On Breastfeeding Guilt


Before I had kids I didn’t realise how much guilt would be involved; guilt and parenting go together like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, like ginger biscuits and a cup of tea, like a glass of wine and my mouth. It’s a given, it’s meant to be.

The guilt is constant, yet not always about the same thing. When Elfie was a baby I felt guilty that I was unable to breastfeed her, then I felt guilty I didn’t do more when it took so long to get her condition diagnosed, I felt guilty that she loved Baby TV more than she probably should and I felt guilty about not reading to her every single day (it didn’t matter, she bloody loves books now).

Hux’s guilt is slightly different and mostly centers around leaving him in his bouncy chair for what I think is too long while I cook, change Elfie’s nappy (she’s not potty trained yet: GUILT) or shower. He doesn’t get half as much attention as Elfie did when she was a baby and it kills me, but he’s getting too heavy and wriggly to strap to me whilst I’m doing the housework. I try and make up for my guilt by taking half an hour out of my day to lie down with him and baby talk, and when I say talk I mean coo and gummy smile.

Today’s guilt is all about breastfeeding. I went away for two nights last week (I left my kids! The guilt!) so daddy was in charge of bottle feeding – something we’d practiced before I went away. I was desperate to return to Hux so he could nurse properly again but I was surprised to hear how contented he had been whilst I was away. Apparently Hux likes the formula, and he guzzled it down like nobody’s business. He slept 50% more and grizzled 50% less. Oh :(

Breastfeeding for me was a challenge at the beginning but I’d thought it had gone swimmingly since then. I was pretty amazed at my weightloss (back to normal weight in 5 weeks and still steadily losing 1lb a week without really trying) but now I’m not thinking this is a good thing. I don’t think my body is producing enough milk, it’s gobbled up most of my fat stores and I don’t know how to produce more. I eat a very healthy and balanced diet, always have, and find it a bit of a challenge to eat when I’m not hungry. I don’t like particularly fatty foods (apart from chips, burgers and the occasional McDonald’s breakfast) and always drink a lot of water. What is there to do?

I’ve kept Hux on a combination of breastmilk (as much as I can make) and formula milk before his morning and afternoon nap and once at night. He’s been sleeping much better than pre-formula Hux was and generally seems happier but I still feel incredibly guilty. We’ve only been breastfeeding for four months, I’m not ready for it to be over! As we’d got this far I didn’t expect to not be able to meet his demand.

Aside from the guilt I’m also really missing cuddles with my boy: let’s face it, this is the last time I’ll be able to hold him so close for 15 minutes five times a day before he becomes a rambunctious toddler with smelly feet.

Internet, what can I do? I’ve tried eating a Snickers a day since I returned from my trip to kick-start my fat stores but it doesn’t seem to be helping yet (tastes good though). I want more milk!

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  1. MrsB wrote:

    Tricky post! I’ve got quite strong views on breastfeeding but they don’t need to be shared – in the end you’ll have to do what feels right for you and what you think is best for your kids :)

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I love a good breastfeeding debate: I have such different views now to the first time around! I don’t want to continue breastfeeding for selfish reasons, the last thing I want to do is make him go hungry, like you said you have to do what you feel is right.

      Posted 9.13.12 Reply
  2. Mummylimited wrote:

    Mmmm, horrid feelings so many many hugs. What to do? Don’t worry. After four months your supply should be fine. He’s putting on weight, yes?
    I’m not sure it’s scientific but I think bf babies do tend to need to feed more regularly as breast milk is easier to digest for thei little tummies, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing him any harm. He may have been having a little growth spurt last week. I think 4mo is quite a regular one. Could be nothing to do with his milk either way.

    The most important thing is that you and Hux are happy. If feeding makes you happy and the way you’ve been writing about it, it seems you are. BUT if you’re not then its fine to stop.

    If you are worried about supply just make sure you’re feeding on demand. He will naturally up your supply by feeding more.

