failure at breastfeeding

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2005
failure at breastfeeding
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 2:05pm

it's over, just about. i just can't do it.

my milk came in overnight on good friday, the day we got home from the hospital. it didn't come out until the following tuesday, and i had very little resources available to me for help with it, by virtue of it being a holiday weekend and the only lactation consultant in the UP was on vacation. tad's bilirubin levels got very high (plus my poor baby was literally starving), so i had to give him formula. since i didn't have any other delivery method available, he got it in a bottle. (he wouldn't latch on to my breasts anyway, they were so hard and engorged. talk about painful.)

anyway, ever since then, breastfeeding has been an uphill battle. i did see the LC about a week after i got the milk flowing to help me with tad's latch, but it was still difficult because the house is torn apart and i'm was the only one here to do chores (now i'm the only one here period, my stepdad went home almost a week ago). but tad was still getting breastmilk exclusively. i'd give him a bottle, then when he was done eating i'd put him down and pump for the next feeding. never managed to build up a freezer stock, but there were no supply issues.

now tad has hit the fussy stage, and according to all the definitions of "colic" that i'm finding, he has colic too. i CAN'T put him down after feeding him. sometimes i can't even put him down after he falls asleep. i can't hold him in the moby for more than an hour because my back kills me, and i can't pump while he's in the moby anyway. so the number of times i've been able to pump a day has dropped to 2 or 3 from the previous number of 7-9. and my milk is already drying up, so quickly. it's been about 4 days of this, and the engorgement in between pumps has almost disappeared, even on a 2-pump day.

i don't have the time or energy to devote to working my supply back up, or to getting tad back on the breast. he fights me every step of the way now. if he's awake, he's fussing, and when i try to put him to the breast he arches his back and pushes away and howls. it just doesn't work, and i'm at the end of my rope. i have to give it up. it can't be good for tad to have a basket case for a mom.

i'm not sure why i'm posting this. maybe just for reassurance that i'm doing the right thing, because every bit of advice on how to make it work that people have given me has either not worked or been beyond my capabilities at this point. now advice just makes me feel worse about not being able to do it. i can't do this right now, i know i can't, but unfortunately if i don't do it now i won't be able to do it ever. so i just can't do it. and i feel so so awful about it. something so natural and i can't do it. this is what women are built for! and i can't do it.

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Registered: 09-29-2006
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 12:05pm

I just wanted to echo everything people have been saying here. I think Megan summed it up best - you are a superhero to me!

What Tad needs more than anything is you. In my books anything you can do to keep up your strength is extremely important for both of you. It's amazing what you are doing on your own and you are the best Mommy Tad could have. You are a success!



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Registered: 02-26-2008
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 1:45pm

Everyone has already said it and I don't have any experience yet, but I know that you aren't a failure. You are doing the very best you can for him and that's all that matters. You need to stay sane for him and if switching to formula will make you feel better to get some rest then that's what you have to do.

(((HUGS))) I so wish I was closer to you so I could come over and hold him so you could get some rest. Thinking of you!

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Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 2:41pm

Big (((HUGS))) Carly, I want to ditto what everyone else has posted and tell you that you are doing the right thing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 2:54pm
((Hugs Carly!)) Try not to feel bad. Lots of us have been there. When Fede was in the hospital I had to pump, and I remember how time consuming it was, and how it didn't seem to work well enough. Besides, after all the stress of his illness, my supply decreased, and it took me almost a month of regular feedings AND supplements to build it up.
I know why you feel bad, after all, those breasts are right there, and it seems so ridiculous to need another source of milk when you should be able to produce it, right?.... But it's not exactly true, as you have seen from the pp answers, lots of moms can't, for several reasons. Heck, my father was BF from a wet nurse, because grandma was very ill with a post partum infection (this was when antibioticts were not so common). My mom was formula fed, because my other grandma developed a serious breast infection and they had to operate. So you see, loving moms unable to BF have always existed.
And to finish. You have been trough so much honey! Give yourself a break... As you said, Tad needs a sane mom. I think if he could answer, your baby would pick a bottle and your smiles and caresses instead of a breast and your exhaustion.
Oh, and hang in there with the colic... It's awful, but he will get better in a few weeks. Ask the Dr if there is anything you can give Tad to make him feel better. In my case, paracetamol drops did the trick.
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Registered: 05-24-2007
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 3:36pm

As you can see by the many responses saying almost the same thing, there are so many of us that were in your shoes, Carly.