Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: So many tears...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    256

    Unhappy So many tears...

    {{ VERY LONG - Sorry!}}

    Hi everyone! I am thrilled to find this forum, as I'm definitely in need of some support and advice. Breastfeeding is far more difficult than I ever thought it would be, and, though I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, I had no idea how strongly I would feel about it until my little one was born. I refuse to give up!

    My daughter is 3 weeks old tomorrow. She was born a little early, at 37w, 1d. She was 6 lbs, 10 oz when she was born, delivered vaginally.

    My story: I tried breastfeeding within an hour after giving birth, and at that time and all during the first day, she just clamped down and wouldn't suck at all. I was visited by an LC 3 times during the hospital stay and was told immediately that I had poor nipples for latching - I have flat nipples and initially my nipple tissue was also very tough. I was told to pump frequently to try to soften that tissue and bring out my nipples. Meanwhile, LO was still not really sucking too well, so the 2nd day we supplemented with formula from a bottle on recommendation of nurses and LCs to give her some energy to try to suck. By the time we left the hospital, she was latching on, though I'm not sure we had a proper latch at that time, I just thought I would go home and work on it and it would get better once my milk came in.

    The day after I was released from the hospital, I was back in the hospital, admitted to the cardiac unit for fluid in my lungs. I had a CAT scan and was told I had to "pump and dump" for 24 hours due to the radioactive die. At that point my milk was just coming in. I was put on a diuretic IV during my hospital stay, which I know hampered my milk production. I never had that initial period of engorgement; it seemed like my milk just kind of gradually came in. During this time, we had to supplement with formula from a bottle. I hated to introduce so much bottle so early, but my husband had to do a lot and it was all we could do to get through this difficult time.
    I was discharged from the hospital just before LO was a week old. I got her back on the breast while I was still in the hospital, but had major supply issues so was still supplementing with formula from a bottle.

    That week, met with a LC and worked on increasing my milk supply and having her spend more time at the breast. Had to supplement with formula that week because milk supply is so low.

    I have now been supplementing only with expressed milk for a week now. I have still been using a bottle for supplementing, up to 5 times a day at this point.

    I have been taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, drinking several liters of water per day, and pumping with hospital-grade pump for 20 minutes after every feeding (and every 1-1/2 - 2 hours, in between feedings, if she's sleeping)

    My problems/questions:
    -- I know the issue is related to her latch/suck. Even if I can get her to do a good latch, she only stays that way for a few sucks and then I can feel her pushing my nipple out of her mouth. She can stay on and suckle there for awhile, and get a little milk out of my nipple, but of course she is never satisfied from feeding sessions doing this. She seems to like it, but more as a comfort thing. If she's hungry, she'll scream afterwards. I have tried:
    1. SNS. This is very hard for us to use because she doesn't suck well, and I can't get the flow perfect. It comes out too fast and spills out of her mouth, or too slow, and she is off the nipple before I really get more supplement to her. I just don't know how to use this when she is barely suckling.
    2. Syringe. Have tried feeding her and using a syringe periodically get more supplement to her. Same problems as with the SNS, she doesn't suck strong and stay on the nipple that long, so the supplement is not really getting to her.
    3. Nipple Shield. This sometimes work so I will try it occassionally, but then it feels like her suck is even less. It is barely stimulating my nipples, and I don't think she gets much out of it all. She seems to like the bare nipple better.
    4. Nursing around the clock. She will suckle for a very long time (very, very light sucking) but she is not satisfied. If all I did was nurse her, she would still never get enough milk, and then I'm not emptying my breasts at all. If I didn't supplement and tried to keep her at the breast, I would never empty breasts or have time to pump.

    At this point, I'm sure she has nipple confusion. She seems to be getting worse at latching/sucking, not better. But I'm not sure what to do. The SNS has just not been working. When she sucks, she seems to be pushing my nipple out with her tongue.

