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Thread: Feeling like a failure...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Feeling like a failure...

    Never in a million years did I anticipate that my commitment to breastfeeding would be a million times harder than my commitment to a pain med free birth.

    Everything we try works briefly, then stops working or something new doesn't work.

    My now six and a half week old son was born with tongue tie and a high palate. We had his frenulum clipped after a week or so and have worked with two lactation consultants ongoingly. We've tried various positions and letting him latch himself. We've tried nipple shields. We've tried breaking his latch whenever it's painful and we've tried letting him just do his thing.

    For two weeks, from age four weeks to age six weeks, my son's latch worked, and it was such a wonderful experience to feed him during that time. Not only for the connection, but for the ease that it provided to our lives. Outings were suddenly no problem, I felt human again, and began to feel that this whole parenting thing was manageable. My nipples started to heal.

    Then suddenly there were a couple of nights that went poorly...his latch became occasionally shallower. My nipples started looking and feeling angry again. He has difficulty taking the Playtex Natural Latch bottle (the only bottle we're willing to give him right now, since it was actually seemingly responsible for him figuring his latch out one day when I had reached my wit's end and we introduced the bottle while I took a break that day), and pumping - even with the correct size flanges - hurts my breasts, so the occasional relief bottle doesn't feel like much of a relief and the fall back of exclusive pumping that I once pictured if we can't get things moving with his latch no longer sounds any better than trying to feed him with raw nipples.

    And then today, a new twist. In the past, my oversupply seems to have meant that no matter how he latched on, he got food. No longer. The shallow, tip of my nipples latch he suddenly favors (yes, I'm making a breast sandwich for him, waiting for him to open wide, etc, etc, it's just no longer working with any consistency) is only getting him milk for the first few minutes of a feeding.

    It's the middle of the night and my son and I just both had a massive breakdown. He kept trying to latch and relatch himself, frustrated by the lack of milk. I kept trying to help him, frustrated by the feeling that I am failing him even though I know I'm doing everything I can to make this work. Both of us ended up wailing together.

    My husband is patiently trying to give him a bottle of expressed milk in the living room right now. With my son, this could take several hours.

    My lactation consultant is on vacation this week.

    This is just not what I had ever expected breastfeeding to be like.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    I am so sorry you are going through this mamma! It really is hard in the beginning! I can't offer you much advise, but just wanted to say that it does get easier (my son is now 18 months) just hang in there!


    Mother to Zayne 19/8/06 2.56kg


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,469

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    The beginning of your post reminds be of the words that were given to me before I had my son. Two girlfriends that both said to me "Do NOT let them give you a c-section. You don't want to be recovering from major surgery on top of giving birth while you are learning to breast feed. Because learning to breastfeed is harder than giving birth." It scared me but it also began to paint a picture for me as well. A picture that I don't think is painted clearly often enough unfortunately. Breastfeeding is hard. Especially in the beginning. I am so sorry that you are having all these issues.
    But I am already standing is admiration of your determination and your problem solving skills. Please believe me when I tell you that if you think the two weeks of things going well with your son were great in the way of bonding, you will LOVE the way you feel when your 4month old looks up at you and actually smiles around your breast. The bonding is so much more intimate than anything you have ever known before. And when you get it, and you WILL, you will be so proud that you stuck with it. .
    After 57hrs of back labor and and emergency c-section I can tell you that breastfeeding for me was NOT harder than giving birth. But it was a case of imagining the worst and then having the worst not seem so bad as what I had imagined.
    Your problems are real. And so is your pain. I am so sorry it is not working out the way you thought it would. But I see your determination. I want you to know that I know you can do it. If you haven't contacted your local LLL I urge you to do so. Your Local Leaders want you to succeed. Maybe more so than your LC. Let us know what we can do to help.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ's Mom View Post
    Please believe me when I tell you that if you think the two weeks of things going well with your son were great in the way of bonding, you will LOVE the way you feel when your 4month old looks up at you and actually smiles around your breast. The bonding is so much more intimate than anything you have ever known before. And when you get it, and you WILL, you will be so proud that you stuck with it. .



    Breastfeeding was much worse than our birth experience also, which completely shocked us. I feel for everything you are saying, and I'm so glad you joined the forum. This forum saved me during those early days when I almost gave up, and felt like a failure. But please believe - it does get better! Somehow, magically, a shift happens and you and you son will get this. My Lo is now 4.5 months and I remember the wailing too, it was heartbreaking. But now that is just a memory, and my husband smiles when he sees us BF'ing, he is so proud of us.

    You are doing great
    Last edited by Brayden Mommy; February 21st, 2008 at 04:25 AM. Reason: insert quote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    tounge tie and high pallet are hard issuses to deal with!
    Take it one day at a time.

