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Low Supply & High Guilt: How to Deal With Your Milk Drying Up

By Amalah

Dear Amy,

I’ve been reading Amalah for years — pre-Noah (your first child). I remember you posting one day that you had quit breastfeeding, including pictures of all the pump parts / accessories that you were throwing away. At the time, this was meaningless to me because I had no children. Fast forward to me with a 2 month old. I am back at work, pumping and supplementing, and oh! the angst and guilt and tears.

I always struggled with low supply. I have plenty in the mornings, it dwindles in the afternoon, and by the evening I had a seriously pissed newborn nursing hungrily for 2 hours at a time, sleeping for 30 minutes, repeat until dawn. After 3-4 (hazy memory) nights of this, I ORDERED my DH to make a bottle of formula. I cried as she gulped down 3 ounces and fell happily asleep. It was clear to me that my baby was hungry.

Undaunted, I went to see a LC (lactation consultant). I WOULD NOT FAIL. She basically told me that I had low supply BECAUSE I supplemented and that I was just lazy and not wanting to stay up to nurse my child. She ordered me to nurse and co-sleep (which I’m not ok with). I went to see another LC, and she ordered me on herbs, etc. I’ve done the herbs, Guinness, extra calorie diet, oatmeal, pumping after feeding, 64 ounces of water, etc. No change. The only thing I haven’t tried is Reglan, but I’m a bit afraid of the side effects.

Now my beautiful daughter is in daycare and I’m pumping. She gets somewhere around 60-70% of her calories from me, 30-40% from formula. The formula amount keeps creeping up. The milk: she’s going to dry up.

I am OVERWHELMED with guilt and grief and angst and everything else about this. DH is the oldest of four and his mother BF all of them for a year, no problem. My mother BF me for 5 months, no problem. The guilt is multiplied by a thousand because I feel like getting those antibodies is so much more important with her in daycare (not to mention the run-of-the-mill daycare guilt).

Why do my boobs suck? How do I let go and get over this? DH is tired of me crying over it. I am tired of me crying over it.

Help,

Drying Up

A Story About Nursing — and Quitting

(Totally random aside! Why do I always feel compelled to start columns with some kind of phonetic non-word expression? Like I just typed “ay yi yi,” which I’m not sure I’ve ever actually said out loud, but it’s like a compulsion here. Anyway. Moving on.)

First, a little personal backstory for those who may not know my own breastfeeding history — my first son, Noah, was gigantic (9 lbs, 15oz), my milk took over a week to come in, and it was always a tenuous, inadequate supply thanks to some botched cyst aspirations and scar tissue. We supplemented occasionally from the get-go thanks to a SUPER AWESOME HAPPY diagnosis of “failure to thrive” because Noah lost way, waaaaay too much weight in that first hazy week — my time of “exclusively” breastfeeding probably totaled a whopping month. Maybe. Probably not all in one consecutive chunk of days, either. I too did everything the lactation consultants recommended, but I always struggled to keep up with Noah’s appetite.

I went back to work full-time when Noah was 12 weeks old. I’d pumped and pumped and pumped in preparation, hoping to fill just a FEW of the dozens and dozens of breast milk storage bags I’d cluelessly bought while pregnant. Noah drank my entire pumped supply on his FIRST DAY of daycare. It was a pathetic game of catch-up after that. I probably got a bottle’s worth of milk from the pump every three days or so. I tried leaving work at lunchtime to actually nurse, but that soon became undoable and unrealistic. We resumed nursing on demand at home, but it soon became clear that Noah was only interested in nursing when he wanted comfort — when he was hungry, he wanted that damn bottle. And who could blame him? He needed FOOD. Serious FOOD.

After about two months of this, I was right where Drying Up was. The more I relied on the pump, the longer Noah slept at night without eating, the less milk I had. Finally, one morning I put him to the boob and he pulled off in a righteous fury. Nothing there. Not a drop. He never, ever latched again. I kept pumping for a couple days, upped the fenugreek, just in case it wasn’t really and truly The End, but it was. Five-and-a-half months. Two weeks under my worst-case scenario goal of six months, a pathetically far cry from the year that I really wanted.

