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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry in advance for my need to vent, but this seemed like a good place to do it.

I was at my sister's baby shower a few weeks ago, and there was a young mother there with her 8 day old baby complaining about the pain of binding her breast to dry up her milk. I asked her why she decided not to breast feed, after all, she is a SAHM, and she tells me, "I tried the first day, but it hurt too much..." I had to bite my tongue. Then my former best friend tells me of another friend of hers, who, after her 2nd elective csection, decided that BFing was too difficult and "the hell with those nipple nazis".

Now, let me explain why this bothers me so much. With my first son, I had little to no support with BFing. In the hospital, I had to fight an overzealous nurse who kept trying to take my son to the nursery and give him a bottle. "Just one bottle," she said, "his blood sugar is starting to drop." I finally called my SIL, who is an IBCLC, in tears, I asked her to come help me, and she rushed to the hospital, didn't even take the time to put on her socks. Eventually, we got him to nurse. I had to use the football hold because my breasts are so large, and they covered his nose. When I got him home, it didn't get any easier for a while. My nipples cracked, they bled. I had stitches from one end to the other which made it painful to sit upright. I kept trying. At 6 weeks, we were getting the hang of it, then I took my first Depo shot. Within days, my milk production nearly stopped, and the baby was fussy and hungry and wanted to nurse 24/7. I was exhausted and hormonal, but I kept trying. We got thrush, and again, my nipples cracked and bled. I would nurse him and cry from the pain. The thrush kept coming back. I kept bleeding. I kept trying. After 3 months, we began supplementing one bottle per day. After 4 months, and my second Depo shot, my milk completely stopped flowing. I was devastated. It wasn't until much later that I found out that many other mothers had the same experience with depo. I can not believe that I fought that valiantly, and I hear others saying things like, "it just hurt too much." "my breasts were just too big." "I didn't produce enough milk, I know, I tried for 2 whole days." Is it just me, or do you ladies feel sorry for these babies? I can't say anything to them, or else I become a "nipple nazi." I am just so frustrated with it all sometimes.

Sorry for the rant. I feel a little better now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, dear, I'm not looking for pity, I just can't stand hearing, "I tried for 1 day, but it hurt too much," and then the mother expects me to offer sympathy. It's almost as though it makes less of the struggles I went through. If I can do all that trying for the best for my baby, why is it that I am supposed to offer sympathy for mothers who give up after just one day or don't even try at all? It irks me that, if I say anything other than, "I'm sorry you CAN'T do it" (which is a lie, they CAN, just chose not to try), then I am a "nipple nazi"?
 

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As if they couldn't give it any more time than a few days. I also know a moter who tried for weeks to feed her son with so many problems. I admired her determinition greatly, then on the flip side we had a woman sit and tell us after trying the entire time in the hospital the baby "just didn't get the hang of it". WTF how long is a hospital stay nowadays 24-48 hours. When my friend mentioned that she tried for 6 weeks problem after problem the lady replied well tahtw as just silly, it's not that serious to put yourself through all that trouble. As if our children aren't worth any trouble. Which was my exact reply!
 

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Dear cat_astrophe,

I hear ya! I too have to bite my tounge when I hear phrases like 'I tried for 3 whole days, but it was just too hard!'. For a month (I am very fair skinned and have very short nipples)DS couldn't latch on without me curling my toes and gritting my teeth in pain. Once he was latched it was fine and I viewed it as a small price to pay for the health and well being of my child.

In this day and age, many people (not ALL mind you) think everything should come easy and give up far too easily! On marriage, on breast feeding, on EVERYTHING. Anything worth having is worth fighting for!

I do think that, too often, we build BF'ing up to be this wonderful bonding experience between mama and babe and it IS, but, for lotsa mama's, it doesn't start out that way at all. I certainly thought there was something wrong with me when it wasn't all flowers and fluffy coulds
. I had a nurse tell me that DS should be nursing for at least 40 min at a time and every 2-4 hrs. The boy has NEVER nursed for more than 15-20 min in his LIFE and ate every hour for the first 3 wks! I though for sure he wasn't getting enough and I was doing something wrong! We need to be realistic and face the fact that EVERY BABY is DIFFERENT and EVERY NURSING experience is DIFFERENT!

When ANYONE tells us something is wrong with our children (in your case, you babe's blood sugar was supposedly dropping), as mamas, our instinct is to help them! It pisses me off that nurses use this form of emotional blackmail!

Congrats to you for sticking it out and giving your babe 'mama's milk' for as long as you could! Many would have just given up.
 

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I hear you! It seems like all I keep hearing now that I'm having nursing problems (well the specific NURSING is fine, its the lack of milk that is an issue. Day 9 now and my milk is still not in) is about moms who quit, or who choose formula over breastfeeding, ect, ect. I just want to cry and yell "well then why couldn't *they* be the ones who's milk never came in and NOT ME?!".
 

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Catherine,

I understand your point fully. I'm always very sad to hear that someone has weaned a baby early, but I know that a baby breastfed for just one day is better off than not at all.

