Mama's, I need breastfeeding help. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I used to think that anyone who FF was lazy and didnt have their child's best interest in mind (I know, judgmental!!). After my son was born (4 weeks early) he was sick (jaundice) but nobody told us (even though we found out later they knew in the hospital). So he started out with a great latch but quit waking up for feedings by day two. When I called for help the LC told me to NEVER wake a sleeping baby and he was just tired from his birth trauma. He was going 5-6 hours without eating. I talked to two more LC's who said the same thing.

My son got sicker and sicker, but I thought he was nursing great. When I took him in for his check up he'd lost a bunch of weight, and had to be hospitalized for dehydration and jaundice treatment. I was still determined to BF and refused supplements of formula. He kept losing and losing. So I gave in to my pedi's and DH's requests and started supplementing. Well, after 6 LC's and a "BF friendly" Ped NOBODY told me about SNS or nipple shields or anything. I didnt find that out till a few months later when I found MDC. Eventually, you know the story, he refused the breast, preferred bottles, my milk dries up and now he's FF. He only got about 8 weeks of breast milk. I tried different herbs all that to relactate but nothing worked.

I'm so scared that something like this will happen again with this baby. Not being able to BF my son was the worst pain I've ever known and still brings me to tears. I thought I was educated before, but I guess I wasnt. What can I do to make sure I don't fail this baby too??
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#2 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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Not in a DDC but I saw this under new posts and had to say something. You're not the frst mama to feel this way. You know where to find support and you want to breastfeed. It'll all work out fine.
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#3 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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Aw, I'm so sorry things worked out that way . I think the pp is right -- you know what you need to know now. Even if you go through the same issues this time (jaundice, sleepiness, etc.), you know about SNS, etc. You have the tools you need to make this work. And you have MDC!!! The collective wisdom here is simply awesome, so there's no way you can go wrong! But I understand what it's like to worry . Do you have a local LLL chapter? Perhaps you could start attending meetings now and getting to know your local leaders, etc. That way you will have a great support network in place should any issues arise.

Mama to M (7/05) and S (5/08) my surprise !!!
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#4 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Not in the DDC, but just wanted to reassure you that second babies are generally much easier to breastfeed even if there were troubles for the first baby.

My cousin, who exclusively pumped for her first, arranged to have an IBCLC come to the hospital for the second baby. A "lactation consultant" can mean anything, like maybe a nurse at the hospital took one course on breastfeeding. But an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, will definitely be informed on all aspects of breastfeeding.

As it turned out, my newest little cousin latched on right away, no problems, by the way.

I'd go to Finding Your Tribe and ask people about good breastfeeding support in your area.

And also remember, since you had those problems with your first, you know now *way* more about breastfeeding than most people.
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#5 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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You're gonna do great, Mama! Have faith that your body and baby will be just fine this time. Last time was one of those rare things that just happen. If you are faced with the same things, the knowledge you have gained since then will help you and you will succeed!!!
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#6 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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I actually "failed" at breastfeeding BOTH of my first babies. A change up in information and support was what I needed. And attitude. I had a "never say die" attitude and when I did say "die" I had friends pulling me back from the abyss.

Noah was breast fed exclusively for 16 months, Izzy for 13 (she only just weaned a week ago and only because of the new pregnancy). You CAN do it, you just need better help and information.
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#7 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that it is hard work, and I think that having a support system of other moms who had nursed or were nursing was what got me through the hard times. Do you know if there is a La Leche League in your area or an API chapter or anything where there will be moms meeting regularly. If no, I would consider hiring a postpartum doula that has breastfeeding experience.
Nursing problems are hard to fix when they are happening to you and you are in the moment, and it really helps to have an outside expert opinion.
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#8 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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and WE will be here to help you and keep you going.
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#9 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the reassuring words. I do have an LLL here, I emailed them when I was having troubles with DS and nobody got back to me, but I see now (I just looked) that lady is gone and there are 3 more so thats a great idea. Thank you!
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#10 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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Definitely go to some LLL meetings beforehand, you will meet the leaders but also lots of other experienced breastfeeding moms who have worked through a whole host of problems. I didn't go until DS was almost a year old and I was getting ready to go back to work...and then I kicked myself for not going to meetings much much sooner! And now I am a leader-in-training (so maybe I'm a bit biased!).

