(Closed) Considering quitting breastfeeding. Desperate for advice!

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 31
Member
2990 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I feel for you Mama!

As other Bees said, 3 weeks is the worst and breastfeeding does get easier, promise. DD is 4 months old now and I’m still breastfeeding her. 

On the other, DH occasionally used formula to feed DD at night if I didn’t have enough milk pumped during that time. It didn’t kill DD or dry me up or anything.  

Do whatever helps you stay sane and your baby thrive. No shade thrown. Motherhood is hard! 

Best wishes to you and your family during this crazy difficult time. 

 

Post # 32
Member
4252 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Before you quit I would reach out to Dr Jack Newman for help. ๐Ÿ™‚  I have found him very informative and helpful when I have come into breastfeeding issues.

Post # 33
Member
1939 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I haven’t read any previous replies but I wanted to encourage you to stick with it! ๐Ÿ™‚ it DOES get SO much better. my baby is 7 months old now and only nurses five times a day, which feels totally doable. I can leave the house for a while and still get that intimate snuggly time with him, there’s more of a balance. We had issues in the beginning too, I had a milk blister that broke open and he was basically gumming that open sore about fifty times a day. I would writhe and cry from the pain of it sometimes, just awful! So I know where you’re coming from. There were quite a few times where I wondered why I was putting myself through it. 

But eventually you both figure it out, and it really is much easier than formula feeding in the end since you’re not washing and prepping bottles. I know in my Facebook group there were a few moms that did say they wished they’d stuck it out longer now that the fog of crazy hormones had lifted. 

 

My advice is this: (and I’ve only had one baby so take it as you will) Go to your appointment and make sure she’s gaining appropriately. If she is, give a pacifier. Research has shown that nipple confusion is more about bottle feeding than pacifiers, because they get milk from the bottle and it’s more of a preference of how fast the milk flows. Try a few different pacifiers to see what she likes and it’ll give you a bit of a break. Especially at night when you know it’s comfort nursing and not hunger nursing. I know my own baby would spit the pacifier across the room if he wanted milk and was hungry. He knew it didn’t give him food! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also encourage you to stick with it till at least 6 weeks. That’s when most moms seem to turn the corner and it’s a good place to re-evaluate if you want to continue since you’d have given it a good try.

 

I know everyone says “fed is best” to try and alleviate the guilt and worry of quitting. (Which is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about!!!!) but not a lot of people feel comfortable encouraging a mom to keep going. When I say that, I say it with zero pressure. In all of this, definitely keep your mental health in mind, you know you best and what you can endure. if it’s causing you serious anxiety or depression, or if she’s just not gaining properly, then by all means, switch to formula!! There’s no harm and she will be just fine. But if it’s difficulty you can bear with a little longer, then I say keepgoing ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 34
Member
3829 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

My sister formula fed due to being on medication. Formula has come a long way since older times and is not going to do any damage to your baby. There seems to be a ridiculous stigma about formula feeding, but if breast feeding is not working for you formula could be the best option. It’s ok. 

Post # 35
Member
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

First of all, congrats on the arrival of your wee babe! You are totally in the thick of it at the moment and whether you formula feed or breast feed, the early days are tough!

so this is just my two cents but I’ve been bf’ing for four years (two babies!) and I’ve run the gamut of issues from tongue tie to thrush and back again! Have you done a weighted feed with baby and can you hear baby actively swallowing while she’s nursing? Sometimes baby’s can get stuck in a cycle where they’re not actually transferring enough milk so they need to constantly nurse to get the milk so it’s worth checking in with an IBCLC to get baby checked. Do you have family or friends that can come and help you out for a few weeks? It’s really important for you to make sure that you’re eating well and getting enough rest so it can be really great to have someone come and hold the baby while you take a shower and look after you!

Hang in there Mama, you’re doing totally awesome and this too, shall pass!

Post # 36
Member
3033 posts
Sugar bee

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howsweetitis :  I have a masters in science and have spent the last 17 years working with scientists.  Before that I was a science editor and before than I was a science teacher.

