I am finding BFing very difficult. Baby latches on great, but not correctly and I am having a hard time helping him out. He made me bleed in the hospital and I had to pump until my nipples healed. Now I am feeding on one side and pumping on the other because it is still sore and it is even tougher to get him latched on on that side. Often we have to supplement with formula. I am getting little sleep and am miserable about it all, but hate to give up. But I don't like being miserable the first weeks of my baby's life either! The LC said it would get easier but sleep deprivation is never easy! Also, the feeling of breastfeeding is kind of irritating. Not sure I am cut out for this. I just hate to give up. The pediatrician said I can pump 3 times a day instead of every 2-3 hrs. and still give him the benefits of my immunities without stressing myself out over it. He is all for breastfeeding but also says that formula isn't evil and not to beat myself up over the difficulties I am having.
I am still waiting for it to get easier. It isn't. It makes me cry because I really feel like it is something I should do, and be able to do. The pediatrician said not to feel guilty but how could I not?
No do not make yourself crazy--BF should be enjoyable for both of you. If it just stresses you out, the baby well sense that, and you'll end up in a downward, frustrating spiral. I am of course pro-BF, but you need to do what you need to do to be a happy and healthy mommy.
That said, have you tried a shield? I had to use one for a week or so with Matthias. Since his suck still wasn't super strong, it helped him to get milk more efficiently. Also I think he got used to a bottle in the NICU and the shield helped him transition more easily to the breast. Anyway it would protect your nipples and it may help your baby to be less frustrated since it helps them out too. I weaned Matthias from it pretty easily too, and now he has no issues latching and sucking strongly. It's so easy to use too!
*HUGS* If it isn't good for you, then it isn't good. Do as much BFing as you like and be happy.
Cazza---sorry I don't know if this is you name---I'm so sorry it's rough for you! Ditto what Meagan said, don't torture yourself. I would continue to try pumping as long as you can and latching as you are willing. It is possible to reteach a baby to latch later (although it will be hard). Remember breastfeeding does NOT have to be "All or nothing". You can pump as you can or nurse directly as you are willing and baby gets great benefits from it! And Maegan has a great idea to try a nipple shield. I almost got one in the beginning but by the time I got my butt out to Target, the problem had gone away on its own.
Guilt is a hard thing to deal with, especially with something so personal. But remember what your baby most needs is a happy and confident mom. If these very real problems are sending you beyond that point, then don't feel guilty if pumping is what you do. I would just encourage you not to give up too early if this is something you think you will regret later.
Ok, and now a bit of novice help here--Have you tried squishing your aereola so it is flatter? Caleb had a shallow latch at first and especially when I was engorged doing this practically forced him to have a deep latch, which made a big difference in the pain.
ETA: Why don't you try pumping for the nights and only work on the latch during the days? Maybe your DH/SO could take a feed or two so you can get some solid sleep. It can make a big difference on your outlook.
If you really want to give BF a go definitely try the shield, I did with DD#1 and it was a life saver!! I definitely would have given up earlier. If you do give it away do not feel guilty, you do what's best for you and baby!! All the best with your decision.
OK so I have a problem...when DS feeds from the right side, at every feed the milk comes out of his left nostril (and it's worse when I feed laying down)...that doesn't sound normal to me??
this might be a dumb question....
does pumping before the baby is born make the milk come in faster once he is born???
Baby #3 due July 6 2013
He has no problem latching on, just as a problem opening his mouth wide enough to get a proper latch. And he is a lazy eater. He takes like 30-45 min. per side then naps (I try to wake him to no avail.) When I think he is ready to go to bed, he wakes up and wants more so we give him some formula or breastmilk from the bottle. Once he sleeps I have to pump the other side instead of sleeping myself. It is like I never catch a break from this stuff. I want to breastfeed, but I didn't know how hard it was going to be. I don't want to quit just because it is an inconvenience to me. But my nipples are so sore and I am so tired.
Cazza- Sounds like you have a really sleepy baby! You will see improvement very quickly in that area!! In the meantime, try letting him eat on one side just until he slows down (maybe it is only 10-15 minutes) but doesn't drop off to sleep. Then, change his diaper or do what you need to to wake him up and go to the other side.
It sounds like formula bottle is messing up the cycle... once he's fed, you are needing to pump... that doubles your work and keeps you from napping.
He'll start waking up soon!