Mom of 4--

by Elle

I was also told that breast feeding was natural and would happen if my baby latched on properly! I was a young mother (age 20) 20 years ago with my first child.

After a night of dry diapers I saw the pediatrician (a very nice, very OLD man) who had me weigh the baby before- and then after- I fed him for 40 minutes in the office. The doctor was very kind and simply said, "he needs formula, you are not producing."

He did not guilt me or tell me to keep trying. He was not of this generation that pushes breast-feeding as the only method of feeding. My child would latch on properly and 'nurse' for an hour and got nothing.

My second child I didn't even try to breast-feed, as she was only 1 year and 2 days younger than my first. I had been so distressed by my starving first child that I didn't want to worry about it.

My third child, 4 years later, I tried to breast feed again. I was prepared with formula for after feedings in case. I noticed she was starving after she nursed for 40 minutes, so I fed her whatever formula she would eat after. It was always a full 2-4 ounces.

People loved to say things about breastfeeding being better etc. I said 'my child doesn't get anything from me and a dead baby is certainly worse than a bottle fed baby.'

That made them be quiet. The ones who think you are 'choosing' bottle are the worst. My own mother-in-law tried to take our baby overnight at 3 weeks old for a visit by saying, 'well since your not breast-feeding anymore, maybe we could have her overnight! I was not leaving my 3 week old with anyone-- and was offended that she saw it as a reason why I wasn't needing to be with her.

My youngest child, 7 years later, I tried one last time. This was in 2003 and there were many more 'helpers' for breastfeeding in the hospital.

I had a lactation consultant tell me that it would come in if I just kept trying. They wanted me to supplement with a weird little tube that gave formula attached to my breast while I nursed. Their theory was -it would build up eventually.

My breast never produced more than 1/2 of an ounce of milk. I did what I did with my 3rd child-- nursing mostly for bonding and then fed afterwards. Feedings took 1 1/2 hours because of this. I only did this to give him the antibodies that were in whatever he got.

My kids were all good latchers and sucked well. I too think the medical community is cruel and doesn't care to believe that there are some of us who simply don't produce milk. If milk isn't coming after a few days and your child does not have wet diapers-- supplement immediately! They are starving and dehydrating!

And on a side note-- my older sister had her only child three years after my fourth and she also did not produce more than 1/2 ounce of milk.

There has got to be a genetic component to the problem if we both had the same problem. Maybe a researcher could study this??????

If you don't produce milk, supplement. You can still nurse for bonding. And don't let others feed the baby the bottle if you don't want them to. Some will ask to feed the baby. You can say, "no thank you, this is our time. Just because I can't nurse doesn't mean it's not important that I feed her.....You decide.

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