I Want to Stop Breastfeeding, Why Do I Feel So Guilty?

If you want to stop breast feeding, the first thing you have to do is forget about what everybody tells you. Lose the guilt. You're the only person who knows when to stop breastfeeding. Stopping breastfeeding is something that's a totally individual decision. And by definition, if you're deciding to stop breastfeeding, that means you have been breastfeeding. However long you have been breastfeeding - a week or a year - you can be happy with that. Whatever it was. This article gives practical tips on how to stop breastfeeding. If you need more guidance about how to stop breastfeeding, read The Gradual Wean: How to Stop Breastfeeding.

 

Should you Breastfeed Your 2nd Grader?

There's a lot on the Internet about breastfeeding. How to do it, how to do more of it, how if you don't do it for at least a year you probably don't love your baby all that much. The truth is that women have many different reasons for stopping breastfeeding and it's really no one's business but their own. It's great that we have this wonderful pro-breastfeeding message out there. This is a total turn around from fifty years ago when it was considered low class and taboo in many countries to breastfeed.

I found one article that quoted some anthropology study that put the minimum - MINIMUM - age for weaning a human baby at 2 ½ to 7 years. Whatever. If your baby has a cookie in one hand and pumps your breast for milk with the other, you may want to stop breastfeeding.

Breast feeding is a great choice. We also need to know it's okay to stop. If you need to stop breastfeeding due to health reasons, either your own or your baby's, you will likely not meet with much resistance. But if you decide to stop for *gasp* personal reasons, you may face some judgment.

So Many Good Reasons to Stop Breast Feeding

Women decide to end the breastfeeding relationship for several reasons:

Time

Breastfeeding is time consuming. If you feed every 1.5 to 2 hours for 20 or 30 minutes a pop, that's a chunk of time. Not to mention a scheduling nightmare. It's practically a superhuman feat for nursing moms to get to the grocery store.

Peace of Mind

Many moms worry that their babies aren't getting enough nourishment from breast milk alone. While this is usually not the case, worry isn't good for you or the baby.

Freedom to Eat & Drink

Nursing women are limited in what they can eat and drink. Your baby may react when you eat garlic or broccoli. And forget about a margarita. At some point, we've just had enough.

Comfort

Despite what all those friendly lactation consultants would have you believe, breast feeding can be quite painful. The worst of it is usually over after the first two weeks, but many women suffer sore nipples and other discomforts for months of breast feeding.

Travel

Whether you must travel for work or you just need to get away from your baby, it's pretty tough to breastfeed when you're not around.

Stress

Say you have some really stressful things going on, like changing jobs, moving, and having a sick toddler to content with. Maybe you're not getting the best sleep. This combines to decrease your milk supply, which then makes baby fussy, and stresses you out more. See where this downward spiral is headed? Sometimes it's better to quit while you're ahead. Stressing about breastfeeding is completely counter productive so my advice is if it becomes a stress inducing activity, let it go!

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How Much Is Enough?

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants you to breastfed for at least a year. But remember that the thick, nutrient rich substance, colostrum, is present in the very first milk produced by a new mother. First milk contains highly concentrated antibodies and helps to prevent jaundice and also makes your new baby produce the first bowel movement. But remember, the good stuff is there at the very beginning. If you breastfeed for even one day - congrats to you. Pat yourself on the back and go from there - one day at a time. After a week or two, colostrum gives way to regular breast milk. Remember, there are no booby-breaks in Kindergarten.

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Comments 83 comments

sunsoul8 4 years ago

i exclusively breastfed my oldest for one year: pumping, staying up late to pump, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, going in early to work or staying late to make up time lost for pumping. As a first time mom i wanted to give her the best and would do anything to give her the best. But i only had one - it was easier. My second i made it 6 months. It was a lot harder. My oldest hated when i would have to pump. Hated the time i spent nursing. My morning routine was stressful trying to nurse, pump, get two ready plus myself all bymyself as my husband must be at work very early. I started resenting the time i had to spend pumping and washing all the parts and then packing up all the parts because that was time i could use to exercise to clear my head and keep my body healthy so that i could be a good mom and have energy to play and take care of my girls. My supply started to decease because i would miss a feeding or a pump session because of scheduled appointments that didn't allow for me to nurse or pump at the approprate time. Twice i had to go on medicines that were not breasfeeding friendly - i pumped and dumped until it was safe and fed her from my frozen supply. It all became too much. A stressed out mom cannot be the best mom. My children come before myself. Choosing not to breasfeed is not a selfish decision. It's realizing you're child is not getting the best you and creating an ebvironment that allows you to give your child the best. Breast is best but in some cases being the best mom you can be overall trumps breasfeeding.....Then we adopted and I had no choice but to formula feed. I hate to hear so many moms put other moms down. We should be here to support each other. Everyone here has tried to breasfeed. I think that is awesome = everyone has at least tried.


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paxwill 4 years ago from France

@matthewsrmt: Boobie Nazi might just be the best new phrase I hear all year.


azalea04 4 years ago

I had my daughter at 18. I have been breastfeeding since the hour she was born. I had the blood blisters, i had the cracked nipples, and pain. My daughter couldn't eat much so she snacked every hour or so, and she didn't latch properly for the first few weeks, so that was painful hell. I've been as single mother since she was concieved. I don't have any family to help me, i have no one. and yet i managed to go to high school, graduate with all A's and one B. i paid off all my tickets and court fees and am now getting off probation for violent offenses. i have given my daughter everything i can possibly give her. my health, my life, my mind, my Body, my freedom, my breasts are like deflated woopie cooshins. I have no shame in feeding my daughter in public. what is more natural than breastfeeding. every animal on the earth does. and what is it disgusting or taboo for a puppy or kitten to suckle and survive? I believe my daughter will know when to stop breastfeeding. She is now 8 months old and almost 19 pounds, and is healthy and has adorable little rolls on her body. She has met and actually exceeded her milestones and can stand all on her own. By the way breastmilk supports the growth of the brain unlike formula, so a breastfeed babys' brain is larger and more advanced. Just thought i'd act that little fact.


tracyvolpe 4 years ago

WOW- I was looking for some emotional support since I'm at a point where I have to stop breastfeeding and instead I read these comments and felt like the worst mom in the world. I agree with many points made from both sides- choosing to have a child means choosing to give over your body for as long as necessary to provide for that child- in utero and out, it means being selfless and giving up the foods you like if your child doesn't react well to them- it means giving up your time or finding ways to schedule things around feedings or getting comfortable with feeding in public. It also means knowing you have to take care of yourself to take care of your baby. I had a high risk pregnancy. My baby was in the NICU. I had NO milk supply for the first 4 weeks and the next 4 weeks I had used power pumping, nursing, supplementers, and homeopathic supplements to build up to ml's of milk. I was nursing every 90 minutes- 20 on both sides followed by 30 of pumping for the first 3 months! I finally worked up to 2.5 oz per side for her 6 feedings and would pump a few extra mls after each feeding to pour into a freezer bag- I would pump, and pump, and collect until I had 5 oz extra and I'd freeze it. Mind you- while doing this I managed to take walks daily, keep my home show ready as it was on the market for sale, keep up with everything as essentially a single mom since my husband is a senior NCO in the Army, take 3 vacations out of state which entailed 22hrs of driving one way, attend playgroups twice a week, attend a post partum support group once a week, and get out on the weekends. NO- I'm not superwoman nor do I claim to be but I did invest in a really good pump- and a single electric for the car and I dedicated my life to FEEDING my child, to nurturing my child when she wasn't feeding. When we travel I pump in the car and put it on ice- if we're in a rush and I don't have time I put the Breast milk in a bottle and feed her. I too suffered sore nipples- not just sore nipples- I had open milk blisters on both, cracks on both, and blood blisters on both, which led to me having 2 bouts of mastitis- taking antibiotics and nursing through the pain of it- nursing through the fever and sweats. Not to mention the fact that every 2 or 3 days I end up with clogged ducts so bad that I have to hang my breasts in hot water- pump- and nurse on my hands in knees using the clock method in order to clear them. All of the latter I have been humbled by doing- knowing that I MUST LOVE THIS LITTLE BEING MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD TO PUT UP WITH AND OVERCOME SO MANY OBSTACLES ON A DAILY BASIS. My selfless dedication is paying off. My daughter is happy- she is healthy- she is and has been well ahead in meeting or exceeding all of her developmental milestones. She is now 7 months- she still nurses or gets a bottle every 2 hrs- she's a tiny girl and her stomach simply can not hold any more than 4 oz at a time- she STILL DOES NOT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT- not because she's hungry- just because she is not a sleeper or a napper- regardless of all the tricks and routines and BABY WISE advice we've tried. I am exhausted. I am in need of getting back on my anti-depressants to help me over this post partum stuff so I can enjoy her rather than resent her, I am in pain- my breasts hurt to the point of tears when even a shirt brushes against them- I am in need of a day to myself where I don't have to have my modesty breast feeding cape in the car draped over me so I can pump. So- at 7 months old- despite that I wanted to nurse for a year I realize that I am resenting my daughter- I am not enjoying my time with her during the day- that I'm not able to provide her with the best nutrients or the best ME I can be because she prevents me from sleeping and having a meal and from exercising to the extent that I need to. I have yet to loose any weight since leaving the delivery room (not healthy either)and my drs and nutritionist have determined that its because I'm not getting enough sleep. I need help- therefore I'm switching to bottles so that the people that love me and my daughter most can help me and help meet her needs too. I have pretty much quit all daytime feedings cold turkey and am only nursing her before bed and when she wakes up- mainly to relieve pressure. I am walking around with baggies full of ice in my tight sports bra, I am no longer pumping. Our plan is to exhaust all the milk that I worked so hard to freeze and when its gone- its gone. We are feeding her pureed solids and she loves them, she is starting to eat cheerios and puffs so all in all we feel that stopping ( NOT QUITTING) is the best decision for all of us. We also have to move to Alaska- which is a long way to begin with- can you imagine pumping and stopping to nurse for 6,000 miles when your baby is independent enough to put finger foods in their mouth on their own and is capable of holding their own bottle? Sure- I feel guilty- and I already miss the special time we'll have together- but I look forward to all the new special things we'll be able to do like bring her to a restaurant sit her in a highchair with her own food and bottle and have her eat with us, interacting with us, rather than lying under a cloth hidden while nursing and preventing me from eating or being able to spend quality time with my husband. In some ways knowing its okay to choose to stop breastfeeding is a celebration of knowing your child so well that you know what your child can handle, its a celebration of knowing that you are merely exposing your child to the opportunity to develop yet more skills and interact with even more people. I BELIEVE BREAST IS BEST and if you need to breast milk in bottles is best- but moreover I KNOW that knowing yourself and your baby and what both of you can handle while being the BEST you can both be is REALLY WHAT IS BEST. Survey YOUR situation- do what you can for as long as you can and when you can do no longer move forward with confidence that you have done your best.


