Can't Breastfeed No Milk Second Baby Coming

by Suzie

It's great to finally see some other stories like mine. My milk just never came in, and I have no idea why.

Breastfeeding councilors were worse than useless as they just repeated the same advice about demand feeding and latch without listening when I explained that I was already doing that, plus more.

I pumped and pumped for weeks, never getting enough to even cover the bottom of the bottle. I wanted to breastfeed so much, and the available literature had encouraged me to think that all that was required was the determination to do so.

I did try everything, and it is soul destroying to find that your body won't work. I cried about this every day right up until the weaning stage. Now I'm planning a second child but terrified that I will have the same trouble again.

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Aug 14, 2012
I had the same trouble
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

Hello, yes as you say, it is great to hear other stories similar to ours.

All I could ever pump was 20-30 ml. My son was losing weight when I just breastfed. I cried every day for the first three months.

Did you have breast changes during pregnancy? I have read a few stories of women who did not have breast changes with their first pregnancy and then took progesterone supplements from ovulation up until the first three months of pregnancy and they then noticed breast changes and went on to have a full milk supply for their subsequent babies.

I read of another women who had a pregnancy after a lapse of several years and did not notice the same breast changes as her first pregnancy. She saw a lactation consultant at 34 weeks who recommended goats rue and she then noticed changes including leaking colostrum!

I hope that they can be of some help to you. Also the first 48 hours are really important in setting up your milk supply. So if medically able, get baby on the breast in the first hour after feeding and then as often as possible after that in the first few days - with skin to skin contact.

Sorry, you may have been told all this by a lactation consultant already but they are the tips I plan to do next time (we are currently trying for baby two) and I hope that they can be of some help to you.

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Can't Breastfeed Please Help

by Dana

Hi there reading your stories is such a relief, I have had a terrible time four months PP and no milk at all, no swollen breasts in pregnancy or after birth, in fact, my boobs decreased.

This is my second baby within eighteen months and had no milk at all with my first either.

Both experiences have made me very tearful as I tried for four months, hours a day and nothing. I feel like a failure.

I wish there were more research or at least people who tell you it sometimes doesn't work for every mother.

I too was ridiculed saying you can't be trying hard enough, tried all, the herbs, oatmeal and medicine from the Doctor and nothing not one drop. I have finally given up.

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Mar 19, 2013
No milk it can happen !
by: Gail

This happened tp my sister in law ,and nurses ,friends family were quick to comment saying it isn't possible o have no milk,but it is I saw her try for hours and hours with a very frustrated baby that was getting no food at all I was begging g her to give the baby formula,I guess she was determined to make it simply didn't.

so please don't feel like a failure it simple doesn't happen the way it should for some people ,and a happy baby and mother is far more important x

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Can't Breastfeed Don't Judge

by Jenn...

Wow! So true... I had a few problems breastfeeding...I had two babies and tried hard to breastfeed both of them.

With my daughter I couldn't get a latch... when my milk came in I was so full and hard it was damn near impossible to get her to latch, I'd pump to soften them but before she could even feed I'd be full again.

I wanted so bad for her to have breast milk I pumped exclusively for four months. Then I had my son, and I tried the nipple shields and everything, still couldn't make it work.

I pumped for two months and gave up. SO frustrating! I wanted it so bad, and I couldn't do it... I hate the way that mom's who breastfeed are looked at like the shining stars while the ones who bottle feed feel like they have to hide at home rather than face the ridicule.

If you can breastfeed, fantastic so happy for you, but don't make moms who can't feel bad because they can't.

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Feb 16, 2013
I agree
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

I have to confess, I was one of those people. If I saw mum giving a bottle I would think 'Why don't you breastfeed when it is so much better for your child?'.

Then I had low milk supply (a long story) and my son was losing weight and I had to give formula.

I was heartbroken and cried for months about it. If I was out and people asked about my baby, I would often throw into the conversation 'I had low milk supply and he was losing weight so I have been forced to give formula, but other than that all is fine' just so that they would not think badly of me in case I had to whip out a bottle.

Often the response was very reassuring or a story of their own breastfeeding issue. So I began to realize that many others did not think badly of me - it was the pressure I was putting on myself.

Now I am a lot more knowledgeable. If I see a mum giving a bottle - I don't judge. You never know the heartache behind why they are not breastfeeding.

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Depressing/frustrating time of my life/I can't feed my own child

by Karen

I've always wanted to provide what's best for my child. Not being able to feed my newborn has been the most depressing and frustrating time of my life.

I've been judged, pumped with meds to increase lactation, my breasts squeezed by every nurse on the floor in the futile attempt to stimulate lactation.

I've given up, and my son feeds exclusively on formula now. I feel so guilty and depressed that I can't feed my own child :( I wish I had someone to talk to who would understand how I feel.