Give Up the Guilt

I wish I could tell you, Drying Up, that quitting/weaning/whatever-it-was was some fabulously freeing experience for me — oh! I could be free of the guilt and enjoy my baby! — and I guess there was that side of it. I really did believe I’d done everything I could, but that my baby and my body had made the decision for me and it made little sense to fight it. I also was extremely conflicted about being back at work. So that didn’t help the creeping thoughts of “if I’d just been able to stay home with him this never would have happened!

But. Hell. That’s life. We do the very best we can for our children given our own unique circumstances. Like you! Back to work after two months? My God, I commend you for even being able to navigate a hallway without smacking headfirst into walls, much less keeping up with pumping and multiple LCs and all of the rest.

Mamas with temperamental supplies like ours…well, the pump just doesn’t cut it sometimes. (I’m assuming you’re still on a hospital-grade rental, and not a hand pump or other small, less-powerful travel/portable kind.) Our babies are more efficient at getting the milk out, and our bodies respond best to the sight and feel and smell of that little downy head rooting around down there. Not so much with the cold plastic of a goddamned milking machine, no matter how many photos we stare at or little hats we smell while trying to pump. The stress we feel over the lack of significant output doesn’t help either.

Again, this isn’t FAILURE on anybody’s part. It’s just life. Modern life in this country, with terribly short maternity leaves and hectic schedules and SO MUCH PRESSURE from ourselves and society to do it all and to do it all perfectly.

60-70% breastmilk? That’s OUTSTANDING. That’s a lot of antibodies there. Antibodies that she’ll have long after you’re done nursing. Seriously. Forget what that ratio might be in a week or two weeks or a month. Accept a standing ovation for what you’re doing right now.

(And for the record, Noah had two ear infections while in daycare — one before and one after we weaned. He’s had exactly one more ever since. He’s been on antibiotics once. The only other medication he ever takes is a week or two of Zyrtec in the spring. He kicked a speech delay roundly in the ass and is, I AM SORRY, unbelievably smart and healthy and awesome. I dare anyone to find a mother and son who are more closely bonded, pea-in-a-pod style, than we are. And hey! He’s pretty nuts about his Dada, who also got to feed him a lot of the time, as well.)

You’re Doing Enough (I Promise)

I’m totally just rambling here, I know. Obviously I don’t have some awesome solution to offer you. Maybe try the Reglan (I never did — my LCs finally admitted that my breasts were probably working at full capacity, what with the duct damage, and never really recommended prescriptions). Maybe try a different pump. Maybe just hang on as long as you can, doing exactly what you’re doing, knowing each day is a blessing but that all good things must come to an end.

In the “non-maybe” category — STOP comparing yourself to your mom or MIL or that self-righteous twit in your playgroup who never had any problems exclusively nursing her triplets until they were in the second grade but still clucks her tongue at bottle-feeders. STOP looking at this as a pass/fail exercise. STOP feeling guilty. (Note that I’m not saying you need to stop feeling disappointment or sadness — those are natural when something that’s important to you doesn’t work out as planned. But GUILT. The feeling like this is your fault or that you’re letting your daughter down when you are clearly kicking your own ass repeatedly trying to make it work…no. Stop that. Easier said than done, but…stopthat.)

I think, towards the end of our breastfeeding time, the only time Noah really WANTED to nurse was right when we got home at night. His daycare providers were lovely, wonderful women who were just crazy for him. His needs were met, his days were stimulated and fun, and yet he would divebomb for my shirt the minute we got home and settled in on the couch. I kept up this feeding as long as I could, and it was the reason I was most distraught that morning when I realized I was finally, completely bone-dry.

