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Thread: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    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?
    Thanks,
    Buff
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    Oh man does that sound tough! No great advice is popping into my head right now, except to ask if you've tried an SNS system? It's a little tube connected to a bottle of formula. you stick the tube to you nipple and when the baby latches gets both breast milk and formula. i know you are having latch issues, but maybe if she tastes the formula and has an automatic bit of it in her mouth (kind of like a bottle) she will give a better and longer latch a better try? worth a shot, maybe. just don't give up on the breast feeding yet. but if it gets to a point where the struggle is sucking the joy out of your days and your time with your daughter, then consider going to full-time pumping. lots of moms do it. from what i hear, it takes a lot of commitment to the time it takes to pump and keep your supply up!! it also takes a good quality pump. then who knows, she might get better at her latch as she gets older. my daughter didn't quite get her latch until we did the SNS system at about two months.
    Best wishes!
    Maggie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,721

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    It's very possible that once the Zantac stopped working - it stopped because your DD outgrew the dosage and needed more, not for it to be stopped. My LO doesn't spit up, but she definatly is a reflux baby. She's on Zantac for it, and it seems like as long as we keep her dosage up to date with the proper amounts, it continues to work well.

    You are doing the right thing, you are doing your best to provide your LO with the very best possible start in life!

    ~*Allee*~

    Damon 8/5/99 Heaven 7/24/01 Jasmine 7/20/07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    220

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...



    I had a boy by c-section, 8lbs10oz. They thought he was a little jaundiced and gave him formula too! I was completely adamant about breastfeeding and read so much on the subject. It helped that my husband was totally on my side and encouraged me even through the toughest times. Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning. My son is 3 months old now, and it seems like ages ago we had difficulties... now it's really, really, painfree.. easy! (not to mention all the other benefits: $) One major thing comes to memory. Keep calm. Even at the toughest moments, a deep breath (smell the flowers) and a quick exhale (blow out the candles) did the trick! That will calm you, encourage another let-down, and keep you going (works for pumping too). My motto early on: Just one more feeding, Just one more feeding...

    If she is screaming and really fussing to the point she won't latch (even though you know she can, cause she did it before!), you've got to calm her down first. Have you heard of Dr.Karp cuddle cure? He wrote, The Happiest Baby on the Block. Excellent read for babies less than 3 months. You can calm any baby with his suggestions. Google them for more info, but they are:
    1) swaddle (tight!) even if she resists;
    2) side/stomach (face baby in toawrds you);
    3) shhhh (make a constant sound louder than her cry... like ssshhhh, ssshhhh, shhhhh or whatever works for you);
    4) swing (rock back and forth quickly, or jiggle her so her body's moving);
    5) suck (offer a pacifier, or a finger).
    After these things are done in order, you should notice her calm down. A reflex might kick in again to cry, but just keep swinging and shhhing. Once you are both calm, try the nipple again. Nursing walking around worked great for me (except DS is now 20 lbs! biceps are toned!)

    Once you get her latched on, try breast compressions to keep her there. When she stops sucking, squeeze your breast (4 fingers under, thumb on top) until she starts sucking again. A baby who is getting milk won't fall asleep at the breast or fuss, cause there is milk there to taste. Keep this up until you have your 20-40 minute feeding. It works! In the beginning, I wore my hospital gown at home for the first two weeks, then was pretty much topless after that for awhile. For newborns, I would basically feed them when they are awake (unless they are quietly awake). I remember a nurse telling me upon discharge, no matter what happens, feed the baby - you can't go wrong if you just feed the baby. You will get to read her cues better as you continue. Things didn't really change for me and my son until about 7-8 weeks...

    It does get easier. Bfing your baby is really the best thing you can do. It is much easier than pumping. When you are ready to go to daycare, you'll need to keep your supply up for pumping then, so keep putting the baby to the breast in order to get there.

    You're doing a great job so far! There are lots of ladies on this forum who provide excellent advice right when you need it, so take advantage of them!

    Keep going mama!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    198

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyPeter View Post


    I had a boy by c-section, 8lbs10oz. They thought he was a little jaundiced and gave him formula too! I was completely adamant about breastfeeding and read so much on the subject. It helped that my husband was totally on my side and encouraged me even through the toughest times. Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning. My son is 3 months old now, and it seems like ages ago we had difficulties... now it's really, really, painfree.. easy! (not to mention all the other benefits: $) One major thing comes to memory. Keep calm. Even at the toughest moments, a deep breath (smell the flowers) and a quick exhale (blow out the candles) did the trick! That will calm you, encourage another let-down, and keep you going (works for pumping too). My motto early on: Just one more feeding, Just one more feeding...

