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Thread: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

  1. #1

    Default 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    hello, I am new to this board, desperate for ideas because I want to quit so bad. We have been having issues from day 1 and I feel like at 9 weeks things should be getting better, but they have not. We have struggled with every challenge imaginable. Overactive letdown, tongue tie, lip tie, shallow latch, reflux, torticollis, and on top of that a huge case of colic. I've seen the LC several times. She has me on a nipple shield for OALD which helped with his choking problems, but he still has a shallow latch and nursing is painful, which I didn't even know was possible with a nipple shield. He also now refuses to nurse without it. We have had his tongue and lip tie corrected, been to a craniosacral therapist twice, PT for torticollis, Zantac for reflux, nothing has helped. LC wants him to try occupational oral therapy to see if it helps, but I don't know how much more I can put him through.

    Our current routine involves a poor latch on the nipple shield, pain for me, him clicking and slurping throughout this feed, with milk dripping out of his mouth all over me, and then coming unlatched and crying, not eating enough which leads to frequent nursing, me screaming into pillows out of frustration, and overall misery for both of us. Even with his corrected lip tie his top lip doesn't flare out even if I try to manually flip it, and his tongue doesn't do the full wave that it's supposed to which I think is why he clicks and breaks suction so much.

    What am I missing? I've tried everything, I feel like we are just not meant to breastfeed. As much as I am against switching to formula, I feel like it'd make both of our lives so much easier. I attend a breastfeeding support group and I feel like I'm the only one who has so many issues and misery at 9 weeks, everyone else has worked out their problems. I so badly wanted this to work but I'm out of ideas/patience/hope.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    how long ago did the tongue/lip tie get corrected?
    I'm still suffering pain after almost two weeks since my almost 10 week old got his corrected.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum. Sorry you've had a rough start. I think most moms find the most challenging time for breastfeeding to be early on - things DO get better with time once both mom and baby get the hang of nursing. A 9-week-old baby is still very young, and whereas the lucky moms and babies in your support group may have figured things out relatively quickly, you will find many, many threads on here about moms who have gone through challenges similar to yours, and overcome them. All this to say, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

    How has baby's weight gain been?

    Here are some ideas to get started:
    Part of what you are dealing with - clicking, baby coming off the breast and crying - sounds like it can be attributed to fast letdown. Probably the most useful strategy for dealing with fast letdown is reclined or laid-back nursing. Here are a couple links, play around with the positions until you find one that suits you:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...stfeeding.html

    Fast letdown problems tend to improve with time as baby learns to handle the fast flow, and as supply regulates.

    In addition to the tongue and lip ties, has your LC or doctor evaluated other possible sources of pain, like thrush or vasospasm?

    Is your LC working with you on seeing whether baby can be weaned off the nipple shield?

    Frequent nursing is very normal and is not a sign of a problem.
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  4. #4

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tclynx View Post
    how long ago did the tongue/lip tie get corrected?
    I'm still suffering pain after almost two weeks since my almost 10 week old got his corrected.
    It'll be 2 weeks this Thursday. I have actually seen a decline in our progress since the correction instead of an improvement

  5. #5

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Hi mama, welcome to the forum. Sorry you've had a rough start. I think most moms find the most challenging time for breastfeeding to be early on - things DO get better with time once both mom and baby get the hang of nursing. A 9-week-old baby is still very young, and whereas the lucky moms and babies in your support group may have figured things out relatively quickly, you will find many, many threads on here about moms who have gone through challenges similar to yours, and overcome them. All this to say, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

    How has baby's weight gain been?

    Here are some ideas to get started:
    Part of what you are dealing with - clicking, baby coming off the breast and crying - sounds like it can be attributed to fast letdown. Probably the most useful strategy for dealing with fast letdown is reclined or laid-back nursing. Here are a couple links, play around with the positions until you find one that suits you:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...stfeeding.html

    Fast letdown problems tend to improve with time as baby learns to handle the fast flow, and as supply regulates.

    In addition to the tongue and lip ties, has your LC or doctor evaluated other possible sources of pain, like thrush or vasospasm?

    Is your LC working with you on seeing whether baby can be weaned off the nipple shield?