    Are you cracked and bleeding?
    sometimes that takes a long time to heal, and if you get a touch of infection its going to be realy painfull.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...lehealing.html

    are you putting anything on your nipples?

    many moms have great luck with apno
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/03b-t...asts.html#apno

    don't be afraid to call your local leader she can give you more info!
    and is around to listen!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    grays harbor
    Posts
    744

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    Im so so so sorry to hear your having probelms. I cant really give you any advice, because I am in a similar situation, my nipples are inverted, and very hard for my 3 week old to latch on as well, also using nipple shields and shells.
    I just hope you dont give up, cuz Im trying my hardest to not give up.
    Breastfeeding is whats BEST for your LO! Hang in there with me okay
    Keep up the greattt work mama!!

    CAYLA
    Mama 2 Allie who Self-weaned @ 2 1/2
    Korben Jon born 07/25/2011*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    Quote Originally Posted by lkadi View Post

    And then today, a new twist. In the past, my oversupply seems to have meant that no matter how he latched on, he got food. No longer. The shallow, tip of my nipples latch he suddenly favors (yes, I'm making a breast sandwich for him, waiting for him to open wide, etc, etc, it's just no longer working with any consistency) is only getting him milk for the first few minutes of a feeding.
    I'm really sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time breastfeeding your baby, but as other posts have said, I admire your determination, and I'm sure you will get through this. We're here to support you!
    When I read the above bit of your post it reminded me of when my DD was about 8 weeks and I thought my oversupply was gone and I did not have enough milk. Do you feel this because your breasts feel softer and there's not a shower of milk coming out anymore, or you're not leaking as much or not at all? Well, these are actually NOT signs of a low supply, they just mean that your body is adjusting the supply to suit the needs of your baby. It takes about 6 weeks for your supply to get established, so this may be what's happening to you. The best way to check if your baby is getting enough is by monitoring wet/dirty diapers. Also, 6 weeks is the time a of a growth spurt, so it is normal for baby to want to feed all the time, and your supply will increase as well. But don't panic, if you've been exclusively feeding on demand for six weeks you will not loose your supply just like that. This link may help:
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/enough.html
    It may be just a matter of sorting out your baby's latch, I'm sure your local LLL leader will be able to help with that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    Keep in mind the first few weeks are rough, but it WILL get better. Hang in there
    Exclusively and every minute of it!!
    SAHM Magic Mama to Rowdy
    Born 10/13/07 ALL NATURAL
    9lbs 10 oz, 21" long


    Excited about becoming a LC!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default UPDATE Re: Feeling like a failure...

    Thanks for the support! My LC is actually pretty fantastic, and the LL folks in the area like her a lot. I've been in touch with them as well on and off throughout. Today saw an improvement though...

    I had already scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor who specializes in work with pregnant and postpartum women and infants and was able to move the appointment up to this morning. We're going again on Saturday - didn't think it would make such an immediate difference, but ever since the appointment, he's been latching like a champ. I'm amazed.

    Also went back to an early gut feeling I had that my generally wonderful pedi had convinced me was paranoia - thrush. I was GBS+ and had the abx during delivery, and several days after he was born, I noticed white on his tongue. Everyone said it was just milk residue so I stopped noticing it. Last night, I asked my husband for a damp paper towel and discovered that the "milk residue" doesn't wash off. And then I put two and two together and realized that even when the latch feels good, there's this vague itchy burny feeling on my nipples that I've assumed was the feeling of milk ejecting. Also that things got worse for both my son and I after I stopped using the APNO I'd been prescribed when he was still gumming my nipples early on. And that his on again off again issues with my breasts during the last week might just be discomfort from thrush, not necessarily my forceful letdown, which he had previously seemed to get used to. Also, that pumping got uncomfortable after I stopped using APNO regularly. And it feels itchy, bruisy inside my breasts when I do it. Um...classic symptoms anyone?

    I've got gentian violet and am starting that tomorrow, plus got pedi to write me an Rx for oral diflucan, since I think this has been a low level infection for a while. Hopefully that will also help matters.

    She also mentioned that he seemed like he had the cold that is going around Boston right now.

    And finally, we weighed him for my sanity at the pedi's office. Even with all the problems we've been having this past week, the kid managed to gain a pound in seven days. I really should stop worrying about his weight gain when he has the occasional difficult morning or night.

    It's SO scary being the sole physical provider of someone else's nourishment sometimes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: Feeling like a failure...

    um..after reading all of this, "failure" is the LAST word that comes to my mind! more like, "STRONG"
    hang in there

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