    I used to call them my bf walls. Times when I doubted or wanted to stop. I would keep going and find in a week it was all ok again. xx

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Such a lovely and useful comment – thank you! He has been putting on weight but has dropped by about 15 centiles (more mummy guilt!!) and I don’t want him to be ill if he’s not getting what he needs. I think the order of the day is to try more boob time, fenugreek (thanks Twitter) and Snickers!

      Posted 9.13.12 Reply
      • Mummylimited wrote:

        A Heath visitor told me as long as he’s on the chart, he’s fine.

        Posted 9.13.12 Reply
      • MrsB wrote:

        I only had my second son weighed and measured once after leaving the hospital – I don’t believe in charts… If the baby’s happy and growing (at whatever rate they do), then all’s well :) Do try fenugreek and I agree with a comment above that breastfeeding does take more time than formula feeding i.e. you have to do it more often… (can you tell I was a demand feeding kind of a mother? ;)

        Posted 9.14.12 Reply
        • alice wrote:

          I do feel the same to some extent – but Elfie was sooo poorly when she was a baby and her weight was the first symptom of her illness. So when they told me he’d dropped a few centiles I was a bit worried! Will look out fenugreek and continue to feed on demand as much as possible.

          Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  3. Sarah wrote:

    Instead of feeling guilty you should be proud you have managed to breastfeed this long :)

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      You are right, I only managed a fortnight with Elfie so 4 months is brilliant really! x

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  4. Lydia wrote:

    I had this problem when I was mix feeling Finn (at the same age). Have you ever been on the kellymom site? I seem to remember advice on this was a milk-fest day where you both stay in bed doing nothing but sleeping, cuddling and offering the breast at every opportunity. I appreciate this is probably impossible with Elfie to look after too but if you could get some help for a few days maybe worth a try? I’ll look up a link for you xx

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
  5. Lydia wrote:

    Here you go, the bit about the nursing vacation is at the bottom under ‘how to increase milk supply’

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • Rachieslates wrote:

      Kellymom is a great site….got me through those days/nights of constant feeding! 4 months was difficult but we got thru it and stopped when he was 16 months. Just try nd spend a couple of days at home feeding, drinking lots and eating lots, must be hard with a toddler too. Keep on keeping on! X

      Posted 9.18.12 Reply
      • alice wrote:

        I’m loving Kellymom… my new favourite site! We’ve had only one bottle feed in the last 48 hours so things are looking up x

        Posted 9.18.12 Reply
  6. Lydia wrote:

    Here you go, the bit about the nursing vacation is at the bottom under ‘how to increase milk supply’ http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/low-supply/

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Lydia, this is SOOO helpful, thank you so much!! Really really great reading x

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    When my milk seemed to be getting less I was told to drink plenty water as well as eat fats, and it did seem to help. And grazing through out the day seemed to help too.

    I think as others have said you have to do what makes to both happy! I would say try a couple of days of exclusive breast feeding again and see how he responds.

    Is he getting any solids yet? I started Lily just past 4 months (guidance had just changed from 4 to 6 months then) and this really helped with her her to combine two. She needed more food but that way she got my milk and home made food, which she loved! (don’t get me wrong she also had formula when I went out!)

    Both your babies look great, so try not to feel any guilt!

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I will continue to try this: difficult as I put lots of weight on in 2009 and I eliminated my grazing habit to be a bit healthier after I had elfie! Will drink lots of water and nibble on some chocolate and crisps.

      He’s not having any solids yet but this is something I am thinking about introducing in the next couple of weeks; he’s only just 4 months so I don’t want to offer them too early. Thank you for your comment! x

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  8. Charlotte Taylor wrote:

    Hello lovely. Firstly. Big pat on the back for getting to four months. That is only two away from the recommended amount. But even so, these babies all grow up to be adults. Breastmilk doesn’t give them them degrees or that job they always wanted. It’s a level of motherhood, and with the options today, it’s a choice not an ultimatum.

