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Milk never came in?

(35 Posts)
FluffySunshineBunny Sun 13-Dec-20 16:54:27

I was wondering if anyone else had the same experience, but my milk never came in.

I had a baby 6 weeks ago, I had a traumatic labour and was unwell afterwards. They took my baby away for checks and gave her formula. When the nurses brought her back I had a little colostrum, she nursed a bit. Her latch was checked and was said to be ok. But after we got home, my milk never came in, she ended up dehydrated and we were told to give formula.

I pumped, power pumped and kept nursing but after the first week, my baby never latched. I also never produced much through pumping, 10ml - 30ml a day. I started crying during pumping sessions which made me produce even less. I was never engorged, never leaked anything, my breasts never felt any different.

Has anyone else never had their milk come in? I feel so lonely, everyone else I know has managed to breastfeed even if only for a few months. I only managed 4 weeks.

OP’s posts: |
mrshadders Sun 13-Dec-20 17:11:51

This happened to me and I swear no one believed me when I said my milk never came in. I tried and tried and cried and cried. I also didn't get that engorged feeling, leaking or any of the other symptoms. I think it is quite rare. 4 weeks is amazing, I only managed 2. Congratulations on your baby, the early days are so special grin

Megan2018 Sun 13-Dec-20 17:24:32

I never leaked, never had engorged breasts and couldn’t pump a drop but still EBF. That on it’s own is not an indicator of supply.
Some people don’t produce milk, often medication or trauma can do it, but it’s very rare indeed. I was at risk of milk supply issues as it turned out I had post partum hormonal thyroid issues so milk supply issues can be an indicator something is amiss.
But having a healthy mum and baby is far more important than how they are fed. It’s honestly not worth thinking about, some people establish BF and some don’t. Find a way to forget about it @FluffySunshineBunny, thinking about what didn’t happen in any aspect of life is a route to unhappiness.

FluffySunshineBunny Sun 13-Dec-20 21:03:05


This happened to me and I swear no one believed me when I said my milk never came in. I tried and tried and cried and cried. I also didn't get that engorged feeling, leaking or any of the other symptoms. I think it is quite rare. 4 weeks is amazing, I only managed 2. Congratulations on your baby, the early days are so special grin

@mrshadders that 4 weeks comment from me is misleading, it was 4 weeks of pumping but really two weeks of intense work trying to build up a supply that would be able to feed my baby, which never happened. I took all the supplements, drank all the teas.

I'm glad to find someone else who had this happen to them as people incl the doctors don't really believe me. I went to lactation consultant, but still feel like maybe I could have done more, but all I did was cry and take painkillers for my pelvic pain.

OP’s posts: |
mrshadders Sun 13-Dec-20 21:07:20

@FluffySunshineBunny prime example there that this is often not believed. But you know your own body and I know mine. Just concentrate on yourself and soon you'll look back and it'll be a blurred memory. Enjoy your baby, feel free to PM me if you want to chat smile

BikeRunSki Sun 13-Dec-20 21:18:37

But of colostrum to start with. Great deal of pumping after a emcs for undiagnosed back to back footling breech.
We didn’t get discharged until DS had been feeding well for 24 hrs. We tried bf, pumping, I saw a lactation consultant in the hospital. MWs organised a “rebirth” (basically a warm bath with the baby). Loads of support. Nothing. Boobs not interested at all. No leakage, no milk, no engorgement. Day 6 the MW took DS away to give him a bottle. Day 7 we went home and lived happily ever after.

FluffySunshineBunny Sun 13-Dec-20 21:22:38

@Megan2018 Thank you for you kind words. I do need to let go. I had some weird thyroid results during the pregnancy but no doctor has mentioned that this might contribute to having no milk or being able to EBF. It feels too late push for a result since it's been a week since I pumped or tried to nurse. But I might ask for some blood tests just in case.