So that night, we came home. We settled down on the couch. I’d pumped several times that day and didn’t produce a drop. I was terrified Noah would try to latch and get angry again. But…he didn’t. He knew. But he also didn’t howl for a bottle or wriggle away from me. He curled up against my chest and sighed and sucked his thumb. I rubbed his head and cheeks and stroked his body the way I’d done while feeding him, and he looked up at me and smiled around his thumb, just like he’d done while nursing.

And I knew everything was okay. I’d done enough. This was enough. For both of us.

For more Amalah advice, please visit her Pregnancy Calendar.

 

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Jessica V
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Jessica V

Wow – just burst into tears at the end of your answer. Pregnancy hormones blow. I’m 30 weeks into my second pregnancy and already worried about how nursing will go. I couldn’t nurse with my first – I had a post-op infection and my milk dried up before I left the hospital. My body was so busy fighting the infection that it literally used up all the moisture in my body – one morning I woke up and not only was the milk gone, but my feet were suddenly back to normal size (had been huge the day prior). I… Read more »

Leggynic
Guest
Leggynic

Amy, Thank you for this. I’ve been reading Amalah, Zero to Forty, and the Smackdown for a few months now. I’m 32 weeks pregnant with our first and plan to breastfeed but appreciate your thoughts here. Even during my pediatrician interview this week he gave me the understanding to know it doesn’t always happen as planned. (He’s known me forever. I live in a small town) It helps to know there’s back-up when my MIL starts the guilt trips early. The concept of a breast pump perplexed her.

fruitlady
Guest

I was a guaranteed 2 oz per breast period. My first son was 7.5 pounds. Milk came in fine. There just wasn’t much of it. He grew fine, started solids fairly early, and I never thought much about it. At nine months my husband and I separated and emotionally I was tapped out. My milk was drying up, but since I never made that much to begin with I didn’t notice right away. About 3 weeks into it I figured it out and put him on formula. He inhaled a full bottle in about 3 minutes or something and I… Read more »

Crystal D
Guest

Excellent post! I am 38 weeks along with my 3rd girl and let’s just say breastfeeding and I, well we are not a fit made in heaven. I have tried, tried and I will try again, but you know what, this time I am NOT going to feel the guilt if it doesn’t work out for me. The second time I did learn that crying is no way to spend your first month with your newborn child. So when it got to be too much, I’d just make a bottle and get over myself. This time I’ll try again. I… Read more »

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

I took reglan. it made me sleepy and i did later have some PPD, but i think that was more about not wanting to go back to work. Reglan did increase my supply. i took fenugreek every day for 2 years as well. I gave up on pumping about 2 weeks back to work because it just depressed me (3 drops isn’t even worth saving). but my supply stayed about the same if not increasing from the lack of pump stress. i nursed him at lunch. My son took bottles of formula at day care and one more bottle from… Read more »

chiquita
Guest
chiquita

I know it seems SO BIG right now, but there are plenty of other ways to bond. I tried for almost 3 months, and at the end I was pumping more for me than for her. I wasn’t getting a significant amount of breast milk and just decided to say enough is enough. Now at 5 months, my daughter is happy, healthy and growing.

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

Thanks for that reply Amy. I was back at work after six weeks of maternity leave and the boobs were never quite the same, despite a ton of at work pumping breaks. After a failure to thrive diagnosis at 4 months, we had to start supplementing and that didn’t help things. I stretched it out to six months before the boobs had just flat out had enough. It was rough, admitting that I was done, especially looking at my BFF who is weaning only now at 13 months. NOT comparing yourself to others is one of the hardest parts of… Read more »

Becca
Guest

Amy, GREAT ANSWER. Dried Up, you are doing so well! You are doing exactly what your daughter needs, breastmilk or no, formula or no. That’s what formula is there for! Just want to say for new-to-be moms; some women are lucky in the breastfeeding arena. Some aren’t. You have no idea which you’ll be when the time comes, and nothing you can do now will prepare you for it. I was a lucky one. For some unknown reason due to nothing I did, breastfeeding came easy with nary a sore nipple or an engorgement. Don’t fret about it before-hand. Nothing… Read more »

