To the wonderful mommy out there who have tried and been unable to breastfeed, with all the guilt on your shoulders that you aren’t good enough or didn’t try hard enough please listen. I am a mom just like you that failed and felt guilty and I want you to know that it is okay. You are not failure honey, it doesn’t work for everyone and you shouldn’t feel guilty that it happened to you.
You can plan to breastfeed and read all of the books and get all the equipment and supplies and still fail and that is okay! We are not all made to breastfeed, sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have complications from giving birth or your baby won’t latch properly. Things happen and you don’t have to feel guilty nor should you be made to feel this way!
You are an awesome momma and are doing what you need to do to make the situation work and that is awesome! You are doing your best and supplementing with formula or exclusively pumping is okay!
Dealing With Guilt From Being Unable To Breastfeed
First of all you are amazing for trying to breastfeed in the first place and secondly, it doesn’t work out for everyone, so you don’t need to feel guilty or upset. I know it is disappointing for you and you may think that you could have done more but I am sure you did everything you could.
If your baby had a hard time latching or just refused to breastfeed it happens to more mom’s then you think and yes breast is best but if you are going to be overwhelmed and depressed over making it work then it isn’t best for you or baby. Whatever the reason you are unable to breastfeed you are not alone many of us have been or are there right now.
Having a baby is a big life change by itself let alone feeling like you are failing at being a mom because you are unable to breastfeed! You can still give your baby breast milk in a bottle and if exclusive pumping doesn’t work then go for formula. You are not a failure for doing this!!
Your life now is about taking care of your newborn and if that means supplementing with formula and pumping what you can so be it, in the end, your child is depending on you to feed and take care of him or her and whatever you have to do to get that done is what you have to do. No guilt involved!
The worst thing you could do is keep failing miserably and not supplement with something else do what is best and forget the rest, your child will be healthy and grow just fine if you pump or just give formula instead.
Your baby has your antibodies for the first couple months and then it wears off so don’t worry about them getting sick because you aren’t breastfeeding. Take precautions by washing your hands and getting the whooping cough vaccination along with keeping sick people away from your little one, just use common sense and you won’t have to worry.
My son wasn’t able to latch and I tried and got frustrated so finally, I decided to pump what I could and then give him formula in between and he is almost three now and doing just fine. He never got super sick or didn’t grow as fast as other kids and he is so very smart almost to smart lol!
Don’t let your fears get in the way of clear thinking, you don’t have to be that perfect mom that did everything by the book because the truth is that the book doesn’t work for everyone and things don’t work out how we want them to all the time.
Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself that it is not your fault, you did not fail and you are a great momma!!
You gave birth to a miracle and that in and of itself is amazing so don’t let these hiccups in your plan ruin your time with that sweet baby, enjoy this time because they grow way to fast and won’t let you snuggle and cuddle them anymore. I have to steal hugs and kisses from my toddler now so soak it up while you can!
Don’t Listen to Negative People
In life, we always come across those people that like to be super opinionated about our personal situations those negative Nancy’s that try to make you feel bad and steal your joy. If you know someone like that or have them in your family which I hope you don’t then just steer clear of them.
You don’t need anyone like this in your life making you feel bad about something that you can’t control, they need to mind their own business and stay away from you. No one needs someone like that around sucking the life out of them anyway so avoid these people at all costs, especially during your postpartum period. You have hormones that are out of wack and it could cause you to have postpartum depression having them around you, especially if you suffer from anxiety they will make it worse.
For more on dealing with mom anxiety, you may find this article helpful How to Deal With Anxiety As A Mom
I feel like it’s mean to say but really I’m saving you from a bad outcome so hear me out!
In life, we can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it!! Instead of putting yourself down choose to get up see it as an obstacle and get onto the solution that works for you. Your baby needs you to be present and not stuck on what doesn’t work for either of you, let go of the guilt today and move forward.
How To Protect Your Baby From Illness
Here are some tips on protecting your baby a few of them I mentioned above, they work great if you are supplementing with formula. If you are pumping your baby is getting antibodies from your breast milk so you don’t need to worry.
- Keep sick children and adults away from your child.
- Don’t let strangers touch your baby.
- If an illness is going around like during flu season try not to take your little one to the store with you.
- Always wash your hands before touching your baby or any items you will be using on them.
- Talk to your doctor about immunizations you can get to keep your family from getting your baby sick.
- Get the flu shot.
- Make sure your infant is up to date on all shots.
By doing all of these you are helping your little one stay healthy and avoid any illness that could be spread to them by your family or others.
Conclusion For Being Unable to Breastfeed
In the end, it comes down to what is best for you and your newborn, this is your own personal decision and no one should make you feel bad about it. It’s hard when your baby won’t latch or has a tongue tie and you have tried everything to fix the problem.
Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t the best when it simply isn’t working and causing more stress than is needed. If you can supplement with formula or pump instead that would work just as well, rather than getting upset over breastfeeding.
Lots of women have ended up pumping or using formula and their babies have turned out just fine. Don’t let anyone dictate what is best for you, only you know what is working and when it’s time to stop trying.
Our society has put so much emphasis on the breast is best but forget that for some women it’s not, we cannot all do the same thing if it doesn’t work for us. No more guilty feelings over this momma, it is okay for you to not breastfeed.
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2 thoughts on “Unable to Breastfeed, How to Deal With Guilt”
I agree 100% Sometimes, I think we push breastfeeding too much on new mothers when they are in the hospital. It is all a part of the “Healthy People” plan for our government, which has a ton of wonderful health goals, but sometimes they are not always a good fit for everyone and one should not be made to feel guilty if they choose not to breastfeed or if they can’t. My personal experience is the opposite….For my first child, my Pediatrician chastised me for not giving formula! LOL, talk about personal opinions affecting how you practice, huh?
Thanks for your comment! Yes it shouldn’t be pushed on mom’s especially with the stress of having a new baby, it should be a personal choice with no pressure.
I don’t understand why your Pediatrician would chastise you about not using formula, seems a little strange! Wonder the reason for such a personal opinion about it!