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Thread: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm 35 weeks pregnant with my second child and I would love to be able to breastfeed. However I had a very bad experience with my first daughter and I have to say that I am very skeptical and I do not have my husband's support this time since he saw me how miserable I was in the past and he is not willing to go through the crying and sleepless days. I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Before my first daughter was born, the nurse practitioner (also lactation consultant) at my doctor's told me that I had flat nipples. The nipples come out when I press them but they are very small.

    My daugher was born and right for the beginning we could tell that she was going to be a temperamental baby with no pacience whatsoever. I keep hearing that babies are very sleepy when they are born and I wish mine would have been like that. She cried constantly. As you can imagine that didn't help either.

    I tried to breastfeed within an hour after being born but she wouldn't latch on. The nurse tried with me unsuccessfully. When they transfered me to the room, we tried again and again. My daughter was born at 3pm and it was about 8pm and she had not latch on yet. At this point the nurses suggested to start pumping and giving her the colostrum with my finger and a thin tube and to wait for the lactation consultant to come to see me the following day.

    After this feeding, another nurse starting her shift and she told me to give my daugther the next feeding with a dropper. By the way, in the meantime my daughter was crying and crying. After giving her some more colostrum, my daughter was still crying. I was exhausted and ready to go to sleep but yet she would not fall asleep. The nurse suggested to give her sugar water with a dropper. And that's what we did. The whole night we spent pumping and feeding her sugar water and colostrum. I didn's sleep at all. The nurse would keep telling me that the baby was hungry but now I wonder how can this be??? I gave her all my colostrum, a lot in fact!! (I never had problems with my milk supply later on either). I thought that babies are supposed to be okay with just colostrum, so why the crying???

    At any rate, we started the following day with another nurse and we went back to the finger feeding. At this point my pediatrician came by and she said that the baby was hungry and I had to start supplementing with formula. So the routine was pumping, feeding colostrum and formula. The lactation consulant never showed up because she was too busy with other patients. I tried to latch the baby on as much as I could but she was very angry all the time and no willing to cooperate. This was a full time job. I didn't sleep, I didn't have time to eat, it was a nightmare.

    The second day the lactation consultant came by and she tried and tried. She tried the breast shield, she tried the lactation aid to supplement the baby when she was latched on. (yes, latched on for five seconds before crying again...). The lactation consultant was not helpful at all. The opposite if I'm honest. She got my baby angrier and she suggested unrealistic feeding procedures. She even said "your mom will hold here, your husband will hold there, and that's it!" and at that point I was so exhausted that I was even rude to her like saying "sure, and you expect me to do this when my mom goes back home and my husband goes back to work??". It was simply ridiculous!

    So here I was pumping every two hours. That same day the pediatrician came back again to see the baby and she said that the baby got jaundiced because she didn't have enough to eat, to increase the formula. What the heck?? So how babies survived thousand years ago? So colostrum leaves them hungry AND jaundiced?? I could not believe it! Anyway, "she was the doctor" so we listened. We increased the formula and we went home. At home, the same thing. Pumping every two hours with a crying baby (thanks god my mom was still with me so I could pump comfortably) then I would give her my milk and in no time I was able to stop supplementing because my milk came in big quantities.

    One thing changed at this point, though: "Mom, bring a bottle, I'm done feeding her with my finger!". That's it. The deal was sealed. I became an "exclusively pumper". I never thought I would end up there. I bought the best pump I could find at BabiesRUs and returned the rental I got in the hospital. My milk was the least of my problems. The problem was dedicating my 24 hours to this deal.

    To make everything worse, my daughter ended up being colicky so I dealt with colic and pumping for three months. I that point I gave up. The colic went away and so did the pump.

    Please, please, please... what did I do wrong????

    The only thing I can think of is that it was unfortunate to have a very fussy baby and flat nipples. I also think that everyone around me worried me too much about losing my milk and I ended focusing more on "pumping" than "latching". It became a vicious cycle. The more I pumped, the less time I had to work on the latch because the baby would be already in the background asking for food. It was a job around the clock. Non stop. Pump, feed, clean pump, pump, feed, clean pump...

    So, why on earth would I go again through this? My husband says he will go to live with his parents if I attempt to pump exclusively and I told him not to worry because that's not going to happen. I told him that I'm going to try to breastfeed (I know better how the latch works now thanks to Kellysmom website which is great...) but if that doesn't work I will not pump. Not even for a day, not even for a minute. It is breast or I will request a bottle of formula.

