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Forum: July 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
April 26th, 2013, 04:41 PM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
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It seems like breastfeeding has come up a lot in conversation this week. Someone was telling me how when she tried to it was very traumatic for her because she had no support and no idea what she was doing. She also mentioned how a lot of women treated her like the bride of frankenstein because she didn't continue after the first week. The emotional toll was too much.

I know that breastfeeding is the natural thing to do, and I have a really deep desire to do so. I'm going to give it my best shot, but I also want to try to remain realistic. I think, however unintentionally, a message is broadcast to women that breastfeeding is easy and that leaves women who struggle with it feeling like failures. I've had many women tell me it was hard for them and they were very discouraged because it was "supposed" to be easy. It kind of sets a woman up for failure if she doesn't have a breezy time of it.

In reality we know we aren't all the same. Breastfeeding can't be any more the same for all of us than pregnancy can. All of us will have different experiences. Moms, was breastfeeding a struggle for any of you? What were the hardest parts? What helped you through the tough times? If you didn't get to BF as long as you wanted to, what kind of support helped you deal with that?
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  #2  
April 26th, 2013, 05:23 PM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
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Breastfeeding was hard for me the first 3-4 months. I think my dd had a bad latch and I didn't follow thru on getting help from lactation consultants like I should have. I did so much research and reading before hand, and took a class, so I knew everything *in theory* but learned quickly it's totally different in practice. What got me through was just stubbornness and determination, paired with a good support system. Dh has sisters much younger than him so he clearly remembered his mom nursing, and she went over a year with all of them so it was a totally normal thing to him. He never offered formula when I was frustrated, but a couple times did give her a bottle while I pumped to give me a break (ish... not totally a break since I still had to pump). My in-laws always told me I was doing an awesome job nursing her. Really, I mostly think it was my stubbornness to make it work though I nursed her til she weaned herself at 18 months.
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  #3  
April 26th, 2013, 05:28 PM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
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Oh and aside from the physical discomforts of her bad latch, the other hard part was she wanted to nurse all.the.time. not every 2-3 hours like the books say. Like every hour for 20-30mins sometimes. I just felt worn out and touched out from all that. I'm hoping that part will be easier this time since ill know what to expect... or maybe I'll have a kid who actually nurses "by the book"
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  #4  
April 26th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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I only breastfed my son for a month because I had no support, my pediatrician wasn't really 'for' breastfeeding and like you said, it is SO hard in the beginning. But my failure with my son only made me want to breastfeed my other children more and after some struggle, I successfully bfed my daughter for a year and plan to do the same thing with this one.

The biggest problem with bfing is what you said; no one tells you that it is going to be hard. Back in the day, when we lived in villages and families lived all in one house, we learned to breastfeed from watching our mothers and sisters, and we received help from them. But now we live on our own, we often don't know anyone who has breastfed (like I don't know anyone personally who has more than the first attempt) and we deal with judgement on all sides (don't choose a feeding path to avoid judgement, you'll be judged from both sides no matter how you feed your kid. Trust me, I've gone both ways).

The BIGGEST advice I can give to someone is to try, try, try (and get the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, it's a great book). If you fail, and this is a bit cynical to say, but this won't be your first failure as a parent. And it won't be your most important one. You'll probably drop your baby too, but you wouldn't ever hold a baby again just because you dropped one, am I right? There are so many choices you make as a parent and while how you feed your child is a meaningful choice, it will not define the parent you will be.

TLDR: People will judge you no matter what, you pretty much signed the waiver when you got that positive pregnancy test. And if you fail, you have the choice to try again with another child or let it go. But make it YOUR choice. Don't let what some chick in the waiting room at your pedi's office sway your decision. You decide what kind of parent you will be and that kind of choice isn't defined by one point of your child's life.
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  #5  
April 26th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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Breastfeeding was very hard for me the first few months. The only way I made it work was my own stubborn determination because I knew it was the best choice. We had many obstacles in the beginning. My daughter was born a little early and had not developed the sucking reflex. We continued practicing but had to formula feed with a syringe at first. Also, my milk never came in naturally. I tried all the natural methods and supplements, oatmeal, fenugreek, tea, water, pumping, etc. I finally did some research and went on prescription reglan to stimulate milk production. I combined that with a 3 day nursing sabbatical and we finally had success!


So my advice would be to not give up, keep trying, and exhaust every option before giving up. If you are truly motivated, you can make it work. Ca couple days or weeks isn't long enough. It took us 3 months to establish breastfeeding and we were able to keep it up for over 2 years (also, i never planned to do it beyond a year but it seemed right for us to keep going.) I am passionate about it because we worked so hard to make it work. Lactation consultants and doctors told me that we probably would never be able to do it and we did. So if I can, you can too.

