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Thread: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

  1. #1

    Unhappy Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I am in desperate need of some help. My ds is 4.5 months old and we have been struggling with nursing for 2.5 months now. I'm to the point where I am extremely angry with the whole situation and it's starting to affect my relationship towards him. I am completely miserable. I'll try to make this as short as possible, but want to give the whole picture so please bear with me.

    DS was a pretty good nurser for the first two months. We could nurse anywhere and he took both sides. I have OALD and OS and was block feeding for awhile and that seemed to help with some spitting up, gagging and choking. Once ds was about 2 months old everything changed. He now will only nurse in his room, with it quiet, dark, white noise machine on. He has to be asleep to nurse. No matter how hungry he is he will not nurse unless he is practically passed out. He will suck on his paci for a bit for comfort and start to fall asleep, then I pop the paci out and try to get him to latch on. Sometimes he’ll latch right on and we do fine. Most times he’ll suck for a few sucks, then pull off and arch back. It can take up to 30 minutes to get him to latch on and nurse. Many times I have to pull his chin down and shove my breast into his mouth to get him to nurse. I’ve tried putting him in his crib to sleep figuring, fine if you’re not going to nurse, I’m not going to sit here and do this. Then he’ll wake up either when I put him down or shortly thereafter (b/c he’s hungry) and won’t nurse b/c he’s not sleepy after sleeping for 10-20 minutes or however long he slept. Of course, this isn’t enough sleep so his napping is all messed up too. IF I do get him to nurse while sleepy then once he’s done nursing he wakes up when I lay him down to sleep. It’s so frustrating.

    I was pumping a bit to store some milk recently and it caused my supply to increase again. My milk (esp on right side) will squirt everywhere, even after let down it seems. When I hand express, it doesn’t matter how much I’ve taken off I still have multiple streams of milk squirting out everywhere. I’m trying to block feed again, but it’s extremely uncomfortable. So I pump a little off before hand which I think is not helping relieve the over supply.

    DS is getting to be a bit sleep deprived with our situation. I think that may be why he won’t nurse well at times, b/c he’s so tired. Some days he’ll just get to the point where he’ll flat out refuse to nurse-like last night. He nursed at 5:30 pm, then at 7:30 I tried to nurse again to get ready for him to go to bed. He would not nurse-he latched on, suck, suck and would pull off. He did this for a good 30 minutes before I gave up and put him to bed. I returned 45 min later and tried to nurse him, but he refused. He woke up at 1 am fussing, 4 am and 6 am. All three times he would not nurse, even though he was fussing. This is not normal for him. He usually sleeps through the night, so for him to wake up shows me that he is hungry, but he would not nurse. This morning he woke up at 7 am, refused to nurse (of course, b/c he’s not sleepy). 8 am I started to prep him for his morning nap and he was so fussy and it took almost an hour to get him to latch on and nurse. I also woke up so engorged on the left side (I only offered the right side all night) it was so painful. DS will usually go about 8 hours at night without nursing and I am always so full each morning it hurts and squirts out everywhere.

    My three year old had problems like this as well. It was horrible and we never got it resolved. I BF him for 20 months and just dealt with it b/c he was struggling. He has food allergies and was not gaining weight. We were seeing a GI doctor, allergist and nutritionist. I was on a strict elim diet for all those months. With ds#2 I have also eliminated the top 8 allergens and some other foods to see if that helps. We have him on zantac and prevacid to see if that would help as he was showing signs of silent reflux. He has been on these meds for a month now and I've seen some improvement, but not much.

    This is completely wearing me down. I am in his nursery for an hour every time I try to nurse him-which is usually about every 2 to 2.5 hours. My three year old is running around the house, watching too much tv and playing on the computer too much. He tells me he misses me every day. I miss him too. I just don’t know what to do.

    I am extremely frustrated and feel like I need to do something asap as I am starting to resent my baby. I know I am dealing with some PPD (which didn’t come on until ds was 3 months old and I know it’s partly b/c of my nursing issues). I tried Zoloft much to my dismay (I don’t even take Tylenol for headaches). I only took it one night and the next day I was dry heaving all day, had an upset stomach, felt like I was in a dream, had cotton mouth, etc. I felt horrible and refuse to take that again!

    Some other factors that are affecting my life and my stress right now is that dh travels every week. The last three weeks have been really bad as he has only been home on Saturday. My three year old has food allergies still so I have to bake everything from scratch for him (and for me now since I’m back on an elim diet). I am constantly baking. My three year old was just dx with something called Chiari Malformation a couple months ago and is looking at possible brain surgery coming up soon.

