Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Its ironic that I was so defiant when Kayla was born against the breastfeeding bullies, protesting that it would make no difference in the long term if she was bottle fed or breast fed. I felt that it was my choice and i would not be bullied into thinking there was only one way to go.

Now I am desperate at the thought of stopping breastfeeding. My milk came in late and my supply has never been great. The milk let down can be incredibly slow and has pretty much always frustrated bub but we have soldiered on and I've come to love the intimacy of feeding. The way she looks at me as she feeds and holds my fingers or strokes my skin.

The past few weeks here have been unseasonably hot here and she has been wanting to feed far more often, so when my supply couldn't keep up I gave her extra bottle feeds. This week she is refusing the breast during the day, but at this stage will still accept night feeds. It started with just the left one - a notoriously slow let downer- but this afternoon she refused the right as well. She turns her head and screams and cries real tears. This afternoon I joined her - and not for the first time.

I am finding it so hard to look at this logically. I can tell myself that she is just being lazy, she wants the instant flow of milk she get from the bottle. We live in an instant gratification driven society afterall - why should babies be immune? She is not rejecting me, she is rejecting the dodgy milk supply offered by my aging breasts. But I am taking it personally. I can't help but feel she is refusing me, rejecting the intimacy I am offering. And that hurts.

I should ring a lactation consultant and see if we can turn this around, but I can't talk about it without crying and that makes me feel like an idiot. It should not matter how my baby is fed as long as she is being fed and putting on weight. It surprises me that I feel so strongly about this.

Other than this issue, everything else is going pretty well. The pediatrician says her heart murmur is just a little flow murmur which may resolve itself with time. She wants to check it again in 6 months.


Joy said...

I cried buckets about this with similar issues. The lactation consultants can help a lot, both with the physical issues and with your state of mind. I agree the breastfeeding issue is overstated and you will do what's best for the both of you.

Sue said...

If it matters that much to you, call the consultant. I'm sure she's heard plenty of new mothers cry before. Whatever happens, your baby will be fine, so don't worry!

SassyCupcakes said...

*hug* You can do this. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe a SNS will keep her feeding longer so you can build up your supply more -

Another Julia said...

You're not alone. My breastfeeding experience with my first (IVF) son was a flaming disaster. I pumped, attempted to nurse a disinterested baby, took fenugreek until I smelled like a waffle house, and nada. My supply dwindled to nothing. Meanwhile, my son lost more and more weight, and made fewer and fewer wet diapers. Nightmare. I felt like such a failure! Two weeks after his birth, after maximal effort with the help of a lactation consultant, I gave in and formula fed. Like Joy, I cried buckets too.
Fast forward to IVF son #2---I was a bit more relaxed about formula feeding, but gave breastfeeding my all for a couple of weeks. This time, the baby nursed like a champ (and I pumped) around the clock, and despite galactagogues, LC help, and a cooperative baby, my supply again tanked to nothing. This time, no crying for me...I've become resigned to the fact that low milk supply is real, and despite my best efforts, breastfeeding wasn't possible for me.
Please don't beat yourself up for the trouble you've been having. See a lactation consultant, do your best, but ultimately don't let it make you feel like a failure. It's just another way that old hag Mother Nature makes us feel inadequate sometimes (as if IF wasn't enough!).
Good luck and hopefully your breastfeeding will go better--if not, you know that you've done your very best. Formula isn't evil...sometimes it's just a necessity.