feeling useless and unnecessary

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

Post by sunshinedays » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:33 pm

Breastfeeding was the one thing I was good at with DS, once we worked it out. DH was always better at me at every other parenting task.

Along came DD and she can't breastfeed. Even though I knew this would be the case (cleft lip and palate) and I thought I had grieved during pregnancy, it is hitting me hard. She is now 3.5 weeks old. Every time i hear DH tell people that it is good as he can feed her, my heart breaks. Little bubs should be fed by their mum. I hate to think of the consequences of not breastfeeding. I feel like I am not her mother. DH can now do everything for her, except express. Expressing, the only thing I get to do is the yucky bit :(

If i give up expressing and switch to ABM then i am totally redundent.

It is wreaking havoc on my hormones/emotions too. If i don't spend enough time holding her in a day, i lose all trace of maternal instinct. today i don't want to be around her, it's like my body doesn't think she is mine because i didn't hold her enough yesterday.

and it is so hard to find the time to hold her. i seem to be expressing or washing bottles.

i hate this road. i just wish we could breastfeed :(

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TheSlayer
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Post by TheSlayer » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:06 pm

Oh hon, I have absolutely nothing worthwhile to say to help you out - but I will give you a HECK of a lot of hugs, because it certainly sounds like you need some.


(((((sunshinedays))))) It sounds to me that you are doing a fantastic job with the hurdles that have been presented to you; and I hope that you feel the support and love that I'm sure will follow me in the next few posts back to you.

Thinking of you xoxo
Proud storker for Katsbi's and PrincessSpud's youngest princesses!

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Capricious
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Post by Capricious » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:09 pm

Oh hun, your post has put tears in my eyes. Your little girl is so blessed to have chosen you for her Mum. Your breastmilk is a wonderful gift for her, but if and when you decide to stop expressing, you will be no less of an amazing Mum.

My son is no longer breastfed, but our relationship is no stronger or weaker than when he was. It's just different. Yes, breastmilk is great, but it is one aspect of being a parent. The time she spends in your arms while you gaze at each other- that's magic. The comfort and warmth she will find in you, that feeling of safety will stay with her forever. :smt049
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Nedsmum
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Post by Nedsmum » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:37 pm

Have you spoken to your husband about how you are feeling ? Maybe you need to be doing the bottle feeding - in the developmental training I did they recommend that even if the baby is bottle-fed the mother still does the feeding for the first 6-8 weeks to simulate that close newborn phase...

Also, try checking out our 'exclusively expressing' thread - there are lots of tips and tricks about expressing there - I never had any succcess with expressing even though I had heaps of milk, but the things I've heard are that it's best to get a hospital grade pump, and your hospital might be able to provide one for free, or your local ABA group - our group prioritised the best pumps for mums of sick babies or premmies, and we could always check with other ABA groups within a short car ride to see if they had any pumps available if ours were out...

Also, there are ways you can pump both breasts at the same time, which cuts down the time...

I think people are 'trying' to be nice about your DH helping, but mum is mum and dad is dad, and each has their own role to place...I can only recommend speaking to your DH and maybe separating the roles a bit. In our family it was very natural for DH to take over with the older child a lot more and for me to focus more on the baby...

Having a sick bubs is tough work at the best of times...can you just bundle yourself and your bubs up into bed with all the supplies you need (food, drink, expressing gear), and take a 'day off' to reconnect...maybe ask your DH to take the older one out so that you can just spend time being a mum ?

I dunno about your DH being 'better than you' - where did he learn that ? It's not a competition, you know.... :wink: I'd like to see him give birth ! :lol:
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Andrew's Mum
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Re: feeling useless and unnecessary

Post by Andrew's Mum » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:42 pm

sunshinedays wrote:Little bubs should be fed by their mum. I hate to think of the consequences of not breastfeeding. I feel like I am not her mother. DH can now do everything for her, except express. Expressing, the only thing I get to do is the yucky bit :(

i hate this road. i just wish we could breastfeed :(


It sucks that you can't breastfeed :( It sucks that you're robbed of this special time with your DD because you have to express your milk rather being able to have peaceful cuddles filled with milk :(

But by the doing the "yukky" bit you are doing sooo much for your DD that your DH can't do. He can't make breastmilk and ABM can't replace that breastmilk. Your body is still sustaining your DD and providing her with the nourishment she needs so that she can grow and be strong, and the quicker she's growing the quicker she can have the surgery and the possibility that she may get to breastfeed. ABM can grow your DD but it doesn't provide that all important antibodies to protect against the ear infections that she is susceptible to. Your EBM is so very important to your DD don't underestimate what a wonderful mother you are.

And perhaps your DH could wash some of those bottles so you can have some peaceful hugs with and without the bottle.
Mummys breast make milk
Special milk for me

Lorosae
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Post by Lorosae » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:47 pm

Lots of hugs to you. My DD couldn't breastfeed either, so we went down the path of exclusive expressing. Tough hard slog, but I didn't regret it. If you are going to do this, I really recommend reading the exclusive expressing support thread, it's a sticky at the top of the expressing milk section. By giving your DD EBM, you are giving her the best possible start and supporting her immune system for the surgery that will no doubt coming up in her future. My DD also had to have surgery twice in her first year, which is why I committed to expressing for her.

