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Thread: Needing some encouragement...

  1. #1

    Default Needing some encouragement...

    It has been a rough week and I think I'm just needing a little extra support right now! My LO is 7 months old today, and to be completely honest I am not sure if we've ever had a full day of 100% pain-free nursing. We struggled early with a bad latch...the LC at the hospital was SUPER unhelpful and basically just said I'd get the hang of it. After 4 weeks of pain and raw nipples, I saw another IBCLC who really helped me understand the problems I was having. Nursing was still pretty excruciating for another 6ish weeks as my nipples took quite a while to heal...by 3 months I wouldn't say I was really comfortable nursing but it was tolerable, and so much better than it had been. I struggled (still do) with oversupply issues and have had to work hard for a good latch, always. At 7 months I still wake up every morning with very full breasts and leak milk during usually the first 2 feeds of the day. I started pumping before bed so that I wouldn't be going as long a stretch without any milk being expressed (some days I was so engorged/swollen in the morning that my baby wasn't able to transfer milk at all...I posted about that a while back, thankfully it hasn't been happening anymore!), but although I never really use it I'm now building up a stash of milk because I'm afraid to stop pumping at night!

    It seems like every time things start to get a little better a new obstacle turns up. During the last month she has been in a very distractable phase, meaning lots of pulling away, wiggling, not wanting to nurse long or refusing nursing on the second side at all. Now, she has her top teeth breaking through, and has been congested for the last week which seems to just be making everything even more uncomfortable for her With all of the pulling on and off, wiggling, and now those top teeth in the mix, I've been getting very sore. She doesn't bite...but her latch has been more shallow during all of this and the pressure from those teeth is hurting.

    My nipples, even before pregnancy/nursing, have always been very sensitive and I've never liked them being touched at all, so a part of me has just kind of resigned to the fact that nursing is never going to be 100% comfortable. I don't even care if it is, but lately I feel like I'm going crazy! I'm constantly wondering if she's getting enough to eat, I'm frustrated because it feels like a battle much of the time that she's nursing...I'm trying not to force nursing on her when she resists, but sometimes it's like she struggles and whines but if I can manage to wrestle her into a nursing position she'll latch on like that's what she wanted the whole time! She hasn't been sleeping as well, which I'm assuming is the teething and the cold...I am hoping and praying that once she is feeling better everything will calm down.

    Sorry for the novel...I really just need to vent. I am so grateful that I've made it this far and truly want to breastfeed her at least until a year, but right now it's hard to imagine getting through another 5 months :/

  2. #2
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Do you nurse her at night at all? An easy fix often is to Dream Feed, as in before you go to bed, instead of pumping see if she will latch on and nurse in her sleep. Often times babies will nurse in their sleep and then you get more milk into her and you avoid having to pump which will hopefully help minimize the over supply issue. (co-sleeping can also help with the overnight engorgement since she will be more likely to nurse at night that way.)

    Far too much emphasis seems to be put on having babies sleep through the night, it is actually fairly non-helpful for most breastfeeding pairs.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    For several months she wasn't nursing at all at night...recently she has been waking up to nurse from time to time, but it's usually not until between 4:30-5:30AM so she still sleeps a long stretch. I've always hesitated to dream feed...I hear different opinions about it and it seems so...not what I would think to do! Plus, usually when I heard/read about dream feeding it was from women who were doing it in order to get their child to sleep through the night...so since my LO already was, I didn't want to mess with it! The engorgement has gotten better with pumping but maybe I should rethink dreamfeeding just because of everything else. But...if I start doing a dream feed, how long do I keep doing that? I mean at what age is sleeping through the night not going to be problematic?

    The big issue now is just soreness and struggling to get a peaceful nursing session! Do you think a dream feed would end up knocking out a daytime feeding? Maybe if I could get a quiet sleepy nursing session in before bed it would be helpful all around.....

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cej2014 View Post
    Maybe if I could get a quiet sleepy nursing session in before bed it would be helpful all around.....
    That is a big part of my suggestion.

