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Thread: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    As the title states, breastfeeding my 25 day old son is a fear-inducing, tear-filled, nerve-wrecking, and utterly disheartening.

    Any and all help that can offered would mean everything to me at this point.

    Background
    I moved to Japan 14 months ago, got married, and immediately got pregnant. I decided to stay in Japan and give birth. This decision may have been the one that led to all of my issues.

    He was born on November 10, 2015. I fed within the first hour and did my best to feed him on cue and keep him in room with me. No one showed me how to breastfeed, how to latch him, what a good latch looked like - nothing. They simply said he was drinking well and that was good. My nipples were sensitive now but that just meant they needed to "toughen up."

    After 48 hours unfortunately, my nipples were extremely sore, bleeding, and blistered. Unable to feed him without excruciating pain, the nurses suggested to give him glucose water for some of his night feedings so that I may put ointment on my nipples to let them rest. So I fed him glucose water from a bottle starting day 3 - 5 of my hospital stay.

    Upon discharge on day 6, i expressed severe nipple pain and they said I had to keep it up, continue using the ointment, and relax. They gave me extra glucose water to help me provide the time to relax during the night.

    At his first week checkup he wasn't putting on enough weight so they asked me to top-up with formula. However, I had already expressed that I didn't want to use formula if I could help it. I asked them too help me breastfeed him better. They proceeded to show me that my breasts were producing milk and that there was no big concern. However, I wanted help in how to breastfeed, not whether or not he was getting enough milk. Again, I left disappointed. I decided to push through he pain and made sure to feed him every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night. By the next week, he had put on a good amount of weight.

    I had two more "breast consultations" where I got similar replies. "Your nipples will toughen up." "You just need to put your nipple far into his mouth." "Your breast is so big and your nipples so small it is too difficult for him to drink at your breast." "He's drinking well."

    Desperate, I contacted an IBCLC over Skype and tried to fix my latch which is what I assume is my problem. His lower jaw does not flange the way I see other babies' mouths flange.

    While the information I was provided was insightful, implementing the suggested techniques has not yet helped me.

    I sent a Help Form through this website without a reply, I contacted the local group without a reply, I contacted the Japanese group without reply, I tried to contact LC close to my area without reply.

    My days are filled with hours of crying - crying while breastfeeding, crying after breastfeeding, crying after breastfeeding, crying in my sleep, and nightmares about breastfeeding.

    My nipples are blistered, they sometimes bleed, and are extremely sensitive. The thought of breastfeeding scares me, I do not want to breastfeed anymore if it continues like this.

    The only thing I can think of is that his latch is bad. I have spent hours upon hours trying to correct his latch, trying to find new techniques to correct his latch, anything.

    I am at my wit's end and I am sincerely afraid of the thoughts and feelings that I am being overcome with recently. I cannot handle the physical or emotional pain much longer.

    For now, I have decided to pump and bottle feed him, but my supply has definitely taken a hit and I am not producing as much as I was.

    I would greatly appreciate any and all help on this matter.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I am sorry that your entry into motherhood had been so difficult. I wouldn't necessarily blame your move to Japan for your issues, though. Sadly, moms all over the world get just a little help and just as much destructive advice from the professionals who are supposed to be helpful and knowledgeable. You might have fared just as poorly in the US or UK.

    First of all, don't blame yourself for your nipples not "toughening up". Nipples are a type of tissue that is not designed to become tougher when used. They are designed to stay very sensitive because that sensitivity allows mom to know when she should reposition her baby: if nursing hurts, the baby is probably latched on too shallowly and needs to gain a deeper latch.

    Since your nipples were sore, bleeding, and blistered within 48 hours of birth, a latch issue seems very likely. But there are other possibile explanations for pain and nipple breakdown, including thrush (a yeast infection that doesn't occur in what we ladies think of as the usual place) and bacterial infection. So, some questions for you:
    - What positions are you using when you feed the baby?
    - Are you supporting the breast throughout the feeding? (If you are a mom with larger, heavier breasts, you might want to try tucking a rolled up washcloth under the breeast, to prop it up and free your hands to position the baby.)
    - Has baby been checked for tongue or lip ties?
    - Have you developed any cracking, and if so, can you describe it? Are you seeing a large, single wound at the tip of the nipple, or multiple small, slit-like cracks?
    - Have you or baby had a recent course of antibiotics, including IV antibiotics delivered at the time of birth for being GBS+? (Trust me, it's relevant.)
    - Has the baby been diagnosed with oral thrush or a yeast diaper rash?
    - Are you seeing any of the following: nipples/areola a which appear more red, pink, or shiny than usual, or skin in the nipple/areola area which appears dry or flaky?
    – How would you describe your pain: is it more of a pinching, stabbing pain that occurs when the baby is nursing, or more of a burning pain that persists even after the feeding is over?

