December 2012 Moms

Breastfeeding Failure Long

Just wondering if there are others out there that had to give up on breastfeeding. We have been struggling from the beginning. By the time I saw the lactation consultant at the hospital I was in so much pain that I had a hard time self expressing milk. She told me to let my nipples heal and pump until they are healed. I have been pumping about 7 times a day and breastfeeding at least once. I generally only pump 2 or 2.5 oz total but will rarely get 3 oz. My LO will eat at least 3 oz and seems to be preferring 3.5 lately. I've tried nursing her more but the pain is too bad. Also, after 45 min of breastfeeding this morning she still wanted 2 oz of milk after. This is generally the case. LO appears to be feeding well and I hear swallowing so I am not sure what we could do differently. I also have pain when I pump. Often the pain is worse after. The pain is definitely worse after I breastfeed. I feel stabbing pain after the feeding and I just want to lie down. Two lactation consultants have confirmed a good latch. Finally the second one suggested that I have thrush so my LO and I have been treated since Tuesday. I don't feel much better yet. I'm taking fenugreek, drinking mothers milk tea, and eating oatmeal with no real increase in supply. I had my thyroid hormones checked because half of my thyroid was removed several years ago and they are normal. I was prescribed nipple cream that didnt solve my problems. I'm just getting to the point where it doesn't seem like this is working for us and it is very disappointing. Im not sure when I should just call it quits and solely formula feed. It just seems like I'm not making enough milk and the pain is making me enjoy my time with my LO less. Not to mention I'm not sure how I will accomplish feeding and pumping when my husband goes back to work. Anyone else feel like this?
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Re: Breastfeeding Failure Long

  • I know how you are feeling. Little guy and I were nursing great from the get go. Great latch, he ate, my milk came in, ect. However, we went to his two week appointment yesterday and he isn't gaining any weight. I had already been struggling with breast feeding as is. It freaking hurts and the little guy was cluster feeding like crazy. Now we know why. I am not making enough despite the good latch and constant feeding.

    So, we started pumping and supplementing last night. I am only pumping about 2 oz per session. Plus with the formula he just seems so content. He was quiet a d slept during times he would normally cluster feed. I think I may just convince DH to allow us to switch. The baby is happier this way, and I am happier this way. You have to do what is best for everyone.
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  • I'm struggling with low supply as well, and I've met many other moms who are too. You are definitely not alone in this. We've been supplementing with formula and I've been struggling with that, but didn't want to put our LO in danger (he lost 11% of his birth weight in the first few days but is now back up to where he needs to be). I breastfeed to give him what I can, and pump to encourage further milk production. But even when I exclusively pump every other hour, I'm still only getting about an ounce total each time - it's just not enough for him. I've seen two lactation consultants who have both told me I don't appear to have a good amount of milk producing breast tissue. 

    I'm also struggling with when to call it quits. I know we won't be able to keep this up indefinitely, and at a certain point, I wonder if an ounce of breast milk vs. 3 ounces of formula is really doing that much good. At this point, I think some is better than none. But once I go back to work, I'm not sure I'll continue.

    In the end, know that you are doing your best. We're not perfect mothers, and we each have our limitations. But we love our children, we're doing what we can, and that's enough. Being able to take care of yourself and manage your stress level is important too (high stress will not help you produce more milk, right?). Do what feels right to you and then move forward without guilt. I keep reminding myself that I have a happy healthy baby - if formula feeding is the worst of my problems, I'm extremely lucky. 

    Good luck and hang in there! 

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  • Thank you both for the comments. It helps to know I'm not the only one feeling this way. NanaOsaki my daughter was also much happier when we gave her formula. Litgirl I'm amazed that you can pump every other hour. It's a struggle for me to get it in every three
    with feedings and trying to get some sleep.
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  • image Litgirl77:

    I'm struggling with low supply as well, and I've met many other moms who are too. You are definitely not alone in this. We've been supplementing with formula and I've been struggling with that, but didn't want to put our LO in danger (he lost 11% of his birth weight in the first few days but is now back up to where he needs to be). I breastfeed to give him what I can, and pump to encourage further milk production. But even when I exclusively pump every other hour, I'm still only getting about an ounce total each time - it's just not enough for him. I've seen two lactation consultants who have both told me I don't appear to have a good amount of milk producing breast tissue. 

