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Thread: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

  1. #1
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    Default I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    I think I'm about to have a nervous break down. I hate breast feeding! I feel like such a failure (I'm typing through the tears) for wanting to pack it in, but I honestly feel like I have no choice. My husband and I are butting heads and he feels the only way he can "help" is to be able to offer the baby a bottle. Well, she doesn't do well with bottles and real nipples. I gave in and gave her a pacifier last night because after FOUR hours at the breast I was getting raw, and then all day today she has refused the breast and fussed. It's horrible. I just changed her and her urine is now bright yellow, which I know is an indication of dehydration, yet it feels like she's been at my breast all day, but obviously with no results because of her fussing.

    Without the nipple confusion she has a good latch, and has had good weight gain until now etc etc, but I just can't take it anymore! I have injuries from a car crash that are now getting inflamed because I simply cannot get comfortable. I have E breasts and NOTHING I do seems to be comfortable. I dread nursing because it's so unbearable. I have thoracic outlet syndrome in my shoulders and two ruptured disks in my back - nursing HURTS!

    I begged my doctor for a breast reduction 3 years ago but he refused to do it until I had kids. Well now I have a baby and I can't nurse anyway because the weight of my breasts kills my back!

    I've had a LC come and help. I felt good for that day (mentally) but now I'm back to being in miserable pain.

    I want to pump so badly but then what do I do when she wants to comfort nurse and can't because she's all confused? I give her a pacifier? The thought of her getting that comfort and security from a hunk of plastic makes my heart sink, but I don't know what else to do.

    I wish I could pump to supplement breast feeding but it will hurt my nipples when she can't go between the two.

    Sorry for rambling. It just feels like no matter what I do I'll be failing her.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    First, sorry you're feeling so down and miserable! For what it's worth, I had problems getting started nursing and almost quit every day for about a month. How old is your baby? If she's still pretty young, I can tell you it got easier for me.

    Can you see the LC again? Even the moral support can help you through a rough day/week.

    I personally gave my baby a pacifier early on and felt guilty about it at first, but it really helped us get through the early days. Now she's a bit of a binky addict, but whatever. It makes her happy.

    If you really think the baby's not getting enough milk, can you see your doctor for an evaluation? Even just a weight check and the dr taking a good look at her. He or she may say that the baby's doing better than you think on breast milk alone. My dr. was very reassuring when I was convinced that my poor baby was starving to death. Actually she was doing quite well, but I had no confindence in my ability to nurse her, so hearing it from an expert really helped me.

    Don't know if any of this will help you through this tough time, but I really hope you get all the kinks worked out and start to feel better. I also felt like I was having a nervous breakdown on several occasions when DD was really young. It's hard to admit, because you think everyone else is so perfect and you're the only failure in the bunch. When I started asking people point blank about their first kids and how they did with the adjustment, almost everyone I know has admitted that they thought they made a serious mistake having a baby in the first place, for a little while anyway. Like everything, it does seem to get easier with practice, but I still have days where I wonder if I really have what it takes to be a mother at all, much less a good one!

  3. #3
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    Pazygozo is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    I don't have much in the way of practical advice, but this much I can say with absolute certainty: You are NOT failing your daughter no matter what you do, because it is very obvious that you LOVE her, and she will be able to feel that in so many ways -- when you pick her up and hold her, as you change her, when you talk to her and sing to her, when you smile at her.... I think all mothers feel like failures sometimes, but please please understand that you are NOT! You are doing the most important thing in the whole world, and that is loving and caring for your child! If only you could step back and see it from outside of all that frustration, you would know that you are doing an excellent job. Believe in yourself and the power of your love for your baby girl. You are not alone!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    I'm sorry to hear you are at such a very low point and feeling so miserable.

    I want to reassure you that you are not failing your daughter. You are trying hard and you are in fact taking excellent care of her. Nobody who matters will make any judgment about your mothering based simply on whether or not you continue to breastfeed, so please don't think that these troubles or your thoughts about quitting are anything to feel guilty or ashamed about. You are doing your best, and you are going to continue to take excellent care of your daughter.

    Now, having said that -- this is a breastfeeding support board, and so I suspect you will find many enthusiastic voices here who want to help you solve the problems you are having and help you continue to breastfeed. It is in this spirit that I will offer some suggestions.

    You sound quite clear that nipple confusion is complicating your breastfeeding relationship. Can you avoid all artificial nipples, despite your husband's pressure to give occasional bottles? I think this would be a helpful step to eliminate one complicating factor.