aec14 4 years ago

Agreed - the comments are far more intelligent than this article.

I had a home birth and am dedicated to breastfeeding at least a year. My son came three weeks early, couldn't latch and my milk didn't really come in for several weeks. I was pumping constantly and feeding him with a syringe, getting donor milk and waking him every 3 hours to feed. Totally sleep deprived for the first 2 months and it was worth it. Breastmilk is amazing and, I'm sorry, I don't have a lot of tolerance for the whole "my nipples were sore" "I was tired". If there are other complications, medical, personal - whatever, then that's a different story.

AND in the same breath I would like to say that I also supplement with formula. Because I went back to work and had to pump and I simply couldn't pump what my son nursed. I'm having serious milk issues and it's stressful; I'm not sure I'm going to make a year, but I'm trying. So let's also not jump on the "formula is poison" bandwagon. I chose to buy organic formula from whole foods and will probably switch to a home made goats milk formula at 6 months. If you are a stay at home mom with a copious supply and it all works perfectly for you, great, but at the end of the day it's also about making sure your child is fed and growing so I don't think taking an extreme view at either end of the spectrum is very helpful.


speranzalnp 4 years ago

No offense, I'm not "judging" anyone for wanting to stop, but when you have a child you are making a bodily sacrifice, quite literally. So you may have to limit drinking to very special occasions for a year or so. My son was (is) lactose intolerant so I had to give up ALL dairy- my favorite foods - so that he didn't have to puke and writhe in pain from reflux. If you have already started, there is not really a good reason to stop. Many moms that have been unable to breastfeed and KNOW the benefits would have very not nice feelings to someone who decided out of selfish reasons to waste perfectly good and abundant milk. When we have children, we are no longer living for ourselves, I don't care what this culture says. Unless your health or sanity is at stake, there is no reason to stop. If you do, you should look for donors or milk bank options. There are ingredients in commercial formula that I avoid in MY diet, don't even get me started on the effect they can have on your poor baby's digestive system and future health. If you were woman enough to push out a baby after carrying her/him for 10 months, you are woman enough to stick out the pain and "inconvenience" for a year.

Also, I have never been tied down or had a "hard time going to the grocery store". If anything else, I just had less to tote because everything was built right in. And the the commenter about vitamin D deficiency, that would have to do with not getting enough sunlight. There is plenty of free vitamin D for all. You get all the nutrients you need if you are following a good diet. And by good I don't mean diet soda and "healthy" cereals. I mean real food. Sorry if my words come off a little harsh, it's just that the ignorance that some people hold rubs me the wrong way.


babytaz 5 years ago

hi i am new in this website and i cant believe how some mothers are bashing other mothers u need to understand that some of them are first time parents and not everyone can take pain like others.now for those mothers that are firat time mothers i breast fed my first child till she was a year old it was very difficult to get her off it but i managed. after she turned six months old that's when i introduced formula to her and she liked it also. now i have a beautiful baby boy he is now three months i was only breast feeding until he trned two months and a half that i had to also give him formula i would pump and got cut on my breasts couldn't breast feed for like three days now i cannot produce nomore than five ounces which at first i will produce six ounces in one and four on the other. i have been trying to just breast feed him but he just doesn't get full i have to give him formula also. but i do feel guilty to just stop cold turkey bcause i feel like i am taking the easy way out/ plus i gave my first daughter breast milk for a whole year. if anyone has another way besides just latching them on to produce more milk please let me know thank u. it i up to the mother to stop breast feeding the child remember not everyone could take the pain. when it was time to breastfeed my daughter i would cry just thinking f the pain i ma go through but when i thought of all the benefits that comes withbreastfeeding for a long time i just couldn't say i ma stop. i notice the advantages now that she is two she is super smart for her age ppl think shes like three or four because she is soooo healthy. when she was borneveryone in my house was sick except for her and myself that's another advantage u are giving them some of the protection that u have in ur immune system. i am not judging but for those mothers that wanna stop at least try doing it for six months like that ur child could get some of the adantages when u have ur child around a baby that wasn't breastfed u will notice the difference right away.

good luck and tae care ladys


Rachel 5 years ago

Thank you for this! Although my mom and sister already helped a lot with my guilt. My baby will be 3 weeks old on Tuesday and I stopped breastfeeding on Friday. I couldn't take it any more. My nipples were so sore and it was starting to effect my back, neck, and of course sleep--->I was in a bad way. The last two and half days have been so much better!! My son took to the bottle right away and I am not offended!! :D

Society really does have a tendency to make new moms feel like crap for "giving up". Society was not breastfeeding a shark!! LOL

As long as my son is growing, healthy, and happy I am not going to feel guilty about going cold turkey. Thank you for the article!!


Stacey 5 years ago

It makes me feel better to hear some of the women on here say that switching to formula does not interfere with your baby's health. I have been breastfeeding my daughter for four months and recently found that my milk supply is low. My daughter would get very fussy when I put her on my breast and she would scream bloody murder. It would make me stressed out and I would start crying too. Now I'm starting to give her formula more and more and she is much more satisfied and happy. I feel extremely guilty about quitting breastfeeding because I did enjoy it but I'm less stressed out now. I wanted to at least wait till she was 6 months old to wean her but it's better to keep her happy. I think the mistake I made was not pumping enough when she was first born. I'm going to do that with my next child and see how long I can breastfeed. I hope to do it for a year next time!


Jen 5 years ago

Thank you!! I have struggled with these exact feelings. Funny, how our society makes us feel like we are in the wrong for something that isn't even anyone elses business!! You just made me feel ok with my decision, and for that I thank you!


Jocahill 5 years ago

So the jury may be out on the article itself but I found the comments far more interesting & comforting to read. So nice to find people out there that have been feeling the same emotions i have been feeling ever since I made the decision to stop expressing exclusively for my son. I had a complicated birth & pregnancy and suffered with post natal issues which as some woman mentioned shouldn't even matter. He came early and was unable to latch on, was tube fed e.t.c. I solely expressed for him for 6 weeks before I reached a point where i was starting to resent my Son's crying and needing for cuddles because I was supposed to be pumping for his next feed and I didn't have enough milk yet for that feed. Surely all that energy should be used to play, cuddle and love my son. Well done to all of you to becoming mothers, lets focus our energies on our children, spend less time feeling guilty. If you choose to breatfeed then great. If you tried and it didn't work out then don't feel guilty - move on. And get used to people judging every decision you make - from what i hear this is pretty much what will happen from now on anyway... schools, activities, food e.t.c...


