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Thread: Just about ready to quit and ff

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    53

    Unhappy Just about ready to quit and ff

    I need help. As I write, I am crying from frustration and disappointment/ defeat because I want nothing more than for bfing to be successful and to enjoy it, but it's been completely frustrating and aggravating and not enjoyable at all. My LO is 7 weeks old and has been exclusively bf w/ shield. This is the first problem- I hate the shield but cannot get him off! I even had a LC come to the house and she said he's so use to it that he just refuses the breast, crying hysterically if I try without, and I don't want him to develop an aversion to the breast. Also, his little lower lip, receded chin, make it near impossible for him to latch and stay latched without. She suggested continuing w/ the shield till he is older, stronger feeder, but don't know if I can emotionally wait that long- plus I worry about supply (he is gaining weight perfectly but all the info on shields warns about decreased supply later) and I am only able to pump at night when he goes to bed because he nurses so frequently during the day and wakes up almost immediately every time I try to put him down during the day, which makes pumping after Feedings impossible and the thought just more stressful. I don't know what to do! Sorry this is so long, but I need help desperately- should I just give up for my sanity or keep persevering? If I kep going, how do I ensure success- it's too much work (both physically and emotionally) to keep going w/ success! Thanks for you help in advance... I'm so close to just giving up my dream of bfing because it's less of a dream and more of a night mare, bu I'm so sad about this! And he's almost 8 weeks- I feel like h shield is sabotaging my chance to successfully bf my one and only
    First-time mom to David Alan, born 5-20-12. Enjoying maternity leave for his 1st 5 months and then returning to full-time work as a school social worker and nursing mom.





  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    I'm so sorry you are having a rough time. I'm gonna say this though...when I actually look at the issues you have they seem like every other mother 1st time BF so I hope that makes you feel better. If it were me I would try to offer the breast sans shield at night, baby may be more willing to accept it then. At this pont your supply is fine and baby is fine, yes supply can be effected and it's great that you are working of getting off the shield, but at this time you are in survival mode...baby is fine, worrk on the shield but know that every other BF mother feels the saME WAY as you are about fredqency and duration of feedings. baby will age and naturally space his feedings I promise.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,438

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Mama, what do you need help with? Your baby is getting your MILK! You'd rather stop giving him this perfect nutrition and feed him substandard nutrition just because it's coming through a shield? I would rather you shield feed for a year than give your baby any formula that is not needed. If your baby is too small yet to latch without a shield and it's WORKING for him, I wouldn't worry about it AT ALL. Try every day once or twice when he is sleepy or sleeping to get him latch. Other than that DON'T WORRY. Your baby is getting YOUR MILK. Your body is getting the right number of signals and is making the right amount of milk to keep your baby healthy and growing. So NO PROBLEM. I have a friend who never gave up the shield. She was able to eventually get her daughter to latch on and feed a few times a day and that was fine. But she never stopped nursing her. She got exclusively breastmilk intil she weaned her at 18months. Keep at it. But even if your baby NEVER gets it, and is eating and gaining, don't stress. And PLEASE Don't mess up your supply by adding bottles and formula to the mix. So you can pay to feed your baby substandard nutrition when you are totally making the perfect food for him!

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Don't be so stressed about what the info on the shield says. I used a shield for a few weeks with Lilah and I did pump in the morning and at night. Well, I accidentally gave myself a bad case of oversupply and a very fussy baby by doing that. It sounds like you are producing enough milk for your baby, with the shield. I would probably even stop that one pumping a day - or just continue that if it makes you feel better - but not stress about pumping twice. Your baby is getting enough milk and is thriving, you just need to calm down.

