Babies: 0 - 3 Months

I feel horribly guilty but...

I hate breastfeeding, it's not something I ever pictured myself doing but wanted to try. It's only been 2 days but I dread everytime they say it's time to feed him, I know a lot of women love the bonding but I'm just finding it akward and stressful. Yesterday I asked the nurse for formula so DH could feed him and he sucked it down quick and fell right to sleep and DH loved the expirience. Part of me would just love to switch to formula but the guilt is killing me. Is the colostrum where they get all the antibodies? I'm trying to At least get him that. I had a long labor, 3 hours of pushing and eventually a c section and I am jus drained but I want to do what's best for my son, I'm Wondering if it's formula since I'm So unhappy breastfeeding and I can get more help with Formula. Thanks for letting me vent

Married my best friend 5/2/2008
TTC our first miracle since November 2010
BFP 3/16/2011 Chemical Pregnancy 3/20/2011

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Re: I feel horribly guilty but...

  • The thing is in the hospital they're doing the every two-three hours whether your LO is hungry or not which can royally mess with things in and of itself.  Plus, let's face it, you're exhausted and just need some sustained sleep of your own!!!

    Consider EP as an option.  But in all seriousness, if BF isn't for you, don't beat yourself up about it!!  My Ma BF all of us for a time and was lobbying that this time around I just go straight to FF instead of EP... 

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  • It really does get better, I promise! I had a very hard time the first few weeks, but with the help of a lactation consultant (and the support from the ladies on the BF board - they really are great!) we made it through and I'm so glad I stuck with it.

    In the end, if it doesn't work out for you, that's okay. As long as the baby is getting fed, that's what is important. Just don't be afraid to ask for help; I imagined BF would come naturally, but it didn't. We needed help to get settled into 


  • try not to base your decision off of your time in the hospital or even the first week or so.  your milk hasn't even come in yet!

    that said, if you do decide that formula works better for you guys, don't beat yourself up! 

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  • As a PP said, it DOES get better.

    About 2 to 4 days after his birth, I was in the same boat as you. My nipples were so sore, I was so freaking tired, I also dreaded feeding him.  He has a very very strong suck, and I have a strong let-down, so he bites to slow the flow - ugh super painful. I would cry when I realized he was waking up, those few days were very rough physically and mentally.

    That said, my SO was fabulous, and kept my eyes on the prize. I had told him many times how much I wanted to breastfeed until at least 6 mo, and that it's important to me. He reminded me every time I had a break down. And now I'm so glad I kept with it.

    There's nothing wrong with doing both formula and breastmilk. If that's what works for you, go for it. The only issue I can see is that you might not work up a matching supply with what your LO needs, so you may want to pump when he's given formula.

    Good luck!!!!
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  • I had a similar birth experiene as you minus the pushing....(20 hours of labor progressed to 5m and a c-section).  I was drained.  I decided to try EP and honestly it is what works best for me and LO.  If I breastfeed I can only use one side and I had to pump the other and it was terrible.  AFter a week and a half of tears, 3 lactation consultants, and much exhaustion that was what I decided to do.

     Don't beat yourself up no matter what you choose.  As the last lactation consult I saw told me, you decide what is best for you and LO.  IF you are dreading feedings and not enjoying then chances are Lo isnt either.  If you have a pump I would suggest you try that.  But also let yourself have some time to heal and recover. 

     It will get better.

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  • First off I'll say that we EBF and it's my favorite part of motherhood.

    That being said, it's also a really, really challenging part of motherhood and you really have to *want* to do it, especially during the first few weeks and once you go back to work. Pumping at work is a PITA.

    Honestly, I think if you don't want to do it, don't. Yes, there are medical and emotional perks to BFing but FF babies grow up fine too. Your baby is better off having a nurturing mom and missing out on the antibodies, than having a mom who resents the time spent feeding them. Trust me, eventually they will figure out the vibe.

