Scared of Breastfeeding — The Bump
May 2016 Moms

Scared of Breastfeeding

So I feel so weird posting this but I need some advice and support. Lately, I've been having to watch breastfeeding videos and how to's trying to prepare for when my beautiful baby girl gets here but the more I watch videos the more intimidated and freaked or i get by breastfeeding. I know it's the best thing you can do for your baby and I really want to try but I can't get over this feeling. I even thought that maybe I'd just exclusively pump and avoid the uncomfortable feelings I have but then it's been pointed out to me that mom's who exclusively pump have a limited supply and have problems producing enough for the baby. So I'm at a loss right now and not sure where to go from here. Formula feeding isn't the end of the world but I really want to figure out how to get past feeling uncomfortable with breastfeeding so I at least have a choice.
Beautiful Baby Girl Amelia Marie
Born May 25, 2016
Angel Baby January 20th, 2017
Baby #2 Due December 6th 2017
Sharra13
«1

Re: Scared of Breastfeeding

  • What is it about it that makes you feel uncomfortable (not being judgey here, just trying to get an understanding of what your fear(s) is)?
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  • Don't feel weird posting, I think it's really normal to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the prospect of breastfeeding. I would really urge you to meet with a lactation consultant, either before birth or immediately following.
    And you are absolutely right that formula isn't the end of the world! :smile: but if you want to try breastfeeding, then you should.

    doozer1345NB817
  • Just remember that any you feed the baby is just fine. It's just feeding LO that's important whether it's breastmilk for formula. 

    I BF my two kids for 6 months and then swapped to formula after my supply tanked. I will admit that BF my first one was weird at first (it does feel different than anything else done to my nipples) but I was worked through that quickly. 

    If you can describe what exactly is freaking you out about BF, I may be able to supply some better advice. 
    doozer1345
  • I've been struggling with the idea of BF too, so I'm glad someone came out and posted about it.  Though I don't view BF as sexual in nature, that area of my body is a big part of foreplay for me, and the idea of a child utilizing the same area as DH seems conflicting in my mind.  I want what's best for LO, and maybe I would feel different if we were having a girl than a boy, or because it's my first and I've never experience BF before, but I hope that my feelings will change.  I feel like I should automatically be able to separate the two situations (one sexual, one natural) but for some reason it's become extremely hard to do so. 
    alexxbasignersoutherngirlgetsfit
  • To be honest I'm not exactly sure what is making me uncomfortable. I have seen people breastfeeding before and my step mom breast fed my way younger siblings right next to me growing up and it wasn't a big deal. There was just something about watching the videos that made me uncomfortable. I think it has something to do with the idea of desexualizing my nipples and getting used to them constantly being touched. I've never been a big fan of mine being played with and I just figured because breast feeding was natural that it wouldn't affect my desire to breastfeed but maybe thats why. Or it could just be the overwhelming amount of information I took in today that freaked me out. Thank you ladies for the advice
    Beautiful Baby Girl Amelia Marie
    Born May 25, 2016
    Angel Baby January 20th, 2017
    Baby #2 Due December 6th 2017
    rlworzalladoozer1345
  • I felt really weird about nursing before I had my first, and even for the first couple days after having him, but I always thought maybe it was just because I was overthinking it.  Even now thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable. Once I am/was actually doing it though, it felt really natural.  I was just doing it- not thinking about doing it.  You have the baby there to cuddle with, and tv to watch, or a book to read, and it just kind of becomes something you are doing.  Hope that helps maybe- it makes sense when I read it, but maybe it's just me :)
    Pg#1- Benjamin born 2/22/10
    Pg#2 BFP 11/2010... chemical pregnancy late 11/2010
    Pg#3 BFP 02/2011...missed m/c 3/2011
    Pg#4 Adalynne born 5/12/12
    Pg#5 BFP 12/2012....chemical pregnancy 1/2012
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    doozer1345kbrands7Knottie64278661
  • edited March 2016
    I went to LLL meetings before I had a baby.  I knew I wanted to nurse, didn't know how long my "goal" was but had never known of anyone to actually breastfeed in my circle of friends/family and had never heard anything about it (other than reading about the benefits after I was pregnant). 
    I went to the meetings to build a support network in case of problems (which I had after delivery & they helped so much and I successfully nursed my baby) but I am a very private person and didn't see anyone actually nurse there nor did I want to, I wouldn't have felt comfortable watching the videos either.
    What I did feel comfortable with was reading all I could about the benefits and learning different holds.
    LLL suggested several great books that gave me the confidence and resolve that nursing was the right choice for my baby, and that along with a support network after baby and picking a baby friendly hospital with a LC readily available and letting DH know how he could best support me so I could support baby made all the difference in my success after delivery and beyond.
    Good luck!

