I HATE breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, maybe "hate" is a bit much, but lets say I have a stong dislike for bfing.
I bf'd my oldest for 18 months and at the end of that time I was resenting the bfing relationship. I disliked how dependent upon the nursing she was to get to sleep (and how she would take 20 min to get back to sleep after waking up 8-10 times a night..even at 1yr).

I don't like the way nursing "feels" and I even get a little grossed out about it if I think about it too much.

I hate pumping and am refusing to do any pumping with my second dd. I hate nursing bras.

I don't like that my nipples are so sensitive that I have to slap DH's hand away when we have s*x.

I hate how people stare at you when you nurse an older baby or toddler in public.

I'm getting resentful that my 10-mo-old is now waking up three or four times a night and wants to nurse to get back to sleep, when she used to only wake up once a night.

Someone PLEASE tell me how I am going to get through the next year or two of bfing and keep my sanity? (I'm not having any more kids, so thankfully I won't be doing this again.)

This isn't a joke. I am committed to continue bfing for as long as dd#2 wants to, but I really and truely DO NO LIKE BFing.
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#2 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:32 PM
 
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I applaud your dedication to doing what's right for your child even when it's not enjoyable for you.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#3 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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When nursing annoys me, as it does sometimes, I read a book. Or the New Yorker.

If it's very uncomfortable, I would go see a lactation consultant or go to a LLL meeting.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#4 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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If you really do want to continue, I suggest you set some limits to the BF relationship and also DH's contact with your breasts. You can have a temporary "no boob contact during sex" agreement if he is willing. If 3-4x a night wake ups are making you insane, try limiting nursing to once a night. I'm not suggesting you leave her screaming but there must be some alternative. You are a human being, you have a right to set limits to your body. It's important that you feel comfortable with the BF relationship too.
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#5 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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have you tried filling her up more during the day? Also, maybe introduce a pacifier during bedtime only to get her used to sucking on something else other than you. That's what's getting me through. I have an equal disdain for bfng.

Dani, wife to Cullen - 9/2002, mom to CJ 11/2004, Billy 12/2007 and Nora 7/2009
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#6 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:40 PM
 
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Wow, I don't know what to say. I'm sorry nursing doesn't seem to be enjoyable anymore. I'll tell you though, while I might be an advocate for nursing, I'm not militant. I would never tell you to nurse longer than you want to. In fact, if I HATED nursing(or even really strongly disliked it), I wouldn't continue. I might pump(because that doens't bother me), but I wouldn't nurse. But if you really feel as strongly as your post was worded(and it was pretty strong), I'd say you should stop nursing. Your daughter has gotten the best gift you could give for 10 months and if you feel like you don't enjoy it anymore and don't want to nurse anymore, well 10 months is better than nothing and you did well. There's no glory in nursing past the time you want to nurse. Your baby will pick up on the fact that you dont' want to anymore and react to those vibes. I'm sure you want to love your baby and enjoy your baby and not feel resentful towards her. The wonderful thing in your case is that you don't HAVE to nurse. You seem not to want to, so go to formula. It's not the worst thing that's ever happened. You've given a beautiful gift for 10 months. That one year mark isn't "magic" and the day your dd turns 1 you should wean or 2 or 3 for that matter. If you aren't enjoying nursing now, stop. I"m sorry you are feeling this way and I hope you make the decision that works best for both of you. No one else can make it for you, not even here. I'm a strong believer in breastfeeding, an advocate for breastfeeding even, but I'm not one to say that babies and their mamas should continue past when one of them wants to stop. You are a person with needs, desires and feeligns to and you shouldn't supress them completely for the sake of your baby. It's not healthy and breeds resentment. I stopped nursing my first dd at 7 months old. Does that make me a bad mama or not fit in here well? Not at all. I've made my peace with it. I'm now nursing strong at 7 months iwth second dd with no intention of stopping. I used sposies on dd 1, I use cloth now. dd#1 co-slept until 3 and then moved into her own bed. DD#2 co-sleeps part-time and for the rest of the time, she's in her crib after being nursed and rocked down. I have used a binky for both girls. I sling dd #2 but <gasp> I use a stroller too! AP is all about what works for you and your family and your baby. Nursing is obviously not working well for you. Maybe it's time to quit.

