CHAPTER 19: I LOVE MY BABY BUT, BREASTFEEDING

Whitney Port71 comments3687 views

I’m not obsessed with breastfeeding. There. I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that my baby is getting all the amazing nutrients from my milk and that I am literally giving him life, but it has been quite the challenge. A challenge I didn’t feel prepared for at all. In this Chapter of I Love My Baby But… I discuss my trying journey through breastfeeding. I have gained so much confidence just through the support you guys have given me, so if any of this rings true or you have any tips, I am all ears. We mothers have to be there for each other. I sincerely believe this community is what has given me the confidence to feel I am not doing anything wrong. Yes, there are times the opinions and judgements of other seep in, but then I remember I have you guys and it makes all the difference. I am really looking forward to reading all the comments and tips this week. I need them more than ever.

71 Comments

  1. I’m 33 weeks pregnant and have been having a lot of anxiety about breastfeeding. It’s such an unknown and I really appreciate your honesty. I’ve loved all of your updates so far. I hope that you keep doing what feels right for you and your baby. No one else can make that decision.

    1. Whitney,
      You do what make you feel some what normal after having a baby. With my 1st I gave up pumping and breastfeeding after 2 weeks and the relief was amazing. After speaking to my dr, he told me I could never breastfeed with out plastic shields. With my 2nd daughter i exlusively pumped for 6 months and with my 3rd I exclusively pumped for 10 months. Once I became stressed or it started to impact me or my family negatively i stopped. It is up to you to decide. Try different size shields for your pump, you may have the wrong size. I’ve had milk blisters, cracks, bleeding you name it. Know you are not alone!!!!

  2. Thank you SO much for posting this. I had my baby in May and have had the EXACT same struggles. We got her tongue clipped and soon after I came down with Mastitis. I finally decided to pump and bottle feed, which is also SO much effort. I felt completely unprepared for the feeding aspect and felt like no one warned me also. Like pregnancy was a calk walk compared to this. You nail it though saying you have to do what’s best for you. 100%. Hang in there, lady!

  3. Whit….I have enjoyed reading and listening to your last post about breastfeeding. You are not alone! I felt the same about it with my two little ones.
    My daughter is now seven weeks old and I struggled the whole time. We all know how great it is for the baby and everything but also we need to remember what is good for Momma. I struggled with bonding with her because I dreaded feeding every time.
    Choose what is best for you because if you feel good then you can take care of baby to the best you can. There will always be judgemental people but they don’t know your situation and you don’t have explain yourself to them. You are a wonderful mom no matter what you decide to do…breastfeeding, pumping or formula feeding. Baby is getting fed and that is the most important thing. Plus breastfeeding is hard! Keep you good support system…being a new mom is one of the hardest things you will ever do.

  4. Hi Whitney!

    I’m a follower of yours on instagram and have been loving your posts about becoming a mother. In particular, your breastfeeding post really hit home for me. I’m SO glad you shared such an emotional and raw video with the world.

    My son is 2.5 years old and I was prepared to breastfeed for all the reasons you mentioned in your video. My son was latched within a half hour of being born and it seemed like all was well in the hospital. But as soon as we got home I was in terrible pain, had bloody nipples (sorry, graphic) and was crying at the thought of another nursing session. The most disheartening to me was that it was something I really wanted to do, felt was best for my baby & couldn’t reconcile why it was so difficult if it was supposed to be natural. I felt like a failure and I wanted to give up so badly, but at the same time REALLY wanted to continue.

    I remember a 2am nursing session when my baby was about a week old & he spit up a little pink (blood from ME) and I’d had it. I said to myself I’d go another week and exhaust all my options for that week, but if it didnt get better I’d quit.

    Ultimately, I saw a lactation consultant that literally saved my life (along with me OBGYN prescribing me nipple cream to actually help heal my nipples rather than the BS lanolin :)). I went on to nurse for over a year, but I will never forget that feeling of defeat.

    Along with telling you that you’re doing a wonderful job as a mom no matter what you choose, I just want to thank you again for sharing your story. I WISH I’d had this video to watch through the tears and pain the wee hours of the morning. I’d certainly have felt less alone.

    I’m sure your video will help a ton of women get through a difficult time that is not talked about enough.

    Best of luck to you and that sweet boy of yours!

    Kim

  5. Hi Whitney,

    I’m a pediatrician – a pediatric hospitalist – I work in the newborn nursery, the pediatric floor and I also consult in the ER for complicated pediatric cases. I’m also a mother, of two – my daughter is 3 and my son is 5 months. From both walks of life, in my professional and personal experience I can tell you – breastfeeding is one of the most difficult endeavors you will undertake.

    My first was delivered via emergent C section due to failure to progress. What a term, failure. But I knew better (and was too exhausted to care otherwise) that it wasn’t a failure on my part. I was a very green pediatrician, barely out of training. All I knew about breastfeeding is that it was the gold standard. I knew nothing else. They told me C sections make milk production more difficult . I had purchased a hospital grade pump for home use for that reason, about three months prior to my due date. After my baby was delivered, I tried breastfeeding, with half of a heart, knowing I would be going back to work in 8 weeks. It hurt. Like a mother. I tried for 48 hrs and then I cried myself to sleep. Then, I woke, refreshed, and exclusively pumped. For 18 months. I tried nursing after letting myself heal on month 3 and my daughter would have nothing to do with it. She was clearly happy with EBM (expressed breast milk).. Bottles worked. She got breastmilk. And we bonded over shopping and nails. She’s now 3.5 and, my boss.

    My second, also a C section, ended up in the NICU on day 2. At a different hospital from myself. That’s another story in it of itself. Anyway, he also had a terrible tongue tie that we happened to notice at birth. I tried to breastfeed, again for 48 hrs, enduring pain but this time much more motivated, having been a pediatrician longer and with more experience under my belt. He lost weight. He was frustrated. And had unexpected complications. Needless to say, I pumped for him as well. To be fair, I re-introduced the breast at 3 months for him as I did for my daughter, and voila! He immediately understood. And it worked. I still pump for the most part since I’m working now, and when it’s easier, more convenient, and both he and I agree on it, I nurse. That’s what I think the world means about the bonding. It must be symbiotic, and no one else can tell you how that feels except you.

    We tend to spend a lot of time focusing on pregnancy as the task to endure, but really, it’s breastfeeding. It is the hardest most selfless act a mother can perform. With that, it comes with a high price and high rewards, but it can be done, so long as you tell yourself these things:

    1. Breastfeeding is hard.
    2. Every breastfeeding session is not the same.
    3. Breastmilk is breastmilk.

    What do I mean? First, breastfeeding is hard. It does not come easily or so naturally as some may say or write about. I always tell new moms (by the way, that doesn’t mean a virgin mother or a mother that doesn’t have other kids, it means a mom with a new baby) that whoever told you this would be easy or that it was easy for them is lying to you. It isn’t easy. It wasn’t meant to be. But it is your golden ticket to heaven if you’re able to stick it out. And remember, as hard as it is for you, imagine, your newborn. Your newborn just got evicted from a temperature regulated, gravity less, pressure and light and sound controlled spa like vacation home to a world of noise, cold, heat, and gravity. Imagine having to now work for your money. Your food that was given to you through the straw in a vacuum, your umbilical cord and placenta, is now hiding beneath breast tissue. Imagine. It’s hard for mom, but it’s ten thousand times harder for baby. Knowing this, you’ll find your drive to get through the rigors of breastfeeding.

    Second, remember, breastfeeding is not smooth sailing. You may have the perfect latch. You may have the perfect position. That one time. And then you repeat it 2-3 hrs later in the same exact fashion and baby will not have it. Not at all. Not for five minutes. That is OKAY. Baby is human. Being human means nothing is going to go 100% well 100% of the time. Just stop and repeat. It’ll work itself out, eventually. It always does.

    Finally, and almost most importantly. Breastmilk is breastmilk. Whether you’re able to supply it to your newborn via nursing or via expressed in a bottle, your son will get the same nutrients either way. And if you’re able to stick it out longer while pumping, that’s more beneficial over time versus the torture of nursing that may have you give up sooner. What I mean to say is, I tell moms (and myself) pumping for 6-12 months and supplying breastmilk exclusively is better than nursing and bonding for 2-3 months. I promise. If you are breastfeeding and crying at the same time, dreading the next feeding session, nursing is not for you.

    This is quite a ramble but I completely understand how and what you feel. Don’t listen to anyone else. I used to ask myself how women could have 15 children in the past and stay alive. Then a nurse told me the answer. Women used to bear 15 children because a village helped raise them – a village of wet nurses, medicine men, gurus, and old wives with their tales. Nowadays, a mother raises her child(ren). And she works. As if raising children isn’t work. We do it all, and we do it because we can. Remember that. You can. And you will.

