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Thread: Frustrated!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    3

    Default Frustrated!!!!

    I apologize in advance for this being so long but I want to include all the info so you all have all the details.

    I have a 9 week old son. I started bf'ing right after he was born. After 2 days my nipples were cracked and bleeding already. The lactation nurse checked his latch and said it was good but to use a nipple shield until I healed and then wean him from that once I was healed. He had no problems nursing with the shield at all.

    After about a week I was healed up and I started to wean him from the shield. To my surprise he latched right on again without the shield with no problems at all! After a few feedings though I noticed the soreness coming back and I used the shield every other feeding or so after that. With my first daughter I had a terrible time for the first month and I didn't want to get frustrated this time so I figured I'd stick with the shield 1/2 the time until I got used to bf'ing again. This is my 4th baby i'm bf'ing.

    When he was 3 weeks he had a checkup and he hadn't gained any weight yet. The dr said to start bf'ing him every 2 hours no matter what so he'd gain weight. I started doing that and I realized that he really didn't seem to be getting much milk. He gets distracted very easliy. I'd tickle him, rub his head etc etc but he would stay latched on for a few minutes and then sleep.

    Between 3 weeks and up until 6 weeks he didn't gain any weight . He was in the 10th percentile and was crying all day and night. Poor little guy was very hungry. The dr said to bf him and then give him 3 oz of formula and then pump to increase my supply. I went home and gave him the formula and he drank it in no time! He was very hungry for more.

    I read somewhere that sometimes when you use a nipple shield it can cause your milk supply to decrease so I stopped using it completely. I went out and bought an electric pump (single side) and started pumping also. I was so determined to keep bf'ing!!!

    Next thing I know my baby has thrush. Next day I realize I have it and it's bad!!! Bleeding, skin peeling on the nipples etc. It was so painful to bf and pump that I had to take a break.

    Dr gave us meds for the thrush and we were both getting better and then my baby had an allergic reaction to the meds and had to stop them for 3 days. I stopped the meds too because I wanted to try to bf him and then we both got worse again. We are now on new meds and my baby's is almost all gone but mine is still there. I haven't tried bf'ing him yet. I've been giving him formula and then pumping but when I pump now there is very little milk and my nipples are still red and very very irritated. I'm hoping that the meds will help my thrush and I can pump enough to get my supply back up and bf again.

    Bottomline (thanks for your patience I want to keep bf'ing my baby!!!! I'm trying everything I can think of to help this but I feel like we are quickly approaching the end of bf'ing. I'm so frustrated and tired of hurting...anybody with any input or suggestions? I would sooo appreciate it!

    Thanks!
    Jessica

    ps. a friend of mine suggested adding yeast flakes to my diet because that is supposed to help milk supply. anybody heard of this?? i've also thought of fenugreek...how much does it improve your supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    435

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    First off - hang in there - you are doing great!

    Second, yes bf is best - but formula is not the end of the world

    Third, maybe pump and give it to him in a bottle so you know how much he gets - this way he still gets bm and not so much strain on you.

    There is a tea called mother's milk tea - it helped me a lot, as did fenugreek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    Thank you so much for your response !!! I feel so frustrated right now because I want him to have breastmilk and I feel like we've had so many things against us at this point. Right now I am trying to pump every 2-3 hours for at least 10 min each side and I'm getting very very little out since my supply is so low. I'm trying to pump to get my supply back up and then I'll give that to him in a bottle if bf'ing doesn't seem to work. I think i'm going to try the fenugreek and see if that helps and keep with the pumping and see if anybody else responds with other suggestions too. Thanks again for responding....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    Hi Jessica,

    Oh my -- you've been through such a nightmare! I admire your persistence, and I hope that with the right information and support you will be able to get past these difficulties and go on to have a long and happy breastfeeding relationship.

    Nipple shields can be a blessing, but sometimes they can also be a curse. Sometimes the baby can't transfer milk effectively, which can lead to a drop in supply. A shield can also interfere with the nerve stimulation that, along with milk removal, triggers more milk production.