Meg(bring on the flames)

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#7 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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I just wanted to tell you that you are a SUPER mama. #1, best in the world, out of sight, caring, wonderful, SUPER MAMA!

I don't *hate* breastfeeding, but honestly I've never had the warm fuzzies or the hormone highs that some women talk about. I do it because it's what my child needs

When I feeling particularly touched out and resentful I make myself relax, slow down, and just look at her. I try to take a picture of that moment, because I know that sometime down the line I'll wish she were that close again.

Hang in there! You're doing great.

And feel free to vent all you want.

-Angela
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#8 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faerybugmady
There's no glory in nursing past the time you want to nurse. Your baby will pick up on the fact that you dont' want to anymore and react to those vibes. I'm sure you want to love your baby and enjoy your baby and not feel resentful towards her.
This would also be a concern of mine. Babies and young children are very sensitive to others' feelings. If you are exuding resentment and unhappiness while she nurses, it can't be healthy. If setting limits or reaching out doesn't help you feel better, you might want to reconsider your determination to BF no matter how much you hate it. Your post is extremely negative. I would not want my childrean breastfeeding from a mom with so much anger and resentment about it. I would be very concerned about the bad emotional effects on the baby/ toddler of sensing a mom who is so bitter about it.
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#9 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faerybugmady
If you aren't enjoying nursing now, stop. AP is all about what works for you and your family and your baby. Nursing is obviously not working well for you. Maybe it's time to quit.

Meg(bring on the flames)
No flames Meg, but I respectfully disagree with you.

Yes, babies pick up on their mothers' feelings, and baby might in fact be "happier" with a happy formula feeding Mommy rather than a resentful bf Mommy. There's more to BF than happiness/bonding, just as there's more to nursing than the milk. At 10mo, there are definite physical needs being met with the milk itself, and I hesitate to recomend weaning an infant when her mother is willing and able to continue nursing.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#10 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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Meg and Meowee took the words right out of my mouth. This doesn't sound healthy to me - I think that any type of feeding (breast or bottle) without love can really set kids up for problems.
Resentment and discomfort of this kind transmits so easily - I would be reluctant to "feed" my children heaping spoonfuls of this along with breastmilk. I am a staunch breastfeeding advocate, but not when it is like this. I bet dh doesn't enjoy being slapped away, either. Hopefully you can tell him how this makes you really feel and he can respect that. I hope you can find some balance in this area and get to the bottom of what is really causing your discomfort, because I would be willing to bet there is a much deeper issue at work. to you, mama - take care of yourself.
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#11 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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Well, when I'm doing something I don't want to be doing, it sometimes helps to think about why I'm doing it, set a goal/limit for myself, and then work to change my attitude. If I am committed to, say, running 5 miles, I'll think about how it will feel to be stronger/more fit/run a faster race. Sometimes it helps to break it up into pieces - "I'll run until I get to the top of the hill and then maybe I'll stop." And sometimes it helps to try to see it in a more positive light - see how far I've already come, last week I couldn't run this far/fast, etc.
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#12 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Just another idea to add to the mix... sometimes we don't like being a mom every minute of every day. When I am resenting nursing, I try and remember that if I weren't nursing, it woulnd't necessarily be better. I was up a lot with my second, after I quit nursing his sleep didn't get better, in fact it got worse. Teething is terrible right now but without nursing, I suspect it would be much worse (although maybe Daddy could be doing more of it). I get tired of the intensity of our attachment sometimes. But I believe in it. I sometimes dream of being able to dump my kids on my MIL and go away someplace romantic for the weekend. But not yet, not for us. Be careful that you aren't confusing nursing with the whole tough bag of parenting a little one.

Maureen
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#13 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just want to say that I certainly don't exude this disdain to my children. While I am actually nursing, I look in my baby's eyes and talk to her and I love the sweet peaceful look she gets on her face. I'm glad she is getting the very best nutrition and that I can be a comfort to her. I know my post is very very negative, but this is nearly 3 years of not-liking-breastfeeding frustration coming out here. I keep the feelings inside (I know..that's gonna cost me in therapy later :LOL ), and always treat my girls lovingly, even when I am up nursing for the third time in the middle of the night. My dd#2 LOVES her thumb (or toes) to suck on and is very good at soothing herself back to sleep with either didgit. That's why I know she wants/needs to nurse at night, because she has been insisting on the boob over the thumb/toe.