It takes a very strong woman to know when the advice given by someone in a position of "authority" (like a nurse at the hospital) is simply bad advice. When you are only hours postpartum, there are huge hormonal swings accompanied by extreme exhaustion. Many of these issues require a battle of wills, and a nurse who is fresh and seemingly in control can be hard to cross.

I'd say yes, given the amount of misinformation out there and lack of support, many women do not have the strength or motivation to continue nursing. You sound like a very determined woman to continue nursing despite your variety of problems. You also had the knowledge to recognize you were getting bad advice at the hospital and to know to call a consultant.

I've tried to hear women telling me "I can't breastfeed" as telling me "given the amount of information and support provided to me, I couldn't breastfeed." It keeps my blood pressure lower.
 

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I try to keep that in mind, too. My kid sister "tried" to breastfeed my niece, decided it hurt too much and quit. Every time my sister complains about her getting sick, I think of all the stupid decisions she makes--not bfing, smoking (not in the house, but sometimes in the car w/ her dd, and just having it on her clothes is bad for the kid, she's very obviously allergic to it), letting the good for nothing sperm donor have unsupervised visitation (from which she has twice come back with lice), etc., and I just want to scream!

But I know part of it is that my sister has some really lousy role models (her friends, she wasn't raised that way), and is just plain immature (she was barely 20 when her dd was born)... not breastfeeding was just the first really lousy parenting decision she made.
 

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I so understand what you mean. It really frustrates me when I talk to a woman who says she couldn't BF and I feel like I have to bite my tongue so that I'm not a "nipple nazi." I've tried to gently talk to these moms, but even then, they act like I'm trying to make them feel guilty.

Here's my own little vent. We were at a party on Friday night and I was talking to two other moms with infants. They both have gone back to work and decided not to pump at work (too much trouble, not enough time, etc). One mom did BF for 6 weeks before switching to formula after having said during her pregnancy that she wasn't going to BF -- so at least she tried. The other woman never actually BF'd, just pumped, because her dd never latched on in the hospital. She kept talking about how much trouble it was to BF and actually said, "With my next child I'm not even going to try to BF." Of course, a million things went through my head that I wanted to tell her, but I could tell she wasn't listening to me (everything's always about *her*). All this made me very sad.

On the one hand, I try not to be judgemental of other peoples' choices, but I find it very saddening that people just want to take the easy way out. I wonder what sort of precedent this sets for their parenting choices in the future.
 

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Yes its really sad to have to watch how or what you say around others or be labeled some horrible things.

I'm really bummed, my best friend isn't breastfeeding anymore and her ds is 4 months old. She didn't *choose* to stop breastfeeding, but she wouldn't breastfeed in public (or even sneak away to a bathroom) and she wouldn't pump either (and she did have a pump) when she returned to work. The final straw was when her mom went into the hospital for surgery and my best friend fed *all* bottles while with her mom there, and now her son won't take the breast at all (and she has since dried up).

I tried to be helpful without being pushy... you know telling her how easy it was to discretely breastfeed, how she could use the restroom if nothing else, how her work HAD to allow her to pump, ect.

She's really upset about not being able to breastfeed now too. Wish I could have helped her more without seeming militant.
 

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I have to rant about my other sister and niece now! I found out a couple of days ago that my foster sister breast fed her daughter for the first three months. Then the doctor told her that the baby wasn't gaining enough weight because her milk was too thin! They tried a few things they knew how to do, but I don't think she was in touch with a competent lactation consultant or LLL Leader, and she wound up putting her DD on formula...then the child turned out to be allergic to pretty much every formula they tried. This was a little girl who was hospitalized 11 separate times the first 2 years of her life for at least a week each time due to illness.

I can't help but feel sad for them, because I'm sure my sister was fed a line of BS that led her to stop nursing, because she trusted her doctor and the doctor gave her bad info...and my niece really paid for it! I commented that she probably got bad info, but didn't harp on it. As my niece is now 9 and my sister can't have any more children, it's not likely to come up again for her so it's a moot point.

My sister is a wonderful, attached, loving mom. She an her DH coslept w/ their dd, and have always used nonviolent/gentle discipline (after the childhood my sis had before coming to live with us at 13 she wasn't about to let her daughter so much as have a hand laid on her or cruel words spoken to her ever). Although she's otherwise quite mainstream, so until our conversation I had no idea she'd breastfed, just assumed that with the crappy support system in our hometown she'd probably gone with the FF status quo. (I was off in the Navy when her dd was born and we were out of touch).

I DID tell her she'd done the right thing by at least trying, she's never wanted to do anything less than the best she could for her DD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How terrible for your niece. I am sure your sister feels terrible about it, and probably blames herself. At least she gave it her best. 3 months is better than most babies get.

OT, I noticed your siggy. 41 weeks, 3 days, I feel for ya. My 2nd was born at 41 weeks 4 days, so you may even beat me. I hope not, though, for your sake. Out, baby! Out!!
 
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