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With both situations, it sounds like a simple misunderstanding. With your first, why did your doctor feel your son wasn't thriving? Was it his weight? It sounds like your supply was more than sufficient, especially if your breasts were getting engorged. That only happens when you are producing more milk than your baby needs at the time. I'm not suprised to hear that your doctor reccomended formula, many doctors aren't educated with breastfeeding anymore and are quick to reccomend formula when it's not neccesary.
With your second child (in your case, second and third), it's very common not to experience the same engorgement as you did the first time. The fact that you leaked and pumped something, shows that you did have milk your milk come in. Every woman's supply establishes and adjusts at some point, and thier breasts no longer get engorged or leak. That's actually NOT normal, it's more the exception when a women's supply hasn't established and her body is still overproducing. Many women do not experience that at all, yet go on to breastfeed successfully. Since your milk is a supply and demand process, once it came in and you didn't nurse or pump, then your supply started to decrease. A pump is also less efficient than your baby, so it's not uncommon to get little or nothing from a pump, but to be able to successfully breastfeed your baby. Those are 2 reasons why when you tried to pump, you got very little.
Changes experienced during pregnancy have nothing to do with your ability to breastfeed. Every woman's body prepares for breastfeeding during pregnancy. Some do notice a change in their breasts, others do not (I did the first time, but haven't had any physical changes this time around). By the end of the pregnancy, your breasts will be producing colostrum, even if you don't notice it. There isn't anything you need to do, or can do, you just have to trust your body.
I think getting some answers to what happened the first few times and getting information on breastfeeding for this time around, will help you be successful. I reccomend the book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" to prepare yourself. There's also a website I love, and here's a few links specific to your situation that might help clear some things up. I would suggest reading through it when you get a chance because there is a lot of helpful information: http://www.kellymom.com
I am a mom of 4 kiddos and I was unsuccessful feeding 3 of them and this time we are almost at 6 months exclusive.
My first son was born 14 years ago and he just wouldn't latch and i couldn't pump and it wasn't a common thing to bf then. My second i had 6 years ago and we fed for 3 weeks exclusive and then quit finally at 2 months. My third I had 4 years ago and fed her for 2 weeks exclusive and then quit at 2 months.
This time I made myself more knowledgeable and read and read and read. I saw a lactation consultant twice after his birth and they are the best help. They will show you exactly what to do if you have any concerns.
You can do it girl, i'm one who didn't think it would work since the last 3 didn't but we were dedicated at succeeding and it sounds like you want to succeed to, so your half way there. You'll do it.
I agree with Andrea on everything. I remember pumping for a week and only getting enough to barely cover the bottom of the bottle, when Danny was first born - but that was totally normal, they told me! I know you can do it this time with a little hard work and positive thinking. I had a horrible first experience with my older son, everything went wrong and my supply just couldn't take it, but my second son and I have been successful despite a 2 month NICU stay.
You're doing the right thing by researching and preparing yourself ahead of time, and getting into the mindset of making it work. We'll be glad to be your cheerleaders any time you need! You CAN do it!