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!