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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just need some support and to know that this is going to get better. BFing has been the best and worst thing I have ever endured.

My 1 mo is putting on weight fine. I have oversupply and engorgement problems-every time I sleep (which isn't often, actually) I wake up engorged. My DS has horrible gas due to getting too much foremilk, so I've been block feeding and pumping a bit in the morning per my LC's advice.

Almost every nursing session feels like a wrestling match with my DS thrashing and gnashing at the nipple to due to pain from gas and now reflux. He almost always poops while on the breast, which is good, but doesn't seem to relieve him of any pain as he continues to thrash. We've just started Mylicon and Zantac, but I don't have a lot of faith that anything but time (and in the case of the gas maybe resolution of the oversupply?) will cure these issues. All this gnashing means my nipples are in sad shape. He sometimes comfort nurses every 30 minutes and his latch is basically I'm pretty sure I have a mild case of mastitis on my right side. I'm gritting my teeth and dreading every feeding. And now, probably due to stress, my let down is getting way latent and I think causing frustration in my DS which, you guessed it, is leading to more thrashing and gnashing.

I hate breast feeding and I feel my bond with my DS deteriorating. Please just tell me this is going to get better. Please.
 

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have you tried burping frequently during feeding? my little guy swollows a lot of air because of overactive letdown, and for a while he needed burped 2-4 times a feeding. he starts thrashing when he needs burped, so maybe your little guy is thrashing for the same reason?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

have you tried burping frequently during feeding? my little guy swollows a lot of air because of overactive letdown, and for a while he needed burped 2-4 times a feeding. he starts thrashing when he needs burped, so maybe your little guy is thrashing for the same reason?
i try to burp him every time he starts thrashing. sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. though when he doesn't burp, I suspect it's just because he can't get it out. he almost always gets very upset at being pulled off. i also pull him off when he starts chomping down on my nipples from pain, but it's never soon enough to stave off the damage.

last night friends brought us dinner and they held him so i could have a moment to eat. he was an angel. as soon as i took him back, he started frantically rooting for the boobs. when i tried to feed him he opened his mouth, latched for 2 sucks, unlatched with the nipple still inside his mouth, started flailing his arms and shaking his head side to side and crying. i finally gave him a a pacifier and he calmed down. is he not actually hungry? am i forcing milk on him and upsetting him? does he think he's hungry just because he can smell the milk and then he realizes he isn't? is being around me short circuiting his little brain? will this end before i go completely nutballs?

my husband had to go all happiest baby on the block with him for an hour or so, then brought him back to me and he ate happily, i suspect because i had become engorged again after about a 15 minute doze. block feeding at night doesn't change the consistency of my milk, i don't think, because my breasts are never soft for the next feeding. it's during the day when my breasts get soft that he does the most thrashing and i have latent let down. maybe he is used to the gushers and is getting frustrated at having to work at it. he also prefers the shallow latch that is necessary when i'm engorged even after i've hand expressed to help him latch better. i can get him to latch deeper during the day, but he always manages to pull back to a shallower latch within one suck.

if i didn't think that a formula would make his gas and reflux worse, thereby making me more miserable, i would switch to formula this instant. i feel so guilty that i am so selfish and that i have negative feelings for my baby for a good portion of the day. i have to consciously will myself to behave affectionately toward him sometimes. so sad. right now he's laying in bed with his dad. he's been very loudly grunting out a poo or gas for about an hour and a half now. how can that be normal? at least he's not screaming about it. he sounds so miserable.

sorry for the long post. i guess it helps just to write it out.
 

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*Hugs* I'm so sorry breastfeeding is going so miserably :(.

At the risk of making redundant suggestions (I'm sorry, I know you didn't ask for suggestions, and you may well have tried everything already, but just in case), have you tried full drainage prior to the block feeding to alleviate the oversupply? Essentially you *completely* drain the breasts , and then block feed. For some mums, only one full drainage is necessary; for others, one or more repetitions may be necessary with the interval between drainages increasing. Full description with four case studies here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2075483/

Also, have you tried playing around with the length of the block? (You probably have.) Some mums find they need several hours or even more on one side.

I imagine you've tried uphill nursing, and slowing the flow with a "cigarette hold." Have you discussed using a nipple shield with your LC? Not a first resort but something you may wish to consider as a last resort.

Don't feel selfish or guilty for one minute! You're both having a miserable time, and I hope it passes soon and you can both really enjoy your breastfeeding relationship.

Please do let us know how you get on.

xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I very much appreciate all the suggestions, Heba and Marissamom! I have been feeding him upright for a few days now, but last night figured out how to actually relax into it and fall asleep while he nursed. it was probably possible due to the level of my exhaustion, but it was so heavenly. Everything seems better after a "good" night's sleep. He did not thrash at all last night or this morning. My nipples feel better. My soul feels better. My heart feels better. I am not going to give up on this bf'ing. I know it's too important for my little dude.

I have been playing with the duration of the blocks and I've been pumping to drain in the morning, but i haven't become proficient at the pump. This morning was the best i've done in a week of pumping and i got 2 oz out of one side. i know it's just a matter of persistence. Thanks so much for the article link, Heba. Science is exactly what i need right now. It's so hard to have perspective with no sleep, raging hormones, and a miserable baby.

Thanks for the support.
 

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I'm moving this out to the main forum, as per the forum guidelines.

