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When Breastfeeding hasn't worked- A place for sharing and support
43 replies to this topic
Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:34 PM
What a great idea for a thread. MsN I related to your story as your beginning with your son was very similar to mine. Poor attachment, cracked bleeding nipples and being told he was attached 'perfectly'. I have also had mastitis 6 times.
My outcome has been a different one, but just wanted to say if you would like any of the tips that helped me for when your new bub arrives feel free to PM me.
All the best
Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:34 PM
My DD is now 18months and I BF for three months. Like lots of the PPs, I struggled with a multitude of issues before stopping completely and going to formula. I also felt extremely guilty and felt very sad when I saw other mothers BFing.
I don't know if others found this, but I felt the need to overexplain myself to other mums, to tell my whole story and 'convince them' that I'd done everything I could! Recently, if asked about feeding, I feel more confident to say "I fed for three months" rather than describe every nipple crack to some poor woman I met on the bus!
I think this forum is a great idea , and it's good to have a place to debrief and discuss disappointment or other feelings - without getting advice.
Edited by lucky 2, 31 March 2012 - 11:01 PM.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:38 PM
ETA - thanks jane05, I might. I am quite keen to give it another proper 'go' this time - I have even backed away from buying bottles as a 'just in case', which is something I swore I would do even at the start of this pregnancy! I feel more empowered this time though - I know what issues I had, I've researched why they might have happened, and how to perhaps prevent them. And I have determined I won't be brushed off in hospital - if it's not working it's not working and I won't go home until I have real answers!
Edited by lucky 2, 30 March 2012 - 09:46 PM.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:50 PM
This is a great thread. My DD is 5 weeks old. From the very start BF was painful, I couldn't get her to latch properly no matter how many times the midwives tried to help. When we took her home on day 2 she screamed for hours because she was so hungry and wasn't getting anything from me. I'd been so upset when my dh bought a tin of formula as I was determined to BF but as it turned out I'm glad he did. Once we gave her the formula she was content and slept. I persevered with BF for two more days but my nipples were so sore and cracked that I was dreading every feed and dd was not getting anywhere near enough to drink so we were topping up with formula. I decided to express with a manual pump but that was becoming very tiring and time consuming so I hired an electric pump from the ABA. This worked well for about two weeks but then my supply dropped radically and I had to switch back to manual pumping as the electric pump wasn't getting anything out. To get enough for one feed it was taking three lots of expressing so I started taking motillium but that hasn't worked. I am now in the process of cutting down the number of times I express as I feel it isn't worth the effort I'm putting in. There has been many tears over this and I am so disappointed that BF hasn't been successful but I keep telling myself (and dh does to) that I did the best I could and our dd is a very happy healthy baby so it doesn't matter.I've shed a few tears writing this but it feels good to write it down.Thanks for reading.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:18 PM
Breastfeeding hasn't worked for me and my baby.
I could write a book about what went wrong. In summary, my determination to BF proves to not be enough- insufficient support at hospital, flat nipples, baby has a tongue issue that makes attachment difficult to the point he was not getting enough milk and loses weight, supply issues, expressing and use of nipple shield fails to result in the ability to feed DS adequately, expressing like crazy as well as the demands of feeding for an hour every 2-3 hours, as well as expressing, and preparing formula etc. as well as trying to function with minimal support results in sleep deprivation and symptoms of depression- comp feeding morphs into mostly formula feeding... And I cry a river. In there somewhere is me seeing LCs 6 times, as well as my GP and maternal health nurse, phone calls to the ABA, nurse on call and maternal child health info line- and the AMAZING support here on EB. In the end, I was told by 2 LCs that DS could NOT be fed enough by BF alone and to just express, express, express... but the amount of EBM kept shrinking and DS kept screaming to be fed all of the time and was so unsettled and my sanity kept sliding away... the people around me became worried about my health and in the end I conceded defeat.
I'm not saying I'm happy with my decision, but DS is a different baby now, probably because feeding is no longer a battle ground and I'm a more engaged mummy, largely because I get more than 2-3 hours sleep in a 24 hour period and I'm not anxious about whether he's getting enough.
In an ideal world I wish I could cope with the demands of expressing breast milk to the point it was enough for him without formula, but in reality it just wasn't a sustainable practice in my circumstance. Also, at each feed feeding him at the breast, then giving him EBM in a bottle, then formula to top up, was just so stressful for a hungry baby and for me as he screamed in between each method of feeding and I struggled under the workload involved.
