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Thread: Will it get easier...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Will it get easier...?

    My daughter will be 11 weeks old on Thursday and is EBF. I love every moment of nursing her, but I feel like it's been one challenge after another (oversupply/OALD, then a slowdown in weight gain, etc., etc.). I so badly want to have an easy, natural and long-term nursing relationship with her and I'm so afraid it'll never be that way. Right now we're dealing with her fussing and popping on and off during nursings. The past day and a half she has pretty much fussed through most feedings. She's been checked out by her ped and we met with a terrific IBCLC, but other than a less than stellar latch, she checked out fine (we're going to try a reflux med because she is showing some symptoms lately). I just hate the feeling that she isn't enjoying nursing...

    Has anyone else started rough and eventually found a nice, enjoyable rhythm?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    I think a lot of the mamas who are here on the forum got here because they were struggling with nursing. And they stayed here because things got better.

    Nursing my first kid was a nightmare. I had deep cracks, the baby wasn't gaining weight, I had to supplement and pump, I had to introduce bottles and use a SNS, and take all those yucky herbs and drugs. It was rough for nearly 5 months, which is when my cracks finally healed. I don't regret a moment of that struggle, though, because I went on to nurse that baby for 3 years, and to enjoy almost every minute of it!

    Things were easier with my second baby but we still had our struggles. I had some bad blistering in the beginning, and then oversupply and OALD and months of green, blood-streaked poops. I don't regret a moment of that struggle either, because that baby is still nursing at age 2.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    Here's a short version of my story: At the beginning, I had some oversupply, ffld, leaking like a fountain, cracked nipples complete with vasospasms from his clamping down to slow the flow, plus a just generally shallow latch, his lip tie which only added to the latch issues, but he seems to have grown into. I couldn't even sit normally due to some really intense tearing from birth, so I ended up doing laid-back positioning, which helped with so many problems. I figured out side-lying and loved that, too. Over time, he got used to the fast letdown, and eventually stopped drowning/choking. Now it's finally to the point where we're not both drenched after a nursing. We've gone through rough patches here and there with him: only nursing lying down, only nursing udder style, not nursing lying down, testing out new teeth, wanting to nurse all the time, wanting to have nothing to do with me. He still fights me on being held to nurse because the world is just so interesting he can't seem to slow down. But there are times where he'll cruise over and tug at my shirt, hooting to get some milk, or he'll crawl into my lap and try to latch on, impatiently, through my shirt. He has good muscle control, but sometimes he seems to like to pretend he's a little newborn and goes all floppy as soon as he latches on. I'd say we have a enjoyable nursing relationship even if sometimes he makes me crazy with his antics. Maybe I wouldn't appreciate the good times as much if we hadn't had some really bad times, too.

    Fussing during nursing is, unfortunately, quite common around that age. One thing that really helped me was nursing in motion. I would hold my son, and walk around the house, narrating; or sway back and forth, waltzing in circles for what felt like forever while he dilly-dallied and enjoyed his meal. I'd hope he was calm enough to try sit down to rest my aching arms and back, sometimes incorrectly and we'd start all over with the fussing and moving about. Some people swear by nursing in a baby carrier, and though it never worked well for us, it can be a real lifesaver for some.

    Hang in there, mama.
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  4. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    yes my breastfeeding relationship started in a similar way. It's hard to sstay positive when every feeding is an all out battle. Thankfully it got better around month 4 or so. What kind of things are you doing to rectify the OS/OALD? Ice packs on my chest before each feeding really helped me

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    Thank you all for sharing your stories. I'm hopeful that we'll work through these early issues (though, of course, later issues will likely arise along the way).

    I think the hardest part is feeling like she doesn't enjoy nursing. She's never been a very demanding nursling - I offer her to nurse far far more often than she shows any feeding cues - so, between that and her recent fussing during feedings...I guess I'm taking it a little personally. I want her to get comfort and security from nursing, not pull off and cry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    I should add that my older son was a 26 week preemie who has always had major challenges with feeding and growing. He was diagnosed with failure to thrive when he was 9 months old and got a feeding tube. So, I have that in the back of my mind all of the time (I'm trying to work through all of this in therapy). Having your child labeled failure to thrive because of his lack of appetite and general lack of growth is very hard on a mama in so many ways...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    806

    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    it is very normal to have a rough period at the beginning that smooths itself out. sometimes consulting with an IBCLC helps/is needed, and sometimes mamas tough through it and work it out between just them and the baby. and with the help of the forums, . i got off to a rough start with dd, very painful the first few weeks, bleeding/chapped/cracked nipples b/c of a bad latch and what i now think was a bit of tongue-tie.

    please don't believe that she is *hating* nursing. esp if she is uncomfortable because of reflux, she would likely be more uncomfortable with formula. the breast is comforting to the baby, not jusdt nourishment. so keep nursing, you are doing great.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Will it get easier...?

    I think the fussing at the breast is very normal, I remember my son doing the same thing at that age. He'd latch for a minute, then pop off and cry, then I'd latch him again, and so on and so forth. It didn't occur to me to blame breastfeeding, I just thought he was fussy. He seemed to be comforted when he was actually latched on but would fuss the minute he popped off. It was particularly bad in the evenings. I think it got better around 4-5 months of age? Can't remember exactly. Looking back, I think part of it was probably related to oversupply/overactive let-down (he had tons of gas, green poops, and I could pump 12 oz at once), but at the time I didn't know about oversupply, so I just soldiered on and as he got older it got better; he learned to deal with the fast flow and his tummy got used to it. Some of it was just classic 4 month old distractibility and evening fussiness.

    Anyway, at 10 months now we have a lovely nursing relationship and I hardly remember the struggle of the early days. Keep going, it gets better!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

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