Moms Who Can't Breastfeed

Can't Breastfeed?

I believe that there are mothers out there, that just can't breastfeed, not because of any normal breastfeeding problem, but because they are just unable.

These are mothers that have tried everything, they have been attempting to get help and have still not been able to breastfeed. There is not enough support out there for them, and they feel terribly depressed because of this. If this sounds like you, then I hope that you will find some sort of encouragement from knowing that you are not the only one.

Here are some stories of other moms with the same problem…

Annie...

"I searched the web for anybody who has had a similar dilemma as myself and could not find a single article, etc. 

Back, throughout my pregnancy (first pregnancy) I realized that my breasts were not swollen, but didn’t fret a great deal about it. What does a first-time mommy know? All I knew was that I couldn’t wait to experience holding him and breastfeeding him for the first time.

The doctor and nurses reassured me a day after he was born that my milk would start coming in after the third day, so I waited, but nothing happened! The worst part was everybody was still expecting me to breastfeed my child, saying "there was no such thing as women who cannot breastfeed or who don't have milk."

I can remember lying on the hospital bed crying through the night with my baby, he was terribly hungry, and every time I called a nurse to help they would bring me 40ml of formula milk. I tried breastfeeding for two whole months, but he stayed hungry, so I had to start feeding him formula in combination with trying to breastfeed him.

I asked the doctor for help, and she put me on tablets, tablets that would help me produce milk. Later I started using the pump to see how much milk was, in fact, coming out, the most milk I could get out in a day was about 100ml. After about three months of trying I stopped entirely. I was depressed about this, but my husband made me feel better by saying that it was best if I instead stopped worrying about it and just begin feeding him formula.

I was ridiculed by my own family, told how unhealthy it was to stop breastfeeding, even though they knew how I had struggled. Even our pediatrician when he asked if my baby was still being breastfed said that most mothers give up too fast! I felt terrible…I felt like there was something wrong with me.

I really feel that there should be more info out there for moms, especially first-time moms who feel insecure and who don’t know what to do, how to do things properly, etc. I want to have another child, but I can’t bare going through the same thing again. For me, breastfeeding is essential, and I think that it really does help a lot for bonding with your child because I felt very distant towards my baby in the beginning.

I can’t imagine being able to breastfeed and then deciding not to. It’s such a precious gift that most people just take for granted.


Kat…

"I had exactly the same issue. No one wanted to tell me that some women just can't breastfeed. To this day I still wonder why breastfeeding is thought of as a perfect function, why it seems to be exempt from the complications that any biological function may suffer. Life is not that simple. There is a reason for wet nurses and formula beyond a stereotypical excuse like convenience. I believe that some women just cannot produce breast milk. Whether it be hormonal or genetic, it is a reality that for whatever reason has been downplayed and ignored by the majority of the medical community. It is sad really. To make a woman feel like less than a woman or mother because her breasts simply won't fill with milk is ignorant and abusive. I wish that someone would dedicate more time, money and research into this subject."


Amie...

“I don't typically comment related to anything I find on the internet, but I feel this article is critical. I too experienced trying to feed my son for 6 weeks without supplementing with formula. I was pumping in between feedings to attempt to increase my supply and nothing. The most I ever got from both breasts was about 1 ounce. One breast was producing almost nothing. When I decided to switch to formula and saw my constantly crying baby suck down bottle after bottle finally getting fed it was a huge relief, and I never looked back.

After my second son was born I never even considered breastfeeding. The first experience of angst about not being able to produce was enough for me. Everyone made me feel like it was about my technique, but I spent hours upon hours trying everything I could think of and working with a lactation consultant for a month. When the nurses started giving me looks after my second son was born about my choice to formula feed I made a declaration to all of the hospital staff treating my disapproving family and me that this was my choice and if they wanted to choose how to feed a baby they were welcome to have one. No one asked any more questions after that. I'm all for education, but I refuse to let someone make me feel guilty about a decision I believe I am making in the best interest of my child."


By Amanda...

“I had the same problem. I could only pump about 1-2 tbsp a day. I pumped and pumped every day for several weeks. But I finally gave up. I couldn't stand trying to get her to breastfeed her sucking a little and then screaming. She wasn't getting anything!! I was SO depressed and mad at myself over it. I thought what kind of mother can't make milk for her baby. I took herbs and drank herbal tea that was supposed to help. But I really couldn't find any information or help on the subject online or from my doctor. He said formula fed babies can be just as healthy. I don't think he realized the emotional effect of it all! I just remember my first month or so with my little girl as a horrible, depressed and miserable time. I'm pregnant again now. I hope I can keep from feeling that same way again. I have a different outlook on it now. My daughter is one of the healthiest kids I've ever seen. I have no pump this time. And I'm not going to buy one. I'm just going to try a week or two and if it doesn't work, formula will! I do wish I could find some info on what could've caused it. But there seems to be no help out there.


Ladan...

