Breastfeeding is making me feel like a lousy mom and failure of a woman
  • KLF619
    Posts: 14Member

    I have been breastfeeding for 8 weeks now, and 4 of them have been hell.  And surprisingly, it wasn't the first four that sucked.  Everything started out great.  Week 4 I got Mastitis, which decreased my supply greatly.  It has been a battle ever since.  I've followed the advise of the LC's Ive consulted.  It took over 2 weeks to get my supply back up, which included waking myself up every 2 hours to pump through the night, even though my son was sleeping a 6 hour stretch.  That fucking blows.  Everything was good for almost a week, then BAM!  Oversupply.  Caused a blocked duct, which seems to have decreased my supply again, but not as drastically.  So, I'm back to the pumping by alarm and a baby that screams for more after each feeding.  And now, since he was given bottles of stored breastmilk to make up for the lack thereof in my tits, he seems to prefer the bottle.  Well, that's my assumption because I now get a lot of fussing at the breast, which I assumed because they were empty.  I pumped and got another 2oz out of them.  So what the fuck?  I clearly have no fucking clue what I'm doing.  I don't know why my baby cries, or fusses at my breast.  I don't know if i'm somehow fucking this all up, or if my body just doesn't get that it is supposed to work on the whole "supply and demad" thing.  It seems to make not enough or makes way too much.


    I completely blew breastfeeding my first son, who then had one hell of a time digesting formula, so I have to make this work.  It's just so damn hard for something so "natural".  And when the kid eats every hour or two, thats a lot of reminders throughout the day that you are completely incompetent. I've been told to "trust my body".  Really?  So far it's a hot mess.  I now have zero faith in my mind, body, or mothering ability.  I can't even feed my son for fucks sake.


    And it doesn't help that all my husbnd has to say is "try to relax", but that's a whole different post....

  • shouldcleanshouldclean
    Posts: 2,808Member
    Why do you think you aren't making enough milk? Is your baby gaining weight?

    I posted to soon. mastitis sucks but shouldn't have affected your supply did you not nurse while on antibiotics?
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    the first month of breastfeeding SUCKS. your boobs leak randomly, until little one latches on. you get terrible hickeys on your boobs when they miss......and not only do you have to learn, little one has figure it out, too.    i had to supplement with formula for my kids......and giving my boobs a break for a couple hours really helped me make more milk, i guess, because the pressure was off. some people have no problems breast feeding, but that "it comes naturally" bullshit is just that. bullshit. can you call your doctor and ask to speak to the nurse? the nurse will have a little more time, and has a ton of resources at his/her disposal.
    i'm nekkid.
  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    I'm guessing that the baby prefers a bottle, so he won't nurse from the boob now. Ugh.

    I really have no advice, but breastfeeding does NOT, in ANY way, make or break you as a parent. It's when you makes choices for the best outcome of your baby...and YOU. 

    I'm sure there are ladies here who can give you better actual advice about the breastfeeding if you want to continue, but if you give it up, then so be it. Happy baby/happy mom.
    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • RuralRebellionRuralRebellion
    Posts: 2,817Member
    All I have to say is you should not feel pressured to BF, nor should you feel guilty if you can't/choose not to.  I went through hell BFing as well, and my supply dropped.  I spent months feeling like shit because all everything says is that BFing is the best and anything else is basically going to kill your baby.  This FB page helped me a lot.  You do what you have to do and what you feel is best for YOU and your baby, and don't let anyone pressure you into otherwise.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Most everyone's mad here. You may notice that I'm not all there myself.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    "trust your body" my ass. most of my life, either my tonsils or my uterus were out to get me.
    i'm nekkid.
  • fatchickonabikefatchickonabike
    Posts: 6,590Member
    You do what you have to do to save your sanity and feed your baby. If that means stopping breastfeeding and going with formula, do it. And fuck anybody who gives you grief about it. If you decide you've given it the old college try and it isn't working for you, that's your call and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. Your baby will be fine whichever way you choose. Send that guilt to fuckerdom and start enjoying your baby.
    Part of growing up is learning to forgive your parents for being human.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    i agree. your sanity and your relationship with your baby is a lot more important than how you feed him. he's probably fussing because you haven't "let down" and not getting much. that "let down" reflex is tricky thing the first couple months. and don't let anyone give you crap about your baby not being as "whatever" as breast fed babies. it's your relationship that is going to make the difference. you have to do what is right for you and your baby OVERALL. but.....if you want to keep trying, you are going to need a quiet private place to feed the baby. once you really relax, you are going to feel a weird...not stinging....but tingling sensation when your milk starts to flow. and watch the other boob.
    i'm nekkid.
  • beachmommybeachmommy
    Posts: 3,760Member

    I started to tear up reading your post.  I remember being there like it was yesterday, even though I stopped BFing last July. 