MommyCat 5 years ago

Actually, if you have truly read about the benefits of breastfeeding, even a DAY of collostrum is better than nothing! You do know that everyone calls you breastfeeding NAZIS for judging, right?


Superhuman Mum To 4  5 years ago

Wow, I'm shocked at the misinformation in this 'advice'. Breast is best. Breastfeeding is part of the package. Yes it hurts, deal with it. It doesn't hurt forever. Yes it's time consuming, but it's so damn easy and less time consuming then heating bottles, washing bottles, and buying formula.

The poster obviously fed for a very short amount of time. To say babies feed for half an hour every 1.5-2 hours is wrong. Yes, in the first month or 2 but as they get older, they go for longer between feeds and they are more efficient at feeding. I still feed my 14 month old and he only has 6 feeds in 24 hours, and he's done in 5 minutes max. They also don't 'pump' the breast for milk, that's ridiculous.

How about not being selfish, and just feed your damn baby from the breast like nature intended.


Tracy 5 years ago

Wow - I'm appalled by this article. Only if you completely ignore what is best for your baby and child could you think what you've written is good. Breastmilk for a week is nothing. The WHO (and AMA for that matter) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months for a reason - it helps keeps babies alive. A review in Pediatrics found that the cost in the US of not having even just 80% of moms exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months is over $10 billion and is costing 740 infants their lives EACH YEAR. Do you really think personal choice is more important than those babies' lives?


Donna 5 years ago

Being supportive of women who do not breastfeed, but insulting mothers who breastfeed for longer that year, providing ridiculous reasons to wean on a page covered in formula ads is not being 'supportive' of anybody.


MooBaaDoubleQuack 5 years ago

What a load of crap.

Not to mention some SERIOUS misinformation there.

Please seek advice from real professionals mums.


Bonnie 5 years ago

Funny how I don't find it coincidental that this article is rift with adds for using formula. So much for the WHO code on marketing of breast milk substitutes.


Tggem 5 years ago

Sabate61. I'm glad for you. I think it's great that you were able to breastfeed both your babies and relatively pain free by the sounds of it. I'm glad that you and your children loved the bonding that came with breastfeeding. However your comment is ignorant of the struggle that many moms go through. I have been struggling to feed my son for four months. I have seen three gps and three lactation consultants. My nipples are cracked and incredibly sore. I have had two staph infections, mastitis, and thrush. I am now being treated for vasospasm as they do not know what else could be causing the intense pain. My latch is fine. He has also started refusing feeds, arching his back and screaming. I desperately want to breastfeed. However as I sit there crying while my little one feeds I cannot help but feel I will

move to formula soon. I cannot bond with my son because he causes me so much pain when he feeds. Do not be so judgemental. Every mom is doing the best she can with what they have. My son will be happier I'm sure when he has a mom who can cuddle him and mean it, even if that means he does not get breast milk.


Kleonaptra 5 years ago

I would like to give my thanks for this article and offer out my hand to all those poor pumping mums. Heidi's story especially got me.

I had an emergencey c section and my baby had severe meconium aspiration. She was in special care for 2 weeks and every time we tried breastfeeding she stressed out so bad she had to go back into the humidicrib. I tried getting support from the lactation consultant and all the nurses supported me, I had intended to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, but she kept refusing me making me feel so stressed and rejected. Whenever we tried it and she screamed and pushed me away, then had to go back on oxygen cos she was so stressed, my supply went down. I was pumping every 3 hours and I kept it up when I got home, but the scheduling nightmare of breastfeeding goes into overdrive when you have to pump and feed. Im switching over to formula now because I cant keep up with her, I just cant make enough. My family all support my decision but it doesn't make the guilt go away. My mum in law is even a head in nursing and she told me to make the switch but still I feel bad about it.

We don't live in a perfect world and I got nothing that I wanted in my birth plan or my daughters first weeks of life, and now I just have to accept that I cant have this either. My daughter is beautiful and healthy and to keep her that way I need to use formula, that's all there is to it. I shouldn't have to feel guilty or selfish over things that arent in my control.

Good on you, all the mums out there who have tried. We shouldn't ever feel bad about doing our best.


Martha 5 years ago

Hey to all you breast feeding gorillas- guess what-this just in.Not feeding your baby meat is much better for your babies health.But I guess your going to keep on feeding meat to your baby?right?what about sugar?do you all give your breastfed babies candies when they are older?do you make them watch TV?Now you know TV is bad for kids to watch right.Oh my God your sending little Tom to public school?come on you know private school is better?lol


Kacie 5 years ago

I have noticed that the most judgmental posters on this forum feel the need to post in CAPS, like we won't feel bad enough reading what you have to say in small letters. We all know that breast is best why do you feel the need to constantly remind us. Does it give you some thrill to give advice that wasn't even asked of you in some cases. It's sad that on these sites, a mohter can't just say "I don't breastfeed because I don't want to". She always has to give a ten paragraph preface for why she can't breastfeed so that some angry know it all won't come down on her. There are many choices in life to be made and as a mother you are going to feel like a failure in life so many times, don't beat yourself up for doing what you need to do in life to keep yourself happy and therefore your child happy.

My advice to guilt tripping mothers on both sides of this issue. Mind your own business. I see so many posters saying that they encourage other mothers to breastfeed, well enough with your encouragement. I am a mother and I have never come across another random mother that really wanted to talk about this issue. I take that encouragement as a veiled way of saying "I give people unwarranted advice on what they should be doing with their bodies and probably make them feel really bad". This is a sensitive issue and unless you are asked for advice please just shut up and keep it moving. Sometimes I feel like all of these breast is best champions want bottle feeders to feel like thery are a little less competent, loving and deserving of motherhood than they are. Should we just start every conversaiton of by saying "I know i'm not as good as you, please forgive me".

You should feel free to stop breastfeeding any time you choose if you ever breastfed at all. I think the bond is great yada yada but at some point I think we are being too dramatic about it. The kid isn't gonna notice a difference and there is nothing to feel guilty about, he's not gonna spit bottle milk out and say "where's my breast mom". I'm sure that there are some breasfeeders out there that are truly horrible mothers. I breastfed for a few months even though I never wanted to and finally stopped and felt bad about it not because I was doing my child wrong but because I was afraid of what others would think until I realised that no one really cared.

So to all of you mothers who feel guilty, you don't have to be anyone's marytr. Stop walking around with a scarlett letter on your chest and move on. If in twenty five years I turn on the tv and see my kid on America's most wanted I'll stop and think "Man, I should have breast fed him longer". Until that day, I'm not gonna worry about it.


Zab 5 years ago

I know this is an old article and maby no one is looking, but I just wanted to say thanks. I had a low milk supply when baby was born. He lost 12% of his weight in 4 days and we ended up back in hospital. I have struggled with breast feeding whilst expressing, then topping up with breast and formuler as my pore 20 month old looks on woundering why she never gets to spend time with mummy any more. After two months of this I am staring to want to cut down bf with a view to stopping, but have felt very guilty about it. Reading your article made me cry a little. Yes breast is beast but for some of us it is just too hard to keep going for so long.


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Sabate61 5 years ago from USA

I have to agree with the handful of comments that suggest that you do feel guilt for not breastfeeding or continuing to breastfeed because you do know you are making a selfish decision. No formula can replace the nutrients in breast milk and when you don't breastfeed you are taking away the best possible nutrition from your baby. And saying that it's time to wean when your baby has a cookie in one hand etc is plain wrong. I breastfed my babies for 2 1/2 and 3 years respectively, and of course, it's not to the same extent that you feed an infant of a baby that is up to a year old. The feedings decrease somewhat, but my children never accepted anything but breast milk. They wouldn't even take breast milk from a bottle either. They loved the time they got to nurse even when they were toddlers, like at nap time and bedtime and upon waking up in the mornings. I don't like seeing any comments that are telling moms who choose to breastfeed well into toddlerhood that they are "abnormal". When you mentioned the "inconvenience" of breastfeeding, I was just flabbergasted!! I never had to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle! My babies' milk was always warm and ready! And talking about how painful breastfeeding is - well, with the help of a good lactation consultant, no one needs to have pain from breastfeeding. It may take some getting used to the first couple of weeks but if you take care of your breasts and use a lanolin cream etc to keep our nipples soft, you shouldn't have any problems. I even nursed through severe mastitis once and it was so painful, but I knew this was temporary and it was more important to me to keep giving my baby the best possible nutrition than it was to be pain-free. There are just too many GOOD reasons to breastfeed, and if more young mothers knew this and also were prepared for how to get a good start with breastfeeding, I think more would try it and ultimately stick with it. To read about the many reason why you SHOULD breastfeed, please read my hub "Why Breastfeed".


Jenna 5 years ago

I was formula fed. I'm actually a triplet, so imagine breastfeeding three babies at once; pretty impossible, right?

