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Thread: Feeling like a failure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Unhappy Feeling like a failure

    Hi. I am hoping someone can relate, and offer some advice. I just gave birth to my baby on 11/12/07. He weighed 5lbs 14.5oz at birth. Before we left the hospital 4 days later, he had dropped down to 5lbs 4oz. He was having a hard time latching on, because his mouth is so small. We kept trying to bf, and I thought he was doing better, with the help of a nipple shield. We went to the ped at 1 week old, and he had lost another ounce. So she had us come back a week later, and he had dropped another ounce. I had to start supplementing with Neosure (high calorie formula) and after 2 bottles, he quit trying to nurse at all.

    It's been almost a week now, and I have been in tears most of the week, because I really wanted to be able to bf this time around. DS3 was a preemie, and never was able to bf. I pumped exclusively for him for 5 months, but it was exhausting, and quite frankly, I don't want to be chained to a pump again. It's difficult to find the time with 3 older kids and a newborn.

    Is it too late for him to learn to bf? Plus, my milk is starting to diminish. I have read some of the tips to increase supply, and I am willing to try, including pumping, if there is a chance that it is still possible to bf my baby.

    Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    4,029

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    It's not too late! I don't have personal experience with what you're going through--I'll say that right off. But try to put baby to the breast first, before supplementing. You could also try lots of skin-to-skin contact when nursing, as well as not waiting until baby's super hungry to try to feed.

    Someone should be along to give you more exact advice. I just wanted to chime in and say that you ARE NOT a failure!! Do the best you can. The first rule is always to feed the baby!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    87

    Smile Re: Feeling like a failure

    hi!

    big hugs to you

    i also don't have direct experience of your situation, but i do know of other women who have faced similar challenges and been able to reintroduce more breastfeeding to become mainly or exclusively breastfed.

    it sounds to me like you are so (understandably) stressed about the situation that it makes the whole feeding business more difficult. do you have much support in looking after your older kids so that you can get a chace to relax and focus just on you and your new baby? you may find that being in constant close contact with your baby, perhaps wearing in a pouch sling, so that he has really easy access to your breasts and gets to feed really often.

    you mention you feel your supply is dropping - what makes you feel that? it could be that your breasts are adjusting from the immediate newborn time. also, are you still feeding frequently at night? it is the night time feedings that help prime the breasts to make more milk the following day. if you have cut back at night, perhaps with supplements, could you try to feed him more in the evenings and during the night?
    not necessarily easy if you are tired from daytime childcare!

    i can see that you are really determined to get back on track with breastfeeding. is there someone irl that can offer you some more support? perhaps a local lll group, babywearing group or lactation consultant?

    i hope that you will soon feel more confident, you have successfully got this far and with some support, you can keep going.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Smile Re: Feeling like a failure

    may i also suggest you have a look at this thread? http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=39496


  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    The best thing you can do it lots of skin-to-skin contact.

    Maybe you could wear him in a wrap? The wrap covers most of your top so it's like wearing a T-shirt with a baby tucked in it.

    When you take a bath, bring baby into the tub with you. Many babies will latch on in a bath.

    Do you co-sleep?

    Make sure the bottle nipples are S L O W flow or cup feed instead of bottle feeding.

    When your baby latches again, consider giving the supplement with an SNS rather than a bottle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    I have no additional advice, but I wanted to pop in and say what a beautiful and miraculous family you have. No matter what happens with the breastfeeding, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    No, you are definitely not a failure. Four children--that`s great!!
    My son was not completely rejecting the breast, but I supplemented quite a bit (bad advice) and he started preferring the bottle. Also with supplementing babies go longer between feedings and it damages your milk supply.

    I agree with the pp, especially with the skin-to-skin contact. In my case it saved our bf relationship. I stripped ds to his diaper and took off my bra and put him on my chest. Babies love this. Your ds can listen to your heartbeat and feel your warmth. Don`t try to pressure him into bf but offer gently.
    Hope he will start nursing soon. And it`s definitely not too late. My son is 15 months old and still bf in spite of the rough start.

    Mommy to a busy toddler

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
    Jim Elliot

  8. #8
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    You are not a failure. You are doing your best and that is all you can do. My LO was 5 lbs 14 oz at birth and 5 lbs 4 oz a week after birth. We also had lots of trouble early on (for different reasons). I had to supplement but always offered the breast first. I also pumped after every feeding to help build supply. I can't imagine doing that with other children though. It is not too late to BF. FWIW, I know a mama who only bottle fed BM for weeks and was eventually able to nurse.

