i need some positive reassurance

Danika - posted on 06/07/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Im 22 years old, im a new mom to a four month old who i have been exclusively breastfeeding her since birth. I like nursing for the most part and i am not a believer of artificial feeding. Some days I feel down about breastfeeding and sometimes i just want to quit but my husband has been very supportive and i keep going. i am determined to make it at least one year plus time for weaning. i just feel bad tho sometimes when i have negative thoughts on nursing like when we go out and babe needs to eat so much and i dont want to have any bad feelings towards her . i just need some positive feedback from moms who have been through this before seing my own mom who breastfed me and my two brothers past the age of 2 years acts like nursing was the easiest thing ever and no one else i know has any experience bfing.

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I felt the same way with my daughter. I was stuck using a nipple shield until she was almost 5 months. It make feeling in public a nightmare. Not to mention all of the weird looks I'd get. I leaked like crazy while feeding her. I think I wore breastpads until she was around 8-9 months.

I was extremely stubborn with her. I found that as she got older breastfeeding got easier and easier. I stopped caring what people were thinking when I'd have to breastfeed in public. My sister bought me a really nice light weight cover that is awesome. It made feeding in public so much easier. I love it even more with my son, especially since he likes to grab at things while feeding, as well as getting distracted by anything.

It sounds like you are doing a great job. Don't let your anxieties get the best of you. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

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Sarah-Kate - posted on 07/19/2012

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I'm going to be honest, My baby is not much older. I have these thoughts sometimes too. But then I try to think, oh how much it is benefiting my son. I instantly remember why I decided to breastfeed because I know the positives. I love watching his toes curl when he's happy feeding it's one of the best feelings ever. Keep up the good work.

Jamie - posted on 07/19/2012

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Of course your mom said it was easy, the other feeding options weren't as wide spread back then than they are now. I know other moms that breastfeed and everyone says its hard at first. I really was blessed with fast letdown and lots of milk so my first baby was good at nursing (other than choking becuase there was so much) so it was easy for me. I wore breastpads until we were weaned around 14months. I'm currently breastfeeding my second baby and he's 11m old, it was harder with him. My milk isn't as plentiful as before and he's a boy so I guess he just wants to eat more and all the time. He was also a biter from day one, so I tend to look bruised in the early months but as he's getting older (and has teeth) he's become a much better nurser. So many times I wanted to stop nursing him especially when I had mastits, but like you I have a supportive husband. I kept going and now its a piece of cake, and I don't want to wean yet! Everyone goes thru phases with nursing and you sound like everyone else. As long as you have a supportive husband, family and friends, then you will be okay. All the statistcs show that breastfeeding is best so as long as you can do it, they try it. Be happy that you have done it this long, but longer is always better. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2012

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Oh hunnie, I understand how you feel. I breastfed my Laura till she was a year old. So I know the ups and downs you are feeling. I would go from contented peace feeding my daughter to OMG my nipples hurt I don't want to do this!!!! Breastfeeding so is good for your baby in every way. My daughter is so incredibly healthy and always has been. We had quite a few mishaps when breastfeeding that I remember being a frustrating thing back then but now I look back and some of them are kind of funny.

Like the time my baby began crying in my husbands arms to be fed while I was in the choir loft singing in church...I leaked...OMG did I leak every where, like a fire hose. I am surprized I didn't hose the preacher down...two huge wet spots on my choir gown right up there on the front row. Husband frantically pointing at them man boobs till I looked down and noticed my plight.

The time dear little baby wanted to eat at Walmart of all places and I am miles away from the mini van, so I kinda hide in a clothing rack to get situated and they thought I was shop lifting

Oh then when my husband and I were a resteraunt and she needed to eat like NOW, I arranged everything, covered up and fed her while my husband cut my steak and I ate my dinner. A woman was like " omg soes she have to feed that baby HERE????" Why doesn't she feed it in the bathroom Really? Im completely covered.. and public bathrooms are so dirty..I felt so vindicated because I knew I was doing what was best for laura.. So I told her why didn't she go eat her dinner in the bathroom.....My husband put his arms around me and my daughter...and kissed my head and said, woman that's why I love you...You have guts girl...You always do what is right for your family...Sigh I sure love that man...17 years and going strong.

You can do it dear, just hang in there, and seriously, its no reflection on you if you can't do it for a whole year, or if you pump and let dad take over once in a while. You are a good mother and you care, you will always do whats good for you baby. Blessings..

Olga - posted on 06/19/2012

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Just block out everyone around you and focus on your baby. Remind yourself the good you are doing your baby by breastfeeding her. I've been exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old and it isn't always easy. I've needed my husbands encouragement and my doctor says I'm doing a great job. But there were times I was ready to give up but I knew that this is the best thing I can do for my baby. When you go out either try to plan your outings between feedings or take a cover up and try finding a quiet place. I've learned many people are accpeting of breastfeeding or they just don't care. So don't worry about others and keep it up!

