New Mom Shares the ‘Unspoken Reality’ of Struggling to Produce Breast Milk: You ‘Feel Like a Failure’

Julie Mazziotta
People
New Mom Shares the ‘Unspoken Reality’ of Struggling to Produce Breast Milk: You ‘Feel Like a Failure’

For many women, struggling to feed a newborn baby when breast milk doesn’t come in is a cause for major anxiety.

New mom Annie May shared a relatable post highlighting that “unspoken reality” for her and countless others who have trouble nursing.

“The feeling you get when your newborn cries for milk is hard to describe. The heartbreak you feel when your newborn cries and you don’t have milk is even harder to describe,” May writes on Instagram. “Nevermind that the nipples are cracked and sore, baby’s cries sound like ringing alarms INside the brain and I’m desperate to do anything to alleviate his discomforts and meet his needs.”

For May, who gave birth to son Bo on Oct. 26, her lack of milk supply meant giving him formula, going against a culture that emphasizes “breast is best.”

“When the night hits, I have to make a choice to supplement with formula or let him sleep hungry,” she says. “Or more like wake up every hour, stress and fuss to calm his hungry cries, fight with my loving partner, and feel like a failure — shame. And still, whichever choice we make, nobody wins — shame.”

“What the hell is in formula? Why does this stuff smell like rubber? Will my milk ever come in? Am I doing something wrong?”

The Washington-based May says she never expected to have an issue with nursing.

“Nobody ever told me. Nobody ever told me about the challenges of breastfeeding. This must be an unspoken reality for SO many new moms,” she says. “I speak to myself and whoever may be struggling to feed their newborn. Feel no guilt or shame as you continue into your journey of motherhood. Some things we just cannot control, and so, we will make the best choices that we know how and we will have done it all with love in our hearts SO full that it cries out from our eyes.”

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May’s post touched hundreds of other women who went through the same questions and emotions.

She posted again on Thursday, sharing the happy news that her milk is in.

“Coming out of a cloud of loving emotions and everything that is. Milk is flowing and my heart is so full, I can’t stop smiling.”