perfect latch, huge breasts, insufficient millk!

by Lesley
(UK)

for years I told myself "I'll have a breast reduction after I have children and breast feed them" because my breasts are enormous and inconvenient to me - they get in the way, buying bras is almost impossible and expensive.

I'll be very lucky to avoid serious spinal issues in old age because of the weight of them. I had to make my own sleep bra and just pray that when my milk came in my boobies wouldn't expand too much.

well, at the age of 35 I had my son. Despite the first 24 hours of him in the special care unit and me stuck in bed recovering from the caesarian section, when I got him back he had a perfect latch. And 2 hours later, he was still latched. He even slept while still sucking. And screamed if I unlatched him to try to do anything like switch him to the other breast.

And 3 days later, we were still in the same routine - he'd be latched and sucking all day and was still losing weight. Finally a midwife told me to give him formula. I felt like an utter failure. So I latched him for 3/4 of an hour (and the lactation experts in the hospital checked so many times and said "well, he has a perfect latch!" and "keep at it, your milk will increase!"), unlatched him and had a good squeeze & grope (while feeling bovine - moo!) to check... no milk left in there! So he had a formula feed, and went to sleep happily while I cried. Every feed after that was the same - 3/4 of an hour, then a bottle.

He stopped losing weight. We left hospital. I tried breast pumps. I never did get enough for a full feed, despite spending hours and hours each day with pumps attached. I pumped and poured it into his formula feed because some is better than none, right?

I got prejudice from the boobie police on both sides of the breast-feeding debate. If I breast fed him for a little while (usually a small snack to keep him quiet while someone else got a bottle ready for him) then I got tutted at for "being disgusting in public!" and "can't you do THAT in the bathroom?"; whereas if I bottle fed him I got smug breastfeeding advocates making comments like "don't you know breast is best?" and talking about me like bottle feeding also made me deaf, saying things such as "obviously she doesn't love her son enough to breast feed him!"

- totally insensitive, given that for all they knew it could have been expressed breast milk in the bottle, and they didn't know me so had no clue what I was going through with a minimum of 6 hours a day on a pump to get less than 20ml!

I gave up pumping after 3 months, I just couldn't do it any more for less and less milk... when I was down to 5ml in a day it was just time to admit I'd dried up. I decided that time spent being happy and able to interact with others including the baby was more important.

I've since found out that the medication I'm on could theoretically have reduced the amount of milk I am able to produce - but not one of the experts mentioned that at the time. Just "keep trying, your milk will increase!" and letting me feel like an utter (or udder!) failure while my (already tiny) son's weight kept dropping.

I'm pregant again now... and will try again because I know it is best for the baby, but with bottles, pump, and formula standing by because I suspect they'll be needed again.

and yes, the boobie police from both sides have already started trying to tell me how to feed my child who hasn't even been born yet!

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Aug 08, 2012
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You are not alone
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your story. This site is fantastic as I can read stories like yours and not feel so alone.

My son was losing weight too and i breast fed for three months with a tube in the corner of his mouth to top him up with formula. You did amazing to keep going for so long. We too are now trying for our second.

The one thing we have in common is that we both did not feed our babies straight away. The nurse told me he did not need to breast feed as he had just been born.

She said she would take him so i could get a good nights sleep. I now know that feeding in the first hour where possible is important in setting up your supply and feeding often in the first 24-48 hours is important also.

So maybe that will make a difference for you this time if it is any reassurance to you. I would love to know how you go.

If you get time (with two children!) I would be grateful if you could put another post on here reminding us of your struggles last time and how you go this time. I would be even more grateful if you could email me [email protected] so that I can see how you go and we can both not feel so alone as there are not a lot of people in our Situation.

Aug 10, 2012
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by: Lesley

My son was with me for the first 2 hours, then they took him away because his breathing didn't settle. So I did try to feed him but with me flat on my back due to caesarian and these huge breasts.. well it wasn't happening.

Plus the poor little thing was evicted from my womb early (2 weeks according to the hospital, or 4 according to me, and I know very well when he was conceived!) so that may also have had an influence on him - if he hadn't worked out how to suck yet.

I'll update here if I remember (a 2 year old means finding time to do anything is hard!) when I've had the baby.