    I’ve been breastfeeding William for three months now. I had the same worries as you when I returned to work because I didn’t know if I could pump enough. I tried fenugreek. It was okay. But no noticeable difference. Oats are supposed to help. There are Breast Milk Cookies you can make that can be fun. Don’t worry – they HELP with boob milk, none actually included in the recipe! I think a foodie like you might enjoy baking them! I also find drinking lots helps. Drink a lot and then some.

    Pumping is key though for me. I pump twice at work but that is easier as I don’t have a baby to feed then. But I also do it once or twice at home so I have some extra to freeze. It takes time. Results won’t be instantaneous but slowly you should produce more and more milk like you do during a growth spurt. Speaking of which, if Hux has one, try and boob feed as much as you can as that will boost your supply. Formula feeds will unfortunately make your supply level out so that the milk for those feeds isn’t produced anymore. Maybe try one formula feed before bed and the rest breastmilk. Or mix some expressed milk and formula and wean him off.

    This is all advice though. But do what makes you happy. Because happy mummy means happy baby. Be proud of your udders mama. And just do what feels best. Xxx

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Thank you for such a lovely comment, Charlotte. It made me smile :) xx

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  9. Snafflesmummy wrote:

    Firstly, have a cup of tea or glass of wine and breathe. You have nothing to feel guilty about.
    Do not doubt your supply, by now it should be well.adapted and around now your milk is settling down and the taste changes, he may be getting used to it.

    Could you be eating too little or too healthy? Oats are good, I took that as an excuse for daily flapjack! Are there any support groups locally?

    I am torn, I do believe its just a technical hitch and you can get back on track but I also strongly believe in happy mum and baby.

    Whatever you decide if its best for you both then how can you feel guilty. We can only try our best.

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I love it when people advise me to have a glass of wine :)

      I am trying to up my calorie intake but I’m just not a huge eater, it is an excuse to re-start my elevensies habit though! I’ve been persevering over the weekend and am down to one bottle a day which I am most happy about. Hopefully we can drop that soon! x

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  10. Alison, Not another mummy blog wrote:

    I feel for you but the above advice to do what’s right for you & Hux is spot on.

    And regarding guilt, I came across an old blog post of mine this week about mummy guilt and in it, I quoted my best mate who had said the following to me:

    “Guilt is such a useless, annoying emotion. It doesn’t change anything. It just makes you feel bad.”

    She was so right and it made me feel better then and now. Let’s bundle all of our guilt into a little bottle (OK big box) and throw it in the bin.
    (Easier said than done!)

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I need to print out that quote and sellotape it to my forehead! x

      Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  11. Janet wrote:

    I’m going to go ahead and suggest everything I can to help you keep going, because from what you’ve said you seem to really want to keep breastfeeding, so lets encourage that! You have done amazing to get this far, and you can keep on going!

    I second advice to devour everything on kellymom. So much geat advice. I would say that by now your supply is pretty established so it is unlikely that its not enough. You’re only thinking this because he’s had formula and seemed more content. But the thing is, formula is not breastmilk. Breastmilk is milk for babies, by nature, and it is completely perfect for them. This means it is easy to digest, so it doesn’t fill them up for as long. This isnt a bad thing, but it’s different to formula which is harder to digest and so sits in the tummy for longer making contented seeming babies. We know how much we want a good long snooze after a big Sunday lunch, right? Similar effect. The fact that he sleeps better or is less grizzly after formula is not an automatic reason that things must be better, things are just different.

    Hux certainly looks like a happy, healthy baby. I don’t think dropping some centiles is something to worry about, he hasn’t dropped off the chart, right? Our charts are not designed for breastfed babies anyway, so don’t take it all at face value.

    If you truley think your supply needs boosting, there are things you can do – supplements (fenugreek, and supplements for breastfeeding mums), foods that promote milk production (you’ve already been reccomended oats – you will be amazed at the effect of some flapjack!) and also foods to try and avoid as they can have an effect on supply and also just on Hux via your milk (I can’t eat onions, as onions through my breastmilk give Becca bad wind – though she can eat them herself no problem!) which may effect his grizzles. Caffeine is often a good one to cut out as it can get to them through the milk. I can’t even have a cup of tea after mid afternoon or it effects Becca in the evening. Crazy, I know. It’s a bit of trial and error to figure this stuff out but worth doing – trust me, I was so relived when I figured out I could stop the wind by avoiding onions!!