    Please, can someone suggest a better plan? I would like someone to tell me something like "Plan A: do this, Plan B: do that...". I can't go through this again. Even if I have an easy baby now, I also have a toddler to take care of. How am I going to do it again? No way! Please help!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    I gave up with my first child too. It's so different with the second. I am not saying it's going to be cake. It won't be. My advice is to take a class, read a book, and get in touch with a LLL leader and go to some meetings before the baby comes so you can set up a support group. It is possible that you will have the same experience, but unlikely. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and use your experience to be more prepared. That's what I did.

    On my other computer I have a link for bfing and handling toddlers, so I will go in there later and post that for you also.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    you can do it this time!
    Call your local leader today!
    GEt some local support.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    Yes, get some local, knowledgeable support before this baby arrives. Every baby is so different, so it could very well work this time around. LLL is such a great resource, and maybe there is something you can do before baby arrives that might increase your chances of success. You're already reaching out, so it's obvious that you'd like to at least give it a try.

    BTW, it didn't work out for me the first time around, either. I found out all I could for my second pregnancy, and ended up successfully breastfeeding my son for over a year. Although I had twins the first time around, I didn't give it as much of a shot as you did. With your resolve, I KNOW you can do it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    You might also want to find an IBCLC now so you can call her right away and maybe even have her visit you in the hosipital. These lactation consultants are certified and very qualified. They are the only ones you know for sure what you are getting. Meeting with her ahead of time might also help with some strategies. I also second getting connected with a LLL group now. After what you went through before, good for you for being willing to try again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    Did you try a nipple shield? This helps a baby latch on. I use one of these and it helped immensely. My daughter also got jaundice. I do not think it is caused by the breastmilk, some babies are just prone to it. Especially if the baby is smaller. Because of the jaundice, I would nurse for half an hour and then give pumped milk then top my DD off with formula. This was done for about 2 weeks before we got her back to just breastmilk. If you are going back to work, then you will still have to pump. Hopefully not as much though! I would give the nipple shields a try if you can. I know they say you are supposed to use them under the care of a LC. The LC at the hospital I was in gave them to me without any real instructions, though. I know you can also purchase them at Babies R Us. Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Lightbulb Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    I have to second the previous posts. Find an LLL meting in your area and go a few times while pregnant. Tell the leaders your story and that as soon as the baby is born you will be calling them for help and support. Get the phone numbers for as many leaders as you can. Call or have your husband call as soon as ANYTHING seems off to you.

    If you find one that might be willing to visit you at hospital or home, even better. In fact, if you even have any friends that have successfully BF, ask them to visit you right after the birth to help you and give you support.

    Most importantly, please read and research to convince yourself that formula supplementation in the beginning can be a huge sabotage to BF. No matter what a doctor may tell you, it is not necessary. Colostrum IS sufficient for several days. You are totally right about that.

    While I was pregnant I used to meditate on the idea that I am the parent, I am well read on breastfeeding and parenting, and I can rely on my own parenting instincts. No one knows my baby as well as I do. I could have stood up to anyone who questioned my parenting!

    You can do this if you believe you can! Please remove from your mind the idea that you can "just get some formula." That could sabotage your efforts as well. Think instead that you WILL be successful at BF this time. The main factors in BF success, in my opinion, are believing in yourself and your body and having positive support. You will find the latter here all the time!

