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Really bitter & angry & hating nursing

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Why does it have to be so hard?

3 years ago, my nipples cracked with DS & I was in agonizing pain. Felt like my nipples were on fire while being sliced at with razor blades 24/7 for nearly 6 weeks. At least his weight gain was good. Even my pumping output was adequate. I returned to work when he was 8 weeks & was able to pump enough to keep him in 100% breast milk until pumping output took a little dip when he was almost 5 mos. Even then, I pumped enough that he had 90% breast milk at daycare, 100% BM the 3 days a week he was with me.


Now with DD, I'd take the pain back rather than this CONSTANT ANXIETY over her weight gain. ALL INDICATORS are that she's doing well (exceeding developmental milestones, TONS of poops & pees daily, nursing 10-12X per day, gaining in length & head circumference). Weight gain was adequate until 12 weeks, when I FINALLY relaxed & stopped worrying (Pediatrician had been telling  me repeatedly, all along, to stop worrying.)


Then, now at 4 mos weight gain is inadequate & I'm left wondering if my daughter is merely "happy to starve" and I'm leaving her malnourished & starved by exclusively BFing.


Nightmare. It's a total nightmare. I hate it. I want to just give it up I'm so frustrated & angry. I really doubt that it's worth all this stress. I want to burn my nursing bra, walk away & forget it. 


I learned so much after my experience with DS. I did everything "right" - things were going well until 12 weeks and all of a sudden - WHAM -- trouble, out of nowhere, no warning signs. Why does it have to be so hard?


I think the fact that I FINALLY relaxed at 12 weeks - and THEN the weight gain slows too much is what has me even more mad. So I CAN NEVER RELAX?! I'll constantly worry she's malnourished. And no, I can't pump & bottle feed because my breasts don't respond to the pump as well as to BFing. Besides the fact that it's a lot of extra work and I HATE pumping - always did.


Why does it have to be so hard?

post #2 of 7

I don't really have any answers for you, I just wanted to say that I am sorry it is so hard for you.  My daughter is almost 7 months and has not even doubled her birth weight as of yet.  My ped. does not seem worried currently but we are keeping an eye on it. 

post #3 of 7

Hi Meg. I just had to respond since you are feeling so frustrated. I don't have any great advice. I'm just another mom who had a rough time with breastfeeding too. Cracked nipples, infection that lasted 12 weeks and took 4 rounds of antibiotics to resolve, with excruciating pain. I also hated pumping and never had a great freezer stash. There were many days when I asked myself whether it was all worth it. It is really, really hard.




All I can say is, hang in there & keep experimenting to figure out what works for you & your baby. No matter what the "ideal" path is or what anyone suggests to you, ultimately you have to find your way.


For me, night nursing kept my supply up. My DD reverse cycled and we co-slept, so nighttime was major feeding time for her. That was completely exhausting for me as a full-time working mom, and I nearly lost my mind with sleep deprivation during her first year, but it maintained our breastfeeding relationship. I did supplement with a little formula (we went through about a can a month) and it was worth it to reduce my stress by at least a little. It didn't adversely affect my supply, and it got me through the times when I wanted to just give up.


I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. Whatever you decide, please be gentle with yourself. You're working very hard on behalf of your daughter. Good for you!

post #4 of 7

Please don't put so much pressure on yourself!  I'll always remember what my wonderful La Leche League Leader told me when I was having similar issues with breastfeeding Leda.  She said that, although breastfeeding is the best way to feed a child, the child takes in the mother's stress and worry along with the milk.  Better to be a happy mother using a bottle than a miserable mother with a compromised milk supply using her breast.


Good luck to you, I am pulling for you no matter what you decide!

post #5 of 7

Yeah, I think it can really suck sometimes.  Parenting can suck, honestly, be very frustrating and leave you wondering if you should have even had kids.  Or maybe that's just me.  lol.gif  I think you have to ask yourself why you're doing it, what are your goals, will changing things help--I mean like would just giving up breastfeeding and switching over to formula help, or would that have a whole other hosts of problems? Would finding a new pediatrician help, if you feel like there isn't support there or that the current one is adding to the stress?  Or would that be more stressful?  Would finding a support group in your area help? Sometimes when I feel angry and out of control, I look at all the options and I realize that I'm making the choice, it isn't being made for me, I feel better about things.  Sometimes I feel like all these other people have expectations and beliefs and I end up internalizing them all and feeling pulled in all these directions, and I have to just try and look at things neutrally, apart from all that.  From what you've said here, it doesn't sound like you have a baby who is content to starve, but if you are getting that message from somewhere, maybe try and evaluate the reality of it.


I don't want to be condescending, and I figure you know what you're doing, but my first thought is to ask what her weight gain patterns have been.  It sounds like if she's growing well, her length and head are growing, she's meeting developmental milestones, she doesn't have signs of dehydration and malnourishment, what is it about the weight gain falling off at 4 months is alarming?  Is it such a significant decline that the doctor worried, and if that is the case, have other causes been ruled out?  If it is a problem with breastfeeding, what breastfeeding management suggestions have been made by the medical people in your life?  Or has supplementation been offered as an option? Can you talk to other women who have had slow gaining babies?


One thing that helped me, when I was worried about my second daughter not nursing enough, was to record every single nursing session for a few days.  It sounds like your daughter is nursing frequently enough, and you are keeping track of everything, so that probably won't give you peace of mind, so I guess I have no good suggestion there.  I will say that my babies were both large at birth, and my second daughter did not double her weight until after a year.  Babies don't always follow the averages, and it sounds like you are already on top of things, so maybe you can just trust that.   {{{hugs to you}}}  In any event, I'm sorry it is all so frustrating and painful. 

post #6 of 7

I am sorry you are going through this. My first thought was "if she's nursing so regularly and everything else (poops, pees, development) is normal, is it possible that formula or solids won't impact her weight any more than breastmilk? Could it be totally unrelated to the BF'ing?

post #7 of 7

Oh sorry, I just realized you had another post about this with the details.  I'll go check that out.

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