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Breastfeeding is driving me insane

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#1 Minnie80

Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:46 PM

Hi everyone,

So, I totally failed to bf my son due to flat nipples, low supply and problems with suckling. I mix fed for six weeks, then quit bf and pumped for another six weeks. Then I gave up. I was really hoping this time is different. But nope. I can't get her to latch. She's not getting much milk. She went for 24 hours with no wet nappies and when she did it was orange in colour. I saw a lactation consultant twice and we worked on the latch. Yesterday, she told me that my daughter was in the beginning stages of dehydration and recommended that after bf, I pump each breast for 20 minutes and feed her with a syringe. As soon as we did that, she pooped and fell asleep. The previous nights she refused to sleep due to hunger. However, this routine became very difficult, as it required both my husband and I to be up all night. I would bf, while my husband would wash and sterilize the pump and then hold her while I pumped for 40 minutes. All this to get 15 ml. 30 if we are lucky! My husband is off work now, but once he goes back, I won't be able to ask him to stay up with me through the night so I can pump. It's such a mess. Tomorrow, I will go back to the pediatrician for a reassessment. I am sorry for the rant, but I don't know what to do!!!

#2 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:51 PM

If you still need to pump when your DH goes back to work, then breast feed and do formula top ups. Or just go to formula. It’s great that’s she’s getting some breastmilk, but I think you should put your well-being as a higher priority. Do what works!

And congratulations on your brand new DD!

#3 taters

Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:55 PM

I dont have any advice... but it is 100%ok to feed your bubba formula. Your mental health is so important so if it is easier than worryimg about bf then think about changing.

#4 Jingleflea

Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:57 PM

You know what? As much of a breastfeeding advocate as I am, it doesn't work for everyone and formula is NOT poison so if you want and need to bottle feed, then do it.

You've also got another child so can't spend all day and night feeding and pumping etc so if FF works for you, do it.

Your DD's health is more important than trying to breastfeed and her not get enough milk. Some women just can't  BF and that's why we have such good formula now.

And congrats on your new daughter.

#5 JBH

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:01 PM

Breastfeeding can be a positive for your baby, but a sane and calm mother is important too. While breastfeeding is a good thing, you need to balance it against your family’s other needs. You’re giving it a really good crack and trying to problem solve what’s not working, but changing to mix feeding or exclusive formula is not failing, it’s being a flexible and responsive parenting. It’s worth persevering until it’s impacting your wellbeing or that of your baby. Talk to your care team - maybe supplementing with formula would be an option if you want to keep breastfeeding but can’t cope with the expressing.

#6 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:06 PM

I could have written your original post 21 years ago when I battled to breastfeed my second baby after having exactly your issues with my first. My babies are now 24 and 20 and are healthy, fit and active adults. Nobody would ever guess that they were formula fed from around six weeks of age. As another member said, formula is not poison and while breastfeeding is the most obvious way to nourish a baby it doesn't always work. Don't beat yourself up over this. Do whatever it takes to give your baby both the nutrition he needs and arelaxed and happy mother.

#7 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:11 PM

You cannot keep up with a schedule like that, especially with a child who had significant needs above an average child.

It’s ok to say this isn’t working, I need to put mine and my families wellbeing first and bottlefeed.

#8 3babygirls

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:23 PM

You are amazing. You are obviously struggling with breastfeeding, but you are trying so hard.
I know when you really want to breastfeed but you are struggling it can feel really awful when people suggest formula feeding (well in my experience thats how I felt) however, It may be worthwhile to try formula top ups and keep going trying to feed and pump (if you want to). The formula will take the pressure off you a bit.
Call the Australian breastfeeding association for some support. I called them a few times and they were just great even just for someone to talk to. What about some lactation cookies to try and boost your supply for pumping.
Do you have any drop in breastfeeding groups that you could go to? I found them really helpful.

Just remember, breastfeeding is amazing but your mental health and your babies health is most important!

#9 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:25 PM

Drat this poster does not live in Australia. She lives in Africa.

#10 Apageintime

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:31 PM

I would get bub assessed for lip and tongue ties. There are international board certified lactation consultants that do skype consultations and can assess for this

#11 Lou-bags

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:55 PM

Minnie 15ml from pumping in the early days is actually great. Your supply is still establishing and so you shouldn’t expect to be pumping huge volumes just yet. How old is your baby now? (Massive congrats by the way!!!).

And the orange in the urine in the first few days is super normal- they should have told you that. You poor thing that would have freaked me out! It’s called urates and is NOT a sign of any problem. Totally normal and expected.

You can reach out to the ABA for support even if you are overseas I believe- let me check that info and PM you.

Here is some info for looking out for signs your baby is getting enough:

And I second the suggestion to have your baby checked for ties.

Have you considered nipple shields?

You’re awesome Minnie, you’ve overcome a lot since becoming a mother and it hasn’t been easy. Hang in there x

#12 Trevor Trove

Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:55 PM

My first baby is now a 170cm tall, pimply 12 year old grot. I suffered through flat nipples and nipple shields and pain and depression. After three months, firstborn fed perfectly well until weaning in toddlerhood.

If I had my time over - would have bottlefed from birth. Not worth the horrible emotional stress.

Best of luck for you and your DD xo

Edited by Trevor Trove, 13 February 2019 - 07:56 PM.

#13 afterlaughter

Posted 13 February 2019 - 08:28 PM

Have you tried feeding using the football hold? I have flat nipples and large breasts and if I latch in traditional cross cradle Bub slips off straight away, however under my arm on a pillow she stays latched and is still feeding at 8.5 months. A bit of a nuciience as when we are out I have to have a pillow but washing up fills me with dread so bottles are not for me.

