Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mother

in Motherhood10 months ago

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First let me say that I am not currently breastfeeding. The photos above were taken of my fifth baby who is now three years old.

What I’m about to share with you are some feelings, emotions and guilt that I’ve held on to since she was born. Recently these feelings have sky rocketed due to recent events.

When I started having children eleven years ago, I knew I wanted nothing but the best for my babies. I wanted everything to be as pure and natural as possible for each of them.

One of my main goals was to nurse for at least a full year. I studied, prepared and got all of the supplies I would need to achieve this goal.

With my first daughter, I was able to nurse her for a full year as hoped for. It went so well that I was even more motivated to continue this plan with each of my babies.

I was told the more babies you have the more plentiful your milk supply would be.

I was hoping this would be true for me but slowly I found out that it wasn’t.

When my second child came (my first son) I was so determined to accomplish what I had done for my daughter. Unfortunately I couldn’t. I was only able to nurse him for nine months as I kept getting mastitis and it hindered my supply and my strength.

I tried to keep going, I tried to push myself even through all the pain to give my son what he needed but I failed. I wasn’t producing fast enough for him and he was unhappy.

Here comes my third beautiful baby (my second son) and he was the tiniest little bit. I thought maybe since he was a bit smaller than my first two that he wouldn’t require as much and I could satisfy him easily. I was wrong.

The same thing happened with him as did with my first son. I again got mastitis and had to feed him through the pain and discomfort and it seemed my milk supply was dwindling away. I tried many things including hand pumping more, using oils to heal and lubricate but it still didn’t prolong the nursing.

I was only able to breastfeed him for six months.

Do you see the pattern yet? With every child our bonding nursing experience time got lower and lower. Instead of my milk supply increasing it kept shrinking.

Hello fourth and sweet child, my third precious son. This little guy was our champion fighter. He lost his twin and fought to survive and made it home to us.

With him…it was the same as my first two sons. I did get mastitis and once again had to fight through it all. My sons were just so rough and aggressive when it came to nursing and it tore and cracked my teats which makes it easy for infection to slip in.

I nursed him for four months. This was one of the toughest experiences because we later found out he was malnourished. I think because he struggled more to survive in my womb I tried to really push to nurse him longer. Thankfully we found out early enough where we were able to get him to the healthy size and weight he needed to be.

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Finally, here comes our last little baby girl. Yep, we had bookend daughters and I love it! My oldest daughter couldn’t wait for her to arrive so she wouldn’t have to be stuck with all those boys. ☺️

I did not get mastitis with her. It seems only my boys wanted to put their mommy through excruciating pain and misery. 🤦🏽‍♀️

She was our biggest baby yet and she demanded the most milk of all. I literally couldn’t keep up with her demands. This caused crying sessions for the both of us.

She would suck harder and harder and pull away from me when the milk didn’t flow fast enough. I wanted this to work. I wanted to beat my odds and prayed for a miracle. I wanted to feed my baby girl for two years (yes, I got ambitious).

What did I achieve? I was only able to breastfeed her for three months.

My heart aches so bad…


What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I give my babies a longer fresh and beautiful start? Why was my milk supply dwindling away?

Are you ready for the confessions now?

I was torn and defeated. From my third child to my fifth I had postpartum depression and felt bitter. I felt like a failure because I let my babies down.

I started to envy other nursing moms who would have an oversupply of milk. I would hear stories of them having to give breast milk to milk banks because they didn’t know what else to do with all of it. I thought

why can’t the mothers who need to produce more milk have that be and those who have an oversupply just have what they need?

I know things don’t work that way but those were my thoughts at the time. I wanted us mothers who needed more milk to just have a little taste of the overflow blessing.

I even thought about trying to get milk from one of those milk banks but was scared to trust it. Times were getting so weird and much more dangerous and I was scared to trust I would get pure mother’s milk for my babies. It would have been great if I knew a trusted person that had extra to give.

I didn’t want to stay in that state of envy and jealousy as I wanted to be happy for those mothers and celebrate with them and their child.