Another factor is that I did have PCS, which may also mean I make less milk. Though that seems to have settled down in the last few years.

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Insufficient Glandular Tissue is a real problem for some women

by Nashville Mama
(Nashville, TN, USA)

Insufficient Mammary Glandular Tissue is a real problem for some moms, like me, and should be addressed on sites like this or diagnosed by a Lactation Nurse/Consultant.

No matter what remedy I tried, and I tried them all for months on end, I never made more than 1 oz per breast at best. This was measured by weighing my babies #1 and #2 (2 yrs apart) intake before and after at a LC's office several times, by hand expression, and by pumping (with which I had the worst results).

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Apr 26, 2013
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I couldn't agree more
by: Sophie

I too have insufficient glandular tissue but no one would dare diagnose it for me! I tried breastfeeding for two months, with pumping, domperidone, massage, feeding every two hours... name it, I've tried it. But the only message I would get even from lactation consultant was that there was no link between the size of my breasts (at most an A cup while nursing...) and the amount of milk I produced...

In the end, sites like this one helped me realize that there was such a thing as low milk supply caused by hypoplastic breasts! Although I had a very hard time coping with this in the beginning, I am now bottle feeding with formula and my 5 month old couldn't be healthier!!

I do hope that it will be different with the next baby but only time will tell and I won't feel so guilty if it doesn't work.

Sophie

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inability to breast feed

by T

I have a five week old, and an inability to breast feed.

I was breast feeding exclusively for 3 weeks around the clock. He never gained weight. Pumping brought very little. Maybe 1 ounce totals. The pediatrician suggested I supplement.

What a difference that made! I had a content happy baby instead of a screaming baby. I have mostly gone to formula now.

I still feel guilty. I am tired of hearing that breast is best. My husband is suggesting I go to a breast feeding support group. I just want to give up. I don't see me ever being successful at breast feeding.

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My experience - inability to breastfeed

by Dawna
(Arizona)

I couldn't breastfeed either of my girls and I don't expect to with the one I am expecting.

I tried all the herbal remedies the second time around and both times I pumped. There was no difference in my milk production! I could only get 3/4 oz!

Although I was prepared for the possibility of not being able because my sister and my aunt were unable, it was still very hard and depressing!

Any lactation consultant I talked to or anything I read online gave me the impression that I was lying almost or not trying hard enough.

I've heard friends tell me they felt engorged in their whole breast when the most I felt was an inch from my nipples (and it took long past feeding time to feel that way)!

Why wouldn't it be possible for some women not to breastfeed? Just because your body is supposed to do something, doesn't mean it's going to.

For everything the body is supposed to do, there are people who can't do it! That includes producing milk! I wish the medical community would research this and try to find a way to help those of us that are dying to breastfeed but simply can't!

I am grateful for the encouragement and understanding of my family and doctor. They encourage me when I'm trying and reassure me when I have to stop!

They remind me that while I didn't give my baby very much, I gave her some in the most important time and that is worth a lot!

I want to pass on that same encouragement! Whether or not you decide to try and breastfeed again or not. You are doing what's best for your baby! You did your best and your baby will thrive on formula just as he/she would on breastmilk!

What you have given has added to the health and benefit of your baby and you should feel comfort in that!

Remember you are a loving mother that does what it takes to care for your baby and that means so much more than your inability to breastfeed!

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Miniscule amount of milk

Hi there, I was diagnosed with tuberous breasts 8 years ago. I had breast augmentation and the results we ok.

But anything would have been better than before! I would recommend choosing a surgeon who has done a few tuberous breast if you're considering this.

I felt so much better about myself afterward, even though I definitely didn't come out with awesome results.

I just had my first baby. I've known all along that breastfeeding was a long shot given the deformity and the surgery but I was still hopeful.

At 32 weeks I noticed I produced collostrum and was very hopeful! After birth, my baby was very good at latching/sucking. But unfortunately, my milk didn't "come in" as you would typically hear about.

The collostrum did turn a whitish color so I know I made milk, but the amount was miniscule. My baby cried and cried. I gave up and gave a bottle. She's been happy ever since.

I was so upset and felt like a complete failure. I'm a health professional that encourages breastfeeding. I feel like I always have to defend myself when people ask me about breastfeeding.

