October 29, 2006



Thankyou for you wonderful,honest posts. I am expecting my first baby in January and I'm grateful that you've shared your story. I too, truly hope to breastfeed my baby but I've heard many stories of mothers who simply cannot do it.
Perhaps breastfeeding troubles are more common than you think and when you feed in public, maybe there are many people who understand completely.
I know that, whether breastfed or bottlefed, the best thing for my baby will be a relaxed and loving family.


My philosophy on breastfeeding is this: The child needs to be fed and if feeding is too difficult for whatever reason, then Mom must find a way to feed her child--bottlefeeding then should be introduced for the sake of both child and Mom.

I had the same initial anxiety with my first. I was determined to make it work and spent 2 months as a recluse getting her to nurse and gain weight. I didn't want to be labeled a failure. But that frenzy of nursing made it impossible for me to just bond and enjoy my daughter.

We, as Moms, have to listen to our gut and not society as to how to care for our children. Your Pia is better off having a Mom that can feed her and bond with her instead of a frenzy of meeting society's standards. Your a great mom!


Never mind what others think!!!
You have a healthy baby... rejoice over that!
From a mom who bottle fed two and nursed three...for reasons that were my own..


Thankyou for your honest post. I just assumed I would breastfeed too and when I basically had no milk I just didn't know what to do, combined with children who would not latch on or suck.

So for months I expressed the minutest amounts of milk and mixed it with formula and bottle fed. It took me all that time to make a decision to stop and once I did - I had so much more time for them, rather than spending all my time trying to express.

And once I talked about it at playgroup I couldn't believe the number of other ladies who had problems breastfeeding and ended up bottle feeding, they had hidden it too, I guess fearing the reactions of others.

penny hodgkinson

Your beautiful daughter will thrive however you feed her - you are right- motherhood is a long litany of compromises - what is best - for you, for Pia, for your family - may not be 'right' in our overbearing guilt inducing cultures - respect your instincts and use your passion for your children to nurture in different ways - you are so much, much more than you think you are just now.......

the mammy

Thank you for being so honest! Although I managed somehow to overcome those agonising first few weeks with both my babies (you really don't think it can happen twice), reading your post brought tears to my eyes as I remembered how physical and emotional the pain of feeding was, coupled with the terrible fear of failure. The dread of the minutes counting down to the next feed and the anxiety at being with your baby...It's very isolating to think you're alone in experiencing it so well done for surviving it and sharing it.


I'm very sorry you had to go through this twice and be left to feel so bad about it. It's so sad that it is often the mothers who are doing this (the guilt thing) to each other. I know that I was lucky to be able to breastfeed both my children and I do realise that it often just does not work out that way. Please don't blame yourself and don't underestimate the beneficial effect of your love to your children's health.


I wish someone had told me when my first son was born that while breastfeeding is natural, it's not easy. It took us more than four weeks to get to a point where I could nurse him without crying. We didn't leave the house for an entire month because it was so difficult to feed him.

And despite eventually having a good nursing relationship (that lasted more than 23 months), I suffered from PPD too. So I have guilt about the first six months of my son's life because of the PPD....as mothers it's so hard *not* to feel guilty about *everything*.

But you are right- parenting is all about compromises. You want to do what is right for your children, but at the same time you need to care for yourself and your family as a whole- which includes your partner.


I was very lucky I never had problems with breast feeding my son apart from sore nipples but it never stopped me suffering the most crushing depression. I had been depressed before he was born but after it became so much worse. I stopped when he was 4 months old because his teeth came through and he bit me like a horror. It took me a further 8 months to seek help for the depression not wanting to open myself up to other people's opinions or load myself with more guilt.

I think we spend so much time beating ourselves up and trying to live up to an ideal that doesn't exist. The important thing is to find a way that works for you and your family. Thank you for sharing and providing a realistic view of motherhood.