After being so depressed to have to feed my baby formula, I was searching for any support group or forum that would make me feel a little better and less depressed. Surprisingly many sites that support breastfeeding and cheer for successful moms, but absolutely none for moms who REALLY wanted to breastfeed but they could not.

I had difficulty with both my sons and I cannot believe what a terrible feeling it is to fail in breastfeeding. As someone mentioned here, you would feel like less of a woman. I wish there were something to calm down new sleep-deprived moms whose bodies are in pain because of latching positions and instead of "15 minutes" at each breast, they spend hours awake to feed their baby.

My newborn would drink a whole 2 oz bottle after being at my breasts for more than 90 minutes. I gave up at month 4 with my first son and at day 7 with my second because I had a 3-year-old who also needed my attention and I could not sit there for long hours with tubes and all other kinds of BF accessories to help with breastfeeding.

Go, girls. I wish people knew that some moms don’t choose formula because of their own convenience but just to feed a crying hungry, frustrated baby."


Stacey...

"I believe feeding Jason educated me one of my first lessons of motherhood: no matter how much I want what is best for my child, I can't always make it happen. And it's so annoying! Coming into this, I wanted to breastfeed her. I'm not sure why my heart was so set on that, but it was something that I was extremely determined to do. After watching her lose so much weight, having a doctor suggest supplementing with formula, crying over dry diapers and worrying that she was dehydrated, I had to face the reality that I would not be able to do what I wanted. At least not exclusively. I also had a representative of the local La Leche League tell me that the primary goal was to feed her, rather than to cling so firmly to my own preferences.

That was tough because it made me face the fact that, although I am firmly convinced that she would get the most nutritional help from me, I can't give her that. I'm getting there, with the help of every wet and soiled diaper, the plump tiny cheeks and double chin, and every content sigh she makes when I lay her down after giving her a bottle. It's not what I had planned, but she seems to be blossoming now . . .

I think most people won't actually understand or care about this problem, but it has been overwhelming my life for the last couple of months."


June...

“I gave birth 3 months ago and wanted to breastfeed exclusively. I did not buy a bottle or formula and brought my baby home. After a week I realized that my baby was not gaining any weight and that I was only producing about 6 ounces a day. I worked with lactation consultants to increase my supply and went on drugs to increase my supply. I felt so guilty when I finally had to give my baby formula. I’m still using an SNS system to stimulate milk production, but my body just doesn’t seem to want to produce milk.

I never got any support and everything online always gives the impression that if you want to breastfeed, you can…but it doesn’t always work out that way. I feel like I am the only one with this problem."


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What Other Moms Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

feelings of failure for not breastfeeding 
I had four children and tried to breastfeed each of them unsuccessfully. I sought help from a lactation nurse, my midwife, my doctor and with each child …

not producing breast milk 
I was very happy to find this site. I had these same issues. Nursing my daughter was very important to me. When I was pregnant my breast never …

why I could not breastfeed 
I felt breast changes during pregnancy, I bought the nursing bras, the nursing pads, the breast milk freezer bags. I was so excited to try breastfeeding. …

Unable to breastfeed baby 
So happy to have found this. A year after having my son it still hurts to know I was unable to breastfeed. I cringe everytime I hear or read something …

sadness and jealousy over not being able to breastfeed 
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 …

milk came back after two years 
my experience is that i have a child of two years and i breast feed for one week now after two years milk came back is it normal ? :?

unable to breastfeed 
It's great to finally see some other stories like mine. My milk just never came in, and I have no idea why. Breastfeeding councilors were worse than …

guilt over not breastfeeding 
I stated breastfeeding when I gave birth to my 3rd baby and everything was fine. Then after 3days it became a nightmare the pain was killing me so …

insufficient milk supply 
for years I told myself "I'll have a breast reduction after I have children and breast feed them" because my breasts are enormous and inconvenient to me …

Baby can't breastfeed because of social services 
My baby was taken from me at birth at the hospital, because I was 2 hours late to a non emergency c section. My breasts filled with milk and my little …

struggled to breastfeed 
I had the same experience as you ladies. When my daughter was born 6 years ago I was excited about breast feeding, but my breasts were very small and nothing …

breastfeeding isn't always natural 
My pregnancy with my son (who is now 3) was a surprise. I had morning sickness and thought I had the flu. I didn't get pain or soreness in the breasts …

Breastfeeding struggles 
It's so good to read these stories and finally know that it isn't just me who has struggled. My daughter is 8 months old, I was always fully intent …

not able to breastfeed 
Okay. I must comment on this one. I had a normal delivery without even an epidural. Hence breastfeeding never seemed like a task to me.... I was sadly …

feeling like a failure 
I run a support group for parents who are unable to breastfeed called Bottle Babies. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bottle-Babies/120819361329359#!/ …

not capable of breastfeeding 
Years ago I tried everything including pumping and was not able to breastfeed. I too thought it was my issue. My daughter just had her first baby, …

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