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Anyone else hate breastfeeding?
Update - no longer hating it!

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#51 No girls here

Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:56 AM

I have been there too and it's awful.

With DS1, every feed was a fight with him pulling on and off, and I would have to stretch him to get an hour's break between feeds.  I ended up fully breastfeeding for a month and fully expressing a further couple of months before switching to formula.

In retrospect, I wished I had have given up sooner with him.  It really affected me bonding with him and he and I were much happier when he was on the bottle.  It may have been best physically to breastfeed, but weighed up against the emotional problems, I think I should have switched sooner.

With DS2 I still disliked it (definitely affected by my experience with DS1), had attachment issues and mastitis, but it was nothing like it was with DS1 and I persisted for 6 months as in his case the physical benefits would have outweighed the stress.

In regards to maternity bras, I was a 16F with my first 2 children and couldn't find anything in the shops, but this time around I discovered Hot Milk.  They are so much nicer  - you can check the website for who stocks them, but I also bought some online at Blest Bras.  huge improvement on what I had for my first two pregnancies.

#52 katy_bride

Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:59 AM

You need to look after your health too, if this is causing you anxiety then stop.

However, as others have said it does get better! Mine definitely changed at about 8 weeks. While I still demand fed, DS got into a routine of predictable feeds each 2 hours apart. It meant I could feed him at home and then go to the shops for a decent amount of time and pretty much be guaranteed I wouldn't have to do a feed while out. But like you I also have big breast (and really big nipples) and there is no way I would have fed in public without a breastfeeding cover. I have no problem with the whole breastfeeding in public concept - except when it came to *my* boobs! By putting the cover on, I could still check attachment, still make eye contact with DS but no one other than me could see my breasts!
As for sex and DH touching me, for a fair few weeks (months?) I kept a bra on when DH and I were in the bedroom. I was so worried about leaky nipples and the thought of him touching my breasts were my son fed made me feel ill (right or wrong its how I felt) but eventually at about the 4 month mark the bra came off and we DTD.

But really take it day by day. Each day is an achievement and you should be proud of yourself. If you want to keep going, then do so but don't beat yourself up if you can't or don't want to.

#53 anon60

Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:03 AM

I only fed DS1 til 3months and DS2 til 6months. I fed DS3 and DD til around 15months. It was painful with each baby, and I found nothing to ease it. I didn't find it to be a almost mystical, transcendent, "experience". It was another job, like bathing and nappy changes.  ETA: DS1 and I ended up at a Mothercraft hospital for a week with feeding difficulties (incl a tongue tie not picked up by the m/w or paed when he was born) when he was 11 days old. At 26 yo, he still cannot poke out his tongue past his bottom lip.

Edited by anon60, 18 May 2011 - 11:06 AM.

#54 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:07 AM

OP I'm sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time.
I found BFing horrible for the first few weeks too and had bleeding nipples.
Good on your for persisting as long as you have.

Before you call it quits make an appt with a different lactation consultant.
In the mean time, try expressing a few feeds to give yourself a break and your DH an opportunity to help out.

take it one day at a time
good luck

#55 Firstbub

Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:28 AM

I don't have time to read all of the responses so apologies if I'm repeating but I just wanted to share a few of my experiences. I've breastfed 2 children for 18 months. My first it was difficult for quite a long time. I got mastitis 6 times with him and experienced lots of pain (I'd regularly be saying 'F***, f***, f***) out loud while he latched on - classy!). I persevered because it was very important to me and eventually (after months) things settled down and I found that I did enjoy it. For me the satisfaction of seeing him grow, the beautiful closeness we shared and the convenience of not having to deal with bottles made up for the painful moments.  Breastfeeding does get easier as the baby gets older - their mouth gets bigger and finds it easier to latch on, your breasts settle, they start to need less feeds - and in the long run breastfeeding becomes so convenient. As for mastitis you'll get to know the signs and if you jump on it and get some antibiotics straightaway then you won't suffer.  

