Is it bad that I am still sad about not being able to breastfeeding?

Stefani - posted on 11/11/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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when my son was born I tried breastfeeding him and we did great for the first month and a half. However, after the first month he ended up in the hospital because he wasn't gaining weight. it turned out to be a combination of allergy pills the dr told em to take and stress from re-entering the Army and not knowing if we would have a place to live in a month. in other words, my milk didn't fully come in. it was enough to give him nutrition but not enough to give him the fat he needed to gain weight. after he got out of the hospital we continued to breast feed but were forced to supplement with formula. I tried everything I possibly could to keep going, I pumped all day long to bring up my production, I had a lactation nurse, I drank lots of water and ate all the right foods. I responded to him at early signs of hunger and always gave him breast first. but at three months he started to refuse to take it, he would just scream and scream at me if I tried. It broke my heart that I couldn't get him to breastfeed. especially since he was such a natural latcher and I didn't have any problems with pain. he's 6 months now and with my husband deployed it seems to hit me even harder. so is it bad that I'm still sad that my son won't breastfeed? I want to know if what I'm feeling is normal

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Kim - posted on 11/12/2009

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you poor thing. please try not to feel guilty or stressed. i had a similar problem. my daughter didn't latch well to begin, and that came with it's own set of emotions. then i wasn't producing enough milk, probably due to the stress i was feeling, knowing we had to move almost immediately after she was born. to cut a long story short, i switched to formula, concentrated on bonding with her and making sure she was relaxed & happy (by trying to be relaxed & happy myself!) i felt guilty and inadequate for quite a while. but now she is almost 3, happy and very healthy. i've even started to doubt the statistics claiming that breastfed babies are less likely to pick up infection/illness and that they can be brighter, happier, etc, etc, because she is rarely sick, is extremely bright, i could go on! i guess my point is, it is perfectly normal to feel the way you do, but i wish someone had told me to not waste precious time and energy feeling guilty or sad, and just enjoy this amazing thing that had come into my life. breast milk is good, but a happy, focused and de-stressed mom is a lot more important. enjoy your son and know that as long as he is getting the nutrients he needs, the source is not important. good luck :)

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Katie - posted on 01/15/2014

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Hi, I found this site and have read so many posts about women feeling the exact same way as I do. I am a mother of 4 now and just had my fourth and final baby 9 weeks ago. I breastfed him for 8 weeks and 2 days when I decided to end it after many issues. It has been 4 days now that i have turned to formuka and I still can not get over the guilt and the sadness that I feel for quitting. I feel like a failure, like I did not succeed with him somehow. I tried so hard but with having very large nipples, him not really being able to latch well and having 2 yeast infections in my nipples in 4 weeks I was an emotional wreck! I was always crying and each nursing session would last an hour. I felt bad for my other kids, like I was never giving them any attention because I was trying so hard to make breastfeeding work. I just want the guilt to pass, I can not stop thinking about it but I know it was for the best....

Joy - posted on 11/13/2009

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I'm sorry that you feel sad about not being able to breastfeed, but you shouldn't. You obviously wanted to breastfeed and for some reason you couldn't. Not everyone can breastfeed! You are not alone. Being a good mum is doing the best you can for your baby. You can't help it if things don't always work out the way you planned, so it does no good feeling sad about it. As long as you take care of your baby the best way you can, you are being an excellent mum! Hold your baby close to you while you bottlefeed and you'll both enjoy the experience & share the special closeness of a mother & baby.

If you keep on feeling sad you should go see your doctor and have a chat about it. I had post natal depression and didn't realise it. I just thought I was a terrible mum and I cried and cried and cried, but I managed to put on a smile any time someone visited, so I kept my secret to myself. I took my baby to the doctor a few times about really minor things, and when he was about 2 months old my clever doctor told me that my baby was fine but I had the "baby blues". It helped such a lot just to talk to the doctor.