I began to be thankful for the time I did have to nurse my babies. I did have other family members at that same time who also struggled with nursing. Some were not able to nurse at all due to their babies being incubated.

What brought me to write this post was due to recent events surrounding our youngest…our three year old daughter. We are seeing a homeopathic doctor now. When we took her for her appointment the first question he asked was

How long was she breastfed?

She is going through a physical ailment that should have been cleared by now. We’re still waiting to get some testing done but her situation could be due to some backed up bacteria in her system that could have been prevented if I would have nursed her longer.

Now all of those feelings of guilt are haunting me. Through my daughter the importance of nursing is ringing loudly.

A mother’s milk is a protection barrier, a strengthener and a need for her baby. I feel if I would have been able to at least nurse her for six months she wouldn’t be going through this.

Of course my family is telling me not to blame myself and it isn’t my fault but no one can convince me otherwise. It is my fault, I failed to give her the protection she needed and now her little body is vulnerable to the effects and dangers of this toxic world.

So, here I am drowning in tears as we try to get our baby the help she needs. No, it’s not a life or death situation but her quality of life (all of the irritations she’s feeling and dealing with) has been affected.

If only I could go back three years ago…I would keep trying and trying to nurse her longer.

𝒞𝑜𝓃𝒻𝑒𝓈𝓈𝒾𝑜𝓃𝓈 𝑜𝒻 𝒶 𝐵𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓈𝓉𝒻𝑒𝑒𝒹𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝑀𝑜𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇


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🙋 I totally understand what you are going through. I am impressed to know that you have five children 😳 I congratulate you. Children are the engine that drives us to be better people, to fight and teach by example to be their best teachers.

Here in Venezuela in addition to specialized medical care, we future mothers count on the wise advice of grandmothers 😃 they are the most knowledgeable about these issues, especially those in the villages who have had to feed their children only with breast milk due to the difficulties in finding formula milk. For this important reason, they prepare future laboring mothers so that their breasts generate or produce healthy milk. Taking care of their feeding and drinking fresh water and other preparations that they know.

You should not feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed. I know how you feel because it happened to me with my first child. Even though I was willing to endure the pain of attaching him to my breast, two things happened: he would get desperate and pull away, he would get gassy and cry a lot. On the other hand, in his attempt to get the milk, he would tear my nipple all to pieces, and I would constantly have to disinfect it and try again. I always ended up giving him formula so I didn't want to put him through any more pain and I rested too. The formula did him good, thank goodness.

With my second child it was different. For months I consumed a lot of oatmeal water. They say it is the best for producing milk. Before I gave birth I already had milk to export 😁 my breasts ached and my baby was born with a great life. Mind you, both my nipples peeled, leaked blood, swelled and hurt like hell. But my baby sucked and sucked.

I loved those moments. I didn't experience them with my first, yet they both grew up to be healthy children.

I am sure that with your attention, that of the specialists and the compliance of the medication, in case the one that requires them, your baby will recover and you will see her totally healthy. You see, it is not necessarily the fault of breastfeeding or not. Other factors may have been involved.

Remember that all your energy must be positive so that you can transmit it to your baby. We mothers are the pillar of the family. For what it's worth I will include your baby's health in my prayers. My granddaughter Sofia is also three years old, maybe a contemporary of your daughter. A big hug, encouragement and lots of faith.🙏

Thank you, they keep me busy always.

It's wonderful hearing about the teaching and preparations done for mothers there.

You and I went through the very same things. You know of that pain, it's like nothing I've felt before. I remember saying during one of the episodes "I'd rather go through labor again than to feel like this."

I commend you for what you endured for your little one.

Thank you for that. I know there could be other factors but it’s hard not to put some of the blame on myself for not giving her what she needed a lot longer. I know I’ll get through this but right now while she is going through this challenging time I feel horrible about it. 😞

Thank you for your prayers ~

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I hope you are feeling better.🤗

I am, thanks to sweet and thoughtful people like you ~ 😘😊

Are you serious? Please tell me that he wasn't serious! You did say him, but, I knew it was because a woman would never say something that ignorant. It doesn't even matter if he is right, and you know what? He could be totally wrong.

