What was your biggest breastfeeding challenge? - Page 3
My oldest son is tongue-tied and never had a great latch. Combined with my very sensitive skin this made for painful nursing all the way through. I stopped nursing him at night around 15 months and he weaned himself during the day because he was just too busy :) I guess I kept going through sheer determination, and my mom telling my I was awesome helped a lot!
With our second son I had mastitis a time or two, very painful but cleared up quickly with hot compresses. When he was a few weeks old we both got thrush. I had never had it on my nipples before and it was one of the most horribly painful things! One friend said she'd read it felt like having ground glass in your nipples to nurse with thrush and that's about what it felt like. I had to stop nursing for a while because it wasn't clearing up. We partially bottle fed for a while until we got the thrush healed. I was pretty upset about giving him a bottle, especially when he didn't show any interest in nursing any more. I was Determined to get back to nursing full time as soon as the thrush cleared up. Baby wasn't so into it (too much work apparently), so I gave him a minimum of bottle feeding until he accepted nursing again. It was Tough seeing my precious baby hungry for a couple days, but it was worth it in the end.
While it is always hard in the first weeks, while baby is getting accustomed to nursing even if mom is experienced, the hardest part (for me) begins around 4 months when well meaning family and friends and strangers alike all try to shove food down my baby's throat. I explain that he is not ready and I literally have to isolate myself in my bedroom in order for them to leave it alone. Or also around 6 months when "now is a good time to wean", I have heard from a lot of doctors. While my advice is simple and a lot of moms are doing it anyway and know better it is simply to educate yourself and stand your ground. You know what is best for your baby; afterall your baby spent 9 months within your womb and you did all the work of birthing him or her out into the "real" world.
My biggest challenge has been dealing with fast flow. My daughter and I had a hard time figuring out how to deal with that. At about 2.5 months she figured out her ideal feeding position, which is a bit unorthodox but she loves it and she is feeding great now. She has to be lying flat on her back, with just her head turned toward me as we are both lying down together. Now our feedings go very smoothly, we're slowly working are way up to sitting positions again. Now at 3 months my supply has finally adjusted to meet her needs, the oversupply I had resolved itself.
I think the biggest challenge is being able to throw away the breastfeeding rule book and let the baby be the guide. Once I gave her my full trust everything fell into place for us.
I will just echo: posterior tongue tie. Now that I know a tiny bit more, I can't believe that for five weeks, I nursed my third child and had no idea why it hurt so badly. It was awful, terrible, horrible pain! My neighbor came running into our bedroom at 3am because I was screaming so loudly, in agony. And the baby wasn't getting enough to eat. And after two tongue tie surgeries (one with Dr. Kotlow), she still couldn't nurse.
I was pumping round the clock, and she wouldn't take the bottle, and I felt like a horrible mom because I could barely feed my little daughter, let alone nurse her. We finally started giving her food (soup in a bottle, as per Dr. Natasha's "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" dietary protocol--no grains or sugars) when she was seven months, after a bout of thrush and worsening (silent) reflux that appeared to be keeping her from getting enough to eat even with the "easy" bottle nipple.
Now, although we haven't had miracles, the reflux is subsiding, and--this is really incredible, after all the intrusion and trauma to my daughter's mouth--she nurses a few times per day! She's doing much better with the addition of GAPS foods, and I have written a lot about our experiences on my website, in the hopes of helping other mamas avoid the craziness that was the past eight months: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/updates/micro-macro-or-when-tiny-things-are-devastating
I am so eager for researchers to look at these topics all together: gut dysbiosis, autism spectrum disorder/ADD/ADHD (my older child is affected), MTHFR gene, synthetic B-vitamin fortification, tongue tie, breastfeeding pain, AND diet/environmental factors. Turns out that both my older children were tongue-tied, which must be why it hurt to breastfeed them for the seven years I did so. (It wasn't as bad as with my daughter, but the pain was there every time they latched.)
Good luck with your article. :)
The biggest challenge is finding support for your bf goals. We had a very uninformed and discouraging pediatric nurse who urged supplementation when it was not needed. After gaining weight the first week, he lost 1-2 ounces following his circumcision (day 8 for religious reasons), and this sounded some alarms. She told me, "There aren't enough calories in your milk," scared me with "failure to thrive" (what an awful phrase!), and gave formula samples. My maternal instinct told me otherwise. It is a good thing I was well-read and connected with a real lactation consultant. After speaking to more than one person, including friends and consultants, the advice that spoke to me was the most logical: Breasts are glands. Just like you don't run out of saliva, as long as you're hydrated, you won't run out of milk. Also, mom's diet does not impact the calories/fat in bmilk, which remain fairly constant as long as you are emptying the breast at each feeding to get the hindmilk. I would recommend that other parents seek more than one professional opinion and go beyond a pediatrician or nurse, who may not be certified in lactation. Surround yourself with support, or at least obtain phone numbers to call when there are bumps in the road. And there will be bumps!
I was naive.... Just thought everything would go fine. It was six weeks of pain and cracking bleeding nipples. What worked: determination. My mistake: not asking for help sooner. I am glad to say I nursed my son for over two years, I'm sure the incorrect latch could have been corrected MUCH sooner, but I didn't asked for help I just cried and kept going. My advice to any woman is to ask for help if you need it! We worked through pain that didn't need to be there.
My son had trouble latching on, I had a LOT of pressure from the hospital nurses for formula and some good support from the LC. It was if the nurses were hovering waiting for me to fail, so they could swoop in with formula. Fortunately, the LC supported my wishes for no bottles or artificial nipples, we pumped and fed him with a spoon, then ended up with a Haberman nipple which was for babies with cleft palate I think--it was long and he had to really suck to get the milk, it didn't just flow into his mouth. He stayed with me the whole time in the hospital, I didn't send him to the nursery so I could feed him whenever. I left the hospital with a hospital grade pump and my "patient education" from the nurse which consisted of her lecturing me on if my baby didn't nurse I must give him formula, nice encouraging support for a new mom. I went home and continued to try to get him open his mouth and get the hang of things. All this time I was the only one who fed him--it was important that he knew I was the momma with the milk. We went to the midwife, who helped him/me with holding him and latching on, and finally he got the hang of it he had to be readmitted for jaundice. I pumped and the special care nurses let me feed him both at the breast and with his Haberman bottle while he was under the lights. Once he was discharged, he went home and did just fine. I did have problems with one side with blocked milk ducts every now and again, usually when I was really stressed...but we resolved this with nursing, warm compresses and pumping. He did well and nursed for 2 1/2 years. He's 10 now (0: