Not wanting the breastfeed this time.....

  • I am expecting baby #5 in a few short weeks and I am not wanting to even breastfeed at all!  I nursed my oldest nearly a year, mostly because I felt like I had no other choice and was trying to be a "good" mom.  My 2nd had some struggles latching on and despite meeting with lactation consultants, we could not fix it.  I felt like a failure when I gave him formula, but soon realized what a burden was lifted off my chest.  My other two I did nurse but not for very long; under two weeks.  I have a very hard time with ppd and formula feeding has helped me not feel like I have to do everything; someone else can feed my baby. 

    So, here comes #5 and I don't even want to bf at all.  I always get sore, cracked, bleeding nipples and the thought of that makes me cringe.  We are going through a very stressful time with my husband's business and I feel like I can't cope with it all.  I am afraid of the nurses at the hospital looking down on me, or lecturing me about breastfeeding.  How do I handle this without being rude and without changing my mind?

  • You can say, "Thank you so much for that information.  I've thought a lot about this decision and I'm comfortable with what I've chosen."

  • You could be honest with them tell them what you wrote on here. If you're overwhelmed, (which I can't imagine why with 5 kids) and bottle feeding helps with re-leaving that stress, they should be supportive. Your mental health is just as important. My first I had a horrible time breast feeding (I'm still scared from the cracking and bleeding) I did it for 2 weeks before I was so sore and stressed I gave up, bottle fed and she came out turned out just fine. My 2nd I decided to do a lot of reading and talked to a lactation nurse went in with a positive attitude towards breast feeding and it was one of the most wonderful experience I've ever had. My second also didn't have as many doctor visits in infancy as my first. But everyone is different at the end of the day you need to take care of you to be able to care for the kids and if breastfeeding just doesn't work for you it doesn't. You know what's best for you and your family and stand strong that if in your heart you know formula is what's best for you and your baby don't let any one make you feel bad. On a last note though, maybe giving breast feeding an honest chance before going to the formula might be a good idea, you never know every pregnancy and every baby is different and you may have  really positive experience with this new baby, and it also give you the reassurance that you did try and it just isn't right for you and your baby. Remember you are that babies mother and you know what's best, and just let the nurses know.


  • No need to worry!  I have never really been able to breastfeed eithe one of my two children.  I am now expecting #3 and don't even have the desire to try.  In fact when I pre-registered at the hospital, I put bottle feed.  Stay strong and don't let anyone change your mind. 

  • sweetprettymommy-

    I am so glad that you are thinking this through now, and coming up with a plan.  I think that having a plan set in place, and knowing what your thoughts are will make the whole process much easier.

    I want to speak to you for a minute as an Pediatric Nurse:  I want you to know that just the fact that you have other children puts in the front of my nurse mind that you know what you are doing!  Your judgement can be trusted bc you have done this before, and you have done it successfully.  (by "it" i mean raising kids, had a baby, ect)  Those factors alone start me off wanting to support you, right then and there you know much more about your experience raising your children that I will ever know.  You know what works for you, you know what doesn't work for you.

    My best advice is to be direct and honest.  Let the nurses and aides know up front that you would like to formula feed this baby.  This is no different than a mother letting the nurses and aides know that she wants to breast fed exclusively.  

    If you feel like they are being pushy at any point, just as another member posted be direct with them;  "I appreciate your thoughts on breastfeeding, but I am going to bottle feed this baby."  That is all you have to say, PERIOD.  Many people don't realize this, but as the patient the nursing staff works for you.  You are paying their salary-right?  So let them know how they can best help you.  As a nurse I love it when parents know what they need and how I can best help them.  It makes my job a breeze! 

    There are many people, as you know, that believe that breastfeeding is the only way to feed.  I am here to tell you that a lot of babies are exclusively formula fed and they do JUST fine!  

    Your birthing experience and early days with your new baby should not be rout with stress, pain, and guilt.  Let your husband know how he can help with this, be clear with the staff you are working with, and most of all let go of everything around you and cherish those precious days with your healthy new baby.

    Keep us posted!




    I think some people are missing the point of the original post.  The good thing about being an adult and of being a rational, thinking human being is that you GET to change your own mind.  She has a right to change her mind for whatever reason--additional information, change in circumstances, change in preferences.

    The point is that it is HER choice to make.  I didn't read her post with the impression that she has to STOP someone from "changing her mind."  She just may decide that breastfeeding is the way to go; and that's okay.  I read the post with the impression that she does not want to be judged or preached at about her choice.  I think it's a great idea for all people to feel free to change their minds if they want to.

