This blog post is for all mamaʼs out there who tried breastfeeding and it didnʼt work out. You are not alone! This is my story.
When I was pregnant, I already knew I wanted to breastfeed. It helped that my husband was onboard with it too, so much that there was no other alternative. There were so many plus sides to it. The health benefits, the mobility, the cost… it all just seemed so much better to breastfeed instead of bottle feed. I didnʼt think of having to feed my daughter any other way because thatʼs what I wanted to do. At least that is what I thought I was going to do. I did have close family and friends occasionally say if breastfeeding didnʼt work for me then it would be ok. I listened, but didnʼt really think it was going to apply to me. That was a big mistake.
THE LET DOWN
I didnʼt start realizing that breastfeeding was not going to work for me until I was in the hospital after my daughter, Mila, was born. I thought I was going to get some help from a nurse, but I was completely left alone. In fact, the nurses would come in and out to check on me, but never did they offer to help. It wasnʼt till 8 hours later when I got the courage to ask for help did they send in a lactation consultant. Keep in mind I was a new mom and completely embarrassed to ask for help, so thatʼs why I didnʼt ask earlier! Mila was a couple weeks early, so the consultant blamed her lazy latch on that and told me it would get better. So for the next two weeks I kept on trying. It was exhausting and draining. I produced so much milk that I would have to change myself and her after EVERY attempted feeding. I began to start dreading having to even try to feed her, which made the whole experience that much worse. When we took Mila to her two week appointment, she had lost too much weight. For those who donʼt know, it is normal for a baby to lose 10% of their weight, anything more is dangerous if she keeps trending that way, and she had lost 12%. As you can imagine that made me feel like I was failing as a mother.
For the next two weeks I kept on trying and trying. I was determined to have her start gaining weight, especially since we had extra weigh-ins. It wasnʼt until she was almost a month old that things were starting to get better! Looking back, Iʼm happy I got those few days to experience the joys of breastfeeding her. Unfortunately, I woke up one night in excruciating pain only to land in the emergency room. After a day of tests, I found myself in an operating room getting my gallbladder removed. I was so drugged up and in so much pain that I could not feed my daughter or pump for two days. So there went my milk supply. I tried everything I could to get it back up, but nothing worked. I found myself pumping every two hours not even getting an ounce. I couldnʼt produce in a day enough for my daughter to even have one bottle. I did this for about a month only to realize it
just wasnʼt worth it anymore.
Mila is now a formula fed baby and my life is so much easier. Yes, sometimes I still feel like I failed at the one thing I was supposed to be able to do, but I know my daughter will be ok. I am doing everything I can for my daughter and giving her all the love I can possibly give and thatʼs enough! At her recent doctorʼs appointment the doctor asked if she was breastfed, and when I said I had lost my supply I felt the judgement in his voice with his reply. That made me mad! NOBODY has the right to make me feel that way. He was happy with the weight she was finally gaining, but disappointed with how it was happening. Ironic, isnʼt it?! So mamaʼs out there going through the same thing, DO NOT let anyone make you feel like you failed because you didnʼt. You are wonderful and your child will love you no matter how they are fed. Mamaʼs out there who are breastfeeding, try not to judge those of us who canʼt. You donʼt know the reason why and some of us tried everything we could and just couldnʼt do it. All thatʼs important is our children are growing and are healthy and loved. That's all that matters!