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Thread: Desperate for help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    3

    Unhappy Desperate for help

    My daughter, Máire, was born November 12, 2007. We have been struggling with breastfeeding from the very beginning. At first she wouldn't latch on at all. We tried finger feeding with a syringe, an SNS, and finally a nipple shield (at the suggestion of my pediatrician's lactation consultant). The nipple shield worked okay, but Máire started to become too dependent on it, so I stopped using it (I don't want her to prefer the feel of silicone over that of my nipples). After a few weeks she started latching on some of the time, but not consistently; when she did latch on, it was extremely painful. I went back to the lactation consultant, but she wasn't much help. She told me I needed to take Máire in for osteopathic manipulation... I personally think that this is unnecessary and, if it IS needed, that it should be a last resort. Anyway, since then I've been in contact online with a LLL leader, and she sent me lots of information, including videos. I followed the directions closely, and things did get a little better. Now Máire latches on almost 100% of the time, and nurses well at first. But once the milk flow begins to slow down, the pain starts again. It is excruciating and I can't stand it. I try to take it for as long as I can, but then I have to take the baby off. I suspect that she has a shallow latch because the angle between her upper and lower lips is only about 90 degrees (I've read that it should be between 140 - 180!), and because my nipple comes out of her mouth looking very pinched, and the tip is often blanched white.

    I think that this is affecting my milk supply, even though I pump after each feeding to get out any additional milk. I've tried to take a break from breastfeeding to let my nipples heal and just pump, but when I do I only get about 2 ounces at a time. Máire just doesn't seem to be getting enough. She's gaining weight just fine and is making plenty of wet and dirty diapers, but she just isn't satisfied. She can nurse for 20 - 30 minutes and still root around like she wants more. If I have no more to give her, she screams and I can't calm her down. This happened today, and I was so frustrated that I actually yelled at her to stop. I felt so guilty that I broke down crying. I feel like a horrible mother for yelling at my baby who doesn't know any better, and I feel like a failure for not being able to get this breastfeeding thing down and failing to satisfy my baby's hunger. I don't know what else to do. We've been trying this for seven weeks now and I just don't know how long I can hold out. I'm tired of the constant breast pain and the cracked nipples. Pumping every two hours is incredibly inconvenient. I haven't left the house in almost two months because I'm constantly trying to breastfeed or pump. I was so gung ho about breastfeeding while I was pregnant, but I never imagined that it wouldn't work for me. Everything I've read has said how wonderful this is supposed to be, and it isn't at all. I dread every feeding because I know it's going to end in pain for me and screaming for her. I really, really need some help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sunny Arizona
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    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Welcome and congrats on your baby. I'm sorry you're having such a rough go of it. Learning how to latch is difficult for some babies and it just takes them a little longer. I know that isn't helpful when you're in toe curling pain though.

    As far as the constant rooting, she is at the prime age for a growth spurt and I know mine was constantly attatched to my breast during his. It doesn't mean she isn't getting enough per se, it's just she's realy hungry and trying to tell your body to make more. Is she gaining weight? How many wet and dirty diapers is she having in a day. That is the best way to know if she is getting enough milk. What you get out from the pump isn't an accurate reading on how much she is getting out since babies are more effective at getting milk out of the breast then the pump is.

    I know you're worried about using a nipple shield but I think it might be a good idea to go back to it. She is still so young, you have lots of time to get her used to not using it and it can help you with the pain. You can wean her off of the shield as her latch and suck get stronger.
    Some women will see an improvement of their supply after eating oatmeal, so you can give that a try. Your supply might have dropped a little when you went to exclusively pumping but at this stage it can easily get back up. I'm sure others will give you lots of advice that I'm forgetting too!

    You'll figure it out mama, it'll just take a little time. Keep up the great work, you are doing really well even if it doesn't seem like it.

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Thanks, Amymarie... I just got off the phone with the LLL leader from my town. She said that it sounds like I'm having positioning problems, that the baby is probably going through a growth spurt and that it sounds like I'm making plenty of milk. She gave me advice on how to improve our position and how I can get the baby to open her mouth wider. She also said that I want to try to nurse as often as possible at this stage - it's a good thing that I'm on break from school until next week! (I am a graduate student.)

