When Grace Looks Like a Low Milk Supply

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She wasn’t even 48 hours old yet.  It was snowy and icy outside, this new parenthood crash course threw me under the bus.  Our first evening home and all she did was cry.  Cry like she was dying.

Ben, I don’t know what to do?  I’m trying to feed her, but I don’t know what I’m doing.  What if she’s starving?  She won’t latch!,” I sobbed.

He took our brand new, first born baby girl into his arms and watched both ladies in his life cry.  I only imagine how defenseless he felt as well.

There were no lactation specialists at the hospital the day she was born.  One was snowed in and the other sick.  Now, we were at home, by ourselves without any clue as to what to do.  I imagined nursing to be “natural” and “instinctive.”  It was awkward, confusing and frustrating.  My little girl couldn’t quite open her mouth wide enough to suck.  She was hungry and we needed to do something.  That free formula they sent home from the hospital was possibly the saving grace; and, still I felt guilt and shame.

The next day as I continued to try to nurse, I sought hope in the lactation specialists coming to our home.  What I found was more discouragement.  Words like, “You probably won’t produce enough,” and “You should be pumping more.”  Those words haunted me throughout my whole nursing relationship.

****
Two months later, my girl was gaining and still I had those words swimming around, thinking I could do more.  I cringed about using formula, because wasn’t I suppose to be able to feed my own child?  It had nothing to do with other mamas choosing formula for their baby; rather, it was an idol I had built “good mother” upon.

It wouldn’t be until six months that I would find my girl had only gained a couple ounces in two months.  My heart broke.  Had I been starving my child without knowing it?  My poor girl.  Maybe those lactation specialists were right.  Working with a nutritionist, we quickly got her back on track and luckily she was a voracious eater as well.  Years later, I would find out she had oral motor problems, which generate a poor suck.

But, was it just that or me?

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Now, over five years later, and I’m facing the same thing with my third baby.  She hasn’t gained much between four and six months.  I’m at a loss.  Did I fail?  Is my past coming back to haunt me?  I ask God, “Why do some mothers have an oversupply and others dripping dry?”  And what’s worse, she won’t take formula.  Had I known at four months that we would be where we are at now, I would have introduced it.  Her sense of taste is quite discernable.  I can pump and add ⅛ amount of formula to the breastmilk, and she won’t take it.  Pure breastmilk, drink it down.

Still, I come to God each night, “Jesus, you know your girl.  You love her more than I do and you’re not going to let her starve.  I am doing everything, and I need your help.

Some mamas make so much they have enough to donate as well.  Is it the mamas doing?  No.  Some mamas eat all the right foods to produce, take the herbs, drink water, cut back on caffeine and nurse, nurse, pump, nurse…still, not much.  Is it the mamas doing?  No.

What I’ve learned along this rather strenuous journey of breastfeeding is how reliant I am on Jesus.  

I’m reminded of Paul,

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Is it possible that this is God’s grace?  Is it possible that God is strengthening himself in me?  Is it possible that he’s breaking down the idols of what being a “good mama” means?  Is it possible he is showing me his grace, in order to extend that same grace to another mama who has felt less than?

I am still walking this road, praying my girl gains weight and being sensitive to listen to doctors and the Spirit.  It’s not over, and I imagine He has something more for me.  But, what I do know is he’s reminding me that he really is a good Father and won’t abandon me or my girl in this journey.  His grace is sufficient.

Can you relate to my story?  I would be encouraged to hear your story.  Or maybe, your story is different and you are finding God’s grace in the midst of it?

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Comments

  1. Rachel says

    Oh how horribly frustrating it must be to have a little one not gaining like expected or desired! You have given so much to her. I was wondering though if you had plotted her weight gain on the WHO charts? I’m sure you’ve heard of them as you’re a very experienced breastfeeder! Many babies weight gains slow way down and some even plateau out between 4 & 6 months of age. As long as they are growing in length and head circumfrence and meeting normal developmental milestones it can be not a problem for them. Here’s an article you may not have seen as it’s put out by the Australian Breastfeeding Association but it’s very helpful to read and think through with weight gain concerns. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/whochart.html May God’s grace and peace continue to carry you and your little girl in the coming days, weeks and months.

