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  1. #1
    Matryoshka Guest

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    I had a really sad experience tonight.... I was having a bath with my baby, this has been a big thing for me as i'd found it hard to bond with him due to the PND, so was happy that i felt comfortable enough to have that amount of physical contact. But then i realised something..... He seemed to have no recognition of my boobs as a past source of comfort and food. He grabs everything at the moment, and so he did that, but did not try to suckle or go for them as he used to at all. And it made me realise, that i'm not sure when that stopped, but it has, and this made me incredibly sad. I used to feel annoyance when i was weaning and he would turn his head in to my chest opening his mouth to feed, yet now that he has forgotten it, i feel really hurt. It's only been a month, i still have milk, and i have to admit i think about re-lactating sometimes. But to be practical it doesn't make sense, he's doing so well on formula, we have a consistency that revolves around bottles and dare i say routine almost. Life, in that sense is so much easier, and i'm almost scared to tempt fate and return to the total chaos that was our breastfeeding journey. It honestly wasn't pleasant... so why am i clinging to it?? i guess because i want to have with him what i had with my first son, the actual pleasure of breastfeeding and that special connection. While formula feeding has allowed me to bond with him in ways i couldn't while breastfeeding (and the PND), i still wish we could have had that. And unfortunately i still question myself daily, could i have tried harder? did i do the right thing? will he really be as smart as he could have been? etc. I brought it up with my hubby, and being male, he simply explained the baby's lack of interest as having forgotten and moved on.... he meant well but that just hurt even more. I still breastfed him for over 6 months despite the mastitis, despite the lack of support, despite the PND, despite the pain, how can he just forget?? I know its silly and i'm not sure why i'm writing this... relactating isn't really feasible.... I'm just sad i guess, i thought i was becoming okay with having weaned, but i guess not.



    For those who felt they weaned before their time, do you ever reach a point where you're at peace with it?

  2. #2

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    It's sad when they wean, my DD is heading down that road right now. When my DS weaned it was hard to see him just forget about it and not think about it again but that is kids and that is there beautiful resilence to life and it is joyous to witnese. He hasn't forgotten all the nourishment and special times you spent he just enjoys the other things you do together.

    Relactating, is this something you really want to do? If you still have milk, is there any reason you can't BF some of the time, maybe just when you are bonding in the bath or something?

  3. #3
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    i have not gone thru your path MummaB, we have not weaned yet, so i can only imagine what you are going thru.

    it must hurt like hell, sounds like you made all those sacrifices to feed for the time you did, and now, i dunno, you're disappointed that your child doesn't still have the association of your breasts and the goodness he used to get from them.

    that makes sense to me.

    i've had bonding and PND issues since day one, and there are some things that just get "under my skin" about my DD too. and thigns i tie myself up in knots about.

    e.g if only i had worn my bub in a sling, maybe we would have bonded properly

    was her reluctance to smile for such a long time, due to the violent nature of her arrival (my uterus had this freak thing happen to it during delivery).

    will i always be punished for having a emerg C, instead of the planned home waterbirth i worked towards.(my DD doesn't like to hug).

    it's so hard not to let these thoughts consume my thinking.

    i tell you these things, not to take over your thread, but to share with you, that in the depths of PND, it's easy to sucked into the vortex of negative thoughts.

    i bet you would have reassuring things to say to me, about my worries. Apply that to yourself too.

    i am not quite sure how, right now, but one day, you and i will work out beautiful ways of bonding with our children. And gradually, our grief, about not doing things wiht our babies, to the same idea as was in our ideals (slinging for me, long term bf-ing for you), will abate.

    i personally think, any breastfeeding your child received from you, is a special gift. whether it was five minutes, five days, or five months.

    and it's damm hard to keep going when mastitis et al strikes. but you did. so take a bow darling, cos you have already given SO MUCH to your DS. You might not get the acknowledgement of that FROM HIM, but i don't think many things we do for our kids, will get acknowledged by them. it will show up in other, less direct ways.

    mothering is a thankless task, maybe that's the lesson.

    other stuff we do in life, you get recognition, acceptance, praise.

    SO MUCH of what you do as a mum, no=one else knows about, or no-one else sees, it's a selfless gift.

    but we are human, we need recognition etc like everyone else. i think we need other ways to find it , is all.

    i have found it hard to reconcile, how i could go thru such a traumatic event with my child (her arrival) and to think, she will have no memory of it, no understanding due to her age. i know it shouldn't, but it tears me up to think about it.

    normally going thru something together, bonds you.

    So in my own rambly confused way, i relate to you, and wish you all the best MummaB. PND is the pits.

