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Anyone planning not to breastfeed?


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#1 Beancat

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

Hi, I know this is a sensitive topic, but I am considering not breastfeeding after the first few days.  My reasons are long and varied and include, previous hospitalistion for mastitis, prone to nipple and breast thrush, scaring from mastitits has left one breast unable to produce more than about 20ml and reasonably severe bout of PND after no2.

So hence for my physical and mental well being I am considering this.  Has anyone done this and got any advice about the best way to wean after a few days?

I don't want to hear about breast is best.  Agree its best when it works, but after two attempts it is not best in my situation and the relationship with my baby.  I just want to hear from others who may be considering it and others who have done it and any advice you may have.
TIA

#2 Guest_Marquise_*

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

I'm considering not doing it because of a really scary family-wide history of severe (really really severe) PND strongly related to sleep-deprivation. Every single woman in my family who has breastfed has had this, and those who have bottle-fed and hence shared the sleep-deprivation load more equitably with their partners have not. I also know myself too well - a traumatic breast-feeding experience, coupled with all the immense, terrible pressure I'm under from everyone else to breastfeed until baby is 2 would actually be something I wouldn't cope with at all. Nor is weeks of pain. I know that for me, a happy mother would be a much much better mother.

I'm overdue, and I don't have long to decide. It is very hard to find advice about this, though, when everyone I've spoken to just says 'don't buy bottles etc etc - you have to breastfeed or the baby will die/suffer/ be diseased/ you will be an unsuitable mother/ selfish witch'. And they do, and they have.

#3 Lifesgood

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

Never considered it personally, but I think your consideration of it is very valid - yours too Marquise. It's only one element of the enormous task of raising your child and you need to make a decision that suits the bigger picture.

All the best to both of you.

PS. Make sure you have figured out how you will deflect unwanted comments and questions in advance if this is likely to upset you.

#4 Sharlie2878

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

I had early supply issues so had to do formula feeding early on.  I was given a lot of advice about nipple confusion, but to this day my daughter will take a boob, bottle or dummy with no issue.  Her biggest confusion is whether she needs to tip whatever she is sucking on up in the air to get something out of it (god that hurts with teeth on your boob).  

From my very limited experience (supply was sorted all on its own once I stopped listening to people) I would suggest do what feels right.  I bought a little Medela bottle with a standard teat which worked perfectly for our newborn, but there are plenty of different shaped teats and it might just be a matter of buying a few and see which your baby prefers.  I will say from my perspective there was 'something' about the Medela bottle which felt comfortable for me, but I think it was just me, bub didn't care as long as something was in her mouth.

#5 Jo-Anna

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

All I know is that with the twins I am not 'planning' so much this time as taking each day as it comes. I don't want to put pressure on myself either way.

#6 opethmum

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

If you don't want to breast feed then that is up to you and no one else, buy the appropriate equipment and inform the appropriate people if you are planning a hospital delivery and let the midwife know in no uncertain terms that you plan to bottle feed from the get go and you would appreciate no pressure for you to breastfeed after the birth.
You may feel differently sure post birth and allow the first suckle etc.
If your family are pressuring you to breastfeed etc tell then to shove it in a nice way and you are being the best mother you can be and if bottle feeding your child helps you to be the best then who are we to judge you.
All the best for your delivery and I hope post birth is not too rough for you.


#7 hotchilliwoman

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

Hi BeancatI did this with my third child after so much difficulty feeding my first 2. I fed him the colostrum and then I think the third or fourth day we started with formula. Yes you will get people judging you but the important thing is to be confident in your decision. It is your baby, your breasts, you can choose. I loved bottle feeding him and to this day we have a super close bond because I enjoyed him so much as a baby. There was so much pain, expressing and crying involved with the first 2 that I think I forgot to enjoy them, I was so fixated on providing breast milk to them.And yes it's all anecdotal evidence but he is 11 now, super healthy (he's never even had antibiotics!) and is a talented athlete.Good luck

#8 Feral_Pooks

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

I would suggest finding a sympathetic GP. Mine was really understanding and helped me to wean with no problems, I didn't have any soreness or mastitis or anything, and I just told her I had tried everything and needed to make this decision or I would lose the plot. She said if her advice didn't work to come back and they can give you medication to dry up your milk.

IMHO, If you are happy to breastfeed in hospital I would just not mention it to them. Then just do it with GP support, and then advise the MCHN it is fait accompli... I'd like to tell you you would be supported in your choices but I do think there is a lot of variation between health providers and personally, I'd rather have one I trust to be supportive then take the gamble, unless you know a good MCHN from your previous kids.

