So far I'm not a fan of breastfeeding

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eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440
So far I'm not a fan of breastfeeding

This whole breastfeeding thing is down right difficult. If it isn't one thing its another. My nips were finally starting to heal and now Im engorged and his latch at first is crappy and hurts. Also he chomped down yesterday and blood gushed all over his face. He looked like a vampire baby.

So when does it stop hurting? When did your LO start going longer stretches between feedings? Henry is still on for 40 min, off for an hour....2 if im lucky. He has been going longer at nights..sometimes 3-4 hours.
Also when did you/will you introduce a bottle? How many bottles do you/will you give per day?

ILoveMyMiniMe's picture
Joined: 12/11/03
Posts: 2333

We didn't get the hang of breastfeeding for at least a good 2 weeks. I kept reminding myself that he's new to this and doesn't get it so I needed to be patient with him. Smile

It also takes a good 10-14 days for your milk supply to fully come in. When that happens is when I believe he will be able to go longer between feedings because he's getting more.

Bram got his first bottle at about 3 weeks old.. simply because that's when he started wanting more food than I could supply him in one feeding so we started supplementing with the frozen milk I had been banking. He still takes to the breast just fine even when he's had a bottle.. he's good with both. Smile

HTH!! So sorry you're bleeding. Sad Have you gotten the Lanolin cream? I hear that is a lifesaver when breastfeeding! :bigarmhug:

Joined: 03/19/05
Posts: 338

you are in the worst part right now. The first three weeks is one growth spurt after another and all the babies want to do is cluster feed.
Just try to survive the first three weeks and then it gets soooo much easier.

Have you seen a lactation consultant to try to fix his latch? You could try pumping an ounce off before nursing him to help him latch easier (hard bowling balls are a challenge for little mouths!). I just save these small bottles in the fridge and at the end of the day if I don't use it, then I put it all together in a bag and freeze.

Be careful giving a bottle right now, especially if his latch is not correct. It could make it worse. I have given a bottle on occasion to Tim, more often at first because he would refuse the breast at night and just arch and scream. I would pump then feed it back to him.

crazy j's picture
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 1162

You're not alone! Many times in the first four week, I said out loud, "this sucks! I hate this!" It continues to get easier as time goes, but it's sstill difficult. If you'restill in this much ppain, please see a Lactation Nurse. Also, when he's on, try to make sure his top lip is out, then pull a bit on his chin. That might help. I also found certain positions hurt less in the beginning.

As for the bottle, I waited until 4 weeks, but if you'reat your breaking point, I don't think one will hurt anything, as long as he doesn't have a chance to get used to it this early. Hugs momma. It does get better, but the beginning SUCKS!

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

I will be honest and say that with my 3rd baby, I HATED breastfeeding for the first 8 weeks. After that it was manageable and I lasted for 9.5 months. I was on the verge of stopping at 5 weeks but I talked myself back into it. It is HARD! I'm so sorry for the pain you are in, I know exactly how that feels. I would often cry through every nursing session. I did a bottle of breastmilk a few times a week to give my nips an occasional break from his latch starting around 2 weeks old.

Definitely see an LC if you haven't already for tips on a better latch and more comfortable experience for yourself! Also, don't feel bad that you don't love breastfeeding. Some babies are naturals, and some women love BF and feel so empowered by it - you shouldn't feel bad if you are not one of those people! Just do the best you can. Hang in there!

tori729's picture
Joined: 07/23/07
Posts: 1743

I feel ya woman! Still dealing with a raw nipple on one side. The other is just now healing to where it doesn't hurt if I touch it!
I just keep thinking "6 weeks! 6 weeks!" because generally by then bfing gets a WHOLE Lot better - my supply levels out, he is more awake and more efficient, latch is better, etc.
There are lots of things I could say about it. I've thought about giving up with EVERY kid but at this point at least I know that for me, it does get better with time and is SO SO worth it to stick it out because IMO it's much easier than bottle feeding. I know that you will be going back to work though so that's something to consider.
With bottles, I would also put it off for a bit unless you have to use them because this early on it can make their latch worse. Mine always have shallow latches at first - it's a combination of me having flatter nipples that don't naturally protrude and my babies always have small heads/jaws so it just takes time sometimes.

I would recommend a lactation consultant as well but didn't you say you saw one already? If so, keep in touch with them and update them on your progress.

Breastfeeding does NOT always come naturally and for me, I ALWAYS have pain and cracked/bleeding nipples for the first month or so.
It IS good that you're engorged though - you have the milk so nurse nurse nurse to maintain your supply. I KNOW It's hard and painful. You can try icing your nipple before he latches on. And lanolin like crazy - I like the Medela brand, it seems creamier than the Lansinoh brand. If it doesn't help, you can use Polysporin or get a script for Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Cream which is expensive if you don't have insurance but is soothing and contains a pain killer so it sort of numbs your nipple a bit. You can also try taking some Tylenol 30 min before you nurse to ease the pain.

