bottle feeding vs breastfeeding

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A few weeks ago I briefly shared on Instagram Stories that I had stopped breastfeeding.  I have been surprised at how many people I don’t personally know have asked me daily if I’m still breastfeeding… it’s such a personal topic and one that I wouldn’t consider asking someone unless I knew them well.  It’s on par with asking someone how much weight they’ve gained during pregnancy (which I finally answered here, available if you search “weight gain” on this site).  Maybe this is just me, but I don’t think we should ask anyone we don’t personally know about their weight or breasts.

Some questions we can ask: How are you?  How can I help?  Or even a statement like:  You’re doing a great job.  Your baby is precious.  How amazing it must be that you are everything he knows.  Moving on!

To be honest, it wasn’t a topic I planned on discussing because I would prefer to keep my opinions to myself because it is so personal.  However, I don’t think the questions will stop until I address it, so here we are!  Let’s just put it all out on the table.

I was hesitant to share I had stopped breastfeeding because I wasn’t willing to take on the potential judgement and opinions.  Every mother puts their child’s best interests before their own.  It’s our instinct.  But you can’t take care of someone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.  And I feel it’s my job to share the struggle I had with breastfeeding because the friends who were supportive of me and sounding boards during this process literally got me through those first months.  And it’s my job as a woman to pay it forward as they did for me.

I breastfed Hudson for two months and the first six or so weeks were exclusively until I had to begin supplementing because my production wasn’t keeping up.  I tried lactation cookies, supplements, drinking tons of water, eating plenty of calories, I cut all dairy from my own diet for over a month, I tried the HaaKaa pump, my own breast pump, talking to my lactation consultant many times, all the things.

The truth?  I loathed every second of it.

First of all, it was painful.  When my supply came in I was in more pain than my contractions.  Christian jokes that I didn’t break a sweat when I gave birth.  I shared Hudson’s birth story here, but I was dilated 8cm when I checked into the hospital and truly enjoyed the experience.  Based on this fact alone, I like to think my pain tolerance is pretty high.

I had alarms set for when it was time to feed Hudson (every 2-3 hours), and I would have this pit in my stomach every time it went off.  I felt the dreaded hours I spent feeding every day were actually keeping me from fully bonding with my baby rather than make me feel closer to him.  I couldn’t help but resent him for this physical pain and continued hormonal imbalance that made me feel so frustrated and in pain.  He had a great latch and I still struggled to enjoy it.

It must be mentioned that Hudson also had colic for weeks 2-11 and we tried everything.  Nothing worked except time and patience.  I think this topic deserves its own post once I feel we are totally in the clear, but wow.  I mean, wow.  That was a journey on its own, and I do think it was a big contributor to not enjoying the additional struggle of breastfeeding.  Trying to learn how to best soothe him was exhausting enough, on top of the breastfeeding struggles and always having my laptop in front of me.  Oh yeah, and also taking care of postpartum self… which always naturally came last.

While breastfeeding, I felt trapped in my house and lonely being the only one who could feed my baby.  While Christian slept soundly each night, I was awake, topless and tired in a dark room breastfeeding our son.  I know for some, breastfeeding is so much easier.  No bottles to pack, you can just whip it out and voila!  But for others it is so much harder than that.  I was never comfortable breastfeeding in public and would just sit in my car or even worse, not leave the house at all.  I had such a short window I could get anything done before my chest began to ache or he began to fuss and I would just think, “how can we live our lives like this?”

My goal for six months of breastfeeding quickly dissipated to three.  But once I had to start supplementing I was doing double the work.  Breastfeeding for hours a day while also feeding him bottles, finding time to pump and then to the sink to wash all the bottles, tubes and parts… all while still trying to maintain somewhat of a workflow with emails and deadlines.  I would be feeding Hudson while calculating the hours I was spending breastfeeding in my head.  And the answer is around three hours a day which is over 20 hours a week… which is a part-time job.  On top of a full-time job.

It was much harder to remember to eat enough calories and drink enough water because I was spending so much time breastfeeding.  The irony is that I had so much more time once I stopped breastfeeding to get those calories in!

With a medical professional as a spouse, it was important to Christian that Hudson be breastfed and I wanted to honor that.  We were both breastfed for eight months or more.  After all, isn’t this what is best for our baby?

I went to my six week follow-up with my OB and I had to fill out a postpartum survey.  She sat down with me and told me that while I didn’t fall in the postpartum depression category, she still wanted to discuss some of my responses to the survey.  While chatting with her, it was quickly determined that breastfeeding was making me dread the day and that time spent with Hudson.  She simply said, “so why not stop?”

Why not stop?  Why continue something that was clearly making me miserable and not even working for us?

So I went home and declared to Christian I would breastfeed until two months and then I was stopping.  It wasn’t a discussion, it was a statement.  He didn’t love my attitude, but I didn’t care.  This was something I was doing for Hudson and even more importantly, for myself.

And I stopped breastfeeding at eight weeks.  I also stopped crying every day.  I stopped dreading feeding my baby.  In fact, Christian and I often jokingly fight over who gets to feed Hudson at night!  Which is a complete 180!  I stopped dreading getting dressed every day, as I apparently had little to no breastfeeding-convenient clothes.  I got to wear loose dresses and clothing that actually fits my postpartum body rather than what works for breastfeeding.  I also stopped complaining incessantly to Christian.  I was happier all around, and he could see that.  Now we both realize that it wasn’t working and letting it go was absolutely the right choice for us.

I am so much happier.  Hudson is happier because he’s fed more food which means he focuses while eating instead of shaking his head out of frustration.  When we leave the house, I just toss a bottle of water and formula in my bag and we can go do anything, anywhere because I feel confident bottle feeding in public.  And anyone can help me feed him if I am busy working or need a break.  Which means a few nights a week Christian takes monitor duty at night and I get to sleep without worry.

It works best for us and I feel clearheaded emotionally and mentally which helps me be a more present mother to my son.

I also want to share that my sisters, mom and several friends have breastfed without any of this heartache and struggle. They also took more time away from work or fully focused on their baby rather than returning to their prior career.  For some it is a beautiful experience that only deepens the bond between mother and baby.  And if you are one of those women, I love that for you!  How great that must be.

I now realize that I should have taken more of a break from work.  My job is unique in that sharing my life is my business.  Because of that, to disconnect for three months would be particularly challenging.  I wasn’t sure how exactly to step back for that long (and I still don’t know how I would do this).  Therefore I was trying to be on email, answer reader questions every day, take calls and maintain somewhat of a work flow and that just doesn’t work when you’re breastfeeding a colicky newborn (and trying to find some time to take care of yourself postpartum).  Perhaps if I had found a way to take an “official” two or three month maternity leave (paid or unpaid, it’s a gift!) I could have focused more on keeping my supply up and the experience would have been less stressful.  Or perhaps not?  During the hard days, going to my office and shutting the door was my escape and rejuvenated me.  And on many days, I really needed that.

For our next child, I am going to try to figure out how to take more time off and will try breastfeeding again.  But you don’t know what you haven’t experienced!  I also didn’t know Hudson would have colic and cry all day.  I was told newborns slept all day.  Thankfully he has been an amazing nighttime sleeper from the jump and loves his crib (his nursery and crib are shared here), but that boy has some pipes!  I regularly thank God we live in a house and not our previous city apartment as I would genuinely worry we would get evicted due to noise complaints.

I wanted to share my story to other women out there who have felt this way.  You’re not alone.  You’re never alone in your thoughts or feelings.  Another mother has felt that exact same way.  And you will find what works best for your family.  Hudson is now a happy, formula-fed baby and his parents are happy too… except when they argue over who gets to feed him.  What a prince!

I’m here for you.  We are all here for you!  Just as those women were there for me.  You got this, mama.

Thanks so much for reading – I would love to hear your experience if you tried breastfeeding and are open to sharing.  But if not, that’s ok too.  I get it – it’s personal!!  XO –

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285 thoughts on “Truth Corner | I Hated Breastfeeding

  1. I was so looking forward to reading this blog post. I have had a very similar experience and feel such a sense of relief reading your story. I haven’t shared mine with many people in fear of being judged or made to feel worse than I already do. We are all just doing the best we can and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Before having my son, I had hoped to solely breastfeed for at least 3 months but didn’t realize every Mom, baby and milk supply is different. He would be so frustrated during feeds that I would get anxiety each time that alarm went off or every time I had to undress, he was also losing weight since I was not able to see how much he was eating. I decided to put my “plan” to the side and start pumping, giving bottles and also started supplementing with formula. His weight has gone up and he is a happier baby. This new plan is the best plan for me and for my family. I am also enjoying him so much more now and that anxiety is gone. I will probably still struggle with letting go of breastfeeding from time to time but it feels great to know I’m not alone in this. I adore my son and this decision has made me happy. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Love to you, H and C. Xo

  2. Good for you girl! Not for everyone, your baby is happy if you are happy. Truthfully you didn’t seem happy after baby for the first few weeks. I wondered if you would ever address it (since
    It’s so personal) as you seemed to jump back into work as if nothing happened,
    but you did seem pretty unhappy. So brave if you to be honest and share.

    1. That’s an interesting observation. I definitely was happy and had to jump back into to work due to commitments and my “busy” season but then slowed down in January and February. Although I struggled with breastfeeding, I was certainly very happy…

      1. I think you seemed like any newborn mom trying to balance feeding a kid, working, and taking care of yourself/your house!!! Which is to say of course you seemed different postpartum than pre-baby. Because your life is WAY different . Good for you for doing what’s best for you, which is ultimately what is best for your family. I felt the exact same way. I stuck with breastfeeding for 5 months and realized that I wish I stopped sooner so I could have enjoyed my maternity leave more. Those early months go by fast and being miz for half the time the babe is awake seems like a total waste of time. You’re doing a great job!!!! Love following along!

      2. Kathleen, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience. Like the reader above, I agree with her comments. I’m sorry work was a busy time for you around the time your son was born. It appeared in the early days that things were challenging, or maybe it’s your sense of humor. I’m glad you are both happier now.

      3. With my first child, I had all of these stigmas in my head about what a first time mom should do and be… I was determined to breast feed and leave my very demanding, but fulfilling , job for the appropriate 3 months.. After her birth I remember coming home and feeling stuck.. I was not comfortable, she was hungry, But isn’t this motherhood? No one said it would be easy.. I assumed it was normal.. I made it 36 days before I lost it.. I drove to the store, bought the formula – made a bottle in the car and that was the first time she had slept anywhere other than on top of me… I immediately had a sense of freedom. The next morning I dropped her off with my mama and I went back to work… I recognized myself again.. I realized everyone’s journey in motherhood is different.. You don’t owe anyone an explanation – but I’m so glad you shared!! Xoxo

  3. Wow- your honesty and vulnerability are truly incredible. There is so much guilt and pressure in being a new mom (first time mom to a 3 month old!) and knowing that other moms have struggles is oddly comforting. Thanks for sharing so much about your journey in pregnancy and motherhood, and for doing it with such honesty. Hudson is such a cutie and one lucky kiddo to have you as a mom!

  4. It amazes me how comfortable people feel to ask so many personal things when you’re pregnant or have just had a baby. Women especially feel the need to comment on weight, how you dress, how you feed and dress your child. You’re Hudson’s mama and only you know what is right for him. You’re amazing for sharing all of this with us which you didn’t have to do, because it’s none of our business how you choose to feed your baby. I had so many personal questions asked when I had our daughter and if someone made a rude comment I told them that she’s my baby and my husband and I will make the decisions for her, but thanks for the opinion. You’re awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! First time pregnant mama here and feel so much pressure about breast feeding (which I will be attempting to do) but already feel the stigmas and stress from the concept. I’m also quite modest so also won’t be comfortable feeding in public. This is such a personal topic and as you mentioned, strange to share, but I’m SO grateful that you did. Thank you for all you share with us, I know everyone appreciated the honesty as much I do! PS Hudson is just beautiful

  6. I didn’t because I didn’t want to and now even with my 5 month old, people will ask. Like complete strangers. So rude.

  7. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! It’s so important to remember that there are millions of “right ways” to raise your kid. And they all include taking care of yourself so you’re not pouring from an empty cup. Also thank God you had a wonderful OB who kept it real with you and empowered you to make the best decision for your own situation. My husband and i will be starting a family soon and reading about stuff like this is honestly really comforting.

  8. Thanks for sharing! I totally agree that this is such a personal topic! I’m currently breastfeeding and I’m still shocked when people ask me about it! I don’ t want to talk about my boobs with my husband’s uncle, thank you very much.

  9. Im not a parent nor want to b but it crazy pisses me off when people (especially) men make comments about breastfeeding. Its none if ur damn business. And why are women so judgy if other women???

    Im glad u did what was best for u. Ur health mental and physical is just as important it not more than ur baby’s. From one woman to another I support ur decision and kudos to u for sharing in this judgement filled world!!!

  10. Thank you for writing this! I needed to hear this so badly as I’m struggling to breastfeed my 2nd child right now. I know this post will help many other women as well.

  11. GIRL. I feel you on this post. So much. It is weird and kind of rude when people ask about it because it’s a very personal question, much like, “how are/did you deliver your baby?” I had several men give me advice on how to get through labor, which I felt was…… interesting? Moving on. I wanted to try breastfeeding, too, (despite the fact that I knew before trying it that I would probably hate it) because I’m also in the medical field and know the benefits. Let’s just say it never happened for us. My son hated even getting into position for it in the hospital and screamed and refused to latch. The lactation consultant was overwhelming and had me constantly trying things when all I wanted to do was rest. I clearly remember signing discharge forms completely topless while my nurse just sat in front of me, thinking to myself about how bizarre this was. I was barely producing colostrum at that point- they wanted me to pump, take a syringe and get the colostrum, then squirt it in my sons mouth while my husband helped me hold our son, who was miserable. It was TOO much and I was so tired and overwhelmed, I just gave myself the grace of letting it go- and I’m SO glad I did. Bless you for trying for so long (WHILE working- I was amazed at how well you were doing everything). Nobody told me how painful it was when your milk comes in- that was worse than labor for me (and I had my epidural cut off for over an hour at the end). I can’t imagine feeding my son too. Thank you for this post even though it’s so personal. I think we all have fantasies of what breastfeeding is like, but the truth for many is a lot of what you posted. I’m in awe of women that can do it because it IS so much work and dedication; I will do ANYTHING for my son, but I honestly feel I would have not enjoyed my maternity leave had I breastfed. I’m so thankful it didn’t work out (which I thought I’d never say) because I feel I just got to focus on our time together.

  12. Proud of your bravery Kathleen. Breastfeeding doesn’t always pan out as we hope and that is OKAY. XoXo

  13. This is spot on!!! I have tears in my eyes reading it! I’ve been there, I’m still there, and struggling with mom guilt and feelings of “failure” over it. It really can suck the joy out of this sweet time with our little ones and nearly make us crazy!! The hormone dumps are insane! In the early days, I too would get this overwhelming anxiety and dread with nausea every time I sat down to feed or pump. I remember crying and telling my husband this wasn’t bonding or therapeutic for anyone. We eventually went exclusively to pumping and bottles, for the most part and that still sucks. You’re not alone! It’s not easy! Not enough people talk about it! It’s so easy to put ourselves last in this mom gig, and that’s the last thing we need to do. Our little ones need us at the top of our game ❤️

  14. I breast fed both of my kids fairly successfully for like 10 months but I remember thinking those first couple weeks that it was so much harder than birth. Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard post-birth healing, and breastfeeding was? It was like everything on my body hurt from birth and then I was doing this incredibly painful breast feeding milk supply dance. And like I said that was with everything working out how it was supposed too. If I had had any problems I would have quit because it was so hard as it was. I remember telling a close friend who gave birth a month after me who was crying everyday over breastfeeding and had already had several plugged ducts that it’s ok to stop, you’re no good for your baby if you are falling apart. It was like it hadn’t occurred to her that stopping was an option even though she was absolutely miserable. Our husbands were both in their first year of residency and there was a lot of “breast is best”. I think it’s so important to support each other in these situations. Thanks for your post!

  15. I have a 12 week old, I was also in so.much.pain! Toe curling pain. Timers set on how long I could stand her being on each boob. Finally I also “declared” to my husband enough was enough and at 1 month I switched to pumping and supplementing with formula. Baby started sleeping better and I was happier.

    Thank you for sharing your story ❤️ We’re all in this parenting thing together!

  16. I have a 5 month old baby boy, and S T R U G G L E D with breastfeeding in those early days. I got mastitis multiple times, learned that nipple can crack and bleed, and pushed through ( kinda wish i hadn’t). Things are easier now, but little baby Logan is a CHUNK. He is so chunky and in the 120th percentile for weight. I cannot tell you how many people – complete STRANGERS – have commented “what’s in those boobs”. Grown ass men. Talking quite frankly about the quality of my milk. I just. Wow. The audacity
    My body is not up for discussion! Ever!
    Power to you, and all of us.

  17. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s so amazing you can use your platform to help other women who feel the same way. Love your honesty and transparency! You are doing great momma!

  18. Hi Kathleen! I absolutely hated breastfeeding and felt like a cow at a dairy farm every time I pumped. I too wasn’t producing and it was only making my baby and I frustrated. I quickly got over my guilt of feeling like a failure and stopped at 6 weeks. After that, it was like having a new baby and a new me. (I was told back then that my baby would not be as smart as someone who was breastfed if I switched but she’s now 11, GT student who makes all A’s!) You are an amazing Mommy and you are doing what you feel and know is best for you and Hudson.

  19. There is nothing, hand to God NOTHING, that made me feel more inadequate or unprepared to be my baby’s mother than breastfeeding. The first 12 weeks were a dark, dark place in that regard. I feel it perpetuated my baby blues and had me teetering on the edge of PPD, daily. We turned a really sharp corner at about the 10 week mark and it all got miraculously MUCH easier/more comfortable/more efficient and I thank God for that. We had a great breastfeeding journey for the next 14 months but I can whole heartedly say I could not have done it one more day, if we hadn’t turned that corner. So yeah. Woof. You 1000% did the right thing so GOOD JOB, KATHLEEN! Knowing what is best for your family IS know what is best for your baby!

  20. Lasted 5 weeks and no regrets. Was one of the worst experiences of my life. Was so unhappy and can still remember crying at 2am in the nursery because he was taking so long to feed, which was so painful and I just needed rest. You do you mama, glad you are feeling more like yourself again!

  21. Thanks for sharing your story!! I have had the same experience. My husband is also in medicine and for now I am not returning to work. I feel that because I am staying home I almost have a duty to push forward with breastfeeding even though I am not enjoying it. I hate that I feel that way. I also hate that every morning I dread getting dressed because I have to find something that is breastfeeding friendly. It’s nice to hear that other women are having the same experience!

  22. Good for your for prioritizing yourself as well as your baby. I exclusively breastfed my first daughter for 10 months. It was tough but important to me because she was a preemie. I breastfed my second daughter for about 10 months as well and I did feel like it helped me bond with her even more. For my third (and last) daughter, I stopped at 5.5 months and I am so glad I did. I am so busy with three little girls that I felt much like you did and was really starting to resent all the time and effort it was taking for me to keep my supply up. Anyway, I currently have a happy, healthy 10 month old little girl, and I don’t regret my decision to stop breastfeeding for one second.

  23. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts from about 4 years ago! My first baby was breastfed for 6 weeks. We stopped due to his colic/horrible reflux and so I could gain some sanity! His pediatrician told me that I didn’t need to feel guilty for no longer breastfeeding. He said “he deserves a sane and happy mother more than breast milk!” That really helped me get over it. I tried again with my second son and it is going so much smoother. He’s not colicky so that’s probably a huge reason. Now… I’m pumping while at work so it’s not all fun for me, but things are so much better this time! If you decide to try breastfeeding again with another baby, I pray things go smoothly for you too!

