The Fourth Trimester: Fed Is Best, Lauren’s Story

the fourth trimester series Hey mamas! Today I would like to introduce you to Lauren who is sharing her story in our Fourth Trimester Series. Lauren owns a Yoga Studio in Folsom, CA and is a mom to three-year old and 10-month old boys. She also blogs about Yoga, Movement and Motherhood over at, Lauren Anderson Yoga, and has a Vimeo Channel- Mama Love Yoga.  Lauren loves to talk about postpartum (and prenatal) movement, self-care and how we can make more space for ourselves using yoga and mindfulness. Take it away Erin! 

We hear that breastfeeding is the healthiest, most natural thing you can do for you baby, but what if it isn’t?

I’m not a doctor. I’m not a lactation consultant or a doula and I haven’t finished reading the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

 I’m just a mom. 

 A mom who has struggled twice with breastfeed. A mom who has stayed up into the wee hours of the morning searching and websites for hours. A mom trying to figure how I could increase my milk supply to more than two ounces (combined) at a time. A mom wondering what on earth I was doing wrong. 

And like every other, a mom, who wants what is best for her babies.

After my first baby was born, I took all the supplements, power pumped, drank ALL THE WATER, tried, tried, tried again. Nothing. I cried a lot. The lactation consultant told me that low supply was not common. I cried some more. 

I must have shed a river of tears over the fact that the most natural and healthy thing I could do for my baby wasn’t natural to me at all.

 I constantly wondered what I doing wrong. Was my body failing me or was I failing my body? He cluster fed all day and there was a permanent imprint of my butt in our glider. Every time he started rooting, I started crying. I felt like a sliver of myself. I had given up so much just to nurse.

 And finally, I gave in.

the fourth trimester series

 We introduced formula. Ethan suddenly became happier and I could finally put him down for a longer than a minute to breathe. 

Yet, every time I saw a picture of another woman easily nursing her babe, it was like a punch in the gut. She can, why can’t I? This was supposed to be natural and easy.  And yet, there was nothing natural or easy about it. Everything I had rad seemed so unattainable and SO, SO hard.

 I believed the antidotes and agenda set forth by the nursing community; breast is best, formula is evil, and early cessation often stems from a lack of support or education (link to data).

I was neither. I was married, 35 years old, close to my family and had a Master’s Degree. I should have been able to breast feed my child. I felt like a failure. The ONE thing I was supposed to be able to do and I couldn’t.

It took me a while to get over the mom guilt and the repetitive anxiety that my babe wouldn’t be as smart, happy, well-adjusted or healthy as other babies.  

 So when I got pregnant again I started worrying and I started planning; I took to Pinterest and pinned lactation recipes, power foods to increase supply, lactation smoothie recipes and herb cheat sheets.

I made 20+ freezer meals, lactation bites, had my pump supplies washed and ready, and made a nice tranquil space for feeding and pumping.

And at five days postpartum when I struggled to even pump colostrum and my heart sank. The same question began to swirl through my head during the wee small hours of the morning; what was I doing wrong?

This time I knew the answer.


the fourth trimester series

 I was eating well, drinking copious amounts of water, sleeping as much as possible, taking ALL the supplements- fenugreek, brewers yeast, moringa powder, extra protein and yet, there we were, opening our “just in case” stash of formula. 

The lactation consultant made it clear that I was indeed dealing with low supply and that indeed, I would have to work for it.  We’re talking nursing, formula and pumping. Every. Damn. Session. EVERY THREE HOURS.

I mean, I have a toddler, and a business. To what extent am I willing to go to give my kid breast milk? 

Therein lay my choice. I could either put massive pressure on myself, suffer incessant mom guilt, and agonize over nursing or, I could pop open the formula and try as best I could. 

So this time, I chose me. My mental health, my happiness, time with my older kid, time with my husband, time to make meals, take walks, plan yoga classes, and live my life. Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard choice- I cried typing this and remembering everything I felt and I agonized it for days and even would pump now and then thinking I start nursing again. But in the end, I had to let it go- it was the best choice for my sanity and my family.

As mamas, we have to make decisions constantly to do what is best. And as we should we often choose what’s best for the children. But sometimes, we need to work ourselves into the equation and do what’s best for us, too. In this case, breast was not best. 

 And guess what? We are all still alive. 

Yep, even the formula fed babies.

A big thanks to Lauren for sharing her story today. If you would like to share your Fourth Trimester story please email Lee Anne at with your story idea & “Fourth Trimester Series” in the subject line. 


  1. Mama on May 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you soooooooo much for sharing this!!! I was in the exact same boat… couldn’t breastfeed my first and did tons of research for my second only to be hugely disappointed again. I’m so sorry you had to go through this but I’m thankful you shared your story 🙂

  2. Ashlyn on May 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I can relate SO much to this!! I have a five month old and I sacrificed a lot to give her my milk. I exclusively pumped which was extremely exhausting and took time away from her because I had to pump while she was awake throughout the day. I don’t regret the effort I put in, but this article makes it comforting to know that I’m not the only one who struggled or felt guilty! Fed is certainly best, and us moms have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our babies. I won’t be as hard on myself with the next baby.

  3. Ani on May 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Omg finally someone that is being true to what the reality of the breastfeeding is. I’m on my third child now and after trying everything nothing really worked. Basically have not figured out why I couldn’t produce as much.
    With my first I was not educated on the breast pump so once my leave was up had to go back to work. I hated the world that had to breastfeed my child only 12 weeks. I Let the mom guilt get to me. Mind you all my my girlfriends and family members had plenty of milk for their kids. Just one person that I know has twins and fed them until they were almost one and a half years old.
    My second child didn’t was to latch on, so my determination
    To give him breast milk was even more intense. Did everything I could just to get up to six months ( all this was due to constant pumping) and I got so sick that even the doctor told me to stop immediately. Who listened? Not me for sure. I told myself I could do it but again I failed it. After that I realized that my baby was different. He didn’t care much about me , we still today do not have that connection and yes I do blame the pump. I did realized how much time was I spending with the pump (keep in mind I had to stay much longer to get out what he needed to drink) and after that clean the parts, then feed the baby then change him and here you go was time to pump again.
    Now the third child came along. She latched good and everything but because she had jaundice from the blood she had to be fed with a bottle so we could tell how much she was drinking. This time I did tell myself that I would pump until she gets over the jaundice. And that’s what I did. I am much happier now and I come home from work and get a bottle ready instead of spending 20 or more minutes with the pump and then cleaning it’s parts. I get to spend that little bit of time with all of them.
    But thank you that you guys are talking about the other side of the story.

  4. Sara on May 9, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. I struggled emotionally with nursing my first. Supply wise and latching things were great, but I really struggled still. We switched to formula when she was 12 weeks old and ya know what, she’s totally fine. We were all happier. With our second baby things felt different so I went with it, when we struggled in the beginning I supplemented with formula as needed. That stage passed and 5 months in and we are still going strong and happy, but I know the importance of taking it day by day and not being afraid to reassess. You’re totally right that fed is truly best!

  5. Holly on May 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I too had problems breastfeeding. Those were some very dark first days w/ my baby, so heartbreaking to think about. I thought I was living in a nightmare that wouldn’t end. Exhausted, emotionally wrecked, you get the point. I worked with a LC, did the supplements, pumped (got drops), etc. Per our sanity, the pediatrician and LC’s advice, we finally switched to formula and it was like a switch went off! My poor babe was clearly hungry and could get some sleep without being held (mom too). We are expecting again but this time I know not to put too much pressure on myself. We will try it again but I know there is an alternative, and it is perfectly OK. Our toddler is perfect, smart, thriving and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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