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I regret not attempting to breastfeed.

June 5, 2017

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may have seen this post about my choices to bottle feed. When I was pregnant I was absolutely adamant that I was going to bottle feeding Rory, despite feeling the pressure to breastfeed, I was really stubborn with my decision, bottle feeding was going to be the right choice for us.

To summarise, I felt that bottle feeding was more convenient (but between washing, sterilising, preparing feeds and having the strict timeframes you can keep formula – this just isn’t the case), I thought other people could help me bottle feed but obviously as I am with Rory all of the time I do 99% of his feeds. What it all boiled down to was the fact that breastfeeding just freaked me out a little bit – I know, what a tit. (hold the pun)

I was always hearing about stories of mastitis, cracked nipples, pain, low milk supply, cluster feeding and it just felt like a minefield. If I asked midwives for information they would tell me to wait until my antenatal classes which I never made due to going into labour. It just seemed like a host of things that my clouded little pregnant head couldn’t handle.

When I gave birth via emergency cesarian, I was in and out of consciousness and I will never forget Rich saying “I think he’s hungry” as Rory puckered his lips. The midwife asked if we were breastfeeding and the very clear thought went through my head “fuck that” – I was still led there being stitched up while trying not to vomit and having concerns over the infection I had contracted due to my waters being broken. No, in that moment, I was not breastfeeding. I had never been happier to see a bottle of formula and watch him be fed by someone else.

This continued while Rich was on paternity leave, at one point I had my step dad, dad and brother in the room visiting and was feeding Rory from a bottle and I thought “thank god I am not breastfeeding in front of this lot”, but it was all very short-lived, soon Rory started having colicky symptoms and I thought “if we had breastfed this may not be happening”, we even tried it ourselves but Rich and I are not experts and had I known my desire to breastfeed would grow later I would have seen a breastfeeding consultant then and there but I still was set in my bottle feeding decision.

When my milk dried up (it didn’t take very long) I was overcome with relief, I hated my milk boobs, they were huge and unattractive and made me feel so gross. After having leaking boobs from 20 weeks of pregnancy I was so glad to ditch the breast pads and stop waking up in a big milky mess. I was one step closer to getting my body back to normal.

However, when Rory turned about 12 weeks, something in my heart ached. I would look at breastfeeding mums and just be in awe of them, something in the pit of my stomach just made me feel that I was missing out – I hadn’t even attempted it.

When I was pregnant so many people told me to ‘just try’ breastfeeding, and my stubborn behaviour just made me want to bottle feed all the more – but what if they were talking from experience? The more I opened up about my regrets, the more other bottle feeding mums (that opted to bottle feed from the get go) shared that they had felt the same, we should have tried it. I just thought, if only someone in my position had actually said that to me at the time.

Only when it was too late, did my regrets come into play and I do feel sad about that. I feel sad that I didn’t try and I always wonder how Rory and I would take to it. He is a clingy baby, and although bottle feeding certainly hasn’t tainted our bond (like some people lead you to believe) I feel like he would have thrived on it. Sure, if it didn’t work out at least I would have tried.

Rory is bottle fed, and although this has its benefits and I am sure it’s worked out for the best due to him being lactose intolerant for a long while. There is nothing I can do now, but for baby number two I will be attempting to breastfeed, even if it’s just to find out how we get on.

The comments +

  1. Eilidh Maisy Meow

    June 5th, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I always remember thinking 'I think I'll regret it if I don't try it' and when I did end up trying it, I hated it and wish I'd bottle fed from the start. I'm sure if it had worked out I'd have felt differently but you just never know what's going to happen. There's so many positives and negatives to both sides so I think people on both sides have regrets about missing out on certain aspects, if that makes sense. I've no idea what I'll do next time because who knows, I might have a totally different experience and love it next time or it could be the exact same all over again. It's all so complicated! Rory is happy and thats all that matters 🙂

  2. Mummyandliss

    June 5th, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I have the same thoughts as Eilidh here, I breastfed for just 2 weeks and in that time she still didn't latch properly. As much as I wish I could have carried on, It hurt too much and It made me upset to think she wasn't getting much. I hated the leaking, and was happy to ditch the breastpads but like you, I will be trying harder with baby number 2. However, try not to put yourself down about it. It is okay that you didn't want to breastfeed, don't ever let anybody tell you that it isnt!! Lots of love, Zoe x

  3. Sophie Emery

    June 5th, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I tried to breastfeed & for a week it went well then all of a sudden he refused to latch properly. He screamed all night and his lips began to crack for where he was so dehydrated so we gave him a bottle as I thought that as long as he was fed and well I didn't care. I think the whole experience scared me into using bottles as I wanted to be able to monitor how much he was taking. Turns out the reason he didn't latch is because I had no supply due to severe anaemia that the midwives missed. After a few blood transfusions my supply returned but I decided to continue with the bottles and I regret it so so much now! I'm constantly beating myself up for not trying more.. I guess we just need to remember that no matter how we chose to feed our babies are happy.. you're doing great mama.. Lots of love x

  4. Unknown

    June 6th, 2017 at 12:59 am

    You done the best you could do at the time 🙂 I only breastfeed my first for a few months and I hated it… I was so impatient and even with my second. I had 4 more after the first 2 and I did them for like 18-34 months. It is lovely,, but there is always next time. Good Luck… Rose

  5. The Smallest Of Things

    June 6th, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I was adamant I would breastfeed second time around because I couldn't first. But it was so tough that I cracked and gave her formula on the 2nd night I think it was. I then combination fed but that was even tougher because I felt like I was always feeding her either breast or bottle. You have to do what is right for you xx

  6. Gee Gardner

    June 6th, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I love how honest this post is. So very well written. I have breastfed both of my girls and suffer from D-MER so don't enjoy it at all. It makes me feel horrible but that aside, I'm so glad I managed to stick at it.

    There will always be a next time for you and you'll be able to go in armed with so much extra knowledge and drive to really give it a go 🙂 x

  7. Rachel Bradford

    June 6th, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I do wish sort of I'd tried to stick it out longer but I do ultimately think i made the right choice. I think second babies are easier to make more balanced decisions as we've done alot already and it's a teeny bit less daunting!

  8. Honest Motherhood

    June 6th, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I couldn't physically breastfeed with our first and it crushed me and I was therefore too scared to try with our second, I wish I had given it a go though xx


    June 6th, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I am the complete polar opposite of you, I am so glad I didnt breastfeed and I regret ever trying with my first because I ended up hating him and myself because I just couldn't do it, Occasionally I do wonder if I could've done it but then I get snapped right back to reality when I read about infections and being awake ALL night long and to be fair, three healthy children just shows it doesn't matter how they are fed, just as long as you feed and love them x great post x

  10. Debbie - Hello Deborah

    June 6th, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Such an honest post lovely. I'm not sure how I feel about breastfeeding. I still kind of resent how it didn't work for us after trying so hard. I don't know if I'd try it again.

  11. Debbie Jones

    June 28th, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I breastfeed Alex and we introduced one bottle in the day which works really well for us due to him struggling to gain weight. I have no problems breastfeeding in public and when people come to visit. It's the most natural thing in the world. I'm pleased we introduced a bottle as days out become easier and also he latched on to breast and bottle with ease 👍🏼 Great blog though x

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