    What is it that is so stressful for you about the shield? If it's just the supply thing, let that go and just keep the shield. I didn't like it because it was hard to nurse at night laying down and having to deal with the shield, so I finally just went for it and had the confidence in both she and I to do it without.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Yes I suggest make your peace withthe shield, which does not mean you cannot continue to work to wean baby off of it. I am speaking as someone who also used one, weaned baby off it at about 6 weeks or so, and totally understand hating the thing. On the other hand, it makes it possible for you to nurse your baby AT THE BREAST and that has benefits to baby and you that you probably do not even realize yet. I will get to those in a sec.

    Besides the general fact of using a shield bugging you, and the pumping/supply issue, do you have any particular issues with it? Is breastfeeding comfortable for you with the shield? Does it fall off a lot? Are you having trouble nursing in public? Let us know, you may get good suggestions. Right now I can suggest that making sure it is the right fit, (they come in different sizes and different brands are slightly differently shaped) and making sure you put it on correctly may help. I have also seen moms use a bit of lanolin as a kind of 'glue" to help keep the shield in place.

    Ok, pumping. It is true that milk supply is an issue when using shields FOR SOME BUT NOT ALL MOMS. This may be due to the shield itself making milk transfer difficult, or the underlying issue that makes a baby need the shield causes the milk transfer issue. Poor milk transfer over time may equal low milk production.

    But every mom has a different capacity for milk production. And every baby is going to have a different ability to extract milk efficiently, shield or no shield So it’s impossible to know for sure how much you individually need to pump or if you need to pump at all to keep your milk production in good enough shape to exclusively breastfeed. Personally I pumped religiously after every nursing session when using the shield and ended up with a gigantic freezer stash I never needed and big bad case of overproduction.

    Plus, lets say, worst case scenario, you do begin to see your milk production go down. Let’s say it’s so bad, you actually need to supplement with formula, eventually. From a health standpoint, it is far better to nurse longer then to stop earlier, and to keep nursing while supplementing than to go all the way over to exclusive formula when you still make milk. And your supply will go down much more quickly if you throw in the towel and start supplementing unnecessarily now, than any issues the shield may cause.

    So to me, from a health standpoint (yours and babies) it makes more sense to keep nursing, even if it is with the shield, even if your milk production does eventually take a hit because you are not able to pump as frequently as the general recommendation. You can make sure your milk production is the best that you can get by practicing good breastfeeding management, which means, nursing frequently and on cue and letting baby set the time of the feeding etc., and, since you are using a shield, pumping when you can with a good pump.

    OK, the benefits you may not have considered yet. First, you mention your child’s recessed chin. This is common in newborns and some babies have it more pronounced than others. But genetics may factor in here as well. I have a very recessed chin, and my oldest son was born with a very recessed chin. I still have mine, so bad I avoid letting anyone take my picture from the side. My son (now 8) now has a beautifully formed jaw and a normal, perhaps even “pointy” chin. Why? He was breastfed, I was not. Seriously. Breastfeeding at the breast is PROVEN to promote normal development of the jaw and oral cavity. This is important for everyone but particularly important for those prone to tiny mouths and recessed chins such as my son and I are- basically breastfeeding made the best of what genetics gave him.
    2) I think your stress about the shield may be preventing you from relaxing into using nursing as a mothering tool. It is still early days, so this may have happened for you soon anyway, quite naturally. But just as a preview: nursing at the breast allows a mother to calm her baby easily and quickly, and to reliably and easily ease baby into sleep. You never need to worry about bringing along enough formula or bottles when you leave the house, so you have increased spontaneity and convenience. You can lie down with baby and nurse baby to sleep and catch a nap for yourself, and you can learn to nurse baby on the go or in a sling so you can get more done. Nursing shields may create more challenges for these things, but they need not be a complete barrier to them.

