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A few breastfeeding issues


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#1 Moo point

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

I know I may get flamed for this, but I am over breastfeeding and just want to stop sad.gif

DS is 5 months old, has always been a champion feeder - lots of wet nappies, healthy, putting on weight well, latched well from day 1. And I feel guilty as breastfeeding him has been easier than for a lot of my friends. But I have had my own issues - firstly an overactive letdown and fast flow, meaning the poor little mite was choking on almost every feed. I block fed for a few weeks when he was about 5/6/weeks old, and my supply slowed down to match his intake pretty well.

We were doing fairly well, but since he started becoming distracted it's just become so much more difficult for me. He is constantly hitting and pinching me, biting down (he doesn't even have teeth yet), and to deal with the fast flow he still latches on quite shallow for the first bit of the feed which hurts - he can only latch on properly once it's slowed down. Makes no difference if I express a bit off first. He also wrenches his head to the side while still latched. My nipples are almost always a bit tender, and I've been reduced to tears on so many occasions that I'm starting to get angry with DS but I know it's not his fault.

My dilemma is: although I can and have expressed easily, I've never been able to get DS to take a bottle. We are having relatively little success with a sippy cup, so no one else is able to feed him. [Another issue, I feel I have no time to myself at all]. I can't possibly stop breastfeeding if I can't get milk into him another way sad.gif I am going back to work one day per week from February and don't know what to do.

And then this morning DH asked when I can start doing IVF again. We are not using contraception given how difficult DS was to conceive - we'd both be happy if it happened naturally - but given we've only DTD once since DS was born and my cycle hasn't returned it's not likely to happen anyway! Although I'm certainly not in any hurry to have another baby just yet, I'm almost 38 years old, and if we need IVF again I can't breastfeed while taking the drugs.

I'm sorry this is a bit all over the place, I guess I'm not sure what to do. My head is a bit of a mess sad.gif

#2 raone

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:21 AM

bbighug.gif I can totally see where you are coming from. It's not easy Breastfeeding no matter what there is alot that goes with it to deal with. Don't have any advice sorry as my DS is younger than yours but just wanted to say it's okay to be frustrated.

#3 ~faerydust~

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:25 AM

It sounds like you are trying to process several issues at nice. Can I suggest a call to the ABA? They will listen and talk you through all of it, and help with gentle weaning strategies if you decide to go that way.

#4 lucky 2

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:37 AM

Hi there, I'm sorry to hear everything is difficult at the moment sad.gif .
As for returning to work in Feb, try not to stress, that's 2+ months away so you'll have a 7 month old who can at least be spoon fed some milk or water or have it mixed with food when you are separated, or cup, but my point is that you have a bit of time till then so try not to let that issue add further stress.
There is a pinned topic in this forum about work and bfing and it shows that there are babies who refuse bottles and some how they get fed when mum goes to work!
The link below is about alternative ways to feed a bfed baby, it also might have some ideas for you.
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding...native-feeding/
Something doesn't sound ideal in regards to how he feeds, ie shallow latch etc, it doesn't sound like you are wanting to "fix" that as such (if you did could you see a LC?) but it sounds unpleasant.
I wonder if there is an underlying bfing issue that has been there from the beginning.
If he would take a bottle I could see it would be a big relief for you so may be the link above can help with that.
It sounds like you would consider expressing as an option to direct bfing if only he would take it!
Best wishesx

#5 CharliMarley

Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:49 AM

You have given your baby the best start in life with breastfeeding and if you need to start on the IVF process and need to wean him, then that is the only thing you can do. Perhaps with your next baby you can go a little longer with the breastfeeding, if you feel happy, because it is most important that mum and bub are happy breastfeeding, because babies know when mum is unhappy and tense. Try to keep in mind that breastfeeding is good for you as well, because if you feed your babies for 2 years cumulatively, then you are a lower risk of contracting breast cancer in later life. eexcite.gif

#6 BookishOne

Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

Hi, just wanted to suggest the Medela calma bottle if you haven't already tried it. My 5mo refused a bottle for about 4 months, would scream blue murder if I tried giving it to her. Another mum in my mothers group recommended the calma and DD took it immediately, I have no idea why (though I think the sucking action is much similar to bf than the avent bottle I was using). Now I make sure I giver her a bottle every couple of days or so (back on the avent now) so that she doesn't forget how to do it! I am also going back to work in Feb and was getting concerned that no one else would ever be able to feed her....now I just have to figure out how to get her to sleep without me haha.

