Seeking Advice on Getting Over Low-Supply Depression

I have been spending all of my free time and money trying to increase my supply, which has been slowly dwindling over the last three months.

I have seen over a dozen midwives, doctors, and lactation consultants who repeatedly told me "anyone can do this".

The professionals I have sought help from have all left me feeling like they see me as lazy and unloving because of my failure, I started seeing a therapist to try to deal with the stress, but she has also suggested that "there are other things I could try", and after learning that I was supplementing asked me twice in the same session, "you'll still breastfeed, right?".

As more time goes on, my daughter is less interested in breastfeeding (once out of ever 12 times I try, she will). My daughter is happy and healthy but all of this failure has made me feel like a shell of a person, and am having intense suicidal thoughts for the first time in my life.

The mental anguish is crushing me, I can't help feeling that my daughter would be better off with someone else who had the confidence to give up on increasing supply.

I'm afraid to seek help as the professionals I have been dealing with have only made me feel more alone, but I can't go on feeling this way. How can one get over the shame?

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Dec 11, 2013
You Are Not Alone
by: Anonymous

I just feel for you so much as I was in your shoes when my son was born. I had always planned to breast feed and had never heard that a mother couldn't make enough milk. I was devestated. I spent the first three months of his life tring every supplement under the sun, I pumped all day, I set my alarm to get up during the night and pump and I breast fed with a supplemental nursing system (a bottle that I could fill with formula or expressed milk and a tube that was taped to my nipple) so my son could breast feed to stimulate my supply while he got extra milk from the bottle.
Nothing helped. A doctor referred me to a counselor but I too found the counsellor to be no help at all. When I finally stopped breastfeeding at 3 months, after stopping for a day several times before but then feeling to guilty and returning to the hard work, I wrote my son a letter apologising to him for not being able to breast feed him. I want to say it does get easier to deal with and when you look back at this time, you will be so proud of yourself for all the effort you put in because you love your daughter. He is now 2 1/2 years and while I am still sad that I didn't get the whole breastfeeding experience, I am so proud of my efforts and don't regret a second of all the work I put in. I am now trying for baby number two and if I have low supply again, I will be disheartened but I plan to continue breastfeeding with the use of the supplemental nursing system and not feel down but feel proud that I have put in so much more effort than any other mum who can breast feed easily.

Look at how much effort you have gone to for her - no one loves her more than you and she could have no better mother than you! It doesn't take confidence to give up breast feeding if we have little milk supply, you had done amazing to keep going this far!

If it would help to chat further, please email me [email protected]

Dec 26, 2013
You are NOT a failure!
by: Lyssa

Oh, mama! You are so very, very far from a failure!

First and foremost, a baby needs a healthy and happy mom. If, in order for you to be happy and healthy, you need to focus on things other than breastfeeding, that is okay. You aren't giving up, you are doing what you need to do to be healthy and be there for your baby.

Breastmilk is best. But formula is there for the moms that, for whatever personal, medical, or psychological reason she and baby need it.

You have done an AMAZING job providing your baby with breastmilk thus far. If you continue, you should do so without guilt and fear. If you decide to stop, you should also do so without guilt and fear!

Breastfeeding is not for every baby and mother. Sometimes, formula is needed, and that does NOT mean a mom loves her baby any less, that she should feel guilty, or that she is a failure.

You are an amazing mom for providing your baby with breastmilk thus far! But it seems like now, you need to focus on getting yourself better and do what it takes to make that happen. If that means switching to formula, or only pumping a few times a day, that is okay. You are a great mom. You need to do what is right for YOU.

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