Why Breastfeeding Is Making Me Sad

My beautiful daughter, Matilda Mae, will be six weeks old on Wednesday. She is exclusively breastfed and of this fact I am very proud. But breastfeeding a newborn is time consuming and it is making me sad.

I have two other gorgeous children, twins Esther and William and I feel that I am neglecting them. For six weeks now their Daddy has been their main carer and I seem to have looked on whilst feeding the baby.

I love snuggling with Matilda and feeding her but I am not enjoying it as I should.

Often I am upstairs early in the morning feeding M whilst the twins have breakfast with Daddy downstairs.

I am quite frequently still feeding the baby whilst Daddy gets Esther and William dressed.

I am often in the lounge while my toddlers play in the garden or go to the park with their Daddy.

I almost always have to feed the baby while the others have tea.

And most heartbreaking of all are the times when I do not get to say a proper good night and take my toddlers to bed.

I feel like I am missing out on so many special moments and am terrified that my relationship with Esther and William will be damaged beyond repair.

Whenever they are hurt or need something these days it is Dadda that they call. And Daddy swoops in with kisses and cuddles and I feel so very left out of the love.

Sometimes I feel so hurt and angry. I feel bad for Esther and William too.

I often have to refuse their cuddles because I am feeding the baby.

I know we are watching far too much TV.

There is so much that I want to do but time seems to get eaten with the feeding.

Sometimes it all gets too much and I sit with Matilda in my arms and I cry.

I feel like such a bad mummy.

I knew that things would be bad for a couple of weeks but 6 weeks on and I want to be mummy to all my children.

Can anybody tell me how?

When we go out it is always Daddy who has the twins as I wear baby in a Baba Sling. Maybe we need to try doing things the other way around?

David is so good with Esther and William though, and he can lift them both together with ease which makes lots of things much easier.

I worry that he feels that he is doing all the hard work with Esther and William while I am just sat feeding.

I know that it must look so easy but breastfeeding and generally caring for a newborn is physically and emotionally exhausting.

I often feel drained.

Matilda’s reflux does not help.

I feel like I am missing out on special moments with all my children and making myself so sad.

Would bottle feeding Matilda really make any difference?

How can I find a balance between the three and be the mummy I am so desperate to be?

What would you do if you were me?

14 thoughts on “Why Breastfeeding Is Making Me Sad

  1. I felt similarly with Bubby D – it’s hard to find a balance in the early days.
    But I did find that at around 12 weeks it suddenly all got easier – Bubby D started taking longer gaps between feeds and was able to be left to entertain herself for a few minutes, meaning I could spend a bit of time with the Wee Man.

    I tried to make at least a bit of time each day to spend with just the Wee Man, and let the Other Half take charge of Bubby D while we did an activity together – even if it was just 10 minutes reading a story or two, or having a quick bath with him.

    I hope things settle down for you soon, and hang in there – it sounds like you are doing a great job :)

  2. I imagine it’s much more difficult with twins as your older ones, but hand in there, it will get easier. Can you read to them while you’re feeding? I take smallest to bed and sit and feed tigerboy next to her while she falls asleep, it’s lovely quiet time together.

  3. like the other comments, it will get easier. Try and get the baby into a good feeding routine (easier said than done, I know)! If it gets too tough, express a bit and get the hubby to give it in a bottle. The baby is 6 weeks now so shouldn’t get confused between breast and bottle. You may feel guilty at first but it will give you a much needed break and allow you to spend some much needed time with the twins

  4. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself; it sounds like you are doing a great job. I think it’s natural for toddlers to go through phases of having a “favourite” parent. At such a young age, they won’t in a few weeks develop a lifelong allegiance to one and ignore the other.
    I’m afraid I can’t speak for breastfeeding as my milk
    dried up long before leaving NICU, but if you really are concerned and worried and wishing to do more things with the twins, why not try mix feeding just for a few days to see how it goes? You’d be under no obligation to continue with it if it is not what you want or feel comfortable with, but you could always try one bottle a day, maybe breakfast or night, so you either get to do breakfast or bedtime. It could even be that you do a bottle once every few days; there’s no “right” way apart from what makes you all happy as a family, whatever that is.
    In my experience, watching my daughter feed compared with breastfeeding children, children usually take slightly more and less frequently than breastfeeding, but this is very different for every child. It may help with the reflux though as some meds like Gavison, are added to feeds. Several bfing friends of mine with refluxy babies did one bottle a day for medication and bf’ed for the rest. When the reflux settled down, they then moved back to exclusive bfing. It’s not got to be one or the other. Either way, Matilda Mae will continue to thrive I’m sure, the important thing is that the rest of you, especially you, are happy too.

    xx

  5. Hold up mama, you are doing an awesome job and before you do anything you should remind yourself of this. You’re definitely not a bad mummy, certainly not if you’re exclusively breastfeeding. I would recommend expressing and bottle feeding. It’s what me and my boyfriend do and it’s brilliant for him to feel close to our 8 week old and gives me a break which I seriously need sometimes. Then you can be with your other children or go and have a long hot bath which you definitely deserve!

  6. Oh lovely,
    You are doing a wonderful job! 6 wks of exclusive bfeeding is an amazing achievement & you should be proud.