    If she is screaming and really fussing to the point she won't latch (even though you know she can, cause she did it before!), you've got to calm her down first. Have you heard of Dr.Karp cuddle cure? He wrote, The Happiest Baby on the Block. Excellent read for babies less than 3 months. You can calm any baby with his suggestions. Google them for more info, but they are:
    1) swaddle (tight!) even if she resists;
    2) side/stomach (face baby in toawrds you);
    3) shhhh (make a constant sound louder than her cry... like ssshhhh, ssshhhh, shhhhh or whatever works for you);
    4) swing (rock back and forth quickly, or jiggle her so her body's moving);
    5) suck (offer a pacifier, or a finger).
    After these things are done in order, you should notice her calm down. A reflex might kick in again to cry, but just keep swinging and shhhing. Once you are both calm, try the nipple again. Nursing walking around worked great for me (except DS is now 20 lbs! biceps are toned!)

    Once you get her latched on, try breast compressions to keep her there. When she stops sucking, squeeze your breast (4 fingers under, thumb on top) until she starts sucking again. A baby who is getting milk won't fall asleep at the breast or fuss, cause there is milk there to taste. Keep this up until you have your 20-40 minute feeding. It works! In the beginning, I wore my hospital gown at home for the first two weeks, then was pretty much topless after that for awhile. For newborns, I would basically feed them when they are awake (unless they are quietly awake). I remember a nurse telling me upon discharge, no matter what happens, feed the baby - you can't go wrong if you just feed the baby. You will get to read her cues better as you continue. Things didn't really change for me and my son until about 7-8 weeks...

    It does get easier. Bfing your baby is really the best thing you can do. It is much easier than pumping. When you are ready to go to daycare, you'll need to keep your supply up for pumping then, so keep putting the baby to the breast in order to get there.

    You're doing a great job so far! There are lots of ladies on this forum who provide excellent advice right when you need it, so take advantage of them!

    Keep going mama!
    i agree try to stay calm my kids know when i am stressed or mad or sad but take a monment i tell my lo take she cant eat until she stops crying i know it is frustrating but it will get better i had 2 kids jundice and the hospital never told me that they needed to bottle feed to get the jundice out quicker and my second one was really bad he was under the billy lights for 2 weeks
    but gl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sunny Arizona
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    3,171

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    She might also be getting impatient with your output since milk comes out faster from bottles. Breast compressions while nursing and maybe a warm towel on your breast during nursing might help. Have you tried nursing in the tub? Both of you get into a warm tub and just start with skin to skin contact (this helps no matter where you do it, so skin to skin anytime could help too) and offer the breast. The warm water might help her relax enough to nurse.

    A lot of babies will suck their fists or turn their head to the sides rooting for the breast when they are hungry, is she doing any of that? I know feeding on demand is best and normally it's is what I recommend but maybe watching the clock would help you? Just try to offer the breast every 1.5-2 hours and see what happens, she will hopefully eat before she gets to that frantic stage.

    I also think the pp had a good suggestion of upping her zantac dose and see what happens. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time but you can and will figure this out. Keep up the great work mama, once you get through all these bumps in the road it really is the greatest thing to provide BM for your baby. Good luck and let us know if anything helps or you have more questions!

    ETA: at that age whenever my son woke up he had a boob in his face, more times then not he would eat, this might help you too.
    Last edited by amymarie; November 19th, 2007 at 10:22 PM.

    Amy married to my bestfriend since 10/30/04

    Proud SAHM to DS born 2/17/07 and DD born 9/11/08 Both weaned together 11/2011
    Currently milk, peach, peanut and tree nut free. DD has outgrown her wheat, cheese, egg, garlic, and citrus allergies

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    i have the exact same problem as the op, but my son is 11 weeks old now, and i'm going crazy......i just can't believe it's been going on for this long......he did spend a week at the hospital to have a surgery to repair a narrowing on his aorta when he was 2 weeks but right after the hospital he was latching just fine
    then i got tursh when he was 3 weeks, started bleeding, and i freaked out when i saw blood so we gave him expressed milk with a bottle
    getting him back on the breast has been a challenge since......he'll only latch on when he's sleepy, otherwise he'll scream, suck his fist vigorously, and will only calm when he's bounced and carried, but then when he would see my boob he would start screaming again
    and yes i've also fed him while bouncing him at the same time.......it's a workout
    so i have to get him to fall asleep most of the time, and then i can feed him
    i have a lot of milk, and i still have to pump.......i'm so scared of mastitis, and my boobs will get engorged if he takes longer time between feedings,

    i really don't want to give him the bottle any more, and it's really hard because i don't know if he's eating enough
    i feel like i'm about to just give up and give him the bottle.....i hate pumping, my nipples come out purple after pumping even at the lowest setting, and after all this time they're still sore, and hurt like hell
    next wednesday i'm going to the jack newman's breastfeeding clinic, and i can't wait.......i hope they'll be able to help us

    you're not alone........i wish you all the luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    3,133

