Feeling like a rubbish mum for failing at breast feeding. - NCT

NCT
31,455 members12,076 posts

Feeling like a rubbish mum for failing at breast feeding.

Sorry for the long post but I really feel the need to air my feelings as no one in my family seems to understand. I joined from the fertility network having finally managing to conceive after a round of ivf after just over 2 years of failing to get pregnant naturally (unexplained infertility). Due to having lupus I was classed as a high risk pregnancy so ended up being consultant led and told I'd be induced early at 38 weeks as I was more likely to develop preeclampsia and stillbirth which we already had a number of in our family. The induction failed as I had a bad reaction to the pessary, where my cervix didn't open and I became swollen and had a burning sensation which made it extremely painful and difficult for them to examine me. However I had started contracting too fast and with NY cervix closed and due to the baby's heart rate increasing the decision was made to have an emergency caesarean. Throughout my pregnancy I knew I had wanted to try breastfeeding but the moment my daughter was born she was whisked away for a few hours as she had a very high temperature and her oxygen stats didn't match so she was treated with antibiotics for a suspected infection. We had to stay in hospital for a few days whilst we waited for the results and she was regularly taken away to be checked. During this time I had tried to get my milk going, putting her to both breasts regularly to feed, however she was often sleepy and only fed for a short time. I tried pumping every couple of hours, and even hand expressing, catching whatever pathetic dribbles came out in a tiny syringe and giving them to her. My left boob seemed to do nothing. At one point I was trying over an hour using both breasts and my LG started screaming hysterically with hunger and a midwife told me to keep going for a bit longer or I'd have to give her a top up of formula, which she made it sound like a huge failure, almost disgusted at the idea. After another half an hour which was heart wrenching as my LG became more frustrated and upset, said midwife offered to take her off me and give her a top up if formula then get her to sleep so I could go to the toilet and then rest (I was anaemic from too much blood loss and was still recoving from my bad reaction to the pessary and severe swelling of my legs and feet.) My LG still seemed drowsy and I found it odd that a lot of the midwives kept commenting on her "gorgeous golden complexion" and stating she looked like "she'd been on holiday". We were finally discharged on the Friday morning (4 days later) as they were satisfied she didn't have an infection. My parents came round that afternoon and my dad said that she had jaundice. I felt so silly for not spotting it sooner and over the weekend it got worse to the point the whites of her eyes were dark yellow, she was sleeping constantly and barely feeding. I expected the midwife to see us the next day but had no contact. I rang the hospital repeatedly and no one answered and tried my local midwife several times but it just kept going to voicemail saying she was seeing other patients. I tried repeatedly over the weekend and finally on Monday my local midwife got back to me furious the hospital hadn't informed her we had been discharged, whilst telling me she'd been on leave and forgotten to change her voicemail! She arrived stating she'd put in a complaint at the hospital and noted how bad the jaundice was and said from our description of lg at the weekend she probably would have sent us back to hospital. We found LG had lost 4oz and I explained how hard it was to get her to feed as she was constantly sleepy and despite pumping I still had only tiny dribbles of milk. She encouraged me to persist but also told us to top her up with formula and feed every couple of hours to help get rid of the jaundice. The next day the hv came and LG had lost another oz causing lots of concern and insistence from the hv she see me bf. At this point my LG was screaming hysterically from being stripped for the scales and as I put her to me she refused to latch turning her head away. The hv then tried pushing her even closer to me, saying I should hold her tightly into me to comfort her to which my baby cried harder and pushed away from me with all her might. I broke down in tears at seeing my baby so upset and her refusal to feed from me so hubby made her a bottle. I then had a lot of concerned glances from hv who had made me feel pretty shit by then about my inability to bf as she had been harping on about how she had exclusively bf both her daughters. Due to the weight loss which apparently was due to me letting LG on my breast for long periods where she wasn't really getting anything except making herself tired through trying, she came back a few days later after our 2nd midwife visit where LG had finally started putting weight on but still had bad jaundice so we were told to up her formula feeds as I still wasn't producing enough. I'd starting taking fenugreek and made lactation cookies, still offering LG my breast but not a lot was happening. A month later my LG is pretty much formula fed and I hate the fact I seem to have failed at all the things a woman should be able to do naturally. I'm the first in our family to undergo ivf due to failing to conceive naturally and then with the emergency c section and failure to bf, the one thing I thought I might be able to do the right way I'm feeling pretty deflated about myself. Many family members have tried to reassure me it's okay not to bf and my sister said how hard it was for her with both her kids as she was constantly being told off about them not putting on weight but I still feel like a failure as I've been unable to do anything the natural way and I wanted my LG to have the extra health benefits of bf. I love my LG girl so much and as pleased as I am that she's putting on weight (she is finally above her birth weight) and after just over 2 long weeks her jaundice is finally gone, I wish I could have given her a better start, instead of the tiny dribbles of milk she did get from me. Has anyone had a similar experience?

