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Thread: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Unhappy Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    My LO is 4 months old. He's been EBF since birth.

    He's doing great, thriving, really. My problem is ME. Since he was about 3-4 weeks old, I've been getting headaches and feeling exhausted all the time. I just figured this was just normal new mommy stuff. But, as time has gone on, the headaches have gotten worse and more frequent. Now I'm getting migraines, several times a week. My stomach is constantly upset and even though I'm eating, I have a stomachache and feel queasy all the time. In addition, I've started getting numbness/weakness and cramping in my legs and calves. Sometimes it's so bad I can't move them.

    I went to the doctor and they did some bloodwork. I am anemic, and my potassium, calcium and magnesium are all low. I've been taking a prenatal vitamin every day (with the exception of a day here and there) and eating what I would consider a well balanced diet. But yet, according to the doctor, my symptoms are all from malnutrition. She has put me on prescription supplements to see if my levels and symptoms improve. She told me that it's breastfeeding that is doing this to me, that sometimes babies take more than mommy's body can give them, and I need to consider supplementing or even stopping BF altogether if I want to get better.

    I really don't want to quit nursing, or even supplement. He's been doing so good, and he's so used to the breast, he wont even take a bottle of expressed breast milk or a pacifier. I hate the thought of trying to give him formula. My family is pressuring me to stop BF. They say How can I be of any good to him if I'm not well? A part of me agrees with them. It's hard enough to cope with 3-hours of sleep per night and still take care of the family and home. But it's even harder still, feeling as bad as I do. I'm barely able to function now.

    But then I think about how good he is doing, how happy he is and how much I enjoy nursing him and I just want to cry. I'm just so torn. I don't know what to do. This is killing me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    i'm so sorry you are going through this mama!!!!

    first of all when did you start taking the supplements the dr prescribed? i'm assuming she prescribed iron for the anemia? have you had any kind of problem with malnutrition or anemia in the past? i have been anemic and in fact my current iron level was borderline so they prescribed iron and i will tell you it makes a heck of a difference once you get those levels back up!

    i am a firm believer that you have to do what you have to do to keep mama sane and happy but from what it sounds like, it would be quite the task for you to stop breastfeeding and get baby to take a bottle anyway. that would be a lot of work really and probably stressful and devestating to you and your baby.

    my suggestion would be give the supplements time to work. make sure you are eating enough and a balanced diet. sleep whenever baby sleeps - even naps during the day. all these family members asking how you can be good to him if you are not well - tell them they are right and you need their help in getting you well - not in weaning baby. ask them to help out with meals, cleaning, watching the lo for even an hour so you can nap or relax, maybe even continue to work on getting baby to take a bottle every once in awhile. at least for a few weeks so your body has time to heal.

    i'm thinking of you mama and hoping things get better quickly!!

    Mom to Cody 2/3/92
    Mommy to Kaeden 10/06/06

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    great post paula...
    I think your doctor gave some bad advice. Most doctors don't know much about breastfeeding and weaning baby doesn't mean its going to sleep beter at night. And even ladies that live in very poor areas, with poor diets can breastfeed.
    Do you have anybody that you can talk to in real life? Either your local leader or somebody thats not family?
    It sounds like your pretty stressed out about it and that doesn't help.
    I agree ask your well meaning family to help out. Bringing in meals is a grand idea or send them out to do the your shopping for you.
    Give your self the premission to take a nap every day. That helps me!
    Sometimes when my hubby gets home from work I go and lay down even if I don't sleep I rest at least a while every day.
    Let some of the house work go! ITs ok!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    As pp's said....give the supps time to work, take all help offered and rest as much as possible. Your family are just concerned for your wellbeing, they might not understand how important BF is to you. Let them know what you want to do then ask them to help by cooking healthy, nutricious foods that are rich in all the element that are low.

    I hope things get better soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    What a tough situation! You might ask for a referal to a nutritionist who could really help you look at your diet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    wow! what a tough situation, mama. But thankfully you've got some great advice already!!! I agree with pretty much everything they all said. give the supplements 'time' to work, ask the fmaily for help, sleep when baby sleeps, all of that.

    and I also agree, that supplementing/weaning will not help you.

    Did he give you anything for the migranes? SOmetimes they are indeed mineral deficient induced but can be handled well with rx meds in the meantime, while the supplements take effect. DId someone already as if you have a local ICBCL or LLL near you for more support??

    You can do this, it seems you want to continue nursing and it is possible. Get that family on board!!!
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    I agree with all said and wanted to say we are thinking of you and here are some . You are doing such a great thing for you child. What a dedicated Mama!

    I use a pill reminder box, the ones that are M-S, you know, so that I know if have taken my supplements or not. It's important that you take them everyday, drink an entire glass of room temperature water with them as well. Take your iron with vitamin c as well. Some supplements have it added in already.

    I recently printed off a list of the food pyramid reccomendations and made a little chart. I check off as eat the amounts required. It seems like a ton of food esp. the fruits and veggies, but that's where the nutrition comes from. Best wishes to you. And again, .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Talking Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    i agree with what they have said. i wish i could've gone longer with my oldest, but i had to go back work and i just wasn't pumpin enough, but now with james i'm a sah mommy and love it cuz he nurses than eats. just keep up with the supplements and get your sleep!!! james was every 3hrs as well at night and it killed me until we started givin him cereal and moved him to a bigger bed he was in the bassinett for almost 5mos.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do

    Thanks for all the support and advice. The baby's 4 mo checkup was today. I asked his ped about the problem and he said the same thing you all did, give the supplements time to work. He agreed that switching to formula would be difficult and rough on the baby. I had several calls today from family members and I told them I'm going to wait and see how the supplements do. As far as asking them for help, I live way out in the sticks and the closest one is 30 mins away. Hubby can't help out cuz he travels for a living and is gone 6 days a week. I'm just gonna have to suck it up and keep going, just like I have been. Today is my first day on the supplements so we'll just wait and see.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Please Help! I'm so discouraged, I don't know what to do


    I am so glad that you have the pediatrician "on your side".

    I wanted to pass along that it really does help to take iron-containing supplements with vitamin C, like orange juice. And OJ has potassium as well. Also, bananas and potatoes are good easy ways to increase potassium.

    I hope things start to go better soon. Best wishes

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