    Frequent nursing is very normal and is not a sign of a problem.
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/
    He was 7lbs 10oz at birth, last week at his 2m checkup he was 11lbs, so he is in the 45th% for weight gain, and my pediatrician thinks he's getting enough when he's nursing. Thank you for the info on letdown - would it still be an issue even with the nipple shield? I noticed a big improvement once we started using it, but maybe it's still drowning him. I will try the laid back nursing.

    LC has tried to get him weaned off the shield but he gets so fussy when we try without it, he'll nurse for a few seconds and then scream till I put it back on. Incidentally, he has started refusing to nurse today. As soon as I lay him down to start, he'll scream and scream. I had to give him a bottle of expressed milk to get him to eat today. I have no idea what that's about.

    I feel like a lot of his issues stem from his gasiness. Whether that's from OALD, something I'm eating, or just the crazy amount of air he sucks in when he screams for hours, I'm not sure. But I feel like if he didn't have so much stomach discomfort he'd be much less fussy at the breast. I almost want to quit nursing and switch to exclusive pumping, but I know how much of a burden that is and I'm not sure I could manage it, especially with a 3 year old to chase around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Do whatever works for you. I wish there was a magic trick to create the breastfeeding relationship of your dreams, but babies are not controllable by wishes, and sometimes all the science and therapies are imperfect too. From my experience, foods I ate,(and enjoyed) were not the cause of my ds3 relentless crying. He was a screaming weeper, and I had to soothe and rock him for a year. I also had to wear him to press his belly against my body to help controll his gas pain.
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mharrig3 View Post
    He was 7lbs 10oz at birth, last week at his 2m checkup he was 11lbs, so he is in the 45th% for weight gain, and my pediatrician thinks he's getting enough when he's nursing. Thank you for the info on letdown - would it still be an issue even with the nipple shield? I noticed a big improvement once we started using it, but maybe it's still drowning him. I will try the laid back nursing.

    LC has tried to get him weaned off the shield but he gets so fussy when we try without it, he'll nurse for a few seconds and then scream till I put it back on. Incidentally, he has started refusing to nurse today. As soon as I lay him down to start, he'll scream and scream. I had to give him a bottle of expressed milk to get him to eat today. I have no idea what that's about.

    I feel like a lot of his issues stem from his gasiness. Whether that's from OALD, something I'm eating, or just the crazy amount of air he sucks in when he screams for hours, I'm not sure. But I feel like if he didn't have so much stomach discomfort he'd be much less fussy at the breast. I almost want to quit nursing and switch to exclusive pumping, but I know how much of a burden that is and I'm not sure I could manage it, especially with a 3 year old to chase around.
    Okay, so weight gain sounds great - that's actually really great that your milk supply is fine despite the shield, in fact it sounds like you might have some degree of oversupply. This may account for some of the gassiness - lots of foremilk can cause gassiness, nursing very frequently can help with that because it helps baby get to the hindmilk before the breast fills up again.

    Here's some information about getting off the nipple shield:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

    And back-to-breast techniques if baby is continuing to not want to nurse:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    In terms of baby screaming, maybe it's gas, maybe it's just baby being a baby. Are you wearing baby? Other types of motion - bouncing with baby on an exercise ball, or in a bouncy chair; rocking; taking him out in the stroller?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    I am not clear on why a nipple shield was initially suggested? These are designed for the baby who cannot latch without them, they give baby a protruding, firm 'nipple' to latch onto. There are many reasons why a baby might not be able to do this with mom, and they are usually temporary issues having to do with engorgement or when in the first few days postpartum mom is temporarily experiencing soft or 'flat' nipples. While yes, they can be used during nipple healing and certainly they can lessen fast flow, that is not what they are made for and are not usually going to be the first choice for 'treating' those issues. As you are finding, indeed it is very possible to have latch pain despite using a shield. In fact in some cases, the shield is exacerbating the pain. And with a fast flow, a few techniques are helpful.
    Is it possible baby was having difficulty latching and the nipple shield helped with that, and that is why they helped improve the situation, rather than it being a flow issue (initially.)?
    The reason I am asking this is that is may be helpful to know if baby still NEEDS the shield to be able to latch, (unlikely at this age but possible) or if it really is a matter of "simply" weaning baby off the shield.

