The end of our breastfeeding relationship... - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 26 Old 05-19-2008, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To the mothers out there who lovingly hold their darling sons and daughters while feeding them from a bottle, I am sorry.

To those mama's from whom I have averted my eyes in the Formula aisle in the baby store, I am sorry.

The disgust I showed when I saw that bottle peeking out of your diaper bag, I am so sorry.

I had no right to judge you personally based on your feeding decisions. I thought I was a lactivist but the truth was, I was just a self-righteous coward, unable to lend the grace and decency to a mom just trying to keep her baby healthy, happy, and satisfied.

I didn't know your situation. I didn't know why you had a bottle; all I knew was that you had a bottle and I judged you for that. I don't know what led to you having a bottle. Maybe you agonized like I am doing right now over the fact that my baby will no longer be hooked to me like an extension of my being.

Everyone has the freedom to choose and I chose to boastfully breastfeed until it was medically necessary for me to wean prematurely at 10 months. The ache I feel inside, the emptiness from knowing our breastfeeding relationship is coming to an end, I can now finally understand what some mamas have gone through in their struggle to feed their babies from the breast.

The thought of my sweet daughter taking a bottle of formula just two weeks ago would have turned my world upside down but now, it is truly what I must do.

I am a lactivist. Breastfeeding is wonderful. But I now understand that what I was doing to other mamas, even in my quiet thoughts, was an utter disgrace to the purpose and beauty of breastfeeding.

To all those other lactivists out there... please lend grace, mercy and understanding. Some of us truly want to breastfeed for an extended period of time but it just can't happen for one reason or another.
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#2 of 26 Old 05-19-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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So true... I am so sorry you have to stop nursing.

~Iris~ Catholic mama to DD1 11/15/05 * DD2 04/28/08 * brokenheart.gif06/23/2010 * and our little rainbow DS 10/07/11 love.gif
 

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#3 of 26 Old 05-19-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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It is a hard thing to give up.

If you would like to share with us your reasons to share, I would be glad to listen. Is it a certain medication you have to take? Sometimes doctors tell you that you have to wean, when in reality the medication is relatively safe to take while bfing. If that is the case, I or someone here would be happy to look up the medication in a good reference book for you.

If you don't want to share, that's OK too .

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#4 of 26 Old 05-19-2008, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is a series of medications that are very dangerous to a breastfeeding infant.

I consulted with everyone you're thinking of and we really do have to wean

I thank you for your offer.

Brittany
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#5 of 26 Old 05-19-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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any chance you could get some donor milk instead of using formula? Where do you live?

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#6 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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::

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#7 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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I am so sorry to hear that. I can sympathize with you. My almost 11 month girl is on a three week nursing strike so yeah I have to give her a bottle (it does have breast milk in it though) but I can understand the part of not physically nursing. It is an ache that just hurts deep down and to the core. But, please please know you did the VERY BEST you could. You gave her 10 months of good mama milk and that is a LOT considering a lot of women I know quit before 5 months. You made a very difficult decision and should be proud of the decision you made. You must need those medications to be healthy and by being healthy you are there for your LO. That is most important, even more important than breast feeding. Someone told me during my early days of the nursing strike that breast feeding is ONLY just a small part of your relationship with your LO. You have those memories to share and cherish. I would look into Milkshare (I personally don't know that much about it, but other mamas on here do, so someone help me out here) and see if you can get donor milk if you are interested. Please take care of yourself!
HUGS!
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#8 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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#9 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. So very sad for you. I'm facing this decision myself-- to go on a medication I desperately need to be healthy again, so that I can take adequate care of my kids, or continue nursing. I'm at 15 months and I desperately want to get to 2 years, but if I relapse one more time I may have no choice other than to decide to try the drugs. And after going over all the evidence, the risk for the babies is just too much for me to chance. So there you go. And I've been putting it off for so long-- it was January when we realized that my current meds and diet aren't enough, but here it is May and I have yet to make a decision.

So I really feel for you. I fought so hard to breastfeed these two and got through so many difficulties, all the time chronically sick and falling apart physically. To give up now is so defeating.

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#10 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you have to stop breastfeeding.

Remember that parenting doesn't end with weaning. You've got years of snuggly "nursing" moments left, even if you have to use a "nurser bottle" instead of your breasts.

Your baby needs a healthy mama more than she needs breastmilk.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#11 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'm so sorry you have to stop breastfeeding.