#7 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:16 AM

Sounds like there are several issues worrying you.

Like Lucky 2 said he'll be 7 months by the time you go back to work.  Is he going to formal/family daycare? He might be willing to have a bottle or sippy cup when he sees other babies doing it.  Or they can put EBM or formula into his food.    

If you are not in a routine, do you think it might help to start a 4 hourly routine?  That might cut down the distractability and mucking around and also help with the feelings of being sick of it and having no time to yourself.

Have you had an experienced bottle feeder try to give a bottle?  I saw a Tresillian nurse get a bottle refusing baby to take one by walking around jiggling the baby to sleep, and just slipping the teat into his mouth as he got drowsy.

I have no issues with how people feed as long as it suits them, but it would be nice to keep going until he is well established on solids and gets through the first months of care (if he is doing daycare) due to all the illnesses they pick up at the beginning.  Its great to have the immune boost and its such a comfort to them when they are sick particularly if they pick up a gastro bug.

Hope it works out soon.

#8 Moo point

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

Thank you all for your responses.

I guess there are a few issues there, some purely physical and the rest mental/emotional. I'm such an advocate of breastfeeding, and always said I wanted to try and breastfeed for at least 6 months, maybe 12, but always thought I'd try expressing so that I could have DH or someone else feed DS from a bottle. As it turns out, I can easily express so that is not a problem, just need to get it into him in another form!

I have started DS on some solids, just a tablespoon of either pumpkin or sweet potato at dinner, and am thinking of increasing this to a second feed at lunch so that he can fill up on food as well. He is still breastfeeding almost every 2 hours which I guess is part of the reason I'm so over it. Thankfully he sleeps for around 9 hours straight overnight, wakes up for one feed then back to sleep until around 7am so I'm very lucky there.

lucky 2 - I'm not sure describing it as a shallow latch is even correct, and I guess I would like it corrected - just didn't think it could be? He seems to pull back on the breast quite firmly but still has the 'K' shape, and pulls off after a few swallows then latches back on. He only feeds for around 5 mins now which is great, but does tend to feed longer when he's more relaxed/tired, or if he manages to go 3-4 hours without a feed. Maybe an LC is the way to go? And thanks for the link, will have a read now.

meggs1 - it is formal daycare, lots of other babies so yes that might help. My mum was able to give him breastmilk from a sippy cup when DH and I attended a wedding recently, though I ducked home after the ceremony to top him up. My mum is awesome though, and even she hasn't been able to give him a bottle. As for the routine, I'd like a bit more of a stretch between feeds, but he still only manages 40 mins for each nap, and gets tired after 1.5/2 hours awake, so a 2 hour routine seems to suit him better. I'm not sure how to stretch him out as I don't want to let him cry and I have never been able to resettle him for longer naps. He occasionally surprises us with a 1.5 hour nap every few days or so.

And yes, I would prefer to give him breastmilk until he's around 12 months, partly for the illness protection and partly as it's free! Seems a waste to pay for formula when I have no supply or expressing issues. Though of course this will put our TTC plans on hold - I need to talk to DH about it all when we have a chance.

I really appreciate all of your responses. I think I'm struggling a bit with the whole motherhood thing, not just breastfeeding, but it's at the top of the list at the moment. I've never enjoyed breastfeeding like many on here say they do, I still rock/pat DS to sleep, we don't have a reliable routine (except for bedtime - that is working well), he's only been babysat once - I feel like a bit of a failure! Plus DS is starting to teethe (I think) so for the last few days when he is awake he is cranky.

I think I just needed a vent too, so thanks. Will definitely take all of your advice on board original.gif

ETA - BookishOne, I might try that bottle, thanks!

Edited by ange_75, 28 November 2012 - 10:03 AM.


#9 lucky 2

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

QUOTE
I still rock/pat DS to sleep, we don't have a reliable routine (except for bedtime - that is working well), he's only been babysat once - I feel like a bit of a failure!

That sounds familiar to me, that was me and dd!
You are not a failure though, how could you be, you have cared well for your baby even though it is difficult, that's success!

As for the LC and ? changing anything, it's debatable re the age of your baby, they can be very stubborn, your little one sounds like he likes things his way original.gif (fair enough too). You could give one a ring perhaps?


