It isn't just me who has struggled

by Dee

It's so good to read these stories and finally know that it isn't just me who has struggled.

My daughter is eight months old, I was always fully intent on breastfeeding exclusively, but this wasn't to be. I had to supplement with formula from two weeks which I found heartbreaking.

I tried everything I could: doctor prescribed medication, herbal supplements, pumping, days on end in bed getting skin-to-skin contact, a lactation consultant, I visited a kinesiologist, practiced EFT (emotional freedom technique - clears emotional blockages) joined La Leche League, requested hormone and thyroid tests from my doctor, but nothing helped.

I still put my baby to my breast although she gets so little, it acts as a soother. I found the lack of support almost unbearable; there is so little understanding for women who don't produce enough milk.

My nurse thought I had postnatal depression as I would get upset by not being able to feed my baby, I was told that shouldn't make me sad. The worst thing for me was the attitude of professionals who didn't offer support but instead expected me to give my baby a bottle and get on with it.

No one understood my deep need to breastfeed my baby, and my utter desperation at not being able to. I'm blessed with being pregnant again. Although I'm already anxious (I know this won't help!!) about feeding our next baby, as I know I don't have the strength to go through it all again.

I'm hoping my next experience is better, but I'll have to take each day as it comes. Thank you all for sharing your stories X

Comments for It isn't just me who has struggled

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Oct 25, 2011
by: Nicole

Enjoy being pregnant & try not to worry about it just yet as you approach your due date to speak to your doctor to see if there is something you can do to prepare - keep in mind that stress will decrease your supply so try to relax too! Best of luck to you & new baby

Oct 26, 2011
Stay Positive
by: Elsabe

We all do the best we can with what we know and have at each stage of our lives. I'm sure you're finding lots of useful information on this site to prepare you even better for baby number two.

Keep a positive attitude and give it your best. Breastfeeding is always worth a try, even if you weren't successful at first. Nicole is right, relaxing about it will be best. You're a great mommy!! I wish you all the best with your new baby.

Oct 26, 2011
I experienced this!
by: Michelle

I had the same experience. My child health nurse too thought I had depression... They don't understand the emotional pain of not being able to breastfeed.

I used an SNS to breastfeed and supplement with formula for the first three months, but I couldn't go out and do this, so it got too much for me.

It has been reassuring to read other similar stories on this page and not feel alone. I have since done a lot of research, and I too hope I can use exclusively breastfeed as we are now trying for baby number two.

I would love to keep in touch with you so that we can share stories and I can share my plans with you that I have for producing more milk next time to help relieve your stress.

Please contact me... [email protected]

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Bugs me about not nursing

by Stephanie

I am SO glad I found this. As someone with a Master's degree in child development and whose entire extended family is in the medical field, I still feel guilty about being unable to breastfeed.

Currently, my youngest is five months old, and it still bugs me about not nursing, that I am writing here. When my son (now 3y) was born, I bought the $300 pump, all the nursing clothes, and accessories, and was utterly shocked when I never produced milk. It became the hourly phone call -- has your milk come in...NO. I even tried two different lactation consultants and herbal supplements - nothing worked. It was only then that my mom (an RN) told me that neither she nor either of my grandmothers was able to produce milk.

When my daughter (5 mo) was born, I was determined to try even harder with additional support from lactation consultants, additional herbs, additional equipment (SNS, hospital pump, etc.). It was interesting to see the lactation consultants start with the mantra "everyone can nurse" then slowly recommend more and more formula as my daughter became utterly dehydrated.

The most I was ever able to pump in a day was 2 oz. with my daughter nursing to the point that she was sucking blood (then spitting it up resulting in me rushing her to the ER thinking that my newborn was spitting up blood). With a 5-month-old infant, I still receive looks/judgment from co-workers (I work in the medical field), family, and others for not nursing. I would LOVE to nurse, and realize that breast is best...but would someone please do a research study on moms who indeed can't make milk? It also makes me extremely scared/thankful. What if there was no formula? I have uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. Would I have just had a string of starved babies???

Again, it seems as if the medical community is in complete denial of the fact that some women are just unable to produce milk, and this should be treated with compassion, just like any other medical condition.

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It took me years to come to grips

by Sabrina

Wow, finally people who care and have been through this too. My first was a new experience no change in my breast, and I was worried, but the dr said it would come in. The first week home with my darling was exhausting, feeding sleeping, feeding. Went for a two week check up and we were admitted to the hospital because she was losing weight. I cried so many nights feeling like a bad mom, it took me years to come to grips.

