Hi- the last post I made was entitled "meltdown while eating" and I think that it was over a month ago. I have a ten week old son and I'm struggling to breastfeed him. It seems like we have never had a "good" breastfeeding relationship. I had a fairly traumatic birth with lots of drugs ending in a c-section. He was suctioned vigorously at birth because of meconium staining. He latched on okay in the hospital, but soon we had an incorrect latch which caused me to have bleeding nipples,and pain like I've never known. We corrected it but still the problems continued- he would break off and start crying while eating. I used a pacifier sparingly, but I did so in the beginning because I couldn't comfort him with my breast and he needed to calm down. Now we use the pacifier much more liberally. I thought I had the solution when we treated him for reflux with Prilosec twice per day-approx 3 to 4 weeks ago. I felt hopeful. Ironically- I started to become engorged again after that and he started choking while eating. And I worked to regulate my supply- BF on one side for up to 5 to 10 hours at a time, feeding him in an upright position, expressing milk before feeding.
And here we are- he still breaks off and screams when we start to breastfeed. He becomes so enraged that it can take an hour to calm him. I use the pacifier to calm him down and we BF in fits and spurts. He does okay BFing while he is asleep-until he fully wakes up. I read that babies who reject the breast do better while they are asleep because BF is a survival instict and we are in a primal state when we are asleep. I'm paralyzed now with indecision- I still want to BF but it is becoming a nightmare for me and my family. I didn't want to only express milk and bottlefeed but I am contemplating it. I offer my breast often- paranoid that he doesn't get enough but he has been gaining fairly well- 48th percentile.
I must say- I don't often know what his cues are except he starts to "fuss" when he is hungry. I offer him the breast even when he doesn't fuss because I never know if he is hungry. I think he is getting most of his calories at night- we BF last night at 7:00 (screaming to sleep) 8:30 p.m. (used pacifier to calm him down) 12:30 (screaming- gave him a bottle of breast milk because he was too upset to BF) 4:30, 5:30. In the early morning I BF feed him because he keeps moving his head back and forth, and I read that is a sign of hunger in sleep. At 6:30 a.m. he did a little better- I breast fed him while lying down but he fussed a bit at the end and I gave him a pacifier and he fell asleep. Sometimes he is so tired he can't nurse, which I didn't think was possible. He also sleeps quite a bit more than what I thought would be normal- he can't stay awake for more than an hour and 15 minutes or so- he goes down with a huge struggle before he will sleep.
He is a baby that needs to be slinged or swaddled to sleep- so it's hard to get skin to skin contact. Does anyone have a story of a baby who rejected breastfeeding? What can I do? How do I make time to pump when I can't even put him down to sleep? Can this get better?
I've hounded lactation consultants- they acknowledged that his behavior isn't "normal" and advised me to contact his doctor who put him on the prilosec. Otherwise his exam was normal. I'm about to start a wheat free, egg free, soy free, nut free all allergen free diet today. I've already quit coffee and dairy.
Any words of advice or encouragement would be appreciated. Im travelling with im this month to see my family ( I was a bottle baby- adopted) and I dread having this happen in front of friends and family. Especially my parents. confused: I dread it generally.