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When Breastfeeding hasn't worked- A place for sharing and support


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#26 BeYOUtiful

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

What a great idea for a thread.  MsN I related to your story as your beginning with your son was very similar to mine.  Poor attachment, cracked bleeding nipples and being told he was attached 'perfectly'.  I have also had mastitis 6 times.

My outcome has been a different one, but just wanted to say if you would like any of the tips that helped me for when your new bub arrives feel free to PM me.
All the best original.gif

#27 Fright bat

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:38 PM

ETA - thanks jane05, I might. I am quite keen to give it another proper 'go' this time - I have even backed away from buying bottles as a 'just in case', which is something I swore I would do even at the start of this pregnancy! I feel more empowered this time though - I know what issues I had, I've researched why they might have happened, and how to perhaps prevent them. And I have determined I won't be brushed off in hospital - if it's not working it's not working and I won't go home until I have real answers!

Edited by lucky 2, 30 March 2012 - 09:46 PM.


#28 Velocinag

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

This is a great thread.     My DD is 5 weeks old. From the very start BF was painful, I couldn't get her to latch properly no matter how many times the midwives tried to help. When we took her home on day 2 she screamed for hours because she was so hungry and wasn't getting anything from me. I'd been so upset when my dh bought a tin of formula as I was determined to BF but as it turned out I'm glad he did. Once we gave her the formula she was content and slept. I persevered with BF for two more days but my nipples were so sore and cracked that I was dreading every feed and dd was not getting anywhere near enough to drink so we were topping up with formula. I decided to express with a manual pump but that was becoming very tiring and time consuming so I hired an electric pump from the ABA. This worked well for about two weeks but then my supply dropped radically and I had to switch back to manual pumping as the electric pump wasn't getting anything out. To get enough for one feed it was taking three lots of expressing so I started taking motillium but that hasn't worked. I am now in the process of cutting down the number of times I express as I feel it isn't worth the effort I'm putting in. There has been many tears over this and I am so disappointed that BF hasn't been successful but I keep telling myself (and dh does to) that I did the best I could and our dd is a very happy healthy baby so it doesn't matter.I've shed a few tears writing this but it feels good to write it down.Thanks for reading.

#29 Pooks Combusted

Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

Breastfeeding hasn't worked for me and my baby.

I could write a book about what went wrong. In summary, my determination to BF proves to not be enough- insufficient support at hospital, flat nipples, baby has a tongue issue that makes attachment difficult to the point he was not getting enough milk and loses weight, supply issues, expressing and use of nipple shield fails to result in the ability to feed DS adequately, expressing like crazy as well as the demands of feeding for an hour every 2-3 hours, as well as expressing, and preparing formula etc. as well as trying to function with minimal support results in sleep deprivation and symptoms of depression- comp feeding morphs into mostly formula feeding... And I cry a river. In there somewhere is me seeing LCs 6 times, as well as my GP and maternal health nurse, phone calls to the ABA, nurse on call and maternal child health info line- and the AMAZING support here on EB. In the end, I was told by 2 LCs that DS could NOT be fed enough by BF alone and to just express, express, express... but the amount of EBM kept shrinking and DS kept screaming to be fed all of the time and was so unsettled and my sanity kept sliding away... the people around me became worried about my health and in the end I conceded defeat.

I'm not saying I'm happy with my decision, but DS is a different baby now, probably because feeding is no longer a battle ground and I'm a more engaged mummy, largely because I get more than 2-3 hours sleep in a 24 hour period and I'm not anxious about whether he's getting enough.

In an ideal world I wish I could cope with the demands of expressing breast milk to the point it was enough for him without formula, but in reality it just wasn't a sustainable practice in my circumstance. Also, at each feed feeding him at the breast, then giving him EBM in a bottle, then formula to top up, was just so stressful for a hungry baby and for me as he screamed in between each method of feeding and I struggled under the workload involved.

