Not being able to breastfeed..

Rachel - posted on 04/25/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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From the moment I had my daughter in the hospital, I tried to breastfeed her. I met with a lactation specialist that helped us out a lot. We came home and for about 1 1/2 weeks I breastfed her. Then, suddenly my milk like disappeared, and now I have to feed her formula. I cried off and on for a while feeling like a failure because I couldn't give my daughter the best nutrition. I had tried my best to master breastfeeding even until my nipples had scabbed over and bled. Then, my body stopped producing milk after all of my hard work. People that I talk to kind of rub the whole breastfeeding thing in my face. Like ,"it's the best thing" ," oh you should try to pump-maybe your milk will come in", or " you know breastfeeding is the best for the baby." I don't think they understand that I can't breastfeed her if I have no milk production. Are there any mothers that have been through this, or feel the same way? Please share your thoughts and advice..

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Sybil - posted on 04/25/2009

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Weird the same exact thing happened to me. I honestly don't feel i got the breastfeeding down and tried for a whole month. But i couldn't get him to latch on correctly and it hurt so much i resulted into pumping which i could manually pump it out but when i used a electric one nothing came out i could barely get a few drops..i truely and still do feel like this horrible failure. I finally stopped bc i knew i couldn't manuelly pump for the first year takes to much time so i then went to formula. I am jealous of mothers who can...Wes is my first and i longed for that attachment and that bonding while feeding and i never got that i feel like i was almost cheated in a way...We still have a great bond but i just wish i could have nourished him with my own milk. This sounds weird but i work at a daycare and some children there like reach down there mothers shirts for the milk and as annoying as that would be i wish my son would do that...I'd like to say i gave it a good try but i still feel like this HUGE failure....so i know exactly how you feel...

Sarah - posted on 04/25/2009

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I couldnt breast feed my son and felt really bad about it but then found out that neither my mum or grandmother had been able to breast feed. If seemed like everywhere I looked there were posters or adverts about breastfeeding! My son is now 3 years old and is so bright it scares me so much, dont worry about giving your daughter formula milk as it is so much better than it used to be years ago.

Tiffany - posted on 04/25/2009

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I haven't been through that personally, but when my son was 4 months and I felt my milk was going away, I got TONS of those 'lactivists' in my face about pumping, drinking tea to increase milk production, feed the baby more and you'll produce more, etc.



These are women who feel they are powerful because they sucessfully breastfed thier child for 14 years. Do not beat yourself up over this. Look at all the children who grew up on formula. Are they any less successful or feel any less loved than those who were breastfed as babies? Absolutely not. Your child will NOT hold this over your head someday in the teen years. Your child will not be the dumb one in the class because she wasn't breastfed for 6 months.



You did your best, and that's all your baby can ask of you. Formula feeding isn't easy, either.

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Jenae - posted on 04/27/2009

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I breastfed my son for the first 3 weeks and it was really hard. He didn't latch on very well so I always had to keep trying to get him to latch back on, and he would get frustrated. I ended up having to pump then feed him every time and it worked until he wanted more and my body wouldn't produce more. I had to give him some formula and eventually gave up on breastmilk all together otherwise I would have been pumping or feeding him 24/7. I was especially upset because I started lactating at 2 months pregnant, so I thought it was going to come so easy. I felt really bad for so long but then the doctor said "If the worst thing you do for your child is give him formula, you're a fantastic mom." Don't let people make you feel guilty. Also I know lots of very smart, very happy children who were never breastfed.

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you can also let a bit of your breastmilk dry up on your nipple before you put the lanolin. BM is one of the best cure for virtually anything... It worked for me (I had a blister the size of my pinky).

Jamie - posted on 04/25/2009

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I also wanted to mention (that's if the lactation specialist haven't already) if your nipples are sore and painful there's two things that could help you... A 'nipple shield'- it's made by Medela and you put it right over your nipple. They can be reused and they cost about $4 at Babies r us. Another thing you should do is make sure to rub Lanolin to help soothe and heal your nipples after every time you feed. You don't even have to wash it off the next time you feed your baby. I hope this helps you!

Jamie - posted on 04/25/2009

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I had some of the same troubles and pain! The more you have her feed off your breast, the more your milk production will kick in. It will take awhile though, but just keep trying. In the beginning, breastfeeding is very hard!!! You'd think it'd be simple cuz it's such a natural thing. If you can, use a pump. I am renting one and my insurance covers it. I'm now just pumping and feeding it to her from a bottle cuz it's hard for her to latch on properly. My advice is to feed her from your breast first even if nothing comes out, and then give her the formula, just so you stimulate your milk production. I felt like a failure too when things weren't going well, but you are doing your best so don't feel like that! You'll get it!!!! :)

Annissa - posted on 04/25/2009

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I went through the same thing, with my oldest my milk never came in at all. I just had my baby in Jan and i bf him until about 3 weeks ago, because my milk production just disappeared. Just remember that not everyone can bf its not your fault, just smile and remember that you aren't failing your baby as long as you love her and keep her safe. People always have their opinions and they aren't always right.

Dawn - posted on 04/25/2009

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I had a very difficult time breastfeeding my daughter, which lead me to pumping for the first 7 weeks, finally getting her on the breast, and then my milk supply starting failing at 5 months because she was refusing to breastfeed. So I made the decision to put her on formula. I felt the same way about being a failure...not so much because I wanted to, but because people make you feel that way if your not breastfeeding. I think its sad that people have that attitude because bottome line is, is that not everyone can breastfeed and you have to do what is right for you and your baby. They say that breastfeeding is "the most natural thing" and I guess in somes ways its true, but in others its not because its a learning process for both mother and baby. Dont let other people bring you down, because you are doing what is best for your daughter.

