Breastfeeding - When it just doesn't work out

by Jessica

I agree with everyone else. I felt like less of a women when I gave up and started feeding my son formula. My story began with a very hard pregnancy, 10 wks of bedrest at the end, 16 hrs of labor, and a healthy 8lb 2oz baby!

I breastfed immediately and felt like all was going well in the hospital. At his first appointment after being discharged, he had dropped to 7lb 3 oz. Not too bad, but the dr told me to start supplementing with formula after every feeding, and for me to start pumping and taking fenugreek. With emotions running wild after having a baby, just hearing all of that made me feel scared and overwhelmed.

I had not even purchased formula or bottles b/c I had no concerns that nursing would not work. I did as the dr said, but never got more than a drop out when pumping, and Reece would suck down those formula bottles like he was starving.

Mentally that was torture for me. I felt depressed and cried for hours wondering why I couldn't supply all he needed. We had to go back for weight checks every 2 days until he stopped loosing weight. At each check, they would tell me to supplement with more formula, more formula.

It finally defeated me and by the time he was 2 wks old, he was on formula only. After that, he started gaining weight. During that 2 wks of trying, I never got engorged and never felt the milk "letdown" when he was nursing. Amazingly, he latched on and he did everything perfect. Apparently my body just couldn't make the milk, even with supplements and pumping.

When I stopped trying, I never leaked milk or had pain as it was "drying up." I don't think it was ever there to begin with. I finally had to begin antidepressant medicine to help me cope and now my son is 15 months old! I realize now that he is just fine and I did my best. I will try again with my future children, but will never beat myself up like I did with Reece.

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