Hi, I'm a first time poster here. I could put this in the newborn problems forum too but I decided to put it here as I'm ashamed to say I've pretty much given up on breastfeeding. I occasionally put my 4 week old son to me but I usually end up taking him off too soon and giving him some of my milk stash.
Bit of background info in case it's relevant. I had a caesarean with my son (my first) and couldn't see him for what seemed like a lifetime. When I did he was wrapped and I was in a nightie and so feeding didn't get off to a great start.
I didn't expect him to feed for a while, I thought a lot of newborns didn't immediately feed. The ward staff had other ideas though and he was forced onto me every time he cried. He wouldn't go on at all at first, at most he'd take one suck and scream and come off. When he did go on once I was asked how it felt. I said he was on and feeding but I could imagine it would get sore quickly. Oh God, did it ever. I don't need to tell you how bad the pain got. Worse than labour and I had an OP labour with no pain relief. Midwives told me he was on perfectly and 'advice' would range from 'it's supposed to hurt' to 'you'll get used to it'. Call me a selfish wimp but I just couldn't get used to it. I suppose because I was told he was on fine prevented me from getting better help as I felt like a total whinger.
I kept up this feeding for 10 days or so. I would cry every time he cried, I could not bear to be around him. I associated his crying with pain. I got so upset over feeding I feared I'd sink into a depression. I don't like saying this and I kid everyone that it doesn't happen, but it does- I gave him formula. I cried for ages each time I gave it to him and I wouldn't even buy it myself because I felt so ashamed. But that's what happened. I was using a manual pump at the time as well.
Now I have an Ameda Lactaline pump. I have a small stash of about 9 feeds in the fridge. I'm finding it hard to pump enough because people are still demanding to come over and see my son and when I get the pump out he seems to know and screams for attention even if he's dry, fed and been cuddled to sleep. I struggle to find the time. My partner's out for 15 hours most days.
I generally only manage to get about 2 oz altogether in one session. I'm trying to do it more and for longer but I get so worked up when he's crying that I just finish when the milk stops. Which is usually after about 10 minutes. I pump at night when he wakes for feeding (which is mostly only once or twice being as he's taking a bottle which is generally formula).
I'd love nothing more than to stop giving him formula, though I have managed to cut it it down to night and morning only. Although I pump as often as he feeds I know it can't be good for supply. But he has to be fed and I can't very well just leave him while I squeeze out a measly ounce from each side. If I could just give him an ounce and feed him another ounce a shorter time later that'd also be fine but he just seems to want filling.
I'm not even sure what I want to know here. I want someone to give me some magical advice that allows me to attain the tens of ounces that some people on here are managing but I know it's not going to happen. I think I need to eat more, I think that would help. I have lost my appetite and I'm struggling to find the time to eat when I have to pump and feed my son and do everything else a newborn needs (like almost constant cuddles).
Just someone please tell me it gets better.