Anyway, I was formula fed. Is there something wrong with me? Are the 'breast is best' moms trying to humiliate me...? I must have serious health problems, right? I must be overweight, with diabetes, addicted to sugars and fillers because I was formula fed. I must have all kinds of allergies and a poor immune system; I must get sick quite often and struggle through my life, right? (If only I were breastfed!) I must not love my mom as much! Right? Because if I were breastfed, I'm sure I would love her a LOT more. I must not have bonded with her properly, right? Because breast is best... Because those that are given formula turn out to be inadequate human beings, right?

I hope to God that you've read my sarcasm.

Breast is not always best. My sisters and I are healthy, prosperous human beings with just as much, if not more, potential than those that have been breastfed. Formula is not the end of the world, formula does not lead to stupidity or inadequacies, formula is simply another way to feed your child.

If you'd like to argue with me, then you go talk to my mother- and tell her that she failed. She failed because she couldn't possibly produce enough milk to sustain three crying little girls.

Whatever your situation is- triplets, or work, no support, or personal reasons- it is perfectly acceptable to give your baby formula. Don't let anyone tell you differently.


matthewsrmt 5 years ago

first of all i found this page because i was thinking of quitting breastfeeding. So i am finding it difficult to understand why u BOOBIE NAZIS r even reading this page. Do u guys read this page so u can throw insults and accusations at us poor moms who choose to quit. I went back to work when my child was only 2 months because i run my own business. I chose to pump and pump I do every chance I get up to 7 plus times a day. But when my child was around 3 months I had a death in my family and my milk production went down dramatically. I MUST SAY I WANT TO STRANGLE ALL THOSE BOOBIE NAZIS THAT SAY SUPPLY AND DEMAND SUPPLY AND DEMAND......really shutup!!!!!!!!! No matter what i did my supply went down to 13ozs a day and I have to top her bottles up with formula. Has anyone ever read the side of a formula container it contains so many important nutrients that a baby needs u baby nazis say it does not taste that great well some may say neither does brocalli or spinach but we eat it cause its good for us!!!!!!! I know some boobie nazis myself and when their kids r toddlers they feed them mcdonalds and other crap!!! Also a lot of moms eat such crap themselves when they r breast feeding and if most things enter the breast milk your crappy food prolly does to. DO U SEE MY POINT.....it hurts when people don't think the way u do boobie nazis so just keep your judgmental mouths closed and the only reason we feel guilty for stopping is not cause we think r kids r all of a sudden gonna fall over its because of judgmental people like u. IS BREAST MILK GREAT ???? well so is formula!!! I know so many kids and adults that only had formula and r healthy very successful people like dr's and emt's who r never ill. MY baby turned 7months today and i hope to pump till she is 8months then use up my frozen milk supply. I want to spend more time with my child instead of her watching me pump all the time, my husband is a cop and he works shift so i do it alone most of the time. So pls people encouragement......i don't dis people for low income, or not making there own baby food ect ect..as long as moms love there babies that's all that matters, so pls enough of the negativity i can't say that enough!!!!!! Stop when u want mommies for whatever reason, don't let these ignorant people make u sad or discouraged your child will be healthy no matter what!!!!


jakesmum 5 years ago

hi, see i started off thinking maybe this article would help me then i reas the posts. and i feel really guilty. my problem is my 2nd baby is just about 3mnths and doesn't want to nurse as much and my milk supply has been decreasing. i don't want him to starve or get malnutrition so ive been adding in a bottle of formula each day. is that so bad? like to some of you am i considered a bad mom if my baby doesn't want to nurse and my body isn't producing?


Stefanie 5 years ago

Boobie advocates, shut up. Please. There are a million and one articles pro-breastfeeding. Obviously if you are reading this article then you read one or all of the pro-breastfeeding ones. There is nothing wrong with wanting to stop. I have been breastfeeding for 6weeks. Sure, its not a year or three like most the advocates on here, but I went into my pregnancy not wanting to breastfeed, then I changed my mind. I have tried to do it and have struggled. I am to my witts' end with it. My daughter seems to want to use me as a pacifier, it hurts, she bites hard, and makes me bleed. She wants to nurse literally every hour. For me, I cant do it. But I know she prefers breast milk to formula. I feel guilty for wanting to stop because of this. I think there should be more articles supporting a mom's in whatever decision they make. And not having comments from other people who disagree with their decisions slamming them for it. Sorry, you don't know what's best for me and my baby or anyone else and their baby.


SM44 5 years ago

I always said i would breastfeed and was critical to others for not doing so but after three months of breastfeeding i am physically and mentally exhausted. I constantly feel drained of all energy. I felt incredibly guilty about making the decision to stop breastfeeding but this article has made me feel much happier with my decision. Thank you


peaches 5 years ago

Breast is best. Store bought formula is conventional and leads to health problems for the child and mother. To make a healthy formula, check out Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. There is a huge difference physically, emotionally and mentally between babies who are breastfed and those who are not. I am a nutritionist and a mom.


Louise 5 years ago

I breastfed my daughter for 4 weeks and you know when they say everyone is different well it makes no difference. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things to do. And I'm a person who will stick at something when I put my mind to it, so when I was told breast was best I wanted to give my daughter the best start. I struggled for 3 weeks feeding her sometimes every hour until I became so exhausted and tired I couldn't cope. Stressed and with sore nipples I developed Mastitis so I had no choice but to stop breastfeeding and put my daughter on formula. And oh my god the difference in my baby for the first time in 3 weeks she slept for 4 hours after her first feed on formula and then straight through the night from then onwards and i never looked back. So if you're feeling guilty about changing over to formula and your exhausted, don't be you wont believe the difference for you and your baby. Take my advice my baby was constantly hungry on breast milk even though I had alot of milk and was more satisfied on formula.


Louise 5 years ago

I know they all say breast is best but why was formula invented? breastfeeding is very hard when you compare it to bottle feeding there is no comparison. A baby will drink a 4oz formula and sleep for 4 hours contented but on breast milk feeds every 1.5 hours as its harder for them to suck the milk from the breast and they get tired.


Lindsay 5 years ago

Do what you can, and move forward. In the long run, your baby will be okay when you provide him/her with breastmilk or formula. Don't feel guilty....it only hurts the both of you! A happy Mom equals a happy baby!


Happy2BaMother 6 years ago

Yes we all got it in our thick skulls that there is no best milk other than breastmilk. BUT you boobie advocates act like FORMULA is like cigarettes or nicotine. I'm pretty sure if it was harmful, the US would BAN the deng thing. But formula is still here for a reason. All women who are mothers have their own reason for not breastfeeding while there are those that are lucky.


kmag 6 years ago

This is what I have to say. My daughter is 5 and a half months, and until about 3 weeks ago, she had nothing but breast milk. But I think its unfortunate that there are some women condemn others for something that is not necesarilyup to them, but thattheir body made for them. i have no hoice but to work full time and because of this have no choice but to pump. It worked fine at first, but now im down to making less than 10 oz a day. It is very time consuming and is hurting my work, and I am hardly getting anything out if it. I went online to see if there were other women in my situation and was only dishertened to see so many women who I can only assume had the option of staying home with their babies, putting other women down who simply don't have a choice.


Sara 6 years ago

I never expected to stop breastfeeding my daughter so soon. She'll be 3 months old this week. I had a breast reduction 8 years ago and was never given a fighting a chance by my daughter's pediatrician -- the moment that information was shared I could tell they had decided my fate with breastfeeding. The 2nd day after she was born they were pushing formula on me and my milk hadn't come in yet. We refused to supplement until finally I broke down. I was in tears constantly and an emotional wreck. I was made to feel selfish for wanting to continue exclusively breastfeeding and scared into thinking my baby would end up in the hospital. Supplementing so early on was not good for my supply and I'll never know if I started out with enough milk or not. I sought the help of many lactation consultants, and finally a La Leche League Leader in my area. I tried using an SNS. Taking care of my baby became all about breastfeeding and it consumed my every thought. I've never been more stressed out in my life. I put a lot of pressure on myself to breastfeed my daughter because that is what I've always felt is right.

We all know that breastmilk is best. Believe me, not for a second did I want breastfeeding to go as it has for me. My daughter never seems satisfied and whines and pulls at my breast. She'll nurse for comfort, but not for nutrition. I've made the decision today to switch her over to formula because I can't be a good mother with the stress I've been feeling and putting on myself. Every time she pulls and whines, I doubt my supply. I feel inadequate. I cry all the time.