    Let me know if you need anything. I’m also a certified lactation consultant.

    Hira

    PS I apologize for the rambling.

  6. Hi Whit,

    I’m a first time mum to a 5 month old baby girl and I really struggled with breastfeeding too.

    Like you, my bub had a great latch at the hospital but once we got home the pain started, along with the cluster feeding. i persevered as there was alot of pressure to breastfeed. I ended up using nipple shields for the first three weeks until my nipples ‘toughened up’. Baby Harlow also had a minor tongue and lip tie which was released. Once this happened the pain was far less. I would say it took at least 8 weeks to get the hang of it and buckets of tears.

    Harlow is mix feed and at about 4 months she decided she didnt really want the boob and i have been expressing now for 5 weeks. Unfortunately my supply is dropping severely and i think my breastfeeding journey is coming to a close, just shy of my 6 month goal i set myself. The reason for tjis long post is that a fed baby is a happy baby. I am struggling with the fact she is less breast fed but there are many other ways to bond. Give yourself a break because you are doing an amazing job.

    good luck and keep up the good work!!
    Laura

  7. Oh, sweet lady. Don’t beat yourself up over breastfeeding. I was completely unprepared for the challenge of feeding my treasured baby. So many other moms experienced zero pain & zero hurdles. I, on the other hand, felt like this was the hardest thing I had ever done! Harder even than birthing my babies! I didn’t breastfeed for very long with my first & the guilt was overwhelming. I had other moms (strangers) approach me and ask why I was bottle feeding. I never fed my daughter in front of the moms in my mother’s group. I was told by a ‘friend’ that she never would have interacted with me had she known I wasn’t breastfeeding. Ironically, my daughter was the smartest of our crew & everyone called her baby Einstein. She even picked up sign language at 6 months when I wasn’t even teaching it to her 🤣 When my second was born I was determined to breastfeed him. I took Tylenol & iced my nipples before every feeding. I cried from the pain and was assured he had a good latch. I experienced so much anxiety before feeding that eventually I stopped sleeping at all. I don’t want to scare you (or any mama) but the sleep deprivation landed me in the psych ward of the closest hospital. I was there for a month and a half and it was a waking nightmare. All I can say to you, dear mama, is take care of yourself. My amazing children are 12 and 9 and at the top of their class in every subject. They are healthy, beautiful & intelligent. #fedisbest ❤️

  8. For something so natural it does not come easy! Your video brought back some of the feels I had when I started on my breastfeeding journey. I also struggled at the start for about 6 weeks, dreaded every toe-curling latch. Even showering or clothing touching those poor nipples was excruciating. Had mistreated mastitis too and felt so broken. I put pressure on myself, didn’t really experience pressure from other people but formula feeding is most common here anyway. Once the Lactation consultant showed me how to get baby latched on correctly was a game changer for me and almost 8 months later am still breast feeding my little girl. I wish someone had warned me though, I too put a lot of research into the pregnancy and labour but not a second thought about breastfeeding until it became a problem. I hope things improve for you and that you make the right decision for you. Happy Mom equals happy baby.

  9. I’m glad that someone is bringing attention to this issue! The pressure to breastfeed is immense. I have three month old twin daughters. I didn’t have any specific issues with breastfeeding apart from the fact it was so hard and exhausting with twins. I pump and they get half formula, half breastmilk. But I have been shamed for not fully breastfeeding and nursing by so many people including my own OBGYN. Thank you for calling this out- babies are fed in all different ways for different reasons. My two girls are beautiful, healthy and strong. That’s what matters.

  10. Ugh, all of postpartum is something I felt totally unprepared for. You are tired, bleeding, hormonal and trying to adjust to being 100% responsible for the life of a new human. I think all of this makes breastfeeding SO much harder. And it already is hard. I remember the pain of the first few weeks, and cracking nipples. I would get shooting pains every time my baby would latch on. I eventually pumped (I had to b/c I went back to work), but just sort of pushed through and the actual nursing did get a lot better. So if you want to keep trying, I do think it gets better (it has for me both times, and it SUCKED at first). But if you don’t, don’t do it! I had mastitis three times with my first and finally just decided I was ready to be done altogether. Both of my babies are smart, wonderful, thriving toddlers/kids and they have both had a healthy mix of breast milk and formula! This is the first of MANY things as a mother that you need to trust your own intuition and do what is best for you.

  11. You are a strong mum and wise asking others help. You are totally right that you know know what to do and what works for you. But I would recommend to try little more as he might now learn how to latch correctly. My son wanted to latch all the time as he was hungry all the time but also for comfort. It hurt so much and my nipples were bloody. The rescue were nipple shields, I tried different ones and finally found one that worked really well. Finally my nipples got used to and my son was more gentle so I did not need the shields no more. But it was not easy the first weeks. I endes upp breastfreding him for 1 year and later with my daughter I was more prepared. Good luck Whitney! Just try to relax, the bottle works too! My kids refused the bottle! Lol

  12. Hey Whitney, don’t stress! I know that’s easier said than done, but stress actually makes breastfeeding more difficult for you and for baby. Take a deep breath, stretch, do some yoga – it will get easier. If you really want to stick with breastfeeding, try as hard as you can to relax. I feel like that is exactly what saved my sanity.

    I am five months in to my breastfeeding journey with a little one that started with a tongue tie. We unfortunately didn’t have the ability to get hers clipped, so I decided to just power through it, and within about 3-4 weeks our breastfeeding issues resolved themselves. Her mouth got larger, the tongue tie stretched out, and I learned how to get her to latch properly by reading A LOT online.

    I highly recommend kellymom.com, if you haven’t already checked it out. When you have some down time, look through the site and read read read! It quelled all my breastfeeding anxieties and helped me relax a ton and just trust the process. Breastfeeding is challenging at first, both physically and emotionally, but you will get it. I promise, wholeheartedly. If I can, so can you. I promise. Five months in and I don’t even think of it anymore; breastfeeding just happens.

    You’re so new to your Mom journey, and so I am, but remember that motherhood is a constant pull and tug with your threshold. This is one of those cases where you may have to readjust your threshold to do what you want. And if adjusting just doesn’t feel right, then let your threshold stay and pump to give a bottle. Or give formula if you’re exhausted.. Either way, Sonny will be fed and loved and well cared for, because you’re doing what you can to keep your sanity.

    You are doing the absolute best you can and that is 100% enough. Please don’t feel like you aren’t succeeding as a mother! Trust your gut and you’ll be just fine. <3

    Breaking down is normal and okay. All mothers do it at some point, especially in the beginning. Momming is hard, but you're doing an awesome job!!

    – Heather

  13. Hi Whitney,
    I had a very different experience than you, but I just wanted to share just a tad with you. My husband and I adopted our daughter from birth. I was with her birth mother from the moment of her first contraction and she wanted out daughter to come directly to me for skin to skin bonding, which was amazing. I had no contact with her as we live in Texas and our daughter was born in California and the first time we met was literally when we picked her up to go to the hospital. When our daughter was born, she was given to me for skin to skin and a nurse came to me who said that I needed to try to breastfeed. I was completely shocked….she pressured me for many hours and said that if I would just let her try that possibly I would start to lactate, that they would give me lots of hormones, my husband could buy mommy tea and that I needed to try. She pressured me for many hours (even in front of our birth mom) It was so hard, but I knew the right thing emotionally for me and my family was to go to formula. We were in a state 1,400 miles away from home, we had no family support around us & would have to hop on a flight from L.A. once all of our state to state paperwork went through. I had no clue that there would even be pressure to breastfeed through an adoption. I couldn’t believe it! When we were home, I felt such pressure and judgment at times from moms around us who didn’t know our story and would make comments that “breast was best” etc…but I learned that our babies are our babies and mommas know best. Our daughter is now 4 years old, we are incredibly bonded and I’m so thankful that we spent the precious first months of her life simply enjoying her and not stressing over getting me to lactate and produce milk. I can’t imagine what that might have looked like, but I can imagine feeling disappointed and instead we choose to do what was best for our family and it all worked out. She is so healthy. She literally was never even on an antibiotic until she was 3.5. My husband was able to share in the experience and bonding time while we took turns feeding her and everything was okay…it was great! I’m saying this to say that however you choose to feed your baby, your family will support you. You will inevitably feel pressure all the time from outside sources as a mom & the incessant mommy wars online. I learned to stop reading all of the mommy blogs (because that was my poison) and learned to just trust my gut. Our mommy instincts are not wrong.. You too, should get to soak in this time and the best bonding experience can happen when you are centered, happy & able to nourish your child in the way that is best for you and your family. You are an awesome mom & you are doing a wonderful job. Send you love from Mansfield, Texas!

