February 2013 Moms

Advice/vent - breast vs. pump 5 day old

There might be some serious TMI so far warning. I'm going through quite a bit right now and just could use some advice/encouragement. I gave birth on the 22nd and little man is 5 days old. We have had issues with latch and I've been to a lactation consultant every day this week trying to get help. My nips were bloody and swollen from day 2 of his birth and are finally healing, pain is getting slowly better, aside from bleeding still at the very tip of both nips. His latch I think is getting better, but omg he wants to nurse constantly! Like 2-3 hours straight 2-3 times a day, not counting the smaller feedings in between and his night feedings. He is gaining weight great and is actually at his birth weight still so no loss at all. But I'm a full time graduate student and have 2.5 year old daughter who I never get to play with or be a mom to since I'm feeding the baby at the breast for hours a shot during the day. I'm getting to the point where I just want to pump about half time so the hubby can take the baby while I work on my school work and still have some time with my daughter. Am I a bad mom? I want to be able to nurse my son most of the time, but would introducing a bottle right now kill any chance of being able to successfully nurse? Has anyone else done this? I'm just wracked with guilt and feel horrible for wanting to give in so quickly, but I miss being with my daughter too. I can't even put the baby down long enough to get her on the potty because he screams for food and my poor daughter has to get put off all the time since mommy is ALWAYS feeding brother... Any advice from other moms out there would be so welcome. I don't want to have to exclusively pump like I did with my daughter, but I can see this heading in that direction just so I can have some time away from feeding and spend more time trying to get a new routine going before the hubby gets back to work in a week.
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Re: Advice/vent - breast vs. pump 5 day old

  • First, you're not a bad mom. I have been primarily pumping and supplementing with some formula since we left the hospital because he wouldn't stay latched and would just cry non stop. I have tried to nurse off and on since then with little success. Everyone from lactation consultants to an occupational therapist to the pediatrician all think that even now at 2 weeks old I could try to start back up again and maybe have better luck. So it sounds like they don't lose that nursing instinct that quickly. Every baby is different, and this is my first so I have no basis for comparison, but hopefully that helps you a little bit.
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  • We are having weight gain issues, just like with my first.  Sigh.  So, I've been pumping and supplementing after every feed today.  He's been going back and forth from breast to bottle with no issues.  My first kid didn't have an issue going back and forth either.  I think you'd be fine to pump and bottle feed a little bit if you wanted to.  I am trying so hard to not give formula right now, but I know a lot of mommies do both breastmilk and formula too.  It might save you some stress to breastfeed when you feel like it and to give formula bottles instead of pumping after your supply is more regulated.  It's definitely stressful and time consuming at first. 
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  • Trust me, I am no stranger to pumping exclusively. I had non stop problems with my DD and after 6 months of seeing a LC, we ended up EPing for a full year. I know it can be done, and it is time consuming, but man...spending 40 -60 mins pumping every few hours sounds so much nicer at this point then 2-3 hours nursing every 2-3 hours and no time for my daughter or anything. I just don't know what to do...I want to try and stick it out another few days and see if my nips heal up or if things get better/worse. I just hate the thought that if I start pumping now, I'm going to totally ruin any chance of nursing at least half time. :( And I know it takes FOREVER to get them from the bottle back to the breast if I wanted to do that. I'm sure a lot of this is part of my baby blues right now (which are horrible bad)...I'm just seriously wracked with guilt about it all.
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  • image Teacher Clark:

    Do what you need to do for your sanity. However, if you can stick it out for a few more weeks it gets significantly easier.


    This. When DS was 5 days old he would nurse for over an hour every time and I felt like I literally spent the entire day with him attached to my boob. I also had milk blisters which made nursing hurt soooo bad. Now at 2 weeks his feedings are down to 30 mins on average. It is getting much better. Good luck!


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  • As advice for your latching problems. I got blood blisters on the tips of mine from my little man. Use a saline solution after pumping or nursing to clean. Then apply a lanolin cream. Also I would invest in nipple shields until they heal. You can get them at Walmart for 10.

    Breast feeding definitely takes practice for both mom and baby. Don't give up hope. And you can supplement after trying to nurse if you feel you need to. There is nothing shameful or failing about needing a little extra help. Everyone's journey is different
  • I had to supplement at the hospital since my baby lost over 10% of her birth weight, I see nothing wrong with supplementing and pumping, esp if you have another child to take care of and your baby wants to nurse that long...you have to do whats right for you and your situation! formula these days seems to be very good, a lot of different kinds for different situations(sensitive, soy, etc..)...good luck!
  • Ok...so I am going to tell you what you want to hear. I come from both sides of the coin. With my first I struggled for 3 months with BFing and felt as if I lost those precious moments due to stress and emotional strain due to low supply and bad latch. It took so long for us to get in sync but I am happy I stuck it out with him and made it to one year! It was REALLY hard and it took a toll on my marriage and emotional health those first months. With my second now, I tried for one week (very similar to you, going to LC every day, sore nipples, and very emotional drained). For me, I am going to EP until I can't take it any more. This time around, I feel so much happier and healthier pumping. I have more time for my son and feel more happy holding my baby and feeding her then I did crying in pain feeding her.  Your emotional health matters and if you are really struggling, give yourself a time frame.  I think you are a great mom and right now, probably crying reading these posts.  I did the same thing. I wanted someone to tell me it is ok!  Do what you feel is best.  If you want to stick it out, do that.  If you feel like pumping some of the time would help you and your family, do that.  Don't feel like you need others to tell you what is best FOR YOU.  Giving a child your expressed milk is just as good as giving them your breast. You can still bond with your child and pump.  If you give formula you are also a great mom. Fed babies are happy babies either way.   The most important thing is giving your children a happy home whatever you decide! 
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