thread: Is this really wrong?

  1. #1
    Platinum Member. Love a friend xxx

    Mar 2008
    Perth, WA

    Is this really wrong?

    Hi ladies

    Is it wrong to CHOOSE to FF my baby rather than doing it for medical reasons?

    I would rather not share details of my reasons why (let's just say they are abuse and depression related and leave it at that) and I am not saying that I won't try to breastfeed if I feel the urge to. I want baby to get the first important milk, but want the midwives to help me express that.

    I joined the ABA in an attempt to learn all I can about breastfeeding and get myself used to the idea of it in an attempt to get my brain ready to actually go ahead and do it. I read the books, brochures, newsletters, ABA magazine and everything else I have been supplied with during membership but now I just feel worse becuase I STILL don't want to do it. If anything, I now just feel more guilty for wanting to FF rather than wanting to BF more.

    IF an overwhelming urge comes over me to BF after baby is born I will give it a go, but all arrows at the moment are pointing to the 'no BF' option.

    I was going to consider expressing full time but I am rather uncomfortable with that too.

    They say "happy mum = happy baby". At the moment I think I will feel more comfortable and happy by FFing.

    I do not mean to offend anyone here. My hang ups re BF are totally mine. I have no problems with ANYONE else's choice to BF or FF but fear I may be bullied by midwives and general snoopy people and family members from choosing to FF.

    As I said - I want baby to get 1st milk into it's system but not via my breast. Just a personal thing. Again, if I feel I want to try BF when the time comes, I will. But I am preparing for not wanting to also.

    (if this thread shows up twice I threw a fit and reposted)

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld

    I think you have to do what feels right for you.

    I tried to BF DS and it was just awful. so I quit. then I chose to FF DD from birth - and didn't encounter any snide comments or anything (and the only thing I feel bad about is not expressing from the get go - I tried from 5 weeks to 8 weeks but was too hard with a toddler to continue)

    This next one I will try to BF - so I am constantly changing my mind - to do what I feel most comfortable with, what suits us as a family - not just individuals.

    Its always going to be your decision, and you should only feel bad about it IF its not the right one for you (ie pressured by other people etc).

    Go with your gut.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Add Rach75 on Facebook

    Oct 2005
    Moura, QLD, Australia

    nobody will judge you if you want to FF it is your choice, I know I never wanted to b/f then I saw my sister b/f her firstborn and the look that past between them made me think hey maybve its not so bad, in the end I didn't b/f due to lack of supply anyway...

    dont be guilty if thats what you want to do then do it, another option is perhaps express feeds rather than actually b/f

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Add fionas on Facebook

    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC

    Darl, perhaps think of it this way. The best piece of advice an ABA counsellor gave me in the early days was, "BFing is not the be all and end all ... the most important thing is the bond between you and your baby."

    For me, BFing was difficult and I was placing a heap of pressure on myself to continue and I would dread, really dread, each feed. That was not good for the bond between me and DD.

    If you feel the bond would be threatened by you BFing because it raises complex issues for you, then I think that's a very good reason to FF.

    BUT as you've indicated, you don't have to decide now. You've done really great in seeking out information but see how you feel when the time comes.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2006

    It sounds like yolu have done what everything you can to help make this decision and to be well informed!!

    It is hard to say if you will get remarks made, I have had clients choose to ff from birth and midwives not saying A LOT but obviously thinking they should bf. So possibly you would come into contact with midwives or family friends strangers who may question this but on the other hand u could also come into contact with people who will comment if you choose to bf!!

    I would think about telling you hospital or careproviders about this so it can be noted in your file, no need to tell them y if you don't want, just say it is for personal reasons let them know the preparation you have done, if you want to and let them know ur intentions and have it noted that this isn't a lightly taken decision and u really don't want to be pressured into any form of feeding by anyone! Also probably good so you can know ur options for stopping your milk coming in etc and that can all be on ur file if u do decide to ff.


    Good luck makign your choice, try not to feel guilty because you shuldn't and feel free to ask all and any questions you may have and know that us bb ladies and few gents will all support you decision whatever it may be!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member. Love a friend xxx

    Mar 2008
    Perth, WA

    Darl, perhaps think of it this way. The best piece of advice an ABA counsellor gave me in the early days was, "BFing is not the be all and end all ... the most important thing is the bond between you and your baby."
    If you feel the bond would be threatened by you BFing because it raises complex issues for you, then I think that's a very good reason to FF.

    Thank you ladies and thankyou Fionas, that really makes a lot of sense to me. I honestly do think I will be happier FFing but as I said, we shall see when the time comes.

