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Old 02-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #281
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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I felt guilty for a while, and eventually made peace with the fact that breastfeeding DD1 was not meant to be. In that space and time, I didn't have the support and resources at hand to make it work, nor was I in the proper mindset after a traumatic birth. It was the right decision given the circumstances at the time. I wish I knew then what I know now. But I didn't, and there's no shame or reason to feel guilty about it. Now I'm 9 months into a healthy nursing relationship with DD2. Part of me wishes that I could have had this with DD1, but on the other hand, DD1 ended up more attached to her dad because he didn't feel intimidated by her, since he could meet all her needs, an issue I'm running into now with DD2.

I do think it's the perfectionist in me. I tried something and failed. Regardless of the ridiculousness of it, I felt like I'd failed, and since I usually excel at the things that I try, I don't take failure well. The worst part of it was that it felt, regardless of the reality of the situation, like it was the latest in a string of failures. I had planned to wait until I was both married and my career had taken off before having kids. After our birth control failure my career stalled, the wedding had to be postponed, I lost my job, I gained a tonne of weight, I didn't get the med free birth I wanted, or even the vaginal birth I wanted, and then nursing crashed and burned. I went into a pretty deep depression after all that, and only in retrospect do I see it. It drove me to feel so guilty for a while that I secretly felt at times that it would be better for DD1 if I gave her up to a better family, a real mommy who could care for her properly. So the guilt did not stem from failure to breastfeed alone. If everything else had gone right it wouldn't have been the blow that it was.

You (the bolded parts) pretty much just described my experience as well. Add to that trying to pump round the clock for 8 weeks while having multiple lactation consultants and feeding specialist try to help my DS overcome his jaw issue, I realized I dreaded feeding my infant. When I switched to FF I finally was able to enjoy my baby and being a mom. But the guilt over "failing" was awful. I refuse to feel that again. If I am ever blessed with another child, I will probably give it a try but I will NEVER fight that hard to BF ever again because I will never again give up that bonding time with my child. I never again want to resent my child for making me a failure. FF gave me the freedom to I needed to bond. Everyone says BF is bonding for me it was the opposite. With FF I could just feed him, no fighting him to try and latch at every feeding, no having to pump and bottle feed after anyway, no more struggling with an S and S that didn't work anyway because of his jaw. FF was the best choice for me and that's what matters. And if I get to do it again, I just may ff from the beginning, not because I believe it is better but because I personally have not been able to let go of the trauma that happened with my first. And you know what, that's my choice, and anyone that feels the need to judge that should just take a look around themselves because I guarentee they aren't perfect either. We're just all trying to do the best we can with the hand we've been dealt. And what if I hadn't had that awful experience? Well, guess what, it would still be my choice and it still doesn't warrant judgement from anyone else.

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:48 AM   #282
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

I definitely think its a culture thing. In the U.S. with 6 week maternity leave vs. Sweden with nearly a full year leave, their breastfeeding rates are miles above ours. I got so many dirty looks when I was breastfeeding my 15 month old, things like "isn't she a little OLD FOR THAT?" When in most other countries, mothers nurse for 3 or 4 YEARS, not months.

In the U.S. we sexualize breastfeeding, offer no lactation support for new mothers and THEN send them home with a case of ready to feed formula knowing in the middle of the night, with a frantic and exhausted mother, they will give it to their baby out of desperation, thus decreasing her supply and increasing their profits.

Disgusting and predatory if you ask me.

I'm actually in the 6% that has a medical reason to not breastfeed but there is no way I'd ever give my child inferior nutrition, made in a factory, with milk proteins from a different species. We use donor milk exclusively for supplementation. My first daughter had 10 donors, my 2nd daughter had 10 and my third daughter who will be born next month, already has a deep freezer full of breastmilk waiting for her arrival.

When you know better, you do better. It's not for everyone but personally, I am very happy that there are milkshare donors out there and that I took the time to seek out breastmilk for my daughters. My story is here:

http://worldmilksharing.net/stories/...ira-and-piper/
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #283
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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If I am ever blessed with another child, I will probably give it a try but I will NEVER fight that hard to BF ever again because I will never again give up that bonding time with my child. I never again want to resent my child for making me a failure. FF gave me the freedom to I needed to bond. Everyone says BF is bonding for me it was the opposite. With FF I could just feed him, no fighting him to try and latch at every feeding, no having to pump and bottle feed after anyway, no more struggling with an S and S that didn't work anyway because of his jaw.
Wow, this is exactly how I felt after DS! Well, he didn't have any physical reason it was such a struggle, but it was. Letting go of BFing at 6 months was awesome and I wished I'd done it sooner. I did not enjoy him like I could have when he was a newborn. I remember cringing every time I heard him cry...I hated feeling like that. Giving him bottles was such a simple joy.

With DD, I really wanted to get off to a good start and set us up for success, but at the same time like you say, I was determined not to suffer through if it wasn't working. But she nursed like a dream, so there was never a reason to quit. (I did feel a little cheated at missing out on bottle feeding her, though. By the time she weaned I was so sick of nursing bras, and of always pulling up my shirt. Bottle feeding is just more enjoyable IMO.)

Part of the problem was that perfectionist tendency. If my mom (who was a LLL member) could breastfeed 5 babies, and my sister 3, and even my husband's ex-wife breastfed their son and her younger child without problems, why was I such a failure at it? Oh well, I can't be any of those people even if I wanted to.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:16 PM   #284
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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No one is arguing that formula is better or even equal. But to claim that breast milk is the be all end all is just unrealistic.
Exactly this. I think everyone recognizes that breastmilk is better than formula. I don't know anyone is trying to argue otherwise. But that doesn't mean that formula is BAD.

