Deciding to Stop Breastfeeding

Photo by limaoscarjuliet
Photo by limaoscarjuliet

I’m going to post about deciding to stop breast feeding because I couldn’t find hardly anything at all about deciding to stop breastfeeding on the web. As much information as there is on the web, some topics are very hard to find!

I decided to stop breastfeeding after a month and while I was considering it, I searched the web extensively. While there is a ton of extremely helpful information on breastfeeding on the web, it is all centered around solving any problems you might have, not in making a decision one way or the other.  (And if it is about making a decision, they spend pages and pages telling you how good breastfeeding is for your child.)  There’s also no information about, when you decide to quit, exactly what you are supposed to do.  Stop cold turkey?  Gradually phase it out? I did find three pages of information on stopping breast feeding:

  • Ending breastfeeding.  This poor woman had obviously already decided to stop breastfeeding (a hard decision!) and the expert answering her email first questioned why she’d made the decision.  The expert did answer her question about how to stop breastfeeding and said to gradually wean the baby by cutting out a feeding every day or two.
  • Life After Weaning: Ending the breastfeeding relationship.  This was actually the most helpful webpage.  It’s an excerpt from a book and actually talks about both the physical and the emotional effects on the mother and the emotional effects on the child.  (Note that the emotional effects on the child tend to be largely those that breastfeed for several years.  It doesn’t talk about the effects on an infant.)
  • ending breastfeeding….what happens? This was a very short discussion between moms about what happens.  Like the previous article it suggests weaning slowly and points out that you should never completely drain your breasts if you want your milk to dry up.

Deciding not to breastfeed is a very hard decision because while nobody says it’s wrong not to breastfeed, the minute you become pregnant you are inundated with literature and people telling you how good breastfeeding is for your child and offering all sorts of support. (In particular the hospital staff and nurses were awesome. They were extremely supportive, very helpful and offer all sorts of free services to help and encourage nursing moms.) And when I asked friends and family what they thought everyone was very careful not to say anything one way or the other. Although all offered support either way! And many pointed out that there are plenty of healthy children and adults who were not breastfed.

So why did I decide to quit? It wasn’t health reasons, it wasn’t because I couldn’t nurse Caleb and it wasn’t because Caleb wouldn’t nurse. (Those seem to be the “acceptable” reasons to give for stopping breastfeeding.) I quit for many reasons, although it basically boiled down to the fact that I didn’t like it.  Here are the reasons I didn’t like it, pretty much in order of importance to me:

  • Time. It was extremely time consuming. During the day Caleb wanted to eat every 1.5 to 2 hours.  And he ate for 30 minutes. So that means that 25-30% of my waking day was spent feeding him.  That’s a lot of time! And planning around that is very difficult. (And it’s really hard to pump milk so that you can leave him with someone else for an hour or two when you are already nursing all the time. We ended up using formula in those cases and Caleb didn’t seem to mind going back and forth at all.)
  • Worry. I was always worried he wasn’t getting enough to eat (why did he want to eat so often!) or that what I was eating or drinking might affect him. (How many diet coke’s should you drink?  Probably none, right? So what about the two you just drank?) And it turns out he probably wasn’t getting as much in the afternoon as he wanted because he’s much less fussy now. But the doctor said he was getting plenty because he was sleeping 4-5 hours at night and gaining plenty of weight.
  • Sore nipples. A month is a really long time to have sore nipples. And yes, he was latching on and eating correctly. I think just feeding him 30% of all waking hours made them sore. I’m sure eventually they would have toughened up.

Of course I have doubts and regrets. Most of them centered around the health benefits. Breastfeeding is supposed to help kids’ immunity and decrease their long term odds of obesity. Those are the two I worried about the most. But I’m confident that there are lots of other factors that also influence Caleb’s health and the two of us being happy is one of them! (I realized I never talked to him when I was nursing him except to wake him up continuously and to ask him if he was done yet.  When I feed him a bottle I talk to him the whole time and it’s fun!)

