Stream of consciousness thoughts on failing at breastfeeding — and surviving

Guest post by Andrea Karim

By: planet_olearyCC BY 2.0
I was sitting in the lactation consultant’s office after my daughter’s birth, and I was crying. Debbie, a registered nurse, has already looked at my bruised, scabby nipples and uttered the exact right amount of sympathetic sounds. The nurses at the hospital, who were otherwise wonderful, had fitted me with pumping flanges that were several sizes too small, and not provided anything in the way of lubrication, so after one vigorous pumping, my areolas are covered in blisters. I actually peeled some of the blisters off when removing my bra, and the pain was excruciating.

Debbie fit me with larger flanges for my “extra-large nipples” and explained that I had a lot working against me. As a redhead, I have sensitive skin that my baby can easily bruise with one enthusiastic feeding. I had previously been unaware that my nipples were anything worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records, but apparently they are enormous by most standards. To compound matters, my little baby has a particularly small mouth.

“What a little rosebud!” everyone exclaims when they see her little lips pursed together. I don’t feel like an ogre at all, in case you were wondering. No sir, having nipples too big for an infant’s mouth is a GREAT feeling.

I’m an older first-time mother, at age 35, and older women commonly experience problems getting their milk in. I have thyroid problems, which can also affect milk production. The lactation consultant lists out these factors, these perfect excuses as to why I am unable to produce more than a few paltry drops of breast milk per feeding, and she is meaning to make me feel better, but all I can feel is failure pressing down on me.

The lactation consultant wants me to take tons of Fenugreek every day, and to pump my breasts at least 9-10 times per day. That’s roughly five hours out of every day if you consider prep, pumping, and clean-up. Five hours during which I can’t really hold my baby or even really interact with her, because I have to pump in the quiet of my bedroom so as not to make visiting family uncomfortable.

“If you pump 10 times per day, your milk might come in within 9 to 15 weeks,” says Debbie. “I wouldn’t stop pumping before 15 weeks are up.” I do some quick math. That’s 525 hours of pumping.

“The more you pump, the more milk you produce!” says Debbie, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for me.

Debbie shows us how to get a good latch with the baby, which is no small feat, and we buy a lactation pillow and bottles of Fenugreek and blessed thistle that Debbie says will make me smell like artificial maple syrup, but which actually make me smell like the inside of an Indian grocery store.

There are dozens of reasons why a woman might have trouble producing adequate amounts of breast milk. Advanced age is one. Thyroid problems are another. Delivery via Cesarean section can delay breast milk production. Oh, look, I’ve hit the goddamn trifecta.

Later my husband and I are driving home from the lactation consultant’s office. We’re stuck on busy 405 North, and my husband, who still has functioning brain cells nearly a week into parenthood, is telling me that being a good mother has nothing to do with breastfeeding.

“Just look at Aunt Hilda,” he says. “She breastfed all of her children, and none of them are talking to her now because she’s a horrible person who makes them feel bad about themselves. Your relationship with our daughter will be forged in your interactions with her, and that’s not defined by which type of nipple she has in her mouth.”

I nod, realizing that his point is valid. After all, our daughter has been on formula since she was born, when we had to feed it to her moments after birth to get her blood sugar back up. As far as I can tell, she recognizes us as her parents.

I have never liked my boobs. They aren’t particularly perky, although they don’t drop to my knees either. They aren’t the kinds of boobs that make people sit up and take notice. My nipples are kind of lazy, only showing themselves as distinct parts when they are pinched, suckled, or exposed to the cold.

More importantly, my breasts have never offered me anything in the way of sexual pleasure. Most women I know enjoy having their breasts touched. I don’t. I mean, I don’t actively dissuade my husband from playing with my breasts, but the process really does nothing for me. If you want to see me shudder with pleasure, tickle my neck. But don’t bother with my boobs. They just lack the pleasure receptors needed to make them useful as sexual objects.

That’s part of what makes my inability to sufficiently breastfeed all the more galling. My boobs don’t look good. They don’t feel good. The least that they could do is fulfill their biological imperative, which is to adequately nourish an infant. And they can’t even do that. My right breast, which is usually the larger of the two, produces no more than two or three drops of milk per feeding.

