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Thread: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Unhappy Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    I am desperate. I have a 12 day old little boy who I have been exclusively breast feeding up until about day 10. He never really latched on well in the hospital, but I have tons of milk and an overactive let down, so it seems if I just hold him close enough to my breast, he gets enough to eat, and we get enough pee and poop diapers to make everybody happy. Everybody but me, because I know he's not latching.

    I had a lactation consultant who came to my house yesterday. Of course, while she was here, the baby did beautifully, and he latched on for a very good feeding. I even managed to get a few good sessions in with him yesterday afternoon. But when night rolled around, everything went south. Everything seemed wrong. I couldn't get my hands right, I couldn't get pillows positioned in the right places, etc.

    I am basically having to do this on my own. My husband is totally over this whole breast feeding experiment and ready to start formula. Unfortunately, I need a second set of hands to help me get in position, but except for when the lc was here yesterday actually physically positioning the baby for me, I have not had that help and am not likely to get it. My husband does not understand why it takes two people to nurse the baby and in fact says it does not take two people to nurse the baby. He is totally frustrated and it is beginning to wear on me, too.

    To top things off, both the baby and I have thrush. While the baby's thrush seems resolved, I still have very painful nipples. I'm being treated, but it doesn't seem all that helpful and in any event there's not much I can do about until Monday when the doc is back in his office.

    I don't know what to do at this point. I called the lc this morning to explain the problems I was having and she wants me to keep trying until this afternoon. Of course, I will do that, but in the meantime, I've been trying to give him bm in a bottle, which is also not going well. How much should he be taking in a bottle? Also, I don't think the latching thing is going to get better without some more hands on coaching but there is no way my husband will agree to pay to bring the lc back out to the house. He's already counting the money we've "wasted" on this project.

    Basically, I have no support. Everyone wants me to do something different. All the medical professionals seem to agree that the baby still needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, but my husband and parents and in laws are beside themselves that we are waking up the baby to feed him and everyone is urging me to let the baby sleep until he wakes up hungry. I am saying "no" but I cannot explain to their satisfaction why this is not a good idea.

    I also cannot explain to my husband why I am having so many problems and none of our friends who successfully breast fed had any similar problems. For that matter, I can't even really explain that to myself.

    I guess the bottom line is, I desperately want this to work, but everyone at my house is miserable. I have to go back to work in 5 weeks and I would really like to enjoy this time instead of crying all the time which is what is currently happening. I also have a nearly 3 year old little boy who is being so good about the new baby, but I cannot realistically expect him to entertain himself while I spend the majority of my time practicing with the baby.

    Finally, the lc told me this morning that I would be gambling with SIDS if we do switch from bm to formula. This seems like a pretty insensitive thing to say. Am I really putting the baby at risk by giving him formula instead of bm?

    To all or any of you who made it through this entire post and have any advice to offer I will be extremely grateful. I feel all alone and very sad and will appreciate anything anyone wants to offer by way of advice, suggestions, your own experience, etc.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    First of all... you're not alone!! You have lots of support right here on this forum. Your baby will learn to latch. He will! I'm sorry your husband is not on board that makes things waaay harder, but you can do it! I also have overctive let down.. one thing that helps me latch her on is once the milk starts flowing, and she's not really latched on and theres milk everywhere, I squeeze this milk into a towel until it slows down a bit. That way LO isnt trying to latch on to a fire hose. There are lots of good links about latching that I'm sure someone will post for you. I would but im trying to nurse while typing this and its pretty difficult! oh one more thing... that was a terrible thing for your lc to say about sids... some people!! I have no clue what the stats are on bm and sids, but I know lots of formula fed babies who are very much alive and healthy! Anyway good luck, stick it out!! I'm sure it will be worth it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    Hi. Welcome.
    I am so sorry that you are having such a rough start! And I am REALLY sorry you aren't getting the support you need from your spouse. That sucks and you need to tell him that:
    A. Yes Not breastfeeding your baby DOES put your child at greater risk for MANY things, not just SIDS, but also asthma, eczema and ear infections just to name a few. I am sorry you felt like she was being harsh. These are true factual statements and while they may be hard to hear, especially while you are struggling with very little support, I still believe it's best that you actually know all the facts so that you are making an informed decision.
    B. I PROMISE YOU that in the long run, the money you will save by breastfeeding will FAR outweigh any money invested in learning in the beginning. And
    C. You simply need him to support you. It's not reasonable that he is undermining your confidence during this very crucial time while you and your child learn how to do this. Your child is 12days old. He is still learning and deserves the patience of his father while he learns how to eat. And you certainly deserve his support.