I'm afraid of the judgement I'll receive from other mothers when I'm seen bottle feeding. If you are one of those mothers, remember that you don't know that person's situation. If I hadn't had the breast surgery 8 years ago, I have full confidence that I'd still be breastfeeding. Our pediatrician's stripped me of any breastfeeding confidence I may have had. I'm hoping I'll be able to exclusively breastfeed my next child and hope that what I've experienced will make it much easier for me.


isabella. profile image

isabella. 6 years ago from England

Hi Lela, great hub,i breast fed my daughter for 15 months, but you do feel that guilt after you stop.

i also wrote a hub Advice on Breastfeeding which maybe of help to any new mothers wanting to breastfeed.


3girlies 6 years ago

Here's how I did it. As soon as my girls slept thru the nite, I stopped the nursing. My 2 older daughters both stopped at 5 mo. I figured if they didn't need it all nite, that was the best time to gradually stop and introduce formula at the same time. It worked fine both times. Plus that's about how long I produced milk anyway. My body decided to call it quits around that time and just start drying up, but it all worked out. My 3rd daughter is now 6 wks and I'm actually ready to stop already...she's constantly eating...constantly! I'm going to hope my other method works again, whenever she's ready to sleep all nite, therefore I don't have to wake her and I'll finally get to sleep again.....


C&C Mom 6 years ago

I love it when people quote the WHO. Have you actully read any of the studies? They promote breastfeeding for 12+ because they study undeveloped contries with poor drinking water & sanitary conditions to use formula. They also discuss the fact that many eastern cultures feed their babies inadequate things like tea at 3 months of age (depletes vitimins and minerals). That is why they support BF and for extended periods of time not because formula is bad.

If you really look at the newer, more statistically accurate (normalizing for confoudning factors) breastmilk vs. formula there really isn't an overwhelming benefit to breatmilk. I urge women to really educate yourself on accurate information not emotionally biased tidbits. Go out there and do your own research from the sources.

It ultimately comes down to personality and lifestyle. If you want to breastfeed great, if you want to formula feed great. It's not going to make a bit of difference either way unless you, as a mother, are unhappy/depressed/stressed out. Either because you are BF and don't want to or you are formula feeding and didn't want to. Either way, get over it there are way more important things about being a mother.

Check this out - is says it all.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Benefits+of+breastfe...


Jenny 6 years ago

I have had thrush, low milk supply, and mastitis. My baby is three months and everyone around me supports my decision to quit nursing. My baby loves formula. So why not? If it sucks for me and her. Cause she has also gotten thrush and was very hungry cause of my supply why should I really keep ygis up. thanks to some of you ladys for making this a whole lot easier


NewFirstTimeMom123109 6 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. I spent the first few weeks of breastfeeding in tears. I had a low milk supply and my son lost way too much weight. The pediatrician's nurse made me feel like I was purposefully starving my son, and I was handed a bottle of formula in the doctor's office on his third day of life. I felt like a total failure, but at least my son stopped crying from starvation.

I continued to try increasing my milk supply and by nursing and pumping until I could get about 65-75% of his diet on breast milk. I survived nipple confusion, cracked and bleeding nipples, milk blisters, and plugged milk ducts and was finally getting in the groove even with slow-flowing nipples. My son sucks very hard but it takes 50-60 minutes for my breasts to feel empty, and that is with me doing breast compressions to help the milk flow out.

While on maternity leave, I had a couple of plugged milk ducts, but now that I'm back to work they are happening very frequently, like 4-5 per week. It's impossible to treat plugged milk ducts at work, and my manager (single, no children) gets annoyed that I seem to never be at my desk even though I make up all the time spent in the pumping room. I pump every 3-4 hours, and my doctor wants me to pump every 2 hours to prevent plugged milk ducts. That's impossible at work. I bought a quality electric double-pump, but my milk flows so slowly that I have to pump one side at a time with breast compressions. I spend 30-45 minutes in the pumping room per pumping session on a good day, and 60 minutes when I have a painful plugged milk duct. I cannot believe that "breast is best" in my case since spending so much time in the pumping room at work means that I spend more time at the office instead of getting home earlier to be with my son. My time with him is only overnight when he cries and scratches me trying to get milk out of my slow-flowing nipples. I intended to nurse a minimum of 6-8 months, but now I just don't know if I can handle another night of coming home to find my son is already asleep for the night because I spent all day at work in the pumping room. Once my husband returns to work from his paternity leave, I want us both to spend as much time with my son as possible, even if it means giving him a bottle so I can work just a normal 8-hour day. I'm still trying to decide if I'm really going to quit breastfeeding, but even my own mother has done a 180 and wants me to quit. My husband just wants me to be happy and insists that he was formula-fed and almost never got sick, always excelled at school, and was never a picky eater growing up.

I'd like some of the pro-breastfeeding fanatics to tell me I'm being selfish for wanting to spend more time with my baby.


memmom 6 years ago

I very much appreciated this article. There is so much out there on the internet that is obviously written for and by mothers with plenty of time on their hands, demonizing women who aren't breastfeeding their children into the toddler years.

We are all aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until a child is a year old. However, in most major metropolitan areas, it takes two working professionals to meet the financial responsibilities of a household. Bottom line: a great deal of mothers return to work. In suburban New York, this was the case for me. I returned to the office after five months, and pumped for one. But the pump is simply not as efficient as my baby - I had the Mercedes Benz of breastpumps but found that I was fighting a losing battle to keep up with my daughter's needs. I decided to partially wean her at six months and my doctor told me "good for you - you made it longer than most moms."

So there you go, not everyone out there is sitting home with a baby stuck to their breast all day. It's refreshing to see an internet resource that confirms this fact.


Mommy 6 years ago

I had major problems trying to breastfeeding my daughter. She had transfer issues and started to lose a lot of weight. Her doctor hospitalized her for failure to thrive. She also had acid reflux issues.They had me working with lactation people for many weeks...I did not have expectations going into the pregnancy to breastfeed her, but stuck with it anyway because it eased her excessive vomiting. I have size cups so it wasn't easy for me since I am not heavy and have scars from the weight and cuts on my breasts.. She is now 1 year old and still Ubreastfeeding...and healthy...she is down to bf once a day since I am trying to conceive again

. My point is, it was worth it to seek out help. I am glad that I suffered through it for her sake. Now I am sad to wean her, but she is ready!


bellagirls 6 years ago

This Article says it! If you Breastfeed even a day GREAT! give a pat on the back. It is NOT for everyone. According to many medical professionals breastfeeding is equivalent to formula fed babies. Ask yourself this..." If you put a formula fed baby(child) in a room and a breastfed baby(child) in the same room would you be able to tell a difference?"


Cheeksmommy 6 years ago

I breastfed my daughter for 17 mos. She bit me the other day and i yelled. She has not wanted to nurse since then. I was a little relieved because i didn't know how to wean her off. But I am still sad that she doesn't want to anymore. She is allergic to milk so I still have to pump. I guess i am still nursing but just not directly from the breast. She does not like any other milk. I've tried rice, soy, almond.... does anyone have any other suggestions?


Bethany 6 years ago

This helps alot. my son is 7months and has two teeth and has been biting me then smiling . you cant help but smile back but it hurts. i think i have done a wonerful job breast feeding for as long as i have. i have not stopped completely but he is preferring a bottle or cereal or baby food. i loved the bond and will do it again if i have enymore kids but its your decision. and it really helps to get advice from others that feel as bad as i do! thanks guys


Dstrangestdream 6 years ago

it's easy for some...harder for others...fullfilling for some....a stress-inducing, sleep deprived nightmare for others. It IS best...for some babies....babies who's Mothers are able to eventually ease through it...with little stress, lack of sleep, or way too much time being consumed. We are allll different...our bodies are alll different...what's truly best for our Babies is alll different.....there is no Right or wrong in this decision. I have been breastfeeding for 4 months...and , as much as I have WANTED to and TRIED to, I have cried mostly through these few months....so stressed , and having such a hard time. I have consulted "professionals" and other nursing Mothers, I have almost given in and stopped on many occasions...right now, I supplement with formula once a day...because I just can't STAND to hear my little one cry out in hunger and frustration. I have TRIED withholding and increasing my milk supply, I have tried pumping. I have sat up MANY a late night after feeding ALLL day, just tryin got use that pump....only to get get a couple of ounces at best. It didn't get better, it didn't get easier , no matter how persistent and patient I was. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, if all the breast feeding mothers who have left negative comments about quitting breast feeding went through all that stress, and spent day in and day out just tring to feed and soothe a hungry baby, they would be online, like me...just looking for some POSITIVE comments about formula feeding. For me, PERSONALLY, I am going to continue to TRY to breast feed as often as I can, but will NOT feel guilty anymore, about giving her a bottle. she is HAPPIER....I am HAPPIER, and, infat, a BETTER Mother for it. There IS no argument, or shouldn't Be. There are WAAAYYY too many debates about what is best for baby. I'm sure SOME of these PRO Breast feeding Mothers who claim they only want what is BEST for their babies, opted for pain medication during childbirth, which has also been proven t o be DANGEROUS for babies, ut that's a different story. There is PLENTY of support out there for Breast feeding Mothers, why shouldn't there be a few posts out there, outlining the benefits of formula feeding...for those who it is truly better for?....We don't live in a "natural" world anymore...there are choices, and yes, while they should be informed, Women who choose to formula feed for whatever reason, shouldn't be frowned upon or deemed a "bad mother"!.......this decision has been eating me up since day One....and, while I do "enjoy" brest feeding at times and will miss it, at the sam time it has been TRUlY a challenge for me from the get go, and I think, when I do stop, it will be easier on all of us, the whole household. Do what is best for you AND U'r Babies.