I feel a little bit like I’m airing my personal diary in this post, but I wanted to make the information I found available to others and I wanted to add my own experience and decision to the pool of knowledge so that others might feel more comfortable making a decision one way or the other.

299 Replies to “Deciding to Stop Breastfeeding”

  1. I sincerly believe every mum can nurse as long as she wants to. At first, nursing my newborn ws difficult, bt i understood it was all the difficulties that comes with been a mum.breast milk is the best for our babies and infant formula try to fill that space, but doesnt do that completely. My baby is now 4months old and am stil breastfeeding exclusively. I pump and give her nanny who feeds it to her when am not around. And am very happy doing this because my baby looks veri fresh and robust. Shes gainin weight by the minute. Its comes with sore nipples and all the likes, bt i tell you! It gradualiy goes away. Mothers please try more.

    1. Every mom can *NOT* nurse as long as she wants. Luckily, our children will still be strong and healthy.

      I’m glad it worked well for you.

  2. Hi – you have obviously not read the comments that everyone has posted in response to Stormy Corners decision to stop breastfeeding. You are very lucky to have a Nanny not sure if its a Nanny as in Grandmother or someone you pay to assist in the care of your child. Just think before you say things, my first child it took 5 and a half months for sore nipples to go away, my second child life was just crazy I cried all the time and was in horrible pain. Mothers have the right to choose how they look after their children, how dare you openly criticise those of us that stop breast feeding. Oh how I wish it had only been sore nipples. I was so angry reading your comment and was all set to let fly but you are just another silly mother who thinks she has the right to judge other mothers because you can do something some of us cannot. I started this reply to your comment trying to justify why I made my choice and you know what I don’t have to justify my choices as a parent to anyone. It was the right choice for me and that is what matters. This article by Stormy Corner and all the related comments got me through what I can honestly say was close to the lowest point in my life. How dare you try to make it seem like the decision was made without regard to what is best for our children. Silly Silly person you are for being so narrow minded I certainly hope when you come to a hurdle in the role of mothering your child and need to make a decision that rips you apart inside and no one can fix for you that someone like you is not on the sidelines judging you, for what is right for you.

    1. You are perfectly right, Angela.

      Ibiso’children will not be healthier than yours. She simply naïvely believed LLL’scrap. Lots of people do.

      B Milk is not a bad thing, but it does not, in any way, has the power to impact a child’s health.
      IQ, allergies, interpersonal skills…crap crap crap..
      How could people believe that? Simpletons.

      So please Angela, do not loose your precious time being upset with Ibiso…she does not know any better…

      1. Sorry, mistake….I meant “it does not HAVE the power to impact a child’s health.”
        (not my mother tongue..)

  3. Im about to be a mom in about 6 weeks and i dont know how long i want to breast feed alot of the older generation has told me to do it for a year, but my friends that have children say its pretty hard and they only did it for some odd weeks befor switching over, i just wanted to say your post has given me a little more confidence in knowing that it is my desicion and if i dont like it i can stop, cuz all i hear about is how im GOING to breast feed and how good it is. But ive never heard any one say, ITS OK TO STOP! So thank you!! 🙂

  4. This post was very helpful…my daughter is now 6 wks old and I am considering stopping breastfeeding. This has been a very hard decision for me, as I (like everyone else) continually hear about how good breastfeeding is for your child, blah blah blah. It is good to hear other’s decisions about stopping. I have truly given nursing my wholehearted effort, but it’s getting silly. I do not make enough milk…after consulting with numerous lactation consultants, my pediatrician, and my OB/GYN, I am still only able to make a couple of ounces at a feed and my daughter obviously needs much more than that. Add the making of formula, the cleaning of bottles and pump parts to the already very time-consuming process of breastfeeding, and I have not been able to really enjoy my daughter for trying to keep up with her feeds. I hesitate to stop breastfeeding for emotional reasons…including feeling like a failure. I talked with my husband about my decision and really needing someone to tell me “it’s okay to stop”, so thank you to all for posting it publicly on the internet, that yes it IS okay to stop.

