Devastated and in pain :(

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings

Devastated and in pain :(

Postby Kelbel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:05 pm

So I've decided to give up breastfeeding.

I lost my milk supply at 4 months and have battled and battled to maintain a less than average supply for over 6 months now.

It has taken it's toll. On me, on my marriage, on my relationship with my child. As devastated as I am, I need my child to be happy and healthy and when I found out she had actually lost weight in the last month, I decided it's time.

I am heartbroken. I feel like I've given up. I feel so damn guilty for being so selfish about this. I have cried and cried about this, I couldn't feed her a bottle last night, I just couldn't bare it. Turns out she took it fine and she has not looked for the boob at all. I know she will be ok, it's my problem, not hers.

Anyway, my boobs are killing me. I couldn't wean her slowly, it would break my heart seeing her again trying to get a good feed and again getting frustrated so I decided to go cold turkey.

Can someone give me some advice on drying up my supply as quickly as possible? Seems so ironic I have tried everything under the sun to maintain a supply and now I want it gone.

*sob*
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Postby Feebes » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:10 pm

!@!@

Give a counsellor a call, they can give you helpful and supportive information. The number is 1800 MUM 2 MUM.

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Postby Esther » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:11 pm

Oh hugs Kelbel !@~@~!group hug You have fought so hard for this and it sounds so difficult for you right now.

Please call the helpline right now and chat to a counsellor. I can tell you quickly that you will need to express for comfort, and you may find it easier to use heat before a feed and cold afterwards. Cold as needed is probably good too, as it helps send a signal to restrict the milk as well, bit like reducing inflammation from bruising.

Maybe you could also consider letting her have a suck now and then after a formula feed to help you out?

If you're not feeling up to phoning a counsellor, copy your post in to one of the email counsellors.

Take care of yourself. There's hormones involved in stopping feeding, as well as ones to get you started, and the hormones that help you to stop can make you feel pretty rotten. Please let us know how you are going. You have done amazing things !!@!booby

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Postby Bailey's Mum » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:19 pm

You sound heartbroken. I wish I could make it better :(

I have been in the position of having to dry up milk very quickly. Different reasons, but my heart was broken too.

:smt056

It might help to wear fitted t-shirts or singlets with a shelf bra - firm support, but no seams to press on milk ducts and cause lumps. In the old days, women would bind their breasts with bandages - that's probably not the way to go, but the idea is the same, to apply gentle pressure to the breasts, rather than stimulation. Keep an eye out for lumps, and treat carefully - express for comfort if absolutely necessary. Cabbage leaves sometimes help with the pain, but trim the thick veins, cut a nipple hole, and change them often (before they smell cooked). Or cool packs, not ice, but a cool compress - maybe a wet towel, or something like that?
Warmth can help, too - a warm shower, etc, but may stimulate a letdown - I remember sitting in a bath with milk running down my chest.

I'm not sure what else to suggest - I hope within a couple of days, your body will get the message. Please keep an eye out for signs of mastitis and get thee to a dr if you start to feel flu-like symptoms - fevers, shakes, etc.

I will be thinking of you. Ending a bf relationship can be difficult, no matter what the reason. Please go gently and keep in touch - I hope we can help you through this next part of your journey.
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Postby Kelbel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:30 pm

Thank you girls. I have emailed the helpline.

I can't believe how much my heart is hurting over this. My sole focus for the last 6.5 months has been breastfeeding. I continued, despite constant opposition. I proved them all wrong time and time again. I was going to feed until she was 2, it has been so important to me.

I guess I need to shift my focus onto something else, something more realistic. I know my baby will be fine but my whole body just aches, knowing I won't feed her again.

Thanks so much, my loved ones just don't understand and them telling me i've done a great job seemsso empty and meaningless when I never had their full support in the meantime.
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Postby Esther » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:35 pm

Breastfeeding is a huge part of mothering for so many of us, but it is only one part. You as a mother are so much more. Give yourself that time to grieve. You are grieving a real loss and the end of a relationship, but also the start of something new, unknown and maybe scary. You'll be brilliant :D

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Postby Claire » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:02 am

Just wanted to offer hugs. I know what its like to have a difficult bf journey & lack of support, well done for getting this far. You are a great mum and you've done the best you can for your DD! Now a new chapter starts for you but allow yourself to grieve your loss. More hugs. :smt056
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Postby mum2max » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:41 pm

I just want to send hugs to you. I must be such a horrible feeling. Just remember a good mum feeds her baby and if that means formula thats just the way it is. You gave it a good go so try not to be hard on yourself. X
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Postby mum2H&R » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:59 pm

I so feel your pain, I had to stop breastfeeding my DS2 at 4 months, I was so upset about it. I just made sure to hold him for every bottle and make that a special time for us together. Just go gently on yourself.
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Postby mummysairsair » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:58 am

Oh kelbel, your posts speak volumes to me as I remember feeling much the same when the time came to stop fighting for BF with my DD when she was about the same age.

Trying to rebuild and/or increase supply is such a challenge - physically, mentally, emotionally. When you have to think about when you will express/take meds/ comp feed/ bottle feed/ breast feed it's exhausting stuff! And especially when BF hasn't worked out for you previously, and is so important to you to 'get it right' this time.

Consider all of that and be gentle on yourself. Anything that has required so much dedication is going to take time to let go of. In all honesty, there are still days where I cry about not being able to BF/ mixed feed DD full term, and we weaned over 15mths ago.

Like Esther said, it is a grieving process. It's ok to feel sad, angry, relieved, happy, guilty and even in denial, eventually acceptance will come. Remember that this will pass and soon enough your DD will have you on your toes dealing with the next exciting stage of her life!

You have done an amazing job in fighting hard for your LO to get the very best start to her life. We are so proud of you, and look forward to sharing in the next stage of your parenting journey xx
Patience.. It's what parents have when there are witnesses ;)
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