  14. Please don’t allow breastfeeding to ruin those first precious months with your baby boy. When I had my first daughter I went to all the antenatal classes and went to every class I could for breastfeeding. I was so sure that I would be breastfeeding her into toddlerhood and from the information I was given it seemed like it would be a breeze. Nobody actually prepears you for the reality and it’s really really hard. Being a new Mum your emotions are all over the place you second guess yourself most of the time and you have this intesene pressure to breastfeed your baby. I do not disagree with breastfeeding I absolutely think it’s the best thing for your baby if you CAN do it. However by no means is it the only option. My daughter would not latch she was extremely hungry all of the time and became inconsolable on the breast. I was a mess, tired, emotional and felt like I had failed at my one given task to feed my baby. Those first few months were hellish as we battled with each other I was pushing the breast and she wanted none of it. At 2 months I relented and gave her a bottle and from that moment things changed. She was a happier baby that was content and I finally felt that we could actually bond. We weren’t fighting anymore I fed her how she wanted and it was the best dicision I made. I just wish I had done it sooner and not worried what others thought of me she was my baby and I had to believe I knew what was best for her. Fast forward 2 years and my son was born. Breastfeeding could not have been anymore different I was fully prepeared to bottle feed if that’s what I felt was right for him. However he latched on and remained that way for 6 months. So what I’m trying to say is what works for one baby most certainly isn’t right for another. Your his mummy and you know what works for you and your family. The most important thing is you have a happy baby that you enjoy x

  15. So breastfeeding….I went through the same excruciating pain. However you choose to move forward is 100% up to you however I will drop the words that helped me right here; it’s not how you feed your baby, it’s that you feed your baby that’s important. PERIOD. I chose to feed my child the best way I could, because she was hungry, I formula fed her. It took all of three days before the guilt went completely away and I moved on with enjoying my life with my new little, healthy, happy lady.

  16. Hi,

    Its so great to see the honesty. I have 2 boys – ages 14 and 9 – and I went through the same thing with my first and struggled so much until my pediatrician said that I should just enjoy my baby and not put so much pressure on myself. I wasn’t enjoying motherhood because I was so stressed about breastfeeding. I surrendered and just started enjoying bonding with my baby in other ways. My son is now 14 and has been super healthy his whole life, missed a total of 3 school days ever. I am not against breastfeeding AT ALL, I think its wonderful if it works but sometimes it doesn’t and thats ok too. Be kind to yourself, motherhood is HARD and this is just the beginning but you have to learn to go with your gut and tune out all the advice and noise, it never ends and you will always have people that disagree with choices. Do whats best for your family, enjoy your baby and know that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you and him. Its hard to let go of expectations but honestly that is motherhood. Nothing goes the way you expect, and its different for everyone. Enjoy your journey, and know that no matter what you decide he will be FINE cause he’s got a mom who cares enough to be worried about this. Just love him (cause it really does go fast….once you start sleeping again!) and be kind to yourself …happy mamas make the best mamas. Best of luck, and welcome to the tribe mama. 🙂

  17. Oh Whitney, you’re doing a great job!!! There are SO many ways to bond with your baby, not just through breastfeeding. I had my son 9 years ago–the time really does fly. But I will never forget the early days of breastfeeding and the pain. I would tell my husband every night that this was the last night I was doing it–he would talk me off the ledge and I would get through another day and at night I would be in tears saying that this was definitely the last night! This cycle continued for many weeks… I finally went to a lactation consultant, a far drive in pouring rain right before Christmas and it was SO helpful. Not just the tips she provided but the encouragement. It was a long road, I tried bottles but my baby was the one who refused them. So I continued through the exhaustion and pain and eventually we got it down. Until he got teeth at 4 months and bit quite a hole, which was even more painful than the begginning. We somehow made it past that and ended up nursing for a long time. I will say though that there is something to be said for a happy mom! And if breastfeeding is impeding that then you might be better off with One of the other options. My sister in law exclusively pumped for a year and that worked or great for her. My own sister used formula and loved the ease of it! You have to do what you feel in your heart, there is no perfect answer and all have their positives and negatives. The fact that you care so much shows how much you love your baby! You will get through this difficult time. Being a first time mom is hard and there is a lot of guilt and worry. Soon you’ll settle into a new normal for you and your little family. Best of luck to you!

  18. I feel your pain – I had my baby in March and was so unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster of breastfeeding (it’s hard to prep for that until it arrives). My baby was inexplicably small for her gestational age so I was constantly worried about her getting enough food, plus feeling guilt for dreading the painful feedings and how much that takes over your life. I ended up doing a mix of some nursing, some pumping and some formula- so whatever your decision, your baby will do well! Now almost 6 months out, she’s mostly on bottles since I’m back at work and my emotions feel much more “back to normal ” 🙂 One helpful resource I’ve found is the “longest shortest time” podcast- it has great stories about new motherhood struggles and victories! Thanks for sharing your story.

  19. Hello Whitney,

    I struggled with two tongue tied babies. Both circumstances with each baby were different and difficult. And I thought I’d be fine when my second was diagnosed, since I had been through it before, but it was just as hard.

    Please check out Dr. Jack Newman. You can email him. He is amazing. His clinic is fantastic. It is actually horrible how little is known about tongue tie, and how many medics professionals know how to properly address it.

    I am so incredibly sorry, I know the pain and frustration you are feeling.

    http://ibconline.ca/information-sheets/tongue-tie-lip-tie-and-releases/

  20. Whitney

    Your story is exactly the same as mine. I focused so much on my pregnancy as i was extremely scared of giving birth that i didnt think about after. I assumed it would be easy to breastfeed. My baby was born with a tounge tie and although they said latching on was all going fine i knew something was wrong. After 2 days i was in so much pain and holding my husbands hand for support when breastfeeding and crying!
    I decided enough was enough. We live in Scotland and had to wait a few weeks for her procedure. I was expressing milk and giving it to her in a bottle as well as formula top up. I felt like a failure but my baby was super happy, content and already sleeping though the night.
    After she had her tounge tie cut i tried breastfeeding again and got a very unhappy baby for a few days. It was also still painful. I decided to go back to expressing breast milk and formula both in a bottle so about 50/50 and did this for 8 weeks before moving to full formula. My baby has been super happy and still sleeps all night. She is now 6.5 months old and has never been ill. She is really healthy. I think you need to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Its all about Sonny and if he is happy and settled then thats the best you can ask for. Xx

  21. Thanks for sharing your story. It seems that either breastfeeding pain is getting worse for women (my mother and mother-in-law were both blindsided by my struggles and had never heard of it being so awful) or we’re just talking about it more. If it’s the latter, bravo to us. It’s important to talk about these things in order to help and validate others, so thank you. My sister and I both had baby boys 4.5 months apart, and both had terrible pain. We both pushed through it and both found that the pain was gone by about 6 weeks. Our babies both had tongue-tie procedures. Like you, we both found that it didn’t make much of a difference. The only healer is time. I think the baby’s mouth just needs to grow enough to get a better latch. If you decide to stick with it, know that the pain, while unbearable and emotionally exhausting, is temporary. My son is 4.5 months now and feeding him is a breeze…I couldn’t possibly imagine that back in those first 6 weeks! All the best to you, mama.

  22. Hi Whitney

    I also was in a similar position to you. I could not believe the pain of breastfeeding in the first week ot was excruciating to the point where I would dread when the next feed was coming. Although my lactation consultant introduced me to nipple shields which were an absolute godsend for me. They allowed me to still breastfeed while also givng my nipples a rest and after a couple of weeks I went back to breastfeeding without the shields pain free and am still breastfeeding my 14 month old which I never thought I’d get this far. Whatever your decision just remember that fed is best whether it may be bottle or breast and as long as there is a happy mumma then there’s a happy bubba!

  23. Rub breast milk on your nipples and let them air dry for as long as you can for as many days as it takes to heal. Sounded crazy to me as well when I was told to try it, but it worked for me. I had severely cracked and bloody nipples after just a few days of breastfeeding, worst pain when my son latched, like sandpaper on a wound. I had to feed him in a football hold on one side until I healed. I likened it to getting a blister from new shoes and having to wear only those shoes until the blister healed and not being allowed a band aid! Whitney, hang in there, it will get better I promise and before you know it you’ll be nursing upside down while doing 3 other things. Hugs, Angie.

