Terrified to breastfeed

I'm going to be a new mom in October and have obviously been thinking about my options and talking to other new moms I know and I am terrified to breastfeed.  I feel like I should at least try but I feel like it is going to consume my life between feeding and pumping.  Was wondering if anyone was nervous before hand and how you handled it.



Re: Terrified to breastfeed

  • The first few weeks BFing will pretty much consume your life, but IMO it's so worth it and after a while it's much more convenient than FF when you have to spend so much money on formula and constantly wash bottles.  Plus you don't want to worry about making a bottle while LO is screaming and making sure you pack enough if you're going out.  I nursed DS1 for 15m, our twins got some BM but were mostly FF and BFing was so much more convenient for me. 

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  • Don't be terrified because it will "consume your life". I pumped and bottle fed for the first four weeks before my LO would latch, and only BF now, and I can tell you, BFing is a lot easier and so much less work. Once you involve bottles, it seems like you are constantly washing, sterilizing, making more bottles, etc., which in my opinion, consumes your life a lot more!

    Not to mention like PP said, when baby is hungry, it's so much easier to BF than to have to worry about running to get a bottle warmed up. It's also much easier to go out, because you don't have to worry about carrying bottles around, keeping them at the right temperature, etc. Definitely give it a try before you say you're "terrified". Read up as much as you can in advance, use positive family/friends/this board for support, and if it works out for you, trust me, you'll be glad you did!

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  • It will most definitely consume your time the first few months, but so would bottle feeding.  Newborns eat every two hours regardless of what you feed them.  Your life is definitely about to change.  You need to expect to spend the first couple of months mostly at home with the baby.  There's no need to pump until you return to work.  I never had a huge freezer stash with my first and it wasn't a big deal.  If at some point after your milk supply is established you wanted to do partial breastmilk and partial formula, that works for some people.  Just give bfing a try and see what happens! I nursed my first baby for 19 months and Newbie for 3 months now.  I hope to make it 2 yrs this time.  It's difficult at first, but more convenient later and better for baby.  I wouldn't have given it up for anything! Helpful reading:




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    I was scared to death, and maybe even a little grossed out, by BF'ing when my oldest was born.  I did it anyway for the first 2-3 weeks.  Then due to some health issues we had to supplement and eventually completely switch to special formula.  It was heartbreaking to not be able to feed my baby the way nature intended. It really is amazing how quickly something you are scared/nervous to do becomes 2nd nature.

    With LO#2 I was bound and determined to make BF'ing work.  It's HARD at first, but as long as you educate yourself and your SO, surround yourself with a good support system (SO, friends, family, peid, good LC), and don't be afraid to ask for help, you can make it through it.  It gets easier at 3 weeks, easier still at 6 weeks, and by 2 months I think it's easier then bottle feeding.  We are 7.5 months in now & it has been a truly rewarding, mostly positive experience for both of us.  If you decide you want to BF you can make it work. 

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  • Don't be terrified of breastfeeding!  Be terrified of sleep deprivation!  Of your life changing forever!  Of a uterine infection!  Of keeping your newborn alive!  These are things that I really worried about in the first couple weeks.... Breastfeeding has given me bonding time with my baby, an assured soothing time for him without crying, a time to just sit and love him, and a time to relax and while mobile bumping and sometimes drinking a beer...   And FYI, it WILL consume your life.  Having a baby is providing CONSTANT care.  I exclusively breastfeed and it consumes my life - my life revolves around feeding my 5 week old baby.  Did I know this before having him?  No, suprisingly I didn't!!  But now I know it, and I've accepted it.  I look forward to feeding him.  I get all excited when I pump like 4 ounces, or fill a 6 oz bag to put in the freezer - like it's a huge accomplishment.  There's no way me or anyone can tell you how you're going to feel about it when you actally have the baby and start breastfeeding - but for me, I thought I was going to have all this freedom because, hey! no problem, I'll just pump a few ounces and my husband can feed the baby while I'm out drinking with my girlfriends.... It doesn't work that way and you really have to watch your alcohol consumption and you have to do all these things differently in life because you are breastfeeding.  Like I only have about a two hour window to leave the house if I don't have any pumped milk in the fridge for DH to feed the LO. 

     With all this said, you would think that I might view breastfeeding as a real pain in the , but the truth is, it kind of is, BUT...IT'S WORTH IT!!!! It's worth it to know that your body can produce all the nutrition that your baby needs, it's worth it to know he's recieving the best nutrition and getting your antibodies, it's worth all the boding time you have while baby is feeding!!!  It's all worth it!  No amount of time out with the girls or mountain bike rides or trips to the dog park or camping trips or drunk fun weddings could come close to the feeling I have when I'm feeding my baby.  If someone were to tell me when i was pregnant that I would say what I just said, I would tell them to eat sh!t, no I won't say that.  But I did!!  Cause it's the truth. 

