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Thread: On the verge of giving up

  1. #1

    Default On the verge of giving up

    I have been giving my absolute best effort to trying to breastfeed my newborn for seven weeks now, and I'm not sure it's worth the struggle anymore. I have inverted nipples and she had a tongue tie (now corrected with frenotomy). I seem to have a low supply, although it's not completely clear to me since none of the pump (Medela Symphony) flanges fit properly with my inverted nipples. Anyway, my baby still won't latch on and I am going crazy taking care of her and fitting in eight pumping sessions (15 minutes each, yielding about 1.5 ounces total each time) around the clock. I want to quit, but if there were a way to maybe continue pumping once or twice a day until she is able to latch, and then try to build up my supply again, I would consider doing that. I don't know if scaling back pumping that much would get rid of my supply completely, though. I am thinking that the best thing for my sanity might just be to give formula exclusively and kick the pump to the curb. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Have you seen a lactation consultant to get help with the latch?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Congratulations on your new baby, and good for you making it this far! I know that exclusively pumping is a huge amount of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    Have you seen a lactation consultant to get help with the latch?
    Sorry if you've tried every avenue already, but this was my first thought as well - have you gotten some hands-on help from a skilled lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC?

    Do you use a nipple shield to help with your inverted nipples?

    To answer your question, at seven weeks, it is very hard or impossible to maintain a good supply only pumping twice a day. My heart goes out to you, because you are obviously struggling, so my feeling is, take a few more steps to see if you can establish a good latch with your baby before you quit. At least find a good lactation consultant and see if there is anything you can do that you haven't tried. That way, if it really just doesn't work out, you know you tried your best. I know that for me, it was really important that I give myself every possible chance to succeed.

    Many of us had a hard time breastfeeding at first (that's why we're here! ) so we understand how frustrating it is to hit seven weeks and feel like breastfeeding is STILL a struggle. Believe me. But when I look back on two long years of breastfeeding, I'm so very glad I pushed through those early months, the reward has been well worth it. Hang in there.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4

    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Sorry, I left out quite a bit of detail to avoid having my post be overwhelmingly long.

    I've seen three lactation consultants, about one per week, since before my baby was born. (I knew I might have trouble with my inverted nipples, so I started seeing a lactation consultant when I was 36 weeks pregnant). I've gotten all the advice and plastic gadgets in the world, and nothing has worked yet. The latest recommendation is that I use a supplemental nursing system for feedings, plus a nipple shield, plus pumping 8-12 times a day. I am already going crazy pumping and bottle feeding all day; the thought of having to use an SNS for an undefined period of time is too much. I would like to enjoy this precious time I have with my daughter, not squander it on obsessing over breastfeeding. (However, if she could do it, I would certainly prefer it to formula!) Anyway, I have two more months of leave, and then I go back to work full-time (extremely busy schedule, ~80 hours per week).

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Ugh. I can definitely understand your frustration! What about trying the SNS for just a few feedings a day? I don't have personal experience with it, but I know many of the moms on this forum have used it at some point in their breastfeeding experience. Hopefully one of them will chime in with some ideas for making using it less arduous.

    I totally get the stress caused by having to do this difficult thing for an "undefined" period of time, too. Blech. I definitely got some advice like that in my early days breastfeeding Joe, and it made me want to tear my hair out! But if you think of it in different terms - I'll do X for one day, or one week, and then see how I feel - maybe it's not so bad? Seven weeks is still very early days. When Joe was seven weeks old, I was still just telling myself, "I'll make it through ONE MORE DAY."


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6

    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    At this point, I have tried supple cups, breast shells, nipple shields, finger feeding, an SNS, pumping, suck training, a special-needs (Haberman) feeder, multiple herbal and dietary supplements, the frenotomy, and finally bottle feeding. I have tried these things in various combinations and sometimes repeatedly. I guess at this point it seems like the suggestion to try this one more thing for just a few days (or however long) seems like what I have been doing all along: try something for a few days, try something else for a few days, try something else for a few days, etc. I feel like I am at my breaking point because there is no end in sight and I just want to enjoy the time I have with my baby rather than trying to get her to sleep all the time so I can be attached to the pump instead of her. Maybe if I were off work for a year I would feel differently, but about half of my time getting to be a "stay at home mom" is already gone, and I've spent way too much of it unhappy.

