Post # 31
I had a fairly drastic breast reduction when I was 18. My son is 15 months old now (I will be 31 this month). Breastfeeding did not work out for us. I was able to give him some colostrum, but it was super painful and then my breasts just got engorged but the milk couldn’t find its way out. He was mostly formula fed for his first few days and exclusively formula fed from then on out. He is doing great! He is off the charts for height and has only had two colds. Happy and healthy as they come. I do feel “triggered” (for lack of a better word) at the breast is best crusadering and really want to defend myself. I have come to peace with it though for the most part. We are in the process of having a second kid and I have a crazy pipe dream that breastfeeding may work, but in all honesty it probably won’t and I am confident that that will not mess up my kid one jot. If you don’t want to tell your in-laws about your surgery that’s absolutely your right and, to be honest, telling people the reason why it didn’t work for me didn’t stop them from coming down on me about all the ways I should have made it work somehow. Go be a mom and let the haters hate. It won’t be that long before your kid is doing great and that will shut them up more than anything else.
Post # 32
Can you maybe talk about your fears with a lactation consultant? I think they could help you understand what to watch for and how to know if/when to supplement They could also help you with increasing your supply if you produce some, but not “enough” milk.
Post # 33
There.is no guarantee that even if you didn’t have breast reduction that you would 100% be able to breastfeed
So there’s no need to worry what if / if not
Btw I’m still breastfeeding my 13m old and did with my second for 5 months and then he lost interest
With my first I gave up right away bevbeca it wasn’t working and had the same pressures you do
Post # 34
I didn’t breastfeed. I didn’t even try. I didn’t want to (by the way, that’s a perfectly acceptable reason not to BF). And I was a lot less stressed and happier in the first few months of my baby’s life than most everyone I knew who Boyfriend or Best Friend. My kid was sleeping 5-6 hours through the night by 6ish weeks because a 4oz bottle kept him satisfied. That means I was sleeping 5-6 hours straight vs up every 1.5-2 hours to Boyfriend or Best Friend all night. Happy mama, happy baby. Oh yeah, and my hubby is amazing – even in the early days we traded off every other feeding if we were both at home.
Just because I had no desire to Boyfriend or Best Friend doesn’t mean I didn’t desire kids. All I wanted and prayed for years was this child and we went through hell and back with multiple years of infertility treatments to get him. I researched the best formulas and based on that went with an organic German brand. Baby liked it and we never looked back. My child is a happy, healthy toddler now developing right on track. He’s smart and had one minor cold in his entire first year of life. I think he’s gonna be ok.
As for what to tell people,
1) Don’t EVER volunteer how you’re feeding your child. If people want to assume one way or another, let them. But don’t engage if you can avoid it. Not because it’s shameful but because people with opposing viewpoints are unlikely to be persuaded.
2) If it’s unavoidable (ie, hungry baby is present) and you’re in a setting where people don’t know about your reduction, I’d just say you have a “medical condition” that prevented you from Boyfriend or Best Friend. Should get you a little sympathy and if they follow up with questions, just deflect/ ignore/ praise-coo-burp your baby until they change the subject.
3) If it’s unavoidable and people know (ie family), just be firm that it’s your baby and that you and your doctor made the decision. Keep repeating and don’t go into further details. Hubby needs to back you up 150%. It might help in advance if hubby tells his side of the family (the ones who care and/or are nosey) that you’ll be using formula. And by “in advance” I mean when you’re almost 40 weeks pregnant! You don’t want to deal with that crap the whole 9 months!
And for heaven’s sake, if you actually DO try and you just physically can’t, and your family/ friends are condescending to you about that….well, F them.
Trust in yourself that you’ll be a good mama and don’t give up on your dreams of having children over this silly reason.
Post # 35
dgirl715 : Oh good God, wedding bee B.F (breast feed) not Boyfriend or Best Friend….Ugh!!!!!
Post # 36
Hi bees, a heartfelt thank you to each of you who had a kind comment or experience to share. I’m so glad I decided to post because I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, and I’ve been spiralling and building it up to be a huge issue in my head and it’s been hard to put the extent of my fears and feelings into words. Maybe because I felt ashamed and like I couldn’t share these fears with anyone who would understand the immense pressure (from society to breastfeed and from yourself to do what is best for your child). I’ve never been ashamed about my surgery, it made a huge difference both to my physical health and comfort and to my mental health and it’s even improved some of my relationships with men, my confidence at work etc – I could go on about all the ways in which it was the right thing for me personally. But being told that it is unlikely that I will be able to breastfeed because of it made me feel like I had intentionally (selfishly?).damaged my body and was now not functioning as it should and that my child would pay the price for that. I’m not saying this is logical or that anyone should think this, just trying to share what was on my mind. It’s been so helpful to get perspective from so many people about their experiences – all so different, and realise it absolutely doesn’t have to be such a big thing as I have build it up to be.
Thanks so much, bees. You guys are wise & kind, and it’s helped me a lot!
Post # 37
anonee008 : glad we helped.
When your time comes you will be a great mum. But it is sooooo important to talk about your fears and your feelings. Pregnancy and new motherhood are a minefield of hormones and you really mustn’t keep how you are feeling to yourself. I can guarantee every new mum feels the same.