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Apr 12, 2013
I had low supply trouble too
by: Michelle

I know how you feel. I planned on breast feeding and the thought of formula never entered my mind during pregnancy. There is a story behind my breastfeeding saga that is too long for here, but my son was losing weight when I exclusively breast fed. I tried everything and spent the first 6 months of his life depressed as I topped him up with formula. If you want to talk, email me [email protected]

Hopefully in hindsight you will be able to look back at how much you tried and be proud of yourself.

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Not all women can breastfeed

I am a mom of 5 kids, and I was able to breastfeed all of them. I too had problems in the beginning but was able to work through them. Sometimes all it takes is relaxing because the hormones are fickle and can reduce the flow of milk.

Other times, mom just has a hard time feeding her baby or producing milk.

I am proud of myself for being able to work through my problems. My kids and I were a success. But in no way do I feel superior to those women who tried and did not succeed at breastfeeding.

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, you are feeding your baby. Take pride in giving your child your love, your attention, and the time to care. Just as everyone has muscles, but not everyone can walk, every woman has breasts, but not all women can breastfeed.

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Really want to breastfeed and cannot.

by Angie...

Thank you, all of you, so much. I cannot tell you what it means to have other women who've experienced this share your stories and support! Everywhere I look I see stories about how you must breastfeed, and you can do it and don't give up too fast. But nothing to support mom's like me who want to breastfeed and cannot.

Our little girl was feeding for hours straight and screaming in hunger immediately afterward. It got to the place she didn't even want to be near me. So we tried so hard to pump to at least give her milk that way. After a month of pumping, massage, herbs, beer, lactation cookies, etc... still only making maybe 4 oz a day. We had to give up.

The guilt of knowing how much better breast milk is and thinking well I am producing I can't give up is unbearable. Everyone looks at me like I'm lazy and don't care about my little girl. But the reality is that it was like trying to feed two babies to get up for pumping and to care for her. And she finally looks healthy. She is finally gaining weight on formula not losing. She is finally happy and lets me hold her and care for her again. That's what matters.

I am still dealing with terrible guilt and heart-wrenching depression that brings me to tears and makes me question my decision. Reading these helps me to remember I am doing what's best for her and it's ok.

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Can't Breastfeed Preemie

by Drusilla
(Brooklyn, NY)

I had two preemies, an eight-month 2lb 13 oz, the other full term 4lb 4 oz and both were bottle fed.

I tried and tried to breastfeed my children but I couldn't. I had a lactation specialist and other breastfed experienced moms try to help me, but for some reason, my breast would not produce milk, and believe me I tried everything known to women, but it didn't work.

So, I bottle fed my babies. And lo and behold they thrived!! To the astonishment of even the doctors, my eight-month premature daughter was released from the hospital a month after being born weighing 5 lbs 2 oz!

My son was released with me, four days later just shy of weighing 5 lbs. Every bottle I gave my babies were filled not only with milk; they were filled with LOVE.

My daughter stayed in the hospital for 30 days, and 30 days I went to the hospital for her 6 am feeding and stayed until they kicked me out at 11 pm. My daughter is now 27 and my son 37 years old. Yes, it was a long time ago, but I was still ridiculed for not breastfeeding, mainly because both of my children were premature.

Three years ago I became a grandma for the first time and watched my daughter, the same child I couldn't breastfeed, breastfeed my grandson.

But as she tried to get him to latch on I didn't see her breast or lack of a bottle, I saw her love for him and knew no matter how this breastfeeding thing worked out, my grandbaby would be alright.

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Can't Breastfeed Sick Baby & other Compications

by Danielle - Nathan

When Nathan was born in October 2011, I just knew that I was going to have a vaginal birth with an epidural and I was going to breastfeed until he was at least six mths old but hoping for a year.

I had these visions of breastfeeding him in the rocker we bought for his nursery, and a few other simple little visions that I have learned being a first-time mom-things just don't always work out as we think they will in our head before baby.

I had to have a c-sec. Due to complications of labor-Nathan was not tolerating labor and was not doing good. He was in the NICU for two weeks due to liver issues (which the cause for any of his issues is a mystery, it was never determined - no infection, no genetic disorder-nothing).

I wasn't able to hold him one week after he was born in which we did have a good breastfeeding session with a lactation nurse, but the next week I got very sick and tried to nurse him, but I kept draining everywhere from looking down at him and I didn't feel comfortable exposing my germs to him and all the other babies so I decided to wait until I felt a little better so by the end of the week I tried again, and Nathan just screamed at me anytime I tried to nurse him while he was in the NICU.

Once we got him home, Nathan had a lot of doctors appointments he had to go to, so I had to time his eating, and me pumping around his appointments, and it was getting VERY hard, not to mention when I was sick the week before the medicine I took had a decongestant which really jumpstarting me drying up.

I started taking Fenugreek to help my milk supply, and it started to help, but at this point (3.5 weeks after he was born) I felt defeated on the breastfeeding journey.

Nathan was still not latching on, and my supply that I was so proud of was quickly getting used up, and my fear was Nathan going hungry.

The GI doctor wanted him to take Progestimil formula by Enfamil (costs about $50 a tub) due to his liver, I don't know if any mother has ever tried that formula, but it tastes like a chemical.

