even though I can not breastfeed i am a good mother

by Karen

My daughter is 7 months old. She is formula feeding.

I tried breastfeeding when she was born, but i didn't start producing milk until 5 days after she was born. But somehow when I used a pump, the most milk I got was 1/2 an oz.

I was never able to get my baby to latch on. I tried everything the lactation consultants told me, but nothing worked.

I felt terrible because I know how important breastmilk is, but I just was not capable. I felt, and still feel like I could have if I wouldn't have given up.

I sometimes cry about it feeling guilty. Maybe it's because I'm a young mom. I feel better, though, to know I'm not alone.

That it wasn't my fault. It just couldn't happen for me. This support group has really helped me.

Reading everyone's stories, and seeing how everyone struggled shows me that I am a good mother even though I can't breastfeed.

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Apr 02, 2014
Can not breastfeed, the body & the world today
by: Anonymous

To me it seems like our bodies need so many different aspects of stimulation, for it to function properly.

I say this because I hear over and over, how the milk supply comes in so slowly.

Colostrum is produced for the first few days and then the milk starts being produced.

The whole hospital experience and society, doesn't seem to help mothers focus on the whole breastfeeding experience.

Making it stressful and not too positive, it's quite scary and a mother feels so scared and even violated.

It might not be the same for all mothers, but it does seem to be the norm for mothers that struggle to breastfeed.

I think the whole birthing part is super stressful, and then immediately the baby needs food, and all of that stress and the meds can't be to encouraging for our body's milk production.

If the body only starts producing milk a day or two later, which is actually a miracle considering the situation, then babies are said to have to have formula because they need to eat, this further makes things worse for breastfeeding.

But what about the way mum's body responds to having baby near, the sound, the sight and the feel of baby, producing amazing amounts of hormones in mum's body that help with breastfeeding and producing milk.

I know there are millions of other things that prevent moms from breastfeeding, but I know that what I've mentioned would make a huge impact on mothers that actually can breastfeed, but are not able to because of these situations.

We are human, and these things affect us, no matter how much society seems to make us think we need to be strong, when it seems that we actually become hard.

Apr 02, 2014
Bottle feeding is as good as breast
by: Anonymous

There is no good evidence to say that breast feeding is better for baby over bottle feeding. I unfortunately ended up in intensive care 2 days after the birth of my baby with infection. I was given so many different antibiotics that I was advised not to breastfeed.

I did not have a strong desire either way anyway. It makes me so angry when people just assume you are breast feeding and look horrified if you tell them you are not.

It is no ones business, but yours how you feed your baby. My 7 month old is thriving on formula milk and all of my family were brought up on formula - it hasn't done us any harm!

In fact, we are all in highly intellectual professions. Ignore the critics!

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the decision to switch to formula

by Shantel
(Olympia, WA)

I gave birth to my first child almost 9 months ago!

It was the best day of my life when I got to hold my daughter in my arms!

We went with a midwife so therefore went all natural. It was one of the most intense births, even my midwives agreed.

Almost immediately I knew breastfeeding was going to be difficult because she didn't want to latch.

Since we had her at a birth house. We were sent home four hours after she was born. It was 230am by the time we got home. I was exhausted!!!

The moment she woke up to eat she latched, but she sucked so hard it hurt. As the day progressed anytime she would try to latch, she couldn't.

She would get frustrated, push away from me and scream. The moments she did latch it hurt and then after only a few moments she would pull away and scream.

I knew something was wrong that evening and the following two days I met with my midwives for help (we couldn't afford an LC).

One night after 7hr of not even wanting to try to eat, we gave her 2oz of formula.

She sucked it down in no time and for the first time she had a look of satisfaction on her face.

The following day my milk came in or so I thought. She still wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding.

We tried everything to get her to latch. I even pumped but after 40min I only produced about 1T of milk both breasts combined!!

On mother day (5days after she was born). I made the decision to switch to formula. It was the hardest decision. To make it worse my MIL and SIL didn't support my decision.

I was completely overwhelmed with emotions and to this day I still mourn over my inability to give my daughter the nourishment that is "best".

However, I continue to remind myself that I have and will continue to feed her with my love!!

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No growth in breast tissue or milk production

by Katie R
(Collinsville, IL, USA)

At the end of the comment section I noticed your website/article's note "To those first time moms that couldn't breastfeed, please don't be discouraged. Know that the second time, is really much easier as breast tissue grows with each pregnancy, making it easier for your body to produce milk the second time around."

Please take a look into the facts or possible re-wright this to make it less of a blanket statement. It is not necessarily "really much easier" with subsequent pregnancies for all women.

I have had two beautiful and healthy FORMULA children and did not have any growth in breast tissue or milk production with either pregnancy.

