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Thread: Afraid to leave the house

  1. #1

    Default Afraid to leave the house

    My son was born via c-section 16 days ago. Since then we had horrible issues with latching which caused significant damage to one of my nipples. I am still pumping to maintain the supply but I don't know how to manage bringing the pillows and pump required to pump in public. The whole process takes around an hour and a half or so to feed on one breast, supplement with the pumped breastmilk in a bottle, and pump again for the next feeding. Which leaves me with about an hour and a half before we need to start the process again.

    Additionally, my baby was an LGA baby, 10lbs 11oz. His head is so big that I need all of the pillows to properly position him for feeding. How do I go anywhere with the fear he'll need to eat in public. I'm not even sure where I could sit for over an hour, besides my car to go through all of this.

    To top it off he sleeps all day and is up all night. I have to wake him for day and night feedings, but at night he just stays up for the next one. I'm so stressed about the process and I know getting out of the house will make me feel better.

    The stress of feeding him every 2-3 hours is unbearable when I'm just trying to get out of the house to feel better.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    2,476

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    First of all, congratulations on the birth of your son!

    I know it's scary prospect, going out when the needs of your baby are so specific. What I would recommend is that you plan where you go carefully. Go to a friends place who is supportive of BFing. Just the change of venue will help. Many shopping malls have "family rooms" with comfortable chairs, sink, change table and a television for you to watch while nursing. Go to an LLL meeting! With a little bit of pre-planning of supportive destinations, you'll do just fine.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Washington
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    105

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Congrats on your son and for breastfeeding through difficulties!

    Although I don't have some of the challenges you do I too was afraid of going out anywhere when I first got home from the hospital because of nursing in public. I was, and still am, more nervous about it than I thought I'd be. I was forced to confront it just a day after coming out of the hospital when I had to go to my postpartum visit and my LO was hungry in the waiting room -- fortunately an OB/GYN office is a good first public place to have to nurse.

    I got my NIP toes wet by nursing in the car at first -- and I actually don't mind doing that at all now. The windows are tinted so I have some privacy. I also invested in some nice nursing tops from Momzelle that helped me be discreet.

    Then I decided that an LLL meeting would be a great way for me to get out of the house and meet with some adults while also going somewhere I could NIP comfortably. That was a great way to get used to NIP in front of strangers, but people you know are accepting of it.

    The other day I decided to brave the hoighty-toighty mall. I knew that they had family restrooms and thought I had seen a place to nurse there a long while back. My LO got hungry as we walked so I quickly found a directory and looked for the nearest restroom -- aha! The family restroom sign! I headed over there only to find out it had a diaper changing room, not a place to sit and nurse. By now LO was pretty angry I hadn't fed him yet. There was a bench outside the restrooms so I pulled out the ring sling that I don't really know how to use yet, threw it on and realized it was on backwards, didn't care because LO NEEDED to eat, so I put him in it as best I could and it gave us a small added measure of discreetness. Tons of people were walking by, and I was really nervous even though I knew I didn't and shouldn't have to be. But then by the end it wasn't so bad after all.

    Perhaps you could pack some pillows in your car, since you say you need quite a bit of stuff, and try and go somewhere you could easily get back to your car from? It's at least a good first step. I know that I reached a point where I needed to get out of the house for my own sanity and health and that really pushed me to find any solution that would let me do that, even if it wasn't optimal.
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,600

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Mama, I am sorry you're having such a rough time. NIP (nursing in public) is challenging with a newborn, even under the best of circumstances, when you're not trying to recover from major surgery and pump in addition to nursing. Newborns take a long time to feed and they need a lot of help with positioning. Does it make you feel any better to know that it all gets easier with time, and that eventually the baby can latch on without assistance and without you needing to prop them up with pillows and whatnot?

    I think the PPs gave you some great suggestions. Good nursing shirts and finding a mommy/baby-friendly location for outings are perfect baby steps for a mom in your situation. I'd also suggest sticking some extra baby blankets in your diaper bag, because a well-padded diaper bag makes a great on-the-go nursing pillow, and maybe taking a friend/family member with you on some of your outings. If you can hand the baby over to your companion, and allow him/her to give the bottle while you slip out to pump, you would get a few minutes back.

    Have you seen a lactation consultant for help with the latch on the damaged side? There's no substitute for hands-on help!

