Do you ever secretly envy FF moms?

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Kayla1981's picture
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Do you ever secretly envy FF moms?

I'm very pro breastfeeding but I know there are times when I think how nice it would be to have the freedom of FFing.

Now, I should preface this by saying that my DD never liked bottles. We tried giving her pumped milk around 9 weeks (I think?) and she was not a fan. I thought it was good to wait a while but later heard that I may have missed the "window". I also did not produce well for the pump so I really did not put much effort into it. She only had maybe 2 bottles in her life. She nursed three times a night for a long time and we did not share a bed so getting up that many times was rough. Two times a night was easier and when we finally got to once a night it felt easy compared to what I had done before.

I also never left Jordan for more than a couple of hours at a time. I saw one movie while she was breastfeeding and I felt like I was up against the clock the entire time. So much so that it was hard to really enjoy myself.

Now that I'm about to start this all over, part of me is looking forward to the closeness, the bonding, the wonderful feeling that I know I'm doing what is best for my baby. However, part of me is dreading how much of the responsibility will fall on me again. I was really the only person who put Jordan to sleep because she nursed to sleep for a long time. I think until she was about 15 or 16 months? There were nights that I wished I could have a break and let DH put her to bed but once I was in her room, rocking her, I was always happy to be there.

Anyway, this is just me rambling at this point. I want to BF my next baby just like I was able to with my first DD. I want all of the wonderful things that come along with it. I feel good about my choice. There is, however, a part of me that has enjoyed the freedom of not BFing. It's a little hard to admit that sometimes.

tink9702's picture
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I understand your feelings of needing a break once in awhile. If you didn't pump at all and she wouldn't take bottles you had no breaks, that can be hard sometimes. If I were you, I'd try to introduce a bottle around 6 weeks or so, and give yourself a break every so often letting your DH feed the baby. My DD would take a bottle for daycare, but wouldn't for my DH. I would go out once a month and he would try the bottle, she wouldn't take it, would go to sleep for him though and then she'd just wake up more often during the night to feed. It worked for us.

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Once DS accepted solid foods, I felt liberated. We didn't have a babysitter 99% of the time, but I knew if I did have to leave him for a few hours he'd be okay since he ate solids. Even though he's still BFing, I think he'd adjust okay if I wasn't able to nurse him. One thing we did over time was have me nurse Aiden and then hand him over to his daddy who actually put him down. He'll let most people put him to sleep (there are definitely struggles but he will sleep for them)!

I stopped all jealously about FF during a playgroup meeting one day last year. During the playgroup, this little boy (just a few days older than Aiden) started fussing wanting a bottle. While the mom went digging through her diaper bag for the formula, water, and bottle Aiden started fussing wanting to BF. I latched him on and fed him a full session before her son was done with his bottle. Then she made mention about needing to wash a bunch of bottles later and how he was low on formula and she had to drive two hours away to get more the next day (remember I lived in Del Rio then lol). I was suddenly grateful to feed Aiden so quickly, even if it meant not really ever getting much of a break.

Remember that every baby is different Kayla. Maybe this time you'll have no issues with bottles and can pump for breaks when you need them. Biggrin

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No, never. Introduce a bottle around 3 weeks, its the prime time. Have your husband do it. Freedom was the key to my enjoying breastfeeding ~ without it I would have had to give up some of my life passions and would have been terribly resentful! Bottles and pumping on occasion are GREAT! Smile

Don't feel guilty, I would only feel guilty if I had let it impact my life and marriage, and pumping and bottles on occasion freed me to be a healthy adult, not just and only a milk machine! It worked wonderfully for us. Good luck and stay positive!

VCoates's picture
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I second the 3 week mark! Hopefully this time will be easier and baby will take a bottle.
In both cases with my boys, a bottle was introduced almost immediately and we never had problems.

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I was so worried about nipple confusion this time around because my baby was smaller... and now I wish I wasn't and that I'd have given her a bottle when she was real little. But I'm honestly not sure it would have made a difference. I don't have enough milk to pump to try EBM, but she flat out REFUSES the formula. And I tried the other night of dropper feeding it to her hoping it was the bottle itself and not the contents, but she wouldn't take it that way, either.

I went through a period of resentment around 4 weeks old and then that past. Then again around 8 weeks old. It comes and goes. Right now my issue is that I really would like to have a drink or two, but since she won't take the formula, I can't because I can't avoid feeding her. Sad I tried a few weeks ago and the most she took of formula was half an ounce then she just gave up and went back to sleep. It was really sad.

You are NOT alone for being slightly jealous of FFing mommas. I got lucky with my first two and they went back and forth with no issues at all.

Just remember the positives of why you want to BF.

Hopefully your next one will allow you to have a break. I feel your pain. :comfort:

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Nope. Never.

I took kiddo to the movies with ear protective muffs when he was wee. I wore him in a sling and stood/sat in the back. We went out to eat or to have drinks. We went to art museums.

Once he was about 4mo, he could handle my being gone for an hour or two to workout. I hated pumping/expressing, so I didn't do it. DH could entertain kiddo by walking or singing or whatever. Didn't need to have a bottle on hand so long as I nursed right before I left. And it's a small town, had there been an utter need to feed, DH could've just as easily come to the gym/pool with the babe. Formula was not at all an option as I have some severe food allergies and there's not a single formula I can *touch* without reacting. When he was younger than 4mo, DH came and sat in one of the lounges at the gym, because kiddo sometimes needed to nurse more frequently. But he was almost always happy to just go in a sling with DH and have a nice long walk downtown.

There's nothing wrong with drinking while nursing--just don't do it to excess. The amount that actually gets into your bloodstream/breastmilk is tiny and it metabolizes out quickly. A drink or two won't harm anyone, provided your child doesn't have a liver disorder.

I didn't really find that breastfeeding affected freedom at all. I simply took DS wherever with me and nursed him as needed and I'll do the same with the next babe. It's part and parcel of mothering. Life changes. Before we had a kid, DH and I spent our "together" time hiking and when we added a dog to our family, he came along. Taking a child with us just meant packing a different bag.

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I completely understand those feelings. Ben refused pumped milk in a bottle and I didn't try it until he was 6 months. I think I was worried that it would affect my supply because I didn't get to exclusively breastfeed Grace this long. Thank God he is taking it in a sippy cup now and I was able to leave him for 2 nights while DH & I were away. Grace had formula starting at 6 months and I breastfed her as long as I could until 10 months. So there are lots of days when I'm running around busy that I think it would be easier to give Ben formula in a bottle but I remind myself of how I felt when I couldn't get Grace to nurse anymore or make enough milk for her. I think it's normal to just imagine the opposite scenario than what you are currently doing. Definitively pros and cons to both. ITA with Jackie that this child may be different.

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Nope. Never. Not once.

I feel like I waited too long to introduce the bottle. We first started trying at 6.5 weeks because that's what I'd read was best and by then DD was already determined to refuse them. She more or less never took a bottle. It created a lot of stress but ultimately wasn't a big deal. She just waited until we were together. Having the benefit of nearly 18 months of BFIng, I now honestly don't believe in nipple confusion. If you're BFing 100% of the time for the first weeks and then 90% of the time for the next few, baby isn't going to get confused. Seriously, we BFing mamas need to give ourselves more credit than that. Can you really believe that your baby is going to confuse a rubber nipple for the warmth and love that is your breast? Next time, I plan to wait until the newborn craziness calms down and then introduce the bottle if baby is otherwise BFing well. For my DD, that would have been around 2.5-3 weeks. Before that, I wouldn't want to be bothered with pumping and I feel like the baby needs as much boob time as possible to work on his/her latch.

As for pumping, perhaps the flanges on your pump are not the right size. They do come in different sizes and switching can sometimes help to increase success.

alwayssmile's picture
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We introduced bottles at like 3 weeks I want to say. He took them for 2 weeks and then refused when we tried after that. I think the fact that we didn't give him a bottle for over a week after those first 2 weeks hurt us. We should have been a bit more consistent, but he clearly had a preference for the boob the whole time (no nipple confusion) and we didn't press the issue. Worked out in the end for us (I got over NIP), but if I had to work I would have keep with it I'm sure. No motivation = Aiden refusing bottles for the rest of those months (we did try on occasion but it wasn't consistent at all). Once he hit 6 months he would take pumped milk out of a sippy cup if desperate enough.

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I think every woman will face different challenges when it comes to mothering- and I think each of us will feel the pressure in different ways. Not every woman will feel the pressure when it comes to breastfeeding (I would hardly believe any woman who says she doesn't feel the pressure ever in any way). That said, you asked this question on a BFing board... and I think it's worth pointing out that there are many, many women who are not even ON this board because they couldn't handle the pressure at all when it came to BFing- whether that means they didn't even try in the first place, gave up for any multitude of reasons, or whatever. I don't mean that in a patronizing way, but just to say, I think it is valid to feel pressure in this area of mothering.

What I think is very commendable, Kayla, is that you 1) are willing to admit that you find things difficult sometimes, and 2) are willing to soldier on anyway, because you believe in what you're doing. Not because you're a martyr, but just because mothering is not always easy, but you don't choose it for the easy path.

