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Thread: feel like giving up

  1. #1
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    Mar 2015
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    Default feel like giving up

    Hi everyone, I just want some support and advice on what to do next.
    I've had many many issues while breasfeeding.
    Low supply, milk blister, clogged ducts, reflux, gas, sore nipples, sleepy baby (doesn't stimulate enough), alert baby (fusses and cries because she wants more/faster let down and pulls away every minute). We've battled everything and still have some of those issues today. Last week it was that she wasn't gaining enough so I added one more feeding which lowered my pump (I pump once a day to have a freezer stash) output a lot.
    These 4 months have been challenging to say the least. I feel like I'm drowning and when I see shore again something else comes up and another wave pulls me away.
    I was adamant to breastfeed this baby because I had to supplement my first one as I didn't have enough supply. But it has been so hard.
    Yesterday I got out a bag from my freezer to feed her after a really bad feeding, had not done this in months, and the milk smelled horribly metallic and rusty. So, apparently, now on top of everything I have a lipase issue as well. She drank it but I don't know if she did because she was hungry. I also don't know if it's okay that she drank it. I feel like an idiot for saving my milk for 4 months so when she's 6 and I go back to work she can have some bottles while I'm not home. Now, I don't know what to do. Should I just stop? Finish the 6 months of breastfeeding and then just give her formula while I'm not home?
    I feel like a failure.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    Hi, sorry you have had such a difficult time.

    Many babies are fine with lipase milk. If that is the issue, it is perfectly safe for baby to drink. Rancid milk smells rancid- like milk that has gone bad.

    I would suggest there is more going on than a disappointment with breastfeeding, maybe? How you describe you are feeling feels like you might want to seek help with post partum mood issues.

    Some of what you describe (low supply, milk blister) are breastfeeding issues. But other things that you place in the breastfeeding problem list (sleepy baby, then very hungry baby) are actually completely normal stages with a newborn.

    Mothers are told to breastfeed, and then every hiccup or issue that occurs is blamed by someone on breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is not the problem. When there are real issues, the lack of good support and truly helpful assistance is the problem. Otherwise, most breastfeeding problems are caused by a lack of understanding (by everyone - not just mom) of what is entirely normal in infants. In fact, even things like low supply and slow gain are often misdiagnosed as serious issues when in fact they might be normal- just how that particular baby is.

    Anyway, you are asking what to do now. What does your heart say? There are many ways to continue to nurse 'part time' if that feels more doable to you. Would you LIKE to do this? Would you rather stop any breastfeeding entirely? Or do you want to nurse exclusively or as close as possible? Etc. There is not any one best choice. There are many reasons to continue to nurse, even if it is part time. But whether that is the right choice for YOU depends on what you want.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    Thanks for your response.

    Regarding the lipase issue, is it possible that even if she drinks it now she won't like it later on? Do you think it would be a good idea to start scalding, even if some of the nutrients will probably leave the milk, or keep giving her unscalded milk hoping that she still likes it?

    It's been a hard month. Not only with the baby and the breastfeeding, but other issues as well which have me concerned and feeling as if we get something to worry and stress about every few days. I don't think I have any post partum mood issues, I think it's just been a tough month, the breastfeeding has been harder than expected and I am alone with the baby and my older one almost all day (my husband works a lot).

    Maybe what you say about breastfeeding issues and normal newborn behaviour is true, it's just that I didn't go through any of that with my first baby. I had to supplement after breastfeeding but I still breastfed him for 6 months and he never pulled away like my baby does now. She only stays for a few minutes (sometimes as low as 1 or 2 minutes) before she starts to get frustrated and pulling away. I try compressing but there is no time since she pulls aways so quickly. I'm worried that since she's either doing this or sleeping, there is not enough stimulation to produce enough milk.

    To answer your questions, I don't know... I would love to keep breastfeeding for as long as I can. I don't want to give it up and give her formula. I just feel so frustrated by everything that keeps happening, I feel that maybe it's a sign that this isn't for us.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    I've had many many issues while breasfeeding.
    Low supply, milk blister, clogged ducts, reflux, gas, sore nipples, sleepy baby (doesn't stimulate enough), alert baby (fusses and cries because she wants more/faster let down and pulls away every minute). We've battled everything and still have some of those issues today.
    My DD is almost 11 months old and we also struggled with many issues, including low weight gain from 0 to 6 months. It was THE MOST STRESSFUL thing I have ever been through. I can totally empathize with you.

    Last week it was that she wasn't gaining enough so I added one more feeding which lowered my pump (I pump once a day to have a freezer stash) output a lot.
    I wouldn't worry about this at all. The focus is on getting milk into baby. If she'll take one more feeding, then it doesn't matter that you aren't pumping as much. You really don't need a huge freezer stash for when you go back to work. You just need enough to get you through the first day and then you'll pump at work what she needs for the next day.

