The pros and cons of breastfeeding with insufficient supply.

I thought I’d run this down from my perspective as I’ve often thought about why I’m doing this.

Why you should breastfeed if you don’t make enough milk:

Breastfeeding helps you develop nerves and other tissues which can help you make more milk in the future.

Breastfeeding helps babies with vision development, all the wonderful stuff that comes with skin to skin contact, and facial muscle, teeth and jaw development.

If you manage to keep most of your supplementation at the breast there may come a day you can put away your supplementing tools and just be breast only. It may not happen for everyone, and for some later than others, but it is a possibility.

Some breast milk is better than none.

You may be able to use your breasts as soother devices for nap times, air travel and similar.

Knowing how to breastfeed could be helpful to future children. You could go on to develop a full milk supply in a later pregnancy. It could happen.

Why you shouldn’t.

It’s hard. It can be really hard. You get all of the trouble of breastfeeding and you have to wash bottles and other devices, and possibly even buy formula. It can really feel like an exercise in futility. Support can be hard to come by. Many people will just not understand; either why you can’t breastfeed or why you bother trying. You may (like me) constantly worry about whether you are giving your baby enough, and striking a balance can be very tricky. Not to mention the social aspects of using an external device while breastfeeding. AKA it’s awkward to do in public!

Your inadequacy staring you in the face every day when it’s time to supplement may be demoralizing.

You become emotionally attached to your supplemental feeding device. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with mine. I hate I have to use it, but I’ve actually cried when pieces of it have broken and I wasn’t able to use it until I got replacement parts.

My thoughts? I’ll try to do it again if I need to. The good has far outweighed the bad for me.

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