    kbrands7PYLWhammyaraecaseyJennyS86
  • Don't read or watch too much!  There is so much info out there on breastfeeding it can get overwhelming and make you feel like a failure if you have a hard time.  (Spoiler alert: lots of us have a hard time and you are not a failure!) With my first had barely any supply; I couldn't even pump, but all the breastfeeding info out there had gotten in my head and convinced me that my baby would be irrevocably damaged if he got a drop of formula.  Well, he ended up in the hospital at a month old for failure to thrive and formula saved his life. 

    I fully plan to try breastfeeding again with this one, but I will not allow myself to stress about it, and if it's not working and he's not gaining we will go to formula right away this time.  Go easy on yourself and listen to your body and your instincts and you will be fine!  :)

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    PYLWhammydoozer1345JennyS86Bltbear82
  • I think it's pretty common to have reservations about it. I really would like to have my body back to myself. I love my child and have been happy to share it for the pregnancy but it's starting to feel a little claustrophobic.

    Personally I'm not too excited about doing it, but I will do what is best for her and myself for as long as I can. My goal is 6 months. And if I really can't stand it(which I think mothering instincts will take over and it will be a non issue), then I'll pump. And if that doesn't work, then it's a really good thing someone figured out this whole formula thing.

    doozer1345dshannahSaraJan2014Merciel
  • Thank you for the trigger warning! I really appreciate it.
  • Also, bfing doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you choose to use donor milk or formula part time or even most of the time, you can also still breastfeed if you want. Milk supply isn't static; it ebbs and flows with demand. Wanna only nurse while you're at home and supplement all other times? Your body will adjust. 
    laurenmdrn16kbrands7
  • Also want to say THANK YOU for starting this discussion, and also thank you to all of those who have so thoughtfully contributed.

    Thinking about breastfeeding (not other people, just me actually doing it) makes me deeply uncomfortable in some emotional way I can't quite identify or explain. It's some combination of anxiety, disgust and self-loathing. My hope is that when I give it a go, all those feelings will melt away and I'll breastfeed happily for like six months. But if they don't I'm fully prepared to formula feed. The last thing I want is for these weird feelings to come between me and my daughter.
    MercielSharra13
  • NB817NB817 member
    edited March 2016
    Everyone stop watching BFing videos!!! Especially if they're making you uncomfortable! 

    BFing seemed a bit weird to me too before I did it. I took the hospital class and of course wanted to giggle through most of it. I had no idea how long I would BF for and honestly that second night of DD cluster feeding I wanted to quit. I didn't though and EBFed until she was 15 months. 
    I will honestly say that to me BFing was the hardest part about adjusting to motherhood but at the same time it was one of the best parts. Sounds strange but it's how I felt. When I started it was a bit awkward and a bit painful but at the same time it felt so natural. I'm not one of those hippie types at all (DD was a planned C-section from the moment my ob confirmed the pregnancy) but I was super proud of what my body was able to do after having her which I think is why I was able to BF for so long. 
    Also, for me my nipples were absolutely the most important part of foreplay with DH until I had DD, but guess what...we found other things that turned me on instead and even more. So it worked out. 
    But everyone should feel fine and comfortable with however they choose to feed their baby. Don't ever let anyone tell you one way is right or wrong. You need to do whatever works for you!!! If you want to try then try it. If you don't want to then don't!
    i promise your baby will not love you any less for choosing to feed it formula. 

    ME: 35 DH: 39

    Married July 2011

    DD Born 8/12

    TTC #2 since 11/13

    ME: Submucosal Fibroid Surgery Date APRIL 14th 2015 -Left Tube is blocked by Fibroid~Surgeon removed 26 Fibroids from my Ute and Unblocked my Tube

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    gamommyx3araecaseyJennyS86Bltbear82
  • JennyS86JennyS86 member
    edited March 2016
    Thanks everyone for sharing real, honest feelings on this issue. 

