Topic: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

York is a difficult baby (compared to Bronx). He cries a lot, he isn't content just sitting and looking around. If he isn't sleeping he wants to be attached to a breast. He screams when I change his diaper or clothes. He nurses about 15hrs a day. I hate not having my body to myself. My nipples are so sore and one is still cracked from a bad latch. I hate that I don't ever have a break, and other people can't help with him. Ali doesn't even get to hold him. I thought I would love nursing him but I really don't. I know breast milk is best for him and that is the only reason we are still nursing... I just feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I have to do this for a year. I feel so selfish, but I'm only being honest. Any advice?

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Can you pump while he is sleeping so Ali can feed him with a bottle and you can go ha e a break?

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Not sure if you've tried or if it would even help but what about wearing him? Even wrapping skin to skin? Just a thought. I know it's difficult, Brayden was not the easiest to nurse and I fought for 6 months to keep going. I hope it starts to get easier with time for you!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Give it a few more weeks. BF'ing is not easy and there are so many hurdles to overcome at first. Add to that exhaustion and pregnancy hormones and it can be down right miserable. I would keep going until 6 weeks (the essential time according to may resources) and if at that time you still hate it, then move onto formula or something else that works for you. BR'ing really should be a mutually beneficial experience.

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

a vote for wearing him & sticking it out - but if you feel you can't, it is ok to stop - whether that be to go to pumping & bottle feeding only or whatever you have to do - you deserve to be sane & healthy too - be kind to yourself

sending support

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I felt the same way. It got better for me around 7 weeks and I also supplemented. Do what you can but no guilt!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

He hates the Moby and my ring sling. If I pumped, I think I would be ties down to a pump all day as well and likely lower my supply. I'm so exhausted and I am so over telling Bronx he will have to wait for everything. Wait for breakfast, a diaper change, for me to play with him, read to him, bathe him, etc. He always comes second now and it's killing me.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I'm sorry you are having a tough time! Pumping will actually increase your supply, not lower it.  Which will henefit you two ways: 1, obviously you will have a supply for supplemental bottle feedings, but 2) you may find that he spends less time eating.  The larger your supply, the quicker they get full.  Now you may find that he still wants to pacify, but when you no longer hear him swallowing you can remove him and try replacing with a pacifier.  You can pump while you are nursing so you aren't taking up additional time.  Feed him on one side while pumping the other, then switch.  If you feel like he didn't get enough to eat you can feed him what is expressed (or better yet, let Ali.). Also if your supply seems low you can look up lactation foods to help increase it.  That could help. 

Now for the sore nipples, have you considered a nipple Shield?  They gave me one at the hospital to help him lay h - he simply wouldn't latch no matter what we did without one.  But the other benefit is that it really helps with nipple soreness.  I have not had sore nipples ONCE in the eight weeks he's been born.  My fiend had such sore nipples she was ready to give up nursing and the shield changed her life.  She used it for a couple months and then eventually was able to go without.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I'm sorry you're all having a hard time.  I hope things improve shortly.

I haven't breast fed, so I don't have a miracle suggestion for you.  I have a few questions or ideas which your family might think about exploring.

Is York nursing to eat or comfort nursing?  Would you be willing to risk the possibility of introducing nipple confusion if it meant you could have a few moments free?  Meaning, do you want to keep going where you're currently at or are you interested in seeing if York could be satisfied in Ali's arms with a pacifier?

Is York congested?  Does York need a chiropractic adjustment?  Nursing nearly 24/7 can be for food, comfort, safety, etc.  It also could be to relieve pressure inside his ears or head.  Think of chewing gum while a plane takes off to adjust the pressure in your ears.  Some of York's nursing could be providing something similar for him too.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

What about pumping?  Give it a few weeks to get a good supply going then switch to pumping exclusively. 

I did not love nursing - I had some very weird sensations that no one ever warned me about.  I was freaked out - I did it as long as I could.  When i stopped I regretted it but we survived.