Let's focus on the positives of this. You breastfed that baby for three months! When I was breastfeeding, they were excited for the first six weeks. You gave that baby a wonderful start! You nursed all your babies. Can I just say that as a mom with three stairsteps, I congratulate you! It was the hardest job I ever loved. I use the word job, but, it was something I was so passionate about.

I nursed my first for a year. I got mastitis time and again. I was three months pregnant when I stopped. Then it was a once day right before bed. A top off, if you will. The second I nursed for 9 months, but, she gave me up. LOL I tried to not be offended. What I am trying to say is that each baby is different and you have to do what is right for the situation. I felt like a failure, but, know I wasn't. Society or parts of it tried to make me feel incompetent when I had such a hard time with my first. The latching on, the letting down... It made me nervous just wondering why it didn't feel quite so natural. - until, one day, it did. I am so thankful for that bonding experience. Bonding isn't how long you do it, it is the act of connecting with each other. You can bond by cuddling your baby. You love all your children and go the extra mile to be such a good mom. Give yourself the credit you deserve. While giving them the start in life that is important, you did! And more. Geez, woman. Can you be my mommy? ❤️ You are so passionate and loving - not deserving of feeling less than the best. No reason to be jealous of anyone. You have to look at the big picture. In the scheme of things and your children's lives, I have not seen anyone quite as loving, comforting, open, helpful, smart, and all the words that won't come to my typing fingers at the moment. You are so loved and to be honest, never compare how long you did one and not the other. I remember the hell I went through and I think that God's hand was in all of the decisions. It wore on my body and I knew I had to stop. I would be no good if I was not well enough to care for them all. (I know you don't compare, I just meant that I am pretty sure they don't feel less loved because of it, so take that cue from them) Love to you. Always.

You will take care of this baby and figure out what is going on with her. If he ever makes another comment like that, I would find another more supportive doctor. Nobody should ever say that to you. Does he even know that it was a problem for you? Does he even know you? Does he know you had postpartum depression? He has no rights then.

He didn't say those words straightly but that's what I concluded from our conversation. I could have read him wrong but that is what I gathered.

Thanks so much Denise. You did a wonderful job with your babies. I'm starting to see that many mothers have also went through that painful mastitis stage...it is no fun.

Bonding isn't how long you do it, it is the act of connecting with each other. You can bond by cuddling your baby.

This is a wonderful and true statement that I sometimes forget. Thank you for reminding me. 😊

This comment lifted my soul and I am forever always grateful for you. I do remember telling myself I have to be well and have enough strength to take care of my other babies (I said this while fighting through mastitis). That was one of the things that helped me decide when it was time to stop trying.

Thank you for your loving support and having my back. You are truly a sweet friend and I am blessed to know you ~ 💝

That doctor said WHAT!!!!! THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF YOU BREASTFED MORE??? Honestly I'm so, so mad I could SCREAM. That is such a shitty thing to say. Way to lay on the guilt!!!! Three months is perfect and don't think otherwise.

I was only able to breastfeed him for six months.

Only?? Are you kidding? That's a great effort. Babies get all the good stuff in first three weeks so anything beyond that is amazing. I did 8 months and it broke my heart when he decided to stop (stubborn Taurus who made up HIS mind it was done) and the Nursing Mothers Association were terrible, basically made me feel guilty and got me to try all these torturous tricks to get him back on boob, which made the weaning experience terribly sad. Why didn't they say good job for doing 8 months? 8 months is great!! I'm always dubious bout the recommendations that come from people with vested interest to promote one thing or another. And all babies are different.

I'm sorry you had a tough time when you breastfed as it can be a lovely experience (was for me - although I got mastitis twice, which is a hell on earth men could NOT deal with themselves ahah) but please don't beat yourself up about it. Plenty of kids get less and grow up just super, healthy and adjusted. You do lots of other things to keep them healthy and will throughout their lives.