    So obviously the advice you got in the hospital was awful. I am particularly disappointed that they told you to give glucose water at night, for 2 reasons. First, babies need lots of calories at night, and if breastmilk is not available they should be given formula. If you have any glucose water left, throw it out! Second, milk production depends on the frequency and completeness with which the breast is emptied. "Resting" your breasts all night is gentler on the nipple skin but it's bad for milk production. A mom who is going to "rest" her nipples all night long should be supplied with a pump and correctly sized shields, so that she can pump in place of the feedings her baby would have given her. (Pumping with the right size shields is not injurious to the nipple.)

    I think it's amazing that you decided to hold off on formula top-ups after the disappointing doctor visit at 1 week. What you did took a lot of effort, and it was the right thing to do: the more you nurse the baby, the more calories he takes in and the more milk you make.

    Since you've decided to pump and bottlefeeding at this point, I have some more questions about that:
    - How often are you pumping?
    - Are you pumping at night, and if so, how often?
    - What sort of pump are you using?
    - How does pumping feel?
    - How many oz of milk are you getting per pump and per day?
    - How much milk are you feeding the baby in bottles?
    - Are you putting the baby to the breast at all at this point? (I strongly suggest doing so. Pumping never gets easier, but breastfeeding almost always does. Keeping your baby in practice at the breast will help preserve his latching and nursing skills for the future, when you are ready to go back to nursing. Just 1-2 nursing sessions per day, or more if you can stand it, will really help!)

    Finally, I just want to tell you my experience with my first baby. She was born in the US. Great birth. But within 48 hours I had terrible cracks, nursing was literally excruciating, and at her 2 week checkup she was only 1 oz past her birthweight despite being nursed around the clock. I ended up needing to supplement her with formula and pumped milk, and weighing her at every feeding to determine her intake at the breast. The cracks persisted for much longer than usual, but eventually they did heal as she grew and her mouth got bigger and she became better at latching. When she was 3 weeks old I was so close to switching to formula. At 3 months old, I was just trying to get through every day. But by 5 months everything was pretty much okay, and I ended up nursing that kid until she was 3 years old, and loving it. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but it is also the most rewarding. Hang in there!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Thank you so very much taking the time to read my post and respond with so much information. Your response has truly helped me feel like I am not alone or lost in my experiences. Your comments have been very encouraging and have helped to reduce some of the guilt I'm feeling over not being as prepared as I could have been.

    To answer your questions:
    - I have tried to feed in many different positions. I have mostly worked with cross-cradle as it has been the least painful. I have also tried the regular cradle, laid back, side by side, rugby/football, sitting in my lap.
    - I do indeed have larger breasts and often need to support my breast throughout the entire feeding as it hurts slightly less when I do. I have not tried the towel under my breast but will make a note to try it tomorrow.
    - I do not think the baby has been checked. I will be doing a walk-in at my paediatrician on Monday to ask about this issue. Unfortunately, my Japanese is not so good so it is difficult to call ahead and ask these sorts of questions so I simply need to walk in.
    - I am not positive if my nipples have cracked as they're more blistered and ridged, but if they are, I would say they are smaller slit like cracks everywhere. It is hard to tell as my nipples look extremely foreign to me at the moment. I do apply lanolin cream as often as I remember to.
    - Neither of us have received any antibiotics as far as I know.
    - The baby has not been diagnosed with thrush or a yeast diaper rash.
    - My nipples are extremely pink and light in colour compared to the rest of my areola. They also look shiny to me but I think this may be due to the blistering and ridging. Some small parts of my areola are pink.
    - I have several different types of pain. When the baby first latches on it is like pins and needles. It is definitely the most intense of the pains I have. It is extremely sharp and prickly and it makes my eyes water, toes curl, and instantly gives me a headache. This stinging pain fades just slightly as it gives way to a deeper more raw pain that seems to emanate into the core of my breast. The longer he feeds, the worse it feels. When he is done feeding, my entire breast throbs with pain, especially near where my breast meets my chest but also deep within my breast.