    I skimmed through some of your previous posts looking for your baby's age -- am I correct in guessing that she is now about 3 weeks old? If so, take heart -- her frequent (nearly constant) nursing is most likely a normal growth spurt, not a sign of inadequate milk supply. Let her have free access to the breast, resist the very understandable impulse to give a pacifier, and she will soon (in a day or two, probably) be past this stage and back to less frequent feedings.

    About your back pain -- ugh, that sounds truly, truly miserable. And I recall an earlier thread about your difficulties with nursing while lying down, so I know you can't find relief that way.

    I don't know anything about the particular injuries you are coping with. My general understanding is that nursing moms tend to spend a lot of time hunched over, and they are usually holding the baby's weight in their arms -- both of these factors put a lot of strain on spines that are already out of whack from pregnancy and childbirth. I had no history of back trouble but found that holding my newborn made my back hurt, while six months later when I was fully recovered, carrying my much-heavier baby didn't bother me at all.

    I wonder if you could seek the help of an occupational therapist, perhaps together with a lactation consultant, to help you find ways of nursing that will relieve the strain on your old injuries? With some skilled and creative help like that, you may find that nursing is just bearable enough to hang in there and keep doing it a little longer, and in a few more weeks' time you will probably find everything MUCH easier, as the baby gets older and as you get stronger.

    In the meantime, is there anything you can take for your pain? I know that new moms always worry about pain meds passing through the breast milk -- and you should check with your LC about what is safe in this regard -- but if the alternative is weaning to formula, then it is probably worth it to treat your pain if it will help you continue to breastfeed.

    Hang in there and let us know how you are doing. I will keep you in my thoughts.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    I was involved in an auto accident when I was 33 weeks preg with dd, that combined with the weight of the baby and fluids put my back in severe pain. It took about 2 months after delivery before I felt relief. When you nurse, do you use a nursing pillow? Where do you nurse (rocking chair, recliner, couch)? I was nursing dd on the couch so ds could sit next to us and be a "part" of the experience and was not using a nursing pillow. I had one but it didn't seem to help. An LC came to check on how we were doing and put me in my glider, made me use my bobby pillow and stuffed 2 pillows from my bed between my lap and the bobby. She then gave me an auto pillow (they are almost flat) and removed my arm from under dd's head and put the auto pillow there to support her head. I no longer was having to hold her weight, the pillows were doing it for me. All I had to do was simply cross the arm opposite the side she was nursing over her legs and place my hand behind her head to prevent her from rolling off or pulling her head back. I felt instant relief and was able to sit upright. Try grabbing as many pillows as you can and let them do the work for you. Also, the glider made a big difference because of where the arms were located. I tried using my recliner, but I would sink down to low in the center to keep my back straight and even when I sat on pillows to stop the sinking, the arms were too far away from my body to do any good.

    As for raw nipple, use lots and lots of Lanolin, it is pure & safe for baby so you can even put it on before you start nursing, but definately put it on afterwards too. A nipple shield can also help correct the way dd is nursing. My dd was nursing incorrectly at first so she was efficently drawing the milk out, a nipple shield corrected that. See if you can get that LC back out to see you. The LC I saw in the hospital when dd was born put her finger in dd's mouth and could tell that way that she was tongue tied. The nipple gaurd helped her learn how to position her tounge so she was nursing instead of "chewing". It made such a difference! It also protected my nipples from getting raw and let them heal from the damage dd had already done. Medela makes a great one the has a contact point (cut out so baby's nose touches breast) and they are made of thin silicone so they don't interfere with stimulation like they used to. My sister had inverted nipples so she has to use one and her dd is 6 months and she is still exclusively bf and even supplies me with her extra milk to give to my dd at daycare (I pump at work but don't get enough with the pump for her bottles).

    YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! Anyone can tell by how much you are trying and the sacrafices you are making for your dd that you are a wonderful caring mother! Breastfeeding isn't as easy as people think it is, there are lots of things that can go wrong and even if you do decide to stop you are not doing harm to your baby. Any amount of breastmilk that you have given to your dd over the past 3 weeks is better than none at all. Your love your darling so much and it is abvious you only want to do what is best for her. Sometimes the stress of bf can interfere with your relationship. Please don't think that by stopping you are a bad mother. **Gives big hugs**
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    Thanx guys!! This forum is so great!

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    I wonder if you could seek the help of an occupational therapist, perhaps together with a lactation consultant, to help you find ways of nursing that will relieve the strain on your old injuries?
    I've been through it all - chiro, physio, alternative injection treatments, etc. I've got an appointment with a surgeon to have an MRI done to see what's going and what else they can do (if anything) before surgery is an option.