I am pregnant with my third and through the first trimester got very excited as my breasts were unusually tender and "full" feeling. I am just into the second trimester and that is gone.

I will try to breast feed our third immediately after birth and for a few days to get all the colostrum into our baby, I WILL supplement because I know my body.(Now, if it should surprise me and I become an engorged breastly beast, I am all for it!)

But this statement flies almost in the face of what you are giving women empowerment to say to the nay-sayers.

I do think more studies on genetics should be done. I recently was speaking with my maternal grandmother and she was unable to produce milk with her first and third.

My mother was able to produce and choose to feed her children for 6 weeks before going back to work full time.

Maybe it skips a generation? Or maybe biological/anatomical studies need to be done.

I had a lactation consultant come into my room after my second was born because I needed her help to tell the nurses "Shut Up and give that baby formula" and she examined my breasts and told me I had "wide set breasts with inadequate tissue mass" (tiny and no cleavage).

I felt like I finally had an answer, but still got the "She's crazy" looks from people in the hospital and outside world. You know what though? I decided I was not going to care anymore. What do those people know of me and my family and my love for my children? DIDDLEY SQUWAT, that's what.

So hang in there ladies! You can still bond with your baby during bottle feeding (and we won't get saggy boobs!) and we can have others help us out with feedings. Let go of the stress and ENJOY this new little life. Blessings!!!

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Feb 28, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi Katie

Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment.

I'm so sorry if that offended you. The reason why I wrote that, was because in my case and in many other mothers, they do experience an increase in milk supply with their second pregnancies, because breast tissue does normally grow with each pregnancy.

I want to encourage them not to give up, just because it didn't work out the first time.

I should have maybe stated, that this only occurs in some Moms, those without hypoplastic breasts, etc. Could you maybe suggest how to write it without offending or misleading? I would appreciate it ;-)

Kind regards

Mar 03, 2014
I completely understand Katie
by: Anonymous

I too have had three children with no growth in breast tissue.

I nursed and pumped and took supplements to be able to give my 3 very healthy children the little bit I was able to produce (about a half an ounce at a time with both breasts combined).

The doctors and lactation consultants don't know why.

So when you are told it will happen, don't give up-those that have not experienced not being able to produce-you have no idea what those words do to a new mom (even when not your first!!)

We experience a feeling of inadequacy for something that is truly not our fault. We just have to realize that we love our children and are providing them the best we can by using feeding time with formula to bond with them.

We love them just the same and words can hurt especially when you have not walked in our shoes.

Mar 03, 2014
by: Katie R

Tracy - No offense was taken, simply an observation that the statement could upset others that aren't at an accepting phase of their own story.

My apologies if that is what came across in my post. Maybe a different phrasing “To those first time moms that couldn't breastfeed, please don't be discouraged. Know that the second time, can be easier as usually breast tissue grows with each pregnancy, possibly making it easier for your body to produce milk the second time around." Do you know of any research out there about lack of breast tissue growth that might encourage new moms?

I think your website is amazing and am so glad it is out there for all mommies going through breast feeding.

Thanks to you both for your comments. =)

It is true, you never know what will happen the next round. I firmly believe in trying!

At the same time, the "crushing" feeling I had when my milk didn't come in the second time after being told "it comes in easier/more/quicker/etc" with the subsequent pregnancies was almost unbearable.

Thank God I had already been through it once and I knew that formula would be good for my baby. We will see how this pregnancy progresses and how it all works out in the end. No matter what, a happy and healthy baby is the important thing.

Mar 03, 2014
Can not breastfeed comment ~ Thank you
by: Tracy

Hi ladies

Thank you for your responses.

After all, I have decided to leave the statement out all together, as I feel it is just such a sensitive subject.

I know how hurt and frustrated one feels, when this happens. I tried for two months to breastfeed my first baby. I was devastated too. Fortunately, in my case, I could breastfeed my second child for two years. My milk supply was still on the low side, but I was able to breastfeed exclusively for three months and combination feed the rest of the time. In actual fact, the reason why this website exists is because I struggled to breastfeed my first.

Anyways, all the best to both of you!

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Why I Am Obsessed With Breastfeeding

by Dr. Linda Dahl
(New York City.)

Breastfeeding is natural, natural doesn’t mean automatic

Breastfeeding is natural, natural doesn’t mean automatic

Everyone knows breastfeeding is best. The word alone conjures an image of a fat baby latching on as his mother looks on lovingly. What could be more natural? But if breastfeeding is so wonderful, why do so many mothers struggle and give up?

