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Did you really want to breast feed, only to find that you couldn't?

I know this is a highly personally question, but I just wanted to know if other moms had the same experience as I did.

In a nutshell, I had a breast reduction 6 years ago, and because of the size of my breasts, a lot (and I mean A LOT) of breast tissue was removed, as well as 90% of my milk ducts. I was going through early menopause so there was no hope for me to have any children, so what did I need milk ducts for?

Fast-forward: found out I was pregnant (surprise!!), and I really wanted to breast feed. I wanted to give it my best effort, even though I was told it would probably never happen (due to the surgery). Still, I bought no formula or bottles.

Baby Victoria is born! I immediately breast feed her, but she never seemed to be satisfied. When I took her home from the hospital, she was nursing for 1.5-2 hours at a time. She would nap for an hour or so, then would want to nurse again!



Asked by Fallaya at 9:27 PM on Apr. 17, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (7)
  • I had multiple biopsies due to many breast tumors. I did not even try to nurse because of the many breast issues I had. My milk never came in my breasts did not even swell during pregnancy. I felt no guilt or feel like my son or I missed out on anything. Nothing I could do about it so worrying would be pointless. Guilt would imply I had done something wrong and that was not the case. I think many women are made to feel guilty if they don't breast feed by other women. I find that sad. We should support each other in any choice a mom makes. I could not physically nurse but was still berated by moms for bottle feeding. I told one self righteous mom I did not have milk would she rather I let my son starve. She said well you are OK then. I said I don't care what you think and I should not have to explain why I bottle feed. I never explained again after that. I was not doing anything wrong. Don't feel bad anymore.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:48 PM on Apr. 17, 2009


    Her "wet" diapers were barely even damp. She had no poop diapers.

    By the time she was a week old, she dropped from 8lbs 1 oz to 7 lbs. I took her to LLL to get some help. They worked with me for several days, and realized that Victoria was getting very little nourishment (remember the milk ducts were severed). She was malnourished and almost died, all because of ME. It's been 9 months, and I still feel guilty to this day.

    She's been on formula ever since, and she's now a healthy and happy little tyke. But it hurts that I wasn't able to breast feed my baby.

    And because I know it will be asked, I did cluster feed. I tried pumping. I did the "feed the baby then weigh her" thing too. I gave it my best effort.

    Did any other moms experience anything similar to this?

    Answer by Fallaya at 9:32 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • Nope, but i'm sorry you went through that...don't feel bad or guilty you at least tried...that's all that matters! Some people just don't want to do it for selfish reasons not because they physically can't.

    Answer by britni11 at 10:43 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • Had you tried using a Supplemental Nursing System to feed formula at the breast?

    Answer by Krysta622 at 8:39 AM on Apr. 18, 2009

  • I couldn't breastfeed due to sensory issues. There was just absolutely no way to do it. I couldn't stand the feeling of them at my breast, it made me want to scream, to cry and gave me panic attacks each time I thought about it.

    I did try with each one. I could tolerate the pump a little better, so I would pump until it became too bothersome, usually after the third day. I was producing, pumping 6oz per breast per session (several times a day).

    I couldn't stand the touch any longer so I started formula and finally bonded with my children.

    If I have another one, I will not even attempt to breast feed. I missed too much by not bonding with my children right from the beginning and I HATE that.

    Now..bash away telling me how selfish I am. Screw you. I did what I could but felt it was much more important that I bond with the baby and not hate it for what it was doing to me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:18 AM on Apr. 18, 2009

  • I understand where you re coming from by feeling guilty. i feel guilty,like i'm less of a mother cause i couldn't breast feed my kids. with my daughter, i managed for five weeks and my milk dried up. plus my daughter had lactose issues,so her ped put her on soy formula. with my son, he had weight gain issues due to Tracheomalasia (a deformity of his windpipe) and his ped put him on a lactofree formula with extra calories to aid in weight gain. i breast fed him for 1 week. I wanted to continue breast feed ing but was un able to per the peds orders.and so i felt like a worthless mom.but i know it's not my fault and it's not your fault either, so don't worry about it.You can still bond with your baby. so that's what i would concentrate on now. don't bash yourself for something that is beyond your control. it can't be helped. just go with the flow of things now and you'll have a happy baby for it!!!

    Answer by pasmommy at 12:21 PM on Apr. 18, 2009

  • How can you be a worthless mom if you fed and cared for your baby?

    Why is breastfeeding considered to be any kind of measure of a woman's ability to be a mother?

    You're not, and it isn't. There is no reason to feel bad or feel "guilty". Your babies are/were well cared for and are growing, thriving and happy.

    I couldn't breastfeed and I don't give a hang. My kids are strong, happy and thriving! I did what I had to for my boys. Period. End of discussion.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 2:32 PM on Apr. 18, 2009