  24. Thank you for sharing! I had twins and my experience with breastfeeding was so similar that I could have written this post! Appreciate your honesty!

  25. Such a relief to read! . When you’re in that bubble you think that you’re the only one who experiences such hard times so it’s great that you used your platform to share it.
    It was exactly the same for us except that we live in Germany and get one year paid leave but it was still all so hard and dreadful. We got our second child who is almost the same age as Hudson and this time everything was different, no pain and breastfeeding works perfectly! I wish you the same for your second ❤️

  26. Preach! I am 100% in the same boat and took solace in reading this. I just hit 7 weeks exclusively breastfeeding (also hating every second of it), my supply has dropped, I dread every feeding and tell my husband 20x a day that I’m f@/&; over it but I continue to do it because I feel shame in supplementing. Thank you for keeping it real.

  27. I had such a similar experience, although I had to supplement from the very beginning. It’s honestly so much work, as you mentioned. Breastfeeding, bottle supplementation and then trying to find time to pump when you’re home alone and baby is screaming?? Yeah ok. Props to you for sharing your experience and normalizing that it’s important to put your own mental and emotional health first sometimes. I saw a quote from a teacher once saying, “In a room full of students, there has never been a day when I wondered or could tell which kid had been breastfed or not.” Our babies will have the opportunity to thrive in life, regardless of how they were fed. Much love to you and your journey!!

  28. I absolutely love that you shared this story! And you certainly did not have to as it IS so incredibly personal and private. I struggled a lot with breastfeeding and the judgment that comes along with it with my little boy – I felt that breastfeeding was the right answer for as long as possible and really tormented myself before finally stopping by 8 months (started supplementing when I went back to work at almost 5 months, down to just nursing in the mornings at 6 months). I also remember feeling so much happier and more free when I finally came to terms with the fact that it was better for all of us if we switched to formula. Leighton was so much happier, I was happier (and less hormonal) and he started really gaining weight when he’d struggled with weight gain during early months. Leighton was also borderline colic the first few months and LORD. That is tough. I don’t think many people understand what that does to parents mentally, particularly when combined with the intense pressure of trying to make breastfeeding work.

    I’m currently almost 25 weeks pregnant with our second little boy and I feel so at peace with the attitude I have going into breastfeeding this time – I refuse to put that same pressure on myself this time around! I plan to give breastfeeding another shot but we will see what feels right for everyone. Here’s to mamas doing the best they can for their babies AND their own sanity, and to the world putting less judgment on how babies are fed!

    Thank you again for this. Really made me feel less alone!

  29. Amen! I wish more women would open up about the struggle. I tormented myself for 7 months. That won’t happen again. Bravo mama for doing what worked best for you and your son! I mean after all, when have we ever discussed breastfeeding before we had children?! It’s not like you were asked on your college application or job interview…now we’re you breastfed?!

  30. Amen. My thoughts all on (virtual) paper. It’s not for everyone or every baby. Not breastfeeding for me meant a better version of myself for my baby and my husband. God bless bottles.

  31. I also didn’t enjoy breastfeeding with either of my boys. On the other hand, my twin sister did with both of her children. It is a must for you to do what is right for you and your baby!! I’m glad that you have found what works for your family!!

  32. Completely agree how open some people are about asking about such a personal topic! Especially if they don’t even know you. Breastfeeding was the hardest thing I ever did. I felt the same as you and I’d dread every single night because I was so alone. My mom helped me a lot by talking through it and I stuck with it. I’m happy I did, but totally understand it’s not for everyone.

  33. People think they can ask or say anything about pregnancy. It is so strange! I had the same thing happen with my milk with our first. It was stressful and I felt like I was a terrible mom and giving up because I couldn’t feed her what she needed. Luckily I have an amazing husband who made me see that it wasn’t my fault and it was better for him because he got to feed her and spend more of that bonding time with her. Our second was a breeze with breastfeeding and I had no trouble at all with my milk supply. Who knows what happened but they both turned out awesome so clearly I didn’t damage her too much giving her formula! Well at least with that. I probably embarrass her multiple times a day with outher things. Ha!

  34. I exclusively BF for 13.5 months and never loved it. It just worked for us so I kept doing it because I was like ok get to 3 months, well you’re 3 months in get to 6 and so on. I never had that feeling of omg I love this and feel so bonded. I’m due this week with my second and literally dreading BFing again. I’m going to try but honestly if it doesn’t work I will be 100% ok with that! I know women who can’t BF are like you’re so lucky blah blah but it is so hard for all the reasons you explained. I had many meltdowns about it and I do think it stole some joy from the newborn phase for me. Hoping for a different experience this time but we’ll see. I think it’s great you are doing what’s best for your family regardless of others potential opinions. At the end of the day you are Hudson’s mom and you are the one living your life.

  35. The struggle is real! Thank goodness for OBs and their pep talks! Thanks for sharing something so personal.
    Love when my husband shares with my mother in law all about the status of my breastfeeding, weight gain, and pelvic floor healing…!!! Apparently having a baby makes your body public information!

  36. Thank you. Thank you. Even with full-time maternity leave I had close to the same experience as you and still feel a bit of guilt 15 months later. It’s time to let the guilt go. Bless you for sharing your experience with others!

  37. Thanks so much for this. I struggled breastfeeding the second time around. I was depressed and in sooo much pain. I felt isolated and no one seemed to understand. I also felt guilty because I was able to breastfeed my first baby. Anyway, thanks for you honesty and helping moms know they aren’t alone in thing thing!!

  38. First off- where did you get your chunky sweater in your story today? Like.. from just now.. Second- I am so grateful to you for posting. I had a similar experience and to be honest- had to stop watching your stories for a little because you seemed so content in them with a newborn and with BF and I was feeling serious mom guilt and also was seriously struggling. People still try to guilt me about not BF- I’m glad I stopped. I’m so much happier. It’s seriously a full time job and exhausting and painful and also uh super messy. My boy would unlatch and spit milk all over me. Good times. Love that you were honest even though it’s none of our business. It definitely made this mama feel better!

  39. YES YES YES to everything. Breastfeeding is so hard and I did not enjoy it at all. I exclusively pumped for 5 months, and so many people and nurses told me “Just put him on the boob” And I’m just like I DONT WANT TO! It was painful for me too, and me being hospitalized for mastitis did not help at all. Thank you for sharing your story, I know it is so deeply personal to share this, but it’s honestly refreshing to hear this and not just the “breast-feeding-is-magical” and sometimes it’s not just that you can’t do it, but more of, what’s going to make you and your baby happy! Love and miss you and C, can’t wait to meet Hudson some day 🙂

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Breastfeeding is a very personal journey. I had similar struggles and made the same decision at 8-10 weeks. I always tell myself when I start to let mom guilt slip in “YOU ARE THE BEST MOM TO YOUR BABY. YOU DO YOU!” Thank you again for sharing because you have made at least one momma in this tiny corner of the internet feel less alone.

  41. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am a new mom too and am struggling with the time it takes to breastfeed. I am trying to determine the best time to stop breastfeeding my daughter. She is only a few weeks old, but it is very painful and exhausting.

    Thank you again for sharing it makes me feel better that I am not the only mom out there struggling with breastfeeding.

  42. I don’t have any children, but wow! I want to applaud you and then hug you for sharing something so personal in such an open and honest way! You are a strong, amazing person and mother and kudos to you for recognizing what was best for your son and your family. Much love!

  43. Thank you for sharing something that is so personal and private with us. I felt the same way as you about breastfeeding. And i lasted a shorter time than you. Once I gave it up a huge relief was taken off my shoulders. I know for some women breastfeeding is not as challenging and some enjoy it. But I did not know how hard it would be before I had my boys. My mom had zero problems with my brother and I so I thought i would be the same. Thank you for sharing so that other women don’t feel so alone. I remember at the time I felt like a failure but now looking back I did the right thing that was best for me and my babies. Xoxo

  44. Wow! I’m not a mom yet, but I am about 5 seconds pregnant and my husband and I have started having all the baby discussions and breastfeeding came up. From previous random ‘discussions’, if you want to call them that with my MIL, they both expect me to breastfeed until our children no matter what. I’m already stressing out. This post had me in tears knowing it’s okay that if it doesn’t work out. So as a barely pregnant woman who is still somewhat freaking out, THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing when you didn’t have or need to. Thank you for saying it’s okay to take care of yourself first. Thank you for sharing your personal experience.

  45. Thank you so much for sharing. I just gave birth a little over 3 weeks ago and am also trying to breastfeed. While I’m not having the physical pain that you did I do really feel the emotional effects. I feel so isolated and under so much pressure being the only one who can feed my baby. While I enjoy it a couple times a day, being on call 24/7 really weighs on me and it is so encouraging to hear that I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s so easy to feel guilty because you love your baby so much and want to do the very best, but like you said you need to feel good to be able to take care of someone else and at the end of the day fed is best. We are still trying to find what works best for us, but it makes me so happy to read your journey and that you found a solution that makes your family thrive.

  46. Love this post! So important to hear different experiences. For my first I struggled because I could not keep up with my son and wasn’t producing enough. Once my husband went back to work after 2 weeks I would count down the hours until he got back home and would jump in the shower and just cry. I cried because I was exhausted, because I thought I was a failure and most of all I cried because I resented my baby as awful as that sounds. I was asked by so many if I was breastfeeding that I was not about to stop and have to tell everyone I quit. I also did not leave the house because I couldn’t envision having to feed in public. My husband saw me struggle and finally one day had enough and went out and bought formula and convinced me to just give the baby one bottle after 8 weeks. Girl, after that bottle my son slept 4 hours and I literally did a happy dance…. For my second I tried again and my supply was so much better. I did stop after 3 months because once I began feeding with bottles and my husband could help more I was able to play more with my oldest and he asked me if I now loved him again and would not be with his sister the whole time. Broke my heart. It is important to know that some questions are not ok to ask. And yes, my kids were mainly formula fed because I chose what was best for my family not because I quit!

  47. This is honestly such a perfect example for new moms and while I will never understand why people feel the need to take away someone’s privacy in today’s world, thank you for sharing! Throughout my whole pregnancy my doctors office made it seem like breast-feeding was the only option and you were somehow less if you thought about formula or strictly pumping. My sweet boy came almost 2 months early and never learned how to latch, because of what was drilled into my head I felt like a failure at that point in time because I couldn’t breast-feed. Thankfully I had a great lactation consultant and a sister to help me through it. I have come to learn every mom needs to feel empowered about making their own decision about what’s best for them and what’s best for their baby.

  48. Hi! Not personally a mother, but hoping to be in the future. Thank you for sharing your story and journey to get there! Really trying to already get into a “fed is best” mindset before all the judgment comes in on how to feed a baby. Thank you for not just saying what people want to hear and keeping it true to you!

  49. Such a personal “thing” People are just so brazen these days and feel they can weigh in on everyone and everything. Your body, your choice, your baby, your HAPPINESS. I am so relieved this is behind you and you and your family can move forward. I look forward to you everyday. Rock on Kathleen !

  50. I could have written some of these same things about my experience. I gave up breastfeeding at 4.5 months, but probably should have sooner for my own mental health. The best thing about having an experience that isn’t completely great is that next time I know I will feel empowered to stop sooner if it isn’t working. And I’m totally with you, no one has a right to ask about this topic. For me, people asking how it was going, etc. gave me more anxiety than anything.

  51. I didn’t hate breastfeeding necessarily but I felt guilty because I had no desire to do it. I am not one of those women who felt this strong pull to breastfeed. But similarly, I knew the benefits. So I told myself I could quit as soon as it got difficult, but at most I was only going to do it for my 12 week maternity leave. I’m an ER nurse working 12 hr shifts. We hardly get 10 mins to eat lunch, let alone go pump several times a day. Some women make it work but I knew I couldn’t do that. We did make it the 12 weeks, but we started weaning immediately. At 2 weeks old, we started with a formula bottle at night (that my husband could give! And I could have a glass of wine!) and continued to trade breastfeeding sessions for bottles from there.
    I also agree that it’s so much easier to bottle feed in public! I got those travel packets of powder that you just add to water and left them in the diaper bag. It was never a big deal.

  52. THANK YOU for sharing your story! I’m sure you wanted to keep it more private/personal considering it is a very personal decision. Sharing your story can help others who also have struggles or did not like it to not feel so alone, esp when you hear “breast is best” all the time and side comments about what you should or shouldn’t do. What works for one, doesn’t work for another and that’s okay. Every baby is so different and everyone’s circumstances are as well. As a new mom myself, breastfeeding was something I wanted to do and was fortunate to not have any issues with breastfeeding. My supply was overabundant and I was never in any pain while feeding her. I will say it was very isolating at times, esp in the beginning, and one sided a bit when there were many night feedings. But overall, I still really liked it and that’s why I continued and still do. My daughter is almost 11 months and I’m starting to wean from pumping at work and only feeding AM/PM until we both feel it is time to fully stop. I was fortunate to take off a full 12 weeks from work and that time off really helped with recovery and getting into a routine with breastfeeding. At the end of the day, a happy mom is best and it sounds like ya’ll have found what works best for you both and that is amazing! Thank you for sharing your story and hopefully this reduces the # of questions you get about breastfeeding going forward!

  53. Thank you for sharing this Kat. Your ability to be vulnerable like this and pay it forward is normalizing this struggle for someone else. ♥️

  54. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s so personal, but I appreciate the vulnerability. I had a baby 11 weeks ago and was completely shocked at how difficult and painful and unnatural breastfeeding felt. And the toll that took on me. I don’t feel like I was adequately prepared as no one talks about it!! Thank you for bringing some light to the challenges, although it’s personal (and none of our business), I think it’s so important to have these conversations about the challenges us new mothers face.

  55. Kathleen, thanks for bravely sharing your story. I never loved breastfeeding and had a similar experience with my first baby, my son. He wouldn’t latch properly and it was extremely painful. I do encourage you to try again with your second because my daughter was SO easy and I was able to successfully breastfeed her for a lot longer than I was with my son and it was just an entirely different experience.

  56. Thank you so so so much for opening up on such a private matter. Especially when you do not owe a single person an explanation! I have a 9 month old and went through similar struggles. My first night home from the hospital (which was also my birthday) I broke down crying because I couldn’t get my daughter to latch properly. Thankfully my husband was there and reassured me to supplement with formula while we tried the whole breastfeeding thing out. I continued trying BF but gave up after a few weeks and just pumped exclusively. As you’ve stated in your post, pumping is a full time job and it was EXHAUSTING! I did reach my goal of breastfeeding (in the form of exclusively pumping) for 6 months but I do not miss one single day of it! Bravo to you for speaking up when you were not feeling right. It is so important to take care of yourself! Also your OB was awesome for giving you other options instead of chastising you or trying to push you to continue breastfeeding. Ok rant over. I love your blog thank you for always being true and for sharing a part of your life with us!!!!

  57. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m due with our first in June, and while I 100% want to breastfeed, I also want to feel ok about making the decision not to if/when it doesn’t work for our family. I’m fortunate to be able to have time off of work, but I also love my job and am already dreading being home alone with a baby cooped up in a house. Thank you for being real and helping normalize NOT breastfeeding as much as people try to normalize it.

    Another topic I’d love to hear your thoughts on is sleeping arrangements. I want to start my baby in her own room as soon as possible but it seems like that is an unpopular opinion.

    1. Brittany, I am also due in June with my first! I have already decided that I do not want to breastfeed and want to start our son in his own crib from night 1. One of my good friends just had a baby and said the best decision she has made to date has been starting her son off in his crib from night 1. Of course, I think it also depends on the layout of your house. We live in a ranch and the nursery is right down the hall. Congratulations!

  58. Thank you for sharing your experience , I was looking forward to this post. Although I agree it’s very
    Personal to ask people about I also feel people don’t talk about it enough. My baby girl is 12 weeks old and I was so clueless about breastfeeding and felt so lost and alone. Just like you I spent many nights crying because I felt isolated/alone and trapped. I do love breastfeeding and the connection I share with my baby but then I also feel guilt for having those feelings. As moms I think we want to make all kinds of sacrifices for our children but we have to make sure we are also mentally healthy for them. I wanted to wean her to use bottles but she is currently refusing them .: talk about feeling trapped ! Lol we pray every day for help. Everyone has a different journey, I think that’s what’s important to remember ! As long as baby is happy and healthy !

  59. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kathleen! While so many discuss breastfeeding using words like “natural,” “intuitive,” “bonding,” etc. – for some of us it is just straight up lonely, isolating and wrought with feelings of guilt (which can be further amplified for those also working full time). I breastfed my daughter exclusively for 6 months and ended up in therapy because of the pressure I put on myself. I would drive home from my full time job fantasizing about throwing my breastpump out the car window on the highway. I’m pregnant with our second child and this post makes me feel empowered to make a better choice for my mental health the next time around. While this topic is a very personal one, I think it’s so helpful to put it all out on the table so that those currently having a hard time with breastfeeding recognize they aren’t alone – it may give some the strength to continue and it may lead some to say “Enough is enough. I am important too!” Either way, it’s a win – so thanks for your candid bravery!

  60. You’re so brave for sharing this struggle. I delivered a baby girl on December 1st of last year in Atlanta so in many ways, I’ve felt like we’ve been living parallel lives. At first, I thought breastfeeding was the most magical experience I was shocked how much I loved that intimacy with her. However, my production was low which we found out after her weight checks (oh- that’s why she’s been crying- she’s starving!) and since she was frustrated during breastfeeding because she wasn’t getting enough, she would whip her head back and forth and this caused me some serious nipple damage! Breastfeeding became SO PAINFUL and I dreaded let down! I thought everyone experienced this because as you said this is a personal topic and I wasn’t asking everyone else what it should feel like. It wasn’t until she started spitting up blood that I realized how damaged my nipples were. We called in the doc office concerned about the blood in her spit up and their firs question was, “are your nipples cracked?”. I kid you not, I answered no after looking at my cracked nipples because I didn’t remember what they looked like normally!! All that to say, I understand the struggle. I’m still trying to make it to 6 months but am supplementing on top of every feeding and pumping now that I’ve returned to work. It’s a lot of work and I question if it’s worth it. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us and I’m sorry that you feel you have to share the parts that should be allowed to be private. BUT in doing so, you have tremendously encouraged me and normalized what a lot of us struggle with. You are the realest!

  61. I am so glad that you found a solution that works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY! That is ultimately the most important thing and there is no reason to feel guilt or shame! As always, love how honest and frank you are. Hudson is looking so cute 🙂

  62. Thank you for sharing. I had such a similar experience and felt so alone. No one tells you you may dread feeding your baby. Good for you for making the best choice for yourself and family. I know there are many women who will be inspired and empowered by reading this post and knowing they aren’t alone. Kudos.

  63. I relate to this SO well. My son was also colicky from about 2 days of life to 3 months. I remember the nurses in the hospital bringing him back from the nursery saying they had to give him a pacifier because he wouldn’t stop crying… I just KNEW they knew, ya know? When I watched your Instagram stories and saw you bouncing back and forth with music blaring I kept thinking “Could it be? This looks strangely familiar”! It was so nice to read those words – something that I don’t feel like anyone else really “gets” unless they get dealt the colic card. It’s HARD. I love my son more than life itself but it is HARD. I had an extreme oversupply, however, and incredibly painful letdowns. He had a hard time latching and I kept getting mastitis over and over. I cried every time I had to feed him. I pushed through to over a year and while the last 6 months were significantly easier and quite enjoyable, I often wonder why I put myself through that. Would I have enjoyed the newborn stage more if I hadn’t been so determined to make something work that was making me miserable? Not sure what I’ll do when we have another, but this post just gave me reassurance that whatever I choose (or don’t choose bc how much control do I REALLY have), it’ll all be okay. THANK YOU

  64. When we had our daughter it was always the plan to breastfeed. And that’s what I did for 12 days. It was hard and exhausting but I was going to keep it up. But she had other plans. She developed GERD and gastroparesis. And in the process of trying to figure out what she was dealing with we were told by her pediatrician to stop breastfeeding, just in case she was allergic to my milk. We put her on formula and never looked back. I was sad for about ten minutes until I realized how freeing this was for us all. Now my husband could feed her at night so I could get sleep. Or her grandma could take her for a few hours so I could get lunch with a friend. I know that breastfeeding is the most magical thing for some people and that is so great for them. But giving our daughter formula was magical for us, we were all happier for it. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a hard thing to do. My daughter is 5 and I still get people giving me judging eyes when I tell them she was virtually never breastfed. So thank you! I’m so glad you and C&H are much happier for it and you found something that works for your family. And that’s really all that matters.

