PTSD caused by Breast Feeding problems? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-05-2010, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Wondering if anyone has any experience with depression or PTSD and breast feeding grief/problems. I was diagnosed with PTSD after DD's birth (unexcpected c-section), but that was followed by a heartbreaking time trying to breastfeed. I actually think the depression & other symptoms were caused by this terrible time. I then had another baby (vbac) and had an even worse (although longer) breast feeding experience. I am having trouble coming to grips with everything, and wonder if I should see another therapist. I saw one for a few months about 9 mos pp with my DD, and she actually told me the "next c-section" would be like cake because I'd know what to expect - so I am leary of wasting my time. I wish I could find someone who specialized in not only birth but post-partum and breast feeding grief. Until then, I'd just like to know if there are others out there.
Things are made worse right now by the baby's developmental delays (motor) which may be linked to his extreme feeding situation, and I am having trouble sorting everything out, in between PT therapies 3-4 x's a week. It's all taking a toll on us.
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#2 of 6 Old 10-05-2010, 11:56 PM
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oh mama, big hugs to you!
definitely look for a therapist who specializes in post partum issues if you feel your current therapist isn't meeting your needs. hopefully you can find one if you live in a large town. in my area, many pp professionals have many hats (e.g., therapist, pp doula, etc.). would a support group be an option?
congrats for reaching out and best of luck advocating for your family's needs!
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#3 of 6 Old 11-11-2010, 09:04 AM
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Wow, I never thought of that but I'm sure I have that as well. I had a breast reduction and knew I would have issues BFing DD, but I still feel like I have so much unresolved emotion. It seems like some people on MDC are so pro-breastfeeding that it can be hurtful to someone who wanted to but can't breastfeed. But on the other hand, most people I meet don't understand how sad I feel about not BFing. They say that I tried and should feel fine, besides, it's fine to use formula.


Now I'm BFing DS and while it's going so much better, I already feel like it's the beginning of the end. The other day I was trying to nurse him using the SNS, and he wouldn't take it, and I just broke down. I don't want to wean him, but nothing is working. Why does no one else understand how I feel?


Anyway, I wanted to let you know that other people feel this way. I'm sorry you can't find a supportive therapist. I'm just starting back in therapy myself, and I have yet to see what my therapist thinks about my BFing issues. 

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#4 of 6 Old 11-15-2010, 09:20 PM
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After a traumatic birth with my first baby and not being able to breastfeed her, despite herculean efforts, I found this wonderful Yahoo Group called MOBI (Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues) and their off-shoot group called Breastfeeding Grief. So many women have felt what you have and there is lots of great support online in these groups. Just putting it out there in case it helps.

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#5 of 6 Old 11-28-2010, 01:32 PM
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This is me!


You are absolutely not alone mama. I had a relatively easy birth followed by what was the most heartbreaking, frustrating, and sad breastfeeding experience. My daughter was completely unable to latch for the first week of her life, and I remember telling her papa that I felt like I was living in a nightmare. When she was finally able to latch, she did so extremely poorly, causing deep cracks and bleeding that took two months to heal. I've had severe intraductal thrush since she was born and at four months old, I have yet to nurse my daughter without pain. She still has a very shallow latch and I often cry while she nurses. I think it's too late to fix this and am so, so, so deeply sad that I may never nurse her comfortably, although I am very grateful that I am able to nurse her at all, after having two LCs tell me there wasn't much they could do for me.


Though we have "succeeded" in many ways, I still consider my nursing experience to be one of the most traumatizing things that has happened to me. Thanks for the link, surfacing, I look forward to checking it out. Clover and mama, I'd love to keep this discussion going!

L, student nurse and married to A, my union man. Happy parents to little S!   joy.gif

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#6 of 6 Old 03-23-2011, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I hadn't checked this thread in a while and wanted to come back and just say that I do think talking about that has helped so much more than I thought it could have.  I had been a member of the MOBI/Breastfeeding Group for a while, and I think it was key in getting myself to accept what has happened.  This is a very sensitive topic, and I think that only women who have lived it sharing their stories with us can help us work through it.  I am in such a different place now.  Another thing that has helped is perspective - when I read or meet another mama who is just beginning a BF struggle, I like to offer words of encouragement and empathy, and it helps me look back at what I've gone through with compassion for myself too.  I hope that we can all recover from this and take the ultimate lesson to heart, that to love and nurture a baby can't look the same for everyone.  I am a staunch lactivist, but one with the repretoire to truly understand that sometimes things cannot work out.  To say I went to extremes to BF is an understatement, and I now feel like I don't have to explain or prove it to anyone.

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