I’m shocked at how much formula costs. I’m also shocked at how much I am spending to try to breastfeed, largely unsuccessfully. I pay $100 to rent a hospital-grade breast pump, having been told by the lactation consultant that my Medela Pump in Style won’t do the trick. I take $20 worth of Fenugreek capsules and $30 worth of Blessed Thistle pills per month. Then there’s the Reglan prescription. There’s the steroid cream for my nipples, compounded by a local pharmacy for $40. There are the gel inserts that offer relief to my cracked nipples at $14 for a five day supply. I haven’t even bothered buying a nursing bra — I just can’t afford it at the moment.

There are the one-time costs. The nursing pillow and covers. The pump and all of its attachments. The pumping bra. The storage bottles and sterilizing equipment.

A friend of mine asked me a few days before I gave birth if I intended to breastfeed. I told her that I did, although that if I couldn’t for any reason, I wouldn’t feel bad about it. That’s because I never suspected for a second that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. After all, so much of my pregnancy had progressed just like my own mother’s — and my mother had breastfed both of us kids with nary a problem.

It’s our pediatrician who finally talks me down from the ledge. She asks how breastfeeding is going, and I tell her it’s really not.

“You know, I had trouble with breast milk when my daughter was born,” she says, “and they had me pumping ten times a day. At one point, I was pumping milk while my baby was lying on the floor beside me, screaming, and I couldn’t really pick her up because of the pumping apparatus. I finally decided that if the choice was between breast milk and paying attention to my baby, I was going to choose the baby.”

I barely pump anymore, although I can still feed my baby about an ounce of breast milk from one breast every other feeding or so. I’ve given up on my right breast — she’s such an underachiever. I’ll keep taking the prescriptions and supplements and keep hoping that I’m giving my baby girl SOME antibodies and nutrients, but for the most part, my child is fed, and yes nourished, by formula.

Like millions of other kids, who all grew up just fine.

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Comments on Stream of consciousness thoughts on failing at breastfeeding — and surviving

  1. As a feminist and a scientist, I’m a strong proponent of breast-feeding, but I’m not sure the “breast is best” slogan is helping anyone. It’s oversimplifying the education process for the thousands of women who need to be taught why and how to breast feed, and making women who understand all of these things but have real physical limitations feel awful when they can’t breast feed. I’ve heard too many horror stories like this one about lactation consultants who completely lack common sense in the face of “breast is best” dogma. Once upon a time we didn’t have pumps and formula. Some mother’s couldn’t produce milk for their babies, and sometimes those babies drank dairy milk or found wet nurses. Some of those babies survived and some didn’t. Formula was a miraculous invention for these infants! There will always be someone willing to tell you that you are parenting wrong, but good for you for making the best decision for your mental and physical health and the health of your baby! According to a recent literature review, there is little to no scientific evidence of the efficacy or safety of the drugs and herbal supplements that were recommended to you, so avoid the dogma!

  2. Kudos for all your efforts and, no, you shouldn’t feel bad about it after all you’ve done.
    I am a little concerned though that reading this may scare pregnant mothers to be. It doesn’t have to be like this. I gave birth to my baby one month before turning 35. She could not latch at the beginning, so I was forced to pump. In my case, however, with regular pumping, I was able to establish a good milk supply. So, no, age does not have to be a problem. I was recommended nipple shields by my lactation consultant, with which my baby was able to achieve latch, however she was feeding inefficiently with them, so I continued pumping. But after a few weeks, my daughter had grown enough and is now able to breastfeed without problems. She is 14 weeks old now and has been exclusively breasfed. I still continue pumping because my nipples get too sore if she has all feedings from the breast (she gets about 1/3 of feedings from the bottle), plus I like the fact that also her father can feed her like this. To me, the pump has been a live-saver in the beginning and buys me a couple of hours of independence per day now.

    • I wanted to chime in on a bit of this: we have pages of posts about breastfeeding — there are posts that talk about how amazing it can be, and posts like this one that also talk about how challenging it can be. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that everyone has a different experience, and to make sure we’re representing those experiences.

      I’m adding a few links to the end of this post to remind people of our archives — that way multiple breastfeeding experiences are being shared. Having said that, I don’t want to diminish the real validity of this post: breastfeeding is easy for some, and much more challenging for others, and it’s good for people to know that. “It doesn’t have to be like this” sure, but sometimes it is.