Here is what the American Society of Pediatricians (the members of whom are pediatricians)says:

Only bring your baby into your bed to feed or comfort. Place your baby back in his or her own sleep space when you are ready to go to sleep. If there is any possibility that you might fall asleep, make sure there are no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could cover your baby’s face, head, and neck, or overheat your baby. As soon as you wake up, be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed.

  • Never place your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair. This is an extremely dangerous place for your baby to sleep.

  • Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies. However, certain situations make bed-sharing even more dangerous. Therefore, you should not bed share with your baby if:

 

  • Your baby is younger than 4 months old.

  • Your baby was born prematurely or with low birth weight.”

This is the latest advice (October 2016).

I know the thread is about breastfeeding and I wouldn’t normally comment but the reason I mention all this is because the OP said:

“She sleeps with us and I side nurse because that is the only way I can get sleep. Even during naps she falls asleep at the breast and I just let her stay there because to try to move her she will wake up and want to nurse again.”

<div style=”overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;”>So clearly the Mum is sleeping at the same time as the baby is in the bed.  Someone I know accidentally smothered her baby after falling asleep with her so it isn’t too surprising that I would feel the need to make a quick comment.  Wouldn’t you?  As you can imagine, breastfeeding difficulties pale into insignificance compared with such a bereavement.  </div>

Post # 37
Member
2120 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017

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Supersleuth :  I’m sorry, I don’t care what the ASP says, I live in Japan where co-sleeping is the norm and I’ve never heard of a baby being smothered to death, though admittedly there are few overweight women here which probably helps a lot. We bedshared until 8 months when I decided to night wean, and my Japanese SIL and Brother-In-Law even still sleep with their 3 kids (5, 3 and 9 months). My husband slept with his parents til he was 6. When practiced safely bedsharing is safe, natural, protects against SIDS as a mother is in-tune with her baby’s breathing and makes breastfeeding soooo much easier and reduces sleep deprivation as you don’t have to get out of bed. It also helps a woman’s milk supply as she can smell her baby and comforts baby as they can smell Mommy. This post is about a woman’s frustration at breastfeeding, not about bedsharing. 

Post # 38
Member
3033 posts
Sugar bee

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MrsJet :  Don’t fall asleep with your baby on beds, sofas, couches or chairs. See above advice.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and Tuesday is decision day.  If your baby is putting on the requisite amount of weight then carry on breast feeding if you feel able to do so.  If your baby is not putting on weight or staying the same weight then you will probably be advised to supplement with bottled milk.  This doesn’t make you any sort of failure.  Lots of women don’t even begin to breastfeed so the fact that you have managed the first three weeks of breastfeeding will still convey lots of benefit on your baby. You will have already transferred lots of antibodies to her (this happens in the first week or so) so that she will have improved immunity to diseases.

I remember finding breastfeeding very difficult and was initially given bad advice on technique.  I became incredibly sore (and incredibly upset) and it wasn’t until I eventually decided to give up breastfeeding that I gave my baby bottled milk.  On giving her the botted milk for one feed a day and breastfeeding the rest of the time the soreness cleared up and then I went back to full-time breastfeeding.

As far as you feeling isolated and that your body is not your own, and feeling desperate, I think that you need as much support as you can get.  Is your SO helping you? (He clearly can’t help with breastfeeding but there is plenty more that he can do.) Can a member of family or a friend come and stay?

Have you been checked for postnatal (postpartum) depression?  It usually begins 2-4 weeks after delivery and so it’s worth talking to your doctor about it. Talk to your SO about this too.  Ask him if he has noticed any serious changes in your mood.

Having a newborn baby is a life-changing experience. You won’t get everything right the first time and so be good to yourself. 

Post # 40
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Bed-sharing is the norm where I come from too, and there’s a safe way to do it. My baby sleeps with us and she is almost 10 months.