I support whatever choice you make smile

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Maggie
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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I want to first say Congrats! And your Family is beautiful!

I am so sorry your are feeling bad about it all.

It Does get better...the first 2 weeks are such a bummer while everyone is trying to get adjusted to a new schedule, new baby, new routine etc.

Keep reminding yourself, this to shall pass, and you are doing this because you love him so much!
Good luck and I am keeping you in my T & P

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I haven't read the responses yet, but I want you to know that I felt that exact same way!!! For the entire first month (although more in the first 2 weeks). It wasn't until R was at least over a month old that I started to be able to enjoy it more. Stick with it, you will be SO SO SO happy that you did!!! I did pump once a day because R had to have anti-seizure meds and we did it in tablet form crushed up in a bottle of breastmilk. That allowed DW to hold & feed R and it gave me a break since I could pump out 6-10 oz in less than 5-10 mins in the early weeks so was able to start a freezer stash too. Can you pump once a day?

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Try to stick with it. The first two weeks with the twins I thought I was going to lose my mind. Do you remember meeting me at Kidz Closet and Olive Garden? The twins were 6 weeks old and that was the first time I ever had a break. You can do this. Have you talked to your lactation consultant? Also, could he have tummy issues? I know anything I ate upset the twins stomach at first because they were so small. If you need to let Ali give him a bottle of pumped milk or formula it will be okay. Bring Bronx to the Exploreum to play.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I have told 1000 people that breast feeding is the hardest (yet most rewarding) thing I've ever done. I have a DEEP appreciation to the mothers that breast feed bc it is thankless and exhausting and wonderful and fill-in-the-blank. I was sore for the majority of the first 6 months, battling thrush and mastitis, not to mention the sleep deprivation and the TIME. It is incredibly time consuming. This lessens though and I truly believe of you can commit to small chunks of time, say 2 months, and then re-evaluate, it will seem less daunting. I kept pushing back my "quit" date bc it just kept getting easier and more enjoyable. I knew I wouldn't quit but man I wanted to all the time. It is a thankless job and seemed to suck the life outta me for awhile. I now tell all my patients to expect this for the first couple of months: rest, sleep, eat, drink and NURSE. No one tells you how much time it takes up and I feel like it is better to educate BF moms so they know to expect it. It gets WAY easier. That I can promise. The feedings get much shorter and farther apart and nothing beats it when your baby starts looking up at you, with a huge smile, and starts playing with your hair or touching your face. It is precious and priceless and worth it all. Hang in there-you're not selfish, you're honest. Lets face it, the first couple months just kinda suck! Or at least for me they did. I'm dreading the first couple of moths of having 2 and breast feeding (while in the dead of winter) for this very same reason. Take small breaks whenever you can, give yourself a break, and take it one day at a time. It's much easier than thinking about a whole year...

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

It does get better.  It really does.  But just like telling someone with morning sickness that soon the nausea will be a thing of the past, telling someone dealing with sore nipples and sleep deprivation that a month from now will be better, well, it just sucks.  I love breastfeeding, but not so much the early days.  Its hard work.  Its time consuming.  It feels like you can't get anything done.  And I now totally get the "just wait" feeling regarding your older child (Boog and Moose are 4 years apart, totally different then 2 years).

So do I have words of advice.  Take it day by day.  Tell yourself "On sunday I'll re-evaluate" or "lets see what tomorrow brings".  See if you can pump for one feed a day just to get out, cuddle Bronx, or have a bath by yourself.  And if you chose to keep breast feeding, keep a food diary for a few days to see if it looks like milk, eggs, wheat, nuts, or any of the other more common things (or uncommon things) are making little man fussier then others. Oh, and if you chose to keep on plugging, know that I am your biggest cheerleader.