      • I just wanted to say that I have always appreciated OBF’s coverage of breast/ bottle feeding. I was in a bad place after my babies were born and was sinking deeper after weeks failed attempts to get my milk to come in. The final moment came when my lactation consultant came to the NICU to help me pump while sitting next to my babies. As I was hooking myself up the pump and looking at my 2 lb preemies (who I had still not been able to hold)she started in on her talking points about how breast is best and how breastfeeding is “the most bonding thing a mother and baby can do” I lost it. That night I started searching the internet for exclusively pumping/ preemies/ ect when I came across some OBM links. The various experiences shared helped me realize that no one way is the “best way” or the “only way.” A picture of me bottle feeding my daughter even appeared in one of the montages. I winced a first expecting the formula finger wagging to start but it never did. A few commenters even complimented the featuring of a bottle feeding.

        So thanks again.

      • Yes, I so agree that it’s important for potential breastfeeders to read about different types of experiences. Like the author, I also was quite sure that breastfeeding was going to be relatively easy for me, before I had actually tried it. I tell my future parent friends about my extreme difficulties, not to freak them out, but to educate them about what’s possible. Not necessarily because it might happen to them. It probably won’t (and hasn’t, so far). More so they can have empathy for others (and appreciation if it’s easy!).

    • I am really glad that it worked for you, and wish it had for me! I just couldn’t establish a useful supply, and what I got was never worth the effort exerted. But I’m so happy that pumping works for many women, because breastfeeding IS a great experience if you can swing it.

  3.! Please have this woman write for you more because, after this post, I totally love her style, her Friggin brilliant at just the right time husband, and want to hang out and be friends with her. I want to give her a big hug and a congrats,because she just learned The Most Important Rule of Parenting, which is “sometimes you just have to say Fuck it /this.”

  4. I can relate to so much of this. Like you, I have the red hair, fair skin, and painfully oversensitive nipples. Breastfeeding in the hospital was awful. I tried for two days, but it hurt so much that I was in tears so i asked for the pump and the amount of resistance I got from the lactation nurses shocked me. I had done my research. I knew what I was getting into. Still, they insisted that I could nurse if I just tried one more time…

    Maybe they were trying to save me the effort and frustration of pumping, but they left me feeling like a freak and a failure. What kind of mom dreads feeding her hours old baby because it hurts? What kind of woman can’t use her breasts for what they are for.

    Ultimately it was my husband who put his foot down and picked up a pump for me himself. As it turns out exclusively pumping works for us, but I would never assume that it would work for anyone else just like I wouldn’t assume that breastfeeding is even an option for every mother.

    I was (luckily) prepared for the amount of work and time and expense of pumping, but I wasn’t expecting to have to defend my choice almost daily to family members, strangers, and doctors (just google anything to do with finding support for a pumping problem…the “answer” is usually to nurse more. Which is so not helpful when you can’t). I don’t want to “fix” anything about it and I shouldn’t be made to feel like I need to.

    Seriously, as long as baby is happy and well fed we need to give moms the freedom to do what works best for their families, and we should support them regardless of what that choice is without trying to convince them to do something different.

    • I had a family member who exclusively pumped for 6 months and her husband described it as “only for 6 months” and I was outraged and defended her, because pumping was MUCH more time consuming for her and less satisfying. She wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t and for him to diminish it so easily was frustrating for me.

  5. I am glad to see this post. I am not a mom and have no plans to be in the near future. However, I hate when I hear anyone say that formula feeding results in unhappy and unhealthy babies. It is a load of crap. Some women can’t breast feed for a number of reasons, and some babies (like I was) WON’T breast feed. My parents tried everything to get me to breastfeed and take breast milk. I wouldn’t even take it when mom pumped evidently. So they had to formula feed.

    I am very happy, healthy, well adjusted adult who is very close to my parents. In fact, by my mom not being able to breastfeed me it gave my dad more of a chance to be with me since he worked and mom stayed home. From stories I have heard mom would get after dad “to let the baby sleep” because he would sit up all night talking to me when he fed me. How is formula feeding a bad thing in that case? I got quality mom and dad time!

    You have to do what is right for you and your baby. If it is breastfeeding and you can do it/love doing it, fantastic! If you want to use formula for whatever reasons prompt you too, great for you! At least we live in an age where we have options and the greatest chance for survival. And as long as the babies of this world are happy, healthy, and loved nothing else matters. There is not a sound in the world that beats a baby’s laugh! I say that as a proud aunt!

