Breastfeeding/formula dilemma


I am struggling so much trying to nurse Elia. Sobbing breakdown every day struggling. 😦 I’ve been pumping exclusively for her for six weeks now since she was born. We’ve been trying to get her to nurse for five. She struggles to latch and mostly won’t without a nursing shield. A lot of it I’m sure is due to her prematurity, but she’s past term now and her mouth is big enough and strong enough to make things work, but she just can’t/won’t open wide enough, latch deep enough or stay on. Any one of those things or all of them are an issue every time I try. I’ve been seeing lactation consultants and have another appointment Sunday but I can’t stand the wait.

I can’t keep doing this much longer, pumping is painful and depressing and it takes so much time. I’m spending 6-10 hours a day pumping depending on how many times I can bear to pump now. She has been nursing with the shield, but when I was pushing that she didn’t gain weight for a week and a half and we were almost readmitted to the hospital. I feel like such a failure! I also am about to give up. This is so hard. I can’t keep pumping, taking care of her and Ian at the same time. Impossible. And Bill’s starting to travel more so I have to be in that scenario a lot…and I can’t do it on the 3 hours of sleep I get a night feeding her and pumping all night.

So you can probably see where I’m going, I am thinking about quitting and it’s breaking my heart. I so want to nurse this baby! As a preemie she really needs my milk, I want the closeness and snuggle time, and the convenience honestly. It’s so much easier to nurse than deal with all the bottles. I don’t even know what to do if we’re out and she needs a bottle. How do I make one and warm it on the run?!

How do you make this choice? If you did how did you do it? I’d love to hear what you did and why. I am struggling with this decision so, so much. But if she can’t get nursing I can’t keep pumping. I’m trying to tell myself that formula isn’t evil…but I just feel awful about it. Help me out , tell me what you did and why and how you felt about it before and after. I NEVER thought I’d be here struggling with this, it’s killing me. I don’t want to do anything I will regret forever. 😥


About maria7z

I am a wife, mom and woman trying to find balance in my world. Between work, caring for my kids and loving on my husband (oh yeah, and making time for me) I am always trying to find a way to make it all work. Here's some insight on that journey, however unsuccessful I may be!

4 responses »

  1. You know that I was in your shoes. No matter what I did, Connor just wasn’t gaining enough weight with the nursing. I also felt like a failure because I really just couldn’t produce enough pumping to keep up with how much he needed to eat. I finally came to the decision to just stick with the bottles and formula just because I knew that for me and Connor that was the best decision if I wanted him to continue gaining weight the way he was supposed to and should.
    I know that it’s a hard decision but I know that you’ll do what’s right for you and Elia.
    Hugs to the family!

  2. With Amelia, it was a good six weeks before I felt like we knew what we were doing in terms of nursing. With her (also tiny) it was a positioning thing, I kind of had to sit on a chair, lean way forward, and hold her almost in an upright sitting position. It was the weirdest thing, and I discovered it totally by accident. Also banner moments for her was once she figured out how to side-lay.
    Whatever ended up happening, you are doing EVERYTHING a good mom should.. you’re worried first about what is best for your baby!

    • Elia actually started nursing! I should update. 😉 It’s amazing actually. I think it just took her time to get past the issues from being premature. But now she’s pretty much a pro and is growing steadily. I am amazed every day and so thankful. I started doing the math on how much money we saved from not buying formula…it justified my shopping today. 😉

  3. Pingback: Giant update « maria7z

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