December 2012 Moms

Feeling like a mom failure

I'm sure that I'm mostly being emotional, but I'm feeling like a failure as a mom.

We're 5 days post birth and my milk hasn't come in yet. We've been putting her on my breasts first at every feeding, pumping, etc., but no dice. When I pump, I get barely enough to cover the bottom of the bottle... definitely nowhere near enough for little girl. For now, we're supplementing, but I'm not optimistic that I'm ever going to be able to breastfeed. After 9 months of thinking that I would and ready all the benefits, I never thought I'd be in a spot to not be able to.

Anyone else in the same spot? How are you dealing?

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Re: Feeling like a mom failure

  • I went through exactly the same thing and spent the first week at home sobbing. Stay persistent. Her pedi put her on a formula supplement to gain weight and she got so used to the ease of the formula and how little she had to work from the bottle that she wouldn't work for the breast. I felt so sad for me and her that my plan to breastfeed her wasn't working. After a major meltdown one night I took matters into my own hands. I started taking an herbal supplement called Fenugreek after visiting our lactation consultant and saw a huge difference in my milk in a day. I stopped her cold turkey on bottles and formula so she had to get used to the breast and it worked like a charm. We have been EBF for weeks now and she is finally gaining at a good rate. I'm not saying what I did is the best advice for everyone but I'm saying to trust your mommy instincts and try to not focus on being sad but on what you can try to succeed at it. My milk didn't come in for a week or so. Trust your gut, stick with it and try everything before giving up!
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  • My milk took 5-6 days to come in with both of my girls. I had to supplement at first, which later caused nipple confusion so I had to EP with both, also.

    Don't give up hope, it will more than likely come in. You can always make an appt with La Leche League or your pediatrician's LC to help sort out any issues later on with latching, etc. Formula is NOT poison and up until very recently, most women fed their babies formula. More than likely, your own parents were formula fed, not BF. I promise, your child will grow and thrive no matter how you feed her! Don't get too down on yourself, mama!

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  • Also, lots of water! It makes a huge difference. One thing we also learned from the LC is that you can weigh them before and after each feeding once your milk comes in to see how much milk they are actually getting from each breast. That has been one thing we gave done to really put our minds at ease.
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  • I'm in the exact same boat. My LO is six days today and the LC had us start supplementing with formula yesterday. He had lost a whole pound since birth, wasn't sleeping and was feeding almost constantly. I am still pumping, and only tiny amounts are coming out. I'm still having baby latch so he doesn't forget completely and my LC mentioned a tube that the formula can flow through while he is latched. 

    Having to put him on formula broke my heart. I tried so hard and when he became a completely different baby minutes after his first oz of formula, I felt like I'd been torturing him. Now I'm just happy to see him gaining, and sleeping. I'm not giving up hope on bf but at the end of the day his health is what's most important.  

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  • Keep at it for a little while longer!  My milk took 6 days to come in and I was supplementing with formula.  I also started taking Fenugreek, which I think helped.  My DS had a little trouble with nipple confusion, which led to a couple of frustrating days.  We just got creative.  Once your milk comes in you may want to think about using a syringe or eye dropper to 'hand feed' your LO to transition over to your breast.  Also, I highly recommend contacting a lactation specialist or LLL to help. Good luck!
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  • I had a breast reduction five years ago, so I wasn't even sure that I would be able to bf at all. Then to my surprise I was able to! The only problem was that I don't produce enough, so I supplement. It was hard for me too, but the most important thing is that she gets enough to eat! We are still working on her gaining what she needs to, but the formula is where she gets most of her nutrition from. I still bf her first and then supplement. took a little while for me to be okay with it, but you do what you got to do.
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  • This.

    The exact same thing happened to me with my first....took the fenugreek religiously for about a month....and was able to bf for 14 months! Don't stress over the formula supplementing. If it's a means to an end, it's good!
  • image Fionnadean1017:
    This.

    The exact same thing happened to me with my first....took the fenugreek religiously for about a month....and was able to bf for 14 months! Don't stress over the formula supplementing. If it's a means to an end, it's good!


    Sorry, was quoting the first reply and it didn't work.... firstworldiphoneproblems
  • I totally understand how you feel. I tried for 2 weeks including seeing an LC, fenugreek, and pumping and my milk never came in. Nothing worked and I was really upset. We have been exclusively formula feeding for about a week now. My baby is happy and healthy, which is all that matters in the end. I feel a lot better now and know that at least I tried to bf. You still have time for your milk comes in but if not formula is not the devil. Keep trying and keep your chin up!

