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Discussion Starter #1
I have some unique (or so I've been told) challenges to being able to breastfeed. With our long-awaited third child on the way, I want to be as prepared as I can.<br><br>
A little background:<br>
Ds1 was ff'd from the start. Everyone around us discouraged bf'ing, even my then-OB. She said at my weight, it'd be toxic to the baby.<br>
Ds2 was breastfed just during my hospital stay. Due to the issues I'll describe, it just wasn't going to happen.<br><br><br>
The challenges:<br>
Huge boobs with flat nipples.<br>
Almost no support.<br>
And the biggest issue (I think)...I'm a childhood incest survivor. Unfortunately, it's colored so much of my thinking. Even though I know bf'ing is best, part of me (the very damaged part <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ) can't help but worry if I'll be hurting my child.<br><br>
I'm pretty set on giving breastfeeding a fair go this time. Since ds2 was born almost 7 years ago, I've been in therapy for my psych issues. I feel that will be critical during this time. I've tried to educate myself about breastfeeding in obesity and with flat nipples. And now I've got a circle of friends who are incredibly suportive of breastfeeding.<br><br><br>
So, what all can I do to ensure my breastfeeding success this time around? Do you think that the issues I face can be overcome?
 

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Congratulations on your upcoming new arrival!<br><br>
What a journey you've been on. No matter what you decide or try with this new baby, just taking the steps to get help for yourself will be incredibly beneficial for your children. I hope your counseling is helping you heal.<br><br>
I'd suggest exploring Kathleen Kendall-Tackett's work on mental health, depression, PTSD in new and breastfeeding mothers. Some good places to start: her blog at <a href="http://www.uppitysciencechick.com/Blog.html" target="_blank">http://www.uppitysciencechick.com/Blog.html</a> currently has a post about trauma and non-drug therapies. Her books are listed at <a href="http://www.kathleenkendall-tackett.com/books.html;" target="_blank">http://www.kathleenkendall-tackett.com/books.html;</a> your local LLL group or an IBCLC might have copies of them. I believe that Depression in New Mother has a section on incest survivors. There's also an article she wrote at the LLLI website here: <a href="http://www.llli.org/ba/May98.html" target="_blank">http://www.llli.org/ba/May98.html</a>.<br><br>
As far as breastfeeding with large breasts and flat nipples. . . many women are successful with these challenges. Have you gotten in touch with your local LLL? A Leader can discuss ideas with you that might help. Plan on needing lots of physical support at first - a good nursing pillow that fits YOUR body or several bed pillows, towels or receiving blankets to support your breast. Learn about engorgement and how to avoid it, as it will make your nipples even flatter and make it challenging for baby to latch. There are other good ideas here: <a href="http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVMayJun89p35.html" target="_blank">http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVMayJun89p35.html</a>. I bet you can find other women here on the forums who've breastfed successfully with large breasts and flat nipples (you might try posting w/ that title. . .). There are also links here: <a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/bfhelp-mother.html#large" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...her.html#large</a>.<br><br>
Where are you giving birth? If at all possible, I'd look for a baby-friendly hospital, birth center, or homebirth with an experienced midwife. Getting support right away is so important. Whatever your birth plans, you might want to line up a meeting with an IBCLC about the time your milk comes in (earlier if baby won't latch).<br><br>
One more thing to consider. . . if breastfeeding feels too intimate, have you thought about pumping and feeding EBM? Maybe something to keep in mind as a back-up plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for the links!<br>
Unfortunately, the closest LLL is in a town where the bus service does not go. Having no car kinda stinks.<br>
We're having a planned third c-section for the baby's birth. Our med center has lactation consultants on hand. From what I hear, they're much better then the ones at the hospital I delivered my youngest son in.<br>
I have thought of pumping. If it comes to that, I will. It just feels to me like breastfeeding is the last thing I can't do. Like my dad took so much from me, and this is part of reclaiming that. Make any sense?
 

