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Thread: Hit a wall.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    65

    Default Hit a wall.

    I am so frustrated right now. I feel like such a failure. I hate this feeling. I still have such pain while nursing and now I have scabs and blood in his spit-up again. It's so incredibly draining I can't even describe it. I have been giving him bottles lately because I am in pain and he is so content afterwards. Not at all like how he is on the breast, mostly because on the breast I have to sit and hold him and restrain him from thrashing around and biting and scratching me. Why do I bother? I am angry that I didn't get any information about what formula to use and how to use bottles and all of these things. I am angry that my pediatrician who is supposedly IBCLC is not listening to me! She doesn't even care. I am angry and it is making me so resentful of my son. I just don't even know what I want anymore. Breastfeeding isn't worth it. I just need to vent right now.

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

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    I'm sorry, I don't have any of your history so stop me if you've heard this. But some of what you describe sounds like oversupply. Is that possible?
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,147

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    Mama, you've been through so much, and you've been such a trooper. This has been going on since... What, early fall? I have a feeling that your IBCLC is probably just as frustrated as you are, and as confused about what is going on, which is probably why she's not listening to you the way you want her to.

    Can you give us a rundown of what's going on at this point? Maybe something will stand out and we'll be able to find that missing piece from your breastfeeding puzzle.

    If you're really thinking abut formula, I suggest checking out the Diaperswappers forum. They have a formula-feeding support sub-forum. I don't know that we're the best people to recommend formula, not because we're so against it that we wouldn't recommend it just based on principle, but because as a group we tend to not know much about it.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    I'm really sorry. I don't know your history, but is there another IBCLC you can reach out to for a second opinion? Is there a local LLL group you can attend?

    I don't know how to mix formula. I'm sorry. I've never used it, but I would imagine the formula companies would offer proper directions on how to safely mix it if that's what you decided was the right option for you. I believe they even have toll-free numbers you can call?

    How can we help you? I know this group will do its best to offer you solid advice.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    Mama,

    the only thing I wanted to add is that my LO went through a phase when she also thrashed around, punched and scratched me. I thought, oh, this is only going to get worse as she gets bigger and stronger... and then, just like that, the phase ended. There are still feedings when she keeps pushing with her legs against the arms of the armchair, and as a result keeps "jumping up and down" while lying on my lap latched on to my breast, so I have to cradle her legs in my arm. And even though I didn't have nearly as many challenges as you had, sometimes she still throws me for a loop. Recently she has been giving me painful white creases on my left breast and I have no idea why. And we've been BFing well for 9 months, with no latch issues since the first week or so! So, it has its ups and downs. Sometimes it's just a matter of time.

    Sorry I don't have much more practical advice. I know you said you just wanted to vent... so I'll be happy to lend you a sympathetic ear. Whatever you decide, you certainly need to find a way to be happy and well so that you can care for and enjoy your LO.

    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    If you have no choice but to go to formula, the box will tell you how to mix it, and follow those directions carefully. I agree with mommal, I have basically zero knowledge on formula choices. Is your pediatrician not able to make a reccomendation? Have you considered pumping and feeding BB ebm?

    When bottle feeding, you CAN still feed more or less on cue, you can still hold your baby close to you while bottle feeding, and switch sides so bb can get the develomental benefits of that. You can still cuddle and bond with your baby. Baby feeding is more than about the breastmilk or the breast. with bottle feeding it can still be about connection and comfort.

    I am also not familiar with your history.
    mostly because on the breast I have to sit and hold him and restrain him from thrashing around and biting and scratching me.
    I don't understand this. This is extreme behavior and sounds way outside the norm of a squirmy bb.

    Don't add guilt or feelings of 'failure' to your list of troubles, please. Mothering is a long journey, and we are all going to have times we really do screw up. Doing your best under extreme circumstances is nothing to feel guilt about no matter what the outcome.

