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no one ever said how hard it would be. - Page 2

post #21 of 46
grrrr silly repeat post
post #22 of 46
post #23 of 46
post #24 of 46
Yep, I can remember crying in the middle of the night while trying to figure out how to nurse my 1 week old. The formula packets handed out by the hospital sat on my dresser mocking me and my breastfeeding efforts.

It took a good month to get it right. Afterwards, all was well, except the continued need for nightfeedings while formula feeding friends of mine were sleeping through the night...again, that formula mocked me.

I'm on my third breastfeeding child now and i've never had issues past that very first month with my first baby.

When my friends were packing thier bags with powder and water and all the equipment for bottle feeding just for a trip to the mall while I waited on them with my empty bag and happy baby....my ready breasts mocked them!LOL

It will get better ((hugs))
post #25 of 46
I found that nursing was hard too but looking back on the experience it was easier than I made it out to be. What is difficult is giving up your body so frequently when you are totally unacustomed to it. Pregnancy kind of preps you. My DD just turned 2 and we are still nursing. Somewhere along the way, gradually it just became easier or maybe I gave up certain expectations about the relationship. I know I would be much more open to the nursing experience if I had another DC.
my mother told me early on that my DD was using me as a pacifier. Well yeah! : That is what those rubber/silicone things are all about. It is natural for a baby to want to soothe itself, especially using mommy. I think once I relieze that and accepted it our nursing relationship was more amicable.
post #26 of 46
deleted, yet another repeat, sorry
post #27 of 46
I remember being awake and crying in the middle of the night trying to breastfeed a screaming one week old. That packet of formula that was given to me at the hospital sat on my dresser....mocking me and my efforts to feed him. I gave in and fed him formula a few times just to get some sleep.

The first month with the first child was really hard. I'm on my third breastfed child now and nothing has ever been like that first month with my first child.

Now, when I'm ready to go do something and waiting on a bottle feeding friend to get her stuff ready (all the bottles, water, formula, cleaning and organizing) I am soo happy that I stuck with it.

It gets better. (hugs)
post #28 of 46
Hugs!!! You are a wonderful mother!!! You are trying so hard to do the best for your baby, and it will get better! I found that breastfeeding became super easy after a few weeks..... but at first it can be hard. I'm sorry it's so painful for you!

So give yourself a break! You have been through a LOT in the past week, and this huge change in your life takes some adjustment!

post #29 of 46
It's all hormones talking... you're doing the best thing for her!

I had issues at first, too - and my milk didn't come in for going on 6 days. And getting her to stay awake, open big enough, etc. was a huge challenge. And then came the dual cracked, bleeding nipples and her wanting to nurse non-stop, 24 hours a day that made my toes curl everytime she latched on. It was hell, but we got through it.

Something magical seemed to happen right around 6 weeks old. It all got easier. It's still not simple, we're still learning, but at 10 weeks, I can tell you already, it does get easier.

Set a goal for yourself. You'll do it at least until she's 8 weeks old, and re-evaluate. And by then, you'll probably have all sorts of problems sorted out and you'll be able to go onto a longer goal.
post #30 of 46
Ok, here's what ya do...

Get some lanolin ointment, if you don't already have some.

Every time your nurse, express some breastmilk onto your nipple (after the feeding) and let it air dry.

Then, apply some lanolin, then put your bra back on (with pads, if you are using them). If you are using pads, make sure they are nice and soft.

You can put some lanolin on in between feedings as well, if you need to. ALWAYS make sure your nipples are dry before you put your bra back on!!

Do you have a pump? If so, try pumping for one feeding. You'd be surprised at how much relief ONE missed feeding can bring.

Because of possible issues, this should ONLY be done if your daughter's latch is very strong, and I wouldn't do it for more than one feeding in a row. This should be a last resort, and feeding her the expressed milk by syringe or lactation aid would be best, with a bottle as the last resort.

If you do want to use a bottle, or if you want to try to introduce a soother, I highly recommend the Soothie by The First Years. They have just recently come out with a Soothie bottle, which is very exciting.

The nipple (for bottle and soother) is very soft silicone, and is more nipple-like than anything else I've seen.

My son nursed for 4 hours one day in the hospital. The nurses brought me a pump, and said that I could try giving him a soother. It worked like a charm!! I still had a tough first couple of weeks, battling raw nipples, but the soother was a lifesaver. His latch never suffered, and he was exclusively breastfed until just over 5 months, and continued to breastfeed until 14.5 months.

BUT, this will not be the case for every baby. Nipple confusion is a very real thing, so a soother or bottle should really be a last resort.