    I'm also struggling with when to call it quits. I know we won't be able to keep this up indefinitely, and at a certain point, I wonder if an ounce of breast milk vs. 3 ounces of formula is really doing that much good. At this point, I think some is better than none. But once I go back to work, I'm not sure I'll continue.

    In the end, know that you are doing your best. We're not perfect mothers, and we each have our limitations. But we love our children, we're doing what we can, and that's enough. Being able to take care of yourself and manage your stress level is important too (high stress will not help you produce more milk, right?). Do what feels right to you and then move forward without guilt. I keep reminding myself that I have a happy healthy baby - if formula feeding is the worst of my problems, I'm extremely lucky. 

    Good luck and hang in there! 

     My pedi said that any breast milk at all still gives your baby the benefits of breast milk, even if you supplement with formula. 

     

     

     

    I'm also having problems with BF. Finally, after 6 weeks I kind of feel like we're getting the hang of it. If only my supply would get up we'd be good to go. I just can't give up yet. 

     Hang in there! Everything that is worth it takes a little more work! 

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  • Yup, I feel the same way about not getting to enjoy time with LO. I'm pretty close to giving up on breastfeeding. We've been supplementing with expressed breast milk and formula since LO was 3 days old due to weight loss. My routine is breastfeeding for 20-30 minutes, bottle feeding, then pumping for 15 minutes. Part of the problem is that my little guy is apparently not very efficient at nursing. After feeding him for 20 minutes, I'm still usually able to pump 2-3 oz. The other problem is my little guy has a crazy appetite. Aside from whatever he gets when breastfeeding, he also drinks 3-4 oz of breast milk and formula. I've tried contacting two different lactation consultants recommended by my pediatrician, but haven't had either one get back to me about scheduling a consultation. I'm going to try the bottle weaning plan I found on kellymom.com, and if that doesn't work, I think I'm switching to just pumping and bottle feeding.
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  • The "shooting pain" you talk about during breastfeeding or pumping reminds me of mastitis. Maybe you should google it and see if the symptoms are things you are experiencing. I have had it before and know how awful it can be!
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  • My LO is 4 weeks today and I have pretty much given up on nursing. My problems are different -- he doesn't latch well and can't get enough from me. At 4 days old he had lost 13% of his birth weight and we had to supplement. There were lots of other factors and we tried a number of things, but long story short we just haven't been able to make it work. 

     I am now exclusively pumping (and am pumping as i type this!) and I don't know if we'll try nursing again. Luckily, every day I have been able to pump as much as he eats (27-30 oz), and some days I can pump a bit more. But it is still tough. Not as tough, though, as my crying and feeling like a failure while he cried as we tried to nurse. That just wasn't good for him or me. 

    I am also lucky that my partner will be home with me for my entire leave, which will go until he is a week short of 3 months. I don't know if I'll keep EPing until then and, if so, what I'll do after that. Right now I'm just trying to give him as much breast milk as possible, especially since it is cold and flu season.  

    If you don't have a really good pump, you might see about renting a hospital grade pump. Apparently they can really help supply.  

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.  

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  • image valeriegp:

    My LO is 4 weeks today and I have pretty much given up on nursing. My problems are different -- he doesn't latch well and can't get enough from me. At 4 days old he had lost 13% of his birth weight and we had to supplement. There were lots of other factors and we tried a number of things, but long story short we just haven't been able to make it work. 