  5. “Breastfeeding is supposed to help kids’ immunity and decrease their long term odds of obesity. Those are the two I worried about the most.”

    This was NEVER seriously scientifically proved.

    So it might be that you did breastfeed for NOTHING.

    LLL is a lobby. The so-called benefits of BF have been largely overrated.

    No antibodies pass from mother to baby’s blood through breasfeeding. We differ from animals at that point of view. The antibodies can only act locally, in the digestive system. The only proven BF added value is a slight protection against gastroenteritis. See Kramer study on 17000 babies. Kramer consider BF as a positive thing, but clearly states that the former studies mentionned by LLL were biaised.

    It is sad that so many women suffer or experience guiltiness because of LIES.

  6. I am a mother of 3 children, all of which I breastfed and one that I am still to this day. When I became pregnant at the young age of 17 with my first child I knew that I wanted to be the best mother I could be and had decided while pregnant to have natural child birth and to breastfeed, although that went against how I was taught…My mother was taught by her mother to bind the breast after delivery and that during childbirth drugs were the way to go! LOL But I knew that was not for me. My Natural delivery was in a hospital setting but the nurses and doctors at the S.F. Hospital were very pro-natural childbirth and it went awesome, was a great first experience 🙂 But after I had my son, I did not have much help with BF, sure the nurse came one time to help me out but I needed help all the time! I thought the pain would NEVER go away…I nursed my son for a month and a 1/2, just as he was really getting the hang of it (I had one joyful painless breastfeeding moment I’ll never forget) then I gave him a bottle so I could have a datenight with his dad and from then on he’d rather have the bottle. I gave in too easy:( I waited ten years to have another child, this time more mature, married, and more educated…I read books about the Bradley Method and really KNEW what I wanted with this Delivery and was determined to BF, took an Awesome class on NCB and BF…And that’s exactly what I did. I had my 2nd son at a Birthing Center Completely Natural, Best Experience Ever! The Mid Wife and Doula were awesome with helping me get started and also my sister-in-law was very helpful as well! It helps to have a Good Support System. A Pump is a Must especially starting out so you don’t get engorged, nipple cups and lanolin help greatly. If one was more sore than the other I would pump the sore one and only nurse on the good side until I could switch…I just really stuck it out because I KNEW that’s what I wanted to do. I chose this Not Only because of the Supposed Benefits which are great BUT because I knew I wanted to be a Stay@Home mom, it was also the more Cost Efficient thing to do, and MOSTLY because I wanted to Experience the Personal Bond that I’ve heard is so amazing…Which Amazing is not even the right word, it’s priceless, overwhelming, something no one else can experience But YOU and YOUR BABY…I think what I love most are the EYES that look up at you, it’s different than when you feed a bottle, those EYES are Just for MOM :)) My little man weened himself when he was 18months and I was ok with it, a little sad, but he was ok so I was ok….Now with my Last Baby, who was our surprise little girl I thought I’d never have, she just turned Two Yesterday, and let me tell you, she Still Loves the Boobies! And because she’s my Baby and my Last I am having a Difficult time giving it up myself. She is a very smart, independent little girl, growing fast, starting to talk, and yet when she wants to nurse she is a just a baby to me. It’s funny because I used to think it would be Crazy to nurse this long before and Never thought I would and Even looked down on Someone I know for nursing her son til he was 2+…but now that my lil girl is Already 2years Old!! I am ashamed of myself for ever judging someone else because now I understand why…of course I only feed her in the Privacy of our own home but when I admit to friends that I AM still nursing her, I see the look of Judgement on their faces, like WHY?? They try to understand BUT I know they don’t…This is why I looked up this discussion today because I am having such a hard time with the thought that I might actually have to pick a Day. The Day I say No More, or have that LAST Feeding, the last time I will breast feed one of my precious babies for the REST of my LIFE…will it be the perfect moment? It makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t mind having my boobs back to myself and of course my Husband wouldn’t mind them back either, Thank God for his patience. I just wish she was like my 2nd Son and just ween herself! I didn’t even know our last feeding was our last feeding, it was on a camping trip when I put him to bed in our tent, and the next morning he never asked for it again…Simple…this time not so simple…well that’s my story….I guess I should have just started my own Blog, not much of a comment really. LOL