I really enjoyed the initial breastfeeding that I did get to do with DS before it became evident that he wasn't getting enough from it. But there were also aspects that were so stressful. Like a PP, I feel like I need to apologise and justify myself to every Tom, d*ck and Harry who sees me formula feed DS.
I really appreciate the help that some members here offered me and I feel ashamed to admit on here that it didn't work out.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:00 PM
I have always struggled with BF my children. My first 4 I BF through all the pain, tears and agony, due to terrible guilt and upset. Wont bother explaining why it has always been so terribly difficult for me, it is not important. I never enjoyed it, even once the pain dissappeared at around the 3 month mark.... I still fed through to well over 12 months for all 4. Errghhhh !
But I decided that with my fifth child I was going to FF and it has been the most wonderful decision I have ever made. i have bonded so much more with this baby, I am enjoying every feed, we are both happy and she is increibly healthy and content.
It took me 5 children to realise that BF is not the be all end all.... I almost wish that I had not gone through all the heartache with the other 4 and had FF from the start. I find that it is so much more intimate than BF, because we are both happy. She gazes at me with every feed, we cuddle and kiss and there IS NO pain associated with it. Whoever says that FF is not intimate and special is delusional.
A happy, healthy relationship between mother and baby is the most important thing. I have no guilt this time around, and am open and honest about why and how I am feeding my baby.
If anyone wants support or advice then feel free to PM me. Dont ever beat yourself up about your personal choices...and NEVER feel ashamed.
Edited by lucky 2, 30 March 2012 - 09:52 PM.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:01 PM
It's been a busy day in this thread !
I have removed some posts and edited some responses.
This is not the right thread for giving advice on breast feeding problems, if a member wants advice they are welcome to start a new topic in the forum.
This is also not the thread for divisive discussions on the pros or cons of any feeding method.
I have edited accordingly to keep this thread a safe place for members to share their personal experiences.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:24 PM
Here another one who hasn't been able to bf my baby! I had any intention to bf my baby and my pregnancy and birth where so wonderful and 'easy', there was no reason for me to assume it wouldn't work! How naive can one be as it turned out to be bloody hard!
From the beginning the latching on was not a problem, she just didn't drink but using me as a pre heated dummy! As simple as that! We have seen three different lactation consultants (including a private one) many times and none could give us the golden tip. When DD got older she got better at drinking and we managed to do one successful bf in the morning till about 6 months and then DD started to refuse. I expressed till 6.5 months and I stopped as I got sick of it and since we found out DD has a temporarily lactose intolerance, I was only expressing for the freezer as we don't know how temporarily it is anyway!
I was shocked how I felt about not being able to bf DD. I felt ashamed, guilty and not a real mum to my baby! I was jealous of those that could. I also found that there is a lot of support to help but not always in a positive way. I.e. the nurse from the hospital that did the first home visit wanted to encourage me to stick with bf but unfortunately her way of doing so made me feel worse about the fact I had to give formula in the end. I hate it when I read things from the ABA where they talk about artificial milk, I hate it when I go to a website of a formula brand I have to read and accept that bm is better for babies. Yes I know that and if I could give it I wouldn't be on this website! I don't give formula by choice, I give it because there is not a lot of alternative to offer my baby!
I cried every time I saw a lactation consultant, a maternal and health nurse or just somebody who asked about how I was and how things were going with DD. I was lucky that I could talk to DH about it and that I have such a great support in my mums group and DIG here on EB, otherwise I think postnatal depression would have been a very realistic scenario for me!
Despite this I look back proudly that I managed what I did and for so long and although I feel sad I didn't work out the way I wanted, I know I did everything I could. My baby's health and happiness is the most important thing and she is happy and healthy and I am enjoying every minute of it!
Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:38 AM
as for my case, i never really had real milk, i only had few drops of them. then dried up by 6th week. i'll try taking motherlove more milk special blend and see if it will work on me. i hope it will help me relactate as i'm still hoping that i'll be able to breastfeed my baby.
Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:25 PM
Kind of inspired due to reading elsewhere on the site about someone's mother 'claiming they couldn't breastfeed'.