I hope that things get better for you soon! Hang in there!
post #31 of 46
I'm right there w/ you! It's only been over the last week that i feel anything close to normal...and then only in spurts. my ds is almost 5 wks. we had a lot of trouble in the beginning, and whoever said it shouldn't hurt? it does hurt b/c your nipples are chapped, dc may not latch on properly...and all those questions about how milk coming in or a let down feels - how am i supposed to know? i've never done this! my mom said she had problems w/ all 4 of us, just different problems w/ each. but all i heard about while pg was how wonderful bf is, so, yea, i felt like a terrble mother for not being blissed out every time ds needed to feed. i have to say, though, there's nothing like the excuse of "he needs to feed" to get him back from relatives arms this past weekend.
you are not alone!!
post #32 of 46
Originally Posted by trini View Post
For about the first 3 weeks I took it one feeding at a time. I always just promised myself I'd nurse him "one more time." Thinking ahead any farther than that was overwhelming.
Ditto. I too was angry that there is a myth that bfing is easy, natural, shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right, blah blah blah. Sometimes it's just plain hard and painful. DO NOT FEEL LIKE A FAILURE. We have lost generations of breastfeeding knowledge and support in the last 70 years...most of us don't have our mums looking over our shoulders telling us how to get it right. You are doing an amazing thing under incredibly difficult circumstances. You are learning, and you will get better, your baby will become a more efficient nurser, and grow a bigger mouth and all this will help make it easier.

I felt betrayed by my body too. I had an easy pregnancy, a breeze of a delivery, and then I started to nurse and my boobs flaked on me. I wish I had known at the time how common it is, and that I wasn't a freak and a failure. It is so hard at the beginning, sometimes for weeks and weeks, but usually not. You are doing the right thing, vent all you want, and like the pp said, just take it one day, one feeding at a time. I know the cringing when baby cries feeling, sometimes even resenting your beautiful newborn because all they seem to want to do is the one thing that you don't want to do. For myself, those hard times made BFing even more important to me - it made me value that relationship all the more when it finally got a bit easier. I would never have given that up.

The pumping suggestion is what saved me. I would never have made it without that pump. Being able to skip a few feedings a day, or every feeding for a couple of days really made a huge difference. Feed with a syringe or cup, and if you want to use a bottle use the slowest flow nipple you can find and sit baby upright while giving (so milk doesn't come out so fast), and be very vigilant about latch. You can also let baby suck on your finger for comfort nursing needs.

Don't be afraid to tell your family or friends how hard this is for you and how much support you need. Make sure everyone knows that suggesting formula isn't helpful or supportive of a good BFing relationship. I couldn't have done it without my dp...it was almost as hard and stressful for him as it was for me, but he helped me through it.

to you. Hang in there
post #33 of 46
Hi new mom. It will get easier with time.

For me... the stuck in one place with a baby attached to me thing was really hard so what I did was indulge in whatever brain candy I could access while nursing. In my case it was TV which I look back on as my own little post partum addiction to help me through the transition to always having a baby in arms and give my sleep deprived brain something very passive to do. We had Tivo when ds was born and I watched every single episode of Judging Amy and ER (repeats of both were on twice a day). Many folks may disagree, but when they are so very little I feel like the TV doesn't have many negative effects. By the time ds was a few months old I learned to read while nursing, but was never able to read while nursing dd.

And the pain I just embraced rather than fought, like some folks do in childbirth. It sounds kind of weird, and is a little hard to explain.

When I needed to escape the constant nursing we walked in the neighborhood and in the woods. At least with my babies the constant need to nurse was less when we were out and about then when were at home.

Also helpful was the breastfeeding support group, run by a lactation consultant, & the new moms group at our local hospital. It was just nice to have someone check our latch and tell me nothing was wrong, to be inspired by moms working through BFing challenges, and to be surrounded by others going through the same thing. I didn't have the energy to make any long lasting connections there, but looked forward to going every week or two.

So look for what works for you. Good luck, and remember, the beginning is really the hardest because everything can be so magnified by hormones and sleep deprivation.
post #34 of 46
I feel for you. It's so hard in the beginning. I still feel like a cow *sometimes*, but I def. felt like a cow all the time til he was about 8 weeks old. It's hard, but stick with it. Pretty soon your DD will be much bigger and all because of the milk you've produced. That is very cool.
post #35 of 46
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
also, remember, you are going through a veritible hurricane of hormones right now! Less than three weeks post partum? My god, all moms at this stage should be classified as legally insane!

Think of it, hormone hell, PLUS lack of sleep, PLUS learning to nurse, PLUS caring for such a fragile little being, PLUS trying to wrap your head around how your core identity has just fundamentally changed for the rest of your life. No wonder you feel like hell!

It gets easier. Your job now is to survive. To sit on your butt, nurse that baby, sleep when the baby sleeps. THAT IS IT. No laundry. No making dinner. No thank you cards. Nothing else. Make your family treat you like you just had open heart surgery. Focus all your attention on nursing and sleeping.

