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We are having huge breastfeeding problems. I won't get into details now mostly because I'm too freaking exhausted and it's all-consuming as is. But, what i do need to get out is that I find it frustrating that people don't get it when I try to explain how hard this is!<br>
I'm not referring specifically to MDC, just in general contact with nurses, midwives, LCs, friends, etc.<br>
They tell me exactly what I need to do matter-of-factly but fail to acknowledge the difficulty of what it is they are asking of me. Then I end up feeling lazy/uncaring/incapable when I find it impossible. Like this feed, then supplement then pump stuff. People do not realize how physically demanding this is. Feeding my baby does not involve just putting a boob in his mouth! It's at least 20 attempts at latching, making a mess, comforting him to calm him down, or rousing him to get him to wake up. Then repeat at least once more on the other side. In a feeding session baby gets less than half his feed (evidenced by scales) for so much work! Then trying to calm him after his supplement takes so long that by the time I can put him down to pump it's almost time for him to eat again. But people still say things like "sleep with him so you don't have to lose sleep to feed him...just give him your breast lying down." It's not possible for me to do that! For reasons I already told them! Same with slinging. I cannot feed my baby in a sling right now. It's just sooooo hard. And not getting better. I regret missing my baby's first month in the sense of not being able to enjoy him really at all, dreading feeding time, and even feeling a little resentful at times. And there seems to be no hope as things are deteriorating rather than improving. DP has taken his vacation from work and is now trying to 'work from home' as much as possible so that he can hold the baby so I can actually pump. I mean, what's worse? Allowing my baby to scream for 20 minutes several times a day, or not pumping milk? It doesn't seem like a choice. But at some point DP will have to go back to work. It just is necessary for our family's survival (one income family with no parental leave benefits).<br>
Can someone please offer some encouragement. I just feel so hopeless right now. I feel like absolute crap. And the thing is I feel like there is no way out for me because I would feel even worse if I didn't breastfeed. I don't feel like quitting is a way to stop feeling so awful because then I'd just feel worse (lazier, more incompetent, etc).<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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Have you tried getting him to latch on while supplementing with an SNS? My 2yo didn't have latch problems but I did have a very low supply and that was the only way I could keep her on long enough to build my supply up.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I have absolutely no advice.<br><br>
With all the work you are putting into this - you are definitely not lazy, uncaring or uncapable! Remember this!<br><br>
I hope someone who has btdt comes along and can encourage you.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
That's how it was for me too - lots of advice but no real way to put it into practice w/out going more insane. Will your DS put up with a swing or a bouncy seat? When someone lent us a cradle swing it was the first time that Michael slept for longer than 20 minutes and I finally got some breathing room in the nurse/pump/time to nurse again cycle. The only other thing is to use the trick of storing your horns in a ziplock bag in the fridge between sessions rather than washing them each time during the day - when I found that out it was at least another few minutes for breathing room.<br><br>
It's damned hard to be in this position - be as kind to yourself as you can.
 

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It's so hard with a preemie, I had 34w twins and it was incredibly difficult.<br><br>
Prior to having kids, I thought bfing would be SO easy. I have boobs. My children have mouths. What's the problem? HA. About a week into bfing, I was in tears all the time, and I wanted to award a MEDAL to any and all bfing moms. I still feel that way when I see bfing moms -- I know some moms never had any problems, but for all the moms out there who perservered through bfing difficulties, I am proud of you. So just know that there are a few people who do get it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sanguine_speed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8987851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... Feeding my baby does not involve just putting a boob in his mouth! It's at least 20 attempts at latching, making a mess, comforting him to calm him down, or rousing him to get him to wake up. Then repeat at least once more on the other side. In a feeding session baby gets less than half his feed (evidenced by scales) for so much work! Then trying to calm him after his supplement takes so long that by the time I can put him down to pump it's almost time for him to eat again. But people still say things like "sleep with him so you don't have to lose sleep to feed him...just give him your breast lying down."<br><br>
It's not possible for me to do that! For reasons I already told them! Same with slinging. I cannot feed my baby in a sling right now. It's just sooooo hard.<br><br>
And not getting better. I regret missing my baby's first month in the sense of not being able to enjoy him really at all, dreading feeding time, and even feeling a little resentful at times. ... I don't feel like quitting is a way to stop feeling so awful because then I'd just feel worse (lazier, more incompetent, etc).<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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sanguine_speed,<br>
I wish I had more to offer you than encouragement. Normally I suggest co-sleeping but I can see where there is no huge advantage there, at least not for the obvious reasons. However, I believe the physical closeness and skin to skin contact is thought to promote the hormones that drive milk production. I wonder also if over time as his latch improves and he gets stronger that he might start helping himself to the milk bar for comfort if nothing else and that would also increase milk production. I would also think that over time he may start to get small but significant amounts of milk that might mean getting up less often. That may be naive or wishful thinking.<br><br>
In any case, that doesn't do much for you now. I generally resist the urge to say "it will get better" because I don't know that for a fact. What I can say is that I sense a certain level of motivation and determination --even if you are feeling a little defeated right now-- and that bodes well for your ultimate success. Just keep taking it one feeding at a time and I am as confident as I can be that you will reach the goal you set for yourself. And when you reach that goal you will be encouraged to set a new one and keep moving forward.<br><br>
But know this, no one can do a better job for your baby --given the circumstances that you are dealing with-- than you are right now. And since he can't speak for himself right now I'll tell you he's lucky to have you as his Mom ... and for that matter to have your supportive DH as his Dad. Remember that every time you cuddle him and gaze into his eyes. There is unspoken gratitude there for the incredible gift you are giving him. And you will reap the reward hundreds of times over in the years to come.<br><br>
I'll be thinking about you over the weekend and hoping that you are somehow re-charged and energized. Please keep us posted.<br><br>
~Cath
 