  24. I can not believe some of the negative comments I read on facebook. (People Magazine) . Breastfeeding hurts in the beginning no joke!!!. I have 5 kids , bottle fed 2 , pump fed 1 , pump fed 2 for 3 months because they couldn’t latch. After 3 months both did. But yes your breasts feel like they are on fire , there is no relief . The mastitis , don’t even get me started. If it doesn’t work, you tried. I was fine pumping and happy they latched on. They didn’t get confused. Do what’s right for you and your baby .

  25. Everything you are feeling is normal. My daughter is almost 10 months old and somehow I am still breastfeeding lol. I remember thinking at the beginning that there was no way I would be able to make it a year (that was my goal) now that it’s almost here I’m getting a little sad knowing it’s almost over. I think one of the things that helped me was setting smaller goals. I started telling myself that maybe I would just try it for 6 months. When that still felt too long I changed it to 3 months.

    I read a lot about it and everyone seemed to say that after 3 months it usually got better and for me it really did. But before it did I almost gave up so many times and I cried a lot too. I remember dreading when it was time to feed her because it hurt so much. Lanolin cream really worked for me for the pain. I don’t know if I would have been able to continue without it. I have to say for the most part I have had it easier than others and I think that says a lot because even I was so close to giving up.

    It really is the best feeling to be able to breastfeed but it’s also ok not too. I have 2 older kids that I tried to breastfeed but It just didn’t work out. That doesn’t make me less of a mom because I didn’t breastfeed them. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Give yourself a shorter goal and if by then you still don’t think it’s for you, just be proud that you gave it a shot.

  26. Whitney, I know exactly how you feel. I had the same issue with both of my boys. I used to bite my finger when they would latch on just to refer the pain elsewhere. It actually worked. One day you will nurse and magically it will not hurt. There is an ointment you can buy to put on your nipples that is used on burn victims, I used that too. Good luck to you.

  27. Hi whitney,
    The brestfeeding you talk about… Girl i had the same thing. It is in your head. I tried for 3 weeks. My niples were bleeding every 2 hours, so every brestfeedsesion. It was so painfull but my head was telling me not to stop. It is the best thing out there. But if it becomes this big of a dael. That you are in tears every 2 ours, how much are you enjoing feeding and being a new mom?
    Being a mom in pain and taers is not the best. Your baby will feel your pain and taers and at some point getting restles while feeding. Thats the worst because then you will have more pain. I quit after 3 weeks pain. It was the best thing i did for me and my baby. Sinds then i was much more relaxed so was my child. And i thougt i was enjoing it but when i quit i really start enjoing it.
    I wish you the best. Before you know your baby is walking. The first yaer flies by.
    Sorry for my wors english. Kind regards from the Netherlands. (I fallow your journey)

  28. Whitney,

    So many women have gone through what you’re dealing with. No one tells you how rough it can be. I’ve been there with you crying and thinking how much I love my baby, but how I just can’t do it. It would feel like a knife and they would be cracked and bleeding and I would cringe when I knew it was time for feeding. Pumping can help as it’s not as rough on you and you are still giving your baby breastmilk. I’ve gone through it with both my kids and it does usually get better after a little while. I breastfed both my kids for 13 months each and if you would have told me that after a few weeks into feeding my first baby I would have lasted that long, I would have told you that’s cray because I can’t make it another day. It does usually get so much easier soon, but its not for everyone and that’s OK.

    I can tell you I am an engineer and a project manager for a very a big company. I am very healthy and have led a very good life. I was never fed an ounce of breastmilk. My mother loved me very much and provided a great life for me. Don’t get me wrong, breastmilk has its benefits. If it doesn’t work out it is not the end of the world and the love you give your baby is much more important than breastmilk over formula.

    I don’t usually comment, but when I saw your tears, I just thought I had to reach out to you because that was me. Do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The fact that you are so upset is actually a good thing because it means you care. People can be jerks and mothers put a lot of pressure on each to be perfect which is impossible. As long as you do what is right for you and your family, that is the only opinion that matters.

    Thank you so much for sharing. You are helping so many other mothers not feel alone in this. We are with you and you are doing great!

    Kristin

  29. Have you tried a nipple shield? Miracle product!
    I was in the same situation as you and ready to give up, then went on the nurse for 2.5 years because of the shield.

  30. Precious Whitney, you clearly are an incredibly loving, WONDERFUL mom! I’m so sorry for the struggles you are having with breastfeeding. I imagine it is disheartening and disappointing given how painful and unexpected it is. There are many excellent baby formulas out there that come very close to mimicking breast milk if that is the route you choose. Your bond with your baby will be very close and special either way as you undoubtedly are very attentive and loving which is most important. Also know that hormones are raging which makes coping emotionally more difficult than normal as well. I encourage you to be compassionate and patient with yourself and not to take in any criticism from others. You are mom, you know best. Trust yourself and… CONGRATULATIONS! Focus on what is good and wonderful. Blessings, Darlene (:

  31. Your latest video touched my heart. I have a 10 month old who would latch but wouldn’t suck. We saw multiple lactation consultants and pediatricians. I’m might also add I’m a pediatric nurse. None of this mattered when it came to her. I was failing her in my mind and it felt as if she was rejecting me. I made the decision to exclusively pump and supply her with my milk. I had to supplement the first two weeks until my milk came in and then was able to wean her off formula. At 10’months I’m still pumping. I still feel at times that I failed her, but let me tell you this little girl and I are so close. If she could she’d be glued to my hip. Bonding doesn’t jsut come with the breast it comes with how you care and hold and love your baby. If it wasn’t for a Facebook group called exclusively pumping moms and their support it would have been much more difficult. There are moms who pump and don’t supplement with formula, but there are moms who do both. There is never judgement and we don’t talk about direct nursing. I suggest you find something similar to help.

  32. “Why I wish breast wasn’t best”…. that’s the blog post title I swore I would write every single day while learning to breastfeed… by the way I don’t have a blog.
    I realize that you may never see this Whitney but I watched your video and teared up because that was me Week 2 with my daughter, Maeve. Literally pony tail, zip up sweatshirt, bags under your eyes… all I can say is it does get better..
    I can tell how important breastfeeding is to you not just for the nutrition but for the bonding… but in the end.. fed is best! Breastfeeding is HARD. You know that. Everyone says it, but nobody quite tells you what to expect. My daughter is now 15 weeks old and I wanted to tell you that it does hurt insanely bad but eventually it gets better!
    I asked the LC how long it should hurt for before I should suspect a problem, she said no longer than a week straight of BF. Not to mention my daughter just likes to nurse for comfort and I had a “thing” against pacifiers… I wish I had given her the damn pacifier.
    When you were describing the pain you said “it feels like..” and paused and I said out loud “someone stabbing you in the nipples” and you said “like glass cutting your nipples”… that’s exactly how it was for me but I promise it didn’t last longer than 2 weeks. I started to dread every feeding. I would literally close my eyes, put my head back, silently scream, and let her latch while pounding my feet on the ground until the pain stopped. Eventually my nipples essentially calloused and it became less and less painful. Many times I considered quitting and just pumping like you suggested but seeing her big eyes look up at me while she nursed kept me going.
    I know you’re struggling and in the end it’s all your decision, don’t worry about what anyone else says, it will only make the beautiful experience of motherhood traumatic for you. I just wanted you to know that even though people are saying “pain isn’t normal”…if his latch looks good then it’s probably your nipples getting used to the suck… and it sucks!
    Also realize that breastfeeding means more time for mom up with baby and less time sleeping. BF babies eat every 2-3 hours…for like..ever. It’s exhausting. Give yourself more credit and give yourself a break! You’re doing a great job and you are everything your baby needs, breastfed or not. He will always look for you in a room, he will always have a cry just for his mommy, he will always love you and need you… breastfed or not.

  33. Thank you thank you thank you for putting words to this taboo topic! Breastfeeding was god awful pain for me! I saw 3 lactation consultant s and the latch was good but the pain persisted. I kept thinking, “What’s wrong with me? It must be me! Why can’t I get this?” Every LC would look at me expectantly when they would help me position the baby as if bam! This position would be the magic fix, no more pain. NOPE! The very thing that was supposed to help me bond with my baby was getting between us (majorly). I stopped after 5 weeks and didn’t look back. I had to reframe it from “quitting” to “making the right choice” for baby and me. Suffering should not be part of the early bonding period. For me, the bonding with my baby quadrupled over night. I can still stare dreamily into his eyes while he’s sucking down a bottle.