t2bS 6 years ago

wow, that all helps so much, my baby boy is 8 weeks old today, was breastfeeding till today yet, but he's not getting enough, been stressing about that for the last month, finally I've had enough! I feel so guilty cause I was planning on breastfeeding till at least 6 months, but its so frustrating for both of us lately, so I'm gonna try strictly formula now, I don't know if that's a good idea or not, but I guess we'll see. wish me luck ladys!:)


Upsy_dayz 6 years ago

My son is 5 months old, and I think we have made it about as far as we are going to with breastfeeding. My milk supply is inadequate and he is constantly fussy and unhappy. My husband and I experimented with giving him formula for 2 days and I pumpe and he's been a new baby. He's so much happier and he finally sleeps through the night. He had been eating for 15 minutes every hour, and now he eats 3-4 oz every 3 hours. Say what you will, but sometimes it's just not feasible to continue breastfeeding.


lala 6 years ago

My baby is 3 months old (already!) It's definitely a self-sacrifice to continue nursing. (Once I got through the terrible pain that ended around eight weeks.) After two lactation consultants saying it shouldn't hurt! Now, I appreciate our bond more and work really hard at getting that milk! It's like a full-time job! Pumping and Nursing, nursing and pumping what seems like ALL day long! I am trying to get ahead with my milk supply, but he eats everything, I have no storage. I have to work :- We'll see! My goal was three months but now I'M the one not ready (neither is he.) So hopefully it will end peacefully around six months. I don't want my child beating me up for the boobies! He sorta already does that now!


skippy 6 years ago

I'm tired of breastfeeding fanatics. Formula is not arsenic, people! I encountered someone recently who truly believed that not breastfeeding is child abuse. Ridiculous! Yes, we all know breast is best, and I hope all new mothers inform themselves and at least try it; but sometimes breastfeeding isn't as easy as the diehard supporters would have you think. We ALL want what is best for our child. If breastfeeding is simply not working, or is not providing enough for your baby, you shouldn't be insulted and guilt-tripped for using formula.

Being a mother is HARD. Especially in today's society where we don't always have family and friends to support us and help us with our new baby. Mothers should be supporting and encouraging each other, not tearing each other down for making different decisions.


Mary 6 years ago

To Heidi -I really hope things are going better for you now and I want to commend your extreme dedication to getting some breastmilk into your baby. I hope you managed ok with switching to formula and I am SURE that your baby did not suffer for it.

It really makes me sick that there are people out there who think that breast milk is the only way and that anyone who doesn't exclusively breastfeed is either slacking or a failure. That's not the kind of support that new mothers need - breastfeeding is not an easy thing to do for many new mum's/babys.

I had terrible trouble breastfeeding in the beginning and was in a pumping/attempting to feed/screaming child situation for a couple of weeks until I started using nipple shields. Still breastfeeding now 9 months later, but I totally understand that it's VERY hard for some people.

So to all you breastfeeding fanatics, GIVE US A BREAK! Everyone knows breast is best in an ideal situation, but life isn't all that straightforward sometimes!!!


bcn babe 6 years ago

90% of mums in the UK stop breastfeeding after 4 months, despite recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months.

If you are one of the 10% who manages to carry on feeding beyond 4 or 6 months then you deserve to feel proud of what you have done for your baby.

Clearly mums need support to help them breastfeed, not bashing or criticism if they can't. It's hard enough being a mum.


ph.d researcher 6 years ago

So i look online for the clear scientific evidence that breastfeeding for 4+ month is more than a lifestyle choice, and I don't see it. One quite methodolgically rigorous study, that excluded lots of flawed studies on intelligence, etc (could not rule out confounding factors such as mother's intelligence) ultimatly concluded that there appeared to be no risk in advising women to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. yeah, you read that right. That's it. I am not sure on what solid scientific basis all this one year non-sense rests. And why do some people get so hysterical about this issue? I'll try to make it to six months, but franckly, I doubt it - and there is no compelling data to suggest that its going to make one bit of difference in my son's future happiness and well being either way.


mindi 6 years ago

I am a mother of four month old twin boys. I have PCOS. Even though I have taken all the supplements out there and worked with 2 lactation consultants I am still not able to produce enough for my boys. They both get barely an ounce a day. Recently the smaller of the two was diagnosed with special needs and placed on a special formula that canno't be fortified with breastmilk to the amount of calories that he needs to gain weight. So I stopped breastfeeding. Im not going to give one baby something and have the other get nothing.

Yes I agree breast is best when possible. But if you end up in a situation like mine, where breastfeeding is not medically possible, why risk your childs health? Do what is best for your child should be the main message.


Heidi 6 years ago

It sounds like some of the aggressive breastfeeding supporters do not understand how difficult breastfeeding can be for some moms.

My son will be 5 weeks old this week and still refuses the breast. I took breastfeeding classes and have read books and numerous articles online (now and during pregnancy) and was definitely committed and planning to breastfeed.I would not say I am someone who is not educated and informed on the topic. He was born 3.5 weeks early, so is technically a preemie. We had a very hard birth- emergency c-section after trying to push for 2 hours, fever, infection, stressed baby, and then the doctors mistakenly sliced my artery during the c-section, resulting in additional surgery to repair the artery and 2.5 liters of blood loss for me. We were in the hospital for 1 week, and I had to have 3 blood transfusions. I was on several different antibiotics, and pain meds. Baby also had jaundice. Despite all of that, I was able to produce milk within 3 days, although my son refused to nurse. I have been pumping breastmilk every 3 hours since the day after he was born.I've been to a lactation consultants 6x and try to breastfeed at least 2x/day, even though it clearly tortures my kid.He latches on every couple of days, but rarely stays on, and gets very agitated and screams, throwing his head back, which also causes me a great deal of stress and sadness. After 5 weeks, I still have a lot of pain from my surgery, which makes it difficult to carry my baby. Pumping is very hard on my body, my nipples are very sore, and I often get clogged milk ducts which is also very painful and takes extra time to treat and unclog. Not to mention the fact that it takes up about 4 hours of time a day. I am only able to pump milk now because I have the 24 hour help of my husband and mother in law, who feed my baby his milk about 6 our of 9 feedings/day. In order to avoid painful clogged ducts, I have to stay on a strict 3 hour pumping schedule, which often doesn't sync with my baby's hunger pattern. MAny times he starts crying for food while i am pumping, and fortunately my husband can feed him. After he goes back to work next week, I have no idea how I am going to manage this on my own, let alone the exhaustion/sleep deprivation I will experience. I'm very worried and stressed about everything, and feel that switching to formula is the only way that I will be able to continue to feed my baby. I literally can not think about anything else about this difficult decision.

I am considering switching over to formula as it just isn't possible for me to pump and attend to my baby on my own. Also, I miss out on a lot of bonding time because I'm stuck at the pump. (Its not possible to hold a baby or do anything else while pumping). There are many other things which are important to me as a parent to do with my baby other than provide breast milk. I could be spending more time bonding with him over bottle feeding, playing, cuddling, reading to him, etc. Instead I have to give up those things just to pump milk. It doesn't feel natural and leaves me feeling guilty for not being able to spend more time with my baby. I honestly feel that my baby has bonded more with his grandmother and father than me, because of this situation.

It would be nice if there were more articles/ health care professionals out there who would support a mother's difficult decision to stop breastfeeding/ pumping in order to regain a sense of peace and normalcy in theirs and their baby's life.


emily 6 years ago

my daughter is 12 days old and i am having a hard time keeping her fed with breast feeding. my dr said if she doesn't gain enough weight i will have to supplement with formula. i do NOT want to do this. i know breast milk is the best thing for my baby but it is starting to break me down emotionaly which is not good for me or the baby. i was up trying to feed her for 3 hours last night, she falls asleep as soon as she is on the breast and just suckles so she is not getting enough milk and my nipple are so painfull. i take her off the breast and she crys- not even a passifier will help. i have tryed rubbing her shoulders and feet to keep her awake, and even getting her naked. nothing works. i have decided to pump into bottles to feed her. with a bottle the milk will come faster so she will get more milk before she falls asleep and then i can keep trak of what she is eating which will give me peace of mind. also, my husband can help feed her and i can get more sleep! i feel guilty about even this so i totally understand why people feel guilty for going to formula. people who tell you that you are wrong for not continuing breast feeding ovbiously have never had feelings of mental break down or they wouldn't be telling you to just keep doing no matter what. my advise if you are feeling guilty, try to just pump into bottles to feed. you can store it in a freezer for 3 mos. it will be time consuming for a few weeks but then you will have more freedom. if that is something you don't want to do than just go to formula. talk to your dr about what is the best kind for your baby!