40 Replies
oldestnewest

Oh hun you really have been through a lot. IVF is hard in itself but please don’t ever blame yourself or say that you are a failure. With my first I struggled to bf I had her in spain and there was not much support. I don’t think she fed at all before we left the hospital. Once home I could only feed from one side as baby was getting nothing from the other side. I tried expressing and even after an hour or so I got 25ml from one side, the other I was able to get more. My lg was small anyway and wasn’t putting on weight I went to the midwife for my check up and she advised I stop feeding as my breast that was working was getting bigger and more solid and painful. I went on to formula and lg still wasn’t putting on weight so I had to put special sachets in her milk to bulk it out.

This time round I am hoping to breast feed but I’m anxious it may not work. I’m sorry that you haven’t been given more support, my hv said she would support however I want to feed regardless of breast or bottle. Yours should not make you feel bad. Breast feeding is hard and it takes a lot of perseverance but you also need support if it’s not working. Please don’t feel like a failure, there are lots of ladies who don’t bf their babies. Sending you big hugs xxx

Reply

Thank you. It means a lot to hear from someone who's had a similar experience. My left breast hasn't really worked at all and when we were trying to get started my LG made my right nipple bleed so every attempt at feeding after that was painful until it healed but it did seem like she was getting something. That attempt with my hv watching really upset me as I knew my LG did not like to be held like that during feeding and she didn't give me the opportunity to calm her down 1st before the attempt. The screaming and the image of LG struggling to push herself away won't leave my mind and I feel like that damaged the experience for us even more. Now my LG is putting on weight and following the stupid curve of growth their obsessed with "beautifully" as the hv put it, she doesn't seem as bothered about the bf. I just wish I'd been able to do one thing the natural way. Hubby is very supportive about it all so I guess really this is my own personal demon to get over. Thank you for responding, I hope your 2nd pregnancy is going well xx

Reply

Pregnancy is going well thanks got 3 weeks left. Looking forward to finishing work next week. We had ivf so it’s not been easy, been a bit anxious. My daughter has never been on the correct centile and she’s now 11 she just has a slight build but is healthy. I can imagine it’s hard to get that image out of your head, the hv definitely didn’t help in that situation. Try and put it behind you, you have done your best and that’s all that matters xx

Reply

I am so sorry to hear everything you have been through, you have had a really difficult start to motherhood and it sounds like you were really let down by the hospital. I hope you are recovering well from your section.

As a fellow IVF mum, I totally understand your desire to breastfeed. My little girl was jaundiced too and she had a tongue tie which meant she was feeding 24/7 and not taking much milk meaning she was constantly upset and unsettled. She initially lost weight and then gained about an oz a fortnight taking weeks to regain her birth weight. Has your little girl been checked for a tongue tie? It sounds to me like you are doing everything you possibly can. If you really feel like you want to continue breastfeeding, do you have a La Leche League group near you or is there a feeding team at your local hospital who could come out to see you and spend some time watching you feed? I also found lots of skin to skin helped, especially taking my little girl into the bath. If you are on Instagram I recommend following an account called Little Peach London, she is a breastfeeding practitioner and offers free online advice and support. It is so hard and you are doing really well.