It is heartbreaking. But I thank God for my organic baby formula, that my baby is healthy and happy, and that I have so much to be grateful for.

So I just trust God with my life and with my baby's life. As mother's we do the best we can. That's all that's expected of us. We cannot help how are bodies are formed or if we do or don't make milk.

Next time though, I will try the recommendations in this article to see if it helps (progesterone, thyroid check, pumping, herbs, etc).

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wasn't producing enough milk

by Emil's mama

Thank you so much for these stories! I cried reading them because it all sounded like what happened to me with my son.

I wasn't producing enough milk, and he became dehydrated. We spent an extra 4 days at the hospital, and I felt like such a bad mom. I had wanted to breastfeed so badly. Luckily, I have amazing in-laws who bought me formula and gave me so much positive support when I had to bottle feed.

I am due in a month with my second child, and while I would like to breastfeed, I won't hesitate to give him formula this time.

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I always thought that I would breast feed my baby.

by New Mom

Same with me. I always thought that I would breast feed my baby. But when my daughter was born she just could not latch on.

Also I was not producing much milk. Baby was getting frustrated and could not see her go through the trauma again and again. Then my paeditrician told me go ahead with formula, but I have been ridiculed by my family... though hubby is very supportive.

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I have a medical condition (inverted nipples)

by Tracey
(Australia)

I am so glad I have found this site. I am the same as everyone on here. I have a medical condition (inverted nipples) and it has been the one thing I have always wanted to do was to breastfeed my children.

I now have 3 kids and unfortunately my first also had a tongue tie which make latching even harder so I gave up really quick with her.

My second daughter would latch on great but only to my very raw and painful nipple, I was in so much pain every time she fed I would sit there and cry the whole time and therefore was not enjoying it at all. I have always pumped to get the colostrum out but never had enough to feed them fully.

I have now just had my son, he is 4 months and due to the last experience of breastfeeding I chose to exclusively pump, which worked out great while hubby was home and could look after the other kids.

I also had to have a c - section with this bub so that made things even harder. I would pump every 2 hours during the day and 3 hours at night and would still not get enough to fully feed him. By about 3 months, after hubby had gone back to work (after 6 weeks) I found it very hard to keep up the pumping schedule due to the demands of the other kids and also he was sick as well so that didn't help.

My supply dropped and I found myself only pumping once in the morning and once at night and he would only have 2 bottles of breast milk per day.

In the last few weeks I have been desperately trying to boost my supply up again and taking anything I could to try boost it up but still not getting enough and I have now decided that it's time to stop.

The extra stress in keeping up the pumping and the extra in washing and sterilizing is driving me and my husband crazy. Also, my son is so much happier, every time I put him to the breast he would scream and work himself up so much it would take him awhile before he would take a bottle.

I still feel guilty everyday and a million times a day I just wish I could breastfeed fully. I get very annoyed at people with regular nipples and a sufficient milk supply that choose not to breastfeed.

I would give anything in this world to be able to breastfeed just one of my children. Who knows maybe number four (if we go down that road) will have a better chance at it.

:):)

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Tuberous Breasts

I tried fenugreek, motilium, drinking lots, breastfeeding on demand, pumping after feeds, got baby's tongue tie snipped, saw a lactation consultant, cranial osteopathy, used sns feeding system, but all to no avail! The specialist midwife had not even heard of my congenital problem.

I have tuberous breasts so I simply did not have enough glandular tissue, plus with my baby's tongue tie breastfeeding was incredibly hard. I had no choice but to combination feed from the start. When asking for help they would do a blood sugar test after the formula and say "she's doing fine" or weigh her and say "she's not lost more than 10% of her body weight yet".

I felt so guilty, but knowing my baby is now healthy and growing is what's important. Someone I know is continuing to breastfeed against drs advice, her baby is still not at her birth weight after 10 weeks. She still thinks breast is best, it's simply not the case for everyone!

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feel so good after reading this

by florence
(south bend, indiana , usa)

hello, i felt just exactly the same as most of the women here wrote.

I did try for more than a month to breastfeed my baby girl without any success and yes, people critize us because they think we gave up too soon and that's not the case.

I feel that whenever someone ask me if i breastfeed my baby and i say no, they gave me this sight as i was selfish by not giving my baby my own milk.

