can move on in your mind from them, they are entirely normal. However, if you are finding that you cannot stop obsessing or your anxiety is uncontrollable, please talk to someone about the possibility of a post party mood disorder. This is very common and nothing to be ashamed of and there are many possibilities for treatment you can consider whether you continue to nurse your child or not. I know you think that letting go of breastfeeding will fix this, and perhaps making the decision will give you relief. But be aware that no longer nursing (or pumping) will change you hormonally and that can lead to even more mood issues, so you want to be ready to get help as needed.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 29th, 2017 at 02:53 PM.

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