A breastfeeding mum has shared an honest Instagram post about how she struggles to produce enough milk for her baby.
Heyona, from Washington, US, said no one had ever told her about breastfeeding challenges like these before she became a mum.
“The feeling you get when your newborn cries for milk is hard to describe,” she wrote alongside a photo of her feeding her son on Wednesday 2 November.
“The heartbreak you feel when your newborn cries and you don’t have milk is even harder to describe.”
Heyona explained the internal battle she goes through each night when her son is hungry.
“I have to make a choice to supplement with formula or let him sleep hungry,” she wrote.
“Or more like wake up every hour, stress and fuss to calm his hungry cries, fight with my loving partner, and feel like a failure.
“What the hell is in formula? Why does this stuff smell like rubber? Will my milk ever come in? Am I doing something wrong? Nobody ever told me.”
Heyona said she wrote the post because she thinks not producing enough milk is an “unspoken reality” for many new mums.
“I speak to myself and whoever may be struggling to feed their newborn,” she continued.
“Feel no guilt or shame as you continue into your journey of motherhood. Some things we just cannot control, and so, we will make the best choices that we know how and we will have done it all with love in our hearts.”
Other Mums who have struggled with breastfeeding shared their stories on Heyona’s photo and offered encouragement.
“I went through exactly the same thing 15 months ago and my baby is now a thriving toddler,” one mother wrote.
“Never doubt yourself and trust your gut feelings. At the end of the day you’re the one who knows about your baby more than anyone else. Perseverance, patience and love is the answer.”
Another mum wrote: “I am struggling with the same thing, a low supply. My precious son is now five weeks old.
“I pump after every feeding to increase my supply. I usually get a total of an ounce each time but because my son eats slowly, by the time I’ve fed him and then pump he is hungry again and then my breasts are empty.
“We can do this, we just have to pull through.”