However, having said all this I also think that, big-picture, the most important thing is to enjoy your baby. I am obviously pro-breastfeeding but the reality is that there is an alternative that may not be as great but it's still pretty darn good. You need to weight up what is most important for your family. If you can keep breastfeeding for a while longer to see if things improve then I'd really recommend it BUT if breastfeeding is so difficult that it's casting a shadow over the whole experience of having your baby then give it up. Your baby will grow and develop just fine on formula and a happy mother might be more significant to your baby than breastmilk.

The other thing I wanted to share is that my second son was a completely easy child to breastfeed from day one. I swear I did nothing different with him and I NEVER had a moment's pain with him. If anything I was far less diligent about his latch because it didn't seem to matter (he could feed in any position without damaging my nipples whereas I had to be constantly watching my first son to make sure he was latched correctly).  This experience has made me realise that you can do everything in your power to do things the right way but ultimately the baby has a fair bit to do with things too. For whatever reason my second son was a much better breastfeeder and the whole experience of feeding him was so pleasureable and easy that it was a revelation. I kept thinking that people who'd only experienced a good feeder really wouldn't be able to relate to those who struggled because the two experiences are so different.  It also made me look back on the first time and realise that it wasn't me 'failing' which is sometimes how you can feel when others make it seem so easy.

So, do your best and then make the decision that's right for you and this baby. And if you have another child don't necessarily expect to have the same experience.  Good luck and enjoy your little one!

#56 liveworkplay

Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:45 AM

Just a few points i wanted to add.

I am an 18F when BF, HotMilk bras go up to a G cup and are very comforty and feminine/sexy

You may have to relax a bit on the routine vs demand. Even babies on strict routines deviate and having a baby/toddler = deviation from routine at various times. You may want to work on this now

Im not going to comment on the BF as I have no idea how to help youo as I have alwasy found BF easy and enjoyable. I hope you can come to the best solution for your family.

#57 meaghanflametree

Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

Nothing new to add, OP, but as a rabid breastfeeding advocate I say ... good on you for so honestly putting your experiences out there.  This is your reality and you deserve a hearing.  So many of us had no clue how hard it can be until we started to struggle ourselves.  And good on you for calling in advice.

As a lactation consultant once said to me, breastfeeding is often much harder going than formula initially, and while at some point it (usually) gets easier and then becomes a no-brainer natural function, it's hard to know when that will be.  As pointed out, that's usually around week 8 - sometimes a bit sooner, sometimes later.  I can tell you that there were times in those early weeks when knowing this (courtesy of some honest friends who'd also found it a learnt art) was the only thing that kept me going, but once we hit that sweet spot, it was gold.  This may or may not be your experience.  For me, a control freak, it was one long lesson in learning to go with the flow <g>.

You are clearly thoughtful and determined to do your best, and you are also clearly pragmatic.  Your baby has a superb advocate wherever these next few weeks take you.   My experience is not necessarily yours, and only you know how it feels.  It is too easy for those who have an easy run to underestimate the toll these things can take on those who don't.

It's different for all of us.  Take it all on board, and good luck.  There's no pat answer.

ETA:  It's possible to feed EBM, but I've done enough expressing to know what a dedicated proposition it is, especially if you have an older child.  Again, expressing is a doddle for some, and a nightmare for others.  Mileage varies.

Edited by meaghanflametree, 18 May 2011 - 12:25 PM.

#58 Sassenach2

Posted 18 May 2011 - 01:05 PM

I haven't read all the posts, but if your life is not happy OP, then don't continue as bubs needs mum to be happy and content with breastfeeding. However, I would like to say, that not only is it the Human milk for Human babies and they do not smell horrible with their natural mammalian milk, but all mums who breastfeed for two years or more with one or subsequent babies cumulatively, will have a lower risk of contracting breast cancer and ovarian cancer in later years. yay! llove.gif cclap.gif cclap.gif cclap.gif

#59 notjustalawyer

Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (redkris @ 18/05/2011, 12:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
THere could be reasons, yes, but you CAN have a perfectly fine attachment and still have it hurt. I had a painful letdown for the first 6 weeks after DS was born so the beginning of every single feed was wince-worthy. I know many other women who had the same issue, so I think the whole "If you are attached correctly, it won't hurt" is a bit of a myth, and a harmful one at that.