  2. Anonymous says

    Oh my dear. I struggled and struggled to breastfeed my daughter. The lactation specialists couldn’t figure it out. The nurses couldn’t figure it out. She couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t figure it out. They forced me to try again and again, shoving her face into my breast until she was red and screaming. And I was crying. No matter what I did, she could.not.latch.on. I pumped and pumped, only to get an ounce here, an ounce there. We were desperate, and I knew we needed to start on my formula. To my surprise, my OB simply smiled and said that formula was just fine. She didn’t berate, she didn’t give me another technique. And my daughter was fine. I am incensed at the way we now hold up breastfeeding in this country as the be-all, end-all of good mothering. It is an idol, and it is a way to shame mothers who can’t – or won’t – do it. I’ve seen claims that formula is poison, it’s evil, it’s just flat out wrong, and if you care about your baby, you won’t use it. What part of, “I can’t do it” do these monsters not understand? Shame on ANYONE who tries to make another mother feel guilty about her decision.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Anon–thank you for sharing your own struggles. I know how personal feeding our little ones can be and is. You are right about not shaming a mother into feeling guilty. I’m sorry you had to experience that and I pray grace over you.

      Kamille

  3. Michelle says

    I am pregnant with my 8th and I’ve had supply issues with each of them. I nurse at each feeding and then finish with a bottle as I’ve never come close to having a full supply. Yes, I’ve done the pumping, the herbs, and the prescriptions all to no avail. Each time I pray and hope that things will be different and each time they are not. And I cry and mourn for what, in my mind, should have been. As I was going through this with the 7th I realized that for whatever reason, this is God’s sovereign will and it is sin for me to not be content in it. I can’t claim that the grief is gone, but there is a new measure of resolve to rest in God’s plan. Best wishes.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Michelle–thank you for telling me of your own story & experience. Yes, we can mourn it indeed, especially in seeing that it is a pure desire. What you said, “to be content in it,” is so completely true. Thank you for that!

      Kamille

  4. Carrie says

    This sounds all too familiar. I remember those same feelings of guilt, shame, and sadness that I was not enough for my newborn. I breastfed him for 11 weeks then switched completely to formula. Once I did that he slept through the night from 7pm to 7am. Thank you for reminding me that I do not need to be defensive about the decision to stop breastfeeding, but see it as God’s grace and a way to encourage other mothers. You are a blessing to me! Enjoy snuggling with your new baby girl. :)

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Carrie–oh yes, the guilt, shame & sadness. I know these. You are so right about not being defensive about the decision to stop breastfeeding. I appreciate you leaving a message of encouragement to me.

      Kamille

  5. Heather Baldetta says

    Oh how I relate…praying for you. It’s been a rough road for me this time around too. The best you can do is trust that you are doing your best, try not to stress (which is way easier said than done) and know that all babies are different and grow at different paces. The “normal” may just not be so “normal” for your girl. Those discouraging words from doctors and/or lactation nurses you need to just brush off. You have to trust your body and trust God. I’d love to grab coffee sometime and chat. I will continue to pray. Such a tough thing.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Oh sweet Heather–thank you so much for your encouragement and I would love to grab a coffee with you! Appreciate your prayers!

      Kamille

  6. Talia Nuckolls says

    Kamille.
    I’ve heard you talk about it…but reading your beautiful pain and redeeming struggle/journey…opens so much more. Your weakness and His sustaining strength is a blessing to others with REAL struggles.
    And look at your oldest….she’s not starving…she’s thriving. She is. And your sweet happy youngest is just fine.
    Talia

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Talia–thank you for always seeking to really understand me, for being a true & genuine friend and for leading me to Jesus along the way. You are a source of encouragement and truth to me.

      I love you dearly!
      Kamille

  7. joanna says

    I feel as though I could have written this myself. I have a 4 yr old who had a cleft palate, who I could not nurse. When my now 3 month old was born I envisioned sweet bf’ing bliss. We have had no good feedings yet. We’ve been struggling together with lots of pain, horrible latch, poor weight gain, ineffective transfer, supplementing with formula, trying everything to boost my supply, etc. We have visited his ped, an lc, an ot, and will be seeing an oral surgeon soon. Turns out he has several oral motor issues. I feel… devastated. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me that there are things more important than bf’ing, and that I am not a failure no matter how much I feel like I am This post was the best help I’ve gotten so far.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Joanna–oh you have so much on your plate. Yes, grace upon grace poured out to you. We realize our ideals can gladly come crashing down when it comes to the well being of our children. I am encouraged to know this post, part of my story has been of help. If anything, that you are not alone in this. Prayers for you & your little one!