I understand your feelings about wanting to do something naturally... but it sounds to me like the most important thing you have done naturally is make the transition into motherhood. You are putting your baby first and doing everything you possibly can to keep her healthy. Sending a hug xxx

Reply

Thank you for responding and sharing your experience. She hasn't been checked for a tongue tie but she seems to move her tongue around quite well and can stick it right out. She feeds easily from a bottle but I'm not sure if that would help with spotting it. There are some support groups locally I could try but I'm nervous about her losing weight if we try again. They made me feel so bad about it the first time and kept giving me concerned glances and asking what I was going to do, even had the hv tell me I was giving her nipple confusion by using bottle and breast, despite being instructed to do this by the midwife (she latched to both fine) that I thought they were going to send us back to hospital even though she hadn't even lost 10 per cent, it was about 5 per cent in the end. On formula she managed to put on 8oz in just less than a week and just knowing she'd gained I felt better, just guilty it wasn't through breast milk. Xx

Reply

My baby had jaundice and struggled to feed. He lost over 10% of his birth weight. It was a very scary time. I was advised to start expressing milk as I was adamant I wanted to breadtfeed. I felt devastated at the suggestion of formula. He just wouldn't latch properly.

Long story short, I was able to top up with bottles of my milk and he eventually got the hang of breadtfeeding. I was lucky in that o didn't have to give formula (I really didn't want to) so he's been breastfeeding since.

I think what's important is that your baby is fed. Fed is best. So keep that message at the forefront of your mind. Just because you had to go through ivf doesn't make you a failure. And nor does bottle feeding. I'd say if you want to try breastfeeding, try pumping. It really worked for me. That's as long as your milk hasn't dried up.

But most importantly, don't stress. It's hard being a new mum. Don't let the feeding ruin this special time. Fed is best!

Reply

Thank you for responding and sharing your experience. Unfortunately I tried pumping and expressing but barely anything came out. I actually got more of a flow, despitenit being only slight through doing it myself by hand and even then my LG looked like she was managing to get a bit more by herself. It just wasn't enough and all the ways they tell you to increase milk supply I have tried and still only had a dribble. My concern was she seemed to be feeding from me for ages but wasn't actually getting anything. She feeds from a bottle well and we have gone through feeding her every couple of hours to flush out the jaundice to baby led feeding where she is drinking well above the normal daily recommendation which seems to have helped with her weight gain. The midwife suggested that we both had a bad start and her being poorly and taken away so much didn't help. I think me having a bad reaction to the pessary and my body not going into labour was also a sign of perhaps my body not being ready. I just hope she did.mange to get some bits of milk off me from the beginning that may have given her some health benefits, even though I know it's something like 6 weeks of IVF to get the main ones. Thank you for saying fed is best and if that prevents that awful cry I had to endure with the hv visitor then maybe I just need to let it go.

Reply

In 10 years time, when she's running around at school playing with her mates, is anyone going to ask how she was fed? No. Don't beat yourself up! We ivf mums get a raw deal a lot of the time I think. She's out of the woods now so you can enjoy your role as her mummy. At least you tried.

I'm glad I was able to breastfeed in the end but it does mean I've been the one to always put the baby to bed, settle him in the night and he always wants me for comfort. At least you'll be able to share all those sides of parenthood! Good luck and enjoy your LO!

1 like
Reply

Thank you, this really has made me feel better. I appreciate your words and advice xx

1 like
Reply

Please don’t feel bad, your birth experience doesn’t sound like the best start. I had a similar problem with learning how to bf, my daughter just wasn’t getting it and the only thing every midwife I saw did was squish my boob and ram it into her mouth, needless to say it didn’t work so well. I did manage to get her to latch in the end after 2 weeks but with a nipple shield, I then got told I wasn’t making enough either (I put this down to the slow start and just trying to pump, I probably didn’t do it enough but it’s so hard when you need to feed them and sleep!). I gave it my best shot and at 3 weeks after my husband was back at work I lost the will and gave up, I just continued to pump until my supply decreased. I think by then I’d made my peace with it, I’d tried, I was exhausted and she was better off fed than not. In the end I actually think it’s worked out for the best as we’ve found out she’s got a cows milk allergy, if I’d been breastfeeding only I’m not sure we would have noticed as much, she was a pretty difficult newborn. You can get good bacteria drops if you want to help things, just waiting for my little girl to get settled on her 4th prescription milk (long boring story but what a month!) and I plan to add them in (one of the milks has it in as it helps their guts to heal and allows them to grow out of their allergy sooner).

Big hugs! Things will get better and I do think being an IVF mummy you put extra pressure on yourself to make sure they get the ‘best’. I also try to think of the positives, my husband can take her for an afternoon no problems, she’s not waking a million times a night to use me as a human dummy as well as milk (when you speak to bf mums this is a common theme), she’s happy (when the milk is right) which means I’m happy. This will all be a distant memory one day, just enjoy her x

Reply

Thank you. Everyone's responses are making me feel better about it. The pressure at the hospital to bf was huge and even when a midwife from the ward came to see me feed her, she said I was doing it perfectly so at the time I didn't think there was an issue. It seems I just couldn't get my milk to come in at all, as I say barely a dribble from my left breast, despite all the pumping and using my hands. The hv sounded similar to the midwives you had in her assistance to see me bf she made my baby hysterical and push herself away from meas she tried to forcefully push her into me which was awful. She gave me some vitamin drops but I don't know if these are the same as the good bacteria drops. It is nice my husband can take over whenever too, he enjoys feeding her and it is nice to see them bond and as you say takes the pressure off. My cousin came to see us the other day with her 10 month old who she has exclusively bf, she looked exhausted and said he is constantly seeking her breast and is awake every hour wanting soothing, he even lifted up her t shirt to get to it while she was here. My LG seems content most of the time and keeps most of her milk down but does suffer with colic, hiccups and some reflux from time to time (I use infacol before feeds to help and will try gripe water when she's old enough if it doesn't get better). My milks practically dried up now as we've just been bottle feeding to ensure she's fed. I'm sorry you've had such a hard time with your little one too, hopefully you'll find a formula that suits her. You're right, I just need to enjoy her xx

Reply

I’m lucky I have an amazing HV, when I saw her at 4 weeks and told her I’d given up she wasn’t bothered, she was more bothered about how I felt mentally and making sure my LG was fed, she said she’d get shot telling me formula was ok to use if that was what I wanted 😊 I don’t regret it now, in fact my LG doesn’t even have a bottle addiction (baby led feeding here too) and will fall asleep herself without one and only wakes once for feeding in the night now at almost 6 months.....mind you come early morning she does like to wake to party at the moment before going back to sleep 😂 Other than formula issues I feel we are in a great place compared to some other parents and I’m hoping she’ll be night weaned in a couple of months 🤞🏻 I think the vitamin drops are for when you are giving breast milk as they need additional vitamin D, the good bacteria ones I’ve got are called Biogia, a bit pricy for a small 5ml bottle but apparently you only need 5 drops a day to give them, it’s supposed to help with colic too. People on the allergy group I’m on seem to rave about them but I plan to start slow and work up as they can cause wind 🙈💨 Wishing you and your little girl all the best however things turn out breast milk wise for you x

1 like
Reply

Thank you! I will look into the drips. It sounds like you're in a really good place. Best wishes to you and your little girl. Your messages have made me feel so much better Xx

1 like
Reply

Oh bless you, what an awful experience! You definitely should never feel bad, especially when you tried your very best.

I'm on a breast feeding group on Facebook, & if there's one thing I've learnt from it is despite the whole "breast is best" from the NHS, they aren't very good at supporting it & giving the right advice. You sound like you've been failed massively in my view.

If your keen to breastfeed more then definitely go to the support groups, as it's absolutely possible for you to achieve. The amount you pump does not give a true representation of your supply as baby is much more efficient, lots of women don't respond well to them, So please remember that. Lots of skin to skin, drink plenty & eat well.

What ever happens now, just know that you did your best, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula. I gave in far too easily with my first baby, no birth issues, just struggling with the tiredness, soreness & cluster feeding. She was on formula by the end of the first week. We are told it's best but not how hard it actually is xx

Reply

Thank you for your reply. I agree, I had no idea how hard it would be and now my milk has more or less gone after just over a month in, not that it was really there in the first place. If I'm lucky enough to have another baby I will feel more prepared and probably see a consultant beforehand and in the first week to give me a better chance of success. Thank you for the advice x

Reply

What a worrying and stressful time of it you've both had. I'm so glad your midwife has put in a complaint. It's shocking that yiur LG's jaundice wasn't picked up by staff; perhaps you should make a complaint too as they seem to have failed you and your daughter miserably.