    At the end of the day it’s up to you what you do, but I strongly advise you give it all you’ve got before you decide to stop as its a choice you can’t really reverse and I dont want you to have any regrets. I almost gave up so many times in the first 6 months, as we had to use nipple shields at every single feed due to her terrible latch issues, but at 6 months old she just got it and I’m still feeding her at 20 months. I’m so glad I persevered.

    You’re doing amazing, whatever happens. Don’t feel guilty, just make the choice that’s right for you!

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
    • Myra wrote:

      This is a great comment and I agree with everything in it. It could also help to give the la lache league a call as they usually offer up great advice.

      At the end of the day it’s up to you what you do, but I strongly advise you give it all you’ve got before you decide to stop as its a choice you can’t really reverse and I dont want you to have any regrets

      this this this, there is no going back if you start supplying with formula and don’t pump when you do give a bottle. It’s totally up to you but it’s a one way street and your supply will take a hit from formula feeding.

      Oh and by the way, I gave birth to a baby girl on the 31st of August :)

      Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  12. I’m sorry you’re feeling guilty. That’s just one emotion mothers often feel and really don’t need to. You sound like a good mum who’s doing a great job.

    I’ve read this post a few times now and I’m trying to understand what makes you think you’re not making enough milk? Did you start mixed feeding because he seemed happier on formula while you were away? Him sleeping more and grizzling less on formula most likely does not reflect your milk supply. Breast milk is more easily digested and therefore breastfed babies may wake more. This is biologically normal. Also, formula feeds may make a baby seem more satisfied because bottle feeding makes it easy for a baby to take too much milk (think of how you might be after a too big roast dinner, for instance). Also, babies tend to drink quickly from bottles just because of how they flow. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re hungrily devouring it.

    Giving formula will cause you to produce less milk. If you want to make more then the first thing to do is to feed, feed, feed. The more demand is put on your breasts the more you will produce. If you really think your milk supply is in trouble then you could also pump after feeds. I had chronic low milk supply and this was a big piece of the puzzle in sorting it out.

    Is there any breastfeeding support where you live? Could you find a local group? You could look for your local La Leche League?

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  13. Aly wrote:

    Hi! As Adele said above your body only makes. what your baby takes.So if you’re giving him formula instead of a feed your supply will go down if your not to express any milk.If you want to continue breastfeeding, then do so but cut back on the formula.There are foods like oats and teas like fenugreek that may help but feeding him more from your breast will increase your supply.There is a growth spurt at 4 months so he may feed more, so this is a good opportunity to go back to feeding him on demand.As Adele said group support is a massive plus when you have concerns. worries or need face to face advice.Don’t be so hard on yourself :)

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  14. Rahslowe wrote:

    Hullo :) Han_DP sent me here and I’ve only read this post, not the whole blog, so sorry if I ask something you’ve covered elsewhere.

    It sounds from the post like you really want to carry on feeding, but are worried about having enough milk & letting Hux down in someway, and also about the effect on you of feeding whilst loosing weight?

    Firstly, you are his mum. You make the best decisions for him. Everyone else will always have an opinion, but you know best what he needs, go with it and ignore everyone (including me) if it won’t work for the two of you.

    * Milk Supply: When babies are first born, your body just makes milk. Makes it and Makes it and Makes it – its a hormonal response to having a baby, and even if you don’t bf, it will be there. From when they start feeding, your body starts adjusting to make the milk they take and by 4 months the amount of milk you make is supply/demand driven – so what he takes, you make. So while you were away, your body adjusted and made less (I’m guessing you expressed for comfort at some point?) and now you’re back together, he is trying to up your supply. Because you make milk as he takes it, you will always have milk (See below ‘feeling full’), but it will come more slowly to start with (it takes about 3 days to up your supply by himself) so he may get fussy at the breast.