    If I do go shead with what my gut says and the moment and do FF I am going to get A LOT of crap from my Mum about it. Mum hasn't had a baby in 23 years and times and technology change. How do I explain my choices to her? I know that her first reaction will not be "At least my grandchild is happy and healthy" but "How can you possibly be so nasty to your baby? You're so lazy and selfish!" (I got this regarding setting up a nursery in our rental property too...we rent...can't decorate so it's going to be plain. Apparently this makes me selfish)

    Thanks too Jas about the tip of getting them to put it on my file...that is a good idea. I have parenting classes every Tuesday night and they have a section on breastfeeding. Maybe I can ask if they can quickly cover formula feeding too?
    Last edited by angelaartsstudent; March 23rd, 2009 at 11:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Add Beautitude on Facebook

    Feb 2008
    Adelaide SA


    I dont think it is wrong to decide to FF.

    I must admit that I was a bit uncomfortable about the thought of BF but I figured that it would be something that I would just get over. To this day im not sure where my uncomfortable feeling came from but to a degree I feel that it did affect my bf journey.

    When DS was born he didn't feed for more than 24 hours, the hospital needed to give him formula top ups as they were concerned about his blood sugar and he couldn't hold his temp. I breast fed in hospital because I thought that was what I shoud do. DS wouldn't attach preoperly (not even once) and I hated every moment to the point that would dread the sound of DS crying because that meant I needed to bf him. I was spiralling into depression and in the end I decided that I needed to make a decision to ff.

    My midwife came and saw me the morning after we came home from the hospital and basically told me that he should be put on formula as I wasn't coping and his jaundice was getting worse. For me this was the best thing as it allowed me to see that my feelings were ok and I wasn't the only one thinking I should FF. I had every intention of expressing but I coudn't even bring myself to do that. Once I felt ready my milk had dried up and it was too late.

    I spent so long feeling bad and being worried about what other people would think about me ff such a small baby but in the end I realised that it was the best thing for me and my son and that was the most important thing. I have never had anyone make any bad comments about me ff.

    You dont need to make this decision now just see how it goes. The best advice I can give you is take it easy and dont pressure yourself. If you feel you cant cope, go with the formula and express if you feel that is best for you. I got so worked up about the bf that I felt I couldn't express and I regret that.

    Phew, bit of an essay hey! Hope you got through it and hope it helped.

    Good luck with your little one.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Dec 2005

    There's no such thing as a wrong decision when it comes to parenting your child. Just because it may not be the right decision for someone else, doesn't mean it's not the right decision for you.

    I have similar issues surrounding past abuse and as much as I wanted to breastfeed, it was more because I knew it was best for my baby rather than something I wanted for myself. In the end we had a lot of problems related to early arrival and hideously low supply and I found that sitting on the bloody pump trying to express the few drops I could get was having me spiral into a very deep depression... I made the decision to ditch the pump and formula feed full time and have never looked back. There's been moments where I've wished I could have breastfed my baby, but in reality I know that if I had continued I would have been severely depressed and had NO bond with my baby at all. Not long after that I had to go on medication that would have made it impossible to breastfeed anyway, so even apart from the issues relating to supply and my hang ups it wasn't going to be a long-term option for us anyway.

    Ultimately it is up to you to choose to do the right thing for your baby - if you feel that it is to formula feed then go for it. Being a mother is so much more than the ability to breastfeed your child - don't let anyone make you think that one part of being a mother is more important than any of the rest of it.


  9. #9
    Registered User
    Add Beautitude on Facebook

    Feb 2008
    Adelaide SA

    If you are concerned that your mum will not support your decision to FF perhaps you can tell her that you are feeding the bub EBM? Little white lie to tell till you feel you are ready to explain your decision to her. Otherwise maybe start talking to her now about what you are feeling and why you are thinking to go down the ff path. If she isn't supportive you might need to just realise that she is not supportive of your decisions and not listen if she starts talking about it.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Jun 2008

    If you want to FF then do it. If people have something to say hand them the baby and tell them to pop out a tit.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld

    If you want to FF then do it. If people have something to say hand them the baby and tell them to pop out a tit.

    Careful you might have all these strange women doing that if you offer!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Sep 2007

    If you want to FF then do it. If people have something to say hand them the baby and tell them to pop out a tit.

    exactly!!! Do what is best for you, tell everyone else to sod off! I think it is so important to do what is right for you, and happy mum really does mean happy baby.

    If you want to FF, then go for it!

    ETA - don't do this to Salma Heyak!

  13. #13
    paradise lost Guest

    I think you need to make the decision that's right FOR YOU and YOU FAMILY.