      Kamille

  8. cindy anthony says

    I think you’ll find more here that can relate than cannot. I have 5 and had supply/nursing/reflux issues with each and I have had many friends go thru similar things. So hard when something we think is God-given and which we feel should be so “natural” isn’t. All the feelings you have shared have sent a flood of memories back. I would so have appreciated the reminders to keep away from the idols when I was going through it. You are absolutely right. One thing that we have worked hard at is doing what we think God is leading “our family” to do. It’s so hard to push out the voices of the world- especially when they are constantly “in your face”, but God has called each of our families to something different. Our last guy (14 mos. now) ate every two hours til over 7 mos. Sleep was another factor- he was awake every two hours for his first 10 mos- and did not sleep throughly thru the night til after 12 mos. There were many there to offer their opinion, but after endless prayer and God-searching we tried our best to follow the path we thought He had for us. I am so glad that we did. Keep trusting Him- just as you are describing here. As far as a practical help- I had a friend that pumped religiously and had an extra supply that she very graciously shared with me. Our guy took it readily as a supplement to my milk. I know there are “milk banks” or you may be able to work something out with someone in your circle. Maybe your little one would be open to it since it is still breastmilk. Once we got over the “weird factor” it was a huge help to us….

    • Kamille Scellick says

      thank you Cindy! One of family mantras is listening to what God has called our family towards. Breastfeeding is so tricky. I do have friends who are currently nursing (only a few though) and one is already donating. I thank you for suggesting it. Graces to you–Kamille

  9. says

    I am an email-subscriber reader and never-commenter, but had to click through today. Thank you for sharing your story. I have experienced feeding frustrations with primary lactation failure with each child. These frustrations (better word: heartbreaks) were made oh, so much worse with my first baby by the fact that even just 7 years the internet was a little smaller than it is now, and everyone around me – even my lactation consultant – insisting that I could, that I *should* be doing more. More supplements, more pumping, more feeding on demand, more water and calorie intake, and more relaxing. Which is just so easy when your child has dipped a pound below discharge weight, right? ;) I have written twice about my breastfeeding experiences on my own family blog, the first is http://buildingwiththreads.blogspot.com/2010/08/when-god-says-no.html and the second is http://buildingwiththreads.blogspot.com/2011/06/breastfeeding-and-dustbusters.html

    I will be praying for you, and every other momma who reads this. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but these feeding troubles ARE God’s grace working out in our lives in mysterious ways to make us more like Him. To make us lay down our idols, and die to our ideas of “good moms.” And yes, for me, dying to my selfishness when it comes to washing bottles at the end of an already-long day. Each pregnancy (this one, 24 weeks right now) I pray that God’s story might be different for my new babe and me this time around. It may or may not yet be, but I trust His sovereignty that knows far better than my own feeble imaginings what is best for my children and for me. Thank you again for your story, your encouragement to us all to look at life through the lens of the Gospel.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Lauren–thank you for coming over to introduce yourself and leave such an encouraging note, and even giving yourself an opportunity to share your own story–I appreciate all of it. I will be sure to head over and read more of your story.

      Grace to you–Kamille

  10. Abby says

    I had a similar experience with my first between four and six months. There was plenty of milk, and she latched just fine, but for some reason she didn’t gain weight. Our regular pediatrician was out of town, and his replacement made me feel awful about it. He made me record everything I ate, everything we fed her, and how often I nursed and for how long because he wanted me to meet with a nutritionist who was going to explain the deficiencies I was creating. Luckily our regular pediatrician came back and wanted to see our daughter before we went to the nutritionist. After seeing her he told me it didn’t have anything to do with me, she was just more active than most children her age. It had nothing to do with her not getting enough to eat, or me doing something wrong, and it’s possible your sweet little one is experiencing something similar.
    My girl is now six, healthy, strong, and happy, and two months without gaining weight didn’t hurt her a bit. Our Heavenly Father loves her even more than you do, and He will provide for you both!

