Mothers who are unable to produce milk

by Jessica LaBounty
(Springfield, MO)

I was thrilled to find this site.

I had these same issues. Nursing my daughter was very important to me.

When I was pregnant, my breast never got any bigger. After having my daughter, I was never engorged. I pumped every 1-2 hours; I saw a lactation consultant, I took herbs, and even reached out to my doctor and received a prescription. Nothing worked. I would only pump about 4 oz per day.

After three weeks of trying and getting less and less milk each day I pumped I finally switched to all formula.

I was heartbroken. I still feel like my daughter, and I are missing out on so much together.

There is a lot of support for nursing mothers and mothers who choose formula, but none for mothers who are unable to produce milk. Reading about other moms who have had the same problems I've had helps.

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May 19, 2014
Support for mothers unable to produce milk
by: Michelle

I too felt like I missed out on a part of motherhood when I couldn't breastfeed. I went through pregnancy just assuming I would breastfeed and wondering why anyone would choose formula. For three months I pumped at every spare minute, took supplements and a prescription pill. I also used an SNS to feed my baby formula through a tube in the corner of his mouth while I breastfeed to try and encourage my supply. Nothing worked.

At the time I was devastated by my situation, and while of course, I would rather have enjoyed that relationship, I have to say that now I am proud of my efforts. We are currently trying for baby number two, and this time if I have a low supply again, I am planning on SNS feeding until the baby is one year old until the baby is getting enough nutrition from food so that I can dump the SNS and enjoy a year of just breastfeeding with my limited supply.

Just wanted to share because I know how nice it felt for me to read other low milk supply stories and not feel alone. I had never heard of not being able to make enough milk to feed your baby until it happened to me.

You are an amazing Mum. You have put in so much more effort in the first few weeks of your babies life than others have to whom breastfeeding came easily.

Feb 15, 2017
Not a single drop either
by: Anonymous

I didn't produce a single drop either.
My breasts did not change at all during pregnancy ( Have been the same sine I was 14/15). No nipple change didn't grow a single bit and didn't leak. They didn't even ache. At all!

When my son was born, I produced the smallest drop of colostrum, and they swell up for a few hours. Still no milk. At all.

I tried and tried with my son to see if I could get my supply going but no luck. Had to use formula or my son would have starved.

What didn't help me was having a mother-in-law have a baby six months before me (her 5th baby) and exclusively breastfeeding that baby.

Comments aimed at me about how she doesn't have to bother with the hassle of bottles or even getting out of bed in the night, the health benefits of the child, how it's the perfect way to bond, etc.

Just what I needed, I didn't CHOOSE to bottle feed. I had NO CHOICE. I was bottle fed, by my mothers choice. Whats the big deal? Why judge how a woman feeds her baby?

Also, the breastfed baby I mentioned happens to be ill way more often than my bottle fed son and my son is far more advanced than hers and he's six months younger. MY SON IS PROOF THAT BREAST IS NOT ALWAYS BEST.

There is NO information or support for women who have this problem.

I was a young 21 years old, nieve, clueless new Mom. My world suddenly changed (as it does with kids!). My breasts were not doing THE ONE THING THEY ARE MEANT TO DO affected me when I was most vulnerable.

Next baby, NOBODY will make me feel guilty for not being physically able to produce milk.

I have educated many ignorant men and woman since having my son. One man told me ' all women should be made to breastfeed for the first few months.'

That moron and everyone else in the surrounding area soon heard my voice on this subject. How dare he!



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8 children, never produced milk

by Denise

I had eight children, and I never produced one ounce of milk.

With my first baby, the doctor looked at me like I was a freak because no matter what they gave me, my body didn't produce milk.

So when I had my second baby, I had put in my file, that for medical conditions I couldn't breastfeed. That took away the rude people telling me, how bad a mother I was for bottle feeding my baby.

My children aren't stupid; they are healthy and no different from breastfeeding babies.

My poor daughter when she had her son, was reduced to tears, when she didn't produce any milk either, lucky for her, I was able to boot those people out, and explain that to her doctors about me.

She had my support and the support of her sister that can breastfeed. It seems in our family, from history at least one daughter will not be able to breastfeed.