    If a mom truly feels that breastfeeding is no longer worth it, if it is actually detrimental to her relationship with her baby, and she has tried every avenue open to her for assistance without result, that is a good reason to consider alternatives, IMO. Mothering is about more than breastfeeding. If you are not sure yet, you could pump to keep up your supply while you take a break from actually nursing to heal and take a step back. During that time, you could try these tips for bottlefeeding the bf baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    If you do not feel listened to be your healthcare provider, IBCLC or not, its time to seek a second opinion, IMO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    I'm sorry for the minor freakout earlier. I really, really, really appreciate each and every one of you ladies for your kind words, advice, and continued encouragement. Y'all are my virtual LLL meeting and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    The recap, for background's sake: Been nursing almost six months. Had a breast reduction ten years ago. Supply has been... ok? Had four bouts of mastitis in the first 2.5 months, each round treated with antibiotics. Went on probiotics to get good gut going again. Bubs has been a very agressive, involved nurser from the get-go; he pushes his arm against me, bites down and yanks his head back, most likely from slow flow I am guessing but there is nothing I can do about that.

    Bubs is now sleeping through the night and I wake engorged and first nursing session is very, very painful again. The last few days I have been nursing both sides on first wake-up, then giving him a bottle for his next meal while I recover with a heating pad for a few hours. I get vasospasms hourly, my breasts hurt, and I just feel so defeated. I pump but don't get a ton out and lately he has been so insatiable. I tried some solids for tasting fun and he is very interested, but not completely ready (still has the tongue-thrust)

    I just feel really... lost. I reach out for help and nobody gives me real soutions, or takes me seriously. Maybe I'm just hormonal or something, I don't know. Bleh. Thanks for listening. I really, really don't want to use formula. I guess I just don't know what to do next.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,147

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    Did you ever have a period where you were able to nurse pain-free? Often when a mom has pain and cracking after a trouble-free period, the problem is thrush. Which would fit well with some of the other stuff you're experiencing, like the breast pain and the vasospasms (the deep throbbing, burning pain of thrush can be mistaken for vasospasm, and vice versa). One thing that might further suggest thrush would be the appearance of the cracks- if they are slit-like and there are multiple cracked areas on each breast, that would be more suggestive of thrush than of a latch issue.

    This could also be teething. Sometimes a baby soothes sore gums on mom's breast (thanks, baby!) and that can cause blisters, which form small cracks when they break. Blisters are also often accompanied by plugged ducts, since the blister typically seals over a nipple pore and the milk backs up behind it.

    I wish I could say "Oh, your problem is so obviously _____, and here's how you solve it," but I hope that having some avenues to think about will suffice.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    Aww I am so sorry. What a difficult journey. For what its worth, given such extreme difficulty, its amazing you breastfed this long, statistically much much longer than most moms (in the US anyway.)

    Your choices do not need to be all or nothing. You could partially wean from the breast as much as you need to, nurse when you can as much as you can, and combo feed (breastmilk as much as you can pump, plus formula as needed.) This may lead to all the issues with bottles of course, there are trade-offs-but since you are trying to give your bb as much bm as possible it may be a solution for you.

    I assume you have tried an at the breast supplementer? Breast compressions?

    I assume you have read the book "Defining Your Own Success" by Diana West? If you liked it, I wonder if you could contact Diana and possibly do a phone consult? She is an IBCLC in private practice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Hit a wall.

    I've been following your posts since I joined the forums and I just want to say that you have done absolutely AMAZING. Our kids are about the same age and I had a lot of issues for the first 4 months or so, and almost quit multiple times. I know it's not what you want, but a little formula supplementation is not the end of the world. While I didn't want to either, I supplemented up until a couple months ago (undiagnosed tongue-tie, supply issues, teaching him how to relatch, etc.) Your baby has had EBM for almost 6 months and that is something to be proud of. The only suggestion I have for his behavior at the breast is teething? My guy has gotten feisty when nursing since then and has bitten me a few times.
    I know you've explored every problem it could be so you can't feel like you haven't done your best. If you continue to truck on, you have my utmost admiration . But, if you decide to supplement even just a little, it's ok! Formula is there for people who are having legit breastfeeding issues, IMO, and it's not like you haven't done your absolute best to BF. Earth's Best Organic formula would be my choice if I had to supplement again, FWIW.
    Hang in there, if you choose. Or don't. Your sanity and happiness are important.
    7/28/11, weaned gently and gradually at 21 months

    1/9/14, enjoying having a little nursling again

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