Trying To Come To Grips With Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-12-2006, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or my lack thereof.

I gave birth to my first son almost three years ago. The breastfeeding support was fairly good, meaning that if I had wanted, a LLL would have come out to my house. Honestly, after having my breasts mauled in the hospital, I just wanted some peace. My breasts never engorged, I developed cracked, bleeding and scabby nipples, I'm assuming from poor latch. I also had no clue what 'let down' was because my breasts never did that. After a week, I gave up and fed him his first bottle of formula. I cried as I mixed it up and read 'Breast is best' on the side of the formula can. Even after I quit breastfeeding cold turkey, my breasts did not engorge.

Fast forward to December when I birthed my second son. I was sure that this time would go better, even though my breasts performed less-than-spectacularly the first time. This time around I felt engorgement, I could feel the let down, and I was psyched. Then my nipples cracked again, even though I'm fairly certain he had a good latch. It never caused me pain until the cracks appeared. After suffering for a week, I tried my hand at pumping exclusively for him, but failed after a month.

He's six months old and I still feel like a complete failure. I hide when I have to mix his bottles in public. I'm sad when I hear a breastfeeding mom talk about breastfeeding. It's horrible.

So, how do I let go of the guilt, and figure out how to make breastfeeding easier for future children? (first is set to arrive September 2008 if my ovaries do their job)
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#2 of 9 Old 06-13-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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Give yourself no other choice. Line up your support ahead of time and just decide you'll make it work. My nipples were hamburger for a month- small mouth, high palate, strong suck. I just gritted my teeth and kept going. By 6 weeks it didn't hurt any more. She's 22 months and still nursing

You CAN do it.

-Angela
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#3 of 9 Old 06-13-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Ditto on lining up support. That's crucial. The LC I had hoped to go to was on vacation when I delivered my DD 4 weeks early and that almost did me in. But, I was (and still am ) incredibly stubborn--my husband still says that was the main contributor to my BF'ing success. I was just absolutely unaccepting of the thought of quitting. I might have been bawling in my living room and a total zombie for days, but I made it happen. I was going to do whatever I had to do--call whatever expert I had to call. And my husband was a huge, tremendous help. He basically cleaned pump parts continually and woke us up every three hours around the clock to feed and pump. And, looking back, I was glad it was him and that he was the only one there with me and DD. No one else to interrupt our "system" with wanting to hold the baby or "help" with all the other IMO less important stuff.

But seriously, don't be afraid to try alternative ways of doing it at first if you have to. I had huge breasts with flat nipples and a sleepy almost premie with a very small mouth and jaundice to boot. First, I pumped and used an SNS to get something into her. Then I transitioned her to the nipple with a nipple shield. I used that for a few weeks. It was hard to transition off that, but I think it was very important that I did so. Things were going well, and I could see it being hard to want to disrupt that and make that last change, but it's important to do so for long-term success.

I avoided bottles and pacifiers, so as not to affect her latch. There are a bunch of ways to feed them your expressed milk other than a bottle.

Oh, and if you are at a hospital, at the first sign of any trouble--heck, I wouldn't even wait for that--demand they bring you a pump and get pumping. We waited a bit too long and once they get jaundiced (which isn't the end of the world) you are further behind the eight ball in terms of getting calories into them. Still try regular nursing of course and continue to try even if you are using some other method. If you are not at a hospital, have a pump lined up ahead of time. You want to have something to give that baby if they are hungry and you are trying to work on things (calling an LC, pumping, etc).

And just focus on the latch. Spend your time getting the best latch you can and keep adjusting if you start to have any problems. You really just need to have a good LC there to help and then to check in on you periodically.

You gotta do what you can to keep doing it, yk? You will be surprised at how fast things change and what is a problem one day, can fix itself or be fixed the next.

With a little preparation, you will do great! Read kellymom.com.

{Partner to DH  and Former WOHM, now SAHM  to DD, DD , and DS } *** ***
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#4 of 9 Old 06-13-2006, 03:11 AM
 
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sending you hugs, mama...

it's okay to grieve over the loss of something that you wanted...

that's all i wanted to say right now.