Should I quit?? I really don't know. At this point I won't. I do think 10 months is too young and I agree the 1 year mark is not some magical date.

Thanks for all your advice (keep it coming!). Just getting some cyber support helps the frustration.
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#14 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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All the money you are saving by breastfeeding instead of buying that crappy formula? Tally it up for, say, a month's worth. Then go buy yourself a Kate Spade bag or whatever makes you happy. Seriously. Reward yourself. It sounds like you need it and maybe it will help get you through this.
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#15 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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For some reason I was feeling really resentful of nursing around 10 months, too. I just took it one day at a time and now it's much better.

It may sound goofy, but maybe you could write down all the reasons you think you should keep breastfeeding and post it somewhere you can see every day?

And if this truly is your last child, just keep reminding yourself of that. It will all be over before you know it!

to you! It sounds like you are doing a great job!
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#16 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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I'm glad you treat your children so lovingly. I wasn't insinuating that you don't, in fact I was actually thinking of myself(that sounds bad!). I know that when I get frustrated with my little sleep fighter, I try to treat her ith respect and be patient but I do see that my frustration comes out and she feels it and fights sleep even more. It's hard to keep your feelings locked away from your kids, they just KNOW!
Ruthla, thank you for your respectful disagreement. I'm glad we can agree to disagree without any harsh words.

Meg

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#17 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 06:48 PM
 
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No advice, I have no idea what the right answer is for you. Just wanted to send a your way.

Hope things get better for you!
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#18 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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I've had similar feelings off and on, myself - a few times when Ds was a newborn and HAD to nurse every 45 minutes for the first three months. I was exhausted, frustrated, and even felt mean sometimes. Then things went really really well until DS was about nine months old, teething and chewing my nipple. I got frustrated again, and considered weaning him (I hadn't found MDC yet...) My mother told me to just take it one day at a time. She also told me she weaned me at 9 months, and she regretted it her whole life. That gave me food for thought. Well, here I am, DS is 14 months old, and we are still nursing. Sometimes I get that feeling like, Get Off Of Me! But I am much better equiped to deal with it now. Sometimes I do have to unlatch him and walk away for a little while. But I wouldn't give up my nursing relationship with my boy right now for anything in the world!

Please feel free to come here and get support & encouragement! Oh, and many kudos and blessings on you for sticking with breastfeeding!

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#19 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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counseling? anti-anxiety drugs?

I'm sorry you hate it... It's not always perfect or comfortable or relaxing... but doesn't just KNOWING that you're doing the right thing for your baby make it better? Focus on that~
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#20 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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I'll confess. This is only my second post, but I HATED nursing, too. :

My bean was not a gentle nurser. She would pound my chest, yank on my clothes, pinch my arms, kick, squirm, struggle and just generally make herself hugely annoying and unpleasant.

She also was not a great sleeper. : She wanted to sleep at the breast. Sometimes just remembering the feeling of that suck-suck-suck pause suck-suck-suck pause can give me goosebumps. And not in a good way.

Still, I nursed her for two years. And managed to wean very gently. I found getting rid of the night time nurse saved my sanity. Instead of nursing her to sleep, I would nurse her, get her tummy full, then bundle her up and take her outside for a walk.

Did I want to go out for a walk every night at ten, rain, snow or shine? Hell no! But it was better than the forty minutes of faint sucking that was literally driving me insane.

I'm expecting number two now, and apprehensive about nursing. I'm going to do it, because formula feeding is just out of the question for me as a moral choice.

But I completely understand your feelings. Breastfeeding was never a wonderful experience for me.
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#21 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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you know what we've done that has helped with night wakings/nursing? DH and DD will sleep the later half of the night in another room. DD is still co-sleeping with us, but when she's not near me, she wakes less often and is more easily soothed back to sleep. If I'm there, she has to nurse. It has been great! We started doing it when I got pg again because I needed sleep, wasn't getting it and was starting to get a bit looney. Maybe you could try something like this? Proximity seems to have an impact on wanting to nurse. Of course we never ignore dd, and she's welcome to nurse if she needs to/wants to, it's never off limits.