    Finally, is this your first baby? With my first, I felt literally trapped in the house for reasons very similar to yours: I had to combine pumping and bottle-feeding with nursing and my baby ate every 90 minutes or less. And being trapped in the house was a huge transition for me- I was used to going where I wanted when I wanted, with no need to put anything in my bag beyond keys and wallet. And all of a sudden if I wanted to go out I had to bring baby and diaper bag and pump and bottles and worry about whether or not the baby wanted to nap or if I was going to run into the fussy period of the day or if my expressed milk would spoil in the heat... It was crazy! With my second baby, I felt like I learned my lesson. I spent her first few months of life more or less parked on the couch, nursing and watching tv. Because the first few months are tough, but they pass. Give yourself a break and do as little as possible.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Your baby is still so young. Stay home. Out your feet up. Nurse (so you can quit the pumping nonsense). Have an LC come to the house tomhelp you with your latch.

    I couldn't leave the house with my fourth baby for some weeks....that pumping thing does a number on ease, and I'm an experienced mom who did not have major surgery!

    As the mom of a baby even bigger, I will tell you what saved me...a sling.
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    466

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    I understand the way you feel even though I didn't have as many challenges in the beginning. But it still felt overwhelming, with my baby nursing every 2 hours round the clock, and having a BM with each feeding, and then a "diaper change from hell" with each BM (seriously--sometimes it took me more than an hour on the changing table). There wasn't time for anything else, let alone leaving the house! So I spent the better part of her first three months at home, going out only for her doctor's appointments and mine, because it was just too much to deal with other outings. And to be honest, I was happy that way. She was so little and I also had a c-section, and we needed the rest and protection during that tender time.
    Having said this... it was nice to take her for a stroll around the block, which was pretty easy to do between feedings. I don't know if this would satisfy your craving for going out, but it made me content. Or I would leave her with DH and go take a walk myself, that always felt good and it was good exercise too. Also, if you have someone who could care for your baby for a couple of hours, you could leave right after the pumping session and spend an hour away.
    As for pillows, have you tried one of those special nursing pillows? I started out with mountains of pillows and always found it so tricky, then I finally gave in and got a My Breast Friend. It made all the difference, seriously. I don't know how it would work for you because it's best with littler babies (mine was born a peanut), but there are other models. I used the Boppy when she was bigger and it worked very well. These nursing pillows are more portable and easier to use than the mountain of pillows!
    Finally, as the PPs have said... it gets so much easier as babies grow. Babies get more efficient and nurse for shorter periods, they don't need as much help with positioning, they space out the feedings... and also you get the hang of it all. All of this to say that it won't always be this hard. And you'll find yourself missing the early weeks... I know I do!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  7. #7

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    I have found comfort in all of your posts. He's now a month old and due to low supply/bad latch were nursing every two hours. I actually look forward to nursing to try to see if I can get a better latch the next feeding. He's growing like a little weed so everything seems to be working (for this moment). I do have the My Brest Friend pillow which i put a regular pillow under to support it but I can't image doing the cross cradle without it. I don't know why anyone bothers with the Boppy type for a newborn. Best advice, thank you all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    466

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*averel View Post
    I have found comfort in all of your posts. He's now a month old and due to low supply/bad latch were nursing every two hours. I actually look forward to nursing to try to see if I can get a better latch the next feeding. He's growing like a little weed so everything seems to be working (for this moment). I do have the My Brest Friend pillow which i put a regular pillow under to support it but I can't image doing the cross cradle without it. I don't know why anyone bothers with the Boppy type for a newborn. Best advice, thank you all.
    happy to hear that things are working for you and your LO!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Bryan, Texas
    Posts
    4,260

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Has your LO been checked for a tongue tie?
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    **Leslie**

    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    MINNESOTA
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    2

    Default Re: Afraid to leave the house

    Congrats on the LO!!
    I know how you are feeling because that's how I was at first. My ds is now 8 weeks old and we had latching issues at first as well. However I was told not to give up no matter how pain full it is. For a full 2 1/2 weeks my nipples were cracked one was even bleeding, I curled my toes, and had to talk myself into feeding time. I wanted to give up so many times. After a week of bf we went back to the hospital to work on latching. He was a champ at the hospital, but it required more work and patience at home. Keep it up, your both learning!!!
    I am always worried about places to feed. I met a friend at Olive Garden one day and I was there for a little over two hours of course my LO needed to eat. So I fed him right at the table. I was comfortable because we were in a back corner and nobody around. I have yet to experience the busy mall feeding. I really want to but I'm nervous and shy at same time. We still work on latching and sometimes have to move around to get situated. If I'm not comfortable bf in a place I'll sit in my car and do it.

    As far as boppy goes it helps my husband when LO gets a bottle, I also like it for setting him in there for a second or two while I do something since he's not rolling just yet.

    hang in there things will get better, just keep moving forward. Remember you and your LO are learning together, don't give up!!

    Alesia

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