I truly believe that it's the system that fails women rather than women failing their babies when it comes to breastfeeding. I have seen so many people get bad advice from people who are supposed to be professionals. Sigh. You have already prepped yourself so well just by learning what didn't go well last time, and think of how many options you know about now that you didn't know about then! Like others have said, have a plan for who you can contact if you need help, and lean on them like crazy until you've gotten through the rough spots :-) And seek more than one person's input...we had a postpartum doula, public health nurse, we went to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital, I was on the phone with my best friend...they all had different bits of info (some conflicting!) and it was hard to filter all of it, but at the end of the day there is no one recipe for success, you kind of have to piece it together for yourself using all the info people throw at you (at least that's how it happened for us!)
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#11 of 23 Old 01-07-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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I had a terrible time with my son. Ended up pumping for a year and having to supplement. At the time I thought I was the worst mother in the world, but I had to in order to save my sanity. So I can completly understand your anxiety about BF this baby. He also had jaundice but not enough for billi lights.

Having said that, my second baby is a dream! I had another CS but the hospital I delivered her was very BF friendly. Everyone knew the trauma I went thru with my son (different hospital, different state) and how it led to PPD for me. Everyone was determined for me to succeed. Oh how I did! She nursed to a week shy of 21 months! The only reason she stopped is because of me being pregnant with this one and I think it was mutual. Also, she had jaundice enough to be put under the billi lights at the hospital and come home on a billi blanket. The LC's showed us how to syringe finger feed her colostrum/breastmilk/formula to help her get over it.

So you can succeed. Make sure everyone knows your wishes to succeed thisw time. Your MW/OB, hospital/birth center, go to LLL meetings before hand (however I did have LLL come to my house with my son and they were of no help to me, but I know they can help other women).

I am just floored with the succession of lack of help/information you got. That really bothers me. I am so sorry Mama. There are plenty of us here that will do our best to help you too.


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#12 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 04:53 AM
 
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I failed with my first too. I was GBS+ and got a HORRIBLE yeast infection from all the abx in delivery. DS & I had horrible thrush that nothing would touch. I was 18, my husband was in basic training and my mom kept commenting how much DS cried after he nursed. She kept telling me that I must not make enough milk and encouraged me to supplement with formula (she chose to FF my sisters, I was BFed only because my parents could not afford to FF me, so my mom is still pro-FF more than pro-BF in my mind). DS preferred the rubber nipple because it was easier, and imagine it hurt his mouth less.

I did seek out help from a LC and WIC, but no one really could fix the problem. WIC was able to give me a hand pump, but after a month of pumping by hand, I just could not do it anymore. My son EBF for 2 months, supplemented & BF for 2 months and had pumped milk and formula for the last month.

7 years later when my next son was born, I was SO scared I would have the same problems. Thankfully I was GBS -, DS took right to the breast, and we did have issues from time to time, but I did not hesitate to call LLL ladies all over town to beg for help at all hours of the night.

This time I am declining the GBS test since I will refuse all treatments anyways. I also plan on having more support, since I now have MDC, and best of all information!

I forgot to mention, Matthew nursed to 2 1/2 years, and only weaned because the pregnancy.

Heather: Mama to my amazing boys A-14.5, C-13, & M-5.5, and my sweet girl S-2.5 and introducing our little surprise Liam Michael, born 12/28!
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#13 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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Great advice here. I agree: LLL and lining up an LC now is the way to go. The fact that you WANT to breastfeed is a very good thing!

Hugs, mama.
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#14 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. I'm starting to feel a lot more confident.
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#15 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bluepetals View Post
I truly believe that it's the system that fails women rather than women failing their babies when it comes to breastfeeding. I have seen so many people get bad advice from people who are supposed to be professionals. Sigh. You have already prepped yourself so well just by learning what didn't go well last time, and think of how many options you know about now that you didn't know about then!
I completely agree that the system is much less helpful than it should be. I was torn between my midwives "relax momma she will latch and eat" comments and our pediatrician (a very pro-breastfeeding doc) who was alarmed by dd's weight loss and jaundice. Neither were very helpful in getting dd to latch/nurse. It was a family friend who is a lactation consultant who saved the day by coming to our house and assessing the situation. She was so so kind, but also very insistent that I buy a pump immediately and start giving dd breastmilk via a spoon or dropper and wear shells to draw my nipples out. She then came back to our house (my comfort zone!) to help us work on latching. Thanks to her dd is still nursing at age 2!

