Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

  1. #1

    Default Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    Hi moms. I'm at a loss. I've been exclusively pumping for my baby girl and bottle feeding her using Breastflow bottles since she was born 7 weeks ago. She never once latched, even with the help of many nurses and LCs in the hospital and an LC visit at about 3 weeks (including attempts with a nipple shield, the largest size of which was too small in diameter for my nipples and caused major nipple trauma!). I have/had flat nipples and baby couldn't latch. I started EPing with the hope of my baby nursing once she became bigger and stronger. I think the pumping has drawn out my nipples to some extent. I desperately want to have a nursing relationship with my baby girl, and I have continued to try to put her to the breast off and on all along. Sometimes I go many days without trying, though, because every time I try I feel like she and I both come out of it traumatized. She screams in frustration and I end up sobbing. I have tried doing skin to skin time, and she scoots her way to my breast and then gets upset once she gets to the point where she ought to latch and start sucking. As soon as her mouth gets near my nipple she gets so upset (and then I do too).

    My desire and inability to nurse has cast a sadness over what is otherwise a joyous time (like, she just cooed at me...so cute, but here I am crying). I don't know whether I should just let go of my dream of nursing her and accept that I'll feed her through bottles, either EP or maybe incorporate a little formula down the road. I feel like I'm experiencing actual grief--or mourning or something--related to my inability to nurse my baby girl, and maybe the best way to get it past it is to accept defeat and move on.

    What do you all think? Has anyone out there been through something like this, where baby NEVER latched in the first 1-2 months and was super stressed at the breast and then ended up able to nurse their baby anyway? I just don't know whether I'm crazy to keep putting myself through this stress and sadness. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    Oh, mama, I don't know anything about pumping, or the struggles you are going through, but this is genuine grief, and it is appropriate to respond to it as such for as long as you feel it. In practical terms, I do know that there are several moms here who have EP'd for their babies, and I know that you will find guidance from them if that is the direction your path takes you. But I just wanted to offer you .
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    There are a few mamas here who have had babies nurse after a few months and went on to nurse for a long time after that. Hopefully a few can stop in here.

    I EP. I have a cleft baby who can't nurse well enough to thrive at the breast. I long to actually breastfeed him, and for a while, he would let me "nurse" him with an SNS system and a nipple shield. He goes in spurts and is currently refusing, but I am hopeful that after palate surgery, he will nurse FT.

    Perhaps something like that would encourage your LO to nurse. The SNS might help. The other thing I've been doing is letting him lay there against my breast when we are not feeding, just goofing around, and I cosleep with him as well. Also I make sure to try to hold his feeder in a position that mimics breastfeeding. It's kind of challenging, since the feeder is really long, but whatever makes it seem more like nursing to him might help me someday get to throw that feeder away. Yes, he fusses at me, but I know it's going to benefit us in the long run.

    However, you are at 7 weeks...I hear a LOT of moms who are EPing hit a wall around 5-6-7 weeks. Where they go "I can't do this any more!" It's HARD WORK to EP. This has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Just about every day, I think, I am not doing this any longer, I have a big stash of milk stored, and I'm quitting. And somehow, it works out and I keep going, because even though it is not what I wanted or dreamed of or even experienced with my older sons, it's how it has to be for now to give my baby what he needs and what is best for him.

    And you have a right to mourn. I still grieve not nursing my fourth and possibly last baby. Almost 6 months in, and I was crying about it the other day.

    But don't give up hope. There are several moms who have had rough starts and got their babies nursing. There's a couple who had bad nursing strikes that they managed to overcome.

    http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/h...inverted.shtml
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lp-mother.html

    Have you seen those about inverted nipples?

    Also, some ideas to help overcome nipple preference (which is what this boils down to, both for your baby and mine)
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html I like what it says about being ultra-casual about refusals. And I'm thinking of doing the rebirthing procedure post-op, when he might be successful at nursing.

    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I don't have personal experience with your struggles, but I just wanted to say, seven weeks is still very early! I totally agree with everything the PPs have said. Whether you continue EP'ing for a while or get your baby on the breast, I also know that for my own early struggles with breastfeeding, it helped to set little personal goals for myself. At first, it was just, "let's go another week and see if things look better then." Later, it became "a few months, because this is the best thing for my baby." Setting those goals gave me something to strive for, and I told myself that I would quit with no regrets at the other end if things had not improved, which helped me get through the day! When I got to the magic day, usually things were better, or my attitude had changed, and I kept going, setting another goal a little farther out.

    I got through quite a few months of a very difficult breastfeeding relationship this way, until I had resolved my problems, and came out the other side of them wanting to keep breastfeeding for a long time yet! If you can overcome the obstacles to breastfeeding, or if you decide to continue to EP for your baby ... either way, you will be a warrior! And you will always feel a sense of accomplishment. 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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It sounds very similar to my situation with my first, and quite frankly I still grieve over the fact that I was not able to nurse her (I ended up EPing for thirteen months). Your post made me cry, if that gives you any idea how real the grief you're feeling is. My little girl is almost four.

    I don't want to discourage you by writing as someone who did EP. I don't think it's too late for you or impossible, but I can't, of course, promise you that she will come to the breast. I understand completely how utterly devastating it is when your daughter pushes away and screams and screams when you try to nurse. Despite that, I would encourage you to try when you and she have more emotional resources. It just might work.

