feeling resentful, shameful that I don't think I want to BF - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 4 day old newborn; I'm fully capable of working out bf-ing; I nursed my other children for 1 1/2 and 2 years each and worked through all the typical challenges that come with it.  But I feel so ashamed and embarassed to say that I really don't want to nurse my new baby. My only reason (though important reason) for doing it is for the health benefits.  I otherwise hate the feeling of a baby hanging on me and only wanting me for food and I just hate that I feel that way.  I have 2 older kids that I really struggle to take care of; they're very high needs and need constant within-arms-reach supervision as they are very self-destructive, and I feel that during nursing sessions, I either neglect the older kids putting them in harms way, or I am neglecting the baby by not giving her full, peaceful attention and feeling inconvenienced to have to stop everything and sit for a half hour.

on top of it, I don't know if she's not latching well (from what I can see it looks ok) but she goes through phases of wanting to feed constantly but once the nipple's in she just sits there and won't suck, or will pull off in frustration, and I'm now bleeding on both sides. I know there's a whole process I could go through to fix it all, but I feel like I don't have it in me and I really want to give up and give her a bottle.  But I feel bad that giving a bottle of formula is something I view as giving up, when it's still a perfectly acceptable way to nourish a baby. I feel like switching to formula would be failing myself and my newborn, but I feel like continuing nursing will make me a bad mom, in my situation.

I'm not sure what kind of response I hope to get. I just don't know who to vent to about it.


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#2 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 06:54 AM
 
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I"m sorry mama-- that is tough! Here are my thoughts:

 

First, be gentle with yourself-- this is a tough transition you are going through; and your baby is only 4 days old!  Second, the thing that really comes through in your post is that you need help and rest. It's friday, do you think you could maybe get some help with your older kiddos this weekend? I also found that nursing would physically drive me crazy when I hadn't gotten enough to eat or drink. And finally-- from your post, you seem like a thoughtful, loving, caring mom. No matter what you decide, you shouldn't feel like a bad mom. Big hugs from texas!

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#3 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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hug.gif I certainly understand the temptation to take an easier route - or at least what seems easier. I'm expecting baby #2 in July and have serious reservations about how my two year old will adjust and how I'll get through the day with a newborn in tow. I EPd for 10 weeks for my healthy, term baby two years ago and although the pumping was hard, bottles were a hassle too. So much washing and hassle to go anywhere and I didn't even mix formula: I had to supplement a little here or there so I got a few ready to drink cans. I could immediately tell when DD had any formula recently by gasiness and foul poo that was harder to clean and tolerate. I'm NOT trying to convince you to keep nursing if you're at the end of your rope. I'm just relating my experience of how much easier it was to nurse in the long run. Once DD got the hang of nursing, she quickly got very good at it and could drain both breasts in 5-10 minutes. The newborn days are so hard but if you can manage, try not to make a decision right now. If you can give it time, in a few weeks you may find that things are less difficult - and if they aren't you can always stop at that point. I'd absolutely work on that latch though, it may improve things a lot very quickly. A good, experienced LC was a lifesaver for me but you may not need one at least until you've tried some of your own tricks. I keep reading that posterior tongue tie can be notorious for being hard to find, for instance. If you're on your feet a lot with your older kiddos, it may be good to nurse baby in a carrier so you have free hands. I haven't tried that at all with DD but will certainly try with the newborn. Again I'm not saying BF at all costs but the bottle LOOKS easy and convenient if you don't have experience with it. Think of BFing long term and what raising a young toddler is like without it. I hope things ease up for you and whatever you decide to do, I hope it's something that works for you and your family
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#4 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 11:27 AM
 
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I think the best thing about bottle feeding is being able to hand off the feeding responsibilities to someone else.
It sounds like that won't be the case. You will just have to add cleaning, prepping, buying formula, etc to your routine. Waking at night to fix a bottle.
Not to mention the added expense of formula.
you will still have to make time to feed the baby and there is no saying that the baby won't take as long or have the same issues, if tongue tied, etc

I nurse cause it is easier. I have no other adult to help me. I thinkn you might just be in a hard place either way. That was a big reason my kids are spaced far apart. I knew it would be more than I could handle.

