I’ve been trying to breastfeed my baby for three weeks, since she was born. I’m struggling with it and really tempted to do bottles full-time. She already has a bottle after nursing for about two hours anyway.
I could breastfeed all day long to increase my milk supply but I’m exhausted, which I feel is me being selfish. I feel like a failure if I bottle feed. She gets comfort out of the breast when she does feed for that long, so am I taking that away from her? Although I give her lots of cuddles anyway, which also does!
It’s a minefield! Has anyone else had this problem? I could persevere I know, but I am emotionally drained and it’s consuming me. Googling things all day about it. Thanks!
Hey! I was in your situation. It turned out that I wasn’t producing enough milk and I was depleting myself trying to give her something I couldn’t.
I was constantly overtired, I resented my body for not doing what I thought it was supposed to do so I ended up supplementing with a bottle and my girl LOVED it, she was so much happier. She was fed! That’s genuinely all that matters.
I look back at the pictures of breastfeeding and I don’t see failure anymore, I see my baby using me as a dummy. Latching for more than 20-30 minutes is excessive, but my girl was latching for 40+ minutes for comfort, so I used a bottle and a dummy and I didn’t look back. She was a lot happier and so was I! I still expressed bits at a time to help her with dry skin and nappy rash but she was much happier on formula.
If it's any help with how you feel, I slowly started to drop breastfeeding with my little girl at three weeks. She had small amounts but really often and I was running myself so thin trying to keep up with her. I started introducing a bottle slowly whilst pumping and doing an occasional feed on the boob. My supply started to drop so we introduced formula. She started thriving as she was taking larger feeds giving me and her more bonding play time and talking time between feeds instead of her always being on the boob. This also allowed her to have better naps as she was having a full feed, which really improved my mood because I could let her nap and have me time. My mood improved so much and I felt I bonded with her a lot better when I was feeling more myself and she was well rested and had a good feed. It was hard at first as I felt selfish but I feel she started seeing me as mummy rather than a milk machine. It was a hard process but the outcome was worth it. I hope this helps in anyway!
You’re not only caring for your baby, you also need to care for yourself. If you feel bottle feeding is going to be more beneficial for you then you should at least give it a try. Your baby is still going to be well fed at the end of the day, which is the most important thing and they will still be getting comforted by all the cuddles. You’re in no way being selfish for also trying to care for yourself. Three weeks is quite a while if you think about it, and you should be proud of yourself for persevering. Do what’s going to be the right thing for you and your baby!