I power pumped. I took fenugreek. I baked lactation cookies. I cried, and cried some more. I baby wore. Skin to skin. Nursed on demand non-stop. I never slept. Never bathed, and cried some more. I was told over and over I was producing enough milk, that my body knows how much to produce to meet my baby needs.
I posted these pictures to a well known exclusive breastfeeding Facebook group. I was praised for how great I was doing and to keep it up. I was told my body made enough for my baby and this amount (1.5 ml) was enough. That he was “clusterfeeding”.
My baby cried and cried. No weight gain. Never slept.
Then I found the Fed Is Best Foundation and woke the heck up! I asked myself what am I doing and why am I doing this? What am I trying to prove? I actually got kicked out of two popular breastfeeding groups just because I asked about supplementing–with formula! That made me feel like even more of a failure and I cried again and just sobbed.
By this time I started taking Zoloft for PPD (postpartum depression), which in my opinion should really be called EBFIPPD (exclusive breastfeeding induced postpartum depression)
So there I sat in my shower, holding my latched-on baby who was frantically nursing. He was not the happy baby you see nursing sweetly; my baby didn’t pass out “milk drunk” he passed out from non-stop crying exhaustion. I finally couldn’t bare seeing him suffer anymore. I texted my husband, “Can you pick up some formula?” He immediately called me back and asked if I was okay and if I was 100 percent sure. Even he was brainwashed by the “Breast is Best” at all costs movement. I hung up because I was crying again, and I texted him to get formula for supplementation only. That was my plan, to supplement. When he got home I grabbed the ready to feed bottle and popped it in my baby’s mouth.
My baby came alive! This boy was IN heaven. He is now 11 weeks old, and it seems like an eternity since breastfeeding him the first 2 weeks of his life. Those days were long days and nights of sobbing and constant internet searches about why breastfeeding wasn’t working for me this time. His tears turned into my tears and my frustration turned into postpartum depression. My son’s story could have easily ended up just as tragic as baby Landon’s. If I had not found the Fed Is Best Foundation’s information and private support group, I may not be holding my sweet baby today.
I am and always will be pro-breastfeeding, but only when the baby is thriving. Not thriving at month 2 or 3, but thriving at day 1, 2 and 3 and every day there after. I formula-fed my first baby, exclusively breastfed my second baby and attempted to exclusively breastfeed my third baby. I learned my body is fallible, despite reading it is rare to not produce enough breast milk. I refuse to have my bond as a mother, my ability to nurture, or my love for my child to be measured in milliliters and ounces. I feed therefore I bond. I care therefore I nurture. I put his needs above my desire to breastfeed because I LOVE my baby.
My baby didn’t pass out “milk drunk”. He passed out from constant crying and exhaustion.
Please refrain from seeking medical advice from any breastfeeding mommy groups. They are responsible for needless suffering and potential harm. Please see your pediatrician for immediate medical help if you baby is constantly crying. Learn from my mistake. #FedIsBest
For more information on #SafeBreastfeeding and our feeding plan: https://fedisbest.org/resources-for-parents/feeding-plan/
If you are suffering in silence, please contact us! We have a private support group that has licensed medical and mental health professionals who can help you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please donate your money or time at The Fed Is Best Foundation. Together we can educate families all over the world on safe infant feeding. https://fedisbest.org/donate/