#10 Tesseract

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:34 AM

Hi ange, agree with the others about not worrying about daycare yet, he will be a different baby in three months time, and these things have a way of working themselves out when bubs is with others. Experienced and caring daycare workers are so used to dealing with these issues, and while there will be an adjustment phase, he'll be just fine. Don't tie yourself in knots trying to 'prepare' him for it.

QUOTE (ange_75 @ 28/11/2012, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the routine, I'd like a bit more of a stretch between feeds, but he still only manages 40 mins for each nap, and gets tired after 1.5/2 hours awake, so a 2 hour routine seems to suit him better. I'm not sure how to stretch him out as I don't want to let him cry and I have never been able to resettle him for longer naps. He occasionally surprises us with a 1.5 hour nap every few days or so.


Also in relation to the above, DD was exactly the same at 5-6 months, and I found it extremely exhausting. 5-6 months was my worst time breastfeeding - she was feeding all day long (we hadn't started solids at all, and even when we did it was BLW so she didn't ingest much at first), only catnapped, always seemed tired, hungry and grumpy and the only thing I could do was give her more boob, which I found exhausting. It seemed like all the other babies in my mothers group could happily be left for 4 hours, and I was tied to the boobie monster. However at about 7 months things turned a corner. She started eating more solids which meant I could go out for 4 hours and she was happily 'distracted' by solids (she never took a bottle). She stretched her feeds out herself. She also dropped to 2x40 minute naps a day - while they were still infuriatingly short, at least I didn't have to settle her three times a day anymore (she still doesn't self settle lol, except at daycare!).

So I guess what I'm saying is that for me the breastfeeding relationship changed a lot after that rough period. Later it was a wonderful, peaceful way to reconnect with a very active baby after a day at work.

Anyway that was my experience.

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

You are totally not a failure.  

I felt a lot more on top of things when I did get my son into a roughly 4 hourly routine (at about 4.5 months) and it wasn't just continual breastfeeding all day.    

It didn't take much - I didn't let him cry, or wait when he was really hungry or sick or when it was hot.  I just used distraction like going outside, or for a walk in the carrier or bringing out a new toy.  Within a few days he was taking a much bigger feed, and was way more committed to the feed as opposed to looking all around.    

I did have to change to rocking/patting him to sleep for his home naps, as opposed to feeding to sleep.   It seemed to help with longer naps too, but that may have been coincidence.

You may find he settles into that type of routine soon anyway when you have 3 meals going, as it naturally spaces out the feeds and gives a bit of structure.      

Peer pressure is amazing at daycare.  I couldn't believe it when I turned up early and saw "my little baby" sitting down on his little chair at the little table having his snack so nicely with all the "big" kids.

#12 No-pants Agnodice

Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 28/11/2012, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi ange, agree with the others about not worrying about daycare yet, he will be a different baby in three months time, and these things have a way of working themselves out when bubs is with others. Experienced and caring daycare workers are so used to dealing with these issues, and while there will be an adjustment phase, he'll be just fine. Don't tie yourself in knots trying to 'prepare' him for it.



Also in relation to the above, DD was exactly the same at 5-6 months, and I found it extremely exhausting. 5-6 months was my worst time breastfeeding - she was feeding all day long (we hadn't started solids at all, and even when we did it was BLW so she didn't ingest much at first), only catnapped, always seemed tired, hungry and grumpy and the only thing I could do was give her more boob, which I found exhausting. It seemed like all the other babies in my mothers group could happily be left for 4 hours, and I was tied to the boobie monster. However at about 7 months things turned a corner. She started eating more solids which meant I could go out for 4 hours and she was happily 'distracted' by solids (she never took a bottle). She stretched her feeds out herself. She also dropped to 2x40 minute naps a day - while they were still infuriatingly short, at least I didn't have to settle her three times a day anymore (she still doesn't self settle lol, except at daycare!).

So I guess what I'm saying is that for me the breastfeeding relationship changed a lot after that rough period. Later it was a wonderful, peaceful way to reconnect with a very active baby after a day at work.

Anyway that was my experience.



I could agree with all of this. DS2 is 7 months and has gone from 2 hourly feeds with half hour cat naps during the day to only 4 feeds in 24 hours with 2x2 hours naps and one short roll over the last 2 months. Solids have made a big difference - last night he ate almost as much soup and bread as my 3 year old!