Good luck. Don't feel sad. Be happy and enjoy your beautiful baby

Tia - posted on 11/13/2009

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I can say that i know how you feel, the hole sad thing, and i don't blame you you are raising children that you love and the man you loved just left, i wen't through something like that when my dauhter was born i was 18, and married thought it would be awesome don't get me wrong i love my daughter with all my heart and I loved her father until i found out he chose to live with his mom for ever, so i carbbed my baby and we left, and i was sad for a few months but in time i grew stronger just seeing my little girls eyes, made all my saddness go away.... so just take it easy hun in time everything will get better, yiu have two beautiful kids there to heak the saddness that i know must love you like you love them, , so just take care and enjoy what you have together..

Tia - posted on 11/13/2009

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i understand how u are feeiling to, i couldn't breast feed my daughter and we have a great relationship. so no don't beat your self up over it, enjoy what you have now, i don't care what the dr. says there are other things out there that will meet the things that the child needs, just take it easy and try not to work yourself up over it to bad...

[deleted account]

It's totally normal to feel the way you do. I struggled with breastfeeding; dozens of trips to the lactation consultant, rented hospital grade pumps (I'd wait until he fell asleep and then pump and get maybe an ounce and he'd wake up and drink it and want more), took fenugreek, drank mother's milk tea, ate and drank all the right things, etc. He had a hard time latching on, I didn't produce enough milk, I became totally depressed about it. A year later I still feel guilty. My son is currently breast feeding, but it took a good five months for us to figure it out. And probably due to my guilt I am now a human pacifier and he can only fall asleep on the boob. Perhaps I should have given up as was suggested to me many, many times? Perhaps I put us all under too much stress by continuing to try? I don't know. We all deal with what we're dealt, right? You sound like an awesome mom who gives her babe what's really needed and that's love. Keep up the good work, allow yourself to feel your feelings and let them pass.

Stefani - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Mona:

Stefani, There is lots of good advice for your sadness regarding not being able to continue breastfeeding. You were able to feed the first month and that is when the infant gets the most nutrition and immunity from his momma. What concerns me is that you are feeling so sad. If this continues for more than another week I hope you will speak to your doctor about it. You are under alot of stress on top of giving birth recently and you are very susceptible to the "baby blues" or post partum depression, even after 6 months. Take care, dear, and remember, you are a terrific mom, so take care of yourself too.


Well apperently I didn't make it very clear how I was feeling. my husband left recently and that is a saddness all in it's own. and I don't cry over not breastfeeding and it's not a depression I need monitored. I function very well, I take great care of my son and I love on him. honeslt I just wanted to know if was normal that I still feel a little sad sometimes that I couldn't breastfeed longer. I enjoy snuggling him everynight ebfore he goes to bed, rocking him to sleep. and once in a while in those glimpses I just miss him breastfeeding. BUT thank you to those that ARE understanding to how I"m feeling. and BTW the person that told me to GET OVER IT, really should be a little more understanding to peoples feelings. but the less understanding ones are far less then the reassuring ones. and as I read them the better I feel about it, and thank you to those of you who have helped me feel a lot better about it.

Christine - posted on 11/12/2009

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I had to supplement with formula also because my milk wasn't coming in enough. About 2 months after giving birth I had to switch my son totally to formula. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004. In order to have my son I had to stop my medication that kept the disease in check because they don't know what it could do to the developing fetus. Pregnancy was fine, almost like being in remission but 2 months after giving birth it acted up and that was the end of breastfeeding because I had to go bak on my meds and they don't know if it could wind up in the breast milk. It sucked and I was bummed out about it but ultimately it was restart my meds or possibly wind up in a wheelchair. Your feelings are normal. Don't stress about it because you know in your heart you did everything correct. As long as he's happy & healthy that all that's important!

[deleted account]

NB Mona really has a good point: monitor that sadness and go talk to someone about it it continues. Post partum depression is hardly a rare thing, so you are certainly not alone!!

[deleted account]

Sweetie, i've never been able to breastfeed and my boys are happy and healthy. Yes, sure breastmilk is the best, bla bla bla. But if you don't have any or if it doesn't work for some reason or other there is really no point in beating yourself up about it; it won't solve anything. So Hip hip Hooray for formula and just enjoy your son!

