Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Beginning and End of Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is/was hard. Crazy ridiculous hard. No one tells you just how hard it is either.
I have pretty much failed at it. I gave it as much as I could in the beginning. I still feel like I could have given it more, but there's not much that I can do about it now. I definitely feel like women should be more educated about beast feeding before they give birth. I though that I knew a fair amount, but it wasn't enough.

It all started with the fact that I have inverted/flat nipples. Technically this should not be a huge problem if you know how to deal with it properly. For me it was though. It cause intense pain. I dreaded every time I needed to feed my baby. That fact alone made me incredibly sad. A mother should not dread feeding her baby. It's suppose to be a wonderful bonding experience. Of course lots of women go through pain in the beginning and that can be normal.

(While trying to deal with the pain of having inverted/flat nipple I would occasionally give Teagan formula... when the pain was just too much. Big mistake though.)

A few weeks after giving birth I got mastitis. Mastitis was awful.... absolutely AWFUL. I had a fever of 103 and I could barely wear a t-shirt. Then they tell you that it's best to keep nursing... ha... funny. I couldn't do it. The nipple problem combined with Mastitis was too much for me. So I let the breast that had Mastitis dry up... aka, no longer produce milk. One breast is capable of producing enough milk for your baby so I thought that's what I could do.

(Now I've started giving Teagan even more formula, but hoping to get back to strictly breast feeding.)

Since I got Mastitis I had to take antibiotics to help take care of it. By taking antibiotics and taking enough probiotics with them I got thrush. Thrush hurt too. Wearing a bra was quite painful. Thrush was pretty much the last straw for me. I was emotionally drained and just couldn't take anymore pain.

So the plan of breast feeding exclusively died. Formula was it. Which I hated and still hate, but as long as my baby is fed and happy that's all that matters.

Through out all of this I cried and cried and CRIED about not being able to do it the way it's supposed to be done. I have felt like such a quitter and wimp. I feel like I should of been able to do it and that I didn't give it as much as I could have. I know that for the most part this all isn't true, but I just wasn't ever prepared to fail at breast feeding. That's the one thing that I never expected.

Now we just nurse once a day... at night just before bed, but I'm probably going to be stopping that soon too.

I plan to be better prepared with our next child and at least now I kind of know what to expect. Next time I'm going to give it all I've got and hope it's enough.


  1. You aren't a quitter or a wimp. Breastfeeding is hard. My nipples are the same way, so I can totally understand what you are going through on that part. Now you will understand and be more ready for baby #2. You have been totally awesome with Teagan. We love ya girl!! :)

  2. It sounds like you've gone through enough...don't feel like you're a quitter!! I have the same opinion about the importance of breastfeeding, but instead of feeling jipped, be grateful that formula is as awesome as it is today! You have an alternate way to feed Teagan, even if it wasn't what you originally wanted--and like you said, she's full and happy and you don't have to go through that pain by formula-feeding her. You're brave and strong, Sarah, just keep your chin up and everything will be fine! =)

  3. just wanted to pipe in and share my love!!!....motherhood is a long road with many twists and turns and no real way of predicting which fork you may take any given moment....i am so proud of the work and tears you put into this specific journey...and knowing when to call "mercy" is a brave choice....

    i called mercy with my first child and though now there is still a little twinge of regret i am reminded daily of how resilient children are....and now with my second the road is so much different....

    blessing to you all!!

    jessica (postpartum doula)

  4. I am also a big believer in breast feeding. And with my first I failed miserably! I was as well in educated, and just.....didn't get it. Don't feel bad! You are an amazing mother and are doing the best you can by that precious baby, and you love her. Some kids don't have that much. And trust me breast feeding gets easier. I failed miserably with #1, but was able to nurse #2-#5, at least the whole first year, if not year and a half. Don't feel like a failure, you will get it next time:-)

  5. With my first I actually went to a breastfeeding class and even had weekly checkups when my oldest wasn't latching on like she should and she wasn't gaining any weight... We finally gave up after 2 months and the midwife I went to at the time made me feel awful for not keeping it up and also telling me I was starving her after those two months of going every week and she kept promising me that it would be fine and the baby would eventually latch on... fast forward to the next baby and I went to a male doctor who reassured me that some babies just nurse better than others due to their mannerisms, personality and their will to survive... I was much happier with the whole breastfeeding experience when my second baby breastfed for 6+ months and my last one for 5 months under the supervision of a male doctor, go figure!! Also remember sometimes it's okay to say I just can't do it anymore!!

  6. Sarah, keep your head up and realize you can have a do over with the next baby. And little Teagan will be just fine and healthy. That is the goal after all. It is hard to breast feed and I never got to breast feed without pain. It hurt the first time and everytime after. Just not as much after a while. Sometimes things just work this way, and you wonder why or blame yourself, but don't. You're doing fine and she's healthy and beautiful!

  7. I feel your pain, I also got mastitis with my first. Bottle feeding is easier in some ways, but breast feeding gives you a bonding also. Do not stress it, we won't judge you!

  8. Sorry the breastfeeding hasn't worked out. Just curious did you try a nipple shield? They are supposed to help with inverted or flat nipples. I swear it is an amazing thing! I used one with one of my babies for only a few days until she got the hang of it,it helped alot with the pain and her being able to figure out how to latch on. Good luck!

  9. I did use a nipple shield, which worked out great until I got thrush. :(