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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breastfeeding failure

Ever since I decided to start trying to have a baby I wanted to breastfeed. I wanted to have that special kind of bond with my baby that you can't get when you feed with formula. I have absolutely nothing against formula feeding. I was formula fed, my sister and brother, my niece's and nephew's where all formula fed.

I have had over six years to fantasize about what I was going to do when I finally get that take home baby. For over six years I thought once I had my baby that he or she would be breastfed and when it doesn't work out the way you planned it doesn't only make you very sad, but depressed as well.

When they brought Samuel in for me to start breastfeeding I was very excited and ready to go for it. Samuel had other plans though and didn't want to eat, so we waited a little while longer to try again. A couple of hours passed he started fussing about so we took it as a que that he was getting hungry and wanted to eat. Again I put him to my breast and nothing except for crying. The nurse came over and was trying to help me latch Samuel on to my breast with no luck all he would do is scream bloody murder. We tried all types of techniques to try and get him to latch. Another couple of hours had passed and thought it was time to give it another shot, but the same thing happened he just screamed bloody murder and if he did manage to latch it was only for a few seconds before the screaming started. In the meantime between the feeding attempts the nurses where feeding him sugar water to keep his blood sugar up and kept telling me that he needs to feed. Yeah, like I didn't know that as if I was starving my poor child on purpose. The same routine played over and over throughout the night in the hospital and before I knew it 24 hours have passed and my poor baby still did not have any food. Between the stress of trying to get him to latch and the nurses constantly telling me he had to eat I had no choice and made the call to give him formula.

Over the next 6 weeks we kept trying and trying to get him to take the breast before he had the formula and every time with the same result of blood curtailing screams. I started to pump the day after I got home from the hospital. It took two days of pumping for my colostrum to start coming out and when it did I fed it to him with a syringe before he had his formula. I had tried everything from pumping until the milk started to come out then try and feed him to using a nipple shield to trick him into thinking it was a bottle. The nipple shield worked for five minutes once, so after all is said and done I got to feed my son for five wonderful minutes. There is not one minute of the day that I am not upset or even depressed that breastfeeding didn't work out. The what if's are constantly playing over and over in my head...What if he would have latched? What if I didn't give it enough time? I could go on and on.

The truth is I am happy that I gave breastfeeding a shot. I was able to give him all the colostrum and 2 ounces of breast milk a day until I ran dry. In the end it sucks that I couldn't do what I really wanted to do, but at least he is happy and healthy and in the end that is really all that matters.


  1. *hugs* I know you know we went through the same thing. Kudos to you for sharing this with the world. Know that you are a WONDERFUL mama no matter how you feed your precious little boy.

  2. *hugs* I am sorry that breastfeeding did not work out like you had wished. I had similar struggles with three of our children. I think you did everything you could and you did one of the best things a mom could do. While feeding Samuel formula may not be your ideal choice you chose selflessly. You put his need for nourishment above what you had wanted and sacrifice is part of being a great mom. Samuel is lucky to have a mom who makes the tough choices. Lots of *hugs*

  3. I'm sorry BFing didn't work out like you wanted. I know it has to be disappointing for you but you know that in the end all the matters is that he is happy and fed.xo