I'm so discouraged, I'm ready to quit! Let me start by saying that 7 weeks ago I gave birth to my first child via c-section... a beautiful daughter, born at 8lbs 10oz. No major health problems, other than mildly jaundiced which was quickly remedied with some time under the photo-therapy lights. We began our breastfeeding journey in the hospital, and she actually latched on very well in the beginning, sometimes even staying on for 30-40 minutes. Only thing was, the hospital insisted on giving her supplemental formula in a bottle, to help her jaundice go away faster. Not really knowing any better, and wanting my daughter to get better, I allowed them to give her a bottle.
Anyway, after about the first week, things have only gone downhill. She began having what I have dubbed "fussy feedings" most of the time. If she's in the exact right mood, she will latch on and nurse for maybe 5 minutes max, then pull off the breast and start screaming, as if she's in pain. If she's cranky I can't even get her to latch on! If I try to get her to latch on while she's screaming, it makes her even more upset. Several weeks ago I called her pediatrician and described the feedings, and they diagnosed her with reflux and put her on Zantac. I began giving her the medicine twice a day as instructed, but after several weeks of use, it wasn't making a difference with the fussy feedings, so I stopped giving it to her. (I should note that she doesn't spit up that much, which makes me think she doesn't have reflux after all.)
I have tried many different things to get her to nurse... she really likes movement e.g. holding her and rocking/bouncing her, so I have even nursed her while standing up and rocking/bouncing her at the same time! Not an easy task (but my biceps are getting huge!)... I have also found that nursing her when she first wakes up works the best, but it is impossible to get her to take a nap before every feeding, so she gets super cranky and then won't latch on! I have explored the possibility of OALD, but most times (when she does latch on) she will nurse right through the letdown of my milk, then come off screaming after the letdown is over.
I'm sorry, this really sounds like I'm babbling and not making sense, but I'm really at my wits end. By the way, she takes a bottle with no problems (a necessity anyway since she will be going into daycare first of the year when I go back to work), and her output seems good (plenty of wet and dirty diapers.) She seems to be gaining weight, but I can't be sure until I take her to the doctor for her 8 week check-up and shots. Her feedings are just so difficult... I can't read her signals yet to know she's getting hungry, but it seems she goes from not hungry and content to starved and screaming mad in 2.2 seconds, and before I even have a chance to get my breast out, she's lost her mind and started screaming her head off and cannot be convinced to latch on. Then I have to spend 15 minutes getting her to calm down and halfway asleep before I can get her to latch on, and even then she'll only stay on for 5 minutes or less then usually comes off screaming.
I hope some of this makes sense and someone can offer some advice... Am I really doing the right thing by continuing this wrestling match with my daughter? I'm a first-time mom, and I thought breastfeeding would be this wonderful bonding experience, but so far it is the most stressful thing I have ever experienced... by far, it has proven to be the hardest part of taking care of my daughter. So many times I have thought of just quitting direct breastfeeding and resorting to a bottle (formula and/or pumped breastmilk), but I guess I keep hoping she'll grow out of this "fussy feeding" stage and everything will be easier. But this has been going on for 5+ weeks now, and I just don't know if I can hold out much longer!!!
Has anyone else experienced this and can anyone help?