    I think you will find breastfeeding much more enjoyable without the shields. Certainly that was my experience, I had to use them for about 6 weeks with my oldest. So while it is not an emergency, I do suggest continuing to try to wean off the shields.
    What latch techniques are you trying? Breast sandwich is a good one for creating a more protruding nipple for baby to latch onto. Besides its usefulness for slowing down flow, Laid back positioning is also quite helpful because it can encourage/allow baby to more or less "self latch.' Sometimes we get in babies way trying to get baby to latch a certain way.

    Your LC must have shown you breast sandwich (aka nipple sandwich) latch technique, and also laid back positioning? (aka biological nurturing? If not, ask her to, or bring it up at the breastfeeding support group. Of course you can find info online I just think it is helpful to have someone right there watching you and giving you adjustments to try. Every mom and baby fits together in their own unique way, and it can take some doing to find what will work for you. I had a mom in my meeting today who was trying breast sandwich and not having success, and we realized she was blocking baby's lower jaw from coming fully onto the breast with her fingers because she was holding her breast too close to her areola.

    I also suggest, try not to worry so much about how latch looks and what babies lip or tongue is doing or not doing, and concentrate on how it feels for you. Sometimes by listening to your body you can more instinctually make the adjustments needed.

    As far as giving up, I would suggest that It sounds as if you are feeling very overwhelmed and emotional, and that this may not be entirely about your struggles with nursing. The post partum period is difficult for many reasons, and that overwhelmed feeling can last WAY longer than 9 weeks. (I assume) You only see the moms at the meeting. I am sure they are honest, but it is entirely possible they feel good while out but that evening they are crying or frustrated too. know what I mean? It is also possible that those who are still having difficulty are not speaking up or are no longer coming to the group. There is so much pressure on moms to be over the moon with happiness in the weeks and months post partum, but that is not the reality. The reality is, it's complicated. motherhood is huge and hard and there are lots of difficult emotions, no matter how much you love your baby or love being a mom, there is also often frustration and doubt.

    I have talked to many moms who stopped nursing due to early on struggles and later, when life got more manageable, they began to regret that decision and want to nurse again. Unfortunately, while this is possible, it is often an uphill battle with no guarantee of success. So I suggest, be as sure as you can that is what you want, and also, you might consider pumping to at least keep up your milk production if you switch to bottles, so that if you change your mind, you only need to worry about getting baby back to nursing again and not relactating as well.

    I would suggest not worrying about a food allergy at this point, because the most urgent issue is your pain when nursing. Your baby is gaining well and has no other obvious symptoms of food allergy (such as rash) correct? Food allergy via breastmilk is possible but not all that common. If you really think it is a food allergy, the biggest culprit by far is dairy. So the first step would be to eliminate dairy products from your diet and see if there is any improvement. If there is none within a few days, you can eat dairy again and try eliminating something else. Of course, if you DO suspect baby has a food based allergy, that is another reason formula is best avoided.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    I am not clear on why a nipple shield was initially suggested? These are designed for the baby who cannot latch without them, they give baby a protruding, firm 'nipple' to latch onto. There are many reasons why a baby might not be able to do this with mom, and they are usually temporary issues having to do with engorgement or when in the first few days postpartum mom is temporarily experiencing soft or 'flat' nipples. While yes, they can be used during nipple healing and certainly they can lessen fast flow, that is not what they are made for and are not usually going to be the first choice for 'treating' those issues. As you are finding, indeed it is very possible to have latch pain despite using a shield. In fact in some cases, the shield is exacerbating the pain. And with a fast flow, a few techniques are helpful.
    Is it possible baby was having difficulty latching and the nipple shield helped with that, and that is why they helped improve the situation, rather than it being a flow issue (initially.)?
    The reason I am asking this is that is may be helpful to know if baby still NEEDS the shield to be able to latch, (unlikely at this age but possible) or if it really is a matter of "simply" weaning baby off the shield.

