I don’t enjoy breastfeeding my baby

Breastfeeding

QUESTION:

“I’ve been breastfeeding for 2 months now but I really don’t enjoy it. My son is healthy and happy and so I am considering to switch to formula. I discussed this with my maternal and child health nurse and she made me feel awful and straight up told me that it would be a selfish decision to stop breast feeding when I was able to.
I really feel horrible now and don’t know what I should do. Should I feel like this?”

ANSWERS:

Catherine M.

Child health nurses make you feel like crap if you do anything different to their personal opinions if it’s not breastfeeding it’s something else as your child hits a different stage. Make the choice of whatever works best for you and your family regardless of what the child health nurse’s opinion is. Mine made me feel so horrible with my first one because I was unable to breastfeed I broke down and I have never seen a health nurse with my second child at all.

Jade N.

I was made to feel guilty by a health care nurse ( who kind you was house visa it if me as I had a history of PND) with my twins as i wanted to switch to reflux formula ( with a paediatrician agreement it was fine as they were 12 weeks old) I had supply enough for 4 babies. However I had to pump to bottle feed them due to attachment issues and then thicken it and then bottle feed. With a 5 and 2 yo as well. All I did was pump and feed. Your Mental health is important as well. If you are not enjoying it then don’t force yourself. However if you want to see if you can do a bit off both in case you change your mind when it’s not so overwhelming later on maybe you can half breast feed and half bottle feed???? It’s not selfish!!! Your feelings are important too and a FED baby is best with a happy unstressed mum. I fed my son for a year, my daughter for 6 months so I had done it before but yeah my mental health and practicality of it all I switched to formula. Don’t feel bad.

Carol M.

I have to admit that I didn’t like it either did for 3 months then went to formula.

Vanessa D.

Do what is right for you. You are raising your child not other people. How you feel is important and you should enjoy your times with your child at feed time. Don’t let anyone quilt you out. Your child will grow up strong and healthy with or without breast milk

Natalie P.

I fed 4 with no issues and then my youngest went to bottle at 3 months due to low supply. He’s perfectly healthy, possibly more so than some of the others at a similar age. That’s my experience.

Kate L.

Your choice! I am the same, I hate breastfeeding and feel trapped and don’t want to do it anymore… however my little one will NOT take a bottle!! So I have no choice at the moment. Just do what is right for you, you’ve given your baby a fantastic start ?.

Kyle Y.

Dad rant coming up. You do what is right for you! I saw my partner struggle with breastfeeding and beat herself up because it didn’t go well. From doctors to pharmacists there were comments and looks. We even had a pharmacist suggest drugs might help production. At this point, I just said it’s kinda hard after a double mastectomy…. never seen someone backpedal so fast! Breastfeed or formula the only thing that is important is that your baby is fed, warm and loved! All I can say is try a few types until you find the right one. Don’t beat yourself up and enjoy your baby. And to anyone who says otherwise give them the middle finger! This is something that angers me, regardless of formula or breast we should be supporting new mothers/parents not making them feel like they have failed. Instead, I want to give each one a hug and say you are doing an amazing job.

Carol D.

I loved breastfeeding, so easy, managed to do for my firstborn but had problems with my second one so had to bottle feed ?.

Jess P.

You need to include yourself in the equation. If you’re not enjoying breastfeeding and it’s affecting you in a negative way, then make the switch. Your bubs will be healthy and happy on formula. The data demonstrates that the health benefits between breast milk vs formula aren’t as significant that people make it out to be. So while they are there, your bubs will not be losing out on much by having formula.

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Cecilia A.

Two options:
1) you start giving your baby formula
2) your mach nurse breastfeeds your baby

If you find the decision hard then maybe let your mach nurse decide? She seems supportive and happy to give advise.
I’m sorry she made you feel horrible. I bet you’re an awesome mum!

Cassie K.

She really should have given you help/alternatives instead of just telling you off for considering formula. Depending on why you don’t enjoy breastfeeding, there might be alternatives like express and bottle feed breast milk, combine breastfeeding with formula feeding (you can even maintain a supply just breastfeeding once a day if you do it every day and before offering the bottle – use a newborn flow teat for formula to prevent breast refusal in this case) or bottle-feeding donor milk. Or if it’s night waking that’s the issue, cosleeping might make it easier for you – I actually found just popping bub on and off the breast without getting up easier than having to go and make a bottle of formula (as I did when combining breast and formula).

If you just really don’t want to breastfeed anymore, that’s also fine. Two months is a great achievement and will still give your bub lifelong benefits, and a happy healthy mum is just as important as a happy healthy baby and more important than what or how bub eats.

Chantelle L.

I had a nurse reduce me to tears, I felt like a failure because I couldn’t breastfeed. Do what is best for you and your baby, don’t let the nurse or anyone else make you feel bad because you can’t continue to breastfeed. Fed is best.

Mia R.

There are other options other than just breast or formula.
It really depends on what and why you don’t like breastfeeding.
There are nipple shields, expressed milk in a bottle, mixed feeding, donor breast milk. Just know there are other options and do what’s right for you and your baby ❤️

Lisa L.

Don’t listen to anyone else but your baby. As long as the baby is fed does it matter how? My daughter was bottle frd from day 7 & she is perfectly healthy.

Tara g.