    The every 2-3 hours thing isn't going to change anytime soon if you BF. And personally, I don't think making a decision the day after birth is really giving it a fair shot - *every* woman is exhausted for a while. And even a FF baby needs to eat pretty frequently, so it's not like stopping will mean you don't have to manage feedings. And with formula you do have to consider the added prep time. But you're right, you would be able to get more help and breaks.

    Just giving you both sides to think about. Good luck!

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  • I'll be the one on the other side telling you that it may not get better.  I hated breastfeeding with my first daughter and after 8 weeks I still hated it.  After her 2 month appointment at around 10 weeks and I discovered she had gained next to nothing, I quite.  I honestly never loved breastfeeding with her and never felt the bonding thing and when I went to formula I LOVED it and was much more relaxed and comfortable and bonded way better that way.

    This time I honestly still hate it.  I am tolerating it now because she's latching better then my first did and seems to be gaining a bit better, but I still hate sitting down to whip out my boob.  I have started suplimenting already and again love giving her a bottle so I don't know how long I'll last this time, but my goal is 6 weeks (and I only have 3 more to go). 

    That said, give it a little while longer if you can.  It may get better for you (it does for most people!) and you may really enjoy it eventually!  At least give it until you have a chance to get home and not have nurses and lactation consultants and everybody telling you to do this and that and everything.  Once you get home you will be that much more relaxed and can develop a system that works for you and if you still don't like it then, don't feel bad to switch.  If you look around at people in our generation, you can't tell who was breastfed and who was formula fed.

    Daughter #1 - February 12, 2010 

    natural m/c March 11, 2011 at 8 1/2 weeks 

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  • I pumped for 6 weeks with the girls, and pumped & bf Corbin for 3 weeks before calling it quits. I hated it, and wanted my body back. 




  • Hi. Definitely dont decide yet if you can manage.  It got better with my first but honestly i never enjoyed it.  I was so glad to be done. Did it exclusively for 8 weeks then transitioned and was so relieved. BUT i hated it because it was just never easy for us, whereas I know a lot of people who found it really easy. That's why i say just try and if you hate it, quit and dont feel guilty.

    With this one, she was in the NICU for 2 weeks with pretty bad wound/skin condition. I chose to pump because it was too hard in the NICU for me to get the hang of it. I pumped exclusively for 5 weeks to help her heal and said the minute she was better, i was done. It was a brutal 5 weeks for me- just time consuming and exhausting. I stopped a week ago and am SO happy. I am enjoying bonding with her and feeding her formula and not thinking about what I am eating, drinking, doing, etc.

    So, try it if you want because you may like it. But if you dont, I am a big proponent of a happy mom=good mom. So switch over if not. Your LO will be just fine with formula.

  • image MrsT2008:

    try not to base your decision off of your time in the hospital or even the first week or so.  your milk hasn't even come in yet!

    that said, if you do decide that formula works better for you guys, don't beat yourself up! 

    This exactly! Right after delivery is super tough, so it might get better.  

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  • If you don't like it don't do it. If it stresses you out he'll sense that and it'll make it even harder. We had to switch to formula when DD was about 2 weeks old, she did fine with the switch and is growing just fine! I also had a c section so I know how rough it can be trying to get comfortable to bf after that!
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  • My DD is now five weeks old and BF has been an uphill emotional battle for me. Like you my experience in the hospital was terrible. Once we got home it became moderately better since we were on our own schedule and not having nurses and doctors constantly running in and out, but I have not been one to have loving feelings about BF. I too find the actual act of breastfeeding to be frustrating and awkward. I have struggled with nurses and family members criticizing me giving my daughter an occasional bottle of PUMPED breast milk rather than just straight from the breast.  I am in the process of considering EP (exclusively pumping) as I have been pumping already to build a freezer supply and find this far less awkward and my DD will still receive the benefits of breast milk.  Don't feel guilty for feeling this way, I think there are plenty of women who struggle to breastfeed and the decision is yours to make about whats best for you. An emotionally drained mom on top of sleep deprivation in these early weeks isn't healthy for anyone. 


