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

posted 7 years ago in Parenting
Post # 17
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Don’t feel guilty! You have tried so hard, probably harder than most people would. Whether you choose to Boyfriend or Best Friend or formula feed, your baby is getting the nutrients they need which makes you a great mom!


We had a really hard time BFing starting out too. We woke up DS every two hours, but it would take us a good 45 minutes just to wake him up enough to latch. I had to use a nipple shield for the first month too and it was difficult for DS to get the hang of eating without it! At 6 weeks we found out after almost a month of screaming and our baby hardly eating that he had reflux and it was a struggle for the next 4 months to get him to eat for more than 2 mintutes! I didn’t have the option to bottle feed since he wouldn’t take one, but if he did I would have switched him in a heartbeat! It was one of the most difficult things I’ve went through with our son, but it made us all closer.


Breastfeeding is HARD! It’s something that not a lot of people talk about. Do what’s best for your baby and YOU. Your body went through a huge ordeal and you deserve your rest too!




Post # 18
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

@iheartnerds:  First, you’re not a crappy mom… breastfeeding is HARD!!!! And so many times, even with good intentions, we get horrible advice from providers (most of which are not versed in breastfeeding) and it can greatly affect our chances at being successful.

We ran into ALOT of issues with P in nursings… tongue tie, protein intolerances, and supply issues (over & under supply can cause LOTS of issues). It’s been the single most difficult things EVER! Over the years I’ve come to see myself in the “get happy” camp so we just kind of dug our heels in & did what we could to get through the difficult parts.. it wasn’t easy though so do NOT sell yourself short!

Have you been able to see an IBCLC in your area? A pedi, or even LC in the hospital (most of nurses with just a few CE hours) aren’t going to be your best advocate here. Find an IBCLC. They are going to be your best friend and know what is truly needed & how much weight your lo really is at. It’s actually NORMAL for breastfed babies to lose up to 10% of their initial weight & sometimes even more with a hospital birth or where fluids were administered (baby can be swollen with fluids just like we get)…. this is often times not correctly handled in the hospital and from what it sounds supplementing was pushed when it may not have been needed. (it really happens all the time).

As for your latch issues & painful nipples: DO check for tongue tie!!!! It WILL affect breastfeeding (our pedi AND ENT told us it wouldn’t) and not only will it affect your nipples BUT also your supply b/c baby won’t be able to get latched well.

For supply issues: After 1 week old babies only need 2.5-5 oz per feeding until 6 months (P was only eat 4 oz until AFTER 8 months) and your baby should still be working on getting back to birth weight so you shouldn’t have to worry about “lack of gain” as long as baby IS gaining & is having proper output (which is what you base supply off anyways.. not frequency of feeding or pump output). Check out this kellymom post for how much baby needs & this one for weight gain ranges of bf babies. Nursing frequently is going to be your best bet to get supply up.. NOT pumping. Some moms can pump fine, others can’t b/c it doesn’t empty the breat efficiently. Here is some info on bf’ing in the first days AND another post that REALLY helped me get through when I wanted to quit.

Knowing the CORRECT information & having the right support could totally turn your breastfeeding experience around! It is what we were designed for and in more cases can work… sadly, our medical community just isn’t set up to help us in this area. Don’t beat yourself up.. this seriously is not an easy thing to do! I’ve known moms actually RELACTATE after totally giving up so you aren’t at the point of no return yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 19
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013



I don’t know who or what you were before you became a mother but you seem a sensible woman.  Just use your common sense.  Your body does not produce enough milk for baby.  It’s not for lack of you doing or being anything, NO-ONE is perfect.  So long is your baby is getting fed, you and her daddy are bonding with her, all will be well.

Don’t waste your energy feeling guilty over this… you will need all your strength for when your child is a teenager and is trying to make you feel guilty over something she wanted and didn’t get ๐Ÿ˜‰

You have just been through one of the most life altering, literally gut wrenching, mentally and emotionally challenging experiences possible. Stop tearing yourslef down.  It’s not admitting “defeat”.  This isn’t a fight.  Parenthood is a journey.  You’ve just hit a bump in the road and sorely need rest.

So rest, dear girl.

Post # 20
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

After re-reading your post & seeing what your pump output is I thought this was relevant:

“It is typical for a mother who is nursing full-time to be able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session….It is quite normal to need to pump 2-3 times to get enough milk for one feeding for baby (remember that the pump cannot get as much milk as a baby who nurses effectively).”

Considering your puming after feedings to give more stimulation it’s acutally NORMAL you wouldn’t be getting that much. NORMAL! Your lo should empty the breast so you wouldn’t have much milk left to pump! Also consider your lo should’ve just gone through their first growth spurt & coming to their next (around 3 weeks old). It takes roughly 3 MONTHS for your supply to regulate so it really is too early for you to say your supply is insufficient. Yes, you can accurately say you’re having nipply pain/injury & latch issues BUT it is. too. early. to see supply issues unless your lo isn’t having necessary output (5+ wet dipes a day & not being constipated). <— THIS is how you measure sufficient supply in the early days.