There is a dark side to breastfeeding, one that is quarantined to online group chats and silent breakdowns in the middle of the night. Mothers suffer through casualties like bleeding nipples, painful breasts, and marathon nursing sessions, and they aren’t allowed to complain. In fact, they are told to expect this suffering as part of the process. When they can’t take it anymore and decide to quit, they are met with shame and disappointment. Obviously, they didn’t listen to our “advice.” And even if they did, they must have done something wrong.

The truth is that while breastfeeding is natural, natural doesn’t mean automatic. One has only to look at another “natural” experience (childbirth) to see that natural doesn’t mean perfect either. In fact, the practice of medicine exists because nature isn’t perfect. But for some reason, most physicians think that breastfeeding is something the baby and mom will just know how to do. And although every other aspect of the human condition has been examined, categorized, and diagnosed, doctors take a very hands-off approach when it comes to breastfeeding.

I experienced this myself when I tried breastfeeding my daughter over fourteen years ago. I wanted to nurse more than anything. When things weren’t working, I saw my daughter’s pediatrician, my OB/Gyn, and even shelled out a small fortune for a visit with a lactation consultant. While no one could explain why my baby was starving, why I was in terrible pain, or why my milk supply dropped to nothing, they all assured me that everything was perfectly normal. This paradox made no sense, so the only person I had to blame for my failure was myself.

When I went into practice, I spent years trying to figure out what happened. It wasn’t a deliberate exploration; the babies just came to the pediatric practice I had been hired into. The difference was that because I had just suffered my own failure, I listened to the mothers as a mother first and a doctor second. I heard their stories of breastfeeding tragedy. Their stories were my story. I reasoned that if this suffering was so common, there had to be an answer or at least an explanation.

What followed was an incremental understanding this intricate, complicated process. There are so many variable and moving parts that have to work both independently and synchronously, it is a miracle that breastfeeding works as often as it does. It took many years, but I finally figured it out; why it works, why it fails, how to fix it, and when it won’t work no matter what you try.

Last year, I opened the Dahlfull Breastfeeding Center so mothers can have real support. In every mother I see myself. And although there is a lot of wrong “advice” out there, I will continue to present my message as clearly as I can, so mothers don’t have to suffer like I did.

Dr. Dahl is on a mission to educate mothers and health care professionals on her paradigm of breastfeeding. Follow Dahlfull on Facebook to read more or visit her at the Dahlfull Breastfeeding & Lactation Center located in New York City.

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Jun 27, 2017
Thank you for sharing
by: Anonymous

Great article, thank you for sharing your story!

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I was made to feel like a freak

by Annette

I had my first child 22 years ago. We spent 8 days in hospital when she was born and I could not produce any milk. The nurses were very unsympathetic and kept sticking me on a breast pump which did nothing.

I have huge breasts and I hate them. I have felt inadequate every day since that horrible experience. Four years later I had another child and still could not produce milk. I feel like a failure as a woman. No-one ever told me that it was common to be like this. I was made to feel like a freak.

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What about the next baby?

by Amanda

I had a similar story with my first baby...I only had milk for a couple days, then nothing after that.

I breastfed, then pumped, every 2-3 hours, and even when I pumped, nothing came out.

After over a month of doing this, we gave up. With my second baby, I didn't even try because it was so soon after the first baby, I couldn't handle the emotional roller coaster. But my breasts never filled after delivery. Once again, after my third baby, I didn't try, but I don't think I ever got milk.

Now, I am pregnant with my fourth and final child. I want to try again. Has anyone had success with having milk after previous babies not having any?

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Breastfeeding - a challenge for new moms

Hi everyone,
I had similar problems with latching my baby to the breast. I was a new mom and nobody guided me about such problems. I thought everything would be smooth, unaware of the fact that we need to pre- check our nipples at pregnancy stage to see if everything is okay.

I had a normal delivery. The same night my baby cried a lot. I didn't know why. Also, I did not produce any milk that day. He was given some formula milk. Then doctor advised that I shall produce milk on 3 rd day post delivery.

It was true. My breast was full on 3rd day, but unlucky I was, my baby refused to latch on. First I cried, I didn't produce, then I cried because baby refused. I tried harder, but in vain.

I pumped out and fed him. It was 5 days in hospital and doctor shouted at me that I couldn't start on my breastfeeding.

I went through depression but had little hopes. But for nearly 1 month continuously I tried hard, but my baby always refused. I had to start with formula milk then. Some people from my family said I don't know to hold my baby properly and there were a hell of a lot of taunts from my in law's side that I just cried cried and just cried. But nobody yes not a single lady guided me how to go about. All wrong guidances.

Even they always crowded in front of me when I tried to breastfeed.... never gave me my space with my baby....1 month passed and then my milk production declined and I had to give up.

I pumped through hand every day and it was a very painful job.

But I still have a question, why did my baby refuse to latch? Can anybody answer?

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