  34. Hi Whitney,

    Congratulations on the birth of your son! What a beautiful little boy! Thank you for being so open about the struggles that come with breastfeeding. You are not alone. Many women go through this. Your feelings are very natural . And it is extremely courageous of you to open up about what you are experiencing. Take comfort in knowing that you may help other women who are going through something similar.

    I had my son in April 2014. Before his birth, I had decided that I would breastfeed him for as long as he wanted. I tried not to place too much expectations on myself, as I would do only what I felt could. If I failed, I was willing to accept myself and all the emotions that came with it. The experience itself turned out to be way more than I expected. I breastfed my son until his 2nd birthday. I never even needed to wean him. He just wanted to stop when he turned two. It was a long time to nurse. But I felt blessed that this was my experience and it wasn’t what I planned for. So, now when I hear about other women going through difficulty, I want to be able to offer support. I began breastfeeding my son within a few days of his birth. I had a great lactation consultant stay with me the entire time until both me and my son became very comfortable with each other. I wanted to master this breastfeeding thing. At first, I cried. I felt a tremendous burden. This sense of having to give this much to my son and the fears that came along with such a responsibility. It was scary. Like going through a long pregnancy and having to push this being out of me wasn’t enough! Now I have to actually allow him to suckle my sore breasts when all I really wanted was some rest.

    In the beginning of the breastfeeding journey, you are experiencing many things. For me, it felt like a hormonal, and emotional roller coaster. My lactation consultant assured me that If I experienced pain, it was be possible he is not latching correctly. She said, “This is a strong bond you are forming and that is difficult in and of itself.” We somehow have to navigate our way through the emotions we are experiencing while forming this bond with our baby. While we are forming this bond with our baby, we are learning to love and bond with ourselves more too. Feeling the feelings completely and allowing them to come and go will be really beneficial while you are forming this bond between you and your baby boy. It is a challenging journey at times. However, the reward is so much greater. I won’t tell you to continue breastfeeding if you feel it is not something you want to continue doing. I can only speak from my personal experience. It was difficult in the beginning, But, I was glad I continued to breastfeed my son. Much love to you and your family!

  35. Nipple shields helped me feed my baby comfortably and also allowed my nipples to heal. The laid back breastfeeding position also helped. Lots of lanolin..
    Had the same experience as you, breastfeeding didn’t help me bond with my baby until about the 3rd months when i stopped having issues and pain. It was worth for me to continue and now it’s a bonding experience and it’s easy. It was a long road dealing with posterior tongue tie, milk blisters, engorgement, and cluster feeds on top of the pain. I had the most anxiety when he was cluster feeding because I know I didn’t have much time between feeds and it was so painful. It’s hard, but I’m so happy I pushed through.

    Do what is best for you. I know how hard it is and how it can bring on so much anxiety. No matter what you choose to do, everything will be ok 🙂

  36. You are not alone! I have a 9 month daughter and felt completely unprepared for the pain of breast feeding. I broke down in the hospital, crying that I didn’t want to do it ever again – let alone in another hour! They set me up with a hospital grade pump and a nipple guard which helped but it still was so challenging. I saw lactation consultants multiple times a week for her first month – my milk came in late and even though her latch was good, she never transferred enough milk to sustain weight. I had to pump after every feeding and supplement with that in a bottle to get her back to birth weight. I felt very defeated. After a month, I decided just to pump – which is a lot of work but less work than I was previously doing. She now 9 months and I exclusively pump which works for me for many reasons – she gets my milk but my husband can help feed and I’m not in pain at all plus it helped me lose the baby weight – but I very much understand it’s not for everyone. There are really great websites to help if that was something you were interested in doing. But don’t beat yourself up – your son has gotten a great start by getting any breastmilk and formula is ok too! You wouldn’t want your son to be this hard on himself so give yourself the grace and understanding you would give him.

  37. I have no idea what exactly you’re going through with trying to breast feed your baby BUT… I will say that from knowing different people that breast feeding is NOT for everyone even though it has benefits… Continuing is a personal decision that you’re not taking lightly and if it’s truly that uncomfortable and painful and you decide to pump and bottle feed breast milk, more power to you… If anyone wants to shame you into continuing, then shame on them as a person and as a mother…

  38. Hi Whitney!

    I’m a first time mom and my little man is now 7 months old. Thank you for sharing your story as breastfeeding is not easy!
    I had a lot of pain when I first started breastfeeding and was extremely skeptical about it ever getting better (I had to focus on my breathing through some feeds!) but after a few months working with a lactation consultant and his latch it did get better! It wasn’t easy though and it did take a few months before it was really pain free( not a few weeks like some people tell you!) but we got there in the end. My saviours were hydrogel pads, nipple shields and nipple cream. This is just my story and everyone’s different but your doing an amazing job regardless of what you choose to do!!
    All the best and I’m happy to answer any questions 🙂

  39. I promise it does get easier and better! No one talks about how painful breastfeeding is in the beginning, even with a perfect latch. Have you been checked for thrush? I had thrush with my first and it felt like glass shards coming out of my nipples when he would latch. My ob prescribed me some APNO (all purpose nipple ointment) and it worked wonders! Ask your dr about it! Hugs, and best of luck! You’re an amazing mommy already!

  40. Just know, if everyone before us told us the truth about just how hard breastfeeding is, none of us would do it. I breastfed my 2 kids, my first for 6 months and my second for a year. And in both cases, the first 3 months were the hardest…good latch or not. Basically, nipples need that amount of time to be broken-in (for lack of a better way of putting it). I also supplemented both kids the entire time I breastfed, cuz I couldn’t keep up with their appetites. I hated the ingredients for the US organic brands, so I had it shipped to me from Europe. EU is more stringent than FDA. Anyway, my takeaway was there is no wrong way of feeding your baby, as long as your feeding your baby. Some women solely breastfeed, some do just formula, and some do both. It’s all good in the end. 😊

  41. Hi Whitney, I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone in your feelings at that whatever you choose is the best choice. Breastfeeding SUCKS at first, no doubt. I had a hell of an experience. It was so painful, I had flat nipples, my baby had a lip tie, then I got mastitis which abscessed! You can read the whole story through the link below. It was hell. For some crazy reason I stuck with it and things started to turn around after 12 weeks or so. Yes, it was an eternity. But, damn if I don’t feel pretty great now that me and my girl have mastered it! I’m 7 months in with no regrets. So it will get better, if you’re willing to stick it out. If not, don’t be hard on yourself, remember fed is best!

    http://www.motherhoodtabutiful.com/blog/the-fourth-trimester-from-hell-julia-nickle

  42. Oh, goodness, sweet girl…I was exactly where you are and I found a solution! By the time my boy was a couple months old, I had 11 blisters on one nipple, 7 on the other, and cried every time he latched on. The rest I could endure, however, at one point I pumped blood. Like you, I thought he was latching on properly but it was new so…who knew if we were doing it correctly?!? Every time my mom told me to give up and bottle feed, I found new motivation to continue to endure. 😉

    I finally found these things called nipple shields. Google ’em! They are a thin, washable silicone nipple that protects your own while your baby nurses. They warn against long-term use for who knows what reason (some demon lactation person came up with an arbitrary restriction, I’m sure). They 100% saved my breastfeeding experience! These things will give your nipples time to heal since they essentially act as a barrier between you and your sweet little babes razor sharp teeth (just kidding, but I know that’s what it feels like). I wore them for months every time he fed. I don’t think I gave them up until he was at least 6-7 months old and then continued to nurse another 3-4 months.

    Please know you are not alone. Breastfeeding is not a joy for everyone. Feel free to PM if you want more info or need an ear.

  43. Please try NIPPLE SHIELDS!

    Dear Whitney,

    I just wanted to start by saying that I have always been a fan of yours – you seem like such a beautiful person inside and out!

    Watching your latest post about breastfeeding really hit home for me and it sounds like you are going through something very similar to my experience with breastfeeding.

    I was absolutely ready to give up on day 3! My nipples were bleeding and had blisters and it was extremely painful each time I breastfed. The nurses said that my son was clamping down on my nipple rather than latching and sucking properly which a lot of babies do in the beginning because they are just learning how to do it themselves. Instead of giving up I started to pump and give him bottles. But pumping as I’m sure you know is almost twice the work and takes twice as long. I was exhausted and really beating myself up for not being able to just breastfeed my baby. Finally someone suggested I try NIPPLE SHIELDS! It was amazing because I was able to continue breastfeed but didn’t experience the pain anymore. I used them for about 3 weeks because I was terrified of putting him directly back on my nipple again fearing the pain. But when I did there was no pain at all! It was like he learned how to do it properly without clamping down on my nipples.

    I was able to breastfeed for 4 months.

    I just wanted to suggest you try the nipple shields before giving up because they helped me so much! I hope they can help you and your son too!