Breastfeeding is so hard and I don't think there is a huge amount of support at the hospital. I, too, had midwives just pinching my boobs and shoving my baby's face towards it while she was crying at merely a few hours old. It was so distressing for me and I told them to stop. I could see one nurse in particular getting annoyed at me as I kept stopping to pacify my little girl but I wanted to cuddle her. She ended up losing 9.8% of her birth weight and went from 7lb 10oz to 6lb 14oz in 3 days even though I was told "she looks like she's feeding well". Luckily, my LG started to gain and was very healthy but my breastfeeding woes were far from over; I had nipples so cracked it looked like chunks were missing, and my partner would often wake up to me crying in the night whilst feeding. I was in so much pain I'd find myself getting really angry and resentful, and I dreaded feed times. My HV was really supportive but because my girl was doing well I don't think my anyone realised the extent of my discomfort and so I never receive adequate support (you basically have to find the support uourself). During my worst times I had to use formula because I needed a break and I had to give my nipples a chance to heal a bit. My LG is 15 weeks old and my left nipple only healed about 3 weeks ago!! I have been able to continue BF but I don't regret giving her formula when I've needed to and you shouldn't feel bad either. You were let down by the staff as far as I'm concerned.

It sounds like you have done everything you can to BF your LG, sometimes it doesn't always work out but it doesn't mean you've failed. There are pros and cons to both ways of feeding. You might still be able boost your supply so it might be worth calling a helpline for advice. As someone else said, babies are far more efficient at taking the milk so you can't judge it on what you express. Two friends of mine couldn't express anything but were able to successfully BF.

Ultimately a fed baby is a happy baby and a happy baby = happy mum. Xx

Reply

Thank you for replying. We have put in a complaint because there were a few issues with the aftercare, before they were great but it was the final 2 days and when we were discharged the problems occurred. My milk is practically gone now, not that it was there much before so we are sticking to the bottles and doing baby led feeding so LG is taking as much as she wants and is finally gaining weight. I tried a nipple shield after my LG made my nipple crack and bleed but I found she kept pulling it off as she was sucking so hard. My hubby too could see me wince when we first tried and I was trying to get established then I managed to get her latch right so it didn't hurt. It was just hard getting her to wake up for feeds with her being ill and then her weight kept dropping and I was told I was letting her feed for too long and she was tiring herself out and not getting enough milk. Hopefully if I'm lucky enough to have another child we can try again now I am more informed xx

Reply

Congratulations on your little girl. Really sorry you’ve had such a challenging start. Sounds like you’ve not had the best support so far but you’re doing fine.

Try to remember that whilst feeding is obviously very important, it’s only one part of taking care of a baby and does not make you a failure as a mum regardless of how you do it. I had what would be described as a positive experience with breastfeeding but little boy still lost nearly 10% of his birth weight and was jaundiced for about the first week, so don’t blame yourself for that. It’s actually quite normal (especially if baby is born around 38/39 weeks) and doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. If baby was unhappy though, you’ve done what you could to make sure she’s fed, which makes you a good mum. I think this has been mentioned but are you sure she doesn’t have a tongue tie? My boy’s was really obvious, right at the front but those further back often get missed.

If you feel undermined by your HV, contact the manager and ask for a different one. They are your point of contact for your daughter’s all-important first few years so you need to feel supported by them.

And if you want to give breastfeeding another try, maybe as suggested go along to a local support group (la leche league etc). You know baby is healthy & growing well so try not to feel too much pressure. Make sure you take care of yourself too xx

1 like
Reply

Thank you. I will check about the tongue tie. I have had a look and didn't notice anything but she also seems to be able to move her tongue round quite well, she sticks it right out and moves it all around her mouth and is very rounded, the NHS mentioned a heart shape. I only have one more visit with my hv then we should be on to the well baby clinic. I think the bad start and everything plus all my hormones being all over the place has made me beat myself up about it more. As I say, I just wanted to be able to do one thing the natural way and it upsets me that I haven't. I suppose that's my issue and I just need to move on.

Reply

Ok first of all... you are not a failure.... you have been failed!! I am so sorry you’ve had such poor support at a time when you need it the most. My story is almost a carbon copy of yours even down to the IVF so I hope I can offer you some help.

Weight loss up to 10% at the day 5 check is completely normal, I don’t know if you were told this? I also had a blood loss, this makes your milk supply a little slower to come in, as well as the fact you were induced. You mentioned you only got dribbles of milk - this is also normal - baby’s tummy is so tiny at first they only need very small amounts to fill their tummy as colostrum is so rich and satisfying for them.

Don’t feel like you have failed for giving formula - my little boy was also given formula top ups in hospital. If you would like to carry on breastfeeding I would urge you to get some face to face bf support, have a look if there is a la leche league group in your area, or lcgb.org.uk for a lactation consultant in your area (IBCLC). They will help you form a plan to get back to breastfeeding, gradually reducing the formula top ups (so little ones weight isn’t affected). Have a look at the kellymom website - there is lots of good info on there in particular power pumping to help with supply.