    Big, huge, humungous hugs.  BF is tough.  It just fucking is. 

    If you are determined to make it work at all costs, and if you don't mind pumping, then pump baby pump. 

    But if you are only sticking it out bc you are afraid your little one will not be able to digest the formula bc your first son had an issue, this may not be necessary.  Talk to your doctor about sensitive stomach formulas that may work.

    My beach is still Sandy....
  • BeerWenchBeerWench
    Posts: 2,819Member
    :¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•** She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten**•-:¦:-•:*'""*:• -:¦:-
  • beambeam
    Posts: 1,579Member
    For me the 2nd month was the hardest.... baby was sleeping but feeding all the time (every hour) during the day. It was fucking hard - never knowing if I was doing it right (some say one boob per feeding others say to change). I kept telling myself get through this day / week / month. I ended getting through that month and went on bfing until 16 months. If you want to continue - hugs - it does get easier, natural and all that jazz but if you want to stop - hugs - if you have to deal with the issues as the first.
    A broken heart is a rite of passage and, looking back, I must have wanted one pretty badly. "Kick me," I demanded, and when somebody finally did, I burst like a cheap piñata. - DAVID SEDARIS
  • Chocoholic
    Posts: 2,013Member
    I had mastitis and thrush right around the same time you did- we made it through. Huge props to you for trying to power through. I agree that your sanity is important, but I also think doing everything in your power to continue nursing is important.

    Nipple confusion and preference can be short term. Keep offering the boob. I am not an LC but am working on becoming one (I am not licensed at all). Feel free to PM me with any questions.
    The answer is chocolate. I don't care what the question is.
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    If you need to pump and he needs to feed feed first or pump one side feed the other... Your letdown maybe to fast..
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    maybe pumping a little first will help your milk start to flow?
    i'm nekkid.
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    Try Dr. brown's bottles with the preemie flow nipples or BreastFlow bottles. I never had a problem going back and forth with these because dd never got the fast flow.

    You're not alone. I didn't enjoy breastfeeding either, plus dd would nurse for a solid hour and only get 1 oz, but I stuck it out, supplemented with formula because she was tiny and didn't start to catch up until she was about 4-5 months, until she weaned herself around 14-15 months. Even after she weaned herself, she still got the slow flow nipples..she didn't like the faster ones. I know, I know, but I didn't feel like 12 months was old enough to take her bottle away.

    Anyway, if he's still hungry after a full nursing, he's likely going through a growth spurt, so if you have extra breast milk, I'd go ahead and give him some in a bottle.

    The point is, you're sticking it out, and doing your best, if you want to continue to BF, then go for it. If you want to pump and bottle feed, nothing wrong woth that, go for it. And finally, if you feel like you've had enough, you won't be condemned (at least not by me) for switching to formula. So long as you're feeding your baby, that's all that matters!
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • RuralRebellionRuralRebellion
    Posts: 2,817Member

     I know, I know, but I didn't feel like 12 months was old enough to take her bottle away. 