    But every mother and child’s experience is different. My sister breastfed for 4 months as well but it was painful for her the whole time and she would cry and be in agony every time her son latched. I wouldn’t recommend this as it caused a lot of stress for her in those early months.

    I can see in your video how much you want breastfeeding to work for you so please try the nipples shields and see if they help. If they are not helpful and you have tried everything else and just can’t do it anymore please don’t be too hard on yourself. At least you gave it a good try. As long as your baby is fed and loved he will have everything he needs. I’m sure you are a wonderful mother already.

    Much love Amy. ❤️

    1. Dear Whitney,

      I forgot to mention if you want to exclusively breastfeed for an extended period of time be careful with mixed feeding (using bottles). I was giving my son top ups of formula in the hospital because it took 5 days for my milk to come in. I also started mixed feeding with formula when he was about 10 weeks old. I just felt like I wasn’t producing enough milk and he was hungry which was really stressing me out at the time so I started giving him small top ups after every feed.

      I think that’s why after 4 months I had to stop because my body stopped producing as much milk as my son started to prefer the bottle. He would only feed for 5 mins or so on each boob at each feed and so my nipples weren’t getting enough stimulation to keep production levels high (it is much easier for them to feed from the bottle than the breast because they get more milk with less effort). Again every mother and baby is different and this might not happen to you but I just wanted to let you know what could happen.

      Next time I will try to stick with breastfeeding exclusively for as long as possible without mixed feeding and I will probably stop using the nipple shields after about a week just so my baby doesn’t get confused/start to prefer the bottles.

      I never really had one (except for in the hospital) but I’ve heard lactation consultants can be really helpful too.

      Good luck Whitney and all the best. ❤️

  44. Thank you for being so real and honest, Whitney! After I had my baby, I was not at all ready for the struggles of trying to breastfeed, the physical pain and postpartum care, and the toll all of this would take on me mentally. I was so terrified of labor and giving birth that I didn’t even think about what would happen after the baby came out, lol.

    I know it’s hard, between taking care of the baby and trying to take care of yourself, physically and mentally during this first month but it will get better, hang in there!

    I was in a very similar situation, my son has a minor case of tongue tied and had a hard time really latching on and it hurt so bad when he was sucking that I cried practically everytime i had to feed him during the first 3 weeks. We had to syringe feed him donors milk in the hospital because he lost 10% of his birth weight within 24 hours and had a case of being jaundice!

    During the second week, we agreed to use formula to supplement and to give my breast a break and honestly that was the best decision ever. When my son was drinking formula, I used that time to pump. Not only did it give me a break, but pumping also meant that my husband would be able to help with feeding time. I took lactation pills and forced myself to pump often and noticed my supply greatly increased. After one month, honestly breastfeeding stopped hurting for me and now it completely feels natural for me and my son.

    My son was is 3 months (today actually!) and is getting 95/5% breast milk/formula and is healthy as ever and I am also feeling great and more ‘normal’ again (something I didn’t think I’d feel for a very long time…). Don’t be too hard on yourself, I know, easier said than done but everything will eventually fall into place as it should!

    Hang in there. I wish you all the best, from this one new mommy to another! XOXO

  45. Hi Whitney
    I remember this pain so well! I had to use silicone nipple shields – for the entire 6 months of breastfeeding. Otherwise it felt like glass shards. I has those silicone shields in Tupperwares in every room of the house. For some reason the pumping did not hurt so bad so I did that sometimes too. I think I had a mild form of Raynaud’s Syndrome (see here http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/4/e360) – my only clue was that nipples get really cold and painful after swimming in the ocean for too long! I hope you feel better. Don’t worry at all about using formula, babies love it and try to forget the pressure from everyone else. 🙂

  46. Oh sweet mama…My son is 17 years old, a senior in high school and seeing your video took me straight back to our little cottage house, that beige couch trying to nurse my sweet but fussy boy. I was the first of my friends to have a baby, so no help there. We lived 3000 miles from our parents, so only phone calls to them…I felt so lost as he wouldn’t feed well. Was he latching? Was he not? MIL telling me it’s not enough (how did she know so far away?). My mom telling me it’s great (how did she know so far away?) but she didn’t breastfeed so couldn’t help with logistics. I started pumping and he would take the bottle..THAT was success in my book! I pumped for 6 months and my little fussy boy drank every last drop.
    He’s now 6’3″ senior in high school playing basketball and running track. Getting ready to head off to college. Picky about food – he’d rather eat sushi than hamburgers. And somehow thinks melted cheese is disgusting (!). And I can still see that baby in my arms…sigh.
    Take care of yourself. He’s going to be just fine. It’s so hard on you, mama, but do what’s best for you because he is going to get all the nutrition, bonding, love and nurturing no matter what you do or how long you do it: breast, pump, formula, bottle…it s still your arms, your voice, your love. Hugs

  47. Oh my goodness Whitney, I had the exact same experience. Even after getting my sons tongue clipped I still had pain and it lasted another 3 weeks or so before totally going away. I survived by pumping and supplementing with formula but there was alot of additional stress and crying other moms do not understand. I felt exactly like you showed us in the video, the worry and guilt will eat you alive. You are 100% right… do what is best for you and your family! I continued to have issues even after the pain left, I had blocked duct issues almost daily and my pumped milk would go sour within two days or if I tried to freeze it. Something about having too much of some protein in the milk that some women have. So I gave up at 4 months and switched to formula full time. I found I could finally relax and just enjoy my son and have no regrets.

    I’m pregnant now with baby #2 and am already worrying about breastfeeding again. I took a breastfeeding class last time and plan to again and I’m going to flat out ask why the pain is never brought up. My class had also discussed tongue tie, but made it seem like it was super rare and it apparently is not, the most important info isn’t shared in my opinion. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Best wishes to you and your beautiful family.

  48. Has anyone else suggested you see a speech therapist with your baby? Helped my son after 1 tongue tie release was not successful, then he had another by a different doctor who specialized in breastfeeding issues due to tongue ties. Excercises to keep the wound open are important and very difficult along with the excercises from the speech therapist. But all of it was so worth it. My baby is almost a year old now, and we are still nursing.
    No matter what, you take care of yourself first and don’t let others judge or convince you they know better. You know what’s best for you both, so follow your intuition.

  49. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story and being so honest and raw. So much of what you said was exactly how I was feeling. I have 4 month old boy/girl twins and went into it the same way, really wanting to breastfeed but open minded and told myself I wouldn’t get hung up on the pressure but like you ended up being overwhelmed by it. I made the decision to exclusively pump when they were about 2 1/2 months and it was so hard on me, I knew that it was still great that they were going to be getting my breastmilk but I felt so bad about missing out on the bonding and felt like all of my hard work in those first couple weeks and all the time with different lactation consultants was just going to be wasted. I feel like every day I feel some sadness or guilt when I think about feeding them and I wish that wasn’t the case, we need more people like you to share the struggles and make it known that this is normal then maybe we wouldn’t feel so much guilt or feel like there is just something wrong with us. Thank you again:)

  50. I can not believe how much like you I felt 10 months ago!!!! SAME SAME SAME!!! Then at week 1 I decided to pump, which was also hard and lasted another week, still with minimal milk……Then one day as I sat there pumping and crying, I realized my baby was getting my milk, but not me. I felt alone and disconnected from him. I was pumping so often, I barley got to hold him. I decided my sanity was more important than breast milk! I stopped pumping and felt guilty about it for about 48 hours, then I fell free!! Free to enjoy and bond with my baby! I had been so caught up in breast milk I felt I missed his first 2 weeks of life!!

    Do whatever makes you happy!! if trying another day, week, or month makes you feel happy, do it!! If the thought of stopping now makes you happy, then do it! We will never get back these days of tiny snuggles! So do whatever helps you enjoy today!

    You are amazing!! <3

  51. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I’ve had 5 babies and nursed all with different issues each time. What saved me was a at-home cream prescribed by a lactation consultant. 1/3 neosporin, 1/3 lotrimin, 1/3 cortizone. I applied after every feeding and throughout the day. My nipples were better in a day. Literally a miracle cream.

  52. I also struggled the weeks after, got mastisis twice and ended up pumping. The sliced nipple feeling could be a yeast infection I was also told. Long story short, I pumped for 3 months and ended up breastfeeding until my oldest was 1 year. I was stressed, she was stressed, it just didn’t work in the beginning. When we both had time to relax and I had time to heal, it worked. Plus baby’s mouth gets bigger which helped a great deal in my case because she was small. Baby number two was a success story from the beginning. Pumping is hard though. As soon as baby is fed you are preparing for the next meal. Please be prepared for that if this is what you choose. I am grateful I stuck with it at that time, but it cost me. Now that I am having baby number three it wouldn’t be an option now. You are beautiful and strong and you will get through this. Take care.

