An interesting, sad reason many women do not breastfeed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 05-21-2007, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A reason that I have not heard that often for not breastfeeding is this: Getting through the pain of the first week. It's sad but true: We live in a society so afraid of pain and in my opinion, I think a huge reason why many choose not to breastfeed is because it's "too painful" to continue. I personally wish someone would have told me in that first week that the pain would not last forever. I have breastfed consistently since he was born, but I honestly thought it would stay painful!! How wrong I was, as many of you obviously know I love breastfeeding! And I'm so glad that I got through that first week because honestly, there WAS a point on day 3 that I wanted to give up. The milk hadn't come in yet and I was in tears with pain. Just think if I gave up though? I wouldn't enjoy all the wonderful benefits of feeding my baby in the only natural way there is as an infant. Anyways, I just thought I'd share this. :

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#2 of 47 Old 05-21-2007, 09:46 PM
 
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That was why my sister stopped breastfeeding. Oh, and that she expected it to be easy because it was natural. Have either of us ever had someone show us how to do it????

No.... so how was it supposed to be easy?

:

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#3 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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it doesn't even hurt that bad...and my son had major issues with latch because of all the drugs we had to take to induce him...right now i have thrush and it hurts like a s.o.b but i wouldn't stop for the world...
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#4 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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It is unfortunately a cornerstone of society that we not do things unless they're easy & fun, KWIM? The only time I had pain in the first week was when I had the baby latched on wrong & took my nipple out of her mouth slanted.

It's amazing the attitude I keep encountering...People think that for me to have continued to breastfeed, it must be easy. And usually it is, but I've hit roadbumps like the rest of us, KWIM? Frankly there are times when I am heartily sick of being sucked on all the time, but I deal with it, because there are some things more important!

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#5 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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It is so sad that people give up so easily. I had pain in the beginning as well. My nippled were all cracked and bleeding but I kept at it and I'm so happy I did. The best thing now is at almost 5 months dd nurses and then stops to look up at me and smile and then nurses an then looks up at me. It's such a special thing.

Laura mama to Caitlyn 12/26/06 and Frenchie dh non vaccing unschooling multilingual family
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#6 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Dang, it hurt more than my c-section, and went on for 6 weeks! But I was bound and determined. I knew how important it was for my DS, so I kept at it. And it did get to be painless over time. I tell my friends the truth, that it was the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most worthwhile, and what I am most proud of in my life.

I've said this before, but I 'd really like to see pre-partum counseling sessions with a lactation consultant be a standard part of prenatal care. I think lots of Moms would do much better knowing what is going to happen ahead of time.
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#7 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 04:11 AM
 
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i tell moms that it does hurt some people for a few weeks but to stick with it...i was very surprised that my nipples were sore with this last baby i thought that because i had bf before that it wouldn't hurt as bad the second time WRONG it was pretty bad for the first 3 weeks and the baby was latching correctly....
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#8 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 04:43 AM
 
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My DH's niece told me when I was pregnant that she would never BF again because it hurt worse than childbirth. Then of course her DS took 8oz bottles right away so there was no way she could've made enough milk for him :
I told her it wasn't supposed to hurt like that and she probably had a latch problem but she got funny with me about it...and FF from the start with her second. :
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#9 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 09:08 AM
 
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It is sad...I had a lot of people try to discourage me from BF (while I was pregnant) because "it's so painful." DS is 3wks and I'm still in pain, but I'm determined to stick it out and do whatever it takes because I know BF is best for us both!
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#10 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 09:20 AM
 
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#11 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 09:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RootSnort View Post
I've said this before, but I 'd really like to see pre-partum counseling sessions with a lactation consultant be a standard part of prenatal care. I think lots of Moms would do much better knowing what is going to happen ahead of time.
You're right, Laura. This is a great idea. I was stubborn and determined enough to breastfeed no matter what that I was able to seek out the help that I needed in the first few weeks - lactation consultants, my county's bfing helpline, even the Medela 1-800 number - but it seems that many women are't. There needs to be some kind of support for post-partum women to know that they CAN do it and and they are not alone.
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#12 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 09:49 AM
 
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We were lucky for our nursing relationship that I don't remember it hurting. If it had hurt, I probably would have been of the mindset that I wasn't really interested in continuing. After labor and delivery, I just didn't want any more pain, any more, ever.
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#13 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 09:53 AM
 
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I kept with it through the pain of the first week b/c there was no way in he11 I was going through getting up and getting a bottle 3 or more times a night. Not to mention trying to drag bottles w/me whenever we went out. It's so much easier to just keep nursing!