    1. Not really sure why you have written this here. It is clearly a blog post to help women who are wanting to stop breastfeeding and you have gone and written an essay about how you breast fed your kids until they are talking. It’s a little insensitive. Also it sounds like your still doing it just as much for your kids as for yourself. Are you afraid of her having a close bond with someone other than you? Talk about clingy mother. Yes I agree that it is probably healthier to drink breast milk than formula in the physical sense but ultimately the most important thing is that mum is happy doing it as she is the (usually) the main caregiver. If mum is happy and relaxed, baby will more likely be too. Ideally everyone would breastfeeding for at least a few months but not everyone has an easy ride or feels able to cope with how hard it is in the early days. There is no way of measuring how difficult someone has found it in comparison to someone else so I’d say go as far as you can and don’t ever feel guilty for stopping. I am breast feeding at the moment, she is only 2 weeks. But I am finding it really hard and not enjoying it at all. I was having to express all my feeds for a few days as my nipples were bleeding and bits coming off. Feeding her with a bottle felt just as nurturing and bond creating as did feeding from the breast. Plus it meant dad could be more hands on and it was lovely watching him feed her. I think I will try for 3 months, but if I can’t make that I won’t beat myself up about it. Me and my four sisters were only breast fed for a couple weeks and we are all very healthy, far from obese and are very close to our mum. So LLL and self righteous bfing mothers can do one.

      1. My first child is 5 now, and I only breastfed her for 2.5 weeks. I felt guilty for years for not trying harder. she was a difficult baby, we were exhausted with hardly any sleep, and I couldnt get her to latch properly. We made 5 visits to a breast feeding clinic, too! I enjoyed feeding her bottles, and hubby could help too. My new baby is 5 months old, and I am successfully breastfeeding her. I almost gave up a few times in the beginning. My nipples were sooooo sore and bleeding. The paediatrician gave me cream called betaderm 0.5% Ung:Mupirocin Ung,2%miconazole, ibuprofen nipple cream 1:1. Thats what the RX jar says. It totally saved me! Safe for baby, and put it on after each feed until you are better. Took no time at all! I am conflicted with when to stop. The bonding has been incredible! I bonded with the bottle with my other child too, of course, but it is different. She won`t take breastmilk in a bottle or formula, so I can never be apart from her even for an hour, which makes it hard sometimes. I will be returning to work in 5 months, so I don`t know when to start. I know she won`t suffer if I stop, but its my emotions that I`m struggling with. Its nice to know that I`m not alone in my emotional struggle . I didn`t have this experience before, and not really ready to give it up. If sore nipples is your struggle, please try the cream. It is awesome!

  7. Thank you so much for writting this. My baby is turning one month old this week and I am so done with breastfeeding. I hate the way it feels and the mess it makes, I have to use a shield because I have flat nipples. We are an on the go family and I refuse to nurse in public, I am just not comfortable with it. And we have four other children ages 1-6 so having to sit for 30 minutes and feed one is just not an option with other small children running around. But every where I looked for help all I got was “keep trying” or “why won’t you keep it up” So thank you for making me feel not alone in my decision

    1. Agreed. Everyone has their opinions, but are they in pain daily with sore nipples, engorged breasts, a limited diet, exhausted, and uncomfortable never getting a break from the bra and breast pads? If they aren’t then their opinions don’t matter to me.

    2. i agree completely…just stopped breast feeding my 5 wk old and he seems more time for him, his big sister, my budgets r and everyone else including me. my boobs are starting to feel better already and my house is cleaner, I’m much happier. i liked it at first

  8. I just stopped breastfeeding at three months. I used both formula and breastmilk. I never made enough milk, and felt like a failure. The hardest part is knowing that I won’t be able to look down at that sweet connection the same again. It tears me up, but I know that moving on is the right thing. Society has added a TON of guilt to my decision.
    Great post.