     I am now exclusively pumping (and am pumping as i type this!) and I don't know if we'll try nursing again. Luckily, every day I have been able to pump as much as he eats (27-30 oz), and some days I can pump a bit more. But it is still tough. Not as tough, though, as my crying and feeling like a failure while he cried as we tried to nurse. That just wasn't good for him or me. 

    I am also lucky that my partner will be home with me for my entire leave, which will go until he is a week short of 3 months. I don't know if I'll keep EPing until then and, if so, what I'll do after that. Right now I'm just trying to give him as much breast milk as possible, especially since it is cold and flu season.  

    If you don't have a really good pump, you might see about renting a hospital grade pump. Apparently they can really help supply.  

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.  

     Thanks. You are lucky that you can pump that much. I have a hospital grade pump (Medela Symphony) and I have also tried my Ameda Purely Yours and the Ameda gets the same amount of milk. Actually it's weird because I get more from my lower producing breast from the Ameda but less from the other breast.  The Ameda is a little more complicated so I'm going to play with the settings to see if I can get more milk. I've tried different flanges for both pumps and pumped during my lactation appointment and I still wonder if there is a way to pump more milk.  My sister EP because her son could not be breastfed and got between 6-7 oz per session without doing any of the things I have tried. My mom stopped BF me at 4 months because of oversupply problems   It's weird how things are so different for different people. 

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  • image magnoliablossom00:
    The "shooting pain" you talk about during breastfeeding or pumping reminds me of mastitis. Maybe you should google it and see if the symptoms are things you are experiencing. I have had it before and know how awful it can be!

    Thanks.  Pain is the only symptom I have so I think it's probably thrush. I was given antibiotics through an iv for 24 hours after giving birth and then again for a bladder infection after so a yeast infection wouldn't surprise me.  

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  • If you decide to switch to formula or just supplementing with it do not consider it a failure! You are only doing whats best for your LO. Breastfeeding is hard and unfortunately doesn't work out for everyone. With DS I made it a month before switching to formula and for that month I was miserable! I was incredibly engorged the whole time and DS was cranky and not gaining weight. I had a few people say some nasty things to me but as soon as they saw how happy my son became they quickly shut up.
    image




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  • Yes, I am totally feeling like this. I can't understand the pump after feeding concept at all...not only do I have to keep LO upright for 1/2 hr after to prevent vomiting, he's wide awake. So, I can come back to pump eventually, but get only 5 ml or so. So frustrating!!
    Going to different LC tomorrow with detailed log of feeding, diapers, and pumping, and she what she says. Would love to know what my prolactin level is, as well as the tissue thing. How do you know? Ultrasound?
    I'm thinking I'm wasting my time cooking oatmeal every morning, not to mention these stinking curry pills! On top of DHA, I smell fish curry! Blech!!! I normally like both fish and curry, ust not as my signature scent!!!




    image


  • I gave up at week 2 completely.  I know that wasn't very long but the stress was so bad my baby blues just got so much worse...

    I had a c-section and because of my diabetes they took my son away right away to make sure his health was good...I wasn't able to hold him until 2 hours after his birth so that first moment latch never happened.  When I did finally get to hold him the nurse put him to my breast but he just kept slamming his head against it instead of latching...once we got a latch going he would cry and cry after he finished because he was still hungry.  They wanted me to see the lactation consultant but she was gone with the flu all week...

    I went home thinking it would just take time but one night I gave in and gave him a sample bottle the hospital sent us with...he was so peaceful and did great.  I met with the consultant at week 1.  She told me to pump every other hour and also do one power pump (pump 10 minutes, rest 10 minutes for an hour) once a day... I tried as hard as I could but every time I pumped I only got half an oz total between my two breasts...my son eats 2-4 oz a feeding depending on how long he sleeps for... so that clearly wasn't enough.  Felt pointless and I don't have help from my husband during the day because he's in class and at work.