    Needless to say I’m stressed. I can’t deal with these nursing problems very well anymore. I was originally trying to nurse for a year, then I went to setting a goal to just try to make it to 6 months and now I’m just trying to get through each feeding. It’s pure hell for me and I loathe each session. This is coming from someone who nursed her first until he was almost two.

    I’ve called three different LC’s and they have all told me different things. One suggested trying formula to see if he reacts differently to that-that maybe there is still something I’m eating that he doesn’t like. I haven’t tried that yet, b/c for one he won’t take a bottle and two I really wanted to BF and not do formula. Another LC suggested a sling-I haven’t tried that b/c I’ve heard it’s very difficult to nurse in a sling. I’m petite, a bit overweight, have back problems and have a 90% for length baby. I’m not sure I could make it work. The other LC (a LLL LC) rec coming to a meeting. Well, the closest one is 30-40 min away and ds won’t nurse anywhere but his room anyway. I know, I have an excuse for them all, and I truly want to make this work. I just don’t know how.

    Please, please, please I need a solution here!! I’m in turmoil and it’s affecting everyone around me. I wish I could just quit right now, but the guilt is what is keeping me going. I shouldn’t be nursing my baby out of guilt!

    Oh, one more thing. I'm also concerned about his weight gain. He was doing great for a while, but now is slowing down. With ds#1 he dropped off the charts around 8 months and it was not a good situation at all. I don't want the same thing to repeat itself with ds#2. His weight is:

    7.15 birth
    9.3 2 weeks
    12.1 2 mo's
    14.7 4 mo's
    He's now 4.5 months and has only gained 6 or 7 ounces in the last 2.5 weeks. This is on the same scale, same time of day, naked, etc.

    At what point do you decide that maybe you should stop nursing?? My three year old sees me crying almost daily now and I'm short with him, snap at him, yell at him. I get frustrated with my baby and sometimes set him in his crib a bit more rough than I ever would dream of doing. I'm a good Mom and love my children more than anything. But I truly feel like I am failing and just want to run away from the whole situation. My MIL has been helping me for the last three weeks, which has been wonderful as my 3 yo has really loved the loving, nurturing attention she is giving him. So, I have had help which is great, but the nursing situation is not getting any better.

    Please help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    Although I have not had the same problems as you are having, but my son is very picky on the type of bottle I use. I don't know if you have tried, but I only use 'Breastflow' bottles made by The First Years. They are made specifically to function like your breast as much as possible. It has an inner nipple which is harder and a soft outer nipple. If I try to give him any other bottle it lets out way too much milk and he cant handle it.

    Also, could he be teething or starting too? Try some teething tablets they melt "dissolve" immediately. I put one under my sons tongue on each side of his mouth and they dissolve and he calms down. They are my life saver.

    As far as the only eat while sleepy. Have you just tried laying down with him and let him nurse?

    Another thing I have found out that helps my little one latch on is instead of cupping you breast in the form of a 'C' hold your boob on the outer edges of the areola and try to form it into the shape of a football, like his mouth is shaped. then let him try to latch on and just keep holding it. This really helped me until my son and I got a good established nursing position going. It also helped my friend 2 days after her baby was born and had not been latching very well. After my friend tried, with my help, she told me that it was the longest her baby stayed latched on and awake and nursed since she was born.

    I hope some of this helps. Best of luck and remember it is ok to cry to de-stress yourself
    while at work and every other time and every minute with my baby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I bet that it's teething- 4.5 months is prime time to start working on those first teeth.

    My son was/is the same way and to this day will only nurse alone with me in a dark room. He is highly distracted by the environment!

    It sounds as if you're doing everything that you possibly can. Have you tried varying your nursing positions? Laying down, football hold, nursing while in motion?

    The zantac/prevacid sometimes takes a few weeks to start seeing a lot of improvement. Perhaps he hasn't been on it long enough.

    I know that you're looking for a quick answer, but it sounds like you're dealing with multiple issues here. First of all, you have to take care of yourself. If you think that you might be suffering from PPD/anxiety (I know you tried Zoloft) then see if you can get yourself into a support group or some talk therapy. Call your OB and get a referral- there are lots of moms that are going through the same thing. Your nursing will improve a LOT once you are feeling good about you again.

    I know the nearest LLL meeting is pretty far from you, but it's worth it. Once you goto one meeting you will meet a network of mom's that you can call and email when you feel like quitting. My LLL Leader is awesome and she helped me through many problems over the phone.