    One tip that no one told me when I was going through this, and I sure wish someone had, was that if you change your method of feeding, sometimes it makes a baby more willing to come to the breast. You've been using breastflow bottles (one of our few latching successes was after I switched to those!), and they're good, but they're still easier than large, inverted nipples. (I had the very same problem, and too small breast flanges and nipple shields causes supply issues, too!) I realize that your daughter won't latch at all, and so an SNS seems unrealistic, but I think it could still be a good tool for you. Here's a video about using it to finger feed a baby in preparation for latching on.

    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ame=vid-notyet

    The entire site www.drjacknewman.com has tons of useful information, and it (as well as his book Ultimate Book of Breast Feeding Answers (or something like that) was invaluable to me when my second child couldn't suck, and we had to start him on alternate feeding methods since he was taking in virtually nothing at the breast (though he did try to latch--very different from my daughter). We used finger feeding regularly as well as spoon feeding and cup feeding, though we did have to resort to bottles, too. (I think I cried for 24 hours straight the first night we gave him one; I was sure that we were headed down the EPing road). I will warn you, though, that Dr. Newman can be so strong about the attachment benefits of breastfeeding that I couldn't read his materials when I was EPing. It was too painful. Maybe you'll have thicker skin than I had.

    Even though it was a different situation, I hope it does encourage you to know that my son learned to breastfeed only at about 2 months and only really mastered it at four. It does just take some babies time.

    Also, let me encourage you that, if you do end up pumping for longer than you want, I'm sure that all the pumping I did (and I pumped like a madwoman for thirteen months--over my 120 minutes a day) helped loosen my breast tissue a little and uninvert (to some extent) at least one of my nipples. Even though my second had a rough start, I think he at least stood a fighting chance because my breasts had nourished his sister for over a year even though I used a pump to do it.

    I mostly wanted to respond to let you know that it's okay to mourn and grieve. You are experiencing a loss in the midst of your great joy. If you want me to share more of my experience (I'm quite sure I can go on at great length), feel free to ask questions. I'm sure other mamas will chime in as well.
    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)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    My younger sister had a touch and go pregnancy that resulted in the birth of her very healthy robust son. However, even though she had breastfed her daughter, and pumped for months b/c she worked, with her son she could not tolerate his struggling at the breast ,she decided to exclusively pump and bottle feed him for over a year.
    she too, was sad knowing that he wasn't able to nurse but his healthy baby checkups and his glowing health made her happy.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    The SNS might help in that it could provide an instant reward for even trying a bit at the breast, and depending on how you use it, she doesn't even have to suck at it to get milk. That's how it can be useful.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    My experience is similar to yours and I had/have to make the decision daily to keep on going with the EPing. My DS is 3 months old tomorrow and we are on day 4 of breastfeeding after months of bottle feeding. I wanted you to know that it can get better. I would read postings on here of moms who had their baby start to breast feed after X number of months and I would think I could never keep it up for that long....but we did. His latch still isn't quite right so the battle still continues but we keep getting closer.

    While our issue was not inverted nipples I wanted you to know that what really made all the difference is that I took my DS to a cranial-sacral physiotherapist to help with his mouth/jaw/suck so that he was physically able to breastfeed. This might be something to consider to help him latch better. My little guy was so frustrated because he physically couldn't do what his instrincts were telling him to do. I have read postings of others similar experiences with chiropractic treatments. We also had many consultations with IBCLC.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I dont have inverted nipples but at 5 weeks my DS had developed a bottle preference because I was pumping and giving him bottles to clearly see how much he ate. Being a FTM I didnt know the problems this would cause. It resulted in him refusing the breast and arching, screaming, fighting, etc when I would try to nurse him instead of a bottle.

    When I realized what was happening I started the long process of wooing him back to the breast. I found that if I tried to nurse him right when he got up from a nap, or right before falling completely asleep, he would latch and nurse half asleep. So I needed him to be half asleep and very very calm and I started to get some nursing sessions in. At first he would only nurse one breast at a time and wouldn't take the second. We kept at it and each day we would make more progress.

    He is now 12 weeks old and no longer gets any bottles. He nurses from both breasts 8 or so times a day. But I still need him to be very calm and sleepy to take the breast. He still arches if he is fully alert. Also nights are better and easier, he nurses like a champ since he is hungry and asleep...good combination. I am happy with our progress even though it was a lot of hard work and patience. It took 7 weeks to get from EP to EBF.

    So I would recommend trying to get her to latch when she doesn't realize what is happening and you may have more success. I was never able to get him to nurse when he was screaming and refusing. I would calm him down with a fairly loud womb like waterfall noise...it would put him in a sort of transe and he would start nursing. It is now his cue to eat...whenever I put that on he latches without a problem.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    You have gotten lots of great advice and links to check out. I just wanted to share that I went through a similar thing with DS1. He wouldn't latch at all for the first 10 weeks. I EPed, but still tried to get him to latch once a day...but didn't make a big deal of it. I still remember the day he finally latched...it was a Tuesday and he was 10.5 weeks old...it was like a switch was turned on inside of him and he latched on. I nursed him til he weaned at 20 months during my pregnancy with DS2. I have no idea what caused him to latch on that day, but he did it. It can happen. I know it's not that way for everyone, but I wanted to share.
    Melanie

    Mom to
    Matthew born April 2009
    Jonathan born March 2011
    loving and

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •