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Thread: ready to throw in the towel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    57

    Default ready to throw in the towel

    I made a LOT of milk with my first daughter. She was a preemie, and couldn't latch, so I pumped and bottle fed for the first 6 weeks, before her doctor switched her to formula because she wanted to eat ALL the time. I made a days supply at every pumping session, every two hours...

    This time, my breasts are smaller, softer, and I make barely enough to keep up with her. She's 2.5 weeks old now, and was also a preemie. She was given a bottle with my expressed milk in the nicu to monitor her input, so we are still trying to get her to latch on for every feeding. She will nurse once or twice a day, but prefers the bottle still.

    I'm pumping, but I'm afraid it won't be long before her input overtakes my output. When she's awake, she's rooting, but I can't get her to take the breast. I'm frustrated, tired, and ready to quit... I got a recipe for lactation cookies and made some today...

    I know I'm older - a lot older - but I'm not ready to accept that as the only reason I'm having issues. My DH is super supportive, but breastfeeding is so important to both of us, I feel like I can't really tell him how upset I am.

  2. #2
    Clare's Mum is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    435

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    I am so sorry that you are having a hard time. I really don't have any advice as I am a first time mom of a good little eater but you have come to the right place. Best of Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    it was rough with me the first few weeks with my older ds. i did give up and with this one i said from the beginning i was going to do whatever it took to make it work. it was rocky at first but i kept trying and its going great now. dont give up please. i so regret not trying harder with my other 2 kids and i feel the bond is not as strong. it will get easier just take it one day at a time. good luck hun

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,273

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    Poor mama, I know how you must feel. Many mothers give up nursing when they believe that their little ones need more than they produce. The truth is, the more you nurse, the more you produce. If you are using a bottle, I would try ditching it for a couple of days and nurse on demand. Your baby is very young so she must want to nurse all day long. Totally normal. Maybe even every 2 hours or more! Let her. Babies need to nurse for more than just hunger and it's important to let them. If you are supplementing, stop. It will only make things worse. If you are seeing the same ped, I would recommend maybe seeing another because the first one gave bad advice. Feeding a baby formula will just become a hassle and it will sabotage your efforts to breastfeed.

    Your body can make plenty of milk for your little one, trust in that and let your body do the work. Relax and set up a nursing camp for a couple of days and just get to know your baby and nurse and sleep.

    Good luck, you came to the right place for support!
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    Did you say she would nurse at the breast at all? Skin to skin is a big help. Nurse in warm bath is great and very comforting. Are you using an electric pump? Just add more feeding/pumping to increase supply. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
    Breast size doesn't matter. Your breasts might just remember how to do this so engorgment may not happen. If she is taking the breast then always offer that before the bottle. Just because she takes a bottle after a feeding does not mean you're not giving her enough. LO has a swollow reflex and will keep eating since bottle dribbles milk in her mouth so she will swallow.
    My dd would not give me hunger cues until she was overly hungry, and then would fuss because my letdown wasn't coming quick enough (and I never even used bottles). I decided to offer her the breast sooner and she takes it and is more patient for letdown since she's not desperately hungry. Maybe your lo is the same. HTH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    She will take the breast once or twice a day, when she's really awake. Other than that, she'll "play" with it, but not latch on...

    I'm using a medela pump in style double electric pump. Right now, I'm barely pumping enough to keep up with her, some days not even that. I have about a day and a half worth of frozen milk from when she was in NICU to fall back on if I need it, so I'm still not having to supplement with formula.

    She's gaining ok, and has plenty of wet/dirty diapers, so I know right now she's still getting enough. I'm just frustrated that my supply seems to be diminishing and she isn't wanting to nurse at the breast. Today is only the second time I've gotten her to take the left breast at all...

    Between feeding and pumping, that is my entire life right now. My husband is a truck driver, so he's not here every day. My mom is helping with the two older girls - thank God - but most days I can barely get 30 minutes to take a shower and comb my hair....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    Wow- you are doing a great job so far. Those early days and weeks can be so challenging. Do you have a local LLL leader you could call for support? They may have some more ideas about how to boost supply. Have you tried eating oatmeal? Some moms swear by it.

    Remember that pumps are not as effective as your baby. Having the goal of exclusive nursing is a great goal, but you don't have to rush it. As you know having two older kids, things change so quickly, and you never know when she'll get stronger and want to nurse more and you could ditch the bottles. Eventually if she is nursing all the time, your supply will be enough because the supply and demand will be in harmony. Right now with the pump involved that's hard to accomplish.

    Stick with it day by day if you can. Giving formula if you HAVE TO wouldn't be the end of the world... don't throw in the towel yet! Things change with our babies too quickly. It will only get better.

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


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    Well, I made a small batch of Lactation Cookies and they are actually pretty good... Here's the link for the recipe...

    http://www.recipezaar.com/192346

    I threw in 1/2 cup of Wheat Germ for extra Folic Acid, and a cup of Raisins just because :-)

    Sitting at the laptop helps pass the time while pumping - LOL

    I've been very emotional the past three days. Maybe it's just the hormonal changes causing all my anxiety. That, and lack of sleep. I let my mom watch the baby this morning after the older girls got off to school for 2.5 hours and I took a nap.

    My poor Hubby is out on the road again, and is beside himself that he's not here to help me...

    What was I thinking, starting over with a LO after 10 years?????

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    57

    Smile Re: ready to throw in the towel

    We made it through last night, with only one bottle.
    Maybe she'll get the hang of it soon, and maybe my body will keep up with her...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: ready to throw in the towel

    YEA!!!!!!Keep it up and stay postive

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