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Thread: Breastfeeding emergency

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    82

    Default Breastfeeding emergency

    Our breastfeeding has completly fallen apart. She won't latch and when she does it is painful. I have blisters on my nipples which hurt like heck and my heart is broken. I hired an LC to come in last night and she was with me for an hour. We got her latched beautifully on both sides but I couldn't replicate it for any of her other feedings. DH is giving her expressed milk and I am pumping. Now my milk supply seems so low that even she did latch there wouldn't really be anything for her. What kills me is that before she started screaming this week from what we think is reflux, things were going better and my nipples weren't very sore. I don't think she was latching perfectly but it wasn't what it is now.

    I am at a loss. I feel so alone and angry at myself for not being able to do this. I feel like I need to toss in the towel but can't really seem to be able to do that.

    I don't know whether to call the LC again or to call the LLL leader in my area or just to give up. We've spoken a few times and she seems very nice. But I feel like I need someone here, in my house, for a few feedings to help me and I have no one I know who will do that. The LC will charge me $125 each time and I just can't do that right now since I'm not working.

    DH is at his wit's end. I'm spiraling down into serious PPD. I said things that hurt my husband last night so badly that I fear he'll never forgive me. It was just my anger getting the best of me. He's a wonderful husband and father and doesn't deserve this. I feel like a wreck and don't know where to turn.

    Please, can someone help me? Any advice would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Hi Juniper20,
    This is really hard time for you! You're running into difficulties you didn't anticipate. There isn't an expiration date on "getting it right". Do you have a local contact for LLL? Here's a link that may help you find someone. Some LLL Leaders do make home visits.
    http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html
    Mary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time! The early weeks of breastfeeding can be very challenging to say the least. Sometimes health insurance will pay all or part of the cost of seeing a LC (and sometimes you can convince them by sighting the likely decrease in health care costs over time due to BF babies getting sick less often). If you can afford it, I'd strongly suggest calling the LC again. Sometimes it takes a few visits before you are able to do it on your own. This was the case for me. I got so frustrated because DS would latch on fine when we were with the LC and then I'd get home and we'd be back to 15 tries a feeding. We had to go back for review a couple times. While the cost for an LC is a large upfront investment, even the price of several more visits would be less than the cost of formula in the long run. Regardless of whether or not you are able to see the LC again, I'd also strongly suggest getting in contact with a local LLL leader. As LLLMaryP stated, some will do home visits, and help from LLL is free. Mother to mother support is invaluable. SO MANY new moms have felt just as you do right now. When things don't go as we want them to, we feel it as a personal failure. But this is really NOT the case. You are doing a wonderful job trying to provide the best for your new baby. BFing can be very difficult even with a lot of support. Hang in there!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Does your pediatrician have a lactation specialist? Mine does and because it's a feeding issue the appts. were sick appts. and we only paid a co-pay. If the dr. doesn't offer an LS, maybe find one that does and switch. Our LS was at the office but the trips were well worth it. Don't be discouraged--BFing was really hard at first but I'm so glad I stuck with it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,449

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Juniper-

    BIG HUGS to you- this is SUCH a stressful time, and dealing with latch troubles mixed with tiredness and PPD symptoms make for a ticking bomb sometimes. Hopefully your DH will understand that you weren't really meaning what you said. Can you talk to him and tell him exactly what you said to us about what happened last night ? Sometimes right now the stress leads us to say things you don't mean= maybe he can give you a "free pass" for a while for him to let you let off some steam without taking it personally? I have had to ask for that sometimes when I've freaked out on my very sweet and helpful hubby.

    About your B/F trouble. I accidentally discovered by calling my local hospital that they offer LC's to anyone who wants to use theirs. I didn't even give birth there and she spent a good hour with me for free (I bought her a plant a few days later but she didn't know that was coming, she literally met with me for free). Her point was that she wants moms to B/F and is at the hospital working regardless of who she is working with. In her mind, perhaps I'll spread the good news about B/F and the helpfulness of her hospital and others will B/F, too. Also, I know WIC offers LC's in certain areas. You may not have WIC help, but I think they will help you anyway. Can you maybe try these things? Just a suggestion!

