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Thread: I don't like breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default I don't like breastfeeding

    Am I a terrible woman/mother for saying this?

    I do NOT like it and each day that I continue to do it, it just becomes more and more apparent to me. My son is five weeks old today.
    He latches on just fine, we had some supply issues two weeks ago when I had surgery but that's better now too. It's still uncomfortable for me, especially the initial latch-on. And I just don't LIKE the way breastfeeding feels. It's like sensory overload or something. I can't stand to be touched or even talked to while I'm nursing. I feel very agitated.

    However, when I give my son a bottle, I look at his sweet face and feel so much calmer about it.

    Has anyone ever felt like this before?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    Not every one likes breastfeeding 100% of the time. This isn't from an approved LLL source but maybe it will help you with your feelings -- Are mothers supposed to love breastfeeding 24 hours a day?

    It may be helpful if you recognize your reasons for breastfeeding and the importance of what you are doing for your baby. Also, try to give it some more time. The first 6 weeks are really tough, even without any problems. It's also pretty common for mom's to feel "touched out".

    Have you considered attending some LLL meetings? Just being around other mom's who can commiserate with you may help.

    HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    54

    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    I barely like it 1 hour of the day! I feel bad about it. Thanks for the link. I may never find the time to attend a LLL meeting. I barely have time to go to the bathroom by myself. I'm feeding as I type this.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    Ahh, nursing at keyboard! A handy skill to develop! Just remember, you can come to a meeting "as you are". No need to get dressed up. Just bring you and baby. There might even be several moms or Leaders who'd be happy to hold your little one while you go to the bathroom!

    Mary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    Have you had help with latch/positioning?

    *When* do you feel the anxiety? Is it during letdown?

    Please forgive the question, but have you ever been sexually abused or raped (sorry ) ? For some mothers, this can lead to the feelings you described. Don't feel that you have to answer this question or answer publicly, it's just something to consider.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    You know what? I think it's fine and understandable that you don't like breastfeeding. Hopefully that situation will change (and soon!), but I really admire your honesty and your ability to recognize and name your feelings about this. All too often as women, we feel intense pressure to pretend for the sake of others, and we can shame ourselves into suppressing negative emotions, with even more negative results somewhere down the line in our psychological health or our relationships.

    I have an internet friend who absolutely loathes breastfeeding. It makes her aware all the time of her huge breasts, which embarrasses her and makes her feel unattractive, and she doesn't like the way it feels or anything about the whole process. But she nursed her first daughter to age 3 and is still nursing her 2yo son. Why? She weighed the benefits (improved health for both her kids and herself, higher IQ, lower risk of obesity etc. etc. etc for her kids) against the cost (doing something she hates for a period of time) and chose to continue.

    You might make the same choice, or you might make a different choice. It's up to you. I think the most important and even empowering thing is that you remember that it is always your choice to make. I have found myself able to put up with all kinds of unpleasantness and difficulty provided I always felt I had the choice to walk away from the situation if I wanted to. Now, I'm thinking of graduate school, not breastfeeding, but I think the psychological dynamics are much the same.

    My advice at this point is that you set an initial goal -- say, 3 months -- during which time you will commit to continue breastfeeding, with the understanding that once the goal is reached, you will re-evaluate your feelings, the breastfeeding relationship, the cost/benefit balance, and choose again whether to wean or whether to continue for another finite time period. Educate yourself about the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of formula feeding so that you KNOW you are making an informed choice when you evaluate the situation.

    In the meantime, consider creating some kind of positive result for your persistance with breastfeeding. Give yourself a small reward every time you nurse -- some little treat or indulgence that you can look forward to while you do this thing that you find so unpleasant and irritating. Plan a larger reward for other milestones along the way.

    I sincerely hope that your feelings change so that breastfeeding can be something you enjoy doing. I'm so sorry that this isn't your current situation. I admire your persistence and your emotional honesty. Let us know what we can do to help support you as you work through this.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    I don't really have any advice to offer, but I wanted to say that it makes sense to me that not everyone would love it. I don't like it all of the time, espeically in the beginning when I was in so much pain. But the more I learned about exactly how good it is for my baby, the happier I am to do it. Also, the easier it gets, the happier I am about it. I think the above advice sounds very reasonable and I also think it's really important to be honest with yourself about how you feel. That is proabably a good skill you can teach your child! Maybe you'll change your mind as things get a little easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by LuMo
    Am I a terrible woman/mother for saying this?

    I do NOT like it and each day that I continue to do it, it just becomes more and more apparent to me. My son is five weeks old today.
    He latches on just fine, we had some supply issues two weeks ago when I had surgery but that's better now too. It's still uncomfortable for me, especially the initial latch-on. And I just don't LIKE the way breastfeeding feels. It's like sensory overload or something. I can't stand to be touched or even talked to while I'm nursing. I feel very agitated.

    However, when I give my son a bottle, I look at his sweet face and feel so much calmer about it.

    Has anyone ever felt like this before?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    Thanks for all the replies! I feel much better now. Thank you thank you thank you!

    I'm glad to hear others feel this way too, for whatever reason. I was never sexually abused or raped, but I have had orgasms from breast stimulation [I]alone[I], which (at least from conversations with my friends) isn't common, so I think I must have extremely sensitive nipples. Which can be good or bad I guess and when it comes to breastfeeding, the stimulation is just overpowering to my brain! Not that it's pleasurable at all... but just overstimulating.

    I have a three year old little girl as well, and I feel guilty because I do not want to talk to her or be touched by her while nursing.

    So I think we are going to continue nursing 4 times a day, pump 4 times a day, and supplement with formula when needed. I do not feel the same anxiety from pumping, probably because there is no flesh-to-flesh contact at the same time. My goal for breastfeeding has always been six months (I know AAP says 1year+ but six months is my goal for personal reasons). So I keep telling myself, I'm already in the 2nd month of this! :

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    77

    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    There are tons of moms who pump exclusively. It isn't necessarily easy, but it IS possible! If you don't have any problem pumping, I'd work on building up a good freezer stash, and then if you still just can't manage the breastfeeding (it IS sensory overload, especially in the beginning!), then you can still provide your baby with the nutritional superiority of breastmilk. A freezer stash will help you stay ahead while transitioning to exclusive pumping.

    And just remember, any breastmilk is better than non!

  10. #10
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: I don't like breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by LuMo
    I have had orgasms from breast stimulation [I]alone[I], which (at least from conversations with my friends) isn't common, so I think I must have extremely sensitive nipples. Which can be good or bad I guess and when it comes to breastfeeding, the stimulation is just overpowering to my brain! Not that it's pleasurable at all... but just overstimulating.:

    I've had extremely sensitive nipples since the last month of my pg - and since I started BF, every time my husband has his turn with the nipples I've felt like I was almost ready to orgasm too! I get absolutely crazy, but he has to be VERY gentle of course. Sometimes I really do need to go find my husband after nursing , but I thought that that was a fairly normal thing to experience. After all, lots of our body parts serve dual functions. I like to think of my boobs as mutlitaskers!

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