Remember that parenting doesn't end with weaning. You've got years of snuggly "nursing" moments left, even if you have to use a "nurser bottle" instead of your breasts.

Your baby needs a healthy mama more than she needs breastmilk.
:

So well said, Ruthla.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I'm so sorry you have to stop breastfeeding.

Remember that parenting doesn't end with weaning. You've got years of snuggly "nursing" moments left, even if you have to use a "nurser bottle" instead of your breasts.

Your baby needs a healthy mama more than she needs breastmilk.


YES! YES! YES!! Well said Ruthla! Every baby needs a healthy mama. And how dare anyone judge another without knowing what is going on. I am guilty of this too. It has been so clear to me that letting go of the judgement is the only way to help women and children. Women need to unite and support each other instead of fighting with one another. I do my best to provide products (Soothies and Lanolin) and support to my expecting mom friends. I am also there for my friends that have tried everything they could and for whatever reason--it didn't work for them. Have any of you been around a woman that has tried her best to breastfeed and it isn't working for them? It is heartbreaking (on many different levels).

I have a very natural friend who could not breastfeed b/c of a medication she required. She did try for as long as she could and landed in the hospital. She and her baby deserved to be healthy and well, so they lovingly chose to give alternative feeding. She would have ABSOLUTELY breastfed if she could have. It brings me to tears to think of all of the judgement she has had thrown her way.

To the OP. Thank you for posting this. Thank you for making the realizations. I am so sorry you have to give up nursing from your breast. My heart aches for you and I also support you. Best of luck!

Healing Mama to :
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#13 of 26 Old 05-20-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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I am SO sorry you have to end this relationship with your nursling. I too had to end my nursing relationship with my son before we were ready. He was much older than your lo, but we just weren't ready yet and it was really very hard for both of us. The medications I was taking made me healthy again, and made me be able to be a mama to my son.

Sending our love!!!!
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#14 of 26 Old 05-21-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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Thank you so much for posting this! I am so guilty of judging other mamas for bottle feeding because I'm so pationate about breastfeeding, but your post put me in my place and I needed that.
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#15 of 26 Old 05-25-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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Very beautifully said.

I, too, was very judgmental . . .until I had my 2nd DD. My 1st wasn't easy to teach to nurse, but she never suffered, though I did. I thought since I did it--hard as it was-- why couldn't everyone?

My 2nd was a different story . . .terribly slow weight gain, started losing the sucking reflex, and all that. Even LLL thought there was little hope. I became the Mom With The Bottle. I remember seeing a mom nurse her lo while I used a bottle. I wondered-- what was she thinking? Could I run over and tell her my struggles? I was so fiercely envious, so sad, so humbled. We finally made BFing work, but to this day it feels like a miracle.

My 3rd DD also taught me a lesson. She was SO EASY to nurse. She was the textbook nurser . . .nice, wide latch . . .fell asleep in that milky haze. I also learned from her: if women only have had these textbook nursers, they will never, ever, ever, EVER "get" what it feels like to struggle. They won't get why everyone does not BF . . .it seems so easy! But, at a time when you, as a new mom (for the 1st or 5th time) are so vulnerable, worrying about how you are going to feed your baby is one of the most difficult things to get through with an otherwise healthy baby.

As for the closeness . . .one of my dear friends has bottlefed her babies, and truly, she and her children are one of the most bonded families I've ever met. She's always done it with love and caring, and that is what will come through with your own children.

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#16 of 26 Old 05-25-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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I also learned from her: if women only have had these textbook nursers, they will never, ever, ever, EVER "get" what it feels like to struggle
This is SO TRUE
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#17 of 26 Old 05-25-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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I had to wean my youngest at 10 months and it still breaks my heart 2 years later. I am a hardcore lactivist and I know that there are babies out there that are breastfed because of me but not being able to nurse past 10 months felt like such a failure to me.

I understand.
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#18 of 26 Old 05-25-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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So true. I formula fed my first baby, after attempting and failing at BFing.
Your daughter had a whole year of breastfeeding. How many babies can say that? You did so good mama.
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#19 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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... To all those other lactivists out there... please lend grace, mercy and understanding. Some of us truly want to breastfeed for an extended period of time but it just can't happen for one reason or another.
Thanks for posting. This is something we should all be reminded of.

It sounds like the course of medication you are taking will make impossible to continue nursing. However, depending upon how long you will be on it perhaps you could pump and dump and try to resume nursing once you are done with the medication.