Awwww, I wish you could let go of the pain and see it for what it is. I respect and appreciate all of your sentiment and dreams about feeding your babies, but I hate to see a mother rip herself up so brutally for a decision that doesn't make one bit of a difference in the GRAND scheme of things. For now it will feel sad and disappointing, but they all move on, off of milk, out of diapers, into their own rooms/beds, and eventually off on their own... we have them for such a small part of their lives... you've done your very best and you should feel nothing but pride about that. Don't feel like a failure! My brother and I were bottle fed and I feel not one bit affected by that! I have three healthy children now myself!
Anyway I guess you have to go through feelings to resolve them, but I do hope you'll let go of the pain when the time comes... your kids will be happier if you're happier!

Cherry Menlove

Forget everybody else. You have just given birth to another human being. If ANYBODY judges you, you send them right to me!!!
I am new to your blog and I am already transfixed by your honesty, so thank you for that. BUT having read the comment by Krista I really think she is talking the most wonderful sense. I am sending you an enourmous peace filled hug and hoping that any hormones you don't need make a sharp exit from your precious body.

Cherry x


Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. I know it must be hard to write- partly because you have still not been able to let go of the ideal you set for yourself, and partly because you are leaving yourself open to criticism. You'll find none here.

I nursed my son for 13 months and it was never easy. I nursed the first three months in horrible pain, my back aching, one breast completely mauled. In fact, one lactation consultant drew a picture of it because she couldn't believe how bad it looked. You know what's funny? In a way, I regret persevering with the nursing. It colored my relationship with my son and made me scared to be at home alone with him, as it took two people to really successfully feed him (with the pump, and the shield, etc.).

I think we all have to stop preaching, right now.

I'm reading Hillbilly Gothic right now- have you read it? She quotes a passage from La Leche League's book that I'm sure I read in those early days. When I saw it in her book, it was like a slap to the face- all about how nursing your child essentially made you a better person, showed that you were mature, etc. These kinds of value judgments do nothing but damage women. I know that it's a backlash against societal norms that say women shouldn't breastfeed in public, etc., but it's equally harmful.

Oy. Off the soapbox. Pia will thrive. Pia will soar. And it will be because you are there beside her.

Alicia A.

I'm sorry that people will judge you. You just turn your head the other way and KNOW you're doing the best thing for you and your children. Because you are.

Try to go easy on yourself.


I came across your blog a few days ago. I now think that it might have been for a reason. I needed to hear that I wasn't the only one dealing with this same issue.
I have a 6 month old baby girl. After her birth (which was VERY difficult and ended in a cesearean), I started trying to nurse her. Little Bit would not latch on initially. One hour after she was born, I was handed a nipple shield. Being uninformed and trusting, I took it and started using it. We couldn't get a good latch with or without the shield. Little Bit has a tied tongue. I felt intense guilt about giving her a bottle, but after seeing 6 lactation consultants we decided to stop. Little Bit was losing too much weight.
I cried and cried after making the decision. I'm still not happy about not having a choice in the matter, but LB is doing terrifically. I feel that breastfeeding is wonderful, but NOT at the expense of the mother and her child. I lost the first 2 weeks with my baby girl. I felt so pressured by society and my friends, that I was continuing to hurt my relationship with my own daughter. I'm so very glad that she is healthy and wellfed.

I hope that you enjoy your early moments with Pia and everyday after :)

cori w

you tried. it is the best you can do. now it is time to move on, enjoy you little ones and remember that you did what you could. thank you for sharing your story! and if anyone has an issue with the bottlefeeding, you can send them send them our way!


Delurking to say please please please do not spend one minute more worrying about this. There is nothing beneficial in an infant associating every feeding with a mother's intense pain and fear. Is it beneficial for an infant to be without their mother for a week before she has to have surgery on her infected breast? Or to have a mother that has to have surgical packing removed and cleaned every day for three weeks? This happened to my friend and it was so hard for both of them. It didn't have to be, she was trying so hard because of a la leche consultant and it was just so wrong for everyone involved.
I congratulate you on having the courage to make the decision!