    Oh yikes.  I was supposed to take the bottle away at 12 months??  DD is nearly 20 months and I've only just begun the idea of trying to get her off bottles.  She does juice and water out of sippys, but refuses to have milk in anything other than her bottles.   We gave up formula at 12 months, but bottles are still a staple :/
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Most everyone's mad here. You may notice that I'm not all there myself.
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    @RuralRebellion:  that's what dd's pediatrician told me, but I couldn't do it.  She had her bedtime bottle until she was a little over 2.  I grabbed one as we headed out to my mother's for Christmas and the night before we left was the last bottle she ever had.  I tried to wean her earlier, but she had a fit.  AND, as several friends told me, she wouldn't likely head off to kindergarten with it, so I didn't worry too much!
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • Marionettevie
    Posts: 2,729Member
    if you want to make it work, keep trying. i know it might be annoying but your husband is right. relax. it seriously helps with it all. to be honest i would rather have over supply than not enough. because that way i could just hand express enough to make me comfortable and thats it, as for your baby eating every hour. that is NORMAL... they have tiny stomachs, and digest bm so easily. i remember mine cried for milk every 30-45 minutes for the first two months. make sure you arent making him wait too long before you put him on the boob or he might be too hungry and he will fuss more until he realizes that its time to get on the boob. also try different holds. it helped my son when i reclined a little and set him tummy to tummy, on me with his legs straddling what ever leg corresponding to the boob i was feeding on. i had crazy let down for the first three months and he could CHOKE. literally, the poor thing had milk coming out of his nose so when he was "sitting up" it helped him. the whole bottle issue might be a problem, they get lazy because bottles dont involve so much work to get milk from them. if you really want to breast feed cut out the bottles and put him to your breast every time. it takes a while for your milk to even out, just make sure you dont let your boob get hard, thats when problems arise. my son is 20mo, and at 17mo i had a blocked duct because he didnt nurse all day and i let my boobs get hard... it hurt like a mother unblocking the bitch
  • apeppersmith
    Posts: 10Member
    I cried a little reading this, and no one has tried to get nutrition from my boobs in almost 2 years.  BFing my son was hell, so much so that after the colostrum was done I didn't bother with my daughter.  I went through such feelings of failure and self loathing over my inability to make it work with the boy I was in tears all the time.  The PPD probably didn't help.  

    I dreaded the hungry cry. The night my milk came in he spent an hour on the boob at 2 am, I was barely awake and he kept sucking and crying, and everything was pouring out of his mouth.  He had swallowed nothing.  There was literally a pool of breastmilk under him, and he was still crying in hunger.  I gave up and gave him some formula and he went to sleep.  I started pumping after that, and just giving him a bottle of BM.  My boobs only had two speeds, gushing let down and nothing.  I was nearly drowning the poor kid.  
     Then there was the acid poop.  Diarrhea that blistered his ass until it bled no matter how quickly I got the diaper changed for weeks.  At 6 weeks, I quit and never looked back.  The day I switched to formula the diarrhea stopped, and by the next day the blisters were clearing up.  

    If it's hard on you, or hard on baby, you can stop.  If you just plain don't want to, you can stop.  If you want to stick this out, you can do that too.  No judgement.  If you want hints on stopping, I can help you with that.  If you want hints on keeping it up, I'm sure there are mommies here that can help with that too.  

  • GingersnapGingersnap
    Posts: 9,696Member
    While I do think breast milk nutrition is usually best, I do not thing it's worth sacrificing your sanity and relationship with your kid. If you want to keep trying, please do. If you really want to throw in the towel, please do. As moms, we can make ourselves miserable neurotic messes. (I had a head start on some of you :P ) Don't beat yourself up. I mean it. Put the goddamn flail down. It's not a necessary mommy tool.

    In short: what they said^^.
    “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ― Joseph Campbell
  • Tranquil
    Posts: 616Member
    <<hugs>> I'm just gonna say that you're not alone in feeling this way. I had a slew of issues BF that still brings me anxiety 3 years later.
  • JustAConfusedMamaJustAConfusedMama
    Posts: 4,527Member
    huge huges  I will also chime in that you are not alone in this.  I stopped after a month because "something so natural," was driving me crazy and there were so many issues I was having.  I always felt guilty about it , but I've come to learn that it did not make me a failure as a mom, and if you stop now, you won't be either.  If you decide to continue, I hope it does get easier for you.  I will send thoughts and prayers your way.
    If you would like to sponsor me for the Imagine Walk for Autism in April, for my friend's son please click the below link and donate.
  • 456Imamom
    Posts: 550Member
    @GriffinsMom I had a HELLISH time BFing my DS. I won't get into the whole story (it's a really long one), but it included thrush that wouldn't get better, lacerations (not just cracks) that took 4 months to heal, and plugged ducts....

    You aren't alone in having a hard time trying to breastfeed. Sadly no one really talks about how bad it can be. DON'T beat yourself up for having a hard time! Good on you for trying to make it work, and if you stop, you aren't a failure either!!!!!!

    I'm expecting baby#2 any day now, and I plan on trying, but I'm not sure what I will do if it doesn't work. I stuck it out for 8-9mths with DS, and it was still painful right up t the end... I'm stubborn and sticking with it caused severe anxiety and then PPD. I also didn't bond with DS until he was 15 mths. This time, I'm scared to not BF, but I'm also scared to try (i'm afraid of what happened last time). One option I might use (if I have problems), that may work for you is pumping and bottle feeding pumped milk. That way you can still give your baby milk, but don't have to stress about latching and him fussing at the breast. 