Coming from a mum of a 3-month-old beautiful girl who has really struggled with breastfeeding due to low supply I would say definitely make the switch. I also felt a lot of pressure to continue breastfeeding and mix fed from 2 weeks and have finally made the call to go full formula this last week. I wish I did it sooner. Breastfeeding can be a magical thing but for a multitude of reasons, it isn’t pleasant or doesn’t work for some mums. It’s more important that you are a happy mum and if you’re not enjoying it chances are you will actually bond more through bottle feeding (I know I preferred this over my baby screaming at my breasts). I’m so sorry this was your experience and hope you can find a more supportive health nurse. A fed baby and happy mum are best.

Chantal D.

How bub is feed is only ONE factor in their health and yours. Doing something that makes you unhappy isn’t going to work well in the long run for you mentally and emotionally. There’s nothing wrong with formula, and there’s is definitely nothing wrong with doing what works for you to have a happy and enjoyable life, motherhood experience and baby.

Jessica M.

Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks just do what works for u as a lot of depression after having a baby comes from breastfeeding and if ur not comfortable to enjoying it stressing urself out is worst. Fed is best. Dw I chose to formula feed from the get-go because of meds I was on some doctors and nurses said it was the better option to ensure the meds don’t go through the breast milk, some said it was my choice others said it was better to breastfeed them and risk the meds going through then feeding them chemicals… meanwhile I use organic formula. Do what is right for u and ur baby.

Cassandra M.

You do what you want, do not listen to her! Your mental health is important too! I did 8 weeks with my 1st and 2 weeks with my 2nd. My mental health was more important

Kate E.

I stopped going to those appointments early on with my first child and only did the one visit with my second. I stopped breastfeeding by choice. It was either that or end up with PND because i hated breastfeeding. I was exhausted and it wasn’t for me. I stuck it out for 4 months and I’m so glad i stopped, after a gentle push from my husband who convinced me to let go of the guilt. Who bloody cares, as long as your baby is happy and healthy ?

Nicole H.

Tell your nurse to suck a fat one first of all. Second, do what’s best for you, everyone seems to forget that the mum needs looking after too and if that means swapping to formula because you’re not happy that is 100% okay. No one can tell you otherwise.

Jayde K.

I breastfed with baby 1 for 4 months and cried every feed. I had Post-natal depression and feeding worsened it. Like you I also agonised over switching to formula and eventually I made the decision to switch over. Baby 1 is now 2 years old and is so happy, healthy and smart. After switching I felt better and was able to care for him better. You can’t care for someone else to the best of your ability if you aren’t at your best yourself.
Baby number 2 I breastfed for 4 weeks then started to get teary when I fed. There was no hesitation this time in switching to formula.
You’ve done an amazing job to breastfeed for any length of time! Don’t let people put you down. Being a parent is hard and we all need to do it differently for ourselves and our children.

Beth S.

Dear Mum, congratulations on being a Mum and struggling through two months trying to do what you think is best for bub. I think that it’s time for you to now do what’s best for you and bub. As long as your son is fed and healthy, who really cares if it’s formula or breastmilk? I suggest seeing a different nurse or doctor who will work through the issues to keep both of you happy and stress-free. Hoping you don’t feel judged because you shouldn’t be. Good luck!

Cassandra M.

With my first I breastfed him until 9 months ended up exhausted and getting virtually no sleep. My body was completely run down so that was when I switched to formula. Number 2, i originally was planning on mixed feeding but I was on medication which would have been potentially dangerous to her so she was bottle fed. Number 3, I wasn’t going to take the pressure that was originally put on me with number 2 so decided I was going to bottle feed then try breastfeeding once I was a little more settled at home but due to some feeding issues & reflux that didn’t happen so bottles it was for him…. they were all well fed and all did well.

There’s no real difference these days and I didn’t let anyone make me feel guilty for the decisions I made regarding my babies. Please do what you feel is best for you. It will not help your baby if you’re unwell in any way or getting yourself run down due to trying to do something that you’re unhappy doing. What’s best for you is what’s best for your baby not the other way around. Much love mumma you’re doing a great job ?

Kyle B.

It sucks you were made feel this way! It’s an awful time to be struggling but the best advice I got was don’t give up on your worst day or in your worst week. I persisted and mix fed my babe til he self-weaned at 14 months. It was the absolute worst until about 5 months and then it was the absolute best. I have no regrets about pushing through. However…. if I needed to quit for my own health and my relationship with my baby I absolutely would have – you just need to do what’s best for you. Good luck, it’s a really hard decision ❤️

Sally K.

It’s your choice! If you aren’t enjoying it you won’t be happy and this can play havoc with your hormones/emotions/mental health. And I’m saying this as both a mum who was lucky enough to breastfeed and a health professional (admittedly not a maternal nurse). lease get a second opinion/ discuss this with another MCH/GP/etc, you should NOT have been made to feel horrible!

Christine L.

Do what’s right for you! Well done for persevering for 2 months. I battled for 6 weeks with my first coz I believed it was best. My mental health suffered as a result (not to mention the terrible pain ?) second bub I did around 2 weeks, but once again terrible pain & I hated it. There’s no shame in a bottle. And also, if possible please see a different health nurse. They should not make you feel bad about your decision

Amy K.

Do whatever you want! Breastfeeding has a lot of advantages but our formula is basically the best in the world. More than enough to raise healthy kids. As long as you’ve thought of the cost and possibility that your brand may sometimes be hard to find. Bringing bottles and sterilised water out and about can also be a pain but many manage.

Just one question: would pumping breast to bottle be better for you? Not for everybody but depending on what it is that you dislike about breastfeeding, this could also be an option which is cheaper and gives your baby the benefits of breastmilk (which you have already given so much of to your baby, well done for even making 2 months!!! It’s hard!)

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