  65. Thank you so much for your honesty! I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and also a first time momma to my 7 week old baby boy. The pressure to breastfeed is REAL and it’s such hard work. I can totally relate to the struggle of knowing your baby is going to need to eat again in another 3 hours, so trying to rush to get done what you need to get done before he starts fussing to eat again. It’s such a time commitment. And you really can’t just wear whatever you want, breastfeeding friendly clothes are so necessary. I tell my new moms this constantly, breastfeeding is not for everyone and your sanity is so important as well. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of your baby and ultimately FED is best! 🙂

  66. You are so sweet to share something to that is so personal. I don’t have a large platform but I felt obligated to share my breastfeeding journey, in hopes that it would help more mamas out there. I breasted until my son was 9 months. I genuinely enjoyed it until month 7. It came easy to me and I had an oversupply which allowed me to stock up in case I wanted to stop at some point. But at month 7, I grew to hate it. I wasn’t enjoying the bonding time anymore. I dreaded it being time to take my son up to the nursery to further isolate myself from everyone and everything. My son was not enjoying it either. The whole thing just became a disaster. I struggled for the next 2 months. I thought, how horrible of a mom I am to hate this time. While other moms wish they could breastfeed, here I am complaining because it’s become so difficult even though I have the supply. I’m also a stay at home mom, I work a little at home for a fashion designer who I love but doesn’t pay me enough to afford daycare. So I felt the pressure of “this is my job, why can’t I do it?”. We all have our journeys and they all look so different. Thank you for sharing yours. It’s going to help someone, I 100% guarantee it.

  67. Wow, wow, wow. I’m 6 weeks postpartum and although baby didn’t have colic, this has almost been my exact experience. Thank you for sharing…seriously. Glad you made a decision for what’s best for you guys. When I finally *started* to let go and supplement, everything changed. What a trip motherhood is.

  68. Honestly it felt like you told my breastfeeding story in your words. Breastfeeding is HARD. I felt so guilty when other people compared and said I should exclusively bf for atleast 6 months, but at the end of the day a Fed baby is a happy baby regardless of how you prefer to feed. Enjoy your motherhood journey and keep sharing your honest posts with us. Love your blog and IG page❤️

  69. Thank you for sharing! It’s so personal but this will help readers that maybe don’t have anyone to talk to not feel so alone. Some people may wonder because they’re going through it too and want advice, or I guess some people just can’t help themselves! I also had a really rough experience (tried everything too including triple pumping for weeks, which literally left NO time for anything else) and I ended up supplementing for about 4 months. I now wish I would have stopped earlier and just been happy. It is so strange to feel that your body is failing you, that’s how I felt at least. Like I’d tried to do everything ‘right’ and my body just couldn’t do it. Now I’m thinking about a second baby and honestly just dreading breastfeeding!

  70. You are wonderful to share something so personal. I made the same decision after going through a similar experience. I think many struggle with this and don’t take care of themselves because of mom guilt or fear of judgement. I had 8 weeks paid maternity & I still struggled. I watch friends breeze through the experience without issues. I took it super hard. After, I realized this needed to be something we discuss more so more women feel empowered to make the decision that is best for both mom & baby. Thank you for letting others know it’s more important to be happy.

  71. Thank you for sharing (though you shouldn’t have ever had to feel like you needed to because your body, your business). I had such a similar experience – I hated breast feeding. I didn’t have supply problems, we didn’t have latch problems, I just hated it. I dreaded my baby waking up and it being time to feed – it hurt, the logistics were hard for me to wrap my head around especially since I planned on returning to work, and I was terrified of clogged ducts and mastitis. At one of his early appointments, while timidly telling his pediatrician that I was thinking about switching to formula, she looked at me and simply said “You stop when you want to stop.” I’ll never forget her saying that to me and feeling such a weight lifted in that moment. I quit that day and never looked back – and my now two-year-old is happy and healthy and SO AM I. You’re doing a great job – keep doing what you think is right for you and your family and never look back!

    1. I LOVE THIS. Thank you for sharing Brittni! And what an amazing doctor. Isn’t it incredible when your doctor is supportive of your happiness and mental health? It’s pretty special and I am so glad she said that to you!

  72. Good for you. For all of it! But especially for recognizing that you have to take care of you! I went through a similar situation after moving cross country with my first at 2mos. Now with my second babe we made it longer breastfeeding and while those emotions are still there, I felt more confident when it worked better to supplement and then wean. Congrats on it all!

  73. Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I’m most fearful of breastfeeding. I want to try it and see how it goes but I want to know it’s ok if it doesn’t work out. I feel like you that I want to put the baby first but sometimes I do think that if we’re happy our babies will be happier too. I was really looking forward to reading your blog regarding breastfeeding and it did not disappoint, it gave me all the reassurance I need to make the best decisions for me and my baby. I’ve discussed it with my husband and he is supportive of whatever I decide which is also a nice feeling to have. Thank you again for sharing with everyone what you went through it has definitely helped me.

  74. Thank you for sharing this post! I am struggling with a tongue tied 2 week old, trying to breastfeed, pump and bottle feed to make sure he gets enough food at every feeding. It’s exhausting and with my husband back to work, I don’t know how long I can maintain the 60+ minute routine every 2-3 hours when he’s hungry. As moms we want what’s best for our babies and we only hear of the breastfeeding success stories, but it doesn’t work for everyone. There shouldn’t be any shame in that. So glad you’re feeling better and you have a happy baby!! <3

  75. I feel like this could be my story verbatim (except I wasn’t working In addition). I was nervous about breastfeeding even before my baby was born but I still wanted to try. William (my son) latched well after a few days but I had a sense of dread every time it was time to feed him. I was isolated in my room, still adjusting to this PP body, and knew he wasn’t getting enough each feeding because my supply was low. We had to supplement with formula right away because he was also a jaundice baby and would quickly fall asleep every time I tried to nurse him. The hospital staff said they would have to admit him again if his levels didn’t approve. This means we would have been at the hospital on Christmas. And the only way to improve his levels is to get enough food in him. So i would nurse for 20 minutes, give him a bottle of formula, and then pump for another 20 minutes. Needless to say I couldn’t keep this up. While I miss the special moments of nursing my son, we are all happier as a family now. And I can focus my attention on his development and playtime

    Breastfeeding is such a personal journey but so is motherhood. And I think we should support each other instead of criticizing our personal choices. You are doing a wonderful job Mama!

  76. I had a little PTSD reading this. Breastfeeding my first was a complete nightmare from day one. He was also colicky, weighed only 5lbs and birth, and I supplemented with formula on top of nursing and pumping because I was terrified he wasn’t getting enough, as He. Was. Always. Crying. Good for you for taking care of yourself and being able to recognize that a happier, healthier you equals a happier baby. I will say breastfeeding my second was a totally different and much better experience. So you never know. If you decide you want to try again, it might be the same for you. Also, my kids are now 7 and 8.5 and I realize it matters zilch how I fed them in those early months lol. You are doing great!

  77. I read every word. You are the best mom for trying and the best mom for knowing when to throw in the towel <3

  78. My mom was basically a flower child… cloth diapers and breastfeeding until 2 (or whenever). My youngest brother was four when I had my first baby and I thought I would just do what my mom did. Except… there was little to no information available. I had to return to work after six weeks. Breast pumps were not available like today and I felt like I had a babe on my boob 24/7. Formula just made more sense and then (1986) formula was the more common choice. When my daughters in law were pregnant (due 3 months apart) I really researched and educated myself on breastfeeding to be more supportive to them. Both breastfed exclusively beyond the first year. The bottom line is that fed is best. Happy baby, happy mommy is what matters. I’m glad you shared your story.

  79. I went through the same thing with my daughter – 20 years ago! I only lasted three weeks!
    My toes would literally curl when she would start fussing and I knew I had to feed her! I hated it – I would cry…and one day my husband said to me “this is supposed to be a special bonding time for you and her…and it’s not…so, stop! Let’s give her a bottle and be done” – i felt guilt….for a minute – but overall – best decision we ever made! Every single mother has to do what’s right for her and their should be ZERO judgement!

  80. Thank you for your thoughtful post and transparency on a sensitive topic. I, too, had great difficulty in trying to breastfeed my first born, and it negatively affected our relationship to the point where I dreaded feeding her—much like you. You’re doing a wonderful job in caring for your family, your baby and yourself; and I applaud you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  81. I loved breastfeeding but I hated pumping. I had an ok supply, not great but ok. We supplemented with formula from the beginning. Kiddo had jaundice and needed to eat and my milk wasn’t in and I just wanted him to be fed and healthy. My husband would feed him a bottle and I would pump for his midnight feed. That worked well for us for 3 months. I went back to work at 3 months and while my hospital is breastfeeding friendly and my coworkers were supportive. It was still hard to find the time to leave the floor for 20ish minutes 3-4x a shift. It was hard for me to relax, I kept thinking about what I needed to do next and what my patients might need. The sound of the pump felt like a taunt mocking me. I was working nights and would come home exhausted, try to feed him or pump, shower and set an alarm to wake up around noon to pump again, wash parts, catch a few more zzz before getting up pumping and going back to work. I felt like I was working and pumping and that was it. And because I hated pumping so much I felt like I wasn’t enjoying my son as much. At 5 months my husband had a very serious mountain biking accident and was hospitalized. The stress of that and trying to figure out logistics, taking care of a baby, and breastfeeding killed my supply. It went away virtually overnight. I was so sad to not make it to 6 months and I missed the closeness and quiet breastfeeding gave me. I did not miss pumping! I nearly took my pump outside and bashed it with a hammer.

    I think for me…my ideal scenario would have been 6 months of paid leave just for breastfeeding purposes. Then start solids and supplement with formula. I just hate pumping that much. I hope that when we have a second that if ideal scenario doesn’t work out and I’m miserable pumping/breastfeeding that I extend more grace to myself and tap out before becoming resentful. The stress is not worth it especially when you have formula available.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I hope no one left you any hateful comments. We are all doing our best and we need to stick up for each other! Hudson is perfect! He looks just like your husband 🙂 my kiddo looks like a copy paste version of my husband… Trips me out! Gonna go snuggle my 10 month old wild man right now. Enjoy mama, you’re doing great!

  82. Hi Kathleen,
    I never intended to leave a comment, but was so inspired by your story, I just had to! I am the proud mama of 2 “baby” boys ages 17 and 15–dang girl, it goes by quick! I hated breastfeeding and was literally miserable with my first, but I wanted to SO BADLY. There was so much judgement and the milk Nazis made it so difficult to finally quit, but I had no milk and was starving my child. I made it 6 weeks. I vowed to try again with a new attitude when my second came along, and then got mastitis right away-I made it about 6 days. Both of my teens are lovely, healthy and well adjusted young men! I adore them!! I know making the choice to stop was best for them and ME because I was literally sobbing each time I tried to breast feed. So, I’m so proud of you for being so confident to share your story. It is personal,and you certainly didn’t need to, but I know someone will benefit by you putting yourself out there. So, just wanted to send a high-five your way.

    I love all things CBL and while I am certainly just a few years older : ), I feel your blog is so relevant and wonderful. You are a class act KB! Keep being confident, beautiful, honest, hilarious, YOU. We love ya!

    Best,
    Susan

  83. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Adjusting to life with a 10 week old and living in the mantra of “there’s no better mamma for your baby than you.” We all have to do what works best for us, which is a different path for everyone and it’s incredibly comforting to read about other moms’ experiences even if so different from your own.

  84. PREACH. I’ve met so many women who had wonderful breastfeeding experiences. Mine was similar to yours, and that made me feel like an outsider, like I had done something wrong. I loathed breastfeeding so much. I felt like it kept me from bonding with my baby. I am confident my negative breastfeeding experience was a top contributor to my post-partum depression. Thank you for sharing your experience in this honest and vulnerable way, even though you had every right and reason not to.

    The best advice I was ever given about breastfeeding: It’s OKAY to quit. For your happines. Your mental health. Your baby’s need for more food (I had a similar low supply battle). For any reason. It’s your choice, and yours only.

  85. I really appreciate you’re honesty in this post and completely agree, you can’t take care of anyone else if you aren’t able to first take care or yourself! Fed is best! I am so interested in reading your future post about colic, as I currently have a 6 week old who inconsolably cries all day and it is beyond exhausting. So many of the bloggers I follow constantly post videos/pictures of their sweet quiet babies calmly chilling/sleeping anywhere anytime, and it makes so feel so envious and alone. I feel like I am not able to leave my apartment or take him anywhere, which is so isolating, I and can not wait for this stage to end!

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for being genuine and honest, it’s so refreshing!

  86. I have had such a similar experience as you! I had my first child, a baby girl one week before you, and have been following your pregnancy and baby journey because we are literally on the same schedule. I exclusively breastfed from day 1 and that weekend at home I felt like a zombie, topless 24/7 with her latched and up all night feeding her and she was never satisfied. by her first doctor appointment after we went home she had dropped weight and they were having us follow up in 3 days and said if she literally lost a few more ounces she’d need to be hospitalized because of dehydration. I was so devastated and kept thinking what a horrible mom I am. Here I am an RN and know all the signs and symptoms of all of this, but was in such a fog and thought her incessant crying and shaking her head back and forth etc were all normal, and it wasn’t! She wasn’t getting enough and having to supplement so soon made me feel like a failure. I had gone to the lactation classes prior, met with the consultant, had RN friends on peds and L&D and all my resources and yet still couldn’t keep up. And of course being a nurse I always have heard “fed is best” and my mom breast fed me and my sister.
    But the crazy part is I didn’t even feel relief when I gave her the formula because it made me feel like a bad mom that she was content and relieved and slept and happy, because why could the formula do that for her and not me? I tried the fenugreek pills and milky mama drops and oatmeal and power pumping and loads of water and meeting with a lactation consultant and just crying because she stopped latching because she wasn’t getting anything, and was only preferring the bottle. And she said the same thing to me “it’s ok to stop trying.” She was so supportive and helped me get out of the fog. Now I pump 4-5 times a day and bottle feed her that and formula, so she is getting half and half and that at least helps me some mentally. Mom guilt is so real. One of my good friends breast fed and pumped both children and never had an issue and you can’t help but play the comparison game. My husband can feed her at night so we get sleep, I pump at work.
    And your questioning true maternity leave at home for 12 weeks if that would’ve made a difference- I had that 12 weeks at home and tried all the stuff to make me produce more milk, trying to latch daily etc and I’m here to tell you that even having all that time off it didn’t made a difference for me unfortunately.

    I just wanted you to know that your honesty has helped me so much. I’m still trying daily to get over the regrets and what if’s of it, but I do definitely feel more free now knowing others can feed her and I can leave the house with her and some formula.

  87. A FED BABY IS A HAPPY BABY! (And happy mama too) I breastfed all 3 of mine until about 9 months, but there were plenty of times that I wanted to give up, and that would’ve been ok! Fortunately for me, I didn’t have the same struggles that you or many other moms have, but there were moments (especially in the very beginning) that I was over it. You do you and be proud of it! Even 2 months is an accomplishment.

  88. Before I had a kid, I thought “why WOULDN’T someone breastfeed?” Oh. Em. Gee. I was so naive. I have personally had a really good experience with breastfeeding. The beginning was rough, but I honestly enjoyed it even from that rough beginning. BUT. There is NO WAY to understand the time commitment, personal commitment, and HUGE undertaking it is. There’s really no way to overstate it, and there’s no way to understand it until you’ve done it. Not even your partner can truly understand. As my friends have had babies, I’ve wanted to be their biggest cheerleader, encouraging them in HOWEVER they choose to feed their baby. If they want to breastfeed, I want to give them all the tips and bring them lactation cookies and help them understand a good latch and tell them about the haakaa and teach them how to use a pump. But the moment they say “this is too much and i hate it and it’s not working,” I want to bring them a huge can of formula with a bow on it. Having a newborn is hard, and the pressure around breastfeeding is insane. Everyone has to do what works for them!

    Good for you, Kathleen, for listening to your doctor and yourself and doing what is best for your family. And congrats on that beautiful baby 🙂

  89. Kathleen,
    Thank you for sharing your story with such candor and bravery. I can’t even imagine how scary it must be to share so much of your personal life on the internet with thousands of strangers. I’m an IBCLC (fancy letters that means I’m a lactation consultant) and my job is to help women breastfeed their babies. Sometimes, for a plethora of reasons, it just doesn’t work out and that is 100% okay! The most important thing is that Hudson is being nourished and fed. You can’t take care of your baby well if you’re constantly feeling anxious and tapped out. I’m so glad that you have people in your circle who understand that you have to make choices based on what’s best for Hudson AND for yourself!

  90. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story. I had a great experience nursing my first and we went on to nurse for 16 months (longer than the year I intended), so I thought I’d have the same experience with my second. This was NOT the case. He ended up being in the NICU for a week for some breathing related issues, had horrible reflux, colic and a tongue tie. Paired with a forceful letdown- it was him who didn’t like nursing. His weight started to suffer and I went to numerous lactation visits, pumped to keep up my supply and when my pediatrician suggested I switch to exclusive pumping to measure his intake, I spiraled into full blown postpartum anxiety. I literally had insomnia for over a month.

    Fast forward and we switched to formula and he is now the most chill baby and I’ve absolutely savored each moment since. He will be one year old next month and looking back I whole heartedly agree that “happy mama=happy baby!”

  91. I hated it too. Had the exact same feelings and low supply issues – a constant insecure feeling that I wasn’t feeding my baby enough and it was just exhausting. I made it to the 3 months and when I decided to stop (my mom told me to!!!) it was the best day EVER. I felt like the clouds parted and I was so much happier. Life got better is instantly, baby was happier, everything just improved so much. I think you are so brave for sharing this story , I mean it’s sad to say that, but there are so many mommy bullies and I Always thought it was weird that complete strangers would ask me if I was breastfeeding . Like Um it’s none of your business thank you.
    Anyway, cheers to you feeling like you again and being happy and getting to ENJOY your baby. I just know this feeling all too well. xoxo

  92. You cannot know how impactful it is to hear you are not alone in this motherhood journey. Thank you for sharing your story, because you certainly did not have to.

  93. Kathleen you are a badass. I am not a mom, but I thank you for your candor it’s awful to see how much pressure and judgement is placed on moms. I’m sure this will give other women the strength to reevaluate what works for them and talk to their doctors.

    https://kerielaine.com
    Keri Elaine

  94. I think you’re amazing! And I so appreciate you sharing your story!! Every mother’s path is different and at the end of the day FED is BEST!! As long as mommy and baby are happy, nothing else matters!

  95. I breastfed 6 days! I sobbed with guilt because we are told our entire life basically it’s what is best. I instantly became a better mom once I stopped trying to live up to everyone’s expectations over my own body and my own baby. Day 7 of being a new mom was met with so much more joy and confidence!

