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Thread: help psych me up, please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,501

    Default help psych me up, please

    I am at a place right now at 33 weeks (pregnant) where I am just really kind of dreading breastfeeding again. Especially after DS2, who refused everything but the breast, and I went through several months where I really rather resented having him latched onto me all.the.time. I'm going to do things a little differently this time if I can, by introducting a pacifier to DS3 right away (since I have no concerns about my supply, having had oversupply both times before).

    But, I really really really need to get myself psyched up for nursing somehow. Because there is a part-- a very large part-- of me that at times thinks it would actually be a relief if I were unable to breastfeed for some reason (most likely scenario right now being having to go on a mood stabilizer, but it's not a given yet at this point). Even though logically I know that wouldn't make things any easier or less stressful in the long run-- and would be a whole lot more expensive. And if I actually did have to stop breastfeeding before the 1-year mark, I would be terribly upset about it.

    Ugh.

    Thanks in advance.
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Well I am bipolar and I do have to take a mood stabilizer and I've still been breastfeeding almost a year

    Honestly it sounds like the issue MIGHT be your mood. You may very much enjoy breastfeeding if you take an appropriate med for your condition. Most are compatible with nursing. I think the only mood stabilizer I would not take while nursing is lithium. But other options exist
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Awh, mama. I don't really think I have the right words. I'm sorry you are feeling so yucky about it. Maybe you should talk with your doctor about the medications.

    I know you know that if you didn't do it, you would regret it. Hang in there.

    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    First of all, cut yourself some slack. Your body is going through a lot as pregnancy isn't always an easy journey on you emotionally and physically as I am sure you are well aware. You may find once your new LO is here, you'll feel very differently about the prospect of BF. As I am sure you have already experienced, each baby is different (even among same genders, they can be sooooo different!) I was VERY surprised at how differently my two girls have been even in the BF area. You may have a totally different experience this go around.

    I don't really have any words of advice, but just wanted to offer some encouragement. Just wait and see how you feel, respond, etc. once your new little bundle is here. If you have hesitancies, etc. when you start your new journey with LO, then you can always ask for some BF help. Until then, I would just try not to focus on it (I know, easier said than done!) and enjoy these last few months of your pregnancy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Every baby is different. Every experience was different. Logan never comfort nursed, but he was glued.to.my.hip for fourteen long months before he would volunteer to go to DH. It would have not been any easier to bottlefeed that kid as he still wanted me and only me. I learned just how hard bottlefeeding is with Gavin. You don't have any hands free when you bottlefeed. They still want to be held all the time. If you don't have help around all the time, breastfeeding is actually easier and way faster, so you can get baby fed and cuddled and get back to getting things taken care of and getting some time for yourself too. Seriously, every experience with every child is different. You might get a high needs baby. But you might not too.

    I know plenty of moms on mood stabilizers or antidepressants and they nurse
    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
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    I'm a new mom, new to BF (one month, two days!), so I don't have as much insight as these other gals, but I will say that I am 32 and my mom had me during the time when bottlefeeding was considered better than breastfeeding. Well, my mom BF myself and my two sisters, and I am so thankful to her that she didn't listen to the hype! Life is hard enough, and I know it would have been even harder had she not made that decision. I know BF is challenging, I cried so many time the first couple weeks (lack of sleep is *awful*), and I am still adjusting, but the benefits to your baby are astounding compared to the bottle. I know they'll appreciate it in future!

    I think what helped me the most was having a support system (including this website). Just having people come over and hang out really helped my mental balance! Even if it was just to whine and complain, I felt so much better after talking, that it put things in perspective and it didn't seem so hard. You have to talk to people who know what it's like (Luckily, my friend has a 7 mo. old she's been nursing). Even talking to my dad helped! You have to let go, and just realize that this is how it's going to be, so there's no sense of thinking about what you'd rather be doing. That has improved my mood dramatically, because I'm not fighting it. You're already a mom, so you know the commitment involved. Furthermore, I've heard bottlefeeding is no cake-walk (Having to get up, go to the kitchen, heat up a bottle, etc. vs. staying warm in bed! And I don't know what people do when they're out and about and baby gets hungry!)

