Breastfeeding is Hard, Part 3

This post is an honest account of a new mom and breastfeeding.
If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, catch up here and here

It's been over a month since I posted Part 1 and Part 2 about breastfeeding.  I didn't intend to post a Part 3, but the last couple of weeks have been very hard and I realized, I am probably not the only one. So let's support each other. 

As I mentioned in Part 2, Aria is gaining weight (or I should say not gaining weight), at an incredibly slow rate.  At her 6 month check-up, she weighed 11 lbs, 10 oz.  (I was informed that if there was something smaller than 1 percentile, we'd be in that category.)  At a doctor appointment 2 weeks ago to check for ear infection because of a lot of extra crying and fussiness, she weighed 11 lbs, 10 oz.  Exactly 1 month later, she had not gained a single ounce.  

Aria nurses 5 times a day (every 3 hours, and I usually have to make her eat because she's not ready yet), and eats fruits/veggies/cereal 2 times a day.  She chows down on the solid food, eating more than a serving at each meal.  

When she nurses, it has been very frustrating.  My letdown seems to be taking longer than in the previous months, and she is not patient when there is other things she would rather be doing.  She eats for 3-4 minutes, pulls away and cries.  I switch sides and the whole process repeats.  I don't know if my milk supply is not enough for her, I don't know if she's full and telling me no more, I don't know if something else is bothering her... ugh.

I've tried all sorts of things to help the situation.  I've spent several days pumping right after she finished eating to help boost supply (I usually got 5-10 DROPS of milk...).  We've experimented with positions.  We've experimented with quiet locations.   I've tried, unsuccessfully, to get ahold of our lactation consultant for the last week.  It all sucks...

I'm ready to throw in the towel.  No more stressing out about feeding her while I'm not with her (getting a bottle takes 3-5 pumpings).  No more worrying about feeding her out and about.  No more wondering if she's getting enough.  
And I feel guilty about quitting... I don't know what to do.  

What did you do?


  1. Gosh, I totally understand how you are feeling. I found breastfeeding much harder with my 2nd daughter, than I ever did with my first. I think every journey is different but you need to be happy, the more stressed you are, the less you will produce milk. If you don't mind me posting, here is my blog when I eventually stopped feeding, hope it helps a little? http://www.littlelilypad.co.uk/blog/read_56607/the-end-of-an-era-national-breastfeeding-awareness-week-2012.html

    1. It is so comforting to hear that I am not alone in the exhaustion of it all. I wish more moms would be more willing to talk about the hardships of breastfeeding, because it doesn't always "get easier". Thank you for sharing!

  2. I was unsuccessful when it came to breast feeding. My son was born early, he was so tiny he had difficulty getting a good latch. My milk supply never came in. I never got more than a few drops when I pumped. I was worried and stressed and tired and frustrated and scared. So I stopped. I know it's better for the baby. I know its good for the mama. For us, I decided it was better to just give him the formula (which the docs had put him on a special one to help him grow anyway). You have to do what you feel is going to be best for your family.

    If I have another child, I definitely want to breastfeed. I won't feel guilty about the choices I made then or in the future.

    My Life With A Boy

    1. I wasn't able to make it work with our first either. I love hearing that you won't feel guilty... I need to feel more than way.

  3. Do what works for you and your family! I am a huge probreastfeeding mom but am proMOM always! Try looking into LLL (I haven't read the first 2 yet so maybe you have) LLL was an awesome resource for me.
    Carrie @ Just Mildly Medicated

    1. Thank you for being ProMom. So many out there are probreastfeeding and forget that the mom may be fighting really hard to make it work too.

  4. Bless you, I totally understand how you are feeling, but remember you have done sooooo well to get this far! I gave up with both of mine at 5-6 months; it came to the point where it wasn't working for BOTH of us, which means its not working for them either. If you really feel you have done your best, that isn't that all a mum can ever do?

  5. I had preemies and I heard about all the benefits of breastfeeding for them especially bc they did a study and the milk of a preemie mom is different from a full term mom. So I really really tried. My first son, I always had to supplement he was never full enough. So I did both until he was four months old and then stopped breastfeeding. It was horrible getting him to latch on and I was really full didn't have any problems with my milk. With my second he latched on quickly and didn't have a problem but my milk wasn't as full as the first time. I ended up quitting after a month. I would give him both boobs and he was still crying for more and had to supplement anyway. It's hard and I know we try to do as much as we can for our kids but the most important part is that they are healthy and growing strong. Do what you think is best for you and your baby. No guilt allowed.


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