All that being said, I was another who found that at 6 or 7 weeks, it just stopped hurting. Can you hang in there for just a few more weeks? You might find the pain just stops fairly soon.

Me too - I remember vividly at 6.5 weeks I fed my lovely daughter and it didn't hurt!  I was so excited, it was brilliant and I was really happy I'd stuck it out to that point.

Having said that, if it's making you miserable, don't do it! I knew that I would feel awful if I stopped and that would make me more miserable so you have to do what's right for you.  As lots of people have said, only you know the answer to that.

Finally, on the sex thing - your hubby's lucky that you're ready already! wink.gif  Mine had to wait quite a while longer... for my nipples to stop hurting.  They will - trust us!

#60 fraidycat

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:23 PM

I was heaps happier after making the decision to go to the bottle and formula feed.  I was so stressed trying to BF because there were so many foods to avoid and it really hurt.  I was over the bleeding nipples and the conflicting advice from midwives.  

When DP got me to go get the formula I stood in the chemist and cried becasue I felt like I was making the first bad decision for my baby.  However, the first time that I managed to share the feeding with DP and sleep was well worth it.  I was so much happier cuddling my bub.

I love watching my DP feeding our baby and I am a much happier mummy now.  Best decision ever!!!

#61 tans999

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:28 PM

QUOTE (redkris @ 18/05/2011, 12:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
THere could be reasons, yes, but you CAN have a perfectly fine attachment and still have it hurt. I had a painful letdown for the first 6 weeks after DS was born so the beginning of every single feed was wince-worthy. I know many other women who had the same issue, so I think the whole "If you are attached correctly, it won't hurt" is a bit of a myth, and a harmful one at that.

All that being said, I was another who found that at 6 or 7 weeks, it just stopped hurting. Can you hang in there for just a few more weeks? You might find the pain just stops fairly soon.


This was exactly DS and I in the early days. I went on to happily and easily feed him for 18 months.

No need to avoid onion or garlic, and just limit caffeine intake.

Having said all that, if it stressing you out and is a terrible experience for you, you don't have to continue.
Good luck.

#62 Lafevu

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:36 PM

Yes i understand you OP. I have not long switched to bottle as of a week ago, try not to feel guilty and be happy with the fact that you have given it your best shot!  BTW there are some good supportive comments here too ladies!

#63 mumandboys

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:38 PM


Sorry you're having a hard time.

I aimed for 6 months with each of mine, but only got to 4 months with the first 3.  I breastfed DS4 only to 8 weeks, I couldn't handle the constant cracked and bleeding nipples, it was excruciating and doing neither of us any good.

I never felt bad about the decision to go to formula.  I had done my best - and that's all any of us can do.

#64 Evitchie

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:39 PM

I found the first 6 weeks really tricky with DS1....lots of pain, raw nipples etc but then it settled down. I set small goals with him...6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months. I had to wean him at 9 months as he was a biter sad.gif

With DS2 I immediately set the goal at 12 months...we made it to 11  months when he self weaned. I was heartbroken!

Bottom line is that you need to do what is best for you and bubs. I found goal setting really helpful...I also found it helpful to double layer my clothes I.e. A singlet plus a tshirt or shirt on top. That way I could feed wherever and not worry about tummy skin or boob being exposed (and not spend a fortune on feeding tops).

