Posted by: zara | 2009-08-24

haunted by breastfeeding

my son is now two years old. i wasnt able to breastfeed him for more than a month due to extreme soreness, inverted nipples which eventually became infected. i tried everything anyone suggested, spent so much on creams , ointments and shields etc. i felt like such a failure! the problem is that up until now, i still feel horrible-i cant seem to let it go. i even have vivid dreams of me feeding my little one and i wake up crying! i feel i have deprived him. i dont want to have another child due to fear of the same. please advise

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Our expert says:
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Breast-feeding is desirable in several ways, but should never be considered compulsory, and the potential benefits to the child must be weighed agains the interests of the mother, too. Some women breast-feed easily, and they are fortunate. Other women, for no reason which is in the slightest way their fault, are unable to breast-feed comfortably or at all. This is not in any sense a failure on their part, and they should never be allowed let alone encouraged to feel any sort of a failure. You have deprived him of nothing ; circumstances beyond your control hacve deprived him of only a little --- but one could argue that your guilt and inappropriate self-blame and sadness themselves, are depriving him of much more. DO, please, see a CBT counsellor, psychologist to work through this with you, to enable you to forgive yourself and to feel confident of the many other and more important ways in which you are and can be a most excellent mother.
Congratulations on being such a caring mother --- but never forget your duty to be forgiving, understanding and caring towards yourself, too.

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