View Full Version : Just about had it...
08-11-2009, 07:45 AM
My son is now 6 weeks old and I am still trying to breastfeed him. It seems like we have had one issue after another...it has not been an easy ride. And now something new. He'll be latched on and sucking fine and about half way through his feeding, he starts to wiggle and fight me. Of course he doesn't want to unlatch while he is fighting me, he still is hungry and wants to nurse. So he's pulling and pushing on me and it's starting to really hurt again. I have no idea why this is happening or how to fix it. Any ideas/comments are welcome. I'm just getting so frustrated that I'm really considering switching to bottles fulltime.
08-11-2009, 09:25 AM
oh hugs mama! Good job for all your hard work so far!! First, read through the link. Next, grab a Lactation Consultant ASAP :) They will be able to physically show you what's going on. HTH's and hang in there!
08-11-2009, 12:05 PM
I agree with lismom, talk to a lactation consultant. I was so ready to give up bf with my son, and they helped me figure out what was going on. After 2 appointments we were bf like pros. Also, have you tried other positions? Sometimes my son would 'fight me' when he was uncomfortable, doing the same things you described. Try putting him in another position and see if it helps.
08-11-2009, 03:11 PM
I second the idea that he might need a different position. Make sure he doesn't have to hold his neck at an awkward angle.
Sometimes my baby would nurse only when I was walking. Do you have a carrier that lets you do this?
If you go to a lactation consultant, make sure she's an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), since otherwise you don't know what her credentials are.
08-12-2009, 07:56 AM
Thanks for the responses! We're still working on it! :-)
08-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Also make sure he doesnt need to burp. He will get mad, but unlatch him and trying burping for a minute, change positions then relatch. That kinda wiggling sounds a bit like gas-so wiggle his legs too.
My dd would also get wiggly during feedings. In her case, it was usually a dirty diaper. She actually was aware of her dirty diapers very early on and did not like having one. Unfortunately, she also hated to be changed, especially in the middle of a feeding. But I just did it as quickly as possible and got back to feeding her and she was better.
08-19-2009, 05:39 PM
I know that this is the Breastfeeding section - so I totally want to say that if it is important to you then you should take the excellent advice offered by the other moms here and try to stick it out for a bit longer.
However - because I truly feel that all moms need support in whatever safe decision they make...I just wanted to step in to say that if you have tried breastfeeding and feel after 6 weeks or 8 weeks or 10 weeks that it isn't for you...there is no shame in switching to bottles. Your baby will grow up healthy and happy and you will not be failing him in anyway.
You can't make a wrong choice here...so don't feel guilty about choosing the one that is right for you.
08-20-2009, 01:11 PM
MayMommy - Thank you so much for your post! It definitely made me feel better!
08-20-2009, 03:45 PM
MayMommy, thanks for supporting "all moms." However, I glanced through your other posts, and I didn't see any similar posts in response to the many moms who are having trouble with formula. There are plenty of threads here about formula-fed babies suffering from allergies, digestive problems, or other health problems. Have you posted in any of those threads, saying there's no "shame" in giving up on formula and relactating so they can breastfeed their babies?
Breastfeeding can be difficult, but formula can have its problems too. Misrepresenting formula as an easy way out, to a woman who is struggling to stick with her choice to breastfeed, is misleading, and not supportive of her choice. Do you taunt dieters with donuts?
ajdec, MayMommy may have promised you that "Your baby will grow up healthy and happy" if you switch to formula, and of course that would make anyone feel better, if it were true. Sadly, there's no guarantee that any particular baby will be "healthy and happy." I'm sure you already know that your baby has a better chance of being healthy if you breastfeed. Switching to formula would worsen his chances. That's probably why you chose breastfeeding in the first place. Stick with your decision, and don't let anyone mislead you into thinking that formula is an easy way out.
08-20-2009, 04:19 PM
adjec, see if these help you out...
Hugs, sometimes it's just hard being a mom.