    I am also very disappointed in a lot of the advice I received at the hospital. I put a lot of trust into the doctors and nurses to help me especially since there was a lack of communication skills on my part. I really wanted them to help me achieve the goals I had laid out in my birth plan - EBF, no supplementing, no bottles, rooming in, etc. I have since put away the glucose water and formula that I received for true emergencies. Emergencies I hope will not come.

    As far as pumping:
    - I am trying to pump every 1.5 - 2 hours during the day and every 2-4 hours at night (sometimes I do not hear my alarm go off and I will sleep through until my baby stirs).
    - I am using an automatic electric Pigeon pump.
    - My nipples hurt the first few pumps and then the pain diminishes and it isn't unpleasant. Compared to him on my breast, it's positively pleasant, but I feel like even the pump could be more pleasant.
    - I am getting approximately 30-40ml (1 - 1 1/3oz) of milk per pump. In the beginning I was getting 50-70ml (2ish oz) per pump but the frequency has diminished and it is not happening so often now.
    - I am feeding him anywhere from 60-120ml (2-4oz) of milk per session. I try to feed him 10+ times a day but I am not able to keep up with the pump.
    - Since I am not able to keep up with the pump, I put him on my breast. I feel his latch is horrible. I cannot get his lower jaw to open wide and his lips to flange. When I read The World of Latch-On: One Leader's Journey, I see my baby has the 90 degree angle latch. I cry through most of his sessions at my breast. I am nursing him 4-5 times a day since I am unable to pump enough.

    Right now we are at 3 weeks and I just cannot imagine continuing with this pain. It is not only physically painful but it is emotionally painful, scarring even. I am beginning to develop negative thoughts and reactions and it makes me weep more. I just want to feed and nourish him, to watch him grow at my breast, but I am beginning to feel hopeless. I do not know if I could do this until 5 months, or 3 months even, unless I exclusively breast pump.

    I am so afraid his latch is already learned and he will not be able to adjust since he was given the bottle 3 days in.

    Thank you again so much for your help and helping me to not feel alone. I greatly appreciate it. I will try to hang in as long as I possibly can.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Thanks for answering those questions!

    I would definitely encourage you to continue experimenting with different positions and seeing is there is one that is more comfortable than others. Whatever is most comfortable, use that, even if you think it is wonky-looking or inconvenient. More positions will come in time as the baby grows and becomes more adept. The fact that pumping is less painful than nursing certainly points to some sort of latch issue, and the best thing I can say about latch problems is that they tend to go away as the baby grows. Bigger baby = bigger mouth = easier time latching on. Don't worry that your baby's latch is permanently screwed up from bottles, because babies are constantly relearning their latching skills as their mouths grow and change. Growing out of a bad latch is a normal part of infancy for many babies.

    Based on your description of your pain, I am thinking that thrush or a bacterial infection may be to blame for what some of you are experiencing- though I would definitely not rule out other causes at this point! I think you should get out your Japanese-English dictionary and see the pediatrician, and have him/her take a careful look in the baby's mouth and diaper area. If there is evidence of thrush or diaper yeast, I would want you both to be treated for thrush. I would also want the doctor to take a very careful look at the baby's lip and tongue, and check for possible ties. If the doctor doesn't know how, it may be a good idea to see a dentist or speech pathologist- they are often more familiar with ties than pediatricians.

    I would also love to have you see a doctor- obstetrician would likely be best for this- and discuss the possibility of mastitis. The type of pain you describe can also come from bacterial infection, so it might be necessary to take some antibiotics.

    Another few questions for you:
    1. When the baby comes off the breast, what shape are your nipples? Symmetrical, like pencil erasers, or asymmetrical/wedged/ridged/creased/shaped like new lipsticks?
    2. When the baby comes off the breast, do you ever see the ends of your nipples blanch (turn whitish), or perhaps blue, before returning to their normal color?
    3. Are you a mom with typically darker skin, and/or perhaps brown rather than pink nipples? I ask because one symptom of thrush is nipples appearing more pink than normal, but some moms with dark skin and dark nipples find that when they are nursing, their nipples are more pink than brown, perhaps due to the top layer of skin getting removed by the baby. So a mom with normally pink nipples who sees them getting pinker- that would be a pretty good indicator of thrush. Whereas a mom with brown nipples who sees them gpbecome more pink- that would be a more confusing symptom.

