My Feeding Story: The Take-Out Spoon Pushed Me Over the Edge

When I was pregnant I decided that I would be neutral on the breastfeeding issue. I didn’t feel strongly either way but wanted to give it a try. My philosophy was: if it works, great; if not, no worries. I was imagining the scene where I was crying and the baby was screaming, and that was something that I wanted to avoid. I wanted it to be blissful, but you hear so many breastfeeding horror stories, I wanted to have my expectations in check.

In addition to that, I was an all or nothing girl. I was either going to breastfeed or I was going to do formula. I was set that I was not going to do both and supplement. I had made these decisions, and this was my game plan.

Annelise arrived and everything was going smoothly.
Annelise arrived and everything was going smoothly.

When Annelise arrived everything was going picture perfect with breastfeeding. She latched perfectly, and we were doing great. On day two during one of the many routine baby checks they do in the hospital, nurses noticed that she was losing weight at a faster than normal pace. Of course the lactation nurses (the boob Nazis as my husband referred to them) swarmed in trying to help. But from the second that I found out that Annelise was having weight issues, it became emotional.

Between the hormones and the oodles of lactation nurses pouring in to the room I was stressed and crying. I know they thought they were helping, but when you have all of these nurses standing there looking at you and you don’t have a shirt on, you feel exposed. I felt that the more they pushed trying to help me, the more that I sank lower into an emotional hole. Add a crying and hungry baby into the mix, and this was the exact experience that I was trying to avoid.

At one point a lactation nurse showed up with a plastic take-out spoon and was trying to express milk on to the spoon. I freaked out but could not help myself. In the midst of the chaos my face must have said it all because my husband threw them all out of the room.

At that moment it was just us and we could figure out what we need to do. We called the hospital pediatrician in for consultation. She talked to us about her concerns and that the weight drop was only increasing. With that information, together, we decided that we needed to go to formula. Our daughter needed calories, and we needed to make sure that we could get nutrients in her to stabilize the weight loss.

Mom, let me eat in peace without the camera in my face!
Mom, let me eat in peace without the camera in my face!

We knew that my milk had not come in and that I was not giving her what she needed, so we needed to change game plans. While yes, this sounds very logical, the emotional roller coaster that I was on was not this rational. I mean, it is supposed to be so natural to breastfeed your child and here I was a mother of two days and I could not do the most basic thing: feed my child. Ugh!

Was I a bad mother because I could not give her what she needed? Was I already failing at my new job? Would my child be less healthy if she was formula fed and not breastfed?

My husband did a wonderful job of reminding me that I was doing what our daughter needed and my game plan was not to fret over breastfeeding. But, I think that at that point in motherhood there is more of a hormone/ emotional/exhaustion blur than there is rational thinking and understanding.

By day three when we left the hospital Annelise’s weight was on track and she was gaining. Clearly this was the reinforcement that I needed to feel that we made the right decision. Formula ended up working out well for us. Hubby, grandparents, siblings and friends could share in the bonding time during feedings. In the end, I feel that this was what we needed to do. Of course I still remember those emotions from the hospital stay, but I am glad that I was not set on having to breastfeed because you never know what will happen when that baby arrives. I try to stay flexible and adjust my plans to suit her needs. So far that is working out well for us, as we have made it to two years old.

Did anyone else’s feeding journey change while they were still in the hospital?

Feeding Journeys


  1. Linzy- you know we have a similar experience- and kudos to you for sharing the emotions you had- because, like you, I felt similarly! Annelise is doing great now! 🙂

  2. The spoon in the hospital put me over the edge too!! My Avery was early and never latched. She had jaundice and needed to gain weight to leave the hospital. And the lactation consultants were helpful but not open-minded. As a first-time mom I felt bullied. My awesome pediatrician reassured me. I pumped for a month and supplemented with formula. Now we are on formula exclusively. It was a sad thing for me and I still second guess myself, but ultimately it was the right thing for us. Thanks for this article and support for all moms and their decisions!

  3. Katie- I am glad to hear that I was not alone in freaking out over the spoon. It is a really tough situation when your baby is losinng weight. Bullied is really not a bad word to use as I can relate to that. Thanks for reading and I am glad that everything is going well now with Avery!

    I think moms needs to support other moms no matter how they chose or have to feed their children. It is a shame when this is not the case.

  4. It can be so stressful waiting for the milk to come in. My son was 5 days old before we realised there was a problem. My milk didn’t come in. I had to bring it in with a pump, it took about 3 weeks (he also didn’t latch until he was 4 weeks old). With my second, I had so much anxiety given what happened with my first. She lost 7% but then the milk came 🙂 breastfeeding is such an emotional roller coaster.

  5. I got a spoon suggestion too! That has to be the same person b/c I cannot imagine there are 2 people with that crazy idea!

      • haha when she came in with a spoon after i had my first i told her she was nuts and buzzed the nurse to bring in some formula. The LC was still trying to chnage my mind as my son was screaming. I told her no thanks i had a hungry kid and there was NO NEED for him to be hungry if there were bottles around. My husband then “nicely” asked her to leave and not come back.

  6. Linzy, thank you so much for sharing! I had a similar problem with both of my girls. Neither one would latch well, and therefore my milk wouldn’t come in. Even pumping didn’t really help. My second was really losing weight and every feeding turned into a crying mess for both of us. It was so stressful! We ended up giving her a bottle of formula and she turned into a completely different baby! I ended up trying to pump and bottle feed with both of my girls, but never had enough supply so we ended up going solely to formula. There are a lot of emotions that go along with not being able to breastfeed, but in the end you have to do what is best for your baby…making sure they’re getting fed!!

    • It felt like I was having an out of body experience when she was trying to use the spoon. I could see and hear her but I could not open my mouth to say leave me alone. I was afraid of busiting into tears. I was just frozen. I could not believe it was happening. It was so strange!


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