Even 6 weeks of breast milk is beneficial for bubs. Follow your instincts and good luck, whatever you decide original.gif

#65 kp0507

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:40 PM

Yes, I hate it. I powered through multiple bouts of mastitis and bleeding nipples with ALL THREE babies. They were tongue tied but really I think it's just me and my boobs. I find it exhausting, impossible to lose weight while BF (small thing but still) no sex drive whatsoever etc.
I dip my lid to anyone who can express regularly- that is hard work!
For me it takes 6 weeks for BF to become not painful and after that it is just something I have to do for my babies. Weaned at 5 months and 6 months with the other two. Will hopefully last a little longer this time.

#66 =R2=

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:49 PM

At 5 weeks - definitely normal to still have a few 'teething' problems. Things didn't really settle for DD1 until she was about 8 weeks old (high arched palate, oversupply, cracked and bleeding nipples even with good latch).

DD2 was even longer and took about 10 weeks before everything settled (low milk supply, sleepy baby, painful attachment).

Throw in acid reflux for both children and it sounds like my nightmare came true BUT you know what? BFing became so easy after the first couple or so months that the troubles we had to begin with seemed like nothing and was just a fleeting problem. It made me very thankful and proud of myself for persevering and keeping at it.

I say wait for the hormones to settle (around 8-10 weeks) and take things one day at a time. You have done a fantastic job so far and hope you and your baby keep working at it.

Edited by =R2=, 18 May 2011 - 08:51 PM.

#67 tick

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:50 PM

I really really dislike breastfeeding.  DD however loves it, and never would take a bottle or drink anything but breastmilk until she was over one.  She's still feeding at 21 months but I want nothing more than for her to wean.  I don't think it's going to be easy .... sigh.

Good luck OP, whatever you decide.

#68 SilverSky

Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:57 PM

I hated BF also and it was painful and I'd already had two bouts of mastitis from when baby was 5 weeks old, second time included a stay in hospital due to vomitting and dehydration but I wanted to go to 6 months and I ended up doing that. It was only in the last 4 weeks of BF that was painfree....I never know it but I had nipple thrush and so I got the gel from the chemist (I forget the name) it was just for mouth thrush but you put it on your nipple and that helped immensley. If you've had antiboitics for mastitis then your risk for thrush increases. Anyway, it was 5 months of hell for me and I dont know how I got through it but did in the end.

#69 outdoorgirl81

Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:20 PM

Such lovely helpful advice out there. I even got through 7 pages!

This is just my opinion for you to take or leave, obviously it is your decision to make and  if you have decided to call it quits since posting I still think you've done a stellar job, but if I were you, I'd set myself a goal of 3 months. There are a couple of reasons for choosing this time.
1. Most of the research that is out there is actually related to exclusive BF in the first 3 months of life, the main reason being is that the percentage of women exclusively BF at 6 months is quite low so it's hard to do studies on.  

2. If you get to 3 months and things are still bad, I can't imagine they are going to improve that much, but I reckon they may well have turned around by then.

3. 3 months is only 7 weeks away, which is a tangible period of time, whereas 6 months probably feels like forever to you at this stage.

4. Life with a baby in the first 3 months is really really hard whether you're BF or FF, then for may people, myself included, becomes a lot more sane and normal.

Once you've made it to 3 months than you can reassess. You can even cross days off on the calender if you wish!

I haven't offered you any practical advice as there is nothing I could say that hasn't been said by PPs. Except eat whatever you want and drink good coffee!!

#70 Fright bat

Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:06 AM

Wow - isn't amazing how one really honest post has garnered so many honest responses! I must own up to throwing my own tantrums in BF threads with my fairly firm opinions so I thought for sure that this would degenerate... But this has been such a beatifully frank series of comments by so many wonderful mums.

Well done to everyone for nourishing their bubs with such dedication and concern :-)

Edited by MsN, 19 May 2011 - 12:06 AM.

#71 elegie

Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:21 AM

OP I'm really sorry you are having so much trouble.
Even if 'the latch is fine' you can still have a lot of pain. I had a very painful letdown until 7-8 weeks, when it stopped being toe-curlingly painful to attach DS. I also had cracked nipples for a long time - I think he didn't latch properly at first, and the damage he did then lasted ages sad.gif but airing my nipples regularly helped.