    I know that what you are dealing with is incredibly stressful, and the temptation to give up is incredibly strong. Been there, felt that! The one thing I will say about struggling through early breastfeeding difficulties is that your baby won't remember any of it, so don't worry that you are somehow harming him. And I personally feel that my early difficulties were transformative for me- I have never forgotten how rotten they were but I emerged from them feeling like "If I could survive that, I can survive anything." I'm not telling you that you must continue, or telling you that you should quit. The only one who knows when you are ready to throw in the towel is YOU. But I do think that if you can give this your all, you won't feel guilty if you do decide to quit.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Thank you for providing questions that helped me think about how I am breastfeeding.

    I am extremely relieved to hear that his latch won't be negatively impacted in the long run.

    I was planning to do a walk-in at the clinic tomorrow but I am not positive I will be able to make it, which means I will be going in another week. In any case, I am glad to say that pumping and bottle feeding with a few sessions on the breast today has greatly reduced my stress and fear.

    I have a checkup in one week and will be able to request all of these items to be looked for on my person.

    To answer your questions:
    1. When the baby comes off my breast, my nipples are usually either wedged with a ridge at the very rip or shaped like a new tube of lipstick.
    2. I think more often than not, my nipples are whitish when he comes off my nipples before they turn a sort of pink colour (again much lighter than the rest of my areola).
    3. No, I am lighter skinned and my nipples were pink before pregnancy. During pregnancy and now they have turned a much darker colour, almost brown. They are quite pink so I will definitely have the doctor check for thrush.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with me and being so insightful and helpful. I am trying my best to hang in there. I don't think I've really had to go through something so painful before so it's been affecting my outlook on life and motherhood negatively. However, when I get to look down at him in my arms, it really makes me feel like it will be worth it if I can just make it through one more session, one more day.

    Thank you again for the encouraging words.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    1. When the baby comes off my breast, my nipples are usually either wedged with a ridge at the very rip or shaped like a new tube of lipstick.
    Okay, that is definitely an indicator of a shallow latch! What is happening is that the nipple is landing on the front of the tongue under the hard palate. When the baby sucks, the nipple gets compressed and that hurts like nobody's business. Ideally, the nipple should sit on the back of the tongue, underneath the soft palate. If you stick your finger in your mouth and suck on it, you'll see why the back of the tongue is where you want the nipple to be. There's almost no motion or compression going on at the back of the tongue.

    You might want to google something called the "nipple sandwich" technique, which can help get the maximum amount of breast into the baby's mouth.

    Again, the best news about shallow latches is that babies grow out of them. A newborn has a teeny-tiny mouth and can't get a big "bite" of breast. An older, bigger baby, has a bigger mouth and can get a deep latch right from the beginning.

    2. I think more often than not, my nipples are whitish when he comes off my nipples before they turn a sort of pink colour (again much lighter than the rest of my areola).
    Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner! What you are describing is a vasospasm, which is a temporary restriction of blood flow to an extremity, often caused by cold or compression. It causes a deep, stinging pain which is often mistaken for thrush- so I'm going to back way off from the thrush idea and suggest that you treat this as a vasospasm, by doing the following:
    1. Keep working on the latch. The deeper the latch, the less compression, and the lower the chance of experiencing a vasospasm.
    2. Make sure the shields on your pump are properly sized.
    3. After nursing, move as fast as possible to apply heat to the nipple. A hot water bottle or heating pad is ideal for this purpose.
    4. Stay warm. Socks, sweaters, vests, slippers- those are your friends right now. Cold makes vasospasms worse and makes them last longer.

    3. No, I am lighter skinned and my nipples were pink before pregnancy. During pregnancy and now they have turned a much darker colour, almost brown. They are quite pink so I will definitely have the doctor check for thrush.
    Definitely talk to the doc about thrush, but given that you had a temporary change to brown nips during pregnancy suggests that what you are seeing is likely a return to your prepregnancy color.