    In the meantime, is there anything you can take for your pain?
    Not while breast feeding. I can't take any antinflamatories or anything else that thins the blood (I have a clotting disorder that has me on blood thinners). Until I got pregnant I took hydrocodone, but I haven't taken it in 10months. Tylenol doesn't touch the pain. The best way to "treat" it is to prevent it, but the last few weeks have really inflamed me. I actually have a chiro appointment this afternoon.

    but if the alternative is weaning to formula
    I would never put her on formula. I called around today and found a place that rents the Madella (sp?) pumps. I would pump before I put her on formula.

    When you nurse, do you use a nursing pillow? Where do you nurse (rocking chair, recliner, couch)?
    I've tried nursing in every chair in the house. I rotate, but most of the time I'm in my leather massage chair getting a massage at the same time I nurse. That's only way I can cope.

    I do use a pillow, although my problem with propping her on a pillow is that it makes her too high and it smooshes my breast. My LC told me too much pressure on the breast while nursing can lead to blocked ducts, etc, so I have to let them have their space. (E's - uhg!) I was also told that just by virtue of the fact that you loose so many stomach muscles during your pregnancy that it effects your posture (which I noticed) because your abs don't hold you up, which puts strain on your shoulders, and with large breasts it literally pulls me forward. So... nursing isn't necessarily my problem. Yeay!

    As for raw nipple, use lots and lots of Lanolin
    I'm allergic to Lanolin. I found that out the hard way! I used some lanolin cream to help combat my dry, itchy nipples while I was pregnant and broke out in a welted rash. It was horrible! But, I've been using the Gerber breast therapy, which is lanolin free, and it seems to help a lot. It's like a giant tube of chapstick so I keep it in my pocket. LOL

    Anyway, thank-you guys! I have renewed hope. We took DD to her 1 month appointment today (a few days early). Her weight looks good, he said she looks wonderful. I was concerned because yesterday she was very quiet compared to how she has been. I've gone back to waking her for feedings, and stripping her to her diaper and using a cool wash cloth to keep her awake. As it is, I get about 15-20 minutes of good sucking, then she pulls off and she's done. So maybe the week before was her growth spurt because she is back to being a sleepy head (which is nice, I got a 3 hour nap today!!).

    Thanx again!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    For the pain you're experiencing, have you tried acupuncture??? I thought it was a crock (no one is a bigger skeptic about alternative medicine than me), but a few years ago I was having terrible back pain from a muscle injury. It was so bad that a 15 minute walk would leave me on the floor nearly passed out from the pain. After trying everything short of surgery, a friend convinced me to go to her acupuncturist. I have no idea if it was real or imagined, but I started feeling better immediately after my first visit (I was really lucky, my insurance even covered it!). Plus, it was so relaxing I probably shouldn't have been allowed to drive afterward, I was so out of it. I find it so relaxing that if I had a choice between 15 minutes with the acupuncturist or a one hour massage, I'd choose the acupuncturist and then just fall asleep for the other 45 minutes!

    Glad to hear the one month appointment went well. Hope you're feeling alright!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    You sound in MUCH better spirits! I'm so glad to hear that her 1-month check-up went so well. Big congratulations on surviving the 3-week growth spurt! So many moms stumble at that point -- you're a trouper!

    --Rebecca

  9. #9

    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    You do sound in much better spirits Quaker and the other posters have given you tons of good advice. I would just echo the sentiment to keep experimenting. Even if you have to set yourself up with 15 pillows every time you nurse! If the LC helped you, have her come back (cheaper than formula!). It gets easier as the baby gains head and neck control and learns to latch more quickly.

    Does heat help at all? I'm wondering if a few strategically placed heating pads would help ease the pain while you are nursing? What about a warm bath? If she has a particular time each day where she likes to cluster feed/comfort suck, perhaps the two of you could just head to the warm tub for a while If you do feel like you need some pain medications, there are safe options for nursing.

    And hey, if it helps, keep coming here and just vent it all out We'll do what we can to support you and keep you going.
    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I'm about to have a nervous break down.

    I was also frustrated with breastfeeding for a few weeks. It doesn't help when the frustration is paired with sleep deprivation. I think I just got my sanity back (at six weeks).
    Have you tried finger feeding your baby? Mine had nipple confusion in the first week (and wouldn't latch properly), so we tried this and it worked.
    I used the medela pump and would lay my baby on my belly (bare) and feed her using a feeding tube connected to a vial in a glass (so I knew how much she was getting). Your lactation consultant should be able to help you with it. Now she latches without a problem. I guess the finger causes less confusion than a bottle - and it eased my frustration with her not latching.
    I hope your frustration and pain eases soon!

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