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Old 04-21-2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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Breast to bottle. Need support.

My DD is a month old. Up until now I was dead set on breast feeding. I abstained from using artificial nipples (bottles and pacifiers).. I did everything "by the book". It's just not working and it's killing me. She's had problems gaining weight, dehydration, reflux, cracked and bleeding nipples, latch problems, etc etc. I'm finally starting to get healed, but now my pain is in my back and shoulders. I have large (E) breasts, which are uncomfortable enough as it is, and they make breast feeding pure hell! I have to hold them off her face, and to prop her up on a pillow so as to free my arms means my shoulders suffer. NOTHING is comfortable.

My sanity is slowly slipping away. I should be enjoying our time together, but I don't. I dread breast feeding. At our one month appointment when her poor weight gain was noticed it hit me - I don't nurse as much as I should because of the pain I'm in. I don't do it on purpose, but when I started making notes of her feeding patterns it hit me. I felt HORRIBLE that I wasn't giving her all that she needs.

I feel like a failure because of how badly I wanted to succeed at this, but honestly, it's making me resentful, and that in itself is a terrible feeling.

How do I get passed feeling selfish because of my decision to quit? I'm going to rent the Madella pump tomorrow (the double sided one) to see if I can pump enough to do breast milk. I've been using my Avent, but it takes me an hour to gt 6 ounces. At that rate I'd be hooked to it all day.

I just laid down with her for our evening nursing session, which I love, but I just can't do it full time anymore.


 
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

And as if all this wasn't bad enough, I'm suffering from blocked ducts (second time in my left breast).

 
Old 04-22-2006, 03:56 AM   #3
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

First off, give yourself a big pat on the back for admitting that it just isn't working for you. It's hard for people to say that. Second, you did the best you could for a whole month.......it's better than nothing, good job, noone ever tells us how HARD nursing really is.
The most important thing at this moment, is to get your baby to take a bottle. Probably having someone other than yourself do it may be best. I had good luck with Dr. Browns ( you mentioned reflux being a problem) Just be persistant, and introduce it when he is not starving, but maybe an hour before a feeding instead. He is less likely to reject it that way too. You also need to either pump, to wean, or still nurse a feeding or two, because if you already have blocked ducts, you will probably develop mastitis. Be VERY careful! Don't stop cold turkey. If you want to pump to feed, than you may need to pump often to build up a supply that the baby needs.
Don't feel bad for stopping, you did a great job, and it does not work out for everyone, ( size E must be very hard!) You can still have all of the bonding experience with bottle feeding. Good luck, and hang in there.
Carrie

 
Old 04-22-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

I am so sorry that you are going through this, but you are not alone. I'd like to share my story with you. My daughter is 7 weeks old. I started her on formula at the beginning because we had a number of different problems. First, she had trouble latching, then when she finally did latch, it hurt me so badly that I could not bear it. I swear it hurt more than giving birth. When my milk finally came in, I was breast feeding about once or twice a day and my nipples began bleeding. It usually required an additional person to get her on as her arms got in the way and my breasts are so large and saggy that they would slip out of her mouth before she could latch on. I was so frusterated that there were days I immediately got the bottle instead of even trying to get her on my breast. I felt like such a failure. There were so many people, including the lactation specialist, who told me how important it was for me to breast feed and how I needed to keep trying no matter how hard it was. I did try pumping, but only got 1 oz after 1 hour of pumping and I nursed her as much as I could for 5 weeks and then my milk completely dried up. It was over. At times I felt so sad about it and at others I was relieved. I also felt guilty for feeling relieved.

I want to congratulate you for trying and for doing the best that you could. Breast feeding is very difficult and there are so many problems that can arise. Every woman is different. Formula has became so advanced, that it is nearly as nutritious as breast milk. Before everyone starts yelling at me, I said nearly. I know that breast feeding is best, but unfortunately it is not always an option. Some women just can't. Babies can grow and develop just fine on formula and you have given your baby four weeks of breast feeding. It is better for you to quit and go to the bottle than for you to feel resentment towards your baby which can be damaging to you both. It is obvious to me that you care about your baby a great deal. You would have given up already if you didn't. Sorry to have rambled so long, I just feel so strongly about this because I know how difficult it can be and how it can make you feel. Hang in there and realize quitting does not make you a failure, it makes you a great mother because you realized that it wasn't working for either of you. Good Luck.

Ginger

 
Old 04-23-2006, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

North, I am in the SAME boat! We have alot in common! I brought DS home and was set on breast feeding him..period. I am a size D, not as big as you but I had the same thing happen. I was cracked and bleeding, I got a yeast infection in both breasts and my chest wall, DS was not gaining weight in his second week of life and it was KILLING me to nurse him. It was uncomfortable and I cried while doing it.