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I think, all things being equal, everyone agrees breastmilk is better than formula. But all things are rarely equal. KWIM?
And excellent point. There are a lot of factors that might make breastfeeding an inferior choice to a mother.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:26 PM   #285
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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Exactly this. I think everyone recognizes that breastmilk is better than formula. I don't know anyone is trying to argue otherwise. But that doesn't mean that formula is BAD.



And excellent point. There are a lot of factors that might make breastfeeding an inferior choice to a mother.

Do a google search on "formula contamination" and see just how babies DIED from contaminated formula in the past 4 years

Plus beetle parts and BPA? Ick, no thanks!

The OP was arguing that she couldn't understand how a mother could decide not to BF before giving birth, not that some women do not face serious BF challenges and many fail to BF.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #286
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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I do find it interesting that many ff mamas say they feel guilty after the fact. Why? Especially years later? Do you feel your kids are less healthy? Less attached? Or is it because you couldn't accomplish something that you feel you should have?

<snip>

Do you feel you should feel guilty? totally honest question. I just feel bad that mamas carry that guilt especially if they tried and couldn't. Guess it's that mommy guilt. Even when we make the best choices we can we have guilt.
Because of threads like this where it is stated or implied (not by you!) that those who didn't BF are somehow lazy, selfish, ignorant, disconnected mothers who must not truly love their babies enough to do whatever it takes to provide breastmilk for their babies whether it involves pumping for hours on end, taking herbs and drugs to increase their supply, or spending big dollars and time to get donor milk.

When I was struggling to feed DD while pg with DS2 (got pg when she was 5.5 months old) I read page upon page of women saying how it was absolutely possible to breastfeed while nursing, that if you just powered through the nipple pain of early pregnancy and nursed frequently, all would be well. Trust your body. Yada yada. Nevermind that the majority were nursing TODDLERS who receive most nutrition via solids while my baby was depending on breastmilk. Nevermind that there is a dip in production during pregnancy. You just nurse more frequently. Nevermind that you aren't getting but half an ounce out during pumping sessions. The baby gets more when she nurses anyway.

My poor baby girl lost over a pound due to me being so determined to just power through. No one ever suggested that I watch for signs that she wasn't getting enough, because of course she would! If I was doing things "right."

So yeah. I initially felt incredibly guilty. But now I absolutely recognize that THEY WERE WRONG. And that there is far more to life than nursing your baby.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #287
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Really? Someone on this thread compared formula to pop tarts. Cant imagine where the FF moms would get their guilt from. Lol. Come on. I keep hearing about the stigma of NIP. You may get the hairy eyeball nursing your 3yr old in public but has anyone ever approached you and told you what you were doing was (to quote a mom on this thread) "sub par"? It works both ways ladies. And that is exactly what society wants us to do.....feel darned if we do and darned if we dont.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #288
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But do people really feel guilty because of threads on the internet? I do many things as a parent that are absolutely vilified on DS and other natural parenting forums. It never occured to me that I should feel guilty because of opinions of parents on the internet about what I do for my kids, because I do what I think is best for my kids, despite internet "wisdom".
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:52 PM   #289
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

Opinions expressed other Internet are not different than opinions expressed elsewhere. Some people are more sensitive to it than others.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #290
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Re: Deciding not to breast feed in advancei

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You (the bolded parts) pretty much just described my experience as well. Add to that trying to pump round the clock for 8 weeks while having multiple lactation consultants and feeding specialist try to help my DS overcome his jaw issue, I realized I dreaded feeding my infant. When I switched to FF I finally was able to enjoy my baby and being a mom. But the guilt over "failing" was awful. I refuse to feel that again. If I am ever blessed with another child, I will probably give it a try but I will NEVER fight that hard to BF ever again because I will never again give up that bonding time with my child. I never again want to resent my child for making me a failure. FF gave me the freedom to I needed to bond. Everyone says BF is bonding for me it was the opposite. With FF I could just feed him, no fighting him to try and latch at every feeding, no having to pump and bottle feed after anyway, no more struggling with an S and S that didn't work anyway because of his jaw. FF was the best choice for me and that's what matters. And if I get to do it again, I just may ff from the beginning, not because I believe it is better but because I personally have not been able to let go of the trauma that happened with my first. And you know what, that's my choice, and anyone that feels the need to judge that should just take a look around themselves because I guarantee they aren't perfect either. We're just all trying to do the best we can with the hand we've been dealt. And what if I hadn't had that awful experience? Well, guess what, it would still be my choice and it still doesn't warrant judgement from anyone else.
Yep, if you want guilt, imagine realizing in the middle of the night with c section incision screaming and both boobs feeling like I've run them trough a cheese grater and been trying to lactate acid rather than milk that it actually hurt less to watch my beautiful 3 week old baby scream her little lungs out than try to latch her on again. I bawled through making that first bottle. I had tears running down my face the entire time she ate, burped, and then promptly passed out on my shoulder, completely content. Just as content as the little one who's nearly asleep on me now latched onto the boob. I tear up even now, and its been 5 years, just remembering how aweful I felt.

But the little one on my lap is why I think every mom should try. My first was a horrible experience. This one is 9 mos, and still Bfing. We've had a few bumps, but nothing like the first one. You really have nothing to lose because you can always switch to formula. Go in with the mindset that its an experiment. I've found being able t bf her has healed a lot of the pain I had with my first.
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