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Thread: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

  1. #1

    Post Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Hello Everyone. This is my first time to the site and I'm hoping I can get some encouragement as my baby is only three weeks old and breast feeding has become the bane of our existence.

    My child (boy) was born 7 lbs, and during labor I was filled full of both fluids and antibiotics due to a high fever throughout a 32 hour labor. This (may or may not have) resulted in a late letdown of my milk. I didn't know this...assumed I had colostrum to feed my baby...but 3 days after birth he'd dropped to 6 lb. 1 oz because he was getting literally NOTHING from me in terms of nourishment. When I went in to nurse with the Lactation Consultant at the hospital, we weight him before and after a good 20 minute latch, and he'd taken in no milk...this began formula feeding to supplement.

    Since then, I've been pumping 5 times a day, only to be able to supply him with 1/2 breast milk, 1/2 formula. Despite being painful enough to bring me to tears (cracks/redness/bleeding in each nipple) I try to begin my baby's feedings at the breast, hoping he stays "in tune" to my breast so that when my supply is up, we can proceed normally.

    Enter Mastitis...I thought I was in pain before! Now my right breast, which WAS the heavy producer, producing about 2-3 times as much as the left in pumping sessions, barely gives me an ounce. My lactation consultant says I need to pump 8 times a day...every 2-3 hours, despite (and even considering) the mastitis, and let go of the notion of feeding him at the breast for another two weeks. Pumping is *almost* as painful as breast feeding...especially with the mastitis. (I'm currently taking an antibiotic to get rid of the mastitis).

    Depending on the length of the pumping sessions (how long is too long? How short is too short?), I feel like a slave to the pump. It's almost impossible to leave the house. I tense up and have anxiety before every pump, cry every time I pump, I'm exhausted, at wits and, and feel like a complete breast feeding failure. Needless to say, I'm considering throwing in the towel. Breastfeeding is all consuming and is distracting me from truly enjoying my 3 months with my beautiful baby boy.

    Advice? Encouragement? Help?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! I had a whole long response typed out and the Internet ate it, and now I have to get in bed before the baby wakes me up. But I promise to come back tomorrow and try again. Meanwhile, please don't give up! You have a lot going for you and you can succeed at nursing. The one thing I really hope you'll take a look at ASAP is this link on thrush: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...resources.html. The cracked, bleeding, red, painful nipples are very suggestive of thrush, and since thrush often follows a course of antibiotics given at birth... You get the picture!

