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Thread: Seriously discouraged.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Winter Haven, Florida
    Posts
    30

    Default Seriously discouraged.

    Hi, I'm new here...and a FTM. My son was born 3 weeks ago on Saturday. I had a c-section after 28 hours of labor, and was unable to really try to nurse because I wasn't allowed to sit up for an hour after the surgery. I tried to nurse the baby on my side but he wasn't latching, and I really didn't have any support. The nurses were busy and I was exhausted. I begged for a breast pump so I could at least pump some colostrum for him. The first days were horrifying...he was hungry and screaming but I felt I couldn't get enough colostrum into his mouth by dripping it (I didn't want to give him a bottle). Eventually I broke down and fed him 10 mL of colostrum I had pumped as well as 25 mL of formula, all while I was bawling my eyes out.

    I didn't get a lactation consultant to visit until 2 days after he was born, and they recommended I try using a shield. Before discharge, I finally got him to latch on using the shield. This has been a mostly-frustrating situation for me. I have to find the shield, make sure it's clean, get it on, all while he's crying (this is awful in the middle of the night)...and usually by that point, he's frustrated to the point his arms are flailing around and he knocks the shield right off my nipple and then I'm getting frustrated...

    I've been pumping and giving him bottles...there's really no other way I can effectively feed him without giving formula. Using the shield still hurts most of the time, and I don't feel like he's getting any of my areola into his mouth, so it's no different than if he were latching just to my nipple. My nipple looks strange and wedge-shaped when he's done nursing.

    I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to latch on to my nipples. They aren't flat or inverted...but when I try to get him to latch on, he just gets upset and pulls away and cries. I understand he has nipple confusion...but can I just ban bottles and starve my kid into breastfeeding? It doesn't seem right and I don't think I can do it. At least he's getting breastmilk this way, but I really want to nurse him at my breast..................

    Any help is greatly appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Well done! You will get there. It's really good that you're asking for help and that with all the issues you've faced you are still working at it. Are there any breastfeeding support groups locally? Have you spoken to a lactation consultant? Can you get him to latch on if initial hunger is satisfied in other ways? do you know anyone who has breastfed and could just chat? good luck!
    Art student and Mummy to Luca born 12th June 09 and Elidi 18th of May 11
    How can time go quite so fast

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Aw, mama! I'm sorry you had such a rough start! For latch problems, the best thing is hands-on help from a good lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Do you have a local LLL group? If so, you could try calling the leader, and she may be able to recommend a good LC in your area. And I heartily second the PP's recommenation to join the LLL group or another breastfeeding support group.

    The early weeks are very very hard for many women, and it's really hard when you got off to a bad start. But three weeks is still very young. You can absolutely get your child on the breast!!! It is absolutely doable. But I hope you'll get some hands on help with latching him on.


    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*baileyboloney View Post
    I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to latch on to my nipples. They aren't flat or inverted...but when I try to get him to latch on, he just gets upset and pulls away and cries. I understand he has nipple confusion...but can I just ban bottles and starve my kid into breastfeeding? It doesn't seem right and I don't think I can do it. At least he's getting breastmilk this way, but I really want to nurse him at my breast..................

    Any help is greatly appreciated...
    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had something similar with my first, except that my nipples were inverted. They were also really large, though I'm small breasted, and that can create quite a challenge for babies.

    I found TONS of help from www.drjacknewman.com and his book The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers. I'll put in a few direct links to things from his page that might be informative.

    When my LOs got too hungry, I had no success trying to breastfeed. When I could get them calm with expressed breastmilk, we had more success. You can ban bottles, but you can't starve a baby into feeding. Dr. Newman recommends a lactation aid; I used Medela's SNS (supplemental nursing system), a little tube attached to a bottle that allows supplemental milk to flow right beside that nipple. Using that at the breast and finger feeding were really helpful to me in getting my second to latch.

    An IBCLC was my useful source for getting supplies and hands-on help.