    And many women are not dream feeding to help baby sleep through the night but sometimes doing it to get more nursing in while together because they work. Or if baby is going to bed really early and then mom goes to be later then only a couple hours after that baby wakes up, well mom why not dream feed right before YOU go to bed so that YOU get a little longer sleep stretch.
    Worst things that might happen are 1-baby wakes up a bit much and is hard to get back to sleep, 2-baby still wakes up again at the normal time but you didn't really loose anything then, 3-baby won't latch on in sleep and you put back to bed and go to bed yourself.

    Night time nursing also often has less distractions so might be less painful for you. And getting some extra night time nursing sessions in will likely help you with the morning engorgement problem.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Hey

    I know these things can be tedious and harder to do with a distracted on-off nurser, but are you doing things to help keep the latch deep? I.e breast compression, breast sandwich, flipple, laid back nursing? (Can add links if any of these you don't know - but am hoping your IBCLC has done them with you).

    Try if you can to nurse in a calm relaxed atmosphere - I know this isn't possible all the time.

    Babies generally don't starve themselves and quicker nursing sessions usually mean they are just getting more efficient!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    I'm having similiar issues with my LO, 7m/3w. She is very distractable, has a shallow latch, and I developed bleeding cracks. I found the flipple technique, and swaddling her, has helped with the latching issues, so you could try that. I was having the same issues you are having her first 3 months of life. It got better, but now is a problem again. I wanted to breastfeed until she was 2, but now I'm thinking a year, but with my low supply from her being sick, I really don't know how much longer I can keep it up; I'm having to supplement because I'm back at work. None the less you are a trooper and are doing excellent !!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Thanks bazinga! I'm so sorry that you're having similar issues...your story sounds just like mine. I hope to get to a year but honestly, I'm so worn down, discouraged, and just SORE so much of the time! I've been back and forth about pumping for a few feeds in the day just to get a break. I'm really starting to weigh the costs/benefits of continuing with nursing because I want to be a happy mama for my little girl, not tired/frustrated/maybe even a little resentful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    One reason I always came down on the side of continuing to nurse was that my kids were going to be the same demanding little people whether I nursed them or not. Nursing was more than just food. It was also a tool for dealing with my kids and their antics. When I see my friends with formula-fed babies, I just don't know how they cope... For example, my friend's kid fell down and bumped his head and started to scream. My first instinct was to nurse him, even though he wasn't my kid- because I knew that nursing always worked to stop the screams when my kids did similar things. It took my friend so long to comfort her kid!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Thanks for giving me an avenue to get that rant out! Just wanted to update that things have gotten a lot better. LO's latch feels so much better than a week ago, I think she needed time to adjust to her new teeth coming in and I just needed time to heal a little from some rough nursing during teething and her cold. Hopefully that can give hope to someone who might find themselves in a similar situation. Also, I never did start a dream feed. I gave it a try but could never get her to respond (I guess she is a deeper sleeper than I thought!) One night she even started to fuss around 10:30, great time to do a DF for me...I went in to sooth her and tried to nurse and she just stared at me, not interested, and went back to sleep.

    mommal honestly the comfort factor isn't what keeps me going - my girl is really not much of a comfort nurser so it's just not my first instinct with her when she's upset. But, it is always helpful to remember why I chose to breastfeed to begin with!
    -great health/nutritional benefits for baby (by far #1 for me)
    -Saves us SO much money vs. buying formula, even with the nursing bras, and nipple creams, and LC visits, and pump parts
    -SO convenient - I groan about cleaning my pump parts so I can't imagine cleaning and sterilizing bottles all of the time. (I do think the convenience argument can fall on both sides though...as sometimes i think about how convenient it would be to just pull out a bottle or let someone else wake up with the baby once in a while! but i digress)
    -Made me lose baby weight so quickly, and I pretty much just eat whatever I want and as much as I want all of the time.
    -Last but not least...even though nursing has been a struggle, more than I ever thought it would be, I still cherish the time snuggling my baby, especially before bed. There is nothing like it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: Needing some encouragement...

    Am so glad it improved for you

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