Breastfeeding and feeling bad?

Phoebe - posted on 11/08/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Just had my daughter two weeks ago and after drying up after just 2 and a half months with my son I'm actively reading up on breastfeeding and trying different things to keep my supply up and maintain it. But the more I read the more I feel bad, EVERY article or whatever has the pros of breastfeeding and what it does to help your baby. I feel like I should have tried harder with my son or something.



Now with my son a little(big) back story, hubby had been deployed for about six months and got his leave just in time for our sons birth. I got diagnosed with mastitis a week after I had him and my husband got his leave extended. All in all he had 20 days with us before he went back to Afghanistan. I was living back home with his family and I thought the feeding was going pretty well. Except for the fact that since day one we couldn't get him to latch. The lactation specialists at the hospital tried showing me different ways to hold him and to squish my nipples to get a latch but came to the conclusion that my boobs were too big. So they showed me how to pump, advised me to get a pump and gave me a nipple shield which made things sooo much easier.



When I got home and mentioned to his mom and my mom and the many other women in both his side and my side of the family that I had to use a shield and they advised me to pump, pretty much everyone told me that my milk wouldn't last very long because the baby needed to have direct contact with my boob in order for his saliva and the rhythm of his sucking to send the signals to my brain to create more milk(at this point I didn't know of anyone who had exclusively used shields successfully or exclusively pumped and no one I talked to had either...). I had to supplement after the mastitis cause my supply went down and I was still using the shield to which I was getting more "You're going to lose your supply if you don't give up the shield and the pump and just do it naturally." Which yes, I understand the whole "if the baby is getting it from a bottle he's going to get lazy and add in nipple confusion... blah blah blah" I understand that now and I understood it then and then the fact that I was feeling really trapped by the breastfeeding, I bought a cover and then I got "Well people don't really like seeing women breastfeeding in public and in some places you might get in trouble."



So I started pumping more to get my supply up, started drinking mothers milk tea and eating those god awful lactation cookies my mom made for me... and still I dried up. Even after my supply was gone I tried getting it back because my mom told me the story of when she had me and had to leave me with my grandparents for two months and her supply went dry, but after seeing me it magically came back. And then there was this joke going around my in laws house about my mother in law having super tiny boobs and being able to breastfeed my husband and his three brothers for at least a year each and that was after having c-sections with all four of them and "If you have big boobs it doesn't mean they are more useful."



Anyways, I tried for probably another month to get it back. Didn't happen, so I let it slide. There were weddings and a trip to our duty station so I could check on our storage unit and I didn't really worry about my supply drying up. Darren was happy, healthy and according to his scheduled doctors visits she was developing above average. But now my son is 17 months and I feel like I should have done more or tried harder or something... I wanted to breastfeed him for a year, at least and it's my same goal with his sister. Just bah, anyone have any advice for feeling this way?

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Phoebe - posted on 11/08/2012

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Oh and a side note for anyone who does read this: My feelings about this aren't affecting my way of living. As much as I suspect I had some undiagnosed postpartum issues with my son I'm feeling much different after having my daughter. I'm not thinking(nor have I ever thought) about harming myself or my babies, or anyone else. I'm not depressed, I'm eating normally... well, as normal as I can after having a baby. You guys know how it is. Also, my daughter won't latch without a shield just like her brother and I'm feeding her more frequently and pumping more frequently(been freezing this for emergencies) and I think I'm doing better with her than I was with her brother. I just feel bad I couldn't give him more and I've often thought about giving him some breast milk now... is that normal?

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