Torn between nursing/supplementing/all or nothing and a jealous 5 yr old

  • Hey all, my baby is 3 wks and I've been mustering through breastfeeding with him. I also have a 5 yr old that seems is getting depressed each day that goes on when the baby is nursing and taking up so much mommy time. I feel so guilt stricken I don't know what to do. The baby seems to latch on just fine and get just enough to feed at the moment, but then I find myself supplementing almost immediately or roughly an hr later with anwhere from a 2-4 oz. formula bottle.

    I can't decide if a am sabotaging my relationship from too much time being spent with baby away from my 5 yr old and feeling as though he's not getting enough anyway, or its worth it and my milk supply will kick into over drive anyway and he will start taking less time eating and feeling more full when that happens? I feel stuck, confused, frustrating, and angry that this isn't going the "right way". Your suggestions and opinions hopefully will aide me in making a decision rather than agonining about it.

  • Don't worry--you are not alone. First, if you are interested in continuing breast feeding, talk to your pediatrician to be sure you are latching your baby on right and that you are making enough milk. Ask your pediatrician about breastfeeding support groups in your area for advice on how to make it work. 

    As far as your five year old is concerned...remember that it is quality time not quantity time that counts. Make sure that when you are not breastfeeding that you are taking the time to actually play with your five year old or spend time with him. Make sure you  let him know that you are so happy he or she is a big kid because he is your special helper. Get him involved in the baby care and try to hand the baby off to others when they visit so you can play legos or taking your five year old swimming or to the park. 

    I hope this helps--whatever you do...don't beat yourself up. It is only natural to feel torn in two directions right now..things will smooth out and you are doing a great job!


  • Being a nursing mom is a great commitment but it is not easy, especially when juggling other kids' needs or a job. MommyRN's comments are right on target. You are one woman and you can only do your best, so try not to feel guilty. Support is always a big factor, so it's important that you receive what you need from your Doc to help you get as much out of nursing as possible. For your five year old, support can come in the form of others allowing you to spend some quality time, or others taking the child to do something fun so you don't feel guilty spending quality time with your newborn either. Good luck and as I am sure you know, there is never a "right" way for things to go... as parents we need to be prepared to adjust on the fly!

  • Hey alyoung_80. I feel exactly the same way except I am on my first baby. I love the bonding time that I have with my baby. I will feed him on both sides but then he seems to still be hungry. I feel bad that I am not making enough. So I will give him a bottle and then pass him to my husband so he can have some binding time also. But I think that as long as he is getting food then I don't really mind how he is getting it.  

  • I recently spoke with a certified lactation consultant and it seems as though I am not producing enough milk and need to "up" my supply by having baby nurse more often. I don't think I am up for that task seeing as though there are also multiple other things going on now as well. He is gassy/constipated and cries non stop unless he is nursing on top of other nursing times, he just got diagnosed with thrush, and I am on antibiotics for a bladder infection. Yay! the thrills of motherhood. (Sorry if that was a little too sarcastic) I think its time to throw in the towel and stick to bottle feeding. I feel like I'm in this boat on my own as my husband works 3rd shift and the baby has his "witching" hour right after he leaves at my 5 yr olds bedtime, I get up on my own through the night and morning then so my husband can sleep from working all night. I think I'm actually sabotaging myself and it is reflecting onto my 5 yr old as I am simply drained when I do get that minimal quality time with her I can't focus on simple tasks like coloring together. I'm not tyring to come up with excuses, I just can't handle all of that on my own. Thank you all for the great advice and responses and for taking the time to care enough to read my post.

  • I'm sorry breastfeeding has taken such a toll on you. It isn't always easy that's for sure. I'm glad you did come to a conclusion to stick to bottle feeding though. remember to consult you doctor if you think you need to change formulas. I was in almost the same boat as you when my daughter was born. My fiance is a contractor... not just any contractor a very good finish carpenter. Contract jobs are already hard to come by, but being in such a specific field makes it even more difficult. The week after our daughter was born he moved to Iowa to start a new job and look for a home for us while Hazel and I waited in Indiana. The next three weeks were the worst of my life. In that short of time I had Zero help as all of my family was working 3rd shift. My daughter wasn't taking to my milk and was crying ALL the time so I wasn't getting any sleep. One night while I was feeding her I fell asleep and she wiggled her way off my bed and fell 3 feet. Thank goodness she wasn't hurt and I still haven't forgiven myself for that one. Her dad was so mad at me he didn't talk to me for two days so that really made things that much worse. Three days after that my car was repossessed because I had to use my car payment money to keep my idiot dog alive (she ate two pounds of chocolate chips and had to have her stomach pumped and a million other things the week before my daughter was born). So on top of not having help, my daughter falling off the bed, my dog needing extra attention, my car being repoed... I had no way of getting to Iowa to be with my fiance... then my moms boyfriend hauls off screaming at me because the dog got sick on the carpet while i was taking a much needed nap.... Worst week of my life is sort of an understatement. I didn't mean to hijack your post just wanted to share my story with you so that you might not feel so alone. We all go through some pretty rough times, and somehow manage to make it through and move on. I learned that sometimes when things are rough you just need to barrel through and eventually things will get better. I hope things start to look up for you.

  • I am glad that you got to speak to a lactation consultant. Don't worry and please don't beat yourself up. It is tough being a mom of two children and one that takes a lot of juggling and trial and error. It sounds like you are doing a great job trying to make sure both of your children get enough of you! Good luck!

  • I am sure you feel some relief simply from making the decision to go with bottle feeding. You made an effort to nurse and determined that what was best for your FAMILY was to stick to the bottle. Some may not understand that and criticize your decision, but you have nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about and realistic families who can't spend 24/7 servicing the needs of one family member at the expense of others. Continued good luck, and as you have found, many parents on Strong Moms care and wish to help in any way.