    Now, the 1st thing I want to tell you is that sometimes it really helps to actually SEE someone else doing it. So I suggest you go to Dr. Jack Newmans website and watch the "latching clips" they have there. They make a real huge difference.
    Also, I would NOT recommend a bottle this early on. You are already experiencing some difficulty in latching, and a bottle introduced this soon, especially to a newborn who hasn't quite learned how to latch can be very detrimental indeed. Breastfeeding is WORK. And work you really want your child to think he HAS to do this work to eat. So he stays motivated to keep practicing until he gets it right. If you introduce a bottle he will learn that there is an easier way to eat and you run the risk of him rejecting your breast entirely. Which sucks because the thing about pumping, if you stop and think about it, is it really takes you TWICE as long to feed the baby in that you have to nurse the pump and then bottle feed your child. You add to that washing bottles and nipples and that is way more time spent than just latching the baby.
    SO watch the videos, it may help you get the latch down with no help, because ultimately it IS a relationship between you and your child. And you WILL get it. And my only other advice that you may want to look at a wrap or a sling. This will help you to keep your newborn with you or on you and keep your hands free to interact with your toddler. Good luck. I am really sorry you haven't had support. But you came to the right place. We KNOW you can do this and will help you anyway we can! Good Luck and keep us posted.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

    heres dr newans web site.

    You can do this, tell your hubby it's his job to take care of the older one and you!
    And your job to take care of the baby.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...



    So sorry to hear about all your problems! You must feel so frustrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    I am desperate. I have a 12 day old little boy who I have been exclusively breast feeding up until about day 10. He never really latched on well in the hospital, but I have tons of milk and an overactive let down, so it seems if I just hold him close enough to my breast, he gets enough to eat, and we get enough pee and poop diapers to make everybody happy. Everybody but me, because I know he's not latching.
    It will get better! The first weeks are rough, but if you just hang in there, and give your son a chance to get it down, and give your breasts time to calm down and make the proper amount of milk, things will get SO much easier!!

    I had a lactation consultant who came to my house yesterday. Of course, while she was here, the baby did beautifully, and he latched on for a very good feeding. I even managed to get a few good sessions in with him yesterday afternoon. But when night rolled around, everything went south. Everything seemed wrong. I couldn't get my hands right, I couldn't get pillows positioned in the right places, etc.
    Oh it's murphy's law. The same thing happens when you take them to the doctor, by the time you get to the waiting room they're miraculously cured. It's aggravating. But it's awesome that he's doing well some of the time. I'm sure you'd much prefer him to always have great feedings, but the truth is that many babies have "off" feedings where it's a struggle in the beginning. Don't give up. You're doing great even if you might not feel that way. I found that DD's latch got better over time; the number of sessions where there was a problem slowly dropped off until it was always easy, and what a relief that is when it happens!!!

    I am basically having to do this on my own. My husband is totally over this whole breast feeding experiment and ready to start formula. Unfortunately, I need a second set of hands to help me get in position, but except for when the lc was here yesterday actually physically positioning the baby for me, I have not had that help and am not likely to get it. My husband does not understand why it takes two people to nurse the baby and in fact says it does not take two people to nurse the baby. He is totally frustrated and it is beginning to wear on me, too.
    That probably makes things 10 times harder on you, huh? It must be very difficult to feel so unsupported. Can you think of any way to get him on your side? Is he aware of the many risks of formula, and has he considered that it costs thousands of dollars to pay for the stuff for a year (not even counting medical copays from extra sicknesss....) These are things maybe you could discuss with him, and then perhaps he would come to see the value of the awesome work you are doing. Show him this maybe:

    101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child

    To top things off, both the baby and I have thrush. While the baby's thrush seems resolved, I still have very painful nipples. I'm being treated, but it doesn't seem all that helpful and in any event there's not much I can do about until Monday when the doc is back in his office.
    Ugh, that really stinks to be in pain. The treatments are supposed to work within a few days.

