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When Will I Start to Enjoy It?
~ A Message Board Archive

 From PGSilly ~ Everyone who breastfeeds talks about what a joy it is and how much they love it. Am I such an awful person? I just am not enjoying it. Mitchell is 3 1/2 weeks old. My milk is pretty much established and it no longer hurts to breastfeed. But sometimes when it comes time to feed him I just wish I could grab a bottle instead of having to lift up my shirt again. I guess I just see all of the benefits of bottle feeding (which I did with my dd) and none of the benefits for breastfeeding right now. I know that I want to stick with it; I just wish I didn't resent it like I do sometimes. Anyone else felt like this before?

 From AllisonG ~ It took me about 5 weeks until I really started to enjoy breastfeeding. It was harder this time for some reason, and I wanted to quit many times. But now Morgan is almost 5 months, and I hope we can keep nursing for many more!! The part about bottle feeding that tempts me sometimes, is the fact that others can give the bottle. But that is a pretty dumb reason for me. Don't give up yet, it sounds like you are doing great.

 From Gayesy ~ That is so great that your supply is becoming established and that it isn't hurting.

I think that in those early weeks when you are very tired it is normal to have doubts about nursing, especially as you have bottle fed your older child with enjoyment. You sound a bit "touched out" or burnt out at the moment, so please don't make any major decisions right now, okay?

Can you nurse lying down? Can you get lots of help around the house, with meals etc? Can your DH hold your baby and play with your toddler while you take a nice long bath all by yourself? Little things like that can make quite a bit of difference.

In another two to three weeks you will almost certainly be at the point where nursing is MUCH easier and more convenient than using bottles would be, so if you can hang on a bit longer, you will be pleasantly surprised. I haven't ever bottle fed but I can tell you honestly that if I ever had to, I would very soon get tired of all the preparation and so on. Nursing means that you can latch baby on at any time straight away, can lie down and nap while baby feeds, you can go practically anywhere and stay out for as long as you like because you have baby's food source right there. A sling can really help for this too, especially when you are caring for a toddler.

If you are feeling tempted to quit breastfeeding, it might help to think in your own mind about why it is important to you and your baby. From a health perspective, you are giving your child the best possible chance. That knowledge alone got me through some tough times, I can tell you!

Good luck - I hope you are feeling better soon.

 From Dawn28 ~ The first six weeks were the toughest for me. I remember how tempting a bottle was, especially when Alex was around three weeks old. It had stopped hurting, but I hated the constant nursing at that stage. But it really DOES get easier. I only recently realized how much I enjoy nursing him now. However, some women don't ever feel this way about it, so don't feel guilty at all. As easy as a bottle seems now, just imagine all the bottles and nipples you would have to wash, and lug around. Breastfeeding is actually easier, IMO.

 From Hannahsmom ~ I too remember feeling that way. I recall my DH saying she was hungry, and I would reply . . . AGAIN??? But then I became adjusted to it and expected this Now at 10 months we are nursing strong, and it is good for me in the sense it makes me stop and sit. As they get older they don't nurse as much so hang in there and think of the great thing you are doing for your little one.

 From wenzday ~ it took me 2-3 months to really get into it. I know how you feel though. I NEVER wanted ds #1 to have a bottle at all--he never did. I am pregnant again and I find myself laying awake at night feeling guilty because I am not altogether sure I want to commit to breastfeeding for that long again. It seems ironic since I was bummed that he weaned himself at 14 months! Maybe I'll feel differently in a few months!

I hope you can love nursing! It is beautiful! Please give it some more time before making any decisions!!!

 From Tylersmom ~ I remember those days well. My ds will be a year next week, and it's taken a lot of work to get to this point. The first couple months were really difficult. It seemed so easy to give up and give him a bottle. But think about it in the long term. Getting up in the middle of the night to go to the kitchen and fix the bottle, all those extra dishes, the $$$ you'll spend on formula, not to mention all the great health/bonding benefits a nursing couple enjoys. I'd give it at least three months. I agree with Gayesy, try to nurse laying down. Co-sleeping is a big help too, if you're comfortable with it. It's so easy to just latch ds on and go back to sleep!

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 From Melanie ~ I'll be totally honest. I HATED it for the first four weeks. Slowly it got more enjoyable. We've had every nursing complication that exists so it's been anything but easy. I'm still taking it day by day. You don't need the guilt on top of the stress you're already under. Accept the fact that you don't like it, but know that you're not doing it for you: you're doing it for Mitchell. I tell you, one of the greatest motivators for me in the beginning was cost. I am soooooo cheap and the thought of buying formula when I make something more nutritious for free seemed ludicrous. Use whatever you can as motivation, and good luck. If it doesn't work out, you're still a good mom!

 From Cammie ~ You are not a bad mother!! The mere fact that you are trying to breast feed makes you a GREAT mother! I remember those first weeks VERY well. I really didn't enjoy breastfeeding. I think it was a combination of the pain (she had a suck problem) and the sheer exhaustion! It probably took me 3 months to enjoy it. What I mean by "enjoy" is that it is a quite time for me and my DD, it is a time that I hold her close and it is a time that she really relaxes. It works to calm her down when she is really cranking or overstimulated. She nurses to sleep every night and has been sleeping very well. She still at 6 months nurses frequently but somehow it doesn't feel like the burden it felt at 3 weeks! Hang in there - it gets so much better and then you can really appreciate the health benefits of what you are doing!

 From wendycn ~ I can totally see where you're coming from. I never got to breastfeed the normal way. I'm pumping full-time. The bottle definitely does have its advantages but I'd give anything to have been able to breastfeed. The good news is that in a few short weeks you can start pumping to give bottles of breastmilk if you choose. That way, you can get out of the house by yourself for a couple of hours if that's what you want.

I agree with Gayesy . . . try not to make any decisions right now. I know that at 3.5 weeks postpartum I was SO emotional and definitely not myself. (I actually didn't realize that until later, though!) I don't want you to do anything that you will regret in a few months. Just try to take things one day at a time.

 From Cynmom ~ It helps a great deal to know that there are so many benefits to breastfeeding and that your milk is so superior to anything concocted in a factory. When I think about that, it makes me feel good about what I'm doing and I enjoy it even more. When I think of the emotional benefits it makes me feel great too. Breastfeeding is like typing or driving or riding a bike in that the more you practice, you feel so much more comfortable doing it. Soon you'll be a pro and you can go through a Sunday buffet with your baby latched on! lol! But until then, just remember that you're doing something incredibly wonderful for your child, and that it will get better . . . and better . . . and better. Also, don't look at it as work; look at it as your time to relax. And, think of all the trips to the doctor you likely won't have.

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