    Best of luck! Please keep us updated!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    I, too, had bad luck nursing my first two children. Like your first, my first was a very challenging baby (and still is quite difficult today at 3 1/2!!)- she cried nonstop for the first 6 weeks of her life (we later found that she had reflux that required medication as well as milk allergies). I tried nursing her and it was an absolute nightmare (I quit after the first week).
    My second was the most easygoing baby. I tried to nurse her but my firstborn was still such a challenge that I quit a few hours after we got home from the hospital.
    This time (and the last time!!) with number three, I've been successfully and exclusively nursing her (she's 7 weeks old now). I've found that I thoroughly enjoy this experience (and we've already had thrush AND I just got over a clogged duct!).
    Each time is a completely different experience, based on the temperment of your baby and your own comfort level. This time around, I made sure I had a lot of support (I didn't when I tried nursing the other two) and I just blocked my ears to any negative comments from family pushing formula. I made my husband pitch in a LOT more with my older two children to free up time for me to nurse my LO. I take any help I can get and am not shy about asking for it!
    Don't be afraid to try again. You may be surprised that this time around can be completely different!!
    (Did I mention that my DD's are 3 1/2, 1 1/2, and 7 weeks?)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina2007 View Post
    The only thing I can think of is that it was unfortunate to have a very fussy baby and flat nipples.
    Gosh, I totally know where you are coming from! Your first and my first could be twins I somehow managed to keep on nursing and it took 8 weeks to get it to where my first baby would latch on and nurse without crying and fussing. I learned later -- via LLL -- that I had an overactive letdown that bugged him, which is one reason he didn't want to latch on. I also had oversupply, which sure didn't help. He had acid reflux too He had been given just one bottle after I was transferred from the birth center to the hospital for emergency surgery, and I am firmly convinced that set us up. To this day, he's a difficult child

    I wonder if you also had perhaps an overactive letdown and oversupply, which complicates things. There's ways of dealing with both.

    But my second child . . . Totally different story. He's EASY. Thank goodness he's content to ride in the sling or just sit on the floor while I deal with the tough two year old (who is the size of most 4 year olds!). He nursed beautifully from the first minute I put him to the breast, even with the OALD and oversupply. Nothing much bugs him. My point. . . Every child is soooo different. What you experienced the first time around will probably not be the case the second. You may not have a child quite as easy-going as my second baby, but you'll be able to cope with what you get because of the experience gained from the first. It will totally work out.

    My thoughts on what to do to prepare are this:
    • throw out any idea that this is going to fail! For me, that took the idea that we simply cannot afford formula with two kids. We use cloth diapers, but if you don't, having two in diapers, plus buying formula equals a LOT of money every month!
    • find your local LLL group and start attending meetings now. You then get to know the leader(s) and when you need help, you won't feel weird about calling a stranger because she won't be.
    • Hang out here. Read back threads. See if there are any ideas you can put in the back of your brain in case you run into problems.
    • Read books. I wish I had done this before having DS#1 instead of relying on the little bit of info in some of my pregnancy books. Dr. Sear's BF book is great, as well as So That's What They are For, and Womanly Art of BF.
    • Convince yourself that flat nipples are no barrier to nursing. They aren't. I had a nurse tell me I had flat nipples and therefore would never nurse. I insisted on trying. She gave a nipple shield to me and left the room. I never saw her again, even with my pain meds. I wish I could throw that nipple shield in her face. I nursed that child for 22 months! There are techniques to use that work.
    • Find the number for an board-certified LC. You may have to pay for the service, if your insurance won't, but it may be the same as spending all that money on pumping stuff, and it will sure be cheaper than using formula for a year or more.
    • Make sure you have help at home for the toddler for the first few weeks. YOu are going to be learning how to nurse, and that takes a long time. I was really fortunate in that when I had to teach my second baby to nurse, I had a lot of experience already, but I made DH stay home for about 6 weeks. My mom was there first, and when she left DH stayed home. It's really important. Your job is to feed the baby and take care of yourself. Their job is to clean the house and chase the toddler. Seriously. You will need help. Start arranging for it now. You won't be ready to take over the toddler, the house and the new baby a week or two after the birth if you are still working on getting nursing down. It's better to have help planned and then tell them you don't need it than to find yourself in a jam, exhausted and crying and overwhelmed with two kids and have to find someone to come help you or make DH come home from work.

    You really can do this.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Expecting baby#2. Already skeptical.

    Wow- you really did a great job giving it a shot the first time around. I agree with many of the previous posts. Start attending LLL meetings right now and get numbers of your local LLL leaders. Even though they may be strangers to you right now they are more than willing to help... that's why they became LLL leaders! Also, do you think the reason your baby was crying early on was because of the colic instead of hunger? I know colic usually doesn't show up until about 3 weeks but if you thought she was getting enough colostrum and still crying then maybe it wasn't about hunger? Counting wet and dirty diapers is the best way to know if a bf baby is getting enough. Now that you know you don't have supply issues, you can concentrate this time around on getting the baby latched. Between the SNS you tried before and nipple shields (which I know you tried too) you have a couple options to try this time around if your baby won't latch right on to you, but he/she will still be getting milk from the breast.

    We are here to support you too!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09

    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:

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