Breasts were very small and nothing really was coming out

I had the same experience as you ladies. When my daughter was born six years ago I was excited about breastfeeding, but my breasts were tiny and nothing was coming out.

My mom always had large breasts and breastfed her four kids, and my mother-in-law said that she never bought formula in her life, so I was feeling very guilty.

I remember trying to pump for one hour to get 3 oz. of milk. My baby was hungry, so I had no choice but to give a little bit of my milk and tons of formula. I remember my family staring at the baby and feeling sorry for the baby!!

Every time the baby gets sick, both moms would say to the baby "Poor baby... you got sick because you never got good milk from mommy." How cruel was that comment??

Today, my daughter is a perfectly healthy child. She's the biggest and the tallest in the class :) We are best friends, and I am excited that we are having another baby this year.

Most likely, I will be giving formula again this time because my breasts are not growing as much, but I just stopped worrying about that. I am very thankful that we have great formula out there!

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May 12, 2012
Thank You For Sharing
by: Michelle

Yes, that was such a cruel comment. Can't they see your efforts!!!!

I am glad you are not stressed this time, seeing how healthy your first baby is.

I struggled with milk supply with my first and was devastated and cried for four months. We are now trying for number two. I want to breastfeed, but like you, I am not stressed this time. I will just give it my best shot.

Thank your for sharing so that us mums who sometimes don't make milk know we are not alone.

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So glad I'm not alone

by Serena

When I got pregnant, I knew immediately I wanted to BF. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about BFeeding and attended BF classes at my hospital. When I brought him home, I was under a LOT of stress because his father had walked out on us.

I was emotionally distraught. I think the baby sensed this too, and he would not take to the breast. I had a nurse come out to the house to ensure he was latching on correctly, and he was, but he'd suck for a few minutes, not get anything, and start screaming. When he started losing weight and was crying all the time from hunger, I finally gave up.

The nurse told me that I had to get some nutrition in him. When I fed him a bottle, he sucked it down so eagerly and went right to sleep. I still didn't want to give up on BFeeding, so I tried to pump. After about an hour and a half, I only had a little less than one ounce. I gave up but felt so guilty. What kind of mother couldn't feed their child? That was 16 years ago, and my son is healthy, but I still feel guilty that I wasn't able to BF him.

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Dec 10, 2011
Glad I'm Not Alone Too
by: Michelle

I am in the same situation as you except my son is only six months old. My stress came from 3 days after birth at home when I had excruciating pain BFing just as my milk was starting to come in.

It was 11 pm & I rang hosp where I gave birth asking if I can come in & get help with attachment and they told me they were busy with their patients! I ended up in an emergency where they admitted him & put him on formula. I got so upset by this and cried all night.

I am not meaning to compare myself to the stress of your partner leaving, but my milk never increased from that point on. I picked him up from the hospital the next day and just BF, but then he was losing weight. So I spent three months trying to increase my supply, expressing, taking herbs, BFing with a tube going to my nipple topping him up with formula, but my milk never increased, and so at three months I went entirely to formula. I'm happy others like you write on here so that we do not feel alone.

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Milk never came in

by Annie

I am so thankful I found this page. My daughter was born through emergency c-section. I lost a lot of blood, and she was in the NICU for several weeks very very critically ill.

My milk never came in although everyone at the hospital always said it would. I pumped and took herbs and drank tea and tried medication and pumped and pumped and pumped some more, hoping it would come in. It never did.

I have been pumping for months to get her a couple of ounces a day and so that she could nurse once at night (she won't during the day because she has to suck too hard and long to get anything).

She's six months old now, and I decided I should give up the pumping since I was spending so much time and energy struggling with it. My milk has disappeared entirely overnight, and I feel like my heart is breaking and I feel so alone. I wanted to breastfeed SO VERY MUCH, and the internet and doctors make it seem like this never happens.

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May 12, 2012
I Sympathise
by: Michelle

Oh, Annie, I feel for you. I too struggled with milk supply. I had to pump 7-8 times day and night to get enough for one feed the next day.

And then I had to give all other feeds of formula. It was heartbreaking. I now know that the first 24 - 48 hours after birth are crucial for setting up your supply.

You say you were in ICU, so if you did not get to breastfeed or express in this crucial time, maybe that is what stopped your milk coming in. This happened to someone I know with her 2nd child as her child was sick and she was not able to breastfeed straight away, yet she made milk for her 1st & 3rd child.

You have done amazing! To keep pumping and giving her breast milk up to six months in your circumstances!