Other challenges we faced: inverted nipples, bleeding and mild pain, etc. These are easily fixed and temporary obstacles. Don't let anything stand in your way! It is so worth it!

Last edited by OceanGirl; April 26th, 2013 at 07:02 PM.
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  #6  
April 26th, 2013, 07:35 PM
OnesOnTheWay's Avatar #2 Due July 19, 2013
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We don't really live in a culture that supports breastfeeding despite the whole "breast is best" you see everywhere.. it may be best but it's certainly not supported on many levels. I never saw it growing up and I never actually saw anyone doing it in person before I gave birth to my daughter. My first experience with BFing was me doing it.
Little did I know how good I had it... she latched on like a champ.. had plenty of wet nappys... but NO one told me that newborns needed to be fed every 2 hours. The first time I heard that was after I delivered and the nurse told me. EXCUSE ME!? I was planning on having 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep after giving birth. So that was my *first* shock..
I could not cope with the lack of sleep. That is what did me in. I needed someone else to feed her so I could get some sleep. Then I took her to the doctor and she'd lost 1 pound her first week of life, despite tons of wet nappys, etc. Her pediatrician made me feel like a failure of a mom and I went and picked up formula on my way home from that appointment.
So.. 2 weeks.. short and sweet. I quit for the wrong reasons and I've regretted it since.
If I had been more educated and had more educated people around me, I probably wouldn't have given up.
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  #7  
April 26th, 2013, 08:40 PM
LeslieRN72's Avatar Veteran
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Every hospital has a lactation consultant. She will come and offer you a ton of support. She will also give you resources so that you can reach out for support after you leave the hospital. There really is no shortage of help.

No two Moms have the same experience. You won't know until you get there. Also, there is no such thing as failure. Keep an open mind, and as hard as it may be, try to block out all the negative chatter around you. Your baby will flourish no matter what.
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  #8  
April 26th, 2013, 09:41 PM
Kiam's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by LeslieRN72 View Post
Also, there is no such thing as failure.
This, so much this.
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  #9  
April 27th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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I wanted to respond to this because my first 6 months of BFing were miserable. Absolutely miserable. I expected it to be a breeze--thanks to all the books I read and the chatter of my other mom friends. But my early experience was wretched.

My nipples were bleeding and cracked. I was in extreme pain. It wasn't something that a little lanolin ointment could help. I got prescription cream for them, but that didn't help either. My nips hurt so bad that every time the baby cried to be fed, I cried, too, because I dreaded her latching on again.

In addition, my boobs were FULL. Massively FULL. I consulted two different lactation consultants (one in the hospital, one out of the hospital) and both assured me the baby was feeding and the latch was normal. Yet I continued with extreme pain and a baby that cried ceaselessly, even when she was nursing.

Ten days after she was born, I discovered that my boobs hadn't been producing anything at all. Maybe her latch was bad. Maybe something was wrong with my boobs. I'll never know. But I was starting to worry because she was losing weight, so I tried out my pump. And you know what I pumped? Straight up colostrum. No milk. There was no way I had been producing anything for the previous 10 days. My kid had been starving and I didn't know it.

After that, things with the BABY got better. She ate and gained weight. (Although I will never get over the guilt of not knowing my baby wasn't eating.) But my boobs still hurt. Agonizingly. I still cried sometimes when she wanted to nurse. And I wanted desperately to give up.

My MIL kept saying to me, "Don't give up." And every time she said it, I just wanted to punch her in the face. I felt like I didn't need the extra guilt.

My best friend (for whom BFing was a breeze), offered advice, but nothing helped. It was clear she had no real idea what kind of agony I was experiencing.

So what got me through? I stubbornly wanted to do what I thought was best, and I didn't want to listen to the disappointed chatter from friends/family, so I stuck it out. In the end I'm glad I did (ended up nursing 2 years), because it did get easier after about 6 months. And BFing is convenient.

BTW, BFing my second kid was easier. The first couple of months were no walk in the park, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the first time. I think she had a better latch, and that, coupled with the fact that I was no longer a newbie at it, probably helped.