  96. I think it’s very brave of you to share this, and I truly believe it will help other moms who are struggling. My son is a couple weeks older than Hudson and I am still breastfeeding him. Most days, it’s going well and I enjoy it, but I can definitely relate to your feelings of dread/feeling tied to the house (especially in the early days when they are nursing every 2-3 hours around the clock). Breastfeeding is HARD (even when it’s going well it can be super challenging and exhausting!) and not enough people admit/talk about that. It’s so important to take care of yourself – happy mom, happy baby! You gave your son 8 weeks of breastmilk and that’s fantastic and something to be proud of. And now you’re giving him a happy, more relaxed mama which is also something to be proud of! Props and love for sharing this despite your hesitations. You’re helping normalize and validate other moms’ experience and showing people that everyone has a different journey, with its own nuances, challenges and wins! You’re doing great, mama!

  97. Thank you for sharing! I’m also a new first time mom and am navigating breast feeding. I completely relate to your not wanting to leave the house bc of feeding in public. I’ve yet to feed in public myself! I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do that! Everything I do is in 2-3 hour stretches bc I know I have to get back home to feed baby! I didn’t have much of a problem for the first 6 weeks but now baby is doing exactly what you said, shaking his head with frustration when he feeds. Maybe my supply is dwindling. After reading this I plan to call my LC for an appointment – I’m a huge fan of your blog. I look forward to your hilarious insta stories every day. Honestly when you started posting soon after Hudson’s birth I thought to myself, what a warrior – keeping your commitments and continuing to share the day to day. That’s a lot to take on with a new baby! You didn’t seem unhappy at all (not that my opinion matters) but it’s nice to know there are other moms out there navigating the same uncharted territory that I am! Love and good vibes to you as you continue to kick ass as a new mama! Xoxo

  98. Wow. I could’ve written this word for word. So much of this is my story too. My now four month old had horrible reflux and a very immature digestive system. She was born in the 75th percentile and was down to the 18th by 8 weeks. She couldn’t find a position that she liked to feed in without her reflux bothering her so we had to supplement with special formula so she’d gain weight. When I’d try to get her to latch she’d turn away and scream. The only way I could get her to is completely topless in a dark room while bouncing on a nursing ball. It just wasn’t sustainable so I went to exclusively pumping by 10 weeks when I went back to work. When i was with her I tired pumping while I bottlefed her, but she required so much attention to make sure she wouldn’t vomit anything back up that I had to stop. And then it went to feeding her followed by pumping but it took too much time, and my supply really took a hit. All of my friends with kids said breastfeeding was the hardest thing they ever did but stuck with it for 6 months or a year or however long. It takes so little to feel like you’re a bad mom, and I truly felt like I was for not being able to give her breastmilk longer. It was important to me she get my antibodies during flu season. I wanted to protect her in that way. At 15 weeks, which was just last week, I gave it up entirely. I still cry thinking and talking about it. We spent a lot of money on different pumps and bras and supplements, but was there something else I could’ve done to make it work? When I give her the frozen breastmilk my heart breaks because she clearly loves it so much more than the formula. I so wish it would’ve worked 🙁

  99. I’m crying Thank you so much for sharing. My baby is 13 weeks old so I feel like I’ve been on this journey with you and your honesty means more than you know.

  100. Thank you for being so transparent and real! It is such a struggle. I’m currently breast feeding and it is incredibly hard and draining. I’m exclusively pumping because my baby is half shark I’m pretty sure. I’m going to continue doing it because I’ve been blessed to stay home six months with my daughter so considering my circumstances I feel it’s easier for me to breast feed and dedicate my time to it. One recommendation I have for anybody else who is about ready to throw in the towel and doesn’t want to quite yet is to look into the Elvie. It has saved my sanity. I can pump while I do the dishes or my makeup and I’m not constantly tied down. I can also pump in the car when we are out of the house for long periods of time.

    Again thank you for being so transparent. I agree breast feeding sucks lol and that should be allowed to state and not feel guilty and nobody should judge another person by how they feed their baby. People are weirdos!

  101. Wow! First of all, THANK YOU for sharing your story, rationale and reflections about breastfeeding— and how incredibly hard and debilitating it can be for every mother!— despite your personal belief that it is an incredibly personal experience, which it totally is, and I can understand how you hesitate with sharing it bc it can easily be judged by others, less empathetic… I just wanted to say it’s a very courageous thing to share your story anyways, especially with the influential platform that you have, because it really does help other women like myself who struggle with being a new mom and the guilt of feeling to have to exclusively breastfeed. Hearing your story and struggles and insight help make me feel understood and connected. I also never realized how invasive asking another woman about their breastfeeding experience could be, so thank you for also giving me the perspective to be more tactful in the future God bless you and your child and family, you are my FAVORITE blogger and I love following your fabulous content and amazing journey into motherhood

  102. THANK YOU for sharing!! I felt the EXACT same way (except I’m a SAHM and it wasn’t painful for me so I thought this should be my “job”). But I was miserable. I snapped at my husband a lot (what a saint he is). Never left the house, dreaded every day because breast feeding was making me a hermit .. and also making me very anxious. When baby girl was 4 weeks old my husband said “I never had an ounce of breast milk and I think I turned out ok”. I snapped at him and told him I had to keep breastfeeding. But when my mom called that night and me , baby (and probably my husband too) we’re all crying she said go buy formula right now. We did. Baby had never slept more then 3 hour stretches and that night we got 6 hours! And by 7 weeks old we were up to 10 hour stretches and shortly after 12 hours. I was a new woman and could finally enjoy my baby, enjoy my husband again (and have more time for us) and not mind feedings. All 3 of us are so much happier. I’ll try again with baby #2 but at the first sign of me struggling we will stop. Baby is 5 months now – happy , healthy and 96% for weight. Thank you again for sharing , made me feel much better that I’m not alone!! And good job Mama…as cliche as it is fed really is best 🙂

  103. Omg I am here for that. I was so miserable and I think my only guilt from stopping was from the fear of what others would think. Baby was so much more happier and less acne on her poor face. I swore my breast milk only had hormones for that poor kid. So happy you went for it!

  104. I’ve been looking forward to this post and as always you keep it real! I am so not a fashionista (total jeans and t-shirt girl) but I just love that you keep it real and you crack me up. Although I’m a longtime reader I think I enjoy the blog more now with some mom content because that I can completely relate to. I too had major struggles breast feeding my first and the tears and stress really does a number on you, your hubs and your baby. My husband pushed me to stop after a certain point because we were all struggling. It took awhile but I finally did, and like your situation we were all sooo much happier. When I was pregnant with my second I was dreading going through that again and swore up and down if it didn’t work right away I just wasn’t going to do it. Wouldn’t you know number #2 was a pro from day one. We were so shocked, but it was a completely different experience. (I hesitate to say wonderful experience, bc it still is a pain in the butt at times). 🙂 I haven’t read the comment but I really hope you are getting only positive ones, anyone judging or being negative is not worth your time.. You are killing the mom game and the blogger game! <3

  105. Thank you for sharing. I hated breastfeeding too!! My 1st born had severe reflux and a milk allergy so it made it 100x more miserable !! I dreaded it too. I related so much to your experience. I realized that breastfeeding is important and if you can do it great! But what is best is fed. And formula is not made like it was in the past. It’s healthy and without it so many humans wouldn’t be here. I’m so glad you found a system that works for you and your little boy! With my second child I didn’t even attempt to breastfeed and our newborn phase with her went so much smoother! I wish you continued happiness with your little guy!!

  106. I felt this exact same way. I was miserable!!! You are made to feel so much guilt and it’s not right. I made it two months with my first supplementing with formula and with my second I just pumped for 6 weeks….and in the hospital the nurses were trying to pressure me into not doing formula right away, but I had to push. My babies are 5 and 7 and healthy. You cannot tell who was breastfed and who wasn’t. It’s more important that they are loved. Kudos to you for writing this. I’m sure you’ll get some flack but we need to stop doing that as women. Support other women!

  107. thanks for sharing!! new mom-to-be and am already nervous about breastfeeding, especially after learning they need milk or formula until one year old – seems impossible!

  108. I was probably one of those annoying people asking. But it’s because I’m TTC and honestly, I have no idea what will happen in the breastfeeding department and it always helps to know what others have experience so that I can know what a realistic scenario might be for me, without having to deal with internal or societal pressure to do something that might cost me my sanity. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  109. All I can say is OMG, I am glad you decided to share, because I am going through the exact same thing. Although my supply is still going, it’s starting to dwindle and have had to turn to supplement a few oz a day. My mom had given us a night away with my husband and had watched our 4 month old and it was sooo liberating to be away and not have the mom guilt about it; it needed to be done. I have spent many days in tears and in lactation consultant offices trying to sort this out. One day, after many moments of prayer, I had a sense of clarity and decided that this was the best for our family and sanity. I think it was hardest knowing my husband really wanted him to be ebf, but he started to come around. It feels so good knowing that we are not alone. I think many of your followers may be so curious in your feeding journey because you make it look so easy, as many insta bloggers do, so thank you for being so open on this!

  110. Felt the exact same way, 100 percent. Kudos to you for tacking this topic. I was soooo much happier when I quit and ya know what….baby girl is now almost 10 and is thriving! Glad you are happy!!! Fed is best! ❤️

  111. Kathleen, thank you so much for sharing your breastfeeding journey! I was reading your post with tears in my eyes, nodding my head in agreement. I had the exact same experience with breastfeeding. It took us five years to have our son, and I wanted to try and enjoy every second of our little miracle. However, I was absolutely miserable while breastfeeding. I had no idea the physical and emotional toll it takes in your body. I stopped at three months and it was the best decision for our family! My husband is also a physician, so I also understand that aspect as well. Now, we joke that having our son was the best day of our lives and a close second was the day I stopped breastfeeding. LOL! Thanks again for your vulnerability and honesty! Loved this post and all of your content!

  112. Hi, I’ve never posted a comment on a blog before so this is new to me. But I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. I’m a mother of three. My first child, a boy, was what would be termed a “barracuda” feeder. Right from the beginning, he ate well and always seemed hungry. I had a natural delivery so only was in the hospital for a day before I went home. Even in that one day, he was feeding non-stop. He would clamp so hard and suck so voraciously that I had bloody nipples by the first night I got home. I dreaded every feeding as it would hurt incredibly when he clamped and each suck would hurt. In between feedings, I was slathering lanolin to try to heal my bleeding nipples. I was completely miserable. I tried to pump so that I can bottle feed instead of breastfeed but that led to more work between the pumping and cleaning. I barely got an hour of straight sleep at any time and no more than five hours or so each day. I hung in there as best as I could. By the first month, he was exclusively bottle-fed and I was pumping every 3-4 hours to keep up with his appetite, still completely miserable.

    Then, during his three-month checkup, he was crying more and the doctor gave him one of those ready-to-go 4oz formula bottles. He guzzled that down and passed out contentedly. We went home and he was still sleeping. I passed out for a nap. Four hours later, I sprung out of bed in a panic certain that he had died from SIDS or some other crazy thing. But he was fine and just waking up happily from his nap. From that point on, I mixed in formula bottles with bottles of breastmilk. I kept pumping but didn’t kill myself on maintaining a steady schedule. At six months, I went back to work and it was even harder to keep on a pumping schedule (especially as we didn’t even have a pumping room) and my supply quickly dwindled. I had enough in the freezer to keep him on partial breastmilk until he was about 9-10 months old. By that time, he was very happily eating solids.

    The decision to let myself be free of the guilt of not breastfeeding made both him and I happier. It was an incredibly hard decision as he was my first child and I wanted to give him the best I could. But that decision allowed me to give him my love unconditionally without the painful shadow of breastfeeding hanging over us.

    I decided to try breastfeeding again with my second child, a girl. She had a tougher time latching on but it wasn’t painful. We later found out that she was tongue-tied. Because she couldn’t suck as well, she had to eat more often. But I was content as I learned to feed her while napping. There were whole days where she and I didn’t get out of bed other than to change diapers.

    My third one, a boy again, was the easiest one yet. He latched on easily, didn’t suck painfully, and he ate every four hours for the first three months. I could set the clock, feed him before he’s cranky, change him, and be back asleep in 20 minutes.

    Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to say that you don’t need to feel like you have failed. You’re being the best mother you can be. No one can judge you as they’re not walking on your path. Enjoy motherhood, it’s really an incredible experience.

  113. Breast feeding did not work for my first child but worked great for second. Neither child was more healthy, had lesser colds or ear infections than the other!!! Do what woks best for BOTH of you!! I had to supplement second child at 2 weeks because I did not have enough milk late in the day so giving formula worked out great if I needed to be away. More Moms need to hear that not breast feeding is OK, too much pressure is placed especially on first time Moms!!!

  114. I hated breastfeeding too! HATED it! It hurt, I was exhausted, I resented it and everyone had an opinion about it. My doctor guided me to make the same choice and it changed everything. I also really like that you reminder about some things being private. Sometimes it seems, from the comments and questions that people forget they don’t actually personally know you and don’t have a right to ask such personal questions. Or maybe hide behind the anonymity of the computer and ask questions they would never ask to a person standing in front of them. You and your family are so beautiful! You’re doing a great job!!!

  115. Uhh.. you hit a home run with this post! I couldn’t relate to someone more about this experience. I ended up nursing exclusively for 6 months and then nursing and supplementing for the next 2 months. I kept at it because I thought that what was best at the time. I look back now and realize how much I was only hurting myself, my relationship with my husband, and My baby wasn’t chunky! Hahaha I had so much resentment toward my snoring husband.. for 8 months!! That’s not healthy. Still trying to mend and get back to the healthy couple we used to be. I digress, I appreciate your post and thank you for your honesty on such a personal experience. You’ve helped more people than you know through this post. Thank you!

  116. I have been looking forward to reading this post since the day you announced you were writing it. Thank you so much for being so honest and so real! I felt the exact same way about everything. It was almost as though I wrote this post myself. Sometimes taking a step back and realizing that in order to best take care of others we must take care of ourselves is a hard thing to do, especially as a new mother. Thank you for being so brave for sharing your daily life with us, and for having the courage to talk about topics such as breastfeeding. Motherhood is definitely a journey of its own, and to have brave women like yourself creating a path that encourages discussion about some of the difficulties makes it a little easier on those of us who may be struggling with the same issues at home. You’re the best!

  117. Thank you for sharing your story, I went through the same experience a few months before you and did not hear enough stories of women who struggled with breastfeeding. I only knew of people who had positive experiences. No one even hinted to me that breastfeeding may be my pain point! I have shared my story with anyone that will listen, but my audience is not as wide as yours and I think it’s important to tell. I appreciate you so much for getting this out in the public – it will help someone. Thank you

  118. I am sorry that you had to share this with all of us strangers but boy do I appreciate you for being so vulnerable & honest! I am a nurse & my husband is a physician so I completely get the feeling of “needing” to do it. We were never really successful with nursing due to many reasons, so I exclusively pump. Which takes pretty much all aspects of the “bonding experience” away. I’ve also had to cut out all dairy & soy from my diet (and I honestly can’t tell much of a difference).. Who knew wine has dairy?! Breastfeeding has been my least favorite part of this whole journey that is supposed to be so wonderful. My husband actually regularly begs me to just stop. But I’m stubborn, and I have a goal in my head. My son was premature so I know it’s even more important for him. I take it literally one week at a time, and I’m counting down the days until I can stop and not feel (as) guilty. You are a great mama & are doing what is the very best for Hudson, yourself, AND your marriage! Thank you again for sharing ❤️

  119. I breastfed my three babies for over 8 months each. But I can sure relate to the guilt shaming and new mom judging that you and others feel, because I got similar pressure judgies thrown at me. I had c-sections with every one of my 3 extensively-breastfed babies. For me: births=difficult, yet breastfeeding=easy as can be. Mothers and babies are all unique!
    Don’t even get me started on the “Your birthstory was a failure” police that I dealt with after my babies. “Is your baby even bonded to you because of the c section?” “Do you feel like less of a woman because you couldn’t achieve a NORMAL birth?” Ughhhhhhhh!

  120. Thank you so much for being brave and sharing your situation. My baby girl is six months and I had always planned to exclusively breastfeed from the beginning. Well that went out the window on her very first day of life because she had jaundice and the doctors told me that I would need to supplement to help her get better. When we got home I tried to breastfeed, but I honestly hated the entire experience. It made me feel miserable. I have trauma associated with my breasts, and breastfeeding was a trigger for me. I tried to push through, because I felt that “breast was best.” After all, physically my body was capable of producing enough milk. So many people have supply issues. I felt guilty not following through. However, my mental health quickly began to deteriorate. I started to feel bitter towards my spouse and I began to dread being around my baby. I knew then that I had to stop. It has been the best decision I could have made. My baby is happier, and I have been able to bond with her much better than before. I am so grateful that I chose to honor my feelings and listen to my instinct. I hope that others know that stopping is always an option, and our babies will still be happy and healthy.

  121. AMEN! I could have written this post myself. Exact same feelings and issues but I only made it 3 weeks! I spent years trying to get pregnant so I wasn’t going to ruin the experience by being miserable! Even though I knew I did the right thing I felt this guilt/shame for the next couple years when friends talked about breast feeding. Fast forward to today. I have a very healthy, happy, amazing 11 year old. Hands down the most bonded mom-kid in our group of friends (says everyone!) No guilt or shame because you realize there are so many decisions along the way that we need to make for our kids. And other peoples opinions are none of my business (per Rachel Hollis:)

  122. I’m not sure I’ve ever commented before, but I felt such a need to comment and praise you and this post. I hope you receive nothing but positive feedback, but at the least, I hope the positivity drowns our the negativity. I wanted to make sure to add to the positivity. Your vulnerability and honestly is so inspiring! How comforting to have a doctor who is so focused on your wellbeing, and how important it was for you to listen to your body and mind to know what was best for you and your family. All the best to you! XO

  123. Girl give yourself a around of applause. You made of it the hardest but best decisions you could have made for your baby and more importantly YOU. I tried breastfeeding with my first daughter. It was awful! Besides the excruciating pain, she was terrible at latching on, and my supply did not meet the demands of her hungriness. My second daughter was a little easier. She latched in immediately. Quite frankly it scared the HECK out of me! I thought to myself what are you a piranha. My milk supply still didn’t meet her needs and quite frankly it just freaking hurt! Regardless of what I did to help soothe the situation! Breastfeeding wasn’t for me! I didn’t like it. It felt funny. I was over it! So cheers to you girl!!! Do what’s best for mom bc that’s always best for baby! No shade to the women that love it and are great at it! That was just not my journey!! But i will never tell anyone to not at least try first.

  124. Hi Kathleen, I appreciate and admire your courage for putting it all out there with your breastfeeding journey. My baby girl arrived one week after Hudson. There were so many synergies between both of our breastfeeding experiences. My supply was delayed as well for some unknown reason. My baby got jaundice which made the medical staff want me to feed her more and supplement soon after birth. No one talks about supplementing and it sure wasn’t talked about in breastfeeding class. There were no what if’s discussed like 1) what if your supply is delayed or not enough 2) what if your nipples hurt so bad and you cry with every feed 3) what if your baby gets used to nipple shields and won’t take your nipple 4) what if your baby gets nipple confusion between the nipple, shields, and supplementing bottle. There was so much I had not even anticipated or could even plan for. The lactation center became my second home. We tried so many different ways to make my baby more active at the breast while also continuing to supplement which made feel like something was wrong with me or that I had failed to give my baby the best source of nutrition. There were many sleepless nights where I’d nurse and have Instagram stories on that I would just mindlessly cycle through in the dark. I paid special attention to your stories since we were so close together in our postpartum. I desperately looked to see if you had a similar experience but you looked so perfectly settled into parenthood. This vulnerability is pretty terrifying to share. I appreciate you opening up about it. While I couldn’t have comfort at the time knowing you were right there with me, it does open up a lot of issues with the negative stigmatism around supplementing. Even the way breastfeeding classes are taught (in my opinion) don’t go deep enough to prepare us (and I’m sure soooo many more women like us) for what to expect. Maybe it would have been too much for us to handle prenatally, but honestly I would have wanted to see comfort in knowing that what you and I experienced is a normal thing and that is OK! Anyways, glad we made it through and are finally able to enjoy this amazing experience and we both have our beautiful, HEALTHY babies in our arms. A hard lesson learned is that a fed baby is a happy baby, regardless of which way you feed it.