    I am happy to share tips about weaning baby off the shield if you are interested, but this is long already. Let me know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,944

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Mama, you have received some wonderful advice from the PPs. I just want to add that it's pretty normal for breastfeeding a newborn to be frustrating, and for moms to really not enjoy it. I think a lot of women head into motherhood with really rosy expectations of how breastfeeding is going to be this beautiful bonding experience, and they are emotionally crushed if their breastfeeding dreams turn sour. But trust me, even if you're in the nightmare stage right now, it will get better. I had an awful time nursing my first (low supply, formula supplements, endless pumping, herbs, drugs, tears, and oh yeah, did I mention the deeply cracked nipples? ), but we bonded just fine and I am so glad I stuck it out and kept on nursing her, because by the time I made it to my one year goal there was no way I was ready to stop. Invest the time and emotional and physical energy now, mama. The payoff is going to be huge!
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    9,280

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    I totally agree with what these other wise Mamas have told you. It is so rough at the beginning, you feel like you're hitting all these roadblocks. But I promise it will get easier and you will look back and be so happy that you stuck with it for yourself and for your son.

    I found a lot of help in Dr Jack Newman's videos. Especially the asymetric latch. I watched it over and over and practiced in front of a mirror. It really helped my tiny mouthed, tiny chinned babies to get a large amount of breast into their mouth and be more effective at removing milk.

    Here is a link to the videos:
    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=videos

    Hang in there, you can do this!
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. My LO was born 5/27 and is very close in age to yours. I had to use a nipple shield because she was born 2 weeks early and couldn't/wouldn't latch. I HATED that shield with so much passion. I needed to wash it and flip it and do the hokey pokey meanwhile she was crying her head off. I was also told to pump at every other feed to make sure my supply didn't suffer as the shield was effecting it.

    In the middle of the night during week 3 or 4, I think, I was just so frustrated as I was too tired to even think about grabbing that stupid shield, I just did a football hold while she was swaddled and just shoved my nipple, sans-shield, in her mouth and she took it! I though what a miracle, I can stop using it. Unfortunately, during the day she refused to latch without the shield again. I had to try giving it to her several times without the shield before she didn't need it. It took a lot of tears and frustration but I weaned her off of it.

    Now, saying all of that, our breastfeeding relationship is still a huge struggle. I dread each feeding as she doesn't latch onto more than the nipple no matter how I try or what position I try (laid back makes her happier than the football so that's what we do now). There are days when she is so fussy at the boob and just latches on and off and cries and so do I. Sometimes she will fall asleep eating only to wake up not long after unsatisfied. There are days I feel so depressed that I don't even want to respond to her cries anymore especially night after night of very little sleep. Believe me, I feel your frustration and pain. Everyone says that it gets better but right now it's not for me (or for you). All I keep thinking is I am doing this for her and her health alone, not for me, so I put up with the pain.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    Thank you to all who have replied. I really needed the encouragement. I will keep at it, no matter what. I am just scared my supply is starting to decrease because of the shield. I tend to worry a lot and I hope all this worry is for nothing. It means the world to me to be able to succesfully bf him. I hope to one day be able to wean from the shield, but no luck so far. You're all right- better with the shield than off the breast. I just hope it doesn't hurt our efforts. One of you asked what I hate about the shield- it's a combination of things, but mostly the difficulty of bfing in public, the inability to just pull out my boob and feed him when he wants without making him wait while I clean the shield and put it on, and mostly, the frustration I feel whenever he knocks it off, which tends to happen quite a bit. It makes breast feeding feel a lot less natural and much more difficult. Plus, I'm just embarrassed. Any suggestions? Thanks again for all the encouragement.
    First-time mom to David Alan, born 5-20-12. Enjoying maternity leave for his 1st 5 months and then returning to full-time work as a school social worker and nursing mom.





  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Just about ready to quit and ff

    One thing that worked to get rid of the shield with my last little one was to wait until halfway through the feeding, and then try to latch him on without the shield. It took a few tries, but eventually he took my breast. It still took quite a few weeks from that point to be fully weaned from the shield. I just kept waiting until he was halfway through his meal. Once he was taking my breast at every feeding halfway though, I started offering him the breast without the shield at the beginning of the feeding. Eventually he took it right away. HTH

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