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I my first child because I had SO many problems with breastfeeding. Then I was successful and nursed my second child for a year. I am nursing again for #3. I have been on both sides of the fence. Bottle feeding isnt as bad as many people make it sound. The only inconvenience I found was having to haul bottles and formula around everywhere and the numerous bottles that I had to wash at the end of the day. Nursing is way easier and much more convenient - which is why I chose to do it again with #3. That being said, even though I have no qualms about nursing in public...I really dont like to do it. That is the only time that I wish I had a bottle and was formula feeding. I can do the same thing by pumping but I dont like to do that either. Blum 3

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Thank you for all of the supportive comments. I know not all of you can understand exactly where I'm coming from but we all have different personalities, different babies, different experiences, etc. I think one thing we all agree on is that we want to BF our babies, no matter what our circumstances are.

"Marite13" wrote:

I think every woman will face different challenges when it comes to mothering- and I think each of us will feel the pressure in different ways. Not every woman will feel the pressure when it comes to breastfeeding (I would hardly believe any woman who says she doesn't feel the pressure ever in any way). That said, you asked this question on a BFing board... and I think it's worth pointing out that there are many, many women who are not even ON this board because they couldn't handle the pressure at all when it came to BFing- whether that means they didn't even try in the first place, gave up for any multitude of reasons, or whatever. I don't mean that in a patronizing way, but just to say, I think it is valid to feel pressure in this area of mothering.

What I think is very commendable, Kayla, is that you 1) are willing to admit that you find things difficult sometimes, and 2) are willing to soldier on anyway, because you believe in what you're doing. Not because you're a martyr, but just because mothering is not always easy, but you don't choose it for the easy path.

I agree with all of the bolded 100%. Breastfeeding was challenging for me at times. There were times when it was painful or times when I was so tired, it was like my body was fighting me every step of the way to her room. All it wanted was more rest. I also wish I was more comfortable NIP. I fully support other women doing it so I have no idea why I cannot seem to get comfortable with it. Maybe this time around I will find it easier, who knows.

Besides BFing, many things about parenting are challenging. But, as we all know, it's worth it all.

I may look into seeing if the pump is working as well as it can for me. I don't see pumping being a big part of my life but it would be nice to have some stored, just in case we need it. I remember being so afraid of getting sick and dehydrated and not being able to feed Jordan. At the very least, a small supply in the freezer would give me some peace of mind. As Jackie said, at some point it could be put in a sippy if needed.

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Yup, sometimes! And my kids both took bottles well....but them taking bottles still leaves me needing to pump. In 2 weeks a friend is having a spa day for her 30th. I'm excited to go, it will be a great day BUT I'll have to find time and place to pump at least once if not twice. I'll have to lug all my pumping crap (ok it's only 1 bag but still) and I'll have to break away from the group a couple times to do it. I have to pump at work which is a total PITA. In April I'm going with my mom and sister for a day in the city to see a play I still have NO idea where I'll pump but I'll have to find space even if it's the bathroom. In those moments where I'm pumping in totally bizarre places I totally envy someone who left DH with a baby, a bottle and a can of formula!

In the middle of the night when Rory is cranky and I can whip out a boob and go back to sleep and the multiple days of week I don't have to wash a bottle and the money I save (and bonding and cuddle time and ease etc) far out weigh it for me. But I totally get what you mean and when I'm stuck pumping at the spa or in a dressing room in NYC I'll be crabby! And if I don't pump I'll wind up leaking or with clogged ducts soooo yay for producing lots for a pump but UGH to not having freedom even though my kids are happy to take a bottle

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Kayla, don't ever feel bad about that. I was a FF mom with my first three babies. Not for lack of trying, I was just young and never could quite get the hang of it, plus I had to go back to work after just two weeks each time, so it just never worked out. This time around I was determined to BF no matter what I had to do, even if it meant going to an LC every day!! Thankfully, with the help of this site, experienced BF moms, an LC, and fenugreek, I was able to become a BF master (lol) and my little man is almost 4 months old and still going strong. This all while I still had to come back to work two weeks PP. I just use a handheld pump, which I had problems with in the beginning. You could be like me, as I NEVER get a let down when I pump, so I would pump and pump every two hours like clockwork and never get more than 1 oz each time! I finally figured out what a let down was, and it would happen at random times while at work. So when I would feel that "tingling" feeling, I would race to pump and get around 4 oz out at once, which was a HUGE step for me! I also started pumping first thing in the morning while baby was feeding, because I can always get a great let down if I do it that way. I know exactly how you're feeling, but really if you can get things on a schedule it's so much easier for you. It can seem as though FF is easier if you're stressing out about other things... so no shame there! Good luck with your new LO, and we're here for any BF help if you need it!!

