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Thread: unbearable guilt!

  1. #1

    Default unbearable guilt!



    My son is now 6 weeks old. and i am still unable to establish breastfeeding. it takes him 10 minutes to latch, and when i think we are successful, he starts screaming and arching his back and thrashing about. when i can actually get him latched he will nurse for over 1 hr straight and then cry some more. i have alternated breasts, i pump religiously every 2 hrs when i am at home and i am only able to pump out a total of less then one oz for both breasts combined, this is inbetween bfing. it takes 3 pumping sessions to get that much milk out. he has not gained any weight his birth weight was 6lbs 1 oz, and he is now weighing 5lbs 5oz.. the our family practice doc is very very concerned, and he is reluctantly telling me to supplement with formula. I am a failure.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!



    I'm sorry you're having a rough time I have a few questions

    Are you at home with your baby during the day or working? If you're at home I would suggest you ditch the pump for a little while (unless you need expressed milk now) until you find your groove. If you're working, I would pump while away and nurse only when home.

    What are the diapers like? How many wets in a 24 hour period?
    Are you giving any bottles? If so, how often and how much in each one?

    Are you nursing on demand?

    Hang in there mama!
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    You are NOT a failure! You might feel like you are, but you are not. You are working so hard to make breastfeeding work (way harder than many of us), and that makes you one awesome mama!

    I'm sorry I don't have much advice (although I wonder if there is a tongue tie or other physical barrier that is making things so difficult), but I saw this post and it made me so sad that you are feeling down on yourself so I had to comment. There are lots of really knowledgeable mamas here, so I'm sure they will have some great ideas for you. Hang in there!

    ETA: ...really knowledgeable mamas like PP (sorry, missed that)

    ETA2: Also, maybe try nursing in a sling or Ergo or other carrier. Being able to walk around while latching/nursing my baby helped him calm down and stop screaming at the breast so that he would latch and nurse much better. It also helps you get around and do as you please while your baby nurses for those really long stretches.
    Last edited by @llli*phi; July 29th, 2012 at 01:54 PM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    You're not a failure! You're just working very hard at something which can be very difficult.

    Questions for you:
    - Has baby been checked for tongue tie?
    - How does nursing feel- is it at all painful?
    - Is baby sleepy at the breast?
    - What sort of pump do you have?
    - Have you had or been checked for any of the following: thyroid problems, PCOS, or retained placenta?
    - Are you on any form of hormonal birth control right now, or is there any chance of pregnancy?
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    double post, meant to edit - I am a little out of it today!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    you are not a failure. You are doing the right thing, turning to these forums.
    your milk supply can be increased
    your infant can become a stronger, better coordinated nurser
    your infant will gain weight.
    all your breastfeeding goals can be attained.
    but first... your LO needs to be fed. you can feed him donated breastmilk, your own expressed milk or formula. He needs to be fed 2 ounce every two hours.
    You can use a bottle, an SNS or even a cup.
    you can build up your milk supply by expressing using a hospital grade pump and hand expressing too.
    If you have been pumping 8-10 times a day and you have not seen an uptick in production there could be an underlying physical reason, not just a learning to manage breastfeeding better issue.
    however, for the next few days I would yield to the doctors expertise. Your baby needs to be fed and needs to re-gain his birth weight.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  7. #7
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*esthervegan View Post
    you are not a failure. You are doing the right thing, turning to these forums.
    your milk supply can be increased
    your infant can become a stronger, better coordinated nurser
    your infant will gain weight.
    all your breastfeeding goals can be attained.
    but first... your LO needs to be fed. you can feed him donated breastmilk, your own expressed milk or formula. He needs to be fed 2 ounce every two hours.
    You can use a bottle, an SNS or even a cup.
    you can build up your milk supply by expressing using a hospital grade pump and hand expressing too.
    If you have been pumping 8-10 times a day and you have not seen an uptick in production there could be an underlying physical reason, not just a learning to manage breastfeeding better issue.
    however, for the next few days I would yield to the doctors expertise. Your baby needs to be fed and needs to re-gain his birth weight.
    To the first line I've bolded - this is true, baby does need to be fed - but I think finding out if baby is getting enough is the first step. Also, the 2 ounces ever 2 hours isn't necessarily correct. When you nurse on demand your baby may take more or less than that - and may nurse more or less frequently. Watching your baby's cues is the best thing. Feeding them when they are hungry and stopping a session when they show signs of being finished. Counting wet diapers is the best way to ensure that your baby is getting enough. What goes in must come out - 5-6 wet diapers (put 4-6 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper to see what a full diaper should feel like) in a 24 hour period tells you that your baby is getting enough.

    To the second line I've bolded - Doctors are rarely experts in breastfeeding. They are quick to tell new mom's to switch to formula because that's what they know. Finding out if your supply is adequate is the first step. Switching/supplementing with formula is a slippery slope.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    An ounce while pumping between feeds is not bad output. A breastfed baby typically only eats about 1-1.5 oz per hour. I could never really pump anything between feeds.

    I had a very forceful letdown and my DD had reflux and tongue tie. The three combined to make latching hard and her refuse the breast. I was able to get her to latch by leaning back and nursing and nursing lying down. I also latched her on well when she was sleepy and rooting.

    If you do supplement with formula, consider that you can use a supplemental nursing system like a Lactaid to supplement from the breast and the stimulation will build your milk supply at the same time.

    If possible, please consult an IBCLC who can help you establish any underlying causes for the poor weight gain and latch issues. Doctors are well meaning, but they don't often have good solutions to make breastfeeding work. That is where a good lactation consultant is invaluable.

  9. #9

    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    no tongue tie, still painful but not as bad, I have callouses on my nipples.
    He is either very sleepy or angry at the breast.
    i feed on demand as well
    I have a Medela symphony pump, the same one they have at the hospital.
    I have PCOS, and not on any birth control and no change of pregnancy.
    Unfortunately i did not attend any bf classes, I had preeclampsia and was hospitalized alot. I was induced because of the preeclampsia and was given magnesium during labor and 24hrs after delivery. I did not bf the day he was born cause he was in the NICU, bad delivery and poor apgars 3 and 6.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: unbearable guilt!

    When you say no tongue tie, who checked specifically? Also as a pp asked, what is babys diaper output? Is it possible to get some hands on help from an IBCLC? It seems that you should work on his latch (which will allow you to nurse pain free) and see about TT and how effectively he is able to transfer milk, maybe a weigh feed weigh test. Have you called your local LLL and an IBCLC?
    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

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