I'm about to give up. Does anyone have any last resort advice?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by ladysarcasma, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. ladysarcasma

    ladysarcasma Well-Known Member

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    I started out with problems with DS's weight loss. It was 20% of his birth weight. We discovered my supply wasn't great and he wasn't latching well. We were committed to the hospital overnight where I pumped around the clock and boosted my supply. I fed him and supplemented with milk or formula. I developed an oversupply.

    Then, a month and a half ago, my supply crashed. I guess it was a combination of stress, a diet, and the use of my frozen supply (less nursing) that caused it. But it crashed. And he fell off the growth chart. The doctor said I had to supplement with formula. I did. I still nursed, but I will admit I got VERY lazy. Since there was formula now to back me up and since I was no longer doing my very best to avoid it, I just let it go a little.

    But I realized my mistake and decided I needed to try harder. He's 3 1/2 months now. After starting again, nursing him was tough. His latch is still very shallow and he was getting frustrated. I was in a lot of pain. So I started pumping. I pumped on a 2-3 hour schedule with 4-5 hours of sleep. I am using a hospital grade pump. I am trying to nurse when I'm able and pumping after he's asleep (he sleeps for 8 hours). I've been taking Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Fennel, Brewer's Yeast, Oatmeal. I've taken hot baths, tried to relax, drank liters upon liters of water.

    I've been doing this for a month. My breasts HURT almost all the time. I'm tired all the time. I could be sleeping 8 hours with my sleeping baby but I'm not! I'm only sleeping 5 and I'm exhausted! And in this month, I have only gone from drops of milk up to about 1-1.5 ounces per session (sometimes 2-3 if I let it go longer between sessions).

    It's driving me completely nuts! I just want to give up. Does anyone know anything I haven't tried? I can't take Reglan, and the other one everyone recommends is not approved in the US where I live. I'm in tears now because I feel like such a failure. I know this is happening because I got lazy and now I can't fix it! Any thoughts?
     
  2. IrelandsOwn

    IrelandsOwn Mama to India

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    I'm sorry, I don't pump so I can't really give you advice. Just wanted to say that you're not a failure. Far from it, in fact. You've given your baby an amazing start and no matter what happens you should be extremely proud of yourself
     
  3. cath

    cath Well-Known Member

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    Your supply sounds fine to me. I pumped while I was at work and once supply regulated at about 8 weeks, I often only got an ounce or 2 per pumping session. The pump is not as effective as baby so you often won't get much out. I would just get baby to the breast as much as you can with lots of skin to skin contact. The more he feeds, the more you will produce. If he has a poor latch it might be worth getting him checked for lip or tongue tie. If it is simply laziness from getting used to the bottle then I would try nipple shields. My LO got nipple confusion when she was a few day old and refused to latch from that point on. I started pumping and had almost given up hope of getting her back on the breast when I tried nipple shields and she latched straight away and took a full feed. It meant having to mess around with the shields for a few weeks until we were able to wean her off them but it was well worth it and I went on to BF her until she was 12 months old. Good luck x
     
  4. New Mrs W

    New Mrs W Frankie and Mickey's Mama

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    How long do you want to bf for? At 3.5 months your LO has had more than most. It sounds like you're not enjoying what you're doing right now. Is it worth it? If you think it is then keep going. But if not, if you think it is stopping you from being able to enjoy your LO as much as you would if you didn't have this difficult regime to keep up to then maybe draw a line under it. The only reason i say this js because i am feeling the same myself. My baby still feeds very regularly which is impacting on the time i can spend with my big boy and don't feel that i am enjoying this special time with my babies. I think it is maybe time.for me to stop but i feel very guilty so i just keep going.
     
  5. patch2006uk

    patch2006uk Well-Known Member

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    If he's not latching properly, then that could well translate into a supply problem, as your breasts aren't being drained and so the signals to produce milk aren't being triggered.

    Pumping is hard work. I don't blame you in the slightest for wanting to be done with it.