So now my dilemma was not the cost of the formula, but Nathan would not eat it-I can't blame him. So luckily my mom gave us some Similac Advanced formula, so I gave that to Nathan, and he ate it like a champ.

The GI doc was worried about him eating this formula because it was milk based, but thank goodness everything worked out, and he's been eating that since he was almost four weeks old.

As I said earlier, I had many visions of nursing him and looking into his eyes while he ate, but it didn't work out like that. After crying about it and feeling guilty that he wasn't getting my breast milk, I KNEW that I was doing what I needed to do to feed him.

It does seem like mothers who have 0 problems breastfeeding can't really understand what it's like for mothers who want to, but per their circumstance, they can't and I know from experience that just because you don't have that natural birth like you planned or just because you can't breastfeed as you intended, no one will love that baby more than you, and you will nurture and love your baby.

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I'm proof that sometimes breastfeeding just can't be done.

by Michelle

I am currently trying to feed my 6-week old baby too, but not having much success at her latching since day 1.

I don't have very much milk either, but everything is very different. Fortunately, I successfully breastfed my first three children, one for 19 months, one for nine months and the third for 14 months.

For some reason with the fourth child, I can't produce enough and can't latch her. I am pumping about 2 ounces from one breast and 1.5 from the other every 3 hours. Since I've experienced successful breastfeeding three times before, I have such mixed feelings about this one.

I've done everything from hospital pumps to herbs and then to the doctor for some meds all with no success at increase. I think I'm proof that sometimes breastfeeding just can't be done.

Hang in there anyone with similar problems, and whatever you do is for the health of your child. I'm going to keep trying for a while, but I'm a busy mom of 4, so we will see what happens.

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I love my daughter even if I can't breastfeed.

by Learning to accept

Nursing my Daughter now and will soon supplement with a bottle of formula.

I wish I could give her what she needs through breast milk alone but am trying to come to terms with the fact that it isn't going to be what I planned.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. People really put a lot of pressure on moms to breastfeed.

I love my daughter even if I can't breastfeed. Will continue nursing as long as I can and hopefully will forgive myself when I can't nurse anymore. It's comforting to know I'm not alone.

Be strong and know that just the fact that you care enough to be reading this right now shows how wonderful a mother you truly are

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I tried and tried and tried and it's okay

by Lauren

I had two very complicated births.

I had preeclampsia with my first child. He was born four weeks early. I had decided to give breastfeeding a try with him but wasn't overly committed to the idea.

My mom, grandmother, and aunts did not breastfeed any of their children, and so I had no one really encouraging me to do so.

Due to medications, I was on after my son's birth breastfeeding (or staying awake for an extended period) was not possible right away.

My son started out on formula, and by the time he and I were able to come home, I was content to keep him on formula.

When my friends became pregnant, they all asked me about the moment my milk came in and shared their experiences with me.

It was then that I realized that after the birth of my son I never experienced my milk coming in. I never once had to wear nursing pads, I never saw even a droplet of milk on my nipples. At the time, I didn't even give it a thought because I wasn't breastfeeding.

My daughter was born five weeks ago and today is her due date. I had preeclampsia with her as well, but this time I also developed HELLP syndrome.

My daughter was in the NICU. I didn't even see her for almost 24 hours after she was born. I had several complications with her birth.

This time around I REALLY wanted to breastfeed. Again, due to medications, I was on I was not able to start breastfeeding right away, so my daughter started on formula.

When I was able, a lactation consultant helped me get started pumping. I pumped practically around the clock. I was in the hospital for seven days after my daughters birth. The entire time we were there I only produced enough colostrum to rub it on my daughter's lips.

The nurses told me every little bit helps. I know that my milk "should" have come in while I was still in the hospital, but I was assured that it doesn't always come in 3-4 days after birth, so I didn't worry.

However, 14 days after she was born I was still only producing tiny drops of colostrum. On the 15th day, I could see a change in the color, and that told me that my milk had come in, but I didn't have any of the sensations of my milk coming in that my friends had talked about.

By this point, I was only pumping due to the small amounts I was producing and had been supplementing with formula from the beginning.

Because my son was solely formula and had no complications or adverse reactions to it I had no reservations giving my daughter formula I just really wanted to breastfeed.

I bought several different milk storing containers. I was ready for the milk to just start flowing like everyone said it would. Only it didn't. The most I ever produced at one time from both breasts combined was just under a half ounce.

I consulted my doctor, and he recommended two herbal remedies and one medication. The medicine could cause depression as a side effect, so I opted to go the herbal route — no change. I am not willing to try a medicine that could cause depression.

I'm sad that breastfeeding is not working out but I'm not depressed, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Here I am 5 weeks later, and I know I am close to quitting. My nipples are chapped and have bled, and I have never been able to produce enough milk at once to give my daughter a full bottle of breast milk.

My doctor has recommended that I have no more pregnancies, and after everything, I experienced I would have to agree. I think I'm trying so hard because this is my last child.

