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Thread: Ready to give up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2

    Default Ready to give up

    Hi all,

    I'm posting this partly to get advice and partly to vent.

    My baby was born a little over three weeks ago, and right from the start nursing was terrifically painful. The LCs and nurses at the hospital couldn't find anything wrong, even though by the time I was discharged, both of my nipples had multiple blisters on the tips. For the next couple of days, nursing just got more and more intolerable until my husband and I went to see an LC, who immediately spotted a posterior tongue tie. (It shouldn't have come as a surprise, since my husband has one, too.)

    We got her frenulum clipped and I thought that everything would be all right. However, days later, after I'd spent time pumping to let my nipples heal, her latch was still bad and was creasing both my nipples. We went back to the LC but started to get a bad vibe from her, as every solution she proposed involved selling us something from the boutique in which she practices. She also gave us some exercises to do to get my baby to relax her jaw, but the exercises were almost impossible to do when she was fussy.

    So for another week or so I limped along, nursing when I could but mainly just pumping. My nipples were just not healing at all--in fact, the pain was getting worse every day. Even the loose fabric of a shirt was too painful to bear and I started sleeping in my bra. I also started getting shooting pains in both breasts simultaneously at random times. Finally I noticed a thick white coating on my baby's tongue and realized that we both must have thrush. I got some medicine for her which has been clearing it up pretty well, but when I showed my pink, tender nipples to my doctor, she immediately said it wasn't thrush (but didn't diagnose anything else). I've been using my baby's nystatin on myself anyway, since the pediatrician said I could, but it's not having much of an effect, so maybe my doctor was right.

    Meanwhile, my gigantic fibroid started to degenerate a couple of weeks ago, and I've been dealing with pretty formidable pain and heavy bleeding. Every day feels like the first day of my period.

    So here's where I'm at now: my nipples are bright pink and hurt all the time, my baby's latch is still bad, and even pumping is almost unbearably painful. I started supplementing with formula around the time that my fibroid started bleeding, and whether from the loss of blood, the supplementing, or just stress and fatigue, my milk supply has been cut in half. On top of that, I think my baby's entering another growth spurt, because it takes two sessions' worth of pumping to provide her with enough milk to satisfy her (between 4 and 6 oz over the course of a wakeful period). When I pump, I can't keep up with her; when I supplement, my supply plummets; when I nurse, the blisters come back and I worry that she's giving me her thrush.

    I want to breastfeed so badly, but the effort is ruining my life. My chest often hurts too much to hold my baby. Other people rock her and play with her while I sit by myself, strapped to the pump. I'm terrified that I'm losing my chance to bond with my baby. I think I've developed PPD. I can't stop crying. I feel like my baby and I have become strangers.

    I've got an appointment with a different LC in a couple of days, but we may have to cancel it if the insurance doesn't cover it (we've completely blown out our budget on this problem), and I'm not getting my hopes up anyway. I don't want to give up but I feel like otherwise I'm trapped in a maze of pain and frustration.

    What do I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Oh mama you've been through a hard first few weeks The LC you consult with is she IBCLC? Can you get to a local LLL meeting as it sounds as though you really need to have people around you right now who can give you the support you need. And if you seriously think you are suffering from ppd can you get to your doc to discuss this? You need to look after yourself too if you want to be there for your LO. You are so important to her!

    My friend had the same problem as you (blisters on her nipples) and she pumped her bm and gave it to her DS2 with a bottle. This lasted for 5 days to allow her nipples to heal enough to get back to nursing. Unfortunately she got mastitis then an abcess but that's another story and not really relevant here. Although her DS2 doesn't have TT he did have latch problems and thankfully her doc is pro bfing and helped her through this. Her DS is now 2months old an although it's not perfect they are enjoying bfing reasonably pain free.

    Really I just wanted to reassure you this WILL get easier. I know you might not see it, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With my own DS I had a really hard time bfing, but I managed for 8 wonderful months and now my 2nd time round with DD is going good so far.

    Don't give up, surround yourself with caring, understanding people be it friends or family. Get to an IBCLC and your doctor and before you know you and your LO will be happily bfing

    HTH
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*caledonia View Post
    Oh mama you've been through a hard first few weeks The LC you consult with is she IBCLC? Can you get to a local LLL meeting as it sounds as though you really need to have people around you right now who can give you the support you need. And if you seriously think you are suffering from ppd can you get to your doc to discuss this? You need to look after yourself too if you want to be there for your LO. You are so important to her!

    Don't give up, surround yourself with caring, understanding people be it friends or family. Get to an IBCLC and your doctor and before you know you and your LO will be happily bfing

    HTH
    with all of this, best piece of advice I can give you right now is to get to a local in person LLLeader or LLL group meeting ASAP. I made it to week three before feeling like a failure and like I could not manage to continue, I was in tears all.the.time, but that one moment, when i had 20+ women supporting me, telling me how to improve, was worth a million bucks to me.... I felt so reassured after that first meeting but the continued support I got from both IRL meeting and later on here at the forums meant the world to me and still does... in addition to the support they offer on their own, the other moms will also be able to suggest resources in your area that have been helpful to them and it sounds like you could use some help in finding a good LC.