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  • I'm here too! My son was born 10 lbs 5 oz. I was BF at home with him for about a week until he went to the doctors. He had lost more than 10% of his birthweight from not getting enough to eat & I was devastated! I felt so terrible. All this time I thought we had a fussy baby but he was just hungry ): My milk hadn't come in & his latch wasn't right either (even when the hospital said it was ok) The doctor said we needed to immediately give him formula to get his weight up. I cried. The doctor ordered 15 min on each breast, give him pumped milk & formula to fill him up. I wasn't pumping a lot of milk either. We also visited a LC, she gave me a nipple shield (which helps a ton!) and a syringe because I noticed that bottle feeding my LO helped him become a lazy feeder. He didn't suck as hard at the breast because the bottle gave him milk so easily. 

    3 weeks in, I'm BF as much as possible, pumping right after every feeding & syringe feeding LO while he's at the breast. It's tough but i'm still very determined to soon only BF without FF. The less bottles we use the better he is at sucking & the more milk will come in for me. I also try to drink as much water as possible. and nurse, nurse, nurse!!!! there's no better stimulate than a baby! I started out with barely pumping an oz at a time! Now I pump a lot more! Still not enough for my big guy but we're getting there! Props to not giving up! Good luck! 

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  • image peanutrach1:
    I totally understand how you feel. I tried for 2 weeks including seeing an LC, fenugreek, and pumping and my milk never came in. Nothing worked and I was really upset. We have been exclusively formula feeding for about a week now. My baby is happy and healthy, which is all that matters in the end. I feel a lot better now and know that at least I tried to bf. You still have time for your milk comes in but if not formula is not the devil. Keep trying and keep your chin up!

    This exactly. I did fine breastfeeding at the hospital but once I got home my milk never came in. I also tried all three things that peanutrach1 and it still never came in. I felt terrible but I soon realized after talking with a LC and our pedi that it is really hard for first-time moms to breastfeed. I felt better once I realized that and also once I realized that my baby was happy and healthy.

    Definitely keep trying and good luck! I hope things get better for you. 

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  • image peanutrach1:
    I totally understand how you feel. I tried for 2 weeks including seeing an LC, fenugreek, and pumping and my milk never came in. Nothing worked and I was really upset. We have been exclusively formula feeding for about a week now. My baby is happy and healthy, which is all that matters in the end. I feel a lot better now and know that at least I tried to bf. You still have time for your milk comes in but if not formula is not the devil. Keep trying and keep your chin up!

    This is me.  Milk never came in; we're now exclusive FFers when I thought we'd be EBFers.  Totally felt like a failure.  Just now starting to let myself enjoy the freedoms that formula feeding allows.  I try for lots of skin to skin time with my son and have to trust that formula is not the devil.  At the end of the day, my son is getting the nutrients he needs, is growing (like a weed!), and in 20 years, no one is going to care that he was FFed.  I had to let life go on.  Best wishes to you. 

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  • image ShaunaT25:

    I'm in the exact same boat. My LO is six days today and the LC had us start supplementing with formula yesterday. He had lost a whole pound since birth, wasn't sleeping and was feeding almost constantly. I am still pumping, and only tiny amounts are coming out. I'm still having baby latch so he doesn't forget completely and my LC mentioned a tube that the formula can flow through while he is latched. 

    Having to put him on formula broke my heart. I tried so hard and when he became a completely different baby minutes after his first oz of formula, I felt like I'd been torturing him. Now I'm just happy to see him gaining, and sleeping. I'm not giving up hope on bf but at the end of the day his health is what's most important.  

    I had to start supplementing today because Wesley had lost over 10 percent of his birth weight. We've been using the tube you mentioned. It's Medela SNS (supplemental nursing system). It's a little tricky (and messy) to use, but worth it because baby is getting the food he needs while still learning to latch on. Its kind of nice for my husband because helping me use it makes him feel like he's doing more to help our baby. 

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  • Took 6 days for mine to come in... During that time we had to start using an SNS... Don't give up. Getting your LO  nutrition is what is important!

    ask about the SNS... I didn't find it difficult or messy at all, and  it saved us from nipple confusion!

     

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  • I know exactly how you feel. For the first days after delivering, I didn't make hardly anything. Even a week after I was still only making enough to cover the bottom of the bottle and now I am not making anything at all, no matter what I have tried. We supplemented while we were in the hospital and for the first few days after so that DS wouldn't lose too much weight. He was readmitted to the hospital for jaundice and low temperature, during which we supplemented as well. It was during this time that my milk all but dried up, despite pumping.

    I would definitely stick with it though. As long as your baby is healthy and growing, you shouldn't feel guilty. I should probably follow my own advice though! I do wish I had tried a little harder. It's tough, but with good support I think you will be alright.

     GL to you! 

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