I realize this may be impractical, if not completely impossible. But I just wanted to throw it out there. Some older babies still retain their nursing skills or are able to re-learn them.

No pressure, just something to think about.

In any case, please know how lucky your DC is to have had 10 months of momma's milk. Not that it's a competition, but it is worth noting that is still a realitvely rare BF'ing landmark in our bottle feeding culture.

~Cath
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#20 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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I don't want to commandere this thread, but I am feeling very similarly about my quickly fading nursing relationship and all the horrible, snarky remarks I made under my breath to those moms who were bottle feeding their babes. I feel like a terrible, terrible mommy! I'm 15 weeks pregnant with dc #2, and have noticed that my supply has been dropping, but never would consider using formula to supplement. DD (11.5 months) just nursed and nursed until I was in agony. And finally, we had a day, about 3 days ago, where dd had no wet diaper! I was floored. I told dh, I have to do something, so I tried to get water into her to no avail. She had been super fussy for the last couple of weeks, which I chalked up to her new tooth cutting in. But 3 days ago, I broke down and bought some soy formula for her. I almost cried as she guzzled down the entire bottle- she had NEVER taken a bottle before, EVER! And now, she still wants to nurse but since there is no milk she nurses for about 5 minutes and then cries. I make her a bottle and she is the happiest little darling ever! She is a totally different child. I feel lost and confused about how I want this to go. It would be a prime time to wean her completely from the breast, but I had planned on self-led weaning. I guess I don't know whether to let her continue to nurse, and continue with the soy, and then when my milk supply re-ups in a few months go back to bf-ing with the occasional solids mixed in for good measure or what. I'm very torn.

Thanks for posting this. I truly have an understanding for what non bfing moms might be going through now. And I'm sorry you are having to give up your bfing relationship sooner than you had wanted!
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#21 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 10:26 PM
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I don't want to commandere this thread, but I am feeling very similarly about my quickly fading nursing relationship and all the horrible, snarky remarks I made under my breath to those moms who were bottle feeding their babes. I feel like a terrible, terrible mommy! I'm 15 weeks pregnant with dc #2, and have noticed that my supply has been dropping, but never would consider using formula to supplement. DD (11.5 months) just nursed and nursed until I was in agony. And finally, we had a day, about 3 days ago, where dd had no wet diaper! I was floored. I told dh, I have to do something, so I tried to get water into her to no avail. She had been super fussy for the last couple of weeks, which I chalked up to her new tooth cutting in. But 3 days ago, I broke down and bought some soy formula for her. I almost cried as she guzzled down the entire bottle- she had NEVER taken a bottle before, EVER! And now, she still wants to nurse but since there is no milk she nurses for about 5 minutes and then cries. I make her a bottle and she is the happiest little darling ever! She is a totally different child. I feel lost and confused about how I want this to go. It would be a prime time to wean her completely from the breast, but I had planned on self-led weaning. I guess I don't know whether to let her continue to nurse, and continue with the soy, and then when my milk supply re-ups in a few months go back to bf-ing with the occasional solids mixed in for good measure or what. I'm very torn.

Thanks for posting this. I truly have an understanding for what non bfing moms might be going through now. And I'm sorry you are having to give up your bfing relationship sooner than you had wanted!
Be prepared for her to not come back to the breast. If you are able to continue without too much pain, I suggest doing this.
Good luck Mama!
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#22 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 10:28 PM
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It is a series of medications that are very dangerous to a breastfeeding infant.

I consulted with everyone you're thinking of and we really do have to wean

I thank you for your offer.

Brittany
If it is only for a month or so, you can re-lactate and then try to offer again.
Congratulations on making as long as you could Mama.
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#23 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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mama.

I had to exclusively pump for my first and it looks like we may end up there with my second as well. I HATE it and I have gone through hell to try to BF. If I do end up EPing, I fear the judgment of others. Thank you for reminding.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#24 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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Brittany,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have to start chemo soon and will have to wean my 15 month old daughter. I am beyond heartbroken and truly do feel your pain, as it is my own.

Good for you for giving her all you could! Take care.
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#25 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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to all the mamas out there who are having serious medical issues. You are in my thoughts.

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#26 of 26 Old 05-27-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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Excellent words. There was SO much going on in my early days of breastfeeding and parenting in general that taught me to NOT JUDGE, but a reminder like yours is so powerful and important.

Thank you.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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