Breastfeeding Is Not Enough for My Son — and I Feel Like a Failure

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I’m not enough for him anymore. That’s what his pediatrician said to me anyway. Those weren’t his words exactly. But in a round-about way, that’s what he was telling me. My son Macks had lost three ounces since our last visit. He’s not getting enough calories and our current breastfeeding situation is getting us nowhere.

This road is all too familiar. I’ve been here twice before with both girls. I should be used to this by now, shouldn’t I? This is the third time that I’ve had a pediatrician tell me that my child isn’t gaining enough weight and that I needed to supplement. I thought it would get easier to hear the more often that I’ve heard it, but it still stings just as much as it did the first time.

I was never aware of how emotional breastfeeding is until someone threatened to take it away from me. I know this doesn’t mean that I have to stop nursing Macks, but it does make me feel as if our nursing sessions aren’t as important as they were before. Suddenly I feel inadequate. Like I’m not enough for him anymore.

Why does this make me feel less of myself? Like all of a sudden I’ve failed him. I’ve failed myself. I was so confident in our nursing sessions. Sure he’s a distracted nurser, but he’s been latching on fine and has been acting as if he’s getting enough to eat. It was the same way with the girls.

I thought that this time would be different. He was gaining weight so well in the beginning and was soaring to the top of the growth charts. It felt so good to have a baby that surpassed the 25th percentile mark — and then he started to fall. I kept up my confidence and told myself it was completely normal. But I wasn’t prepared for him to lose weight. That’s a new one for me.

I’ve gone over every situation and option in my head. I’m not opposed to anything and I want to do what’s best for myself and my son. But I just want this feeling to go away. The feeling of loneliness. The feeling of sadness. The feeling of defeat.

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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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