However, to all the moms who are depressed let me offer you this encouragement:

My son was 100% formula fed. I never felt that my son and I were "less bonded" than my breastfeeding friends and their children.

Also, formula feeding allowed my husband to participate in feeding our children actively. He feels that this has helped him to bond with our children. We have friends whose husbands have NEVER fed their babies. My husband enjoyed/s taking the middle of the night feeding time. He said he likes when the house is quiet, and it's just him and his baby. Hearing this has helped me make peace with what I feel is my inadequacies.

My daughter is also doing perfectly fine on formula. Logically I keep telling myself that making sure my child is well nourished by any means does not make me a bad mom. It doesn't make any of you a bad mom either.

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I really wish people would understand

by Noel

Thank you so much for this page! My baby was an emergency c-section with complications that ended up with him in NICU for three days.

The combination of formula they fed him there, and my own recuperation from surgery took a huge toll on breastfeeding.

I pumped and pumped with hardly any results after spending our first two weeks as a family in consultant appointments with doctors and lactation consultants I was at the end of my rope.

The best thing that ever happened for my mental and emotional well-being was when a lactation specialist walked in and said "the odds are against you here, it might not ever happen and the most important thing is that your baby gets fed. This is not a third world country; children do fine on formula".

It was such a freeing moment for me. I still put him to the breast occasionally, but more-so for comfort than nutrition.

My best friend just had a baby, and I have to bite my tongue when she complains about how often she has to breastfeed him.

I am amazed at how judgmental other people have been on me for "giving up," and I wish people would understand it's not always such an easy choice.

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I'm so glad I'm not alone in all of this

by Gilly
(Castle Black)

After reading the many comments on here and hearing the frustration and sadness in them that echoes my own, I can say that while I don't wish anyone pain, it's nice to know I'm not alone in all of this.

Somewhere out there are other women who are going through the same thing, and we all wonder, "Why don't my boobs work?" Yesterday after trying to nurse for almost an hour and then having my kid suck down almost five ounces of formula immediately afterward, I made a decision: I'm going to stop focusing on my boobs and start focusing on my baby.

Maybe like some of you who posted, I had a couple of things going against me: for one thing, I have tubular breasts. I never knew there was a term for breasts like mine- they seemed shaped differently than everyone else's and never seemed to grow much. They were very far apart, and the nipples were huge and puffy. This is because the areolas herniated due to a congenital disorder.

For another thing, my baby got bottles from day one in the hospital. He had a low sugar issue, and the doctor gave him a bottle of Similac Advance to raise his sugar, and then also suggested supplementing his feedings with formula due to a case of jaundice.

Before the baby came, I took two classes on breastfeeding and after he came, I took another one. I asked three nurses if my son was latching properly and they all gave me affirmative answers. I spoke with two different lactation consultants; one in person and one on the phone.

The lactation nurse in the hospital was very helpful. She instructed me on the use of the hospital grade pump I brought home and gave me good ideas on how to pump. The lady on the phone told me that I wasn't making enough milk to make a trip to my house worth her time. Nice. I took herbal supplements which helped a bit, but not enough to make a lot of difference. I even ate oatmeal (which I hate) every single day to support my lactation.

As of yesterday, the most I have ever pumped in this past seven weeks is a little over three ounces. I pumped that the day before yesterday because my kid was asleep during a feeding period. Most of the time, I get less than one ounce when I pump. Today, I've gotten a total of four ounces all day.

Right now, my mindset is that I have a limited amount of time with my son before I return to the workforce, and I don't want to spend the remainder of it being miserable because my boobs don't look right and don't work right.

So, there's my story, and I hope that anyone reading it can take heart if they are having similar issues: You aren't alone, and you have to make the best decisions for you and your family.

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I wanted to breastfeed so much

by Ashley
(Surrey bc)

I too am one of those moms.
My first experience with my 1st daughter was horrible, looking back.

My breasts never swelled or grew during pregnancy, and my daughter never latched properly to stimulate milk production. However, deep down I always believed that I was built for it because I never got breast in the first place and had to have augmentation at 19. NOw I know people who had no breast tissue at all and got implants but then when the baby came along... holy milk station! But for me no.

I was depressed, so sad and felt so guilty even less of a woman or mother. I did herbs, prescription, pump, nursing and after my daughter lost more than 10% of her body weight in the first ten days... I had to feed her!

When my second daughter was born 21 months later, those feelings and wounds were still fresh, and I was terrified to have a repeat of a dehydrated, deprived and starving child so I jumped on the formula wagon right away - even though she latched well!

I wanted to breastfeed so much, and it was extremely stressful. I didn't particularly "like" it and i hated just sitting there for hours, (I felt unaccomplished) for god knows why? But I STILL to this day (my oldest is 4.5 years) have hang-ups about it and wonder if there was something else I could have done.

It messes with your heart and mind. More support is needed.

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Tried so hard to breastfeed

by Jackie

Thank you all for sharing your stories! It helps me feel so much better!

