View Full Version : Should I Keep Breastfeeding?
05-28-2010, 04:23 PM
My 3 1/2 week old has been extremely difficult to breastfeed right from the start. He has a massive temper and SCREAMS bloody murder when he gets hungry. He couldn't get the hang of latching on so I use a nipple shield , but even then, he gets very angry when he's hungry and I"m trying to get him to latch on. By the time he starts eating, I'm either very upset or crying and he's worn out from screaming so long. Then we have to repeat the scenario when I switch him to the other breast. I've tried everything to get him to settle down and most of the time, the only thing I can do is set him down to scream and walk away for a few minutes before trying again. He also eats every 1 to 2 hours and takes 45-60 minutes to complete the feeding so that means that almost half of my time is taken up with him eating. I know he's getting enough and I've got tons of milk so that isnt' the issue. I also have a two year old who hasn't been to bed on time since her brother was born and who I have to basically ignore every time I"m trying to get the baby to eat. I feel absolutely terrible for neglecting her which makes breastfeeding the baby even worse for me. I did breastfeed my two year old for a year and she was also very difficult to feed. We had to supplement with bottles because she just flat out refused to nurse sometimes. Even still, I stuck it out with her and managed to make it to a year. Now I feel like a complete failure because I'm seriously considering only nursing once or twice a day and using formula the rest of the day (I absolutely HATE pumping), but I'm starting to resent my son for making me so stressed out and making me neglect my older child for him. I feel so guilty for considering stopping breastfeeding. Can someone please help me figure out what to do?!?!
05-29-2010, 02:43 AM
Being so young, I would hope he would be able to outgrow his frequent nursings by 6-8 weeks (some do, some don't) or at least reduce the amount of time nursing. Try to hang on that long to see if his habits change for the "easier".
Try the latching on process before he gets upset hungry. Maybe even before he really seems hungry. If he is calm and willing to take the breast it might make it better.
Consider not switching sides. I was able to nurse on only one side each feeding for the first 6 months. Or at least, keep him on one breast until he lets go himself (or otherwise indicates a need to switch) then offer the other side. If he is happy at the first breast, I don't see any need to switch mid feeding, just start on the other side the next feeding.
Have the pediatrician double check his mouth and throat. Maybe there is something that there that makes nursing unpleasant for him (probably not, but check all possibilities).
My own son would eat for 60-90 minutes his first few weeks, but at 4/5 wks I began to cut him off at 45-60 minutes with a pacifier. For us it seemed to work, as he did not need to feed any more frequently, he just needed to suckle more than I was willing to give.
I only have one child right now, but I have heard others suggest ideas
1. make nursing time TV time with your little girl. I don't like the idea of too much TV, but for a few weeks it should make it easier for you. She can sit next to you and be entertained, but you are free to work with your newborn.
2. Make nursing time reading or coloring time. Have your daughter hold up a book and turn the pages while you nurse. Or give her colors and a space next to you to do some coloring.
3. Get friends or family to come over frequently to spend time with your little girl for the next couple of weeks so she doesn't feel neglected and you can concentrate on your baby.
4. If your daughter isn't bothered by the so called neglect, then don't let it bother you at this time.
Not sure why you hate pumping, maybe switching brands or flange size would make a difference. Or doing both breasts or only one breast at a time - although I hope this goes better for you and you will not need to pump.
Do you have a lactation consultant available to you. Many hospitals have them, if you qualify for WIC they have them, and there are some out there for hire. Maybe they can help you see if anything can be changed to help out. The website www.kellymom.com has some good information, you might be able to find something there.
I really hope you can manage to keep breastfeeding, for all the reasons why it is encouraged. But, your own mental health is very important too. Give it what you can, and if you just can't do it any more, don't feel guilty about switching to formula.
Just take this one day or even one nursing at a time - and see how far that will get you.
05-29-2010, 09:34 AM
Newmom is giving you some EXCELLENT advice ;) I too only fed on one side per feeding, and am still doing so at 19 months. Don't beat yourself up for still trying to figure out how to keep you 2 year old occupied while you're trying to figure out your nursing situation with you new lo! :) It's only been a couple of weeks and you all are still adjusting. I would suggest a sling for a couple of reasons. You'll have at least one free hand to entertain your dd & you will have skin to skin contact with your ds and that may help his fussiness and help you realize he's hungry before he's screaming. I know that it was a one of my must have's with ds and my dd was grateful that I could nurse ds and still sit on the floor/couch/table and interact with her. We also did *lots* of tv time when ds was tiny. I second taking your lo to the doc to see if there is something in the mouth throat that is making latching uncomfortable. You might also check about thrush. There is also the possiblility that your lo is allergic to something in your diet. Hugs mama, I wouldn't give up just yet :) You're doing all you can! :)
05-29-2010, 09:40 AM
I would also recommend co-sleeping if you don't want to pump at night. I too hate the breast pump (mainly because of the clean-up involved and I'd just rather snuggle with the baby than the machine...dh can/did bond in other ways...). I know it's controversial in some circles, but it was another 'survival' instinct that just happened with dd, and was continued with ds. It made nighttime MUCH easier, and I was more rested in the daytime for dd.
05-29-2010, 07:26 PM
My oldest was a nightmare to breastfeed! She wanted to eat every hour or less and it really wore on me. The best thing I ever did was co-sleeping! When she would sleep in our bed she had no problems latching and would begin feeding without even crying. During the day time it would help if I would lay down on the floor/couch with her especially after I figured out her schedule. She began eating for shorter intervals, but still as frequently around 6 months.
Breastfeeding 2 was MUCH easier from the beginning, but did pose a safety hazard because my dd was out of control (she was a climber and could open any saftey gates/doors we tried)! I found the best way to entertain her while I was nursing was to have toys/books that only came out during that time. Her favorite was a baby of her own and she could copy what mommy was doing (It's pretty hilarious to watch your 1 year old try to breast feed).
This time around I have a very uneven amount of milk supply that I thought would greatly interfere with nursing (the doctor's told me I wouldn't be able to nurse as long as I have) but, number 3 has been even easier. He is even so laid back that he doesn't wake at all during the night and I never had to co-sleep with him (which was sad but exciting!) While he nurses the other 2 keep each other busy.
Things should get better! Just push through it as long as you can and IF it comes down to it,quit and hold your head high for being able to do it as long as you did!
05-31-2010, 01:10 AM
I was having the same issues. After using the nipple shields, supplemental feeding with a syringe and all, my lactation consultant recommended that I just pump and bottlefeed. After he eats 1 to 2 oz, I try to get him to latch on. I don't switch breasts, I feed on one side and then pump the other side. If I start to get stressed or he gets upset, we just bottlefeed. My son is 13 days old and he's beginning to nurse better. The consultant says that he'll grow out of the impatiance and will nurse consistently as he gets older. I hope breastfeeding gets easier for you.
06-02-2010, 10:10 AM
Thank you all for your advice. I've decided to stick it out until my son is about 8 weeks old and if the situation hasn't improved by then, we'll start using formula throughout the day. I give him bottles occasionally right now and I really enjoy feeding him that way while I don't enjoy nursing and see it as more of a chore than a bonding experience. Hopefully, it'll work out, but if it doesn't, I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
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