even though I can not breastfeed i am a good mother

by Karen

My daughter is 7 months old. She is formula feeding.

I tried breastfeeding when she was born, but i didn't start producing milk until 5 days after she was born. But somehow when I used a pump, the most milk I got was 1/2 an oz.

I was never able to get my baby to latch on. I tried everything the lactation consultants told me, but nothing worked.

I felt terrible because I know how important breastmilk is, but I just was not capable. I felt, and still feel like I could have if I wouldn't have given up.

I sometimes cry about it feeling guilty. Maybe it's because I'm a young mom. I feel better, though, to know I'm not alone.

That it wasn't my fault. It just couldn't happen for me. This support group has really helped me.

Reading everyone's stories, and seeing how everyone struggled shows me that I am a good mother even though I can't breastfeed.

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Apr 02, 2014
Can not breastfeed, the body & the world today
by: Anonymous

To me it seems like our bodies need so many different aspects of stimulation, for it to function properly.

I say this because I hear over and over, how the milk supply comes in so slowly.

Colostrum is produced for the first few days and then the milk starts being produced.

The whole hospital experience and society, doesn't seem to help mothers focus on the whole breastfeeding experience.

Making it stressful and not too positive, it's quite scary and a mother feels so scared and even violated.

It might not be the same for all mothers, but it does seem to be the norm for mothers that struggle to breastfeed.

I think the whole birthing part is super stressful, and then immediately the baby needs food, and all of that stress and the meds can't be to encouraging for our body's milk production.

If the body only starts producing milk a day or two later, which is actually a miracle considering the situation, then babies are said to have to have formula because they need to eat, this further makes things worse for breastfeeding.

But what about the way mum's body responds to having baby near, the sound, the sight and the feel of baby, producing amazing amounts of hormones in mum's body that help with breastfeeding and producing milk.

I know there are millions of other things that prevent moms from breastfeeding, but I know that what I've mentioned would make a huge impact on mothers that actually can breastfeed, but are not able to because of these situations.

We are human, and these things affect us, no matter how much society seems to make us think we need to be strong, when it seems that we actually become hard.

Apr 02, 2014
Bottle feeding is as good as breast
by: Anonymous

There is no good evidence to say that breast feeding is better for baby over bottle feeding. I unfortunately ended up in intensive care 2 days after the birth of my baby with infection. I was given so many different antibiotics that I was advised not to breastfeed.

I did not have a strong desire either way anyway. It makes me so angry when people just assume you are breast feeding and look horrified if you tell them you are not.

It is no ones business, but yours how you feed your baby. My 7 month old is thriving on formula milk and all of my family were brought up on formula - it hasn't done us any harm!

In fact, we are all in highly intellectual professions. Ignore the critics!

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the decision to switch to formula

by Shantel
(Olympia, WA)

I gave birth to my first child almost 9 months ago!

It was the best day of my life when I got to hold my daughter in my arms!

We went with a midwife so therefore went all natural. It was one of the most intense births, even my midwives agreed.

Almost immediately I knew breastfeeding was going to be difficult because she didn't want to latch.

Since we had her at a birth house. We were sent home four hours after she was born. It was 230am by the time we got home. I was exhausted!!!

The moment she woke up to eat she latched, but she sucked so hard it hurt. As the day progressed anytime she would try to latch, she couldn't.

She would get frustrated, push away from me and scream. The moments she did latch it hurt and then after only a few moments she would pull away and scream.

I knew something was wrong that evening and the following two days I met with my midwives for help (we couldn't afford an LC).

One night after 7hr of not even wanting to try to eat, we gave her 2oz of formula.

She sucked it down in no time and for the first time she had a look of satisfaction on her face.

The following day my milk came in or so I thought. She still wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding.

We tried everything to get her to latch. I even pumped but after 40min I only produced about 1T of milk both breasts combined!!

On mother day (5days after she was born). I made the decision to switch to formula. It was the hardest decision. To make it worse my MIL and SIL didn't support my decision.

I was completely overwhelmed with emotions and to this day I still mourn over my inability to give my daughter the nourishment that is "best".

However, I continue to remind myself that I have and will continue to feed her with my love!!

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No growth in breast tissue or milk production

by Katie R
(Collinsville, IL, USA)

At the end of the comment section I noticed your website/article's note "To those first time moms that couldn't breastfeed, please don't be discouraged. Know that the second time, is really much easier as breast tissue grows with each pregnancy, making it easier for your body to produce milk the second time around."

