today I've made the conscious decision to stop breastfeeding

by Maria Tureaud
(Jackson, NJ, USA)

I'm done. I've been crying myself to sleep since my baby was born 6.5 weeks ago.

They told me it would take 3-4 days before the milk came in. I only ever produced fore milk. Less than 20mls a day, both breasts, 15 mins each breast every 3 hours. Not 20 mls per breast or feeding session...20 mls a day. Period.

I got production up to 55mls a day which amounts to 2 ounces. I kept telling the lactation consultants, and the pediatrician...Do you want to know what the ped said? Breast is best - you mustn't be doing something right.

My breasts didn't get bigger during pregnancy, I never became engorged, no let down...nothing. So I had to start feeding him formula and give him whatever meager amount of milk my breasts decided to cough up on that day. At his 2 week check up he was lighter than when he left the hospital, now he's thriving.

I've been pumping anyway - giving him what I can - but now I'm down to 10 mls a day.

It hurts, I'm tired, there's no result, I'm emotionally drained, and today I've made the conscious decision to stop.

My mother-in-law keeps telling me that when she had her kids she could feed a whole village with her milk, that her niece's freezer is overflowing with bags and bags and bags of milk. The guilt trip is incredible. I feel like shit.

What should be a happy time - my son is the first pregnancy I've carried to term out of more pregnancies than I dare count - has turned into a nightmare.

I rock him and my tears just fall and I beg him to forgive me, and assure him that I love him very much and I'm so very sorry...and then he smiles his little gummy smile and I'm overcome by my own inadequacy. Each and every day I lose a little of myself.

I didn't want to formula feed. I wasn't prepared for it at all - all I had were Similac samples that I had picked up by accident from my ob/gyn and boy was I glad I had them! In my mind it wasn't an option: I couldn't afford it, baby deserves the best start in life, immunity is the best gift I could ever give...well I say enough.

The best gift I could give to this most precious, and wanted, child of my heart was life. Life that was denied my other children, and I have absolutely had it with these nasty, horrible, hypocritical, bitches that lord it over us all. We're horrible mothers??? I don't think so.

I've allowed myself to become consumed and obsessed, but now I'm ready to just love my son. My husband sees my heartbreak, but nothing he does or says can help. I'm so thankful that I found this site. To anyone reading this YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I'm here with you.


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Sep 02, 2013
You are NOT alone!
by: Lyssa

Oh mama! I wish I could reach through the screen to give you a hug!

You are NOT alone! Breast is best-but is is not always possible for ever mother and baby. From what you described, you may have insuffient glandular tissue in your breasts. You could also have a thyroid imbalance causing you to be chemically unable to make milk. Both of these should be checked out as well as a tongue and lip tie on baby.

It is very normal for baby to lose 10%, or even more, of their body weight after birth-more body weight loss is usualy in corrolation with the number of interventions during the birth of baby.

It is also not always possible for every woman to pump. Some woman just never respond to the pump. Some woman have to hand express (check for some good videos!). Sone women have the wrong flange size, sometimes suction is off due to a tear in the pump's membrain. And some women make plenty of milk, but can't pump a drop.

It sounds like your relatives are being incredibly insensitive. Is there a way your husband can talk to them and let them know to back off, because you are doing your best?

Formula is NOT the end of the world. Plenty of babies have done just fine to live fantastic lives on formula.

You have done better than so many, giving your baby even a little breast milk. And if you so choose, you can look into breastmilk donation for your son. There are both formal (from a milk bank, which can get pricey), or informal (check out "eats on feets" or "human milk for human babies" on fb). Or, it sounds like you have relatives that could even donate their milk to you!

You are NOT alone. You have done an amazing job for your son. You clearly love and care about him and now it is time to just love him and cuddle him.

P.s. you can also research a "sns" so you can "breastfeed" even with formula. :)

Sep 03, 2013
I completely understand
by: Anonymous

As a mom of 3 that really struggled with breastfeeding. My first never latched on, so I tried pumping, getting only a couple of oz a day, I did this for 2 months until my pediatrician assured me I wasn't a bad mother and that with my daughter being on formula she was doing great.

With my second daughter I tried again, using supplements, tube feeding, going to see lactation consultants still with the same results and this time since my oldest was only 18 months old, I chose to just put her on formula, she did great and is a very healthy, smart and active 3 year old little girl.

Now with my son being born, he is 4.5 months old, I have done everything again-I did manage to get about 2-3 oz total when on maternity leave, now that I am back to work I might get an oz when I pump I have been doing what I can, but have decided it isn't worth watching him get frustrated when I don't produce enough. When he turns 5 months I am going to stop.

You are not a bad mother and from another Mom who has had the same issues as you, it is hard to not emotionally get wrapped up in it, but you need to focus on loving your little one & yourself!

You have done what you can, which is better than what some women do. I personally think that there needs to be education out there for those of us that for some reason can not produce, because for those of us who really do want to breastfeed it is incredibly difficult to deal with and it sure isn't our fault.

Peace be with you and may you enjoy this wonderful time your life. They grow up so fast, please be kind to yourself & just allow yourself to enjoy that beautiful little baby.

May 22, 2014
Thank you, Maria
by: Anonymous

You are not alone. Thank you for being such a great writer and putting in to words exactly how I felt on the day I stopped.

I hope you feel the relief that comes with putting down the pump and picking up your baby. Spend less time squeezing drops of milk out of your breasts and more time squeezing your baby's cheeks.

I struggled heavily with the guilt afterwards, when crazy ignorant people would ask me about breastfeeding, but it's getting better.

Your baby is lucky to have such a strong mama who is able to make an important decision that will only make your lives better. Formula wasn't my choice either, but it's the best choice for my family.

Dec 04, 2015
M hubby wont support me
by: Mai Rona

I wish my husband was as supportive. He blames me and i feel so so guilty about it. I am actually afraid to go out with her in public because of the shame of pulling out a bottle of formula at her tender age (6 weeks).

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