    I went through a similar “favourite parent” w/ Ella when Sam was born. I went into hospital 3 days before Sam was born & was in a total of 6 days. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from Ella. For the 1st time in her life, Ella had to rely solely on her Daddy. When we came home finally, Daddy was the only one for Ella. She called out for him in the night, wanted him to put her to bed. It was heartbreaking. But we’ve come full circle. And I’m pleased to say that Ella’s good relationship w/ her Daddy has continued but there’s plenty of room for me too. It just takes time.
    I never breast fed but I, for the most part have been the only one to feed Sam. I’m the one who got/gets up in the night. So feeding is, 99% down to me. Formula is not the devil, nor is expressing. I would suggest trying one feed a day from a bottle (whether expressed breastmilk or formula) so you can get a break. Happy Mummy equals Happy Family after all. And hugs to you lovely. You are wonderful.
    Karin x

  7. I’m not the best person to ask because I could only feed The Boy for three weeks. I made plenty of milk but he fell asleep the moment he latched on, so engorged and full of mastitis, I had to give up. For me, moving to the bottle stopped me from tipping over the edge: other people could feed him, he had a bottle every 3 hours and we played in between, he slept from 10-6 every night through, and generally life became easier. I mourn not being able to have the breastfeeding relationship I should have had, but it happened as it did.
    A friend of mine was an adamant bf-er with her first, but with her second (similar age gap to your three), she switched to a bottle within a fortnight because she had to stop the eldest climbing up the loft ladder or rub his bad knee, and ff-ing is easy to beak off.
    Could you express and could David do one of the feeds so you can play with the twins? Could you set aside an hour or so a day where you can be with them, just you and them?

  8. You are doing a great job. when Matilda feeds less often it will be easier. My sister expressed so hubby could give amber a bottle if she needed it while she put Mia to bed and read a story. Now struggles to fund time to express but she will happily take formula in a bottle. Not every day but when needed.
    When matilda is just a little older she will be easy occupied just sitting in bouncy chair watching e and w running about.
    It will get easier but don’t beat yourself up if introduce bottle or formula.
    A bit of tv does no harm, they will learn from it.is so cute when start to copy dance or song from tv.
    Sam x

  9. You are doing brillantly! Don’t give yourself such a hard time.

    But giving the odd bottle in my own personal experience can be very good. Little Man had the odd bottle of expressed and then formula when my milk started to get low and would switch between the breast and bottle no problems. Where as a lot of my friends who had only given the breast had babies who refused the bottle later on when they wanted to give a bottle of expressed milk so they could go out. I know going out my seem a long way off at the moment but in a few weeks/months you will need to. Also it would mean you could nip out with the twins and your hubby could feed M. Also it may help your husband to be just as attached M as the twins.
    Obviously I can only speak from my own experiences you can only do what you feel is right for you and yours.
    Take care

  10. I’m the other way around with my children but can emphathise with this. My twins are now 6mths and my eldest is 5. I’ve been breastfeeding my twins since they were born and have experienced some of the same frustrations as you. I’ve tried to go with the flow and accept that during these early weeks I will be less available but it does pass. By 3 months it was easier, now 6 months on (which may seem like a lifetime but it has gone fast) it is MUCH easier. I’ve also tried to involve my eldest by reading to her, watching tv with her etc or just being in the same room as her whilst feeding. She is great with the twins but has had some issues with me – including hysterically crying at school :( I did express a bit but found that it took at lot of time and didn’t want to mess about sterilizing stuff etc with formula as I felt I had enough to do and couldn’t face adding anything else. I also felt that at least bf gave me a break and a sit down. This has worked for me and my advice would be try to put yourself first. Sounds selfish but if you don’t look after yourself your children won’t be as happy and they won’t remember these weeks in a few years, but you will. Have you used a sling so you can feed Matilda Mae whilst you play with the others? Or set yourself one thing, even if it is just 30mins to do with the twins a week. Give yourself a break – you are the best mummy for all your children and “normal” life will resume. You are doing a great job and remember “this too will pass”.

  11. Ben is still troughing at 19 weeks and I feel similar. He took the odd bottle for a while and it was great but one refuses them.

    It is really ard and feels huge just now but, having had 4 girls is 6 years, I promise it will be okay and no damage will be done. Trust me :)

  12. Don’t give yourself such a hard time, sounds like you have been having a tough time, just let the twins enjoy some ‘daddy time’ whilst you and babe have that precious ‘mummy time’ that goes so quickly. I also found it hard with my second babe as it is exhausting (and I don’t have twins!) but my hubby really enjoyed being the centre of attention so I took solace in my hubby having the best bonding time ever. I bf my first for 10 months before he lost interest, 2nd babe (he is now 2 1/2) I bf until just before 2 (when he lost interest too, alot longer than I had expected). I found it helped to be in the same room and I worked out a comfortable way to bf and cuddle eldest, we read stories whilst bf too and he helped to burp him when done so he was involved, when it clashed with mealtimes I sat at the dinner table too, is there a way you could be in the same room sometimes as it sounds like you feel a little cut off from the action? good luck:)

  13. I had exactaly the same experience. My Little boy was only 18 months when I had my 2nd. His daddy took time off work to help me out. It felt as if he took over and I got my nose pushed out. I exclusively breast fed both of them. I weened My son at 7 months.
    My daughter is now 5 months and things are so much easier. As she grows more active Her brother wants to interact with her more and Her with him.
    I involve My son in helping me out with My daughters nappy changing, bathing and play times. He loves being apart of it and feels proud to help us out. I try my hardest to spend alone time as much as possible with him. He also comes into our bed with us for cuddles and play on a morning be for we have breakfast.
    Now that daddy is back at work he is with us all day long. Every thing works its self out in the end. Don’t give up on breast feeding. And keep strong. Your doing a fantastic job and are a wonderful mother. That’s why your worrying and getting sad. Pleas try not too.
    Hugs to you and well done xxx

  14. Pingback: The Little Life of Matilda Mae | Edspire

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