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I feel like such a bad mom....

Okay, so, my husband and I discovered the hard way that my step-kids mom and step-dad has been sexually abusing them as well as physically and mentally. Now we are taking the steps needed to get them out of that environment (see my journals if you want the complete story).
So, the doctor, who didn't know about the stress I've been under, suggested that in order to help my infant daughter get over the cold she had gotten and then gotten over (she had lost some weight and her iron levels were low and just nursing her was making it difficult for her to gain that weight back) that I suppliment with formula at least once a day. I agreed to do so, gave her the formula once a day, and everything was fine. Took her off the formula (I would still send a bottle of breastmilk to the daycare for her) and for a while things were okay. I wasn't producing enough milk to supply her with her needs at daycare though, even taking suppliments wasn't giving me the boost I needed (it did in the beginning but with the constant pumping my milk supply diminished).
Now the stress has increased dramatically, and these people are taking the fight onto facebook, trying to get my family to turn against me (which thankfully hasn't happened yet, but I turned my privacy settings to exlude them since I don't want them to see my page but I still need to see their's in case they post something about the kids, which they did but that's another story and is posted in my journals). But now I am having to rely more on the formula and suppliments JUST to give my daughter what she needs!
I never intended to be using formula for my baby, especially since she has such a sensitive stomach and is so allergic to cow's milk that I have to do without so that she doesn't have an allergic reaction (the formula doesn't have cow protein in it, it's made specifically for babies like her and has to be gotten with a perscription). I have limited my diet for her so that she could have what has been proven to be the best, yet these people have pushed me to the limit that I am having to fall back on this stuff.
I don't want to have to take suppliments just to keep my supply up, but if I don't then my supply withers up to barely any milk there.
I don't want to have to suppliment with formula, but I have to because I'm having to rebuild my milk supply.
And now I feel like such a bad mom for having to do this....
Nursing was never this hard with my older two. Has anyone else had to do similar methods for their baby and hated it too? Anyone out there felt like a bad mom for not being able to do what needed to be done and had to fall on other methods for their children?
I know this seems like a silly question, but I really would like to know. Am I the only one who feels like a failure in breastfeeding my infant because I've had to fall back on formula suppliments for her, and herbal suppliments for myself?
And by the way, my daughter is 7 months old, this has been going on for almost 3 months now.

Answer Question
 
momnstepmom

Asked by momnstepmom at 11:45 PM on Jan. 23, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 15 (2,128 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Oh darling.  You are in serious need of a hug.  A FAILURE!?  Are you kidding me!?  You most certainly are NOT a failure.  You are doing everything that you can to keep breastfeeding and that is commendable, not failure.  Give yourself a break!  You are under a ton of stress and in need of some love and support.  Don't beat yourself up.  Know that you are doing the best that you can and that's all that matters.

    MrsHouston47302

    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 11:49 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • You have gotten this far dont stress about it people who look down on you for this are stupid. You did a good job at getting this far whats importent is your health and your daughters. I was only able to nurse both my children for short periods of time as i had mastitise so bad i was hospitalized and had to have them surgically drained all by the time my babies were 7weeks. I got alot of crap for quiting to after all that but your baby needs nurtrion and if you arnt able to get it to her through breastmilk then formula is just fine. Good job mommy and dont let others bring you down.
    Jaxsmommy09

    Answer by Jaxsmommy09 at 11:52 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • That's a totally normal emotion for someone who never wanted to include formula. I'm SO sorry to hear about everything that's going on! You must be SOOO stressed, which is of course suppressing your milk supply. All you can do is all you can do. Keep nursing her as much as possible, and try to find some healthy ways to relieve your stress, like yoga, meditation, exercise, deep breathing, etc. I hope you have a supportive Hubby, and some good supportive friends. I also hope things settle down soon, and the issues with yor step children are resolved soon. Know that you are NOT a failure, or a bad mom. You are doing the best you can, and sometimes, life hands us a lot of big challenges at once, and all you can do is deal with it the best you can. Don't beat yourself up over this. ((hugs))
    musicpisces