I am pregnant with my second baby and i will try harder to breastfeed but if that is not happening again i wouldn't feel as discouraged as i did before.

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Sheehans syndrome

My milk never came in after birth of son due to prolactin deficiency. My pituaitary was damaged during labor not because of bleeding out (the normal cause of sheehans) but because my blood pressure went really low for too long after getting epidural. If your labor was difficult and then your breast milk doesnt come in ask for testing of hormone levels or see endocrinologist.

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always wanted to breastfeed

by Jessica

Hi my name is Jessica and I've just giving birth to a beautiful boy last Sunday and I've always wanted to breast feed but I'm having so Many problems ...

Sometimes he does lach on to my breast and does try but then he gets so angry for reason and can't seem to do it anymore so now I'm expressing my milk and giving it to him through a bottle and I'm scared my milk is not making enough ...

I can get about 120 Mls but that's from both boobs and I do that at 3 times a day and 3 times at night and my baby drinks it all ... I feel he drinks more then I can express .. Im scared im not making enough milk because im expressing and i dont even know how to get him on the boob without problems ...

The reason I'm expressing is cause I don't wont to give up on breast feeding ... Can you please help me ... Thank you for your time

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Sep 02, 2013
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You CAN breastfeed
by: Lyssa

Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn't mean it always comes naturally to every mom and baby. Sometimes, we need help from a more experienced hand. I strongly suggest contacting a lactation consultant, or finding your local "La Leche League" (you can find a group close by googleing their website).

It could be he is having trouble latching, or just experiencing "nipple confusion", and preferring the fast flowing bottle over your breast. I would immediately stop bottle feeding and only breastfeed. If you need to, pump after your feeding and give it to him with a spoon or a syringe to avoid any more preference for the bottle. You can also use a SNS (supplemental nursing system-check google for tips on how to make one at home!).

Baby's tummy is tiny. That means he needs to be fed in small amounts very often. For breastfed babies, this could mean every 45mins to 3hours from the start of one feeding to the start of the next. Some babies also feed for longer periods of time, from 10 to 45 mins or more. And some babies use the breast to "comfort" nurse, or more like a pacifier after they are done eating. 120ml is a lot for a newborn!

Contact a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counselor in your area. They are there to help you and your baby learn to breastfeed. You can do it! :)

Mar 25, 2014
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I understand.
by: Anonymous

I had a breakthrough last night and I apologise if this is something you'vr tried but when he gets angry and frustrated take him onto your shoulder for a good burp and to calm him down then try again.

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Milk came in late/mastitis/breastfeeding a screaming baby

by Mary
(Michigan)

When I had my first son, I was determined to breastfeed, had done all the research, read all the books, and got LOTS of advice from family especially my mother who breastfed all nine of her children without a hitch...So when my son was born I thought I was completely prepared and ready to go...what a joke!

Three days later I still hadn't produced any milk and my pediatrician about screamed at me telling me I could've killed my son, he was so dehydrated without anything for those 3 days.

I was FLABBERGASTED and couldn't do anything but cry and cry as I saw them pumping him with fluid to hydrate..But my milk did finally come in later that night as I was back in the hospital with my son...but if I thought that was the end of my problems it was only the beginning..

My nipples were already bleeding at that point as my son was soo aggressive trying to get milk the first few days and I was in so much pain that I didn't even notice the mastitis symptoms until my fever spiked 104, I had mastitis in both breasts and both of my nipples were infected as well...thus sending me BACK to the hospital once again..

As I look back, I am shocked that throughout the entire ordeal almost everyone's advice was to keep at it and keep trying to breastfeed!

I remember almost fighting with my mother, in horrible, horrible pain and she still thought the only solution was to suck it up and keep at it and it would eventually get better... Well, enough was enough and I learned the hard way not to listen to others when it comes to your baby, even if it's your first go with your gut instinct!!

I wish I had, then I might be able to remember the first few weeks of my son's life with joy instead of how awful it was...I'm pregnant with my third child now and people still pressure me to breastfeed and even judge me, perhaps, but clearly they have no idea what it is like to try at something so hard only to have it fail again and again...I love bottle feeding now! It's STRESS and PAIN FREE!!