I could have and decided not to because it was the best thing for my baby. This statement seems to really enrage people including my hospital, huzza! I got told my cracked nipples weren't serious and I 'had to' soldier on and 'had no choice'. I hated breastfeeding so incredibly, massively much that I had resorted to trying not to be in the same room as my baby whenever possible, nor did I in fact feel she was my baby. I hated the way she'd flail and scream at me, I couldn't cope with the every two hour feedings that lasted an hour, I was so shattered I was in shock from how bizarrely and totally my previously optimistic, happy personality had spiraled down into a morass of despair, hatred, and agony.
Breastfeeding completely destroyed my relationship with my child - complicated by a terrifying, horrific birth, massive bloodloss, terrible continuing pain, severe scarring, etc, etc, lots of other things going on. Apparently according to some of my consultants and midwives, it was better to hate my baby (and hate her I absolutely did) and 'soldier on' without the non-baby friendly anti-depressants that my alarmed doctor was recommending than give up on breastfeeding. Even if I actually loathed touching the baby. My body was destroyed by the pregnancy and birth and permanently damaged, and I simply emotionally couldn't cope with giving up any more of it to someone else to touch. At all. I was happy to die rather than endure any more touch. I felt utterly violated.
Bottlefeeding turned out to be a godsend. I have zero regrets about it. I am happy breastfeeding works for some people, but I'm grateful bottlefeeding worked for me. In answer to someone offline who said 'What would have happened without formula?!' I mentioned goats milk, or death, probably. I know historically a lot of babies simply died.
Now, however, it so happens she is the BEST BABY and man, she smells so gooooood and her hair could be touched for hours. Just ask me, I can tell you about it for days. I happen to now be an expert on excellent babies, and mine happens to be the most excellent IN THE KNOWN WORLD. And to my relief, she is a massive cuddlebug who doesn't seem at all bothered by her less than ideal start in life.
NB: Got to say here, my mother AND my MIL? Both utterly supportive of any choice I made. Both wonderful. Support was vital for me, I wish everyone got it.
Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:00 PM
This is a great space, thankyou. My story is similar to many here but can I just say, the thing I hate most is the lid of the formula tin where it just rubs in "Breast is Best"!!!! I also want to add that I completely relate to msn's story of tears, pain and the constant 'you have it perfect' that the midwives doll out. It brought back tears of my own. They are not attached to your nipple and do not understand. My hubby and mother were my godsend in letting me know I was not a failure for formula feeding, and without the bottle, I don't know what might have happened. It has been a long road back to loving my daughter and myself, but I'm getting there, and with less guilt every day.
Edited by T&A, 06 July 2012 - 12:17 PM.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:50 PM
Has anyone ever encountered line feeding when trying to establish breast feeding in hospital. I had this situation 4 years ago and was wondering if anyone else had experienced this? I don't know what they thought that would achieve. I was a first time mum and had a hideous nurse that made me feel like a complete failure. leaving hospital 3 days after a c section was the best thing I did. I continued to try and bf despite bleeding cracked nipples and not much milk , we then went to a combination of expressing and formula which made me feel a little better . I stopped expressing around 3 months, relaxed and began enjoying being a mum for the first time. If we are lucky enough to have another I know I won't beat myself up about not being able to breast feed.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:04 PM
Thank you for creating this space _ such a great idea!
I felt like a failure. Last about 10 weeks of BFing DS and DD but mainly expressing milk into bottles.
My DD couldn't latch properly and had severe reflux. My DS was quite a good little drinker..
But it got to the point where my supply couldn't meet demand to feed the twins and I was passing out on the bed.. NO energy left to eat, drink or take a shower.
I really gave it my best shot. I agree with a PP where it is really hard when you see it on the Formula Tin (or just about everywhere).. that "Breast is Best".
I even used to get the guilts from some of my girlfriends who are BF zealots.... seriously girls - Back Off!!
Oh and - my children were WASTING, so I had the guilts that my BFing was not enough for them to survive on and had to switch to Formula! This was incredibly hard to deal with...
Edited by MeN3Ps!, 16 November 2012 - 06:11 PM.
Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:03 PM
Thankyou for creating this space. I went through a lot of emotions when I had breastfeeding issues. My first was comp fed for 6 months and my second was exclusively formula fed after one week of comp feeding.
I feel that this is an important area needing support for women and am glad it is being recognised.
Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:34 PM
This is grate:)
With me it was down to, I simply just dried up and it happend so quick I had know idear.