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  • The best advice I got from my mom re: BFing was, in so many words, "it sucks for about three weeks." It is NOT easy in the beginning, so know that if you can stick with it, it will likely get much easier very soon.

    BUT, just do whatever is best for you, and don't feel guilty if you really think that is switching to formula. As long as you feed your baby, he will be fine - and don't underestimate the value of giving him a happier mom.

     And congrats on your little one!

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  • Breastfeeding is hard especially after a csection. Your milk comes in later and pumping is a pain. Just take it easy and keep trying. It will get better I promise!!
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  • Breastfeeding is a HUGE commitment. You dont realize how big of one till you are in it. I would sometimes be mad at my husband because he didnt have to get up to feed the baby at night. It still is a lot we have to schedule everything around her feedings but I am hanging in there. It has gotten a lot better but the truth is its all on me to feed her. I cant rely on anyone else. Yes I do pump sometimes but it takes way more effort then just to feed her myself. Do what is best for you.
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  • I had a really easy time breastfeeding from the start but eve I can say it gets better when your milk comes in.  And it can take a long time for your milk to come in, especially with a c-section- up to 2 weeks.  The awesome thing is that the colostrum provides all the nutrients your baby needs until then.  

    I'm not going to lie - I don't love breastfeeding for the "bonding experience" although there is nothing better than when he looks up at you while feeding like you're the greatest thing on earth.  I much prefer bonding with him while we're playing.  I love breastfeeding because I know it's the best thing I can give to him, it makes it easy to go anywhere since I carry his food with me, and I don't have to worry about changing it over time since my milk changes to meet his needs.  Plus it has kept him from getting sick all winter which is really nice.

     I honestly think the best breastfeeding advice I can give is that you need more than breasts for breastfeeding - you need patience.  You need patience in the beginning when you're both learning.  You need patience waiting for your milk to come in.  You need patience to deal with the fussy days.  You need patience for those night feedings.  And whenever things seem tough and overwhelming, you need to take a deep breath and force yourself to relax and smile.  Babies can sense your frustration and it gets them anxious and frustrated too.  Which is a bad cycle for both of you.  Even if you don't feel it at first, relaxing your shoulders and smiling will release endorphins which will make you feel calmer and baby will be calmer  too.

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  • I never got to a point where I enjoyed breastfeeding and I ebf for the first year. I will say that for me, it was worth it and I would encourage you not to give up yet. It takes a while to adjust to how it feels and to adjust to the change in how you think about your breasts (from mostly sexual to mostly functional). It sounds like you don't want to breast feed but feel like you should want to breast feed. I would suggest making a pros cons list and trying to figure out how valuable it is for you to breastfeed.

    The strongest concentration of antibodies is in the colostrum, but they continue to get antibodies from your milk until they stop bfing. If you get sick, the antibodies will transfer to your milk and your baby may have a more mild case of it, or even not get it at all. bfing lowers your risk of breast cancer. (and I believe, baby's risk as well. although I can't cite that part of it.) Bfed babies have a lower risk of obesity. then there's the practical aspect of the time it takes to warm a bottle at 3 in the morning vs. the time it takes to whip out a boob at 3 in the morning. There are MANY benefits to breastfeeding and I would encourage you to give you and your baby a fair shot at getting established at it.

    However, it is YOUR decision to make and not any one else's. 

    BTW I saw this picture recently and it made me so happy. It's Miranda Kirr breastfeeding back stage at a Victoria's secret shoot. Some of the sexiest, well known boobs in the world are functional too! Go Miranda!