    I don't know what to do at this point. I called the lc this morning to explain the problems I was having and she wants me to keep trying until this afternoon. Of course, I will do that, but in the meantime, I've been trying to give him bm in a bottle, which is also not going well. How much should he be taking in a bottle? Also, I don't think the latching thing is going to get better without some more hands on coaching but there is no way my husband will agree to pay to bring the lc back out to the house. He's already counting the money we've "wasted" on this project.
    That's a great time to point out how much money would be wasted on formula. That said, you could always find a local LLL leader if you cannot or do not want to pay for a lacation consultant.

    As for the bottle-feeding, introducing a bottle before the baby is about 4 weeks old is risky. It can cause all kinds of unpleasant problems including pain for you and poor milk intake for baby from a messed-up latch, or outright refusal by the baby to nurse.

    Avoiding Nipple Confusion

    Basically, I have no support. Everyone wants me to do something different. All the medical professionals seem to agree that the baby still needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, but my husband and parents and in laws are beside themselves that we are waking up the baby to feed him and everyone is urging me to let the baby sleep until he wakes up hungry. I am saying "no" but I cannot explain to their satisfaction why this is not a good idea.
    Tell them you are following expert advice, copy this down on a sheet of paper, then hand it to them:

    How often should baby be nursing?

    Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 10 - 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN'T nurse too often--you CAN nurse too little.

    Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)--don't wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first--wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.
    from Nursing Your Newborn-- what to expect in the early weeks

    And then tell them that if they can't offer you support in this challenging time, then the least they can do is keep quiet because it's YOUR baby and you're doing what's recommended and right.

    I also cannot explain to my husband why I am having so many problems and none of our friends who successfully breast fed had any similar problems. For that matter, I can't even really explain that to myself.
    I had horrible problems in the beginning, and I felt the same way. I was shocked that it was so hard. For some women it does NOT come easy, but that doesn't mean you can't have a long and wonderful nursing relationship after you get over the hump. It's a big adjustment and I hated nursing for the first 6 weeks. But the 50+ weeks after that, I absolutely loved it. It's totally worth the initial sacrifice that some women have to make.

    I guess the bottom line is, I desperately want this to work, but everyone at my house is miserable. I have to go back to work in 5 weeks and I would really like to enjoy this time instead of crying all the time which is what is currently happening. I also have a nearly 3 year old little boy who is being so good about the new baby, but I cannot realistically expect him to entertain himself while I spend the majority of my time practicing with the baby.
    There are some ideas for coping here:

    Tips for juggling a newborn and a toddler

    Finally, the lc told me this morning that I would be gambling with SIDS if we do switch from bm to formula. This seems like a pretty insensitive thing to say. Am I really putting the baby at risk by giving him formula instead of bm?
    Yes. And although it may be upsetting to hear, it is true. IMO all women have a right to know this information, and their healthcare providers should have an obligation to tell them, but many don't. I'm sorry if your LC didn't seem compassionate in the way that she delivered the information. But nevertheless, I think it's better to know...

    To all or any of you who made it through this entire post and have any advice to offer I will be extremely grateful. I feel all alone and very sad and will appreciate anything anyone wants to offer by way of advice, suggestions, your own experience, etc.
    You came to the right place. Really all I can say, once again, is that these problems will pass. Although it no doubt seems overwhelming and difficult right now, you're not facing anything that is insurmountable. Give it some time, try to slow down, reduce your expectations and just rest and be with your children as much as possible. Nurse as much as possible.

    I've totally been there. For the first maybe month or so I cried every single day and freaked out and told my partner and mother that I wanted to quit breastfeeding. But in the end, I just couldn't do it, I knew that it was best for my daughter. The sacrifice right now might seem huge, but if you can ride it out for just a while longer you'll get to the good part, which is more than payback for the trouble. Educating your DH might go a long way. Anyone who really knows what breastmilk means for a baby would want that for their child.

