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


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#51 itsallnew

Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:56 AM

Breastfeeding isn't always the best choice. I had intended to breastfeed- I'm a dietitian, I thought I was all over it! Then I had life threatening complications, emergency Caesar under GA, a sleepy early baby who wouldn't suck and very little supply. What a shock to the system! I persisted for 3 weeks of pain and incessant pumping before 'confessing' to my mchn that I thought I wanted to try formula. She was super supportive, reiterated that my body hadn't had the usual intro to breastfeeding and that my baby needed nutrition. Little miss inhaled her first bottle and I finally felt like a good mum. Don't beat yourself up, it's like so many things in parenthood - just do what works for you.

#52 Wonderstruck

Posted 25 March 2017 - 04:01 PM

Was a bit rough today. We're pretty sure DD has reflux. Saw my GP this morning who was a little reluctant to offer Zantac but agreed we could try. Poor DD has cried herself hoarse and has been gulping and arching her back so hopefully the meds and thickened formula help.

It didn't help that the GP asked to see DDs latch and feeding on the breast and commented that she was so good at latching and that she'd like to see her completely on breast. I know she was trying to be supportive and encourage breastfeeding. On the back of no sleep and seeing DD clearly in pain I just didn't have the energy to explain it's not that simple right now.

Hoping we can sort out the reflux then work out the rest.

#53 Mama as

Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:00 PM

hi Wonderstruck, I just wanted to chime in and say don't listen to what GPs tell you about breastfeeding. With my first I nearly killed myself trying to exclusively breastfeed and had heaps of lactation appointments. By 6 weeks I had resolved to the fact I would not be able to fully breast fed after lots of shame and tears only to have the GP tell me I wasn't trying hard enough and was 'setting her up for an unhealthy life and it was like feeding her chips instead of vegetables'. Might I add he said all this without asking any questions about my bf issues.
I have since been told the GPs don't do any training on breastfeeding.

#54 Wonderstruck

Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:59 PM

View PostWonderstruck, on 24 March 2017 - 04:51 PM, said:



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.

Today I officially ended my attempts to breastfeed and I am still feeling sad about it. On top of the above my psoriasis which went haywire in pregnancy has occurred on my nipples, a few days of trying to rest them and struggling to find the time to pump reduced from next to nothing to nothing.

I tried mottilium but in the end realised I just don't have the time to put in to try and start from scratch and my nipples aren't playing ball.

I tried to put DD to the breast at tresillian as I was starting mottilium and she was so frustrated getting nothing.

Today at mothers group I heard a few with similar problems who are coming to terms with it. This helped me finally say enough is enough.

I do wish I knew that the last breastfeed was the last and that I could still mix feed but realise it's time to stop flogging myself and making DD work at the breast for nothing.

I hope soon I'll be able to see others breastfeed and not feel guilty, sad or jealous...the same with the pump, breastfeeding clothes and other stuff I bought with the best intentions.

Thank you for the support ladies. I'm hoping my next breastfeeding journey goes better being wiser and hopefully having a better birth experience and start to breastfeeding.

Edited by Wonderstruck, 26 April 2017 - 09:00 PM.


#55 Caribou

Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:10 PM

Sending hugs Wonderstruck. I remember that last day I decided that was the end of BF with DD. I had a good cry about it. It was honestly so hard tomFF and BF and pump!

It looks like we're heading down the same path again with #2 and despite saying I'm not fussed how I feed DS. Obviously s small part of me is sad it's not working as well as I hoped. Not sure what I'll do next!

#56 Wonderstruck

Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:27 PM

Thanks Madness. Congrats on the birth of your DS. Hoping it improves or you feel ok with it. I know the feeling!

#57 HolierThanCow

Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:51 PM

View PostMama as, on 25 March 2017 - 07:00 PM, said:

hi Wonderstruck, I just wanted to chime in and say don't listen to what GPs tell you about breastfeeding. With my first I nearly killed myself trying to exclusively breastfeed and had heaps of lactation appointments. By 6 weeks I had resolved to the fact I would not be able to fully breast fed after lots of shame and tears only to have the GP tell me I wasn't trying hard enough and was 'setting her up for an unhealthy life and it was like feeding her chips instead of vegetables'. Might I add he said all this without asking any questions about my bf issues.
I have since been told the GPs don't do any training on breastfeeding.

That is an appalling thing to say! That kind of thing makes me so angry. Feeding a baby formula is not setting them up for an unhealthy life; it's an excellent, excellent food source. I think this tends to be forgotten in the whole 'breast is best' thing. Somehow 'breast is best' seems to have morphed into 'formula is terrible' in some people's minds. No, putting coca cola or red bull in a baby's bottle is setting them up for an unhealthy life. Not giving them formula. That is so utterly ridiculous, and worse that it came from a supposed medical professional!

#58 HolierThanCow

Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:27 PM

View PostWonderstruck, on 26 April 2017 - 08:59 PM, said:

Today I officially ended my attempts to breastfeed and I am still feeling sad about it. On top of the above my psoriasis which went haywire in pregnancy has occurred on my nipples, a few days of trying to rest them and struggling to find the time to pump reduced from next to nothing to nothing.

I tried mottilium but in the end realised I just don't have the time to put in to try and start from scratch and my nipples aren't playing ball.

I tried to put DD to the breast at tresillian as I was starting mottilium and she was so frustrated getting nothing.

Today at mothers group I heard a few with similar problems who are coming to terms with it. This helped me finally say enough is enough.

I do wish I knew that the last breastfeed was the last and that I could still mix feed but realise it's time to stop flogging myself and making DD work at the breast for nothing.

