I am so lost, I could really use some advice and encouragement.
BF has been a terrible experience, and yet I still don't want to quit trying. I dream of having a successful BF
relationship with my dd, my first child, and envy all of you who have made it there. We have had a really hard
time learning to get a good latch, so my nipples have suffered. In fact, when I went to see my OB, she said they
were the worst she had ever seen and was surprised that I was able to continue feeding through the pain! I've also
developed mastitis and had two yeast infections. I was advised to switch to pumping and feeding EBM "for a while."
My LC and the pedi NP both said to keep BF because I would heal faster, so I've been switching back & forth,
depending on which expert I've heard from my recently. The result has been a disaster.
Right now I am pumping again, and while my nipples look much better they still have scabs that come off every time
I get ready to pump, so i still am bleeding. I'm pumping 8 or more times per day, so I wonder if they can heal
under those conditions. I went back to pumping at DH's request, because he was worried about me becoming depressed
because of the hard time dd & I were having when I went back to BF. The little darling would squirm in my arms
making positioning a long, difficult process. When I got her in place, she wouldn't open her mouth - she just made
sucking movements. I ended up opening her mouth with my index finger or waiting until she screamed. Once on the
breast, she would continue to cry and squirm as if she wanted to get off. When I pulled her away, milk (and blood)
would be flowing, and she'd be giving me frantic hunger cues. So I'd try and try again until we were both a wet,
frustrated crying mess. Poor DH came home in the middle of this and asked me to go back to pumping for a few days
to heal and to figure out what to do. He wants to be supportive but suggsts that I only pump from now on. Even the LC has suggested this may be best for us... but I want to raise my baby BF the way women always have!
In the meanwhile, I am worried about dd's health. She lost almost a pound in her first three days, then only gained
4 ounces in her first two weeks. The ped said to supplement one formula per day and reweigh her at three weeks.
We did, and she gained 8 ounces. Our LC said that we shouldn't give her formula, but DH insisted we listen to the doc. DD also isn't having regular BMs. SHe has one large one every four days. It looks normal (yellow, seedy, soft, painless) so the doc
isn't worried. The LC says it is a sign that dd isn't getting enough food and that we should be working on
improving our BF. She also says to do anal stimulation, but the doc says to let dd's body learn to pass stool
on its own. I don't know who to listen to! DH trusts the doc more because we've seen him and we've never met
the LC. We only talk to the LC on the phone.
I desperately want to BF! So here are my questions:
1. Do I wait for my nipples to heal first, like the OB says? Or BF on injured nipples?
2. When I do try, any tips on controlling dd's squirming? She is too strong for me to control her head with one
finger behind each ear, and she keeps turning away from the breast.
3. How do I get her to open wide? I read that I'm not supposed to open her mouth and I hate trying to latch her
only when she cries.
4. Why would she not feed when I know she is hungry, the nipple is in her mouth and milk is flowing? How do I calm her down and get her to just close her mouth and suck?
5. How do I deal with the guilt of all this? I feel like I am depriving my beautiful dd by not feeding her
exclusively from the breast, like I am a failure for not being able to BF. But I dread each session because for
almost two weeks they haven't worked at all. I cry with every bottle, with every pump, and a lot in between. I even cry in my sleep because I feel so guilty.
Like my screen name says, I am a total wreck.