huge feelings of guilt. am I alone? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

huge feelings of guilt. am I alone?

So, I didn't make it very long in the straight-up breastfeeding race.  I probably got a week or two in before I was so frustrated that every time I knew a feeding was coming, I would start to cry.  DD wasn't latching well on my left side, and the pain was just getting worse. I also noticed that my nipples were not healing and my supply was dropping due to the stress, which, of course, added more stress. DD was losing more weight than she should. There are a bunch of other things that led me to my current feeding arrangement, but I won't get into all that right now.  Basically, I decided what was best for me, and the LO was for me to pump, then bottle feed her breast milk.  Well, it was going great (and to be honest, it still is) and she gained her weight back and then some. She seems happy (most of the time) and healthy.

So here's where the guilt comes in.  Over the weekend, I developed mastitis in my left breast.  The fever was AWFUL!  I called my doc's answering service, and didn't get a call back until I called again the next morning.  My doc was off, so the doctor on-call returned my call.  When I explained that after every pumping session, I was extremely cold and would shiver so badly that I couldn't change my DD's diaper, he cut me off, and snapped "Why are you pumping?!" I began to explain, and he just cut me off again to say that pumping was making this worse, and I needed to go to urgent care, or wait to talk to my regular doctor.  I ended up at urgent care.

I know I shouldn't let him get to me, but I am crying right now because I feel like somehow my current situation makes me a bad mother. But really?? I mean, she is getting breast milk exclusively.  So am I really all that bad for just giving it to her a different way? I mean, she is getting all the same nutrients.  And I am going back to work soon anyway, so it's not like this wasn't going to be the arrangement at some point.

My hormones are raging (which sucks. I was hoping for a little break from this by now) and I am just wondering if I am alone here. I know there is a bonding process that comes out of baby-to-breast contact, but it's not the only way to bond with baby. I guess I am just looking to hear that I am not losing all connection with her because I am feeding this way... dumb, but ever-present concerns.  TIA for any support you can offer.

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Re: huge feelings of guilt. am I alone?

  • That doctor sounds like a jerk.  Lots of moms EP.  I know a few IRL.  It is amazing what EPers do to ensure their kids get the benefits of BM.  You should be very proud of yourself and the fact that you are so dedicated to it.  You are doing the best for yourself and your baby.  I hope you got the right meds to take care of your infection and you're feeling better.  Is there a BF support group or LLL group near you?  If so, might be a nice thing to drop in and meet some other moms that have probably been there!  GL!
  • Hugs to you. BF is hard but absolutely doable. The first 8 weeks are tough and the hormone thing doesn't help that's for sure. Don't let that doc make you feel guilty but if you want to EBF the best thing is to get the baby back to the breast. The baby will do a better job than the pump at increasing supply. Find a certified LC immediately...today. Go to la leche website to find one. Pump until your boobs heal and you get a LC to help you w latch. It can be painful initially but it gets better. Make this your job today to find a LC. Good luck! Your are doing great!
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  • Have you seen an LC?  I would go find one ASAP! They can help you with your latch and it is not too late if you want to try BF again.

    I am sorry that doctor didn't take good care of you. Mastitis is awful. I went from fine in the morning to not being able to get up off the couch in the afternoon.  It is no fun! I hope you feel better soon.  

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  • Do NOT let anyone make you feel guilty for EPing!!!! Today I have been EPing for 10 months...the pedi, my gyno, and family practice doc all said that I probably won't be doing it by 6 months because its too hard.  Yes, it is hard but it is more important for me to give my daughter BM and be a little inconvenienced a few hours a day. 

    Bottom line, you have to do what is best for your family...and that includes mental health too. 

    I would reccommend to contact a LC or someone with your local LLL to see if you can work on the problems that are leading you to EP...if you are interested.  There are so many things that can be done, but don't be ashamed for pumping.

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  • Thank you all SO much.  I really needed that.  I did the whole thing with talking to LCs, and I got the same message as most of you. "It will work out, you will be fine..." but mentally, emotionally and even physically, I was not fine. I was miserable. And when the pump then feed idea came along, I was doing a lot better.  I don't really plan to go back to breast, for a bunch of reasons.  I was just really mad at this whole situation with the doc, and it got me over-thinking my decisions.  Thanks you again. I am feeling SO much better about it. I am on antibiotic now, so I do feel a lot better.  Hopefully, it will be all cleared up soon. Hope you all are well and happy.
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  • Def not alone.  I had really painful latch issues the first couple weeks and my savior was a lactation consultant - I went online to the International Breastfeeding something something website where you could type in your zip code -- don't know if you are in an area where there are many or few but it's worth a look. She came to my house which was another lucky thing and I lost all modesty having some stranger watch me fumble with a baby and my bosom but it was worth it.  We did "baby led" latch which saved us and now LO is a champ.  I was ready to give up and my doctor and others were less than helpful since that isn't their focus. You are doing great by sticking with it amidst challenges.
  • Oh honey, I just wanted to say that you are NOT a bad mother!  You are amazing!  I will be the first to admit that I got off a little easy in the BF dept since I never had the thrush or mastitis.  You are so awesome for continuing through the pain.  Cut yourself some slack (and mentally b*tchslap that stupid doctor!).

    There are a myriad of ways to bond with your baby - and to me it sounds like you definitely have!  Only a mother-baby bond would have you continuing through the pain!  Many wishes for you to feel better soon and talk to your doctor.  And honestly, I wouldn't hesitate to put a complaint in on the jerk of a doctor.

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