    These 4 months have been challenging to say the least. I feel like I'm drowning and when I see shore again something else comes up and another wave pulls me away.
    Again, I can really relate to this feeling. The only advice I can give is what I did, which is to just take it one day, one feeding at a time. Lots of deep breaths and lots of positive self-talk..."it won't always be this way. I won't always be her only source of nutrition. I am doing the very best I can."

    I was adamant to breastfeed this baby because I had to supplement my first one as I didn't have enough supply. But it has been so hard.
    I was adamant to feed my girl because I exclusively pumped for my firstborn. The degree to which I hated that and knowing how good breastmilk is are the two things that have kept me going. It has been HARD.

    Yesterday I got out a bag from my freezer to feed her after a really bad feeding, had not done this in months, and the milk smelled horribly metallic and rusty. So, apparently, now on top of everything I have a lipase issue as well. She drank it but I don't know if she did because she was hungry. I also don't know if it's okay that she drank it.
    My frozen milk also smells weird but my daughter accepts it just the same as she does fresh milk (which, isn't great, as she hates bottles). Even if there is a lipase issue, it's totally fine for her to drink it.

    I feel like an idiot for saving my milk for 4 months so when she's 6 and I go back to work she can have some bottles while I'm not home.
    I do not know why this would make you feel like an idiot. Saving your milk is a wonderful, kind and intelligent thing to do for your daughter.

    Now, I don't know what to do. Should I just stop? Finish the 6 months of breastfeeding and then just give her formula while I'm not home?
    My opinion? Forge ahead. Just take it one day at a time. Do what you can. And, if one day it feels like just too much, then stop.

    I feel like a failure.
    In no way shape or form are you a failure. You have nursed your baby far longer than most women do. It is a beautiful gift.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    I don't have any advice, really. I just want to say that it sounds like you've gone through a lot to get to where you are now, and you sound like a loving mom. You are doing what you need to do to feed your baby, and that's wonderful. Ebf, supplementing, and/or feeding formula is your decision and is based on what you feel is best for you and your child. You have gone through a lot, and in reading this forum, I see lots of these issues. You aren't alone, and it also seems to me that every baby is different, so what your son did doesn't necessarily apply to your daughter unfortunately.

    That said, if you want to continue ebf, try day by day, maybe even hour by hour. If you have to supplement, you have to supplement. You could always give her the freezer stash first-good for you for thinking ahead!-then formula if you want.Or you could just do formula. I trust you know best for your child.

    Regardless if you are depressed or not, it helps to have support and things you can do for yourself. Do you have a group you can attend? A friend who can visit or call? Family you can talk with? Some days you need a hug or a friendly face. Or, just a chance to get out in the sunshine.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    Thank you so much for your words. I really needed them. It's true that sometimes I just need to be listened to, and while I can and do talk to family, I feel like I keep talking about this and don't want to burden them every day with my stuff.

    The idiot comment was because I feel like if, eventually, the baby stops drinking the metallic tasting milk it would have been a waste to have all that milk frozen if she won't take it.

    Regarding the stash I do need kind of a stash since I don't pump much, so when I go back to work I won't be able to pump enough for the 12 hours we'll be apart. I read somewhere that she should take an ounce for every hour apart. I don't know if this is true when a baby eats solids as well. But if that's the case, I can't pump 12oz a day, I get around 2.5oz when I pump in the mornings and much less when I pump in the afternoons.

    I really am committed to giving my children the best (not only nutritionally) so I plan to continue breastfeeding for as long as I'm able to. I'll see what to do about the lipase and my frozen milk. Hopefully she will continue to take it. I don't know if I'll try scalding the milk I pump from now on or if I should continue just freezing it hoping that she takes it. Any advice on this?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: feel like giving up


    The idiot comment was because I feel like if, eventually, the baby stops drinking the metallic tasting milk it would have been a waste to have all that milk frozen if she won't take it.

    Regarding the stash I do need kind of a stash since I don't pump much, so when I go back to work I won't be able to pump enough for the 12 hours we'll be apart. I read somewhere that she should take an ounce for every hour apart. I don't know if this is true when a baby eats solids as well. But if that's the case, I can't pump 12oz a day, I get around 2.5oz when I pump in the mornings and much less when I pump in the afternoons.

    I really am committed to giving my children the best (not only nutritionally) so I plan to continue breastfeeding for as long as I'm able to. I'll see what to do about the lipase and my frozen milk. Hopefully she will continue to take it. I don't know if I'll try scalding the milk I pump from now on or if I should continue just freezing it hoping that she takes it. Any advice on this?