    There are somethings that may help – a ‘nursing vacation’ Lydia mentioned is the most successful, for most people – more contact, more skin:skin, more offering tells your body to make more milk. Also, making sure you are hydrated. Some foods aid milk production (porridge is the easiest & cheapest) but they work best used at the same time as a nursing vacation, rather than on their own.

    If you can’t have a nursing vacation (who can with 2 kids?) then try sitting feeding him all the time you are not doing essentials – if the answer to ‘Is bf or x more important to me?’ is bf, then leave x for someone else to do ;)

    * Feeling full: When your supply is in ‘make milk’ mode, your breasts feel full frequently – and more rarely at 4 months. However, your breasts aren’t ’empty’ they aren’t like a bath – they fill up and then empty, then wait while you fill up again – they are more like a water pipe – some water is in the pipe, but as you turn the tap on, more water some into the pipe. Your body will always be making milk as he feeds, so although you may feel like there is no more milk, there really is some there.

    * ‘4 month fussies’: This is one of those things that noone ever mentions but drives lots of people mad! Around 4 months, babies start taking an interest in the world around them and are distracted at EVERYTHING they wiggle and jiggle and will NOT concentrate on feeding – most mums report it lasts a couple of weeks, then they get back to it. it is very infuriating when it happens! Some mums feed in a dark quiet room to minimise distractions, some like to feed more at night and let it go in the day, some feed under a blanket (although sometimes they get distracted by the blanket) – this does pass and quite quickly!

    * Loosing weight: Your body is amazing and will sacrifice itself to make milk – your milk will be perfect for him, right protein, fat, nutrients. However, you will be loosing out – upping fat/crisps etc. will increase your calories, but not nutrition – lean meat, high protein (chicken, tuna, mackerel) dairy (cheese/yoghurt) and non refined carbs will all help – you say you eat healthily anyway, maybe up the protein content of each meal? It wouldn’t mean eating more or when you’re not hungry, but would change the balance. Also, pick full fat versions of things?

    Hope this helps – feel free to grab me on twitter if you want any more info & good luck with deciding what you want to do and where to go from here.


    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  15. I don’t really have anything to say that hasn’t already been said, but I did want to comment to offer my support.

    Why is it that you think you aren’t making enough milk? Is it mainly because Hux seems more settled with formula? Breastfed babies do tend to feed more regularly (and in the night), but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t making enough milk. Also, you might find that although the formula is keeping him fuller for longer at the moment, he might go back to his old waking ways when he gets used to formula. I had very similar thoughts when we started Arlo on solid food. He started waking less in the night, and I thought “Oh my god, that was the key. He was super hungry and I should have introduced food earlier”. Unfortuntaely he was back to his old ways in a month, despite keeping up with the food.

    To increase milk supply, offer the boob as much as possible (I know, not easier said than done with 2 babies!). Oats and fenugreek. But I am not sure you need to do this, I would have thought that your milk supply would be pretty well established at this stage.

    Also seconding the comment about increased feeding and fussiness around the 3/4 month mark. There are so many factors that it’s hard to know whether it is your milk or something else causing fussiness and hunger. I think you just need to decide what makes you and Hux most happy, combination feeding/formula feeding is not the end of the world. Also, in a few months he will start eating solids and that changes things yet again – if you’re combination feeding you might find that food replaces the formula feeds and you’re back to exclusive breastfeeding again. Breastfeeding gets so much easier with an older baby.

    Sorry, this has ended up a bit of a ramble!

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  16. Charlotte wrote:

    Hello again!

    You can buy the cookies here: http://www.milkmakers.com/

    But knowing you, I bet you would like to make them, so recipes are here: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html

    I had a baking friend offer to make me some and they were really nice. I had a few odd looks at work when I called them Breast Milk Cookies, but after reassuring them that know milky mums were harmed in the making of the cookies, they had a few themselves! xxx

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  17. Kitty wrote:

    Georgie was always co-fed, right from the beginning. I never ever made enough milk for her. Arguments that she was a big baby and needed more are all well and good but there was huge guilt on my part for not being able to produce enough for her. I totally understand what you are feeling right now.

