The Breastfeeding Battle

Copyright Jenna Goodwin

I have sat here going back and forth with how to write this post. Blame it on the postpartum hormones, the lack of sleep, and everything else that some might think I’m “over-reacting” when in all reality, I feel heartbroken.

Copyright Jenna Goodwin

From the get-go of getting adjusted in my room at the hospital from visiting the boys in the NICU for
the first time, I began pumping. I didn’t care how I did it, the boys were going to have breast milk to get them growing. As the days went on, both boys went to breast at feeding times and overall, did amazing. Nurses told me I’d have no problem with breastfeeding-I had good eaters and everything was going right. That was the most amazing feeling in the world to hear.

Before the boys came home, our entire family took turns with the stomach flu that’s run rampant. Despite being miserably sick, I still forced myself to pump. And despite such, my milk supply declined-easily over 50% of what I had been making.

I have been great at drinking water and Gatorade all day long, I have pumped so much I’ve made the joke I might as well just stay hooked up all day, I’ve tried Fenugreek (which definitely does not like my stomach), Red Raspberry, Prenatals, you name it. I’ve had lots of suggestions-some just not feasible but it’s giving me things to look at and if I can get over this hurdle, remember.

Despite all my attempts, my milk supply has not doubled or for that matter, significantly increased-I almost think it’s gone down further. It’s emotional and heartbreaking. Numerous times I have said I am ready to just call it quits, packing up nursing supplies to turn back around and take them back out. I don’t want to give up. Before I was pregnant, I wrote about my fears of failing at breastfeeding, considering my history with both Kelsie and Aubrey when it came to trying.

So now I sit here, desperate to not give up but feeling pushed into a corner. I’ve cried, I’ve pouted. This is one goal that I have been determined to keep and if I give up now, now matter what is said, it will go on my list of failing again. It’s a loss-a feeling of defeat of not being able to do what my body should be able to do.

The battle for now, will continue…

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  1. Keep your head up, I had a really difficult time nursing my first born son. He would want to eat way more than I could 1) keep up with and 2) could handle while having an almost 4 yr old daughter in Kindergarten and running around to raise. Do not consider this failing, you are still trying and if you do have to stop because of your body not willing to produce more, know this – you succeeded in nursing for as long as you could and THAT my friend is a success, not a failure! Big hugs & hope that something helps you to produce more soon if that is what you are trying for. Maybe people will have some more advice & something will work for you. <3

  2. Awww, so sorry you are going thru this. I got so sick after Taylor was born it ended up being ME that was at the hospital for a while, and Taylor at home with my father in law (yes, I was a frantic mess) and I could not pump NOR feed, so I dried up pretty quickly and there was no “getting it back” – I simply had to give up the idea of breastfeeding her. Good news is though that despite that she has been remarkably healthy and I honestly can only think of two times in her nearly six years that she has needed to go to the doctor other than the regular checkups and stuff.

    You have done the “good stuff” with the first few days of feeding when it is that collustrum (sp!?) stuff – dont beat yourself up over not being able to continue. You gave them a GREAT start!

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