When I got pregnant again, I was planning to breastfeed, armed with consultants and ideas, ready with medication and the dr knew. I would sit and feed for an hour, and she would want to eat again in 20 min, so the cycle has started again. By one week she was on formula and its the hardest decision to make. I hate going out and seeing bf moms or commercials on tv because I feel like a failure. I am still working through the emotions, the anger, and sadness, but I keep reminding my self I have a healthy happy baby now, and that's what matters.

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Breastfeeding - When it just doesn't work out

by Jessica

I agree with everyone else. I felt like less of a women when I gave up and started feeding my son formula. My story began with a tough pregnancy, 10 wks of bedrest at the end, 16 hrs of labor, and a healthy 8lb 2oz baby!

I breastfed immediately and felt like all was going well in the hospital. At his first appointment after being discharged, he had dropped to 7lb 3 oz. Not too bad, but the dr told me to start supplementing with formula after every feeding, and for me to start pumping and taking fenugreek. With emotions running wild after having a baby, just hearing all of that made me feel scared and overwhelmed.

I had not even purchased formula or bottles b/c I had no concerns that nursing would not work. I did as the dr said, but never got more than a drop out when pumping, and Reece would suck down those formula bottles like he was starving.

Mentally that was torture for me. I felt depressed and cried for hours wondering why I couldn't supply all he needed. We had to go back for weight checks every two days until he stopped losing weight. At each examination, they would tell me to supplement with more formula, more formula.

It finally defeated me, and by the time he was 2 wks old, he was on formula only. After that, he started gaining weight. During that 2 wks of trying, I never got engorged and never felt the milk "letdown" when he was nursing. Amazingly, he latched on, and he did everything perfectly. My body couldn't make the milk, even with supplements and pumping.

When I stopped trying, I never leaked milk or had pain as it was "drying up." I don't think it was ever there, to begin with. I finally had to start antidepressant medicine to help me cope, and now my son is 15 months old! I realize now that he is just fine and I did my best. I will try again with my future children, but will never beat myself up as I did with Reece.

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I didn't know how much it meant to me till I didn't have a choice.

by Taty

I am HIV positive. This is the first time admitting this online. I just had a happy baby girl two months ago; this is my second little girl. The first is healthy and - I breastfed her the first six months of life, but my point is when I was pregnant and HIV positive with my second child, in the beginning, I didn’t know what an emotional roller coaster I was actually in for, but let me start from the beginning.

I had my first child in 08 after months of people asking, doctors and WIC staff. I made a decision to breastfeed my 1st born, I had the hardest time with her latching correctly with sore nipples, and while she was nursing, she seemed not to get enough and not want to let go after continually falling asleep while nursing.

I stopped nursing April 2nd the day my grandma came to get her to leave the state because I could not afford childcare and would not leave her with strangers. Fast forward… my husband found out we were HIV positive and later that I’m pregnant. I honestly thought breastfeeding would be the least of my worries.

I am HIV + and the mom of a 2 yr old and a two mth old - both girls. I b/f my oldest till she was six months with the first six weeks being almost exclusive, she had 2 or 3 bottles during that stage because of frustration.

We had so many problems during that stage - trouble latching on, poor milk production," the first four days," falling asleep at the breast and not letting go when done nursing, which caused me to believe she wasn’t getting enough: sore nipples, overproduction of milk causing her to choke. Lumps of fat around the outside of the breast and the list goes on.

She never did learn how to latch correctly but we worked it out in our way - whatever works for you, and your child doesn’t always have to be textbook.

I went back to work when she hit six weeks - our bond was strong, but she eventually preferred the bottle, and it didn’t matter to her if it was b/m or formula in it. She just wanted to eat at this time working, parenting and sleep deprivation I was full of complaints - I said to myself I wouldn’t do that again.

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Not able to breastfeed

by Mel

I never produced any milk either, my boobs never grew in size, and I didn't leak milk. I had a breast pump continuously on my breasts for three days and not a drop of milk.

I was feeding my little boy with formula from a cup suggested at the hospital, so he didn't get used to a bottle teet, but I had to use a bottle which was very upsetting as I was looking forward to that so-called special bond with the skin to skin contact. Nevertheless, I bonded still with my little boy, and he is a healthy boy. It is a mystery why some women do not produce milk, I do know of a friend who never produced any milk with her first child, but did with her second, so I am hoping that will be the case for me.

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