    What cheered me immensely was having my husband order a bunch of comedy movies from Netflix. Laughing is awesome!

    Ack, crying baby! Good luck!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Have you identified what it is about breastfeeding that you are dreading? Some moms really dislike the intensity of the early days of infancy and the feeling they can't do anything else and equate nursing with those feelings. Other moms actually have had physical difficulty breastfeeding in the past and dread a reoccurrence of those struggles. Some moms nurse in positions that are straining their muscles and are thus literally physically uncomfortable when nursing. Other moms have difficult feelings about the intimacy and sensations of birth and/or breastfeeding due to body image issues and/or past sexual abuse. I am sure there are as many reasons to have unhappy feelings about nursing and/or caring for a newborn as there are mothers. I suggest you respect and examine your feelings, they may give you insight into what would help you in whatever your goals/desires are as regards feeding and mothering this baby.

    I beg to you to please not deny yourself needed medications due to breastfeeding. Most medications are safe for use by breastfeeding mothers and/or in most cases continuing to nurse has benefits that far outweigh any potential risks. Please do your research, beyond what your doctor tells you, most are not aware there are resources that specifically address meds and breastfeeding. If you would like to get info on a particular medication, I suggest you call the folks here: www.infantrisk.org or a La Leche League Leader or a lactation consultant.

    Have you ever connected with a local La Leche League group? I can't think of anything that would psych a mom up more than seeing babies nursing and hearing moms talk about their struggles and triumphs in this area. Also your input as an experienced nursing mom would be invaluable at meetings. If you wish to share your concerns, that is great but not necessary. No La Leche League Leader is going to judge you for having negative feelings about nursing, (if they do, find another meeting!) Most of us have been there in one form or another.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*melissawoods View Post
    Well I am bipolar and I do have to take a mood stabilizer and I've still been breastfeeding almost a year

    Honestly it sounds like the issue MIGHT be your mood. You may very much enjoy breastfeeding if you take an appropriate med for your condition. Most are compatible with nursing. I think the only mood stabilizer I would not take while nursing is lithium. But other options exist
    What are you taking? Most of my (non-extensive) research has seemed to indicate that pretty much all bipolar meds are contraindicated for pregnancy and nursing, though of course in some cases the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    Do you think it makes a difference if you've been on a medication during pregnancy, so the baby has already somewhat adapted to being exposed to the medication, vs. someone like me who has not been on the medication and then suddenly starts taking it while nursing?

    Have you identified what it is about breastfeeding that you are dreading? .... I suggest you respect and examine your feelings, they may give you insight into what would help you in whatever your goals/desires are as regards feeding and mothering this baby.
    I remember feeling terribly tied-down with DS2. I don't remember having as much of a problem with DS1, though I think it certainly helped that DS1 was willing to take a binky whereas DS2 was not; and DS1 was generally easier to comfort in other ways, too. Maybe what I dread even more than nursing in general is having another high-needs baby But, through both my past nursing experiences-- even though it all came pretty easily, physically speaking-- I just have not enjoyed the whole experience nearly as much as many women seem to suggest. I have been fiercely devoted to nursing both my boys, but I remember many moments when DS2 was a newborn, where I'd be crying and miserable while nursing and DH would kindly try to take the baby to give me a break, and then I'd yell at him for trying to take my baby away when he needed me! I hated feeling so conflicted all the time, and seeing how my moods affected my family before; I don't want to be that way again, but it's probably inevitable...

    Maybe I would enjoy breastfeeding more if I were on a mood stabilizer...but then, I know that it often takes several trials before finding the "miracle drug," and having to go through all that while also struggling through the early months with a newborn...then again, maybe I'll get lucky...But then, what if the only medication that really works for me turns out to be one that ends up harming my baby somehow?

