I felt guilt when I couldn't BF DD.
I would say that most of my guilt came from two areas. Concern about what other people would think of me, and also overplaying (in my mind) the benefits of BF.
I don't intend with that latter comment to get in to a debate about the various virtues of BF and FF, but my opinion about the benefits of BF has changed since that time. I believe it to be 'optimal' as is often stated, but I think I had an exaggerated regard (back then) for the health differences that it would make to DD.
Now, with a 2nd baby imminent, I will try to BF again but do not believe I will feel guilty if I don't succeed. I believe that I now have a more realistic understanding of the processes involved, and I don't think that the benefits of BF are as significant as I previously did.
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06-06-2013 15:34 #41Senior Member
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- Oct 2009
06-06-2013 16:24 #42
Thanks everyone for your interesting responses! I am pro-choice. I am also pro do whatever the hell works for YOU! I am happy to see ffers proud of their choices
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07-06-2013 22:57 #43
Girl X that is exactly how I feel about FF now.
07-06-2013 23:58 #44
I bf'd bubs for 31 days, then on the last day he was in hospital, I admitted defeat that I couldn't keep up with his voracious appetite and mixed fed with formula from then on, pumping milk for 17m despite getting not a great deal. I was, at the start, sad tha he was not to be the bf baby I'd hoped, but determined to give him what milk I could, even if not straight from the boob. I tried supplements, fenugreek, blah blah I tried it, and I was lucky I could provide some milk. I am proud I gave it my all, and that as a confirmed bf'er, I didn't feel guilty about supp feeding. I did, thoug, feel like maybe I ccould have tried harder, maybe if I fed or pumped more often or something, I'd have had more milk. Even though I didn't feel guilt and was happy with my 'choice' to supp feed, I still felt the need to explain and justify my feeding choices to others. I suppose we are do used to being judged, we try to ward it off before it even happens.
I never was judged directly (my mum kept telling me I should stop pumping as it was 'making me tired' but she ff'd so how would she know!). Something in myself judges me and says I could have tried harder...then my other self reminds me I did the best with what I had to work with at the time. I believe this is true of all Mums. I wish others could realise this of themselves and others, and respect other's choices - they are theirs alone to make and we don't know the depth of others' situations.
Some people feel terrible guilt though, due to their own beliefs, hopes and expectations. And that's not even counting societal messages, advertising and community expectations.
31-12-2013 15:38 #45
I think a big part of it is the reaction from friends and family. We had so many issues with our dd and between her not latching or sucking, my milk being 5 days late, and bleeding nipples because she was grinding on them we are formula feeding. I still express so I can say that my daughter is having breast milk though despite the incredible pain while doing it.
Unless you have struggled to feed people just don't seem to understand and simply say try harder or feed more often or take this and that and you will have problems solved.
It's guilt because you keep being told that you aren't doing the best thing for your baby...but I'm slowly accepting the fact that my baby is gaining weight and very happy. I would rather have a kid that was formula feed and happy with weight gain, than have a kid who is breast feed but miserable because she is starving and not gaining weight!
31-12-2013 15:48 #46Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
well done for FF... who cares how you feed your baby as long as its fed.. society annoys the hell out of me when they make mums feel like failures b/c they don't BF and they are made to feel like they are disadvantaging their baby and giving it the worst start in life... BF gets so much attention and those who FF are made to feel second class... 18 years ago I had my first child, made the decision on day 2 to FF and I was given a video ( no dvds back then) and told to teach myself how to make a bottle.. this was in a private hospital in Brisbane.. Babies who are fed thrive no matter how they are fed and those who think a FF baby is less smarter or less healthier than a BF are wrong.
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31-12-2013 16:26 #47
Haven't had a chance to read through the other replies yet, but in reply to the OP, I had a think about it after reading your question and I'll try to explain it- from my personal experiences and point of view, anyway.
Firstly, I HATE HATE HATE that I feel/felt guilt over not succeeding with breast feeding. I wish I had your ability to feel at ease and happy with formula feeding. I felt like a failure, like I should have tried harder, stuck it out for longer and put up with the pain- even though I did try, fed till I bled and the very first thing I did the moment DD was born was put her straight on my breast- I feel like I gave up on something I so badly wanted. I kind of feel like I put my own needs before my babies needs- it hurt too much to breast feed, she couldn't attach due to my small nipples.. I know rationally that my decision to ff was the best for us, but still I felt like a huge failure. I wanted to be one of those mum's who do it with ease; I wanted to proudly feed my baby the way nature intended- but I couldn't and it made me so sad.
I hate that I am so harsh on myself- my children are both healthy, smart and thriving little people. I have absolutely no judgement towards others who ff, quite the opposite in fact- just hard on myself, which makes no sense at all and goes against everything rational and moral in my heart.
"Life Is Ours, We Live It Our Way".
Last edited by ~Marigold~; 31-12-2013 at 16:30.
31-12-2013 16:35 #48
I have no guilt over FF DS at all. But I am made to feel by others like I should feel guilty, and like I have to justify my choice, which annoys the hell out of me!
BF was never important to me. All of my family were FF from birth, all have been very healthy and above average in IQ. So I had a lot of family support when I chose to FF.
I did try to BF DS, but as he was born a month early he just wasn't strong enough to suck. I expressed for a few weeks while I slowly dried up my supply (to avoid pain and mastitis), so DS was mix fed EBM and formula for those few weeks. He's a very happy, healthy, bright, almost 6 month old now. I have no regrets at all. I will do the same for my next bub.
31-12-2013 16:43 #49
I think because women are often their own harshest judges. There is prob quite a bit of pressure to breastfeed but it doesn't work for everything and women feel guilty for something that they felt they are "supposed" to do.
A happy mum and bub is so much more important than how it is fed.
I do think women need much more support with breastfeeding and not just initially as I really think it takes up to about 6 weeks to establish a good relationship.
31-12-2013 16:44 #50
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