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#14 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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My daughter was tongue tied and it hurt horribly for me. I screamed at pain at latch on for the first two weeks (my husband had to leave the room when I did it becuase he couldn't stand it), then pumped and fed pumped milk for two weeks, finally found someone to fix the tongue (without putting her under GA) then I think it finally started to be pain free at 9 weeks. I think the only reason I put up with all that was because I didn't have the natural birth I wanted, so I was willing to fight for that. I can understand why other women would not have pushed through it like I did. I kept telling myself it would be better after 2 weeks, 6 weeks, etc. Finally it did.
There is a good analogy in "So That's What They Are For!" Quitting bfing after the first week or two is like going to the movies, standing in a long line for the tickets, then standing in a long line to get your popcorn, and then leaving before the movie comes on. You deal with the crappy part but quit before you get to the good part. If more women knew that.... maybe things would be different.
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#15 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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What I wish is that I hadn't kept reading 'If it hurts, you're doing something wrong.' This isn't always true. My baby had a super strong suck and great latch. He nursed for hours after birth which made my nipples SO sore. During that first couple of weeks, my nipples cracked open and looked awful and the latch-on pain, which was terrible, continued for a good while after the cracks healed. I was sure I was doing something wrong, but we weren't - it just took some time for my nipples to adjust! Now nursing is pretty much pain free. I can definitely see how women might give up in that situation.

Me (37) ~ DH (39) ~ DS (3) ~ TTC #2 since 4/10
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#16 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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Dang, it hurt more than my c-section, and went on for 6 weeks! But I was bound and determined. I knew how important it was for my DS, so I kept at it.
Oh heck ya - me too!

I would get so frustrated right around 3am or so and be in tears and I probably would have given up except dh was there and able to talk me through it.

Now, I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world, but most of my friends gave up pretty early. (Four months or so)
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#17 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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The best thing now is at almost 5 months dd nurses and then stops to look up at me and smile and then nurses an then looks up at me. It's such a special thing.
Yes!!
They look right into your soul with so much love! This is one of the most beautiful things of motherhood :

I had wonderful nurses helping DD get a proper latch in the hospital she was born in Denmark. They REALLY made sure all new moms had a good nursing relationship going before leaving the hospital The only time it hurt was when she latched on wrong, but then the nurse quickly showed me what the problem was. When I had DS #2 in an American hospital they just said: "it would be easier for you if you just let us give him a bottle" :
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#18 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I agree. I went through 6 weeks of latching incorrectly and I *DID* get help before leaving the hospital. Primarily because I had read that if it hurts, something is not right.

Well, 2 CNMs, 3 nurses and a lactation consultant all told me everything looked fine to them. They gave me a nipple shield my last day and sent me home telling me all was perfect. It totally wasn't! I was bleeding, cracked, and blistered by the 3rd day home. Only LLL saved me, and that was 2 weeks later. I didn't have internet at the time, so all I could do was sit and wait and try methods in the few books I had that actually had information on how to latch.

Very sad that we don't have hospital personnel with more BF training.

Manda

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#19 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 08:12 PM
 
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That is what concerns me when people state how easy bf is.
Sure it is for some. But not everyone. What if your only IRL bf support had an easy time and you have complications.

That is one reason when I advocate I let people know that the start can be painful, but with help and support most are able to work thru it.
And when you do work thru the problems you will be sooo happy!!
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#20 of 47 Old 05-22-2007, 08:30 PM
 
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The first 3 weeks of nursing my DD were horrible. The pain was unbelievable. But after that it got better. I think a lot of people think if it hurts it wont get better and screw it. (And I cant really blame them - if it were going to hurt that bad for 16 months I wouldnt have done it either!!!!!!!!!!)
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#21 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Yes, people give up WAY too easily. I had <I>extremely</I> painful latch on for over 3 MONTHS! Consulted with LLL, IBCLC? and had his tongue clipped for tongue tie. Had to use both nip shields and shells. Lanisoh did not help but I kept trying it. I had tears streaming down my face nearly every time he latched on, and sometimes as he was sleeping I would think "please sleep just a bit longer" because I dreaded the next feeding.

Finally between 3-4 months it got better and has been fine since.

I know how painful it can be, but it does make me very sad that new moms give up so easily. Yes, there DOES need to be prenatal nursing counseling!

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#22 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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We live in a society so afraid of pain and in my opinion, I think a huge reason why many choose not to breastfeed is because it's "too painful" to continue.
not to hijack the thread -- but i think this wreid fear also has a lot to do with the UP UP UP numbers in birth pain interventions.......that is wth ones who get interventions EARLY (I admit to intervention at hour 22 and total exhustion, did not want it, CNM convinced us i needed it)......and don't wait to see how they handle it.

FEAR of PAIN is worse than the actual pain............

or in the case of BF --- a little pain now freaks people it will always be that way (or even a lot of pain now). no one sees the end.

aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#23 of 47 Old 05-24-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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My mother had the same problem.. painful nursing with bleeding nipples with both children. Sh gave up immediately because I guess there was no breastfeeding help around at the time. I was fed organic cow's milk and my father thinks that's why I was sick all the time.. sometimes I wonder if I would have been as smart as my breastfed cousins.

