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Giving up breastfeeding

Aug 03, 2011 - 10 comments



giving up


bottle feedingfeed






Nipple Shield


Nipple Shieldy





I never realized this before I had to start breastfeeding, but aparently I have something my nurse called 'flat nipples'. Meaning I don't have inverted nipples, but they're so flat that the baby can't latch on properly. I've been using nipple shields from the very beginning and it's been a struggle ever since. Some days are good, some days are bad, some are worse than bad. Lately it's been so frustrating that Luca cries for 15 minutes, tries to drink, can't, get's even more frustrated and cries some more. It's become nearly impossible to enjoy, since it takes 1,5 hours to do one feed sometimes. Therefor I've decided to stop breastfeeding. The frustration is just too much and starting to outweigh everything else. I feel guilty, because it seems like I'm just givin up because it gets hard. Truth is that I've really given everything I could to be able to breastfeed. I wasn't able to go into labor on my own, can't do breastfeeding without accessories... It seems like I can't do anything the natural way!

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703031 tn?1398963307
by jb41799, Aug 03, 2011
Don't beat yourself up over this!  I've been there too.  When Rory was born, I was adamant that I would breastfeed as well.  What happened...two days after I brought her home she wouldn't feed.  I didn't think anything of it.  DH took her downstairs and they fell asleep on the couch together so I could rest.  I woke in the morning, found out she didn't even take the sugar water bottle all night and hadn't woken up.  That incident earned us a trip to the ER.  We spent over 9 hours in the ER and then 5 more days in the hospital.

End result?  I had FLAT nipples as well.  My milk never really built up a good supply.  For several weeks I gave it a good try as well.  Wearing the nipple shields and guards and the other thing that's supposed to pull them out while not feeding.  As soon as I took those off, they were flat as could be again.  I spent many nights crying hysterically over my inability to feed my baby all the while being "encouraged" by friends and lactation consultants to breastfeed.

One day, I just couldn't do it anymore.  It wasn't worth my sanity or the unhappiness of myself or my baby.  While I don't argue that breastfeeding is certainly the best and is no easy task even for those who don't have the problems that you and I really was the best decision for me and my baby.  The best and most important part of breastfeeding is the first few days of colostrum.  From there, our pediatrician assured us that formula is better than it has ever been and is damn near as close as it can get to the benefits of breastmilk.

You do what is best for you and Luca.  Remember, you gave him what he needed the most and you did the best you could.  He'll still grow up to be happy and healthy because he's got a mom that loves him so much.

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by iMazed, Aug 03, 2011
Thank you! I'm a single mom too, so I don't really have the chance to talk to anyone on a regular basis (my mom lives not too far from here but it's not like there's someone who comes home every night) and this has been a big issue for me. I felt so guilty! But you're right, it's not worth the drama and all the issues since formula is so good nowadays.

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by margypops, Aug 03, 2011
Breast feeding is meant to be a happy experience and through no fault of your own its become very frustrating,  so its defeating itself, baby will pick up on the struggle and indeed isn't enjoying the experience now if hes hungry and can't feed. .You did what you could that's all any mom can do ,you have made the decision, relax now ,get advice about the formula and enjoy your child ...

703031 tn?1398963307
by jb41799, Aug 03, 2011
Anytime!  We've all had different experiences so there are lots on here with their own experiences that can help with words of encouragement, etc.  I can only advise on what I've been through and this one fit to a T!  

Enjoy your time with Luca.  Single or not, you are doing a great job.  Trust your instincts always!  That was something I learned later and now know that they have never failed me.

I feel like over the past few years, I've been through the ringer.  I know there are others that are worse off than I am but if my experiences can help someone and ease their anxiety, etc. then I am happy to help.  If you ever need to talk, ask a question, etc...feel free!

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by Ashelen, Aug 03, 2011
I agree with margy and the other ladies completely....

I lost so much blood when I delivered my daughter that my milk supply never built up properly...she was feeding every 45 minutes or so, and I just couldn't make her got to the point where we were both crying when we were BFing, and if no one is getting a benefit from it - what's the point? Breastfeeding is good because the milk is good, yes, but formula is almost as good these days...breastfeeding is REALLY better because of the bonding and the loving experience that it should be...but when it's not a beautiful, wonderful, bonding experience....why keep it up?

both of my babies breastfed for about 2 months then switched to formula...and they're both healthy and smart as whips. You'll find you can bond just fine, and your baby will be perfectly healthy, on formula...I always tell women to try breastfeeding first but sometimes it just doesn't work out...that's need to feel guilty! you tried!

