Wednesday, April 6, 2011

nursing

curled up with Grandma


"I hate breastfeeding." 

Those are the words my husband said last night as he looked at me with the tears streaming down my face.  Breastfeeding is painful for me.  Like really really painful.  I've seen a lactation specialist, twice, and she assures me that I must be doing something wrong because breastfeeding shouldn't hurt.  Except, she can't find anything wrong with what I'm doing.

Our little one has a healthy appetite and is hungry (like REALLY hungry) every 2 hours, and it takes me an hour to an hour and half to feed her every time.  So, if I feed her at 8am, I will typically be done feeding her at 9:15ish.  At 10am she starting rooting and screaming bloody murder because she is starving (poor thing).  This is hell on my boobs. (Oh, and I wonder if I will ever sleep longer than 2 hours again.)


her lil jelly bean shape...super cute!
From what I've learned, some women do experience extreme pain with nursing that will eventually let up.  Some women experience no pain or discomfort with nursing (those lucky ducks!).  And of course there are those who desperately want to breastfeed their babies, yet aren't physically able to do so...and pain may be a factor.  I am praying that my pain will stop...soon...because I'm questioning whether or not I can keep up with this. 

On the other hand, I love the way Clara rests her hands on my body while I nurse her...and the adorable sounds she makes while she eats.  Ohmygod - melts my heart!  And i loooove cuddling with her adorable little body during those times.  I consider taking pictures and videos...but that would just be too weird.

her little rear end fits so perfect in the palm of your hand - it's precious.

24 comments:

  1. http://motherwonder.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-breastfed-out-of-peer-pressure.html

    ouch! sounds like someone else had similar issues...good luck

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  2. Aw I am sorry hun. There is no shame in trying your best and then moving to bottle.

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  3. Oh she's so sweet looking!

    I really hope it works out for you, but if not, just remember that it's okay not to breastfeed. You tried. You gave it your best shot, and no one can slight you for that!

    Have you tried pumping your breast milk? If that hurts less then at least you can still give her the benefits of your milk without having the pain. You could even do it for every other feeding if you still want to give breastfeeding some more time.

    Good luck, and no matter what decision you make, it's yours to make and it's the best one for you!

    And if you'd like to have a laugh about whatever decision you make, then read this:
    http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/110227/lesson_two_breastfeeding_will_kill

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  4. hugs and be easy on yourself.

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  5. Jes, stick it out a little longer. It takes time to adjust - and it truly is HARD at first. There is that anxiety too - is she eating enough? Am I doing it right? Seeing a lactation specialist is exactly the right thing to do - I'm sure she is helping you with the latch. It took Julianne some time to get it right, too. I just want you to know that I have been there, too! It's okay!

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  6. wow..sounds like quite the ordeal for you. as important as you know breastfeeding is, there are some women and babies for whom it just doesn't work out. and that is ok. hang in there, but don't torture yourself unreasonably.

    i find that with medical things that hit close to home sometimes it helps to think like the doctor you are and get some emotional distance. think about what you would tell a patient if you heard this story.

    hang in there.

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  7. Everyone has already said all the right things. Hang in there Jes, I'm so sorry!

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  8. Poor thing. I hope it all works out the way you want it too. One thing's for sure...she is way too cute!! xxx

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  9. It is difficult, I can't remember when the pain stopped (that was nearly 8 years ago) but it does get better. I have a friend that they never got the baby to latch on properly, so she pumped everyday for ten-and-a-half months, until the pump finally gave out. So bottle doesn't always mean formula if you're worried about that. Good luck!!

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  10. this sounds like my experience...it took 4 months before it felt better :( Now, I really miss it! Hang in there. And yes, you will sleep more than 2 hrs soon :)

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  11. Bless your heart. I heard it's hard. Praying it gets easier!

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  12. It should hurt for like 2 weeks then get gradually better. I'm so sorry! I remember the searing pain...ouch -it got better for me... try these tips:

    Are you making a "hamburger" of your boob?? (I'm going to give you some tips from my midwives). Maybe a kernel of goodness you haven't heard yet...?
    1) turn boob into "hamburger shape" with thumb on top and fingers under (looks like McDonald's hamburger)
    2) your elbow DOWN not out-- this helps
    3) belly to belly -- baby belly and hips turned to your belly-- Clara's hip up to ceiling not OUT to the wall. Babies tend to "open up" and if you can see their tummy and crotch area, scoot them back belly to belly. This is the biggest factor for them attaching in a way that hurts.
    4) make sure baby's lips are not "tucked in" but rather flanged out--both top and bottom. (Harper always pulled that bottom lip in but it seems to be okay)
    5) When you unlatch Clara are you sorta putting a finger close to your nipple to "pop" the suction? This will help de-latch which can be painful...

    I realize this is likely what they are already telling you but if you can get into regular "good form" the boobs will heal, eventually. Also do you have the little purple tube of Lansinoh? Target has it. That was my best friend. Slept with it! I liked it better than any other nipple creme I tried.

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  13. Cameron is giving good advice.

    Clara is eating more often (2 hours!) than my sister's baby did, which may be part of the pain. Wow, you are nursing nearly all day with hardly any time in between.

    I hope it gets better.