But I don't judge or blame any mom who prefers formula. As far as I'm concerned, I can understand exactly why someone would make that choice.
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  #10  
April 27th, 2013, 07:38 AM
tela's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm probably in the minority, but BFing was easy for me. DS did need formula supplementation his first 2 weeks b/c he was so sick. But I continued to nurse him every 3 hours and got back to EBF by 2 weeks. We were lucky that he had a good latch. Yes, he nursed all.the.time for weeks and weeks. And pumping SUCKS (I work FT). I dealt with him reverse cycling, not eating much at daycare then cluster feeding in the evenings and nursing every 2-3 hours overnight until 14 months. It's also hard to keep up with pumping after 9-10 months, but I kept going, adding pumping sessions at home just to make enough. Despite all that, it was an amazing bond. I never gave myself a choice. I WAS BFing until 1 year. My goal was actually 2 years or self-weaning. He self-weaned at 26 months. I took a class and read many books while pregnant. I also had my mom as my biggest resource. She BF all 3 kids back in the 70s/early 80s until we self- weaned, so I called her with questions and for general support.
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  #11  
April 27th, 2013, 08:49 AM
getnthere's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had support from my pediatrician and ob and I had a free lactation consultant. Alnog with a breast feeding support group. Which was the first place I went to after dd birth. I had a ton of support. My dh knew my goal 1 year. I was determined the pumping would help Id be fine all day at work I could do anything. I really think I did my best. I only bf 7 months. It was a huge challenge it was not easy, it was at time convenient other times a hassle or embarrassing. I think i felt like my body didnt really belong to me I had trouble lossing serious weight till after bring. I had mastitus 2 times. cracked bloddy nipples, sore boobs. Id do it all again. My baby was fine she was tiny never quite at the the growth curve average and I felt ok about that. I felt like she was compared to formula babies and I looked at breast milk like it was medicine.
Pumping complicated my life it is worthy on an entire post. I invested a huge amount of effort time and sleepless nights trying to make that work. In the end I realize all moms end up making tough choices. I dont regret mine to quit at 7 months.
For this baby I have a lot less professional suport no breastfeeding support group like where we used to live. I really dont love consultants but I will find one that meets my needs if I have problems. Im really excited to no pump as soon not worry about the bottle and just feed baby for a month. I need to do a little research on the bottle thing cause I know there is a window that makes it easier.
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  #12  
April 27th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LeslieRN72 View Post
Also, there is no such thing as failure.
I disagree, there IS such a thing as failure, it's just that we don't like being told we fail. You fail every day, whether you fail to wash your clothes or fail to breastfeed. Knowing where you fail, and deciding whether you want to try again or let it go is important. Not just writing something off as impossible just because you fail it.

Seriously, despite how bad you might feel about breastfeeding, YOU have the choice to feel how you want. You can decide to quit at any time or decide to try again with another child if you want to. Nobody has the right to make you feel any different than how you want.

You can and will fail. That's just life. You can't deny life just because you don't like it.

Though I suppose you could avoid failure by avoiding the choice in the first place by not attempting it, but if it's something you're interested in, then that isn't a success either.
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  #13  
April 27th, 2013, 09:42 AM
LeslieRN72's Avatar Veteran
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Originally Posted by LessthanThree View Post
I disagree, there IS such a thing as failure, it's just that we don't like being told we fail. You fail every day, whether you fail to wash your clothes or fail to breastfeed. Knowing where you fail, and deciding whether you want to try again or let it go is important. Not just writing something off as impossible just because you fail it.

Seriously, despite how bad you might feel about breastfeeding, YOU have the choice to feel how you want. You can decide to quit at any time or decide to try again with another child if you want to. Nobody has the right to make you feel any different than how you want.

You can and will fail. That's just life. You can't deny life just because you don't like it.

Though I suppose you could avoid failure by avoiding the choice in the first place by not attempting it, but if it's something you're interested in, then that isn't a success either.

I suppose there is failure if a person makes the conscious choice to dwell on it rather than learn and grow from the situation. I choose to learn and grow.
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Everybody has their own way of doing things and raising their children. No one way is better than the other. The end product will be the same no matter what path you take, and never let anyone make you feel otherwise.
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  #14  
April 27th, 2013, 02:52 PM
Kiam's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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A failure is a situation not learned from.
You try something and it does not work out, but you gain some knowledge then you succeed.

Life isn't cookie-cutter enough for something not working = automatic fail. Sometimes, in the case of washing where there is no viable alternative then yes. When there are viable options then no, it's just taking another route.
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  #15  
April 27th, 2013, 06:09 PM
Gini_3boys's Avatar Super Mommy
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I knew nothing about breastfeeding when I had my first baby. I was 21 years old and just thought it's what women did when they had babies so that was what I was going to do. I didn't know anyone who breastfed nor had any support.

In the beginning, the first 4 weeks or so, it was miserable. I never had a a lc visit me in the hospital and show me how to get the baby to latch. He must have had a bad latch from the beginning. It hurt so much to feed him and eventually led to cracked, bleeding nipples. I didn't have anyone around telling me not to give up and it gets better, but I was just so stubborn and determined to breastfed, I wouldn't let it stop me. I researched everything I could about breastfeeding and once we figured everything out(both mama and baby have to learn, it doesn't always just come so natually), it was a breeze. We ended up breastfeeding till he was 2 1/2. Which, before I had kids I would have cringed at that thought lol Funny how things change after you actually have children.