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I had little issues with my two oldest dc, but with my youngest it was HORRIBLE. I had 6 straight weeks of bleeding, peeling, worse than labor painful nipples. I cried every time she nursed (which was almost constantly).<br><br>
Noone was a big help because I had "done it before" surely I knew what I was doing, right? Wrong. It was so different and horrid and I had to fix it myself through trial and error. I would be dead right now if it weren't for lanolin, receiving blankets, and hobbit shields!
 

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Sanguine, BIG HUGS to you. I don't know if you have supply issues, or if your baby just needs supplement based on his weight gain, etc. But I can offer you this:<br><br>
I'm a bfar mom. It's not possible for me to give J what he needs on my own, so we must supp. I tried an SNS/Lactaid setup, it was still very stressful. So we/I have made the decision to go about it lazily. I say lazy b/c we're still nursing, but only when it works properly, only when he wants to and I'm not weighing/measuring/pumping or anything. I'm supping with formula, and I'm not allowing myself any guilt over it. He's growing, he loves me and I love him. We don't co-sleep/sleep nurse well either, and it's a useless point to do that and then have to get up and bottle feed anyway... I know this is different than your scenario, b/c I don't have the latching issues that you have.<br><br>
I hope you can get yourself to a place where you're not so stressed, and where you might allow yourself to skip a pumping session, or even use formula. Being so stressed and so stuck isn't a good place to be, and from a mom who has done this 3 times now, I can tell you that it's "better" to use a little formula and save your sanity and enjoy time with your baby if that's what it takes.
 

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BTDT for sure. Now for us it didn't work out because DS's bubble palate and my nipple shape are not compatible, period, and for various reasons a nipple shield wouldn't work; but my ped and LC said that a very high percentage of women who do what you are doing (what I did) eventually get full breastfeeding accomplished. So your prospects are good. If I had to do it over again I would get a postpartum doula sooner, though, so I would have someone more to hold the baby while I pump. Also do look into a handsfree pumping setup; it didn't work for me but it might for you.<br><br>
It is SO hard. And my favorite was "pump for two minutes before feeding to get the milk flowing." Uh, yeah-- what baby patiently waits for two minutes when hungry? This advice ends up with a screaming, frantic baby, and then you're not following the advice to "never try to latch the baby when s/he is frantic"; if you do manage to calm the baby enough to latch at that point, by the time s/he is that calm the letdown reflex has gone away, the milk isn't flowing and you're back where you started.
 

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My only advice is to stick with it. I had huge problems, too, and even now I still have some issues, but the reward of knowing you're challenging yourself and achieving something is worth every hardship (and I've had bleeding nipples, engorgement, latch problems, and now a breast infection).<br><br>
I understand! It helps to talk to people who understand.
 

