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Old 11-27-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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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!!
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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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
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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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.

mom to a 7 year old lego fanatic and a 5 year old cross dresser
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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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!!!

fambedsingle2.gifnovaxnocirc.gifHappy to be a mommy and teacher to D fencing.gif, born 1-17-06 via waterbirth.jpg  and A  blahblah.gif, born 10-6-08 with a homebirth.jpghomeschool.gif

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Old 11-28-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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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!!
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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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!
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!!!!
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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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!

-Angela
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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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.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:59 AM
 
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If you need to pump you need to get a hospital grade pump. I think the Medela Classic pump is the best hands down. Pumping does take getting used to, but what you pump does not = what she gets or you make.

Are you counting wet and poopy diapers? Output is the best sign of input. We used dimes for poops, pennies for pees.

Do you have a LLLeader in your area? Some groups are better than others, but post to FYT and ask if the leader in your area is good, or who to call if there is more than one.

There is a homeopathic remedy for when only one breast is working. I think it's Calc Phos. I can look it up if you PM me if you are interested.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have the pump that the midwives gave me from the Milk Bank.

I've found my local LLL groups, but none of them meet for another 2 weeks. I've been in touch via email with the leader of the local group and she gave me her phone number, but we've been playing phone tag so far. I'm hoping to be able to meet with her or talk to her sometime soon.

mamaverdi - I'll be PMing you in a moment to get the homeopathic remedy for sure!

Morgan is producing a good number of pee and poop diapers per day, but she was still losing/not gaining weight (we've been going in for check ups at the birth center every day to two days to check up on her). She's been on a soy forumla supplement through an SNS (1 oz every feeding) and has gained back some weight. She's still 6 oz below her birth weight. My main concern is that my left breast never feelslike it is filling. I will feel a let down occasionally on the right, but never on the left. I wake up in themorning and the right screams that I need to feed her but the left is no more full than it was the night before.

Our other big problem at the moment is that she refuses to nap during the day. She'll nap like a champ on and off until about 2 or 3 pm and then she's wide awake until she passes out at around 1 am. Poor thing is obviously exhaused and getting cranky form that, but I've tried everything Ican think of to get her down for a nap in the day time, but with no luck. We've been nursing lying down in bed, we've gone for drives, we've walked in the sling, we've tried the swing... I just can't think of what else to try. And sincce she is so tired and cranky when I do put her on the breast she sucks for a few seconds and then falls asleep. When she is asleep she will spit out my nipple and then in about 1 minute start screaming that she's hungry. We go through this for hours a night.

Any suggestions?? I'm desperate to get her off this formula supplement, but I'm not willing to compromise her weight gain. Again, I think we'd be able to nurse far more efficiently if I could get her to nap...
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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Congrats on your new little one, and although I have no great advice for the supply and weight issues, I just wanted to say that you keep at it. It will get easier, I promise. I had such issues with my first child. My dd went through 2 rounds of thrush, LOTS of gas, ate EVERY 45 minutes from about 2 weeks to four months, and NEVER napped.
My mantra was, "get through another week." At four months, things got dramatically easier. Keep at it. It is such a short time in hindsight...but insane as you go through it. Keep us posted as you work things out.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:12 AM
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... My main concern is that my left breast never feelslike it is filling. I will feel a let down occasionally on the right, but never on the left. I wake up in themorning and the right screams that I need to feed her but the left is no more full than it was the night before.

Our other big problem at the moment is that she refuses to nap during the day. ...
It's my first time through this as well. My boobs almost never feel full -- either of them -- because my dd is nursing on demand all day. I look for milk on her face, watch diaper production, and just try to glug down as much water as I can.

My dd is also a non-napping baby, so my only ray of hope for you on this point is that she might end up falling into a pattern of long sleep at night, which would allow you to catch up as well and keep your energy up for caring for her in the day. My dd decided that 9p was bedtime when she was about 4-6 weeks old, and has consistently "crashed" around that time for 6 - 8 hours ever since (we're at 5 months almost now). She feeds once during the night usually then eats a TON in the morning.

good luck You sound like a wonderful mama, not a terrible one. You're willing to work so hard to give your baby the best baby food out there -- that's awesome!!
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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cablegirl, you CAN do it, you WILL do it, heck, you ARE doing it! I know it is natural to feel inadequate, but you are doing your very best - please remember it isn't easy for lots of mamas and you are not a failure. You are giving your baby an amazing gift where many other women would have already given up trying (and, darn, some don't try at all ). I don't know what the deal is with the left breast - it's possible that you just had a less effective latch on the left and the breast wasn't stimulated as much as the right (or I guess it's possible that the left has less mammary glands - but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion right away) but I would just keep pumping for now. It took me a few days of constant pumping (every 2-3hrs or so) to get 1oz per session. I did have to supplement from days 5-12, but did manage to increase my milk enough to lose the supplement. These are such a tough few weeks at the beginning...when you get through this it will give you a sense of your amazing mama strength!

Re: sleeping - have you tried swaddling? (Hope that isn't a silly question if you've already tried it-both my ds loved to be swaddled and rocked - they seemed instantly soothed.)
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:47 AM
 
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OK, I'll try to add just a couple more things. Like my BFF told me, breast feeding is an art. Apparently, pumping is too. I was just about to give upI didn't start pumping until DD was almost 12 wks, and it took days to get right. I would pump and pump for 2 oz, and same thing, one side would just not pump. Finally, there came that "magical moment" when it all worked out. So, as pp said, don't go on that so much.

*As pp said, use the lanolin, use the lanolin.
*Wear a bra all the time, night and day, until you become more comfortable.
*Hot showers work wonders. Let the hot water flow over your shoulders and down your breasts, and massage them while you are in the shower.
*Try nursing in the football hold, with baby propped on a nursing pillow. You can cradle her in one arm lovingly, and use the other to drink something, flip channels with the remote, flip through a magazine, or talk on the phone to your friends and family. I frequently use nursing time to catch up on phone calls. If you have a headset, all the better. You can nurse, talk on the phone, and still have a hand free.
*Or just prop her there and have 2 hands free, so you can read a book or play a video game, whatever your style.
*Try the nursing pillow at the PC so you can NAK lol.
*In this position, you also get full face and eye contact with your babe.
*Baby not napping could indicate gassiness or other physical discomforts. DD just would not nap at that age lying down flat, it hurt too much, and the same thing, she was good for one nap a day, then no more, or just a few minutes at a time. You might try:
**Nursing her propped up at an angle. Again, the football hold works great.
**Sleeping on the side or inlcined. We do this on Peds advice with a sleep positioner. They also have incline positioners, essentially a wedge shaped piece of foam. You can also try an Amby if you can afford it (see askdrsears.com) though they are pricey. Alternatively, try a bouncy seat or swing. The angle is just so much more comfortable for them, and DC may surprise you and go down for hours. The first time I put DD in the swing at about 8 weeks, I was amazed. Of course, being the AP mom you are, you use it judiciously.
**Elimination diets (check other posts about this while NAK

Finally, don't be too jealous of DH being able to calm her. Just think, Thank God (or whomever you choose) he can, so I can get the heck away for a few minutes to . . . take a shower, massage my breasts, put on lanolin, a nice fresh bra . . . eat . . . call mom . . . etc.
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