    In fact, if she starts of breastfeeding, that leaves her with the option to change her mind.  However, starting of by formula feeding makes it more difficult to have the option of changing her mind later.

  • Hi! My baby is almost 2m old and I just stopped pumping yesterday. I bf for 2 wks and it just didn't work, he had a hard time latching on and I just didn't have enough milk. I then pumped and pumped and it just wasn't working either and finally gave up yest. I must say I felt (and still kinda feel) horrible and guilty not "being able" to feed my baby the way we are "supposed" to BUT !!!! it is what it is and the decision is ours to make. I'm sure like me u love all your babies and u'll love this one just the same and will always do what's best for them as well as for urself. Don't let anybody change your mind, discourage u or make u feel bad with a decision u've made for yourself or ur family, ur the mommy and only u know what's right for u and ur babies. Feel good and confident about the decisions u make because they r right for u and that's what counts @ the end of the day! :)) Cheer up and enjoy ur newborn! Congrats! :))

  • I want to thank everyone for their comments. I am in agreement with everything stated above. I would also like to say that your comments help me feel better bout my own circumstances and decision to stop breast feeding early. I will say every baby is different. I have 3 boys, I breast fed all of them in the beginning then switched to formula. My first one was a struggle and I was very sore, but I met with a lactation specialist and things improved and I breast fed for 3 months until I went back to work and had a hard time keeping up with him. The second one went much easier. He latched right away with no problems. My 3rd was again very difficult. I was sore and had blisters. I saw a lactation specialist but things did not get better this time, even after making some adjustments. After 4 weeks we switched to a bottle. Eventhough I know that was the best decision for me, I still have felt guilty about not breast feeding longer. It is comforting to know I'm not the only mom out there that struggled and felt that formula worked better for us.

  • mdreher2-I'm glad that you found some reassurance in our words. Keep your chin up, we are here to support you! -Jess
  • Another way to do it is to make a full birth plan and give it to your OB, the Pediatrician and to the delivery nurse so that it is on record. State in there that you do not wish to BF and that you know the pros and cons of choosing formula and that you do not wish to discuss it. Its alot easier to be firm on paper and may help avoid awkward moments.

    I had put it in my birth plan that I wanted no pacifiers and no bottles given to my son. So I was kinda upset that they gave him a pacifier during his circ. But now he's 9 months and still BF and weened of the paci, so I guess it didn't hurt.

  • I bf my 1st for about 2 months. Decided I did not want to even try with #2 (just born in Feb) and I just told all the docs/nurses that I wasn't.  I didn't "explain" my decision (it's none of their business anyway), and no one asked or pressured me in any way.  I just told them we were just using formula - and that was that.  I knew I did not want to try bf this time, so I made sure I said it so there was no question in my voice or anything.  I did get a lot of "tips" on how to deal with when my milk came in, sore boobs, etc., but no one ever told me I should really try bf or tried to make me feel guilty.  It's your decision.  Congratulations on baby #5!!

  • I'm having my third soon (due late October) and I am also planning on just going with formula.   I nursed my older boys but not for very long.  The first had trouble latching on and there were days when we'd both be in tears.  Him because he was hungry, me because I couldn't get him to latch on and the more upset we both got, the harder it was.  I visited with the LC twice in the hospital and two more through WIC before I finally threw in the towel and gave him formula.  It was just so much easier knowing he was getting enough to eat and I wasn't having to spend the whole day on the couch trying to get him to eat.

    With my second it was easier and we made it to 6 months but I never enjoyed it but never felt like I could admit that to anyone because mothers are supposed to just love nursing their children so I thought I'd be seen as selfish if I didn't want to breastfeed.   And some of the looks I got from the people at WIC when I requested formula vouchers didn't help with that. 

    So yeah, I understand just deciding to go with formula for this one, as I'm sure with all the others you'll have your hands full as it is!  My older 2 are 10.5 and almost 9 so part of my reasoning is also that I don't want to breastfeed in front of them since they're at the "Boobies are funny" stage.

  • You should not feel pressured to breastfeed...speaking as a former bedside postpartum nurse and a current OB Nurse Educator I can tell you that we do encourage breastfeeding but we don't force out patients to do it. I'm sure that the nurses will be very understanding especially given your history (5th baby, latching issues, etc) Good Luck and congrats!

  • You know what is best for you. Remember, this is your choice! The last thing a mom (especially of 5) should have is added pressure to do something they don't want to do. 

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