Should I have tried harder?

My daughter is now three months old, and I love her more than I ever knew possible. I wanted to breastfeed, it was always my plan, but part of me always knew that it might not be possible.

During puberty, my breasts never seemed to develop fully. I was a size 12 (UK size) but barely filling an AA bra. I felt so out of proportion, and I was very insecure, so much so that I got a breast enlargement.

I’m kicking myself that I never went to the doctors beforehand to have my breasts or lack thereof, examined. When my daughter was born, I breastfed her, but she lost far too much weight. The midwife told me if she lost any more then she would have to be hospitalized.

I was told I needed to breastfeed, then express and top up with formula. I did as I was told but I was producing less than an ounce, and this was doing it at least eight times a day. Then I got mastitis. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but my breasts were hot to the touch and had red patches on them. My nipples were also incredibly sore. I was exhausted.

When I went to the midwife to be examined, I told her that I was going to stop breastfeeding. She made me feel even worse by telling me it felt like there was a lot of milk and that it was a shame I was drying up.

I just didn’t want to starve my baby. I never engorged, which led me to believe there wasn’t any milk there. My daughter is exclusively formula fed now and is happy, but I often get comments on how big she is, and I worry it’s because she’s formula fed.

Maybe I should have tried for longer and done more to increase my supply, but I was so exhausted, and it seemed futile. I still feel guilty about it now. If I were to have another baby, maybe I would try again, but I don’t know if it would be different. There should be more support for women like us. I feel like such a failure and a bad mum.

Comments for Should I have tried harder?

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Mar 28, 2019
Pumping sucks. Literally.
by: Anonymous

I was told to pump 8 times or more a day by the IBCLC. I don't think she fully appreciated what a full-on task it was.

I tried my best, but my house suffered, my marriage suffered, my baby suffered, and my energy suffered. It's not practical I wish they wouldn't push pumping on mums who can't BF as it only draws out the grieving process (and yes it is grief) over being unable to breastfeed.

So to answer your question, you tried your hardest. You couldn't have done any more.

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