Liz
Guest
Liz

Like Amy, I had a huge baby and my supply was nowhere near a match for his appetite. Actually, my supply was not enough for a preemie: 0.5 oz after TWO HOURS ON A PUMP. I tried various things you listed, with absolutely zero success. I was seriously sleep-deprived, hormonal, and oh yeah – MY BABY WAS STARVING TO DEATH. My pediatrician told me to just let breastfeeding go, and enjoy my baby. I got a lot happier, he got a lot happier. As for the antibody/daycare thing, my personal experience is that my child has been no sicker in… Read more »

MrsHaley
Guest
MrsHaley

I think a lot of the guilt women slap themselves with about bf-ing comes from an expectation that it will work perfectly in an imperfect situation. Breastfeeding is designed (?word choice?) to work best every 2.5-4 hours, round the clock, for 10-12 weeks, at the very least. After that period of establishment, it’s still “supposed” to be pretty much round-the-clock, baby-only stimulation. There are so many women for whom this ideal is simply unworkable. Anybody with a job, for example! But even SAHMs with other children or those who are not willing/able to do night feedings or whatever … anything… Read more »

mama2etc
Guest
mama2etc

Oh Lord, the breastfeeding guilt! So many of us beat ourselves up about it, it’s been built up into THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR BABY. I wish we moms would give ourselves a break. My story: three kids, 13-4 years. Breastfed them all, with varying success. First son couldn’t latch on, and would not have nursed at all if not for the fact that I had a live-in lactation consultant (my mother). I nursed him 10 months, supplementing with formula after four months, when I went back to work. My second son latched on easily and nursed… Read more »

Amy
Guest

You’re smart to be wary of reglan. It gave me a rip roaring case of post-partum depression. Bad news. Look into domperidone, and be compassionate with yourself. If a friend were having the problems you are, would you want her to feel crushingy guilty? Of course not. Do your best, and if you do, you have nothing to feel guilty about.

Eliza
Guest
Eliza

One thing to remember is that even if breastfeeding didn’t work out with your first child, you get a new chance with each additional child. I breastfed my first for four months and quit after multiple cases of mastitis, bloody nipples, low supply, you name it! I was consumed by guilt, and my relatives made it hugely worse by suggesting that my baby was too chubby because of formula and she was bound to have weight problems all her life… all because of me and my stupid malfunctioning boobs! Fast forward to baby #2. He latched on perfectly from day… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I breastfed my daughter (1st child) for two weeks, and I absolutely hated it. My pediatrician told me “Formula is just fine. Don’t make yourself miserable.” It was such a relief to enjoy feeding my baby. I breastfed my son (2nd child) for about four months (everything was so much easier the second time around!) and only stopped then because I was n antibiotics and couldn’t get a straight answer about how safe my milk was for him. My son–breastfed, supposed to be less prone to allergies, has a peanut allergy and asthma. My daughter, on the other hand, only… Read more »

Marnie
Guest
Marnie

Oh, the guilt, the guilt, the GUILT! And it seems to get worse when they learn how to talk. One thing I would like to add is that the amount of milk you get when you pump is not necessarily indicative of how much milk your child is getting when she nurses. My boobs HATED the pump. I even had the really super nice Medela Pump-in-style. But it didn’t matter – I just could not produce more than about half a feeding for that stupid pump. When I pumped at work, I had to do what I lovingly referred to… Read more »

Nic
Guest
Nic

I would just like to second the domperidone previously mentioned, it worked wonders for me. Where I live (WI) you have to have it compounded at a special pharmacy ($70 for about a 4-5 week supply, when you take ~3 per day), but it was sooo worth it for me. It was like a magic pill. You can get a few extra poops a week from it, and you have to slowly taper off it not just stop cold turkey, but all in all (for me) it was great. And I work 50-60 hr/wk with 2 kids, and managed to… Read more »