  6. I struggled with so many of the same issues with breast feeding! A few thoughts on what ended up working for me (I expressed br milk for my son until he was 22 mos). 1)I HAND expressed, ditching the pump after maybe 5 months, wish I had done it earlier. So much easier to hand express! Stanford University has a good video online that I used to get started: Took way less time, less painful, can be done anywhere and no equiptment to clean!
    2) I took domperidone, from a compound pharmacy, can also be purchased from a reputable canadian pharmacy online (look for one that requires a prescription, a midwife prescribed it for me). 3) I expressed at a level that worked for me, 10 times a day was killing me but 5 times a day worked and he got about 16 ozs of breastmilk a day that way. It’s up to each mom to decide what’s right for her but these are what made it doable for me and it ended up meaning quite a bit to me.

  7. Thank you so, so much for your honesty! I’ve struggled a lot with low milk supply and have gone through so many of the same feelings of shame and guilt and why-can’t-my-body-just-do-what-it-was-made-for. I love breastfeeding, and I will advocate it whenever I can. But this–this is real, too, and it’s the reality for so many women. I’m really glad you had the courage to write all this out.

  8. I would like to see a survey developed that helps parents decide whether breastfeeding is working for them. That sounds nutty, maybe, but my reasoning is that there’s a lot of factors involved, and it can be hard to weigh everything logically when there’s so much emotion involved. Factors I would include: Finances, time management, work environment/schedule, age of baby, food allergies, siblings, co-parents, latching, amount of milk produced, ability to get free or bought breastmilk, emotional impact on all family members, and more. Looking back at my own experience, dying to make it to 12mo exclusively breastfeeding, all the time wasted pumping, all the agony, vs. the potential positives (which are harder to measure, unfortunately, though they exist) I feel like I was not in my right mind. I made it to 12months and still felt like a failure, which is comically sad.

  9. Not being able to breastfeed was so traumatic, freighted, and awful for me. In some ways it felt equivalent to a “first-world problem”—how could I be so anguished when I had a beautiful, healthy son; good medical care that, while probably making it harder to breastfeed, also probably saved our lives; a home to come home to; food; a friend donating her own milk for a couple weeks; insurance that covered breast pump rental; a lactation consultant who ended up seeing us for free thanks to a grant she got; and expensive organic formula?

    I reminded myself of these things. Sometimes it was comforting, sometimes annoying. Truth is, it doesn’t matter how fortunate in some ways, the things that hurt still hurt nonetheless.

    Like the writer here, I barely produced any milk, pumped, the few times we succeeded breastfeeding that first week, I too had a nipple blister over and peel away in a bloody mess, and even managed to get blocked ducts. No matter how many fake-milk-delivery-apparatuses they stuck to my boobs, my boy wouldn’t go for it. I was so angry and freaked out and horribly sad.

    Best decision ever was finally letting go of it, after three months! We were contented, and he’s a big healthy boy developing well. Also, I loved that my mom, dad, and husband all got to bond with my child during feeding time; that was so beautiful. Plus, I got a few breaks where I could actually sleep.

  10. I have two boys who are now 12 and 11. When the older one was born I was sure there were two things I was going to do (or not do): my child absolutely would not sleep with me and he would absolutely be breastfed. But babies have their own agendas and neither of these things happened. Due to a lot of reasons including sensory issues by him, flap nipples from me and allergies to protein that he had nursing never happened. I did the pumping and spending a fortune and stressing. I ended up needing an amino acid formula for him that cost over $2000 in 2 months. Once he was on regular formula some mother accosted me in the store when I was buying formula saying “you aren’t going to feed that precious boy that poison are you?” I have never been so angry as I was at that moment.

    Fast forward 19 months. I took things much more relaxed (as naturally happens with a 2nd baby). I went to La Leche League meetings and learned a lot about how to nurse, how to work through issues and more. I also examined my soul and realized that being a good mother didn’t depend on whether my child was attached to my nipple or not. I was determined to give it my best shot, working with my local La Leche League leaders, but if I needed lactation consultants and other stress inducing people then I’d just use formula. After my 2nd son was born we had a lot of trouble for about 2 weeks. He had to be nursed on his back in the football hold for the entire 13 months he nursed. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t the horror story of the first time.

