(Closed) Guilt over quitting breastfeeding: how to cope?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@iheartnerds:  While I have not breastfed yet, I am planning to. You are NOT a bad mother. You are a GREAT mother. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You are a hell of a woman for even trying! Many of my friends wouldn’t even try. You have to do what’s best for yourself and for baby, and if you’re in severe pain, you’ve tried LC’s, and the baby isn’t getting what she needs, then obviously what’s best for the both of you is to breastfeed. Nothing wrong with that, mama!


Keep your chin up and enjoy that baby girl. She is still going to bond with you when you’re giving her that bottle. If you’re worried about bonding and attachment, there are other ways, like baby wearing, which I’m sure you’re aware of. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 4
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Double post.

Post # 5
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

You tried to breastfeed and you did everything you could do, it just didn’t work out.  Be glad there are other options like formula for making sure your baby is fed a healthy diet.

Before giving up entirely, have you contacted your local La Leche League for support?


Post # 6
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Do not beat yourself up and do not let anybody tell you otherwise! When my first was born, she was a preemie and the nurses convinced me to pump so I did. Needless to say, my daughter had acid reflux and every bit I pumped, she threw right back up. I threw in the towel and switched to soy formula.

For most of my 2nd pregnancy, I was convinced that I was going to breast feed. Than in my last month, after being on strict bed rest, I realized there was no way I could breast feed. I had to go back to work when my baby was 1 month old. There was no where private for me to pump since I worked for a small company at the time. I decided that I was going to formula feed. Right after I had her, a nurse was trying to talk me into breast feeding and couldn’t believe I was formula feeding, I basically told her that this isn’t my first rodeo. 

It isn’t for everyone. You can still bond during feedings. My Fiance was also able to bond during feedings. Since I wasn’t breast feeding, we got to switch nights when I went back to work. Sure there are better benefits with breast feeding, so they say. 

Don’t beat yourself up. Just because you aren’t breast feeding doesn’t make you a a bad mom. It’s not the end of the world. You are going to have to make more important decisions down the road.

Enjoy motherhood, don’t get yourself stressed out and don’t let anybody else do it either. Don’t be ashamed to tell them that you do things your way and I do things my way!


Post # 7
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@iheartnerds:  In my experience, an unhappy mom = an unhappy baby.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself and your baby healthy.  It sounds like you really gave it your best.  Try to keep your head up, you sound like a great mom!

Post # 8
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

You tried.  You tried really, really hard.  This is in no way your fault.  Breast milk can do awesome things, but it’s not worth completely exhausting yourself for it.  I think it’s better to have a rested mom than not.  I think you’re making the right choice.

Post # 9
4476 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Birth is very trying on the body, and different women have different reactions to pregnancy and birth.  Don’t beat yourself up about this!   You delivered a baby girl – that’s an extraodinary miracle!  Just do your best to take care of yourself so you’re happy and comfortable.  Plenty of babies take formula and are perfectly healthy.

Post # 10
22 posts
  • Wedding: February 1993

@iheartnerds:  You are correct in saying that breastfeeding is challenging. My lactation consultant pointed out to me that my ease in breastfeeding two children was actually not the norm!  Most will experience some degree of difficulty.  You have made a tremendous effort!  A “good” mother ensures that her child is receiving the best care and nutrition .  This is exactly what you are doing, whatever the source of that food.  Please be assured that this first experience will not necessarily be what  happens with any future children if you choose to have them.  Please let go of any unnecessary guilt and just enjoy your new baby!  You are doing a great job!

PS I breast fed 18 years ago, my own mother was unable to breastfeed any of us for reasons similar to yours. We still honored and loved her ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

Don’t feel guilty, you aren’t a bad mother. You tried very hard and it’s just not working out, there isn’t anything you should feel bad about. I’m sure your baby would rather have a happy mommy than one stressed out about breastfeeding, she is getting fed with formula and while it’s not what you expected/wanted she will continue to grow and gain weight and be healthy!

Post # 12
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@iheartnerds:  keep pumping, keep trying, go to a breastfeeding class, asap.