    I hope some moms with BTDT experience with thrush will chime in as well because it sounds to me like both of you have thrush.

    also seeing as how you mentioned a gigantic fibroid I will commiserate that I too had a huge fibroid (22cm x16cm x12cm) which was surgically removed 11 months after my son was born, after treating it with a 6 month course of lupron injections to shrink it (it's all documented here on the forums if you need support in that arena)
    Last edited by @llli*lidarln; October 5th, 2012 at 10:49 AM.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Thanks for the support...to clarify, both of the LCs I went to were IBCLCs, and I have been to a couple of LLL meetings. One of the IBCLCs was also a LLLeader. Both the IBCLCs told me that my baby needs "bodywork"--the first one recommended a physical therapist, and the second recommended a chiropractor. But I don't know if my insurance will cover either of those, and even if it does, I don't know if I have the energy to launch into a whole new phase of treatment when I don't even know if it'll work.

    Both my baby and I have been on medication for thrush for over two weeks now, but there hasn't been any improvement. I've also been taking probiotics and putting grapefruit seed extract on my nipples. I saw my gynecologist today and he said that yeast in general is getting stronger and more drug-resistant. I'm afraid the infection is never going to go away.

    Maybe this is too personal, but my mother and I have always had a very strained, distant relationship--in fact, I'm pretty sure she doesn't even like me very much. When I found out I was having a daughter, I promised myself that I'd be NOTHING like my mother, that I'd be warm and nurturing and always let my girl know how much I love her. I know it's probably irrational, but the BF problems are making me fear that I'm falling into the same pattern that my mom and I had. Tonight I tried to BF her (I've been EPing for the past week or so), but no matter how much she nursed, she wasn't satisfied, and screamed every time I took her off the breast. The pain got worse by the hour until finally I had to leave her with her grandmother (my husband's mother) while I pumped. I could hear her wailing in the next room and I just felt so pathetic. By the time I came out she was asleep. I'm afraid that my baby doesn't even know who I am anymore. I'm afraid that she'll never love me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Sounds like you've had a really rough time. Things will get better.

    Please do not be afraid that you won't bond with your baby. Bonding is a life-long process. There is no magical window. Babies love their mothers unconditionally. They will bond with whoever looks after them most.

    When you're having breastfeeding difficulties and pumping, it can be hard to make time just to enjoy your baby. It sounds to me like you need more of that. Take the time to snuggle with your new baby. The dishes and pumping can wait.

    Also please don't feel like you must breastfeed to bond with your baby or that you will be a failure as a mother if you don't. There are many wonderful ways of bonding while bottlefeeding.

    If you feel you must quit, then quit and don't feel guilty about it.

    If you want to keep going, we can help with that.

    Some practical information:

    Sore nipples. You can print this off and ask your doctor about Dr Newman's nipple ointment (it is prescription):

    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-APNO

    Here are some of my favorite latching links. I personally had good success with the Flipple technique. It helped DS get a good deep latch.

    COMFORT ZONE (Comfort zone explained+your baby knows how to latch)
    http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    ASYMMETRICAL LATCH (Dr Newman’s info)
    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-WL

    THE “FLIPPLE” LATCH (Latching technique where you fold your breast into baby's mouth so your nipple ends up far back in her mouth)
    http://www.breastfeedingmadesimple.c...atedlatch.html
    (animation)
    http://www.rebeccaglover.com.au/grap...aching_big.jpg
    http://www.rebeccaglover.com.au/grap...chment_big.jpg

    THE BABY-LED LATCH (Baby latches himself on while mother helps. A relaxing position and often comfortable latch)
    http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html
    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; October 5th, 2012 at 01:48 AM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,423

