I had these same issues. Nursing my daughter was very important to me.
When I was pregnant my breast never got any bigger. After having my daughter, I was never engorged. I pumped every 1-2 hours, I saw a lactation consultant, I took herbs, and even reached out to my doctor and received a prescription. Nothing worked. I would only pump about 4 oz per day.
After 3 weeks of trying and getting less and less milk each day I pumped I finally switched to all formula.
I was absolutely heartbroken. I still feel like my daughter and I are missing out on so much together.
There is a lot of support for nursing mothers and mothers who choose formula, but none for mothers who are unable to produce milk. Reading about other moms who have had the same problems I've had really helps.
Comments for mothers who are unable to produce milk
I was so devastated when my breast refused to produce milk
When I had my first baby, I was so devastated when my breast refused to produce milk.
I tried every advice given, but none of them seemed to have any effect, everyone blamed me including my husband and the doctor.
The nurses practically wrung out my breast and yet nothing happened. I felt like a failure especially when my baby ignored my breast and rushed the formula.
With the second baby there was an increase in the flow, but it was still not enough so I still had to combine with formula.
I am pregnant again and have refused to disturb myself about whether my breast will flow or not. I have left that to God. Rather, I am grateful to God for giving me two healthy beautiful girls. The important thing here is to love yourself and your kids. The bonding will come!
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!
My story is a little different to the others here. I am just plain unable to produce any breast milk at all. I was devastated when I had my first child and discovered this and although I was expecting it I was more devastated when I had my second. It was like my body didn't want me to be a mother, like there was something wrong with me. Why did my body fail to do something natural that all women should be able to do?
My youngest is now 6 months old and I still cry when I think about it. I feel like my body failed me and in turn I have failed my children.
I have searched the internet a number of time to try and find support. This is the first site I have found in 2years. Thank you for creating a place mothers like me can feel at home.
I understand the frustration. I too didnt produce more than 2 tsp of breastmilk with the breast pump.
I educated myself on breastfeeding after my 2nd pregnancy so that I could breastfeed and was looking forward to bonding and providing my child with antibodies against illness.
I was disappointed again with no milk. It does make you feel inadequate as a woman, especially after too csections, I never experienced what it was like to experience a natural birth and that added more to the inadequacy.
The nurses and doctors keep telling you the milk will come in, but it never does. There is no explanation or education about it, it does leave you really frustrated, depressed and alone.
My daughter in now 22 & my son is 6 and they turned out great. My six yo didn't get anymore ear infections or illnesses than a breastfeed baby and academically he does great. So it all works out, but there should definitely be more education out there about it.