  125. This was so well written! I am a mom of 2 boys and a pediatrician. I had the exact same struggles with my first. It took 2 months for things to get better and i would have definitely quit if it hadn’t been for my husband. Breastfeeding is HARD and DOES NOT come naturally to most women or babies. It HURTS like crazy. Too. Taking care of your baby means feeding them any safe way you can we are so lucky to have access to formula in the US. There is no need for women to struggle or be miserable. I actually took off 4 months with my 1st. It was too much. I felt like i was under house arrest. The 2nd kid? Totslly different.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  126. Your story hits so close to home. I had almost the exact same timeline and felt so much guilt in even considering giving up on breastfeeding. The day I decided to stop, I felt so much relief. My baby boys are happy and healthy and so is mama. I appreciate your courage in sharing your struggle, experience, and ultimately, JOY! XX

  127. Thank you, thank you for sharing! I’m shocked that people ask such personal questions and feel the need to know such intimate information. It’s none of their business. It’s none of my business. Yet here I am THRILLED to hear your story. You’re like my southern older sister. I want your advice and I want to learn from you. Hearing that breastfeeding wasn’t a piece of cake for you is reassuring. It’s hard. It looked so effortlessly chic in your stories. My baby is 7 weeks tomorrow and he hates my boobs. It’s heartbreaking. But as soon as I decided he had made his own choice and would rather eat from bottles, my life got so much better. No more feelings of rejection and defeat every time I fed him. Pumping sucks. But it’s not as bad as the mental exhaustion of being turned down time and time again. Thank you for sharing!!!

  128. I feel this so much! The relief I felt after stopping breastfeeding was amazing, I felt like I had my life back! I would well up with tears when I went to pump or feed. I would worry about why it wasn’t easy for me but seemed so easy for others. I honestly wish I would have stopped sooner and just enjoyed more of my time with my little! Good for you for recognizing that! Thank you for sharing!

  129. I had a very similar experience. I stopped breastfeeding around 3 months and it was the best decision I could have made. My sanity was restored and I am a better mom for it. Thank you for writing about your experience.

  130. Thank you so much for sharing!!! Everyone’s experience is different and I know it must be hard having all of us randoms interested in these private aspects of your life, but you sharing your story is going to help so many Moms! Thank you for being open and sharing! I love reading about your journey 🙂 Hudson is lucky to have you as his mom <3

  131. Thank you for sharing this personal issue with us because so can relate and need to know this decision is ok too. I had twins 7 years ago and chose on day one not to breastfeed. The thought of feeding with no help so so daunting. Because of my early decision not to I enjoyed becoming a new mother and look back at those sweet first few months with happiness. Fast forward to a month ago when I had my third baby. I thought, this is one baby, surly breastfeeding won’t be too hard with one. My experience was just like yours. I cried daily, my hormones were all over the place, the hospital stay was just a nightmare trying to figure it out. My poor family who drove into town to meet my baby couldn’t even see her much because we were trapped in a private room so I could feed her. She was just as frustrated as I was, crying all the time. I stopped breastfeeding and things are so much better! Like you, my doctors have been very supportive of this decision. My pediatrician made me feel so good about my decision, comparing it to the airplane oxygen routine they tell all passengers before a flight: put your oxygen on first and then your children’s. If you are a mess, tired, hormonally unbalanced and just unhealthy, how can you tend to someone else? I truly appreciate your honesty.

  132. Thank you so much for sharing this. I had my son a month after you, and I have definitely had my own struggles with breastfeeding. It is such a relief to see someone else honestly explain the difficulties of being a new mama.

  133. Breastfeeding is one of the most confusing, tortuous events that a mother faces. As if it weren’t enough that women feel sick during pregnancy, eating becomes a full time job and you have to get sliced open to deliver the baby (sometimes), you also have weight gain that is impossible to loose because of hormones and sleep exhaustion, and then on top of all that you have to get your nipples ripped apart in ways that bring instant tears to your eyes…its ridiculous. Breastfeeding is one of those nightmares that no one really tells the truth about and for everyone its different. And when it stinks its beyond discussion and no one, except women who have had blood coming out of their nipples understands. The fact that you got the colostrum into your baby and kept at it for as long as you did, you deserve a medal. Never explain; your friends don’t need it and your enemies wont believe you anyway. You did great, you are great and I love you. xo

  134. Thank you so much for sharing, Kathleen. Being a new mom and dealing with everyone’s opinions and “advice” is difficult enough, but you have it extra hard having so many followers who are interested in your journey. You absolutely did not have to share this with us, but it is so appreciated. Everyone seems to yell BREAST IS BEST at the top of their lungs and those of us that don’t agree (for whatever reason!) feel isolated and like we are doing something wrong. At the end of the day, you and sweet Hudson’s well being is the most important. Modern medicine wouldn’t have developed such incredible formula options if they weren’t needed. A friend reminded me that all of our children will be existing on chicken nuggets and pizza soon enough so no need to stress

    Sending you love!

  135. Thank you for sharing this! I’m an adoptive mama and I’ve gotten all the questions… why didn’t you use donor milk? Why didn’t you take hormones so you could breastfeed? Why why why…. My body, my business; and in that same vein, my BABY, my business. Being a mom is hard enough. THANK YOU for contributing to the conversation. Xo

  136. Girl, same. I had so much guilt giving up on it (my supply never came so I was exclusively pumping to only yield 3 oz A DAY) and then when my pediatrician said “it’s okay”, it was the hugest weight off my shoulders. Breast feeding mamas are warriors in my mind and deserve all the praise in the world, but for me and my son, we are team formula and are doing just fine! Transitioning to motherhood is so hard. Every mom and every baby have their own challenges. For some it’s breastfeeding, for others it’s something else, but of course it’s worth it. It’s just something you can’t even prepare for until you live it. Thanks for sharing.

  137. Good for you! I only lasted 2 days! Absolutely hated it. Frustrated me and my son. Now we formula feed and he is happy as a clam!

  138. I’m so glad you shared this. So many times, as mothers, or hell, even as humans, were told to forget how we are feeling and follow the rules. That somehow, a book knows more than me, that there is a one size fits all approach to life and if you just follow it perfectly, your life will be easy.

    I call bullshit. I know what kind of care I need for myself and It took me 5 years and 2 kids to figure that out. So I’ve put away the books, the podcasts, the everything about how I SHOULD be doing parenting and I’m turning inward to follow my own feelings, thoughts, and intuition. I started doing that in 2018 and my life as a parent has gotten so much better since then.

  139. My first baby is about 2 weeks older than Hudson and I had a near identical experience. I knew going to formula was the right call at about 6 weeks, but I was ashamed that it hadn’t worked out for me so I went until 10. Looking back I feel like my only regret is not just going to formula at 6 weeks. Once I stopped trying to breastfeed a baby who absolutely refused to latch, which only left us both in tears for hours of the day, i actually started ENJOYING being his mom. Honesty, I kind of feel robbed of those early weeks because I prioritized breastfeeding over bonding (BF was anything BUT ). Now we lovingly stare at each other while he has his bottle and I love every minute of being his mom! Will try breastfeeding again with baby number 2 but if it doesn’t work out again, I won’t hesitate to make the call. Thanks so much for sharing!

  140. Thank you for this! As a mama of 2 boys-one breastfed and the other formula fed-I loved hearing this honest (and PERSONAL, as you said) description of your experience. It’s validating and encouraging to any of us who can relate.

  141. Thank you so much for sharing. My babies didn’t have colic and I didn’t have supply issues or pain that you did but I STILL found breastfeeding to be so difficult. Not knowing how much they had eaten or when they would need to eat again was tough. I’m a planner, and just felt like it monopolized my entire day like nothing ever has. I don’t follow many bloggers and of the ones I do, I definitely enjoy your content the most. You’re good at what you do and seem to love it so I’m not surprised you jumped right back in. Congrats on your beautiful baby!

  142. This spoke to me on so many levels! Thank you for sharing this is exactly what I went through and I stopped at 8 weeks as well bc I had all the same feelings you did. Thank you again sad you had to go through it but at least I know I’m not a weirdo who didnt enjoy feeding her kid – you know what I mean. Lol

  143. Thank you for sharing! My daughter is 6.5 weeks old. I had always assumed I would breastfeed though it’s never appealed to me. I just thought that’s what you have to do for a baby. But when I got pregnant and began hearing and reading about other moms’ experiences I thought “wowwww that’s a lot” and when I dug into the data (I work in public health and it’s my job to interpret data so this was my comfort zone) I was surprised to see that the benefits of breastfeeding in a country with clean water and good nutrition are truly marginal. It is nowhere near the “make or break” method of providing nutrition that it has been made out to be and it by no means is worthy of the stress and shame we have associated with it. I breast fed in the hospital just to make sure I wasn’t going to change my mind with a babe in my arms. Nope! I didn’t. I honestly can’t imagine how much harder this would have been if my husband hadn’t been able to take on half the night feeds and if I had added the breast feeding uncertainty and logistics to what has already been such a tough time period. I know that the benefits to me and my family of NOT taking that on have outweighed the extremely tiny increases in incidence of tummy issues or ear infection. Moms who do breastfeed are strong and I love it. Moms who don’t are also strong and I love that too!

    1. YES GIRL, coming in with the research – I appreciate this so much! I think if it comes naturally and is enjoyable to breastfeed – GO FOR IT. That is amazing! But I agree, the benefits aren’t “make or break” so if you’re in tears and losing energy and sleep over it… it might not be worth the additional stress. I love this, thank you so much for sharing.

  144. Thank you for sharing such a personal aspect of your life, you by no means owe us any of that. I’m sorry people were being so nosey about something so personal. How you feed your baby is your business and only you know why it’s best. I remember feeling all those same feeling during the first few months PP after having my first daughter. I felt so isolated and frustrated that things weren’t going well. I even came to resent it at times. I eventually got through it, but man those were some dark months. I hope with your story some other moms going through a similar experience won’t feel so alone, I know I did. I hope from here on out you fully enjoy your cute Hudson. 🙂

  145. Loved reading this, and I don’t even have kids! However, I am a pediatric nurse and am around new moms frequently. Being in the medical field, I totally understand the added pressure of breastfeeding. There is a stigma that breastfeeding is better. But it doesn’t take into account the full picture—as you have so graciously and honestly depicted in your blog. It’s a good narrative for me to reference when educating new moms. Thank you!

  146. Your experience with your doctor asking ‘why don’t you stop?’ reminds me of when my mom asked me the same thing with our first. He couldn’t tolerate so many of the foods I ate to the point I was essentially on a chicken and rice diet and was miserable. I can remember exactly where my mom, son and I were sitting and so much detail around that conversation that turned out to be a pivotal one. It was essentially the permission I felt I needed… I did later learn to give myself that permission with that and other parenting conundrums, but for me it took some time. So kudos to you for putting it out there! Hudson is one blessed little cutie 🙂 xo

  147. THIS. I had a similar experience (but actually only made it a week before I had no supply (even when pumping) and my daughter starting refusing to breastfeed) and am so thankful for you sharing your story especially since it is SO personal and not any of our business anyway. I sat on the couch with my mom and husband in TEARS and suddenly realized that the only person who was making me feel guilty was MY OWN SELF. Ridiculous. So I stopped and IMMEDIATELY felt like I could bond with my daughter, be a human again, and still feel confident that I was doing everything I could to give my daughter the very best.

  148. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with breastfeeding! It helps normalize the decision to move forward with formula. Breastfeeding has been one of my least favorite parts of motherhood- it’s difficult, time-consuming, and there is so much external pressure to make it work. My first daughter was also colicky and THAT is another post I’d love to read about from you. Colic was one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever dealt with. We are 12 days in with baby #2 and I’m so traumatized from the first time around that I’m waiting for colic to set in any day now. Thanks again for sharing, even though you most certainly didn’t have to!

  149. Preach I was in the minority when I had my 1st son cause he was horrible! He never slept and always cried,colic, and I too would cry nursing him cause it was painful and we were all around miserable. I nursed him for the longest 7 weeks of my life and went to formula and wow what a difference! He was happy and I was even happier. The crying subsided and we got into a routine and I wish I would have made the decision sooner. Mom guilt and shame is a real thing sadly. I have 3 boys now and my second loved nursing and I loved nursing him and he was an angel baby and I fed him anywhere and everywhere and I nursed him for 8 months and it was bliss. Then I had my 3rd and it was terrible again and so painful and I kept getting mastitis and only lasted 3 weeks with him and then pumped and then finally stopped all together at 8 weeks and he went to formula. 3 boys and every single one of them gave me a new experience. And ya know what…they are all great kids. So good job mama. You do you and they will all turn out just fine

  150. My first born compared to my second child was much different for me. I too didn’t feel comfortable would hide in the car avoid being around people while breastfeeding and secluding myself to the basement when people were around. We had problems latching and My milk production was low and when we started supplementing i could not keep up with the pumping and as such dried up pretty quickly. I maybe last 4 weeks. However with my second born I had 4 years of parenting experience under my belt, I was much more comfortable with my post baby body. I cared less about what people would think It came much more naturally to me From day one my son was able to latch on pretty easily. Before I knew it, I had no problem whipping it out in public I think it also depends where you live how acceptable it is I mean some people feel uncomfortable but things are changing and it is becoming more common place that mothers don’t have to go around with a nursing cover and that made it much easy for me to nurse my son for just over 1 year. We did supplement with him as well and I too needed the freedom of not being the only person who could feed him. Once he grew teeth and bit I said it was enough. I do miss those days it was a feeling on Connection and Closeness. I truly appreciate you sharing your story with us. You are one great mama

  151. Thank you for sharing your experience and being honest. It is so refreshing to hear someone else say you don’t have time to eat! I lost so much weight breastfeeding not because it burns calories, but because my needs always came second to breastfeeding. Regardless of the time you do it – it is a commendable effort because it is life-impacting and very time-consuming. As for personal questions – I’m not even an influencer and daily people ask off limit things. Are you going to have a second and when is a big one – and my baby is only 5 months.

  152. Thanks for sharing. I too struggled to breastfeed. You lasted longer than I did. I wanted so badly for it to work, but my little guy had trouble latching on so from the start he was bottle fed. I pumped every three hours for two solid weeks. Every morning i would combine my bottles pumped in the night and it was enough to make 1oz. I was making myself sick pumping and not producing, and bottle feeding, cleaning pump parts, bottle parts, etc…. my pediatrician looked at me and said “Fed is best” and at that point I put away the pump and formula it was. He was a very happy baby that slept well day and night and here I was like a crazy person and more exhausted than I was after labor!

  153. I hated breastfeeding too with my oldest child. She was a tiny baby and could not latch on properly for the first six weeks or so because her mouth was physically too small. I got mastitis when she was four weeks old, my nipples were almost cut to shreds and yet I felt too guilty to stop because “breast is best.” I remember crying in bed one day as my husband left for work and telling him how much I hated breastfeeding and he said “why don’t you stop then?” and I had so much guilt as a first time mum that I made myself push through and keep going. Thankfully it got a lot better once she was about three months old, but she had awful colic and reflux too, so I never felt like breastfeeding was a bonding, beautiful experience. Looking back I would tell my younger self to stop and save myself the heart ache because fed is best, whether it’s bottle or breast. With my second baby thankfully things clicked from day one and he had a great latch and wasn’t colicky, but I remember telling myself that if at any stage it wasn’t working or it was affecting me mentally I would stop straight away, but we were lucky to be able to continue. I still never found breastfeeding to be an amazing experience though, just something I could do, so I did! Kudos to you for telling your story Kathleen, it’s so good to hear we’re not alone (even though my breastfeeding days are well and truly behind me now, I still feel relief that I wasn’t the only mother who felt like that).

  154. It’s so crazy to me how many other women judge another mother’s journey breastfeeding, or doing anything of the sort that has a “right” answer to so many. My breastfeeding journey was absolutely marvelous, until it wasn’t. I breastfed my daughter exclusively for 5.5 months. I went back to work then, pumped in a tiny room with home depot blinds we threw up, and barely made enough to even take home yet alone sustain my growing newborn who was getting huge already and hungry as a monster!! She was an EATER and still is! I was killing myself, mentally and physically over how distraught I felt about not producing enough for her. When I did try to feed her myself at home when I got back from work, she would scream and throw her arms up in a ‘get away from me’ way because she just WASN’T interested in breast feeding anymore. For so many months, we’d had the most special experience, I didn’t get it. I became distraught, and was diagnosed with post partum and eventually STOPPED. My doctor said the same thing, why not stop? She clearly is over it, you seem to be over it. LIVE for you now, she’s growing and is happy with a bottle. So I did. BEST decision ever. You do what’s right for you and your little nugget girlfriend! And now you can enjoy wine with no shame (if that exists lol)

  155. With my first daughter breastfeeding was terrible, awful and painful. I only stick with it because of the cost of formula. My daughter also had a tongue and lip tie (which is also another debate in and of itself). It contributed to my post partum depression and took a long time for me to bond with my daughter. I cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. With my second (now 2 months) its been much better. Still not my favorite thing but no pain and no resentment toward our babe (only my husband lol). Kudos to you for being brave and sharing your journey! Also, I rarely read blogs but this one really struck home!

  156. Thank you so much for your post! My daughter was born 11 days before Hudson and I’m a first time mom as well. I’m starting to wean from breastfeeding and your post made me feel less alone about the decision. Moms rarely talk about their decision to end breastfeeding and as I sourced the internet for some comfort during my decision to stop, I could barely find anything out there. I really appreciate you opening up about your experience. I’ve been feeling extreme guilt around stopping due to all the pressures society puts on moms to breastfeed, but in truth, my daughter and I never got the “hang” of it. While latching, she’d cry, I’d cry…8 to 10 times per day. We tried lactation consultants, feeding specialists, pediatricians and no one gave advice that helped. My post-partum doula finally said to me “You’ve given your body to someone else for a year. That’s a long time. It’s time for you to have it back.” Once she said that, I made the decision to stop and haven’t looked back. Again, thank you so much for opening up about your experience. I wish nothing but the best for you and Hudson!

  157. Reading this brought back so many emotional memories. My daughter was in the NICU for a month and was being supplemented with breast milk and formula for weight gain. I was exclusively pumping every three hours. Once we got home she would only take a bottle, but I felt so much pressure to feed her breast milk because I was producing more than enough. Every three hours I would feed her a bottle and then right afterward hook up to the pump and it became a bit of a prison, mentally and physically. I felt like I was a breast pumping zombie and I felt so alone. She had really bad reflux, so we started supplementing with a special formula and she started to get better, so I decided what was best for her and me was that she switch exclusively to that formula at four months. It’s one of the parenting decisions I’m proudest of because it truly was best for me and her. You are so strong for making that decision and honoring what truly was best for your baby AND for you. Keep up the good work, mama.

  158. I am so sorry people were asking you that…that’s super invasive and truly not their business. I’m so glad you made the right choice for you. I work in the medical field as a PA student, and I had my Peds rotation last, and so I view it so completely normal, healthy, and beautiful when mommas and babies are formula feeding. Whatever works! It doesn’t have to be a certain way. Thanks for sharing Kathleen.