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A friend of mine told me that there are LLL Meetings on the internet for mothers just like yourself who can't get to meetings one way or another, you could also phone the local LLL Leader and just have a chat with her, also ask her if there are any other mothers in your area who wouldn't mind you contacting them - there is so much more to LLL than just the scheduled meetings. Good luck - surround yourself with supportive friends and I'm sure you won' regret your decision.
 

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Having a pump on hand may not be a bad idea in any case - I normally do not have flat nipples, but I do have large breasts and became so engorged at first that my nipples WERE flat. I used the pump to ease up the congestion a little and draw my nipples out. This was a lifesaver for us.<br><br>
The biggest thing to remember I think is that you *can* do this! it may not be easy, it might be challenging, but it is so worth it! You are already a survivor, and you can do this!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for the support, guys!<br>
I've been told that WIC can give me a pretty decent pump for free. Anyone know if there's any truth to that?
 

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First, hugs!! Congrats on reclaiming this territory in your life, you are more then a survivor, you are a beautiful, loving caring person who enriches the world around you. I am sure it will not be easy, but it sounds like you are thinking seriously about how to make it work, and that hopefully will help.<br><br>
WIC gave my friend a Medela Pump in Style (electric) when she went back school. For another friend they gave a Medela Hand Pump. the best bet might be to talk to them now about what they may offer you and the difficulties you expect to face. Also, for the flat nipples, ask the LC at WIC about nipple covers, they will gently train them to 'stand out'. I was told that my flat nipples wouldn't be a problem, but ended up having to wear these things once we figured out my son's lazy latch and my flat nipples did not equal success. Still it did work out ( ten months now!), and i have been told that you can prep your nipples with shields too.
 

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You've gotten some great advice! The only thing I would add is to DEMAND that baby be brought to you to nurse while you are in recovery (unless there is a reason baby needs to be in the NICU of course). Early initiation is very important! You may need help from a nurse to get her latched, don't be afraid to ask!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One thing I wanted to ask, but I'm not sure how to phrase it.<br>
When I had my youngest son, the LC there was quite pushy. She kept grabbing my breasts and trying to jam 'em in his mouth. Honestly, it completely upset me and freaked me out.<br><br>
Would it be a good idea to warn the LC at our new med center about my past, and politely ask that she not touch me without my permission? Or does that sound rude/crazy?
 

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I think it's wise and just fine to tell the LC that the grabbing makes you uncomfortable, before they even start! They did that to me when DD was born too and it made me upset too! ( I don't have a history of abuse but it still upset me and I should have said something.)
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">She said at my weight, it'd be toxic to the baby.</td>
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I don't understand. What about it would be toxic?
 