Please Please Please look at those kellymom resources, get with an IBCLC, and find a support system before accepting you aren’t making enough… NOTHING you’ve said at this point can really say that, especially since your lo isn’t even at the “deadline” to be back at birth weight (I used “” b/c some DO take longer, especially if they lost more than 10%).

I just know that some things you cannot get back so I would hate to know a mom gave up when there was still hope b/c they just didn’t know it. ((hugs))

Post # 21
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@iheartnerds:  Stop breastfeeding. We iive in a wonderful world that provides us with the resources to sustain our babies without breastfeeding. You tried, and your body wasn’t able to keep up with the demand. You are not a failure, you are not inadequate you are wonderful, loving, caring mom. Being exhausted and unable to form a relationship with your child because you can’t breastfeed is not a good enough reason to keep trying. If your body is done, so are you. Be at peace and SO proud of yourself for trying. Using formula does not make you any less of a mother. And you will have peace of mind that your baby is getting enough nourishment. There is no sound reason to keep trying to breast feed as the main form of sustenance. If it works for you to do a nightly or pre-nap feeding then go ahead and do so! But know that breastfeeding is not the only way to form a bond with your baby, and if you’re too exhausted and frustrated and baby isn’t nourished you’re not really giving yourselves to develop a bond. 


I suggest this book: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Have-Kids-Parenting-Happiness/dp/0547892616/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368943423&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Why+have+kidsw&nbsp;

I’ve been reading it in anticipation of having kids and it has eased a lot of my anxieties and fears (e.g. what if I can’t breast feed?)


You are an amazing mother who has not even slightly failed. The only way you could fail would be to not care and to not try. You’re strong and beautiful and going to do what is actually best for your child (which may or may not include breast feeding). 

Post # 22
42 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

do what you need to do for what is best for your little one. Formula is not failure, it is a miracle of science, allowing babies who otherwise woldnt be abe to get the nutrition they need to thrive! Your daughter is lucky to have you as a mom!

My son was a preemie and got so used to the bottle in the NICU he now barely nurses (I do what we call “snacks” to get the bonding experience) so I basically exclusively pump because we have to add extra calorie formula to my milk so he can catch up in weight and it is exhausting so I feel you there!

If you want to keep trying to pump and supplement then go for it but if it is getting to the point where it is making you depressed that is far worse for the baby than not getting your milk. Just rest assured that the formula is giving her the nutrition she needs whixh is the most important thing!

Post # 23
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@iheartnerds:  update?? sending love and mama milk angels your way… xoxo

Post # 25
16 posts
  • Wedding: July 2013

First of all, tell yourself you are a GREAT mom. Then believe it.  I was set on breastfeeding, had great latch, etc. then came the trouble…about the same time as you actually.  Not producing milk, cracked bleeding nipples, pain, tears..  I did everything I could think of, including contacting a local le leche..  I tried supplementing with formula and still pumping between…to the point that there was nothing but blood in the bottle. I cried for weeks and weeks and beat myself up about it. But, I soon realized that my baby girl loved me…and it wasn’t a love that was decided on which type of milk I was feeding her.  

Your child will not grow up thinking her mom is a failure or a terrible mother because you didn’t breast feed longer (she will have plenty of other unjustifiable reasons to think you are a terrible mother…just give that time hehe!)

once I finally came to terms with the fact that my body just couldn’t do what I wanted it to do, both me and my baby were much happier…and we spent more time enjoying each other than in tears and pain ๐Ÿ˜‰

hang in there mama! And congratulations on the most wonderful gift!

Post # 26
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

My sister went through this with my nephew.  She was determined to breastfeed, but it didn’t work for her, and she tried everything.  Well-meaning comments from other moms (not unlike some of the comments in this thread actually) encouraging her to keep at it, try X,Y, and Z before giving up, etc. only made her feel worse.  You aren’t doing your baby any favors by being stressed, guilt-ridden, and in pain all the time.  Babies can pick up on those things and a stressed mom means a stressed baby.  When my sister came to terms with the situation and made the switch to formula, she was happier and calmer and so was her son.  He is now two years old, happy and thriving, and deeply bonded with his mom.

Don’t beat yourself up over this.  You are not a failure as a mother.  You love your Dear Daughter and want what’s best for her.  In your situation, if that means formula feeding, so be it.

Post # 27
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@iheartnerds:  first of all don’t feel bad, you are not a bad mother, some women just don’t have milk. My aunt didn’t had any milk at all. My mom actually breatfeed my coisin because he was born 1 month apart from my brother ๐Ÿ˜›

Don’t feel bad, formula is not as good as your milk, but there is nothing you can do more then you already do now. 

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