Your baby wants YOU. Yes, you are nursing her most of the time. But she wants you, because she knows you - your scent, your heart rate, your milk. Daddy, at this age, is a new toy. You are her world.

And before you know it, your baby will be settled (in about three months), breastfeeding will be easier and you'll have a whole new set of challenges to face ; )

Congratulations and this is a great place for support!
I couldn't have said it better myself. what a great post!!!
post #36 of 46
Everyone has given you such wonderful information, not much for me to add! I just wanted to say, though, that many new moms have problems in the beginning - I did, I didn't have a clue what I was doing... now I'm still nursing and my son is 2 years old! It does get better, it does get easier... it really can feel like it never will when you are so tired and trying so hard, and recovering from birth (even a lovely birth is still hard work and hard on your body!) is hard... I think you are a wonderful mama and doing a wonderful job, those first weeks can be so hard! I know how much you love your little one, and I know you are doing a fabulous job! It will get easier, I promise!!
post #37 of 46
I completely know what you mean and I'm glad that the mamas here aren't like others I've encountered who say things like it didn't hurt for them so if it hurts you must have been doing something wrong. grrrrrr I also wish people would have told me how hard it was. I expected a little pain, thats what you always hear that it will hurt temporarily but after a few days or so you get used to it. I bf for 2 weeks with my dd and it hurt almost every time so badly I was biting my lip to stop from crying out. I had a plugged duct, they became engorged, and at one point one of them was bleeding and raw so bad I couldn't feed her on that side. I didn't have much support at all either. Her ped kept pushing formula, the nurses in the hospital did too. My dd also lost over 1 lb of her birthweight like your baby. That said, there was a couple times that she latched on great and I could actually enjoy the moment. I was heartbroken when I finally gave in to the ped's constant recommendation to start supplementing. I cried and cried and dh didn't understand why I was so upset.

You're well on your way though mama, it sounds like you have support and I think that is huge. You've stuck through it even though it's painful. I totally know what you mean about feeling like a cow. You constantly hear about bf'ing being more convenient because you dont have to wash bottles and mix formula. But honestly formula was easier IMO. There were no latching problems, no wondering if she was getting enough because I could actually see it and she slept longer. I never thought I would feel this way about nursing when I was pg with her, I was very uncomfortable with the idea and didn't read much about it like you, I figured it would just happen naturally. But there's something about nursing that is very different and special, that amazing feeling that you are the one providing everything your baby needs to grow and be soothed. I know this is a repeat of what a lot of others have said but I just want you to know you're not alone in having some of the feelings that you do. Good luck!
post #38 of 46
Thread Starter 
We went back to the birth center today. She hasn't gained a single ounce since Friday. It seems that myleft breast is just not producing any milk. The midwife gaveme an electric pump (I had been tryig with a hand pump before with no success) and toldme to hook it up and pump the one side while I feed her with the other. The left if producing nothing. I was hooked up for at least 45 minutes and got only a few drops. When I pumped on the right (just to see the difference) I was able to get about an ounce in an hour. The midwife had toldme to pump what I could and then feed what I got to her with a surrenge.... I did that... but what good does it do if that's all she's getting?

I just put in a call to the center and the mw toldme to get a soy based formula and feed it to her with the sns so that she is still nursing but we can saupplement her intake.

i know all of you wonderfully supportive mamas have said i shouldn't feel this way, but i just can't help feel so inadequate. i mean, i can'teven feed my own baby. i don't want her to have to drink formula, but i can't let her starveeither. god, i hope i can manage to get te left breast working!!!!
post #39 of 46

There is absolutely no reason that she can't gain on the milk of one breast. To *me* it seems too soon to jump to formula based just on weight gain and pumping production. Is she having wet diapers?

Hang in there!

post #40 of 46
Oh, my. When I was having problems w/my ds1, my self worth rose and fell based on how much I was able to pump. I hated, hated, hated, feeding him formula, but he needed to eat something. I was doing all I could, but he wasn't getting enough from me.

So, I tried to nurse, fingerfed, pumped, repeat. It took 4 mos altogether.

As much as I hated formula, I kept reminding myself how much *more* I would have to give him if I weren't busting my butt pumping for him. It was even more challenging for me b/c my dd was only 23 mos old when ds1 was born and got to the point she would cry if she saw the pump. It was hard, but we made it.

You can try supplements to increase your supply. Our problem wasn't a poor supply as much as ds had such a bad latch/suck. The worst our IBCLC had ever seen in 16 years (yeah, that made me feel REALLY good). If you have latch/suck issues, fingerfeeding will help resolve those.

Take care of yourself, try not to be too hard on yourself. You will feel what you feel. I knew logically I wasn't good or bad based on how I fed my child, but emotionally was entirelly different, so I know what you mean about feeling inadequate.
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