    Answer by musicpisces at 11:53 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • obviously you are doing what is best fo you baby. I truely believe in breastfeeding but sometimes life just isnt as simple as it should be. I didnt breastfeed my son (who is now 22) and he had alot of stomach problems as a baby. Then i did breastfeed my daughter (now 20) and her stomach had no problems but I done the best I could and that all you can do, and you cant blame yourself. Sometimes your body is telling you to slowdown and take care of yourself but we all know that life isnt that easy. Just do the best you can and it will all work out. Just remember to take care of yourself, because if YOU dont take care of yourself, no one else will....and then where will the kids be? Good Luck.
    Barbara1970

    Answer by Barbara1970 at 11:55 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • im sorry for what you are going thru. dont feel like a failure! u have enough going on right now to beat yourself up!!
    hellokitty1978

    Answer by hellokitty1978 at 11:56 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Sweetie, I was in the same boat as u when it came to breast feeding. When my daughter w born, I got post partum really bad. I was getting so stressed out. I never had to handle an infant, I never even babysat an infant!! my OB told me as long as the stress remained high, my milk would eventually go dry. I wasn't given Marisa enough and she devolped bilrubin, the jaundice thing.l I felt like like an absolute failer, I thought I couldn't feed my baby right, what kinda mom will I be?? Now that u r supplementing, there could be a chance it will stop all together, I even used a breast pump, a no go. But that doesn't make u a bad mama, u r feeding her, and u love her, that is all she wants right now, oh she loves u too no matter what. Even a little breast milk will help. As for the molesting, I was also molested, and the kids will need all the help and support, the uncondital love, ALOT of reasurance, that will be the main thing.
    Michigan-Mom74

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 11:59 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Stress is such a breastmilk killer. I feel so bad for you, honey. I hope everything works out and the step-babies get the help they need. My LO rejected my breast about 2 months ago and he was only 6 mos. old. I didn't know at the time it was because I was pregnant, but there you go.... He is mostly on solid foods now and he refuses to take either a bottle of formula from a cup. Have you ever tasted formula? EWWWW!!! It tastes terrible!! Breast milk tastes really yummy, kind of like the milk when you are done eating a bowl of sugary cereal....Gross? Sorry, but I had to try it! I hope things get better for you!!
    Robbiesmommy83

    Answer by Robbiesmommy83 at 11:34 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • ONE DROP = SUCCESS. And what you pump is NO indication of supply, EVER.

    Drop by the breastfeeding moms group for some help.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:47 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I'm sorry you're under such stress - and the emotions of wanting not to supplement but having to isn't helping the stress level either, is it? It becomes one of those never ending cycles of feeling awful. :(

    First and foremost, I know it feels like it right now, but your value and your success as a mother is NOT tied to your breast. It really isn't. Having to supplement does not negate everything else that you do for your daughter. Having to take herbal supplements for your supply or use the formula for your daughter does NOT mean the love and care you give her is less. The fact that you're working so hard to save your step-kids and that you are doing ALL you can to do what you think is right for your daughter says you are FAR from a failure as a mom. IN fact, those kids are lucky to have a mom that works so hard to do what she thinks is right. Give yourself a break and a hug. You're anything but a failure.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:52 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • Stress can affect supply, unfortunately. If you'd like to get back to breast, you can, but it's going to be a bit of work. I'd start by gradually decreasing the amount of formula given while you are WITH baby, and if possible, giving that supplement via supplemental nursing system, so your breast still gets the stimulation. If you can, try to add another 1-2 pump sessions into your day. Try to get to a LLL meeting as well, you need the support! And the tips! No matter what happens, no matter how you feed your kids, I can tell you're a very dedicated and wonderful mom AND stepmother!
    Krysta622

    Answer by Krysta622 at 12:51 PM on Jan. 24, 2011

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