08-23-2009, 09:43 AM
Shame on you for trying to turn a thread about a woman looking for support into an attack on my for supporting her in her decisions, regardless of which option she chooses. As to my, "not posting in other threads," did you also notice that I haven't posted in ages in ANY area? If this was my welcome back to the message board...its a shame to see so little has changed, some still enjoy taking what should be a supportive thread and using it to make themselves feel superior to others.
I will not participate in such things because I have seen how quickly it can deteriorate a thread into uselessness and cruelty.
Mothers should support mothers when they are making difficult decisions. There were many excellent posts here giving the original poster advice on how to continue breastfeeding successfully. As I said, the original poster should look to such excellent advice, no need for me to post anything similar other than to voice my support of her continuing to breastfeed if that is her wish. My point was, and still is, that many mothers formula-feed their children and that it is an acceptable choice as well.
Is it possible that formula-feeding will come with its own challenges? Of course. Both breast-feeding and bottle-feeding have their own pros and cons...it is up to each mother to way those pros and cons for herself and make the best decision for her and her child. Since both options are safe and can lead to happy, healthy children...mothers who want to help should provide information to help moms make their decision and then to SUPPORT THEM...not post snide little snippy remarks to make themselves feel superior to those who have the audacity to mention a different option.
I say again, while both options have positives and negatives, you can not make a wrong decision...only the best decision for you and your baby. As a fellow woman and mother, I support whichever decision you make. Good luck!
08-23-2009, 10:26 AM
The Loud, I have to agree with MayMommy somewhat. I think she was just trying to be supportive in the case that ajdec does have to switch to formula. I don't think MayMommy has to post in the threads about formula about relactation - she's probably not a lactation consultant or a politician who needs to weigh in on every side of an issue in order to be valid in her comments. She's just a mom trying to help another mom through one of the most personal trials of early motherhood.
I also took exception to your comment about taunting dieters with donuts. Are you suggesting that formula is as harmful and nutritionally empty as a donut? If so, I find that statement pretty inflammatory. I have really struggled with breastfeeding, due to a deformity and subsequent low milk supply and issues with latching. My LO is now almost 3 months old and I have to pump constantly and take supplements to even get enough breast milk for 3 of her daily feedings (and yes, I've seen four lactation consultants, so believe me, I've tried nearly everything). That means I still have to supplement with formula. I don't feel that I'm giving my DD salmon and broccoli for 3 meals and the rest of the day I'm feeding her donuts and candy. I just know that she needs to eat, and if I can't produce enough, she needs the formula.
Anyway, I do think your response was a bit of an attack on MayMommy. With all the recent bad blood on this site, I think we need to be kind to one another, even if we disagree. I think you could have phrased your disagreement in a much different, less confrontational tone.
ajdec, good luck to you. I have heard from other moms that once they stuck it through some real rough spots early on, they had smooth sailing after that for months. I hope you have the same outcome. I'm proud of you for trying everything to get your LO breast milk, but if you have to switch to formula, at least know that you did everything you could beforehand. You clearly have the best interests of your child in mind.
08-23-2009, 06:05 PM
I'm sorry for my clumsy donut metaphor. No one here is suggesting feeding babies anything like donuts, just as no one is suggesting feeding newborns actual salmon and broccoli. All I was trying to say about donuts is that they can weaken the resolve of a determined dieter if people keep offering them, just as the misrepresentation of formula as trouble-free can weaken the resolve of a committed breastfeeder. I was talking about resolve and things that can weaken it, not the nutritional value of any particular food.
puddin_pops_mama, it's wonderful that you're able to provide any amount of breast milk to your baby. You're clearly doing the very best you can with the resources you have, so in a way, you're feeding your baby "salmon and broccoli" all the time, since you're always providing the very best food you can. Adjec might find your story inspiring, since if you can overcome serious problems like that, there's hope that she can overcome her problems too.
08-23-2009, 08:48 PM
Thanks for clearing that up, Loud. I wasn't sure what your donut metaphor meant exactly, and your description makes it a lot clearer. I misread your connection there.
