Does anyone out there believe that the lactation community is,to say the least, not helpful or possibly in denial. I had a pretty, what I would consider, awful experience with breastfeeding. I truly felt I was not producing enough breast milk for my baby. I had an evaluation with a lactation consultant several days after leaving the hospital. She said everything was perfect and that I was doing a good job. Well everything was perfect, then it took a turn. In the second week of my daughter's life, she became very fussy. After weeks of trying to figure it out, I came to the conclusion it was my lack of milk that was causing this fussiness. So I started supplementing her with formula. She seemed to just change from unhappy baby to full and satisfied baby. But I wanted a second opinion, so I went to the lactation specialist again. I wanted nothing but the best for my baby and to me breastfeeding was the answer. The lactation consultant was convinced I was producing enough milk and my baby was just fussy for whatever the reason may be. So I took her word as gold and followed her instructions to just breastfeed my baby. Once again my baby became fussy. So against what she had advised me to do, I gave her formula. And again I got the same results from my baby. She seemed happier overall. It wasn't perfect and she was still somewhat fussy, but she was not screaming all the time anymore. I was so distraught over this whole situation. I tend to take advice from the professionals as the only advice I should listen to. I do not think these lactation consultants consider that no matter how bad some women want to breastfeed their child, sometimes it is just not possible. I think as new parents we second guess ourselves left and right. We are looking for that someone to guide us in the right direction. Is there anyone else who has had a similar experience or opinion on the situation?
In short, no. I don't think it's the lactation community that is in denial I think it's the rest of society and before you go calling me a lactivist, my 1st son was bottle fed. HOWEVER I do believe that breast is best and if I had it to do all over again no doubt BOTH of my sons would have been exclusively breastfed. But I got to see something that most mom's don't. I hear this story over and over again "My baby preferred the bottle." and even I was one of the moms who used it. But seeing for myself made me believe. My first son was bottle fed as I mentioned and had a fussy spell where he was just cranky and unhappy for about 3 months off and on, at the time I felt terribly guilty, "if only I would have breastfed my baby wouldn't be so sick" I told myself and I believed it. Fast forward a year, my 2nd son is born exclusively breastfed from day one, guess what? He was fussy off and on for the first 3 months too. Was it the breastmilk? No, it's the baby.
You have to remember that babies have never digested food until they have their first feeding. Their digestive system has kinks it has to work out and that is an uncomfy thing regardless of the food in the baby's tummy. However breastmilk is FAR superior to formula in that it's 10 times easier to digest than formula is. Their little bodies are not meant to digest that artificial stuff and 97% of mother are capable of nursing successfully. I think the problem lies not only in mothers themselves but also in society as a whole. WE say "breast is best" and list reasons a, b, and c. But very few people have good advice on how to breastfeed correctly. Even the proffessionals give bad advice and mothers do not educate themselves because like me, they think it's natural and so it will just happen, but it doesn't work that way it is something that you have to work at and there are usually obstacles sometimes even painful ones that must be overcome but very few breastfeeding mothers would say that it wasn't worth it because it is.
But back to my point. I don't think the lactation community is in denial I think that they want people to do something without giving them the proper tools and education. They are quick to judge those who don't do what the best, but they aren't there when you need them, like at 4am on the morning you have your baby and he wont' latch on........sorry little rant there. But do you see what I'm saying?
Sorry for the long story but I hope I helped a little.
If you think it is a supply issue, have you tried pumping to help increase your supply. Babies really need to be fed often, especially during the first few weeks, to help you establish your supply. Maybe you could pump and supplement with breastmilk. This should also increase your supply so that you can go back to exclusively breastfeeding. Personally, I saw the same lactation consultant at the hospital with both of my boys and loved her. I do think that some LCs can push their agenda a bit and not help you fully solve the problem. Don't ignore your instincts that your daughter seems less fussy if she's gotten more to eat, but explore your options if you want to BF. Good luck!
