could not produce much milk
I'm glad someone started this topic. I wish it had existed 15 years ago when I went through this problem with my son.
I tried to breastfeed him, but like the other women posting here, I could not produce much milk and my son had trouble latching on.
I also consulted the lactation specialist at the hospital where he was born -- we went back in during the first week after he was born so she could show me different ways of holding him to get him to latch on.
I called La Leche League and got advice and the people who rented me the breast pump equipment. And, of course, I talked to my friends who had successfully breastfed their babies. Most of them said it was very easy for them -- they couldn't remember having any trouble!
So I felt very alone and very much a failure. It didn't help that my mom kept saying, "Oh, just give him a bottle! He's hungry!" She hadn't breastfed me -- I was born in the early 60s and it had become normal for women to bottle-feed their babies.
And no one has mentioned here yet how sore and even cracked and bleeding one's nipples can become -- that was another cross to bear with all of this. So is it any wonder that after about 6-8 weeks of trying everything so I could breastfeed, I finally decided to let it go? My son had to be supplemented with formula all along and was doing fine, so we just went to formula full time.
People never mention this, but part of the good of bottle-feeding is that the dad can have some of that joy of feeding a cuddly infant. Not that dads can't do that with bottles full of breast milk, but in the cases where the moms do all the feeding by breast, that can leave the dad out.
In any case, the good news is that my son survived just fine and has a been a very healthy child. He's now 15 and rarely gets sick, so he's managed just fine despite his mainly-formula start.
I think the most important thing new mothers can remember is to try not to stress out about every little thing when the baby comes. I was very stressed and worried about everything and that may have made it harder for my son at the time.
When I calmed down a little, things got better. If there are moms who feel they can't bond as well with the baby if they can't breastfeed, I feel certain that it's more to do with how stressed they are rather than how bonding really takes place.
I bonded just fine with my son -- we couldn't be closer -- despite not being able to breastfeed him. Some of my favorite memories of him as an infant are when he was just sleeping in my arms or on my shoulder.
So take heart, moms, and just enjoy your little ones while you can -- they grow up so fast!
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