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Thread: So frustrated...feel like quitting

  1. #1

    Default So frustrated...feel like quitting

    So my little guy and I are having major problems with breastfeeding. He spent three weeks in the NICU and has now been home 6 days. He was born at 36 weeks and was IUGR (growth restricted) and only weighed 4 lbs 10 oz. I have been pumping this whole time. Baby got extremely sick at about 10 days old, went septic, and between the stress and not being able to hold him, my supply dropped drastically. I've been trying to build it back up (pumping, taking fenugreek, trying to breastfeed more), but it continues to be low. So, I have two weights last week (pre and post) and both showed he was taking approx an ounce in 40 minutes of nursing. I had to continue to pump after feeding so he didn't leave milk behind and lower my supply further. Fast forward to yesterday, I worried that things were getting worse because he was fussier in between feeds and more sleepy at the breast when I tried to nurse. So I rented a scale to measure intake. In the last 6 feeds, it has shown that he has taken anywhere from 10 ml to 2 ml. It was devastating to me because I was hoping to get to EBF so I could stop pumping. I have seen 2 LC and they both said my latch was fine, but it does still hurt to nurse sometimes. So we are back to supplementing 50-60 ml at each feeding because he is pretty much getting nothing. I am so frustrated and just totally feel like quitting...which would kill me. I EBF both my other boys for a year each and the bond and nutritional value is irreplaceable.

    Any advice for me? I'm sorry if this is convoluted...I'm so tired and frustrated. Let me know if you need any other info. Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! How amazing that you have managed to make it through the first three incredibly difficult weeks. I think the first thing you should do is pat yourself on the back for making it this far, while recovering from a c-section, caring for 2 older children and a medically fragile infant, and struggling with nursing and pumping.

    Here's what I think you should focus on:
    - You have milk, and even though pumping is a huge workload, it sounds like pumping is going pretty well. (If not, please let us know so we can work on ways to make it go better.)
    - Your baby will actually nurse. This is a huge asset, considering how tiny he probably still is, and how many weeks of bottles he has had. I know it's tiring to try to get him to nurse when he's clearly struggling with it, and you have to pump and bottlefeed anyway- but continuing to nurse him at the breast is keeping your options open for the future. A lot of full-term, healthy, big babies don't "get it" until a lot later, and your baby is still just barely term.

    So you have assets here. I know this is probably not the advice you want, but my approach in this situation would be to keep on keepin' on. You've had three really hard weeks, but you're still in the early days of your journey with this baby. Everything can change, and probably will... So hang in there!!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Thank you for your reply and encouragement. I'm struggling with pumping. It seems like no matter what I do, I can't seem to pump anymore than one ounce per side. And it's pretty painful to pump, which makes me dread doing it even more. I have dark purple spots on my nipples after I finish pumping. I've tried turning down the suction, but then I pump even less. So, I have nipple soreness but the pain stretches even to the surrounding areas. I'm using a hospital grade pump, I've gone back and forth between the 30 and 36 size flanges. I've tried putting some coconut oil on, but that doesn't seem to help much either.

    As for trying to increase my supply, I've been taking more milk plus for a week and if anything, my supply has gone down. For the last few days, I've been pumping at least 8 times per 24 hours. I try to do breast massage and compressions and I don't see any increase in the amount i pump.

    I feel like I'm definitely trending the wrong way. Things turned worse pretty quickly and I feel like it could be close to not being able to turn it around. I would be so sad to not be able to breastfeed. I think it would bother me forever. I so treasured that time with my older kids.

    Any advice on reducing pain from pumping or increasing supply? Thank you so much! I really need some positive thinking...I'm feeling very down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Reducing pain from pumping--

    Have you tried adding or substituting hand expression to your routine? An experienced lactation consultant should be able to assist with this technique, or your local LLL leader, or there are videos online that perhaps could be linked? Pumping shouldn't be painful, but I understand that right now that extra milk removal is necessary, both to keep the supply that you have, as well as to supply that extra milk to your wee one. I wonder if hand expression could be a way to make that removal less painful and gentler, even if you are still pumping (maybe you could do the lower suction, plus hand expression, for example?).

    More knowledgable mamas, please correct me if this would be counter productive or not helpful!

  5. #5

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Hii.... congratulations k your baby

    have you tried fenugreek and / or Moringa for increasing your supply. The first time I tried fenugreek it worked wonders. However after mastitis my supplt dwindled and this time fenugreek didn't help much so trying moringa and galactovit. Too early for me to tell you if it worked but thought I'll share with you.

    all the best

  6. #6

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Hello all, it's been 3 weeks since I posted the original post and we are in much the same situation. I'm still pumping 8 times per day and I usually try to breastfeed 2-3 times per day. We are still having almost zero milk transfer though. This is so frustrating!! My LC has said that we just have to be patient and let him grow and get stronger, she thought by eight pounds he would be able to transfer milk from the breast. He is now almost 7 weeks and weighs 7 pounds 2 ounces.

    Do you guys think my LC is correct...that when he hits about 8 pounds he will be able to nurse? Any suggestions for keeping up my motivation? I still feel like quitting on a daily basis.

    Thank you so much for any advice or support you can offer!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    Are you able to see another LC preferably an IBCLC for a second opinion?

    While some babies do need to grow to latch better I don't think there is any kind of magic number.

    This is just my opinion tho. I do think it's worth carrying on, we battled for 4 months with issues. For us a change of person giving advice worked miracles.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    with Bsua65. I think a second opinion is needed here. There's nothing magical about 8 lbs.

    Do you have a SNS? I wonder if maybe the baby needs more practice at the breast.

  9. #9

    Default Re: So frustrated...feel like quitting

    I am actually on my third LC and she is IBCLC. She seems like she does know what she's doing. She did start us on a SNS, which we used for about a week. After that, baby would cry and pull off the breast as soon as I put the tube in or wouldn't latch on at all with the tube already fastened. So she told me to discontinue using it, so the baby only associates being happy at the breast. So for now, when I do try to breastfeed, I either start him on the breast for 10-15 minutes per side or give him a bottle first and then put him to the breast to comfort nurse after he is done. I've only been doing about twice per day because it is just so time consuming to do all three things. I continue to do weighted feeds each time and the most he has ever transferred in the last few weeks (without the SNS) is 14 mL.

    I guess I'm looking for hope that it will eventually work, but that I won't have to pump for another month. I really hate pumping and I'm finding it harder to get in eight sessions a day because I sleep through my alarm in the middle of the night for about 30-40 minutes.

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