As for me, I vacillate between really wanting to make breastfeeding work with the next baby, and wanting to just remove the nightmare which was bfing from the experience and find out what it like to enjoy a newborn. I totally, totally understand your choice OP.

Marquise, you could try seeing if breastfeeding is ok in hospital  and then you could ask for a referral for LC and mental health support. Some people find BFing is harmful for their mental health, some find it helpful. It's certainly a valid reason not to breastfeed but you might be different from your family members, it's about finding what is right for you and your baby. All my best!

#9 Sharlie2878

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:16 PM

As to unwanted comments and questions, my mother gave me 2 pieces of advice when I told her I was pregnant -

1 - Everyone will tell you what is best for your baby, but only you know what works for your whole family

2 - You don't have to be polite if they wont stop giving you unwanted advice, tell them to jam it whenever you need to

By the way our daughter at 11 months is showing a definite preference for alternative music (Cake's 'Short Skirt, Long Jacket' is her favourite song) so just be prepared as that may be the one 'side effect' of formula feeding they wont warn you about.

#10 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:26 PM

I started a similar thread a few weeks ago. I am expecting number 2 and still breastfeeding DS. He is a boobaholic and had completely worn me out with his constant feeding (and lack of sleep) day and night. Thankfully things have somehow dramatically changed in the last month and he has reduced his feeds and started sleeping better.

If things had kept going the way they were I would have FF the next child as even though I had no difficulty breastfeeding, It got to the point where I felt drained.

As it is, things have improved so I'm planning to comp feed the next one.

Your choice is completely valid. Breastfeeding can be hard, not just physically but emotionally as well. I am 100% completely over breastfeeding and would be happy to never do it again.

#11 Fluster

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:38 PM

I knew I was going to have to return to work early (went back when DS was 2 weeks due to financial issues) so formula feeding was always going to be on the cards.  DS had his first bottle at a week and was totally weaned by 12 weeks.  I never had any issues - like a PP my child could switch between bottle, dummy (which I introduced when he was less than 48 hours old) and breast without issue - except for one mild bout of mastitis.

I remember being told that the 'gold' formulas could cause tummy upsets in baby's that were being comp fed - not sure if this is actually a proven fact, and it was eleven years ago, so I'm sure formulas have changed!

I am TTC now and if successful, this child will also be comp fed.  I didn't like breastfeeding, despite being able to produce milk like a dairy cow.  The leaking, the hours of waiting for a child to feed, having to be around to feed the child, no sex drive... yuck.

#12 Ice Queen

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

Beancat, I can tell you my SIL's story.  Her first baby was just one those hard, hard, hard babies,  screamed nonstop, never took her breast despite the best efforts of the midwives.  The CYHN came to her house and had her in tears squishing her breast to the screaming baby until my brother kindly asked them to leave.  In 4 weeks he never once took her breast, she expssed non-stop in between feeds, he woke every 40mins and she just never got any sleep.  She took him to the paed at 4 weeks old when he was failing to thrive.  He basically marched her to the chemist to buy formula and bottles.  They never looked back.

2nd pregnancy.....twins!  Eeeek, she knew based upon her previous horrible experience she just didnt want to breastfeed.  She made a plan with her OB and paed not to breastfeed and was all organised.  The babies were born small but healthy, she had whatever the injection is so her milk never came in and from moment 1 they were formula fed.  They are now 22mo healthy, beautiful, active kids who caught up quickly to their 4 wk prem size.  

She said the best bit was noone could give her grief.  The deed was done and the pressure was gone.  No midwife is going to argue with the paed or the OB to their faces and with the milk never coming noone could give her the breast is best lecture as ......well......their was no milk!  She had so much more confidence with the twins and just says how much easier at all was even though it was twins!

Anyway just thought I would share that success story.  (I have simplified the 1st baby part of the story, there was a lot more to why breastfeeding didnt work but I cant remember the details....reflux and inverted nipples from memory). Do what works for you and NOONE else.  You bub will be fine either way.

Edited by Ehill, 01 February 2013 - 06:42 PM.


#13 Feral_Pooks

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

Ehill... Is your SIL me?? Oh wait, no twins. But dude... Eerie.

(please god, no twins...) Tounge1.gif

#14 Ice Queen

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

QUOTE (Pooks_ @ 01/02/2013, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ehill... Is your SIL me?? Oh wait, no twins. But dude... Eerie.