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I can't say I understand exactly because I HAD to pump exclusively from day one, but I do know what it's like to have practically every waking hour devoted to feeding and stressing out over whether the baby's getting enough. It sucks. It is very easy for someone to sit on the other side of a computer and give you orders, no matter how well intentioned they are.<br><br>
I really do agree, however with the recommendation of an SNS, because then you'd be doing the supplementing and the nursing at the same time and if it works, it would eliminate that extra step of pumping then nursing then supplement. I've always thought the things look sort of cumbersome and complicated, but maybe it's a good last resort.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> this won't last forever- one way or another, you'll give it your best shot and that's all you can be expected to do- you only have to answer to yourself in the end, no one else can judge you.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sanguine_speed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8987851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We are having huge breastfeeding problems. I won't get into details now mostly because I'm too freaking exhausted and it's all-consuming as is. But, what i do need to get out is that I find it frustrating that people don't get it when I try to explain how hard this is!<br>
I'm not referring specifically to MDC, just in general contact with nurses, midwives, LCs, friends, etc.<br>
They tell me exactly what I need to do matter-of-factly but fail to acknowledge the difficulty of what it is they are asking of me. Then I end up feeling lazy/uncaring/incapable when I find it impossible. Like this feed, then supplement then pump stuff. People do not realize how physically demanding this is. Feeding my baby does not involve just putting a boob in his mouth! It's at least 20 attempts at latching, making a mess, comforting him to calm him down, or rousing him to get him to wake up. Then repeat at least once more on the other side. In a feeding session baby gets less than half his feed (evidenced by scales) for so much work! Then trying to calm him after his supplement takes so long that by the time I can put him down to pump it's almost time for him to eat again. But people still say things like "sleep with him so you don't have to lose sleep to feed him...just give him your breast lying down." It's not possible for me to do that! For reasons I already told them! Same with slinging. I cannot feed my baby in a sling right now. It's just sooooo hard. And not getting better. I regret missing my baby's first month in the sense of not being able to enjoy him really at all, dreading feeding time, and even feeling a little resentful at times. And there seems to be no hope as things are deteriorating rather than improving. DP has taken his vacation from work and is now trying to 'work from home' as much as possible so that he can hold the baby so I can actually pump. I mean, what's worse? Allowing my baby to scream for 20 minutes several times a day, or not pumping milk? It doesn't seem like a choice. But at some point DP will have to go back to work. It just is necessary for our family's survival (one income family with no parental leave benefits).<br>
Can someone please offer some encouragement. I just feel so hopeless right now. I feel like absolute crap. And the thing is I feel like there is no way out for me because I would feel even worse if I didn't breastfeed. I don't feel like quitting is a way to stop feeling so awful because then I'd just feel worse (lazier, more incompetent, etc).<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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Your experience right now describes my postpartum experience to a T. I was just thinking today what I would tell my past self for comfort if I could go back somehow... Now I have the opportunity to, because my past self is you now...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
All I can tell you is that you WILL get through this, one way or another. I can't tell you the breastfeeding will work out perfectly eventually, because I don't know the answer to that, but I can tell you that all your hard work is definitely worth it. Your baby will be healthy and strong because of all the superhuman effort you're putting in today.<br><br>
Work on one thing at a time. Yes, it would be nice to breastfeed with the baby in the sling, but right now that's bonus work, and right now you need to get through basic feedings with your baby. I can't tell if you're using an SNS or a Lact-Aid. I found the Lact-Aid to be a lot easier, and the bonus with the Lact-Aid is that you can fill six at a time (if you bought that many) and have them in the fridge waiting until you need them. I found the filling and washing of supplemental systems to be tedious and unpleasant, so the more efficiently you can do that and get it out of the way, the better.<br><br>
About pumping... If you can manage it, try to pump while the baby is nursing. I know you're having trouble with the nursing, but if you manage to get your baby latched on one side, use a hand (or electric) pump on the other. You'll kill two birds with one stone that way (1) get required stimulation to establish/maintain milk supply and (2) feed your baby. As long as there's an SNS or Lact-Aid on while you're nursing, you don't ever have to worry about your baby not getting enough (if your baby is actually suckling).<br><br>
The advice I'd give my former self (you, now) if I could is: don't feel like an inadequate mother if you have to use the formula to supplement. Don't skimp on it in an effort to keep your child from drinking formula. In other words, fill the SNS (Lact-Aid, whatever) and let your baby drink as much as he wants from that from your boob and don't give it a second thought that most of what he's eating is formula. If he's at your breast, he's learning to suckle, and that's the thing to focus on for now. I know in your mind you know breastmilk is what you want for your baby, but you're working on that, and while you're working on it, keep the baby happy with the formula at the breast.<br><br>
If the baby will not latch or is learning to latch still, finger-feed, but hold your finger against your breast so that the baby still thinks he's nursing. We made the mistake of not doing that with our baby, and she quickly developed a preference for finger-feeding, away from our bodies, because the angle was easier for us. I would not make that same mistake with another baby, and I'd hold him/her close against my naked breasts for every feeding (if I had to finger-feed again).<br><br>
I'm hoping this isn't too long-winded. I really hope you find some solace in it. You are not alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I'm so sorry to hear you're having so much trouble. There have been some wonderful suggestions so far.<br><br>
1. SNS/Lactaid - you still get the BF experience, DC still gets some of your milk at each feeding, and you're not stressed over supply.<br><br>
2. Don't worry about the sling - I wasn't able to nurse DD in the sling until she was 4 months and able to hold her head up well. Just concentrate on the basics. Not everyone uses a sling well.<br><br>
3. Contact a LC - If you can't get a LC, call your local LLL leader or WIC office ASAP. There may be something you're doing or not doing that you may not realize is causing difficulties.<br><br>
4. Don't worry if you have to supplement - It happens. In the meantime, get some help with the nursing.<br><br>
5. Skin to skin contact - This will help your supply and it's good for the baby.<br><br>
On top of this, I'd like to suggest oatmeal cookies, a bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a pat on the back. Let the house go for a few days, get some tv dinners or other pre-assembled meals, and just relax for a few days with you DC. It sounds like you're doing everything you can think of and it's great you've made it this far. Get some help and above all breathe!<br><br>
Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thank you mamas for all your gentle advice. It's what I really needed, believe me. I have seen three lactation consultants and they have good suggestions, but it's that "this is all you have to do" message that's got me down because I am finding it all so unbearably exhausting. I keep getting told it will turn around one day, probably very suddenly. But he's 39 weeks now and, well, I'm still waiting. In any case, I appreciate your encouragement and was surprised to receive such gentle and understanding messages. Sometimes I feel like "everyone" thinks this should be easy or that I should be trying harder.
 