    So that is my advice. If you have an active La Leche League near you look to them for help. You don’t need to spend a fortune or stress you and your baby. Crying babies need to be held and crying mommas (even if it is only inside) need to not be judged.

  11. Thank you for this post. I’m looking down the barrel of motherhood so this is an intriguing topic to me. I’m a happy, healthy, well-nourished and educated adult who was at one point also an insanely healthy, emergency c-sectioned, 1980s-super-budget-discount-formula-fed baby. I’m really failing to see how either c-section or formula feeding takes away from the mothering experience and yet both topics come up repeatedly as this Sword of Damacles over new mom’s heads. I’m fairly certain both situations are also in my parenting future, and I’m OK with it so long as the now-non-existent future zombiekid turns out happy and healthy. It’s an individual thing I totally respect, which is why it simply does not compute with me why society dictates that women are suddenly expected to go batshit over breastfeeding.

    • Speaking from experience with the C-section thing, I think what got me was that it was a few hours before I was able to hold my baby because my arms were numb from the anesthesia. These days, they stress the importance of near-immediate skin-to-skin contact following delivery, and I didn’t get that with my daughter. Honestly, the whole thing about how she arrived to me didn’t matter – my surgery was a decent experience. It was just that I couldn’t really touch her for so long after she was born. Well, it felt like ages, anyway.

  12. Sorry for this comment, but I don’t see the Edits button (maybe because I’m at work?) It should be “flanges” not “phalanges”, in the first part of the article.

  13. I am so happy to read this post! I am an advocate for breastfeeding, but know firsthand of the hardships it can come with. I had a terrible time with my first child…First of all, I didn’t produce enough milk. She was born with mild Jaundice, which the dr’s werent concerned with…but over the first couple of weeks her jaundice got worse. She had to stay in the hospital for a few days under the lights, and while no one said anything to me about the cause, I snuck a peek at her chart and saw “Increasing Jaundice due to breastmilk deficiency/ inadequecy.” I cried my eyes out in her hospital room thinking I was harming my baby because my milk wasn’t good enough. A bit later we discovered she had a poor latching/suckling reflex, after countless appts with lactation consultants and being up every night crying while trying to feed her by myself while she cried because she was hungry and never seemed fulled, dr decided to make me stop breastfeeding and use the bottle, which they said would be easier for her to latch on to. So I pumped…and pumped….horrible experience. And I had a manual pump because electric/battery ones were way beyond my meager income. I had to start supplimenting with formula, and I thank my stars for WIC.. I kept up the manual pumping with formula supplements until she was 6 months old and then caved, in my mind, and gave up. At the time I felt like a failure, but now I know better, and applaud moms that at least try and do what they can. I am halfway done baking my second baby, and I will try again, but will not beat myself up like I did the last time if it’s just really not working. I’d rather spend the time being happy with my baby, a bottle and formula, than crying and us both being miserable. Kudos to you.

    • So sorry that you had such a traumatic experience. That must have been both scary and painful.

      I am of the opinion that every new mom should have her breast milk production tested within a few days of giving birth. I have heard of a number of cases where new moms have had to return to the hospital with jaundiced babies who are losing weight due to low milk production. What looks like cluster feeding or fussiness is a hungry baby, and there’s no real way for YOU to tell except to count diapers; and even that isn’t really a reliable indicator, because some babies poop less than others.

  14. I was adopted and formula was the only option. I have never felt like any bonding issues my mum and I may have had had anything to do with her boobs. We love one another and we’ve had our bumps along the way in our relationship but I don’t think less of her for not jumping through hoops to attempt to breast feed. That wasn’t really a thing back then so I’m thankful for that. So I don’t have history of breastfeeding to contend with mentally at least.

    So I truly hope that I can hold onto the perspective of this article and a lot of the comments (and the experience of my own life) to help me accept whatever works out when I do have a baby. I’ve been told I have good breast tissue but whether that will be any help with breastfeeding, who knows.

    Also, I like the idea of bottle feeding so my dude and I are on more equal footing, or at least some bottle feeding so my dude can be part of the process too. After all, assuming I am able to get pregnant and carry baby to term, I’ll have 9 months of special experiences headstart on him.