I appreciate the support with my fervent attempts to get my daughter as much breast milk as possible. There have been many times I wanted to give up or felt terrible about myself for only giving her breast milk for some of her feedings. Plus, the time I spent on feeding her was ridiculous. I would breast feed, which was a hard process due to my deformity and low supply. My daughter would fall asleep or scream and cry as I tried to pull my nipples into a shape she could latch on to. This would go on for nearly an hour, then I would have to give her a formula supplement, then I'd have to pump to try to increase my supply. By the time it was all over, it would almost be time for her to eat again. After a lot of trial and error and a lot of tears (both from my daughter and me) I finally got to the point where I just feed her expressed milk. Sure, I still spend almost twice the time on feeding her as most moms, and I still have to reconcile with the fact that I will never be able to breast feed exclusively, but I know I'm trying as hard as possible.
I really needed a lot of support during my problems with feeding. I finally found someone who really supported me and it made all the difference in the world to me. The wonderful aspect of her support was that she didn't judge me for the possibility of going to formula only, but she was a great cheerleader for my attempts. She also made me feel great about what I had already accomplished, which was getting my daughter a good start by beginning her life with breast milk.
This does relate to the original post. Because I have struggled so hard with feeding, I do not judge those who at least gave breast feeding a good try. I have found myself getting jealous of those who could breast feed exclusively and decide not to, but I am able to let this go when I remind myself that I don't know what kind of information and support they've gotten in their feeding decisions and process. And because I was the lucky recipient of such wonderful support, I try to be as positive as possible with anyone struggling with breast feeding. I'm proud of adjec for starting off with breast milk. I'm proud of her for looking for support when she's struggling. I hope she can get through her difficulties and breast feed with no problems. But if she can't get through it, I don't want her to beat herself up needlessly for not continuing to breast feed. I don't think any mom deserves to go through that pain when there is so much that is overwhelming with a newborn.
08-24-2009, 11:24 AM
Wow...I hadn't checked this site in a while and didn't realize my post had made it's way back to the top. I've been really struggling with how to respond to all the posts...
I can safely say I was completely not prepared for the "heated" debate between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I mean, obviously, I knew there were people who are firm believers in nothing but breast milk, but I guess I didn't really "get it" until I was in the position of really struggling with breastfeeding my son. I was also not prepared for the intense feelings of guilt surrounding my gut feelings of not being sure if I want to continue to breastfeed. It has been totally eating me up inside. My DH doesn't get it because it's not his body, my mom doesn't understand as she never breastfed her children. It's a very lonely position to be in when I realized that how to feed my son was totally my call. The only voices I heard when I looked for help were those who really feel that exclusively breastfeeding is the only way to go. And that's not a bad thing...I'm not complaining at all...I absolutely appreciated all the tips and advice! But when MayMommy posted what she did, it felt like a relief to think that there was someone out there who was verbalizing her support of both ways of feeding.
I am still having a huge issues with my guilt about breastfeeding or not breastfeeding. But for the time being, we seem to have found a "happy place" by alternating each feeding (first one breastfeeding, next one bottle feeding, etc.). I feel like I am in a better place mentally and my son seems to be happier as I don't believe I was producing enough milk to support exclusively breastfeeding him (I've had a lot of milk issues...not coming in for several days, etc.). And who knows how long my body will cooperate with producing milk this way...but I'm hopeful for a while.
I think the reality of the situation is...yes, breast milk is best. Without a doubt. But it's not a promise or guarantee of a happy, healthy baby. Just like formula isn't a promise or guarantee of an unhappy or unhealthy baby. Even the PA at my pediatrician office said that he has seen many unhealthy breastfed babies and many very healthy formula fed babies. And when I think about the other people in my life, I realize that my niece, who was breastfed, still had to suffer through cancer when she was only 3 years old (she recovered and is a healthy teenager now). And I realize that one of my best friends little girls was formula fed and is a very healthy little 6 year old. Please don't mistake these comments are trying to justify formula feeding or belittle breastfeeding. I'm just trying to be rational in my own head and look at the whole picture.
I'm sure I'll still be looking for breastfeeding advice as I continue in this journey that is motherhood. And I know I'll be looking for bottlefeeding advice too. And I guess we'll just have to wait and see where my journey ends up...
08-24-2009, 04:10 PM
Adjec, sorry if the tone here wasn't supportive. You could also try this forum:
which is a great source of both support and information.
