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Thread: Ready to give up! :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Ready to give up! :(

    Would love to get input/support regarding difficult breastfeeding experience (prolonged pain in the nipples & breasts). I'm ready to move on to formula, because I haven't had a day without pain since my baby was born a month ago.

    I know Breast is Best! but the daily pain is starting to effect me. Would appreciate any suggestions/support for sticking with it or for making the switch! I completely agree with the LLL philosophy to keep breastfeeding (& that LLL discourages the use of formula), but every time the next feeding comes around, I just want to cry. (And I had a natural, drug-free homebirth, so I think I have a decent tolerance for pain!) Zoe & I are being treated for yeast, but the nipple pain continues.

    Would love to hear from Mom's who had pain issues & transcended them!! I'm in need of information & inspiration!! Looking forward to your responses...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    Hi There - so so sorry you are going through this. It's incredibly rough! Haven't had the complications of yeast, but oh, goodness, yes; it was painful at the start. I remember digging my fingernails into the palms of my hand or the armrest of the rocking chair for the first 30 seconds of so of every feeding for many weeks! I wanted to scream and often cried!! All I can say is that it DOES get better. I wish I had kept a written journal of when that happened, but I think it was gradual. Are you working with a lactation consultant to make sure your baby's latch is good? If you have an improper latch, you could be causing yourself pain.... And, of course, if you HAD a bad latch for a while but now are on track, your nipples still have to heal from that. (And they will, even though it seems like they won't while you are BF, but they will....really!)

    Are you using lansinoh after every feeding? Have you tried ibuprofen to help take the edge off? Tried chilling (ice) your nipples before BF to help numb them a bit? The more you can (don't laugh; i know this sounds impossible) relax your body before you put baby to the breast, the less it will hurt. The more tense your body, the greater the pain. Have you experimented with different nursing positions?

    If you can work with a lactation consultant to make sure your latch is good, that would be a great start.... you are really on the right track and are doing such good things for your baby. Congratulations on your new addition and hang in there...come back and keep us posted....there will be lots of support and suggestions here for you!
    jsmom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    Hi Zoe's Mom,

    I am so sorry you are having so much pain. I have also been battling thrush for over six weeks now. I had previously tried Nystatin and Newman's Nipple Cream. Also tried gentian violet, boy what a mess that makes!

    I am finally starting to get some relief from a suggestion from my local LLL leader. This does not require a prescription. It involves applying grapefruit seed extract diluted with distilled water to the nipples and baby's mouth. You can find grapefruit seed extract at a health food store. Here's the directions:

    http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/bf/thrush.asp

    Good luck!

    Jennifer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    Hi Zoe's Mom, don't give up now, you're probably just round the corner from it getting better. I didn't battle a yeast problem (not yet at least!), but the first week I did not have my son latched properly at all, and my nipples were bleeding and scabbed over by the time he was two weeks old. I couldn't nurse him at all for about three days till my nipples healed, I had to use a manual pump to keep from being painfully engorged. We bought a Boppy pillow to help with positioning, and we were able to fix his latch. I wouldn't say we're on easy street yet, as I still don't feel as comfortable as I'm sure I will once more time passes for us. My son is seven weeks now.

    You'll be so glad you didn't give up once you're over the hump. Have patience with the pain, it won't be there forever.

    Have you been to a LLL meeting yet? The leaders are so helpful!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    Ok - my suggestion is controversial and you should definitely check with an LC before you take it. I could never get my dd's latch right, even with help, and a nipple shield really helped us. There are definitely positives and negatives about them (one of the negatives is a rare, but possible, drop in milk supply) BUT, I was ready to quit too and because of them my dd has been breastfed for 8 mos. now. If, after talking with an lc, you do decide to use one, I really like Medela's contact shield - made of silicon not rubber so it is really thin. I haven't had trouble with milk supply, but the shields are a bit of a hassle to wash and sterilize. Not as bad as bottles, though (I recently found this out because my dd had a nursing strike and I was bottlefeeding a lot - she's back to the breast, though, thank goodness!). So, while the shield is not the most natural thing, it could help you get through this rough time and still breastfeed. I know mom's who've later been able to wean their dc from them too - we still use them, though.
    Also, my bleeding and scabs were gone after about 2 days with them, I think.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    It is so frustrating in those first few weeks. We went through much of the same...thrush, sore nipples, pain, difficulty latching. Weren't truly comfortable till about 6 weeks but she's been nursing for almost a year and it's so easy now. I'm so glad I stuck with it through the "tough stuff". My advice (in addition to the good advice I see in the previous posts) is to stick with it and surround yourself with people who will be supportive (LLL leaders/members, family, friends). That made all the difference in the world. that and knowing there IS light (and gentle nursing) at the end of the tunnel.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    I know just how you feel. We've also had thrush since DS was 3 weeks old- and it hurt! When he was about 5 weeks, he wouldn't nurse at all one day, and it lasted for about 2 weeks. During that time I was pumping, but never really emptied well and ended up with mastitis. My son still was not latching well and I ended up quitting. i was so sad that I quit that 4 days later I tried to nurse him and what do you know, he latched on perfectly. That was one week ago, and I'm still trying to build my supply back up. Now when I think about it, I think it was so stupid to ever quit. I made it through those first hard weeks, only to quit when he had finally gotten the hang of it.