I hope that the radical breastfeeding people will learn to understand, that for some strange reason, some woman can't produce milk.

So please look at your baby after it has a full tummy and is healthy because it is loved by its parents. It doesn't matter where the milk comes from, just the love your children receive. Denise

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Mar 27, 2013
by: Anonymous

Dats true just give ur child al da love nd care she or he needs

Mar 28, 2013
4 children
by: Anonymous

OMG amazing to at last get in touch with other women that can't produce, I am the same just given birth to my fourth child and no milk at all in either. Nature does not work for everyone at all. It's heartbreaking trying when it doesn't

Mar 28, 2013
4 children no milk
by: Anonymous

For me, I am on my fourth child no milk, so good to finally meet other women this happened, so I was also reduced to tears by a number of ppl x

May 14, 2015
I know your pain too well
by: Anonymous

I will always mourn that I will never know what that is like to exclusively feed a baby with my breast milk :(. I am on my second and both times I produce only drops of milk, and no one can tell me why. I am so sick of reading about 'how rare it is' it makes me feel like a freak of nature. My breasts look completely normal, my thyroid is normal. I've seen doctors, lactation specialists, done EVERYTHING to see if my supply could be increased and there's no effect. It makes me angry that no one can tell me why this is happening. I want to know why they don't work. I feel like not knowing why adds to the frustration because when I say I've tried everything and I can't make milk the first thing people respond with is "Well have you tried...' YES, YES I HAVE. I have tried all the tips, pills, herbs, pumps, lactation teas/cookies, feeding every hour all hour, I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING. Just leave me alone and accept my diagnosis. How can I come to terms with this when no one even believes me until I explain my story in full.

Even worse my baby was 'nursing' before her bottle-feeds so that we could at least simulate that relationship...but now that she is four months old she's figured out that it is pointless and wants to go straight to the bottle. So now she screams when I try to 'breastfeed' even if I give her some food first, try when she is sleepy. I tried finding information on nursing strikes, but it's all geared to women that have a milk supply...there's no information on ending a nursing strike for women like me who are incapable of producing even a third of my baby's needs. Anyway, I am so heartbroken. I don't understand why I'm broken this way. Why can't I do this when I want to so badly?!?! Everything else in life I can achieve if I work hard...but this is the one exception. I can't do anything about it. Thanks for reading my rant.

Also, it turns out that my Grandmother couldn't make milk either...but my mother had no issues. I'm wondering if there is a genetic condition?!?! Maybe we have the same problem.

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Did not produce one single drop

by jodie
(Tuscumbia, al)

My breasts did not produce one single drop. Never grew at all during pregnancy. All my other friends leaked and grew. A lot. One girl went from an a to almost a double D. I tried so hard.

Everybody complained about leaking. But it was all I wanted. The doctor shrugged it off. It happens. Too bad so sad. We're trying to conceive for our second baby. Maybe luck Will come my way:(

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Feb 11, 2012
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

I feel you, honey. I had a meager milk supply. My son lost weight when I just breast fed and I had to give formula. Like you, I am hoping for better success with baby two.

A book "The Breastfeeding Mothers Guide To Making More Milk" (page 137) discusses a woman who had low milk supply after first child and was diagnosed with luteal phase defect after difficulty trying to conceive a second child. The second time she was given natural progesterone suppositories from ovulation until 12 weeks into pregnancy and her milk came in entirely the second time.

It also discusses (page 231)another woman who like you had no breast change in the first pregnancy. She took progesterone supplements for first 12 weeks, but her breasts reverted back once hormone was stopped. The second baby she took oral and injected progesterone until eight months then slowly weaned off and her milk came in well.

I have done lots of research on this topic (after all my trouble!). If you have any questions, please e-mail me [email protected], and hopefully, we will both be able to breastfeed 2nd time round!

May 15, 2012
by: Jasmine

Jodie, you are the first woman I have come across who is in the same position as me! I never produced a single drop of breast milk with either of my children. They Dr was no help, just saying these things happen, formula is there for a reason. I felt like rubbish, and he didn't help at all. I hope you have better luck next time xx

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I was so devastated when my breast refused to produce milk

by chinwe

When I had my first baby, I was so devastated when my breast refused to produce milk.