My son is 11 months old now. At first, I was devastated that I could not breastfeed. I used a supplemental nursing system for the first three months (a tiny tube that goes in his mouth and tops up with formula while I breastfed), but it was too much so then I bottle fed.

At the time I was devastated. But people kept saying to me how amazed they were that I persevered so long in my circumstances. Now I look back, and I am proud of myself too.

Hopefully, you will look back and be very proud of your efforts.

Dec 06, 2013
Me too!
by: Paula

Thank you for sharing your story! Love the part about how everyone acts like this never happens but its common enough that people should talk about it! I had emergency c-section at 41 weeks, didn't get to hold my son until the day. 7. I would have pumped immediately, but no one told me to, didn't start pumping until well into the next day after birth. Approaching nine months I'm still pumping, max of 5-8oz a day.

Also, I didn't pump at night enough because my baby slept thru very quickly. I decided I can't feel guilty about getting some sleep. The stress and anxiety were too much.

I still mourn that things didn't go normally, but I remind myself that I have a thriving and perfect baby boy and all we can do it's all we can do.

Best to you!

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My struggles with breastfeeding

by Kristen Love
(Colorado Springs)

I am so comforted to see this...NOW. My little man is now ten months old, and I went through such pain, depression, and judgment over my struggles with breastfeeding.

My little one lost 1 lb in the hospital, and his stomach was full of amniotic fluid and we could not breastfeed for the first 24hrs as much as we tried.

The lactation consultants at the hospital made me feel terrible but sent me home with a very intense plan and formula to supplement. We tried and tried and tried for six weeks.....from birth to 6 weeks his total weight gain was only 2 ounces...yet he had enough wet he suffered from some pretty severe acid reflux.

I was berated by other moms and the lactation consultants being told: "it was my technique, I was selfish by not wanting to pump even though I was pushing through to pump, and that every woman can breastfeed, I just needed to stick with it and try harder."

Finally, my wonderful pediatrician explained that I was producing "skim milk" and that he was hydrated, but needed "whole milk" to grow.

We switched to formula, and he has finally grown and is wonderful now. But that whole experience led to postpartum depression and anxiety.

I hope other women out there will be gentle with themselves and remember that THE most important thing is taking care of your baby and helping them to grow and matter how you choose to do it!!

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Planned to breastfeed

by Rachel...

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has told their story, and I hope more new mums who are struggling with breastfeeding find this website.

I had only ever planned to breastfeed after all of my friends seemed to have no trouble at all. I had lessons before the baby was born and I did absolutely no research at all on bottle feeding or formula. I had a very natural 6-hour labor and a waterbirth so I thought everything would go well.

The first few days were hell. On day three my milk still hadn't come in, and despite my baby suckling on my breast for hours and hours, he just screamed all night. When the midwife came over the next day she said he was starving and when she weighed him he had lost over 10% of his birth weight. My parents went and bought bottles, formula, sterilizers, and I robotically went through a lesson on how to use these things. Meanwhile, the midwife fed my son and he guzzled down a bottle of formula and went straight to sleep.

I tried hospital grade pumps, lactation consultants, breastfeeding clinics, helplines, fenugreek tablets, and tea and persevered for about three weeks. At around week four my milk did increase a little, and I was able to hand express 100mls a day, so I fed my baby with formula and made one of his bottles a day breastmilk. I think this was more to satisfy myself than him as he was 100% happy on formula.

I don't know why I felt so guilty, and every time I gave him formula I felt like I was feeding him poison. I wasn't bonding with him and was crying most of the time. It started to affect my relationship with my husband and my new baby. I won't say I am fully over it and I may never be. If I have another baby I will try again but I don't ever want to put myself through the agony and guilt I have felt for the last month and when I look at my son, he is healthy, happy and content and that is what matters,

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Breastfeeding is highly overrated

Gosh! My son is now seven years old and my daughter 5. They are the brightest kids of the block, and I am not just saying this because I am a doting mom.

Both of them have been pretty much exclusively bottle-fed. I tried and tried with my older one and then analyzed to death and righted all the wrongs with my younger one. But no, I could not produce the milk they needed.

It was so bad that I firmly believe it was my stubbornness to stay away from the formula that pushed my younger one to neo-natal jaundice a week after she was born. I still feel lousy about not being able to have breastfed them, but then I had not read this thread before!

Seven years later and much the wiser, I feel breastfeeding is highly overrated in our society. If you can't, you are not any less of a mother!

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I'm not alone!!!

I am 6 months into breastfeeding, and I thought I was the only person this happened too!! I get nauseous and under my arms itch at every single feeding except at night. During the night the itching is more pronounced, and the nausea is less.

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