    1. I think every mother and child should breastfeed as long as they feel comfortable and there’s nothing wrong if they can’t 🙂 I’m eighteen and so many people I’ve spoken to are shocked that I’ve been able to breastfeed for as long as I have, my daughters now 14 months, and ive had mix views on me still breastfeeding her, but the way I see it, is that every baby and familys different, you do what you feel is right for your child and your family 🙂 Im so glad I found this page tho, because I know I’m gonna have to stop at somestage, and I’m glad I have the info about what happens alothough my wee one doesn’t seem to ever want to stop at this point

  9. I initially only wanted to BF until my son was 6 months old, and I would be done. I BFed solely for 2 months, but still pumped until he was about 9 months. I am finally weaning him now at 20 months. He is on a summer vacation with my family, avoiding the scorching heat we are having back home. I heard a good weaning method is separation. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to get that break, but the downside for me is my family lives 10 hours away. I dont get that daily or weekly dropping off with grandma. So its even.
    Its been a week. I also wanted to know about what is happening to me & my body

  10. I have a pre-existing mental condition which requires that I go back on the medication that I had to discontinue during the pregnancy and initial breast feeding period ( my son is now 10 weeks old). I have been told by my psychiatrist, my OB, and my pediatrician that the benefits of having a mother in a good mental condition far outweigh the benefits of breast feeding. But I am still struggling with the decision to stop. I feel that I not only have to convince myself of this, but also my husband, and even society for the requisite guilt that they bestow on mothers who are capable of BF but choose not to.

  11. I have a pre-existing mental condition which requires that I go back on the medication that I had to discontinue during the pregnancy and initial breast feeding period ( my son is now 10 weeks old). I have been told by my psychiatrist, my OB, and my pediatrician that the benefits of having a mother in a good mental condition far outweigh the benefits of breast feeding. But I am still struggling with the decision to stop. I feel that I not only have to convince myself of this, but also my husband, and even society for the requisite guilt that they bestow on mothers who are capable of BF but choose not to.

  12. Thank you so much for this article. You along with everyone else is right, society puts so much pressure on mothers to breast feed now. The nurses at the hospital push it, doctors and family members and friends even push for it. I have noticed that the mothering community, while at most times is very supportive, is also very judgemental. I have a 2 month old, and whenever i start talking to another mother with a younger child one of the first things they ask me is, “are you breastfeeding?”. And if I say no I know they are going to judge me. By the way, I have been combining nursing and formula feeding since my daughter has been born. I, like so many of you, just simply cannot stand nursing. I feel like i want to jump out of my skin the second I start pumping, and I am on the go and on the move all the time and find it extremely time consuming. So i have taken to just nursing at night and in the mornings, and giving her bottles of formula during the day, but I am ready to cut out my morning and night feedings too as I think my supply is starting to go away. I feel extremely guilty about the way i feel towards this as i planned on doing it a year, however i am so much happier when i give her a bottle. And at the end of the day, i think a happy mom equals a happy baby. I know I am an amazing mother in every other aspect, but the guilt thing is still really hard to get over.

    1. Thank you so much for your post. My baby is preemie, 6 weeks early and I have been doing a combination of breastfeeding and pumping/bottle feeding as she was not strong enough initially to take all feedings at the breast. I plan on quitting when she’s either 2 or 3 months (haven’t decided yet). I feel like a terrible mother for saying that I don’t enjoy it, but I just don’t. I do enjoy the time with her when breastfeeding, but I’m always concerned if she’s getting enough. And I enjoy the time when giving her a bottle just as much. I also hate pumping. I spending so much time during the day, feeding and pumping that I feel like I’m not enjoying her. I am also an on the go type person and feel chained to the house (because I refuse to breastfeed in public) and this is making me unhappy and creating a lot of anxiety. I think in the end a happy mom is going to benefit my baby more than breastmilk. I just have to get over the judgment that society lays on you for not breastfeeding. The way I look at it at least I tried it for awhile.