OP’s posts: |
MrsSchadenfreude Sun 13-Dec-20 21:26:54

Yes, it happened to one of my cousins. No milk at all. The baby was latching on, but nothing was coming out. She tried pumping and this was when she realised there was no milk. She went back to the hospital after a few days, they confirmed no milk and then she bottle fed.

chrisrobin Sun 13-Dec-20 21:34:54

Mine didn't come in either after my EmCS with DS1, there was enough colostrum for a few days but nothing afterwards. No engorgement, nothing coming out with expressing. When I got home from hospital I spent 2 days with him constantly attached to me and there were so many tears from both of us that my Dad said 'enough'. He drove to town (we lived rurally), bought formula and bottles, came back sterilised them and made up the first bottle. My Dad is very easy going and would never normally make such a stand but said he made the decision so I didn't feel bad about it- he would take the blame if I regretted it later on. DS1 was formula fed from then onward, as was DS2 because I didn't want to go through it all again.

Talking to my aunt (a nurse) about it later on she said she had heard about it before in mothers who had had very traumatic births. Please don't feel guilty, you have nothing to feel guilty for.

Howzaboutye Sun 13-Dec-20 21:42:36

4 weeks is amazing! Of very hard work, as well as looking after your lovely little baby.

Difficult birth can definitely affect milk supply, as can extreme stress after.

You have done your best, that is all you can do. We are super lucky to have formula, afford it, have all the bottles sterilised etc.

Big hugs, you are amazing X

Misty999 Sun 13-Dec-20 21:44:32

Same here although my lactation consultant insisted the baby was getting milk. I couldn't express colostrum either. Never needed to use a breast pad no leaking nothing boobs were never sore or engorged.

Due again in four days pressure to bf is immense especially because my first had a dairy allergy. Will give it a go but taking ready made formula with me this time.

InvisibleToEveryone Sun 13-Dec-20 21:48:28

Me too.

I was so determined to breastfeed my last child more than I did the others...he ended up being "failure to thrive" , my determination to breastfeed basically starved him .

Scottishskifun Sun 13-Dec-20 21:55:45

It's uncommon but does happen. Pumping is not a sign of milk production though and some women can never pump.

I had very delayed milk supply (over 2 weeks) due to quick birth, NICU for my son and high stress. I was also told my milk would be in on day 3 etc and t wasn't an issue it was only when infant feeding team realised in day 8 I was still pumping colustrum that I received any understanding. I also rarely leaked my boobs didn't give it up unless it was for my son or a pump.

There seems to be this unspoken feeling that mum are being judged related to feeding and nobody ever seems to win. Formula feeding mums feel they are judged by BF mums (I was always in amazement to how they were so organised all the time and out of the house on time when I was always late and just had to get me and baby out)
Mums who tried and it didn't work out for whatever reason feel guilty
BF mums often feel judged in public

Reality is happy baby happy mum whatever way a baby is fed.

Harpydragon Sun 13-Dec-20 21:56:11

Me too.
I also had an emcs, I didn't even get colostrum, my bra size never changed thru pregnancy, I had no leakage, engorgement, nothing. It messed me up for quite a while, I couldn't give birth naturally and then I couldn't feed him.
I eventually got thru all of that and realised how lucky i was to have a healthy baby boy, regardless of how he arrived or was fed!

farfallarocks Sun 13-Dec-20 21:59:32

I never got a drop from pumping just nothing! But both dc were getting milk. Sounds like you had a horrendous time and did your best so 🌺

TiptopJ Sun 13-Dec-20 22:01:23

What you've written above is exactly what happened to me with my first. I had a slightly traumatic birth and he was taken into icu shortly after where he was topped up with formula and despite near constant nursing my colostrum wasn't filling him up. My milk didn't arrive until day 10 and by then he was fairly settled on formula. I tried expressing but like you couldn't get more than 10ml per session. It was exhausting and frustrating and I remember crying my eyes out because I just wanted breastfeeding to work. I decided at 4 weeks that enough was enough and if he was happy on formula thats what he would have and was only really pushing breastfeeding for me because of my guilt for not being able to and the best thing i could do is relax and jusy enjoy my baby. So I did and hes now a healthy 3 year old who rarely gets ill and our bond is amazing.