Helen - posted on 06/19/2012

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I breast fed my daughter till she was 6 months at this time she became so independent i expressed for 2 months before introducing cow's milk to her i believe that is why we have a very good bond between us I found breast feeding in public very embarassing at first because of the disapproving looks i used to get then one day i thought you know what my child needs feeding i was given the means to do so and shall feed her wherever i feel comfortable.....I couldn't breast feed my son unfortunately and subsequently felt less of a maternal bond with him.... Take each day as it comes you are doing a brilliant job and its never easy with a new baby however many you have......keep up the good work x

Teresa - posted on 06/18/2012

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Hi Danika! You're doing a great job as a mom! Just keep at it. Breastfeeding isn't always joyful as most moms here has already shared, especially at the beginning. I breastfed my eldest son for two years. It was not at all easy. I experienced many challenges but I'm thankful for the grace to overcome them all and achieve my personal goal of breastfeeding him until he's two years old. If you want to find out more how I won over my challenges, you can read my story in my blog here (http://mommytg.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-...).

Now, I'm breastfeeding my second son exclusively. I've been doing it since his birth for the past 7 months. But it doesn't mean that because I'm breastfeeding my second child that I did not encounter challenges anymore like when I first did it. i think that with each new child, we deal with unique challenges in the same way that they bring us unique joys. You may read about my nursing challenges with my second baby in my blog post here (http://mommytg.blogspot.com/search?q=nur...).

One strategy that helped me was to break down my breastfeeding goals to smaller goals. Like I first aimed at breastfeeding exclusively for the first month, then 6 months. When I achieved it last month, I aimed for 1 year. When I was able to breastfeed my firstborn for 1 year, I aimed for two years. Brestfeeding gets easier as our babies grow older because they start eating solids and they sleep longer. Hang on.

Aimee - posted on 06/11/2012

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I absolutely dislike breastfeeding and yet I still do it. It does become easier and faster then bottle feeding. I always liked the fact that over everything else I didn't have to remember bringing food or having to find a way to heat it up. You might wonder why if I dislike breastfeeding so much why do I do it? Well every mom that I know that bottle feed always said I wish I would of at least tried breastfeeding. I have never once heard a breastfeeding mom say I wish I would of bottle feed!

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2012

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The first thing you need to know is that it gets a lot easier, especially after your baby starts eating solids which isn't that far away. Right now I think it can feel like a burden because babies 3 and 4 months old have growth spurts so often around this age and want to nurse a lot. Pretty soon she'll be not only wanting to eat other things she'll be getting more interested in the world in general and checking things out so that playing, trying to crawl, feeling things, will be more important to her and she'll nurse less, and it'll fall into a more predictable pattern and pretty soon you'll probably have it down to the first nursing after waking up, one or two during the day, and a bed-time nurse. However, and you're going to hear from other people who will disagree with what I'm going to say, but you asked for people's two cents and here's mine: I think you should pat yourself on the back for nursing her for 4 months, and remind yourself of all the benefits she's gotten so far, and remember that some nursing is far better than none at all and compared to a lot of babies 4 months is pretty good! Look at your baby and see how healthy and well she's growing and that will reassure you. Also if she ever gets sick in her first year, and you're still breastfeeding, you'll be glad you put in the effort, because she'll be able to keep the breast milk down (unless she's got a truly awful stomach flu) and she'll be hydrated and comforted.

Valerie - posted on 06/10/2012

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I think that your feelings are totally and completely normal!! Breastfeeding is the best option, but it can also be one that drains you physically and emotionally. You are the on-demand feeding machine for someone who needs food every couple hours, day and night. And on top of all that, you leak all the time, especially at night and wake up soaked. If you have the unfortunate experience that I had, your child won't ever take a bottle and only wants the breast, so you never get a break and no one else can feed baby.

So some positives :) It is 100% worth it! You should take comfort in the fact that you are providing your child with the best start to life. You protecting her from ear infections, eczema, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and countless other things. You are teaching your child to eat until full, instead of until the formula in the bottle is gone. Your baby has an amazing connection to you that she doesn't with anyone else, including hubby. You are everything to your baby and she loves you for it. And take comfort in the fact that so many moms physically can't keep up their supply very long and end up having to use formula and are sad about it. You are also saving on average $3,000 a year by not using formula! (Buy yourself something pretty instead).

I nursed my son for almost 2 years and would have loved to keep going, but we got pregnant and my supply ran out about 5 months into my pregnancy. Breastfeeding was the best thing we ever did for him. He never had a security object and putting him to sleep when he was a little older was so easy too. He would just nurse and fall asleep. And after he stopped, he could just lay on my breast and fall asleep within a few short minutes.