    I am trying my best to hang in there. I don't think I've really had to go through something so painful before so it's been affecting my outlook on life and motherhood negatively. However, when I get to look down at him in my arms, it really makes me feel like it will be worth it if I can just make it through one more session, one more day.
    One day at a time p, one nursing session at a time, is truly how people reach- and exceed!- their breastfeeding goals. I totally understand how miserable you must be, but in my experience, if you can focus on that "I just have to get through this one feeding" idea, you can get through just about anything.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Thank you for your response. I am sorry for reviving this thread after an absence. Since making this thread, I went on a breastfeeding break due to the emotional stress I was experiencing.

    I have been pumping 10+ times a day trying to keep my supply up. I offered the breast only 1-2 times on average a day. Some days - when I had managed to muster the courage - I offered 4+ times a day. I bottle fed him my pumped milk. I did not like bottle feeding him and found that I was not good at it - researching as I went along only pointed out more and more mistakes. I have since been trying to find nipples that are like mine and pace him.

    He is drinking 900+ml a day, usually closer to 1100ml.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    You might want to google something called the "nipple sandwich" technique, which can help get the maximum amount of breast into the baby's mouth.
    I have tried this technique many times without a lot of success. I have also tried the "flipple" and laid back nursing. I would say the "nipple sandwich" and "flipple" have worked a handful of times but I have a lot of difficulty recreating the scenarios under which they were successful.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Again, the best news about shallow latches is that babies grow out of them. A newborn has a teeny-tiny mouth and can't get a big "bite" of breast. An older, bigger baby, has a bigger mouth and can get a deep latch right from the beginning.
    I know this is probably baby-specific but when would my baby be considered an "older, bigger baby"? He is now 6 weeks old and has grown a noticeable amount but I still have a lot of pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    ding ding! I think we have a winner! What you are describing is a vasospasm, which is a temporary restriction of blood flow to an extremity, often caused by cold or compression. It causes a deep, stinging pain which is often mistaken for thrush- so I'm going to back way off from the thrush idea and suggest that you treat this as a vasospasm, by doing the following:
    1. Keep working on the latch. The deeper the latch, the less compression, and the lower the chance of experiencing a vasospasm.
    2. Make sure the shields on your pump are properly sized.
    3. After nursing, move as fast as possible to apply heat to the nipple. A hot water bottle or heating pad is ideal for this purpose.
    4. Stay warm. Socks, sweaters, vests, slippers- those are your friends right now. Cold makes vasospasms worse and makes them last longer.
    I will work on the 4 points you have outlined.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    talk to the doc about thrush, but given that you had a temporary change to brown nips during pregnancy suggests that what you are seeing is likely a return to your prepregnancy color.
    At my last checkup, I asked my doctor (with much difficulty) if I had thrush but I think there was a big breakdown in communication as she told me it wasn't possible to have a yeast infection on my breasts (at least, this is what I understood). She didn't check my breasts herself but said a nurse could check them. Who did and said there was nothing wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    One day at a time p, one nursing session at a time, is truly how people reach- and exceed!- their breastfeeding goals. I totally understand how miserable you must be, but in my experience, if you can focus on that "I just have to get through this one feeding" idea, you can get through just about anything.
    Thank you for the encouragement. I try to tell myself this but I am becoming more afraid again.

    Taking the small hiatus to let myself heal completely, I told myself I would try harder to get everything positioned correctly and that I would work diligently to get things rolling in the right direction.

    I have been taking my time, concentrating on his latch, feeding on demand, and trying to follow all the advice I've been give. Yet after only starting breastfeeding him again since yesterday, my nipples are already bleeding again.

    I don't know how to breastfeed without being afraid. I feel as if I must choose between breastfeeding through the pain and hating and/or not being able to bond my child or not breastfeeding - only bottle feeding - and hating myself for not being able to bond and/or suck it up.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    I am sorry for reviving this thread after an absence.
    No need to apologize!!!! You are the mother of a newborn who is having difficulty breastfeeding. Maintaining your internet presence is not something you need to spend any time on. Okay?!

    Since making this thread, I went on a breastfeeding break due to the emotional stress I was experiencing.
    Did it help? I know taking a break helped me- sort of. In retrospect I feel like it was useful, but at the tiime... It was like I was too far underwater to realize that the break got me a bit closer to the surface.