    I think you will find breastfeeding much more enjoyable without the shields. Certainly that was my experience, I had to use them for about 6 weeks with my oldest. So while it is not an emergency, I do suggest continuing to try to wean off the shields.
    What latch techniques are you trying? Breast sandwich is a good one for creating a more protruding nipple for baby to latch onto. Besides its usefulness for slowing down flow, Laid back positioning is also quite helpful because it can encourage/allow baby to more or less "self latch.' Sometimes we get in babies way trying to get baby to latch a certain way.

    Your LC must have shown you breast sandwich (aka nipple sandwich) latch technique, and also laid back positioning? (aka biological nurturing? If not, ask her to, or bring it up at the breastfeeding support group. Of course you can find info online I just think it is helpful to have someone right there watching you and giving you adjustments to try. Every mom and baby fits together in their own unique way, and it can take some doing to find what will work for you. I had a mom in my meeting today who was trying breast sandwich and not having success, and we realized she was blocking baby's lower jaw from coming fully onto the breast with her fingers because she was holding her breast too close to her areola.

    I also suggest, try not to worry so much about how latch looks and what babies lip or tongue is doing or not doing, and concentrate on how it feels for you. Sometimes by listening to your body you can more instinctually make the adjustments needed.

    As far as giving up, I would suggest that It sounds as if you are feeling very overwhelmed and emotional, and that this may not be entirely about your struggles with nursing. The post partum period is difficult for many reasons, and that overwhelmed feeling can last WAY longer than 9 weeks. (I assume) You only see the moms at the meeting. I am sure they are honest, but it is entirely possible they feel good while out but that evening they are crying or frustrated too. know what I mean? It is also possible that those who are still having difficulty are not speaking up or are no longer coming to the group. There is so much pressure on moms to be over the moon with happiness in the weeks and months post partum, but that is not the reality. The reality is, it's complicated. motherhood is huge and hard and there are lots of difficult emotions, no matter how much you love your baby or love being a mom, there is also often frustration and doubt.

    I have talked to many moms who stopped nursing due to early on struggles and later, when life got more manageable, they began to regret that decision and want to nurse again. Unfortunately, while this is possible, it is often an uphill battle with no guarantee of success. So I suggest, be as sure as you can that is what you want, and also, you might consider pumping to at least keep up your milk production if you switch to bottles, so that if you change your mind, you only need to worry about getting baby back to nursing again and not relactating as well.

    I would suggest not worrying about a food allergy at this point, because the most urgent issue is your pain when nursing. Your baby is gaining well and has no other obvious symptoms of food allergy (such as rash) correct? Food allergy via breastmilk is possible but not all that common. If you really think it is a food allergy, the biggest culprit by far is dairy. So the first step would be to eliminate dairy products from your diet and see if there is any improvement. If there is none within a few days, you can eat dairy again and try eliminating something else. Of course, if you DO suspect baby has a food based allergy, that is another reason formula is best avoided.
    LC gave me the nipple shield at 4 weeks to help with OALD, she said it would help regulate the flow and help him to not choke and gag during letdowns. Unfortunately we are now stuck with it. I get frustrated when I look at his latch on the shield, his mouth isn't open wide or anything, he is basically sucking on the base of the nipple. Then when he nurses it feels like rubbing/friction and my nipples are always red. I would love to wean off teh shield but every time I try without it, he screams. So I usually give in and put it back on, because it's such a struggle to get him to eat for 20 minutes without flailing and clawing at his face that I'd rather not add more stress to the situation.

    LC hasnt shown me breast sandwich or laid back nursing, which means time for some googling As for the allergy, I did eliminate milk and ice cream 3-4 weeks ago (the majority of my dairy intake) and it hasnt helped at all, so I dont think there is a food allergy at this point, at least not a dairy allergy.

    The good news is we made it through another day without quitting
    Still painful for me but LO was much calmer during nursing sessions today, with little flailing and clawing at his face. One day at a time I guess.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: 9 weeks in, want to quit! Out of ideas

    How about starting off the nursing session with the shield, then see if he will be willing to nurse without the shield? That way he isn't really hungry when you are trying to get him to latch without the shield and he may be a little calmer. Glad to hear he is back to the breast though!

    I put some links about laid-back nursing in my first post in this thread.

    Congrats on another day without quitting!

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