Feeling guilty about breastfeeding not going as "planned". Major guilt, am I trying hard enough?

Angel - posted on 08/25/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




I am a almost 40 year old mother of a one week old. I had great visions of breastfeeding and if it didn't work (my other child wouldn't latch so I pumped) then I would pump with her too. She was a champion latcher, but too good! Cracked, bleeding nipples made me cry every time I nursed. Started pumping, realized I am not making much milk either. Barely enough for a feeding. I think formula is the answer, at least to supplement. My first child was four years ago and I had to pump and supplement at times for three months. I then had surgery and then I had no supply and he was on formula from there. He has turned out just fine, but I am feeling so guilty that after only a week I am thinking of going to formula.


Denikka - posted on 08/25/2013




Just so you know, pumping is no indication on how much milk you're actually making. You are much better off looking at your child's behavior. If they are pulling away from the breast satisfied, you're making enough.
And supply can be increased with more frequent nursings (or nursing then pumping, regardless of what you get out of t, it's the stimulation that you're looking for) and supplements like fenungreek.
Here's a link

Like it says, even if baby gets hungry soon after, or is nursing frequently, that's not a sign that they're not getting enough. Babies have small stomachs and breastmilk is digested a lot easier and a lot quicker than formula.

There are also ways to deal with cracked nipples.
The number one thing you want to check is that it IS a proper latch. You can talk to a lactation consultant for advice, and try different holds on baby. Sometimes even the slightest change can make a HUGE difference.
Another thing may be that you have dry skin. That is easily taken care of by increasing your water intake and using lotions. I know it may sounds strange, but udder cream (yes, for cows) can work WONDERS for breasts as well. You can also hand express a small amount of milk and rub it into your nipples. Breastmilk is healing and I have personally found this to be the best option (although I haven't had any sever problems.
You can also try a nipple shield. I honestly have no experience with this one and very little knowledge, but I have heard that a nipple shield CAN help protect you and encourages a proper latch.

You do have options open to you if you want to continue nursing :) Formula is an option, but you should go in fully informed on ALL your options :)

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