    I've spent my whole life a super independent person, doing what I want, when I want.  This part of my life is done while I'm breastfeeding - BECAUSE IT'S NOT ABOUT ME ANYMORE.  IT'S ABOUT THE BABY.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

    So with all that said, I hope you decide to at least try breastfeeding. You'll figure it out in your own time. Best of luck to you in your pregnancy - and remember, there's lots of other things to be terrified of...... :)

  • Breastfeeding will not consume your life.  You know what will consume your life?  Having a newborn.  A newborn eats every 2-3 hours sometimes every hour and whether you breastfeed or formula feed the baby usually takes about 45 minutes to eat- then you burp them and try to get them to sleep etc then they are up and hour later wanting to eat again.  It doesn't matter whether you formula feed or breastfeed your life will be totally consumed.  Luckily, this only lasts about 6-8 weeks.  After that baby starts sleeping 6 hours at a time at night etc, and things get a lot easier.

    Like pp said breastfeeding is harder than formula feeding at the beginning dealing with nipple pain, teaching baby to latch etc.  But it is far easier later on because you don't have to wash bottles, shop and pay for formula, and middle of the night feedings are much easier because you don't have to get up and make a bottle you can just grab baby and nurse in bed.  

    ETA; You also don't have to pack formula and bottles for outings.  I just grab diapers, wipes, and a spare outfit and go.  I am one of those minimal packing moms, so now a lot of times for short errands I don't take anything because baby doesn't poop all the time anymore.  

  • In the newborn days your time will be consumed with taking care of baby no matter if you breast feed or bottle feed.

    IMO breast feeding made it easier for me because I could just grab him and nurse him rather than making a bottle because when my son was brand new waking up, he was hungry and mad.

    Now 2 reasons breast feeding makes my life easier 1 is that I don't stay up if he eats at night, I just bring him next to me in bed and let him nurse. 2 I don't pack nearly anything when we make a quick trip out. I don't worry about if he gets hungry I just find a spot like a dressing room or something and nurse him. I can throw a diaper in my purse and go.

    I would give it a shot at least. The first weeks will be hard and sore but it pays off!!!
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  • Babies = life consuming, like PPs said. One thing I didn't see mentioned (I might have missed it) is the awesome hormones that relax you while BFing. I was an emotional wreck at first, but one LO latched and got to nomming, I was biologically calmed and soothed. Definitely a major bonus.
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  • Everyone has given such good advice! :) I BF my first until she was almost 21 months and am now EBFing my 2 month old.

    BFing is not easy at first. At all. It's awkward. You're constantly worrying about whether or not you're making enough milk. It can be pretty stressful. However, once you hit your groove at about 3-4 months, it is awesome. I still refer to my favorite book, "The Womanly Art of Breast Feeding."

    If your baby is gaining weight well and making enough pee/poop diapers, you're doing just fine. Sometimes you may feel like you're still doing everything wrong though. I know how it feels! Finding a BFing support group like the La Leche League (there are others too, that's just the most common one I think) and getting help from a lactation consultant can help a lot.

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  • image Runaway22:
    Babies = life consuming, like PPs said. One thing I didn't see mentioned I might have missed it is the awesome hormones that relax you while BFing. I was an emotional wreck at first, but one LO latched and got to nomming, I was biologically calmed and soothed. Definitely a major bonus.

    I wish I would've experienced those hormones! I was too stressed out about my oversupply and over active letdown to feel any sense of calm.
    But anyway, breast feeding can be very hard. There are very real struggles and problems that can come along with it. But it gets SO much easier, especially after the first 6 to 8 weeks. If you have any interest at all in trying to BF, do it. You can always switch to formula later if it just doesn't work for you. And I agree with PP's that just having a baby is what consumes your life, not necessarily how you choose to feed him or her.
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  • I felt very anxious about BFing with LO1 and whether or not I was doing things right and it definitely was very uncomfortable for a while because she was a barracuda. I ended up BFing without having to supplement for a year. Basically, everything is going to make you nervous at first because no matter how much we THINK we know, the first time around we really don't know what the hell we are doing. Being a parent is IMO "on the job training". You get better with experience and BFing is a part of that whole experience (for some). Good luck with whatever you do.
  • PS Support groups and BFing classes, as well as lactation consultants help, if you really want to do it. 
  • I agree with what everyone else has said. I was worried that I wouldn't even like breastfeeding, but now that DS is a month old and often goes 3-4 hours between feedings, I find myself looking forward to the next one. It's an amazing bonding experience, and I can just curl up with DS on the couch and Bump on my phone or watch a show on the DVR. I actually love breastfeeding.

    Added bonus: I know this isn't true for everyone, but I lost ALL my pregnancy weight and was back in my jeans at like 3 weeks PP. Now at a month PP I am down 34 lbs, 4 lbs below my pre-preggo weight. 



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  • I'm so glad I decided to EBF.  The bonding aspect of it between me and my LO is priceless.  Yes, it was difficult and painful in the beginning, but thanks to a great LC, this board, and a lot of patience, we are doing great now. 

    If you breastfeed, you won't be pumping all that often.  I only pump to build a freezer stash or if I miss a feeding, and it only takes 10-15 minutes.  Most insurance companies are now covering pumps now, so that is a major expense you don't even have to worry about.

    Give it a go, find a good LC you can see if you need to, and make a decision after the first couple of months at least.  And don't be scared!  You don't have anything to be scared about - promise!



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