OP, I was in the excact same situation as you. It does get better! My baby lost so much weight I had to stay an extra day in the hospital. I felt like she was attached to me the whole day. I did let her suck for comfort a lot and when she’d fall asleep I was pumping. I recommend lanoline for sore nipples. Because my milk wouldn’t come in, I did give my baby some formula. I would start to breastfeed, if my baby needed more I would give her formula. I would also give her formula at night so my nipples would get a break. I slowly gained more confidence and by week 4, I had more than enough milk. Knowing that I had the formula if needed made me feel so much better. Practice makes perfect so by then I knew how to latch her. At week 5, I started to exclusively breastfeed my baby and I still do. It gets way better and I’ll breastfeed her untill she doesn’t want it anymore or gets way too old.

PS. My mother was a big help, she came and stayed with me untill my baby was almost 3 months. She’d cook and clean my house and take the baby in the mornings so I could get some sleep. I also had professional help come in twice a week the first month to help with house work and the baby. If you don’t have to worry about those things, you could focus more on you and your baby. I would also take a hot shower every night when my baby was finally asleep to have some me time. I’d say hang in there but only you know if you’re able to hold on a little bit more.

Post # 41
Member
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

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Supersleuth :  I’m not going to spend any more time arguing with you, as that’s not the point of this thread. The safety of bedsharing is extremely unclear, and recent major review studies have come to different conclusions. You’re not her doctor, she didn’t ask about bedsharing, and the right thing to do here is keep your opinions to yourself.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1526054214001328

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23793691/

Post # 42
Member
2160 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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Supersleuth :  The thing is, moms need to sleep. A sleep deprived mom is far more dangerous than a mom who co-sleeps. I have a friend who put her baby back in his crib after every feed, because she was afraid of SIDS. Her baby wanted to sleep right next to her or on her and when he was in his crib he woke up every 30mins. After a month of waking up every night, every 30mins, and dealing with an over-tired very cranky baby during the day, she collapsed – fainted from exhaustion, and thanked her lucky stars it happened just before her husband walked in the door after his day at work. After that incident, she co-slept with her baby, who then woke up about once every 3-4hours a night to nurse.. and was a much much happier person. It’s great to bear SIDS in mind but every baby is different and some babies just won’t sleep without momma.

My baby spend the first 3 months of his life sleeping on me during the day, and next to me in bed at night. He only started sleeping in his crib at 9 months.

We all know about SIDS danger… no need to add fear.

OP, I struggled with breastfeeding so much in the early weeks. I had a painful cracked nipple and nipple thrush and nearly gave up at 3 weeks. I stuck it out and it improved hugely. In the end I breastfed until DS was 14months old. You do what’s best for you, either way it’s fine ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally I would try and stick it out till 6 weeks, because that’s when it usually gets much easier. And if it doesn’t get easier by then, you can decide to quit knowing you did your best with it.

Post # 43
Member
9784 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

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Supersleuth : I never wanted to bedshare either, but the first time I fell asleep sitting up and barely caught dd as she rolled off of me, I decided it was better to set up a safe sleeping area.

Mom needs to sleep too. If your baby won’t sleep anywhere else, what would you suggest people do? Just not sleep for a year? Sounds reasonable.

Post # 44
Member
3033 posts
Sugar bee

 

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howsweetitis :  I’m not going to hijack the thread so I’ll PM you.

Post # 45
Member
7309 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Never give up on a bad day. It applies to marriage, breast feeding, exercising, and pretty much anything else that requires work and sacrafice. Never give up on a bad day. Make it your mantra, if you need to. It finally got better for us when DS was around 14 weeks old. He had an average of 3 doctor appointments each week due to his low weight gain and feeding issues. We pushed through and it was so worth it.  We’ve now been nursing for 10 months, and my goal is to nurse until he self-weans.

Here’s what we did to get through:

1. Make the IBCLC your best friend. Seriously,.

2. Take baby to the chiropractor for an adjustment and cranial-sacral therapy.

3. Get OT and PT evaluations.

4. Accept that the house will be a wreck, you will eat more takeout than planned, and you will not shower every day. It’s okay. This is a season of life, and the season will change. Soak in every moment of snuggle because they will be gone too soon and you’ll miss them.

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