Donna 6 years ago

No wonder you call yourself cloudy days... Shame on you...

There are a plethera of reasons as to why some mums simply cannot bf and so if formula is the next best thing then great go with what works for you... How about mums supporting one another rather than being critical and judge mental...


cloudy days profile image

cloudy days 6 years ago

If you do not know that breast milk is best for your baby, you are just plain ignorant - whether it "works" for you is beside the point. Too many people are interested in having convenient babies, not healthy babies...


L&L's Mummy 6 years ago

I think that if you can breastfeed, then try to do it as long as you can up until about 6 months, which is when you introduce solids anyway.

I, however, could only feed my son for 3 months as he was such a big boy and was starving and screaming after each feed. I was made to feel guilty about putting him on the bottle but as soon as I put him on formula, he was like a new baby - Sleeping through the night and so content during the day.

My 6 week old daughter is currently being breastfed and is becoming quite unsettled and waking about 3 times a night. I will probably continue until she is also 3 months (at the most) as, hey, I need some sleep!

It can become quite stressful trying to provide milk for your child. If you are a hormonal person like me, then your hormones (which are going crazy while you are producing milk) can stuff you right up emotionally....I cry pretty much every day whilst breastfeeding....don't you think that a happy mum is a better mum for a baby????

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about using formula. Sometimes, its actually the best thing for your baby as both you and them are happy and relaxed.

For all those breastfeeding Nazi's out there who abuse bottle feeding mothers who are just trying to feed their babies, hold back your insults until you know the full story and have a real understanding of what that person is going through and their reasons for doing what they are doing.

Breast is not always best. If it works for you and your baby, that's great. If it doesn't, then don't beat yourself up over it. Its not always just black and white.

Its like the difference between broccoli and brussel sprouts, not Broccoli and chocolate.


OTmommy profile image

OTmommy 6 years ago from Southern USA

Thanks for the hub on breastfeeding. Although I fed both of my babies breastmilk for over 13 months each, and never gave formula, this isn't always possible for everyone. As a healthcare provider with special training in breastfeeding, I am here to say that not all women can produce enough breastmilk- for a variety of reasons. Yet, most can. I am glad that for those women who can't produce any or not enough breast milk that there are other options out there. You are correct that any amount of breast milk is better than none! I think that life is too short to feel guilty about every little thing that happens! Having said that, "breast is best", and I encourage any woman who wants to breast feed but is having latch-on or milk supply issues to consult with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding educator before giving up.


Sheil 7 years ago

Is this article a joke? Um look around at all the formula advertising. Get a grip.

Do women complain, oh I think I'm done with this pregnancy. I know I'm only 4 months along, but it's time to get my pre-pregnancy body back and have a life again. I "CHOOSE" to induce and hopefully the baby will be alright.

Yaaaaa, NO!

So how's about realizing that breastfeeding is part of the package. Part of the agreement of what you're supposed to do when you have a baby. And to have a little patience and get a little help if you need it.


Cassaundra 7 years ago

I think others have made most good points so I'll stick to two.

Guilt is entirely personal. It is NOT caused by anything or anyone other than the person who feels it. It is the psyche's way of ensuring that we don't make bad decisions or any important decisions lightly. If you are feeling guilt, it is no-ones responsibility buut yours. So stop blaming breastfeeding promoters for it.

Yes, if you stop breastfeeding too early, it is BAD for your baby. Decades of research have proven this. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics says that infants should receive nothing but breastmilk for the first six months of life, and should continue nursing till 1 yr. Thw World Health Organisation says Nursing should continue till 2 yrs old, MINIMUM. This is not in dispute. It is Medical Fact, formula is substandard.

The other point is this: notice all the formula ads next to this post. This article is itself, Formula marketing. It is LYING TO YOU. It's purpose is not to promote what is best for you and your baby. It's purpose is to SELL FORMULA. PERIOD.

Get your Parenting advice from The Academy of Pediatricians, who are concerned and informed about what is best. Not a huckster peddling poison.


HKHoward 7 years ago from Texas

I just weaned my baby, and man was it tough! I didn't feel as guilty about it, though. Check out my hub 'Only a Mother Could Breasfeed' to find out why.


Trixie65 profile image

Trixie65 7 years ago

I dried up, and basically starved my first born, because I had no idea how much milk she was getting. Poor little thing. Once she went onto formula all was well.

But I had to deal with the guilt.

I am happy to say she is now 19 years old, so I did something right, lol.


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DixieChick 7 years ago from Irl

The first weeks are a bit of a slog, but I found that after 8 weeks it was plain-sailing. No pain, no fuss, no hard feelings. I bottle fed my first and I must say I know which one I prefer. My baby is now 6 months and I can't imagine feeding him any other way. no making bottles, no heating them or any of the other crap. i love the bond and i'm way too lazy!!! My words to mothers getting through those tough first weeks is to join a support group, la leche or a gov. group. I found it gave me a great boost to be with people in similar situations. and then I would just imagine the hardships of bottle feeding in my minds eye, whenever my thoughts wandered to stopping bfing. now I have no regrets and will carry on until I feel he is ready. but not too long....!


Jay 7 years ago

I need yo know how to stop him he throws himself down if i don't give it to him is is now 16 months and i want to stop but he want allow me top do so

I need help


Steph 7 years ago

I agree, we need support, not guilt. I totally and completely understand that breast feeding is best. I am doing my best to breast feed as long as possible. Knowing that I was NOT breast fed and turned out just great with no major illnesses, allergies or anything, gives me peace of mind that when I choose to stop, it won't be the end of the world.


Katie 7 years ago

Oh my goodness! How is it that with every article on the web, eventually the comments get taken over by the breast feeding fascists. I am breast feeding my 3 week old, and I hate it. It hurts so bad that I'm generally reduced to random cursing and tears, and she seems hungry and fussy all the time. I am "sticking with it" because of advice from SUPPORTIVE family and friends, but I am made so angry by all these people who do not provide support, only guilt trips. Mothers, breastfeeding or otherwise, needs support, not guilt, and those of you who don't understand that are simply not good people at heart.


amanda 7 years ago

BREAST IS BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's all i need to say!!!!


Amber 7 years ago

This article is talking about weaning, but most of the "reasons for weaning" seem to be things associated with new babies. It is like the author thinks that you can either breastfeed your children or feed them solids. When I assure you, at some point, unless you choose to wean before 6 months, they will most certainly be doing both.

For instance "time" - 2 hours a pop? Maybe during the first few months, but this gradually slows down. My little girl (16 months) still breastfeeds, and it never lasts for more than a few minutes at a time, the frequency is also quite reduced so scheduling actually isn't that hard. "Peace of mind" - you could also just encourage peace of mind by knowing that bfing and eating solids is a GREAT nutritional choice. Freedom to eat and drink - older babies do not need to bf on demand. I go for drinks with friends, my husband puts the baby to bed, and I make sure that she doesn't have any milk for several hours.

I definitely think people should make their own choice of when to wean their babies, and we need to feel supported in our choices, and yes there are lots of good reasons to wean. I just don't really think that publishing misinformation is at all helpful for mom's who are making either choice, to wean, or the even less socially acceptable one - continuing BFing.


Dawn 7 years ago

Lela, this is an important topic that doesn't get discussed enough so kudos to you for broaching a difficult topic.

I would advise any woman considering quitting breastfeeding to discuss it first with her doctor. Find an understanding, experienced doctor if possible (I know it isn't always possible!). Talk through the pros and cons and timing of stopping with your doctor. Also talk about how long you really need to do this. Don't go solely on articles or studies you find, not even 'scientific' ones. The majority of scientific studies published are pretty useless. Furthermore, it's VERY dangerous to make health decisions based on just one or two (or seven!) papers.

There are certain instances when it makes sense to stop (e.g. mother needs to go on medication, mother has poor health). However, if you're healthy, if you're producing milk well enough to fulfill your child and the ONLY barrier to breastfeeding is inconvenience or discomfort, I suggest just pushing through. This is your baby's health at stake.