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Walk around all day with no top on. If it's not thrush your nipples WILL Heal with enough air exposure. If it is thrush, in conjunction with what you are doing now, you can have your gyno issue the 3-day yeast infection oral tablet. Thrush is in fact a yeast infection. So those work.
    Indeed the supplementing IS affecting your supply. I suggest hitting KellyMom to see about weaning off supplements. Once your nipples are healed I suggest a nurse in. That is where with the support of your partner you simply take the baby to bed all day long and never leave. Your partner should bring you food and you and the baby just stay skin to skin in the bed all day. Just nursing. It's very effective. But in the mean time while I am certainly not going to encourage you to quit, because I think breastfeeding is super important for both YOU and your child (and far more cost effective than buying formula. Even if you do have to pay for an IBCLC) I want you to remember that breastfeeding doesn't have to be an all or nothing endeavor. It's extra critical in these 1st weeks that you DO get your breast as much stimulation as you possibly can because this is when your body is regulating and establishing supply. But if your body physically can't handle it today, set realistic goals day by day, stick with them and be done and feel fine knowing you did the best you could. In order to exclusively breastfeeding your child either needs to be at the breast or you need to be pumping 10-12 times a day MINIMUM. That is it. That is what you need to wrap your mind around in order to be exclusively feeding. Too tall an order for the next 24hours? No bigge How many times did you do it yesterday? Can you beat that amount of times today by 2? And then add in one more again on Sat? And see yourself getting there in a week or two? Your 1st order of business needs to be nipple repair. If you walk around all weekend with no top on and you nipples don't heal, get into to see your gyno monday and you could be thrush free by Wed. And from there try to begin building your sessions.
    In the mean time, your baby is only 3 weeks old. Please step off the ledge of Panic and anxiety. She has been with you nonstop for 9months. She knows you. You are in fact ALL that she knows. Babies aren't all born knowing how to nurse. It takes practice. But 3 weeks is NOT TOO LATE.
    The distance you are imagining between you and your child coupled with your fear of hostility, concerns me in terms of PPD. Although it is VERY VERY normal in the 1st weeks to cry constantly AND feel very isolated, anything that begins to feel like detachment is cause for concern. IF you think that is a possibility, call your nurse hotline or whatever resources you have available to have that checked out.
    But regardless of that I want to tell you that you CAN Do this. And I think a lot of what you are feeling is about the fact that we have a very strong primal urge to nurse our babies and when that goes awry it sets off every Mommy alarm we have. And it can be very overwhelming even in the best situations where there is no thrush or no latch issue. Because it's overwhelming to have someone depend soley on you for LIFE. I honestly believe the best thing you can do, is strike the balance you need to while you heal, and then soldier on from there. We are here. Keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    But regardless of that I want to tell you that you CAN Do this. And I think a lot of what you are feeling is about the fact that we have a very strong primal urge to nurse our babies and when that goes awry it sets off every Mommy alarm we have. And it can be very overwhelming even in the best situations where there is no thrush or no latch issue. Because it's overwhelming to have someone depend soley on you for LIFE. I honestly believe the best thing you can do, is strike the balance you need to while you heal, and then soldier on from there. We are here. Keep us posted.


    You can do this, mama. I agree with everything djsmom said as far as just trying to meet your goals day by day.

    As far as thrush goes, it sounds like you have a tough case of it. I just wanted to mention that if you are pumping and bottle feeding you need to be sterilizing your pump parts, bottles, and nipples every day. Or get someone else to do it for you, preferably. It's not hard, just boil it for five minutes in water. Vinegar and water rinses are also good for things like rinsing pacifiers or toys that tend to go in the mouth between uses. You can even rinse your nipples with it. This is all in addition to whatever treatment you are doing for yourself and your baby. Vinegar won't kill the yeast, but it creates a hostile environment for it.

    djsmom is right about getting air exposure on your breasts. Sun is even better if you can get away with it. If you do wear a bra it's best to only wear it once, only use towels once, only wear your night shirt once, and wash anything that comes in contact with your breasts in hot water (adding a cup of vinegar to your wash will help, too). And then try to lay it out in the sun if you can.

    And if you feel the treatment from the doc isn't working, there is a really great treatment regimen outlined here. Gentian Violet worked really well for me (though it was pretty messy).
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,260

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    have you had your nipples cultured for staph infection? There is evidence that what is assumed to be thrush is in many cases an easily treatable bacterial infection on the nipples.

    call one of your ibclc's back and have her read to you the section on thush and bacterial infections from Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple. or pm me with contact info and i will read it to you.

    The pain got worse by the hour until finally I had to leave her with her grandmother (my husband's mother) while I pumped. I could hear her wailing in the next room and I just felt so pathetic. By the time I came out she was asleep. I'm afraid that my baby doesn't even know who I am anymore. I'm afraid that she'll never love me.
    your baby loves and needs you. i promise. feeling inadequate as a mother is pretty normal even under the best circumstances. but these are your feelings and fears, not your baby's. to your baby, you are perfect.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    My baby also had a posterior tongue tie, and then we both got thrush. The pain was excruciating. I had thrush with my first baby, but clearly I had forgotten. It was un-freaking-believable. So you have my sympathies (and my more clear memory ) if that's what you're going through. My experience with my tongue tied baby was that things improved with her milk transfer after the clip, and I stopped bleeding, but the latch only really got comfortable around the 11 week mark. I know that seems like a long time to wait - it was to me too, and I was seriously wondering if I needed to get her tongue clipped further or what. It was stressful, but it did get better. I would urge you to keep seeking answers and try to get through this. If you need to be treated for thrush or another infection, start that RIGHT AWAY. It's not going to get even a little better until you do.

    I wish I could say that nursing my second child was a lot easier than nursing my first. It wasn't! I had a really painful difficult start with BOTH of my babies. But one thing that has been better with the second is just knowing that I could push through it, and knowing how WONDERFUL it would become, and how much I would seriously regret quitting. You can do this. You will have a big sense of accomplishment, and you will go on to have a long and pleasant (I know, it doesn't even seem possible right now, but it is possible for breastfeeding to not hurt - to even be pleasant!) breastfeeding relationship with your baby. You can do it!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Have you tired nipple shields? You are doing amazing with what you are dealing with!!
    09-28-2011 VB (41 Weeks 1 Day) Breastfeeding 12 months & counting.

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