Initially it wasn't easy at all for me too. I thought breastfeeding would be the easiest thing and would come to me naturally.. I didn't even think to read up about it before giving birth. The first 2-3 weeks were very painful, probably due to a shallow latch. Boy, that pain was almost unbearable and long, b/c my DS would nurse for like an hour in the beginning. I already had cracked, scabby nipples by the second day of his life and it didn't help that the IBCLC was not there on weekends (i gave birth on a saturday). It also didn't help that he was wheeled off to the nursery after he was born even though I had a vaginal delivery and I didn't get to see him until 2-3 hours later (and by that time they had given him a bottle even though I told them no supplemental feedings.. ARGH!). I would just scream when he latched on and I began to hate nursing. I began to dread feedings too. I was so upset that nursing wasn't working for me. But I was determined and I didn't want to give up giving him the best milk in the world. I thought about getting help from a LC, but I did some reading and worked on it myself because LC fees seemed so expensive.. I worked on his latch by changing positions (skin-to-skin) , waiting until he opened at least somewhat wide and pulling down his lower lip if it was still tucked in while nursing and that did the trick.. he got the hang of things after a while. Now I have no more pain, bleeding or sore nipples and he latches on without a problem.. I am so so glad I didn't give up.. I love breastfeeding now and the close relationship it's given me to my son.
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#24 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 12:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by turtlewomyn View Post
Quitting bfing after the first week or two is like going to the movies, standing in a long line for the tickets, then standing in a long line to get your popcorn, and then leaving before the movie comes on. You deal with the crappy part but quit before you get to the good part. If more women knew that.... maybe things would be different.

:

OMG that is such a great analogy! I'm going to remember that, and use it.

Doing my best every day with DH , DD (11) , and DS (4)

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#25 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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It is really sad how quickly women give up. DS was born early and without suck/swallow. It was freaking hard, but I did it! I think the really sad thing is how easily accessible formula is. Both DH and I think that it should require a prescription, that way people would have to go and say to a doctor that they give up. There are very valid reasons for formula, but I think most cases it could be avoided.

CPST and SAHM to DS (4/20/06) and DD (6/13/08)
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#26 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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Yes indeed,

Though they never cracked/bled, right nipple hurt for 2 weeks and left nipple for 3. A dear friend and BFing mom of 2 saw me through it. First it was painful... then it was annoying, then ... it was wonderful! We moved all the way from Texas to Wisconsin by car in January, which was simplified so much by the fact that DD's food was always ready, clean, and plentiful. We have such an amazing bond, because she's a booby baby! I am so glad I stuck it out.... my mom bottlefed me and I was so ignorant. Thank goodness for my pal, Nadine.

This is just a "me too, me too!" post, but I wanted to share!

kudos mamas
-Xen

Mamma to Amelia (8/13/2006) Henry (7/28/2008), and Arthur (1/15/2011)
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#27 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Why the " for "too painful" ? You don't believe people? I don't really understand why anyone would feel it's appropriate to judge someone else's pain tolerance level.
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#28 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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Why the " for "too painful" ? You don't believe people? I don't really understand why anyone would feel it's appropriate to judge someone else's pain tolerance level.
:
Some people just have a very low tolerance for pain and that's nothing new. Opiates have been used throughout history for pain management. No one should have to suffer horribly if they really can't bear the pain. I think motherhood should not be about martyrdom.
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#29 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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That is what concerns me when people state how easy bf is.
Sure it is for some. But not everyone. What if your only IRL bf support had an easy time and you have complications.
YES!!! My mom bf 4 children so you'd think she'd be a great resource but when I had cracked, bleeding nipples with my first baby all she could say was "gee, I just put you guys on and you knew what to do". Of course my pp brain heard "I didn't have any trouble... what's wrong with you?"

Dh and I had taken a pre-baby bf class together. I thought I was doing everything right. The nurses at the hospital said all looked good even though I was getting blisters. Dh was the one who made me call the LC... thank God! If it weren't for him I wouldn't have made it 2 weeks bf my dd.

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#30 of 47 Old 05-25-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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:
Some people just have a very low tolerance for pain and that's nothing new. Opiates have been used throughout history for pain management. No one should have to suffer horribly if they really can't bear the pain. I think motherhood should not be about martyrdom.
There's also the duration of pain. I had a drug-free childbirth but I could not have managed that pain for a week. The pain I experienced at every single feeding when dd was first born coupled with the idea that it would never improve was more than I could handle.. Fortunately after a visit to an lc at around 2 weeks I was able to make some minor adjustments and all was well. If things had not improved after the lc I am 99.9% sure I would have gone to formula by 3 weeks.

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