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Thread: Getting frustrated...any advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Getting frustrated...any advice?

    I'm getting frustrated and thinking of going to formula...

    It feels like I'm overproducing bm - if I don't pump or get my lo to feed from the breast every couple of hours - my breasts are rock hard and I'm in a lot of pain (and I do the whole warm towel, hot shower to relieve the pain every time). I've been expressing bm and feeding in a bottle mainly bc in the first week (he's 12 days old now) he would gag and choke, bm would be all over the place every single time. Plus, whenever I fed/feed him from my breasts - he would spit up a lot more and just be more overall fussy.

    I feed mostly with the bottles now but do try to nurse when I don't feel so much pain/engorged. I think that he still has days/nights confused so we are up nearly every hour between 12a-7a and I'm so tired that I give him the bottle but do try to nurse once or twice. But sometimes those nursing sessions turn out to be chaos again. Since these late nights are every hour, I'm so tired that I'll maybe skip pumping once during the night (I try to pump after every feeding) and if I skip - I'm in a world of pain.

    I know that some people getting enough bm is difficult - but it seems that I have too much! And I know that bm is the best for my lo but does this mean as long as I bf I will have to continually be "emptying" out my breasts every two hours? Which equates to be tied to the pump in my case? I can't even take a nap while my lo sleeps - my breasts become so engorged within that small timeframe!!
    Help!!??
    Last edited by Jack'sMom; November 7th, 2006 at 11:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    The first couple of weeks are tough. Like you....I also wanted to quit BF because I was so tired and I was waking up every 2 hours and I just wasn't used to this new routine. Plus I could see my husband sound asleep and the very sight of him sleeping while I was up and trying to pump in the middle of the night plus feed my son got on my nerves. I felt like I wanted to throw a pillow at him to wake him up lol.....anyways the point of my story is hang in there. My son is a year now and I'm so proud of myself for sticking with BF the whole time. Most formula fed babies will get sick often and my son only became sick twice in one year and the illnesses weren't even bad. Since you feel you have an abundant supply of BM....pump it out and put it into the BM freezer bags and store some for a rainy day when you feel your supply is low. I noticed at around 4 months my supply was getting low and I had to take Fenugreek pills to keep up. That will happen to most mothers who BF exclusively so take advantage of yours right now and store it. Try to have your baby nurse on your nipple rather than drinking BM from a bottle. If you continue feeding your baby from a bottle then later on she will not want to nurse on your nipple because she prefers the bottle better etc. If you have a lactation specialist available where you live ( or even experienced BF mom's at the LLL meetings in your town)...then maybe you can show her what difficulties you and your baby are having while nursing and she can help you in person. Engourgement should reduce once you and your baby have a rhyhm and she drinks out all the milk in yor breasts etc. I hope this helps...just hang in there and in a couple of weeks you'll feel more comfortable with BF. Good luck =D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Hang in there Jack'sMom, your body is in full swing of milk production and is always wanting to be "ready and prepared!", so is making tons of milk right now. Know that as the days progress your body will start to figure out more about how much milk the baby needs, and it will adjust to the correct amount. My DS is now almost 8 months and I remember those early days of engorgement pain. They are frustrating but it will get better! hth
    ***********
    Mommy to William, 4/29/09, 7 lbs 13 oz, 21 inches.
    Mommy to Evan, 3/18/06. 7 lbs 3 oz, 21 1/4 inches.
    Nursed both boys to 14 months
    Birth Doula
    Wisconsin!

    ***********

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Wow, it sounds like you have a full-fledged case of oversupply going on. That can be very painful and frustrating, but it is also completely fixable.

    Your body needs signals to slow down milk production to meet your baby's appetite. Right now, you're probably making enough milk for two or three babies! Too much milk can be as frustrating and difficult as too little milk, so you are wise to take a look at this problem now and get information on how to solve it.

    I doubt you're going to like hearing this, but when you have oversupply, pumping is just going to make it worse. Let's work on treating the engorgement in ways that don't involve so much pumping. Read the following links -- especially the additional links at the bottom of the kellymom.com pages -- and let us know your thoughts, okay?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...gorgement.html

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...cotterman.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Hi and Welcome to the Forum!! You will find this site to be such a great resource (I know I have!!)
    It definitly sounds like you are overproducing! Don't worry there are things you can do to "calm" down your milk supply. There is a whole section on too much milk, so just scroll down more and you will find it! Here is another link on overproducing.

    First off, the more you stimulate the breast (ie. pumping, hot showers, etc.) the more milk your gonna make, because stimulation sends the message make more milk! If you can....put the pump away until your milk is more regulated!! One thing that really helped me is Block Feeding. This is what LLL says about that:
    You will know the strategy of feeding only on one side for extended periods is working when your baby becomes less fussy and seems more satisfied between feedings, and his stool becomes less watery and more yellow. He will also gulp, choke, and sputter less during feedings, because the milk is not flowing as fast.