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No one be they LC or not should grab your breasts and push them into a baby's mouth - I'd question the experience and knowledge of the LC - it's just not something that you do - one sure way to put your baby off the breast - how does anyone enjoy being forced to drink something, even if they like it or not just imagine how you would like to drink a glass of water with someone holding the glass and forcing it into your mouth and their hand forcing your head forward, the immediate reaction is to pull back and refuse, absolutely ridiculous.<br><br>
Truly I am very sorry that this happened to you and your baby - I'd ask what the procedure is and how they intend to help the baby to nurse if it's required - ask for specific details without saying what happened to you, in that case you have more of an idea what the procedure is like, a little sneaky I admit but often in these cases they will say we would never do that and then it happens when you least expect it! BTDT, Ask if they have heard of Biological Nurturing - this WILL get the baby to the breast and happily and with no intervention from others just mother and baby doing their thing - look up <a href="http://www.biologicalnurturing.com" target="_blank">www.biologicalnurturing.com</a> it's a wonderful site run by a LLL Leader and IBCLC in London - I think it would be interesting to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15383931"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't understand. What about it would be toxic?</div>
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She said all the toxins in my fat would leach into my milk and kill him. Or at the very least, I'd suffocate him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Wow, you've been treated very rudely by a couple professionals, that's so not okay! Toxins? Suffocation? Shoving your breasts into baby's mouth? OMG, I'd be steaming!<br><br>
I'm also an incest survivor and when my guys were little I didn't realize that's what was giving me so much trouble with nursing. I talked to a number of people about it back then but everyone thought it was soreness I was talking about. Not at all! It was revulsion I felt. I have the problem to this day with my nipples being touched or even if I bump them or something sometimes. It took a lot of determination to nurse my guys but I was able to do it. My oldest son nursed basically until his brother was born, and just a bit afterwards. We did have to use bottles about half the time and when he was a toddler I had to tell him sometimes that "Mama's nipples are tired." I'm amazed he nursed so long--and blessed!<br><br>
With my younger son we had to start with a bottle when he was only about two weeks old. It killed me! Even before he was born I could tell I'd have trouble. He weaned himself from BFing at about 8 months, and it was a sad, sad day for me. But again, I'm amazed we were able to go so long.<br><br>
Now my DH and I hope to have our babe together and I worry a lot about nursing. But I also know I may well not be able to do it as much as I want to. I was able to cut myself slack years ago and know I'll have to do that now. An issue like this is so different from many nursing issues. There's no med or herb or nursing technique to help a woman deal with abuse issues in nursing (although I'm wondering if an herb to help relieve anxiety might help, or even a med).<br><br>
I'm so glad you've been able to get therapy and be moving in a positive direction with the abuse issues! I hope that will go a long way toward helping with a successful nursing relationship with this baby. Maybe you've learned some skills in therapy that might help with the intensity of emotion and also physical sensation while nursing? Cognitive behavior or DBT skills? I'm pondering how skills I've learned might help with nursing.<br><br>
No matter what, don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't work the way you're hoping. You're dealing with several different things and the emotional stuff can be really hard to deal with. You're a strong woman and it's fabulous that you're so determined to nurse this little one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I know I don't have any concrete suggestions for you, but feel free to PM me if you want!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>FishBounce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386070"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She said all the toxins in my fat would leach into my milk and kill him. Or at the very least, I'd suffocate him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"></div>
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Sorry, but I think that is goofy. No matter the size of the mama, breast milk is the most natural, healthiest thing a baby can eat. I am overweight (ok...Obese) and I have nursed my first three kiddos and am looking forward to nursing #4 when he/she comes in July. The other 3 are all happy, healthy, thriving munchkins! (as a side note-I have IGT and cannot produce enough bm to nurse my babies exclusively-but I do give them as much as I can!)<br><br>
I hope that bfing #3 goes smoothly for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Arianwen1174, you know exactly what I mean! I hate to admit this, but every time I tried to nurse ds2, I just wanted to throw him across the room and scream. It was nothign I could control. It didn't take me long to realize that in that situation, bottle feeding was better than trying to cope with those feelings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I think if I had any inkling of what I would face, I would've tried to better prepare during his pregnancy.<br><br>
At this point though, I know that I can't change my past. I can only acknowledge my issues, address them, and make plans that will allow me to work within my limitations.<br>
After reading a lot of great material and speaking with a midwife friend, I think that my mental issues are going to be the only thing I can't really prepare for. I've grown and changed a lot since ds2 was born though. I hope that having the correct supports in place will help me succeed. I have informed my OB about my past and asked that unless I specifically request it, all personel will have to be 'hands-off'.<br>
On the bright side, I found out that I'll be able to hold this baby ASAP, potentially even when they are still sewing me up. Rawk on! No seperation time. Also, the LCs at the hospital make a home visit within a week of coming home to make sure all is going well. You can also request an earlier visit if you run into problems.
 

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I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"> the hope in your post! And even though it's terrible that we can relate, I'm so glad someone else knows what I'm talking about. Sounds like it will go so much better this time. You'll have to let me know when the baby arrives and tell me how it's going. And feel free to write any time! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>FishBounce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15381967"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Would it be a good idea to warn the LC at our new med center about my past, and politely ask that she not touch me without my permission? Or does that sound rude/crazy?</div>
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It's not rude and crazy, and when you are a few days pp, it's totally fine to be both rude and crazy.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>texmati</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15468960"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's not rude and crazy, and when you are a few days pp, it's totally fine to be both rude and crazy.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">
 
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