    Thanks again!
    You're welcome. Glad you have some support! :-)

    So I know nothing about lipase, but I did a quick search on here and it seems some moms have mixed their milk with cereal or whatever to hide the taste . . . And tested how long it took to get the taste. You could try that? If not, apparently you can donate it. Hopefully someone who knows what they are talking about will chime in. In the meantime, here are a few of the threads I found
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ghlight=lipase

    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ghlight=lipase

  8. #8
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    Regarding the stash I do need kind of a stash since I don't pump much, so when I go back to work I won't be able to pump enough for the 12 hours we'll be apart. I read somewhere that she should take an ounce for every hour apart. I don't know if this is true when a baby eats solids as well. But if that's the case, I can't pump 12oz a day, I get around 2.5oz when I pump in the mornings and much less when I pump in the afternoons.
    This is how much you pump in addition to exclusively nursing your baby, right? If so, that's GREAT output! And, you can rest assured that when you pump instead of nursing, you will get even more.

    What about giving the pumping a rest right now? I know that for me, pumping just causes stress as I hate doing it and seeing my output makes me question if baby is getting enough. Same for you? If so, and if relieving one facet of stress (like pumping) will help you keep nursing, then I say go for it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    I don't know if I'll try scalding the milk I pump from now on or if I should continue just freezing it hoping that she takes it. Any advice on this?
    From what I am gathering, this problematic milk was milk that had been in the freezer quite a while, right? Before you assume anything, you might want to defrost and try a more recent sample.

    If it appears lipase is a continuing issue for you, even for milk frozen only a short time, then of course it is a gamble to not scald your freshly pumped milk. Baby may take it and baby may not. There is no guarantee. I would not want to have to go through the trouble of scalding my milk either, so I guess you just have to think about how you will feel if baby ends up not taking the milk you pumped after discovering the problem.

    I would also totally agree with mamawin about maybe giving pumping a break. How much milk your baby will need during the daily work separation is not knowable, as this can vary and will also depend on how much baby nurses when you are home. one ounce per hour is just a ballpark based on the idea that there are 24 hours in the day, and babies typically need an average of about 24 ounces total a day. But you are right, an older baby who is eating solids may well not need that much. It is just very unknowable.

    I am unclear on how much of your expressed milk baby is getting each day? Mothers who have low milk production are mothers who cannot exclusively breastfeed their babies (must supplement) because there is not enough milk for baby, neither when baby nurses nor when mom pumps. A mother who is able to pump EXTRA milk, milk that can go into the freezer for some future date, rather than must be given to baby that day, does not have inadequate milk production. She may have borderline production, meaning, she feels she needs to pump "extra' to increase or maintain her production. She may not pump all that much when baby is nursing all day (but as mamwin points out, probably will pump more when at work and NOT nursing for those hours.) But not inadequate production.

    Also I am not sure if the issues you are concerned about (the pulling off, etc.) is recent? Possibly due to baby having bottles? etc. There is lots of troubleshooting/brainstorming we can offer if you like, or you may want to contact your local LLL or other breastfeeding support group for this.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: feel like giving up

    Thanks again for your responses.

    Yes, that's what I pump in addition to nursing, I hope you're right and I get more when pumping instead of nursing. Regarding pumping stressing me out, I actually like pumping. I like to have milk stored and to know that if there's a time when I can't nurse the baby, she still will get my milk. I also like to keep an eye on how much I'm pumping and feel great when I get more than 1oz, I think because with my first baby I wouldn't get more than a quarter to half an ounce, so now I see it as an accomplishment when I see 2.5 or 3oz.

    I am testing my frozen milk to see when do they start to get that metallic taste and smell. One from the beginning of April was good, one from January wasn't. Tomorrow I'll defrost one from March and try to find out how long I have before lipase changes the taste. I don't know about scalding because of the additional trouble but also because I read it decreases the nutritional value of breast milk. I still have to think about it though.

    The baby doesn't regularly get a bottle, I nurse her directly. She only got a bottle yesterday and one today (less than an ounce each) to top off bad feedings. That's why I just learned about the lipase issue yesterday. The feedings were bad because of the pulling off.
    Since I don't give her bottles the pulling off is not because of that. This has been going on for a while and happening much more frequently in the last 10 days or so. Maybe she's hungry? I am not sure what causes it. I have read about this and think it might be because there is not enough milk or a faster let down. She pulls off from both breasts but usually pulls off from the right one much sooner, maybe a couple of minutes into the feeding. When I pump I always get more from the left breast, almost double what I get on the right. On the left I sometimes get a second let down and sort of jets of milk, with the right one it's only one small let down and the milk kind of just drips in drops. I'm sure this has something to do with her frustration. The thing is, if she doesn't want to take the breast it won't get stimulated to produce milk, am I correct? So it will become a cycle.

    Thank you again, your responses mean a lot to me. It's so great to feel supported.
    Last edited by @llli*umg; April 21st, 2015 at 10:53 PM.

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