Mum shares her story in the hope that it helps other women struggling through a similar situation.

Mandy gave birth to a baby boy weighing 2.86 kilograms. In her blog post on Fed is Best, Mandy shares that she had problems getting her son to latch due to flat nipples, so she was given a shield to help with breastfeeding.

The shield seemed to help, but Mandy noticed that it would be full of milk after her son was done feeding. She also noticed that he wanted to eat for very long periods of time and didn’t seem to ever be settled during or after feeds.

“It’s Normal”

Friends in mothers group told her that his activity was normal and he was just cluster feeding.

But by his one-week visit with the doctor, Mandy’s son wasn’t back up to his birth weight. The doctor wasn’t concerned because the baby was still having wet and dirty diapers.

Fast forward to her baby’s one-month appointment, Mandy’s son only weighed 2.88 kilograms.

In his first month of life, her son had only gained 20 grams. Mandy’s doctor suggested she see a lactation consultant.

The lactation consultant weighed the baby, then Mandy fed him, and then they weighed him again.

The results from the scale showed that Mandy’s son had only eaten 20ml in an hour-long feeding.

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She suggested that Mandy start supplementing with formula and put her on a pumping schedule to try and increase her supply. They went home and immediately began the routine and at the next week’s visit he had gained nearly 1 kilogram.

The nurse’s response was, “Wow! He must have been hungry.” He wasn’t just hungry, he was starving!

“Restlessness turned into full-on screaming.”

Mandy continued on this routine and her son continued to grow and thrive, but Mandy’s breast milk supply didn’t seem to increase. Not only that, whenever her son would nurse it would lead to “restlessness turned into full-on screaming.”

Mandy explains, “My mom called me one day, and I was on the verge of a mental break down when she said, “he needs you to be healthy and sane far more than he needs breast milk.” It was in that moment that I felt a little bit of weight lift off my shoulders. I made an appointment to talk to his doctor about not breastfeeding. I was having a really hard time accepting it and was worried that she might push me to keep breastfeeding.”

Her beautiful response:

“You’ve tried harder than 99% of the moms I’ve worked with to make breast feeding work, and it’s totally OK if you stop and exclusively formula feed.”

Mandy said, “I have felt so guilty, and it took a tremendous amount of courage for me to write my story.

At the same time, I am so thankful my baby is now thriving and feel it is extremely important for other moms to understand that if your baby is not gaining weight, it is critical to figure out why and not assume everything is normal, no matter what popular breastfeeding mom groups on Facebook might say!”

“Bottom line: I could have lost my baby and my own sanity. For me and my baby, #fedisbest”

Starving2-1

A very important message and something all mums need to be aware of. Thank you for sharing your story, Mandy.

Share your comments below.

Image via fed is best


  • I had major issues with breastfeeding my first two kids but aced it with my third. I thought I was failing my first born as one of the health nurses that visted the house after birth lectures me on how I should be breastfeeding only. My son wasn’t putting back on his birth weight & I was made to feel I wasn’t a good enough mother. I rang my mum & she told me that I was doing my best & to go straight to the shops & get formula to help. He straight away put on weight with both breastfeeding & formula. I had another nurse the next time & I felt guilty telling her I was using formula for top ups & unexpectedly she appraised me.
    Every mother & baby is different & I think we should stop putting pressure on mothers with how they ‘should’ feed their child.

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  • I’m glad she ended up getting the advice and support she needed. Fed is definitely best.

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  • Breast feeding is great if everything works. This wonderful lady deserves a gold medal especially if she had inverted or flat nipples. That makes feeding extremely difficult. So glad she got the right support in the nick of time. Every baby and every mum is different. WHAT IS NORMAL covers a wide spectrum and often what well advised people say is normal is not.

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  • Thank goodness she got support and good advice. The poor Mumma.

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  • I had to formula feed my daughter as well. There is nothing wrong with it. Some women have to do it. Babys health comes first.


    • I agree. So much pressure is put on new mums to breastfeed they are mad eto feel guilty for using formula if they have to. It needs to stop, because a healthy, happy FED baby is best!

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  • Amen sister! I had pretty much exactly the same happen with my first and get so sick of mums shaming formula feeding or pushing the breastfeeding down your throat. It doesnt work for all mums and people need to accept that #fedisbest

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  • From the time I was pregnant with my first all my friends told me that I should never feel pressure to breastfeed and not being able to doesn’t make you a failure. My husband also told me that even one breastfeeding session is better than none (this was when I found it painful and was umming and ahhing about whether to continue or not). I’m lucky I had supportive people around me. This mum is super lucky that her Bub is well now. It can be tricky to know if your baby is indeed getting as much as you think they are at each feed.

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  • For some breast is not always best, a happy feed bub is.

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  • I hope this little bub now continues to thrive.

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  • How cute he looks now after gaining the weight

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  • lucky he had such a caring good mum. Formula is right for this bubba that’s for sure.

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  • We are so so lucky to live in a country with access to good quality formula and clean drinking water.

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  • AFTER SEEING THE BABIES PHOTO AND NOT BEING HELPED BY DOCTORS OR FRIENDS i AM APPALLED BY THIS STORY AD CHILD COULD HAVE DIED! YEARS AGO MY FRIEND AND I HAD BABIES AROUND SAME TIME. wITH MY FIRST SON I TIED TO BREASTFEED HAD PUMPS PUT ON AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS BUT TO NO AVAIL. 0NE NIGHT i HAD NURSE I DID NOT KNOW SHE SAID I READ YOUR RECORDS AND MY ADVICE IS TO STOP TRYING AND TO TELL STAFF WANT TO BOTTLE FEED. THIS i DID AND MY STRESS AT NOT BEING ABLE TO BREAST FEED WENT AWAY. bOTH ME AND MY SON DID FINE. MY SECOND SON BORN AT SAME TIME
    AND i SAID i WILL TRY AND BREAST FEED IF i FAIL WILL BOTTLE FEED. i COULD BREAST FEED AS MY NIPPLES WRE NO LONGER INTROVERTED. MY FRIEND TRIED TO BREAST FEED AND BABY ALWAYS CRYING AND NOT PUTTING WEIGHT ON. sHE WOULD RING ME IN TEARS TIRED AND STRESSED.. I SAID TELL DOCTOR HE SAID BABY WAS STARVING SHE STARTED WITHBOTTLE AND ALLWAS FINE. EACH MOTHER HAS DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE bUT BEING AROUND RIGHT PEOPLE IS A PLUS, HER MOTHER WAS RIGHT, NOW ALL IS WELL

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  • I felt so guilty when I couldn’t feed my son. I’m a woman – that’s what I’m meant to do and it wasnt working. I tried everything to increase my supply before I had to put my son on formula. I felt like a failure but soon realized he was happier, I was happier and I wasn’t a failure. Fed is definitely best

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  • I was similar with a premmie who was born 4p3oz. She wasn’t putting on weight and nurses recommended formula feeding as best for her.

    Reply

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