Melissa - posted on 11/12/2009

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I can relate to your feelings. I didn't produce enough milk from the start. I tried for 3 weeks. My daughter had jaundice and the pediatrian said to supplement with formula. So I listened not realizing it would be a problem later. The lactation consultant said my daughter was introduced to the bottle too soon. It made my daughter's suction lazy because it was easier for her get milk from a bottle. The consultant advised weaning her from formula, but it was nothing but an uphill battle. We were both so frustrated from the lack of milk that I finally fed her formula exclusively. I worried that she wouldn't be as healthy as a breastfed baby. I felt guilty for giving it up. I always thought breastmilk was more nutritious. She is now 7 weeks old and growing at a better rate than while I breastfed. She is very alert and seems happy. We both sleep better at night. As for the bonding I feel spending enough time with the baby holding her, talking/singing, playing, and being there for her is enough to bond us.

Sharon - posted on 11/12/2009

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I don't get why you're sad?

Things didn't go right. You tried, and you tried REALLY hard. But it still didn't work. You tried harder than most other women - I think.

LET IT GO. Learn from it. Maybe try yoga if you're stressed the next time you have a baby, or meditation.

So what if it didn't work out. Is your baby damaged? Is he failure for not nursing harder? Of course not. LET THIS GO.

Stop hanging on to the SMALL disappointments. He is thriving now, healthy, I assume, and you have a place to live. A paycheck comes in, you're married to his father.... LET THIS GO!!!

[deleted account]

Stefani, There is lots of good advice for your sadness regarding not being able to continue breastfeeding. You were able to feed the first month and that is when the infant gets the most nutrition and immunity from his momma. What concerns me is that you are feeling so sad. If this continues for more than another week I hope you will speak to your doctor about it. You are under alot of stress on top of giving birth recently and you are very susceptible to the "baby blues" or post partum depression, even after 6 months. Take care, dear, and remember, you are a terrific mom, so take care of yourself too.

Bhavna - posted on 11/12/2009

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My mom could not breast feed my younger brother as her nipples became septic post natal... but he is tall handsome and healthy young man now and emotionally closest to my mom!!!!!

Nadine - posted on 11/12/2009

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I am a stepmom so I didn't have to go to the breastfeeding thing wathsoever...lol! I just wanted to say thank you to all the moms out there who gave me a shout out and welcomed me to the group!

Amy - posted on 11/12/2009

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It is normal, and it's hard when that happens. Just focus on the fact that your son is doing well now, and that your doing everything to keep him healthy and happy.

I breastfeed my son, it went well, I had a good supply, then my dr gave me the wrong Birth Control and my supply nearly dried up. I was able to get him breastmilk for just 4 months, by the time he was 6 months I gave up. I had done everything I could to try to get my supply up. You did everything you could, it just didn't work out, and that's fine. The sad part is if you don't maintain a good supply during the first three months, it makes it very difficult to keep up the supply later on (Which I'm sure you saw as you worked very hard to bring up your supply).

If you plan on having kids just remember what you learned from everything, and remember that by next time just from breastfeeding this time, should make it easier to produce milk for the next kids.

Just remember that you did everything you could, and that even with formula your son will be healthy!

Barbara - posted on 11/12/2009

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Is he your first, I had sort of the same problem. My son just up and quit and I tried everything, pumping, feeding him first. I had people telling me all sorts of stuff. your not trying hard enough, you need to feed him more, burp him more. I finally called a friend of mine that had two kids and asked her if she had this problem. She said that she did with her first, and she figured that because it was new for both of them was why she was having problems. And the stress of everything she was doing, didnt help her make milk.
Now if you are trying to do the army re entry and moving and getting used to having a baby, by all means dont feel bad!! I have just been bottle feeding my son and he is happier and I have a lot of stress off of me. You are going to do things different than other people and it will work for you. Dont let anyone tell you different. Just do what you need to, to keep you both healthy.
Dont be sad, just think of it as a learning expiernce. Yes what you are feeling is normal.

Kristin - posted on 11/12/2009

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you can't beat yourself up over it. i was not able to breastfeed my oldest child. i was too nervous and he sensed it. we couldn't work it out. after a week of feeling like i was starving him, i gave up and gave him formula. he slept so good after that. babies are like people. no two are the exact same. every baby has different needs. let it go and focus on the things that you can do for your baby. and be thankful that formula is available.

