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Guilt over nursing

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
  • 18 Replies

My son was born 3 weeks ago. I had a vaginal delivery and post delivery I had a hemorrhage. At my sons first pedi appointment we learned that he had lost too much weight because my milk hadn't come in yet.  I immediately met with a lactation consultant who had me nursing, then supplementing with this bottle with a catheter that I tape to my nipple and the baby nurses from that....and then pump immediately after.  I did this for 2 weeks and my milk supply was still very low.  I was exhausted and frustrated and just couldn't keep up anymore. So I decided to pump every three hours and bottle feed and supplement with formula.  I feel guilty every time i give him a bottle. I've only been just pumping for a week and I'm already exhausted from doing it.  Part of me just wants to formula feed but I feel so guilty about that too. My husband wasn't exactly on board with me bottle feeding, but I just couldn't keep doing that routine, each feeding took over an hour and I felt like my " ladies" we're always working.  Any advice out there??

by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
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Rvm_fletch
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:47 PM
3 moms liked this

Please do NOT, under any circumstances, beat yourself up over this.  This will be one of the many moments in parenthood where what you had planned is completely different from how it ends up happening.  

You have to do what works for you and your baby.  It might not be in what you envisioned but you have to believe that it is the right way for you both.

Congratulations on your sweet baby. Good luck and, above all, enjoy it!!  It goes too fast to stress.  Savor the moments and cherish the tenderness tht is your newborn.

teri4lance
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:51 PM
1 mom liked this
I had very similar circumstances. I failed with my son due to lack of expertise. I succeeded with my dd. I have to be honest, failing my son is one of my biggest regrets. Don't quit till the fat lady sings. It's worth fighting for.
What finally worked for me was tandem pumping. I had dd off supplemental feeding inside of 2 weeks. If tou need more info let me know.
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ardiaxe
by Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 4:02 AM
1 mom liked this
I had the same issue with my son. My biggest regret is that I didn't throw the pump away and enjoy my son sooner. I missed a lot of sweet moments with my son by agonizing over the damn pump. It's obvious you tried your best, your son needs you more than anything else, there is nothing wrong with formula or bottle feeding. Your value as a mother is not based on how much breastmilk you can provide, your son is going to be healthy and thrive because he has a mother that absolutely adores him.
SleuthMaria
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 4:30 AM
3 moms liked this

Not a member of this group, but saw your post. How much did your baby weigh at birth, how much at that first appt, & how old was he at that appt? It is perfectly normal for babies to loose weight in the beginning. Also, some babies are slow to gain early on. My middle child took about a month & a half to get back up to birthweight. My ped never considered supplimenting with him. I simply nursed on demand.

What makes you think your supply is low? I hope you're not going by pump output. It sounds like you were using a supplimental nursing system, so baby was getting both your milk & whatever milk or formula is in the SNS. The BEST way to know how much milk you're producing is to keep an eye on how many wet diapers your baby has per day & at this point, he should have 6 - 8 diapers per day.  

Pump output just shows how well you respond to the pump. I exclusively breastfed 3 children, but cannot pump more than a few drops per session if I try to pump. Babies are MUCH more efficient than a pump at getting the milk out. My best advice would be, if you want to continue to breast feed your baby, get him back to your breast & let him nurse directly. If you feel he needs more than you can provide, use a SNS to give the extra, so your breast still get the stimulation that says, "make more milk." If you think he'd be ok without the extra, maybe go 24 or 48 hours w/o supplimenting & count his wet diapers & see how he's doing & then you could get a more accurate picture of your milk supply.

If you want to just switch to formula, there's no shame in that, either. Breast milk may be best, but sometimes formula feeding is the better option for a specific mom/baby. Only YOU can decide what would work best for you & your baby, so look at all your options & make the best choice you can with as much information as you can get & then don't allow yourself to feel guilty. If guilt feelings start cropping up, remind yourself that you made the BEST choice you could. Hope something I've said here is helpful to you. Good luck with your decision!

tel4him
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Do NOT feel guilty!!  Even if you decide to 100% bottle feed, do NOT feel guilty.  You need to feed your child.  Whether that comes from your breast or a bottle, it does not matter.  You do what is best for your baby.  You have not failed. You are not a bad mother. 

JadeTigr7
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 6:30 AM
2 moms liked this
You shouldn't feel guilty but I agree with the above poster. It's completely normal for baby to lose weight and hemorrhaging after the birth doesn't mean you won't get milk or you'll have a low supply either. Your milk will normally come in 3-5 days after birth. Babies who are born, natural, with no IV fluids will lose up to 10% on average. If you had an IV that number is raised.

The only way to know if there is a supply problem is diaper count. Only. That's it, and nursing for an hour, as a newborn is normal. Baby is trying to establish your milk supply and around three weeks is the most frustrating growth spurt.

I'd suggest checking out the breastfeeding group if you want to keep breastfeeding, but if you don't that's okay too.
Moof4boys
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 6:39 AM
Have they given you any medication for stimulation? You need to be happy that's the main thing so you can look after your baby. Please look after yourself :-) your baby will thrive either way
Teachergal12
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 8:45 AM

My son was 8.6lbs when he was born, left hospital at 7.14lbs, but at the first appt he was down to 7.4lbs. So he lost more than 10% of his weight. Also, while I was nursing he wasn't peeing so that was one indicator that I wasn't producing enough. I did use a sns but it was just so frustrating to use.

ThatGirlShelley
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this

Congratulates on a beautiful, healthy baby boy!

Don't feel guilty. It took mine a bit of time to nurse too (C-sections with all 3). I had to supplement in the beginning because of weight loss. You have to do what is best for your son and that means that they thrive (whether it be with breast milk or formula). 

By the way, I hated pumping. It always seemed like my pump was calling me a Heifer:) Until my milk came in strongly, I would let my children feed on both sides and then supplement with the formula.

Congrats again on the baby!

12yrmama
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM

 

THIS and tell your hubby when mother nature, your body, and the baby's needs are in his control and bend to his 'wants' you'll listen. But right now you have a baby to love/nuture, a body that has been thru enough, and nothing to fell bad about. P.S. he can nurse the next one.

Some feedings can take an hour, especially those first months, yup months. She maybe enjoying the closeness as much as actually eating. It should shorten in time and space out too. Try watching TV, music, reading while nursing; if you relax the milk will come easier and that way you get something for you too. My youngest was a long nurser, with two other kids it was annoying but now its over.... and I miss having her so close and being wanted so desparately. After 3 kids I can tell you each was different, two loved bfing one didn't and self weaned- I had to supplement with bottle and she loved it! I wished I had saved us the drama and stress and done it sooner but I was holding on to the image I wanted. And my milk supply was different with each. They all know I love them and all were fed and grew.

Quoting Rvm_fletch:

Please do NOT, under any circumstances, beat yourself up over this.  This will be one of the many moments in parenthood where what you had planned is completely different from how it ends up happening.  

You have to do what works for you and your baby.  It might not be in what you envisioned but you have to believe that it is the right way for you both.

Congratulations on your sweet baby. Good luck and, above all, enjoy it!!  It goes too fast to stress.  Savor the moments and cherish the tenderness tht is your newborn.

 

 

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