Cobwebs
Guest

My son was also huge, and I was never able to produce more than a few teaspoons at a time. That pretty much guaranteed that he was going to be bottle-fed. The thing that really pissed me off was the attitude of the lactation consultants. Even after I tried everything possible to increase my supply, they acted as though my inability to produce was somehow my fault. I knew that I was giving it my all, and didn’t appreciate the implication that I was a poor mother because my udders were apparently for decorative purposes only. Some LCs are a… Read more »

cmhd
Guest
cmhd

I don’t think a smackdown has ever made me cry, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. Mamas, do what you can. There are other ways to love your babies.
cmhd

Mary
Guest

I am 47 years old, so that means I am old and wise and you should all listen to me. I have three kids, and breastfed them all with varying levels of success. One went for over a year. One bit me every single time and got himself weaned much earlier. One decided she was bored with it sooner than I was. They have all grown up to be lovely, healthy young people. The one who nursed the longest needed ear tubes for constant ear infections WHILE he was still nursing, and believe me, we didn’t make that decision lightly.… Read more »

Kai
Guest
Kai

What Amy said, plus one thing: please don’t take Reglan. I nursed my daughter for two years, but I finally quit pumping at 11 months. When she was seven months old I began having serious supply issues during pumping. After trying everything else, I went on Reglan. The only thing worse than going on the Reglan was coming off of it. Yes, you may be fortunate and it may work wonders for you without any side effects, but there is a significantly good chance that you won’t be. My supply went up, but I was also a basket case of… Read more »

Sue
Guest
Sue

Amalah and the rest of you: I’m old enough to be your mother — wait, maybe I AM your mother! — and I just want to gather all of you in my arms and say, “It’s not your fault.” Breast feeding is hard. I tried to nurse both of my daughters but encountered one obstacle I couldn’t change: severe jaundice in both of them caused by an enzyme in my milk that interfered with their ability to process bilirubin. This is not — repeat, not — normal newborn jaundice. The kind my daughters had almost always requires supplementing. I threw… Read more »

Annie
Guest
Annie

Amy’s story is quite similar to mine. I was sad for a long time about having to supplement with formula, and then switch to formula full time and stop nursing when my son was 4 months old. But one day I looked at how healthy and happy he was and I stopped feeling down about it. Shit happens. If this was all I had to feel sad about, I figured I was in really good shape. I did want feeding to be a bonding experience for my baby, so when I feed him a bottle I find a quiet place,… Read more »

Colleen
Guest

*giving Drying Up a standing ovation* that is my story as well. I’ve always had to supplement with both of my boys. First one I gave up after 6 weeks of his screaming in hunger and frustration. Second one I made it to 7 months, but was a freakin’ mess. I pumped 20-30 minutes three times a day at work and would only go home with 8 oz each night. I was on all the teas and herbs and oatmeal and more fluids than I could stand drinking and no change. I took Reglan and while I would go home… Read more »

Meredith
Guest
Meredith

Now, I’m not in any way an expert, but I really wish there were more encouragement of a middle ground between breast-feeding and formula feeding. It really seems like a large group of moms would be more fullfilled and relaxed knowing it’s not all-or-nothing. For my story, my son was born and we had a normal amount of trouble learning to breast-feed. We went home from the hospital and it quickly went south. I learned I had an inverted nipple which prevented latch-on and grew to the size of a bowling ball. With a great lactation consultant (and some nipple… Read more »

Liz
Guest

Oh honey honey honey… I experienced the same thing… THE.SAME.THING. Please do email me and I will sooth your jangled nerves over this. I felt the guilt and I YEARN for that breastfeeding. At one point I thought if I just TRIED harder… pumped ALL NIGHT LONG, or took some medication to boost the supply… what ifs killed me. But, I did try hard. I tried really hard, and you know what, we did breastfeed, until she was 4 months old. I sobbed those same tears the first time we gave her a bottle. All I could think was… I’m… Read more »