  159. Thanks so much for posting this. I now have an almost 2 1/2 year old and breastfeeding was definitely the roughest part of it all. I also showed up to the hospital 8 cm and ready to go for labor 🙂 My son had lost about 10 oz from his birth weight just in the few days after being born and the pressure to make sure he was fed and gaining weight was enormous. I had so much pain just on one side, but I would dread waking up in the middle of the night knowing I needed to start on that side. I would cry and there were black mascara stains on my “brestfriend” pillow. Went to lactation consultants and he would latch totally fine with no issues only to come home back to pain. I wasn’t depressed, but if I continued the same road, I was getting there. I called my husband crying one day and told him I couldn’t do it anymore and he was totally supportive. I reached out to a friend who had told me that breastfeeding sucked (pun intended) for her advice on how to stop and switch to formula. She reminded me that I needed to do what was best for me and my child, She helped me and I started pumping in efforts to make the transition. Turns out I was pretty good at pumping, and though I felt like a cow at the Mayfield Dairy, it was much less painful for me. I continued to pump exclusively for 10 mths! I’m undecided about the next child. I guess I’m still willing to try again. I do not feel that people prepare you properly for how hard breastfeeding can be. They do try to make it seem like this magical bonding experience, but for me, I did not experience this. Again, thanks for your honesty!

  160. Thank you for sharing! I stopped breast feeding my first at 6 weeks for the very same reasons as you and have carried around years and years of guilt. I breast fed my second for 9 months and loved it. With the first I went back to work at 6 weeks, he had colic and cried 8 hours a day. I tried everything. I sat up alone at night while trying to bf and think I was the only lonely person awake. I dreaded his feeding times. I had never felt so isolated. No one supported me stopping but I knew I could not go on. People can be invasive and so opinionated. You are amazing! Thank you.

  161. Hi! I appreciate your honesty regarding your breast feeding issues. However, i am on the opposite side of the spectrum with milk production. My daughter was born three weeks early on Nov 3rd 2019 and spent two months in the NICU (due to feeding issues). I tried putting her to the boob but she had a hard time latching and my supply was so great she would gag and choke. I was so frustrated. The doctors told me the fastest way for her to get out of the NICU was to bottle feed her my breast milk, so they could keep track of her mls. So i would pump and then feed her my breast milk…I began to loathe the whole process. My boobs were so engorged all the time and I was in so much pain. I had to pump constantly to relieve myself. My job turned into full time cow/milk production machine. By the time I left the NICU I had over 200 bottles of breast milk to transfer home. It was embarrassing. I hated pumping. It made me sick with anxiety and I wanted to throw up. My goal was just to make it the three month mark; which I did! But now I have been trying to dry up for almost a month now. Waiting 10 to 12 hours between pumping and I am still producing an enormous amount. I can’t wait to finally be done and get my life back. So kudos to you for doing what’s right for you and Hudson. I am right there with you girl!

  162. GIRL. I just love your perspective on everything. It is SO REFRESHING! It seems like you can really take the time to reflect and make decisions in your life without tons of shame and that is #goals to the max. I’m sure this decision was tough in its own way, and I don’t want to discount that. At the same time, I’m so inspired by the sureness you display in yourself so often. I hope you’re well – it’s been quite a ride for you these past few months with baby H and losing Lula. I’m sending love. And I hope you know that it is so appreciated that you share so much. I’m 7 months pregnant with my first babe (a boy!) and it’s really encouraging to hear stories like this because you truly just do not know until you know. God bless!

  163. I planned to breastfeed for the first year even though that would mean pumping at work. My son was 10 lbs at birth and my production couldn’t sustain him. We had to start supplementing around 3 1/2 weeks. He slowly started weaning from my breast on his own. And by 5 months we were done. I was a little sad at first but ultimately it worked out. I too found myself getting frustrated with breastfeeding. It was so nice when we started bottlefeeding so other people could help out. Daddy and other family member enjoyed those little moments with our baby. I don’t feel like any less of a mom because my son was primarily formula fed. He continued to grow over his first year of life like he’s supposed to. Mommy is happy and therefore baby is happy too. Fed is best! No one should judge one way or the other!! Thank you for sharing your personal journey.

  164. I went through a very similar experience when my son was born. Breastfeeding was difficult, painful and despite trying counseling, diet variations, and arranging my life around it, I just wouldn’t enjoy it. And I was starting to become more and more miserable, which was not my ideal state as a first time mom.
    My husband, as yours, really wanted our son to be breastfed for at least 6 month, so there was no much support there for me to take a decision on changing to formula as quick as maybe I would have done it (which of course I also started to resent at the time, since I was putting all the effort, so I should have the final saying, right?). Well, I ultimately ended breastfeeding for 2.5 month exclusively, and then completely changed to formula (thankfully, my baby took the change great). It was my sole decision, but I knew it was the right one the second I slowly started to feel like myself again.
    In the end, what I discovered is that for us as a family what was more important was for mom to be in the right state of mind to give her best self to her baby. And that NOTHING can beat that type of connection.

    Four years later, I’m currently pregnant with mu second, and among all of the joy I feel to be welcoming a new baby, there is still a little anguish regarding the whole breastfeeding chapter. I think I will still try it out again, knowing that if it doesn’t work out this time again, we still can have a happy and healthy baby, and a happy and healthy mamma. And that is what’s best.

    Thank you for sharing a very personal, but most needed to be shared story, as we don’t discuss this other side of breastfeeding enough.

    Sending lots of love,
    Gaby

  165. Thank you for sharing! I was not one that had a hard time but I think it is so very important that mothers do what is best for them and their baby instead of listening to what society thinks is best.

  166. I didn’t breastfeed but I did try pumping and feeding. I lasted 2 weeks. My anxiety was so high after having my son that I wasn’t eating enough to make a decent supply to feed my baby. I had no doubts or issues quitting. He was very healthy and loved formula. My now almost 4 month old son eats 6 ounces of formula at a time and weighs about 16 lbs. he is very healthy and happy and has a momma that isn’t stressed about feeding him. Happy house all around! A fed baby is a happy baby and momma

  167. Your story resonated so much with me! My first born cried all day and me trying to breastfeed was so hard! She was small, and had to be fed every 2 hours. So, basically, I never slept. Once I decided to bottle fed her exclusively, my life and attitude changed! And, I had 2 more kids, never tried breastfeeding them, and their newborn experience for me was so much more enjoyable. Needless to say, my kids are awesome kids—well rounded and smart!! It’s about the love you give, not whether or not they were breastfed!!!

  168. Your post brought so many memories back to me of my attempt at breastfeeding. I lasted 6 weeks, developed mastitis and became engorged. In a nutshell, I was miserable! And the ironic part of reading your story is that I became a mom 35 years ago today! You have to do what is best for you and you gave it your best! I applaud you for writing about it especially in a time when what we see on social media is dammed near perfect! Being a mother is not always perfect and you had to do what was best for you!! You go girl!!

  169. This is such a well written, and thoughtful perspective. I had a similar experience with both my babies. I also had a similar work situation that did not allow for the time I probably should have taken for myself or my babies. Your talking about the struggle to do all the things to keep your baby fed hit very close to home. One day I was pumping away at work, and I realized the time I spent pumping at work always put me later getting home which meant less time with my baby. (I stopped 3 days later) Thanks for sharing.

  170. This post really hits home for me! I felt so much pressure to breastfeed— especially from social media! I knew I might have latching issues from the get-go due to my anatomy, but then on top of that I had basically no milk. I was stressed, physically and mentally exhausted, pumping around the clock and barely getting anything. I felt myself sinking into a deep, dark place. Once I got over the initial mom-guilt of stopping, I realized how much happier I was and how much happier my son was— he was finally gaining weight properly and sleeping better. 10 months later, I can say with confidence that I made the best choice for both my own sanity and my son’s well-being. Thank you for sharing your story! Fed is most certainly best and happy mama = happy baby.

  171. I’m pregnant with my first child and, being the youngest in my family and seeing my sisters breastfeed their babies for years, I’ve always imagined it wasn’t an option: even if it was hard, painful and dreadful, I’d have to breastfeed my baby eventually. Seeing you and so many others speak about having the option not to do it, that some of us just don’t adapt, that we can (and should) put our well being first sometimes after becoming a mother, is so relieving and I really appreciate you for opening up about this. I will absolutely try to do my best to breastfeed my daughter when she is born, but if I fail to do so, I won’t feel like a failure anymore, so thank you for that. On another note, I’ve heard from a mother-of-six that cutting garlic and onions from our diets really help with babies’ colics.

  172. I could have written this myself! My baby was also born in November and we made it 6 weeks of exclusively pumping. I had zero desire to breast feed before and during pregnancy and it honestly made me feel like a total outsider…all my friends are having babies and everyone acts excited for breastfeeding and as if there is no other way. The part of your story I really connect with is your husband wanting you to breastfeed. Hands down this is the only reason I even attempted it. When my little girl couldn’t latch, I promised I’d give pumping a try. Once he woke up to me crying at the pump more than a few times, he realized it was time for me to let it go, and having his support to stop helped me do what I knew I had to do. We couldn’t be happier now! We also throw formula and a water bottle in a bag and are free to LEAVE THE HOUSE! It’s life changing. We have some people who still ask if our baby is ONLY getting formula as if we are monsters and what’s worse is that it’s people who we are not close enough to to discuss these things! I love that you shared your story to show others that there are all kinds of normals out there!

  173. Kathleen, thank you for sharing this deeply personal post. I’m sorry that you felt pressured to address this topic, but I want you to know that this really resonated with me and makes me feel a lot better about the feelings I’m currently experiencing. Ironically, I came across this post at 3am my time when I was half-naked, in my dark nursery, breastfeeding my 9 day old newborn. This too has been so extremely hard for me and I can also say that I too have felt dread about feeding times and lonely and frustrated that only I can feed my son. Thank you for putting this out there, it’s always helpful to know that you’re not the only one feeling a certain way. You’re awesome, mama!! Xo-Kristen

  174. Bravo! You are a brave mama who knows what’s best for you and your baby and we’re brave enough to say it!!! Shame on anyone who judges you for that and shame on people who think it’s ok to ask questions that aren’t theirs to ask. Momming is HARD! We need to stick together and stand up for what’s right for us and our babies because that’s what they deserve… happy healthy (physically and mentally) mommies. Kudos to you Mama, you’re killing it!

  175. I relate to your experience SO MUCH. You put into words an experience I really couldn’t and your vulnerability in sharing this is wonderful. Similar to the comment from your doctor, it took a friend saying “why don’t you just stop?” for me to even realize it was an option in my hormonal, sleep deprived state. I’m 100% sure that this post is being that friend for some girls out there who need to hear this right now. Thanks so much for sharing, you’re doing great!!

  176. Kathleen – I am the oldest of 10 children and grew up watching my Mom feed the kiddies that followed me. I never thought twice about the process, ( this is 1950s & 60s).

    I married at 30 and was unable to get pregnant for four years – that was a vicious journey. When it finally happened I was 34 and had a C-section because my son was breech.

    Once I had settled in the hospital I was ready to start breast feeding, and although I thought it would be easy, it was torture for both of us. I persevered and we made it happen together – but he has colic for two months and the only thing that would stop the crying was me being the food source.

    Those were some dark days not only recovering from an operation, plus feeding our son. I would call my Mom and wail nonstop!

    As the weeks rolled by to the end of my time-off (3 months), my doctor warned me to move him towards the bottle. That became the new frontier because he hated the plastic nipple. Once I went back to work I breastfed him in the morning and evening, but when the teeth came in, his favorite past-time was biting me and then pulling my hair.

    I informed Master Six Month old that we were done with this journey!

    I don’t regret breastfeeding our son, but dummy me thought it would be as easy as what I saw with my Mom!

    Our son is 32 now, but after reading your story all those memories good and bad flooded on me like a tsunami…….You are Great and keep up the good work!

  177. I appreciate you sharing this and your particular side on your experience. When I had my first I felt such pressure from society to breastfeed for at least 6 months or longer. While my son was not colicky and did latch I struggled to keep my supply up and it became extremely challenging when I went back to work. A lot of women told me I would be fine and my body would keep up but I felt pressure from work to not take so many pumping breaks and pressure from childcare that my son was still hungry after every bottle so I needed to bring more milk. Rather than standing up for myself and stopping I drove myself crazy trying to make my supply last to the 6 month mark. I started interrupting my sleep to pump even though my son was sleeping through the night, I took more pumping breaks at work that caused more of a riff with my manager and I was beyond stressed. I barely made it to 6 months and they day he did I stopped and felt AMAZING to be done. The positive that came from that experience- when my daughter was born 2 years later I never set any breastfeeding goals. I told everyone in advance I was going to “give it a go” but if it didn’t work then I would stop then and there. I removed any and all pressure and funny enough I nursed her for 12 months without any issues or stress!
    We just had twin boys and I’m exclusively pumping currently at 6 weeks postpartum but have kept the same mentality as my daughter that if one day I wake up and it’s no longer working for our family then I will stop. I need to do what’s best for me in order to be the best mom for them!

    1. I LOVE THIS STORY. How fascinating that each child can really be such a different experience. Thank you so much for sharing and for the reminder to put less pressure on ourselves. Such an important reminder!

  178. What a blessing you are to sooo many! It takes so much strength to share such a personal story and your breastfeeding journey is one I do relate too! I too didn’t like breastfeeding and just generally felt it didn’t fit my personality. What’s crazier is that I am a postpartum nurse where it is my job to promote breastfeeding and support mothers in their breastfeeding journey. I have spent many middle of the nights at work consoling tearful mommas frustrated with such feeding struggles. So I definitely knew all the data, tools, and tricks but nevertheless I wasn’t happy doing it. I stuck with it for a few weeks and took the same path as you with supplementing, pumping, dreading each feed! I now feel that my experience has made me a better nurse and I have the real world experience to support ALL of my mommas no matter which way they choose to feed their sweet babies!

    1. Danielle – you are an ANGEL for the work that you do. Postpartum nurses are God-sent. You are one special person, and I absolutely agree you must be the most empathetic and understanding nurse. THANK YOU for sharing and an even bigger thank you for your heart!!

  179. I am so glad you shared this and that you talked about how hard things were with Hudson. Margot was a HARD baby and it was such a lonely time. Breastfeeding did not work for us, and I felt so much anxiety about it. Like you, I would not be comfortable doing it in public (I 100% support that but it’s just not for me) and my supply was awful. Margot also had a tongue tie. I might give it another go this time but if it causes anxiety like it did last time, I am out. This is a reminder that the time goes by so fast and we should enjoy our babies.

    Side note – M was barely breastfed (lowers supply ever) and has been so healthy and knew every letter in the alphabet by the time she was 16 months old. Just sayin’

  180. Goodness what a time you have had, I’m so glad you had a doctor that saw it and took care of you. With my first child I really didn’t plan to breastfeed our son, but was guilted in to it buy the pressure I was feeling that I would be a bad mom if I didn’t. I’m a former nanny so of course I’d be super mom with my own children, right? Unexpectedly it wasn’t too bad at first, he became colicky by the 4/5th week along with my inability to keep up supply made it so hard, he was starting to starve. By the 3rd month we were supplementing with formula at bedtime so we could all hope for sleep, after 3-4 weeks of that we were all formula.
    My 2nd child, a girl, would only breastfeed, no bottles not even pumped milk. It was so hard so for almost 5 months I was tethered to our home , with a toddler that’s good and bad. Somehow I had enough milk for her but I like you didn’t like feeding in public. So I was in isolation but with a toddler to care for as well. Somehow we got through it and despite that I some times wish I could have breastfeed longer but better able to “handle it” so to speak.
    Somehow if we’ll look at the signs and listen to our bodies and our own intuition and can shut out those that “think they mean well” we’ll be ok.

  181. I can relate! I hated it from the beginning. I have 3 kids and every child got a little less. My youngest (son, 3) got 2 weeks and I said to hell with this shit! I was miserable every time, each time more. Those lactation consultants are the worst too! They are so judgmental! I’m glad you did worked best for you! Take care of you first so you can be of service to others! #SelfLove

  182. Thank you for this post. I Hated breast feeding. I hated every second of it and it is such a taboo to hate it. I tried so hard to do it and just like you I dreaded having to feed my baby! It’s so nice to not be alone when it comes to a topic like this. I feel like my son and H may have been very similar babies and it really did get so much easier when I didn’t feel like my baby had to be tied to the tit all day.

  183. That sounds so much like my experience with my first. I hated it and hated I felt the pressure from everyone to keep up with BF and feeling like a failure when I couldn’t supply enough. When I got pregnant with my second I knew I wanted to try again and really prayed about it. My experience the second time (still in it) is completely different! It has been so much easier and I have not had any supply issues and I treasure the feeding/ bonding time. All the hearts. So thankful for this. I hope your second time around will be much more enjoyable as well!

  184. I feel like I am reading about my own experience breastfeeding my daughter! I breastfed for about 7 weeks before switching exclusively to formula and let me tell you, we ALL were better off for it. My supply took a long time to come in, and my daughter had difficulty latching. Because of this, her weight dropped enough that we were going to almost daily weight checks, and our pedi suggested breastfeeding, pumping after to catch anything my daughter missed, and supplementing with formula every two hours. The entire process would take about 90 minutes, leaving just 30 minutes for me to rest and recharge before doing it again. I remember being SO exhausted, and when my alarm would go off at 11pm to feed my baby, I would cry and cry and cry. I was stressed and I began resenting the process. If mom is stressed, no one is happy! I feel like it prevented me from bonding with my daughter, just as you said about bonding with your son. Throughout this entire process, we worked closely with a lactation consultant and one day she said to me, you have done everything you can…why not just stop? Until that point, I had such guilt and mixed emotions for wanting to stop so early, but the truth is, I became a better mom when we switched to formula. Best of all, I finally felt like I could bond with my daughter and actually enjoy her. Gone were the days of being stuck at home, locking myself away upstairs if we had company, etc. It ended up being the best decision for our family! If we have another, I will definitely try to breastfeed again, but I won’t feel as guilty for stopping sooner if that’s what we need. Thank you for sharing your story! You undoubtedly helped someone else by sharing!

  185. I had a similar experience with breastfeeding and a colicky baby. There really should not be so much guilt surrounding not breastfeeding your child. Thank you for sharing your story! Here’s to a happy healthy baby!

  186. I had twin boys and I had to supplement right away to help them gain weight faster. They burned too many calories breastfeeding. So I almost only pumped and it was all I did. Feed them, change them, go pump. And I’m in finance and had them in Dec so while I was able to stay home I had to work after the holidays and they were about 3 weeks old. I gave up when I was pumping less than 50% of what they were eating. Gained some weight back(by 6 weeks post I was below my pre pregnancy weight but not after I stopped . All this to say, it’s hard and not always a bonding experience, you have to do what works best for you and your family.

  187. Thank you for sharing your story, even though I agree it should be a private one that women shouldn’t have to explain! No one warned me how hard breastfeeding can be. My mom had 4 kids and had such an easy time breastfeeding that I thought I would be the same. Those first two months of trying were the hardest and the judgement when I started supplementing with formula or got questions about if I was breastfeeding or not made things even harder. But you have to do what’s right for your mental health so you can be all in for your baby, which is what I did too! Fed is best! Now my babe is turning 1 on Wednesday and I am so happy I got to enjoy this past year making memories instead of dreading each day. Again, thanks for sharing your story! It’s so important to talk about it!

  188. Oh mama I completely understand!! The pain I felt trying get my son to latch while my nips were bloodshot and having shooting pains down my back was MUCH harder and painful than childbirth. So hard! I can’t imagine a colicky baby on top of that. You are trying to understand what they need, get to know each other and have a crazy hormonal rollercoaster! Ooof! I’m so glad to hear you are all doing better and are in a rhythm that works for YOUR family. Thanks for always being so open, honest and super FAB!!