I hope soon I'll be able to see others breastfeed and not feel guilty, sad or jealous...the same with the pump, breastfeeding clothes and other stuff I bought with the best intentions.

Thank you for the support ladies. I'm hoping my next breastfeeding journey goes better being wiser and hopefully having a better birth experience and start to breastfeeding.

I just wanted to say (and also to another PP who posted about feeling that the birth she had may have contributed to breastfeeding problems), for my two-cents-worth, I had two births, 8 years apart. The first was a vaginal birth, the second was an emergency caesarean.

Because of the time between them, I think of them as being more like two first-time births and two first-time breastfeeding attempts.

Despite knowing what to expect with the second and knowing the importance of getting a 'good latch' from the start, the breastfeeding problems I experienced with my two babies were practically identical, despite their different births.

With the first (the uncomplicated vaginal birth), I had the whole 'hands on' thing with the midwives and the manual retrieval of colostrum and the syringe. I went to multiple breastfeeding clinics, had low supply, a skinny baby, excruciating nipples (which I was told were flat), mastitis, vasospasm in both nipples... The usual breastfeeding nightmare. I got one (out of half a dozen, at least) good person at the breastfeeding clinic I went to who finally told me to ditch the pump (it never worked, only caused more damage) and told me to forget all the advice I'd been given re. latching (it wasn't working) and basically shove my breast as far as possible into my baby's mouth as soon as she opened it. Ludicrously, that sort of worked.

I was mad enough to persevere with this because I was so sure I was doing the best thing for everyone. In hindsight, I wasn't. I did end up breastfeeding for a period, but I don't look on that experience as a 'success'. Everyone was utterly miserable. Especially me.

With the second, who was an emergency caesarean section, she looked like she had a good latch at the hospital and was sent home apparently gaining weight. Then, after a week, the pain started just like with my first child. My nipples cracked again. The vasospasm came back. And, I got dermatitis on my breasts and nipples. I didn't even bother pumping as I knew it was completely useless.

I was looking back over the two growth charts, and the weight loss and gain was practically identical in those first weeks.

I'm sharing this because had they been born 'the other way around' (i.e. the first been the caesarean section and the second the vaginal birth), I wouldn't have known, with the one who was born by caesarean section, that it wasn't the caesarean section that caused the breastfeeding problems for me. If anything, my breastfeeding problems were worse with my first child (the vaginal birth). I just had problems because breastfeeding was/is problematic.

I think you have done absolutely the right thing in going onto formula and I hope you can feel positive about it even though I know it is so hard to give up something you have invested so much in...

#59 lucky 2

Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:24 AM

Quote

I just had problems because breastfeeding was/is problematic
This stood out to me, it says it all really.
I hope you don't mind if I steal it!

Sometimes problems have identifiable causes and sometimes it's not so clear.
Sometimes you can try this or that and it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
All the best for the future. x

#60 HolierThanCow

Posted 27 April 2017 - 11:42 AM

View Postlucky 2, on 27 April 2017 - 09:24 AM, said:

This stood out to me, it says it all really.
I hope you don't mind if I steal it!

Sometimes problems have identifiable causes and sometimes it's not so clear.
Sometimes you can try this or that and it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
All the best for the future. x

Steal away! X

#61 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:09 PM

View PostLiadan, on 28 December 2011 - 10:03 PM, said:

Sharing my BF story.

DD was born shortly before midnight on 15/10/10. While in hospital she was latching well, it took me a little while to figure out a good position to hold her in (ended up using the football hold). We were released from hospital on the morning of Monday the 18th. We had a good day/night that night.

Tuesday was another good day, followed by a horror of a night, DD wouldn't settle, I was exhausted and spent much of the night feeding her. Unfortunately in my exhausted state, I wasn't ensuring that she was attached properly. I woke up Wednesday morning with my left nipple VERY damaged.

DD was weighed, and had good weight gain in the two days that we were at home. Due to my damaged nipples, and being unable to offer her the boob for comfort, we offered her a dummy, which she took. I remember sitting there, trying to feed her. Her screaming, wanting to be fed, me in tears, knowing how much it was going to hurt. It would take me a good 15 minutes to psych myself up enough to let her latch. It's like... deliberately standing on a nail, stabbing yourself in the foot. After the initial attachment, it was fine.

After a couple of days the pain was more bearable. And we were back to breastfeeding well, at least, I thought we were.

The CHN's weren't happy with her weight gain. It was minimal, and she was slowly dropping in the chart centiles for her weight. Her length and HC growth was fine.

I tried pumping, but was getting very little, I was taking fenugreek, which helped initially. Christmas was fast approaching, and I had decided to see my doctor shortly after Christmas to get a script for motilium.

We had a CHN visit on Christmas eve, DD had lost 50g in a week, I was starting to see some signs that she was getting dehydrated, even though I was feeding her frequently. Christmas Eve she had her first top up of formula, she was 10 weeks old.

We pushed on with breastfeeding, I would offer her the breast before each formula top up, this lasted for another few months, and then she started refusing the breast. By the time she was 6 months old, she would refuse the breast unless she had just woken, and was still drowsy. Our last feed was shortly after she turned 7 months. She was refusing the breast, even immediately after waking.

I still miss breastfeeding, I still, at times, feel like a failure.

I had to check the origins of this post as I thought I had written it myself. Your experiences were exactly the same as mine. I was devastated when I could not continue feeding both of mine after doing so well in hospital. 22 and 18 years down the track they are both strong, active and healthy but still, I wish things had been different way back when....

Edited by Feral Grey Mare, 27 April 2017 - 12:10 PM.





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