OP-- I'm glad you seem to be doing a little bit better. It sounds like he's both struggling with the oversupply (hence the thrashing, gassiness, etc.) but also that when the flow ISN'T so strong, he's fussing because he wants it to be faster. Which is enough to drive a newly postpartum mother into the depths of frustration, isn't it?
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You've gotten some good suggestions so far. I'd add that most women find that their supply settles down, and adapts more closely to baby's needs, in about six to eight weeks. Which may not help you feel better now-- in the early weeks, a day can seem like forever, I know-- but at least it gives you a goal to shoot for, maybe? I am sorry if I'm not being helpful.

I would be cautious with the pump-- you want to keep from being engorged, of course, but creating too much demand, with the pump, could aggravate oversupply in the long run. I haven't read the PPs link, though-- gonna go check it out now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for moving, Llyra. i didn't read the guidelines before posting. whoops.

things are going a bit better. or maybe i just have better perspective. anyway i figured out that we have thrush and am trying to take care of that now. one thing after another
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the boy had a great day yesterday, but today has been a doozy. i'm just going to be thankful that we had a bit of a break from the crazies yesterday and look forward to the next day of cooing and smiles.

as for the pumping and blocking, i don't know if it's working to keep me from being engorged at night, but at least it doesn't appear to be making things worse. it's a relief to be able to express and feel empty for awhile without fear!

thanks again.
 

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Just wanted to give you a big hug, mama. My DS is going on 5 weeks now and we have struggled with similar issues. It really feels so frustrating, doesn't it? Especially when you want BFing to be this lovely, relaxing time for the both of you. Instead it feels like the kiddo is playing tug of war with your (already sore) breasts. For a while, I remember crying when DS would do this and thinking that something was wrong with my milk to make my baby act this way.

You've gotten awesome advice from other posters, and I don't have anything to add, except a hearty "you go, mama." Seriously. That you have stuck with this for a month, a whole four weeks now is so amazing. You've given your newborn a huge gift by making sure he has all the wonderful nutrients and antibodies flowing through his system in his first four weeks of life. You deserve an award for hanging in there. You're awesome.

I'm happy to read things are improving. Hang in there.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for the kind words, Partaria.

since my last post i had a lovely bout of mastitis! THAT nearly took me permanently to the dark side. BUT...

i think the dude and i are hitting our stride. he is going on 6 weeks now and it's amazing what a couple of weeks can do. when everyone said it would get better it helped me to plod along and white knuckle it. but of course in the back of my head, i thought it wouldn't really get better for us. a mere 2 weeks later and it IS better. immensely so. now i am starting to reap the rewards of the hard work. he is growing strong. he is making such beautiful eye contact while he's nursing. he's happy to see me, is smiling and cooing, and is generally showing me that our bond is strong and he is developing well. we still have at least one miserable popping off, pulling, sometimes shrieking nursing session per day, but

i'm writing this because i know there are many new mama's having a hard time with this bfing thing. i thought i had educated myself. i took a class, i read books, i knew how important it was, but i didn't fully appreciate how challenging it could be and at such a vulnerable time. bfing knocked me on my ass. it just didn't make sense to me that something so natural and vital to life would be so difficult. but just like natural childbirth, it's been (for me) a physical and mental challenge that is worth every moment of pain and self-doubt. anyway, if you are reading this because you are in the thick of any or all of the things that can go wrong, know that it rarely goes wrong permanently. things aren't perfect, but the light is currently beating out the dark.

thanks to everyone who wrote to me and thought of me when i needed support.
 

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Quote:
i thought i had educated myself. i took a class, i read books, i knew how important it was, but i didn't fully appreciate how challenging it could be and at such a vulnerable time. bfing knocked me on my ass. it just didn't make sense to me that something so natural and vital to life would be so difficult.
Yes. That.

I even took a breastfeeding class, and instead of talking about what challenges we might face, or warning us that the first few weeks would be really darn hard, the instructors went on and on about how beautiful it is and how wonderful it is for your baby. I mean yeah, it is great for your baby, but I feel like it set me up for a huge emotional letdown at, like you said, a very vulnerable time.
 

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Just saw all this and wanted to send you a huge hug! I could have written every single one of your posts a few months ago, in exactly that order. Insane oversupply, forceful letdown, DD gnashing at the breasts every feeding, feeling like giving up...... followed by thrush, and then mastitis, which I was relatively sure was going to kill me. It's a good thing I (and you!) were educated and totally dedicated to breastfeeding, because if all that had happened 3 years ago with my first, I'd have given up at the get. NOT fun NOT easy!

But - just wanted to see how things were going, I see you got some great advice already. My oversupply was intense and it did help to do ONE complete drain in the morning with the pump, for the first 6 weeks. Then I started weaning down the amount I was pumping in the morning and by 10 weeks DD & I had my supply under control without the pump. Also I saw you said about how he calmed down with the pacifier, my DD also needed a pacifier early on because she really just wanted to suck, and it's very hard to suck at a breast that is just overflowing with milk! Now that she's older and my supply is under control, she rarely if ever uses it.

You made me laugh with seeing light in the dark - that's what I told DH when DD was about 3 months. At that time she was still having one "chaos feeding" as I called it per day. It faded shortly after that. Now that she's just over 5 months, I feel like I'm on the other side of the tunnel. She loves nursing, she giggles and pulls me toward her. She only burps once per feeding, no more tummy issues, no more Mommy oversupply. And she's 18 lb 8 oz with some big, soulful eyes! From a mama who's been there, you are almost on the other side, and breastfeeding eventually DOES feel good and fun and relaxing like other moms say. Congratulations on sticking it out
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