  • I never thought I would bf outside of that cholestrum stuff. Now, I ebf. I take it day to day, and it definitely gets easier! What keeps me going is the calories that are burned by bf. I want to be skinny again, I'll admit it, I'm vain. If it weren't for that, I'm not sure I would've stuck with it that long! Good luck momma, whatever you decide, your baby will be fine, they just want to be fed :)
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  • I went through a similar labor - 26 hours laboring, 2 hours pushing, c-section, plus mag sulfate for pre-e (which meant they woke me up every single hour in the  hospital to monitor vitals).  I was exhausted and every time they reminded me to feed the baby I thought "really? again??"  I didn't think I'd ever be able to do it.

    But 2 days postpartum is not a good time to be making decisions like this.  Keep it up while you can, educate yourself on the relative benefits of breastfeeding (there are a lot!), and make a decision together with your husband once you're home and feeling more like yourself. 

    It does get easier - not right away, it took us a few weeks before DS would even latch, and I EP'd that whole time so he'd still have the breastmilk...and there was a LOT of crying...(dang hormones).  But I am VERY glad I stuck with it.

    Don't rush into any's a choice you only get one chance to make and you want to be sure you're doing what's best for you and your new little boy!

  • You've already had a million great responses, but I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this... One huge plus to BF is the convenience.  It is sooo much easier to just pop LO on then to make a bottle, wait for it to heat (while LO is screaming) and then wash everything. 

    With DD I only BF for 6 weeks, then switched to EP which I HATED.  It was twice the work and such a PITA.  When she was just FF it was a little bit easier then EP, but you still have to prepare and wash all the bottles.  This time around I'm still BF at 14 weeks and I'm really glad I fought through the first few weeks.  He does get bottles of formula here and there (about once a day) to give me a break. 

    DD february 2010 | DS october 2011

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  • DON'T GIVE UP!!!

    BFing sucks in the beginning. I can't stress this enough. It's hard. You aren't producing enough. It hurts. Your body is tired. Your mind is tired. Your baby is cranky. You are cranky. Your boobs are sore or just downright enraged. I get it. You want to call it quits.


    It does. It really does. I wanted to give up in the beginning. But I kept telling myself that I'm giving my child so much goodness by breastfeeding. And yes, formula is fine but breastmilk is the BEST nourishment you can provide your child.

    If in the end BFing truly isn't working out then by all means stop. But don't stop two days in. Don't quit on a bad day. At least give it the old college try. Give it a fighting chance. I felt I owed at least this much to my child.


  • I feel you lady!! I'm going on week 5 and things have NOT been easy the entire time. the first 3 weeks were brutal and I cried so many times because I dreaded feeding my son (latch issues, cracked nipples and exhaustion). The last 2 weeks have gotten better. I'm the same way you are-I wasn't intending to bf, but my husband asked for me to try it and I am. He's been wicked supportive and has told me if I want to switch to formula, I can.

     In the end, do what's best for you and will make you happy, just like everyone has said. Your baby is going to grow and be healthy no matter what choice you make. Don't feel guilty!!

  • BF is not something I particularly enjoy, but I don't dislike it either. It was tough for the first few weeks but ever since then, it's been smooth sailing. And it's so much easier to just pop a boob out instead of preparing a bottle lol :P

    Do what works best for you, but I recommend trying to stick with it for at least 2-3 weeks before making a decision. Good luck!!