With my first daughter, I tried so hard to breastfeed. I went to a class to learn how - I had the pump, and when I had her she seemed to latch like a pro, but she was very fussy.

We figured out I wasn't producing milk; I'd pump and get drops. The lactation consultant encouraged me to use a syringe to capture the drops I was producing and feed that to my baby, and also to keep nursing exclusively, she said my supply just needed some time to come in. Being a first-time mom, I didn't know any better, so I followed the advice I was given.

Because my daughter latched so well and would continue sucking, I thought I was producing milk.

At my daughter's first office visit, she had lost over 10% of her birth weight and was very jaundice.

We had to readmit her to the hospital for phototherapy. The lack of nutrition caused her billy Rubin levels to skyrocket (she wasn't pooping enough to get rid of the br).

My pediatrician came into check on her in the hospital and took me aside and said "I don't want to tell you not to breastfeed, but this baby needs food. I was a formula fed baby, you were a formula fed baby, and we turned out fine. Breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone, and that's ok."

I have shared that story before, and people have said that it was irresponsible of a pediatrician to say, but at that time it was the best advice anyone had given me.

I had issues with my second child as well. We suspect it may have something to do with my PCOS. Both of my children are happy, smart, and well developed (not obese).

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I tried my best to be a full time nurser but it didn't work for us.

by mandi

I struggled so bad with lack of sleep during the first four weeks. She cluster fed constantly. Hourly!

At four week check up she was only 3 oz above her birth weight at 6lb10oz, 12oz less than the doctor wanted to see.

I couldn't understand how a baby could nurse so much and be below weight. Now almost nine weeks and 8lbs15oz. I had to start supplementing formula.

I pump, and she gets a mix in each feeding. She is an entirely different baby. So much happier and I am finally sleeping!

I was really upset at first thought of supplementing, made me feel like a failure. I don't feel that way anymore.

She is healthier and happier. Oz wise I was producing enough milk is just nutritionally was not enough for her.

I tried to eat healthily, I guess it just doesn't work for all. Still nurse during night feedings but getting the mix of formula is key to her overall health.

It also helped a lot with reducing the amount she spits up. Nursing she spits up way more. My milk is extremely dense, and the doctor says it doesn't have enough weight to stay down.

Everyone's baby and situation are different. I know I tried my best to be a full-time nurser, but it didn't work for us.

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Bottle Feeding support site. You are not alone!

by Lisa
(Bottle Babies)

Bottle Babies is a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying both practical and emotional support to parents who do not exclusively breastfeed for any reason. Please join us on our facebook page: and have a look through our website:
You are not alone. There are thousands of parents who have experienced the many various emotions which can affect a mother when breastfeeding doesn't work out or when other circumstances make breastfeeding exclusively not right for their family. All parents deserve to be supported, and their experience acknowledged and to know that no matter how you feed your baby you are a wonderful parent. Love does not come from breasts or bottles - that comes from one's heart.

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Sep 04, 2012
Help me please. Depressed mom
by: Anonymous

Anyone out there?? I need help. I could never lactate tried everything. I am very depressed and feeling inadequate. Please help me. I am very depressed. Why can't I do what others do?

Sep 05, 2012
I am here.
by: Lisa

Anonymous. It is so sad when you try so very hard to make something work and it doesn't. You are not alone.

There are many, many medical conditions which can inhibit the ability to breastfeed - it is well known that about 5% of women can not physically breastfeed - that is about 1 out of every 20 women.

You are unique and your personal experience is unique but there are thousands of women who know how you feel, have felt that sadness and guilt.

It's OK to be upset and angry and hurt and what ever else you are feeling but please know that you are still a fantastic mother. What you do or don't do with your breasts does not determined the love the comes from your heart.

I am here for you. You can email me - [email protected] - only I have access to that email address and your confidentiality is very important to me just as you are.
Please contact me - I want to help you.

Feb 09, 2015
by: Rake

Its good start a site which helps the new mothers with clearing their doubts on bottle-feeding and other doubts they usually will have concerning the growth of their baby and different things on which one has to take care.

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This has broken my heart...hypoplastic breasts

by Erin Allbright
(Texas, USA)

I had my first child when I was 20, and I thought breastfeeding was kind of gross, to be honest.

I never even considered anything other than using formula. No one in my family had ever breastfed, and I even remember my grandmother talking about how she thought breastfeeding was unnecessary because formula was available, and babies did just fine on it.

So, I fed my daughter formula, and washed bottles, and paid for expensive formula, and lugged around all the needed bottle feeding supplies, and never thought twice about it. Three years later my son was born, and I was older and less affected by what my family though, so I researched breastfeeding, and decided that I wanted to try it.

I remember the first time Benjamin nursed, and how much of a connection I felt with him. I loved everything about breastfeeding. It was convenient, it was good for my baby and me, and I felt like I was more of a woman, more of a mom.

