Feeding Frenzie Frustrations

So, I may begin to sound like a bit of a complainer to my readers, and I’m sorry for that.  However, this blog is used as my outlet to vent frustrations too, so with that in mind, I continue to type my complaints.  Can I just say on the record that breastfeeding sucks? No pun intended, but I’m going on three weeks now, and my boobs are still sore!  I’ve heard that it gets easier, and I keep telling myself “You can do this, you can hold out just a little bit longer”.  However, I’m starting not to believe those inner words of encouragement.  I’m still feeding him every 2-3hrs.  At night I set my alarm for four hours until the next feeding, but it never fails…he always wakes me up at two and a half hours.  I’ve tried all of the lotions, shields, shells warm compress, cold compress, ibuprofen…just about everything except for supplementing with formula.  A few days ago I gave in and gave him a bottle of pumped breast milk.  It was great that he was able to suck it down in less than a minute and give my breast a rest, however it took me over three days to pump that much…so it’s not something that I can do often. 

Whoever said that if you’re nursing correctly, then it’s not suppose to hurt, is a BIG FAT LIAR.  I’ve read breastfeeding books, attended classes, met with a lactation consutlant, called the lactation support line a few times and I think I’m pretty clear on the proper “technique”.  It’s just crazy to me that when I mention it to a lactation consultant (aka breastfeeding nazi) my struggles, they automatically assume that I don’t have the “proper latch”.  I’ve heard that some people have more sensitivity in their breast than others, so apparently I’m either REALLY sensitive, or a big baby about the whole thing.

So why do I continue to do it?  Well, after taming his flailing arms threatening to scratch or smack me, and  after the initial pain of latching on has stopped, it’s not quite as bad.  I have a great time bonding with my son while I nurse too.  The main reason why I am so determined to breastfeed is because I want to give him the absolute best nutrition for his growing body.  My husband has Crohn’s disease, and even though it’s not proven that breastfeeding will prevent Crohn’s, it has been shown in studies that babies who are brestfed are at a lesser risk for developing Crohn’s disease as well as other digestive diseases later in life.  So, with that in mind…I’m going to power through this challenge and make it my mission to be successful at it!  I have noticed that it has gotten easier, so I’m hoping that in the coming days (not weeks!) that it’ll get increasingly easier and I will feel good about bonding with my son.  Hopefully I will have a good report in a few weeks and I’ll be just as happy while breastfeeding as the fairytale image above.

6 thoughts on “Feeding Frenzie Frustrations

  1. I’m sorry that it’s still so frustrating for you 😦 But you’re right, whoever said it was easy was wrong! It’s hard! Sounds like you’re being a real trooper hanging in there, though, so good for you.

    I know what you mean about having it take FOREVER to pump out just one bottle. I just started pumping this week so that I could have some reserves for whenever I would need it, and it definitely takes a lot of work to pump enough for a whole bottle. But from what I’ve heard, the more you pump and as time passes, the more is produced. So hopefully that will get easier for both of us!

    Also, someone told me recently not to feel guilty about supplementing with formula if I wanted to. I felt like I shouldn’t at first, because I wanted to be one of those hard-core nursing moms, but I did end up using formula twice because I had some samples…and I have to admit, it was a nice break! I know you are watching out for your sons health, which is totally what you should be doing, but if you ever feel that it’s all right, I’ll tell you what I was told: don’t feel guilty about supplementing!

    Hang in there – do what you need to do – you’re being a great mom!

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  2. Sharon, It may that he is a tongue thruster. Some babies latch correctly, but then they thrust their tongue against the nipple while they nurse and that can make you sore. You can teach him to suck with his tongue down by using your finger inside his mouth and as he sucks, push gently down and pull forward. A lactation consultant can also show you how to teach him to suck the correct way. Sometimes they are getting a lot of milk when it lets down and using their tongue to stop the flow is the way they deal with it.

    Breastfeeding is complicated, but I promise it does get easier. I’ve nursed two kids and been a postpartum nurse to hundreds. You can do it! It does get easier, week by week you will see an improvement.

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  3. I’ve contacted the lactation support line through Northside Hospital several times. I actually spoke to them again today because I got literally 2 hours sleep last night. They said I was pumping too much and trying to feed too much and that is what is causing the soreness. SO…I’m going to taper off and see what happens. Otherwise I’ll continue to go without sleep and go insane. It’s really hard now because Dan is out of town right now too… I’m going to get through it though! Thanks for all the words of encouragement!

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  4. Hang in there, it does get easier! I had a lot of struggles with both of mine. Once I made it to the 6 week mark, things just fell into place. Many hugs your way, you are doing a great job!

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  5. Good luck! And you’re so amazing for hanging in there! I totally agree with the ‘breastfeeding nazi’ comment! they’re so intense! i was unable to nurse since davis was intubated for so long, but my girlfriend suggested giving him a large feeding right before bed so you can get a little more sleep.

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