#14 LoveMyMuffins

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:15 PM

I believe you don’t have to sterilise pumps anymore? Just wash will do. Same with bottles if bottles are only used for breastmilk. I could be wrong. Last I pumped was 2.5 years ago!

I breastfed both of mine for 2.5 years each and always am all for  breastfeeding but only if both mum and bubs are happy.  I hated pumping even though I had to at the beginning for various reasons. It is tedious and time consuming!  You are doing really really well BUT please look after yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula. Happy mum, happy bubs. Your mental health is far more important. Big hugs to you.

#15 Stylus

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:25 PM

Urates in the baby’s nappy for more than a few days after birth are not normal and are a sign of low breastmilk supply. I’m not sure how many days old your baby is, but I would monitor that and not ignore it.

Current advice is that sterilising pumping equipment and bottles is not necessary, so perhaps that could save you some time, if you wanted to keep expressing? But, as others have already said, if it’s not working out, it’s ok to move on. You’ve made your best efforts to breastfeed and that’s more than enough.

#16 deedee15

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:33 PM

Have you tried the nipple shields, once my milk came in, I used them for both babies, but you do need to look after yourself, be kind to yourself

#17 Lou-bags

Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:01 PM

View PostStylus, on 13 February 2019 - 10:25 PM, said:

Urates in the baby’s nappy for more than a few days after birth are not normal

Yes good point. My first reading of the OP had me thinking she was talking about when still in hospital as baby can’t be more than a week or so old now- perhaps less.

Edited by Lou-bags, 13 February 2019 - 11:04 PM.

#18 Minnie80

Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:13 AM

My DD is six days old. When we took her to the lactation consultant, she said that she has both lip and tongue tie. She said most babies have one or the other. But my DD has both. But when we saw her pediatrician the next day, he shot that down and said my DD doesn't have either and the diagnosis is wrong. So this is another issue causing me stress. I don't like having contradictory diagnoses about something so important at this stage.
We have tried nipple shields and it didn't help with the latch unfortunately.
We are seeing the pediatrician again for a follow up and we will see what he has to say about all this.

#19 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:59 AM

Minnie, in all honesty, paediatricians often know very little about breastfeeding and tongue ties. Lactaction consultants are specialists in lactation.

#20 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:13 AM

Pumping and doing top ups is really hard when you have another kid as well.

Just use formula, express when you can, but don’t put pressure on yourself if it’s not working.

My one regret, a big one, is that I persisted with breastfeeding my first son for months longer than I should have. When I think of all the quality time I missed frigging round with expressing and top ups, I basically never saw my son awake, it took so long just to feed him, it makes me quite sad. Switching to formula was the biggest relief ever.

#21 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:19 AM

I would follow Jenflea’s and ~JF~ advice..... go to formula. My first 2 both had troubles feeding ~ my second was dry nappies and fluro yellow bile reflux so paed recommendation for formula at 21d. My third actually latched on and fed like a pro.

Don’t flog a dead horse. Your health both physically and mentally is important. Formula is a good alternative.

ETA ~ congratulations on the birth of your DD.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 14 February 2019 - 06:21 AM.

#22 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:42 AM

I don’t think most babies have one or the other, that’s seems like an exaggeration, a quick google says it’s about 10% of babies (granted I only looked at a couple of pages) and would probably put me off ushing that lactation consultant. Personally I would find another lactation consultant if you plan to continue to breastfeed.

It also ok to get a second opinion from another pediatrician, to be a 100% certain that you have the right advice.

At the end of the day you have to do what’s right for you, whatever feeding way you feel that is. A baby needs a mum who is happy and healthy and they need to be fed, it doesn’t matter how but if one option is so stressful it is causing major issues, move to the other option.

#23 Flaxen

Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:44 AM

Lip and tongue ties make BF very difficult, they need to be corrected, and by a professional. If you wish, ask the lactation cons if there is anyone they recommend.
Other than that, I think moving to formula is the sensible choice.

I changed to formula after 6 weeks with my first due to ongoing feeding problems and dropping weight.
I BF my second daughter until 12mths, tongue ties, had to take medication daily for my low supply (which caused bad side effects) and I hated BF the whole way through. I dont want to go back to that time in my life.
Choosing formula can be the right choice too.

Edited by Flaxen, 14 February 2019 - 02:07 PM.

#24 Minnie80

Posted 15 February 2019 - 01:20 PM

Can somebody explain to me why a baby would repeatedly take the nipple then spit it out while crying and hysterical? I can't find anything on the net about it other then a too fast flow, which is not our problem at all.

#25 MrsT2018

Posted 15 February 2019 - 01:31 PM

One of my friends baby had reflux - without the milk coming back out.

Maybe look into this with your doctor?...

  • Usually milk is the main part of what is brought up and this does not worry the baby, but acid from the stomach may hurt (heartburn) and in bad cases the lining of the tube from the throat to the stomach (the oesophagus) can become sore and inflamed. This is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and it is actually quite uncommon.

Is it gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)?

Often unsettled babies are said to have GORD (often just called 'reflux'), but GORD may not be the reason for most unsettled behaviour, even in babies who spill. It can be hard to tell whether crying is due to GORD. Some behaviours that might suggest GORD include:
  • - Spilling or swallowing with signs of being uncomfortable.
  • - Fussy feeding, when the baby takes a small amount hungrily, then cries and refuses to continue feeding.
  • - Restless sleeping (for example waking and crying about 20 minutes after being put down to sleep).
  • - The baby feeling very tense and stiff and arching back (however most babies will become stiff and arch when they are crying hard, and this behaviour is caused by many things, not only reflux).
  • - Coughing after a feed.
  • - The baby seems more comfortable if she is held upright.
  • - The baby seems much better for a short time if she is given an antacid (but only try this if advised to by your doctor).

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