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Thank you Abby for sharing your own story! I think our girls are the same age as my oldest is six as well and she too is healthy, strong and vibrant!

      love to you–Kamille

  11. Stephanie P says

    Even though my youngest of 4 is almost 6 years old now, I still feel guilty sometimes for not being able to breast feed. It was the hardest and most painful with my first because like you, I thought it was supposed to be a natural God given gift. All my new mom friends were able to feed their babies without any trouble and even had extra to put in the freezer! I did the herbs and I even found a compound pharmacists who could give me a drug that was supposed to produce milk and had for everyone else who seemed to use it, except me! I was devastated and my little boy was not thriving or growing. He was up every 2 hours at night so very hungry. The guilt…the shame….the exhaustion from trying….

    Fast forward to baby number 3 and 4 who are 12 months apart…..not much milk so by week 3 my newborn went to formula. I still don’t like it but I have never had someone tell me that it was God’s grace, that Jesus wanted me to cling to Him and walk this journey with Him. I felt so alone at the time. So thankful for your comforting words, even now that my kids are growing up. It’s very freeing and it is God’s grace and my babies are amazing children and they are very smart despite what everyone told me, that kids who are breastfed are smarter!
    So sorry for your pain but in sharing your story, you are helping mamas everyone know that they are not alone and that God has a perfect plan for each and every baby and mama!
    Thank you and I am praying for you today!

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Stephanie–oh thank you for being faithful in tending to your children, separating yourself for their good. That friend is what denotes a good mama. To put their needs above your own. And still, it hurts. I think that’s the part that’s okay, to mourn it. To give it to Jesus and he hands us his grace. Thank you for your prayers–I hold them.

      grace to you–Kamille

  12. Liz says

    Oh. My. Goodness. I fought tears the whole way through your post just now. I can relate to your experiences all too well, unfortunately. While I realize that formula is a “saving grace” for my children, who would have starved otherwise, and am grateful for today’s technology that has helped to give my kids the best, nutritious alternative that there is, I still wrestle with wonderings of why it was that I couldn’t nurse both my kiddos… There’s a peace in knowing that I tried everything imaginable on my end; that it wasn’t for lack of trying, by any means! And therefore, God must have a reason He allowed it to be this way. I don’t understand what that reason is yet, and may never will, but that’s where I have to remind myself that He is good, He has my kiddos’ and my best interests at heart (even if they’re different from what I think they should be!), and that He will provide and care for us as we lean in to Him. Entrusting my kiddos to Him started with this very issue – the letting go of any sort of tangible “control” I had over their health, and trusting Him to give them great health in spite of not being able to do what was “best,” in my opinion. Thank you for sharing… This was good for me to revisit again…

    • Kamille Scellick says

      Liz–I’m thankful to share my story, in order to hear your story. I find there’s a hidden grace in the sharing of our stories–yes?! He does love us, something fierce. I know he then loves our kids with the same immense love. thankful for you!

      Kamille

      • Liz says

        Yes… I think you’re absolutely right – the sharing of our stories (our lives) are definitely a means that He uses to perpetuate the extension of His grace. Thanks for being willing to share your story… It has been on my mind all day, and I think will settle there for a while. We’re contemplating having another kiddo soon, and thus, this rekindles a lot of those emotions and questions for me. It’s good to start walking through it now… May we find that place of unfathomable peace as we become more aware of the sea of grace that we are in, in Him. Blessings!

  13. Sandy W says

    My heart goes out to you. I had nursing issues with 3 of my 5 kids and even the last time it happened, it broke my heart. It didn’t help that in my homeschooling circle, it seemed like everyone nursed. I tried to console myself that at least I’m living in a time when formula is available and my child really wasn’t going to starve to death. But it seemed so unfair – why could other mothers nurse without any problems and it seemed so easy for them. I pray God’s peace fills your heart.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      thank you Sandy–I so appreciate you sharing your story with me. and thank you for your prayers!
      Grace upon you
      Kamille

  14. Erica says

    I read this and feel so much for you. I had nursing issues with my first child and was terrified that I would run out of milk. I had a “dip” in my supply right about 4-6 months with each child (I have 3). For me, I noticed that hormones contributed directly to my supply. When I had my period, my supply dipped dramatically. It would come back a little during the weeks that I didn’t have my period, but it never came back to where it was the first three months. I really struggled with insecurity as a mom with my first – which lessened some with the second two. I understand your desire to breast feed and do what you think is best for your babies. I”m sorry it’s so hard.

