For the birds?

Or I guess I should say some other mammal but “breast feeding is for the birds” sounds way better than “…it’s for cows”.  Let’s just say there is nothing natural, easy or even remotely peaceful about breastfeeding a newborn.  This little squirt has bruised me, scratched me, and gotten herself addicted to a nipple shield.  Feeding sessions feel, and sound like I’m wrestling a teradactyl.

This entire process has been a huge blow to my ego not to mention basically chained me to my ‘breastfeeding nest’ in the living room since the process starts with pumping (to start milk so baby has it easier), feeding 15 mins on one side…8 on the other, giving a 1-2 oz. bottle of expressed milk, and then finishing off with 10 mins of pumping.  Assuming this squirmer actually latches properly at the get-go this entire process can take upwards of 40 mins if I have no help with the bottle part and I have to do it all myself.  People who want to visit and think I can just calmly sit under my hooter-hider while I peacefully feed my babe are shockingly mislead and it has caused frustrations for me when they show up late or near a feeding time and sit there and say “well just go ahead I don’t mind”.  Well I do, and it’s why you get shooed away during feeding time so that I can sit in my nest half-naked and not be concerned with discretely covering myself as I pump, feed, and pump again.

It’s exhausting that is for sure and when you have to repeat it 7-8 times per day it can be truly mind numbing.  Yesterdays weight check appointment where she didn’t gain one stinking ounce and remained a 6 lbs 14 oz (6 oz shy of her birth weight) after what I thought was a fantastic week of feeding, was about all I could handle as I broke down in tears totally defeated.  The only positive I can find from this entire experience is that 17 days in to it I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and in my pre-pregnancy jeans and the numbers are still going down.

Seems so easy to just plug a bottle of formula in her, let her suck for 2-5 mins and be done with it…then I have 2 hours 55 mins to do something else before I have to repeat.  Instead I’ll forge on, give it a good month before I throw in the towel.  But this little miss has got to learn to latch to breast and break this nipple shield habit they started her on in the hospital.  Never ever again will I use one of those things…I don’t care how much pain I’m in.

So please send happy breastfeeding and weight gaining thoughts our way, we need them!


  1. Congrats on getting back to pre-pregnancy weight — that is just awesome! I’m back to pre-pregnancy minus about 6 pounds and still going, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. It’s so much easier for me to control my diet now that I’m not famished from breastfeeding (I stopped when Jake was 5 months old and started supplementing with formula at 4 months).

    Seriously, there is NOTHING wrong with supplementing with formula if it’s really not going well. You can still nurse her if she’ll cooperate and give her what breast milk you express. Considering how hard it seems that you have it right now, it’s really admirable that you’re committed to going for a full month. But if she’s failing to thrive, NO ONE should look down on you for supplementing — her health is by far the most important thing!

    We’ll be thinking of you. When Albert, Jake and I have dinner at night we always say a prayer for Baby Sydney!

  2. Brooke Charpie says:

    I agree with Katie. There is nothing wrong with using formula. Ella has been on Similac Sensitive since she was 3 months. For the first 3 months I pumped exclusively. Ella had a bottle every time with my breast milk. It is exahusting and takes up a huge amount of time. I know a lot of people talk about bonding with your baby while nursing, but I bonded just fine with Ella being on a bottle since the day I brought her home from the hospital. You have to do what is right for you and what is best for Sydney. Good luck, you can always vent to me if you need to!

  3. mandysmusings says:

    Oh, I’ve so been there. I felt like I was attached to that damn pump most of the day and night. Breastfeeding never felt natural to us, either, and I gave up the ghost around month 2. Hang in there — you may still be able to turn it around, but don’t feel bad if you can’t. I love bottle-feeding Liam, much more than I ever did breastfeeding him.

  4. Julie, I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling! I had such a hard time with Zoe. I was fortunate that I didnt have hospital staff to interfere and make it worse. That is so frustrating-nipple shields, pumping, and bottles from the beginning make it twice as hard. There are so many wonderful reasons to stick with it.

    I don’t know if you knew this, but I am a certified lactation consultant. Please call me ANY time, seriously. I may be able to offer some suggestions over the phone. Sydney is NOT failing to thrive and there are many things you can try to get this back on track. I think so many people have awful breastfeeding stories and eventually give up simply because they are not getting the appropriate help or had awful support in the first place. I am not trying to negate anyone else’s experience – I just know from my professional background that it can be done. 🙂


  1. […] readers know my struggles I had in the beginning.  I’m not sure why we had problems.  Was it because Syd didn’t […]

  2. […] been a bittersweet year.  Bitter at the beginning, but sweet in the end.  We put some serious sweat and tears into getting it right that first […]

  3. […] feeding – she latches, she is wonderful.  Breastfeeding is finally not for the birds. […]

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