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i'm not sure i've ever actually envied FF moms. the few times i've mixed up formula- the smell, the mess... it took about 2 seconds before i was eminently grateful that i don't have to mix, wash, warm, serilize, or even smell that stuff.

there are times that i have desperatly wanted to remove my boobs and hand them off to get a child off my lap, but then i remember its not just the milk they need, they'd still want cuddles and attention and comforting, so its just much easier all around that i am nursing. The few times i've tried to get my husband to take over, either nursing wasn't the issue and food wasnt going to make the baby better, or he tried and failed and i still had to rock/comfort baby myself anyway, so i was glad i had nursing to supplement that.

I have seen 2 movies WITH each of my nurslings, up until about a year old, i wore baby in a sling and took them to the theater with me, they fell asleep halfway through, and i got cuddles AND a movie!

I am a working mom, so its really difficult to pump, hope baby will take the bottle, waste milk that baby decides not to drink, so i can see very easily the frustration that relationship causes, but every time i tried to give myself a break using formula, it made me even more grateful to be able to breastfeed instead.

Kayla1981's picture
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Well said, Jenni! I am definitely grateful that I was successful in BFing my first DD for so long. I know I would be devastated if I was not able to do it so easily again. I know that is important to remember.

ETA: By "easily", I mean that my body cooperated and produced what my daughter needed. I did have some issues, but never anything that made me stop BFing or did not allow me to continue. (Besides getting pregnant and, with my history of PTL, being told I really needed to stop.)

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there were times where i def envied ff moms, especially the formula coma and how easily it seemed to happen! ITA the smell the mess the cost all put those thoughts out of my once i figured out side laying feedings, i'd pop on a movie and just veg on the couch with her!
just wanted to say i'm proud of you and how well you did with jordan, some real struggles to overcome and you did it! i can't remember if you say LaLeche last time? might be worth checking them out again before LO arrives to help with the pumping issue, i loved having a little in the freezer (usually a ton of 3-6 oz bags with a bunch of 2 oz in the mix) most ended up being used to mix with food once she started solids instead of water! hang in there!

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Nope, I don't envy FF moms!

Sometimes I would feel stress from being the only food source, but most of the time I am just greatful that I don't have to buy/prepare/store formula and clean up the mess and all those bottles! I think FF can actually tie you down more, because when I go out I just take the baby and the boobs are just part of the package. I don't have to worry about packing bottles and formula, or where I am going to get water (or carrying around all that water, if you take bottles of water), how to warm it up, mixing it, etc. Then when you get home you have dirty bottles to wash. Plus it smells gross! lol

I agree with the others, each baby is different. They all gave you great tips on increasing pumping output, and next time you can periodically introduce a bottle.

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I in no way, shape, or form envy FF moms! It's hard in the start with breastfeeding but to me, it wasn't even hard then. It was something I wanted to do so badly and I just embraced it with all I had and cherished every night feeding, everytime I didn't get to finish a meal, etc. I don't have to buy formula, it's SUPER easy now, I just whip a boob out and bam, he's fed, comforted, whatever! And the smiles when he sees me coming are priceless. The contentment in his precious eyes as he's nursing, priceless. And he's NEVER had a bottle before (we tried, he will not take my milk from a bottle!)... I am proud of this after failing at breastfeeding twice before.

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Having exclusively pumped and formula fed my daugher and then breastfeeding my son I can say breastfeeding has been the easiest for me by far! I was thrilled that I was able to breastfeed my son and it was very convinent for me to feed him wherever we were. My daughter was my bottle girl and my son would never take a bottle so luckily I wasn't gone from him long enough for it to matter. We are still breastfeeding about 2 times a day and I don't have any plans to stop.

Then was only one time I can remember that my son wanted to nurse and I couldn't find a place to do it where we were shopping and he was really upset. I left my cart and said I was sorry but I had to feed my son.

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Nope! I do wish I had been a little less lazy with DS2 when it came to pumping, and I wish we hadn't waited too long to introduce bottles, but I do not envy spending all that extra money and spending all that time washing bottles and preparing formula, not for a second. DS1 was good with the bottle because we started him at like 1-2 weeks, and I kept up with pumping a lot better because we had troubles in the beginning so there were definitely times I was just frustrated and wanted DH to do the feeding. DS2 took to nursing like nobodys business, and because of that he was 2-3 months before we tried bottles, which he refused to take. With this baby I will definitely be getting DH to start bottles at around 3 weeks, so I can have a little more freedom, which I didn't get with DS2 until he started solids, which wasn't until 8-9 months.