  13. I am so glad to hear this! I’ve bf for 7 weeks now and I am ready to quit. I’ve bought some formula and am weaning him at a comfortable pace without engorging. The thing is, he doesn’t care one way or another….I’m the one in turmoil. I had gestational diabetes will carrying him making it a high risk pregnancy. I felt like my body was not my own because I was on such a strict diet. With bf it’s still isn’t my own. So I quit! You can too! Be released from this crazy notion that you’re a failure. You are an excellent mother who adores your child and makes sacrifices for them everyday. You don’t have to explain or be on a guilt trip. You tried it and did it successfully because ANY amount of BF is beneficial. So from one mother to another, I empower you to QUIT if you want to!

    1. Thank you for this post. I am planning on stopping Breastfeeding after 6 weeks ( 2 weeks to go). I was feeling pretty guilty about like I was being selfish for wanting to stop but reading ur post has made me feel better. It’s hard to bf when u have three other little kids running around who one still wears diapers. You end up feeling rushed when you are feeding bc your other kids are hungery or need something or just getting into something. So thank you for your post

  14. I am also in distress ab this, i have had issues with supply since day 1. I take prenatal, magnesium, calcium 3x a day and 6 fenugreek a day. I cannot build a supply, i have had to mix formula and BM since my son was 3 weeks. He is 7 weeks now and refuses to nurse anymore. Pumping makes me feel so nauseous and i hate it but i feel SO guilty about quitting. I cry about it every day and when i decide “today is the last day” i feel like my son is going to be less healthy and so i stress through another day. I wish i could find peace.

  15. So glad I found this post. Thank you to everyone who has said ignore the feeling of guilt. I’ve cried so much over bf problems, such as latching on or not having enough milk. You do get judged, the health visitor was the worst, she looked disgusted when I mentioned I was combination feeding ans not exclusive bf. I was so stressed over the whole ordeal that I had literally no appetite and therefore wasn’t making enough for my baby, which made me more stressed in turn. I can happily say I have stopped bf about 2 days ago and my 4 week old baby is so much happier now, she must of sensed my stress. My friend is expecting next week, so shes lucky that I’ve been through it all to share my ups and downs! Obviously I still feel guilty about quitting as I searched for this post, but I’m sure its something that will get better with time. I hope every post on this page has a positive impact on someone’s feelings like it has done for me. Xxx

  16. Thank you so much for the post! Every word therein reflects what i have been through so far. I am do glad to know i am not a demon of a mom to stop breastfeeding my 3 month old. The breatfeeding issue has been gnawing at my mind eversince DD was born. Due to botched episiotomy i couldnt nurse the baby so had to resort to pumping milk, which in turn takes up so much of my time and energy. I tried diff pumps to make the whole process smoother but to no avail. I checked with all the new mums i knew to see if there was anyone who like me was mixed feeding and/or was considering giving up bf. To no avail – all the replies i got were about what i can do to continue breastfeding. I even looked for reassurance on the internet in inlune forums but 8 out if 10 comments in forums were about how and why not to give up BF as if it is a crime to stop it.

    You cannot imagine how liberated i have felt eversince i read your post and all the other replies. I havr started dropping the number of times i pump and hope to stop in over the next couple of weeks.

    Yes, i will not breatfeed my 3 month old anymore and YES it still
    means i am good mum and love my baby!


  17. I’m sitting here now expressing and feeling like crap. I didn’t have lunch cos after I fed my one month old a bottle of EBM I put her down and had a sleep myself, now I’m pumping away before getting her up to feed again. At first she wouldn’t latch on but now I feel like maybe I didn’t try hard enough – mother’s guilt of course. So now I feel like expressing is the least I can do for her and I HATE IT. My boobs are sore, it takes up all my time and I’m miserable but of course I’ll feel like a bad mother if I stop….