    Just one more thing… there are some natural herbs and supplements that helped me a lot. Mother’s Milk products, goat’s rue and an herb called Fenugreek – also Mother’s Milk tea helped. You are welcome to e-mail me @ erica.laramee@gmail.com if you are interested to hear more about fenugreek. I had a friend who had low, low supply with each baby and tried these things and they really worked for her (and they worked for me). I pray God’s grace for you through this hard time.

    • Kamille Scellick says

      thank you Erica for the encouragement and various methods to increase supply. I’ve used many myself. I appreciate the thought!

      Kamille

  15. says

    Kamille,

    Like you and so many of the other loving commenters, I started losing my milk supply with all four of my children and felt I was a failure when I learned I was starving my child, couldn’t rebuild my supply no matter what I did and finally turned to formula. I hope you will hear the truth of my words: All the guilt and shame was wasted. My kids are now 21, 25, 26 and 28. They are vibrant and wonderful and loving. Two have families of their own. You have so much more you are giving them than your milk supply, and they are drinking in all that goodness.

  16. Katie says

    Such a hard issue! I had early latching issues with both my kiddos and was so thankful to have relatives who were breast feeding who could help me supplement in the beginning. I now try to give back by sharing extra milk locally through the Eats on Feet Facebook groups in various states. There are so many moms out there happy to share their oversupply if you can find them! Grace and peace to all you moms who have struggled with this.

  17. Betty says

    Yes!! I can relate! My baby girl, my 5th child, was almost a failure to thrive child. She’s still petite. She would not console with me for months! It was so hard. We found she had a posterior tongue tie and months later a lip tie. I think my thyroid was off which also affected my milk supply. None of the mothers milk products worked and instead gave baby alot of gas. Go-Lacta has been the only helpful supplement. This is the first child I’ve had since my celiac diagnosis and going grain free. I don’t know how that is affecting things. My little miracle baby still wakes every 1.5-3 hrs during the night and she sleeps with me most of the night. My oldest is 17, and I’ve never done this with any child, but this baby is different and has different needs so I try to shut out the other voices and follow the Lord’s leading and mother this little one the best I can. We’ve made it 15 months. I’ve had alot of turmoil and challenges and its been hard, but The Lord has opened my eyes to His daily tender mercies even in this. Big hug.

    • Katie says

      My heart goes out to you! My little girl also dealt with lip and tongue ties which made latching impossible in the beginning. You really do have to listen to your own inner voice and shut out the others. You know best for your own child. Blessings to you.

  18. Beth W. says

    Oh, this touched my heart today! Both of my babies are past nursing, but I understand every single feeling you expressed. When my first born (now a big & healthy 4-year-old girl!) was born we were told she was losing weight. I kept waiting for my milk to come in, and by day 8 a small amount had come, but by that point we had already began formula. I spent the next 8 months breastfeeding with her getting very little, supplementing with formula, pumping like crazy, and feeling embarrassed and guilty that nursing wasn’t working for me. I still remember the first sunday we took her to church and we had to mix a formula bottle and I tried to hide what we were doing from all of the other nursing mama’s at church because I was afraid they would think I was a terrible mother for giving my child formula! So much guilt came with my first baby, and I didn’t know why my body wasn’t producing milk. When I got pregnant with my second baby (now a busy, busy 19 month old boy!), I was living in a different state and under different care. When I mentioned to my midwife my bf issues, she asked me if I had been diagnosed with Mammary Hypoplasia. I had never heard of it! But God’s grace brought into my life a midwife and excellent lactation consultant who were very familiar with the condition, and it was confirmed that this was my issue. Basically, for unknown reasons, my breasts lack mammary glands and I am physically unable to produce enough milk to sustain life. For me, knowing and understanding the reason brought such grace! My second baby was born and by day 5 he was being supplemented with formula too. I definitely still struggled with it, but God’s grace and love was so amazing to me in the way he worked on my heart through this. One night I was up late with a hungry baby trying to nurse and eventually had to give up and feed him formula. As I was sitting there feeding him a bottle I was tempted to feel guilty that I couldn’t provide for him, but then I was suddenly hit with the thought “by giving him formula I am being a loving mother to him. This formula is literally saving his life.” I feel like God used that moment in my breastfeeding relationship with my babies to teach me that it’s okay. That for some reason this is part of my story, and I can feed my babies formula without guilt. We’ll probably have a 3rd sometime in the next year or so, and I don’t know what I will do our what our breastfeeding relationship will look like, but I do know that lack of supply has changed the way I view motherhood, has changed my own judgmental heart, and has brought me to a greater dependence on God.