PM me if you need to mama, I totally totally understand how hard it can be! Just take it week by week or day by day if you need to and know that if you really can't do it, that's fine too!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Hugs Elizabeth! Breastfeeding is definitely a challenge, and I can soooo relate to how painful it can be at first, plus having a baby that cluster feeds on sore/raw nipples. My left nipple has been okay pretty much the whole time, but my right developed a crack in the hospital that JUST healed within the past week (he's 7 weeks!!!!) I was living on ibuprofen and Medela nipple cream there for a while. And I should be old hat at breastfeeding! T breastfed for almost 14 months. I also had pain with him for about the first six weeks, so maybe that's just a thing for me. Anyway, now that it doesn't hurt anymore and he's not looking for it constantly, I enjoy nursing. It actually feels very relaxing when it doesn't hurt, and I feel like it has to be easier than making bottles (maybe not though, I've never really done bottles so I can't say for sure.) Hoping that you heal up soon and start being able to enjoy or atleast tolerate it.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

Thanks ladies. Yeah I'm seeing an LC every couple of days and I've started taking Henry to the chiro. But the cluster feeding continues. And yikes sometimes when he is really mad he grabs my nip with his hand and pulls. OUUUCCCHHH!! So here is my latest dilemma...at about 6pm I'm out of milk for a few hours, so he sucks and sucks but isnt satisfied. Finally around 9pm I get milk back, enough for a small feeding and thru the night I'm producing but he goes longer between feedings because I think he tires himself out with his early evening food protests. But because he sucks for like 3 hours, I think its causing some major engorgement issues in the morning. I can't shower or even wear a shirt without my nips feeling like they are on fire. So my LC recommends that I pump before that first morrning feeding, which I do. It helps and after about the 2nd or 3rd feeding my boobs are back to normal and it doesnt hurt as much.

But geez, how do I make my body produce milk at 6pm so that I can avoid this crap? I swear he sucks me dry during the day. My nips are gross. I use lanolin like no other and hydrogel pads, I ice my boobs between feedings and then use warm them right before. I'm drinking mothers milk tea and tons of water. I feel like I'm doing everything right but my body/baby are not cooperating.

Sometimes between 6-9pm we sppon feed, also rrecommended by my LC. He hates it though and we cant control the flow, so he usually spits it back up.

Thanks for your support. I'm going to stick it out for 3 weeks and then consider introducing a bottle for that early evening issue...but hopefully it resolves itself. I really wanted to wait until 4-5 weeks to introduce a bottle.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Elizabeth - are you thinking that you're out of milk based on Henry's behavior? I just know that a LOT of babies (both of mine included) go through what we call the Witching Hour in the evenings. Basically, they do nothing but cry and nurse (often at the same time, which is oh so fun.) If it truly is a supply issue then continuing to nurse on demand should be all you need to do to fix it, but it could well be that Henry is just a little stinker during that time of day, which is extremely common. They theorize that some babies feel the need to "tank up" (i.e. nurse constantly) before bedtime, particularly since that first sleep of the night is usually their longest and therefore their longest without eating. Why that often translates to crying AT the breast instead of just freaking eating and relaxing, I don't know, but I do know that's very normal. Honestly, my gut tells me that if you're becoming engorged at other times of the day, you're probably not dealing with a supply issue, but again, if you are, nursing on demand should fix it right up.

Reid is getting plenty of milk over all. His diaper output is fine, and he's on the road to becoming obese at this rate (you should see his thighs!!! They get fatter every day!!!) but the hour or two before bedtime you would seriously assume that he's starving to death. He will attack my boobs for about 20 seconds and then pull off and cry. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It's most excellent. When it gets too irritating, I just put a stop to the whole deal and take him for a short walk outside which he loves and calms him right down. Yay for the Witching Hour!

Here is a good article on KellyMom (a great website for BF questions, btw)

http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/fussy-evening/

Or just google the Witching Hour. Sorry that you're dealing with this, but please know that it's very common and you're not alone!