    I have been pumping 10+ times a day trying to keep my supply up. I offered the breast only 1-2 times on average a day. Some days - when I had managed to muster the courage - I offered 4+ times a day. I bottle fed him my pumped milk. I did not like bottle feeding him and found that I was not good at it - researching as I went along only pointed out more and more mistakes. I have since been trying to find nipples that are like mine and pace him.

    He is drinking 900+ml a day, usually closer to 1100ml.
    It's fabulous that you managed to nurse him a few times a day. At this point, keeping your options open for the future should be one of your main goals.

    I think it's a very good idea to continue to work on your bottlefeeding skills. On average, breastfed babies take around 19-30 oz of milk per day (561-887 ml) per day. Your baby is taking quite a bit more than that, which doesn't mean that you're "doing it wrong"- it just means that you probably want to work on the bottles and see if you can get him to accept a bit less. At the very least, the amount of pumping you are doing is really hard to sustain, and it would be great if lowered bottle intake meant that you could cut back a bit.

    I have tried this technique many times without a lot of success. I have also tried the "flipple" and laid back nursing. I would say the "nipple sandwich" and "flipple" have worked a handful of times but I have a lot of difficulty recreating the scenarios under which they were successful.
    Sigh. Tell me about it! When I was first nursing my first baby, I used to fantasize about breaking into my LC's house and stealing her chair, since it was the only place I had ever achieved a comfortable latch.

    I know this is probably baby-specific but when would my baby be considered an "older, bigger baby"? He is now 6 weeks old and has grown a noticeable amount but I still have a lot of pain.
    This is a great question. Some people would say that by 6 weeks everything should be going just fine- you will see to all the time in books of baby advice and online. But in my experience, there are some moms for whom it takes longer- sometimes quite a bit longer- to get to the stage where nursing doesn't hurt. Often these are moms whose babies have undiagnosed tongue or lip ties- did we ever discuss that possibility?

    I will work on the 4 points you have outlined.
    I hope it's helpful advice! Let us know when you have a moment.
    At my last checkup, I asked my doctor (with much difficulty) if I had thrush but I think there was a big breakdown in communication as she told me it wasn't possible to have a yeast infection on my breasts (at least, this is what I understood). She didn't check my breasts herself but said a nurse could check them. Who did and said there was nothing wrong.
    I'm disappointed to hear that you for the brush-off about the possibility of thrush. Unfortunately, there are many, many docs- all over the world- who think of thrush as something that only occurs in the moist cavities of the body, and don't realize that it can occur in the breast. That being said, if there were dermatological symptoms of thrush, the nurse probably would have noted them and said "Doctor, there is something funny going on here."

    Since taking a break allowed your nipples to heal, and nursing again tore them open right away, I think chances are good that the issue is a latch problem rather than thrush.

    I don't know how to breastfeed without being afraid. I feel as if I must choose between breastfeeding through the pain and hating and/or not being able to bond my child or not breastfeeding - only bottle feeding - and hating myself for not being able to bond and/or suck it up.
    Don't feel bad about feeling afraid. It is completely natural to feel afraid considering the amount of pain you are experiencing. It's like not wanting to stick your finger into an electrical outlet over and over again- it's a self-protective instinct, not a failure of character or will.