  19. Ceri says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for everyone else who shared to. It is a comfort to know I’m not alone. Baby no.3 has just turned 4 weeks old and it’s the same story with all of mine. I know I carry baggage around as each of mine have ended up as c-sections and I’ve never produced enough milk to satisfy them. No.1 was a very difficult labour (5 days!) and my milk did not come through till day 5. I was exhausted, low iron levels and doing all I could to produce milk by pumping. Nothing worked. He was starving, cried all the time, would only sleep if cuddled and to make matters worse had reflux, so brought it all back up. A friend I knew also struggled and suggested topping up with formula and life became so much easier! He became a different baby and was finally content. Even when my milk was in, it would take me 6 attempts of pumping to get one feed! It was ridiculous! Nothing came out if I attempted to hand express either, yet I kept on being told stories by family members of milk leakages and their bountiful supply. With no.2, I went with my gut, breast first, topped up with a bottle and he thrived. This one, the same. Although the midwives made it difficult for me in the hospital before my milk came in, they were not happy with me wanting to use a bottle and it resulted in cracked bleeding nipples and a crying hungry baby who would only sleep when cuddled. But once I was able to give a bottle, again a very content baby. I’ve been lucky in that each of my children latched on beautifully and never got confused between breast and bottle, apart from when they are being a little lazy! I’ve come to a place of peace about it within myself as it’s what works for us and my husband can help to. What upsets me is the bad advise that professionals give, the constant reminder that breast is best even if it’s to yours or the babies detriment, the fact that no-one believes you that you tried everything, the look of surprise if you share your negative experience and if you don’t enjoy it, the looks that other people give you and how much formula costs! I’ve never before thought about it in relation to grace, God’s hand in it and what he’s taught me through it or how I can encourage others. But maybe in the future, when I have time to process and not fall asleep, I definitely will. Thank you again for sharing. Sending a big hug and lots of prayers from over the pond to you all.

  20. Liz says

    Wow. What providential timing to read this post. I am on baby #2, and just had to stop nursing a couple of weeks ago (baby is now 5 months old). With my first, I was working in public accounting and went back to work after 8 weeks. In the beginning when I would pump, my milk supply was awesome! I thought, “Whoa! This is easy!” After several months, though, I saw the amount I would pump decreasing bit by bit until I was only pumping 3 or 4 ounces at a time. My baby was pitching a fit for me to get home at night and feed him. Here comes baby #2. I thought, looking back on the first, maybe I wasn’t drinking enough water, maybe I wasn’t pumping enough, maybe I should have taken supplements … I went into this season prepared with a lot of things I wanted to do differently. At first, again, the milk supply was fine, then … slowly … I began reliving the shame of not pumping enough. I have friends that nursed for a year … why did they have it so easy? By the time I stopped I was taking double the recommended dose of Fenugreek (12 pills a day). I finally had to stop, and I had the same realization that you did. Perhaps I had made an idol out of breastfeeding and was not simply trusting God to supply the needs of my baby. 3 weeks later, I have to admit I’m not loving formula, I’m not loving this circumstance that I didn’t choose, but that’s where we’re at. Grateful for your post and to know I’m not alone.

  21. Sarah says

    First of all, thank you so much for writing this. I could totally relate to your feelings… it’s as if you wrote this on my behalf! I forwarded it to my husband to help explain the emotions/challenges I had gone through with both my children. You articulated exactly what I felt!