Get some good nipple cream, let the girls hang in the breeze, bra-less, sun your nipples if you can.  Seriously, it helps.  Let the milk dry on them.  Make sure you are not getting thrush, call your midwife if you have any burning feelings in your nipples.  Email me to whine.  Stay super hydrated, enjoy a beer or a glass of wine, keep trying pacifiers and letting Ali try to soothe him.  Someday it will happen.  Take the days between now and then one at a time, and when that seems to daunting, an hour at a time.  You CAN do this, its hard, really hard, the hardest thing we do.  Short phase, but man does it suck when in the middle of it!

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Need to update a ticker, Silas Anthony Jordon born Oct 11, 2013.  6th baby, so much love!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I'm sorry you're experiencing this.  I just want to jump in and say it really will get better.  Olivia was my nonstop nurser, so I can totally relate to being attached to a baby for what felt like 24/7.  I don't want to shove breastfeeding down your throat, but I know from all of your posts this is something that you were really, really looking forward to doing. So please with this in mind hang in there awhile longer.  Breastfeeding is extremely hard work, even for those of us who love it and have no physical pain, etc.  It all balances out, it really does.  As for Bronx can you include him in your nursing sessions by reading him stories, playing games that interest him, have him count York's fingers and toes or rub his head?  Soon you will be able to run around the house with York nursing all the while!  Seriously, it is amazing all of the things you can quite easily learn to do while nursing a baby-- all of the other moms will likely back me up on this one. 

I don't know if this helps at all, but my younger sister who is a single mother, has a high ranking military position, and really wanted to breastfeed didn't like it at first.  She had a really high needs baby, demanding and long hours at work,an awkward location at work to pump,and very minimal support ( we don't have family nearby) So, she went to the store to buy formula thinking she was going to have to quit nursing and pumping.  In my opinion she had a ton of reasons to quit, but after several different conversations she set a goal for making it to 6 months and was successful. Her next goal was 12 months.  Her daughter is now 15 months and she is still happily breastfeeding!  It was a bumpy start and there were a few rough patches along the way, but my sister says it is one of the things she is most proud of and is so glad she stuck it out. She said one thing that helped her was trying to mentally fast-forward and look back and try to imagine how she would feel if she made her goal or if she didn't.

I'm rooting for you Courtney!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I am too tired right now to give my reply the thought and time that I want to, so I will reply ASAP tomorrow. Until then, big hugs to you!!

After 9 yrs & 1 devastating loss, we got our BFP at 9DPO ~ and welcomed our beautiful son on Halloween! Best treat ever!!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Yep, breast feeding sucks a lot for the first few weeks, no doubt.  Trust me though when I say it is totally worth it.  You will be able to do this and it will be one of the best things you have ever done.  Feel free to whine and b!tch and moan about it though because it truly is miserable for a short while.  Do you have a La Leche League around you?  Going to the meetings may help, they have been through it and are generally a really supportive group of ladies!  Good luck!!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I am probably going to advise opposite of others, but I had the same issue with my second boy. The first was so easy going. He never cried, didn't care who held him and slept great in his bassinet. My second cried all the time and nothing I could do seemed to sooth him, couldn't put him down or he would cry forever.  I felt so bad, I had a one year old, who really was still a baby himself who needed mommy's attention. Those first few weeks were so hard that my attachment was not nearly as strong as the one I felt with my first son and that made me feel guilty and depressed. My recommendation would be to pump. I was able to pump exclusively for 6 months, every 3 hours at first and then later I was able to skip one of the nighttime ones.  You could stick it out, but if it is going to cause you to feel trapped, resentful or cause an increase in postpartum depression then I say do what is best for your entire family. Feeding the baby breast milk in a bottle isn't the end of the world and if pumping doesn't work there is always formula. If you are unhappy, the baby is going to reflect that. Good luck.