  4. #4

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    Awwww hun FWIW, I don't think he doesn't try to suckle/nuzzle you like he used to, not because he has forgotten, but because he is happy and well adjusted enough now to to just not need to do it now kwim? I can imagine how hard it is for you, because you've tried so damn hard to make sure you are doing what's best for him, often at a cost to yourself, and when he's older that's what he's going to love you so much for. And even if you tell him at any stage that you had to wean him early, not because you wanted to, but because you had to, he's not going to begrudge you that because in you doing so, you've given him a Mummy that is able to fully look after his needs because hers are back on track. I really don't think that having to wean him earlier is going to affect his intelligence because In my personal opinion only, the method of infant feeding plays such a small part to overall intelligence kwim?

  5. #5

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    I had that same sadness after each of my boys weaned as I wasn't ready either time. I have found some peace with it now hun, and I hope you do too.

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    I've never stopped wishing I fed my girls longer than the few weeks I did, but I try not to let myself feel guilty. When I do I remind myself of the reasons we stopped.
    I do admit that a huge reason I'm still BFing DS is to make up for it, but its also for me & DS. I am enjoying it now. I didn't then.
    You did amazingly well to get to 6 months
    You will feel better soon.

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    Like Manta I can relate... there was a time when my youngest and I (when he was 10 months old) were going through a rough patch and I was being pressured to wean (by a GP and my own mother) and I went through a similar grieving process. Now, he is 2.5yo and even though we kept BFing regularly until recently I still mourn the finality... because he IS my last child. Unlike your DS my son hasn't forgotten and he still latches on for a comfort suck (and falls to sleep 5 minutes later most of the time)... but if he kinda ignored my breasts in that bath scenario I too would be sad. STILL I do feel almost at peace with final weaning. I have semi-grieved for so long now that I think my brain is just over it... like it is all grieved out IYKWIM. So, in answer to your question... yes, i think you will move on... maybe like me you will get so involved in all their new stages and phases that the whole BFing issue will have no option than to fade further and further into the background... and you'll be ok with that.

  8. #8

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    MummaB, I just want to offer some hugs and let you know that I can relate...

    I quit breastfeeding when Samuel was only 2 weeks old. I could see it rapidly leading me down the path to PND because I had dreadfully low supply and he couldn't attach/suck properly. There was a great sense of relief when I made the decision to just fully formula feed...

    But now, a couple of months down the track it saddens me that Sam just sees my breasts as a soft place to rest his head and something soft to squish his hands into... I sometimes think of relactating, but the arthritis medication I have to take now makes it impossible.

    No advice, just lots of empathy and the knowledge that you are not alone, I guess.

    BW

  9. #9
    Matryoshka Guest

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    Thats the thing, i don't know what i want... its hard to think clearly through the PND haze. But i know this, before i was giving him a bottle and i wished i was breastfeeding him, i also started to leak milk so the thought must have triggered something.

    This is silly, but i offered him the nipple (again in the bath) to see what he would do and he had no idea what to do with it, he tried to bit me first, then pushed it away and screwed up his face. I felt a sense of panic, i guess because a tiny part of me thought, that if i felt better after going to the MBU and then starting therapy, making changes at home, more support etc - i thought i could re-lactate if i wanted to. And it saddens me so much that he's not only lost the interest, but probably the sucking reflex now.

    I guess its a bit selfish of me to think of relactating when he's doing so well as he is, do you think it would throw everything out of balance and be confusing for him?? And is there any point considering he's 7.5 months, would there still be a great health benefit?

    Its just that i breastfed my toddler for over 2.5 years, and i so wish my baby could have the same.

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    If you could get your supply going again do you think you could express? Even just for maybe one or 2 feeds a day? Would that help?
    It wouldn't be quite the same, but it might help knowing he's still getting some?

  11. #11
    Matryoshka Guest

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    I think if he would just attach and suckle, my supply would jump back up pretty quick as its always been super responsive.

    I've been going round and round in my head for days about this and just can't seem to let go of the thought. I am feeling better, my PND is healing, more and more i think breastfeeding is something i could really do again..... BUT its not all about me, i have to consider him. He's so happy the way things are now, i don't know if it would just create unnecessary stress. It would just be so great if he could have at least the 2 years my toddler had.

    And i guess the big thing is, i don't know if my desire is instinctual, or if its because i'm feeling better PND wise, and some of my determination and strength is returning.

  12. #12

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    MummaB - I think if you're feeling very strongly about it, it might be worth talking to your therapist and then the ABA or an LC and try to relactate. I understand it's a complicated issue because of the PND.

    I think ask yourself these questions - do you think you would have come as far as you have with your PND if you were still breastfeeding? Do you think not breastfeeding your baby long term is something you will always regret, even a few years down the track, or will you see it as a necessary step on your road to recovery?