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    Thanks so much everyone for the advice and words of encouragement! It's been a few weeks since I posted my original message, so I thought I would give an update... Things are going MUCH better! I figured out a few things that worked for us... FIRST, I noticed that her nighttime feedings were going much better than the daytime feedings, so I started feeding her whenever she would first wake up from a nap. This works very well... also, I swaddle my daughter when she sleeps, and I notice she nurses better when I keep her swaddled. Also, she recently went to the dr. for her 2 month check-up, and the dr. prescribed a different medicine for reflux. Has anyone heard of Omeprazole? I think that's how it's spelled... Anyway, things started going better BEFORE we started the new medicine, but the dr. wanted us to try the medicine anyway to see if it would help with her general fussiness. Personally, I think it's just part of her personality and that she's a "high need" baby, but we are going to keep giving the medicine anyway, just to see if it helps.

    One poster asked if I have heard of the Dr. Karp cuddle cure... my very smart mother (who is also a daycare provider for infants) bought me this book before my baby was born. The cuddle cure is a life saver! We do all 5 of the things in the cuddle cure to calm MJ when she is super fussy. It works like a charm!

    Anyway, thanks again for all the kind words of encouragement! I had no idea breastfeeding would be such a challenge, but every day it seems to get a little better. Also, it doesn't hurt anymore! I had VERY sore nipples and a crack on each nipple for several weeks, and I was very tempted to quit, but finally about 7-8 weeks into it, they stopped hurting. YAY!

    My next challenge: Building up a supply of frozen breastmilk so MJ can have bottles of breastmilk when she starts daycare after the first of the year.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!!!

    Buff

    P.S. When I was in the middle of composing this message, my husband was holding the baby while she napped... he knows she nurses the best when she first wakes up, so when she woke up, he called in here and said, "...the baby just woke up, do you want to feed her??" Anyway, my point is that my husband has been a great supporter and I am very grateful for him!!
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    I, too, had a baby boy via c-section 8 lbs 15 oz and am EBF. When my baby was 6 weeks old (he's 8 weeks now), he was eating really well, every 3 hours or so for about 10-15 minutes. (Also, I'm block nursing b/c I have oversupply and OALD) All of a sudden, at the end of week 6, he began screaming about 5-7 minutes into a feeding at EVERY feeding. I couldn't figure out what was going on or why he was getting so fussy. I knew it wasn't my letdown b/c he was eating right past that, so I began wondering if he was trying to tell me he was finished. I read on kellymom, as well as LLL, that between 6 weeks to 2 months, babies become much more efficient in removing the milk and some only take 5 minutes to do so. As hard as that was for me to accept, my baby eats for about 5-10 minutes during the day and at night, when he's more lethargic, he'll eat for 10-15 minutes. Since his eating habits changed, I began writing down when I fed him, for how long and also when he pooped or peed. That way I can see if he's getting enough and giving enough "output."

    Also, my baby seems to be more gassy or fussy in the evenings and he doesn't seem to want to eat. Last night he screamed after 2 attempts of trying to get him to eat, but once he fell asleep, I was able to get him latched on and he ate for 8 minutes. So sometimes getting them into a shallow sleep helps.

    Trust me! I know it can be frustrating and confusing. Me personally, I'm determined to make it work. But sometimes, like last night, I find myself in tears, especially when I don't know what's up. HTH a little.....
    Stephanie (23) Married to Troy (22) since August 2003
    Just welcomed our first baby into the world
    Our son, Caden Wesley born 10-10-07 at 1:00 AM via emergency c-section
    8 lbs 15 oz 19 1/2 in

    SAHM

    10-13---8 lbs 3 oz
    10-16---8 lbs 12 oz 20 3/4 in
    10-26---9 lbs 8 oz 21 1/2 in
    12-14---12 lbs 15 oz 24 in
    02-12---15 lbs 12 oz 25 1/2 in
    04-15---18lbs 6 oz 27in

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: 7 weeks into this, and I'm so ready to quit...

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...flowpreference

    Here is the link on kellymom that talks about why some babies fuss.
    Stephanie (23) Married to Troy (22) since August 2003
    Just welcomed our first baby into the world
    Our son, Caden Wesley born 10-10-07 at 1:00 AM via emergency c-section
    8 lbs 15 oz 19 1/2 in

    SAHM

    10-13---8 lbs 3 oz
    10-16---8 lbs 12 oz 20 3/4 in
    10-26---9 lbs 8 oz 21 1/2 in
    12-14---12 lbs 15 oz 24 in
    02-12---15 lbs 12 oz 25 1/2 in
    04-15---18lbs 6 oz 27in

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