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Old 03-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #1
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So....I hate breastfeeding :(

Okay, step slowly away from any pitchforks or flaming torches

My Bean is now 8months, she was EBF for the first 5, then introduced to cereals and purees at 5 months (out of necessity because she refused pumped milk while I was at work...she wanted the boob...and only the boob). Luckily, she took to solids well, and she now eats a bit of whatever we eat a meals. She is still b/fed though (few times throughout the day, especially if she's sleepy/grumpy) and a LOT (!!!!!) at night (when I am home more). Like...sometime at night (overnight) she is up every 20 minutes to 1 hour to nurse. I KNOW she's doing it 90% (or more) of the time just for comfort but it's driving me NUTS *hides*

Now, when I found I was preggo I was SO excited at the chance to bf. I'm 100% a full on supporter of extended breastfeeding. My intention was to just EBF her until a year, then do BLW and just let her wean off the breast when she was ready. Well, that plan has QUICKLY changed.

The first 8 weeks were rough (obviously hahaha) but it wasn't until about 13 weeks that we got good a breastfeeding....and I have YET to hit any point in our breastfeeding relationship where I have those warm fuzzy feelings everyone seems to talk about :/ I feel TERRIBLE...but I HATE breastfeeding. There are moments where I'm cool with it, and have brief periods of enjoyment (usually during the day, when she's NOT pinching my nipples or clamping down or getting distracted every 2 seconds and turning her head with my nipple still in her mouth). I like that it's good for her, and it calms her....but that's about the only thing that has kept me going. During the night I get SO overtouched sometimes I just want to scream. I'm literally gritting my teeth and thinking "dear lord, just stop nursing and go to sleep". She won't let anyone other than me put her to bed (she co-rooms with us, usually co-sleeps about 1/2 the night since she's nursing that much...when she finally drifts off enough I have a rock n play right next to the bed she sleeps in). So, I'm stuck on nightly duty all the time (a couple times my hubby tries to help, but she just ends up screaming until she gets mom *sigh*).

I guess all this wouldn't be so bad on its own, but she's 100% a textbook high needs baby, she wants to be carried (by me, not dad) all the time, she wants to be next to me all the time. When I get home from work (I don't work long shifts, like 4-6 hours, 4-5 times a week), if I walk in and don't immediately pick her up, we have a full-blown meltdown.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for: advice, support...both? haha I plan on at least bfing her 'til she's 1 year...but after that I think I'm throwing in the towel : / (we'll see how that goes haha, I have a feeling weaning is going to be interesting.....) I'm just praying the next baby (whenever we have another) will be a little more chill in the personality department. Phew! The end, thanks for reading all that!

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(



I can understand feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. And even though you say you hate breastfeeding, you also mention things that you enjoy and love so I don't think you actually hate it, but I do believe that you are frustrated with some things. That is normal. What you described sounded normal, to me. I hope that is reassuring.

Something that helped me, was to re-focus and remind myself that this doesn't last forever and it really will pass. It also helped me to try to see the glass half-full instead of half-empty, kwim? For example, I am so grateful that I can meet LO's needs and comfort him because I know some people who have babies who just cry for hours a day/night and they cannot comfort or calm them down (I'm talking about older babies, not little ones with colic, etc.) so at least I can rest, if not sleep well. I'm also grateful that he is being breastfed because high-needs babies have been shown to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and tend to have more anxiety and fearful behavior. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce this and that is so beneficial for them, developmentally. It helps them slowly learn how to self-regulate. But it can't be forced. Self-regulation/self-soothing happens when they are developmentally ready; not necessarily when we are ready for them to be less needy.

I like this quote from Dr. Sears. It really encouraged me to keep being patient and loving with LO, even when I was tired and wanted a break.

"It is a natural, appropriate, and desirable part of development for a baby to be dependent. A baby needs to have needs. A baby who's forced into independence (to become a self-soother) before his time misses the needs stage. A baby needs first to learn to bond to people before things. If a baby can't have needs, who can? If the parents can't fill those needs, who will?" - Dr. Sears book "The Baby Book"

What really frustrated me was all the people that told me that he didn't need to nurse at night and that their little ones of the same age were sleeping on their own, or didn't need to be held, or played by themselves, or whatever other comparison I heard that seemed to indicate that my child was not normal. He is normal. Your little girl is normal, too. I think it is actually a beautiful thing that she feels comfortable and safe enough with you to let you know, at any time, what she needs and to feel secure knowing that she can rely on your closeness to comfort her. That is something really precious, IMHO.

I'm sorry that you don't feel like breastfeeding is what you thought it should or would be. I don't think anything is wrong with you. I think breastfeeding is a beautiful bond between mother and child, but like any relationship, it has its ups and downs and I think all good relationships take a lot of work. Day in and day out, working at it to make it wonderful - that can seem tedious and maybe took some of the magic out of it for ya. That is understandable.

As far as the behaviors that are bothering you that your LO does while nursing, there are some good tips to try to make that better for ya. Kellymom has some great suggestions that really helped me. I really like this kellymom link, too! I don't know if you have heard of, or read this book, but "The No Cry Sleep Solution" book has some good suggestions for encouraging little ones to sleep without the nipple in their mouth all night. Maybe something in there would help you.