I would suggest getting help for the older two before stopping nursing

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#5 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

I"m sorry mama-- that is tough! Here are my thoughts:

 

First, be gentle with yourself-- this is a tough transition you are going through; and your baby is only 4 days old!  Second, the thing that really comes through in your post is that you need help and rest. It's friday, do you think you could maybe get some help with your older kiddos this weekend? I also found that nursing would physically drive me crazy when I hadn't gotten enough to eat or drink. And finally-- from your post, you seem like a thoughtful, loving, caring mom. No matter what you decide, you shouldn't feel like a bad mom. Big hugs from texas!


This, exactly. Definitely seek out more help. A newly postpartum mom should not have to care for the older kids while also caring for her newborn. It's too much. No wonder you feel overwhelmed! I agree with Texmati that you shouldn't feel like a bad mom no matter what you ultimately decide. But, and this is just realistic and not coming from a "lactivist" place at all, it's true what a PP said about bottle feeding likely being more difficult rather than less, especially after the first few weeks.

 

When my second was born, the thing that helped me the absolute most was when DH or someone else would take my older child out of the house. Having that alone time, where all I needed to do was feed myself and the baby and rest, was so vital. If there's any way you can hook that up, that will help you a lot, I think. And maybe a LLL meeting or LC to get help with your latch? The in-person support might just be nice emotionally anyway.

 

Big hugs!


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#6 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, here.

thanks for the support and suggestions. This morning, the baby vomited quite a bit, and after showing it to the nurse and ped. at our regular check-up, they quickly concluded that it was my own blood that she had taken in while nursing. Little vampire! That kind of sealed my decision to at least give myself a day or two off for my body to heal. Her weight was way down too. I'm hand-expressing to relieve engorgement and to keep things stimulated, without my nipples having to be bothered. I gave her some formula, which she took down in 2 minutes, instead of an hour-long battle which was nice. I'm going to try to express into a bottle next time so she can still get my milk, though not as much comes out with just hand-expression at the moment. 

I should have clarified in my first post that my resentful feelings while nursing have held true during my 3.5 years of feeding my boys; not exclusive to this postpartum period, and handling my 2 boys was a struggle before the baby too, its not just part of a new adjustment. so even though my babes only 4 days old, the environment and feelings are business as usual, shes just joining in as an innocent victim.

So, I guess I'm keeping my options open at the moment the best I can.  I feel a lot better though that I can rest, and that she seems to be getting more fluids for now at least. I'll try getting her back on the breast later tonight or tomorrow.


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#7 of 8 Old 04-07-2013, 04:59 PM
 
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If you google bottle nursing there are some websites out there with proper bottle feeding technique. 2 minutes seems very quick to consume food. Babies need to learn how to use their tounge to plug the nipple which is very different from tounge action of milking. If the liquid in the bottle is held so that gravity pulls it down (as opposed to baby sucking it out) then baby must swallow so they can get the liquid out of their mouth to breathe. The swallow creates suction pulling more liquid from the bottle. The baby must continue swallowing until the bottle is drained because they can't stop the flow with their tounge nor turn their head away.
Other things to look for that baby is overwhelmed by the feeding are eyes open wide and hand open. The website I'm. Thinking of has good pictures as its kinda subtle and hard to describe.
It sounds like no matter what breast or bottle your baby needs her suck and oral motor skills checked out. There could be a medical reason but you could check by seeing how long it takes her to feed from a bottle held parallel to the ground.
I also recommend a good carrier. Baby will have more time with you while you chase the older ones and you don't have to worry about the quality of that time. I doubt our hunter gatherer ancestors had much time to spend sitting and cuddling as opposed to just making it through the day - just like us!
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#8 of 8 Old 04-07-2013, 06:24 PM
 
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Op, do you have a moby wrap or ring sling handy? If so, they are are a lifesaver with nursing. I totally get what you're saying...I'm one of those moms that truly dislikes nursing. I hate my boobs being pulled on, having something demanded of me constantly, all while trying to take care of jealous siblings. It's really tough. The PP mentioned our hunter gatherer ancestors and I think they got through it all by way of communal living. Someone was always there to help out with older kids or be a wet nurse. The way we live is pretty counter intuitive to natural living. Do you have family or friends who could take your older boys for a few days? Or a day? Would you feel comfortable taking them to a Mother's Day out program or a drop in daycare? Not ideal, but even if you decide to not nurse, you could at least get some alone time with your newborn. I want to validate that you are in a really tough situation and need help. Too much pressure on mamas to take care of everything, and it really is impossible. Methinks you might enjoy your nursing relationship a bit more if you had someone to help with your boys and your home. Good luck mama, and please remember that no mother is perfect and we all do the very best we can.
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