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Thread: Ready to give up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Ready to give up

    I have posted quite a bit and I apologize for another post, but I am at my wits end with breast feeding. My son is 7 weeks old and breast feeding has been ok, no real problems until recently. He latched on straight after birth and has breast fed beautifully until now.
    I returned to work today and pumped etc. when I got home and fed him he latched on right away. However, tonight and many other times he will scream when I try to breast feed him. I have posted about this before and I just don't know why or what to do. I don't know if it is because I am trying to help him latch on by holding his head and guiding the nipple into his mouth. I have had to do this since day one as he rarely will latch by himself, should I stop holding his head and shoving my nipple in his mouth? . If he does latch on his own it is a shallow latch and he will only take 3-4 sucks and unlatch.

    Also I feel as if he does not like to comfort nurse. This really breaks my heart and I am at a loss for what to do about it. He will act sleepy or fuss and I always offer him the breast. Many times he will arch his back and cry and kick his little legs. He will take a couple of gulps and then scream even louder, so I offer him a binky and he will stop crying or fall asleep. This is usually after he has already nursed, I don't ever give him his binky unless he has nursed
    off both sides and I have tried to offer the breast again.

    I also feel clueless about nursing while lying down. It would be much easier just to grab him and lay him in bed with us and feed him like that, however I have tried and he cannot latch on by himself when we regularly breast feed much less laying down. Should I wait until he is older? Will he ever latch on his own? I should mention that I do have an over active letdown. Also I have a 4 year old so it's quite impossible to hold the baby all of the time since I work full time and need to keep my preschooler entertained and calm a fussy baby. O I am so frustrated and feel like such a failure as a mother, I'm ready to give up. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    I am a first time mom with a baby around the same age as yours and an over active letdown. Mine does the take 2-3 gulps and scream routine too so . DS started to dislike the hold where I guide his head also, so I let him latch on and slowly lean back lean back while nursing, this has the double benefit of slowing milk flow and deepening the latch. My LO sometimes does not prefer to comfort nurse because he does not want to deal with the milk flow, so I let him suck on a pinky finger (clean and nails cut of course). I cant imagine how busy you must be with 2 LO, I just have 1 and feel super competent when I get to wash my hair , have you tried a baby sling? It will give you at least 1 free hand to hold your older child. I am sure more experienced moms on this forum will chime in with better suggestions soon, so dont give up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    By laying down, what do you mean? Side lying or Laid back (baby on top of you?

    I cannot remember- Do you have a LLL group or Leader or any breastfeeding group near you? I or another mom will get on the floor at meetings and "demonstrate" side lying. have you looked at pictures, videos, practiced during the day when you are (more) awake?
    because I am trying to help him latch on by holding his head and guiding the nipple into his mouth.
    As a general rule, babies do not like getting their heads held or pushed onto the breast (even when it is very gentle.) One IBCLC I know has moms who can't figure out how to stop doing this latch baby while they are standing, because that prevents them from having a hand free to hold baby's head. Of course laid back nursing also will allow for baby to (more or less) self latch. You may still need to help baby latch, the trick is to find how to do that in a way that works for baby.

    I am sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed. many moms stop nursing around the time they go back to work. It is hard to combine breastfeeding and working-at first- It DOES get better but the transition is difficult. It is also hard to go back to work when baby is little. there are many emotions and frustrations and extra tiredness to deal with. may I suggest that not all of this is about breastfeeding. It's also about being a mom with a newborn and a preschooler and a job. But you cannot “give up” any of those other things. Well what if you decide “I can’t give up breastfeeding either.” That is what moms who face breastfeeding challenges –sometimes monumental ones-do in order to get past the difficult times. They take “quitting” right off the table.

    A baby who is gaining normally while breastfeeding is getting the perfect food in the right amounts, even if breastfeeding is frustrating or difficult for mom or baby. You know that changing what your baby eats from the perfect diet to a very imperfect diet is not going to be the best health choice for you or your baby. Breastfeeding can take weeks of fine tuning and the transition when mom goes back to work is a challenging time-but these challenges are temporary.

    Also I have a 4 year old so it's quite impossible to hold the baby all of the time since I work full time and need to keep my preschooler entertained and calm a fussy baby. O I am so frustrated and feel like such a failure as a mother, I'm ready to give up. Please help
    No matter what happens, you are not a failure. No mother is perfect, we all make mistakes both big and small when parenting. In my opinion, a mother only truly fails as a mother if she abuses or neglects her children or knowingly allows them to be abused or neglected. If a mother loves and takes care of her children physically and emotionally she can never truly fail.

    But I think you may be supposing limits to your abilities that are not real because you are tired and frustrated. Of course you cannot hold your baby when you are not with your baby while you are at work. but it IS, indeed, possible to hold a baby 'all the time' while "entertaining" a 4 year old. Millions of women breastfeed infants while caring for other children and have done so since the beginning of humankind.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 17th, 2013 at 12:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    If you need to help baby latch, can you try holding behind his shoulders? Or supporting him there? My LC will put a rolled up little blanket under my babies' shoulders/necks to support them while tandem nursing so maybe that would help?

    It sounds like you're under a lot of stress. Going back to work is hard....

    I have a 4 yr old and 7 week old twins. It's hard. One thing I do for my 4 yr old is have her bring me books to read to her while I nurse or pump. Sometimes I have to remind her to tilt the pages a certain way so I can see them better but it is something she loves to do that I can do while nursing babies. My babies can't latch without me holding my breast and helping get my nipple/areola in deeply. They will nibble on the tip of my nipple and cause so much pain so I don't necessarily think you're doing anything wrong if he needs extra help getting a deep latch.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Hi mama, here are some links for dealing with over-active letdown:

    Particularly helpful is to try to nurse frequently; use the "laid-back" position (which you can adjust as needed - see the pictures in the link for some ideas); and/or let some of the milk spray into a burp cloth before trying to latch baby on.

    Here is another picture of laid-back nursing, again, adjust as needed: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Some mothers with over-active letdown actually find that baby likes the side-lying position. There is one picture of side-lying here:

    Here's another picture and video about side-lying:

    Some mothers with OALD do find that baby does not like to comfort nurse. This may change over time. First, OALD often calms down as mother's supply regulates - your baby is still very young, so things may still be evolving. Second, baby becomes much more adept at dealing with the OALD over time. It sounds like you are being responsive to what baby wants and that's great! If baby does not want to nurse, that's okay; just offer frequently and let baby decide.

    Finally, agree with PPs that you are NOT a failure. This is hard and things DO get easier - as baby becomes experienced at nursing, as you learn how to juggle work, a newborn and an older sibling. I have done exactly what krystine describes, having my older children bring books to the couch that I can read with them as I nurse. Or we snuggle and I tell stories. Or they play on the floor in front of me. You'll figure out what works for you and your kids!

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