~claudia
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#5 of 9 Old 06-13-2006, 08:28 AM
 
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Another Amityfree. And Moonjelly, that was an awesome post. Excellent advice. Breastfeeding can be a tremendous amount of work, and sometimes we can't do it exclusively, but when you done your absolutely best the pride is

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#6 of 9 Old 06-13-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonJelly


Ditto on lining up support. That's crucial.

I avoided bottles and pacifiers, so as not to affect her latch. There are a bunch of ways to feed them your expressed milk other than a bottle.

And just focus on the latch. You really just need to have a good LC there to help and then to check in on you periodically.

I totally second that! GET GOOD SUPPORT!!! I kind of went into BF blind. I spent a ton of time researching natural birth and just a bit of time researching BFing. I thought that it would be tough but I would have support in the hospital that was very knowledgeable and trustworthy to help me thought it. Well I was wrong! Sadly : After countless LC in the hospital (I think it was 5 or 6, I truly lost track) took a look at her latch and told me it was fine and I just had sensitive nipples I almost lost it. I was in tears, the pain was unbearable! I told the nurses that this was worse than childbirth ( I had no meds for birth). They did not know what to do so one of them suggested that I give my girl a bottle since she was starving. I did not know any better and I trusted her expert opinion.

Well in the end the bottle just added to the already complicated problem. She ended up having a biting reflex every time she sucked. I found a GREAT LC after I called all over the state and every LLL personal I could get my hands on. We worked for hours together to try and curve my girls biting to no avail. We tried everything in the literature but it just made her more mad and she began snubbing the breast. After weeks of trying I began exclusively pumping.

I know that my girl has a clinical problem that only time or a miracle can fix but it would have been really nice to have GREAT Support right from the get go. I don't think it would have turned out any differently but it sure would have been less stressful!!! :

Read as much as you can and get GREAT SUPPORT! I am truly hopeful for my next child. I wish you the best!

Mountain Biking bikenew.gifMama of 3 little beans, .      Epumped 1pump.gif 22mths for dd1 (2006) notes.gif
Nursed fly-by-nursing1.gifmy homebirth.jpg babe, dd2 (2008) until self weaned at 3yrsbouncy.gif. We survived a major nursing strike.

Awesome homebirth.jpg for Baby #3 who turned out to be a babygirl.gif (Aug 2013)!   

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#7 of 9 Old 06-14-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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I agree with all the postings. Support is very important. But you also need to be committed to really trying to make it work. That way if it doesn't work out in the end, you won't feel so guilty. My DD didn't BF at birth. She had severe jaundice (took 1.5 hours to finger feed her one meal) and didn't know how to suck properly (thrust everything out of her mouth). I pumped and finger fed for 3 weeks before she would BF, and even then she would only do it with a nipple shield. Within days of weaning of the shield, we were diagnosed with thrush. Then she went through a 2 week refusal period. THen she BF for 2 months. She was always a poor nurser, kind of lazy and very impatient. Now she totally refuses to BF. She HATES my breasts and just screams. She doesn't like cosleeping (screams), so all the skin-to-skin/baths advice was pretty useless. She is now almost 7 months old. I still try to latch her, but she just screams. There is no more hope for me. I know I did everythng I could, but sometimes the baby does not cooperate and it is not in your power to change it. DD is very strong willed and emotionally I couldn't take it, and it was traumatic for her as well. Knowing I did everything I could makes me feel better, but I still grieve the loss and feel like it isn't fair at all. I EP for her, but my supply is not great and nothing I do increases it further, so I have to supplement. A lot about it makes me unhappy, but what more can I do? I am sending
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#8 of 9 Old 06-14-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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Have you considered trying to relactate?

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/adopt/rel...resources.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/adopt/index.html

Did you try all the tricks for low-supply?

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.html

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#9 of 9 Old 06-17-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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You will want a qualified support person to physically examine your next baby nursing at the breast to be sure you aren't having latch issues. Your problems sound like a bad latch and occluded nipple preventing milk outflow. Consider a postpartum doula as well for multiple hands on help attempts at home. Dont feel guilty, you did the best effort you were able.

Be willing to accept what you may not know and get LLL involved, try going to a LLL meeting before you are pregnant or when you get pregnant.
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