(please god, no twins...) Tounge1.gif


Yes, you WILL have twins Pooks......your DS is 'preparing' you!  That is what we tell SIL, her nightmare 1st bub was training for her twins, which she says seemed easy in comparison!  roll2.gif

So be prepared......... dev (6).gif

#15 Jem80

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

My Dd is 5 months old and I decided from mid way through the pregnancy that we would give a few days of colostrum then onto the bottle. This was because of wanting to go back onto medication for a mood disorder which is made worse with sleep deprivation.
Best advice was to keep ice packs in your bra to prevent your milk coming in, take nurofen and don't stimulate your breasts at all ( I.e turn away from the hot water stream in the shower).
I didn't face any negative comments, but I was pretty confident in this being the right decision for us.
Good luck

#16 TotesFeral

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

Hi OP,
Both DD and DS were BF for a few days and then put onto a bottle. Neither of them had any issues taking the bottle.
My milk did come in, I just used icepacks to help with the pain and took nurofen. They were only engorged for about 48 hours and then it took around 2 weeks for my milk to completely dry up.

If you have facebook there is a page called Bottle Babies and one called Fearless formula feeder that you can get helpful advice from.



#17 ~Oshani~

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

For me, I tried to bf my DS and we got to 8 weeks and my nipples were destroyed. I didn't have a lot of bf support at that point and I was an emotional wreck. So one morning I got up and went to the supermarket and bought everything I needed and put my DS straight on formula. I was much happier, despite a bit of guilt but I didn't have the constant pain etc and the worry hanging over my head. I have had 2 more bubbas and have been able to bf them but from the sound of it you have had a really tough time and I don't think it's worth the stress.

My Mum tried to bf me and she had many feeding issues like you. I wasn't gaining weight etc, so I was put onto formula. I have 2 younger brothers who my Mum decided to put straight onto formula. She took everything in to the hospital and was ready to go when they needed to be fed. She was given a tablet to stop her from producing milk and she said that it was such a relief to not have the stress. All the best with your decision Xx

#18 axiomae

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

Hi Beancat,

Don't feel that you need to decide what you want to do now - this isn't a decision that is urgent - you can always stop breastfeeding at any time. If you're planning on giving colostrum in the hospital then maybe just take it one day at a time. See how you go, you might have a dream feeder and really enjoy it! Hormones can do crazy things to you! If not, then you can always switch original.gif

Don't think that everything will be terrible with your LO, my DD was sleeping through with only one 3amish feed from the third week. It wasn't hard to breastfeed, and I wasn't more noticeably sleep deprived (following the birth recovery of course). I know that some people would kill for a sleepy baby like this, but my point is that you might be okay, and it might not be as bad as you think. Buy your bottles and formula, but you can always see how you go breastfeeding and if it doesn't work then switch later. You can't switch back is all.

Good luck with your birth and congratulations original.gif

ETA: second paragraph meant to be directed to Marquise with the sleep deprivation concerns - didn't specify that, but there you go!

Edited by axiomae, 01 February 2013 - 09:07 PM.


#19 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding DD, and chose to FF DS from birth, which worked very well for us. I took dostinex after he was born which stopped my milk coming in at all. To what's right for you OP original.gif



#20 Threelittleducks

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

I have a health condition where my specialist advised I only BF for 3 months max. I also had twins born early into special care.

We combined breast and formula feeding from the start, knowing that at three months I would exclusively formula feed (and use up any EBM I had managed to bank). I explained this to my lactation consultant and she was wonderful in helping me to commence a BFing relationship that worked for me. I tandem fed, used nipple shields, expressed, topped up with formula and also my husband did some formula feeds so that I could rest at night. The LC also provided information on weaning and the best way to do this at the three month mark.

So we had a wonderful, balanced combined BFing / formula feeding relationship that worked for our unique circumstances.

Our twins have never missed a beat. Never had nipple confusion. I was able to share the load with my husband (and others) and this helped managed the exhaustion of looking after twins.

We also used Medela bottles. I would recommend a strategy where your husband washes and sterilises the bottles at night while you rest. Boil the kettle every night and let it cool so you can pre-fill bottles for the entire 24 hour period with cooled boiled water every morning. Then just add the formula to the bottles immediately before feeding. If you always give the baby room temperature bottles, they will think this is normal and you will never have to heat bottles or refrigerate pre-prepared formula. Much easier in the middle of the night and when out. Also purchase the formula dispensers from the chemist. Pre-load them, so that in the middle of the night you are not counting out scoops, just open dispenser, pour into bottle and shake.

