Feeling Guilty

Assalamu alaikum/greetings, a kind of a baby update, just to say we are doing fine. There are some issues, though, that I just don’t want to discuss in detail publicly. Suffice it to say that we’re doing a lot better than we were before, Alhamdulillah.

And all I can say is that I’m really feeling the “mommy guilt” right about now. Because I’m in a situation where I’ve had to supplement my son’s breastmilk with formula, and now that I’m back at work, I hardly have any time to pump any breastmilk for him. And he’s not able to nurse, again for a variety of reasons which I won’t get into here. what is probably going to end up happening is that we’re going to end up transitioning completely to formula and I really feel bad about this.

Because I’ve read so much about how breastmilk is best, about how the longer you nurse/give your baby breastmilk, the less likely they are to develop a myriad of diseases and conditions that I can’t remember all of right now. And I feel like if I stop giving him breastmilk, that he’ll get one of these diseases/conditions and then I’ll feel like it’ll have been my fault because I stopped nursing him at two months. And I’m just not sure what to do. Because my milk production has really dropped off, and even if it was as good as it was before, I simply don’t have time to sit and express milk every two or so hours like I did before. That is of course if I want to sleep, or clean the house, or just spend time with my baby.

I mean, if you ask me logically, the logical thing to do would be to pump as much as I can, even if he’s only getting a few ounces of breast milk a day, and if my milk supply dries up completely, to just move to all formula, especially as we’re having to supplement with formula anyway. However, I feel like I’ve failed somehow, firstly because I couldn’t nurse to begin with, and secondly now because I’m finding it increasingly difficult to continue to express breastmilk for him.

I want to do “the right thing” but what (exactly) is “the right thing”? Am I wrong if I decide to transition him to formula completely?


About Ginny

A blind Muslim woman currently living in Florida, just trying to make sense of the world around me! !
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4 Responses to Feeling Guilty

  1. Assalaamu alaikum.

    Breastfeeding is best, of course, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. My daughter-in-law had trouble producing enough milk for my grandson and reluctantly went with formula. It happens. At least you tried. And he did get a couple months’ of breastmilk. That’s something.

    Feeling guilty is part of motherhood. You’ll get used to it.

  2. Nzingha says:

    as salaam alaikum

    Guilt the way we mothers beat ourselves up! I felt so much guilt not being able to breast feed any of my kids (no milk production) and I went through great lengths to to try and do it. But in the end you can only do what your situation allows. No matter what you choose your not wrong. But that won’t lesson the guilt. 🙂 eventually you’ll find something else to feel guilty about and this will be a small thing.

  3. Caroline says:

    Salam Ginny,
    I understand how you feel. Years ago, I was unable to nurse my preemie son, and felt horrible guilt about it, especially since I was A Militant Breastfeeder at the time lol.
    About the pumping-have you considered renting an electric pump? If you aren’t doing so now, give it a try, and you will be amazed at the difference. It is much faster and easier, and might make the difference between continuing breastfeeding for a while longer, or going to formula.
    Also, talk to a lactation consultant if you can; they may be able to help you.
    There is a doctor in Toronto called Dr.Jack Newman, who is a pediatrician and a world-renowned expert on breastfeeding. He literally wrote the book on breastfeeding. Here is his website, with tons of information,

    and you can also contact him here:

    with a SHORT email. They recommend you watch their videos first, to see if your question is already addressed.
    Please include all the following information in your email.
    We need some very specific information from you in order to help you:
    Your breastfeeding child’s age
    If you or your baby have been seen at the clinic and when.
    Where you live (province or state, country)
    Please state the problem you want us to address clearly in the first line of the text. Then add information, briefly, afterwards.
    How your baby is being fed: breast, bottle, cup, finger feeding, lactation aid at the breast or a combination of the above.
    If you are sore, whether the soreness involves the nipple, the breast, or both.
    If you have a concern about the baby’s weight, we need to know more than his present weight. It means nothing to know that your 4 month old weighs 5 kg (11 lb). If he was born at 2.5 kg (5lb 8oz), this is probably fine. If he was born at 4 kg (8lb 12 oz), then it probably isn’t fine. One or two weights in between would also be very helpful.

    Of course breastmilk is best, everybody knows that, but the most important thing is that your son is healthy, loved, happy, and taken good care of, all of which I am sure is true.
    Sometimes, for whatever reason, breastfeeding just doesn’t work out. You gave it your best shot, you really tried, so don’t beat yourself up about it if you have to transition to formula. It does NOT mean you are a failure or a bad mom, or anything like that. Millions of babies have grown up on formula, without even a drop of mother’s milk passing their lips, and they are healthy. You got wee Omar off to the best start by giving him your milk, (and, I assume, colostrum, which is just as/even more important than milk), and as long as you hold him and hug him and love him and raise him up right-all of which I know you are doing and will continue to do-he will be just fine inshallah.
    If it turns out that you have to switch over to formula completely, then give yourself mental permission to do so and don’t look back. If you try an electric pump, and contact Dr. Newman or a lactation consultant, and things still don;t work out, then at least you know you have tried everything and done your very best. Sometimes we have to make choices we wish we didn’t have to, but it will be ok. Everything will work out alright:-)
    Let me know if there is any way I can help.

  4. Caroline says:

    Ginny, I forgot to say, there is no fee for contacting Dr. Newman:-)

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