    As you said, take one day at a time. We're all here for you- hang in there and don't give up.

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I have some similar issues as you and think about quitting every single day. I am hanging in there as long as I can for the health of my baby, even though I hate breastfeeding at least once a day. I've noticed that my LO has been displaying some signs of teething. Maybe this is part of your LO's issue, as the pp suggested. Keep getting help from your MIL or anyone else who can help you out with your other child and housework, so you can focus on your baby and try to work things out. Be sure and go out for a walk or get away for a short time when possible. That always makes me feel better. I hope things improve soon.
    Stay at home mom to my 2 boys:
    R - born 4/20/08, nursed for 20 months
    G - born 8/6/11, EPd for 4 months, until he refused the bottle!
    Loving CDing this time around!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I don't want to repeat anything so my aplogies if I do. You do sound like you're stressed and we understand

    Just a few quick things.

    Your baby's weight gain looks fine You don't really wanna look at one segment of time, but the overall gain, and that looks fine (see link here regarding weight gain - and this growth chart.) His doc isn't showing concern is s/he?

    Can you give a call to a leader thats local to you??? - They can be very helpful with counsel and information, as well as possible resources, over the phone

    Regarding the PPD potential - there are other meds you can take safely while nursing. Here is a list that you might be able to take in to your doc to discuss. I would suggest getting into a professional though, if you can, as opposed to 'just' your OB.

    Remember going to an alternative feeding method, while it might seem like a reasonable solution, might cause you more issues. You've made it this far and that is a great accomplishment.

    Is there anyway you can find a highschool/college student that could come in and give you hand on some days your DH is gone if MILK can't stay doing what she's doing?

    Can you talk more about the things you idealise might happen if you "quit" nursing?

    Once more link... PPD resources for nursing moms.
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    Your frustrated, tired, and at the end of your rope. This is a really tough spot to be in and I admire your commitment to nursing your baby.
    I want to just second or third the suggestion that you talk with someone about your PPD, and about how your feeling in general. Getting yourself feeling better is very important!
    I want to tell you that a meeting is a great place for you to be right now. Most women get so much power and energy from them. A lot of babies nurse there when they'd been not nursing well at home (this is very common as well in an LC's office) and the in person support is very refreshing. I still get a boost from meetings, and I don't have any questions!
    I wish I had a quick answer, or something that could help you right now with your DS. You might have already read this info, or someone's already talked with you about it. One step, one session, one day at a time!

    (see - baby is actively resisting nursing)

    My baby fusses or cries during nursing - what's the problem?

    CranioSacral therapy and other gentle body work for breastfeeding problems (links)
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    Oh Mama, I am so sorry that you are going through so much right now. I think that the pp have some GREAT advice for you. Like they said, it is most important that you take care of yourself right now.

    Is there anyone who could help you with your toddler while you are with the new baby? I have a two-year old and I KNOW how frustrating it can be. I feel like she is running around the house getting into trouble when I am trying to feed the baby...and I can't imagine if it took me almost an hour. If there is any way that you could get some help...even for a couple of hours a day...it would make a HUGE difference.

    I won't repeat any of the above advice...but I just wanted to add some big hugs for you.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Carrollton, Missouri

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    Kristina Jeremiah since 2-18-1998
    Mother to
    Gavin 1-03 Nursed 2.5mo
    Keean 5-04 BCLP
    Alexis 12-06 Nursed 12mo THEN
    Relactated after 5mo(due to her dairy intol.) and ended up making 30oz a day
    Now we are Weaned! AGAIN!
    Kason 6-2-10
    Birth..8 lbs 5.9 oz
    4 wks.... 10 lbs 12 oz
    9 wks.... 13 lbs 14 oz
    15wks... 16 lbs 4 oz
    17wks... 17 lbs 2 oz
    6 mo..... 19 lbs 6 oz
    7 mo .....20 lbs 3 oz

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I had the exact same trouble with my son when he was 3-4 months old. It continued on and off until he turned 1. I think it was related to teething (we have not seen any teeth until he was 8.5 months old but I think they rise and give pain from time to time.) Now he is over 2 years old and he is becoming attached to BF more and more if you can believe it. Looking back I regret that I obsessed about the whole thing, that is his BF. My suggestion will be don't think about it and don't try to nurse him when he is not interested. He will let you know when he is hungry and when he is hungry he will nurse. I know it is hard to do that as a mother but if you can do it you can relax and maybe that will help the situation as well. Many to you. And know that it will pass before you know it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Unhealthy nursing relationship-need some serious help

    I just wanted to send some your way

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