I would highly recommend Shel Banks IBCLC as someone to follow on Facebook - she does live Q&As every fortnight through the parent platform page on there - she came to help me with feeding my son and honestly saved our breastfeeding journey! If you are up north she can travel to you if you’d like her to help she really is amazing (she was the infant feeding expert on the recent channel 4 dispatches episode on infant formula). She also offers remote support if not within travelling distance.

In the meantime, do lots of skin to skin time with baby - take a bath together, camp out in bed together, carry baby in a sling to keep baby close. Drink LOTS of water, 3-4 litres a day if you can manage it. Fenugreek can have the opposite effect on supply for some women so I would avoid it if you can. You can ask your GP for domperidone to help boost your supply if you want to.

Above all remember that the priority is feeding your baby - fed is necessary, INFORMED is best - don’t listen to the ‘happy mummy, happy baby’ ‘fed is best’ etc....

I would say try feeding at the breast as often as you can, pump afterwards while baby has a couple of ounces of formula. Keep repeating this at every feed and you honestly won’t believe how quickly your breasts catch up - you can give any expressed milk as part of the next top up.

Make sure any bottles given are ‘pace fed’ - look online for info on this but essentially keep baby sat up a little and keep bottle level so that the flow mimics the breast more.

It’s so awful when so called healthcare ‘professionals’ are anything but - you should not have been made to feel the way you are. C section babies are always sleepy as they don’t have the mucus sucked out of them like naturally birthed babies do. Your baby had jaundice on top of this - strip baby off if they are still sleepy to feed.

Please please please don’t feel like a failure - you sound like a great mum and you’ve done your best for baby. Get some support and you can get back to breastfeeding if that is what you want to do. Big hugs mama xxxxx

1 like
Reply

Thank you, you have made me feel much better. We seem to have gotten in to a routine where she's taking 5-6 bottles of formula a day and she's content and gaining weight. My milk has pretty much dried up which is why I feel guilty. I feel like I had a lot of pressure to make a quick decision of how I would feed her while being made to feel anxious about her weight loss. I was also desperate to get rid of her jaundice as it was so bad so when the midwife said feed her formula every couple of hours to get it to break down, I did, doing this and pumping at the same time with little to show for it made me feel deflated and exhausted. If the midwife had come sooner then I think we would have been back in hospital with her under a light and I might have had more support with bf. At the moment i've lost my confidence but have gotten myself into a routine with my LG. I think if I'm ever lucky enough to have another baby I will get more informed (what you have advised is very helpful) I could have a more positive bf experience. I really appreciate your advice and support xx

Reply

You are so welcome, I’m just really sorry you have been so badly let down when you needed support, especially after what you went through to have your baby too. I think as mums we are bound to feel guilty over lots of things, just remember that you did your absolute best and baby still did get to feed from you, some people don’t even want to try (which is absolutely their right to choose to do so) which I think is a real shame. Just enjoy all the cuddles with your long awaited baby, skin to skin and baths are still really good for bonding btw no matter how she is fed 😘 xxxx

1 like
Reply

Thank you xx

Reply

Sorry to hear your feeling like this. Your not a failure but nothing short of amazing. IVF is such a tough journey. I understand how you are ferling. My second IVF baby was using DE and was meant to be planned section so i was desperate to breast feed. My boy had other plans was born breech, not breathing and was straight to intensive care. I used the pump but he was tube fed then formula fed while in itc. Ive been lucky in that my midwife and gp have been great I've been referred to peri natal services. I've realised it prob a bit more for me than just the birth breast and breast feeding I think I spent the whole pregnancy not believing it would happen and all rolled together has resulted in post traumatic stress. Since getting the help I need I've come to accept a healthy baby is all I need breast or bottle fed. I know services vary across the country but perhaps you could ask if any service that could help you? Your baby will only be a baby for such a short time and you want and deserve to enjoy this precious time rather than be stressed by it. Good luck x x x