    If you find that your baby is still having difficulty after four to seven days of feeding only on one breast per feeding, you may need to breastfeed on just one breast for a longer period of time (two or three feedings or even longer) in order to decrease your milk production further. Some mothers with extreme oversupply may need to feed only on one breast for as long as 12 hours. It is best to extend the time on one breast very slowly and carefully, going longer only if milk production is not slowing down. Feeding on one side for too long could lead to decreasing milk production too much. (Most mothers with oversupply find that it is easy to regain adequate milk production with a few additional pumping sessions.)


    You can find the rest of that article here.

    Don't worry mama...there have been lots of us in your shoes (me included) and oversupply is SO frustrating...but it gets better...hang in there and let us know!! Also try a frozen bag of peas after feeding (for about 10 minutes). HTH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Thank you Rebecca for the helpful articles!

    It does seem like quite a bit of work to get my oversupply to slow down. I feel bad for saying this - but I don't know if I'm up to all of that! My breasts are extremely painful - as I mentioned, I can't go for more than an hour, maybe two before my breasts become so hard and engorged...and I haven't been pumping more than I have to. I only pump enough to feed my lo enough bottles for his feedings throughout the day (and I try to nurse him a couple times as well). Is this still bad? I was getting so frustrated especially in the middle of the night with no help (husband's sleeping and works long hours) and when my lo and myself would be sitting in a pool of bm.

    Please let me know what you think...thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,020

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you are using bottles?? You may find it much easier to just stop the bottles all together until you LO is at least 4 weeks old....just wondering?? As this may be part of the problem with your milk supply...you are pumping and nursing. Honestly, its not too much work to get your supply under control, if you start with the cold compress, block feeding and stop pumping, you will notice a difference within a day and within a week...it will be almost all better!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Remember that you have to pump twice as hard to get your LO to have the same amount if he took the breast instead. Therefore you are probably doing twice the stimulation that you don't need right now. Try to only breastfeed. I know it's sounds like things are hard to fix but if you try it you will notice a big difference in only DAYS! Don't give up mom...we are all here for you and there are so many in your shoes! Hang in there, things will get better!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Jack's Mom, these are good questions to ask. It sounds like you find the "mess" factor of your oversupply situation (milk everywhere when feeding) particularly bothersome. I can remember waking up on sheets that were soaked from my leaking milk, when my son was a newborn, and I didn't like that either!

    Feeding your expressed milk in a bottle is one way to avoid that "milk everywhere!" experience. Another way to avoid it is to make some changes in your breastfeeding practices so that your oversupply will be resolved and you won't be constantly engorged, in pain, and leaking/spraying milk everywhere.

    Let's see if we can find some ideas you can use to deal with the "mess" factor of breastfeeding right now. People say to catch spraying milk with burp cloths ... if your output is really huge, though, you may want to skip the little burp cloths and go straight to big towels. If you drape a towel over your tummy and lap, and keep a stack of handtowels or burp cloths within reach, would that help catch the milk so you and your baby don't get so soaked? Could you keep stacks of fresh blouses for you and outfits for your baby handy so you can change to dry clothes right after feeding? Breastmilk at least smells nice, but it might feel sticky if a lot of it dries on you -- how about wiping yourself and your baby down with a wet washcloth after nursing?

    My sense of things is that the "milk-everywhere" problem, while it may be the most bothersome, is also the aspect of this situation that is most likely to be resolved quickly if you take the recommended steps to reduce your oversupply. In the meantime, the pumping is probably the most exacerbating factor in your oversupply problem. Do you see the logic of what I am saying? Why keep pumping (which makes oversupply worse) to avoid leaking/spraying (which is temporary and can be handled other ways)?

    Try the steps to treat engorgement -- I would even suggest a try with the cabbage leaves (described in the links in my last post) right away, since you are having so much pain and discomfort right now. Try other tricks to catch the milk when you breastfeed. When you start to feel engorged, try to get your baby to nurse instead of pump (that saves you a step, anyway, right?) See how you feel about it all tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Getting frustrated...any advice?

    Thanks again for all this great advice!

    To answer some questions -- my main reason why I went to pumping breastmilk was not only because of the mess - it was also because my lo was latching on beautifully but in a matter of minutes, he was drowning in bm and getting frustrated because it was coming out of his mouth and after he was done nursing, there was a lot of spit up and he was realllllly fussy. What I've experienced so far with bottle feeding is that he still latches on well - I try to make sure he doesn't go for the easy way out and he rarely spits up and is ready to sleep after a feeding. Pumping is more work, yes - but I try not to overpump - just pump what I need...I have a few storage bottles that I rotate (empty them into the bottle I'll use for feeding) so I know that I'm not overpumping. I just don't know if I can handle this engorgement pain if I miss a feeding (or pumping) in the middle of the night. Which is why I'm thinking of switching to formula for my lo.

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