Being new at breastfeeding, and because I'd never been around anyone who breastfed, I didn't know what I was doing. When I took Benjamin in for a checkup at five days old, he'd lost 15% of his weight. He was dehydrated, had jaundice, and had to go back to the hospital.

A nurse brought me a breast pump so I could pump while Ben was under the lights for his jaundice. I used a hospital grade pump for an hour and didn't get enough milk to cover the bottom of the bottle. I realized that I had been starving my baby. I felt so much guilt. Benjamin began receiving formula, and I gave up on breastfeeding. Five years later I found out that I was going to have another baby.

This time I educated myself. I read everything I could about breastfeeding, I bought an expensive pump, I stocked up on herbs and vitamins that were supposed to help with milk production, and I told my family that regardless of their opinions on the topic, this was my baby and my body, and I was going to do what I felt was best.

I was going to breastfeed my baby this time, I knew it.....I was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Breast 3 days ago.

My son was five days old, and I just knew that breastfeeding was going to work for me this time. When I took Jackson to the doctor and discovered he'd lost over 10% of his original birth weight, I was shocked. Then the lactation consultant had me breastfeed him and then re-weighed him. After 15 min of feeding, he'd only taken in 8 ccs.

She then examined my breasts and told me that I had Hypoplastic breast, which means that I don't have enough breast tissue. I sat there for a minute and listened to what she was saying and then realized I was sobbing.

My grandmother was with me at the appointment, and I thought I was about to hear "I told you so," but she began to cry, and explain to the lactation specialist that I had tried so hard and that it was so important to me.

I then started thinking about my older son. When I was breastfeeding him, and he became ill due to low milk supply, my friends and family (myself included) joked and said that my breasts were too small and that I was starving him. Realizing that this was somewhat true all along was heartbreaking and embarrassing.

I had tried so hard this time to make breastfeeding work. I'd read every article, I'd bought supplements and a pump, I would let my new baby nurse for ridiculous amounts of time, thinking that maybe it was a problem with the transfer of the milk rather than the supply, and he needed a little more time.

I also wondered why no one had ever mentioned this to me before now. Why hadn't someone said something when Benjamin was so sick? At least I would have known what to do when Jackson got here and wouldn't be going through this again.

I've been supplementing for a day and a half now, and I break down and cry every time I give him a bottle. I continue to pump and let him nurse, but its just not enough to keep him healthy and full.

I never thought I'd be this upset about not being a success when it came to breastfeeding, but this has just broken my heart.

I feel like I'm less of a mom, but I know its not my fault, and that I did try so hard. I am considering using donor milk, but want to research that more. I want him to get the best start at life that I can.

Comments for This has broken my heart...hypoplastic breasts

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Aug 10, 2012
there's no need for tears
by: Lesley

I know how you feel - I felt shame and so upset that I "wasn't even a good enough mother to feed my child" and that I let him down by letting him go hungry and lose weight. I wanted to cry with every bottle he had.


we both did the best we could.
We both WANTED to give them the best start we could.

And in the end, happy & healthy babies is what matters.

So what if in our case that means formula or donated milk? it doesn't matter. My son is 2 now, perfect for his age, and happy.

All that matters to the babies is that they get a full tummy, warmth, and love. And we can both do that.

Feb 06, 2013
underdiagnosed issue
by: Sophie

I completely understand how you felt, and had a somewhat similar experience. I have always has small breasts and even before I got pregnant, I would worry that my baby would starve because I wouldn't get enough milk. I was reassured by a lactation consultant and also by family members who had breastfed successfully despite having small breasts. So I decided I too would breastfeed exclusively...

When I realized after 5 weeks that my baby had not gained enough weight, I was devastated, and I felt guilty for having not realized how hungry he was. I was given a medication (domperidone) to increase my supply, I nursed every two hours, pumped, etc. Still, I had to supplement or else my poor little Charles would cry for hours and sleep very little...

I have given up breastfeeding after two months. It was heartbreaking, but in some way a relief to see my baby happy and gaining weight. I tried to do both (breastfeed and supplement) for a while but it was just too much trouble for me, and I was getting tired and depressed.

Through all this experience, no one (doctor, nurse or lactation consultant) really told me I had hypoplastic breasts.... I just eventually figured it out myself! I wonder why this issue is not talked about more. I had never bothered too much about the aesthetic aspect of having a small chest, but this was like the ultimate insult to my womanhood...What kind of woman can't make milk for her own baby? Reading stories similar to mine has helped me cope with this and I am now in peace with myself.

I hope that in the future, there is more awareness about this and that although «breast is best», there is no sin in bottle feeding when nature does not allow you to breastfeed.

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There are some of us who simply don't produce milk

by Elle Mom of 4

I was also told that breastfeeding was natural and would happen if my baby latched on properly! I was a young mother (age 20) 20 years ago with my first child.

After a night of dry diapers, I saw the pediatrician (a charming, very OLD man) who had me weigh the baby before- and then after- I fed him for 40 minutes in the office. The doctor was very kind and just said, "he needs formula, you are not producing."