Reply

Thank you for replying. Sorry you had such a traumatic time, it sounds awful. I think at the moment she seems happy being bottle fed and my husband is enjoying feeding her too- I know he could also do that with expressing. I think I feel so worn out with it all at the moment, especially emotionally. I was just so relieved when she finally started putting on weight. They did tell me up to 10% loss was normal but they were that focused on her weightloss and I felt so bad about it especially with all the concerned faces and questions about feeding I was getting. When the hv told me I was giving her nipple confusion (she takes both breast and bottle fine) and I needed to make a decision on feeding and I wasn't really producing anything so I felt under pressure. She's taking 5- 6 bottles a day and seems content, it's just me that feels guilty. Thank you for making me feel better x

Reply

Also with my first born I breastfeed for first 6 weeks. I felt similar to how you describe when I switched to bottle. Probably still a lot of hormones racing about. Be kind to yourself it sounds like you've a happy baby and a hubble who wants to be involved 😊😊😊 x x x

Reply

Thank you xx

Reply

Like you I had ivf to conceive and then had to have a c section as baby wasn’t growing so was at risk of stillbirth. Nobody tells you how hard it is to breast feed or how much pressure there is on you to do it. We were in high dependency after the delivery and I had a midwife trying to hand express me within hours of a traumatic delivery. I was desperate to breast feed but my little one had tongue tie which was clipped when he was two weeks old so he struggled to latch on to start with and then had to relearn after it was clipped. There was lots of tears from him and me at times when he was struggling to feed. I had midwives, health visitors and breast feeding nurses all trying to help with my latch but he just didn’t gain weight. He lost 14% of his body weight in the first week of life. He has also got a suspected cows milk protein allergy and severe reflux so at 10 weeks I called it a day with breast feeding. I was gutted and like you felt like a failure particularly because he didn’t grow during pregnancy so I know how you feel. We’re a few weeks on now and he’s on a prescription milk for his allergy and is thriving on formula alone. Don’t feel guilty and don’t be too hard on yourself. Breast isn’t always best!!! Xx

Reply

Thank you. So sorry you had a traumatic start. I think I am coming to terms with the fact that this time bf didn't work for me. After seeing my sister and sisters in law do it, I naively thought it would be easy but we had a lot obstacles preventing us from getting started. However my sister recently revealed how hard she found it, she was often exhausted, in tears and always being told off by the hv for them not putting on weight, she even said she stopped earlier with her ds and was relieved to put him on formula as he finally gained weight. I think I'm giving myself a hard time as I thought it might be my one chance in the whole pregnancy to do something the natural way and I haven't managed it. I hope you and your son are well xx

Reply

I have to reply to you oh my god you have just produced and kept alive a human being- a gorgeous girl by the sounds of things 💞you should be so proud of yourself. You sound exhausted. Hopefully you will look back on this time in years to come with happy memories. I’m sitting beside my beautiful almost 9 month old baby girl who has just gone to sleep. She also arrived early by emergency c-section, I initially tried to BF and it went ok initially but after a few days not so good to the point that I needed to also use formula and basically after 2 weeks totally on formula and you know what she is thriving and very healthy. I don’t take any notice of small minded people who try and make out all mothers must endure hours of labour and hours of BF.. everyone is different.. I saw I think on Facebook (so it must be true) a cartoon basically saying once they are toddlers they will be looking to eat all sorts of crap so I wouldn’t worry 😁 once you have a little human keeping you busy don’t mind others, enjoy every second of her as many never get the opportunity 😘

1 like
Reply

Thank you. Your reply made me smile and gave me a much needed lift. I hope you and your little girl are well xx

Reply

I had to reply because i have been having the same feelings. My little one was born last week by emergency c section and I lost 2.5 litres of blood. I desperately wanted to breastfeed and tried to get her to latch but on the first night she jut wasn't interested. She was on antibiotics for an infection I had and was just drowsy.

On the second day in hospital a midwife advised that they thought I should use some formula as due to the blood loss I wouldn't have much milk coming through yet. The messages didn't seem to get communicated to the night shift however and when I asked them about the formula I was made to feel like I was giving up and told to persevere. That night my little one was so distressed and wouldn't leave my breast all night. I was told by a feeding expert that this is normal and the baby was cluster feeding but I knew something was wrong. The next morning she was diagnosed with dehydration, I felt like such a failure.