    Are you certain your LO has reflux issues? have you taken her to the doctor to find out? That might make a huge difference in how she is nursing because she's already uncomfortable and may be hesitant to nurse. Is it possible that she's having trouble with trapped burps (my son has this trouble and seemed like it was reflux). They tell you that B/F babies don't usually need to burp like FF ones, but my son didn't follow that rule at all. I'm just thining out loud here.

    I hope you can get some help soon, you are doing a great thing for your DD by nursing her. Hopefully we can try to help you get through a few of these stumbling blocks, and you can go back to enjoying your nursing relationship together.



    Wendy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Hugs Mama

    Those first few weeks can be really stressful, especially when you are worrying about if your LO is getting enough and she is crying on top of it. I agree with pp if you can contact a LLL leader or try to see another LC. I also reccommend taking a warm bath with your LO, just relaxing and trying to get her to breast that way. WHen you are stressed, they get stressed (vicious circle....I know...Its not fair ) Also, something that worked for me is I have a Cd with instrumental lullabies and one with spa type music. I just press play everytime...relaxing music can really help to calm everyone down. A dimly lit room is also good. If you can get your LO nice and sleepy, then try to BF, that can help too.

    I hope DH is understanding...it sounds like you really want to make this work and this is the best place you could have come for support. You can do it mama!! It will get better. If possible, try not to do bottles too often...but I understand how stressful it is when baby won't latch and you just want something in their tummy. Well Let us know...and ask any more questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support. I've made a few decisions regarding the situation. I cannot nurse her today. I may not be able to do so tomorrow. I cannot do it for my mental health. I was feeling resentful and angry at HER which is unacceptable. I want to love my infant, not curse her for not latching. I was focusing so much on nursing that I was losing sight of my baby and it's not fair to her. I am spending the day in bed with her on my chest snoozing, skin-to-skin. I'm pumping every 2 hours to get my supply back up and my husband is feeding her from the bottle. I will do this until I feel mentally ready to try this again.

    I'm seeing my OB tomorrow and I'm going to ask for help for my depression. I'm on a very slippery slope and cannot afford one more day like this and neither can my daughter.

    I talked to the LC again. She suggested I do the same as I described above for my well being. She may work with me on using breast shields to practice latching while my nipples heal. Then she will help me wean off of them all the while pumping if I have to in order to get my supply up again. I'm not sure how I feel about her in general but she's a resource for me. My fear in calling my LLL leader is that I cannot try to nurse Molly today and I cannot be made to feel guilty or that I'm not on a right course. I'm following my gut on this right now. I know that bottles may make the road harder but for now it is my only recourse. She needs to be healthy physically and I need to be healthy mentally. I feel better. I'm in control now. I am not giving up on BF but I have to keep myself in a healthy mental state.

    As for my husband...we talked and he understood my anger. He may never forget what I said but I know he's forgiven me. He truly is an amazing man. I'm very lucky.

    Again, thank you all. I will undoubtedly be asking for more help in this journey and appreciate everyone's time in giving advice or input on my situation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    I have been where you are as far as feeling resentful and I just want to let you know it is possible to get through it and eventually have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with your little one. DS was tongue-tied and it hurt to nurse him virtually every time for the first 3 months. Our DS is now 10 mo and BFing like a pro with no end in sight.

    You said that you have talked to your LLL Leader before, right? I'd go ahead and give her a call. It sounds like you really need a day or two to step back and that's understandable. She might give you some suggestions other than what you are planning to try, but if they don't work for you there's no need to feel guilty. I've found the one-on-one help is really the best and sometimes it takes more than one person to give you all the info you need to be successful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    I've been in your shoes and know exactly how you feel. I tried for 5 months to get my ds to nurse and was not successful. I just pump for him now and supplement w/ formula. I was so intent on getting him to nurse that I didn't enjoy him. DON"T let that happen, even if it means not nursing at all. I felt like a failure too, but there are a lot of people who aren't successful, even w/ help (I had A LOT), esp the 1st child. I hope to have better luck next time, if there is one. Good luck!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Breastfeeding emergency

    Since no other Leaders have chimed in yet, please call one of us! Even if you end up on the phone with us crying, that's ok, we've heard it before. :-)

    Some Leaders will meet with you to help with feedings. If the one you're in touch with won't/can't, ask them to help you find someone who will. Keep calling Leaders until you find someone.

    It shouldn't be this hard.

    Oh, and consider giving your husband a big hug. You both need it.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

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