It's time society put less pressure on mother's to believe they have to do one thing or another.

You are doing just perfectly as you are, and your baby girl will be just fine.

This is why I love you.

Some of the things you said have helped me be at ease. I do look at all of the other things I do to keep them healthy. I know I have worked hard and have put my all into my babies but this one really has gotten the best of me.

The doctor didn’t say those exact words but after I told him I only nursed for three months I gathered from his response that her nursing longer might have been a preventative factor. He then talked about the benefits of the milk and why they need it. I don’t think it was his intention to make me feel bad but after I left I balled…literally right in my car in their parking lot.

There have been other things over the years that we’ve went through and that question always comes up “what if I would have nursed longer?” Like, it haunts me. I know I need to realize I can’t control everything and nursing doesn’t prevent every harmful thing under the sun from happening.

Yes, eight months is amazing and deserves to be acknowledged. You did wonderfully! You can say that again about mastitis! Geez it was worse than labor for me…seriously I felt that way.

I really appreciate your words of comfort and taking the time to share a little of your own experience with me. I know and believe my little girl will be fine and I will get through this mental battle ~ 💚

Thanks a lot to share with us all this feelings, I know perfectly that it is not easy to be a mom, because it seems that when you become a mother, at the same time you become guilty.

I had a similar feeling with my two children, because both of them born with some healthy conditions and their first years were so dificult, but I felt that all their medical problems were my fault.
So Hard it was the feeling of guilty that I decided not to have any other Child.

Right now they are two healthy teenagers but it was so dificult for me but also for them to be always at the hospital checking their health.
But remember that God know s our hearts, He knows our intentions and knows that you tried to do your best with all your children, so please don't feel guilty anymore.
Blessings for your cute girl, (I loved her hair) and for all your family.
It was a pleasure to read your experience and to know a little more about you.
Kisses my friend.

Yes, the feeling of guilt eats you up and lingers for a very long time. I'm sorry to hear you went through a similar situation that caused you to make that decision. It is very tough at times being a mom.

Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement, they are greatly appreciated ~ 🤗😘

don't blame yourself, not all mothers are the same and neither are babies, you breastfed them as much as you could, that's fine and you don't have to feel bad about thinking about more time. I only have one son and I breastfed him for 11 months. Those were very difficult months for me because I weighed around 40 kilos, can you believe? I could not imagine having tried it with 5 babies, you are a super mom 🥰

Thanks Irene. That's amazing you were able to nurse him for 11 months!

Sometimes I don't feel like a super mom but I do know I love my babies and would do whatever I could to keep them safe and healthy.

Thanks so much for your comforting words ~ 💗

You are amazing, all moms are.

Thank you dear @afrikablr! ☺️🥰

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I really appreciate the impact mother's have for their children to take care and look after them it is not easy at all and I appreciate every effort and time you did in training them. My mum gave birth to five children but we are all boys so I wonder if she experience the feeding part she gave to us and the limit in breastfeeding from the first to the last child.

Thank you for saying that. A mother's work is never done and sometimes feel I could have done something better. It doesn't happen often but some kind of guilt trip overcomes me.

Oh wow. For a moment there I thought I was going to have four boys. I tip my hat to your mother. I appreciate the balance I have with my girls and can’t imagine what it would be like without them.

Don't be so hard on your self.you did your best.always remember that you are the best mum in the whole wide world,your baby girl is a fighter she will be fine.

I really appreciate your comment, thank you.

It's so hard not to blame myself although I know there could have been other factors. I just can't help but to wonder "what if" I would have nursed longer.

I know she will overcome this and we will get her back to health. The going through has just been a tough time.

Thanks again for your comment ~

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Congratulations. You are a very strong mother. I understand the pain of sometimes not being able to give our babies the best due to reasons we can't handle. I am a new mom and currently breastfeeding. I am hoping to at least breastfeed exclusively for six months. Sometimes when she latches, I feel she isn't getting enough. I try to take in as much liquids as I can. I hope for the best.

 10 months ago Reveal Comment