To add some encouragement, I just want to add that it does get better. Even if you do nothing to change her habits at night, she will eventually not need to be attached all the time. I have a friend that her LO was like this, too, and when she was about 13 months old, she just suddenly started STTN (all night long!) without waking or needing the boob. A few weeks later, she started getting her molars in and she began waking to nurse again, but she only woke once or twice during the night and would go back to sleep after nursing for a few minutes. I guess what I am trying to say is that its hard to see what things will be like further down the path, but things always change, so don't feel like it will be hard like this forever.

The last thing I want to add is that now that my LO is 14 months old, I really, I mean, REALLY enjoy breastfeeding him! It is so different than when he was a baby. Nursing a toddler is a totally different experience and it is really fun and really sweet. My little guy will give my chest kisses after he nurses, almost like he is saying "thank you". And when he is sad or cranky, nursing him instantly makes things all better and puts him in a better mood - like hitting the "reset button". I love how he holds my boob while nursing and sometimes he will gently massage it, like he is doing breast compressions to get more milk. He will also rub or pat my chest while he nurses and will sometimes "talk" while his mouth is full of boob, which sounds so funny and we both giggle. He understands more and more every day and I am really enjoying all the experiences we have with nursing. I still love nursing him to sleep at night and at nap times. I swear this is a gift to mothers!

I know that breastfeeding is so much more than antibodies and good nutrition. I can tell by the way my LO snuggles up to me whenever I offer to nurse him. I can tell by the way he relaxes and calms down, that it has a gentle, soothing effect on him.

I'd encourage you to try to modify the behavior that is bugging you most, have a little patience, and see how you feel in a few more months when your LO is a year. You may find that things have changed for the better and that you enjoy it enough to want to keep going.

Sorry for the novel of a response! There were just so many things you mentioned and its so much more complex than just giving a "Oh, I'm sorry. It'll get better. " ya know? I hope what I shared wasn't offensive, in any way. I only hoped to be encouraging and supportive. I think all breastfeeding mamas need that. Breastfeeding is such a journey and it changes so much from day to day and week to week that it is hard to predict what will happen. I think its good to stay open-minded, lest you miss out on something you would have enjoyed with your LO. Best wishes!
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

I think everyone has moments where they need to vent on bfing! Mine are usually at night when DS is crabby and won't let anyone else comfort him for more than 10 minutes meaning the house stays messy and I don't get to take a shower till everyone else is in bed. I might be going crazy too if my DS woke up that much at night! He sometimes will only go to sleep at night if he gets to nurse in bed with me but after he falls asleep he stays asleep through most of the night. All I can say is I hope it gets better for you! Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry, mama. I don't have any advice. DD is 10.5 mo and I've liked BF since we really got the hang of it around week 8.

As for the holding/carrying thing, we had that problem, too. Though she still has a strong preference for me, I went out of my way to help DH find a carrier that was comfortable for the both f them, and encouraged him to wear her often, until she got used to him.

Even if you wean cold turkey the day she turns 1, you will have still given her a great start. Don't beat yourself up. Every mama and every babe is different. You're making a big sacrifice as is. Do the best you can for as long as you can, and if you're "done" before she is you certainly won't be the first (or the last) mama to initiate weaning.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

Thank you for the first response...I enjoyed reading it! Reading something like that makes me look forward to when my little guy gets a bit older.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

thank you EVERYONE especially love the 1st response! I will have to pick up No Cry Sleep Solution (I may have it already actually haha) and read those articles. I really think my biggest beef is the evening neediness because I just wanna sleep. Even just a solid 6 hours I would be thrilled!
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

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Originally Posted by bsmcmackin View Post
Thank you for the first response...I enjoyed reading it! Reading something like that makes me look forward to when my little guy gets a bit older.
Aw, I'm glad! It really is fun nursing a toddler. They are so sweet and completely random which leads to lots of good times. Your LO will do his own unique, cute little things that will make you giggle and fall in-love all over again.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #8
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

I feel where you're coming from; it sounds like my DD was a lot like your's (though she wasn't interested in food at all until 11 months), and it was hard. I have to say that I have never liked BFing for the first year or so; sometimes it was okay, but I generally don't like it. That said, I've nursed my DD and DS until they were right about 2yo, because it was important to me to BF them for a year, and then after that it got easier; they are just less dependent at that age. But it might just be that you don't like BFing, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. BFing for that first year is really important to me, and so I have stuck it out twice, and will a third time - but I accept that I'm not going like it, and that makes it easier, IMO.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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What about 1 bottle before bed to give you a break? I have btdt with a high needs nursing baby and it gets hard. It sounds like you might need a little break somehow or someway. Maybe you just need a break from one feeding?
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: So....I hate breastfeeding :(

From your post I think you're more frustrated with the waking at night rather than just breastfeeding. Perhaps if you find a way to encourage your baby to sleep for longer periods at night and to fall asleep without nursing, breastfeeding won't be so frustrating. I'm sorry I'm not much help, while I don't love breastfeeding I don't mind it and my baby is a good sleeper. Sleep really makes things better.
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