Why do women stop feeding so soon?

This blog is not supposed to be exclusively about breastfeeding but something happened today that made me want to post again on the topic so it’s on the agenda twice in a row (sorry!)

I went to a mummy group that i enjoy this morning and was sitting with 4 other women that i have seen about but am not “friends” with.  Bits of the conversation were swirling around breastfeeding as 4 out of the 5 of us were feeding, yet the one other mother – lets call her Wasp – has switched to formula said we made her feel bad as she no longer breastfed.

I am pro breastfeeding. Fact.  I intend to breastfeed as long as possible. Fact. I do not see why I should have to make a woman who has chosen to formula feed “feel better”

Wasp’s son is 11 weeks old.  She stopped breastfeeding around 2 weeks ago as “it is better for him” although I think she moved away from the idea longer ago as she explained how she gradually swapped by adding in an extra bottle of formula every few days. She told us how hard it was for her as she missed it and their special bond – but in the same breath how much easier life was now.

Wasp’s reasons for stopping are:

1) It’s better for him to feed every 3 hours as he is more settled. If this was actually true, I can’t see why she doesn’t breastfeed every 3 hours.

2) He no longer has colic… don’t get me started on people’s obsession with colic – IT’S A SYMPTOM NOT AN ILLNESS

3) Her baby can get fuller as there are more calories in formula as she’s seen breast milk separates in the fridge and “there’s loads of water” in it – What the hell does she make her formula with ?!?!?!

I actually had to point this out to her, whilst holding my 91st centile, exclusively breastfed baby.

Wasp is educated, polite and friendly.  Wasp is capable of breastfeeding. Wasp appears to be either ill informed or stupid.

Why doesn’t every woman want to feed her baby and give them them the possible start in life? This is a massive beeeee in my bonnet 😦

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11 responses to “Why do women stop feeding so soon?”

  1. The Mummy Scripts says :

    I am a firm believer in personal choices. There is no firm right or wrong in this situation as everyone has a very different breastfeeding experiences. Wasp definitely shouldn’t be using her issues to make you and the other breastfeeding mummy’s feel bad, especially when she has selfish reasons for stopping. I seriously dislike people projecting their issues onto others. I had a really tough time breastfeeding 2 of my 3 kids and wished I could have done it for longer but milk production was not the best and no matter how hard I tried and got help, they just wouldn’t latch properly. I am envious of women like you who it obviously comes to naturally but at the same time, even though we know breast is best, a happy mother and baby is so important – just my opinion!

    • beeeeeinmybonnet says :

      I completely agree that happy mother and baby are important, it was the fact that she can breastfeed and chose not to with the ridiculous reasons she gave that frustrated me! Well done for trying so hard with yours, Bee x

  2. beenough says :

    I love your post! I am the worst breastfeeder, but I am very determined. I have always had the goal of breastfeeding each of my boys for two years. My first, I decided to wean at 21 months. My second stopped feeding at 23 months and now my third we will see what happens. One day at a time is always my motto, but I think it is good to have goals, especially when it comes to our children’s health!

    • beeeeeinmybonnet says :

      Thank you for this – I totally love your description as being “the worst breastfeeder” and you have done an amazing job to persevere.I am looking forward to seeing how long i last and will definitely do the same with my next BabBees x

  3. Marija Smits says :

    Hi Beeeee,

    I really like your honesty, the fact that you’re thinking about these issues and then writing interesting posts.

    You may not have a lot of time for reading at the moment, but I would recommend the book ‘The Politics of Breastfeeding’ which is a real eye-opener.

    Wishing you all the best in your mothering journey x

  4. rebeccaannemarshall says :

    I stopped breast feeding early with my oldest (After about a month and a half). She was in NICU for the first 3 months of her life, tube fed, I pumped and would bring my goodies in it’s little containers ever day, but my supply slowly started dwindling (still not entirely sure why, my best guess based on what my lactation consultant said was stress). Even tried hormone medication in attempts to up the production, though slowly and eventually she was switched to formula. My other two were both breast fed, it really made all the difference having the demand right there next to you rather then attempting to train my body to the tune of an alarm reminder (and of course the connection you get with baby rather then machine was a big thing as well, along with obviously not quite as much stress).
    Also, and somewhat unrelated, I happen to love the names you give to the people who you are discussing lol. Loved this post.

  5. Kate Boothby says :

    I wish I could breastfeed my lo but everyone has a choice!

  6. brigit77 says :

    What if you cant breastfeed?-i had thyrotoxicosis-my son was put in special care-i had no choice-you lot should stop trying to make mums feel bad if they cannot breastfeed !-so what-i made the mistake of listening to idiots who give crap advice,now,i say,shove it !-all you need to do is be there for YOUR kids,and dont hit them or shout at them-stay at home and be a mum-it works.

    • beeeeeinmybonnet says :

      Thanks for your comments, I had a feeling this would be a contentious issue! You have had a difficult situation and made your choices based on that, stay strong and make the decisions that are right for you x

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