Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go The Way You Planned

when breastfeeding doesn't go the way you planned

I remember when I was pregnant with Honey Bee (my first child), I was so excited to breastfeed.  I educated myself as much as possible and even attended breastfeeding workshops.  When I was 9 months pregnant my colostrum came in, and I just knew that I would rock breastfeeding.

I delivered Honey Bee via c-section, and that’s when our breastfeeding journey began.  Do to the pain I was in from the c-section it was hard for me to hold my baby the first time to help her properly latch.

Honey Bee was a hungry newborn and when I couldn’t get her to latch properly she quickly got frustrated and started screaming.  I buzzed the lactation consultant and she came into help me.  I was sore, frustrated, tired and felt so defeated.  She showed me the football hold, which was very easy for me.   She also showed me how to latch Honey Bee.  However, when the lactation consultant left the room I was filled with anxiety and I was intimidated by my newborn.

Not only was it taking my milk a long time to come in, Honey Bee was a very sleepy baby so it was hard to keep her awake to nurse.  I was also still having trouble getting her to properly latch.  That’s when it hit me that breastfeeding was not coming to us as naturally as I thought it would.

Honey Bee lost more than %10 of her body weight and the doctors were pressuring me to supplement and give her bottle.  Of course I didn’t want her to starve so I gave in.

Read About My Breastfeeding Journey With Bumble Bee 

My Breastfeeding Journey Is Ending

Breastfeeding Did Not Help Me Lose Weight

The Beginning of the End?

I put the bottle to her mouth and she quickly drank the bottle.  It was in the moment I felt inadequate.  I was happy my baby was getting satisfied but I became incredibly sad that I couldn’t fulfill her needs.

I sat on the edge of the bed in tears, and realized that all of my efforts were in vain.  I just wanted to breastfeed my daughter.  I would slowly walk over to her bassinet and pick her up and attempt to feed her,  and she would cry because my milk wasn’t coming out as fast as the bottle.

Don’t Give Up

I was overwhelmed so I sent her to the nursery for awhile.  I was determined to breastfeed her.  I asked the nurse for a breast pump and began pumping milk for her.  During my first session I got exactly 2oz from both sides combined.  I felt elated!   I gladly fed my hungry baby my breast milk from a bottle!  That gave me a sense of accomplishment.  I continued to pump for her.  However, I was plagued with the fear of getting her to latch.  What if I couldn’t get her to latch again?

Things Changed…

As I sat on the bed after calling the lactation consultant for the 100th time, the nurse on called walked in and handed me a dvd. She saw me struggling with getting my newborn to latch.

“Watch this.  I think it will help you”, she said.

It was a dvd with a small baby on the front.  I put it in the dvd player and started watching.

In the video a mother laid her newborn on her chest and the baby actually crawled to it’s mother’s breast and self-latched.  I was in disbelief.  I wasn’t giving my Honey Bee enough credit.  With a slightly doubtful mind, I tried it with Honey Bee.  I slowly laid her on my chest and her little head bobbed around for a few seconds and then she latched!

I cried tears of joy because it was the first time time she latched without anyone else’s assistant.


When we were released from the hospital, me and Honey Bee had established a pretty good breastfeeding relationship. Occasionally she still got upset when I couldn’t help her latch fast enough, but eventually that went away.  I grew more confident in my abilities and tuning in to her needs.

when breastfeeding doesn't go how you planned

Keeping The Right Frame of Mind For Difficult Breastfeeding Relationship

When breastfeeding doesn’t go how you plan it can take mental toll on you.  Some mother’s feel like failures, defeated, and can become depressed.  If breastfeeding is your ultimate goal here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.

Keeping the Right Frame of Mind

  • You are not a failure if you don’t succeed the first few times at breastfeeding.  Some babies have a difficult time latching.
  • Stay focused on the health of the baby.  No matter if the baby is breastfed or bottle fed, the most important thing is that the baby is getting fed.
  • Don’t get discouraged if it’s harder than you thought it would be.  You may have to try a few different techniques and methods in order to find out what works best for you and your baby.
  • Seek support and use the resources the hospital provides for you.  If the hospital has a lactation consultant don’t be afraid to use her, that’s what she is there for.  Also, express your frustration and feelings to her as well, that way she can assist you properly.

Where to Find Breastfeeding Support

  • La Leche League
  • Kelly Mom
  • Breastfeeding support groups offered through your hospital or doctor’s office
  • Facebook Groups for breastfeeding mothers

when breastfeeding doesn't go the way you planned

20 thoughts on “When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go The Way You Planned

  1. This is such a great post! The first few weeks of breastfeeding were so difficult for me, and I know many people who gave up quickly because it didn’t feel natural. I’m so impressed with you not giving up, this is great encouragement for mom’s out there who may be struggling with breastfeeding!

  2. My first baby was a natural but my second was difficult in the beginning and I got pretty sore pretty fast from her improper latch. Then it was hard to heal because she needed to eat again every few hours. It made me realize it’s not always a piece of cake for everyone!

  3. Great post hon! Yes, it is not as simple as it looks, and wow those babies love the simplicity of bottles. But it is amazing to see how things work when we get out of our own way and let nature take over. It was a huge struggle for me, but any breastmilk I was able to provide for my son was wonderful, so a victory for every drop.

  4. So sorry to hear your breastfeeding journey was difficult in the beginning, but you’re definitely not alone! You are a strong woman and I’m happy to hear perseverance paid off!

  5. This is so great! Breastfeeding can be intimidating and a little scary with your first baby. I felt like I called our lactation nurse about a thousand times. You’re sharing some really great tips! There are a lot of mommas out there that are going to love this!

  6. I loved this. I nursed all my 4 kiddos for a total of 6 1/2 years. You would think that with baby number 4 it would be easy but it wasn’t. All my kiddos had a hard time latching on. I just kept at it. This post went into depth. I wish I read this post when I was nursing. Your amazing dear. 🙂

  7. I relate to this post on so many levels. I had a huge problem with getting my 5 weeks old son to latch and constantly being engorged. I spent so much time focusing on BFing that I wasn’t spending time with my newborn or my 2 year old. I gave up due to cracked, bleeding nipples. I wish I had more support in BFing. I feel like I gave up too soon.

  8. I,too struggled a lot in the beginning and nearly gave up a million times while in tears from the pain, fear of latching and feeling very inadequate. Like you, I was determined and kept at it . I have to say it is worth it if it doesn’t drive you crazy. Thanks for sharing. Love hearing stories like yours.

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