    I managed to keep it to a bottle of formula a day for about 7 months and then when she got to 9 months she decided breastfeeding was not for her. It was too slow, there wasn’t enough, but she made that decision and I am comfortable with the fact I did everything I could…. The only way I managed to get to 9 months was by drinking 3 cups of Weleda nursing tea a day (it has loads of other things in it than just fenugreek that promote breastfeeding), about 3L of water a day and as much sleep as you can manage. I know it’s hard but sleep definitely had a huge impact on my supply.

    At this point, three bottle feeds a day is possibly too much and will likely mean your supply drops really fast to almost nothing. I agree with previous posters about demand feeding for a few days to try and boost your supply and weaning off the bottles if you really want to try and keep breastfeeding for a while. I know my LC said that once they are getting more than half of their nutrition from formula the game is pretty much over for breastfeeding so if you can try to stay with just a bottle a day, your breastfeeding relationship will likely continue a little longer.

    Good luck hon.

    K xx

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  18. HonestMum wrote:

    Firstly gorgeous picture of your beautiful babies. Secondly I know it’s easier said than done but you have NOTHING to feel guilty about. I’m pro choice and every Mamma has to do what’s right for them and you have done everything right in my book anyway. Now go open some wine, relax and congratulate yourself on being a fantastic mother. Go!

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  19. Grenglish wrote:

    I was rubbish at breast feeding so am no expert but you seem to be doing brilliantly! I don’t know what you can do to increase supply but I think if it is time to let go, and he seems happy to, then there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

    Well, there’s always SOMETHING to feel guilty about when you are a parent but that is what wine is for…

    Posted 9.14.12 Reply
  20. Richmond Mummy wrote:

    Congrats for getting this far, try not to beat yourself up (I know it’s hard). I had to combine feed Allegra from 1 week onwards as I didn’t produce enough milk and she was losing too much weight (guilt!) then at 9 weeks she have up on breast feeding completely and was a happy, full tummied, peaceful sleeping baby on 100% formula. I would have loved to bf for longer but it wasn’t to be sadly. You should check out a recipe book on amazon called ‘the contented calf’ it’s all recipes designed to help boost your milk supply thru diet and there are lots of delicious dishes in there too! Might help? Xxx

    Posted 9.15.12 Reply
  21. First off I want to say, you are the BEST mum for your children. You pushed and pushed regarding E,s illness. Please stop beating yourself up. I can not offer breast feeding help, but I can help on the higher calorie food. Nuts and seeds are great to keep to hand, they are full of good fats. Fennel is supposed to help with milk production. You should fit out all the low fat options if you can, try porridge made with almond milk with added seeds and berries. Flax seed is great, but mixed seeds are perfect. Go whole meal where you can. I think I read that you ate back on the toast with everything diet again, so try and plan ahead to make some small meals that are filling, healthy, but quick to eat on the run. Lentil salad, advocate, soup with broth mix. Toast is easy, but try and bulk it up. You eat a great diet, so just try and plan for these harder fussier times.

    These things might not make a difference, but you will feel as though you have given it all you can.

    Although just keep remembering, you are great

    Posted 9.15.12 Reply
  22. thebabywife wrote:

    I’d drop the formula and feed, feed, feed – it’s all about supply and demand, and he needs to ask for the milk to get it. By adding a bottle, that’s one less time he asks, and therefore less milk is made, meaning he seems hungrier the next time he gets breastfed. Good luck – I know it is easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be over ((hugs))

    Posted 9.16.12 Reply
  23. Jo wrote:

    Hello love,
    I just came by for your Carbonara recipe, but ended up reading this post instead and just wanted to say STOP FEELING GUILTY! You are doing wonderfully well. I am very envious that you have managed to breast feed so successfully as I managed not at all with my first and 3 days with my second. So huge pat on the back for getting this far. I’m sure you’ll work out what is best for your family, let the husband in on the decision too, I always find when the hormones are flying they are often the voice of reason. Be happy. Enjoy. Don’t worry. Good luck with it all. xx

    ps – where does it say that formula is difficult for babies to digest? I know always felt that giving my baby formula was the equivalent of feeding baby a McDonalds, such was the guilt, even though I was formula fed (was the done thing in the 70s), and had no allergies, have a degree etc etc. I was envious that my mum had no guilt at all for feeding me formula and liked to be able to see how much milk I was getting. Of course breast is best, there is no doubt it’s nature’s way, but formula is an excellent alternative, so whatever you chose, you have a baby that is loved. And that is the best thing of all xxx

    Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  24. So sorry to read you are feeling down. Really wish I’d be closer by to cheer you up. As many said above, there is absolutely no need to feel guilty. I plan to do the mixed feeding thing pretty much from the start, as I don’t want to put L on the backburner whilst constantly feeding the baby. I am pleading not guilty! ;-)
    Hugs, Dxx

    Posted 9.17.12 Reply
  25. Steph (@imcountingufoz) wrote:

    Kellymom Kellymom Kellymom. Read it and love it. It’s the best breastfeeding resource I have ever come across and has got me through many moments of self doubt.

    And also, absolutely everything that Janet said. You’re doing brilliantly. I know I am late to comment on this post, and I hope you are now feeling reassured and positive.

    This is a great excuse to eat chocolate chip flapjacks, and drink copious amounts of milky lattes.


    Posted 9.18.12 Reply
  26. Natasha wrote:

    This doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but I was wondering if you would do a post on your essentials for a newborn baby? I’m pregnant with my first child and I have absolutely no clue! You have a beautiful family, and I love your blog. Would appreciate it if you could help me :) xxx

    Posted 9.21.12 Reply
  27. I know I’m late to the party on this one – but for what it’s worth… I really believe that at this stage in the game your body is doing what it needs to produce the right amount of milk. Unless you are supplementing lots with formula, in which case you’re body may be a bit confused as to how much it needs to produce so, if you want to continue breastfeeding, you may need to build up your supply again (by feeding little and often for a few days or extra expressing in between feeds).

    I fed both of mine till they were 9 months and after a point, my boobs always deflated a bit (!) and seemed like there was less milk. I think it happens to everyone, which can be deceptive. For me though, the babes were always putting on weight and growing quite happily, so I didn’t worry.

    Eventually they both self-weaned, which I think coincided with them eating more solids and needing less milk.

    I guess the flip side is the sleep thing – as I’m sure formula does have a big part to play in the sleeping through thing (although saying that my eldest slept through naturally from 4.5 months and he was exclusively breastfed).

    It’s tricky – just do what you feel is right for both of you. Good luck! x

    Posted 9.21.12 Reply
  28. I know I am late to this party, but whenever I read a post about breastfeeding guilt I just want to echo all the people above reminding you not to feel guilty!
    I know exactly how you feel and wish that guilt was not such a large part of our current parenting culture. There’s good advice above about increasing your supply (and since you made it to 4 months hopefully this is a temporary glitch!) but…BUT…if you can’t? And his weight is dropping and you decide that combo feeding is the best thing for him? Then that’s okay.
    Best advice I got during my agonising stretch of attempting exclusive BF (whilst I was extremely anaemic after PPH, my beautiful boy went from healthy and shining 75th centile to a constantly crying below 9th. Just, I can’t, even thinking of it now.) — was “if your baby is hungry, feed your baby”. Thats really the bottom line for mean now I absolutely refuse to judge other women for how they achieve that. (and I’m
    a pretty crunchy babywearing london mama;)

    Oh! And we started combo feeding at a month, kept it up during introduction of solids, and now at 11 months, he has no formula, but I remain breastfeeding twice a day. I found that nobody tells you that combination feeding *can* work and it’s *not* inevitably slippery slope toward exclusive formula.

    Honestly, I feel like everything I say about mothering now is to extol the benefits of compromise and tolerance ;)

    I really hope you found a solution that you feel good about.

    Posted 10.15.12 Reply