I went to see a lactation consultant who was WONDERFUL. She made me realize that whether DS gets the breastmilk from the breast or bottle, he is getting it and that is what mattered. I felt like such a failure not being able to nurse him and have it work for both of us.

I rented a hospital grade Medula breastpump and tried to exclusivly pump for a week. I let my infection clear up and strictly fed DS breastmilk in the bottle. I nursed him for 5 minutes on each side daily so that he would stay familiar with the breast, but gave him mostly Playtex nurser bottles.

After a week, DS gained over a pound and was MUCH happier! I have stuck to pumping only ever since. DH can feed him and I am getting so much more sleep. I am much more comfortable and baby is happy. This is what worked for me.

As for the pump, just WAIT until you try the Medula. I was using the Avent and it took me a hour to pump both sides and I only got 4 ounces total. I got the Medula and it takes me 15 minutes and I get 8-10 ounces at one pump. I have not found out that I am an over producer of breastmilk, pumping over 40 ounces a day, and I have plenty. I am sure you will too! Hang in there, but this was the best thing to happen to both me and DS!
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:38 AM   #6
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skeetersquirt HB User
Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

North, I am in the SAME boat! We have alot in common! I brought DS home and was set on breast feeding him..period. I am a size D, not as big as you but I had the same thing happen. I was cracked and bleeding, I got a yeast infection in both breasts and my chest wall, DS was not gaining weight in his second week of life and it was KILLING me to nurse him. It was uncomfortable and I cried while doing it.

I went to see a lactation consultant who was WONDERFUL. She made me realize that whether DS gets the breastmilk from the breast or bottle, he is getting it and that is what mattered. I felt like such a failure not being able to nurse him and have it work for both of us.

I rented a hospital grade Medula breastpump and tried to exclusivly pump for a week. I let my infection clear up and strictly fed DS breastmilk in the bottle. I nursed him for 5 minutes on each side daily so that he would stay familiar with the breast, but gave him mostly Playtex nurser bottles.

After a week, DS gained over a pound and was MUCH happier! I have stuck to pumping only ever since. DH can feed him and I am getting so much more sleep. I am much more comfortable and baby is happy. This is what worked for me.

As for the pump, just WAIT until you try the Medula. I was using the Avent and it took me a hour to pump both sides and I only got 4 ounces total. I got the Medula and it takes me 15 minutes and I get 8-10 ounces at one pump. I have not found out that I am an over producer of breastmilk, pumping over 40 ounces a day, and I have plenty. I am sure you will too! Hang in there, but this was the best thing to happen to both me and DS!
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

Hi, I just thought I'd post a message to try to help you with some ideas if you still want to breastfeed or use breastmilk in a bottle.

My dd is 4months old, I am in an H cup bra and really struggled breastfeeding in the first couple of months... People don't tell you that breastfeeding does get better but only after about 3 months when your milk is settled down and you and baby have both mastered the best latch and position. Because I was big breasted I used the under arm position but at 6-7 weeks that became difficult because she was a long baby. I changed positions and she now lies on a pillow on my lap (which took a lot of getting used to) and things got better (slowly).

I also started expressing. After you feed baby then play then back down to bed I expressed. REMEMBER expressing is not about suction its about the right frame of mind. If you are stressed, or frustrated or concentrating on how much you're pumping then it won't work. I watch TV while I express and ignore that I'm pumping before I know it my let down has come and I've expressed 60mls (2-3 uk fl oz.) I pump after each feed until I have enough to give her a bottle at night before bed which is about 125mls (5 fl oz).

Remember babies have phases where they feed badly. I used to cry every time I fed her because it was such an effort. It gets better and you realise it was a phase. You can suppliment every other feed if you really want to try weaning her and perhaps you can give her the morning lunch and dinner feed and give her formula at morning tea afternoon tea and before bed times?

Try to remember nothing is forever and what you are experiencing now will stop and you will think back in a couple of weeks or so and think wow! that was hard but we got through it... Good luck and don't beat yourself up... you're doing the best you can!

Take care
Jen

 
Old 04-23-2006, 05:14 PM   #8
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

Thank-you everyone.

Just an update - I'm still breast feeding. My pump quit (go Avent ) so I took it back, and tomorrow I pick up my Madella. I've been supplimenting with a bottle of formula a day. It has made all the difference in my sanity. Having an "out" where my husband can feed her is nice, and is just enough to keep me from getting frustated.

I'm still sore, but that is because I have back injuries. Pumping will be great. I still want to breast feed as much as I can, but if I simply can't because of my back, then I won't feel preasured, and I won't feel let down if I can't. I'm really optimistic about it.

Thanx again guys.

 
Old 04-25-2006, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: Breast to bottle. Need support.

Good for you North! You have to do whatever works for you, and having a break from nursing is a good thing if he will take a bottle! I forgot to mention also what Sherbert did. Babies do go through bad nursing periods, so hang in there for another week, and see if it improves. Did you consider calling the lac. consultant?

 
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