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In two minds about breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Nashua852's Avatar
    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2008
    Yuen Long, Hong Kong

    Unhappy In two minds about breastfeeding

    SORRY FOR THE LENGTH - need advice! :(

    Over the past few hours the tone of this help thread has changed in my head anywhere from mild anxiety to desperation. Recently, my son (9.5 mos.) has somewhat gone off breastfeeding. His latest antic is to not just bite by gnaw down my nipple during feeds which really escalated in the past day.

    Last night, during his final feed he barely got anytime on the breast before he bit so hard my breasts were stinging for hours! Since it was his final feed I decided to persevere as he needed his milk. Yet three more attempts failed and left me sobbing, disheartened and completely exhausted. The same thing happened this morning for his first feed of the day (which I found unbelievable! He BARELY had anything and I knew he must have been starving. All he had was a few sucks and then clamped down.) So I had to pump to relieve my engorged breasts and put him down again.

    I've tried the usual method of a firm no - this has never worked. Bab finds it hilarious - same with mummy in tears, and mummy raising her voice (!?) The usual culprits have been considered - teething, nursing strike, recovery from a cold, boredom, growing independence, change in the taste of breastmilk and thinking it was just a mixture of the above in a last ditch attempt to give him SOMETHING (he showed no interest in the boob whatsoever -- I just got chewed on an hour ago) I gave him a bottle of EBM. For an infant with no concept of what Christmas was, he looked like I had told him it was coming early. He was positively delighted when he saw the bottle, babbling excitedly and lunged for it. For the first time ever he shocked me by holding the bottle and feeding all by himself. When he was done, he promptly put it down and settled down to sleep.

    I also noticed that he liked to chew on the teat for a couple of seconds and then resume feeding -- I have no idea where this habit came from.

    I'm still pretty dumbfounded.

    It's clear that he wants the bottle (he actually hasn't had a bottle of EBM for about 3 weeks) and I had always wanted to breastfeed for as long as I could -- I just never thought it would be this early. It seems like it's what he wants, and I'm wondering is it time to let go?

    To be honest, I feel the pressure of Bfing all the time. I do enjoy it still to some degree but now that he's older, he doesn't seem to be getting as much of a kick out of it anymore. Last week he had to cry a bit just to get him to latch on, and this week this? It's no longer a relaxing time for either of us, yet I feel pressured to breastfeed to a year but that's mainly my own preconceived assumption that I will. In the same vein of honesty, I know I will feel a pang that I didn't do it for a full year but ultimately if I stop I KNOW it would be because it was the best decision for me and bub.

    What do you ladies (and/or babies) think? Should I try with the EBM for as long as I can, ride it out? Or get some of that fancy imported non-china formula from B2B? Has anyone been faced with something similar?

    As low as I do feel, I can't help but think of how happy Kian was when he had his bottle. It was a relief that he actually wanted the milk and it was great to see that my little man is starting to come to his own...ahh thoughts please!!!!!
    Proud Mama to Kian Danyaal 08.12.2007 & Adara Michelle 10.10.2009

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    you need to do what you think is best. it sounds to me like you know you want to stop and that guilt is holding you back.

    you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to feel guilty about. you have given your best to your little one for the past 9.5 months! as you know raising a child entails compromises, changes and adaptability. you just need to adapt your thinking from "i SHOULD bf until 1 year" to, "wow! i bf until 9.5 months! what an accomplishment!"

    with my first, i did 50-50 formula/bf. with my second i did 100% bf until 6 months. would i have liked to continue longer? yes! why didn't i? i just couldn't do it anymore. i was lugging a cooler box, pump etc all over hk trying to fit in pumping with working full time and i just didn't have the energy left to continue. looking at my children now (3.5yr & 1.5 yr) can you tell which was fed what and when??? not at all! both are healthy and happy children.

    healthy and happy... this is what you should want to accomplish... this is the end that you wish to achieve. and there is a lot more to it that just bf!!

    good luck!

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
    I went through a similar thing when my son was the same age as yours. At 9.5 months he had taken really well to solid food and went off b/f and milk- getting him to feed from me started to turn into a nightmare; he just wasn't interested or comfortable and just didn't want to feed from me.

    I tried for a week or so to make him but decided enough was enough. At this point I was also exhausted, at 9.5 months my son still wasn't sleeping through the night and b/f was just draining me.

    It was a difficult decision to make because I had wanted to b/f him until he was 12mnths old when he could go straight onto cows milk but I decided in the end it wasn't to be.
    I tried pumping to give him ebm but I just didn't have enough milk- and so gave in and gave him Hipp formula (got in B2B), which being organic made me feel a little better about giving it to my son. He never took to the formula and so was glad when finally at 12 mnths could introduce cows milk which he loves!
    Do NOT feel bad- you have given your son a excellent start in life by b/f him for 9.5 months and if you have the milk and the patience then by all means give him ebm.
    I agree with cara- getting to 9.5 months is an achievement in itself!

  4. #4
    Nashua852's Avatar
    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2008
    Yuen Long, Hong Kong

    A LOT more settled

    Hi Ladies,

    Thank you both for your usual wise counsel :)

    I hesitated to reply yesterday because although your messages were reassuring I still had to come to terms with it myself. This morning I'm feeling a lot more confident and I wanted to thank you both for setting my mind in the right place so to speak. I don't know where all this pressure to breastfeed is coming from -- months of viewing baby related banter on the internet I suspect. I've decided to give bab EBM for as long as I can, but will get him a can of formula for when we go out. He woke up screaming last night at around 4 (well it felt like 4 anyway, who would have thought motherhood would make you so attuned to the world's rotations around the sun :)) and Kian flat out refused any breast but gobbled down a beaker of water. And that was that.

    My little guy wants independence, and what kind of mother would I be if I didn't facilitate that? The kind I promised I'd never be. This has been about me and not him, I see that now. This morning I was pumping on the couch as bab was exploring the floor world as is his morning ritual. I felt stupid calling out 'be careful, luv' from the couch instead of distributing the morning dust around with him. It was very apparent just then that breastfeeding is NOT what my son will remember or love about mummy when he thinks of her a few years from now. Instead I hope things like our morning bellywags to 80s music as our neighbours peek through their windows at the crazy brown wife of gweilo lo' see next door dancing with her baby, will.

    Thank you both again, and have a great weekend!

    Proud Mama to Kian Danyaal 08.12.2007 & Adara Michelle 10.10.2009

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