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Thread: Feeling guilty about OS

  1. #1

    Unhappy Feeling guilty about OS

    My son is now 3 weeks old and bfing has been a challenge from the begnining (he was a little bit early too). First he was tt (so we finally had his frenulum clipped yesterday). I also have somewhat flat nipples (so I wore those shells for about a week to try to pull my nipples out--and I think they're just find actually). He had reflux so we gave him Zantac and then switched to Prevacid when that didn't work. Gas? He's taking mylicon... but I just finally recently realized that the issue was me all along.

    I didn't think I had an oversupply but it seems I'm definitely producing more than he needs and my flow is too fast (he can't handle it). I've started block feeding over the past three days (and I was pretty engorged at first but it seems better now), nursing uphill when possible (I guess he hasn't gotten used to his new tongue so his latch is not perfect and it works best when I'm sitting upright--and my somewhat flat nipples probably don't help) and trying to collect milk in a burp cloth when I think it's coming out too fast.

    I'm also upset at the lactation consultants at my hospital because if it wasn't for the fact that they pushed me so hard to bf every 2 hours 20 minutes per breast, I don't think I would be producing so much now (should have listening to my mother).

    Anyways, I'm feeling very guilty about how miserable I make the lo. Should I just give up bfing and start pumping exclusively instead and give him bm in a bottle?
    He is my first (and might be the only) child and I really wanted to have that bonding experience you get through bfing but looking at his face when he pulls away from my breast screaming is just heartbreaking. I don't know if I can take it any more.

    I've overcome cracked bleeding nipples, dealt with horrible clamping and I don't want to give up bfing now but I feel so shelfish.
    He's been gaining weight nicely but the gas pain, horrible reflux, choking and gagging when nursing, and spit up (which sometimes looks like projectile vomit to m) make him so miserable (and me as well).

    I could use some advice and support here.

    I feel like I'm doing everything I can (I'm afraid to pump, even a little bit as it seems to just increase my supply). I also don't seem to have a letdown per se... it's like the milk is always just flowing. As I'm typing this message, I'm in tears because I'm so tired and those first 3 weeks have been both the most wonderful (because my son is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me and my husband) and the hardest of my life.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    621

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    I think it sounds like you've had a rough 3 weeks, with a lot going on

    I think you're right to avoid the pump now in that I might make things worse. Don't feel guilty about making your LO miserable - breastfeeding is a learning curve for both mom and baby, and it sometimes takes a while for both parties to figure it all out. It sounds like things are getting better with the block feeding and the reclined nursing. Are you seeing an IBCLC for help with the block feeding? I know that sometimes it can work too well and end up decreasing your supply by too much.

    3 weeks in is still really, really early. Your hormones are still all over the place and I'm sure sleep isn't really great! I remember sitting on the couch some afternoons and just sobbing because things were so hard. But they do get better, and it is so, so worth it to stick it out through the issues. You can do this, mama...it is the best thing you can do for your baby, and for you! Hang in there

  3. #3

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Thank you carm3. Several women around me (sister, sil, cousin, friend, who all gave birth recently) decided to go with formula and they're having such a great time with their babies so it's been hard for me to keep bfing. I feel like I don't get to enjoy him and whenever he's not sleeping, he's crying or fussing. I know in the end bm and bfing are what's best for him but right now it sure doesn't feel like it.
    I did need the words of encouragememt so thanks again. It means a lot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Are there any LLL meetings near you? It might really be helpful to network with some real-life breastfeeding moms!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Yes second Tuesday of the month so I'm definitely going next week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Hi mama, of course you are not being selfish and you definitely should not switch to exclusive pumping or formula. Oversupply and overactive letdown are issues lots of mothers and babies deal with. Many mothers have oversupply early on; it's nature's way of making sure baby has enough to eat. Over time, two things happen: first, supply regulates (decreases) and second, baby becomes more adept at dealing with the fast flow. My babies all had lots of sputtering, gagging, spit up etc due to overactive letdown and oversupply and after a while it was no longer an issue. One important thing when dealing with these issues is to nurse very frequently - not according to a schedule, per se, but if baby cues, nurse, or if it's been a while and baby hasn't cued, offer. That will help prevent engorgement and will help with the flow issues. A baby will not overeat at the breast. Also, that's great that you are doing the reclined nursing and letting the letdown spray into a towel.