On top of this she had a tongue tie which made the feeding difficult. I'm trying to pump a bit and get her to have some milk from my boob using a nipple shield during the day so she gets the benefits but ultimately she is now 95% formula fed and I feel like I have failed. I thought it was a natural thing that would just happen but I haven't managed to give birth naturally and I haven't managed to feed her myself. I know she is much healthier on the formula than she was getting nothing, and I have to learn to accept that it is for the best but it is so hard and I feel judged by others.

Reply

I'm so sorry you've had such a rough time. Your situation and feelings are so similar to mine. I think I've finally learned to accept that it just hasn't worked for me this time but I will try again if I am lucky enough to have any more children. She got a bit of milk from me for a few weeks but ultimately at least now I know she is happy, healthy, well fed and gaining weight nicely. My hv advised I might have had difficulty producing anything in my left breast as I had surgery to remove a large fibrous cyst a few years ago and it's possible they took some of the lactation tissue. I hope you and little one are well xx

Reply

I know what you mean Hun. I wanted to breast feed.

I was also induced at 38+1. He was born 2 days later. Unfortunately I had a post partum bleed and lost over half my blood volume and was being treated as septic sue to my obs being very unstable and even pressing the arrest button as I was in n out of it.

With me having to have 2 blood transfusions, being treated with antibiotics and trying to get my heart rate down from 150 whilst having a temperature, I was quite poorly and was in high dependency for a few days. I was bed ridden and unable to get breast feeding.

When he was 2 days old, I said I wanted to get out of bed and try to breast feed. He latched for a short amount of.time n we kept trying but he would only have bits at a time so in between, he would be formula fed. 4 days old I tried expressing and breast feeding but he was a screaming as I couldn't.produxe enough.

Still in hospital, the nurse said my job is to make sure you and your baby are happy. Is it worth upsetting myself so much seeing him cry n I said no I just want him to be fed so I gave him a bottle. I was gutted but just remembered he was happy as long as he was fed.

My fiance could help out too with him being formula fed. He's now 1 and on full fat milk. Bar his Eczema, (which I also had as a baby) he's fit as a fiddle!

Try not to be too hard on yourself Hun. Look at the positives ❤️ x

Reply

Thank you for your reply. So sorry you had such a traumatic time, I hope your both okay now. I'm feeling better about the situation now. I take comfort in the fact she at least got a bit of milk from me. She's fully formula fed now, is happy, healthy and gaining weight. X

2 likes
Reply

That's Hun. We're brilliant now thank you 😁.

Glad you feel better about it! You've done the most amazing thing n given birth to a beautiful baby! That's all that matters Hun xx

1 like
Reply

You're doing a great job already!

Don't beat yourself up about bf!

It was already a tough journey for you so take it easy now! Baby needs you and your love and food - in which ever shape it comes!

My bf journey was very easy, but if it has not worked out that way : I would not care much. Same as vaginal birth vs. C-section.

As long as mums & babies are safe&sound - that's all that matters ! Hugs 🤗❤️

1 like
Reply

Thank you x

Reply

Hey I'm really sorry you had this experience, it sounds like you had a really tough time. Trying to keep my response brief but I also had ivf, gave birth to boy twins in September. I had all these ideas about what I was going to do - exclusively breastfeed, use reusable nappies, do baby led weaning etc. It's all gone out the window!! I felt really guilty about not being able to breastfeed but my god I'm so glad I formula fed them as I think I would have collapsed with exhaustion by now! I think everyone should just do what is right for themselves and baby. I was told all these things - my babies would be healthier if bf, I'd lose loads of weight and all that. The first few weeks I was in tears as I just couldn't get them to bf, on my 3rd day in hospital I had a massive panic attack and the lovely midwife just said you need to do what is right for you, don't feel guilty and above all else you want to remember your babies first months as being a happy time, not crying and stress. She was so right, my babies are healthy and happy and that's all that matters. My mum stayed with us for the first few weeks and she said that of all her 5 children she only breastfed one (my sister) who us incidentally the only one of us who is very overweight and is always plagued with illnesses and ailments so this notion that bf babies are healthier is such crap. I'm not wanting to put people off bf with my comments but it is so important that mum is mentally and physically healthy and you just need to do what you need to do to keep your baby happy. Happy mum = happy baby 😊 Don't worry about what other people think, just enjoy being a mum. Congratulations on the birth of your little girl, it gets so much easier - enjoy every minute and take care of yourself ❤️❤️

Reply

Thank you, you've made me feel so much better about myself. I hope you and your lovely boys are well xx

Reply

You may also like...