Feeling like a failure

by Annie

I have 2 kids, I tried nursing with my first one but after 2 months and hardly any weight gain and lots of crying I decided to give it up.. Now with my 2nd one I'm trying everything to keep nursing but nothing wants to work.. I've taken herbs, I've tried drinking a gallon of water a day, massaging, hot baths and I barely make any... And the comment about feeling less of a woman is soo true.. I felt so guilty after quitting the first time that I'm doing everything that I know to do to keep what little milk I have.. I am using formula too now but I'm scared of feeling like a complete failure again!

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Oct 16, 2013
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you are NOT a failure
by: Lyssa

Mama, you are NOT a failure!

There are several reasons a mom may find it difficult to produce milk or maintaine supply, and the answer isn't always solved by overhydration or herbs.

Most commonly, baby has a poor or improper latch due to a bad habit, poor suck, or a tongue/lip tie. taking to a lactation consultant may help ensure your baby has proper technique for breastfeeding.

Slow weight gain is NOT a problem unless it stops completely or is accompanied by consistently delayed milestones. If baby is having 3-6 or more wet diapers, it is unlikely your supply is the issue. Some babies are just tiny. Some babies just gain weight slowly, like older kids and adults! You could just make small babies and that is okay! The WQorld Health Organization has a breastfeed baby only chart that can be found online. Because formula is so differently digested than breastmilk, babies feeding differently have different growth patterns. Consulting these growth charts may help assure you that your baby's growth is nothing to worry about.

If you do have low supply, it can be caused by baby's inability to effectively get milk from the breast or from a hormonal imbalance that can actually be made worse by the herbs so commonly used to treat low supply. A simple blood test by your doctor can check to make sure you do not have a thyroid imbalance.

I strongly suggest getting help from a local lactation consultant or La Leche League member.

YOU CAN DO THIS, MAMA! And formula does NOT make you a failure!

Oct 16, 2013
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I Understand
by: Michelle

I had very low milk supply with my first baby. I spent the first twelve weeks breast feeding using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) which is a bottle with a thin tube that you tape to your nipple so baby can breast feed and get supplemented with extra pumped breast milk or formula from the SNS. So I would SNS breast feed and express day and night trying to make enough milk to put in the SNS for one feed the following day. After 12 long weeks of crying and pumping around the clock, I decided to stop.

I felt like I had missed out on a part of motherhood not being able to breastfeed - so much so that I started trying for baby number two straight away. And now we are suffering secondary infertility and can't conceive again! We are undergoing IVF and if by some miracle I do get pregnant again, I hope that I can make more milk. But if I don't, I plan to breast feed using the SNS until my baby is 12 months old when the baby is eating enough solids so I can exclusively breast feed without the SNS.

I was crying for the first 6 months of my sons life. But now that I look back, I am so proud of my efforts. I certainly know the feeling of thinking you are a failure. But when you look back, you will see how much harder you worked than any other mother who can breast feed easily and I hope you will feel proud of yourself and your efforts too.

If you would like to vent more, or need any extra emtional support and advice, I would love to hear from you, having been in the same situation myself, and having studied everything on how to increase milk supply. My email is [email protected]

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