Not able to breastfeed

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, so, after a lot of research she would breastfeed and pump in between to try to increase her supply.

We used a powerful pump, and after one month and the less than 1oz a day, she decided to bottle feed and add what little she gets with pumping to the formula. So as all of you discovered, some people do not produce enough no matter what they do. I felt guilty for 33 years. No more, thanks for the post!

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Apr 16, 2010
Not capable of breastfeeding ~ Congratulations!
by: Anonymous

Congratulations on your new grandchild! ;-)
The worst part for most moms that struggle with breastfeeding is that they miss out on the special bonding experience. Your daughter should continue to give the baby as much breast milk as she can, even if it is only a few drops. The benefits go beyond the physical, they are emotional too...and have kept many moms from postpartum depression.
My mom had the same problem, she wanted to breastfeed us (my brother and I) but couldn't, she didn't have any milk at all, and for many years afterward, she had to hear about how much milk her mother had.
If we could all stop feeling guilty about our weaknesses and start recognizing and celebrating our strengths as mothers.

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No one replied to my pleas for help...

by Denise
(Ireland)

I was devastated when it came to the time to give up on trying to breastfeed. When I first had my son, I was told my nipples were too small, so I was given a breast pump and left to my denices... no help, while mothers around me who were fed by the breast were given every bit of help.

I came home with the pump and rang around groups, and no one replied to my pleas for help. I still get upset now as I feel that I've let max down.

My heart was set on giving him the best start. I have written to the hospital board and explained my complaint as I don't want another mom to go through what I have, I'm glad to see I'm not alone. Thank you for putting up this site.

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Aug 11, 2010
Thanks for sharing...
by: Tracy

Hi Denise

Thanks so much for sharing.

The people at the hospitals have no real education when it comes to breastfeeding, and even the pediatricians are only trained on the subject for half an hour!

There is not enough support out there...it's sad to think that you could have had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship with Max if it wasn't for lack of info and help.

The reason I started this site was for women like you, who feel like failures when in fact they are the ones who have been let down.

Know that you are a great mom! And you did do YOUR best.

Return to the "cant breastfeed page"

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Any successful stories for third child?

by AMC
(Toronto)

I had problems breastfeeding both my first and second child. I am now pregnant with my third and still hope this time it will be different. Is there anyone out there with more than one child who found they had more milk the third time around?

I know all there is to know about breastfeeding and have seen expert breastfeeding specialists. In many ways, I believe it is stress that contributed to my difficulty in breastfeeding.

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The wishing to breastfeed does not go away

by Sarah
(Baltimore)

I stumbled across this web page through a google search and wanted to leave my story in hopes that it may provide some help for another mom.

Upon my request, I was able to naturally deliver my second daughter at 39 weeks. She weighed 7lbs 7ozs. I had breastfed my first daughter exclusively for six months and then on and off until she was 2.

I was excited at the thought of being able to establish this bond with my second daughter. My breast milk came in late with my first daughter (around 5-6 days after birth).

When I was in the hospital with my second daughter, my milk did not come in. Hoping it would help, I began to pump. At the suggestion of a lactation consultant, I pumped 8-10 times a day for 20 minutes on both sides. I tried to think of relaxing things while I pumped. I still got nothing. No milk, no colostrum...nothing. I was so frustrated.

The lactation consultant suggested we begin using a Haberman feeder with my second daughter. Meanwhile, she has lost weight close to 1 lb. And seemed very sleepy. Because of this development, we up the amount of formula we've been giving her. I continue to pump and try to breastfeed, but still no milk.

I am not satisfied with the reaction from my OB, so I decided to get a second opinion. I start taking Reglan and continue to pump and try to breastfeed. After two weeks, nothing. I am so depressed.

My OB orders bloodwork, they test my thyroid levels, cortisone levels, prolactin levels and order an MRI. All results come back normal; the prolactin levels are so low that it doesn't seem to register that I delivered a baby less than two months ago. By this point, I am so sad. It looks like I will not be able to have that special breastfeeding bond with my second daughter.