He did not guilt me or tell me to keep trying. He was not of this generation that pushes breastfeeding as the only method of feeding. My child would latch on properly and 'nurse' for an hour and got nothing.

My second child I didn't even try to breastfeed, as she was only one year and two days younger than my first. I had been so distressed by my starving first child that I didn't want to worry about it.

My third child, four years later, I tried to breastfeed again. I was prepared with formula for after feedings in case. I noticed she was starving after she nursed for 40 minutes, so I fed her whatever formula she would eat after. It was always a full 2-4 ounce.

People loved to say things about breastfeeding being better etc. I said 'my child doesn't get anything from me and a dead baby is certainly worse than a bottle fed baby.'

That made them quiet. The ones who think you are 'choosing' bottle are the worst. My mother-in-law tried to take our baby overnight at three weeks old for a visit by saying, 'well since your not breastfeeding anymore, maybe we could have her overnight! I was not leaving my three weeks old with anyone-- and was offended that she saw it as a reason why I didn't need to be with her.

My youngest child, seven years later, I tried one last time. This was in 2003, and there were many more 'helpers' for breastfeeding in the hospital.

I had a lactation consultant tell me that it would come in if I just kept trying. They wanted me to supplement with a weird little tube that gave formula attached to my breast while I nursed. Their theory was -it would build up eventually.

My breast never produced more than 1/2 of an ounce of milk. I did what I did with my 3rd child-- nursing mostly for bonding and then fed afterward. Feedings took 1 1/2 hours because of this. I only did this to give him the antibodies that were in whatever he got.

My kids were all excellent latchers and sucked well. I too think the medical community is cruel and doesn't care to believe that there are some of us who don't produce milk. If milk isn't coming after a few days and your child does not have wet diapers-- supplement immediately! They are starving and dehydrating!

And on a side note-- my older sister had her only child three years after my fourth, and she also did not produce more than 1/2 ounce of milk.

There has got to be a genetic component to the problem if we both had the same problem. Maybe a researcher could study this??????

If you don't produce milk, supplement, you can still nurse for bonding. And don't let others feed the baby the bottle if you don't want them to. Some will ask to feed the baby. You can say, "no thank you; this is our time. Just because I can't nurse doesn't mean it's not essential that I feed her.....You decide.

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Mother of eight - could not breastfeed one of them

by Kerry

I have been a mother eight times, and not one of them were I able to breastfeed.

I was utterly devastated every time but never as much as I was three years ago when my son Joshua was born two months early. I remember the nurses in the NICU asking me every day if I had brought my milk in for them to tube feed my precious tiny newborn son.

I felt so terrible trying to explain over and over again that no matter what I did I couldn't produce more than a few drops of milk.

I would cry every time I tried, and I always felt like a failure. Not only couldn't I keep him inside me long enough, but my body couldn't feed him either.

I felt like I had let him down in every possible way! I wanted to be the one that gave him everything he needed to grow strong and healthy, and I had failed. Not once but twice. I wish the nurses could have understood that I was trying too. They placed a crib card on my son's bed that read "thanks mom for breastfeeding me." I went home that day and cried for an hour. I think my depression over this will never really go away. But I have a beautiful 3-year-old who is healthy and happy, that's all that matters!

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Bell Shaped Breasts - breastfeed with no success

by Kerrie
(Sydney, Australia)

I had my first child and like most expecting mothers went to all the classes at the hospital on breastfeeding with no thought that perhaps this wouldn't be an option for me as this was never discussed.

I knew that my mother wasn't able to feed me properly, but I didn't know why. We had an emergency C section, and my beautiful daughter was born.

Along with the effects of the surgery, I was suffering from carpal tunnel, which prevented me from being able to hold my baby in the right positions to feed.

The midwives at the hospital encouraged me to keep trying, but my milk wasn't coming in. I thought it was because of the operation.

We left the hospital after three days when my husband realized how the pushing of the nurses and my screaming hungry baby was impacting me.

We tried for another four days with a midwife visiting our house. I used a breast pump and breastfeeding until my nipples were cracked and bleeding, but I wasn't getting enough milk.

My mother spoke to the nurse and told her that she couldn't breastfeed, and she remembered that her mother had problems as well.

Our daughter lost more and more weight and was becoming so sick that we were looking at having to take her to the hospital to have a feeding tube.

It took us to get to this point for the midwife to finally agree that it wasn't working. She said that I had bell-shaped breasts, which meant that the baby was unable to stimulate the milk ducts to produce and release the milk and it was most likely GENETIC.

We went straight to the supermarket and started formula. Within a few days our baby was putting weight back on, was sleeping and happy as well as her mother.

My biggest disappointment was that it took us so long and we put our daughter's health at risk, all because of some preconceived ideal that "Breast is Best."

New mothers are not provided with enough educated to realize that if things don't go to plan, (and let's face it, how many pregnancies and births do) there are other options.

We need to be given the right information so that we, as new mothers can identify when we have to choose between an ideal and the Reality of the situation.

