Yup, I failed at breastfeeding. TWICE.

Yup, I failed at breastfeeding. TWICE. 1

I often see tons of breastfeeding moms online and offline. When I was pregnant with Kelsie, I was nervous but decided yes I wanted to breastfeed her. I prepped myself trying to learn as much as I could and even had the papers ready to rent a pump when she was born.

Well, I sucked. I only had one nurse attempt to show me how to do it and it involved my breast being whipped out with visitors and pretty much throwing her on top of me. Uhhh….I had no idea and then that just made me feel more inadequate having someone just stick a baby onto me. For that matter, Kelsie didn’t take to it too much either. She didn’t stay latched and at points, I think she gave up as she wasn’t properly latched so she wasn’t getting what she needed. Three weeks later and a case of mastitis that had me sick as a dog, I finally gave up and called it quits.

Yup, I failed at breastfeeding. TWICE. 2With Aubrey, I again wanted to try breastfeeding. I had the pump ready so I could begin producing ASAP and I wouldn’t be so worried about the pain I had with Kelsie. I had the same issue at the hospital. My nurse was a total witch through my delivery, (Stopping coaching me during pushing to fan herself off and talk to my midwife about her menopause, telling me if I was focused on pushing baby out, I wouldn’t be throwing up….I could go on if you really want, but I’d rather spare you) and when my hand was still on fire from the pitocin thrown into me the last 30 minutes of labor, she wrenched my arm and had me holding Aubrey in an awkward position. When she left the room, I broke down crying for Steven to hold her as I hurt too much. I had been in labor technically for over 24 hours. I was exhausted and beat up.

My midwife agreed to try Fenugreek to help me as I was not making enough milk. I ended up sick as a dog. My stomach could not handle it. I started to supplement but still pump atleast once a day until I finally gave up after a couple of months.

While I don’t know if I will ever get to be a “brand new Mommy” again-I hope so. And I would try breastfeeding again. I’m sure some would say I didn’t try hard enough and I’m sure in some aspects, they would probably be right. It was disappointing to not prove to myself I could do it for my babies. I will try again and hope I get further than I had before but I know to not make any promises.

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  1. You know. I breastfed Lauren for 3 months and Jillian for 5.5 and I STILL feel like a failure. I would have loved to keep going but with Lauren was migraine meds (As I’m sure you remember) and with Jillian we both got SUPER sick and my milk dried up. I know that I’ll never be pregnant again and if we do end up adopting, I’ve thought about introducing lactation, but I don’t know if I can handle feeling like a failure 3 times in a row.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..We’re moving AGAIN =-.

  2. No ones a failure because they can’t breast feed. At least we live in a country where we can purchase formula that will meet a growing babies requirement. We are blessed, and your baby is blessed too. Why do I say that?
    Because, they had a mom that realized they needed more than mother’s milk and you still held your babies while you feed them, and I think that is what it is all about. Spending time holding and touching, talking to your babies and them smelling your smells, and feeling your warmth and breath on them, hearing your voice and smiling at them. Those are the most important things about feeding time.
    Granted if you can breast feed and want to, then by all means do it. It helps your children with immunity in those first months, but if you can’t then you’ll just be more careful about who they are around, to prevent them from picking up viruses.

  3. I only breastfed my boys for 3mos and 6 weeks respectively. The first time, the lactation consultant was a, well, I can’t type what word she was here. I ended up calling my friend’s mom who not only was a nurse herself, but breastfed twins and a singleton herself. Yeah, basically everything the lactation consultant told me was a lie. ARGH! I was so discouraged, and I had a high needs baby (we now know he’s Asperger’s). The 2nd time I had a 35 week preemie, and he just didn’t get the whole suck-breathe-swallow rhythm. The lactation consultant I had the 2nd time was absolutely awesome. My baby just wasn’t cooperating. Combine that with his projectile vomiting from reflux, and we ended up on a special formula and meds for his belly. I felt like a failure both times, but I look at my kids now, and they’re no worse for wear. After several years, I’ve finally been able to let go of that mommy guilt.

  4. Stories like yours are very common and it breaks my heart. Nurses are often the ones in understaffed hospitals that try to “help” new moms learn how to breastfeed their babies. But these nurses are not trained properly in different beneficial positions or issues that arise.

    I was blessed to have a lactation consultant help me with Lizzie and I had La Leche League volunteers help me with David. But if I had my baby at the hospital my mom worked at I too would have given up and felt like I “failed” just like you. Cause at her hospital the nurses are not trained at ALL and have even told new moms “just use sandpaper to toughen up your nipples.” Awful, just awful.

    I had a horrible nurse manhandle my breast and shove lizzie into it after my c-section and if it wasn’t for the lactation consultant I would have given up.

    It was not your fault – you didn’t have the proper help. Can someone not trained at a new job be blamed for doing poorly? Nope. Breastfeeding is emotional and a lot of times very difficult at first.

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