    My question: Is it possible that as she grows older and gets stronger and her mouth gets bigger, she will get better at sucking and I can try to get her properly latching/sucking then?? Or, will it be hopeless if I don't completely quit bottles now and figure out some other way to feed her? I've heard other people say "lazy sucker" and that is really how she is - how can I get this to change? I don't let her get too frustrated/upset at my breast because I don't want her to develop any kind of aversion...I let her comfort suckle when she seems willing to try just so I can keep her liking the breast.

    I plan to contact an LC who comes highly recommended and does in-home consultations...I want to get her to exclusively BF at the breast but I just don't know how to help her with the sucking strength.

    -----
    I have cried so many tears over this and am so sad that our nursing relationship could be compromised... all I want to do is nurse my baby, and never dreamed I'd have this many issues. I can only hope that it will somehow get better as she gets older...I hear other people say the first few weeks are hard, and they have been some of the hardest of my life. This has taken such an emotional toll on me and all I want is the best for my baby!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: So many tears...

    What an ordeal! It is completely possible. Is the LC an IBCLC? I'm on my phone, but check out kellymom.com. There's some good information about nipple confusion. But yes, sometimes it's just time and determination that make it happen.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: So many tears...

    I don't have too much advice as I still feel pretty new to this with a 4 month old. I just wanted to offer a and say that breastfeeding was so much harder than I expected it would be, too. I cried more tears in those first few weeks than I care to admit! You are definitely not alone. The members of this site are an amazing source of support and information, so I'm sure you'll get lots of help from others. Keep up all your great work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Hugs! Can you get to an LLL meeting? The support is amazing and so is the info. What is the LC's credentials? When using syringe can you push while she sucks? To get this going right the goal is to stop using those bottles, not only do they cause nipple confusion but they really can harm supply and this is crucial timing for building it, a pump is just not as effective as a babe. Speaking of how much are you pumping per session? .5-2oz is aversge (both breasts) so if you are getting that you likely do not have a supply issue, it doesn't work in reverse though so if you aren't getting that much it doesn't necessarily mean anything. You can do this! In your shoes I'd start by using a spoon or syringe instead of a bottle and keeping baby on breast at very least once every two hours but more is better. The baby will get better nursing with practice. Just getting bigger/older isn't enough. Hang in there mama!
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Wow what an ordeal

    I remember those first weeks and how HARD it was. I was in constant pain and cried all the time. So yes, you are not alone there!!

    My husband and I had to use the syringe while feeding our son the first couple weeks (he had undiagnosed tongue-tie). My husband would very gently push the milk through the syringe whenever baby sucked. Sometimes if would leak out, in those cases we just repositioned and continued until we got at least 25mL of EBM to him. We also sometimes fed the tube along our finger and let him suck on our finger (nail facing his tongue) to get him practice with sucking.

    We also saw a really great LC about 4 or 5 times and she really helped us with some kind of physical therapy exercises for him and she is the one who finally diagnosed his posterior tongue-tie.

    Keep hanging in there! It takes a long time but its SOOO worth it!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Which SNS are you using? You might have better luck with the Lact-Aid system, as the baby controls the flow. But...if she won't stay on long enough to latch, then no aid will help.

    There's a mom here who said her baby had a disorganized suck, and craniosacral therapy and/or chiropractic helped her baby. It took a couple months, but she was able to stop pumping and just nurse!

    Did the LC talk to you about finger suck training? With that, when baby is sucking, you reward with milk. When the suck isn't right, you don't.

    You could also look at TenderCare feeding bottles. They are used for cleft palate babies post-palate repair, but you might find those easier to manage than a syringe. I found a syringe very awkward to use myself; we had to feed our fourth with one for a while.

    Speaking of syringe feeding, if you attach a small piece of rubber catheter to the end, it's easier to feed with a syringe They don't have to be latched on to anything. You just place it in the corner of their mouth and give a little bit at a time.

    The in-home consultation may help you quite a lot.

    Don't give up. There are many moms here who had a lot of difficulties and were able to nurse.