I really enjoyed the initial breastfeeding that I did get to do with DS before it became evident that he wasn't getting enough from it. But there were also aspects that were so stressful. Like a PP, I feel like I need to apologise and justify myself to every Tom, d*ck and Harry who sees me formula feed DS.

I really appreciate the help that some members here offered me and I feel ashamed to admit on here that it didn't work out.

#30 Duechristmasday

Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Hi all.

I have always struggled with BF my children.  My first 4 I BF through all the pain, tears and agony,  due to terrible guilt and upset.  Wont bother explaining why it has always been so terribly difficult for me, it is not important.  I never enjoyed it, even once the pain dissappeared at around the 3 month mark.... I still fed through to well over 12 months for all 4. Errghhhh !

But I decided that with my fifth child I was going to FF and it has been the most wonderful decision I have ever made.  i have bonded so much more with this baby, I am enjoying every feed, we are both happy and she is increibly healthy and content.

It took me 5 children to realise that BF is not the be all end all.... I almost wish that I had not gone through all the heartache with the other 4 and had FF from the start.  I find that it is so much more intimate than BF, because we are both happy.  She gazes at me with every feed, we cuddle and kiss and there IS NO pain associated with it.  Whoever says that FF is not intimate and special is delusional.

A happy, healthy relationship between mother and baby is the most important thing.  I have no guilt this time around, and am open and honest about why and how I am feeding my baby.  

If anyone wants support or advice then feel free to PM me.  Dont ever beat yourself up about your personal choices...and NEVER feel ashamed.

Edited by lucky 2, 30 March 2012 - 09:52 PM.
removal of offensive term


#31 lucky 2

Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:01 PM

Hi,

It's been a busy day in this thread original.gif !

I have removed some posts and edited some responses.

This is not the right thread for giving advice on breast feeding problems, if a member wants advice they are welcome to start a new topic in the forum.
This is also not the thread for divisive discussions on the pros or cons of any feeding method.

I have edited accordingly to keep this thread a safe place for members to share their personal experiences.

Kind regards,

lucky 2
Moderator

#32 Fright bat

Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:50 PM

Thanks lucky2 :-)

#33 StAr80

Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

Here another one who hasn't been able to bf my baby! I had any intention to bf my baby and my pregnancy and birth where so wonderful and 'easy', there was no reason for me to assume it wouldn't work! How naive can one be as it turned out to be bloody hard!

From the beginning the latching on was not a problem, she just didn't drink but using me as a pre heated dummy! As simple as that! We have seen three different lactation consultants (including a private one) many times and none could give us the golden tip. When DD got older she got better at drinking and we managed to do one successful bf in the morning till about 6 months and then DD started to refuse. I expressed till 6.5 months and I stopped as I got sick of it and since we found out DD has a temporarily lactose intolerance, I was only expressing for the freezer as we don't know how temporarily it is anyway!

I was shocked how I felt about not being able to bf DD. I felt ashamed, guilty and not a real mum to my baby! I was jealous of those that could. I also found that there is a lot of support to help but not always in a positive way. I.e. the nurse from the hospital that did the first home visit wanted to encourage me to stick with bf but unfortunately her way of doing so made me feel worse about the fact I had to give formula in the end. I hate it when I read things from  the ABA where they talk about artificial milk, I hate it when I go to a website of a formula brand I have to read and accept that bm is better for babies. Yes I know that and if I could give it I wouldn't be on this website! I don't give formula by choice, I give it because there is not a lot of alternative to offer my baby!
I cried every time I saw a lactation consultant, a maternal and health nurse or just somebody who asked about how I was and how things were going with DD. I was lucky that I could talk to DH about it and that I have such a great support in my mums group and DIG here on EB, otherwise I think postnatal depression would have been a very realistic scenario for me!

Despite this I look back proudly that I managed what I did and for so long and although I feel sad I didn't work out the way I wanted, I know I did everything I could. My baby's health and happiness is the most important thing and she is happy and healthy and I am enjoying every minute of it!

#34 francheska

Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:38 AM

as for my case, i never really had real milk, i only had few drops of them. then dried up by 6th week. i'll try taking motherlove more milk special blend and see if it will work on me. i hope it will help me relactate as i'm still hoping that i'll be able to breastfeed my baby.

#35 GoldenBlack

Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:25 PM

Kind of inspired due to reading elsewhere on the site about someone's mother 'claiming they couldn't breastfeed'.

I could have and decided not to because it was the best thing for my baby.  This statement seems to really enrage people including my hospital, huzza!  I got told my cracked nipples weren't serious and I 'had to' soldier on and 'had no choice'.  I hated breastfeeding so incredibly, massively much that I had resorted to trying not to be in the same room as my baby whenever possible, nor did I in fact feel she was my baby.  I hated the way she'd flail and scream at me, I couldn't cope with the every two hour feedings that lasted an hour, I was so shattered I was in shock from how bizarrely and totally my previously optimistic, happy personality had spiraled down into a morass of despair, hatred, and agony.

Breastfeeding completely destroyed my relationship with my child - complicated by a terrifying, horrific birth, massive bloodloss, terrible continuing pain, severe scarring, etc, etc, lots of other things going on.  Apparently according to some of my consultants and midwives, it was better to hate my baby (and hate her I absolutely did) and 'soldier on' without the non-baby friendly anti-depressants that my alarmed doctor was recommending than give up on breastfeeding.  Even if I actually loathed touching the baby.  My body was destroyed by the pregnancy and birth and permanently damaged, and I simply emotionally couldn't cope with giving up any  more of it to someone else to touch. At all.  I was happy to die rather than endure any more touch.  I felt utterly violated.

Bottlefeeding turned out to be a godsend.  I have zero regrets about it.  I am happy breastfeeding works for some people, but I'm grateful bottlefeeding worked for me.  In answer to someone offline who said 'What would have happened without formula?!' I mentioned goats milk, or death, probably. I know historically a lot of babies simply died.

Now, however, it so happens she is the BEST BABY and man, she smells so gooooood and her hair could be touched for hours.  Just ask me, I can tell  you about it for days.  I happen to now be an expert on excellent babies, and mine happens to be the most excellent IN THE KNOWN WORLD.  And to my relief, she is a massive cuddlebug who doesn't seem at all bothered by her less than ideal start in life.

NB: Got to say here, my mother AND my MIL?  Both utterly supportive of any choice I made.  Both wonderful.  Support was vital for me, I wish everyone got it.

#36 T&A

Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:00 PM

This is a great space, thankyou. My story is similar to many here but can I just say, the thing I hate most is the lid of the formula tin where it just rubs in "Breast is Best"!!!! I also want to add that I completely relate to msn's story of tears, pain and the constant 'you have it perfect' that the midwives doll out. It brought back tears of my own. They are not attached to your nipple and do not understand. My hubby and mother were my godsend in letting me know I was not a failure for formula feeding, and without the bottle, I don't know what might have happened. It has been a long road back to loving my daughter and myself, but I'm getting there, and with less guilt every day.

Edited by T&A, 06 July 2012 - 12:17 PM.


#37 just looking

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

Has anyone ever encountered line feeding when trying to establish breast feeding in hospital. I had this situation 4 years ago and was wondering if anyone else had experienced this? I don't know what they thought that would achieve. I was a first time mum and had a hideous nurse that made me feel like a complete failure. leaving hospital 3 days after a c section was the best thing I did. I continued to try and bf despite bleeding cracked nipples and not much milk , we then went to a combination of expressing and formula which made me feel a little better . I stopped expressing around 3 months, relaxed and began enjoying being a mum for the first time. If we are lucky enough to have another I know I won't beat myself up about not being able to breast feed.

#38 MeN3Ps!

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

Thank you for creating this space _ such a great idea!

I felt like a failure. Last about 10 weeks of BFing DS and DD but mainly expressing milk into bottles.

My DD couldn't latch properly and had severe reflux. My DS was quite a good little drinker..

But it got to the point where my supply couldn't meet demand to feed the twins and I was passing out on the bed.. NO energy left to eat, drink or take a shower.

I really gave it my best shot. I agree with a PP where it is really hard when you see it on the Formula Tin (or just about everywhere).. that "Breast is Best".

I even used to get the guilts from some of my girlfriends who are BF zealots.... seriously girls - Back Off!!

Oh and - my children were WASTING, so I had the guilts that my BFing was not enough for them to survive on and had to switch to Formula! This was incredibly hard to deal with...

Edited by MeN3Ps!, 16 November 2012 - 06:11 PM.


#39 Quay11

Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:03 PM

Thankyou for creating this space. I went through a lot of emotions when I had breastfeeding issues. My first was comp fed for 6 months and my second was exclusively formula fed after one week of comp feeding.

I feel that this is an important area needing support for women and am glad it is being recognised.

#40 Michelle 125

Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:34 PM

This is grate:)

With me it was down to, I simply just dried up and it happend so quick I had know idear.

I was 19 when I had DD (number 1) and having verry little to do with children and any BF in my family and just moved to AUS i had only DH and BIL for suport, so I had to read up on how to BF my DD, so I got reading thourght I've got it I can do this it will all go how the books say and that will be that.

Well we got off to a grate start from first feed even tho she was born with a slight cleft lip the nurses where impressed and said what a grate job for a young mum and I was a natural, well it was fine she was a grate baby only waked 2-3 times a night had no pain it was all looking up till we hit the 9 week mark she started to get a little more fussy, which was not her, wated to feed every 20-30 min I was thinking is this normal, she had been in a solid routine from day one.

So I just keep'ed going thinking she might be just be having a bad week, well by the end of the week it was bad she was screening, and just not right so I dropped in to my clinic to see the nurse and get a check I'm glad I did she said well she's dehydrated and lost weight, I was in shock and asked the nurse why, shes feeding every 20-30 min.

she went on to say your supply is dropping off and shes not getting enugh from you, you need to go to the doctors and get some pills to increase your supply.

I said how long do thay take to work?  May be a week or two she said, well what am I suposed to do while thay work?
She gave me a death stair and said you need BF your baby!
I quickly replied with to hell with that she need food, and went strate to the chemist and got FF and bottles and she did grate back to the dream child in a day, I felt so guilty that I had unknownly staved my baby and had know Idear what was going on not the fact that I couldn't BF

With DS (number 2) I was strate on to it, i stocked up on FF and bottles from week 2 and yep started to dry up around week 9 I had a go at pumping this time between BF and FF for a good week but found it would take a good hour to get 10mill so I stopped and FF from then on it was grate to be able to sleep when he did and not be pumping and get no where

This time around (number 3) on the way I will do the same BF till I dry up, and have bottles and FF if it goes pair shaped if it goes longer grate if not its not the end of the world.

Thanks again, sorry for the spelling and gramma:) I do try

#41 SophTheMotherLoad

Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:43 PM

Hi there,

It has taken me a long time to consider the best way to approach my feelings towards my 'failure' to breastfeed. Failure is the wrong word but I guess it's often how we feel and sometimes how we're labelled. I have approached my story on my blog (so I won't re-tell it here) in an effort to give others a chance to see (like with this forum) that the guilt ridden path is unnecessary and it's possible to pass through it and subsequently shake it off.

Regardless, thanks EB for providing somewhere for mothers to feel connected on this subject.

:)

#42 Hands Up

Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:06 PM

Just found this thread, and really appreciate reading the stories of others who have also struggled.

I feel like we were behind from day one. I have flat nipples and DS almost ruined them that first two days. We then went on to shields and pumping (because DS was starving). The hospital grade pump was so painful, I shudder to think of it.

We got home and BF'ing was taking two and a half hours. I was BF'ing for 12-14 hours a day and every time DS would cry for food half an hour later as it was taking so long he was hungry so quickly afterwards. It would take him up to 5 minutes to latch on and he would SCREAM the whole time he was trying to figure it out.

After three weeks of this I started expressing full-time, with DS bottle fed. It was so painful I had to hand express (I got quite good at it). I had to supplement with two formula feeds a day as DS has always been a big drinker.

I was basically housebound as you can't express in public (at least I can't) and I was having to express after the 1am and 4am feed so I was exhausted and I was miserable. So at 7 weeks I started to slowly stop expressing and now at 9 weeks I fed DS his last EBM bottle yesterday (and cried).

I honestly thought BF'ing would be easy for me. I don't know why. I now feel guilty that I am loving the carefree joys of only expressing to avoid discomfort as opposed to providing food...... but not so guilty that I am prepared to ramp back up again. This is about my sanity and my sleep. I can go out without counting the minutes to rushing back home. I can feed DS in the middle of the night and go straight back to sleep. These things do matter (to me).

Anyway, this thread is a great way of getting it off my chest (ha ha). Now I'm off to bed and DH is staying up to the dream feed... another advantage of formula feeding!!

#43 aussieaussie

Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:13 PM

I have had issues from day 1 too. DD hasn't ever latched so hand expressed at hospital and the LC suggested to try nipple shields. We did and they have been working. Then my milk was delayed and didn't come in until day 8!! So I had a very hungry baby and I was very upset. As a result we started formula feeding top ups, which I felt really guilty about because of the 'breast is best' message. We have also had two more appointments with the LC, which makes me so nervous they will point out what I'm doing wrong when I'm trying so hard.

Edited by aussieaussie, 07 September 2014 - 12:04 AM.


#44 Wonderstruck

Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:51 PM

View PostFright bat, on 30 March 2012 - 12:55 PM, said:

As a 'failed' breastfeeder, I think this forum is great. I was told repeatedly after DS was born that I was clearly a 'natural' at breastfeeding because he just latched on and off he went. I had grazed and cracked nipples within days but multiple midwives and LCs kept saying that was 'normal' and to press on. My nipples got so grazed they scabbed over and I had to pick the scabs off so milk would flow - apparently this would 'get better with time. I hated DS. I hated holding him, I dreaded when he would get hungry because the pain was toe curlingly awful. I called my MCHN who said to put lanolin and silicone pads on them. It didn't help. I called the ABA and was told not to use nipple shields under any circumstance as it would cause 'nipple confusion'. I was lectured about the benefits of breastfeeding and told if I just tried hard enough, it would work, and it would help me bond with my baby. I called my MCHN again who told me to express then feed EBM until my nipples healed. I did, doubling the time it took to feed DS. My nipples healed. I went to see an LCD to start over with healed nipples. She told me my attachment was 'perfect'. Two days later they were cracked and toe curlingly painful.

At four weeks, DH found me on the floor, sobbing in pain as I tried to feed DS. 'I wish we never had him, I hate him' I sobbed. DH took him away. I told him not to, DS was still hungry. He told me to be quiet and go have a shower, and he'd sort it out. Half an hour later, I came down from my shower to find my angelic husband had went and bought a tin of formula, sterilised some bottles and fed DS who was blissfully falling asleep. That was the end of breastfeeding for me, and the start of my actually liking and bonding with my baby. People have flamed my husband for 'ruining' my breastfeeding relationship. He didn't; I had no breastfeeding 'relationship', I had this thing that I despised that no one else had given me any solution to. I needed my husband to give me permission to stop torturing myself, and I'm grateful he did.

I'd like to feed my next baby due in two weeks. I've done my research and gone to classes. I've asked lots of peope lots of questions. I still don't know why I had such issues when multiple experts told me I had 'perfect' attachment. What I have learnt though is that I shouldn't accept 'nothing is wrong' when it clearly is. And that my now 2.5 year old is healthy and happy despite formula. He wasn't more sick, he disn't get eczema, and I haven't gotten breast cancer. Just because I didn't breastfeed him. And my husband has given me an enormous amount of support to try again, but also given me permission to fail again.

I will not judge my ability to be a good mother on my ability to breastfeed, because that's ridiculous.

I can relate to your post.

DD is 4 weeks on Sunday. She was born by emergency Caesar after a long and painful posterior labour. I'm petite and she wouldn't fit at 3.74kg. I bleed a little more than usual but it wasn't thought to be significant at the time but I guess it added up and I continued to bleed after the Caesar. I lost 2.5L of blood due to a small cervical tear.

The first night I was in ICU so DD had formula and the next day they brought her down for a breastfeed. She latched like a natural and continued to do so.

She was unsettled and hungry - feed for longer they said - I did till my nipples bled. Until a lovely midwive suggested I comp her as my milk was delayed and she was hungry. I still feed through the pain for 20-25 mins a side then comped with formula.

Until DD threw up blood clots the day my milk started to come in. It was from my nipples and the clotting agents I had been given. So I needed to rest my nipples for a week to heal while my milk was coming in - I did some expressing but had to be careful not to make my nipples worse.

Went to a breastfeeding clinic who advised her latch was perfect I was just leaving her too long so she was damaging nipples when there was nothing there. They recommended BF and gave me tips to know she had drained the breast, then express for stimulation while DH gives the bottle.

I'm still trying but it's so depressing only feeding her for ten mins a side, barely getting 20mls whether I feed her on the breast or express and then comping.

Not sure how long I will continue BF - I feel so guilty I can't especially when she's a pro and I do enjoy the bonding aspect but I don't enjoy the exhaustion of doing something that feels futile.

I know our rough start has contributed but I hate that part of  me hates BF but the other part would love to at least be giving her a bit more than I can...

I feel so silly I thought it would be easy, bought a pump and breastfeeding tops and all that which now when I look at it makes me depressed :(

It helps reading all these stories...no matter how long ago they were posted.

Edited by Wonderstruck, 24 March 2017 - 04:53 PM.


#45 Ozquoll

Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:19 PM

Hey Wonderstruck
Been four years since my son was born and I still remember how guilty I felt not being able to BF successfully. I thought it would be easy too, since all the other women in my family could pretty much win the BF Olympics, if there was one.
Instead, a combo of flat nipples, tongue tie, and (I think) my son's dislike of BFing, meant that right from the start we used formula plus the pitiful amount of breast milk I was able to express. I felt guilty for quite awhile, until a wonderful friend mentioned that she had been FF and had turned out pretty well. Which she had! Looking at my now 4yo son, he's turning out pretty well too :-)
Please don't beat yourself up about BFing not going quite the way you planned. If your baby is well-fed and well-loved, AND you are feeling happy and confident, that's the most important thing.
Enjoy these early dayscwith your beautiful bub, it really does go so quickly.
Best,
Ozquoll

#46 Ellie bean

Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:33 PM

Thinking of you wonder struck. I ff my children for different reasons (protein intolerances), my youngest is 3 now but I still hate to think of any mum feeling guilty for feeding her baby in whatever way is best for her. While breastmilk is pretty amazing, formula is pretty miraculous too, I'm now actually really proud of my decision to do the best thing for my babies, whether you end up ff, comp feeding or bf I hope you can be proud too.
Eta and congratulations on your baby!

Edited by Ellie bean, 24 March 2017 - 05:38 PM.


#47 Wonderstruck

Posted 24 March 2017 - 06:26 PM

Thanks Ladies. I know I shouldn't feel guilty but weirdly still do which I'm sure will ease with time :) I do wonder if I'll have an easier time with future bubs as it does seem like we had many setbacks.

The midwives and early childhood nurses have told me it's no surprise my body is struggling with breastfeeding so I should remember that!

Edited by Wonderstruck, 24 March 2017 - 06:27 PM.


#48 Caribou

Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:12 PM

My Bfing didn't work out for DD, I stuck it out for 3 months under pressure and tears while topping up with formula. I felt horrible for using formula, in fact I was ashamed. I didn't like Bfing in front of people either. And worse, when I supplemented with formula, people insisted on feeding her for me. I was quite vocal and said no, but was told I was being ridiculous. Bottle feeding to me was still my way of bonding with DD when I couldn't give her enough BM. In the end I stopped, I pumped constantly, topped up with formula, fed from the breast... I was going around in circles. I couldn't ever pump more than 20mls at a time even after three months

I too had ah emergency Caesar, no where as bad as yours Wonderstruck, but traumatic nonetheless.

It took a few years, but I realised I was letting so many people determine how I should feed DD, while I knew formula was best due to low milk supply, I let everyone's comments bother me about not feeding her BM. Fast forward 5 years. I have ah intelligent, arcitulate child who you'd never known she was a premmie, formula fed, or IUGR.

I did initially feel like I failed as a mum to not BF her, but I no longer see that now I look at her at 5yo. There's so much more to the child than BF. I found plenty of other ways to bond with her. How you feed your child doesn't change how wonderful they'll be 5yrs down the track, they won't even remember it. What they'll remember, is mum loves them and kept them safe and fed.

With #2 on the way, I do hope to BF, but I won't be too upset to end up on formula either. If I genuinely do have a low milk supply that's all it is, I can't do anything, just focus on enjoying my baby and long as he's fed and growing, it's what matters.

But I remember how hard it is as a FTM and trying to BF. Only do what you can Wonderstruck. And remember, youre doing a fantastic job raising your DD. enjoy those newborn moments with her. x

#49 Wonderstruck

Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:32 PM

Thank you Madness! I hope you have more luck with this bub but am glad this time you won't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't work out!

#50 ElsaM

Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

I too failed at breastfeeding.  I knew from the start that I wouldn't be able to do it for too long as I'd need to go back on my non-breast-friendly medication at some point once my arthritis kicked in again (it had gone into remission during pregnancy).  But I planned to do it for as long as I could, my goal was three months.

DS wouldn't latch.  Midwife after midwife tried to adjust my hold and my DS's position, but it just wouldn't work and soon he was screaming the moment we started.  So the midwife would hand express my colostrum, which was confronting, and then syringe feed him.  And then he'd spit it up.

Eventually they said my nipples were flat.  They didn't mention the tongue tie, but he had one of those too.  A couple of weeks later we worked out he had acid reflux as well, which wasn't helping either.  

After a couple of days I was told he'd need to have formula and I felt like the biggest failure.  He'd already been born via c-section due to being breach, and I'd had to take some medication during pregnancy.  Breastfeeding exclusively, at least at the start, seemed like the least I could give him.  I'd read and been told about the importance of a virgin gut, read all I could find about the benefits of breast feeding, all the arguments etc.  

So I started expressing and mixed feeding.  My nipples by this stage were cracked and sore, I was leaking everywhere, and once my husband went back to work it became nightmarish.  Due to the reflux DS would scream every time I put him down.  But I had to pump every 2-3 hours and couldn't hold him while I did it.  He stopped napping (again due to reflux) and the sleep issues started up, which were a whole other story.  

My arthritis came back with a vengeance around the 6 week mark, but by this stage I'd well and truly lost the ability to think straight and couldn't imagine giving up, the breast is best message had been hammered in.  So I'd stagger round the house, barely able to walk, desperately coming up with excuses not to pick up DS because of  how much it hurt, and dreading pumping.  

The lack of sleep had gotten to my husband and he stopped being sympathetic. We ended up arguing a lot.  Unsurprisingly, I developed PND and anxiety.  

Around the 9 or 10 week mark I finally gave up and we went entirely onto formula.  

I wish I had admitted it wasn't working at the start, but that's the benefit of hind sight.  Things are so much better now.  DS is 18 months old and very happy, my husband and I like each other again, I just wish the beginning hadn't been so stressful.

Edited by ElsaM, 24 March 2017 - 09:11 PM.





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