  15. Last year, I also had my first baby at 35, I’m a redhead, and i have thyroid problems, too. Additionally, I had a breast reduction surgery when I was 19, making breast fedding when my son was born pretty impossible. For nearly three months, I pumped 6 or 7 times a day (also with a hospital grade pump that I rented for $80 a month) and was lucky to produce a total of three ounces of breast milk in a 24-hour period. Now, after almost 15 months of parenting experience, I just shake my head at the shame and guilt … and sadness I felt at failing to nourish my son exclusively with breast milk. There are so many more important things to think and worry about — so many more ways to prove your ability as a mother. I hope any new moms or moms-to-be read this and know that it’s perfectly fine to feed your baby formula is you can’t or decide for whatever reason not to breastfeed. It’s not a contest and it’s certainly not the only way to love and care for your child.

    If anyone’s interested, I wrote more about my experience here:

  16. I can so relate! My daughter was born 5 weeks premature, and I was extremely unprepared (for breastfeeding, etc.). Although perfectly healthy (just a little small) she wasn’t able to latch on very well, which sometimes happens with premature babies. We had to feed her formula in the hospital for fear that if she lost too much weight she’d have to be tube-fed. Anyway, I continued to try to get her to breastfeed, and pumped every 2 hours. My breasts usually wouldn’t produce enough milk for what she needed, so we had to feed her formula anyway. (By the way, I was pumping so much I gave my right hand tendonitis). It was a terrible cycle of: try to breastfeed, pump, feed baby a few drops of breast milk, feed her formula, wash pump…never sleep, start all over again. Stress, sleep-deprivation, being caught off-guard with a premature birth, not eating well…I was driving myself crazy because I knew “breast was best”. A month in, I GAVE UP. Once the guilt went away, I realized what was best for my child was to have a mother who wasn’t losing her mind trying to breastfeed/pump. One who could enjoy the feedings without dreading them. One who knew her premature baby was getting the amount of food she needed because I could measure it out.
    Next time around (if there is one) I will start research early in my pregnancy so I will be armed with knowledge of what to do should my breasts not produce enough again, or if I have another premature child who can’t latch properly. I will also have a supply of formula ready & waiting if breastfeeding doesn’t work out. AND I WON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT ONE BIT!

  17. OMG. Loved this post. Loved it, loved it, loved it. It took me about 2 months to not hate breastfeeding. I’m about to stop (my daughter was 6 months old 2 days ago) and I couldn’t be happier. There is just way too much nonsensical pressure on mothers to breastfeed AT ANY COST. Meh. Your husband is right. Your baby will be loved and cherished and will never remember what type of nipple was in her mouth when she is old enough for therapy. 🙂 (Kidding!)

  18. Hoping to reassure – I had an emergency c-section because of a placental abruption and my daughter was in the NICU for 8 days after her birth. She wasn’t allowed to eat for the first 4 days (fed by IV) AND it turned out she was tongue tied. I was DEVASTATED and thought I would never be able to breastfeed (I had had no signs of milk before birth, and my boobs had grown but were otherwise unchanged to my eye). The hospital started me off pumping to get my milk to come in, and I would diligently pump every two hours. I still remember the panic I would feel when I could only produce a few drops of milk in the beginning. I would suck it up in the syringes they gave me and carry it like gold down to the NICU for storage. On day five my daughter was finally able to nurse for the first time and I expected the worst, but that little bugger latched right on and has been nursing like a pro (tied tongue and all) ever since. And my milk came in just fine. I’m actually glad I pumped so much so early because it has made me comfortable with the process, and I still pump whenever I can so my husband can give my daughter an occasional bottle, something he really enjoys. So even adverse beginnings can end up okay. That said, she’s only two months old and I worry every day that something will happen to derail us, so reading this made me feel better.

  19. I struggled through 4 weeks of breast feeding my daughter due to supply issues caused by my thyroid. I was pumping, on fenugreek, prescription medication, etc. She kept losing weight, screaming and hungry. I felt [and still do to a point] incredibly guilty putting her on formula…not for the reason that I had to feed her formula, but that I hadn’t done it sooner. Combination breast and formula feeding helped me a build a better relationship with my daughter and there was less stress in our house. I was still able to breastfeed my daughter until she was 9 months old [when she self weaned] in a much more relaxed fashion because I didn’t need to rely on my ‘failure’ breasts for her full nutrition.

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