    Thanks again for the reply. I'll just keep on trying, I suppose.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Sunny Arizona
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    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Here is a good link for latching and positioning examples. I know I'm a visual person so it helps to see it done. "The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding" also is a great book, it's from LLL and has a lot of pics. Good luck, you can do this I promise



    ETA:The Brest Friend nursing pillow helped me with positioning more then a Boppy also.
    Last edited by amymarie; January 3rd, 2008 at 02:08 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    I can imagine how you feel. Mine has a shallow latch, and for the past 6wks we've been working on that & positioning. My nipples are still cracked & sore, but it is getting better & easier almost every time.

    Stick with it & get help when you need it! In the end, it will be worth it.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Hi momma lark, firstly CONGRATULATIONS for hangin in there for as long as you have, a lesser woman would have given in long ago. The fact that you have already done it this long tells me that you have the strength to keep on until you get it right.
    By contacting your LLL leader and joining this forum you have taken 2 excellent steps in improving you breastfeeding relationship with your sweet little one. Dont beat yourself up about losing your temper that once, just look at that as a turning point and move on.

    Here are some other great vids.... Good luck and make sure you keep us all up to date with how youe and Maire get on . x x

    Different postion
    http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/

    Step by step videos on how to...
    http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=18&Itemid=42
    Karli, Besotted mother of Ashley,8lb 9oz - 9th May 2007 and Fae 8lb 11oz 17th Feb 2010, both born at home, naturally.



    Nappy-free @ 18 months EC'ing rocks!
    Just leave it alone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Far away
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    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Don't give up yet. I know it's hard but BFing can be a lot of work at first (as you must know by now.) No one seems to talk about that part, though. Before having my son, I believed that BFing entailed putting the baby to your breast and watching them gulp down your milk. I had no idea about the number of problems that could occur...

    I am one of the success stories. DS wouldn't latch at all at first. I had to spend hours each day trying to latch him while bottle-feeding him ExBM. It took 2 1/2 months to be relatively successful at it and another 2-3 weeks beyond that to be very successful. So, in total, it took us over 3 months to establish a good breastfeeding relationship.

    During this time, I...cried constantly, regularly almost gave up, hated myself, intensely disliked my son for "doing this to me", hated that I was adamant about BFing, hated pumping, etc... I stuck with it, though, because I know that it's the best thing I can do for my DS. This website helped me tremendously because I didn't have any lactation consultants or groups or anyone else to help me. I was pretty much on my own.

    You are having a hard time (although your milk supply is probably just fine as the pps said.) You're tired, BFing isn't going as well as you'd like it to...just take it day-by-day, breathe deeply and a lot , give yourself little breaks when you need them. Things WILL get better. I promise!
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  8. #8
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Congrats on your LO! I'm sorry BFing has been a struggle. It was for me as well. It took weeks and weeks for my LO and me to get BFing down and I cried a lot so I understand what you're going through. One thing you have to keep in mind is that it can be done and you just have to keep at it and try try try. It could take weeks, could take months but it can be done!

    First of all, it sounds like you definitely have enough milk. The diaper output confirms that. I would cross that concern off your list. It does sound like a shallow latch because at this point, there shouldn't be any pain if your baby is positioned correctly. Seems like she's getting the nipple but not the rest of the areola?

    I agree with the PP who suggested using the nipple shield. As your baby grows in strength and gets a better latch, you can wean her from it, but for now, it might be just the trick.

    Best of luck to you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    I just want to send you some and good vibes! Even though you think you can't do this anymore, it really sounds like you have been doing a good job so far. And you are a lot stronger than many other new mommies out there. So many women would have given up by now. With my first, I did. From the sound of your post...I know you CAN DO IT. You have done everything right so far...especially getting help. Follow the advice of the PP and keep up the hard work because IT WILL GET EASIER. I didn't stick it out with my first baby and it is my biggest regret. She is a totally healthy and normal little girl...but I wish I would have just gotten a little help and I could have done it. By coming here and getting some advice, I have been able to BF my new baby boy. Good luck and keep us posted!
    Becca SAHM to
    Veronica 10/31/05

    and Preston 10/28/07


    <--- me!
    (I love this smiley!)

    I finally got on Facebook! If anyone wants to be my
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,453

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Has anyone checked your baby for tongue-tie?

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