My newborn daughter is barely 2 months old and breastfeeding did not start off as easily as I assumed. I went to several courses, read a mountain of books and watched so many videos, I felt like I was a pro before she was even born BUT latching on was easy, but unfortunately, my breast milk did not start producing until almost 5 days after I left the hospital (which was 8 days after she was born). As a result, we have been supplementing (at first) with formula. Once my breast milk was established, lo and behold, I fell seriously ill - so ill I could not even sit up in bed and hold the baby without shaking.
Since I was heavily medicated and pure exhausted, we decided not to breastfeed, but continued pumping (and tossing) as often as I had energy - so my breast milk production was saved.
Finally, after forcing myself to get better, my daughter was finally breastfed and I was well enough to take care of her. Breastfeeding went perfect for about a week until now.
(Because of a really really mean/rude boss) I have to go back to work. Even when I'm not physically at the office, he kept calling, emailing and harassing me to do work while I was at home on maternity leave. I know this is illegal, but until I quit my job, I'm stuck. My schedule has become quite hectic and I've begun to rely heavily on pumping and less on actual breastfeeding.
It started out as engorgement:
I was late pumping or I skipped a feeding session because I was unable to (I would be in a meeting or driving or somewhere without my pumping equipment),
I come home ready to breastfeed, but my mother didn't realize I was going to be home at that time and just fed her a bottle
It was one thing or another, and by the weekend, my breasts were painfully swollen with angry red marks. It made me cry to even put a shirt over the breasts (they were so tender) and pumping or hand expressing or breastfeeding has become torture.
I've been to a Lactation Consultant who spent a morning helping me relieve my breasts (involves a hospital grade pump and her determined squeezing, plus my painful whimpers). She quickly called my OB right after our session and asked him to start me on antibodies and informed me I have a severe case of Mastitis. When I heard how serious things were, I could've cried.
That was yesterday.
Today, I'm trying to do as instructed: pump or breastfeed as much as possible, and firmly massage the hard chunks in my breasts (even if it makes me want to scream with pain). It doesn't help my family was against breastfeeding from the beginning.
Yes, I know breastfeeding is the best for the child and ALL the benefits of breastfeeding. It is why I was absolutely determined to continue breastfeeding, even when the beginning was extremely rocky, but my family has watched me fall ill and go through a lot of pain to get this to work. I'm exhausted all the time and I can barely function from lack of sleep. It's killing my family to see the pain I'm in - they all told me that I should consider stopping and that I should be happy I've already breastfed a bit - "it's better than nothing" - they say.
I'm feeling quite alone and ready to give up... especially since the formula is sitting right there and such an easy route to take. Now, with mastitis, I'm barely getting 3 hours of sleep a night, since I am in so much pain. During the day, I struggle just to get by a work or even drive without feeling like I'm about to pass out from lack of sleep... and I feel like screaming every time I'm pumping.
The dark-side is enticing me with formula and long nights of easy sleep. I've been a very active reader of this forum (even if I don't post a lot) and the encouragement I've seen other woman receive has really helped me so far. I really want to know if anyone has ever run into a situation like this and how they overcame this obstacle?
Oh! And by the way, maybe we can figure out (once and for all): Just what is better for Mastitis? My OB Doctor suggested heat (like a warm towel), but my Lactation Consultant was vehemently against heat and suggested ice ALL the time.
I've read so many mixed reviews online.