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I agree with emn'sar and A&J. Breastfeeding is hard.  And, it is really hard the first few weeks.  It is sooo different than using formula and having other people be able to help more.  Your job right now is to feed York.  Maybe Ali can help you put together some Toddler busy bags, so B has some special toys/activities while you are nursing.  Put snacks for B where he can reach them (I know M's favorite thing is getting his snacks himself).  Focus on little milestones like making it to 6 weeks. b/c thinking long term (I have to do this for a year) is so scary. I had a super needy baby who nursed all the time.  But, when DH came home from work, he went right to DH.  And, DH learned how to "nurse" him and comfort him.  It wasn't easy but it gave me a break to shower, make some food, etc.  Are there places like an LL mtg or playgroup where you feel comfortable nursing? That would help get you out of the house, get B some play time and still allow you to nurse.  Good luck and hang in there. This is the hard part. It does get much easier.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

You've gotten some really great advice already. I'm going to toss in another vote for a visit with a lactation consultant and/or attending one of your local LLL meetings. I wish I would have called on a lactation consultant after we got home from the hospital with G. We struggled so much in the beginning with latch issues. I did find some relief using a nipple sheild when it became too painful to tolerate. When we were in the hospital with M (for 5 days), DP got some GREAT guidance from the hospital LC who kept her well supplied with lanolin and these super great Medela Gel pads. (I wish I'd known about the gel pads when G was born!) When all the expressed milk, air drying, and lanolin weren't cutting it, the gel pads really offered her some much needed relief!
I also agree with having Ali do one bottle feeding per day. DP did this for me and while I still had to pump, it was far less time consuming than sitting thru an entire feed and it gave me a little time to myself.

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I want to second yfnr and storkhunting.  Breastfeeding IS very hard and it is super time consuming. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very pro-breastfeeding, but I am also pro-health (for everyone!) and pro choice.  That being said, breastfeeding definitely has tons of it's own rewards, and in a perfect world, it would be easy and the only way for everyone, but unfortunately life isn't perfect and it simply isn't for everyone. I completely agree with making smaller goals for yourself. If next week is too far away, say tomorrow instead and see how you feel tomorrow. If you truly feel you need something to change, instead of stopping cold turkey, which will also be hard on you physically, I would suggest just supplementing. Either with pumped milk or with formula. For me, I hated pumping and only did it to try and boost my supply and not for feeding, because you're still tied to something - only it's to a bulky pump instead of your baby, and after the pumping, baby still needs to be fed. (I'm talking more about as a long term solution here, where you will be alone much of the time with both boys and pumping wouldn't give you more time with B, etc) Since I had supply issues, I was forced to supplement with formula, and although I did everything possible to exclusively breastfeed, it simply wasn't happening.  When I accepted that this was how it was going to be, we made the best of it and it actually worked nicely. I still breastfed several times a day and some feedings were formula. Before bedtime, he always had breast and bottle. He loved nursing, and preferred it, but took his bottle fine as well.  I still got the bonding and experience of nursing, and he was able to get the benefits of breast milk, even though it wasn't exclusive. Was it perfect? No, but it was perfect for us, because it was what worked for us.

If you truly want to do it, then I would suggest pumping here and there so Ali can help out, and so you can get out alone with B also.  But if it's going to make you frustrated, and unhappy, that will ultimately affect little guy also, as well as putting you at a higher risk for postpartum depression and your health is very important also!  Like yfnr said, breastfeeding really should be a mutually rewarding experience and if it's not, that will affect both of you negatively also.  Most of all, remember that you're an amazing Mama!! Whatever decision you make will be in the best interest of your family, and don't let anyone or anything make you feel like you are less for any decision you make. And ANY amount of breast milk is better than none - you're giving Y a good strong start, no matter if you quit now, at 6 weeks, 6 months or a year.  ((Hugs!!) you know I'm here if you need to vent or just chat. smile

After 9 yrs & 1 devastating loss, we got our BFP at 9DPO ~ and welcomed our beautiful son on Halloween! Best treat ever!!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Hey there, I know this is going to sound crazy, but have you ever tried cabbage leaves for sore nipples? I work in a vet hospital, and we are currently treating a dog with bad mastitis. The doctor had us do a compress wrap of cabbage leaves. I had never heard of this, and immediately thought of you. I came home and found several articles regarding the subject in humans as well. I have absolutely no idea how well it works, but thought I'd throw it out there.  smile

Our sweet boy has arrived after TTC'ing for 4 years!

