I Felt Ashamed For Hating Breastfeeding

by Desiree Fortin
Desiree Fortin

I hated breastfeeding.

There. I said it.

When my triplets were born I experienced some complications and nearly lost my life. My doctor told me I would likely not be able to breastfeed, but miraculously my body produced enough milk for all three babies. It was such a miracle and I was so proud of my body for functioning the way it was supposed to. I came to the NICU everyday with milk I pumped the night before and I would take turns nursing the triplets hoping to experience “the bond” I often heard about. When we finally came home with our babies, I pumped exclusively.

The triplets all had GERD, which made feedings stressful because each baby needed individual attention. And I was already so exhausted, pumping didn’t help. But I kept telling myself I needed to do this for my babies. I felt like I would be failing them (and myself) otherwise. A “friend”even told me that “formula is poison.” What a disappointment I would be if I chose to stop.

The weeks continued to go by and I was in a fog. I knew I wasn’t myself. I started to despise breastfeeding and even felt jealous of my husband as he laid in bed while I stuck a machine to my boobs. There was such a tug-a-war in my heart. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed because I didn’t want to breastfeed anymore. Guilt can ruin you.

When the babies were three months old, I finally saw my doctor to seek help for my postpartum anxiety and depression. It was one of the hardest steps, but the best thing I could have done for myself. I needed help. I was exhausted, in a depression, and not my normal self.

The very first thing she suggested was to stop breastfeeding. She even wrote me a prescription that said “stop breastfeeding.” I felt like she gave me permission to stop.

So I did.

If you take anything from this, take this:

Fed is best. Breastfed. Formula fed. It doesn’t matter. Either way, you’re an amazing mom. Surround yourself with people who will support you because you need that, especially as a Mom. Ultimately, we are all working hard to raise good humans, so let’s stand together mamas and support each other.

Desiree Fortin