    Hang in there, and keep us posted okay?
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    Congratulations on your baby. I would definitely suggest you call an LLL leader right now! They are free!!! Even if you don't have anyone in your immediate area you can talk to someone over the phone anywhere! if you have a local group and feel like you could get out of the house, try to attend a meeting! however they are monthly so it could be a few weeks before there is one in your area, depending on where you live.

    Breastfeeding is learned- for mama and baby. It takes time. I had issues for quite a while when henry was a newborn, and now we're still bfing 17 months later. I also battled thrush for many weeks. Here's another place to find jack newman's articles: http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml

    scroll down to yeast/thrush for info on thrush. gentian violet is something you can get with a prescription at target but you will have to ask the pharmacist because it is behind the counter.

    what position are you using? the cross-cradle hold was easiest for me in the early days. the football hold is good when you have a strong let-down/oversupply. see this article for great positioning info: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/positioning.html

    newborns have tiny tummies and eat small amounts per session. i think 2 ounces is probably a good size feeding if you did use a bottle- he may take less. however, an LLL leader could help you explore other options like a spoon or syringe if you want to minimize the use of bottles. i know kellymom.com has great info on how much babies typically eat per feeding (though remember every feeding is unique and amounts will vary- just like how adults eat) but I can't find anything helpful right now... keep us posted and feel free to PM me if you have further questions.

    Anne

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


    Looking for an LLL leader in your area? click:
    http://www.llli.org/webindex.html

    confused about abbreviations? check this out:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=807

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    I had a lactation consultant who came to my house yesterday. Of course, while she was here, the baby did beautifully, and he latched on for a very good feeding. I even managed to get a few good sessions in with him yesterday afternoon. But when night rolled around, everything went south. Everything seemed wrong. I couldn't get my hands right, I couldn't get pillows positioned in the right places, etc.


    Sometimes babies tend to be a bit fussier in the evenings. This is normal. When you find that you and baby both are becoming frustrated, my best suggestion is to go back to the basics. Hold your baby upright, skin to skin. Then, follow his lead. Here's a video that explains how:
    http://www.ameda.com/breastfeeding/s.../latch_on.aspx (non-LLL resource)

    Here's a resource that sheds a little light on "fussy evenings":
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html (non-LLL resource)

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    I am basically having to do this on my own. My husband is totally over this whole breast feeding experiment and ready to start formula. Unfortunately, I need a second set of hands to help me get in position, but except for when the lc was here yesterday actually physically positioning the baby for me, I have not had that help and am not likely to get it. My husband does not understand why it takes two people to nurse the baby and in fact says it does not take two people to nurse the baby.
    You find that you need help getting situated to nurse your baby, and your husband doesn't understand why this is the case. He believes it would be easier to just start formula. Is this correct?

    Many mothers find it helps to have everything they need (diapers, wipes, burp cloths, water, pillows, nursing pads, phone, remotes, special toys/books for your toddler, etc) right there ready to use in one spot. Then, when baby is hungry, you can just sit down and nurse without needing to get up for anything. That doesn't help with actually positioning baby at the breast, but it does make the actual act of nursing much easier!

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    To top things off, both the baby and I have thrush. While the baby's thrush seems resolved, I still have very painful nipples. I'm being treated, but it doesn't seem all that helpful and in any event there's not much I can do about until Monday when the doc is back in his office.
    Could you tell us a bit about what treatments you've tried? Is your baby still being treated, too? What did your doctor say?

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    I don't think the latching thing is going to get better without some more hands on coaching but there is no way my husband will agree to pay to bring the lc back out to the house. He's already counting the money we've "wasted" on this project.
    Breastfeeding can really save a lot of money in the long run. And your baby's health (and your health) is never a waste of money. Do you believe your husband is aware of the many benefits of breastfeeding?

    Have you considered contacting your local LLL Leader? She might be willing to do a home visit (or know a Leader who could), or perhaps would be able to meet you in a neutral location. Another option would be to call your local WIC office or look for a community breastfeeding support group (some hospitals offer these as a service to new mothers in the community). All of these options are totally FREE. Please do check around and see what is available in your area.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    Basically, I have no support. Everyone wants me to do something different. All the medical professionals seem to agree that the baby still needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, but my husband and parents and in laws are beside themselves that we are waking up the baby to feed him and everyone is urging me to let the baby sleep until he wakes up hungry. I am saying "no" but I cannot explain to their satisfaction why this is not a good idea.
    Has he regained his birth weight? Is having the expected number of pees and poops? Does he generally wake on his own to feed, or do you mostly find that it's necessary to wake him?

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    I also cannot explain to my husband why I am having so many problems and none of our friends who successfully breast fed had any similar problems. For that matter, I can't even really explain that to myself.
    Every breastfeeding relationship is different. That's true even for veteran mothers! Sometimes breastfeeding goes well for the first two children, then the third requires special intervention. Sometimes the first time is very hard work from the start, and the second time is a breeze. Please know that it's not your fault that things are difficult for you right now, and know that everything can and WILL get better. Trust your baby, trust your body. You can do it! Breastfeeding is an art, not a science. It's like a dance, and you and your baby learn to move together. In time, you'll figure it out and it will become like second nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawyerleigh View Post
    the lc told me this morning that I would be gambling with SIDS if we do switch from bm to formula.
    I can see how that must have been disconcerting. I obviously can't speak for your LC's intentions, but I can offer you some more information on the subject of SIDS. See below:
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMayJun99p68.html


    Please keep us updated!

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    I am sooo sorry you are going through this!

    Did you BF your older son? I'm wondering this because it sounds like you are getting some resistance from family based on what people expect from a formula feeding situation. As you have found, it's a different situation.

    Has your husband priced out formula? The costs of LC and a breast pump, if spread out over time, are still cheaper than formula.

    Are you planning to pump and give baby expressed breastmilk when going back to work? If so, then please, please go to an LLL meeting to get support. You don't necessarily have to spend alot of money to get the help you need.

    I'm hoping you consider keeping up the BFing. Your LO is getting the very best start. Formula will give your baby calories, but can't come close to providing what Mother Nature intended.

    And BTW, there is PLENTY you can do about the thrush without a prescription or dr's appt. Two things that help fairly quickly are gentian violet and for soothing the nipples, plain, active culture yogurt.

    I had thrush within the first two weeks and it hurt! Putting GV on nipples and aerola is messy and can turn the baby purple (temporarily), but it works! Slathering active culture yogurt on the nips between feeds is also soothing and helps fight the yeast. Some people have put on lotrimin cream between feeds. Other people use grapefruit seed extract in pill and drop form.

    Keep in mind thrush has been around alot longer than the prescription meds that are currently out. Moms have beaten back thrush without a prescription. That being said, Diflucan taken for long enough can really help stubborn cases. I tried everything and have found that if caught early, natural methods work really well.

    If it is any consolation, it took me about two months for BFing to feel natural and easy.

    If you stick it out a little longer I bet you will find things get better.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    You've gotten lots of advice, I just wanted to give you some encouragement. I'm impressed that you're sticking with it. You might tell your husband that you don't need help forever, just while you learn. Your baby will get more coordinated and your supply will even out. You can do it!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help! Latching problems, thrush nipples, etc. About to give up...

    Congrats on your LO!
    I'm sorry to hear about your issues, especially the lack of support.
    My LO was born 4 weeks early and we had tons of latching issues. We used a Medela breast shield for about 2 weeks, which helped a lot and eventually, with the help of a LC we weaned her off the shield and got her to latch on. (Sorry that your LC was rude) .
    My LO did the same thing with the LC, we had great feeding sessions and once we got back home we were back to the usual frustrating feeding sessions.

    I DOES GET BETTER. My LO is now 10 weeks old and I was just looking at her feeding and thought, WOW I remember when she had issues latching on and now shes a bf pro.

    As per advice, my LC told me that I needed to relax and take charge. She said that babys can feel when we're not confident and they work off that vibe. SO as she said to me "Take a deep breathe before you start and put him where he needs to be" Grab his head and place it where it belongs and have confidence because he needs the assistance as well. Let him know you know what you're doing even if you don't, but at least he'll feel the confidence comming from mom.

    Good Luck!
    First time mom of Cristiana Veronika

    Born on 1/26/08 (@ 36 wks) weighing 5 lbs 14 oz


    and

    + = happy baby

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