Post # 38
I nursed my dd for 2 years, but if I knew I couldn’t nurse a second baby that absolutely wouldn’t stop me from having one. Your baby will be totally fine.
I’d tell your Mother-In-Law to kick rocks.
Post # 39
- Wedding: October 2015 - Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
I totally get it. People can be so nasty with their judgements and rude comments. If I were you, I would stick with a simple, “I would have loved to but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way and I am unable. Luckily I believe fed is best.” Smile, then walk away.
Post # 40
- Wedding: October 2015 - Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Also I am eagerly counting down the months (days, minutes, etc) until I have my second and last baby, finish breast feeding and then can get my breast reduction. I am jealous you have one already actually. Did you feel it made a huge difference? Have you ever regretted it?
Post # 41
I was never in your situation but I was a baby who was only breastfed for 14 days. The doctors advised my mother to stop breastfeeding me after she was started on some medication. But I turned out fine and healthy. I was also an atlethe when I was a teenager. I am also a dancer. I know others who were breastfed and was not half as healthy. I am not trying to discourage any one from breastfeeding but only trying to help you give yourself a break that you had this surgery. Also, it will be sad for you to make a decision based on breastfeeding. Besides, even if you did not have this surgery and could breastfeed some thing else would come up and prevent you from breastfeeding your hypothetical child.
Post # 42
Twizbe : yes, this exactly! Breastfeeding is very beneficial in early years, but that effect wears off. A strong emphasis on good nutrition in childhood is probably far more important in the long run. And I too, say this as someone who breastfed and would like to again.
In fact, I think I’ll be more easygoing this time around. I vehemently resisted supplementing at 6 months (due to a drop in supply) with my first, and gave myself the hardest time for it. This time I’ll do what I have to do.
Post # 43
Also pick the right nurses and doctors. And be firm about your choices. For some reason, the nurses in my hospital system were super fanatical about breastfeeding, to a point where I, a breastfeeding mom, got really frustrated with them constantly (and with an awfully smug attitude) telling me how my latch needed work (it was the best we could do!) and how I should REALLY stay committed to breastfeeding as long as possible as it was the Best. Thing. Ever for my kid.
This time I won’t let that shit fly. Mommy makes the rules.
Post # 44
There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed about not breastfeeding for whatever reason. I planned to for the cost benefit and the ease once it got established, but ended up being unable to due to birth trauma, NICU stay, and extremely delayed chance to hold him. Studies show that the health benefits of breastfeeding have been overstated anyway, especially in countries with clean water. I’ve linked one article at the bottom but there are many others. I still plan to try again with our other kids (mostly because all of the money we’d save!), but knowing that formula is a valid and healthy option really helped me get through the depression around feeling like a failure as a mom. Arm yourself with knowledge, and then you can use it to make yourself feel better and to share with anyone who feels the need to criticize you.
I totally understand feeling down about the possibility of not being able to do something you wanted to. I had a hard time for a while after I finally stopped trying to pump. My advice is to go easy on yourself and realize that your baby will be perfectly healthy with formula. And it won’t make them bond with you any less. My son is still obsessed with me and wants to always eat on my lap even though he’s been bottle fed since birth. Also start recognizing that everyone will have an opinion about what you should do as a mum, and you just have to make decisions with you partner and then be strong in them. There’s no guarantee that you’d be able to breastfeed even without a past reduction, so it’s not really something to base your decision to have children off of.
Post # 45
I have a chronic autoimmune condition, which over 10 years my body has learned to compensate so that I lead a very normal/healthy life. However, antibodies I make could pass through my breastmilk and cause low blood platelets, and spontaneous bleeding to my baby. So for that reason I decided to formula feed from birth. I definitely felt like I was inadequate that I wasn’t able to safely breastfeed while I was pregnant adn I went to birthing classes that pushed breastfeeding so hard it made me feel like a witch. I had to get over the fact and remind myself that while I can’t safely offer breastmilk to my child, there are many things I can offer my child that many moms that can breastfeed might not. Honestly, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had the whole pregnancy to research the best formula and bottles- while many moms who find out after their baby is born that breastfeeding isn’t working just have to grab anything to feed their baby and hope for the best. I had a hard time recovering and went 3 days with zero sleep at the hospital- I was SO close to completely going insane and if I had to be the sole provider for her that would have pushed me over the edge. My daughter is super close with both me and my husband, as he was able to feed her from birth too and create a bond as well. My daughter is 15 months, SUPER strong, way advanced verbally (already has 30+ words and actly communicates ideas with words), is seriously the happiest baby around, and has a WAY better immune system than any kid I know- including ones that were exclusively breastfed (she has only been sick once for a day that took every other kid a week+ to get over).
I know breastfeeding is great for some families, and can offer benefits… but remember the benefits are only statistics, it doesn’t mean that your child will be less well off because you provide nutrition in a different way. It also helps me in knowing that while there are breastfeeding benefits that can be calculated for the first couple years (especially immune system- which is great if you can provide that as a sick baby is scary), by the time they reach school age researchers can’t differiate between kids that were breastfed or formula fed as babies. We all have to make the best decisions for our families- breast isn’t best for everyone, and it isn’t the only (or even most) valuable thing you can offer a child