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Just another vote for saying it does get better. I remember DW feeling almost exactly the same (well minus having another child to look after.) She went through the feeling of wanting to give up, and absolutely hating breast feeding. She had horribly cracked/split nipples and was in such pain I felt horrible for her. sad I know with the lanolin cream it helped her, but at first she just put a little bit on as the directions said and it wasn't helping. So then our mw advised her to just lather that stuff on there, once she did that it helped a lot! Also, maybe Ali could help by doing all the diaper changes when she's home? To be honest in those first few weeks-month that was a lot of the time I got to spend with him, because he was nursing a lot.

Having a lactation consultant was awesome and really helped her feel better to have someone to talk to. I believe the latch he had was what was off, and she used a shield for a while but now no longer does. I know that if you ever need someone to talk to about this she would be more than happy to help! Feel free to message her even if just to vent! smile

Oh and I know right now it feels like Bronx isn't getting as much attention, but it'll change as York gets a bit older and you'll have lots more time to spend with him, like during York's naps. smile

*hugs*

Hubby of kopykat451
TTC #1 5/16/11 = BFP 14 DPI / TTC #2 11/16/12 = No O; 4/12/13= BFN; 6/9/13 = BFP!! (11 DPI) - MC 5wk5dys / TTC#3 3 BFN's and 4th try 10/21/13 =  BFP!!!! (Squinter at 10dpi!)
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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I would NOT do cabbage leaves.  I've only ever heard of people using them to dry up their milk.  DON'T DO IT!

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I don't have a ton of time for a heat felt reply I would like to offer so just a couple of quick things:

YES to the nipple shield.  Saved our nursing relationship for sure!

NO to cabbage leaves, they are used when you want relief from engorgement and are trying to dry up the milk/stop breastfeeding.

Jdiana - you made me tear up with that recollection.  I miss it so much sad

You can do this Courtney, I know you can.

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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

I didn't read all responses, but definitely don't use cabbage leaves. We used those on DP to dry up her milk supply after our first was born. It makes the milk dry up quickly.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

This thread is starting to bring up old irritations! When J was four days old I went to a mother baby appointment with a nurse lactation consultant.  She was HORRIBLE.  I had a baby who at the time wouldn't latch without enticing him with a syringe of formula.  I didn't bring the syringe because, well, she was a LACTATION CONSULTANT and I thought she should be there to help me get him tO latch on his own.  Instead she was irritated with me for not bringing the syringe and irritated with my FOUR DAY OLD for not nursing! And then at the end of the appointment she quickly ran through a list of information and one of them was "use cabbage leaves to help with engorgement".  That was all she said.  And she said this to a first time mother whose milk had only come in the day before and was only pumping about 10 - 20 mils max.  I had no idea it would actually dry out your milk! Luckily I didn't ever try it, but it still it rites me.  She could have so easily caused me even more problems than I was already having.  Further proof that she was the worst.

Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

When I had my son back in 1996 and was still in the hospital when my milk came in my breasts were hurting so bad bc I was engorged. They had me pump, I couldn't nurse bc he was a preemie and in the NICU. They also put cabbage leafs on my breasts. They did not dry up my milk and I pumped for the first week after he was born. Then once he could start nursing I nursed him until he was 2 yrs old. I never had any supply issues due to the cabbage leafs.

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I just turned 50 and fabulous!!!  Enjoying life with my amazing family!!
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Re: Breast feeding isn't what I thought it would be...

Sorry guys, didn't mean to bring any bad info into the post.  I went and looked up the drying out issues, and consider myself more educated on the subject. My sincere apologies.

Our sweet boy has arrived after TTC'ing for 4 years!