    Were you painfree before you developed thrush or has it always hurt this bad? If you had a few weeks/days without pain then it's probabley the thrush that's hurting. But if it's hurt this bad from the start, you may have some latch issues along with the thrush.

    How are you treating the thrush?

    My son is now 9 weeks old and still has thrush. We're both on diflucan. It hasn't cured it, but at least the pain is just more annoying now than painful.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    I wanted to give up too. Others wanted me to give up too because they saw how much it hurt for me to nurse. And they also listened to me talk about how much it hurt. And a few of them saw that I was fairly miserable about it at the beginning.

    One of the worst things for me was the shock - I couldn't believe it hurt that much. I sometimes felt that going through it was taking away from what was supposed to be a wonderful time.

    Here is some sympathy and understanding (though it might sound discouraging): It is every few hours of every day and there is no end in sight! And, depending on the situation, you might also have pain (and maybe even *worse* pain) between feedings. Anyone who has gone through it would completely understand wanting to give up. I certainly do.

    But, like the others have said, don't give up. It *is* worth sticking with it.

    I remember telling someone that things were getting better at six weeks. I think it was about two and a half months before it didn't hurt.

    The way I got through it was to just believe that there was no other option. We gave dd a few bottles (for other reasons, not because of my trouble), but I never felt good about it. I never thought of it as a solution, and I actually worried that it might be adding to our problems (which it probably was).

    Now that I'm here, and looking back, I am incredibly glad that I didn't give up. You will be too (even if you don't believe it now!).

    Be proud of yourself for getting this far! You can get through this and it will be worth it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    You poor thing! It can be really dreadful at first. I thought breastfeeding was a *lot* worse than giving birth, even though that hurt a whole lot too. Nobody warns you, that makes it even worse. I was all gung-ho about nursing, had no idea it could hurt so much. Giving birth was very painful, but it was all over in 24 hours, it's a big drama and everybody is there for you and excited; breastfeeding was agony for the first weeks, at least it was for me; and it's no good if you have to do it alone. I had nipple pain, bouts of mastitis, and let-down pain for about the first month. Maybe my daughter's latch wasn't quite right, she had a super-strong suck but I guess wasn't opening her mouth quite enough; maybe it was also that I have sensitive skin, it took time for my body to adjust to nursing. But it started to feel fine after a few weeks, and I started to genuinely enjoy it -- which seemed unimaginable at first. I think it's very rare for pain to last much longer than a month; you should definitely see if you can get more help. My daughter is now 21 months, still nursing away, and it's great! She has been so healthy, and it's become a beautiful thing between us; she is a secure, happy, healthy, attached child. I think you should try to get all the support you can in this rough time -- ask to see another lactation consultant, maybe there are issues a professional could help with, if she could watch you nurse; but also make sure you get as much help and love as you can from your family and friends, during this time. And be aware that you're probably almost there: if you can stick it out for another week or two, I bet it's on the point of getting better. And brava for making it this far. You've been really brave, and should be proud of yourself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Ready to give up! :(

    can't type much right now, but you poor thing.

    applying plain yogurt (not vanilla, not nonfat with thickeners, just plain made from lowfat milk + cultures) helped in addition to thrush meds

    I second the idea to see an lc or lll leader, lc might even be free. bad latch can be a factor in getting thrush

    oversupply gave ds a bad latch. too.

    goota go!

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