I was 19 when I had DD (number 1) and having verry little to do with children and any BF in my family and just moved to AUS i had only DH and BIL for suport, so I had to read up on how to BF my DD, so I got reading thourght I've got it I can do this it will all go how the books say and that will be that.
Well we got off to a grate start from first feed even tho she was born with a slight cleft lip the nurses where impressed and said what a grate job for a young mum and I was a natural, well it was fine she was a grate baby only waked 2-3 times a night had no pain it was all looking up till we hit the 9 week mark she started to get a little more fussy, which was not her, wated to feed every 20-30 min I was thinking is this normal, she had been in a solid routine from day one.
So I just keep'ed going thinking she might be just be having a bad week, well by the end of the week it was bad she was screening, and just not right so I dropped in to my clinic to see the nurse and get a check I'm glad I did she said well she's dehydrated and lost weight, I was in shock and asked the nurse why, shes feeding every 20-30 min.
she went on to say your supply is dropping off and shes not getting enugh from you, you need to go to the doctors and get some pills to increase your supply.
I said how long do thay take to work? May be a week or two she said, well what am I suposed to do while thay work?
She gave me a death stair and said you need BF your baby!
I quickly replied with to hell with that she need food, and went strate to the chemist and got FF and bottles and she did grate back to the dream child in a day, I felt so guilty that I had unknownly staved my baby and had know Idear what was going on not the fact that I couldn't BF
With DS (number 2) I was strate on to it, i stocked up on FF and bottles from week 2 and yep started to dry up around week 9 I had a go at pumping this time between BF and FF for a good week but found it would take a good hour to get 10mill so I stopped and FF from then on it was grate to be able to sleep when he did and not be pumping and get no where
This time around (number 3) on the way I will do the same BF till I dry up, and have bottles and FF if it goes pair shaped if it goes longer grate if not its not the end of the world.
Thanks again, sorry for the spelling and gramma:) I do try
Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:43 PM
It has taken me a long time to consider the best way to approach my feelings towards my 'failure' to breastfeed. Failure is the wrong word but I guess it's often how we feel and sometimes how we're labelled. I have approached my story on my blog (so I won't re-tell it here) in an effort to give others a chance to see (like with this forum) that the guilt ridden path is unnecessary and it's possible to pass through it and subsequently shake it off.
Regardless, thanks EB for providing somewhere for mothers to feel connected on this subject.
Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:06 PM
Just found this thread, and really appreciate reading the stories of others who have also struggled.
I feel like we were behind from day one. I have flat nipples and DS almost ruined them that first two days. We then went on to shields and pumping (because DS was starving). The hospital grade pump was so painful, I shudder to think of it.
We got home and BF'ing was taking two and a half hours. I was BF'ing for 12-14 hours a day and every time DS would cry for food half an hour later as it was taking so long he was hungry so quickly afterwards. It would take him up to 5 minutes to latch on and he would SCREAM the whole time he was trying to figure it out.
After three weeks of this I started expressing full-time, with DS bottle fed. It was so painful I had to hand express (I got quite good at it). I had to supplement with two formula feeds a day as DS has always been a big drinker.
I was basically housebound as you can't express in public (at least I can't) and I was having to express after the 1am and 4am feed so I was exhausted and I was miserable. So at 7 weeks I started to slowly stop expressing and now at 9 weeks I fed DS his last EBM bottle yesterday (and cried).
I honestly thought BF'ing would be easy for me. I don't know why. I now feel guilty that I am loving the carefree joys of only expressing to avoid discomfort as opposed to providing food...... but not so guilty that I am prepared to ramp back up again. This is about my sanity and my sleep. I can go out without counting the minutes to rushing back home. I can feed DS in the middle of the night and go straight back to sleep. These things do matter (to me).
Anyway, this thread is a great way of getting it off my chest (ha ha). Now I'm off to bed and DH is staying up to the dream feed... another advantage of formula feeding!!
Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:13 PM
I have had issues from day 1 too. DD hasn't ever latched so hand expressed at hospital and the LC suggested to try nipple shields. We did and they have been working. Then my milk was delayed and didn't come in until day 8!! So I had a very hungry baby and I was very upset. As a result we started formula feeding top ups, which I felt really guilty about because of the 'breast is best' message. We have also had two more appointments with the LC, which makes me so nervous they will point out what I'm doing wrong when I'm trying so hard.
Edited by aussieaussie, 07 September 2014 - 12:04 AM.
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