The guilt of not breastfeeding

by amy
(Lexington nc, usa)

I started 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 bad that every time I saw her waking up to eat I felt like running away, that brought me once even to tears.

So I decided to give her formula, but I felt horrible I didn't understand why so much pain... feeling so depressed and til now I still do. I want to know if it's still not too late to try it been two weeks and a half. Since I last breastfeed her??? Please help...

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Aug 10, 2012
yes you can, go for it
by: tracey

You most certainly can start your production up again. If you want to breastfeed again, try putting your baby on as much as he/she will allow and also start pumping as much as you can to build up the supply. With baby latching on and extra pumping, it should return pretty fast if you had a good supply to start with.

I never had a good supply but decided to go and felt so darn guilty that I started up pumping again after about three weeks and my supply had completely gone, and I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night and after a few days started to get drops. Luckily cause I was about to give up again but went on and after a week I began to get more and more. I kept going for about a month and still was only getting a small amount, but I always had low supply issues so I was very disappointed that I couldn't get it back to where it was before.

Also, my baby wouldn't latch, and I have flat nipples, so I was pumping from day one.

I think you would be fine though, so give it another go you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Good luck.

Aug 13, 2012
by: Zelda Behr

Like Tracey said, pump as much as you can and let baby spend as much time as she wants nursing.

I also got to that point where I wanted to give up but my husband got nipple shields, lanolin cream and lots of support and I pushed through.

Remember you gave your little one that first colostrum milk that is so important and just for that you deserve a medal.

There are a few things you can do to decrease the sore nipples...

-Cold ice pack after feeds.
-Rinse with salt water after feeds.
-Your milk can be rubbed over the nipple to help.
-Lansinoh Lotion for just before feeds.
-And make sure that baby latches properly.

Natural ways to boost milk supply...

-Herbs: Milk thistle, Blessed thistle, Fennel seed, Alfalfa, and Anise seed
-Breast massage
-Mothers Milk Tea is a drink for mothers with low milk supply. It usually contains sweet fennel seed, anise seed, coriander seed, spearmint leaf, lemongrass leaf, lemon verbena leaf, althea root, blessed thistle herb, and fenugreek seed.
-Fenugreek supplement or fenugreek seeds.
-Nipple stimulation.

More on low milk supply...

Here is some inspiration...

Hope it helps.
Good luck.

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Guilt for not being able to breastfeed...

by Fifi

I felt and in some ways still feel a sense of guilt for not being able to breastfeed my first child. I was living in a very stressful situation when I gave birth.

I could not produce enough breast milk, only 1-2 ounces per feed, even though I pumped all the time for weeks and took herbal supplements, some part of me still feels I did not do enough. It's like a dark area for mothers, and the emphasis is on trying harder and the inference that you are not doing enough if you cannot increase your milk supply.

My postnatal midwife was great saying worrying about increasing milk and spending a lot of time doing this and being stressed was not what being a mother is about. I still worry even though my son is healthy and alert that I did not give him the best start and will we be close when he is older, even though I feel a deep bonding with him.

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Apr 20, 2011
Don't Feel to Bad
by: Anonymous

"Guilt for not being able to breastfeed..."

by Fifi

G'day Fifi

I'm a dad, and I'm sorry to hear that you have/had to feel the way you did about the issue of breastfeeding!!

It's not an easy thing to go through the pressures of being a new mum, with the compounding pressures preached by the medical fraternity these days!

My wife breastfed our three children (with much pressure and expectation of the midwives!). As much as it seemed the right and natural thing to do, it did not mean it was easy for her!

As a father, I often felt out of sorts from time to time, with breastfeeding, because I thought that I was missing out on that vital bonding experience. But this dissipated, when my wife was comfortable to express her milk, which allowed me to share the burden of 11 pm and 3 am feeds (which importantly also allowed my wife to get some quality sleep!!)

At the end of the day so long as both mum and baby are healthy and comfortable, that what is essential!!!!!


Feb 05, 2015
hey there
by: jillian

I do not think you should be guilty of anything. Not being able to breastfeed is not a bad thing after all. We surely do not hold everything in our hands. I think practicing yoga can help you as well.

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Guilt and the decision to not breastfeed

by Mama

I felt the same way in regards to the guilt that I put myself through, and others did as well.

I felt like I was driving myself to the point of lunacy. And for what? Some silly milk. I think my daughter appreciates having a completely sane mother over some breast milk.

I do think that there is a difference in breast milk and formula, of course! The research is there. But I don't think its as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

When I changed to formula and felt these feelings, a friend of mine said 'Hon, it's not like you're starving her.' And that's right. Baby is eating and is healthy and happy, and so am I!

I struggled for three weeks. And no one could help me. No one helped me at the hospital, two nurses and a lactation consultant visited me, and it was just unhelpful in the end. I'm happy I decided to not breastfeed in the end, and I certainly would not try again!

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Can't Breastfeed No Milk Guilt

by Jayna

I gave birth to my son five weeks ago today and through the entire pregnancy could not wait to breastfeed my baby.

When the time came, and he was born, he latched on immediately at the hospital for the first time, and I could not have been happier.

Then came the next feeding at the hospital and he latched on for a min and then screamed and screamed and refused to latch on again.

I asked a nurse for help who tried a couple of positions with me (none of which took) and then said I should change his diaper and try again and left the room with no intentions of returning.

I was left in a room with my screaming baby as a first time mom and had no idea what to do but keep trying.

The horrible guilt set in at that moment when I was unable to provide for my baby, and he was screaming in hunger.

I tried and tried, and he refused to latch, spending hours with him at my breast screaming, but I was determined that this was going to work out. We took him home the next day, and I sat on our couch with him for an entire day working with him on breastfeeding, he still would not take to the breast.

At this point I had no idea what to do, all I knew is that my baby was starving and I could not provide any milk. I attempted to pump and found I was barely producing any milk for him.

Eventually, I broke down and gave him some formula, and he gobbled it down and fell right to sleep satisfied. So I thought I would supplement with formula and keep working on breastfeeding, but he never took, spending all his time at the breast screaming his little lungs out for hours.

The guilt was overwhelming at the time, and I would sit and cry. I attempted to look for support online, but everything made me feel worse, with sites telling me I am just lazy and won't work hard enough at it, making me feel even more less of a mom.

I am happy to have found this site. Today I have decided to stop attempting to breastfeed.

My milk supply is so low that I can't even produce 1oz and I return to work in 2 weeks. My baby is healthy and thriving. He has been gaining weight as he should and is a happy baby boy :)

I realized that all I can ask for and even though the guilt is still there I have accepted the fact that breastfeeding did not work for me with this child and that I was formula fed as a baby and I am as healthy as I can be so why can't my son?

If you are having problems with breastfeeding or are unable to please don't let the guilt and depression cloud and consume those precious moments with your baby.

I was not able to enjoy some of those moments, and I regret that. The most important thing is that your baby is being fed, growing and happy :)

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