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I have definitely BTDT and I can so relate to just how hard it is. Part of my decision to stop at 2 kids has been based on just how hard the start of BF was for me. So yes, give yourself a break. One thing that helped me feel so much more relaxed with supplementing with DS2 was using donor milk. I hated giving DS1 formula and so I was "stingy" with it. Using the donor milk really freed me up because I felt like I was nourishing DS2 so well. And, this may not be a concern of yours.<br><br>
My last thought is that what really helped me was to make 6-week commitments to BF. I always renewed at the end of the 6-weeks until BF got easier. I am so thankful for the 3 year BF relationship I had with DS1 and am now at 17 months with DS2.<br><br>
Your commitment to your child is beautiful. I hope it gets easier for you soon.
 

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I just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Oh wow... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I had a different situation with my DD (she was full term) but she was really fussy for about the first month, and she was probably at least 3 months old before I could nurse her laying down. My milk comes out like a fire hose and she would gulp it down, then sputter, then puke, then cry. Kinda defeats the purpose of nursing in bed! So I had to get up EVERY SINGLE TIME, every night. And that's only a fraction of the stress you're going through. She also wouldn't nurse that well for the first couple of days, it took sometimes 1/2 hour to get her on. It was really hard!! Yet not as hard as what you are doing now. So I can't imagine!!<br><br>
I think the PPs have given you some great suggestions but I did want to at least affirm that yes, you are doing all you can, and I can see why you are getting so upset when people giving you the advice make it sound like it should be just so easy.<br><br>
I think moms are some of the hardiest, strongest people on the face of the earth, to go through these things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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My DD was born at 37 weeks, and I was doing what you are doing...nurse (fight with the latch, struggle to keep babe awake) supplement, pump. I felt like a total failure all the time, it hurt, and I felt like it was a 24-hour-a-day job! If I wasn't trying to nurse or pump, I was cleaning endless bottle and pump parts. It went on for a long time, I'm not going to lie, and it was horrible. But we came out the other side. She nursed until 28 months, when I was far enough along in my pregnancy that I started to have supply issues again.<br><br>
The thing that kept me from going insane was somehow managing to finally let go of my conflict over supplementing. I needed to do it, she needed for me to do it, and not struggling with that anymore was such a huge relief. I know that's not a popular viewpoint on MDC, but I felt such enormous guilt for supplementing, and really, I can see now I was doing the very best I could and that it needed to happen.<br><br>
I just wanted to offer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> and that I've been there and know what you mean.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> from someone who has BTDT with the whole BFing challenge .
 
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