I also have incredible bonds with all my children and ending up bottle feeding all of them!

Breastfeeding is great for some women, but it is NOT for everyone! So if it's causing anxiety and stress, then it's much better to bottle feed and bond, than for a crying mom to try and breastfeed a screaming baby!!

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my decision to now formula feed

by loraine
(Netherlands)

I had my baby 6 weeks ago and breastfeeding is a trauma.

The most I produce when I pump is 50 to 60 ml. Feedings take well over an hour 15 mins each breast, then top up with formula. It kills me, I worry over not solely breastfeeding as I really wanted to do this.

However, with feedings taking so long it wears us out and we never seem to have even a minute of playtime.

Had I not taken the decision to also supplement with formula in the hospital the situation would have been worse for my baby. All the nurses kept forcing her to my breast and she was not getting anything, was told my nipples were wrong, I was not doing it properly and at one point was having baby forced to breast when was in the process of throwing up.

However, this whole episode is very stressful for such little milk at each feed.

My delivery was very stressful emergency c section and in late pregnancy got a rash on my breasts which I am sure also affected my milk.

Until the rash came my breasts felt they were going the right way. The rash came and this all stopped. I feel really guilty now all this talk of breast is best which I know, but time taken to feed for such little amount tears me apart every time I feed from day 1 of feeding.

All the worry over if she will be affected by my decision to now formula feed. I don't think people really understand and disapprove when they see the bottle. What should be such a special time has caused a lot of heartache and guilt.

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moms who are not producing

by Heather
(Texas)

I just found this support site after looking for days for information about breastfeeding for moms who are not producing.

My son is only 6 days old, but I am still not producing any milk, nor am I going through engorgement.

I have contacted many professionals, my son's pediatricians, my OB's nurse and lactation consultant, the lactation consultant at the hospital in which my son was born, and the local La Leche League.

They all say keep trying and that I should not bottle feed much as it would stop him from trying to nurse. I am watching him loose almost a pound since birth and I am supplementing now because I don't want him to be unhealthy and unhappy.

I am super frustrated as there are not many sites that give professional information and assistance to moms like me.

This site has made me feel a lot better about my lack of milk production for my son. I will continue to try a bit longer and pump when I get one, but I am very sad and just want this to work out.

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The most important thing is that we have healthy children

by Pediatrician - Annie
(Montreal, Canada)

Thank you for this site! As a pediatrician, you can imagine the guilt I feel being unable to breastfeed my children.

After my first baby Isabelle was born with a tongue-tie, I attributed the fact that my colostrum changed to milk without any changes in my breasts because she couldn't latch and stimulate my breasts to produce milk.

However, when my son James was born and once again the same thing happened and I didn't have much milk, I knew that I was the one who could not make enough milk to sustain my baby. I was devastated. My Italian grandmother had 10 children who needed a wet nurse, so I am sure there is an underlying genetic cause for women like us who desperately want to breastfeed but can't.

The most important thing is that we have healthy children who need to be taken care of with a smile, and if that means ensuring they thrive with formula and we preserve our sanity in doing so, so be it! It is nice to know that I am not alone!

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Feb 27, 2017
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Couldn't breastfeed
by: Anonymous

Hi,my son is now nearly one but I remember it like yesterday the way I felt when he just would not latch, I felt like a complete failure as a mother and as a woman.

I had lactation consultants who did their best but it just wasn't to be.

I did express for a while but he was a big boy and required regular top ups of formula otherwise he would cry constantly with hunger.

Eventually I gave up expressing altogether because between pumping and sterilising bottles I had no quality time with my son and huge issues with sleep deprivation.

All I can say is your mental health after childbirth is so much more important for you and your babys wellbeing, don't beat yourself up about breastfeeding if it doesn't work.

I was a total snob before I had my son, couldn't understand why people would bottle feed, never thought for a moment that he would have the problem of latching, it sure humbled me.

He is a very happy healthy boy now and thankfully has never had gastro issues, allergies or has never required antibiotics at any point, long may it last!

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no milk at all

by Gail
(Islington)

I am discouraged... tried with my first for 3 months and had no milk... tried with my second no milk at all am 10 weeks post partum it's making me so tearful, am so over trying to breastfeed when it doesn't work

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