I am a 33yo sahm who is trying with all of her heart and soul to have a successful breastfeeding experience with her baby.
This is my 8th baby. Just a brief history (if you can call a history of 8 babies brief) My oldest is 14 years old and breastfeeding help was not offered to me. I could never get him to latch on and was laughed at by my OB (literally) when I pumped for 6 weeks and ended up with mastitis. I quit and gave him formula. My 2nd baby also never latched on correctly and it was too painful so I quit after 2 weeks. Again, no help was offered. With my 3rd, I stuck it out and dealt with overactive letdown and lots of watery stools until she weaned at 10 months. My 4th nursed for 6 weeks and then had frequent green stools and traces of blood. I was told to quit so I did but I went on the elimination diet because I was told it was allergies and exclusively pumped for 9 months. She was fine when I did that. My 5th had the same problems ( I went on the elimintaion diet as soon as he was born) but the blood was very visible which scared me and I was told to quit, so I did. He was put on Nutramigen at 10 weeks because "he was allergic to my milk". My 6th had a very high palate and we had latch on trouble. To make things easier, I exclusively pumped for 9 months. I might add that I have an obnoxious milk supply and would pump 65 oz. a day. This gave me enough storage to continue feeding them for a year after I quit pumping. My 7th was a very sleepy eater and I was a very tired mama. I had no confidence at all that breastfeeding would work and I just couldn't muster up what it would take to pump again so I quit after 2 weeks. I have had mastitis 1-4 times with all of them, I have hired 3 LC to come to my house, I have visited a lactation clinic more times that I can count, and I contacted LLL. I have been through you know what and back only to fail. No one can blame me for not trying, that's for sure.
Now, here we are with our 8th baby who is 11 weeks old. We made it to 3 weeks when she started having those icky poops that are so familiar to me. They are slightly green, no texture, frequent and then mucousy. With my 5th, I read about hindmilk/foreilk imbalance but no one that I mentioned it too (Dr's LC's) had heard of it so it was blown off. I am here to say that I would bet $1,000,000 that this is our problem. I went on the elimination diet as soon as she was born at 35 weeks (healthy with no problems) just to be armed with that for security. I started out feeding from one side only. When her poops turned green I started pumping a bit off before she would nurse and feeding her from one side for 2 feedings in a row. Wouldn't you know it, her poops turned back to that beautiful yellow cottage cheese like texture. This took a few weeks but it worked. She has gained weight beautifully (6.14 at birth and 11.6 last week).
We have all the signs of hindmilk/foremilk imbalance. I have way too much milk and a very forceful letdown. I get 2 oz. within the first minute of pumping. She gained a lot of weight which I read can be from all the sugary foremilk. When I started pumping off a bit, her weight slowed down. She has the frequent green poops which are sometimes foamy.
This whole long post is bringing me to today. For the last week I have noticed her really gulping down the milk and not nursing as long. I figured maybe she was just getting more efficient. Then I noticed her poops starting to change again. Then, suddenly this morning, I change a diaper that was completely green watery with mucus and blood. Now I am second guessing that what I am doing is wrong and that maybe everyone that told me to quit before was right. Am I hurting her by trying so hard to breastfeed her? Should I just quit and switch her some nasty predigested formula? I have a feeling the Dr will tell me to do so. They always have. But, everything I read says that breastmilk is best.
I cannot tell you how heartbreaking this is to come so far and convince myself that I was finally doing it all right only to see blood in my precious baby's diaper. It looked just like my 5th's diaper when the Dr's told me it was my milk and to put him on Nutramigen. It is red and streaked in the mucus. (I wasn't feeding him one side. He would nurse maybe 3 minutes on one and then I'd switch him to wake him up. I am now convinced that the whole hindmilk/foremilk imbalance was the problem with him, too)
What I need to know is, is it really the best thing to keep giving my milk when it obviously is not agreeing with her? I will do whatever it is I need to do to fix it if it can be fixed. Maybe I need to pump at each feeding vs. just in the morning when I was so full. Oh, she has also started sleeping longer at night so I am much fuller in the mornings. This also started about a week ago.
There is not much more I can add other than I am sorry this is so long. But, if you cannot tell, I really want this to work. Breastfeeding has just been one brick wall after another and the fact that I have failed so many times has really done a number on my maternal ego. But, I am well aware that this is not al about me but, instead, all about my baby who I only want the best for. My instincts tell me that breastfeeding is what is best and maybe that is why I have tried so hard with my others. Even with my first, when I was only 19 years old and the nurse in the hospital just stood and stared at me when I asked her to show me how to nurse my baby. Her reply was a shrug of the shoulders and a "Just shove it in."
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you put forth in order to help those of us who so desperately need it. Thank you!