Also consider tricks like - DH does first feed of day, puts baby back to bed and then goes to work. You stay in bed until just before 2nd feed of day.  Let everyone know they can't call until after this time. In the evenings, it might work for DH to do the last feed at night, so you go to bed at 8pm, then don't have to get up to feed until 2am/ 3am (DH does 10pm feed). This way you will get some nice blocks of sleep. When I really needed a break, we would sometimes do both of these and I could sleep from 8pm - 2am and then from 3am to 8am. While DH would sleep from 11pm - 6am.

Best wishes in finding the strategy that works best for you.

#21 Freddie'sMum

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

Hi OP

Firstly you need to do what is best for you and baby which includes whether or not to breastfeed.

I'll tell you my story - DD#1 was born 4 weeks prem.  I tried very very hard to breastfeed her - basically she was tube fed, then in an incubator, then me expressing and / or trying to get her to take the breast.  Quite simply, it was too hard - it was too hard for her and it was too hard for me.

DD#2 was born - at full term and twice the weight of her big sister.  The only reason I managed to breastfeed her to 12 weeks (including a FF last thing at night) was because DH & I hired a private lactation consultant who came to our home and showed me HOW to breastfeed her.  Even then - I still struggled.

We did not go ahead and have baby number 3 - but - I did tell DH at the time that I would definitely consider NOT breastfeeding the next one simply because I was struggling so much with breastfeeding a baby for hours at a time - not getting any sleep - and then run around after a toddler during the day - it was too much.

I know that "breast is best" - my reaction to that is "it's not best for everyone" - it didn't work for me, I didn't enjoy it, I struggled so much to get any breastmilk into either of my babies, I expressed, I was attached to the sofa for hours on end, I used nipple shields and special pillows to put the baby on ......

You do NOT have to breastfeed - if you can, if you decide you want to try again - that's wonderful - but do NOT feel one ounce of guilt (which I did) because you can't / or it's too hard / or you are overwhelmed by it all.

Best wishes.





#22 lucky 2

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

If you decide you want to suppress lactation the article below is research based and thorough, your milk will come in no matter what you do (except if you take medication but it seems it is safer to suppress physiologically rather than with medication).
All the best.
http://www.bflrc.com/ljs/breastfeeding/dryupfst.htm

#23 Feral_Pooks

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

QUOTE (Ehill @ 01/02/2013, 08:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, you WILL have twins Pooks......your DS is 'preparing' you!  That is what we tell SIL, her nightmare 1st bub was training for her twins, which she says seemed easy in comparison!  roll2.gif

So be prepared......... dev (6).gif


But... Two of him... That's all I can think!!

#24 belindarama

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

You need to do what is right for you as well. I really struggled with the first one and he was on formula by 8 weeks. I exhausted myself expressing until then. He had never had a feed off the breast. It was a nightmare. I was on the verge of PND and hated being a mother.

DH came home with a sample of formula one Friday night so I could have a break. We never looked back and things improved for us immediately. We have a very strong bond that TBH I don't think we would have if I continued resenting him and the struggle I was caught up in. Bottle feeding was a snap compared to breastfeeding with him.

However, and this is mostly for you Pooks, number 2 fed perfectly from the first feed. I fed him for a year and then I had had enough but in that year I never had a single problem, no pain, not so much as a grazed nipple. And I loved it. It was so easy in comparison to bottle feeding. When it works it is great. if it doesn't it is awful.

I am fine with having done both. I just wish I had saved myself the heartache the first time round but I just didn't have the experience to know.

#25 Lil Chickens

Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

Beancat, good luck with your new baby.  All I can say it is your right to choose and you should own it.  By that I mean your post sounds like you are already getting ready to 'justify' your decision but you don't have to - it's your decision.  I hope you have good support from you DH and other family members.

FWIW I bf'd both my kids until 13mo and 16mo respectively BUT I have very few fond memories of their first six months.  They were demanding babies that were always on me.  DD would take her Gaviscon thickener (for reflux) from a bottle but very rarely a feed.  DS had about 3 bottles in his whole life, he just wouldn't suck anything but boob.

Despite my husband wanting a third I will never agree because of the bad memories I have of those first 6 months with both of them.  I had PND with both and truly think I might end up in a mental health ward if I had a third.  So if FF'g is best for you do it as that will make it best for baby.




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