    Have you thought about contacting your local LLL or a LC for help with the latch?
    Melissa, mom to my very busy 4-year-old little man and super busy 2-year-old princess.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Feeling like a failure



    Quote Originally Posted by LisaFaith View Post
    I just gave birth to my baby on 11/12/07. He weighed 5lbs 14.5oz at birth. Before we left the hospital 4 days later, he had dropped down to 5lbs 4oz. He was having a hard time latching on, because his mouth is so small. We kept trying to bf, and I thought he was doing better, with the help of a nipple shield. We went to the ped at 1 week old, and he had lost another ounce. So she had us come back a week later, and he had dropped another ounce. I had to start supplementing with Neosure (high calorie formula) and after 2 bottles, he quit trying to nurse at all.
    Congratulations on your newest arrival!

    Before supplementation, about how many times did your baby nurse per 24 hours? Did he suck actively? Could you hear swallowing? About how many wet and poopy diapers did he have in 24 hours?

    What type of bottle nipple are you currently using? Will he open wide for the bottle? Can you describe what happens when you try to put him to the breast?

    Quote Originally Posted by LisaFaith View Post
    It's been almost a week now, and I have been in tears most of the week, because I really wanted to be able to bf this time around.
    You sound frustrated and sad. You really wanted to breastfeed directly, but you are worried that you won't be able to.

    Quote Originally Posted by LisaFaith View Post
    Is it too late for him to learn to bf?
    Not at all!

    One of the easiest (and most effective) things you can do to encourage breastfeeding is skin to skin contact. This is when you strip baby down to a diaper, you're topless, and baby is laid upright on your chest. You can wrap a blanket around both of you for warmth. Skin to skin contact promotes the reflexes that help baby nurse and nurse effectively (namely, the rooting reflex). Don't be surprised if he begins to bob his head up and down and "scoot" his way towards the breast.

    Here is some information that you might find helpful:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/back.html
    www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVDecJan03p123.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html (non-LLL resource)


    Quote Originally Posted by LisaFaith View Post
    Plus, my milk is starting to diminish. I have read some of the tips to increase supply, and I am willing to try, including pumping, if there is a chance that it is still possible to bf my baby.


    Have you been in touch with an IBCLC or your local LLL Leader? Local support can make a HUGE difference, especially if someone could work with you and see what is happening when your baby attempts to latch. If you need help locating someone, please don't hesitate to ask.

    How often are you pumping now? What type of pump are you using? You mention that your production is starting to slow down. Could you tell us a bit about the difference in your output before, and now?

    Here is information on increasing milk production:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/increase.html
    Here is info on maintaining production when baby isn't nursing:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/ma...pply-pump.html (non-LLL resource)
    And here's some info on maximizing your milk production when pumping:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html (non-LLL resource)


    I hope this information is helpful. Please do keep us updated!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    12

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post




    Congratulations on your newest arrival!

    Before supplementation, about how many times did your baby nurse per 24 hours? Did he suck actively? Could you hear swallowing? About how many wet and poopy diapers did he have in 24 hours?
    He was nursing every 1 1/2 to 3 hours, but I never heard much swallowing, so I think he was mostly comfort sucking. He had 6-8 wet diapers, and only 1 or 2 poopy diapers a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    What type of bottle nipple are you currently using? Will he open wide for the bottle? Can you describe what happens when you try to put him to the breast?
    I'm using a slow flow nipple, but he won't open his mouth very wide, although he can. That was part of our latch problem- he just won't open up wide enough to nurse.

    When i do put him to the breast, he'll latch on and suck 2 or 3 times, and then come off. It's been like this since the first day. But now he screams bloody murder at me for even attempting to get him to bf.



    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    One of the easiest (and most effective) things you can do to encourage breastfeeding is skin to skin contact. This is when you strip baby down to a diaper, you're topless, and baby is laid upright on your chest. You can wrap a blanket around both of you for warmth. Skin to skin contact promotes the reflexes that help baby nurse and nurse effectively (namely, the rooting reflex). Don't be surprised if he begins to bob his head up and down and "scoot" his way towards the breast.
    I did a lot of skin to skin (kangaroo care) with my ds3, as he was a preemie. I haven't tried it yet with this baby, but it's worth a try.



    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    How often are you pumping now? What type of pump are you using? You mention that your production is starting to slow down. Could you tell us a bit about the difference in your output before, and now?
    I have only pumped a few times this week, which I know is part of my problem with my supply, but (sorry, TMI) my left nipple for some reason is larger than my right(it wasn't before I started trying to nurse,) and is REALLY torn up and raw from the pump. It is excrutiating, and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I rented a Medela Symphony from the hospital. But, if I can't get my nipple to heal, I doubt that bf'ing of any kind will happen anyways.

    Thank you so much for all of your support, and the info you provided.

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