  53. Whitney,

    Our stories are exactly the same. This video of how raw you are about this topic really helped me look back at my journey and realize I stuck with my gut and that’s all that matters.

    My son, Noah, was born on 12/11/16. I had an incredible pregnancy and delivery. He did have some trouble latching at first but he was tired. We tried again and again and again and within 24 hours my nipples were so damaged even the lactation consultant did not feel comfortable with me breastfeeding, so I had to hand express and give formula to my screaming starving son by day 2. They determined it was a tongue tie and we had it clipped in the hospital, however it wasn’t fully resolved. I kept at it. To a point where my nipples were bleeding. I hired a lactation consultant to come to my home and she just pushed the tongue situation and wanted us to get him a laser treatment so we left immediately and drove over an hour away to a holistic dentist who turned us away because we didn’t want our son to go get bodywork done first before the laser treatment. To me, it all started to sound like a scam. A marketing thing for people to just take my money. The holistic dentist said to me “Well, don’t you want to bond with your son?”. And I looked at him and said “I will bond with my son regardless and shame on you for even saying that”. I never cried so hard and for so long in my entire life. I pumped for a while and kept trying to get him to latch….my son would arch his back and scream and scream and latch for over an hour to feed. I kept it up for almost 3 months and then quit….completely. My milk didn’t agree with him after a while so we switched to formula. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my decision. I still have severe guilt and can’t seem to get past it. But Noah is an extremely happy and thriving baby. He amazes me everyday. The minute we made the switch he was like a whole new person. I will come to terms with it one day. And when baby #2 comes (whenever that may be) I will start a new breastfeeding journey in hopes it works out.

    Thank you so much for posting this video. Please keep us updated. Don’t feel pressured. Listen to your gut. Your an amazing Mom. Always remember that.

  54. Hi Whitney,
    I am 31 weeks pregnant and already have a lot of anxiety over this. I love watching your videos because I love how truly honest you are. I just want you to know that you are doing an amazing job no matter what! Sonny is very lucky to have you and Timmy as parents! You do what is best for you and your baby, nothing else matters! Take care xo

  55. Hi Whitney…Don’t put too much pressure on breastfeeding. I know we were told to breastfeed; its good for the baby and the mother. I went with the intent of doing that but it didn’t work out as expected. You move on to Plan B. As long as you have an open mind of the other option, it shouldn’t be emotionally draining. I think my daughter was able to latch like twice without a nipple guard. But after that I was told to try nippleguards. I tried all kinds of nipple guards. I saw a lactation consultant. i made my own breatfeeding pillow for the baby to lay on but nothing worked. I will never say I gave up. I moved on to Plan B. I made the decision to pump and feed her breastmilk through a bottle. I figured she was still getting breastmilk. I did this for 8 months. In the beginning we did mixture of formula and breastmilk until I had a good supply in place and move her to breastmilk. If our goal is for your baby to take your breastmilk, try other alternative to provider baby with that but if you have to resort to formula, remember its still another good option. Either way you go, find that best option for you, the baby and family and it will all workout in the end. My two cents…Keep the positive attitude.

  56. I feel like all of those words you said in the video could have come from my mouth! All 3 of my kiddos had great latches in the hospital and things were fine but when we got home I began cracking and bleeding and wasn in excruciating pain. After a week I had those thoughts of quitting and then one thing changed my life- A NIPPLE SHIELD! With my second and third babies I had hoped to not use it but after cracking and bleeding and pain all over again I decided to try it each time and it is just magic. The first day or two of using it is hard and still a little painful and frustrating but once your baby gets the hang of it is is seriously magic! Don’t give up!!! Maybe this can work for you like it worked for me! And if not then pump! Or if you decide to quit then do formula! At the end of the day, it is your decision and you will do what you think is best for you and your baby! Welcome to motherhood, it is literally the greatest thing in this entire world! Best wishes! Hayleigh

  57. I exclusively breastfed for 4 weeks and hated every second of it. I dreaded him waking up to feed again. I’m not an anxious person at all but the thought of it made me depressed. At 4 weeks we found out he was losing weight- around the clock breastfeeding was still not enough for him and I felt devastated that I was failing him. But when I got the go ahead from the doctor to switch to formula my life was turned around and I instantly felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I had so much pressure from midwives and my partner to keep breastfeeding in those early weeks, and now on formula I feel a little guilty at times but on the whole I feel 100 times better and my baby is so much happier and finally thriving.
    It seems as soon as your baby is born you don’t matter so much anymore but I say happy mum=happy baby. You still have to think of what’s best for you to make it all work. Good luck x

  58. Hi Whitney,

    I’m normally not one to comment on celebrity blogs, but I had to comment and n this post. I’m a mom of two boys. One is 2.5 years old, the other is 6 months old. I’m writing this to you as I sit in my living room and pump. I am an exclusively pumping mama. I exclusively pumped for one year with my first son and I plan to do the same with my second.

    When my first son was born he had to be in the NICU for a week. This resulted in him having a feeding tube and being unable to start breastfeeding right away. I pumped while staying in the NICU. When we took him home I immediately started working to breastfeed him. He would nurse constantly and for extended periods of time, but he was constantly fussy, crying, not sleeping and upset. He wasn’t gaining weight either. The lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield- no improvement. She then said he was tongue tied so I took him to get it clipped. He still wasn’t gaining weight, was still crying, etc. My pediatrician was getting worried. My mom was urging me to give him a bottle, but I was resistant because breast was best. Eventually, one day when he was about 1.5-2 months old I decided to try a bottle. I pumped some milk gave it to him in a bottle- he chugged it, let out this little sigh and fell asleep. I balled because it was in that moment I realized that this whole time he had been hungry. I never looked back after that. I pumped exclusively and supplemented with formula as needed because I didn’t always produce enough for him. I would mix 1-2 ounces of formula with breast milk. Sometimes more and sometimes I didn’t need to supplement. He became a totally different baby- happy, healthy, sleeping. Today we are still extremely bonded and he is a cute, funny and curious little toddler.

    With my second I planned to make another attempt at breastfeeding figuring most of my problems with the first time were due to the rocky start in the NICU. My experience with my second son was totally different and very much like yours. When I attempted to latch him on right after birth he seemed to get the idea and man could that kid suck! The nurses said we were doing great. I was thrilled!!! My milk came in faster, my baby was latching and all was well until my nipples started cracking and bleeding before I left the hospital. My OBGYN prescribed APNO (all purpose nipple ointment) to help with healing and it did help, but I could never actually heal them because all my son wanted to do was eat. ALL THE TIME. The damage got worse and the pain excruciating. I cried and rocked every time he fed. I tried a nipple shield to protect so it could heal and thus did work so I thought I was in the clear, but then the latch issues started. My son ended up being tongue and lip tied. I had both corrected and that helped a little. The my son developed some sort of aversion to my nipple where he would hysterically scream and cry as soon as I started to position him to feed. I felt like he hated me. It was hard to bond with him. I cried. ALOT. I cried for so many reasons- pain, guilt, anxiety, exhaustion, frustration, sadness, failure. You name it. I finally called my LC and met with her. She attempted to help me get him latched and he did the usual hysterical freak out. She confirmed my belief that he had developed some aversion to breastfeeding. Which made me feel like I was not totally insane for thinking that. I decided to exclusively pump again because I knew I could do it. I’m now happily pumping away and plan to keep it up a full year. The bonus this time around is that because I tried breastfeeding and was able to start immediately and keep it up for a little more than a month my milk supply is more than enough for baby and I haven’t had to supplement at all.

    I’m proud of exclusively pumping because it allowed me to continue feedings breast milk- which was very important to me.

    I share my story to let you know I’ve been there. I share my story alsoto let you know that exclusively pumping is hard, but doable. I work full time outside the home and once you get a routine down it just becomes part of life. If you decide to try it here are some of my tips…

    Get a hands free pumping bra

    Buy at least three sets of pump parts

    Buy a bunch of bottles

    Wash your bottles and pump parts in the dishwasher (hand washing gets old and ridiculous when you do it that often)

    Make sure you use the right sized shields (this took me a while to figure out)

    Get a special milk bag storage shelf for your refrigerator.

    Once your supply is established don’t stress if you miss a pump every now and then or if a pump is delayed. It takes 2-3 days of reduced pumping to impact your supply.

    You don’t need a hospital grade pump, although it is probably nice. I just have a regular pump offered in the commercial market.