  189. Love your honesty I had a friend ( a pro breast feeder who did it for.a year ) tell me once, if it stresses you out more than you enjoy it then why do it because that’s worse for you and the baby, and that always stuck with me, I did not enjoy either and stressed over calculating how much baby was getting etc! Fed baby is best and a happy mama is most important since we take care of everyone else! Hudson is precious!

  190. You are a great mom for recognizing the importance of your well-being in this journey and it is so awesome for you to share this to help others. It is SO personal and I don’t know why people think it’s ok to ask about it, but you do a great job at sharing and encouraging, while also keeping it 100! My experiences breastfeeding my 2 girls were unique in their own way, but I’m thankful for my journey with each. As someone who “successfully” (whatever that means haha!) breastfed my oldest for a year and currently on month 10 with my youngest, I might be a wild card, but I actually felt judgement for exclusively breastfeeding. My mom, MIL, SIL and most of my closest friends did not BF for a variety of reasons, and my husband struggled with not being able to feed them at times and understanding what exactly I was going through. I know so many people that have expressed feelings of isolation like you described, and although I never felt isolated while feeding, I did feel that no one understood that it wasn’t a goal/ pledge I made to breastfeed, it just was right for us. I went into it with ZERO expectation and was willing to do whatever was best for baby + me…thanks for the reminder that whatever works for each of us is what is right for us.

  191. I had the exact same experience! I went back to work part time quickly after all three births. But I’m not sure it would have made a difference. It’s not for everyone— and all three are smart, healthy and successful young people 21+ years later! One is about to start residency and one works in publishing in NYC and the other is about to graduate from Ole Miss. None of them hold it against me ! 😉

  192. What a great post! I wish more women would be open and honest about breastfeeding. I hated breastfeeding for similar reasons to yours and once I reached the six week mark with both of my children; I stopped and switched to formula. Best thing I’ve ever done.

    I will say the only thing about your post that made me pause was when you said, “Perhaps if I had a paid three month maternity leave I could have focused more on keeping my supply up and the experience would have been less stressful.“ This statement really rubbed me the wrong way. It is if you’re implying that all women automatically get a three month paid maternity leave from their jobs and let me tell you that is far from the truth. Maternity leave in the US is a joke! At my company, there is no maternity leave. You can use your PTO (if you have any) and if not then you can go on short term disability, which is also a joke. Or you can take an unpaid leave and not be guaranteed your job when you get back. I may be reading too much into your comment, but it hit a nerve.

    1. Every corporate job I’ve ever had has offered paid maternity leave so I think that’s where I pulled that concept from. I realize someone else’s situation may have been different. However if I was in one of my three previous roles, I would have had those 8-12 weeks off. There is no maternity leave or coworkers to help with your workload, paid or unpaid, when you are a small business owner without a “team.” But I recognize everyone’s situation is different – this was just my situation.

  193. I feel like I could have written this myself! These were my exacts thoughts and feelings towards breastfeeding with my first baby. Thankfully, the experience with my second was much easier and, dare I say, enjoyable. Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging other moms who may be struggling. Love that you always keep it real.

  194. My story with my 1st is so similar! Mine was colic all night long and breast feeding wasn’t working and I cried ALOT. Second time around- way easier baby and I didn’t pressure my self to do what wasn’t working. So many less tears shed and I was so much happier. Third and last child easily breast fed. It’s crazy how different kids are and how different the experience is when we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves! Thanks for sharing!

  195. Omg I want to CRY out of happiness that someone else felt like me!! I remember walking into
    My friends bridal shower and I had a mental
    Breakdown because I hated breastfeeding and I remember going to a breastfeeding support group and they told me I needed to go to a postpartum support group. I hated Hated breastfeeding and all my friends loved it and did it for a year plus and I felt so alone. I wondered why it didn’t work for me. But as soon as I stopped I was SO happy and SO in love with my little babe! I actually bonded MORE once I stopped!

  196. Honestly I relate to this so much! I’m a mom of three and I tried it with my first two and by the third I knew it wasn’t something that was for me and that it was okay to feel that way. But the mom guilt does still slide in from time to time so stories like this help. My experience was so horrible the first time I honestly think it gave me a little ptsd when it comes to breastfeeding, as dramatic as that may sound. It wasn’t worth dreading holding my baby for the fact that they might to eat and never wanting to be around them. Sounds awful to say but that’s how I felt and literally all my friends and my sisters loved it and said it was the best thing ever I thought I was a terrible mother. I wasn’t and I’m not and your not. And like you said my husband loved getting to share the experience of feeding our babes. Thanks for sharing, your vulnerability is incredible! Wish you the best! XO

  197. I applaud for you for recognizing you needed to stop for YOUR happiness as well as your baby’s happiness! I had two completely different experiences with breastfeeding (1 with barely any trouble for 7 whole months and 1 who refused to latch from the beginning who I exclusively pumped for for 3 months). I have a different bond with both of them but I truly think wasn’t happy with trying to breastfeed my second child and I allowed myself the grace to wean myself from pumping as my supply dwindled. It’s the best thing I could have done for both of us! You know what is right for you and your baby! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 🙂

  198. Finally someone says it !!! Breastfeeding for my 2nd child was awful for me & iscrutiating painfuI. I too had a colicky, Scorpio little fire cracker who had trouble latching . I did it ALL!! Until I surrendered for my own sanity. 9 months of pumping every 2-4 hrs per day, I gave in & said no more. Now that I’m out of that darkness, I wish I would have stopped hurting myself sooner. I will never pressure a new mom to breastfeed. I will encourage her to stop if she needs to.
    I learned that in order to be a good, healthy mama; we must take care of ourselves first.
    Big hugs on sharing such a judgemental topic for many.

  199. I had my son when I was 23. The first night in the hospital I felt such a panicky feeling with breast feeding. The night nurse I had kept telling me to keep trying and that nursing my baby was what was best for my baby. I cried all night. As soon as her shift was over, I called the lactation nurse and cried to her that I felt too overwhelmed. With a hug and words that have stuck with me, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Do you remember if you were breast or bottle fed?” I told her no. She then said, “Your baby won’t either. But he needs a happy mama.”
    She was an angel from heaven. Everyone is different. I’m so happy you went with your heart!

    1. Hold on while I BAWL MY EYES OUT. That woman was an angel indeed! That is so beautiful. Going with your heart – also beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  200. I HATED breastfeeding too!! I made it to 5 mos with first son and 3 mos with second son. Miserable every step of the way. Would have stopped sooner if someone, anyone!, would have said to me what your doctor said to you. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest. You are such a breath of fresh air!!

  201. I’m not crying… ok maybe I am. I love your honesty!!! My 1st was 2months early and I STRUGGLED to breast feed him because that’s what the NICU said was best. Since he was so early (or for whatever reason I later learned with #2) my milk never fully came. I spent hours & hours trying to pump only to get just a few drops (but the breastfeeding warriors were adamant that some was better than nothing). I literally would pull over & pump on the side of the road on my way to the NICU just because it was “time”. Luckily the NICU started supplementing; however, I kept trying til 6 weeks & then quit because my sanity couldn’t handle it, even though I was pressured to continue. Baby #2 came along and I thought I was breast feeding her but her jaundice wouldn’t get any better. Finally, my husband (who’s a vascular surgeon) went to the nurses desk & demanded formula. Baby girl sucked it down & jaundice disappeared. Baby #3, I didn’t play around & asked for formula immediately. Do YOU girl & what’s best for your little! I never expected the pressure or questioning & justifying my decisions. Some Moms can, and some have to learn to love Similac. BTW the Similac Ready To Feed bottles are a game changer! Either the travel size for on the go or full size for everyday feedings. No more nighttime shaking & mixing or having to have extra supplies in your diaper bag. Not an ad, just loved the convenience!

  202. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your experience. I too hated breastfeeding with my first who also was comic for the first 14 weeks. I felt alone and miserable. I did go back to work at 4 months which was a saving grace for me, although i loathed pumping, it wasn’t as bad a breastfeeding. I eventually stopped around 8 months and it was the best decision for my mental health. I still found myself trying to defend my decision even if people weren’t judging me for it. How sad is that?! It shouldn’t be that way! Anyway, i told myself the second time around that if i still hated it, i wasn’t going to put myself through that. This second sweet baby is such an angel and genuinely loves to breastfeed. So here we are nearly 9 months in and I’m actually enjoying it. It’s still hard in so many ways but not like last time. I hate how i have to dress but i know it’s short lived. I find some comfort in escaping to another room or my car to feed the baby and really enjoy that one on one time with him. A rare occasion now that there are two little people running around like crazy. I’m so happy you made that decision for yourself and chose to share that with your readers. It’s not talked about enough and it’s nice to know that this shit is hard and that your feeling are normal and valid.

  203. Wow – thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s a hard one to share!
    I truly disliked breastfeeding. I didn’t find the bond that other mom’s felt….which depressed me. My baby had reflux and an issue with dairy so she was miserable and crying all the time. Of course, that meant I was miserable, on top of being exhausted. I cut dairy from my diet and started exclusively pumping – I had an over supply and felt silly not utilizing that. However, pumping for every feeding AND then feeding felt like a full time job. I opted to stay home after my maternity leave was up so I technically ‘had the time’, but did I really? Could I actually manage that with multiple kids? Probably not. Everyone’s story is different and you have to take care of yourself in order to be the best mom that you can be. I commend you for making the decision you did! You needed to be the best version of you in order to give Hudson the best. That’s truly the way it should be for every mom, but it’s instinct for mom’s to suffer, thinking that will give our babies the best.

    1. You bring up SO many great points! Even if I had NOT been working, I STILL would have been exhausted and challenged, no doubt. “It is instinct for moms to suffer, thinking that will give our babies the best.” MIC DROP, KELLI. So well said!

  204. Well said!! I was on the opposite end of the spectrum and BF until 1+ year but I HATED when people would ask every time I saw them “are you still breastfeeding”. Literally one friend (whom I saw VERY often) would ask every time I saw her. I finally jokingly told her she would be the first person I notify when I decided to stop. Some of my parents friends who would come and meet the baby for the first time would ask “are you nursing?” It’s so irritating!

  205. I HATED breastfeeding but out of mom guilt, I ended up pumping for 6 months (which of course took feedings twice as long and I never left my house). If I’m lucky to have another child some day, he/she will be on formula from day one! To take care of our children, we have to take care of ourselves. Also, kudos to you for taking those personal questions from total strangers and not getting thrown in prison for hurting a bitch. #momstrength

    1. Katherine, you are hilarious. THANK YOU for this and you deserve a medal for pumping for six months. That is incredible and your child is so lucky to have a mother who was willing to make that kind of sacrifice because it is a MAJOR sacrifice!

  206. I have never commented on anyone’s blog post before, but I want to say that this was my exact experience with my 2nd. I wasn’t able to breastfeed my first baby due to the fact my milk supply never came in and my baby was in the NICU for 7 days. So, when I found Out I was pregnant with my 2nd, I vowed to myself that this time I would try everything to breastfeed her. Well, the day I started breastfeeding, I hated it. It never came natural to me or felt comfortable. I was miserable, anxious, depressed and sleep deprived (this baby hated to sleep). Anyway, just want to say that I felt so guilty at first for “quitting” and then quickly realized that every mother is different and this breastfeeding experience was not for me. You are an amazing mom no matter what! The only thing that matters is that you love that little boy with all your heart. Everything else will fall in to place.

  207. Wow, Carrie- you are SUCH a good mama for trying so hard to breastfeed, especially with H’s colic! I can’t imagine how stressful that must’ve been and 100% think you made the right decision. Life is too short and our babies are only little for such a small amount of time to not be enjoying them to the fullest and letting go of societal pressures that make us feel like we’re not doing enough.

    I also think you may be right that your unique work situation probably added even more pressure/stress to an already stressful situation. I have a two-year-old daughter that I exclusively breastfed for the first 4 months of her life (like, girl would not take a bottle- it was SO stressful to have to bring her with me EVERYWHERE I went and having a baby be so dependent on me without ever getting a break!). When I went back to work and she figured out the bottle, I switched to exclusively pumping and also had to supplement with formula because my supply slowed down drastically with work stress and juggling meetings and trips etc. And wow did I HATE pumping, I dreaded it so much that I eventually quit because I was so miserable.

    I am currently breastfeeding my three-month-old and still on maternity leave and this time I took the opposite route and basically have exclusively pumped and bottle fed him. Although I have way more independence with him since he takes a bottle, I still dread pumping having, raw nipples, blocked milk ducts.. all the bad things that I avoided when I exclusively breastfeeding my first. My son is having heart surgery in April so I’m definitely feeling pressured to stick with breastfeeding until he’s recovered from that, but I suspect that once I go back to work I’ll switch to formula because I’m not sure I can mentally handle breastfeeding anymore and life it too short to be miserable!

    1. I’m an idiot and realized after I posted this that I called you Carrie and I totally know that’s not your name! Forgive this sleep-deprived mom brain- Mmmmkay goodnight!

  208. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I relate to ALL of this!! (And as a side note, SO pleased that people seem to be encouraging in the comments here and on Instagram!)
    Everything straight down to not quite postpartum depression all because of breastfeeding is what I went through almost 7 years ago, and with #2 due in April, it’s the ONE thing I’m most apprehensive about!! Not only was I resentful, not bonding, in constant pain, but my milk was actually causing my daughter pain- like screaming bloody murder, even after cutting all the things out of my diet. We still joke that about 24 hours after switching to (soy) formula, that someone must have snuck into our house in the middle of the night and switched babies. Everything changed for the better. God BLESS the lactation consultant at our peds office who looked me in the eye and reassured me – it’s OKAY to stop. But Lordy, the opinions of others? Of strangers? Still haunt me. Friends of my in-laws told me I was a bad mother. Strangers told me that she wouldn’t *turn out* the same or that I was damaging her in some way. I know we made the right decision but I still feel shame.
    Our society spends so much time trying to advocate for breastfeeding and *normalizing* it in the public that it tends to demonize anyone who does it differently. So THANK YOU for sharing your deeply personal experience.
    And just for the record, my kid was hardly ever sick, never had RSV or croup or any of those really hard but common illnesses kids tend to get. She’s SMART and has the biggest heart. I try to remind myself of these things when anyone tells me it’s a shame I couldn’t breastfeed her!!
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  209. Thank you so much for sharing! My son had colic for what seems like forever. My maternity leave was an emotional rollercoaster and after 2.5 years I am finally considering having another baby. It was traumatizing. I am so sad you kept this to yourself and hope you don’t suffer too much./… but I imagine you had a great support system in person. We are here for you! Your baby and family is beautiful and he is so lucky to have you guys ❤️

  210. Thanks for sharing! Super personal but also something so many of us have gone through and can relate to. My son was colicky for three months, and breast feeding was the worst, I also cried everyday. I’m sorry you went through that! Nothing can prepare you for the colic and how quickly that can make you feel so helpless and discouraged let alone having a challenging breast feeding experience on top of it. We later found out our son had a lip tie and after we had it clipped (also controversial) my breastfeeding journey was much better. I thought about it a lot after (he’s three now) and wished someone would have just said it’s ok to stop. For future kids I will not put myself through that again. So I think it’s great that you recognized what was best for you and went for it! And to have someone sharing the night shift duties, amazing.

  211. THANK YOU. It’s so refreshing to know that someone else has been through this experience before and didn’t “love every moment” like we are told will happen. It takes being real to get other women to realize that it is ok if it doesn’t work out. And it’s ok if you have to stop before you had planned. As you said, you can’t take care of someone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Breastfeeding was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I am so glad that it’s over! I got my life back. And I’ve enjoyed my son so much more. So, solidarity sister!

  212. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I breast fed for far too long and I was miserable. I had an extremely colicky baby. The only time she wouldn’t cry is if she was on the boob. This went on for 11 months. It was so hard and looking back I wish I had the strength to say that Breastfeeding wasn’t working for me. I was so consumed with taking care of my baby that I couldn’t even acknowledge my own feelings. Next time, I will give it another shot but will definitely be more aware of how it’s affecting me and not care what people will think of me or say to me. Thanks again for sharing something so personal. It really helps other moms not feel so alone. XOXO Katie (@bravobetch)

    1. Katie, I adore you. And you made it 11 MONTHS! I wish I could send you a trophy – you are amazing for making that kind of sacrifice for your daughter. I totally agree, I think all mothers get so wrapped up in the fog of taking care of baby that it often takes an outsider saying, “are you ok? Should we consider another option?” to really make us realize that we HAVE a choice. Big hugs to you and thank you so much for sharing!

  213. Omg I was literally the same way!! I just Had my third little boy in November and each time my supply quickly dried up, with each one I tried everything and it just didn’t work. With my first and second I loathed Breastfeeding as well but my pediatrician (who is literally a god send) told me that when children graduate high school they don’t give red caps to those who were breastfed and yellow caps to those who were, it literally makes no difference. Typing it out feels weird but that always resonated with me, each time I switched to formula I was happier and so was my baby so by the third time I was 100% confident in my decision. Oddly enough I didn’t it with my third but like clockwork I dried Up same as before. . Fed is best, and it made me a better mother and now I have 3 happy healthy boys.

    Good for you for sharing your story and I know it brought comfort and confidence to a lot of mammas out there!

  214. Omg I was literally the same way!! I just Had my third little boy in November and each time my supply quickly dried up, with each one I tried everything and it just didn’t work. With my first and second I loathed Breastfeeding as well but my pediatrician (who is literally a god send) told me that when children graduate high school they don’t give red caps to those who were breastfed and yellow caps to those who weren’t, it literally makes no difference. Typing it out feels weird but that always resonated with me, each time I switched to formula I was happier and so was my baby so by the third time I was 100% confident in my decision. Oddly enough I didn’t it with my third but like clockwork I dried Up same as before. . Fed is best, and it made me a better mother and now I have 3 happy healthy boys.

    Good for you for sharing your story and I know it brought comfort and confidence to a lot of mammas out there!

  215. Not a mama, can’t relate, but I 100% appreciate your honesty and bravery sharing your story!! So happy to hear you’re all doing well and thriving! ❤️❤️

  216. I truly felt like I was just reading my own story. I ended up with postpartum depression/anxiety and I feel like breastfeeding is what pushed me there. I was a wreck and on top of that felt myself pushing my baby away instead of bonding with her. Stopping the breastfeeding was the best thing I’ve ever done for me and my girls. But even knowing all that deep down I still have some left over guilt for not being able to “make it work”. Hopefully one day we can all let that go. So very happy for you!

  217. I’m so glad you made the decision that was best for you and your baby. I think that was the toughest part for me. I didn’t want to give myself permission to give up on breastfeeding. I wanted so badly to have a blissful breastfeeding relationship with my son, who is our second child. Breastfeeding didn’t come easy the first time around for me, so I pumped exclusively for our first. That is a WHOLE other frustration. With my son, breastfeeding was so hard. He didn’t have a good latch, he had really bad reflux and as a result, colic…for 7 straight months! I dreaded breastfeeding him, it took forever, it was painful, and I always ended up giving him a bottle of formula afterwards to make sure he got enough to eat. Breastfeeding started to send me into episodes of rage. I was eventually diagnosed with postpartum rage, got medicated, got therapy and finally gave myself permission to stop trying to breastfeed. It’s hard to give up on a dream you so long for as a mother, but now we are all doing SO much better. I’m back to feeling normal, which is such a weird feeling to realize. You forget how “normal” feels after living with postpartum rage and anxiety for so long. After my son outgrew his reflux he became the happiest, sweetest little guy. It’s like we got a whole new baby. I don’t regret any of my decisions. It makes me so happy to read about another mama who made the decision to do what was best for HER and her baby. When it comes to our sanity and well-being, we need to make ourselves a priority.

  218. Bravo.

    You have to do what is mentally, physically and emotionally best for you and your baby ( family too).

    You are the best mom for this.