I had the same problem with my daughter who is now almost 8 months. She cried all the time and seemed to want to eat every half hour. It was frustrating and I did supplement 2oz of formula every few hours the first month or so to give my bleeding milk machines a break. In the hospital I had several nurses and doctors tell me not to give her any formula but I had one nurse that encouraged it. She said if the babies hungry then feed her! I also thought that nursing would come naturally and didn't educate myself as I probably should and so my daughter latched on incorrectly in the beginning which caused me weeks of pain. Now almost 8 months later though I am still breastfeeding and no longer supplement formula. I pump when at work (sniffle!) and only pump 4oz at a time. I was very worried that I still wasn't supplying her with enough milk but my lactation consultant and her pediatrician assured me that she is fine - 95% in weight. Just hang in there but don't feel guilty if you have to give your baby formula!
I do think that it is kind of funny how pushy some people come off when it comes to breastfeeding. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I decided that going to WIC would probably be a good idea.. They had a ton of questions and one included: Are you going to breastfeed? I was really undecided--I mean, I was 8 weeks along..come on..I didn't know yet. And that is what I told her, I don't know. She went like, psycho, on me.
"Well, breastfeeding is best for the baby's health."
"Formula feeding is just setting up your child for a life of unhealthy eating habits."
"As a person with hypoglycemia, I'm sure you can appreciate knowing that formula feeding increases your child's chances of obesity and diabetes."
*Let's just say I never went back there again. This isn't the only time I have been bullied, let's say, by breastfeeding advocates. I have been in the hospital many times. My doctor is nutty about the issue. I have decided that I will breastfeed, but nonetheless, it is my choice..It is every woman's choice whether she will or not, and if she chooses not to, back off and accept the fact that it isn't your child and you don't get to call the shots.
Well, jenn, I hate it when people are pushy about it one way or the other, but having been on WIC with my first 2, if you do plan to formula feed, definitely give them another shot! Formula is just SOOO expensive! I can't believe how much WIC saved me, the first time I bf for over 5 months then did formula, and with my 2nd he formula all the time. You would have to take out a loan just for the formula! I've even mentioned cloth diapers to my hubby for this baby. We've never done them before, and of course he's thinking no way! But the way things are going financially, I'm seriously considering giving it a shot! Sorry I got a little off topic here, I tend to do that. But for the money aspect alone, don't give up on WIC. Not all of them are like that. The one I go to here in IA is supportive either way, thank goodness!
As annoying as it is for formula feeding Moms to feel pressured by breastfeeding Moms, it is at least as annoying for breastfeeding Moms to hear formula feeding Moms say that they had to because they couldn't make enough milk. Breastfeeding can be a lot of work, and it is belittling when others just assume that it should come naturally to everyone. Our society has tricked women out of something very beautiful. Some of us try for months to establish a steady supply. I am the mother of five. My youngest is 7 weeks and breastfeeding is still a little painful. I smiled and ignored the nurse who told me not to let my son use me as a human pacifier. I know from experience that in the first few weeks, a baby needs to nurse constantly. Yes, I have done the bleeding, cracked nipples, thrush (ouch), and difficulty latching on. It took me four months to "get it right" with one of my babies. In the end it was absolutely worth it. There is a lot of peace in knowing that you have worked hard and sacrificed to give your baby the very best there is. A lactation consultant saved my sanity with the first baby. She knew my goal was to succeed, and she was invaluable in the endeavor. Breastfeeding Moms who struggle, and yet succeed should be commended.
Thanks for all your responses. It's very interesting to read all the different opinions on this subject. I did not mention my use of a nipple shield in the original thread I posted. I had alot of pain and the lactation consultant suggested I use a nipple shield. Thank God for the nipple shield. Although this was such a blessing, I allowed it to become a curse. I believe I went to long with the nipple shield before giving my baby a second chance without it. Everytime I would feed her, I would start with the nipple shield on. Then I would remove it. Sometimes she would latch on, but she would always take herself off, and then not beable to get back on. I consulted the lactation professional about this. She thought that the nipple shield could be preventing some of the stimulation to produce more milk. To make a long story short, my baby became entirely formula fed by four months. Believe you me, it was not what I wanted, and maybe I didn't do everything right. I appreciate the opinion that babies sometimes just cry because that's just what they do. However, I could not allow myself at the time to accept that. I want everyone to know that I believe firmly in breastfeeding. I loved it(minus the pain), and I shed tears over the fact that I thought I couldn't continue. I would advise any mom to atleast try it, and to not rule it out. Thanks for your perspectives.