    This is not to say that nipple shields are a bad thing, just that they can be tricky. Your lactation consultant should have followed up with you frequently to check the baby's milk transfer and help you monitor for the kinds of problems that indeed have ended up happening to you. I also am puzzled how a lactation consultant could think that a latch is good when mom's nipples are cracked and bleeding at 2 days postpartum. Did she have the IBCLC credential after her name?

    Since you have stopped using the nipple shield, all of this is now water under the bridge. I just want to help you (plus anyone else who may be reading with similar questions) understand how this has happened so you won't blame yourself or feel like there is something inherently wrong with YOU or your breasts.

    If I'm understanding your story correctly, the most pressing problem right now is getting rid of the thrush completely. Can you tell us what medications you have taken, what you are now taking, and at what dosage and how long for each? Which med did your baby have an allergic reaction to?

    In the meantime, let's also look at your pumping. How often are you pumping, and for how long? And so we have a clear picture of what's happening with your baby -- what was his birth weight? at how many gestational weeks was he born? what was his lowest weight check, and when? What/when were subsequent weight checks?

    What kind of skilled local help can you find? A local LLL Leader may be able to visit you in your home or meet with you after a LLL meeting. If you can find an IBCLC, it may help a lot to meet with her, since you have several issues going on at once (low supply, latch and milk transfer difficulty, plus thrush).

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    Rebecca,

    Thank you so much for your help!!! Here are the answers to your questions..

    First, yes the nipple shield was great!! I had pain free nursing even while my nipples were healing. There was always lots of milk in my babys mouth in the shield and on me but I don't think my baby was sucking enough to get all the milk. He would suck for a few minutes and then he seemed happy enough and would just relax for a bit. Once I get him back on the breast I really want to avoid the shield if I can because I do think that caused most of these problems! It was a nurse in the hospital that helped me and she did seem very helpful but there was no followup. She did tell me how to wean him from the shield but that isn't even a problem. He has done fine going from shield to breast to bottle nipple! He doesn't seem picky about that.

    For the thrush, first we both were on nystatin. Then we were on fluconase (or something like that) and then my ob dr gave me diflucon which seems to have really helped me almost overnight! My baby's is 99% gone and as long as I don't give it back to him then we should be good with the thrush I think. Mine is about 50% better now so I'm hoping in the next day or 2 it will be alot better. It is causing a huge problem with me even pumping because of the damage on my nipples right now.

    Pumping- I am trying to pump every 2-3 hours from morning until night. My baby sleeps from 10pm to 6am so I'm not pumping during that time. I only started this pumping schedule a couple of days ago and it seems like the milk is a tiny bit more when I pump but not even anything measurable. And it breaks my heart because I'm not giving my baby the little milk that I'm pumping because I still have the thrush and I don't want to give it back to him since he is so much better. I'm using an electric pump that worked great a few weeks ago when I had more milk so I don't think the pump is a problem.

    Baby was 7lbs 3 oz when he was born. At 6 weeks he was 7lbs 10oz. I believe it was that week that we started the formula and he gained 1lb a week for the next 2 weeks. He is now still gaining and much more content since he isn't hungry all the time. He was a c-section baby 1 week early.

    I'm not sure what help to get. I believe my insurance covers me to go to a lactation nurse so I should probably try that route. I can't really afford anything else right now.

    Thanks again for all of your help. I feel so much better just being able to talk to other people about it. My husband has been incredibly supportive but it's just not the same .


    Jessica

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    What's the dosage of your diflucan? I will have to dig around tomorrow for a link I think I remember that explains the latest recommended regimen for treating thrush with diflucan. Or perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have will see this and help with the numbers (mgs, frequency, length of treatment).

    Pumping that frequently is hard, hard work while also caring for a young baby. Don't get discouraged about your output at the pump. It will gradually increase.

    You might also post on the "Increasing Your Milk" board for more support and advice on that topic.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Frustrated!!!!

    I know you are working so hard, but please remember that if you cannot end up breastfeeding that it is okay. The most important thing is getting your beautiful baby fed. And, they are doing such a good job w/formula nowadays that you can be sure your babe will be healthy - you just need to find one that works well on baby's tummy.

    I am rooting for you!!

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