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#22 of 41 Old 08-09-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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to you, Theatremum. I think it's wonderful that you are sticking with it even though it's not your favorite thing in the world.

I also think it is wonderful that MDC is a safe place to vent these frustrations. Thank you everyone for being so respectful and supportive of each other.
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#23 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 12:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatremum
I'm getting resentful that my 10-mo-old is now waking up three or four times a night and wants to nurse to get back to sleep, when she used to only wake up once a night.

Yeah, that really bites the big wienie, doesn't it? I think nursing is great in so many ways, but I sometimes do not like the way it feels. I find myself inducing cramps in my feet if I really don't like the sensation; or sometimes just breathing and visualizing something else. I can get all out of whack mentally at times (usually just once or twice during my period), feeling like I'm being held down and forced, and I start to get panicky, and it will get worse if I let my imagination wander.

There are things about breastfeeding I really like, however, so it all balances out for me. It's just the overnights that convince me I'm going to nightwean.

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#24 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 12:48 AM
 
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theatremum, i really appreciate you being honest about how you feel. to you.
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#25 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 03:36 AM
 
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:

I don't like it much either. I used to, with babies #1 and #2. Probably because I'm fighting hard to bf 100% instead of only part time with my first two (supply issues and I returned to work at 3 months b/c dh had been laid off for a year). Now it's endless days of nursing, trying dom, a variety of herbs, pumping, using the SNS. Anything and everything to get her only mm. But in exchange, she either uses her hands to scratch, pinch, pull at my chest, SNS string around my neck, shirt or she'll suck so lightly that it ends up taking forever to nurse. She also gets very unhappy when I pull her off to burp and cries. All the while trying to take care of two very active toddlers.

Her latch still is not the best after 4 months, so we usually have to adjust it a few times during the session. It's not fun, not joyful, it's frustrating. But I do it because I want what's best for her, not what's easy for me.

Thank you for being honest. I thought I was the only one here that struggled with feelings like that.

I've actually thought once or twice posting with a title just like yours on one of my bad days, but you beat me to it.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#26 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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I don't hate it, but I did find the early days hard...I wasn't feeling all warm and fuzzy with it, just felt pain(my let down was sooo strong), felt messy (I leaked a lot, especially at night) and felt tied down, unable to get anything done. Now I'm feeling the pain of getting bitten by my teething 15 mnth old and having her endlessy pinch twist and pull the nipple she's not eating from...I just bought a nursing necklace...may it get here soon!
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#27 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 12:19 PM
 
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I have no real advice to give but to you.

I can offer this:
I hate nursing bras. I have a few (I live near Motherwear, and until last week they had a factory outlet near here, so the bras were cheap), but I still wear and nurse in my regular bras--even my red satin underwire pushup bra. I'm pretty busty even when not nursing, so when I find a bra that fits I don't let go.
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#28 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 12:28 PM
 
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Sometimes when I am feeling really frustrated or ovewhelmed by some aspect of mothering it is a signal to me that I need a break. Maybe a night out with some friends would be a good idea.
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#29 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
But it was better than the forty minutes of faint sucking that was literally driving me insane.
Oh, I hate that suck suck suck-long pause-suck suck suck... and then if you sloooowly try to sneak your nipple out of their mouths WAAAAHHHHH! And with my kids they do this on just the nipple, not a good actual latch so my nipples are soooo sore for a couple hours every morning. Pretty annoying.
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#30 of 41 Old 08-10-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraSusan

Still, I nursed her for two years. And managed to wean very gently. I found getting rid of the night time nurse saved my sanity. Instead of nursing her to sleep, I would nurse her, get her tummy full, then bundle her up and take her outside for a walk.
Theatremum, I was afraid of getting flamed but I did want to suggest this too. I have read several moms say that night weaning saved their sanity. If that could make your BFing relationship more pleasant, it might be worth it. It would be better than what's going on now, being so resentful, even if you are good at hiding it.
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