Meanwhile, she's had an allergic reaction to the organic formula she's been on and is starting to excrete blood in her diaper. We switch her to a hypoallergenic formula, and this extinguishes the problem. Meanwhile, I feel awful. I want to give her the best food possible, but I can't.

Will I have a special bond with my second as I did with my first? At five months later, I am still struggling with this question. I wanted to share my story with other women in hopes that it may help someone out there. My body refused to produce breast milk. I still don't know why, but it did. I am again picking up the pieces as I move forward in life. I find myself judging myself way harsher than I probably should.

The wishing to breastfeed does not go away, and I find myself jealous of new moms who can do this. I'm hoping my self worth issues and depression about this will get better in time because I would hate to miss out on life with my second daughter.

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Apr 28, 2010
Thanks so much for sharing
by: Tammy

Thank you for sharing your story, you are a courageous mommy. You will help many ladies with this...including me.

I'm so sorry; nothing can replace the special memories...I had the same breastfeeding problems with my son, and I can never get it back again and I still sometimes think about it. I even sometimes wonder if I should try re-lactate (assuming that I did something wrong)...but he is already 2 and a half.

I also beg my husband for another child as I reckon I will be successful the second time around. But what if it doesn't work the second time around?

Thanks again for sharing...and reminding me that I am not alone.

Mar 22, 2011
not capable of breastfeeding
by: Anonymous

I too suffered from the same fate, baby 3months old. I still grieve it's like a pain that won't go away.

My milk came three days after a long delivery. I've tried pumping, SNS system baby latches with nipple shields and sucks like it's a bottle.

It hurts so much I've cried over and over about it l doubt l will ever get over it. It's life l suppose we can't have it all I'm so jealous of women who can nurse as it didn't work out for me. I still try l will never accept it maybe when baby starts solids l will get over it, but for now, l try and cry.

May 27, 2015
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May 27, 2015
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Thanks

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After 4 babies I finally realized I have a low milk supply

by Kyla
(British Columbia, Canada)

A mother of 6 babies raised me. She had, as I would describe, a better than average breastfeeding experience. The same goes for my two sisters. So when I gave birth to my first son, I assumed things would be smooth. No one ever told me about having nipples that were too small or not producing enough milk. I was terrified. With him, there were other factors such as extreme jaundice and I was struggling with major infections postpartum so I attributed my milk supply to those. But after months of pumping after every feeding, using a nipple shield for latching and prescriptions, nothing made a difference.

Baby number 2 starting refusing my breast from the start, my nipple was still too small and areola still too big. I cried and cried. We had a screaming baby for weeks, and I would pump when she wouldn't latch and get no more than 1 oz. I felt defeated again.

The 3rd baby came, she latched! I had so much joy. Now all my problems would be solved. It did not go that way, after weeks of refusing the breast like my second and weight loss, I gave up when she was six weeks old. I knew all the tips and tricks, the dos and don'ts. Everyone would try to give advice, and I would say "Trust me, I've tried." My mom would spend the first week or so with me, begging me to stop because it was excessive. She saw my struggles.

My 4th baby was similar, he was so patient, and I was determined again, but when he started following the same pattern, no weight gain, nursing for hours at a time for weeks, I gave up for the last time. So many tears have been shed, my husband and other children see me breaking down because all I wanted was to breastfeed.

I feel damaged on a psychological level because of my experiences. Every baby is different, and every breast is different. Every mom wants the best for her baby! Every mom also knows her limit, and I couldn't function on that level of stress on a daily basis. No women can!
You're not alone in this. I still hurt watching other mothers breastfeed. My sister had her first baby recently and has gone through a similar experience to mine, and I was glad I could give her support and reassurance that she is still an amazing mom and her baby will always love her.

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