    It's helpful to know that pumping twice a day at this point won't really do any good. I don't want to fool myself into thinking I can keep up my milk supply that way if I can't. Well, at least I was able to get breast milk into her for a couple of months. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Hi, fellow former owner of inverted nipples here

    I say former because after successfully nursing two children, my innie is now an outie. And it IS doable mama. Don't give up just yet!

    How long ago was the tongue tie clipped? Do your nipples pop out at all after being stimulated? Do you have any pain during latching? Or is it just your supply that is stressing you out?

    Sorry for all the questions but that'll give a good starting point so I don't blather on about stuff you've already heard or doesn't apply to you.

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  8. #8

    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Wow, that's great!

    The tongue tie was clipped 12 days ago. My nipples have been stretched by pumping and now can evert with enough suction (like when pumping) or manually. I had a great deal of pain with latching before the frenotomy (bleeding, callouses, etc.). Now, she won't latch without using a nipple shield and SNS (which makes me feel like I am just a human bottle). That, too, is painful, though not nearly as bad as it was. There's a burning sensation from her high suck strength everting my nipples (or at least I'm assuming that's what causes the pain). No nipple trauma now, though.

    What stresses me out is how much time all of this takes up in a day. I almost want to make an anonymous call to the humane society to come take away my pets because of how much I have been neglecting them (not to mention myself and other things). It would be liberating to just stop all of this and give her bottles of formula (which she is already getting, anyway).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bunjagraham View Post
    What stresses me out is how much time all of this takes up in a day. I almost want to make an anonymous call to the humane society to come take away my pets because of how much I have been neglecting them (not to mention myself and other things). It would be liberating to just stop all of this and give her bottles of formula (which she is already getting, anyway).
    My poor dogs suffered a lot in the first couple months too! Total neglect!

    You have obviously been working very hard to keep breastfeeding your baby!

    Although you say that it would be liberating to quit, you're here asking for our input, so I figure that means you would like to keep it up. We'll do our best to help, mama.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: On the verge of giving up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bunjagraham View Post
    Wow, that's great!

    The tongue tie was clipped 12 days ago. My nipples have been stretched by pumping and now can evert with enough suction (like when pumping) or manually. I had a great deal of pain with latching before the frenotomy (bleeding, callouses, etc.). Now, she won't latch without using a nipple shield and SNS (which makes me feel like I am just a human bottle). That, too, is painful, though not nearly as bad as it was. There's a burning sensation from her high suck strength everting my nipples (or at least I'm assuming that's what causes the pain). No nipple trauma now, though.

    What stresses me out is how much time all of this takes up in a day. I almost want to make an anonymous call to the humane society to come take away my pets because of how much I have been neglecting them (not to mention myself and other things). It would be liberating to just stop all of this and give her bottles of formula (which she is already getting, anyway).
    First I want to say, you are in the hardest weeks right now. For any of us, this is the part that sucks the most. This is when we all haven't showered, eaten or slept in weeks. Our house is a wreck and we're going stir crazy. The whole mom sitting in a clean house with her freshly blown out hair and fresh lip gloss and a blissfully sleeping baby. BIG FAT LIE. This is when most moms come here begging for help and ready to quit. So please don't feel like you're the only one who feels like this.

    What worked for me was to make sure my nipple was everted before latching. What I did was put the nipple shield on to get my nipple out, take off the nipple shield and very quickly latch baby. I'm sorry I'm no help on weaning from a nipple shield since we never really got into a groove of using them.

    I know you said you've tried a ton of the herbs but one thing that a lot of women aren't told is that when taking fenugreek, if you don't smell like maple syrup you aren't taking enough. The minimum I've heard of working was 3 pills 3x/day.

    Also oatmeal helped me a ton. Not sure how it works but it does for a lot of us. Just a bowl for breakfast gave my supply a huge boost.

    I'm sorry if you've already tried others and it hasn't worked. I know you're frustrated by everyone telling you to just try this miracle thing and it'll all work out.

    Again, not sure if you've seen this but here is a video on latching with an SNS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezGIkIkhC_o

    here is one on keeping baby at breast longer after clipping tongue tie
    and this one can help a shallow latch that baby may have developed due to tongue tie

    Not sure how much any of this will help but maybe something will click if you can hang in there a couple more days??

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

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