AimeeS1911's picture
Joined: 02/01/12
Posts: 636

Can't comment on the breast feeding stuff but witching hour oh yes!!!! Had it with both and Rylees is usually like 6:30-8. Of course right at bed time for DD...

crazy j's picture
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 1162

Elizabeth, we have the same problem in the evenings. It's not that you're out of milk, it's just that the flow slows down after a while and they get frustrated. It's a common problem. When Emma starts to lose her patience with it, I take her off and work my butt off to get her to nap for 30-40 minutes. That's enough time for me to have another letdown. A bottle does help, but I try to avoid it if I can because I can't replace that freezermilk since I have nothing to pump at that time. I'm already having trouble replacing what she eats at work. Sad

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

With my kids the witching hours were related to needing sleep at that time and it was hard to do because of supper etc. I also tried to keep my first up so she could see Dad when he got home from work and that was horrible. Try eating early (like at 5) and then take him for a walk (mine loved the carriers at this age). See if he will fall asleep.

Mine also had bottles from the beginning and I had to transition them to actually nursing. If you think he is actually hungry at that time, try a bottle but still pump at that time so your body still thinks it needs to produce milk at that time. If you see an improvement then maybe it is a food issue.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

It could be the witching hour, but my boobs are the softest around that time too, so I thought I wasn't producing. OMG, I woke up at 4 am super freaking engorged. I think I had a fever and I when I tried to nurse Henry I had to cry to get thru it...which woke up dH. I tried pumping and taking a warm shower beforehand and no milk was coming out of the left side. Does this indicate a clogged duct?

The whole morning has been full of painful feedings, I just fed him again and it feels a bit better finally. I hope this stops happening...this time was the worst.

I'm going to try to not keep him at the breast this evening when his witching hour begins. Maybe I will go for a drive...even though he hates car rides, I'd hate to disturb my neighbors by walking around with him.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I hope it (breastfeeding) gets easier for you soon. Sad I don't know much about plugged ducts, but I do know that being tense stops your let down, so it's possible that the pain was also a factor. You poor thing! I don't mean this to sound discouraging at all because I think it's awesome that you are fighting so hard to nurse, and I do believe that once you get it where it is easy and painless, it's so worth it. But having said that, it sounds like this is really taking a toll on you. Do you have any thoughts like "If it's not better by X date then I will just pump or switch to formula? Again, I'm not at all trying to say that's what you should do because you know what is best for you and your family and plus I'm a big advocate for breastfeeding. But at the same time, you know that Henry will be fine no matter how you feed him, so it's vital to take care of you too. :bigarmhug:

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Oh, I also meant to say that my boobs are very soft during that time period too, I assume from all of the nursing. Smile I never check until he's starting to freak out, by which point he's already been eating for like an hour. Smile

tori729's picture
Joined: 07/23/07
Posts: 1743

A clogged duct is a hard feeling in your breast. If you have one, you should try to work it out and nurse on that side as much as possible to get it out before it turns into mastitis.
You can also try an SNS with your pumped milk in it at that 6pm mark if you think he's not getting enough.
Or you can try wearing him if he likes that (not sure that he does) to make him happy/sleep a bit for awhile.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

:lurk:

I agree that it's probably not so much a supply issue as you guys getting into a rhythm of supply and demand, more effective nursing, etc., (and hugs! hang in there!) but after reading this thread I randomly came across this recipe and thought it was worth sharing SmileFlourless Lactation Cookies: Monster Cookie Style | Organic Mama Cafe

Even if you don't feel like baking right now (who would?!) there are some good tips on what ingredients help promote milk production.

Good luck! I never really had a big struggle with BFing, but I also was surprised not to love it nearly as much as I thought I would. I still stuck with it because I think it's important, but when DD decided that solid food was way preferable and self-weaned at 13 months, I can honestly say I was relieved. It will get better, but cut yourself some slack. You're BOTH learning, including your body. It really will get easier in time. Glad you're seeing an LC...although be aware that they're not infallible either. My friend saw one who was zero help and it turned out her baby had a severe lip tie that was missed by multiple LCs, nurses, midwives, and her pedi. A pediatric dentist finally found it. If you feel like something isn't right or isn't getting better over time, don't be afraid to seek more opinions.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

Thanks ladies. Yesterday was awful, I seriouslyy thought I had mastitis because I felt feverish. But I kept nursing him to relieve the engorgement and blocked ducts. I also set an alarm so that I feed him every 2 hours at night and that seems to do the trick. I wasnt as engorged today.

However my left nip suffered some trauma yesterday...so my LC wants me to use a nip shield for a day or 2.

Also tonight I was very strict with the witching hour. I feed him on each side and he was still fussy...so we did a bath, massage and now Im doing skin to skin with the moby. Took about 30 min of screaming, but he is asleep. I think this method will help my nips heal too. Instead of feeding him non stop for 3 hours.

tori729's picture
Joined: 07/23/07
Posts: 1743

Sounds like you are doing all the right things mama and that you are in it for the long haul! ((hug))