I tried every advice given, but none of them seemed to have any effect, everyone blamed me including my husband and the doctor.

The nurses practically wrung out my breast and yet nothing happened. I felt like a failure especially when my baby ignored my breast and rushed the formula.

With the second baby, there was an increase in the flow, but it was still not enough, so I still had to combine with formula.

I am pregnant again and have refused to disturb myself about whether my breast will flow or not. I have left that to God. Instead, I am grateful to God for giving me, two healthy beautiful girls. The important thing here is to love yourself and your kids. The bonding will come!

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Could not produce much milk

by Zoe

I'm glad someone started this topic. I wish it had existed 15 years ago when I went through this problem with my son.

I tried to breastfeed him, but like the other women posting here, I could not produce much milk, and my son had trouble latching on.

I also consulted the lactation specialist at the hospital where he was born -- we went back in during the first week after he was born so she could show me different ways of holding him to get him to latch on.

I called La Leche League and got advice and the people who rented me the breast pump equipment. And, of course, I talked to my friends who had successfully breastfed their babies. Most of them said it was very easy for them -- they couldn't remember having any trouble!

So I felt very alone and very much a failure. It didn't help that my mom kept saying, "Oh, give him a bottle! He's hungry!" She hadn't breastfed me -- I was born in the early 60s, and it had become normal for women to bottle-feed their babies.

And no one has mentioned here yet how sore and even cracked and bleeding one's nipples can become -- that was another cross to bear with all of this. So is it any wonder that after about 6-8 weeks of trying everything so I could breastfeed, I finally decided to let it go? My son had to be supplemented with formula all along and was doing fine, so we just went to formula full time.

People never mention this, but part of the good of bottle-feeding is that the dad can have some of that joy of feeding a cuddly infant. Not that dads can't do that with bottles full of breast milk, but in the cases where the moms do all the feeding by breast, that can leave the dad out.

In any case, the good news is that my son survived just fine and has been a very healthy child. He's now 15 and rarely gets sick, so he's managed just fine despite his mainly-formula start.

I think the most important thing new mothers can remember is to try not to stress out about every little thing when the baby comes. I was very stressed and worried about everything, and that may have made it harder for my son at the time.

When I calmed down a little, things got better. If there are moms who feel they can't bond as well with the baby if they can't breastfeed, I feel confident that it's more to do with how stressed they are rather than how bonding takes place.

I bonded just fine with my son -- we couldn't be closer -- despite not being able to breastfeed him. Some of my favorite memories of him as an infant were when he was sleeping in my arms or on my shoulder.

So take heart, moms, and enjoy your little ones while you can -- they grow up so fast!

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Unable to produce any breast milk

by Jasmine
(Adelaide, Australia)

My story is a little different from the others here. I am just plain unable to produce any breast milk at all. I was devastated when I had my first child and discovered this, and although I was expecting it, I was more devastated when I had my second. It was like my body didn't want me to be a mother like there was something wrong with me. Why did my body fail to do something natural that all women should be able to do?

My youngest is now six months old, and I still cry when I think about it. I feel like my body failed me and in turn, I have failed my children.

I have searched the internet some time to try and find support. This is the first site I have found in 2years. Thank you for creating a place mothers like me can feel at home.

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I too didn't produce more than 2 tsp of breast milk

by luz
(Prov, ri)

I understand the frustration. I too didn't produce more than 2 tsp of breastmilk with the breast pump.

I educated myself on breastfeeding after my 2nd pregnancy so that I could breastfeed and was looking forward to bonding and providing my child with antibodies against illness.

I was disappointed again with no milk. It does make you feel inadequate as a woman, especially after two c-sections, I never experienced what it was like to experience a natural birth, and that added more to the inadequacy.

The nurses and doctors keep telling you the milk will come in, but it never does. There is no explanation or education about it; it does leave you frustrated, depressed and alone.

My daughter is now 22 & my son is 6, and they turned out great. My six-month-old didn't get any more ear infections or illnesses than a breastfed baby, and academically he does great. So it all works out, but there should be more education out there about it.

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