Wednesday, 7 November 2012

To Continue To Breastfeed Or Not To Continue To Breastfeed...

...that is the question I've had to wrestle with over the past week or so.

It's not been an easy decision to make.

Not in the slightest.

Those of you who read my post last week will know I got the dreaded mastitis. To say I was ill was a bit of an understatement - I felt horrendous. The antibiotics and the anti-imflammotories, although perfectly safe in breastfeeding, caused Tiny Ched to be seriously sickly. He couldn't hold any of my milk down so I was advised by the doctor to take a break from breastfeeding whilst on the tablets for a week.

I was heartbroken.

I'd breastfed TC for 7 months. In fact, it was the day before he turned 7 months that he started throwing up violently.

28th March 2012
A newly born TC
I can't tell you how much I love this little man
and I will always do the best for him
I think as soon as I realised I'd have to take a break that it would ultimately be the end.

Anyone who's breastfed and stopped, be it through choice or through force, it's quite an emotional roller coaster. I remember being extremely teary when I stopped breastfeeding Mini Cheddar 3 years ago - even though it was my choice to stop. My hormones were all over the place.

This hasn't been my choice though.

I know the mastitis wasn't my fault but I'm still beating myself up about it. A teething TC caused a cut on my nipple and that's how the bacteria got in. Couldn't be helped. It got hold of me in the night so the real damage was done by the time the excruciating pain woke me at 5.30am.

Anyway, before I ramble on and on, I've decided not to continue to breastfeed after this break.

There, I said it.

I've absolutely loved breastfeeding TC - my breastfeeding experience (mastitis aside) has been wonderful and so it's been a really hard decision to stop. I'm okay when my mind is taken off of it but when I'm alone, tired or just having cuddles with TC my heart aches (as well as my boobs!).

I could try and re-establish breastfeeding but I've chosen not to for the following reasons:

* I don't think I want to go through the hormonal effect of stopping again
* I'm scared to crap that I'm going to get mastitis again (it's nasty!)
* TC is teething sooo badly again. I see him tearing up the bottle teats and I'm so thankful it's not my nipple
* After TC flatly refusing the bottle for 7 months he's taken to it brilliantly
* I'm scared of being rejected
* I've done 7 months. I call that quite good going!
* I can drink copious amounts wine, eat spicy curry and baked beans*

I could become a 'pumping mummy' but I don't want to go down that road. Some completely pro-breastfeeding people (I'm talking about the extreme breast feeders) may think I'm being slightly selfish but I don't see it like this.

I'm not against formula milk in the slightest. What works best for mum and baby is what matters - there is no use trying to breastfeed or re-establish breastfeeding if it's going to make one of you (or both) unhappy.

Many women try and fail to breastfeed - good for them for trying. Many women choose not to even try for various reasons - this is their decision and if it works for them then good for them too.

Although I'm upset about stopping, I'm happy in my choice not to continue if that makes sense? Yes, I would liked to have carried on but I think I can forgive myself and pat myself on the back and the same time too...although I'm not sure that's physically possible?

Thanks to all those who offered their support on here, Email. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, G+ - you lovely people rock!

Right, where's that bottle of wine?

* I'm obviously joking with this one! "hic"


LauraCYMFT said...

I think you have done a brilliant job! I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to get mastits again, it sounds way too nasty and if TC has taken to the bottle just fine then you're not having to worry about a screaming hungry baby. I was sad to stop with Wee Z and Miss C but once I had stopped for awhile I was enjoying the freedom!!

grumpinator said...

You've done a fab job with both your babies and given them a great start with a decision that's worked out for all of you. Enjoy your wine! Xx

bod for tea said...

*Pours out a large glass of wine for you* Cheers honey! You're amazing and don't you forget it. 7 months breastfeeding is awesome and you've given him a wonderful start. I salute you for making the decision to do what is right for both of you - that is what matters. I had to wean Curly Girl when we started taking fertility dugs again to try for Peanut. It didn't work for us in the end (Mother Nature had other ideas thankfully :D ) and although it was our decision I was still sad to stop. But she was and is totally fine. It sounds like TC has made the transition really well.
P.S. I'm shuddering at the thought of those shredded bottle teats! x

Mummyandthebeastie said...

Oh you have done so well Heather! You have done more than enough and you should be very proud. It's horrible to have had the decision made for you but although brutal I think it's easier in the long run. Beastie just became disinterested and I was upset but the thought of him pining for the boob would have been much worse. I'm still going with Baby Beastie and know that it can't go on for too much longer as I have to go back to work next month! :-( He is a much more dependent baby though and I have a feeling it's going to be quite tough. Does TC take the bottle happily? xx

Abbey said...

Hi Heather, you're the only one who has to be ok with the reasons for stopping, and it sounds as though you are. I totally agree that whatever the case, what is best for mum and baby works best. Seven months of breastfeeding is fantastic! I am jealous! My little one preferred a bottle from the start so I pumped for 3 and a half months :) It would have been a lot easier to give him a breast, then I probably would have gone longer. You've done a great job. Be proud! *patting you on your back for you*


Little Purple Forest

mummylimited said...

Stopping is so hard and even more so if iits a shock and you haven't prepared yourself. You've done so well to do 7 months and you're way past that 6mo milestone. I can totally see why you've come to this decision. I gave up with my first at 16mo because he just didn't want it anymore and I was so upset, but once the hormones died down I knew it was the right thing.

FWIW too, I pumped a bottle of milk for a year for my non sleeping boy to have in the night and it was horrible. The worst bit, so I totally get why you don't want to be a pumping mummy.


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