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Thread: ready to quit - so sad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    138

    Default ready to quit - so sad

    I am struggling over this decision, but I can't keep going on with the pain. I had milk blisters, then huge clear blisters and now I have clogged ducts - all of them have happened over the last 2 weeks. Bfeeding has been one problem after another for me and DD.

    I have been bfeeding for 3 months now and have had maybe a couple of weeks where I have felt no pain and like things were going well. I am so sad about this. I want to enjoy DD and I feel like I am just taking care of one nipple or breast ailment after another.

    I am thinking about weaning her now (even though I don't want to) because I know how good bfeeding is for the baby. But, I just can't keep going like this.

    I have seen a LC several times and try all of her tricks. I just don't know what else to do.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    I first want to tell you that this is absolutely correctable, but having limited details, I wouldn't be able to say exactly what the issue is. It could very well be a latch issue, which can be corrected.

    Have you spoken with your local La League Leader or attended the LLL meetings yet? I know you said that you'd seen an LC, but you may be able to also be helped by a local LLL Leader.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    Oh, I'm sorry you've had such a rough time lately. I went back to your previous posts to get a sense of the history here, and I was surprised to see that nobody responded to your post about the large clear blisters. How did that resolve?

    The one thing I can think of that milk blebs, blisters, and clogged ducts all have in common is that they can be linked to poor latch. From what I understand, a milk bleb is sort of like a blocked duct right at the duct's opening on the nipple. A blister is most likely caused by friction or irritation. And a clogged duct might result from the breast not being drained evenly.

    There are other things that can cause the blebs and clogged ducts, so I'm just guessing here -- especially since I read that your baby is getting regular bottles, which can also interfere with a good latch for some nurslings. Is this theory of mine ringing any bells? I want to emphasize that you are the expert on your baby and your nursing relationship, not me.

    This link on kellymom.com (not a LLL resource, but considered reliable breastfeeding info) explains how to deal with a plugged/clogged duct -- please note that it emphasizes that now is NOT the time to wean or reduce nursing frequency. You need to keep emptying that breast frequently to avoid mastitis.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html

    As for whether or not to wean (once we get you past this latest problem) -- that of course is your decision. Many moms find that if they set a goal of just a few more days, then the problems get better and they feel able to recommit to breastfeeding, so perhaps this will be true for you as well. Deal with the clogged duct, and once that is past, re-evaluate.

    LLL is here to help moms breastfeed for as long as THEY want to breastfeed. It sounds to me like you would happily continue if you could just get past this spate of painful and frustrating problems, so that's why I'm offering information about how to treat the clogged duct and suggesting that a latch problem might be at the root of your history of troubles. As long as you want information and support for breastfeeding, we will be here to offer it.

    Good luck and let us know how you are doing over the next day or two.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    138

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    Thank you so much. Rebecca, that advice is extremely helpful. You made me feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The problem is I am sick on top of everything else. (now whose the baby?

    A poor latch seems logical. She still makes a smacking sound and clicking her tongue. I went to Dr. Newman's site and tried what was suggested there. I think I will just need to have someone come to the house or something so I can see what I am doing incorrectly.

    I have only given her a few bottles over the past month. They were only because we were at a wedding and away the other couple of times. Now she won't even take a bottle. She barely took a bottle yesterday - that was probably sheer exhaustion from crying and hunger on her part. I felt so horrible! The bottles I am using are Avent. I was even thinking of using a different bottle.

    What is the suggestion for bottle use?

    She cleared out the duct overnight last night and my blisters are better. I have been soaking them in a salt bath.

    What is the ideal suggestion for bfeeding her? I want to get through to at least six or nine months. Should I just dedicate her to my breast and forget the bottles?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    You sound more optimistic about continuing today, and I'm so glad to hear that the clogged duct cleared up overnight. I'm sorry to hear you are sick now -- that sure makes everything harder.

    If you can manage it, I would avoid artificial nipples (bottles and pacifiers) altogether. That will remove at least one potential source of latching problems. Then we can figure out whether any change in your breastfeeding management is needed to deal with the smacking and clicking. There could be some oversupply/OALD issues, which might be leading her to break suction so she can keep up with the milk flow.

    Your baby is already 3 months old; in a few more months she will be eating solids and drinking from a sippy cup. I know when there are problems, the thought of exclusive breastfeeding can seem overwhelming, but it might help to remember that she is growing up quickly and this stage of being a young infant won't last much longer.

    In the meantime, do try to find a local LLL Leader or an IBCLC who can watch you and your baby nurse. For latch and positioning, there is really no virtual subsitute for hands-on skilled help. You might also find it useful to attend a LLL meeting -- sometimes just watching other mothers nurse babies of various ages can help you learn intuitively.

    Hope you feel better soon; I'll watch for your posts, so don't hesitate to give us an update or ask more questions.

    --Rebecca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    thank you SO much. I can't tell you how much you have helped me. I have been such a crying mess - I am slowly getting myself back together. I never thought something so natural could be so difficult.