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by adgal, Aug 03, 2011
I also agree with the others.  Do not beat yourself up over this.  I had to give up breastfeeding as well due to meds I had to take for ppd.  I felt so horrible about it.  But you know what?  My son is now 18 month's old and thriving.  He is healthy, happy and we have a wonderful bond.  Yes, nursing is our best choice, but fortunately it is not our only one.  Lot's of us have to use formula, and our babies do just fine.  Your doing what we all do - and that is what is best for our babies and ourselves.  If breastfeeding is such a difficult experience for you, switch to formula and do not lose a single nights sleep over it.  It certainly does not make you less of a mom.  

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by Alexis2358, Aug 03, 2011
I was adamant that I would breastfeed as well and gave it my best shot for about 4 weeks.   My npls weren't flat, but my son has tongue thrust and wouldn't nurse properly.   We went to a lacation consultant and did tongue exercises, but nothing worked.  I sobbed every time I fed him as my npls were bleeding and cracked and I was miserable and starting to cringe everytime I knew he was hungry.    One night my hubby told me get out of the house and go watch my 10 y/o daughter at gymnastics.   I walked in and the other moms all knew I had been crying and I told them the problem and one mom said....OMG just pump, that's what I did.  

I went home with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.   My little boy is now almost 4 months old, I still pump for him and it works great.   I realize pumping may not work for some people, but what I'm trying to convey is that.....lift the weight off your shoulders too and just love your baby and do the best you can.    We don't all fit into a certain mold and what works for one may  not work for all.    As long as your baby is growing and thriving thats all that matters.

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by logigirl, Aug 03, 2011
So this was/is my problem as well. My nipples are so flat it's not funny! I used the shields but would get so discouraged because they are so messy.... Made me feel inadequate as a mother, this is something we are supposed to be able to do naturally!!
It finally "worked" for me when I started using a madella breast pump. It drew my nipple out to pump and I would attach the baby half way through... she wouldnt take quite right. But it trained my nipple to come out momentarily. then I noticed all her hunger ques and say topless with her in my lap. I let her "find" my nipple on her own and she took :i
I wish you wouldnt give up, maybe pump and bottle feed? I did that for the first 5 wks straight.

However having had many near give up moments, I totally understand where you are coming from. Do whats best for you and helps you to enjoy your little one while he is still little.

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by Manderella2, Aug 03, 2011
Awh you did it though, you tried and its just not working out so its ok at least you tried! :) now you wont have to stress about it  and im sure life is going to easier...

I dont have any problems with bfing now, but its still hard and stressful somedays. I take it a day at a time.

But you should be proud of yourself you did it this long!! They say even bfing for a day is better then none :)

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by TraceL, Aug 03, 2011
I breastfed and expressed milk for my little girl for about 6 weeks and then had to give up breastfeeding as Gracie just got so stressed out as she wasn't getting enough milk from me so would nurse for about 10 mins then fall asleep then wake up 10 mins later crying for more and i just felt totally exhausted and guilty that i couldn't breastfeed her properly, i expressed milk from when she was 2 days old as she had to be taken to special care as she hadn't been feeding properly since she was born and her blood sugar had dropped so my experience of breastfeeding hasn't been great as i felt so guilty that she got sick as she wasn't latching on properly, i got on great expressing and i told the doctors and midwives that as long as she was getting my milk i was happy at least with expressing milk i could monitor how much she was getting i wasn't prepared to take the chance she would get sick again by not getting enough milk from exclusively breastfeeding.
I have to say my little girl is thriving since i've introduced formula milk, she was tiny when she was born and has always seemed like a tiny little girl but has really filled out now.
please don't feel guilty, do what is best for your little one and what works for you, i don't think anyone should put pressure on mums to breastfeed, it doesn't work out for some people and everyone is different, i'm a nurse and i know that even if you breastfeed for one day after the baby is born it has huge benefits for the baby, the colostrum is the best start for a baby so you have given your baby the best start

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