    Any chance she is tongue tied? And is her palate OK?
    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: So many tears...

    I just want to say that I feel your pain and you are not alone!! My son was born early as well (37w4d), and we have struggled with BF since day one. I always say, everyone tells you how hard labor is, but no one seems to tell you how hard BF is! I always knew I would BF and just thought since it's natural, that it would come naturally. So not true!

    My son is 6.5 weeks now and we are just starting to see some improvement. We've had latch issues since the beginning, and he was given formula in the hospital. I was in constant pain from his latch and he wasn't feeding efficiently, which left me with a hungry baby that needed formula supplements to satisfy, and gave me a supply issue since he wasn't emptying the breast. He had a undiagnosed tongue-tie that my LC found at 5 weeks, and we had it clipped a week and a half ago. We are also now seeing a pediatric chiropractor and doing craniosacral therapy twice a week, since he was delivered with the assistance of a vaccuum. We have only been twice so far, and along with getting the tongue-tie clipped, are now starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Latching still isn't pain free, but he is eating more efficiently and gradually needing less supplementing.

    I don't know how your birth went, but if you were induced or had a difficult birth at all, I would recommend getting her checked by a chiro. Kellymom.com has links to a bunch of articles explaining the benefits of chiropractic work on babies with BF issues. It can help with so many other things as well, like reflux and fussiness, and I am quickly becoming a big-time believer in all of it's benefits!

    I'm also taking Motherlove More Milk Special Blend, drinking Mother's Milk tea, and eating lactation cookies and Life cereal daily. My supply is bouncing back!!

    Stick it out and don't give up! We'll both have that fulfilling nursing relationship we want eventually, and these difficult first weeks will be a distant memory.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Thanks, everyone, for all the feedback and support!

    I have set up an in-home consultation for Wednesday with a board certified LC. She comes highly recommended in the Dallas Fort Worth area, so I have high hopes I will let you all know how it goes!

    The LCs did check her palate at the hospital and I assume there are no problems there, but I will have this new LC check again on Wednesday.

    I don't think I have a supply issue at this point; I am pumping between 1 - 2 oz at a time (every couple hours), or up to 4 oz in the morning. I think this should be OK based on what I've read and seen posted here. Maybe all the supplements and pumping sessions are working!

    I will definitely ask the LC about alternative feeding suggestions, like the Lact Aid or finger feeding. I breastfed her this morning and early afternoon and she seemed satisfied, but she was hungry after her 4:30 feeding. I tried feeding her with the syringe, on the breast and off, and she tolerated that for awhile but then started to get quite upset. I kept at for a little while but she was getting so upset I ended up giving her 2 oz from a bottle (this is after a long nursing session). I am skeptical that she was getting enough in the morning but we had very long nursing sessions and she was sucking the whole time (just still not a great latch or sucking hard, I think). It makes me think she gets progressively hungrier throughout the day and that's why she got so upset.

    In any case, I'm looking forward to having her weighed by the LC because I just can't tell how much she is getting from these nursing sessions and it makes me nervous. She's only been formula-free for a week and I don't know how she's been gaining. Diapers have been good - she has regular stools and lots of wet diapers.

    I will definitely attend the next LLL meeting but it appears here in the DFW area it is only the first Thursday of the month.

    Thanks again ladies for all your support!! I am feeling today like we can do this...taking it day by day!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Update:

    We are still breastfeeding AND pumping and giving bottles. The LC diagnosed her with minor tongue tie and a high palate. The pediatrician doesn't think the tongue tie is bad enough to be clippedl She likes to suckle at the breast but simply does not transfer enough milk even if we nurse for an hour or more

    Recently, I have felt that her suction/sucking seems to be stronger, but it only lasts for a second, then it's back to the weak suck.

    We have made it to 6 weeks at least!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

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

    Default Re: So many tears...

    Well, that's something!

    What about seeing an ENT about the tongue tie?

    Sarale (durhamgirl) has a baby who has a high palate. Ask her about it.
    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!

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
  •