    I am so glad, though, that I decided to breastfeed even with the problems I have been having.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    33

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    I know around here the LC through LLL can be hard to get ahold of. Please be persistant. Websites and forums are GREAT for support but for the one on one assistance you get with a real person is MUCH better! They can see/feel what you are talking about ya know? That is what got me and my son through.

    I had a case where the first week of his life we were in Children's Hospital because we thought he was having siesures. We put him through so many tests...he was exhausted as was I. THANKFULLY I took my pump with me to the hopsital and was able to pump while he slept. Before we checked into the hospital, we were having latching issues (much like the ones you were explaining) and so rather than fight the latch issues and the added stress of us living in a hospital room, we opted to bottle feed him while he was in the hospital. WHOA I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. Nipple confusion is HARD to reverse. We began trying to nurse again after about three days and it seemed to go really well but when we got home (away from all help of course), things changed.

    --He would scream every time I tried to switch from the first breast to the second
    --He was LITERALLY only eating 5 minutes between the two sides. My first son nurse 30 minutes MINIMUM between the two so I was FREAKING out that he might still be sick etc.
    --He was still clicking and smacking when nursing
    --Blisters/cracking on my nipples

    Those are just a few things we went though. I found that after a while I was so tense he couldn't settle in to the breast well enough. I found that a boppy pillow worked really well because not only was I able to relax (no having to worry if I was holding him completely right, or soft enough), but he was more comfortable. Because of that, he was positioned better and wasn't smacking/clicking as much. In addition to the pillow I started expressing a bit before I latched him on. I was told I was too hard (my breast) for him to get a firm grip on thus the clicking so once I expressed some and got him comfortable on the boppy pillow, he did MUCH better (for the latching on issue).

    It was suggested to me to find two positions to nurse in. Since he liked to lay down on the boppy pillow my LC encouraged me to learn how to nurse laying down with him. It's much easier to learn during the day when you have light and are more awake then to try to learn this one at night. In learning during the day, it come second nature to both of you at night. It is SOOOooo relaxing! I love it. We do this position now 85% of the time and he is 8.5 months old. That can help with your nipples getting worked in one direction all the time. Might give you a little relief. Also what about getting some Lansanoh (sp)? That stuff is AMAZING! It helped my blistering/cracking. My ds got teeth at 3 months so naturally I had some cuts associated with brand new teeth adn this stuff REALLY heals you fast!

    As for the screaming - I found that it was because i was too impatient when it came to burping him. I just needed to give him a little more time. I was trying to rush him and it didn't work. I just had to take it easy with him. He was tired from doing all of that sucking on the first side too and probably just needed a breather! I used this time for diaper changes instead of before he started the first side. That helped.


    I hope all of this wasn't too confusing and you can get some help through this. I know just coming on here and reading articles on the website and posts on here (even if they weren't my posts) gave me peace of mind and encouragement. Stick it out! I am so glad I did. I didn't figure I would make it past two months!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    There's some good advice posted above, so I just wanted to add some moral support. BF is such hard work! I had no idea when I started. It's just what you do and it never occured to me that it would be painful. I had a challenging delivery with absolutely no drugs and I still feel like bf is harder! I had nipple pain for weeks at the beginning and then 2 1/2 months of night dreadful engorgement while everyone was telling me how great it was that the baby was sleeping through the night. Suddenly, a few weeks ago (my son is 6months) it got better.

    Some lucky girls take to it like they were born to be cows, but for many of us it's hard, hard work. And painful. It may take longer for you than other women, but really, it will get better.

    You're doing great! Keep up the good work!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    I agree that there is a lot of helpful advice. I also had a lot of pain. I have fair skin and was told that it can be more sensitive. What helped me was to expose my breast to air. I went topless for about a week as often as I could. Also I had been prepping the nipple. That was probably the biggest factor. I used Lansinoh at first, but then I switched to the Sweet Oil that had been given to me at the hospital. It's olive oil, it says. You might ask a LC where to get it. A friend of mine said that she thought it was an old cure for ear aches so it might be available in the store, but make sure whatever you buy is ok'd by doc. I don't know if you're pumping because of the clogs, but once I stopped doing that, my production evened out and everything started to fall in place.
    BF'ing is hard. It will get better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: ready to quit - so sad

    I had the same problem from the start... very painful and blistered nipples. Initially, it was caused by a bad latch, after some time the latch seemed correct, but I was still in pain. Just as I thought that we finally "got it" and nursed pain free for a day or two, a blister or a crack would appear again!
    Eventually, this would be more and more sporadic and I was able to nurse comfortably longer. The situation cleared up completely by the time my dd was 4 months (or so).

    I think that I also had very sensitive nipples, maybe that was part of the problem... I used Dr.Newman's All Purpose Nipple Cream for the cracks and blisters, it really works great, but has to be prescribed - in Canada anyways. (not all physicians are familiar with this mixture, but the "recipe" is on Dr. Newmans site).

    My dd is 10 months now and we're still happily nursing with no problems since. But during those difficult days I simply tried to survive a day at a time (sometimes even a nursing at a time ). Hang in there, I'm sure things will get better for you too!

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