    Anyway, all this is really more appropriate for another thread, and it's all been hashed out before so I'll stop.

    Thanks for the encouragement, ladies. Here's hoping for the best...
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Most of my (non-extensive) research has seemed to indicate that pretty much all bipolar meds are contraindicated for pregnancy and nursing, though of course in some cases the benefits far outweigh the risks.
    Again, to get the most thorough understanding of what any potential risks are with taking certain medications when nursing, so you can make as informed a decision as possible about whether to take a medication while nursing, I strongly urge you to call the folks at www.infantrisk.org . What you want is info from the latest edition of Medications and Mothers Milk by Thomas Hale, Ph.D. Hale, a professor of pediatrics at Texas Tech University, amasses information from the known studies on medication intake by breastfeeding mothers, the effects, if any, observed in infants, and rates meds for their safety on a 1-5 scale, similarly to how medications are rated for safety during pregnancy. BTW, many drugs that are rated unsafe to take during pregnancy are much safer to take when breastfeeding. It is too complicated an issue to get into here but basically there are so many factors to consider-how much of a medication, if any, is going to be present in breastmilk, what the bioavailability of that medication is to an infants, how long a medication stays at high levels in the blood and consequently in breastmilk, etc. Basically Hale explores the known facts of this issue far beyond the info in the PDR or the ratings by the AAP that most doctors will be familiar with.

    Of course some meds are contraindicated when breastfeeding. But not many, and usually a person has some choice of what meds to take. It is worth getting the most accurate info you can so you can make an informed decision.


    but I remember many moments when DS2 was a newborn, where I'd be crying and miserable while nursing and DH would kindly try to take the baby to give me a break, and then I'd yell at him for trying to take my baby away when he needed me! I hated feeling so conflicted all the time, and seeing how my moods affected my family before; I don't want to be that way again, but it's probably inevitable...
    I am sorry you had such a hard time and believe you will again. My first question is, why were you miserable and crying when nursing? Was nursing physically painful, like latch or body pain? Of course many moms are exhausted and emotional in the early days with an infant, but that is a general feeling, not a nursing-only feeling. Did this only happen when actually nursing? I am not a big fan of suggesting this because at this point it is still theoretical, but have you ever heard of D-MER? http://d-mer.org/ If your feelings of misery coincided specifically with nursing sessions, and were not present other times, it might be something to look into.

    As far as letting others take baby and being OK wiht that-that is not a breastfeeding issue, really. My oldest was high need and when I got tired of nursing or just could not hold or jiggle & rock him another minute I would give him to my husband and let him walk him down in a sling. He would fuss, yes, (baby, not husband) but since he was in the loving arms of my husband I knew his need to be held and comforted were being met the best we could right then. Bottle fed babies also usually have a preference for being comforted my mom and can be high need as well, after all. Up until birth, baby has been safe inside mom for their entire life, so it makes sense they usually feel safest when close to mom after being born. That does not mean that mom always has to be the comforter or that baby cannot be comforted by anyone else. Maybe your belief that you are the only one who can meet the needs of your babies puts undue pressure on you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: help psych me up, please

    Call infantrisk.com. No need to try to figure it out on your own. They will give you the straight scoop. You also can read most of Medications and Mothers milk if you have an Amazon.com account.

    FWIW, i was really surprised to learn that the inhaler I was using for my asthma during pregnancy was not the best one to use for nursing. Isn't that strange? But I'm sure there are differences in other types of medications too. I don't think it has anything to do with if a mom has been taking a med during pregnancy. It's about how a medication breaks down in the mom's system and if it shows up in breastmilk. A lot of meds do show up in breastmilk, but then the infant's stomach acids basically degrade it so it's essentially not absorbed. I am no scientist. I don't really get how that works, but that's what Dr. Hale's people say. And I believe them.

    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!

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