The benefits of breastfeeding are not restricted to merely colostrum. Breast milk is more easily digested. Breastfed babies are less prone to allergies. They are also at lower risk of catching (potentially fatal) infections since there are no bottles, milk formula, water, or preparation involved and therefore a lower risk of contamination. You might be surprised how easy it is for an infant to catch a potentially dangerous infection from her food. This is especially true of those below 2 years of age. If you do stop nursing, make sure your speak with your doctor about all the ways you can protect your child from these harmful infections.

Yes, breastfeeding can be painful, unconfortable, inconvenient and it feels like you're tied to your baby and have no life of your own. But there are many aspects of parenting which feel exactly that way and you can't give them up simply because you're sick of it. Not when there is so much at stake. It's certainly true that this is a highly individual matter. Each mother and each child is unique. So speak to a qualified healthcare professional before making ANY decision that could impact your child's health and well-being. Put your child's well-being first. Get all the information you need from a reliable and qualified source so you can make an informed, responsible decision for both yourself and your child.


Dawn 7 years ago

Lela, this is an important topic that doesn't get discussed enough so kudos to you for broaching a difficult topic.

I would advise any woman considering quitting breastfeeding to discuss it first with her doctor. Find an understanding, experienced doctor if possible (I know it isn't always possible!). Talk through the pros and cons and timing of stopping with your doctor. Also talk about how long you really need to do this. Don't go solely on articles or studies you find, not even 'scientific' ones. The majority of scientific studies published are pretty useless. Furthermore, it's VERY dangerous to make health decisions based on just one or two (or seven!) papers.

There are certain instances when it makes sense to stop (e.g. mother needs to go on medication, mother has poor health). However, if you're healthy, if you're producing milk well enough to fulfill your child and the ONLY barrier to breastfeeding is inconvenience or discomfort, I suggest just pushing through. This is your baby's health at stake.

The benefits of breastfeeding are not restricted to merely colostrum. Breast milk is more easily digested. Breastfed babies are less prone to allergies. They are also at lower risk of catching (potentially fatal) infections since there are no bottles, milk formula, water, or preparation involved and therefore a lower risk of contamination. You might be surprised how easy it is for an infant to catch a potentially dangerous infection from her food. This is especially true of those below 2 years of age. If you do stop nursing, make sure your speak with your doctor about all the ways you can protect your child from these harmful infections.

Yes, breastfeeding can be painful, unconfortable, inconvenient and it feels like you're tied to your baby and have no life of your own. But there are many aspects of parenting which feel exactly that way and you can't give them up simply because you're sick of it. Not when there is so much at stake. It's certainly true that this is a highly individual matter. Each mother and each child is unique. So speak to a qualified healthcare professional before making ANY decision that could impact your child's health and well-being. Put your child's well-being first. Get all the information you need from a reliable and qualified source so you can make an informed, responsible decision for both yourself and your child.


ladiiskillz profile image

ladiiskillz 7 years ago

you might think that you are gulity because deep down in your heart you know that your breat milk is the best for the baby then the regular enfamil


Leslie 7 years ago

Wow, that last comment is just rude. There is no RIGHT decision. It is different for everyone. Anyway, I was very happy to find this article because I am feeling guilty for stopping breatfeeding. My milk supply has completley dimminished on it's own & my daughter was suffering for it. At first I started supplimenting with formula after each feeding. Then after 2 months of doing this I was down to pretty much no milk at all. So I just decided to let it go completely. (I breastfeed her for 5 months total) I feel sad because I really loved the bond it gave us, but she has been doing just fine, if not better on formula. She doesn't have to work so hard to get only a few onces like she was doing while breastfeeding. She would end up soo mad that she was crying & so was I! It was just silly cause in the begining we had no problems & she nursed great! It was just when my milk got low when all this started. So, I am thankful for this article reassuring me NOT to feel guilty. Since there are soo many people like the commentor above me that make you feel bad about yourself.


mph 7 years ago

Did a Gerber or Enfamil pay you to write this asenine article? "Stopping breastfeeding is something that's a totally individual decision" Of course the decision to stop breastfeeding is up to the individual, that doesn't mean uniformed decisions are healthy. It is also a woman's personal decision to drink alcohol while pregnant. Does that mean there isn't one decision that is healthier than the other. Breastmilk is the best option for you baby and is recommended exclusively for the first 6 months of life my the AMA and American Pediatric Association. Listen to your doctor ladies. It is your decision, so make the right one.


luvinliv08 7 years ago

Excellent article! At 7 months of age I have just switched my daughter to formula and am struggling with guilt for doing so. She really enjoys breastfeeding but I have come to realize that she is going to be fine with the switch. It's nice to have support and encouragement while breastfeeding however it's equally as nice to have support when you want to stop. Thank-you!


John Fahey profile image

John Fahey 7 years ago from Copperhill, Tennessee, USA.

For those women who are breastfeeding exclusively there is a hidden danger. The latest medical evidence is that such babies are deficient in Vitamin D3. There are reports of rickets appearing around the US in babies exclusively breast fed. A deficiency that persists through childhood to adolescence to adulthood - leading later in life to the risk of a range of diseases. For those admirable women who do extend breast feeding for the known benefits PLEASE take a Vitamin D3 supplement (1,000 -2,000 IU daily) and make sure your baby gets at least 400 IU daily (In Finland babies get 2,000 IU daily to avert diabetes and other problems). If you have difficulty believing or understanding this take a look at my comments on http://www.erinpharm.org/vitamin_D.html. Medical experts are beginning to realise that Vitamin D3 deficiency exists in most children, adolescents, and adults. It is a national health crisis. Know about it. Become aware. Share your knowledge with others.

John Fahey, Ph.D. 


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hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

Oh boy, I would have failed the naked question. repeatedly. Oh wait you only have to get 2 out of 3. Oh well then, I'm a good mom.


pgrundy 8 years ago

Great hub! I have three grown children (now 29, 25, & 21 years old, so not children anymore). I was in La Leche League for 10 years straight while they were babies and toddlers--one would wean, the next would be born, and so on. My first nursed about a year, my second was almost 4 when I got pregnant with my last and didn't want to quit--but I was ready at that point. It's not fun to be pregnant and nursing a child who speaks in complete sentences. She got over it. My youngest, my son, used to bite me and laugh--so he got about three months of it and I said, OK, dairy's closed!

On the up side, it kept me skinny after the pregancies. I ate a like a lumberjack and the weight poured off.

Thanks for a sensible hub with much needed permission to dump the guilt. Christ we aren't the cause of EVERYTHING that goes wrong in our children's lives. Society praises motherhood and then is just terrible to mothers---mothers are blamed for everything. It's like, if you don't feel totally guilty all the time you must be a bad Mom. What crap. Here are my Mom Rules---You ask yourself three questions and three questions only:

1) Is anyone bleeding?

2) Is anybody naked?

3) Is anything on fire?

If you can answer "no" to 2 out of those 3, then guess what?

You're a good Mom!


belief713 profile image

belief713 8 years ago from NJ

I dealt with some guilt about weaning - and my little guy was 26 months! I still feel like he wasn't ready, but I was. It's like you say, it's time consuming, you begin to want your body back...so many reasons.

I now have a four (soon to be five) month old and I love nursing him. I love the bond, but also remember the feelings of wanting to wean with my oldest. I agree, it is a personal decision and the fact that you do nurse or try for any amount of time is a great accomplishment.

I am amazed at some of the info I see on women who breastfeed at 5, 6, 7 and older. To me that's a bit odd, too long, and more of an issue with the mother not wanting to let go, but I won't get into that.

Just thought I'd share that I found a really neat article that there is stem cells in breastmilk

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20081102-16879...

Doesn't really help too much with the guilt issue, but it's an interesting read! ;-)


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Princessa 8 years ago from France

I supposse I was lucky, on my daughter's 1st birthday, she just decided to stop breastfeeding after a whole year of exclusive breastfeeding! It was weird for me and I must admit that I felt sad about it.


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flutterbug77 8 years ago from USA

Kudos to you for writing about something alot of women can relate to. I breastfed all three of my kids but never lasted more than eight months. Even if it's a week or a month it's still beneficial.


LeeAnnO 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA

Excellent article, very informative! Wish I'd had your insight when I was weaning my youngest. Its wonderful that breastfeading is getting more support publicly, I wouldn't want it any other way. As a first time mom though, difficulties or failure to nurse can be crushing. There is so little feedback for a new mom to feel confident in mothering; to have so much public pressure on breastfeeding can sometimes intensify the feelings of inadequacy and shame when mom and baby don't click through the nipple. Thanks for reminding us that even one day is better than nothing. The effort is worth it but not at the risk of a mom's confidence and mental health. Basically - you're still a good mom if your baby prefers the bottle.

Great links, too! Thanks!

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