Breast Feeding When My Body Won’t Cooperate

Posted 02-11-2014 at 09:56 AM by Matrivine

feeding baby

I was one of those newly pregnant women that knew exactly how I was going to raise my baby. I was only going to breastfeed my sweet little boy. At least that was the plan. The reality was much different. I found that my body did not agree with my plan as much as my brain did.

Early into motherhood (while still in the hospital in fact) I discovered that I was not producing enough milk to satisfy my baby’s needs. I had been told that I would know when my milk came in. I would feel it rushing to be dispensed. I never experienced this sensation.

Luckily for me I have almost always been a practical problem solver. I didn’t feel sad or guilty. I knew that I would find other ways to bond with my child. I sang to him, held him constantly, and always let him know he was loved. A year later I can’t get him to let go of me, so I must have succeeded to some degree there.

As for the milk portion of breastfeeding I was thankful to live in a day and age where there are other alternatives.

Supplementing

While I was unable to fully breast feed my baby, I was able to produce some milk and every drop of that went to him. Since I found strait breastfeeding to be problematic I would pump to make sure I retained as much milk as I could. I knew that I wasn’t making enough milk for even one whole feeding, but I figured that the nutrients that I did produce for him were better than none at all.

A Change of Diet

I started to eat a large amount of almonds, drink almond milk, and inhale dark green leafy vegetables. I had read that these would help me to produce more milk. I do not know if it worked, but I was able to produce milk for at least six weeks for my little one.

Formula

A bulk of my child’s nutritional needs were met by formula. We found it to be expensive and often problematic, but we were in the process of moving across the country and felt it was the best option for that life change. We discovered that our son was lactose intolerant. We also discovered (through the help of a wonderful realtor) that it was important to pick a colic reducing bottle.

The Milk Bank

Later I discovered the milk bank ( http://www.nationalmilkbank.org/ ) was also an option. This system allows women to donate breast milk to those that are having simmular issues to mine. This way they could still give their child breast milk even if it isn’t their own.

Currently I am expecting our second child. I am hoping to be able to breast feed her, but if not I have both options and a plan B.

 

Filed Under: General, Mommy Talk

Comments

6 Responses to “Breast Feeding When My Body Won’t Cooperate”

  1. jcarter on February 11th, 2014 12:41 pm


    I think there is a big misconception about breastfeeding. Women assume that because it is natural it will be easy; it isn’t always. There is also a lot of misinformation regarding breastfeeding and I think unfortunately it leads some women to quit, thinking they aren’t producing enough milk. It can take several days for milk to come in, and many women are discharged from the hospital before that happens. Colostrum is all most babies need in those first few days, even though it seems like such a tiny amount. For those women that do struggle to produce enough milk MORE NURSING is usually the answer, even if it seems like baby isn’t getting anything. If you can be with your baby it is the best thing for your supply. While it may seem like pumping is a good idea, your body doesn’t respond to a pump in the same way it responds to a baby. Milk supply runs on demand…the more baby nurses, the more milk you will make. It may take a couple of days for you to start noticing a difference, but most women can do it! And for those that STILL struggle after days, there are many places to look for support. Each community is different, but hospitals and pediatricians offices usually have lactation consultants. One of our local hospitals has a program called Tender Transitions where you can take your baby and nurse it. They weigh baby before and after to see how much milk is transferred. Public health nurses can also help, and of course there is the La Leche League. Some of these support people may be more helpful than others, but with time and patience (a hard thing to come by as a new mother…) most moms can find the help they need to give their baby the best start.

    BTW, I am not a breastfeeding Nazi…everyone’s experience is different, as is every baby. If it is your choice to bottle feed, that is up to you. But it really bugs me to hear women say they can’t breastfeed after only trying for a little while. It took me several months to really be confident that I was “doing it right” and that my baby was growing the way she was supposed to.

  2. AW-R on February 11th, 2014 1:51 pm


    It took 5 1/2 very long days for my milk to finally come in with my first, and it was much shorter (3 days maybe) for my 2nd. Hopefully you have the same experience with your second.

  3. Matrivine on February 11th, 2014 3:09 pm


    Thank you for your comments. Your right. There is a great deal of misinformation out there about breastfeeding, when milk comes in, or how much a child needs, ect. And I absolutely agree that if a mother can breastfeed she should make every effort to do so.

    I did consult with my nurse, pediatrician and OB during this time as well try to feed my baby by breast. I kept my child with me from the moment they would let me. Sometimes we do try to do everything we are supposed to and still things don’t work out.

  4. Matrivine on February 11th, 2014 4:25 pm


    Thank you AW-R. I really hope so too.

  5. Rissapotomus on February 12th, 2014 2:33 pm


    Thank for giving a votive to the other side of breast feeding!!! As a mom to three beautiful children I still need to be told that it’s ok that I couldn’t breast feed them. I tried everything the forcing to breast, screaming, pumping, supplimental nursing systems and more and still nothing. All I got was a baby not gaining wait, dehydration, jaundice and more heartache. I was made to feel I was less than a woman because my body could not produce any sustainance for my little one. In the end It was not worth starving my child just so I could proudly say I ebf my child!!! Thank you!!

  6. Matrivine on February 12th, 2014 6:02 pm


    Thanks for commenting. It is a difficult situation, but at least we do have alternatives available to us.

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