  13. #13

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    Such a tricky one... but maybe, like Skye suggested, maybe you could express a small amount and mix it into his bottle? Just to start off with... see how that goes... and if that works for you maybe do it again... with a higher ratio of BM to FM. if he accepts a pure BM bottle then maybe try getting him to suck some off your finger... then try attaching? I'm no LC or expert though... but if expressing a small amount (given that you are leaking) and popping that into his bottle help how you are feeling (and it certainly wouldn't hurt him) then it may do the trick alone

    ETA: Yep, Willow has a good point re: regret down the track too.

  14. #14
    paradise lost Guest

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    Mumma my goodness, how i can relate.

    I weaned DD at 7 months, also due to health issues (mine) and i felt terrible, crushing regret. Unfortunately part of my health issue was very low supply and despite a few days of pumping (DD also seemed to forget how to suck at the breast within only a few weeks - to be honest it was tough getting her to latch by the end anyway because she was impatient and my let-down took ages) i was never able to get more than a squirt or two. What breaks my heart most is that i can STILL get those few drops, more than 2 years on!

    Do i feel at peace? Yes. The deeper regret seemed to hang around until when i would realistically have wanted to wean her anyway (about 30 months in my case, though i hadn't been intending to feed that long, something just "let go" of me at that point and i began to think more about feeding the next one than how it went with the last one) but i didn't feel the pain you describe all that time. I felt regret and sadness that i couldn't talk about until she got her first teeth (about 9.5months) and then sadness i COULD talk about until she was about 30 months. Now? Now i have accepted that i did what i needed to do at the time, that it is done, and that it cannot be undone, and that we both survived fine. I can SEE how OK DD is, and you will see that in your DS too, and that helps, i no longer second-guess how well formula can nourish because she is who she is, KWIM?

    As for re-lactation... Did i want to? Yes. Did i try? Yes. Did it work? Nope. Not for me. I wish it had. I wish i had kept even ONE feed a day for us so that i could recover my health and still be able to nourish DD that way, but it didn't happen for us.

    I do not buy into the "best for baby" bit of the formula/BF/routines debate. Whatever YOU, his mother, want to try, is ok and is best for him. You cannot harm him with BFing, you can only harm yourself and your bonding, but you are now far more on top of those issues and know now how far you can let things go before taking action. If i were you i'd look at it like this - if you try to re-lactate you will know you've given it another go and won't have the same regrets (i did feel better once i'd tried, even though my supply didn't come back). And if you find he isn't interested or that when you begin to BF again you feel PND worsening you know you can stop and he will still thrive on FF because he has been this last month. So from that POV i would try to stop overthinking it all and do what your HEART tells you to do. PND has a way of making one second-guess every parenting decision, question one's motives and doubt one's instincts. But you ARE a good mother, you DO do a great job and following your instincts IS a valid way to care for your babies.

    If that is to try letting him suck again then wait until he is fed but sleepy, or perhaps if he wakes to eat in the night, and put him to the breast then, when his awareness is dimmer and his instinctive feeding is more likely to kick in than the learned feeding technique for the FF bottle. Babies lose the tongue thrust and feed on for many years (your toddler did) and they never really lose the sucking reflex hun (i still suck my thumb and i'm 28!) so it's worth a go if it's what you want.

    It is OK to put him to the boob. It's ok to offer him 20 times a day if you want. Just offer, if he fusses give him a bottle and try again another time, no pressure, for either of you. And if you feel you don't want to offer anymore you don't have to. It is all your choice hun, and you can do as much or as little as you want, however you please. Follow your instincts. When you were ill you KNEW you needed to wean - it was absolutely the right decision. If you're now feeling the instinct to feed again it is ok to do so! And if you no longer feel the instinct that is perfectly fine too - he is thriving either way.

    Massive to you.

    Bx

  15. #15
    Matryoshka Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    MummaB - I think if you're feeling very strongly about it, it might be worth talking to your therapist and then the ABA or an LC and try to relactate. I understand it's a complicated issue because of the PND.

    I think ask yourself these questions - do you think you would have come as far as you have with your PND if you were still breastfeeding? Do you think not breastfeeding your baby long term is something you will always regret, even a few years down the track, or will you see it as a necessary step on your road to recovery?
    When i first read this, it really got me thinking about it, and i've come to the conclusion that i wouldn't have gotten through the worst of my PND if i kept BF, i was at breaking point. So i know i had to stop then... and i did feel it was the end, and was okay with it at the time.


    But now... breastfeeding is still something i think about every day, and i don't know why. Its not so much wanting to not have failed, but its the fact that if he would attach, i feel i could do it.

    I keep trying to make peace with this, as yes he's doing so well on formula, but then i raise the question how much better could he be on breastmilk? And i guess the crux of it is, i really didn't want to stop breastfeeding, what stopped me was my illness, and now that i'm beating that, the want to breastfeed is returning.

    But the challenge of re-lactating a baby who won't attach, i think is beyond me I'm not sure i should even try?

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