  18. I had my first child at 22 and didn’t contemplate b/f. It horrified me and I thought I would die of embarrassment doing it front of anyone so my daughter was exclusively bottled fed and grew to be a happy, content, healthy young girl. I then went on to have a little boy when I was 29 and decided with a bit more maturity to try b/f. His dad wanted to be involved in the feeding so we also gave him a bottle of formula at bedtime so Dad could do his bit. He also grew into a happy, content heathy young boy. We now have our 3rd! He is now 7 months old and is exclusively b/f and so far a happy healthy content little boy
    My point is I have done b/f, formula fed and both together and all 3 have turned out the same and I am as close to each one regardless of how they were fed. I have am now thinking of stopping feeding my youngest due to the full set of nashers he had sprouted is super quick time. A very good reason to stop I think. I have fought thru mastitis several times, spent countless hours trying to express. B/F isn’t for everyone nor is it easy at times. I am was anti-breastfeeding and am now very pro but it is a very personal choice. Every baby is different as is every parent.

  19. Thank you for this post. The guilt about wanting the throw in the hat with breast feeding for me is not only about depriving my precious daughter of what I know is the best food source for her, but also the mourning of what I thought would be a wonderful bonding process. My daughter is now 4 weeks old and I feel like the problems that I have experienced with b/f: low milk supply, stressing re how much she is getting, time consuming process as I am topping up with formula, have actually hampered my bonding with her. I feel like I am now at a cross roads: If I give up b/f maybe we will bond better because I will be less stressed, but if I give up, thats it I can’t start again. It is reassuring reading all these posts in that I don’t feel so alone in this dilemma anymore. I just wish I could make the decision 🙂

  20. Thank you so much for this post! I’m about to give up breastfeeding due to low supply and a poor latcher (not that the little guy wants anything to do with my boob now – he’s all about the bottle). I second everything regarding the feelings of guilt and formula-feeding being stigmatised. All I would like to add is that it’s a sad sad world where we even ENTERTAIN feelings of guilt and failure because we can’t / don’t wish to breastfeed. Society has (as it does historically) swung too far one way and set up so many women for failure. Most of my generation were formula fed and we are pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself 🙂 Stay strong ladies in whatever path you chose. Happy mummy = happy baby

  21. Also cortisol the stress hormone is realised into breast milk so if you are stressed baby will be too. Is it not better for baby to spend its first months of life not stressed and with a happy mother?

  22. Thank you for your post. My son is 11 months and I’m having a hard time quitting as well. I work and my job is more demanding than ever. It is hard taking 2-3 30 minute sessions out every day. Then when I get home he doesn’t want to feed long so I need to pump. But those times that he does feed, that look in his face is priceless.
    No one is pressuring me to keep breastfeeding. I’d say the opposite. People don’t understand the connection and tell me to quit. The thought makes me sad. When my baby has had a rough day or is in a bad mood, breastfeeding him automatically cheers him up, makes him happy or puts him in a better mood.
    I wish I could go longer but due to several challenges I’m not producing even half of what he needs anymore. It doesn’t seem worthwhile. I was trying to find something that made me feel better about quitting, but maybe I just need to journal my feelings and read up on some strategies to make him happy in other bonding moments.

  23. Thank GOD for your post and all the comments on here!! I have been EBF my little 7 week old girl and although I love being able to provide her with all the nutrients she needs, I hate that I’m always stressing about whether she’s getting enough, and then having to pump what seems like non stop to make bottles for daddy to have so I can leave the house every once in a while and on top of it all, I feel as though I just can’t keep up with my life since I’ve been off my medication for 7 months now. I got off of my ADD medicine that I had been on for over 10 years as soon as I found out I was pregnant as I didn’t want to cause any possible harm to my miracle baby. I stopped consuming any and all possible things that could harm her and have just recently (the past two weeks) have allowed myself a cup of coffee in the mornings again. I feel so incredibly guilty for even thinking of stopping and switching to formula as I had originally promised myself and her I would EBF for a year of I could. Ive been so fortunate to have a good supply of milk but just don’t feel like myself most days and feel like I can’t even enjoy my little girl because I’m either stressed out about her or in the other room pumping while her daddy spends time with her. Im so unbelievably grateful to see
    All these posts by other women who are going or have gone through the same personal dilemma.