Obviously not all lactaction consultants are great...I've heard too many yucky stories, but if you can get a recommendation for someone in your area that is thought highly of I'd give it a shot. I'd also really recommend finding someone who can come to your home. Our ped's office had a breastfeeding clinic with lc's, but sitting in a hard chair there less than 48 hours after I had given birth just left me light-headed, nauseous, and in tears. It was so much better to be in my home snuggled up in my bed or rocking chair (the natural places to nurse dd anyway) with someone there to help.

My other recommendation is to avoid visitors that will make you feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in front of them. It is hard to be modest while trying to teach a newborn to latch and I was waaaay too worried about this...mom and dh were the only ones i didn't feel like i needed to cover up in front of. I've already told dh for this time "watch out cause the boobs will be out and about!" We had to supplement dd's nursing sessions for 8 weeks with spoons/droppers full of pumped milk and I'm absolutely convinced that wouldn't have been the case if I would've just kept away more of the stressful energy and people in my life...

Best wishes momma...your little one is very blessed to have such a concerned and educated momma...you two will do just fine!
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#16 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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More than anything, although it won't guarantee you a good outcome, try to find an IBCLC and NOT a nurse or lay person who's taken some lactation classes. I did not even seem to find the LLL leaders as helpful as they could have been with several of my clients who were having problems.
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#17 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Hmmm, I can't think of the proper term right now, but have you heard of the "technique" (for lack of a better word) where you just rest the baby on your chest after birth and allow it to work its way to your breast and latch on by itself? I haven't done a lot of research on this, but I thought I read in passing (probably here on MDC) that babies who do this tend to have a better latch. It obviously won't work in every situation, but if you don't have inverted nipples, etc., it might be worth a try. I am planning on trying it, just because I think it's neat . If someone can step in and supply the proper phrase/term that describes this, then you could do some more research on it.

Mama to M (7/05) and S (5/08) my surprise !!!
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#18 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Something else that just popped in my head after reading the additional comments. Do you have someone that will advocate for you after delivery? I know after my son I was so depressed, tired and disappointed and I couldn't think straight. My husband wasn't any help because he didn't know how to help me and didn't really know any better. So if you have a family member or friend that will help you keep pushing to get it resolved, that would be great.

That being said, this baby may latch on immediately and never let go like my 2nd child.

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#19 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is IBCLC??

I do have a doula, I dont really love her but there arent any other that would call me back, even after several attempts to get a hold of them. She's brand new but nursed 7 kids, so I hope she can help me.

Would you recommend taking the nursing classes the hospital suggests?
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#20 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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IBCLC is International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
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#21 of 23 Old 01-08-2008, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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IBCLC is International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
ooh thanks! that makes sense!
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#22 of 23 Old 01-09-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Would you recommend taking the nursing classes the hospital suggests?
To be honest it sounds like you already are an expert on 99% of what the class at the hospital would cover (at least the one we took at our local hospital). Most of the class there, maybe 75%, was on the benefits of breastfeeding, which I know that you're already aware of The rest of it covered different types of breast pumps and bottles you might use when you returned to work/wanted a night out, etc and routine things like not to introduce bottles & pacis too early. (This too was useless for me b/c I'm at SAHM who takes baby nearly everywhere.) I was pretty much annoyed the whole class because I did a lot of research to find it since we birthed at the midwife center and felt like it was useless. I'd save my time and some $ and read through The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and/or attend a La Leche meeting or two...just my 2 cents
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#23 of 23 Old 01-09-2008, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I dont want to go to the class I was hoping someone would tell me that. I feel I do know a lot about it NOW. But Also I dont want to find a sitter for DS because we haven't left him yet. And they said you had to bring a doll to nurse, and I dont have one. I will buy that book though, thanks!
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