Have you thought about hiring a double electric pump? This could help to drain your boobs after a feed and also give you EBM to take out so you don't have to feed in public. A breastfeeding cover (such as Teega) is also a great idea.

Any reason  you're restricting onion, garlic and caffeine? I've never heard of anyone restricting onion & garlic intake while BFing, and caffeine will not affect bub unless you are drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/drugs.html

As a PP said, even tiny babies will usually be in a routine of sorts - why don't you start keeping a diary of feeds: time started and time taken for each breast. After a few days you may see a pattern and can organise yourself around that. Even when you're not BFing, having a tiny baby throws out any kind of routine you had before, as your life revolves around when they sleep, poo, need cuddles etc. When DS was that small I didn't make any big commitments. People came to me, and I just took a walk to the local shops most days. You shouldn't need to be on time for anything, or out long enough to need to feed, for that matter.

I'm amazed you're even thinking about sex at 5 weeks Tounge1.gif but seriously, a PP's suggestion of a nice sexy bra (have you tried Hot Milk?) is a good one to make you feel better about how you look.

If you do decide to introduce formula, even one feed a day, please understand that it most likely will reduce your supply, and therefore lead to full weaning. If you are ok with that, and it helps you, go for it!

Best of luck OP. Please try to stick with it for another couple of weeks as the pain should not last much longer!

QUOTE (seepi @ 17/05/2011, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Once baby starts solids (at 4 months) you can leave them with others for much longer and they can have mashed pear etc and sips of water.
Also they can go much longer without a feed - so you can take them out all day and not have to pop home for a feed every 3 hours.

OT but most babies aren't ready for solids at 4 months (the WHO recommends 6 months, and the Australian recommendation is between 4 and 6 months, which too many people misinterpret as 4 months) and usually introducing solids doesn't reduce the amount of breastfeeds so this comment isn't very helpful.

#72 Guest_Monkey News_*

Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:24 AM

I felt pain with my first until 6 weeks. It went away after that, and everything just fell into place and became much easier.

#73 ~river song~

Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:01 AM

OP all the things you mentioned I felt...so gave up BFing. And I regret it sad.gif

As a result I'm now trying to re establish BFing to my 11 week old son who hasn't been breastfed since he was around 2-3 weeks old. Its bloody hard. So if you can push through then do it.

Otherwise maybe try expressing so someone else can feed the baby??

I also spoke to a counsellor and a GP about how I felt and even just having someone say its ok to feel that way and validate my feelings felt better, as a result I realised I still did want to feed I was just not coping with everything else at the time and BFing was just one more thing I had to worry about. I hated him being 100% reliant on me for food. Now I miss the closeness  and bond cry1.gif

However if it really is something you do not want to do and you're stressed your baby will pick up on that and it could inhibit successful feeding, and which point if you want to formual feed then its ok to do so.

There is a lot of support for BFing mothers around but FF support barely exists in any form and it can be just as hard and demanding...especially trying to find a formula that suits them, breastmilk is designed specifically for them and their needs.

Good luck, I understand totally how you feel and was there


#74 annalou78

Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:55 PM

I have not read all the replies but wanted to say good on you for sticking with it so far!

We had a rocky start in that DS was colicky and would scream through feeds (not the romantic picture of breastfeeding that I had pictured) and I set small goals - 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, etc. Now at 14 months we're still going strong and one of his first words is "boobies"! wub.gif

Motherhood is hard, sometimes very hard. Be kind to yourself.

Breastmilk is wonderful but babies thrive on formula too so switching to formula isn't the end of the world if you feel you need to for your health.

#75 seepi

Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:33 PM

Just quickly - paediatricians now recommend starting solids from 4 months.

Solids at 4 months won't really replace a breastfeed, but it gives your partner (or anyone else) an option to give the baby some stewed pear or something if you are out and baby starts fussing.

I think 4 months is a time point where things get easier becuase of this added flexibility.

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