Some things that might help you out would be to spend a few minutes every day doing something just for you. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, so for me, working out after baby really helped cut down on the stress. But you can also join a moms groups, find a another mom friend who you can talk to, join a La Leche League, or try to think of one positive reason every day for nursing. And also, it is ok to vent to your hubby or girfriend about some of the stress of nursing. But after a little time, it gets so second nature. If you are uncomfortable in public, then I would recommend a Hooter Hider's nursing cover. It is very easy to use and discreet. If people give you weird stares, then ignore it or smile. Maybe they are just happy to see a great parent in public!

Bottom line, do it for as long as you can. If you aren't happy and it isn't working, then there is nothing wrong with stopping. Your baby will be fine and so will you. They will grow up happy and healthy. The situation has to work for everyone or it doesn't work. You aren't any good to anyone if you are over-tired, crabby, or stressed out from the experience. Good luck and hang it there!

Ronda - posted on 06/09/2012

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I had a very hard time with BF at first too. Motherhood itself was a difficult adjustment. It felt like I was babysitting or something, and any moment now her real mommy would come for her! Looking back now I had a lot of negative feelings after she was born and I firmly believe that it was nursing that kept any post-partum depression or anxiety issues at bay. I have since learned that nursing produces good hormones that lift your mood and aid in your bonding with the baby. Please stick with it, these hormones are helping you heal and feel well. It might actually be keeping you from developing complications like PPD. ~hug~

Jeanne - posted on 06/09/2012

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It gets alot easier soon! Around six months baby will eat a bit more at each feed and less often. Also you can play with solids which can buy time when you are out sometimes. Don't feel bad! You are doing great. You will miss nursing when it's over. Enjoy it now when you can. It flies by!!!

Denise - posted on 06/08/2012

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Do what you feel is right! You are doing an awesome job! ~Nona ( grandmother)

Annie - posted on 06/08/2012

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You aren't alone, so many women feel the same from time to time. I can recommend getting s sling or wrap for carrying/nursing babe when out -Especially a ring sling for nursing. It'll allow u to continue to ur outing without barely stopping & most people won't even notice ur feeding. Hang in there, u'll be thankful u did :-)

Heather - posted on 06/08/2012

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It's not easy. I felt the same way after our son was born, but I stuck with it. He weaned himself at 11 months old because he was just too active to sit still and nurse.

Talk to your OB or a lactation consultant about your feelings. Maybe you have some PPD going on?

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Breastfeeding is hard because only you can do it and the baby needs a lot of feeding. You can't rely on anyone else. It's tough. I know. I've been through it with two kids (17 months and 3 years) and I didn't have my husband around much with the second one because he got a different job about the time she was born. However, you have to remember it doesn't last forever. Your baby is getting the best start in life and you are providing it! Don't forget how special you are! Just because your husband cannot help feed the child, there are other ways he can help. See if you can think of ways for your husband to make your life easier. You are lucky to have a supportive husband, take advantage of that. As your baby starts to ween from about six months, she will feed from you less. Once your baby gets the hang of solids, you may find that breastfeeding becomes less demanding. It won't be long, it won't last forever. Just be patient and remember how special you are for giving your baby the best start in life.

Lori - posted on 06/07/2012

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Sounds like you're doing great. Jodi is right. Breast feeding isn't always the wonderful joyous occasion some make it out to be. I think when you're done and you look back... you'll hopefully remember the bonding moments and the nice times, but when you're doing it, it's hard work. I breastfed my first for 21 months, and am currently still breastfeeding my 18 month old. Believe me there have been plenty of times when I've thought "this is it. I'm done". But I didn't really want to be done, and my daughters weren't ready yet either. So on we continued.

Pat yourself on the back for making it 4 months so far, and just keep doing what you're doing. When you start feeling down about it try to remember the reasons you want to breastfeed your little one. Health benefits for her, health benefits for you, bonding (even if it doesn't feel like bonding at that exact moment), or whatever reason you've chosen to do it.

When my first was born I couldn't imagine nursing a 12 month old. I figured 6 months would be long enough. Then I started reading up on heath benefits and decided to go for 12. As 12 months approached I just couldn't imagine quitting just yet...

Jodi - posted on 06/07/2012

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Nursing is not all sunshine and roses. I nursed my first born until nearly 2 years, and am currently nursing my 16 month old twins (lord help me this one's been a real challenge for me!). There's barely a day goes by that I don't want to quit at some point, or at least think about it. It really does get easier...a LOT easier. 6 months is a pretty good turning point from my experience where things just settle into a rhythm and you and bub know what your roles are! lol

Hang in there, you're doing great. Oh, and don't focus on a year...focus on next week if you have to, when my twins were first born, I always told myself "I'm just going to make it through the next feeding...we'll see after that." It was just too overwhelming to think of nursing them until 6 months, much less a year. So, if it helps, set shorter goals, next week, or next month, or 6 months, then 8 months etc etc.

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