Please take a look into the facts or possible re-wright this to make it less of a blanket statement. It is not necessarily "really much easier" with subsequent pregnancies for all women.

I have had two beautiful and healthy FORMULA children and did not have any growth in breast tissue or milk production with either pregnancy.

I am pregnant with my third and through the first trimester got very excited as my breasts were unusually tender and "full" feeling. I am just into the second trimester and that is gone.

I will try to breast feed our third immediately after birth and for a few days to get all the colostrum into our baby, I WILL supplement because I know my body.(Now, if it should surprise me and I become an engorged breastly beast, I am all for it!)

But this statement flies almost in the face of what you are giving women empowerment to say to the nay-sayers.

I do think more studies on genetics should be done. I recently was speaking with my maternal grandmother and she was unable to produce milk with her first and third.

My mother was able to produce and choose to feed her children for 6 weeks before going back to work full time.

Maybe it skips a generation? Or maybe biological/anatomical studies need to be done.

I had a lactation consultant come into my room after my second was born because I needed her help to tell the nurses "Shut Up and give that baby formula" and she examined my breasts and told me I had "wide set breasts with inadequate tissue mass" (tiny and no cleavage).

I felt like I finally had an answer, but still got the "She's crazy" looks from people in the hospital and outside world. You know what though? I decided I was not going to care anymore. What do those people know of me and my family and my love for my children? DIDDLEY SQUWAT, that's what.

So hang in there ladies! You can still bond with your baby during bottle feeding (and we won't get saggy boobs!) and we can have others help us out with feedings. Let go of the stress and ENJOY this new little life. Blessings!!!

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Feb 28, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi Katie

Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment.

I'm so sorry if that offended you. The reason why I wrote that, was because in my case and in many other mothers, they do experience an increase in milk supply with their second pregnancies, because breast tissue does normally grow with each pregnancy.

I want to encourage them not to give up, just because it didn't work out the first time.

I should have maybe stated, that this only occurs in some Moms, those without hypoplastic breasts, etc. Could you maybe suggest how to write it without offending or misleading? I would appreciate it ;-)

Kind regards

Mar 03, 2014
I completely understand Katie
by: Anonymous

I too have had three children with no growth in breast tissue.

I nursed and pumped and took supplements to be able to give my 3 very healthy children the little bit I was able to produce (about a half an ounce at a time with both breasts combined).

The doctors and lactation consultants don't know why.

So when you are told it will happen, don't give up-those that have not experienced not being able to produce-you have no idea what those words do to a new mom (even when not your first!!)

We experience a feeling of inadequacy for something that is truly not our fault. We just have to realize that we love our children and are providing them the best we can by using feeding time with formula to bond with them.

We love them just the same and words can hurt especially when you have not walked in our shoes.

Mar 03, 2014
by: Katie R

Tracy - No offense was taken, simply an observation that the statement could upset others that aren't at an accepting phase of their own story.

My apologies if that is what came across in my post. Maybe a different phrasing “To those first time moms that couldn't breastfeed, please don't be discouraged. Know that the second time, can be easier as usually breast tissue grows with each pregnancy, possibly making it easier for your body to produce milk the second time around." Do you know of any research out there about lack of breast tissue growth that might encourage new moms?

I think your website is amazing and am so glad it is out there for all mommies going through breast feeding.

Thanks to you both for your comments. =)

It is true, you never know what will happen the next round. I firmly believe in trying!

At the same time, the "crushing" feeling I had when my milk didn't come in the second time after being told "it comes in easier/more/quicker/etc" with the subsequent pregnancies was almost unbearable.

Thank God I had already been through it once and I knew that formula would be good for my baby. We will see how this pregnancy progresses and how it all works out in the end. No matter what, a happy and healthy baby is the important thing.

Mar 03, 2014
Can not breastfeed comment ~ Thank you
by: Tracy

Hi ladies

Thank you for your responses.

After all, I have decided to leave the statement out all together, as I feel it is just such a sensitive subject.

I know how hurt and frustrated one feels, when this happens. I tried for two months to breastfeed my first baby. I was devastated too. Fortunately, in my case, I could breastfeed my second child for two years. My milk supply was still on the low side, but I was able to breastfeed exclusively for three months and combination feed the rest of the time. In actual fact, the reason why this website exists is because I struggled to breastfeed my first.

Anyways, all the best to both of you!

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