    However, in your position, I would be seeking out an LC, getting LO assessed for tongue/lip tie or any other issues that might be causing latching problems, stopping bottles and replacing for cups (as they will only be making latching problems worse) and making a concentrated effort to get back to EBF. If, after that, you're still not getting anywhere, and you still can't make BFing work for you, then you either have to decide to find a level of expressing you can live with, or decide to give LO formula.

    This really sounds like it isn't an underlying problem with your supply. The problem is with milk transfer. Your original post says you had an oversupply and got lazy, unfortunately that is how many supply problems start. BFing is a pain to get established, and those early days really do affect how your BFing relationship is going to pan out long term.

    Good luck. Seek some professional advice before making any decisions it would be hard to reverse.
     
  6. patch2006uk

    patch2006uk Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what you're getting at with this post tbh. Yes, 3.5 months is longer than many women breastfeed for. How is that relevant? Breastfeeding isn't really about 'enjoying' it - it's about providing LO with the perfect nutrition, and making decisions for their longterm health.

    The first months are incredibly hard, but not impossibly hard. There wouldn't be any of us breastfeeding past 2 or 3 months if things never got any easier than feeding a newborn!
     
  7. New Mrs W

    New Mrs W Frankie and Mickey's Mama

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    You're not sure what im getting at? Did you read my post? I am fully aware of the nutritional benefits of bf. However, i am also fully aware of how quickly time with our babies passes and of the need to enjoy every single second of it. Some women find bf very easy which is great. However, some don't, particularly those of us with more than one child (although again i know there are many women who manage just fine with several children). I noted that the OP has more than one child which makes her feeding/pumping regime even more punishing. Sometimes women have literally given everything they have to bf and it's still not enough. Over the last 10 weeks i have been bf my baby almost non stop. When i do get a break i am so tired that i struggle to spend time with my biggest boy. I should be enjoying this special time but im not particularly. It would be nice to be able to tell a fellow mother that she has done amazingly well so far and that if she wants to stop and give her baby a perfectly safe, if not as well matched to her baby, alternative she can do so far without having to feel guilty.

    And i feel sorry for anyone who doesn't feel that feeding/bonding with their baby should be enjoyed alongside being nutritionally beneficial.
     
  8. RoseArcana

    RoseArcana Guest

    Just remember, whatever you decide to do you've done amazing to get this far and be dedicated to pumping :flower:

    I can't really suggest anything other than trying to BF as much as possible (pumping alongside can help but it's obviously making you so tired and maybe a bit resentful of it?) If it's just not working for you then that's fine to admit that. You've got to do what's best for you and your baby.

    All the best x
     
  9. patch2006uk

    patch2006uk Well-Known Member

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    I would give almost anything to be facing the challenges of feeding my second baby. You ladies have a gift. Don't throw it away because it's hard at first.
     
  10. CandyDay

    CandyDay Mom of 2

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    I would ditch the night time pumping. As others have said get your LO checked for tongue tie as that has a big affect on latch and sore nipples. Don't give any bottles. If you do need to supplement use a supplemental nursing system but just use it after you have put him on both breasts so he can get out as much as possible. As others have said pumping is not nearly as affective as BFing so lots of ppl don't get much more then an 1oz out and are still BFing there babies and aren't having weight gain issues. Take a look at Dr. Jack Newmans website for great tips on latching.

    https://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=videos
     
  11. pinklightbulb

    pinklightbulb Single Mummy

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    Patch :( :hugs:

    I also would be working on getting LO's latch perfected so that I could spend less time pumping. But I also know that help is not always easily available; it certainly wasn't in my area. I would be slowly cutting back the pumping sessions as I increased nursing sessions once I knew LO had a good latch and was draining the breast as he should be.
     
  12. New Mrs W

    New Mrs W Frankie and Mickey's Mama

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    I am so sorry. I never even looked at your signature. :hugs: xx
     
  13. Care76

    Care76 Cautiously optimistic

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    We had a extremely hard time BF until about five months. We went to Jack Newman's clinic and to a dentist that specialized in tongue ties. After three (!) releases my son finally learned how to latch. At seven months we now have a wonderful BF experience but it was a lot of work getting here.