    Put baby in a rock and play, bouncer chair or some other thing you can keep close by if you are pumping and baby is awake. Keep toys, books, pacifiers in arms reach so you can play, read and interact with baby while you pump.

    Also, I have had no issues bonding and bottle feeding. I love the feeling of baby’s hand holding my finger as they feed. Looking into their eyes, holding them close. I love that my husband can feed and bond too or grandparents, etc. so don’t worry. Your baby will bond to you and love you just the same because you are meeting their needs.

    Whatever you choose you’ve got this! It will get easier with each passing week and month, but the first three months are by far the hardest. Baby will grow up happy and healthy.

    Best wishes!

  59. Whitney, please don’t beat yourself up over this! I started crying with you because I 100% understand what you are feeling and it’s not fun. I pray that you stick to your gut instincts and do what is best for YOU and your baby! Breastfeeding is not the end all be all so don’t stress yourself out over this. As long as you and baby are happy and healthy, whether it be from breastfeeding or formula, that is what matters most. <3

  60. Hi Whitney,

    I wanted to applaud you for being so brave and sharing your experience. While it seems most people would understand the struggles of motherhood we still have a half and half battle between what people think and how we feel about things.

    I have three children, and I tried with all three of them to breastfeed. Perhaps I didn’t try my best with all of them when it came to breastfeeding afraid they wouldn’t be able to eat enough during a feeding,but I struggled like you. In pain physically, exhausted and everything in between. I felt broken, and truthfully incapable. The one thing I thought made one a ‘super-mom”.. I couldn’t be. But your friends and those closest to you who have shared support that it’s normal,is right. No matter the decision you make or the path you take as a mother–that’s all you! You are his mom no matter what, what you feel is best for you and him is what matters. In the end as long as he’s eating and is full and is loved by you even when you feel at your lowest is the most wonderful thing in this world that you can give him.

    Try to not feel the pressure too much. As a new mom, yes you are still figuring out this whole thing while your hormones are going crazy, and perhaps you may have the baby blues..whatever it may be, just remember to take care of yourself and tell the doctor anything you may be feeling.

    I struggled with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety & OCD, only finding out recently after having three kids already.. one doesn’t always know the symptoms to that sickness and it isn’t something to be ashamed of. Rooting for you and praying for more, better experience as a new mom.

    XO, Maria | https://imommy.co

  61. I have been there, completely. My first had a tounge tie and who knew that was a thing! I actually can’t remember the first 8 weeks with baby it was a haze of tears, mom guilt and struggle. We fixed his tounge, but the damage had been done I had a long road to heal and my supply had gone down. We fed formula ,I pumped and put him to the breast and weighed him constantly ALL we were doing was feeding!! I saw many lactation consultants and finally a physician consultant gave me meds for my supply and that key thing we were missing and he latched and I healed and we breastfed until he was two. Going into my second I was prepared. let’s check for a tie, get the consultant in ASAP and I’m a pro we got this. Well, I put baby to the breast right after delivery she was amazing at latching and had no tie. Nurses had me feed her for an hour once the endorphins from birth went away realized baby had sucked a blister on one nipple, my heart sank. After two weeks at home the pain was beyond unbearable on the damaged side. I literally had a physical response to the thought of nursing that side, my heart raced I got clammy and light headed it was awful. Baby was spitting up red milk from the damage. I nursed the good side, pumped the bad and supplemented for a week waiting to get into the lactation consult and hoping to heal all the while panicked that my supply would drop, I just wanted to do this naturally this time. Well I was shown how to properly put a nipple shield on used it for a week and I healed and my supply was back up in two. Apparently my good side was a Hero and was providing all the nutrition baby needed so I just needed to even it out. Baby is 2 months old today and we are doing this pain free and baby is gaining like a champ. Do what your heart tells you, for me that meant something was better than nothing and something eventually turned into success. The feeling of relief when the nipple shield finally gave me a chance this time was the best in the world, I cried and felt a weight lift off me. My experience is both were battles until 6-8 weeks when I healed and baby grew and naturally their latch was larger too. Do what allows you to enjoy your babe, this time goes to fast!

  62. Hi Whitney, I just watched your breastfeeding story. It does hurt so much… and you feel it will never stop, but it does after about 2 weeks, you do not even feel that the baby is latching on. I used to have to hold my partners hand every time my babies would latch on…also changing the baby position every time you feed is easier on the nipples. I fed my daughter 6 month and my son is 2 and I am still feeding… most people tell me I am mad… I get the looks…but I don’t care, I love that time when it is just himself and myself and nothing else counts. In the business of life, this is the only thing that makes me sit down and relax. I don’t listen to what people say and this is what you should do to! Whatever works for you. I wish you all the best what ever you decide to do XX

  63. Whit!
    I went through the exact same thing with my little one who will be 1 month tomorrow! He was tongue tied and lip tied and I wasn’t producing the way I should. They wanted me to pump 8-10 times a day to try and get my supply in. I wanted to breastfeed so bad but the stress and pressure just wasn’t healthy. I finally made the decision to bottle feed and it was definitely for the best for us. I felt so much pressure lifted off of my shoulders. I was afraid I wouldn’t bond as well with him but that definitely isn’t the case. I couldn’t be more in love with him! Now if I can just get him to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time without being in my arms! If you have any tricks for that I’m all ears! Good luck to you and your little one!

  64. Whitney, watching your video brought back so many memories for me and my baby boy is only 16 months old. I was in hospital for a week and I wasn’t getting any milk. Even when I got home, I tried it again and again and got nowhere, in the end I just gave my son the colostrum he needed and switched straight to bottle and haven’t looked back. I got so much pressure from a few midwives in the hospital and especially from older generations, but in the end, I got sick of listening to everyone else tell me what to do, I just had to listen to my body and give the food my son needed and that’s all I was worried about. You are very right about the fact no one ever talks about it. You are in no way less of a mother than anyone else and don’t ever let them tell you otherwise. We all have different experiences, especially with parenting, so there is no way anyone can be the exact same, ever! If it’s not working for you, and you have tried every alternative you feel comfortable with, then switch over, ignore the haters and enjoy life with your beautiful baby. You are beautiful person inside and out and your son is lucky to have you as his mum, keep being you and he will grow and love you each and every day. Xx

  65. Hey Whitney,
    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my very first. Still can’t believe I’ll actually have a baby soon. Please bare with me if this doesn’t make sense, my prego brain is a bit mushy.
    One of my hopes as a mom is to be able to nurse as well, maybe because I also have a lot of people in my ear telling me it’s better, breast is best, yada yada yada. The reality of it is, is that’s breastfeeding is difficult, period. And yes, I’d like to think I could to be the badass mom and be able to overcome, if or when I have issues. But when it really comes down to it, is my main goal being met? Is my little one being fed? If not, then how can I make sure my baby is being fed.
    You’ve made a logical decision to pump in order to get food to your little one! Mission compete. You have made the right decision for your baby. You are doing a great job, Momma! Even if he had to go to formula, you are still doing good by your baby because you are trying your best. My dad wasn’t nursed and neither was my husband and they both turned out to be just as amazing as they are.
    Also keep in mind, that if nursing your little one is painful, which will be stressful for you, then it might be stressful for your baby. Please don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not trying to add guilt to your situation by saying you are stressing your baby out, but maybe you can find some relief in knowing that if pumping is working then you are not stressing you or your baby out. Plus, now dad can also bond with baby because he’s also able to feed the baby with a bottle.

  66. thank you.
    I keep watching this video because it is like a mirror to my experience. We planned to breastfeed, we tried and had a decent latch. But that pain. Then we resolved a very minor tongue tie issue. But the pain persisted. We went back to lactation consultants. So. much. pain. We tried for 6 weeks. 6 weeks of me in agony feeling like my nipple was being cut off by glass shards. It never got better!
    Watching you talk about your struggle was a cathartic experience for me… and makes me feel like I’m not the only one going through this. We too decided to pump exclusively (after much stress and inner turmoil about the whole decision). Thank you again for sharing your story so generously – your story has helped me heal.
    thank you, thank you, thank you

  67. I watched this and felt all those emotions from the first few weeks that my baby girl was born. All you want to do is feed them but it all is too hard and you want to give up. It’s comforting to see from you and all the other comments that you are not alone. You’re doing an amazing job xx

  68. Not sure if this will help, as every situation is unique, but it allowed me to heal significantly within a matter of two days.

    Buy the Medela soft shells for sore nipples. You want to wear them round the clock, except while breast feeding. They will allow you to air out and heal.

    Good luck, and congrats on your little sweetheart.

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