    P.S. I used Tommie Tippy bottles from 4 weeks on, and thanks god DS never had problems switching back and forth... also stick with low flow bottles if you are going back and forth. 
  • VegantasticVegantastic
    Posts: 4,225Member

    You do what you have to do to save your sanity and feed your baby. If that means stopping breastfeeding and going with formula, do it. And fuck anybody who gives you grief about it. If you decide you've given it the old college try and it isn't working for you, that's your call and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. Your baby will be fine whichever way you choose. Send that guilt to fuckerdom and start enjoying your baby.

    Exactly this. 100x over.  (((hugs))) mama and you ARE NOT a failure!
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world"
    "Don't Panic"
  • junglezoo
    Posts: 249Member
    Awww....sorry hunny. At least you are trying and you have to do what's best for you and your baby. Is it maybe a latch problem too? Is there a lc you can go see in person or a nurse practioner?
    No one is going to judge you here.
    Hugs mama.
    I'm going to the zoo zoo zoo. You can come too too too....
  • KLF619
    Posts: 14Member
    Thank you all for the support.  Im feeling much better having gotten that off my chest, and hearing your encouraging words!
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. The really important thing is your relationship and bonding with your baby. I hope you give it a couple more weeks, but, if it sucks and you hate it, no judgment here. The most important thing is what works to help you and your baby bond. And if anyone criticizes you for any decision you make, tell them to fuck off. If they ask "you and what army?" you can say " me and the scary mommy army. Fuck you."
    i'm nekkid.
  • OxiMOMOxiMOM
    Posts: 3,104Member
    Huge hugs. My little guy is almost 8 weeks old and I'm losing the battle of the breast. We did great the first week but with his teeth it became un bearable. Pumping does nothing for my supply no matter how religious I am with pumping. I still pump and get an oz a day if I'm lucky. I freeze and store that. I can't give much advice I just want you to know it happens and you are not alone.
  • Elsun76
    Posts: 1Member
    My lo is 14 weeks, and I pump only. He never feeds "from me". He gets formula at night and breast milk during the day. Feeding him just wasn't for me, but I wanted him to have the nutrients if possible. It's been so nice not to have to stress during feeding times! Maybe this is an option for you. Good luck!
  • junglezoo
    Posts: 249Member
    @elsun76 I see this is your first post? Welcome to SM :)
    I'm going to the zoo zoo zoo. You can come too too too....
  • CurlyGirly
    Posts: 16Member
    >:D< BF'ing is so hard. i had such trouble with bf'ing from birth. My son wouldn't latch properly and before i was even discharged from the hospital, my nipples were cracked and sore. The LC at the hospital showed me how to nurse with a nipple shield and told me to supplement with formula. I did this for almost 2 months. The nipple shield wasn't fitting as well anymore so almost all the milk was spilling out and baby would cry, and then it would all spill out of his mouth. I started pumping instead and i was only getting about 2 oz. i would have to not BF for almost the whole day and become so painfully engorged to get 100mL. ( I had a breast reduction 6 yrs ago)Then my milk started to dry up shortly after that. I decided it wasn't worth the frustration for me and my son and i stopped. He would cry for the boob and i felt awful, but we Made it through. He's bottle fed and so happy and healthy. If you feel you just cant do it anymore, its not worth the frustration. Do what will make you both happy.
  • DaBOMB
    Posts: 284Member
    I didn't read all the posts... but I just wanted to send you a hug!  I wasn't able to breast feed.  No milk at all.  Not a drop.  No let down, no sign of milk at all.  My boobs didn't really get any bigger when I was pregant and didn't really change at all once the baby was born.  I cried, I beat myself up, I was convinced that I was a failure and that my baby deserved a real mother.  And then I got over it.  Love your baby, love your self and do what you need to do.  Nobody should feel bad for having trouble with breast feeding.  Nobody.  Do what works for you.  And know that you're a great mom.
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    First do not feel guilty you are trying Second call la lechwe league and see if a mom can come over to help or your lactation consult at ur hospital Third use a hair dryer on low to keep boobies dry Four Drink some beer that uses real hops malt Five if you don't succeed stop do not beat ur self up its Ok the babe got the good stuff. It's OK Six rub nipples w a bit of coconut oil Do not stress you are a good mommy a loving mommy many Blessings Much Hugs. Granma has nursed a lot o babies