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Thread: No milk and extremely depressed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Bronx, NY
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    1

    Unhappy No milk and extremely depressed

    My LO is now 8wks and i have been feeding her only formula from since she was 2wks old. In her first days, i was breastfeeding but as time went on my supply went lower and lower and i had to supplement; til eventually there was none. I've tried everything, pumping, massaging, comfort feeding, i just started taking pills and teas, but i'm already discouraged because of all the articles i read keep saying the critical time for breastfeeding is the first six weeks. it's so bad now that i can't even be around my LO without crying. Luckily my mom has taken over most of her care while i go back to work, but i only interact with her when she needs changing or bathing; i can't bare watching her feed from a bottle, but i have feed her that way a couple of times. i just feel like I've lost her and she isn't mine anymore because i let her down; i can't do the most basic thing for her and her development will suffer for it. my husband is convinced that i quit and i haven't made enough strides to try again, which has caused a strain between because i become defensive when he brings up trying again; he thinks all i have to do is sit her on my chest and wait for her to be hungry. My mom is all to happy to get to spend time with her so she doesn't see what the big deal with me is. I've talked to a LL leader but she didn't seem to know much more than i did. Should i just give up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: No milk and extremely depressed

    Dear uphoria3, I am so sorry you are having such a struggle. If you cannot be around your baby without crying, I strongly suggest you call your doctor immediately to discuss post partum mood issues.

    I will discuss milk production a bit below, but right now I am MUCH more concerned about your mood and your sense of detachment from your baby. Unless it is unsafe for you to be taking care of your baby, your mother should NOT be taking over all the care of your baby. It would be much better if she and others could care for YOU so you can care for your baby. There is more to mothering than breastfeeding. Much, much more. You are right, your baby needs you-and that need is about YOU, not your milk. Of course that is part of it. It's an important part. It is normal to mourn the loss of breastfeeding when that is something you wanted so much for yourself and your baby. But your baby still needs YOU, and you need your baby. Your baby's 'home' IS snuggled up on your chest, against your heart. And that is true whether or not she is nursing. So I suggest, please get help with your post partum issues so you can mother your baby.

    I would also suggest you discuss with your husband the possibility of taking a longer leave from work, or only go back part time at first. Biologically and hormonally speaking, 6 weeks post partum is very early for returning to full time work & in cases where there are severe postpartum issues it can be extremely detrimental.

    OK, milk production: Without knowing more of your history, I can only say this- The first 6 weeks is not "critical" for milk production. It is critical for normal, biologically mandated, hormonally boosted lactogenesis (milk production.) If a baby does not nurse and/or mom does not pump enough to bring in a 'normal' milk production in the first 6 weeks, yes, that is going to make establishing milk production much harder. But not impossible, assuming the mom does not have a preexisting condition preventing milk production, which can happen.

    A good source for milk production issues is the book Making More Milk and I would also suggest seeing an IBCLC who has experience helping mothers relactate if that is possible.

    Also, breastfeeding is not only about the milk. You can also consider if using a lactation aid so you can supplement your baby while nursing would be right for you. If not, there are ways to bottle feed that make bottle feeding more like breastfeeding and give baby some of the benefits of nursing. If you would like more information on these ideas, please let us know.

    But again, I suggest, get help with the post partum mood issues first and foremost, please!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 18th, 2013 at 01:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,142

    Default Re: No milk and extremely depressed

    Please do see someone about the mood issues. Feeling so miserable and so detached from your baby... That suggests that you could be straying into PPD territory.

    Will baby still nurse? If you put her to the breast, she might surprise you. Suckling is often the best way to rebuild supply, and it can also help with the bonding process: when a baby nurses, it prompts your body to release a hormone called oxytocin. A lot of people call it the "love hormone" because it causes good feelings and has been implicated in the formation of bonds between individuals. Basically, it's a natural mood elevator.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: No milk and extremely depressed

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*uphoria3 View Post
    My LO is now 8wks and i have been feeding her only formula from since she was 2wks old. In her first days, i was breastfeeding but as time went on my supply went lower and lower and i had to supplement; til eventually there was none. I've tried everything, pumping, massaging, comfort feeding, i just started taking pills and teas, but i'm already discouraged because of all the articles i read keep saying the critical time for breastfeeding is the first six weeks. it's so bad now that i can't even be around my LO without crying. Luckily my mom has taken over most of her care while i go back to work, but i only interact with her when she needs changing or bathing; i can't bare watching her feed from a bottle, but i have feed her that way a couple of times. i just feel like I've lost her and she isn't mine anymore because i let her down; i can't do the most basic thing for her and her development will suffer for it. my husband is convinced that i quit and i haven't made enough strides to try again, which has caused a strain between because i become defensive when he brings up trying again; he thinks all i have to do is sit her on my chest and wait for her to be hungry. My mom is all to happy to get to spend time with her so she doesn't see what the big deal with me is. I've talked to a LL leader but she didn't seem to know much more than i did. Should i just give up?
    So sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. This is exactly how I felt with my first child, and I had severe post partum depression that lasted 1 year. We also breastfed for only 2 weeks and then did formula. I would definitely try to find someone you can go see ASAP, I ended up going to someone who specialized in PPD and she screened me and that's how we found out I had it. It really helped me to talk to her, as the therapist herself also had it with her children. Definitely find someone to talk to!

    I ended up giving up on nursing her (my oldest) because I was in so much pain and i was a total mess. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but I think the first step is definitely see someone for how you are feeling mood wise. The next step could be a private IBCLC (lactation counselor) if you really don't want to give up nursing.

    Is the lack of supply making you depressed? Or are you depressed for other reasons? Difficult birth experience/work/family?

    My daughter is happy and healthy, wonderful and amazing. She was fed formula. My other daughter is equally intelligent and healthy and she has had nothing but breast milk. Again, not trying to talk you into quitting but I feel I have a unique perspective to offer because not many people have done all formula with one and all breast with the other. It took a lot longer to grow a bond with my oldest, but we are very close today and she is 3.

    However, I've also had an amazing experience nursing my second child. I've got to say, that it is definitely something worth fighting for and putting 100% of your time into if you can and are willing.

    I also recommend the MOBI online support group (Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues), I joined this and it helped immensely. Everyone in this group is going through the same thing you are. http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/article-QuotesPPD.aspx and https://www.facebook.com/MOBIMotherhood/info. This is a yahoo group you can join, it's very fast to join, check out the contact info on facebook.
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; October 18th, 2013 at 12:48 PM.
    and Mama to two little girls

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