Hey. You will not be judged that brutally Sweetie. I never knew either that breastfeeding could be an "issue" - untill I had my first born. I saw the women at the hospital struggling to breastfeed and even though I had no problems - I will NEVER judge anyone else. We ALWAYS do the best we can, in any given situation. I also had to deal with depression before/during/after and have given (mainly) my first born a hard time, but we all survive - don't we? We can't beat ourselves up about it. Don't beat yourself up - ok? You don't need that too.
Hugs and positive vibes from me to you ;o)


Thank you for sharing, yet again such a powerful and honest truth. I think you're such a brave person and I hope that your fears of people judging you don't come to pass. But, if they do, I hope you remember that you have support here and that you've done the best thing for you and your family.

melissa f.

you are not alone. you are so so not alone.


This was such a brave post, and I'm so proud of you. I do hope you know that. (I think you do.) I'm proud of you for sharing this publicly so that it might help other moms, and I'm proud of you for making the right decision for you and your family in spite of tremendous pressure to the contrary.

And I love you very much, my friend. (I know you know this as well.)


Pah! on the others who feel the need to judge you. You tried so hard to make it work and I applaud you for stopping when you saw it wasn't working for you, Max or Pia. I don't have children (yet) and when I choose to have a breast reduction (thereby heavily reducing my chances of breast feeding) you would have thought I had decided to chop off people's toes or something. As long as children have a loving home and a way to get nutrition, then who cares if you breast feed or not. I do think it's best for the child but if it doesn't work right then there are other options! Heck! We used to have wetnurses! Luckily nowdays there is formula. So in conclusion (I like saying that), I applaud you loudly for saying it as it is and sharing this with us.


I'm sorry to say that the ridicule has happened even within my family. My oldest sister is the Breastfeeding queen. She's had 4 kids and was even breastfeeding #3 & #4 (who are at least a year apart) at the same time for about a year. My second sister's first child wouldn't latch... so she went to a bottle, her second child fed for a while but when she had to go back to work in earnest, her second child had to go to a bottle too. Her third was hospitalized at a month old with 2 serious lung diseases and was in the NICU for 6 months and because of stress and having to pump rather than nursing directly (he was in a drug induced coma most of that time) her milk dried up. And instead of seeing sympathy and love within my family, my oldest sister ridiculed the second sister for not trying harder to breastfeed! I made my opinion known about that and there hasn't been any more discussion about it, but it just seemed to be to be such a heartless thing to do! If a woman chooses not to breastfeed so that she can keep her breasts perky, I would argue about that, since I feel that having children is more important than your figure, but if you've honestly tried and for various reasons you can't... then I call you blameless. And you shouldn't be feeling guilty. You are doing what is best for your family, just as I am doing what is best for future children by NOT having them. Even though we are ridiculed or looked down on because of this, it doesn't make our decisions wrong. Blessings for you and your family and kiss Pia's forehead. According to my Portuguese Grandmother, it makes babies smart ;)


Thank you for such an honest post. I know that society at the moment is divided in two. Those who are passionate about breastfeeding and those who just don't care to do it. Thankyou for really highlighting to me that there are those who really really want to and cannot. I will NEVER judge anyone who bottlefeeds again - their story could be just like yours.


You did what was best for you and your babies. Don't let anyone ever tell you that was wrong. What's wrong is bullying mothers into feeling guilty or "bad" for making decisions that are best for thier circumstances, and, sadly, moms across the country on all sides of all the issues will happily line up to berate another mother about her choices before giving a single thought to supporting or comforting her.

I beat myself up for a long time for "giving up" on my birth plan and "giving in" to a c-section, for "giving up" on breastfeeding when I could no longer produce enough milk to keep my children full, and I let other moms beat me up for it too, but after a while I realized my babies are healthy, smart, loving children regardless of how they got here or what they ate in the meantime. You do what's right for your family and let anyone who gives you grief over it have an eyefull of a rather rude gesture.


I cannot imagine any mother judging you over this. Breastfeeding is not a phsyical possibility for every woman, period, and it's no one else's business why you are bottlefeeding, and anyone who chooses to think less of you because of it is the real one with the problem. I've always just assumed I won't have any problems breastfeeding when the baby is born, but posts like this remind me not to take anything for granted. I'm so sorry it's been so difficult for you.

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