Guilty

I breastfed my first till 2 yrs and the same with my second, I am now due my third and the thought of having to breastfeed again fills me with dread.
I only ever wanted to breastfeed for a few months and then switch to bottles to regain my independence but both times I have ended up being a dummy!
In the early days breastfeeding felt good, that I was giving my baby the best I possibly could but then they seem to become so attached I can’t break free from it. I just keep on doing it to keep the peace as otherwise nothing else would calm them.
Of late the feeling of it, the lack of sleep, everything the sensation of it really irritates me, can’t describe it but itchy/annoyed like arghh please just stop.
If I even begin to breastfeed my third I know I will still be sat there 2 years later and not sure if I would manage with it and I just want to be the best happy mum I can be but bottle feeding is so just so unnatural to me! I’m scared I will just feel so so guilty like I gave the others the best I could and not this one.

Any advice?

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I’m not a mum, but I do know that fed is best - in any way that’s comfortable for you, Mumma. Your baby will be fed, loved, and cared for either way. You’ll be giving them the best because you’re giving them you, no matter how you decide to feed them.

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Have you considered pumping your breast milk? That way baby can still get breast milk but it would be fed from a bottle so all the feeding responsibility doesn’t fall automatically on you.

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I think you absolutely need to put yourself first in this case because if you begrudgingly BF or feel like it’s something you don’t want to do it could easily affect your bond with baby and make you resent them. It’s for this exact reason that I exclusively formula fed my baby from day one.

If you want to alleviate your mum guilt I suggest you read this article about a study that was done comparing siblings where one was BF and the other FF across multiple markers of health and intelligence up to 14yrs of age. Turns out there was no difference whatsoever- in fact the FF outperformed the BF babies in some areas which they thought was perhaps just a statistical quirk but in any case it disproves the whole Breast is Best thing- showing that the environment, socioeconomic background & level of support available to the family a baby is born into is actually what makes the difference to outcomes in health and wellbeing in the vast majority of cases, not breast milk. Sibling Study Finds No Long-Term Breastfeeding Benefits For Kids | WBUR News

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You need to do what’s best for you. I breastfed my oldest son, but with my second I just couldn’t because of mental health issues. I felt like a worthless mother for not giving him the best I could, until I realized that a healthy and happy mother is just as important. With my third and fourth (twins) I only breastfed them for a short time, until I just felt that it wasn’t the right thing for me and my children.

Like @Emarkulics said, pumping your breastmilk could help to make you feel more in control and less dependent. But if you feel that breastfeeding isn’t the right thing for you, don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something you don’t want.

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Yes I desperately tried express but it didn’t flow quickly and I would be sat forever just to get half a bottle :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Yes definatley I think if I knew I could just do it for a few months/combi feed I wouldn’t think twice but I know ultimately it will go on for a long time.

[name_f]My[/name_f] oldest would get fed up with me constantly having to stop what we were doing so I could feed. I know trying to entertain two whilst full time feeding a third would be difficult.

I think the problem is at the moment is that as youngest has teeth the sensation irritates me combined with there isn’t that feeling of the milk being let down.

I will have a read of that article thank you.

I know deep down a happy mum is better than one who is worn out and exhausted.

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I feel like a happy, engaged mother is better over an irritated, uncomfortable one. If the thought of breast feeding again really irks you, I’d honestly recommend bottle feeding. [name_u]Happy[/name_u] mum= happy baby. They’ll be lots of pro breast feeding advocates who will encourage you to breast feed. You have to ask yourself is it at the cost of your mental health and potential lack of bonding with your baby?

There are many bottle fed babies who have grown up to be healthy, intelligent and thriving young adults. :blush:

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I don’t have any children but my SO grandmother was a health visitor. A health visitor checks on every new mother and baby after birth for several months to check how both are doing.

Granny would tell every new mother a fed baby and happy mother are best. If that means you bottle feed then bottle feed and don’t feel guilty for it. Being a new parent isn’t easy even if you have done it before and if bottle feeding is less stressful then that’s what is best for you.

[name_f]My[/name_f] SO was born prematurely and as a result struggled to latch on as premature babies have a habit of sticking their tongue on the roof of their mouths. Granny said to his mum (her daughter in law) try bottle feeding as you can see what he’s doing with his tongue. The result was a happy baby who turned into a 180cm tall man with two university degrees.

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[name_f]Lovely[/name_f] words, thanks everyone for the words of encouragement.

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2 things: I identify with the feeling of irritation. I was still breastfeeding my second when I got pregnant with my third, and it was an indication to me to finish weaning him when I started feeling annoyed with his nursing. Same thing–no letdown, my supply was drying up. I was pretty much only nursing him to sleep there at the end, so I started singing to him instead and weaning was quite easy. He seemed ready. He was 15 months.

Also, I AM breastfeeding my third; it’s what works for us, breastmilk is good, and there’s no formula to buy or bottles to wash!–and entertaining my toddler boys while nursing the baby has proven easy. In fact, they look forward to it, because there I am sitting down and can read books to them :slightly_smiling_face:

Best of luck with whatever you decide!

Thank you, yes its a weird irritation isn’t it but definatley a sign enough is enough!

I know if there had been a bigger gap between second and third I probably wouldn’t mind as much as I would of had time in-between.

When it comes to the actual time the only way I know how is to breastfeed so I may just end up doing it as I don’t really know where to begin with the whole bottle malarkey but we will see!

As others have said as long as baby is fed and cared for I’m going to try not get to wrapped up in it.

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