    I am pregnant with baby 3 and praying that God give me an “easy” nursing experience this time. I know that during the previous children, I was desparate for Him. It was such an emotional struggle and I needed.His.help. Not just for supply, but for peace and grace. I made it over a year with both babies, but it.was.work!

    I researched, researched and researched on how to increase supply and have my babies gain weight faster. I found More Milk Plus to be the very best fenugreek supplement. Look online for it… I found it cheapest on amazon. It seemed to help. (And other teas, pills did not.)

    One other thing… I pumped ALL.THE.TIME and ended up with a stash of over 350 ounces. Ended up that after my daughter weaned, she would not take the b’milk out of a bottle. I literally cried/mourned for a week. All that time and work!!! Ends up that God connected me to another mom who was desparately trying to nurse/feed her baby and couldn’t keep up with supply. I ended up donating it all (something like over 4 gallons!) to her and her baby girl took it with no problems. Praise God for that blessing. I say that to tell you to ask around or talk to some midwives in your area who might know a mom who has extra to share with you.

    Pray that you look back on this season of your life and see the hand of God.

  22. Rochelle says

    Absolutely. Oh this is such a tender topic for me. I am pregnant with baby #4 and only 1 of the 3 nursed well. I have felt like such a failure. I’ve done all the things you listed and still my supply is not enough, or the child just won’t latch, or my body suffers and infection comes … meanwhile, my sister, my mom, my closest friends nurse their babies with ease. Or even if some of them have similar problem, it seems to get better, not worse. I often wonder why it can’t be simple for me. I so long to sustain my child with breastmilk alone. I think it is partly an idol for me, but I wish I could shake the belief that “this is natural, I should be able to do this, doesn’t God want me to do this, isn’t this what He created me to do? I must be doing something wrong. I must not have enough stamina.” I dread what might happen with our 4th coming in a few months … I so want it to go well. I pray that it will. But what if it doesn’t? I am trying to trust, but sometimes I feel like such a failure. Identifying this with what Paul described as the thorn in his flesh is a new idea for me. I’m not sure how to process yet, but I am hoping that God brought me to this post for a reason, for Him to reveal something new about this struggle for me.

  23. says

    My oldest was kept from dehydrating the day we came home from the hospital with a bottle. THEY said she was getting enough since she had had a BM. I knew she had only latched on for a few seconds TOTAL.

    My second was dehydrated enough within hours of release from the hospital that he had to be hospitalized.

    With my third, we nursed in the hospital and bottle fed exclusively after that. No shame.

  24. says

    Oh Kamille. Thank you for sharing. I *never* comment on blogs, but wanted to chime in. I experienced awful difficulties a few months ago with breastfeeding my newborn (our first) that involved complications from labor that affected both of us negatively. The guilt and shame was surprisingly profound. I began to experience some freedom and grace through the words of my mom, who reminded me that although breastfeeding is God’s beautiful and natural design, we live in a fallen world, and there is no part of creation where His design is sometimes not marred. Once I realized that a “malfunction” in this area was similar to other illnesses and weaknesses that we experience in our not-yet-glorified bodies, I was able to release the guilt. Other wise words of my mom helped too when she reminded me that the Scriptures teach that true guilt over real sin leads to repentance, and that this wasn’t a sin issue on my part that required repentance. It’s still a tender subject (and I empathize with so many other posters on here who describe embarrassment over bringing out a bottle in public or at church), but every time I look at the formula on my counter, although I sometimes tear up remembering the pain associated with this part of the journey, it is also a very, very humbling reminder of God’s grace. I have come to think of it as our “manna.” Another helpful thing for me to remember was that historically women have *always* struggled with breastfeeding–that’s what wet nurses have been there for in so many other cultures! Grace and peace to you.

  25. Rayne says

    I am in the same boat. My little girl is 7 weeks and I have struggled every day to nurse her. I have never had a full supply. God laid that same verse on my heart and I found peace in reading your story. Also I am learning to be grateful that I can pump and at least give her part of the milk she needs for a day. We have been very blessed with kind donors who have shared milk with us. Thank you for your story. God bless you and your family.

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