    Hang in there! You will get a lot of support here.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Hi! The other thing to consider is that you will need to increase the number of pumping times greatly. Aim for 12x per 24 hour period at this point if you want to build your supply. Can you also work on correcting baby's latch with the LC? That along with thrush treatment will make feeding a ton more comfortable and you can work at getting baby back to breast 100%. Hang in there you can do it!
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Hi! This was close to my experience with my first. Milk took five days to come in, weak latch, bleeding nipples, weight loss, pumping pumping pumping only to get .5 oz - I feel your pain (no mastitis, though). What I did: I actually stopped breastfeeding for almost two weeks. I just wussed out and thought I was done. My ds was 5 days old when I stopped. Occasionally I would latch him but he was almost entirely bottlefed formula with a splash of breadtmilk. I pumped many times day and night to build up my supply, generally for 20 to 30 minutes a session.
    My suggestion is to read a book or watch tv. I would set my son down next to me on a boppy and feed him a bottle while using a hands free pumping bra (essential!).
    After my nipples healed I put my son back on the breast. His mouth was bigger, his suck stronger and I was able to cut out the formula within days, mostly because babies prefer bm. He was then ebf for six months and weaned at thirteen only because I was fairly pregnant and my milk dried up. I really think my 'break' from bfing gave me time to heal and start over fresh, with less trauma. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Also let go of the idea that you are "trapped". The truth is that 3 weeks in pumping or breastfeeding you would still be sitting at home in your PJs Doing it all day. Most everyone here spent at least the 1st 6-12 weeks in our PJs on the couch. Expect that. Wake up and plan for that. Set up a station where you sit all day and do it. Keep your phones, remotes, movies, Laptop ect with you, the baby and the pump. Your job right now is to make milk. Don't feel like you failed if you don't leave the house! You have one window of opportunity to establish your milk supply. Don't miss it! Focus on making milk. Mastitis is rough! But your advice is correct the best thing you can do is either NURSE NURSE through it or PUMP PUMP PUMP. So do that. And don't feel bad. You are working to give your baby your milk. Which is the exact right food for him. And he deserves your milk. Also it's normal for a child to lose up to 10% of their birth weight right away. Which in your case is 11.2 oz. So your baby lost a little more than I'd like to see but I wouldn't go so far as to say your child was getting NOTHING. Colostrum doesn't weigh much at all. They get usually less than an oz in a feed. It's not there to make them gain weight. and it never does. All babies lose weight when born. I think that initial idea that you were not nourishing your baby at all has affected your confidence and I want you to shift your paradigm. You almost certainly DID give your baby the very concentrated nutrient rich colostrum. Do you deliver naturally after 32 hours? And if YOU were filled with fluid, So was you baby. Which may explain the extra weight loss because he weight was inflated by your fluids. 6lbs is not an unhealthy weight for a new born.
    I had a c-section. My milk did not come in for 5 days as a result. My child was too sleepy to even ATTEMPT to latch on for the first 24hours. And he went from 8lbs 2oz to 7lbs 6oz. No one at my hospital panicked. So neither did I. And I just thought "Well if he was born at 7,6 that'd still be in the realm of normal so...." I understand WHY you panicked. But I think you should reconsider that idea that you are somehow inadequate or that you failed your baby right away. You didn't. Your medical professionals failed YOU. But you can still fix it. 3 weeks is young. You are still producing milk. Step it up. Right now. You were made to do this. You can do it. It's not going to be easy. Breastfeeding in the beginning never is. It's work and it takes dedication. But your child is worth it. Stay focused mama. Get up with one goal in mind. To make enough milk to feed your kid. Pump around the clock. Because trust us, if your kid was at your breast it'd be around the clock. That is how it works. Do the work. You will never be sorry you did. We promise.
    Last edited by @llli*djs.mom; November 16th, 2011 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Typos

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    WOW I couldn't of said it better than that Im a momma of a 9mo DS and was EXACTLY where you are 9 months ago. I wanted you to know your not alone and I did everything *dj's mom* said. I wont lie it SUCKED to pump 12+ times a day AND BF but I was determined to EBF, even though I was advised to stop I came to the forum and got a hold of a local LLL leader and NOW my DS is 100% EBF and has been since 6mo. it was a long, hard road getting here but WE are sooooo happy we did. YOU TOO can do it!!! Its TOTALY worth ALL the struggles. momma your at the right place for support/advise

    P.S. I still live in my P.J.s atleast once a week and love it! It took alot for me to just RELAX and just let things go as they may
    hope it gets easier jenn
    Im Jenn
    Mamma To:
    Kelsey BF 3 months
    Kenneth BF 3 months
    Blaze BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Bristol BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Raiden BF 15months & counting


    We
    NIP BLS

    In need of some

    LACTIVIST

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Okay, so I finally got back to this thread and I discover that pretty much everything I wanted to say has already been said by the other mamas. You absolutely need to pump more than 5x per day if you want to get your supply back on track. I know that sucks, because I did it- I pumped 20 minutes every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, in addition to nursing my baby. It sucked, but it also worked! I hated feeling like a slave to that d&$m pump, but it was worth every minute I put in with it.

    While the antibiotic will help get rid of the mastitis, emptying the breast will help even more. Infection thrives when the milk sits for long periods in the breast. So as you pump, don't just think of it as increasing your supply, also think of it as treating that mastitis.

    Can you tell us more about your cracks and your experience nursing the baby? Are the cracks more like slits or more like large, gaping wounds? Does nursing the baby hurt all the time, or primarily at latch-on, and does the pain continue after the feeding is over?
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Ready to throw in the towel...help!

    Yes, pumping more! You need to shoot for 120 minutes broken into at least 8 sessions, with 12 better for these first weeks.

    And pumping is WORSE than BFing. Yes, you'd be trapped either way, but at least nursing you are holding your baby. Pumping...you aren't. It's much harder to attend your baby's needs while EPing. Baby wakes up and starts fussing while you are hooked up...it stinks. BTDT.

    You can do this. It's a short period of time. I've been EPing for 10 months. My baby can't nurse. Don't give up just yet.
    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!

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