    I've been that nurse that tries to help new moms breastfeed their newborns (under-educated, too busy, but well-intentioned).  My goal as a nurse was to help the mom/baby in the way that they needed it - not my personal belief. 
    So, while I've "seen it all", my experience nursing the twins was far from what I expected.  My girls took breastmilk via feeding tubes for the first 3.5months of their lives.  We tried nursing, but it didn't work out for a number of reasons.  I want you, OP, to know that it is possible to maintain, even increase, your supply only by pumping.  I pumped for 16months and fed 2 babies, only giving them formula when their doctor had me add formula powder to my breastmilk to increase the caloric value.

    I wish you all the best on your newborn journey, whether you feed from the breast, via the pump, formula, or all of the above!  Just feed those babes!  There is a lot of support on this board, and I hope we will continue to look to each other for support, answers, and camaraderie!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Mama to Three Girls: 
    Twins born March 2014 at 26 weeks due to preterm labor
    and our 37weeker born May 9th, 2016!






    gamommyx3arj14Sharra13
  • @JennyS86 I must have missed that you're a nurse! Are you in the NICU or do you work in mother/baby?
  • araecasey  I worked on a high risk antepartum/postpartum unit.  If the babies weren't still inside or in the nicu, we tried to help with breastfeeding the best we could!  It's been 2 years since I worked there, but at the time, the unit was getting so much more breastfeeding-friendly.  The managers were encouraging the nurses the pursue further breastfeeding-education and we finally had enough Symphony pumps for the nicu moms! 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Mama to Three Girls: 
    Twins born March 2014 at 26 weeks due to preterm labor
    and our 37weeker born May 9th, 2016!






  • Thank you for everyone's honest answers and I'm glad I'm not in the same boat. I really just how things will change once she's born
    Beautiful Baby Girl Amelia Marie
    Born May 25, 2016
    Angel Baby January 20th, 2017
    Baby #2 Due December 6th 2017
  • Im so glad you posted this.  I have nothing to add except that its nice to hear that Im not alone.  Im SO uncomfortable with the idea of BF and there is so much pressure to do it - strangers, clients, family members all assume I will (I intend to power through my squeemihness and try) and offer stories and advice.  My OB is constantly pushing BF, very aggressively at that.  

    I THINK my discomfort comes from my prior life as a dairy worker combined with a fear that Im going to resent the baby for needing me and only me all the time.  Particularly since OB says no bottles for 6 weeks. Ive been a bit down this whole pregnancy and am super worried about post partum depression and the BF anxiety doesn't help Ugh.  

    Nothing to add, just comiserating with you 
    Sharra13southerngirlgetsfit
  • arj14arj14 member
    At this point, I'm still unsure about whether I'll try to breastfeed, mainly because of psychotropic medications I take that I'm positive will be undergoing a frequent amount of adjustment.  I also feel like I'm constantly depressed, anxious, and stressed out already, and the idea of adding the struggle of breastfeeding to that scares me.

    To piggyback off of what @Karenpreggo  said, I also get a bit annoyed at the pressure to breastfeed.  I looked up baby formula on Consumer Reports and the first part of the article was about how much better it is to breastfeed,  and I was just like :neutral: 
    Anniversary

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    gamommyx3nlscarborough

  • To all you new moms out there - just do what feels best for you!  There was no legit reason that BFing wasn't working for me, except it just wasn't.  There is such a push to breastfeed that I think it becomes a deterrent to some people. 
    this!!! I wish there was more of this sentiment. I agree that the pressure to breastfeed is overwhelming and daunting and I wish there was more of a "do what works for you" attitude out there.
    KarenpreggoSharra13
  • Something else I noticed was that formula websites all push for breast feeding as well. It blew my mind because you would think that they would want you to use their product but they were trying to promote bfing when I was trying to research the best formula for babies
    Beautiful Baby Girl Amelia Marie
    Born May 25, 2016
    Angel Baby January 20th, 2017
    Baby #2 Due December 6th 2017
  • drablnd said:
    Something else I noticed was that formula websites all push for breast feeding as well. It blew my mind because you would think that they would want you to use their product but they were trying to promote bfing when I was trying to research the best formula for babies
    This may be a legal thing. I know in Australia formula is not allowed to be advertised for infants...only toddlers. So it may be something to do with that. 
    araecasey
  • kbrands7kbrands7 member
    edited March 2016
    drablnd said:
    Something else I noticed was that formula websites all push for breast feeding as well. It blew my mind because you would think that they would want you to use their product but they were trying to promote bfing when I was trying to research the best formula for babies
    This may be a legal thing. I know in Australia formula is not allowed to be advertised for infants...only toddlers. So it may be something to do with that. 
    Many countries adopted the WHA standards to regulate formula advertisement. The US has not. My best guess is that by talking about bf, they're aligning themselves with it more firmly to make it an even choice-- like with all of the stop the mommy wars campaigns. Their industry is pretty secure, and government subsidized.