Don't ever feel that you are less of a mum because you aren't breastfeeding! This poem was written by JennyD, who expressed for her son for over 2 years. I always got a lot of comfort from this, so I'm copying it here for you (thanks JennyD :-) )

Bottled Love

I grieve when I bottle feed my son
Because he is not breastfeeding.
I grieve when I express my milk
Because it is a machine not my baby.
I grieve when he is sad or tired
Because I cannot soothe him with my breast.
I grieve for that special relationship
That we will both miss.

All is right
As he sleeps in my arms at night,
All is good
When he chortles at the sight of me,
All is love
As I gaze into his eyes past the bottle.

I express milk for my son.
I feed my baby bottled love.
Vomit Gromit - providing quality sleep deprivation to Mum and Dad since July 2008

Mamaof3
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Post by Mamaof3 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:05 am

I can understand the place that you are at because I have been there. Here is what I have learnt from my experience; Being a good mother comes from your heart. Your children will not remember how they were born or what sort of milk they had for the first year of their life or what nappies you wrapped their bottom in. But they will remember the cuddles, the kisses, the games of peek-a-boo and your warmth, smell and safety they feel when they are with you. They will love you because you love them. That's what matters.
Being a good mother does not come from breasts or bottle - it comes from your heart.
You are NOT useless. You are the only person in this world who can give that baby something something that NO ONE else can - YOUR love. There is NOTHING like your own mother's love.
I have 3 beautiful, happy, healthy, intelligent children who love me and who are the light of my world. They don't care how I fed them, they don't care that my body couldn't produce milk. They love me and think I am the greatest mum in the world cause I am their mum - no one could fill that place for them.

If you would like some practical tips on Bottle Feeding have a look at this article on 'Bottle Nursing' [this was not a link to an article on bottle nursing. Perhaps you can try a new link? mod team] I bottle nurse, as I believe much of the benefits of breastfeeding have little to do with the milk itself and more to do with the act of feeding which can be achieved with bottles too! If you need to talk more please just contact me.

nermylama
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Post by nermylama » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:17 am

Hmm, sorry Mamaof3 but I don't think that link is very helpful at all!

Sunshinedays I'd recommend the exclusive expressing thread or calling the helpline, someone correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there an ABA booklet on feeding a cleft palate bay?
Courage is not always a lion that roars. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice that says "I will try again tomorrow"

Mamaof3
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Post by Mamaof3 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:54 am

Sorry I don't know why the link didn't work properly - I will try again:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_ ... 2760310019

nermylama
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Post by nermylama » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:07 am

No no, the link worked fine I just didn't think it was a very appropriate link, I had a quick look and it didn't seem to align with our CoE or be helpful at all to someone who doesn't want to lose that last link with breastfeeding their child. Found it a little offensive to be honest, sorry, hate to be picky when I know you're new!
Courage is not always a lion that roars. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice that says "I will try again tomorrow"

Mamaof3
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Post by Mamaof3 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:23 pm

Sorry nermylama.

I guess that when I was feeling just like Sunshinedays with my second, that I was useless cause I couldn't breastfeed, the sympathy was OK, the 'have you tried this and that' was pretty useless cause the answer was always yes (I actually found that a bit offensive as if people thought I hadn't tried hard enough) and what I really needed to know was that bottle feeding can be a beautiful, bonding and satisfying experience too.

Sorry if I offended you Sunshinedays, I hope that you are able to find the help you need to feel connected to your baby while bottlefeeding, that is all. :(

nermylama
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Post by nermylama » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:00 pm

That's ok, actually the second link you posted didn't offend me at all, it's not the notion of bottlefeeding that made me squirm, it was the posts on that first wall that were full on anti breastfeeding, I only skimmed it but it was horrible! The second link is pretty much how I would bottle feed if breastfeeding wasn't an option for me.
Courage is not always a lion that roars. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice that says "I will try again tomorrow"

nermylama
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Post by nermylama » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:00 pm

gah, double post again!
Courage is not always a lion that roars. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice that says "I will try again tomorrow"

Mamaof3
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Post by Mamaof3 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:59 am

I don't see the group "Bottle Babies" as horrible or anti breastfeeding at all. Infact I think the group as a whole is very balanced. I have been a member for awhile and they are always doing things to support both breastfeeding and bottle feeding parents, they recently were encouraging members to attend a nurse in to support a breastfeeding mum. But I guess different people will interpret the site differently.

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Ronale
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Post by Ronale » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:11 pm

So sorry to hear that you are feeling this way, I also suggest calling the helpline to have a chat and also talk to your DH about how you are feeling. There is a booklet on feeding a cleft palate baby which looks like it might have some great tips for dealing with how you are feeling, and tips for getting baby back to the breast after the surgery. ( http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/catalog ... +LipPalate )
Hope everything starts going better for you soon, please let us know how you go with it all. !@~@~!group hug

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