    My experience (as a past sufferer of abuse) was that the whole process of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding (which was a shorter journey than hoped for but still very worthwhile for me) actually left me feeling for the first time since the abuse that this was MY body. I was concerned that i would feel re-abused in some way, or suffer flashbacks or problems from it all but on the contrary, it felt like a powerful taking-back of what had been stolen from me.

    This might not be your experience at all, but i just wanted to put it out there, because it was quite amazing for me, afterwards, to be able to see these parts of my body in such an overwhelmingly positive light, even though my BFing didn't work out as planned (i began to lose supply after 4.5months of exclusive BFing and had to wean completely onto formula at 7 months) i really felt like my body had brought me joyful function rather tha being a means for others to hurt me.

    Anyway, it's hard to describe really, you can PM me if you want to talk about it. For me i really am glad that i chose the path i did, because i think now that if i HADN'T done it the way i did (or rather tried to do it the way i tried to do it) i would now feel it was just another thing my abuser had managed to deprive me of.

    Good luck with your decision, and try not to worry about comments from others, whether you BF or FF you get MASSES of comments from nosy/opinionated/bored people anyway. During the period when i was supplementing DD i was once tutted at for FFing and BFing in the same day by different people. You end up growing a nice thick skin against all those who waltz in on 8 hours sleep in clothes with no sick on them and tell you how to do what you've been doing 24/7 for months!


  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2006
    Getting to know Brisbane all over again

    My goodness no-one should be made to feel guilty for not wanting to BF! I know it probably feels that way with all the tins saying "breastmilk is best for baby" but that's an education thing not a guilt trip. You are right it is so much more important that you be happy and comfortable whether that be expressing, BF or FF. I'm guessing quite a few of the intelligent and wonderful people on BB were FF - I was, no damage done

    Having said all that I was not keen on BF myself. I knew it was the right thing to do but in my heart I didn't know if I could do it. All my life breasts had been talked about as sexual object, no-one in my family BF or even discussed BF - in fact I don't think until I had my son I had ever seen a woman Bf a baby. The whole concept of it made my stomach turn however once that baby slipped from my body and I looked down at him nothing felt more natural. Yes it was still awkard and we had a lot of attachment issues because I wasn't comfortable showing my breasts/nipples and having midwives grab them and position my son but... here we are, I BF my son until 2 and still BF my DD.

    Giving birth does change something in you, you regard your body differently to what you do pre-birth. Have you considered maybe some sort of counselling or even a pregnancy yoga/mediation to help you connect more with your body and what it was made to do?

    As for your decisions in the hospital, make sure you pack bottles and formula, check and see what the hospital supplies in regards to this as a lot of them have regulations to keep their breastfeeding friendly accreditation. i would also be detailing on my birth plan your thoughts on this, whether you want to be given privacy, time to try in your own time, formula and BF whatever you choose and let them know there are personal reasons for your choice and you want these respected and you would like any MW attneding to you to be aware of the situation so you don't have to keep repeating yourself everytime the shift changes.

    All the best with your pregnancy and birth, I hope everything goes well for you

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Mar 2007

    Honey I do believe that there is a need for formula in medical needs, and I see mental health as a medical need. It is the misconceptions about formula that worry me. Doing what you can to remain yourself and not fall into the pit of depression and suffer anxiety due to the things that have happened in your past are a very good reason to FF, as if you do need meds then there is more available to you.

    When DD2 first started on formula, I did feel guilty. I felt guilty that I had been in denial that she was not tolerating my milk, and I felt that I had failed her. But I made the decision to switch for my whole family, I had a young toddler as well and could not spend as much time as would have been needed with a LC to get BF to work, even if she had used drops to help her digest it. When there is a medical need it is normal to feel guilty for using formula. Women that don't feel guilty are often the ones with the misconceptions. Feeling guilty about it shows that you are going to be a wonderful mum, because you are so concerned about your baby's wellbeing.

    Your feelings may change about BF, but if they don't I see it as you are making the decision based on your health and what is best for your whole family. Your health is more important than how your baby is fed.

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean

    I know everyone that has suffered abuse feels differently about things but from a personal point of view, I felt differently about the whole birth and breastfeeding process. I think it has something to do with me letting my body be used as it was intended and nurture a baby, not as an amusement parlor.

    I found breastfeeding to be an incredible healing process for me. I went into it kind of not fussed if I b/f or not. Once I'd had my first bub I felt totally different and welcomed help from the midwives to help him latch on and teach me how to express by hand.

    Find out if your hospital has a counsellor and if they can talk to you about this stuff. It might help