  24. I feel the same first first child I panicked after 4 days and formula fed, the guilt made me get post natal depression for failing my daughter, even though she is a happy healthy 3 year old. I decided to give it a go with second one and have battled a fussy wingy child, sore boobs, colic, only expressing 2 ounce an hour when child taking 6 ounce,finally not being able to go anywhere constantly crying. I fear giving up as I feel like I’ve gone so far and no more pain but constantly hungry and unhappy. All my family want me to switch to the bottle as in back at the docs about depression even though my HIV says its def nit the breastfeeding. I fear my 2 month old is starving and why since combine feeding I. Topping him with more formula so my breast milk isn’t good enough. Thanks for your post I hate so much all this judging from others I thought we were individuals no the reaction not to breastfeed or to give up apparently puts you in the same category as endangering your child!

  25. My son is 5 weeks old and he is my first, I didnt have any promblems nursing at all no sore nipples always had lots of milk and baby latched on right away. I am going back to work next week and I dont want to breast feed aymore, but I am feeling so super guilty because im doing it for my convenience. I havent breastfed him since yesterday and it actually seems that he is less gassy and sleeps better with formula. I dont know what to do?

  26. Ladies I have battled the same feelings of guilt. My first child which is 9 years old now. I breastfed her for about 3 months. I am in the Army so it was impossible for me to be able to pump for her. 9 years later I am still in the Army but my job is a bit easier. I have breastfed my son for 4 and 1/2 months. I have loved it but when having field duty I would find power and pump in a tent and store my milk on ice for a 3 day week. It is a huge commitment to breast feed and it is hard when you are a full time working mother. I feel any mother that attempts it is doing good for her baby. Some mothers just can’t do it and I hate the feeling of being less of a mother because we can’t breast feed our children. If formula was so bad for our children then why is it being made. I support all you mothers and any amount of time spent breastfeeding is amazing.

  27. Hi ladies first of all reading all yr comments hv made me feelso mich better. For me bf journey has been so tough and mentally exhautsing. I ebf my 1st boy till he is 8 months old only to find out he is allergic to cow milk protein! So he was on soy formulae for a year and recently outgrow his milk allergy at 2 years old. Now i just have a second baby he is 2 week old but im simplily exhausted and stressed out to continue bf however im so damn afraid that he also has a milk allergy like his brother! So my situation is not As simple as stopping bf n giving formulae coz i dun know if he is allergic to it. By the way my elder son has a strong allergic reaction to cow milk he would puke non stop. Does anyone has similar situation as me who can share yr experience?

  28. Thanks everyone for this post. I had twins boys premie(5wks early). It was initially difficult for me to breast feed even with all the help from the hospital. My paediatrician introduced formula for the babies next day after birth and it really help. At home I continued with formulae and express once a day to feed them the rest of the feed is formulae. Not bcuz I didn’t want to breast feed them often but bcuz they weren’t latching properly and the milk flow was limited. It’s been 5wks now and the flow of the milk reduced gradually tht I am considering quitting. I also notice that each time I breast feed them they cry more than thy enjoy it and it feels like it upsets thier stomach as they cry through tout the feeding. I have resolved to stop bcuz of health reasons as I feel like the milk has probably gone sour and taste bad for them. It bothers me a lot as I want to at least try as long as I can.

  29. There does seem to be a lot of pro-BF/anti-formula propaganda out there which serves no purpose other than to make mothers feel guilty.

    Babies must be breast-fed because of the “amazing” health benefits we are told. Really? Can you distinguish between a adult who was breast-fed or formula-fed as a child? No, but according to the propaganda they must all be hyper-intelligent, illness-free, slim, non-fussy eaters etc., and the converse must apply to bottle-fed babies.

Comments are closed.