Post # 1
- Wedding: May 2018 - Our home and the two acres it sits on
My son is now a week old and I’m thisclose from giving up on breastfeeding, but haven’t quite made up my mind just yet. It’s a long story (I posted more details on my blog if you’re interested… ) but he’s not latching. I have flat nipples and we had some success with just shoving it in his mouth while we were in the hospital, but that started to not work very well as time moved on. We then went to see two lactation consultants on Monday (one at pediatrician plus another) and were told to use a breast shield, and it worked for a few feedings, but we were also giving him bottles (Breastflow nipples) and well, I just lost the heart to force him through frustration to get fed anymore.
I’m at a crossroads. All the reasons I can think of to breastfeed are more about me than him, and what he needs is just to eat, you know? And I’ve heard that it takes six weeks to get it all working well, but what do you do in the meantime? Make your baby cry? I won’t go through an hour to get him latched again, sorry, now that I know that he can digest formula pretty easily. It’s just not fair and I don’t have the heart for it.
I didn’t fully empty my breasts enough yesterday, so if by today I don’t recommit to breastfeeding, I suspect the ship will have sailed, plus my son won’t latch to the shield anymore, so I’ll need to find good enough reasons to balance the frustration and screaming I’ll be putting us all through.
Do please be candid. I feel pretty horrible about how close I am to putting him on formula – Am I being lazy? Not willing to work hard enough? Already a sucky parent? Giving in to make my life easier? – I don’t know. I do know that I have a great kid unless he’s hungry or dirty and it just seems unfair of me to make him miserable without a really good reason. Not deciding is making me crazy and I’m already emotionally overloaded, I guess from the whole giving birth thing.
Post # 3
I just posted your blog post a few minutes ago, but accidentally on the wrong thread (under beehive instead of babies).
Hopefully some of these ladies can help you out.
Post # 4
First off, you are not a sucky parent!!!! Repeat that!
A happy mommy makes a happy baby and if formula is what is going to work for your family then formula it is. There are no wrong choices here.
Post # 5
I posted on your blog after reading it. My heart goes out to you because I know how tiring post birth life can be and how breastfeeding itself can be so hard.
I left some tips that worked for me and may be worth trying.
Someone else also mentioned that you should keep pumping so that your supply doesnt go down.
I found that hand pumping was much easier then a machine. Maybe you can google how to hand pump. I could also pm you how I did it.
Either way, breastfeed/bottlefeeding is a personal choice. You are NOT a bad or lazy mom for choosing either!!! You are a great mom and I can tell that by the concern you have shown in your blog/post.
Post # 6
Have you thought about pumping? I know it is not the ideal situation but he would still be getting the breastmilk and it would be easier on everyone.
Post # 7
I’m sorry you’re having troubles but glad you’re getting your bub fed.
A couple things that worked for us was to feed her before she showed many signs of hunger. That way she wasn’t too worked up with a hungry belly. If she did get worked up we would swaddle and shush her and then when she was more calm get her to latch. You could always start with a bottle of formula and then see if he wanted to top off with some breastmilk.
It is hard when your milk first comes in, your boobs swell to ginormous proportions and I think that interferes with the latch and baby is so hungry they just want to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. But it does get easier.
If you’re on the fence about giving up just keep pumping for a bit and you can always mix it in with the formula as you guys try to make it work. One of the main benefits of breastfeeding to baby I think are the antibodies that pass from mom to baby and decrease the incidence of illness in the first year.
Post # 8
I read your post as asking for good, unselfish reasons to continue breastfeeding. There are a ton! The benefits to your son go way beyond basic nutrition.
- Breastfed babies have improved lung function through at least age six years due to the physical exercise of nursing, which requires twice as much lung function as bottle-feeding.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of asthma, childhood cancers, obesity, ear infections, and other serious ailments.
- Breastmilk helps colonize little tummies with good bacteria, that in turn protects against yeast infections and thrush.
- Breastmilk is high in cholesterol, which an emerging body of evidence links to a lifetime of healthy cholesterol levels.
- Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of reproductive cancers, and I don’t see this as selfish at all. As someone whose grandmother died very young of a reproductive cancer, leaving my mother an orphan, I can’t stress enough that your good health is important to your child!
Post # 9
@cheese: First of all, you aren’t a terrible mom if you give up, but I don’t think it is a complete lost cause if you want to stick with it. Maybe Sulli031(?) will chime in here.. I know she had a lot of latch issues with her daughter.
My suggestion would be to try to pump a little bit before you try to latch your son on to see if you can draw out your nipples a little bit to make it easier for him to latch.
I’d also keep asking around in your area for a good lactation consultant. If you didn’t get the help you need from those other two, there is bound to be someone who CAN help you.
Also, my other recommendation would be to get your son checked for tongue tie (you might want to google pictures and take a look at his tongue yourself and then go from there). Tongue tie can make latching very hard for babies and not all doctors or LCs recognize it. We had to get my son’s tongue clipped and Boyfriend or Best Friend was soo much easier after that.
Here are two links to read:
I hope that if you do want to/decide to stick with breastfeeding that you are able to find someone locally who really can help you.. they are out there! Hope This Helps.
