What do you think?

My friend Stacy (2 kids who breastfed with no problems) suggested that with every hell that we’re going through that I don’t need the guilt of breastfeeding or not breastfeeding and basically I need to give myself a huge friggin break.

Bulletin: I tried it yesterday morning and she ate from both sides, sure it took half an hour, but she was satisfied and went to sleep with no problems. Didn’t take any longer than the bottle and we were both happy. Ecstatic, really.

2nd Bulletin: I tried it the rest of the day and night and also this morning, each time she ate, and nothing. She won’t latch on, she just screams and pushes away like she’s being murdered. Yes, I strip her to her diaper, I do everything the LLL people suggest, as well as suggestions from my mom, Matt’s mom and my other friends who have breastfed and nothing seems to make her happy.

When we were in the hospital, she had done reasonably well before my milk came in. But she had jaundice and everyone said she should stay on her bilirubin bed the whole time and not even be held or cuddled, just be fed through the SNS feeder which is the little tube you can put on your finger and get expressed milk to run through it and when they suck your finger, they get milk, etc. So we did that, and skipped the breastfeeding, thinking we’d pick it right back up the next day (assuming she’d get better right away), well then she didn’t and time ticked by and she didn’t get better and she didn’t get better, and finally it was time to go home and they said, well we could send you home with a blanket if necessary, but we don’t think it is right now, and we said ‘blanket?’ no one ever told us about a blanket, you mean we could have HELD her all this time? They didn’t have an answer about that.

I feel cheated. I really do. Even if she had never gotten breastfeeding in the hospital, I lost all that time with ooey gooey feelings where I could have held and cuddled her and gotten a really good bond with her, and I don’t really feel like I have it. All the laughter and joy I had in the hospital is gone, replaced by sadness and frustration. Sure, I love her, but now that we’re home (and I’m alone with her), there is no cushion of food delivered, beds made, fresh towels, etc. etc. that I could have taken advantage of holding her, and now I have to do all those things by myself and with struggling to feed her and being in pain 24 hours a day, quite frankly I can’t wait for her to fall asleep because I really really need to get things done, and get some rest myself, and I can’t do that if she’s awake and screaming. Right now, she doesn’t do anything but scream or sleep, really. Which is fine, she’s a newborn, good GOD do NOT friggin write a message to me and offer me platitudes, I’m college educated, I GET IT. Doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it.

So here’s when I ask what you think. My friend suggested I try to feed her every time starting with breastfeeding and if she won’t do it to go ahead and give her the bottle (duh, she has to eat), and to do that for a week, and if I can’t get her to do it, then to make a decision then (whether I continue to pump and feed her from a bottle, switch to formula or keep on trying the breastfeeding) as to what to do. What do you think?

And has anyone else gone through this? Your baby WOULDNT breastfeed or you got through it eventually and they did it, and how long did it take, or whatever.


  1. If you do try nursing then ‘give in’ and give her the bottle, she will never nurse. It’s much easier to suck milk from a bottle than from the breast.

    There is nothing wrong with deciding to bottle feed, really, although breast milk is best for her and nursing is good for you, too, millions of babies do just fine on formula.

    It sounds to me like you’re stressing so much over feedings that you’re making yourself crazy over it, and that’s not good for anyone.

    Bottom line? It’s you and your baby. You’re quite capable of evaluating the situation and making the decision that works best for you. No matter which way you go with this decision, someone won’t like it.

    Get used to that feeling, because once you have a baby, you’ll get lots of that sort of thing.

    (((Hugs to you and your little one)))

  2. I got lucky -my Munchkin was a good nurser – but I know a bunch of ladies in the PumpMoms Yahoo Group I was in had similar problems to you – many of them decided to exclusively pump and do it that way. That’s a good support group if you want to check in with them –

    And if you go the formula route, be sure to sign up with the company websites- as they send out lots of coupons!


  3. oh -if you are pumping it still leaves you the option to offer her the breast every so often and see what happens – once you wean it is harder to relactate…

  4. Have you talked to the Pediatrician about it (sorry, I haven’t read through all the posts)? Because maybe something is causing her problems with latching. If you feel frustrated, she will feel that and it can cause her to not want to feed. And it is hard to breast after bottle…period. But like many others have said, you have to do what is best for you, and a screaming baby that doesn’t eat isn’t good for anyone.

    Good luck…and cut yourself some slack on all the things that need to get done. RIght now, the most important is that you rest and enjoy your baby. It is easier said than done, but it is true.

  5. Harper was a great nurser and I had a wonderful experience nursing her for nearly 14 months.

    Michael was a whole different story. I had a horrible time bottle-feeding, pumping, trying to nurse him. About a month after he came home from the hospital I finally got him to nurse with a nipple shield (and eventually without one), but the doctor wasn’t happy with his weight gain and we ended up having to put him on a couple of formula bottles a day and that has all but killed our nursing, my supply went way down.

    Here’s what I ended up doing when I was in a similar place to you (NOT able to cope with the cycle of pumping bottles and unsuccessful nursing indefinitely into the future):

    1- I set a date, I decided if Michael wasn’t nursing by the time his adjusted age was six weeks, then I was going to give it up. It made a huge mental difference to me to have set a date when I would allow myself to stop.

    2- I arranged a day when I had nothing else that needed attending to, I had easy foods available, did no housework, had my in-laws watching Harper, and I dedicated a day to just be in bed with the baby and NOT give him a bottle and NOT pump. I offered him my breast every time he started to fuss, let him try to nurse as long as he wanted and then let him rest as long as he wanted. For us, this worked and was really the turning point. It helped not to have other things to worry about, I just laid with him and napped when he napped. And I did set him in the pack’n’play for longer naps, not in the bed with me the whole time, but right in the room. There’s not necessarily any medical backing behind that advice, it’s just how it went for us.


    You know that I know how frustrating it can be and how sad one can feel when things go so different from the way you’d imagined. Just remember that the best thing for your family is the best thing for your baby and it may be that switching to formula is best. I don’t want to negate the benefits of breastfeeding, but plenty of healthy thriving children have been formula fed and many more will be.

    You will come to a decision that works best for all of you, even if you need to spend some time feeling sad over the way things have turned out differently than you’d hoped.

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