Allison - posted on 11/12/2009

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It's totally normal to feel sad when part of your relationship has changed. You can still have skin to skin snuggle time in lieu of breastfeeding. That's what my son and I do now that he is only using me like a pacifier sometimes. : ) We lay in bed and he'll even lift up my shirt to lay on my stomach or right up against my chest. It helps ease the sadness of having a different relationship now and lets us still have our special time.

Stefani - posted on 11/12/2009

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Thank you all for the wonderful support. and no my sadness isn't affection my munitioning. I play with him, and hold him and snuggle him as much as i can. in fact he's cuddled up on my lap right now as I type this, lol. our biggest bonding right now is that I always rock him to sleep, he sleeps in his own bed, but I cuddle him and rock him to sleep. it's those moment that make me wish he still breastfed, but I know he's healthy and growing well. he's still skinny, but long. I don't think he'll ever be a chubby baby, he's to much like his daddy. I don't feed him his bottles to much, because the more I feed him the less he wants to work at ANYTHING, including reach for his toys. so I only hold him to feed him at nap time and bed times. but he is my little Jade, my only little snuggle bug these days. and without him I wouldn't survive the deployment.

Heather - posted on 11/12/2009

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Yes, i totally agree with this last posting. It all seems so very important now, but when our babies are much older, these will just be stories we tell them when they are having babies. In the meantime, we continue to raise our children and bond with them on a daily bases, in so many unimaginable, remarkable, memorable ways...right?

Leann - posted on 11/12/2009

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My son nursed until he was 14 months old and then suddenly quit cold turkey. I was heartbroken too! I just wanted to let you know that no matter how long you were able to do it, it's sad when you can no longer breastfeed. It doesn't make you a bad mother at all. You sound like a wonderful mother. Many moms wouldn't try as hard as you did. Your baby will love you just the same regardless of where his milk comes from.

[deleted account]

We had a really hard time with latching from the start, so I just started pumping and feeding him breast milk from a bottle. I'm still disappointed that it didn't work out at times... I just miss the bonding that we had, but more often than not he just ended up screaming and stressed and we'd just feed him a bottle of formula... So I'm still happy with the decision to pump, but just wish it could've worked out differently with the nursing...

Angela - posted on 11/11/2009

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I was hospitalized 3 differnt times right after giving birth to my daughter. All three times my doctors recommended i do not breastfeed for at least 3 days later. The first time, i had enough breast milk frozen, but the second and third time i didn't and so i had to supplement with formula. By the 3rd time this happened, my daughter decided she didnt want the breast. She would scream when i would try to latch her on, but was calm as could be with a bottle with formula. So i soon decided it wasnt worth her stress and changed her over to full time bottle feeding. I have regreted it everyday since then. I have dreams about breastfeeding, i think i enjoyed it more then her. It was a wonderful bonding loving experience for me, and I feel the same way you do. I miss it all the time, and wish i would never had stopped! I think your feelings are very normal, but you have to keep telling yourself that your baby gaining weight and being healthy is so much more important then anything else. I give my daughter a lot of loving attention when she has a bottle, and she is doing excellent. So thats all that matters. If your baby is doing great then you have to look at it positively. Im holding on hope that my sadness over it will change soon. Good luck, and send our Circle of Mom's love and prayers to your hubby! We all Support our troops !!!!!!!!

[deleted account]

Its ok to be sad - as long as its not *too* sad (eg affecting how you function or treat him etc). I was very lucky - after seeing how hard my sister and bff struggled with being unable to breastfeed I did not have the guilt factor over having the same issue. Find other ways to bond with your son - he is no worse off for being unable to breastfeed (I dont care what anyone tells you) - in fact the given the stress factor he is better off now that you have found other ways to meet his nutritional needs. You are a fantastic mum - you make sure he is loved and has what he needs and that is all that matters in this world...just my opinion

Melissa - posted on 11/11/2009

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I understand. I could not breast either. My son is now 15 and it did not hurt our relationship at all. He is healthy and and doing well in school and is social.

You should not feel guilt and you can still bond using a bottle.

Angie - posted on 11/11/2009

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Don't beat yourself up, you did your best and that's all anyone can do. You have a lot on your plate right now. Try to enjoy your son without looking back.

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