    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17

    Dr. Newman's language is strong, but his materials were a great resource for me to learn.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Congratulations on the baby, and it sounds like you are really committed to this. Stay strong, it is so hard in the first weeks! I felt the same way you did when we had to give my son formula at the hospital, it seemed like the end of the world. It sounds like you are totally off formula and able to pump enough milk, that is a first step in the right direction! If you can get him to latch on, what we did was nurse every time we could, then supplement with pumped milk after (my husband would finger feed him breast milk with a syringe while I pumped for the next time).
    We used a breastshield for a while also, and had a lot of the same issues. Make sure your shield fits (an IBCLC can help with this). The wedge shaped nipple is from a shallow latch. The best thing that helped was my son got big enough that his mouth wasn't so tiny, which is only a comfort that things will eventually get better. I also would try to pull his chin down a little and flange out his lip after he latched on to get more tissue in his mouth. Watching some latch videos can help also. Take good care of your nipples until his latch improves because they will hurt.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    you're doing wonderful! it can be a bumpy road in the beginning. getting hands on support can drastically help. an sns (at breast supplementer) would probably be a benefit in your situation. they are expensive so I would suggest cutting an x in the top of the nipple of a cheap bottle and threading a feeding tube through the hole and use tape to secure to your breast and see if this works for you. I used this type of makeshift sns for a few months with great success when we had latching problems. good luck! hang on there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    I know next to nothing about breast feeding but I'd say just relax and continue to ask for help as you are doing.

    With my first child I was so stressed out and discouraged that I pumped for a couple weeks and then gave up. I couldn't eat or sleep enough with the BF to make it worthwhile, it was just too stressful and I didn't feel I was being a good mama.

    This time around, the latch was awful at the hospital and even with multiple nurses and consultants helping me for several days, I still wasn't comfortable and found it to be really difficult. I stopped BF for a few days, tried again when my milk came in and again the latch was awful and I injured myself (i.e. bleeding, cracks, etc). I decided to give up after a couple days of crying about it.... I pumped a few times each day though and just for fun after I healed, I started BF for 5-10 minutes at each feeding before I made a formula bottle. I just continued this the first few weeks, 5-15 minutes each feeding, whatever felt comfortable.

    Weirdly enough, once I relaxed about things and just kept doing what I 'could' do, the latch got better and better and I started enjoying the BF this week at 6 weeks. I don't know if I just got better with practice or if my daughter has gotten better but I only used a couple bottles in the last 24 hours.

    Anyways, just wanted to share that I stopped and started a few times but just did what I could do comfortably and even though I'm not a perfect BF yet, my child is benefiting from what I can do. It's one of the hardest things to learn I think...BF was not easy at all from my perspective :-) I expected it to be much easier both times!

    Go to meetings and keep asking for help, I suspect you will click with a group or person that can help you get on the right road soon!
    Last edited by @llli*sisterling; June 17th, 2011 at 12:06 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    i could see why you are having trouble! you can get rid of the bottles, and use a dropper, sns, finger feeding etc. you dont have to starve your little one! also give some milk before trying to nurse, noone likes to learn on an empty stomach!

    practice the latch whenever you have time, i was told to do a 'game' with my lo. you take your finger or nipple, start at the nose, and lightly brush down from nose, upper lip and bottom lip to get them to open wide. wide open mouth is first step to a good latch! i did this a lot and it really helped!

    good luck!!!
    SAHM of Baby Dominic, we

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Winter Haven, Florida
    Posts
    30

    Red face Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Thanks everyone. I'm not giving up!

    There are 2 types of SNS I see online...
    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-00901S-.../dp/B002Y2NFBI
    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-Starter.../dp/B002ZKSZ82

    Which one should I order?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Seriously discouraged.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*baileyboloney View Post
    Thanks everyone. I'm not giving up!

    There are 2 types of SNS I see online...
    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-00901S-.../dp/B002Y2NFBI
    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-Starter.../dp/B002ZKSZ82

    Which one should I order?
    The first one is nice, and is the one i have seen... the thing that is good about it is you can hang it around your neck, and you don't need an extra person who is standing there pushing the syringe. Also, looking at the info more, the syringe one is a disposable, and only good for 24 hours... so I would go with the one you can use for longer.
    Proud Mommy to my little Amelia (5-18-2011)

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