Trapped by breastfeeding

I exclusively breastfed my first baby for the 1st 2 weeks, then added in the occasional bottle of expressed milk after that, when I needed to. I didn't do this very often and after a few weeks, she seemed to "forget" how to drink from the bottle. I tried everything to get her to start doing it again - different teats, bottles, time of day, hungry/not hungry, different people giving the bottle, me going out, warm/cold, expressed milk/formula but no luck with anything. My husband and I felt so frustrated every time she refused, and I felt completely trapped, knowing I could never have more than a couple of hours away from my baby at any one time. I began to hate breastfeeding her because of this but had to continue as there was no alternative. I resented her for taking away my freedom. I saw the health visitors and attended peer support groups but no one could help. I weaned my baby a little early (5.5 months) and carried on breastfeeding until one day, aged 7 months, she picked up the bottle of formula, put it in her mouth and started drinking it. I never looked back, and from that moment on she was entirely formula fed.

With my second baby, I felt I had to try breastfeeding again, and did but also gave two formula feeds a day from very early on. This gave me the freedom I needed to have some time away from the baby, and helped my husband to feel more involved. However, at 12 weeks she suddenly stopped taking the bottle. I was devastated. The exact same thing was happening again, and I was trapped. Her sleep pattern, which had been good, became disrupted and I couldn't help thinking it was all my fault because my milk wasn't as "good" as the formula. Now, she's 16 weeks old and still won't take the bottle. We've tried everything we tried last time, and more, with no success. She won't suck the bottle teat and cries. It's even more difficult this time around as I have an impatient 2 year old, who won't wait whilst I breastfeed. I'm not sure what else to try, other than keeping going and hoping that one day soon she'll remember how to do it, just like her sister did.

I'm sorry, my story doesn't really involve any "breastfeeding tips", it's just what's happened to me. I hope you all have more luck that I did!

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