“Breast is best.” “Breastfeeding is natural.” Two phrases that get thrown around a lot and two phrases that have a lot of truth behind them. But, what happens when this natural process doesn’t actually work? I’ve heard some say that because breastfeeding is natural, that it can always work with enough effort. Oh how I wish that were true! See, the reality is that breastfeeding doesn’t always work–for a number of reasons! One that I personally believe doesn’t get talked about enough is breast hypoplasia/insufficient glandular tissue (IGT). Some percentage of women (no one really knows how many) actually don’t have enough mammary tissue/milk ducts to produce enough milk. Unfortunately, I’m one of those women.
As a mom who desperately wanted to breastfeed her babies (for health benefits and hello money savings), I was devastated to discover that my body didn’t work right…that I wouldn’t be able to sustain my babies. Not even close actually. Honestly, it broke my heart. I shared a little about that last year here on the blog in the post “Crying over spilled milk.” But you can read my whole story in a series on Mom Endeavors called, “When breastfeeding doesn’t work.”
I’ve literally tried almost every single thing possible in an effort to make it work or make it work better. But, I’ve never produced more than about 8 ounces of milk in a 24 hour period. I’ve felt like a failure; felt disgust at my body that doesn’t work right; and felt judgement from others about formula feeding. This has been World Breastfeeding Week, which sometimes I struggle with. But, this year, I was SO pleasantly surprised to read about the “I Support You” movement!! It’s such a great article.
For moms that are struggling with low supply, there is support out there for you as well! Here are a few places to start:
Sometimes it just helps to know that you aren’t alone! There are other mamas out there struggling and who have discovered that breastfeeding doesn’t always work!
Did YOU have breastfeeding struggles?