heels
Guest
heels

Formula is not poison! Yeah, breast is best… if you can get it. My son and I didn’t have trouble with latch or painful nipples or anything significant like that, I simply couldn’t produce enough to satiate him. After 4 weeks of trying and having him lose weight, I finally broke down and gave him formula. I had a LOT of guilt, but, ultimately, I had to remind myself that it was my job to provide my child with whatever he needed to survive and thrive, and that I couldn’t let guilt or social pressure stand in the way of… Read more »

just beth
Guest

Why oh WHY is feeding our child such a hot topic?? From breastfeeding in public to supplementing to exclusive bottlefeeding, people, RELAX. (not the people here, the people here rock. those OTHER people) I am a breastfeeder, I love it, but it’s HARD. I don’t think ANYONE can rightfully talk about another person’s experience and decision with any kind of true perspective. I love your answer, Amy, and I love your dedication, Drying. Feel empowered that YOU can make the best decision for YOU and your family. And anyone who asks? I give my Mona Lisa smile and say, ‘well,… Read more »

Katie
Guest

I’m a full-time workin’, full-time mommy-in’, part-time breastfeedin’, part-time pumpin’ mess. I mean – woman. Working and pumping is HARD. Being away from your precious angel-baby all day is HARD. Trying to fix a low supply is HARD. All of this is HARD. You deserve a freakin’ GOLD medal for attempting it. You deserve a CHOCOLATE medal covered in gold foil for keeping at it and not giving up. But if you give up breastfeeding, you’re not giving up being a good mommy. You’re just giving up breastfeeding. Sweetie (can I call you sweetie?) ANY breastmilk you can give your… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Everyone has already said it, but it is worth repeating. Breastfeeding is hard. It is even harder in this hectic society of ours. I stayed home with my daughter for 4 months, and spent the first two in tears. She breastfed all the time. She was never full. I worked with two lactation consultants. I tried the herbs, the teas, the massive amounts of liquids. When my girl wasn’t nursing she was crying. So was I. Our pediatrician finally told us that enough was enough. He suggested that we nurse for 15 minutes per side, and then offer a supplemental… Read more »

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

Just one more of the same. I really wanted to breastfeed and really tried. It just wouldn’t work. I held off giving her formula hoping my supply would improve, but I was afraid she was still hungry. The ratio of breast milk to formula kept shifting and by the time she was 4 months old, I just didn’t have any more. But, to me, the most important thing was that I was feeding her, regardless of what I was feeding her. Formula is a lot better option than failure to thrive. Give her what milk you can, but don’t kill… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

I am “Drying Up,” and I just had to say thank you to all of you. I’m still managing to pump / nurse about 70% of her daily intake. Just yesterday I managed to go 24 hours without formula.
I have to thank all of you, especially Amy, for your encouragement and kindness. When my daughter smiles and laughs at me, I’m learning that it’s not because of my milk, it’s because of ME. I’m forgiving my body for not being perfect, and being gentle with myself. Thank you everyone!

Emily
Guest
Emily

Tearing up here too! I felt terrible low-supply guilt (why can’t you relax? why don’t you medicate? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR BOOBS?) and I stayed HOME, so I also got a lot of tsking from random women because I didn’t even have the working out of the house low-supply excuse. When I told my LC that I was going to stop forcing my baby to breastfeed when he got so frustrated but instead feed him expressed milk in a bottle because he liked it better that way, she told me that he might like to go run around in traffic… Read more »

Missie
Guest

I’ve read most of the comments here and I have to agree…Drying Up, you need to quit beating yourself up over this! My son, now 12, didn’t have a problem breastfeeding..oh, except he wanted to do it 24/7! My milk supply was fine, but just not enough for Mr. Piggy McEatallthetimePants. So at about two weeks, we supplemented with formula, then by one month, he was exclusively on Similac. It is not the end of the world to put your child on formula. Yes,yes, breast is best, blahblah, but listen…millions of us were exclusively formula fed and we are not… Read more »

jen
Guest
jen

I have been crying and mentally beating myself up for days because I can tell that my eight-week-old baby’s and my time breastfeeding is already done. I tried so hard. We nursed all day. I pumped and pumped, and some days could cobble together a whole ounce of pumped milk. I repeatedly visited a LC. I read books and websites that told me I must not be trying hard enough, I must not be willing to put in enough time. This, trying to establish my milk supply and feed my son, is all I did. Thank you for this! I… Read more »