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  • i like you had a hard time doing it at the hospital, for my personally i just felt uncomfortable cause i was in a different environment. so i pumped at the hospital with the pump they lent me and also asked for formula as well cause i was hardly getting any milk out. at home though i was able to relax and get comfortable and it got alot better. also it did hurt, hurt like heck!! that was until i started doing it exclusively and that pain went away. good luck and dont feel bad, i know for myself the hospital kept trying to push the breast feeding, you just have to stand your ground and say you want the formula!
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  • Have you tried pumping? But yes, do what is right for you too. The experience of labor can take a toll on your body and there's nothing wrong with BF.
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  • I wasn't sure I could make it very long but I'm still BFing at 19 does get better.  I started pumping so daddy could give nighttime bottle at 3 weeks. An awesome bonus is getting to pre-pregnancy weight quicker BUT if you're miserable your baby won't be happy.  Think of how many of us turned out fine that were not breastfed.
  • i wanted so badly to breastfeed too. all the drs and health dept people, and every printed material all say that breastfeeding is the way to go. but in actuality, thats not so simple. i wanted to so badly, at least to give my son the colustrum too. he was born with a mild cleft lip, and so he couldnt form the suction needed for breastfeeding. he tried for about 30 minutes before looking up at me with this little look n his face as if saying "this isnt working mom" it was so hard for him, and it broke my heart. i was in tears when the nurse showed my husband how to bottle feed our son. (i'm getting teary-eyedjust thinking about this.) So, my son never got the colostrum, no milk, andpumping was a painful nightmare, so he didnt get more than 8oz of that over the 3weeks i tried pumping.But guess what? He's a happy, healthy smart, sweet lil man! there is nothing wrong with him or his development. He's so tall for his age too (granted his daddy's side has giants, lol) he's 10 months now (he's an april fool's day baby) and is the light of my world. (he can say mama and ah-da, his best attempt at dada, but we know for sure that's who he means. looks right at daddy and says ah-da, then looks at me, Ma-ma) so dont worry about the breastfeeding issue. it broke my heart, almost had ppd from it, until i reaized there was nothing i could have done differently. my son was not meant to breasfeed, and there is nothing wrong with him from being formula fed his entire life. it helps now too that he's transitioning to solids. even if i had been bfing him, it would be over with now. i wont pretend it was easy. the guilt was overwhelming. my husband said he doesnt want another baby if it means making me go through that again. But we are over that, we know how to move on. ikm gonna make another go at it for #2 (if there ever is a #2) but i know that if it doesnt work out then, it's not the end of the world. my husband, his brother, and my oldest brother were all exclusively formula fed, and they are all collage-degree holders. your baby will be fine. It's your guilt that you need to find a way to overcome. good luck, momma. you and baby WILL be just fine!. 
  • You have to do what is best for you bc thats the bonding thats important.  SUre in a perfect world we'd all BF and have no problems, but esp after a long labor and delivery, i would just say give it a few weeks. your hormones are raging now and all you want is some sleep....whatever YOU decide to do do NOT feel guilty.  being well adjusted  with your baby is the most important thing..

    good luck

  • Oh sweetie!!! Do NOT feel guilty!  As an LDRP RN I see this a lot.  Women who feel pressured to BF their babies when they really don't want to and I always tell them this:  it does not matter how you feed your baby as long as you FEED it! Smile  Bottlefeeding mamas  bond with their babies as much as BF mamas do.  There is nothing at all wrong in wanting to bottlefeed your LO.  It does not make you any less of a woman or a mother.  Go with your guy instinct.  You said in your post that you never thought of breastfeeding.  What made you decide to do it now?  Go with how you feel.  It's not for everyone. Smile
  • oh hunnie, i could have written your post 4 months ago. 

    i LOATHED it. i literally CRIED to dh all the time about how much i hated it and just wanted to stop. it hurt like a ***, it was a pain in the ass, and i felt like i could never leave my baby's side for a moment of peace. i'd pump, he'd feed him a bottle, i'd see that the fridge was minus 1 container of breast milk and id get SO pissed!

    it DOES, however, get so much better :) i cant speak for everyone but i can speak for myself that i love it now. i dont "love" the bonding experience, but i love the convenience! especially in the middle of the night-  all i have to do is roll over, pop out a boob, and hes back to bed in a few minutes! i also pump ( i had to splurge on a better pump bc thats where a lot of my issues were coming from ) and theres always a few extra bottles in the fridge if i want to go out for a little while.

    if you decide not to breastfeed, thats okay too! dont beat yourself up over it. remember, it doesnt have to be all or nothing! you can always supplement with formula when you want to :)

    good luck! 

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