guilt over stopping breastfeeding?

Jess - posted on 09/11/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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After breastfeeding for over 2 months I have decided to feed baby formula but since i've started, im feeling so incredibly guilty. is this part of a hormonal change going from breastfeeding hormones to normal hormones?? and if it is hormonal, are there any other 'symptoms' eg, crying or acne?

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Valerie - posted on 09/17/2009

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I only breastfed for 6 weeks. I had a HUGE amount of guilt, but my milk wasn't agreeing with my baby's digestive system. I finally realized that I'm putting all this guilt onto myself for nothing. My baby was instantly happier on formula-she needed a hypoallergenic formula-she was no longer hungry or gassy. She no longer cried all the time, like a baby with colic-she was happy:) Once I realized I did what was best for my baby-I stop beating myself up. I did go though a sad period of missing the breastfeeding closeness and wondering if my baby did too, but she adjusted quickly to the bottle and to no longer having the breast.

I just make sure that I'm always looking at her when I feed her, I'm holding her close and talking to her-just like I would if I was breastfeeding. She's still happy and well fed and close with mommy:)

[deleted account]

I breastfed my son for nearly 6 months, and I had such guilt that I seemed to be crying all the time. I think it was because I was looking forward to giving it up when it is drilled into us that we MUST do it. But I found it hard, painful, and exausting! My son is nearly 10 months now, he is happy and healthy, and developing well. 2 months is a great acheivement.

User - posted on 09/15/2009

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I think no matter what you do someone is always going to have something critical to say about it, whether you breastfeed or use formula. The main thing is for you to be happy with your decision, so screw other people's opinions! Mother knows best :)

Shelly - posted on 09/15/2009

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I was told by my doctor that I should be breastfeeding because I feel it is better for the baby and NOT because I feel guilty if I don't. I only breastfed for a few weeks because I had some problems and had to go on medications and I felt tremendous guilt...but when I stopped to think about it I wasn't breastfeeding because I thought it was better for him, I was actually doing it for me...we still bond when he drinks formula in my arms :)

Andrea - posted on 09/21/2009

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Don't feel guilty about giving up breastfeeding. You child will be just as healthy on formula. You are going to be hormonal due to having a baby and loosing the milk and everything that comes with having a baby. I was only able to breastfeed my oldest for 2 weeks and felt guilty for giving it up but he was even healther with the formula. With knowing that made me feel better about it.

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Mother Doesn't Know - posted on 04/15/2014

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Breastfeeding, or even pumping then bottle feeding breastmilk, is the best for any baby. If you want to give up b/c it's "too hard", then you're more worried about yourself than the overall well-being of your child.

Jennifer - posted on 09/17/2009

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Just keep in mind that breatfeeding, no matter for how long, is better than not breastfeeding at all! I would think that the guilt you feel is partly hormonal, due to the change in your body from no longer BF.

Jo - posted on 09/16/2009

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don't feel guilty. Babies survive and thrive just as well on formula. Of course breastfeeding has it's advantages but really it's between you and your baby. Your baby will not suffer any by drinking formula. A happy mum is a happy baby :)

Sharon - posted on 09/15/2009

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I really loved breastfeeding - but the thing is, not everyone does, or is able to. You should feel proud of giving your baby that two months of breastmilk. Good on you - dont let people make you feel guilty and certainly dont do it to yourself! You have more imprtant things to focus on

Jess - posted on 09/15/2009

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hey thank u everyone for the replies. u have all definitely made it easier to realise that i have done well lasting so long especially since the nurse told me from the first day that im doing everything right i just have a fussy eater. so i feel much better now thanks, i keep telling myself he got the best start i could give and i continue to give him all my love i can possibly give. he's happy and healthy and at the moment is loving smiling at anyone(even strangers) who give him the slightest bit of attention. as long as he's happy im happy with my decisions...

Staci - posted on 09/13/2009

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BE PROUD OF YOURSELF FOR DOING IT AT ALL...ALOT JUST CHOOSE NOT TOO! I HAVE AN 8 WEEK OLD WHO IS ONLY BREASTFED...I LOVE TO DO IT. WITH MY FIRST CHILD I DID BOTH SO YOU COULD ALWAYS TRY THAT ...GIVE HER A FEW BOTTLES DURING THE DAY AND NURSE HER A FEW TIMES...SEE HOW YOU FEEL. IT IS A GREAT EXPERINCE. I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WANTED TO NURSE SO VERY BAD AND HER MILK JUST DID NOT COME IN SHE TRIED EVERYTHING SO EVENTUALLY SHE GAVE UP...IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD IF YOUR BABY IS NOT BREASTFED....BUT IF YOU DO STOP NURSING AND WANT TO RELACTATE YOU ALWAYS CAN THERE IS A VITAMIN OUT THERE CALLED FENUGREEK....SO JUST TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Leslie - posted on 09/13/2009

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I understand. I just stopped breastfeeding my 3 month old last weekend. I had gotten mastitis for the third time and decided I didn't want to go through the pain anymore. With my second bout I went away from the breast and pumped exclusively. I felt like a failure but atleast she was still getting my milk from the bottle. When i got sick again I was a little glad to be done. The "depression" feelings were not so bad. This past week was actually easier to get things done around the house and I didn't have to schedule breaks in my work day to go pump. You'll probably start to feel better soon.