I must confess I 'bribed' my six month old to take a bottle after trying every other trick in the book including syringe feeding. I put undiluted apple juice in a bottle and he learned to drink from it in about three minutes, the cheeky monkey. I only needed to do it once. I also have a fast flow so got the faster flow teat possible, that also helped. Another friend expressed directly into a warmed bottle and fed bub straight away so the milk was the same temperature/consistency as when straight from the breast. Another friend put a tiny amount of stevia in the formula for her 8 month old (as breastmilk is sweeter than formulas) and then decreased the sweetness over a couple days.

I oppose sweetening food and juice as a regular thing, but in the context of short term use in the context if going back to work, I think anything goes!

#13 Lokum

Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

OP - you've got quite a few worries!
Like others have said, break them down. Leave the childcare issue for a bit longer, cos things can change quite fast.
On the  iVF front, have a look at this thread i started last year: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=907587
Ignore the slightly daft BF vs bottle debate which inevitably took hold in the middle,  and check out the podcast link about how to combine IVF and BFing - it's not for everyone, and you might need to battle your FS to move from their standard 'wean' position. Also, since you havent got your period back and your baby is still quite young, it might not be viable, but its some info to consider. It does seem though, that doing them together might be for mother/baby teams who are getting a whole lot more love out of the relationship than you and your LO are right now.
The thread might also be useful to hear the perspectives of some people who did choose to wean to get on with IVF. For us, DS unexpectedly self weaned about  after i posted and DH got cold feet on going back to IVF for 3 more months, so it was a bit moot.
I remember BFing DS1 with such fondness. DS2 is turning out to be much easier to feed, but i realise i had forgotten the physical, emotional, time consuming toll BFing can take, so your feelings are completely valid,  and you cant be guilty for having them!!!

Edited by lucky 2, 28 November 2012 - 10:06 PM.
to fix link


#14 Moo point

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

Lucky 2 – thanks. It seems that out of 14 mums in our mothers’ group, only 2 of us still rock/pat our babies to sleep.  Glad we’re not the only ones! It works well for my mum, too, which means I get a bit of a break from DS when she comes to visit. And yes, DS is a stubborn little thing – he is currently so frustrated at not being able to crawl, hates being on his floor unless being helped to sit or stand, and actually cried yesterday when he grabbed his foot and couldn’t pull it any closer as it's attached to his leg original.gif rather cute. So the latch thing may just be something I need to put up with.

Tesseract – thank you for sharing. Sounds very familiar! DS has fed every 2 hours today, gone down easily for naps but again only lasting about an hour awake and only sleeping for 40 mins. Boobie monster is a good description! I am attempting solids (purees) but he’s not great at taking it off the spoon, he wants to grab the dish/spoon and bring it to his mouth so I think BLW will be more successful for him when he gets there. At least he likes the taste of vegies! Hopefully things will turn around like they did for you.

Meggs1 – thank for the tips. I have noticed that DS can go longer between feeds and naps when we’re out – on Friday he stayed awake for 4 hours, no grizzling at all, and 4 hours between feeds! Will try and take him out more, not much variety in the view in our 2 bed unit. And that’s really sweet about your bub in daycare.

MsN – thanks for the bottle tips. DS’ problem seems to be not knowing what to do with the teat. After reading your comment I tried giving him water (which he likes) in a plastic bottle with a large flow teat. He seemed to take it pretty well, though ended up playing with it. He holds it really well and knows which end to put in his mouth so will persevere I think. I’d be quite happy to just skip bottles and go to a sippy cup but I don’t think he’s ready. Good to hear a positive story of an older baby taking a bottle!

Lokum – thank you for the IVF info. Congrats on your second IVF baby! Wonderful. We would need to do a full stim cycle, as we never got any frosties on any of our cycles, and our IF issues lie with both of us. We will try naturally for a bit but the chances are very slim. I will get in contact with our clinic in the new year and see what they say, hopefully DS and I can get this breastfeeding thing sorted out by then and we can make a proper decision on when to wean. You’re right, I don’t have a love of breastfeeding (whether it’s the issues or something else) but I do love sleepy feeds and knowing I’m able to give DS breastmilk. Not to mention the savings!

You’ve all given me so much to think about, thank you. And I really appreciate the support, DH is so supportive and wants me to do what is best for me, but it’s nice to get advice from those who understand. xx





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