Laura - posted on 04/25/2009

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i know exactly what your going through! i breastfed my son for the first few weeks but wasnt making enough so the doctor told me to start pumping...that did not help the production at all. i felt like a faliure and bad mother because i couldnt provide and i wasnt enjoying it at all! i pumped as long as i could but at about 8 weeks after he was born i dryed up all together and started feeding him formula. my mother was (and still is) mad that i didnt stick it out and 'try harder' but my sister told me that whats best for mom is best for baby and i tend to agree. if your stressed and unhappy your baby will be too. so i just acepted the fact and got on with it(as well as i could:) ) i still deal with some people who tell my brest is best but i just remember what my sister told me. if baby is happy and healthy who can argue with that!

Alda - posted on 04/25/2009

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With both of my first children I lost my milk at about 1.5/2 weeks. With my first daughter it was due to me not eating right, or drinking enough water. With my second I tried everything that I was suppose to do and it still didn't work. I got the same thing you did having it put in my face about not breastfeeding when it wasn't my fault. I just lost my milk. I am not on my 3rd child and just hit the 16day mark and milk still here WOOT.
Have you tried any of the herbs and tea's that help with milk production or talk to your doctor. There is even some prescriptions to help with milk production. Here are some things to look at if you want to see if it will help with milk production.

Fenugreek. Two capsules, three times a day. WARNING: Fenugreek is not recommended for people with diabetes, thyroid problems, or people on blood thinners. It can cause internal bleeding and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Mother's Milk Tea. As directed on the box. WARNING: Contains fenugreek

More Milk Tincture. As directed.

If you're still not seeing improvement, then you can see about calling in the big guns. By prescription only:

Reglan or Domperidone.

Like all the other mom's have stated. You did your best. I looked at it this way with my first two. It was better they got almost 2 weeks of brest milk than none at all. Hope this helps :)

Kellie - posted on 04/25/2009

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I breastfed my daughter for 2 weeks and that was it for me. She went onto formula, I do miss it sometimes, I talk to other mums and they said that these things happen, some mums don't breast feed at all. Formula is good for them to cause it fills them up more.

Now my daughter is 5 months and is 6 kg and happy as can be. Sometimes to fill her up more I put some baby food (like custard) in her bottle with the formula. Don't feel to bad about what other mums say about breast feeding, some mums have it, some don't we are all different. Hope it helps. :)

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I breastfed my son for 4 months.. however at some point my milk production really diminished and my son started losing weight. I started by doing mixed feeding.. (BM and formula), I took pills to increase my production I would pump after and in between feedings and I ended up one day with no milk at all... I also felt like I had failed my son... I came to the conclusion that at least I had tried my best and there is nothing I could do about it. I just couldn't feel bad for something I could not control. My son is now gaining weight properly is in good shape and is really happy.That is all I can ask for!

It's ok, you tried. You want the best for your baby and right now the best is for your baby to eat as much as she wants and as much as she needs. She needs a loving family and a home. You are giving her all that and you doing your very best. That's what is important.

Deidre - posted on 04/25/2009

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*hugs* I was able to breastfeed for 10 days and I have had to learn to be happy with that. I wish I had been able to go longer as I didn't even think twice about breastfeeding and just assumed that I would for a year. I ended up getting mastitis, but didn't realize it. Since I could not hold my daughter from feeling so incredibly sick and weak, there was no way I could breastfeed. If I had known that what was going on was mastitis I would have gone to the doc and persevered but I didn't know, I just thought that I wasn't fit to breastfeed and it broke my heart. I also dealt with major scabbing. And we didn't even have problems with the latch. I definitely knew what a bad latch was and that scared the crap out of me, so we rarely ever had any bad ones. but I scabbed multiple times during the 10 days I breastfed. At least 4 separate incidences where I had scabs on both of my nipples and I used the lanolin creams religiously. Every single feeding, before and after, and it didn't make it better.

I understand the guilt with formula feeding though it helps me to know, personally, that I was formula fed from day one. Formula isn't poison, breast is best, we all know that... but formula isn't poison. We do what is best for our babies and when we can't breastfeed, formula is a good alternative.

Misty - posted on 04/25/2009

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When I was in the hospital, the lactation specialist said "wow that's a lot of milk" She told me later that women usually didn't lactate that much in the beginning and my daughter was lucky.I wish my daughter knew that, how ever my daughter never latched, I felt bad, like a failure, I kept thinking If we were in the 20's my daughter would starve. I still pumped 3 times a day and still tried to get her to latch... Within a month after she was born, I had no more milk, I still leaked, but there was nothing left... I don't know if this makes since I ramble, but every one is different. All babies and mommies are different. Your doing your best and that is all that matters... My baby turned out fine she is actually advanced for her age, she barely gets sick and she is so independent... My mom told me something that I think will help you "Your the mommy, no one else, you have to block what other women think, take into consideration but if it is negative leave don't listen"

Jen - posted on 04/25/2009

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I was able to breastfeed until my daughter was 6 months. My supply starting drying up at about 4 months but I pushed through those last 2 months until my daughter finally wouldn't feed anymore. However, I had done both breast and bottle feeding from the beginning so I didn't feel bad or like a failure, and you shouldn't either. I was criticized for doing both, but that's what worked better for my family. Yes breast milk is better, but your little girl will still be getting plenty of nutrition with all the vitamins that formula is loaded with.



For me it was missing that close bond that only her and I had. She's 16 months now and all over the place so I still missing having a little baby that's dependent on you. Anyway I hope that things get better for you. Good luck.

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