I wonder how the midwives will feel with I turn up to my next birth with a bag packed with bottles, teats, and formula.

Hooray to this website for discussing these hard topics and allowing women to express their frustration and disappointment and to share their experiences.

We need to let each other know that it's okay, even if society doesn't. We have all tried our hardest to breastfeed with no success, but ultimately at the end of the day, we have done the right thing by our children, which is what matters the most.

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Bottle feeding support sites?

by Ashley
(Blaine, MN)

When I was 20, I chose to have a breast reduction to eliminate my weekly trips to the chiropractor.

I was aware of the risk that I would have a small chance at breastfeeding, but I couldn't live under the size 38FF that I was. When my son was born on Feb 2, I never thought I'd feel so much pressure as a mother to not breastfeed.

I have searched for a good support site for mothers like me, with no luck. It's hard to feel so judged in a world where time magazine lady's caption was "are you mom enough."

I am very thankful that formula is a safe alternative and that my son is big, happy, and healthy as a result:) if anyone shares my plight, please let me know of a support site!

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No milk supply at all

by Annie

I tried for six months for hours a day and night with no milk supply at all.

It was so stressful l was advised to do top up, but that was a full bottle of formula.

So instead I was told to buy a professional pump - nothing came, made my poor baby suck for hours a day frustrated, and he would kick and kick me it was the worst experience ever.

I wish I never put him through it, as soon as he got the bottle he was so happy.

I kept trying as they said I am not trying hard enough. Looking back I feel it was very wrong of me to put my baby through that for so long I should have just stopped making him try for 2 hours before he got the bottle it was so unfair on him. This is what I was advised to do; nothing came not one drop.

Why is this I still don't understand am pregnant with my second my little one is one year old and am stressed worrying about it?

Comments for No milk supply at all

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Jul 02, 2012
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

Hi Annie.

There are many women who struggle with low milk supply. Did you really not make one drop when you pumped at all in all the six months? Or was it just a very small amount that you made?

I had low milk supply with my first and have since done much research into the matter.

The first 24-72 hours are very important in establishing your supply. A babys natural reaction after they are first born is to search for the breast. Have baby put straight on your chest so you and baby can initiate first breast feed asap. Then get the baby on there as often as possible in the next 24-72 hours. If you baby is not nursing much (may be drowsy from drugs during pregnancy) then have the pump ready to go early.

Spend lots of time hugging baby (preferably with skin on skin contact) in the early days as this actually raises your oxytocin levels and gets your milk supply established.

If you have low milk supply and still want to nurse, you may want to research supplemental nursing systems - this is a container that you can fill with formula and it has a thin tube that you tape to your breast. Your baby then gets some formula and breast milk at the same time (so you do not have to worry about your baby struggling and getting nothing like you did with your first).

Did you have breast changes in the first trimester of your first pregnancy? And did they change this pregnancy? Some women who did not have breast changes in first pregnancy and had low milk have taken progesterone supplements in the early days of their second pregnancy and then had breast changes and were able to breast feed next time round. But you are beyond this stage.

There are some medical conditions that can cause women to struggle with low milk supply
- Thyroid problems

I have done lots of research (too much to mention here) and would love to know more about your particular situation. Please feel free to email me directly - [email protected] Good luck.

Jul 03, 2012
by: Annie

Hi there,

Not much changes in my breasts this time or on my previous pregancy.Under huge amount of stress during both preganacies and have been on Morphine for a number of years due to se were spinal injuries and 8 major back operations which means I cannot sit up at all without excavating pain.Even feeding the baby lying down is very painful for me.

Howeever I did try very hard from day 1 after c section and put my body though a lot of pain trying.In the end after one month I managedbto produce 2 drops afters 24 hours of pumping after that I got nothing.

Maybe it's the pain I am not sure what do you think ?This time I am in so much pain I am pretty sure I will have to be on my strong painkillers soon after as it's unbearable right now.

Please do let me know your thoughts though as it was so frustrating not winning .My breats are not sore this time either nor have they become any bigger.

Jul 03, 2012
You are a GREAT mum
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

Wow Annie

You will look back one day and be very proud of yourself. You love your children so much. You want to give them the very best start in life by breastfeeding.

And when you could not do that first time round, you were stressed and looked up websites and stumbled across this one. And now you are doing it again!

It sounds like stress is a MAJOR contributing factor to your problem. Stress reduces progesterone productions (a hormone that your placenta would otherwise produce) drastically!

Stress majorly affects your hormones. I know a girl who was adamant on breastfeeding and then after stress from her mother in law, had low milk supply and had to supplement with formula.

I know some one else who was expressing heaps, but then her house burned down when her son was two months old. Immediately, her milk supply dropped heaps and she went to formula.

You say you are undergoing huge stress this pregnancy - if there is anything I can do, PLEASE let me know; [email protected] Try to forget whatever is stressing you out right now for five minutes and do something you enjoy and see how you fell after that. You are a GREAT Mum!

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