    The important thing is that my son now eats everyday and gets enough with formula.
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  • Is it just in the nipple area? Have you noticed your nipples turning pale? With my first son, I was diagnosed with Raynaud's phenomenon. The pain was unbearable. My nipples would turn white after a feeding and it felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker in them. It would last for awhile after too. I dreaded feeding him and cried harder then he did. With 2nd son, I attempted to breastfeed but still couldn't manage. I lasted a week with the first and only a day with the second. I understand how you feel. I hope things get better for you, it's so hard physically and emotionally.
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  • image newly_naugler:
    Is it just in the nipple area? Have you noticed your nipples turning pale? With my first son, I was diagnosed with Raynaud's phenomenon. The pain was unbearable. My nipples would turn white after a feeding and it felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker in them. It would last for awhile after too. I dreaded feeding him and cried harder then he did. With 2nd son, I attempted to breastfeed but still couldn't manage. I lasted a week with the first and only a day with the second. I understand how you feel. I hope things get better for you, it's so hard physically and emotionally.


    I've been wondering this as well. I don't really notice them turning white but I have severe pain when I get cold. It doesn't really seem like there is much I can do if that is the problem. Thrush was kinda my last hope for treating the pain. It feels like a sharp stabbing pain sometimes it feels like it is coming from my nipples and others it feels like it is coming from deep within my breasts. I think I'm starting to hurt less while I pump and less while I feed if I limit it to once a day, but I still get pretty intense pain.
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  • The severe pain when cold sounds like it is that. I have it in my feet and hands too (just pinky fingers for some reason). I had always thought I was just wimpy and couldn't stand the cold. They did tell me that i could go on high blood pressure pills to try to control it, but my blood pressure is normally low. They also  told me to try B6, but it didn't work for me.
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  • It is definitely not an easy process and is tempting to give up. I am having pain too but only in one breast.  The pain is there no matter how good I have LO latched.  It is coming from deep within the breast and feels like she is pulling on a long string.  The discomfort sometimes wraps around to my back. The other side never hurts. I can't figure out what the problem is! Ugh. 
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  • LO was transported to a NICU an hour and a half away by helicopter less than an hour after being born, so I never even got to hold him postpartum, let alone breastfeed him. I finally got to see him two days later, and by then, nipple confusion had set in and he would screeeeeam bloody murder if I tried to put him to breast. I pumped for 3 weeks every 2 hours like a good girl and would feed him what I got - which was 1 oz or less every time I pumped - and supplement with formula for the rest, always trying to feed him from the breast before pumping and giving him a bottle. After hearing that I was supposed to be getting about ten times what I was getting while pumping, I gave up and just switched to formula full time. I quit pumping cold turkey and didn't even suffer engorgement, which I assume is a testament to how low my supply was.

    I felt so guilty, and still do at times, for "failing" at breastfeeding. But, I have to admit I am much happier now that I don't feel chained to a pump. I wish we could have breastfed, as I know it's best for him, but he is thriving just fine on formula. I think the culture shift to breastfeed is wonderful, but I think sometimes it's a little TOO high pressure for women who can't breastfeed, for one reason or another. Women who don't want to breastfeed from the beginning probably don't feel much guilt, but women who try to breastfeed and can't, or start to breastfeed and want to stop, I think feel very criticized, like they didn't try hard enough, or are not "woman enough". But it's like anything else with your baby - you have to do what works for you, and if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, baby included. That's what you have to consider in your decision. We want to do what is best, but sometimes what is best is what makes mama happy, because that also makes baby happy. If you breastfeed and it's a negative experience for you, it's going to become a negative experience for LO, because he/she can sense that. Just my opinion.

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  • The pain you described experiencing after pumping and nursing is what I had for awhile.  I would literally push down on my boobs for about 20 minutes afterwards because the pain was so bad.  I thought I had thrush but that was the only symptom.  The good news is, the pain did go away.  I think it will for you as well.  If you want to continue trying, I really feel like it will get better for you.  It did for me, and I am so glad I kept with it.  GL!
    Mama of 3 earth babies and 1 beautiful angel baby
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