    Eta: For those curious about the standards, and wanting to nerd-out on data, here is some of the associated research and country implementation data:https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85621/1/9789241505987_eng.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwitruKtyeTLAhVF2R4KHeZRAdAQFggdMAE&usg=AFQjCNE94IJ69-LggG3UkRUvtVuW_EsA1Q&sig2=JTwcdxqS2I7PBKQBRHN3bA


  • @Kearney1022, really appreciate your story. As someone strongly considering pumping exclusively, it's nice to know someone made it work. (And I too have already been gilted that BFing would be better for DH and his sleep schedule.) 
    Sharra13
  • I'm not sure that I feel uncomfortable... But I think I just feel super anxious. I think I'm more nervous about breastfeeding than I am about labor and delivery. I am trying not to spend too much time thinking about it - I already have recurring dreams where I forget to feed my baby for several days and then remember suddenly that I have to breastfeed. And in my dream I actually do breastfeed and it's super easy and simple. I'm not sure if my subconscious is trying to stress me out or calm me down with these dreams LOL but it's obviously a sign that I spend too much time worrying about it !! I have a "Breastfeeding Basics" class at my hospital next week and I hope it gives me enough information to be more confident but not too much information that I start overthinking it again. 

    I'm afraid that the baby just won't do it. I'm afraid that it will hurt. I'm afraid that I will feel let down if it doesn't work out. I'm afraid that even if everything goes wonderfully that it will be so stressful to have to breastfeed so often for so long. I'm afraid that I won't feel support from my husband if I struggle with it because he won't be able to relate and I don't know if he will try and empathize. All of it makes me anxious! 
    drablnd
  • I have never planned to breastfeed, as it makes me uncomfortable too. I really can't even understand why, it just does. I also struggle with severe anxiety and think it would be best for me and baby if I get back on my meds ASAP when she's born. My doctor said I could not breastfeed on this specific medication. DH is behind my decision 100%. I am finding though, that most people just assume I will BF and I haven't had the guts to correct them, because I feel SO judged. I kind of planned to just let people assume it didn't work for us so we had to resort to formula. Now, I'm thinking WHO CARES. My baby, my choices. Then, I get admitted to L&D last week for contractions and decreased fetal movement, and the nurse is asking me all the general questions. "Do you plan to breastfeed?" comes up and I quickly say no. My husband and I both heard her make a sound like..hm? Then she says "Well have you considered it?" I say no again and she just stares at me. After that, she was never quite as nice! I was shocked, but I'm hoping this nurse is in the minority and I won't be made to feel guilty when I go in to deliver.
    khochanadelSharra13arj14
  • I have never planned to breastfeed, as it makes me uncomfortable too. I really can't even understand why, it just does. I also struggle with severe anxiety and think it would be best for me and baby if I get back on my meds ASAP when she's born. My doctor said I could not breastfeed on this specific medication. DH is behind my decision 100%. I am finding though, that most people just assume I will BF and I haven't had the guts to correct them, because I feel SO judged. I kind of planned to just let people assume it didn't work for us so we had to resort to formula. Now, I'm thinking WHO CARES. My baby, my choices. Then, I get admitted to L&D last week for contractions and decreased fetal movement, and the nurse is asking me all the general questions. "Do you plan to breastfeed?" comes up and I quickly say no. My husband and I both heard her make a sound like..hm? Then she says "Well have you considered it?" I say no again and she just stares at me. After that, she was never quite as nice! I was shocked, but I'm hoping this nurse is in the minority and I won't be made to feel guilty when I go in to deliver.
    I don't know why it is such a big deal either.  The nurses were so pushy with my first I broke down before I even gave breastfeeding a fair shot and my daughter has been the healthiest kid I know.  I also find it interesting that in a few years all of us will have taken our child to fast food restaurants.... I know it's not the same but it's just something I think about.  
    Sharra13Klittle779southerngirlgetsfitDutchLucyLu
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