    We went 12 days-not even sure my milk ever came in. I cried every day of those 12 days. My son cried more. Heck, I think my husband was even in tears. The best was the tears of joy we all cried day 13 when we made the decision with his pediatrician to move to formula.

    We all ok. Promise you guys will be too.

  219. Thank you for sharing. With my first baby I breastfed for 2 months and stopped. My second I breastfed for a year and it was blissful!!! I loved it so much! My third baby, I had post partum so bad that at my 6 week OB appointment I told my doctor that I had to quit breastfeeding to save myself!! It was amazing how my attitude about life changed once I quite breastfeeding. And guess what?! All three of my children are beautiful and perfect!! Everyone has different experiences 🙂

  220. Had the exact same experience as you. More people need to speak up nd shout it out that it is OK TO BOTTLE FEED!! Enough with what is best for the baby because truly what is best is a happy and healthy momma to feed him however the hell she chooses. Thank you for lending your voice to such a personal but completely not takes about enough reality — FED IS BEST – regardless of how the baby is fed!!

  221. I’m sorry you felt like you had to share. I cannot imagine being on such a public platform and being bombarded with questions that are no ones business but your own. I’ve been amazed at how many people have asked if I plan to breast feed. From my MIL ( who, I could tell didn’t like my answer of “I’m going to try” since that resulted in several judgement-based follow-up questions) to random co-workers. It sometimes can feel like pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and raising a child are open for anyone to comment, question, and judge. It’s harsh and I wish people would remember how they felt if they had already been through it all.

  222. This is SO accurate. It’s misleading to think that once you have a baby all is beautiful and well….it is the EXACT opposite! (I digress)

    Your story is a love story. One about your love for Hudson, Christian and yourself. Bravo for being so bold!

    We’ve all been there. It stinks and doesn’t come naturally or perhaps not at all. Nonetheless, we sacrifice, in different ways, for the love of our children. You did just that.

  223. Thank you for sharing your experience, I felt the exact same way. I worried so much about all the things I had to do while I was breastfeeding (not just work but also baby things). Breastfeeding was not physically painful for me, but more emotionally draining. I feel confident that I made the right decision to stop breastfeeding when I did but sometimes I feel like I have to defend my decision when others ask.

    Good job taking care of yourself, mama! Hugs!!

  224. You said it best- “you don’t know what you haven’t experienced.” I’ve had two children and both experiences were vastly different! Each baby was different too. It’s a very personal decision and you’ve made the decision that was best for you and your baby. Be proud of that! Sending love to you!

  225. So much of this resonated with me. I knew from chats with friends that there was a chance breastfeeding was going to be hard. What I didn’t anticipate was getting badly damaged on one breast in my daughter’s first feed ..in recovery (I had a c-section). And continually damaged for weeks after. I cried just about every day until she was about 12 weeks. The pain was so toe-curling intense for a lot of that. Made worse by constant and intense sharp pains I would get in my breasts at any time, called vasospasms. They were worse than feeding half the time and at night I would need to take painkillers after a feed just to be able to sleep. I was also worried my dread at feeding was affecting our bond. Especially as she was also colicky for weeks 4-12 and still doesn’t nap well during the dsy. The ONLY thing that kept me going was that two friends who had similar challenges said it got easier for them around 10-12 weeks. And it did get easier. Still uncomfortable/painful at times. But significantly better. I’m glad I stuck with it but I came so close to going to formula only that I understand why stopping was the right choice for you. I am still uncomfortable feeding in public and I still get frustrated with my limited wardrobe choices. I think my stubbornness stemmed from feeling like since I went for an elective c-section, I couldn’t give up on this too.

    I have to say that I was/am amazed and impressed at your ability to get back in to work so quickly. My brain was fuzz for a good 3 months. I looked and felt like a disaster. I tried just socially catching up with work colleagues when I was about 8 weeks post partum….I felt so out of it and could barely think of anything to say! Thankfully that has passed but I was seriously worried for awhile.

    I hope you have the right balance for you now. You are definitely not along and two months is still a great job. I appreciate your honesty and sharing something so personal. So much I see online are people having easy, positive experiences…this makes me feel that little less alone! Hopefully you know there are many of out here who empathise, understand and support you doing whatever is best for you and your family.

  226. I love your stories and read your blog quite often. I feel like I know you from afar (loooove the new patio egg chairs!!!) I’ve lived in Paris for 10 years now so no family nearby and I am also a new mother. My little one just turned one. I was hell bent to nurse her for a full year. Fast forward 3 months in… I hated my husband who still had his “Life”, I was blessed to have family and friends that flew in to help me but as you said, no one can actually feed the baby except you! I am stubborn and guilted myself into continuing and pushing past the pain and misery and tears “Leaning in” to my new full time job. I wanted to succeed, refused to fail. In the end I spent many hours topless and tired but I did enjoy some of it. Feeding in public in France isn’t a big deal so when I did manage to leave the house that helped! I am glad I stuck with it for 6 months exclusively and once I started supplementing everything got better. Looking back I think my daughter was slightly hungry for 6 months, but we learn from experience. You are strong and not alone!!! We mamas have to stick together.

  227. I love this. I felt all the feels reading this… made me cry. I totally get it! I was able to feed both my babies, pretty easily, for 10-12 months each… but even though it came naturally, it was still soooo emotionally exhausting! I applaud you for doing what is best for you, and because of that, him. And thanks for sharing!! ❤️

  228. Just wanted to say, you’re amazing!! Thanks for sharing! I’m 32 weeks pregnant and I think I’m equally as anxious to breast feed as I am about delivering!

  229. Baby #2 on the way. Vet similar situation to yours with baby’s #1. So, with baby number 2 considering my anatomy, past experience, and most of all my mental health I’m skipping nursing all together and going straight to formula. Now just to get the confidence to talk to my OB about and we’ll be good! Hopefully mine will be as supportive as yours was. Thanks for sharing!

  230. Thank you! I know you didn’t want to or care to share since it’s such a personal experience. I absolutely HATED breastfeeding. I made it a week. I went to the lactation consultant and was absolutely psychotic about trying to make it work. I was feeling so resentful towards my sweet baby that at times I contemplated leaving our house and never coming back because it was so painful. The LC asked me why I just didn’t stop. So I did. I was so emotional over it that I didn’t want anyone but my husband or I to give him a bottle for weeks. Hormones are crazy. I’m so glad that I stopped. I have a perfectly healthy and very smart toddler. He also has a mother which is way more important than breast milk.

  231. Wow, I have an 8 month old and your experience was SO SIMILAR to mine—breastfeeding and not enough time off work! I work in academia, so know that the struggle is across all sectors. Thanks for sharing. I felt like such a terrible person for hating it and quitting when I did, but I’m glad that I did. Those hormones are the worst!

  232. Your story is very similar to my experience. My baby Jack was born 2 weeks after Hudson. I struggled- my milk took days to come in, he wasn’t gaining weight, I had to supplement with formula. My supply was SO low from the start- 1-2 oz per pump/feed, I got mastitis 2x, etc. I felt obliged to continue to try and my husband as well was adamant for me to continue to try. I was so frustrated, and wasn’t enjoying myself with Jack. I was constantly worried about the next feed, bottle, pumping, that I wasn’t being the mom I wanted to be. Other moms make it look easy and if you don’t struggle then it is don’t get me wrong. But, it wasn’t for me either. I appreciate your story so much. I also do not think it is appropriate to ask “are you nursing?”. It is personal. Thank you again for sharing!! You are an inspiration and a wonderful mom!!

  233. I appreciate you even more for this post! I am battling myself in my head about breast feeding and I am not due til 4/20. So many people have already asked me, “are you going to breastfeed?” My response always is I’m going to try. I feel as if my own family will make me feel like a failure if I don’t or can’t. You made the best decision to take care of yourself and Hudson by stopping. This inspires me to be strong when that time comes. Whatever happens will happen

    Xoxo

  234. I am totally on you with this. I just had my second baby boy Hudson and my boy Gavin are only a week apart. Totally a different experience this time around with breastfeeding, with my first I did it til I went back to work. This time around I only lasted a month it was hard to balance being a mom to two and giving attention to a 4 year old that has had your attention for four years of their life and then feeding my newborn who had colic and stomach issues due to my milk. I had to stop it was making me crazy. Kuddos to people that can do it but this time around I threw in the towel now my baby is soooo happy and is the light of my life both of them are. You are not alone.

  235. I had a great experience breastfeeding both of my kids. I nursed one until 14 months and the second until 16 months. That being said, I think this is such a loaded topic and I have been heartbroken for friends who did not have the same experience and because of the pressure surrounding this issue have felt like failures. I’m team FED is best and STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE. So glad you found what works for you and that you are encouraging everyone else to do the same. Here’s to cheering on other mamas!

  236. Thank you for sharing! I too struggled from the beginning but just felt like I had to keep pushing through. Saw multiple lactation consultants which helped but I would dread it. Somehow I kept going and did it for a full year (my baby is 15months). I did start supplementing around 8months and that helped. It did get easier around the 12 week mark when I went back to work and was only doing it morning evenings and then bedtime. What was so odd to me were the all comments I would get from people like I can’t believe your still BF or when are you going to quit, why are you still BF. I wanted to be like sheesh I can’t do anything right if I don’t continue I get judged and if I do I get judged (it was probably me being oversensitive to everything). Thanks for sharing and you are right we are never alone because theres someone else feeling the same way at the same moment.

  237. Amen. Just Amen. You made the right decision. I’m over here still trying to figure out what my right decision is! Our experiences are all so different yet so similar at the same time…

  238. Kathleen – let me start by saying we share an alarming amount – that’s probably why I enjoy your blog so so much. I too am a dedicated professional (attorney) married to medicine. My husband is in his last year of sub specialization training. We met and moved around the country from Kentucky and landed this year in Portland, OR. Being a working woman I thought this year of fellowship (city, tiny apartment LOL) was ideal for us to grow our family without consequence to my career. I’m not licensed in OR. Our son was born 11/9 so I’ve truly been with you for much of this ride. I also HATED breastfeeding with a baby who had an aggressive latch. We quit week 5 (I think?) and it was the BEST choice. Yes to all of your statements but especially that it was actually keeping me from bonding with baby. I had all the time in the world as I’ve taken this whole year off and it was STILL miserable. I’m just saying it probably has nothing to do with your dedication to it and everything to do with the fact that for some women it’s just hard with some babies. I too plan to try again with no 2 but please don’t feel it’s anything you did or didn’t do. Some people have trouble with conception and nobody goes around shaming people for that. We got pregnant easily, we birthed easily, breastfeeding sucked and the best thing I told myself was it’s really not fair to expect to have it ALL. Cheers to you and your choice girl. Fed is best.

    1. Thank you so much for your support and for this encouragement. You make some really beautiful points, and I hadn’t looked at it that way until now. Congratulations on your little boy and the unbreakable bond you share with him. Being able to really enjoy your infant is truly as wonderful as they say and I am so happy you feel that now too! Also Portland is amazing, my sister lived there for a year and LOVED it. Congrats on a great match!

  239. Not something I can relate to since I don’t have kids and therefore obviously have never breastfed BUT, I think it’s incredible that you shared this with your readers. I never leave comments on posts. I just felt the need to applaud you for being so open, honest, and raw. We are all under such pressure and sometimes you just have to do what’s best for YOU. Side note- my mom never breastfed me and I turned out just fine!

  240. Thank you for sharing your experience. As hard as it is to share something so personal, it is a relief to hear that others feel the same as i did. I was supplementing/breast feeding since day 2 of my baby girl being born. This is due to a breast reduction surgery i had in 2005 so my milk was not coming in all the way. But the doctors, lactation consultant and myself were all happy to see i was producing at all. But it was so very hard. I too despised feedings because of the pain and more importantly seeing my baby girl’s frustration during feedings. To see her inability to get what she needed broke my heart. I felt inadequate as a female. I mean this is what we are made for right?! On top of that, we had to conceive our baby through IVF because of my infertility issues. So i had so much self guilt of not being able to perform any of the basic female adequacies. I made it to 6 weeks and had so much anxiety to give up breastfeeding but i knew it would make me a better mommy to my little girl. I am so much happier. Our baby is so much happier and fulfilled at each feeding. Breastfeeding can be such a beautiful experience and i wouldn’t take back any of it because i am glad i tried and I’m glad my baby got the nutrients she got in those 6 weeks. But I’m also happy to let it go. 😉 Thanks again for sharing. From one mom to another…..thank you for making me feel it is okay.

  241. Thank you for sharing this! I know how personal this topic is and appreciate you being open to sharing your experience even though you originally didn’t plan on it. I think the reason a lot of people ask you this is because you share so much and you keep it real!! You’re one of the few bloggers who feels so genuine through our mobile devices. Normalizing breastfeeding is so huge right now so I think that’s why people aren’t afraid to ask. But I totally get how it would feel like an invasion of privacy or something off limits. Plus, you can open up a can of worms that as a new mom, you don’t have the time or the energy to deal with. I LOVE that you say you loathed breastfeeding. Its SO important for women to know that it’s OK if you don’t enjoy it! The huge push to normalize breastfeeding is wonderful but I think normalizing the dislike of breastfeeding is just as important! You’re no less of a mother or woman because you choose to not breastfeed for whatever reason!! I overwhelmed and stressed myself out with my first son and cried a lot because I wanted to make it to a year. I lasted 7 months. With my second, I was determined to not let breastfeeding consume my life and to truly let go if I had to. I enjoyed every second of nursing my second baby boy and stopped at 4 months, guilt free! Thank you, again, for sharing your story. It means more than you can possibly imagine!

  242. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am quitting breastfeeding this week after never exclusivly breastfeeding due to a supply issue. I can completly relate to every line in this post from the guilt to the pressure society puts on us as moms. My son is 9 weeks old and we are both so much happier. We have also had some issues with colic, would you mind sharing what formula you are using?

  243. Not a mom, but I will be someday. This was so insightful and wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing and for the advise.

  244. I had a similar experience. I ended up having to have an un-planned c-section which made breast feeding hard for me and he never really latched well. My milk came in finally after like 5 or 6 days but, I felt like my supply was never great and my baby refused to breast feed. I saw lots of lactation consultants and it was so painful for me and my baby would scream and refuse to feed. Once he finally figured it out after like 2 months he decided the bottle was easier. I had to supplement a lot of the time. I pumped constantly and then I felt like all I did was try to breast feed and pump I would also set alarms to pump at night. My baby ended up having colic as well and screamed day and night until he was around 8 weeks. He was also not a great night sleeper. We would wake up every 2 hours until like 5 months. I thought babies only had colic in the evenings and I thought he would sleep all day. I finally gave up breast feeding at 3 months and then once he was 4 months we got him diagnosed with acid reflux. He had to be put on medication. I feel your pain! He is about to be 9 months and things are finally a little better. He still struggles to sleep through the night but, it is getting better. Thanks for sharing your story! It makes me feel better to know that I am not alone! -Lindsay

  245. I’m a mom of two, and I just want to send you a big virtual hug! I follow you, and I often think “how does she make it all look so easy?” I remember being a mom of a newborn, and I was a hot mess. I respect that you didn’t want to share your breastfeeding experience or opinions, but thank you for doing so. The more we all remember that motherhood isn’t simple, it isn’t all easy and it is different for every one of us, the better we will all be at supporting each other! Because you were willing to share, you probably brightened the day of some brand new mom who is sitting all alone in the dark in the middle of the night, thinking she’s the only one.

  246. Love this postI started following you on IG just before you were pregnant and when you announced your pregnancy I enjoyed watching your journey. You see, I had my baby a couple weeks after you. I experienced something similar with breastfeeding. My career right now is nursing school and I had to have an emergency c-section. My baby also had colic and we had trouble with latch so we had to use a nipple shield—less painful but so inconvenient—think milk always spilling everywhere and constantly washing before every feed. Colic made breastfeeding hard. We ended up introducing formula the first night we brought her home because she was screaming at my breast. I cried too. Long story short breastfeeding became less and less. No one prepares you for the loneliness of becoming a mom for the first time and dealing with postpartum blues/depression. Now that we’re past that, I’ve bonded with my baby so much and everyone is happier because of it! That’s what matters. I’ve tried to get my milk supply up but I can’t get more than an ounce or two a day.

  247. Four babies. Four utterly different breast feeding relationships. I nursed 18 months, 9 months, 3 years, and four months.

    Just feed your sweet boy. Help him grow big and strong.

  248. OMG thank you Kathleen! I still get the occasional pang of guilt over not breastfeeding my two babies, who are well into adulthood now. I tried. I tried and tried. He was screaming, I was crying. I finally said “the hell with this” and formula fed him. They are now two grown adults, college graduates, living independently. This is not a brag but rather an affirmation that yes, in fact, bottle fed babies can grow to be decent, happy, healthy, educated, independent, caring adults. YOU GO GIRL! So glad you wrote that post. You are rockin motherhood!

  249. I hated every minute of breastfeeding too! It was not “bonding” or “special”. I struggled and felt like such a failure. My lactation specialist didn’t help because she made me feel like I was trying hard enough and my decision to quit was selfish because I was denying my son the proper nutrition he needed. I was so much happier when I started bottle feeding. And you know what’s more important than “proper nutrition “ …a happy mom!
    I was willing to try again with my second but I wasn’t going to kill myself. It went a little better but not much. When my pediatrician asked why I was quitting I told her “because I’m not a newbie anymore and I know what’s best for me and my baby.” BOOM Mic drop.
    By the way, my two sons are smart, strong, handsome, no allergies, and NEVER get sick. Don’t tell me that breast milk is best. I see what a lot of the breast feeding moms eat and I doubt their milk was better than formula. In the end, NOBODY should shame a mom, especially a new mom, for making whatever decision she wants to about feeding her child. And seriously, why were people all up in your business about it anyway?!

  250. Full disclosure, I don’t usually read the blog. I am fully committed to Insta only. But I was excited to jump on here and read this since it’s REFRESHING to see mothers be honest about their breastfeeding experience. I am not a mother, nor do I wish to be so I have a different viewpoint. But the culture of women and mothers who feel it is their right to know someone else’s body and experience when pregnant and postpartum is disgusting and infuriating to me. My sister recently gave birth (had the same due date as Hudson!) after a 2 year struggle with loss. I stayed with her the first week postpartum and WOOOW. She couldn’t make it past the first week of breastfeeding. It was so hard to watch. Her lactation consultant was even baffled. Once I ran to the store at 2am to get formula one night, I immediately saw the release for her. From them on baby and mother were thriving! So it’s really not helpful for others to ask invasive questions about breastfeeding when every human being is different and we all do our best. You are killing it, girl! And just remember, we all love to follow your live but YOU DON’T OWE US ANYTHING!

  251. I read this book written on French parenting (Bringing up Bebe) and it was amazing to read a non-American perspective. Their doctors actually do the opposite of our culture- encouraging formula. Definitely read the excerpts at least as its fascinating. Whichever is right or wrong, who knows (and honestly I believe babies turn out smart and fabulous either way). But there is absolutely no guilt surrounding formula over breastfeeding which I found SO REFRESHING.

  252. Thanks for your truly honest post! I’m also a new mom, and navigating through breastfeeding……Im staying optimistic but also realistic about potential limitations. Can I ask how you decided what formula to use? Thanks!

  253. SAME, girl, same! I did all of the things to try to build up my supply. One day, I finally pumped 3oz from each (which hadn’t happened since very early on), but then the next pumping session, I barely got 1oz. I cried, cursed at myself, then decided it was time to stop. I made it about 10 weeks, but honestly, my son was getting about 70% formula already at that time. It is so true that sometimes, you just gotta do you! Thanks for sharing!

  254. Thank you for sharing. I had a baby on december 7th and it seemed to me that your life just went on so perfectly well with the baby… I was wondering how you do it… while I was struggling with life organization during those first days andmonths with a newborn 🙂
    best wishes

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