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  14. omg, how long have I been away??? oh she's beautiful!!! and I'm so so sorry your'e in pain. I have no advise, so I'll leave it to the experts up there. sending tons of love though!!!

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  15. Hi Jes! It sounds to me like you're doing everything exactly right. Breastfeeding was painful (that word is an understatement) for me for the first 2-4 weeks with both my girls. As in, my nipples cracked and bled. I would grab the edge of my chair and try not to scream. I would dread when my baby would need to eat again.

    But give yourself a little time and the pain WILL go away. Completely. You'll turn a corner and it will be wonderful...blissful even. I know it's hard to imagine, but that day will come (soon). Hang in there!

    (P.S. Are there ay breastfeeding support groups in your area? Perhaps at the hospital or a local birth center?)

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  16. Nursing is one of the biggest joys of my life and I truly hope you can get over this hurdle and find the joy in it. It really shouldn't hurt, but sometimes it just does. I have a good friend who was in so much pain that she stopped nursing and pumped breastmilk for 9 months and bottlefed it to her baby, even though she was a stay at home mom. Then she was able to nurse her second child for a year. All that to say, sometimes all the dedication in the world doesn't fix it. I wish you all the best. (I clicked over from Stephanie's tweet.)

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  17. I remember crying at latch on for a while. It's sooo painful. And I hate how people tell you that if there is pain, the latch is wrong. Having someone sucking on your nipples (what seems to be) 24/7 is something that takes getting used to.
    Do you have someone you can visit with to check latch, tongue-tiedness, etc? Here's hoping it lets up soon!!! I think the mama/baby nursing relationship really takes off around 4 months, when baby can interact so much more (and you feel like a pro - sorta!).
    Hang in there!!!

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  18. I have a new little one too and just got over the painful period. It really does turn a corner like Steph said and suddenly you don't remember when it was painful. With my first I had to feed every two hours also and he had a killer latch! It was crazy but it got so much better!

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  19. I have 3 kids, and the first two hurt a little for the first two weeks. However, with my latest baby nursing was horribly horribly painful! I got cracked and bleeding nipples, to the point that my baby spit up MY blood. :( Being my third, I was so confused because I knew what I was doing!!! I kept putting lanolin on, and stifling my screams.

    Then I finally found out that the body wash I was using was causing my nipples to be sensitive and easily cracked! Within 3 days of NOT using that body wash, the pain was already subsiding noticeably, plus the bleeding stopped. Only 2 weeks after changing my shower habits, there was no more pain!

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  20. Oh, I am so sorry. Nursing hurt for me too. I was in agony for six weeks with each baby. I think it was a couple months before I really felt comfortable doing it. If you are committed to breastfeeding, then stick it out. It will be rewarding, eventually.

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  21. I just wrote a long response and don't have time to retype it.

    Please look up tongue tie and see if it looks like your baby has that. It's often overlooked and can causing severe pain for mama.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=tongue-tie+photo&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=D4z&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=jIefTbzSH-uD0QGi3qmWBQ&ved=0CBwQsAQ&biw=1258&bih=499

    Btw I'm a lactation counselor myself.

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  22. I was just going to suggest tongue tie as well. Especially as you mentioned a noise she makes while she nurses. I could be way wrong, and it just may be the typical breastfed pain (which you are going to hate me as I never had that), but I wanted to mention it just in case it wasn't.

    ((Hugs)) mama, you are doing an amazing job!!

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  23. I am happy that you are seeing a lactation consultant. With my OB nursing clinicals I have spent time with the consultant...super helpful. I also attended a lunch bunch breast feeding group offered through the hospital... it was awesome! Then you can breast feed, get support from moms in your same situation, and it looked fun to just laugh about the crazy things your body is going through... it may be stress relieving. There is also le leche, I'm sure in your city too. I can't wait to have this group of women to turn to, it looks like a blast. I've seen pts come in with breat infections- mastitis?! I am sure you've thought about this...good luck! Your babe looks healthy though, so you're doing something right!

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  24. My experience was similar! I cried every feed, and tried not to flinch away from my sweet little baby. I didn't want him to feel rejection from me even though every fiber of my being wanted to run far far away from that pain. And he was the slowest eater I had ever heard of. It was agonizing.

    I originally planned to breastfeed for 1.5 years. It wasn't long before I was praying to get to the 6 month mark, and then the 3 month mark, and then the 2 month mark...

    And then I was at 2 months and it was not quite so bad. And then 3 months came and I was still hanging in. By 6 months I thought I could probably make it to a year. At a year I didn't see a reason to stop, and I'm so glad I kept going!

    I finally got that great breastfeeding experience around 13.5 months. That 'ahhhhhhh, this is so cool' feeling that other mamas seem to get from the beginning. The bonding and closeness that I hoped for. I got it, finally.

    I hope that breastfeeding gets easier for you soon! Try to stay positive! As they say, 'this too shall pass'. These days that seem endlessly long will soon be a blurred memory.

    Kellymom.com is a great resource for breastfeeding information. They recently posted this article on Facebook, maybe it will help:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/lakeshore-medical-breastfeeding-medicine-clinic/the-trouble-with-yeast-too-much-diagnosis-too-little-data/164465803611750

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