When you say you had a lot of issues, like your milk didn't come in for "several" days, what do you mean? The average amount of time it takes for milk to come in is about 3 days, but there's a wide range, with 5 or 6 days not uncommon. How many days did it take for your milk to come in? This may seem like I'm dredging up an old issue, but I'm wondering if your milk actually came in at a perfectly normal time, but some ignorant person told you that it was "late," which made you worry and doubt your ability to breastfeed. This is just a guess, but if someone criticized your perfectly on-time milk as "late," that might be a part of the negative feelings you're having about breastfeeding.
Now this is another total guess, but did someone tell you that since your milk came in "late" you had to start your baby on just a little formula, just until your milk came in? If that happened, there would have been two results: Your baby, stuffed full of formula, would have nursed less, which would have delayed the production of your milk even more (until it actually was late.) Also, since it takes different mouth movements to suck milk out of a bottle and a breast, your baby may have gotten confused, and not known how to nurse from a real breast, resulting in latch issues. Maybe he's struggling because he doesn't understand why nipples are sometimes flesh and sometimes plastic. And, artificial nipples deliver milk at a steady, predictable rate, while real nipples deliver milk at a variable rate, which might be confusing him. Maybe he struggles when you have a let-down and he's suddenly inundated with more milk than he was expecting, or maybe he wants a let-down but doesn't know how to trigger one. This is a total guess of course, but I'm wondering about these milk issues you mention, and their cause.
But for the time being, we seem to have found a "happy place" by alternating each feeding (first one breastfeeding, next one bottle feeding, etc.)... And who knows how long my body will cooperate with producing milk this way...
Your body will "cooperate" with this new schedule by producing less milk. I'm sorry, but this isn't something that might happen, this is something that will happen. When your baby nurses less, that signals your body to produce less milk. To establish a good supply, you want to make sure that your baby is nursing (or you're pumping) at least every two hours. At night, you want to wake up at least once so you can nurse or pump every 4 hours. Once your milk supply is well-established, you don't have to worry about it so much, but getting it established takes some work, and it sounds like yours might not be fully established yet.
If the above paragraph is news to you, it's the fault of your doctors and nurses for not giving you this essential information. It looks like you'll have to do your own research. The kellymom website I mentioned above is a good source of real information.
If you've received misinformation that sabotaged your efforts to breastfeed, that's not a reason to feel guilty, that's a reason to feel angry, in my opinion. But a lot of women feel guilt about how they feed their babies, or even guilt over how they're feeling about feeding their babies. You are definitely not alone in this. Here's an interesting article that covers this feeling of guilt:
Here's an excerpt:
"Try this on: You have been crippled in a serious accident. Your physicians and physical therapists explain that learning to walk again would involve months of extremely painful and difficult work with no guarantee of success. They help you adjust to life in a wheelchair, and support you through the difficulties that result. Twenty years later, when your legs have withered beyond all hope, you meet someone whose accident matched your own. "It was difficult," she says. "It was three months of sheer hell. But I've been walking every since." Would you feel guilty?
Women to whom I posed this scenario told me they would feel angry, betrayed, cheated. They would wish they could do it over with better information. They would feel regret for opportunities lost. Some of the women said they would feel guilty for not having sought out more opinions, for not having persevered in the absence of information and support. But gender-engendered guilt aside, we do not feel guilty about having been deprived of a pleasure. The mother who does not breastfeed impairs her own health, increases the difficulty and expense of infant and child rearing, an dismisses one of life's most delightful relationships. She has lost something basic to her own well-being. What image of the satisfactions of breastfeeding do we convey when we use the word "guilt"?
Let's rephrase, using the words women themselves gave me: "We don't want to make bottlefeeding mothers feel angry. We don't want to make them feel betrayed. We don't want to make them feel cheated." Peel back the layered implications of "we don't want to make them feel guilty," and you will find a system trying to cover its own tracks. It is not trying to protect her. It is trying to protect itself. Let's level with mothers, support them when breastfeeding doesn't work, and help them move beyond this inaccurate and ineffective word. "
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