    Yes, you're right, those early weeks with a newborn are incredibly difficult! Amazing, yes, but also really, really hard. It does get much, much better. And yes, it can be a challenge to breastfeed early on as you're in that learning curve, as carm3 says, but it really pays off in the end. Hang in there, ask for help, let the house be a mess, and treasure your baby!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,371

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Over time, two things happen: first, supply regulates (decreases) and second, baby becomes more adept at dealing with the fast flow.
    x 1000.

    My second baby struggled with my rather massive oversupply, and she really did seem to hate nursing. She would pull off and SCREAM when the letdown started blasting, leaving milk fountaining into the air. That made nursing in public a trip and a half! But the struggle was temporary. Block feeding reduced my supply and as time went on my daughter learned how to nurse without triggering a super-fast letdown and getting upset. Nursing became very enjoyable, and my daughter developed a real enthusiasm for and delight in nursing that lasted for 3 years. You will get there, too!

    I know formula and bottles can seem tempting, but in the long run you'd be signing up for a huge amount of extra work. Pumping round the clock, pumping in public, storing, transporting, and warming milk, washing endless bottles and pump supplies, fretting when the ppower goes off, getting up to warm a bottle in the middle of the night- one of my friends is exclusively pumping and she has to get up at 2 am, just like any other mom, only she can't simply latch the baby on and drift back to sleep. She has to get up, haul herself down to the kitchen, warm a bottle- all while listening to her baby scream for 10-15 minutes because he's hungry!
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,926

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Oh laetinusa. You are not causing your baby to be miserable! Your baby loves you and loves nursing (or soon will love nursing.) Three week old babies are often just REALLY fussy! This will get better. I promise.

    If your baby has or had tongue tie, it can be really hard for baby to get milk out. So you having overproduction may well have been a good thing! Maybe now it is too much of a good thing. But it also may be too early to tell...

    I would suggest please read this. http://cwgenna.com/blockfeeding.html Are you sure you want to block feed at this point? It is early to be doing so. Do the other things to help baby handle the flow. Nurse very frequently, nurse reclined, let baby nurse one side at a time, let the initial letdown flow into a cloth and put baby back on, etc. But long blocks-at three weeks when baby has latch issues? I am concerned about that.

    Also I suggest read this on helping baby handle the flow http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/ and this for encouragement: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...tgoodsense.pdf

    I had OS with all three of my babies, and I would not have stopped nursing them for the world. Formula over breastmilk due to OS makes no sense health wise. Even when a mom eps and feeds her baby her milk in a bottle, many of the benefits of breastfeeding are lost.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
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    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    I agree with everyone! Do not feel guilty! You are giving so much to your baby even though it doesn't feel like it now. I just had my first in April. She is now 11 weeks. We r stil trying to perfect the whole breast feeding thing but, we have come so, so far from where we were at week three! I know the guilt u r talking about and the feeling of the best but hardest three weeks of your life. The first 6 weeks of my baby's life were beyond challenging and much different than I expected. Many tears shed! But, now we enjoy our time nursing so, so much. I am so glad I have stuck with it as I know it will continue to get even better. I've had to go to block feeding every four hours to get things under control. Although I agree with carm3 in that u should be careful this early on as the block feeding can be overly effective! Hang in there! I bet just going to the lll meeting and talking with other moms will help so much. And just know that with every week, things will get easier and easier.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Feeling guilty about OS

    Right now it's more one-side nursing then block feeding. The bub could never do two boobs anyway. Too much milk in one boob already. The difference is, I used to pump the other side if he didn't feed from it. Now I don't. I've been doing that for a week now and still have plenty of milk. Last night we gave him a bottle of expressed milk and there was no reflux. It broke my heart. The following feeding had me in tears because of the clamping and spitting up, and hubby suggested I could just ep instead but I hate pumping. The thought of eping makes me feel depressed. But the clamping down is getting unbearable at times. I'm just afraid to call a lc or slp (as it was suggested he needed such training) but that it won't make a difference in the end (and money is a little tight after we just paid the hospital bill) and then what?

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