Things could still turn around! At least your baby has received the colostrum and is getting the antibodies and all the healthy stuff.

if after a few more weeks your supply hasn’t improved, you could also look into donated breast milk. read this! http://offbeatfamilies.com/2013/05/community-from-donated-breast-milk

take heart, it’s hard… don’t give up yet. but if it doesn’t work out in the end, you’ll know you really tried your best

Post # 14
1189 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010


Have your baby checked for tongue tie ASAP. And make sure the person checking is EXPERIENCED in also looking at posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie. My nipples were so cracked and bloody that nursing was almost more painful than labor. My daughter lost almost a pound in her first 2 days, and my milk came in late too–all signs of tongue tie. When she got a few weeks older, my baby began to fight nursing and it lasted until we had her ties revised. She kicked, bit, screamed, arched, repeatedly came off the breast while feeding, flat out refused to nurse, and 3 pediatricians and 2 lactation consultants said she had acid reflux and she was put on Zantac. She was colicky and screamed all day long from 5 weeks to 6 months old. She wouldn’t sleep at all unless I held her and I couldn’t put her down for even a second without her screaming (babywearing saved my life). When she was 5 months old, she stopped nursing at all, even when she was sleepy, and in my heart I knew something wasn’t right.

After months on the highest dose, the acid reflux medicine was doing nothing and my baby was miserable, so I started researching and came across dr. Larry Kotlow DDS website and read his documents about tongue tie and breastfeeding. I knew that was what my baby had, but when we took her to our pediatrician, he said she was fine and some babies just don’t like to nurse. That’s not true. I found a skilled IBCLC with a ton of experience in diagnosing tongue ties and she immediately diagnosed my daughter with a harder-to-diagnose posterior tongue tie (tonge is anchored to the floor of the mouth in the back so it’s hard to spot), and an upper lip tie. We made an appointment with a laser dentist to laser the ties away, and the IBCLC showed me a position to try and nurse a bit before my baby’s ties could be fixed. I also pumped 8x per day, drank boats of water, and took supplements to maintain some kind of supply, even though the poor latch and refusal to nurse had severely impacted my supply.

Turns out, tongue-tied babies can’t form a proper latch and it causes them to have a painful experience nursing, and their tummies fill with air that makes them, gassy, colicky, causes “reflux,” makes them eat very often, not settle or sleep well, not gain weight well, and more. The very day my daughter had her posterior tongue tie and lip tie revised, she stopped throwing up. That very night she slept well without being held and didn’t wake more than once all night, she no longer cried all day long out of discomfort and pain, and nursed calmly and willingly, with no loud slurping noises from swallowing air, and no pain for me. I was able to continue nursing with 1 supplemental formula bottle a day until she was 8.5 months old. I desperately wanted to go longer, but due to the long-time struggles we had had, my supply never recovered and then I started to lose it completely.

I’m telling you this long story because so SO many babies have ties that are never diagnosed and treated, because our pediatricians don’t know what to look for, thanks to a bottle feeding culture (bottle nipples can’t tell you if they’re in pain.) The sooner ties are fixed, the more likely it is to retain the breastfeeding relationship. I posted this story on my personal FB page after we had our daughter treated, and 7 friends with new babies messaged me to thank me because they had also been struggling with nursing in similar ways, and it turned out their babies also had tongue ties. It’s VERY common. The difference in my daughter and her health after getting her ties revised was vast and immediate. I urge you, and any other mamas with these same struggles, to do some research, read Dr. Kotlow’s research, and find out if this could be your issue because aside from nursing, there are other long-term effects dealing with speech development, tooth decay, pickiness in eating, and much more. Good luck and I truly feel your pain. Xoxo.

Post # 15
4692 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

@eryepye:  That was so interesting and informative!!!

Post # 16
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re doing really well! I know it feels god awful right now but it’s possible to get past it. I had terrible difficulty latching for the first couple of weeks, the only way I could get a good latch was to pile pillows next to me, lay baby on them and hunch over her. It was agony for my back. My midwife gave me some information about biological nurturing and it helped so much! There was so much pressure to sit up with a straight back and balance this tiny baby and it was so difficult for me. I spent a couple of days just in bed with baby, skin to skin with her on my belly and I was propped up on pillows, with a lot of her wriggling and snuffling she found her own way to my breast and latched on perfectly with NO help from me. 17 months on and still going strong ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not saying it’s a certain answer but it definitely is worth a go. If you’re supplementing with formula thats probably why your supply isn’t increasing very well. Fenugreek capsules can help increase supply. You may want to give them a go. I generally recommend a lot of skin to skin with bubba, in bed, in the bath etc. They are amazing at knowing what to do and their snuffling around helps stimulate supply also.

Do not feel bad if things don’t work out, I’m very pro breastfeeding but I know that everyones situation is not perfect. It can be a hard road, it took me a good few months to really get the hang of it and even longer to feed in public. But it has been so worth it. Have you tried looking at facebook groups? There is a really great one called ‘Breastfeeding NZ” which, even though its for New Zealand has excellent and relative advice for all sorts of issues. 

Good luck! You’re doing great Mama, congratulations on your new baby. Enjoy her! ๐Ÿ™‚

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