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Thread: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4

    Question My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    I am a FTM. My baby was born by emergency c/s after 19 hrs of labor and over an hour of pushing. He is a little over 5 weeks old. I tried breastfeeding him shortly after he was born and he would not latch-on. I was told I had "flat nipples" (perhaps because my breasts were swollen). I kept trying while in the hospital but eventually he had to be supplemented with formula, because he was not urinating. I started pumping at that point and giving him what I could, and when my milk came in (4 days later), I stopped giving him formula and have been pumping and giving him breastmilk only. I have been trying to breastfeed him everyday since then for over a month now, but he would not stay at the breast for any longer than a few minutes, even with the breast shield. I think he now has a bad case of nipple confusion, and wants the milk to flow easily as in the bottle. He gets frustrated. The other day I decided I would not offer breastmilk in a bottle but instead i would breastfeed only. At first he put up a fight, but after about 5 min, he actually breastfed for half an hour, so I tried to do the same in the next feeding. By then my nipples hurt a lot, but I really wanted to try this. I figured he probably was not latched-on correctly so I kept fixing him. This only made it worse because he started screaming everytime I tried to get him to re-latch. It was very painful for me. As the day passed he grew more frustrated of breastfeeding and seemed more hungry until he would just not latch anymore. I finally gave up and told my husband to give him a bottle. I resumed pumping. I was very shocked when I looked at the milk I had pumped and it was reddish pink. I didn't see any blood on the outside of my nipples but the milk definitely had blood in it. I am now too afraid to try breastfeeding again. My milk has turned white again, but I am very frustrated because I want to feed him breastmilk for as long as possible, but pumping every three hours is difficult and time consuming. I think breastfeeding is more convenient ( no pump or bottles to deal with). Any advice? Has anything similar happened to anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    So sorry you're going through this! Hopefully, someone with more experience will chime in soon, but wanted to offer some quick advice from a non-expert (me!).

    I would say to put the baby to the breast first every time. Try to work on your latch issues for a bit, and nurse as much as you can. Then turn to the bottle last. Try not to wait until baby is super hungry before offering the breast. Maybe offer it up to an hour earlier than usual, so baby's not already so hungry that the patience is short.

    Good luck to you! You're doing a great job!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    In fact, that is a good idea, as it is the only way he has ever latched-on at all, before he is hungry, otherwise he has no patience. Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    243

    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    Hi there,

    I had some latch problems that led to cracked nipples in the beginning. When I pumped because of nipple soreness I saw the milk was bright red...gross! I called my ped and he said a little blood is ok, won't hurt baby, but not to give the bright red stuff. So I pumped until it turned to light pink, then dumped out the yucky stuff. Make sure you have some Lanolin if your nipples hurt, it worked great...mine felt better the next day. Also, I would suggest making sure you are relaxed and not anxious, and try putting your LO to the breast before he is really hungry...that way he won't be so upset if the milk isn't flowing out right away. Oh, and I have to squeeze my boob to help baby get a good wide latch, and sometimes pull on her chin just a bit to push her mouth wider, just what works for me! Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    2

    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    Hi, I am new to this whole ordeal. I am having similar issues, but mine maybe worse than yours. My daughter wears a trach. She spent the first weeks of her life in the hospital. All the while, she was on a feeding tube, so feeding from the breast was impossible. I dealt with that, and continued to pump and supply her the milk through her tube. Then, she was introduced to a bottle and a pacifier and that made it even harder for me. She is three months today and from time to time I try to get her to latch on to my breasts but it is a never ending battle. I have also tried the nipple shield, but it doesn't seem to be designed the way that works for me. Pumping doesn't help with increasing my milk supply, because my body doesn't know how much is enough for my little one. Its takes me 2-3 sections to get 2 oz of milk and she takes up to 5 oz every 3 hrs. I desperately want to continue breastfeeding but my daughter gets more formula, than breastmilk, and I am not very happy about that, but I know that I don't give her enough to satisfy her daily. I am even taking medications to help increase my milk but they haven't helped any. If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE HELP ME....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4

    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    I guess we all have to be thankful with what God has given to us and that we are able to give them any breast milk at all so that they get the antibodies and other nutrients that they need. It is important to remember that we are doing our best because we love them. Anything you can give her is great, and as long as she is happy and healthy, that's all that matters

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    285

    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    I had a very similar situation to the original poster and I'm glad to report that IT CAN BE DONE! DS is not 14 months and we're still going strong.
    As for the flatness- it is hard to get a good latch when you are flat, especially in the early weeks when you're both new at this and emotions run high. I decided to try nipple shields and they worked wonderfully. It is important to be fitted by a LC or maybe a local LLL leader because having the wrong supply can cause not enough stimulation and reduce your supply. But they worked great for us in the beginning. When DS was about 4 months old, I started trying it without the shield (mostly because I got sick of washing them). By this age we were both more relaxed, he was less frantic for the milk, and I had a better grip on "how it all works". I still had the flatness, so I would compress the tissue as much as i could and just shove as much in his mouth as i could. It worked fine, and over the course of a few days, we got the hang of it.

    My advice: get fitted for a shield and use it. Once the nipple is drawn out, take it off and relatch without it.

    I'm sure that a LC or LLL leader in your area will be more than willing to help you out.

    If you need more advice on the shields or dealing with flat nipples, let me know.
    I promise, it does get easier. Don't let your anatomy hold you back, women just like you and I have done it for hundreds of thousands of years, we just need to figure out how...

    HTH!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: My BF issue- should I give up and just pump?

    I agree with PP. In person help for something that's related to latch is really best. A lot of us have had a rough started, but then successfully breastfed for many months. In person help makes a HUGE difference!

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