Jaime - posted on 09/13/2009

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my boy is not quite three weeks old and i went through the worst time with breastfeeding and in the end i had to stop and i cried and cried and cried cos i so wanted to do it but just couldn't. there is far too much pressure from society to breastfeed but try thinking about those who can't i say... :) i still feel guilty but it is getting easier, who knows, maybe next time ill be able to do it...fingers crossed. in the end its happy baby = happy mummy

Calley - posted on 09/13/2009

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After I Had My Daughter In May (2009) I Was So Tired, It Had Been A Long Labour That Had Started After I Had Had Only 2 Hours Sleep, I Did Brestfeed Her For 6 Weeks, In The Early Days Its Hard, Your Emotions Go Everywhere, I Personally Had Post Natal Depression- That Made Me Comfort Eat & It Wasnt The Right Things! With Stress, Lack Of Sleep Etc. It Became Really Hard, So Eventually I Gave In & Started To Bottle Feed, Shes 4 1/2 Months Now & Puts On Weight Very Slowly- So In A Way I Am Glad I Put Her On Formula Because Of The Higher Fat Content. I Still Have Days Now (Especially As She Is Teething & Gets Upset) Where I Want To Snuggle Her In & Breastfeed - I Have Tried But My Milk Has Dried Up Now, So She Doesnt Get Anything & Actually Gets Much More Upset. It Is A Very Emotional Hard Time, But Praise Yourself & Be Proud You Did It Atal! Dont Be Dissapointed You Didnt Do It Aslong As Some Others Did, The Point Is You Tried, And Your Baby Still Had The Best Start

Kristen - posted on 09/12/2009

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I also felt really guilty when I had to stop breastfeeding due to the fact that I had no appetite (I had a really diffucult birth) and my milk was decreasing. And I was also starting to get a little bit of depression and I was very emotional when I had to quit. It didnt make it any easier that he couldnt tolerate regular formula and it took over 5 different formulas before we found one he could handle. I felt aweful but once we found the right formula after a week or so I got over it and hes a happy formula feed baby :)

Roxanne - posted on 09/12/2009

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I was devastated. But then once she started solids and I make evrything for her. This gives me the same amount of joy! i didn't notice anything other than the sadness when I stopped. But a 2 months you are still getting back to normal. Things will get 100 time better you'll see.

Rebecca - posted on 09/12/2009

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I felt the same way it's completely normal. And it could be partly hormonal but it could also just be a seperation type feeling. It's ok it will get better

Jessica - posted on 09/12/2009

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thats how people are making me feel they are making me feel so guilty for not breast feeding any more. I know that kids are fine on formula, but people should try not to be so judging.

Iysha - posted on 09/12/2009

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There is a lot of pressure now days for women to breast feed for at least 6 months. I personally chose not to breast feed because it was very time consuming and I didn't have the patience. I felt guilty too, mostly because I felt like the people in my life would think bad of me for not wanting to anymore. I knew it was fine for my baby to have formula, but knew that there was going to be a lot of criticism from others. I have been happily bottle feeding and the comments are starting to die down.

Jessica - posted on 09/12/2009

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my daughter just turned two months and I stopped breast feeding her bacouse i went back to work I feel horrible about to, and almost wish that i kept at it

Laura - posted on 09/12/2009

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I know how you feel-I nursed my daughter for almost 5 months and was pretty proud of myself. I went back to work and just couldn't pump when i needed to so I felt like it was time to stop. I went to a family party last night and was fixing a bottle for my daughter (now 8 months old) and my niece who has an 11 month old made the statement "oh, I just dread having to do that"-indicating that she is still nursing her little one. I am 100% sure that she meant no ill intent but it felt like a knife through the heart!! You have to do what is best for your family. You will have a whole lot of hormonal changes involved with stopping lactation and a lot of issues that you will place on yourself! Hang in there-trust your instincts!

Candice - posted on 09/12/2009

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i cried when i lost my milk. i felt like i failed. i got over it. lol. you will too.



keep in mind any breastfeeding attempted is better than none. give yourself credit for doing it at all :)

Anna - posted on 09/12/2009

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You do get feel-good hormones from breastfeeding and I guess it is also quite a natural instinct to want to nurse your baby. I have heard of friends getting really emotional and irritable when they wean their babies. How come you decided to switch? You can always re-lactate if you miss the happy hormones :)

[deleted account]

Hi there,I have 3 kids 3,12,10 I bottle feed my first 2 because i didnt know what i was doing,but breastfed my 3rd so congratulations on successfully breasfeeding for 2 months.

I just wanted to tell you that my older girls are well adjusted successfull kids at school , as well as being just lovely kids.

At this point in there lives no one knows or cares who was breastfed and who was bottle fed.

You have done very well to get this far a lot of women cant achieve what you have already achieved . If you can throw away your guilt and be proud of what you have done and what you are going to do for her future...Good luck..:-)

Erica - posted on 09/11/2009

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I know what you mean. I breastfed for about 4 months and I stopped because I went back to work and pumping at work just isn't going to work for me and also because feeding my baby formula freed up a lot of time and energy for me to get back to a better daily routine. I know there are many pro-breast feeding moms out there that would frown on my comments but I don't think there is anything wrong with deciding to go formula. many generations of babies have been raised on formula and are doing just fine. plus, the fact that you were able to breast feed your baby at all, even for 2 months is great!

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