With my other 2, I had no issues at all and for that I am so grateful! I can't imagine not having the bf experience with my babies.
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  #16  
April 27th, 2013, 09:29 PM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
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These are some great replies Thank you all. It is refreshing to have some real experiences to think on, not just what's in books and online. I was talking to one of the women at a cloth diapering meet up I went to. She said she was having problems and had called one of the local LC's. The LC told her, "Just formula feed." Of course she is only one out of three that I know of, so I'm really hoping the others won't be that way.

I have been proceeding with the feeling/belief that I will do this provided it is what is best for her and me (PPD concerns). I've wondered at times if that was just naive, but I can't see a point in proceeding with the assumption that I will fail. I don't think I will have any (local) support; once the hard times hit, the people in my life scatter. Maybe I will be surprised. Regardless, it is so nice to know that it can still be done even if nobody is rooting for you. I think you're all amazing for having done what you've done!
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  #17  
April 28th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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I think like everyone else here, understand that it doesnt come easy to everyone and that the first month is the hardest.
Keeping this in mind, I made it my STUBBORN nature to not give up during the first month despite how difficult it was for the first few weeks.
My milk didnt come in until almost 7 days later after she was born. Indiana was born a week early and I really think that due to my C-Section, my body didn't realize that I had given birth. LOL
I supplemented with formula the first week (tube feeding).
No one around me breast fed or had babies so I had no one pressuring me. Just my stubborn self. Once I finished the first month, it became natural. I ended up BF-ing her until 15-18 months which I never would have expected.
That being said, the decision is up to you. I know its easier said than done--but don't allow
Mommy guilt to get to you.
Good luck!!
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  #18  
April 28th, 2013, 02:42 PM
bklynfinest77's Avatar Super Mommy
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I know everyone have different stories and i think they are all amazing i feel just giving it a try and not giving up is always better then not trying at all.

this is my story

when I had my first i was 18 and even though my mom was there and she breast feed all her kids she wasnt as supportive as i want to her to be. All she said was if you want to do it do it but if you dont, dont .. Even though i was young i wanted to try so i did.... it was horrible and it hurt so much, i was to young to be determine enough to keep it up so at 3 months i was done with it .. even during that 3 month i only did it at night and formula feed during the day.

My twins was different they were preemies and the NICU was all about pumping and giving breast milk they made it seem it was super cure for preemies so i was gun hold on making sure i pump my butt off to make sure all they drink was breast milk on top of that, there was a day i couldnt make it to the hospital to drop off breast milk and they fed my son formula and he got so sick to the point he stop breathing .. that was even more motivation for me .. and even though its possible that the formula had nothing to do with him getting sick in my mind it was all the formula fault.

I pumped so much while they were in the nicu my milk was flowing easily by the time they came home so it made it so much easier to nurse them. They didnt have to suck to hard to get the milk cause it just flowed out with very little sucking. Which made it not hurt as much .. i did have days when it did hurt but it wasnt as bad as it was with my first.

To me the second time nursing was such a blessing i had a amzing bond with the twins while doing it. ... I think pumping might be time consuming but it worth it it helps in many ways for me not only with flow but also for those days when u need rest you can always tell dh to go in the fridge and feed the baby while u sleep.

I really hope all goes well when you start and just remember as along you try thats half the battle and just know if we are all part of the playgroup once we have these bundle of joys you have us to fall back on and courage you through it
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  #19  
April 28th, 2013, 08:26 PM
.:fearless:.'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I will say, not all hospitals have LC. The hospital I delivered my first 3 at did not.

That being said, I have failed 3 times with 3 attempts. It is friggin heart breaking, plain and simple. I set myself up this last time, I was dead set on doing it without anything stopping me. Yeah. There I was a few short weeks later bawling cause he was starving and didn't want me. I had a bad LC and was told to give him a bottle. I will be staying away from her, numbers on the scales and just focus on ONE day at a time with me and my baby this time. I have no goals other than to make it through each and every day one day at a time
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  #20  
April 29th, 2013, 07:43 AM
captivate's Avatar Sticky thoughts please...
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I had a amazing beautiful nursing time for 2 years. It was all down to the support I got. I had mastitis in both breasts but still fed through.. teething I fed through. I had the best support from my health visitor who was a lactation advisor.

I do believe if you have the support and you want to do it and you dont mind the few weeks of owch then its well worth it.

So for those who have the natural desire to do it, if you need support find it, dont give up. its a wonderful experience.
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