    Please know that whatever you do with respect to feeding your baby, you will bond with him and everything will be okay. When I was nursing my first- and that was a beyond awful experience due to her undiagnosed lip tie and terrible latch- I felt a lot of guilt over the fact that I didn't feel particularly bonded to or loving towards her. Or so I thought at the time. Looking back, I know that a bond was forming even though we were going through some very tough times together. I think sometimes breastfeeding bonding is like falling in love- everything happens in this rosy glow of nice feelings. And sometimes it's like going to war, with your baby as your foxhole buddy. It's awful and there's pain and crying, but the bond that gets produced is unshakable.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    No need to apologize!!!! You are the mother of a newborn who is having difficulty breastfeeding. Maintaining your internet presence is not something you need to spend any time on. Okay?!
    Again, thank you for the wonderful words of encouragement.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Did it help? I know taking a break helped me- sort of. In retrospect I feel like it was useful, but at the tiime... It was like I was too far underwater to realize that the break got me a bit closer to the surface.
    Yes, the break helped me regain my courage to try again. I was beyond tired pumping constantly but I managed with my mother's help.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    It's fabulous that you managed to nurse him a few times a day. At this point, keeping your options open for the future should be one of your main goals.
    Unfortunately, my left nipple is extremely damaged again so I am only feeding once or twice a day with a nipple shield on my right breast.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I think it's a very good idea to continue to work on your bottlefeeding skills. On average, breastfed babies take around 19-30 oz of milk per day (561-887 ml) per day. Your baby is taking quite a bit more than that, which doesn't mean that you're "doing it wrong"- it just means that you probably want to work on the bottles and see if you can get him to accept a bit less. At the very least, the amount of pumping you are doing is really hard to sustain, and it would be great if lowered bottle intake meant that you could cut back a bit.
    I've been trying to reduce his intake by doing paced feeding but I definitely haven't perfected it. Getting my mother and other family members to pace feed has been a bit difficult. He is still taking 1000+.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    This is a great question. Some people would say that by 6 weeks everything should be going just fine- you will see to all the time in books of baby advice and online. But in my experience, there are some moms for whom it takes longer- sometimes quite a bit longer- to get to the stage where nursing doesn't hurt. Often these are moms whose babies have undiagnosed tongue or lip ties- did we ever discuss that possibility?
    I asked his pediatrician if anything was wrong with his mouth but he said no - he didn't check his mouth in front of me unfortunately.

    I am thinking of taking him to a Japanese pediatric dentist or ENT as was recommended by an IBCLC I skyped with.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Since taking a break allowed your nipples to heal, and nursing again tore them open right away, I think chances are good that the issue is a latch problem rather than thrush.
    Yes, my left nipple began bleeding and starting today I have had a fever of 38.8 with very sore and tender breasts. I have been trying to massage it but I am not getting much milk from pumping (nursing is impossible with the pain from the injury).

    After this incident my husband and I agreed we would try to pump exclusively for a while and only nurse when I felt comfortable and I afraid.

    I am planning to buy a medela symphony pump and do more research on EPing, bottle feeding, and whatever is related. Please let me know if there is anything else I should look into!

    Thank you again for all of your help.

    I am looking forward to updating this thread in the future with great news.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Don't feel bad about feeling afraid. It is completely natural to feel afraid considering the amount of pain you are experiencing. It's like not wanting to stick your finger into an electrical outlet over and over again- it's a self-protective instinct, not a failure of character or will.

    Please know that whatever you do with respect to feeding your baby, you will bond with him and everything will be okay. When I was nursing my first- and that was a beyond awful experience due to her undiagnosed lip tie and terrible latch- I felt a lot of guilt over the fact that I didn't feel particularly bonded to or loving towards her. Or so I thought at the time. Looking back, I know that a bond was forming even though we were going through some very tough times together. I think sometimes breastfeeding bonding is like falling in love- everything happens in this rosy glow of nice feelings. And sometimes it's like going to war, with your baby as your foxhole buddy. It's awful and there's pain and crying, but the bond that gets produced is unshakable.
    Thanks again for the encouragement.

    It's true I feel very upset at him and I sometimes just sit and cry while he cries. It is so difficult with all this guilt. I don't feel bonded yet though sometimes I get a glimmer of loving him. I hope I am able to develop a relationship like you've described.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding is a Nightmare - Please Help

    I think you need to go to the doctor. Fever plus pain plus reduced milk output = likely case of mastitis. Until you get an appointment, you want to do the following:
    - "Empty breast, lots of rest". Keep both breasts as empty as possible by pumping as often as possible.
    - Treat the pain with cool compresses.
    - Do lots of warm soaks and massage before and during pumping.
    - Stay hydrated. Yyou know you are drinking enough if your pee is generally pale and mild-smelling.
    - If you have an open wound on your nipple, use a topical antibiotic (e.g. Bacitracin) on it, coupled with warm salt water rinses.

    If this is mastitis, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics and it's really common for moms to be told that they need to stop breastfeeding while taking antibiotics. This is almost never true. If you are told that you must stop nursing, make sure you have the dose and name of the antibiotic and let us know. Someone here can probably look it up for you, or call the a infant Risk center, and confirm the safety.

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