Post # 10
I don’t know a single mother who didn’t want to give up on days 5-8. Seriously. I don’t know what it is, maybe because engorgement is painful during that time, maybe the baby has a growth spurt at one week that makes their bones hurt and they’re generally fussy anyway. Whatever the reason, EVERY SINGLE MOTHER I KNOW WANTED TO QUIT AT ABOUT A WEEK.
My advice is to perservere. The engorgement will ease as your breasts figure out how much milk to produce and where to put it. Your baby will become better and better at eating. Like PP said, waiting until he is screaming of hunger tends to make it worse, so try feeding him before he’s yowling. You can also try feeding only one breast at a time and topping off with formula then pumping the other one while he sleeps. That way you only nurse every 4-6 hours per side instead of every 2 hours per side. It made a huge difference for me. Also try to get him to latch on the nipple shields. They also have little suction bulbs to draw your nipple out to make it easier to latch.
I know that I took a couple days to use nipple shields and pumping milk and feeding it from a bottle. My nipples hurt SO BAD. I didn’t want to nurse anymore. But it got better, MB figured out how to latch (and I helped her), and we eventually made it through 12 months.
The BFing thread has some great advice on the mechanics, but you want to make sure your baby has a wide open mouth when you latch him. Place his lower jaw on first, then shove his face up so that his upper jaw latches over your areola. You shouldn’t be able to see any of the areola while he is nursing, or your latch is wrong. Think of his jaw like a sockpuppet. He has a huge overbite and not much of a lower jaw. So his mouth has to be open WIDE to get it on right. Some say to run your nipple from the chin upwards to get babies to open up. I had to run my nipple from her nose down. Whatever works for you two.
I don’t think you’re selfish, I think you’re tired and don’t want to hear the baby cry. Formula is an easy escape. I think that everyone judges people about BFing until it’s their turn to do it (I know I did). I say give it one more week of honest effort. If after that you just cannot stand it anymore, then it’s your call. But the 8 day mark seems to be the average hurdle, so if you can make it through that you may be ok.
Post # 11
You aren’t a terrible mom, but try to take it minute by minute and last as long as possible. Babies are incredibly difficult, but don’t give up in your moments of dispair! Short term, you and the baby might be happier, but try to weigh long term health and happiness benefits against the short term costs (very difficult conceptually to grasp long term benefits, i know).
Post # 12
I too, almost gave up during week one. Baby wouldn’t latch right, he’d scream if I made him latch right. We used a combination of pumping, nursing, and using the shield to reteach him how to latch correctly. It was a lot of tears at first. But EVERYONE told me that it is SOOO hard at first and then suddenly one day it gets easy. That’s exactly what happened to me. Every nursing session I would cringe and say, “Just one more day.” I kept saying that. I’m not sure what week it was that it got better but one day I latched him on, realized it didn’t hurt and he was enjoying it and it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. IT DOES GET BETTER than where you are now.
I had to go back to work at 7 weeks post partum and at 12 weeks officially stopped breastfeeding. It was too hard to find time to pump at work, to wake up at night on my own with him to nurse, my milk supply went down, and he was being supplemented with formula at daycare anyway. My milk went away really fast after that and I missed those quiet moments nursing. It forced me to sit down and relax with my little boy. I didn’t know how much I’d miss it. However, I am SOOO proud of myself even now that I made it that far. Seriously, the mantra “Just one more day” or “Just one more week” does wonders.
This worked for me because I was determined to breastfeed. If you are neutral on it, don’t kick yourself for quitting. But try to remember that right now you are sleep-deprived and hormone-ridden and that is probably a big reason why you feel more frustrated with it than you might if you were in a normal state of mind.
Post # 13
A couple more things that worked for us sometimes.
Put a little milk on his lips before he latches, sometimes that helps them focus a bit and calm down.
***Make sure his head is in line with his body and not turned to the side at all. Latching is a lot harder if not impossible at a young age if their head isn’t facing foward with their body – so the whole baby has to turn toward your body, not just his head.
A good latch will be hard to get with you putting your breast in his mouth. Instead run your nipple from his nose to his open mouth while you’re holding your breast from underneath in a c-sandwich and see if he will latch.
Post # 14
Just to chime in again, I wanted to second what @MightySapphire:said.. I don’t know of a single mom that BFs that didn’t want to give up in the beginning. It’s harder than they make it out to be and it does hurt initially, but it does get better. Even if you have a pump at home, I’d suggest renting a hospital grade pump for the next month or so when you will have an over supply of milk. When I use the lactina pump that my work has I can get twice as much milk as using my pump in style and I’m about 4 months into breastfeeding. It would give you a chance to put a bunch of milk in your freezer so even if you switch over to formula you’d have a stash to use to supplement for a little while. Also, you’ve probably already done this but have you tried switching up how you are holding him while trying to get him to latch? In the hospital the nurse said that the football hold can be better for new babies and women that have larger breasts.. it’s not my favorite hold, but it might be worth a shot if you haven’t tried it already.
Post # 15
Here’s a link to some really great info on BFing:
You can watch the videos, they really helped me. The Deep Latch Technique info helped a lot too, I wasn’t latching correctly.
Post # 16
I vote for pumping, too. And I hated pumping. But it would at least buy you some time if you don’t want to be forced to make a decision right now. Lord knows there’s enough going on a week after delivery… And let me just throw out there that a manual pump worked better for me than the electric (and it’s a MUCH smaller $ investment). Good luck! I’ll have to go check out the blog…I missed your last post.