Janelle
Guest
Janelle

This may be an old article and not sure if anyone will see this but just wanted to say this was a great article and even though my situation was a little different (I came across this looking for a answer to drying up at 8 months) however it still brought me to tears and made me feel wonderful. This has came on suddenly for me and was not a problem with my first child but I think all moms who give it there best shot no matter how long it lasts deserve a huge pat on the back. I’m… Read more »

Faith Hogue
Guest
Faith Hogue

Made me feel alot better had to go back to work and it wasn’t fun at all and only one side produces milk for me so its alot of work on just one side to have to pump after feeding and pump at work im getting an alright amount but thinking ill have to supplement soon cause its just not enough and im gone for 8 hours almost everyday:(

SH
Guest
SH

Thank you so much for this article and all the comments! I have read every single one and am clinging to every single word! I had no idea I was not alone in feeling sooo guilty and inadequate and embarrassed by my inability to keep this milk factory up and running. I also have 3 very different experiences with each of my 3 beauties. But #3 has taken the greatest toll on my emotions. She is almost 7 months and I can only pump about 1-2 oz every couple of days.. I don’t know why I continue to hold on… Read more »

Kim
Guest
Kim

Well my baby boy is a little over two weeks and I’ve started to dry up already, yes I feel a bit guilty, but I did two weeks! I’ve had to supplement with formula since we brought him home, he was losing to much weight. I lost 2 1/2 liters of blood and had to have an emergency c section, plus a blood transfusion. My body went under a lot of trauma, I believe this is the reason why I’m not producing enough milk.

Shae White
Guest
Shae White

It’s so hard to not feel guilty when, after expressing concern over yet another light day of milk production, you’re hammered with questions like, How much did you eat? What did you eat? Did you get enough water? Did you take your supplement? When was the last time you changed out your pump parts? Etc. etc. ad nauseum. How can you not feel guilty when, if you answer even one of those questions with a less than perfect answer, the response you receive clearly tells you you’re not doing everything you can so it IS your fault?

FundyR
Guest
FundyR

I realize this is an old post but it’s something I needed to hear. Aside from my grandmother, no other women in my family breastfed but my husband’s family seems to be full of milk machines. I’ve been through the whole “if only I didn’t have to work” thing, I went back at 6 weeks and my supply dropped. I suspect a combination of overfeeding and my husband thinking he should calm the baby without nursing (chances are she was hungry, which is even more upsetting to think about.) If I could go back I might do things differently but… Read more »

Lindsey McCarthy
Guest
Lindsey McCarthy

Thank you for this. My supply is getting smaller and smaller and it’s good to know that when it’s all dried up, my little boy will still want cuddles from his mom. I did what I could, and that’s what matters.

Allison
Guest
Allison

Well, today I giving up on pumping. I struggled with low milk supply since the beginning complicated by postpartum hemorrage and my litte one’s tongue tie. My daughter lost a lot of weight the first week and I had to start supplementing and pumping. I was spending too much time, effort, and tears being a slave to the pump. My milk supply never came up even with all the herbs, oatmeal, water intake, etc. I am finally listening to my OB, Mom, and my husband that enough is enough. I hate the guilt that comes with it. But I am… Read more »

Lauren
Guest
Lauren

Your boobs probably do not suck, it’s probably cultural breastfeeding that is the problem. When baby doesn’t drain the breast directly, and when baby isn’t allowed free access to the breast (because you are working- which is probably also lowering your supply because it takes a toll on your body) you can’t expect your supply to be the same as a mom who is with her child 24/7 and nurses on cue (including at night by cosleeping). After just a few short hours of not nursing a woman’s hormones are the same as a non nursing mother. You just can’t… Read more »