    First, I stopped pumping. I put baby to breast all the time just to get him to eat even when it was painful. I did have to take domoeridone. It is not approved for BF here either but some doctors will prescribe it. Or when you take fenugreek you should take a lot of it, like 4 capsules 4xday and drink mothers milk tea. You should sweat fenugreek, lol.

    In the end if you and your baby are not happy and you decide not to continue, then try not to be too hard on yourself going to formula. I think it depends on how much you really want to BF deep down. Good luck.
     
  14. patch2006uk

    patch2006uk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    My OP does say that I can't blame anyone for wanting to ditch expressing - I had to do it for 10 days with my LO, and that was more than enough for me. However, these challenges are to be expected, and professional support could be the key for the OP's problems.

    I just don't see how BFing is different to being healthy in pregnancy. Yes, it can be uncomfortable and hard work, but it's worth getting it right, for your baby's sake. 3.5 months isn't to be sniffed at, but just because it's more than average doesn't mean it doesn't matter to try anymore. That's all I was getting at.
     
  15. ladysarcasma

    ladysarcasma Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thanks everyone for all the help :) I have been putting him to the breast more often, but was told to pump after he was done to try to increase supply. BOY is that tedious!

    A LC was recommended to me by my doula (yes I had a doula for a c-section lol). I will be calling her today.


    He was checked for tongue tie when he started having problems. My doctor humored me in saying, "Well, he 'might' have one, but if he does, it shouldn't be causing a problem. I'll refer you to an ENT just in case." But he doesn't have a tongue tie. I think I just taught him from the beginning the wrong way to latch.

    One of the other pediatricians in the practice watched me feeding LO and said his latch is perfectly fine.

    I don't want to give up because I really want to be able to do this. It's what's best for him and I didn't get to do it the first time. So I guess I have a lot of reasons to be putting forth as much effort as possible. But I can definitely also see the benefit in feeding what is known to be a nutritious substitute (DD was entirely formula fed, so I know it's an OK substitute as she is a very healthy kid) so I can enjoy my time with my kids!

    Thanks again for all the advice.
     
  16. Care76

    Care76 Cautiously optimistic

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    I was told by our pedi that my sons tongue was not causing problems and that his latch was fine by a couple lactation consultants. There can be a posterior tongue tie that is very hard to diagnose. There is a Facebook group, Tongue Tie Support Babies and they have files with recommended doctors to diagnose and properly release. I had to drive to find a good doctor and it was well worth it.

    About teaching him the wrong latch, we had the same problem but it worked itself out. :)
     
  17. justkitty

    justkitty First Time Mum

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    Here here I agree! Bf is not the be all and end all and if you are getting stressed this s will impact baby and other children and may (not always) contribute to PND.

    You have done amazingly well and you need to do whats right for you as well.

    If you punish yourself by persevering even though you hate it/its stressful etc the nutritional benefits will be null & void when you have an anxious baby with long term anxiety and stress issues (lots of psychological research on the effects of maternal stress.on babies).

    Enjoy this time whether you continue to express, bf or formula feed ::-D
     
  18. Bun87

    Bun87 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Happy mama = happy baby. Good Luck with whatever you decide to do, you can only do what you feel is right for you and your family.. You will find what works. I have a low supply and I gave up pumping - it was depressing and I was not enjoying my baby. When I stopped it was like a massive weight was lifted. I still bf but top up with formula, it no longer feels like the end of the world, it's what my baby boy needs to survive x

     
  19. Abigail8673

    Abigail8673 Well-Known Member

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    Nipple shield? I use one. I love it. I have a premmie with a bad latching problem. Ive been using a shield and it works great!! its a last resort thing
     
  20. joo

    joo Well-Known Member

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    You just hit the nail on the head about how i'm feeling! We barely go out or see people because of how frequently LO feeds & I feel just as guilty about this as I do when thinking about stopping. I try and reason that yes breastfeeding is best but quality of life is important too!
     

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