I've recently had my second and whilst I've not mastered exclusively breastfeeding and im still a low supplier my milk came in on day 3 this time and I've been combi feeding with mostly expressed milk for 5 months now. I'm only mentioning this becuase I think the stress I put myself under last time as well as my body being in a bit shock from the birth is possibly what affected my milk last time.

I've also attached a link below which looks into some of the claims about breastfeeding. How accurate it is i don't know but it helped me get over the pressure I felt at having to exclusively breastfeed.

Best of luck which ever way you decide to go x

ramblingsonthego Sun 13-Dec-20 22:04:07

I had no colostrum or milk come in. I had a massive post partum haemorrhage and lost 6.5 pints of blood and was close to death apparently (I don't remember any of it really). Apparently very common in trauma births as the body is amazing and diverts resources to keep you alive and forgets about things like milk as to the body that is a secondary function and won't keep you alive. I tried feeding but nothing at all came out for 4 days so we ended up bottle feeding.

It was very different to my first when I remember on about day 4 the massive engorgement and pain in the boobs.

Juniperandrage Sun 13-Dec-20 22:04:41

I didn't produce enough milk, which is apparently quite common in women with PCOS but nobody bothered to tell

SunshineWalk Sun 13-Dec-20 22:15:04

Traumatic birth with my first which resulted in 9 days in hospital (due to my health), I was convinced my milk never came in; but having nothing to compare it to was difficult to say for sure.

After the birth of my second child I can now say with absolute confidence that I was right!

Babdoc Sun 13-Dec-20 22:19:20

As well as the traumatic birth group, some women have breast hypoplasia, where they never develop enough breast tissue to lactate successfully. This is sometimes associated with “tube shaped” rather than round breasts.
I suspect that was the reason why I never produced more than an ounce of milk after ages of expressing or pumping, never leaked or had any sensation of milk coming in, and why I only went from a 30AA to a 32A when pregnant.
But in those pre internet days information was harder to come by, and I was upset to feel I’d failed and had to resort to formula feeding. The same problem recurred with DD2, and she required formula also.
However, how you feed your baby is unimportant as long as they are fed, and both my DDs grew up fit and healthy with high IQs and normal BMIs. Don’t fret over it, OP. Breast feeding is nice when it works, but not in the least essential.

FluffySunshineBunny Sun 13-Dec-20 22:35:39

Thank you! Thank you to everyone of you who replied. It's made me feel less alone, less like a failure.

OP’s posts: |
Howzaboutye Sun 13-Dec-20 22:37:34

Op did you loose blood during the delivery? Very common to have milk supply problems after if so.

And there is no judgement from anyone, everyone knows how tough it is. You are the mum, you are the boss of your baby.

Enjoy the lovely cuddles X

Howzaboutye Sun 13-Dec-20 22:38:38

You are not a failure.
You did not fail.
You tried really really hard, and for various reasons it didn't work out.
It's ok, baby will be ok.
Big hugs

FluffySunshineBunny Sun 13-Dec-20 22:48:41


Op did you loose blood during the delivery? Very common to have milk supply problems after if so.

And there is no judgement from anyone, everyone knows how tough it is. You are the mum, you are the boss of your baby.

Enjoy the lovely cuddles X

Yep. I did lose a lot of blood, just under the amount needed for a blood infusion. It's strange I feel like maybe I could have tried harder, pumped more at night when supply is supposedly at its best. But I'm so grateful for Mumsnet and for all your wonderful women who've replied.

Only now at almost 7 weeks pp am I able to walk more than around the block or even go to the supermarket. I couldn't believe the thread where someone asked about walking out of the maternity unit with their baby in a wrap! I couldn't even hold my baby and walk until 4 weeks pp! It's amazing how we are all different but also how much the end of pregnancy and labour take out of us.

OP’s posts: |
Snapcat Sun 13-Dec-20 22:50:18

I had a traumatic EMCS, severe PPH, Pre eclampsia, PCOS and thyroid issues plus stress of DD having sepsis. I didn’t realise at the time that all these factors were causing or contributing to my very low supply and instead blamed myself. We are not given information about any of these factors when pregnant, just told it’s ‘extremely unlikely’.

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