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  #1  
May 2nd, 2008, 10:05 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 4,346
why? I am just curious to see if i am not alone.

although breastfeeding/FF seems to be divded into black and white catagories (either u CHOOSE to or u choose NOT too)... i dissagree. i think that sometimes it really just doesnt work out.

Here is MY story:

from the moment i found out i was pregnant i decided that i was going to breastfeed. i talked to everyone i could about it. i joined "la leche league". i went to numerous classes and read a few books on the subject. i knew all the pros and debated the cons of formula with my mother (who just didnt understand my need to breastfeed). i wanted to do what was best for my baby and was REALLY excited about it.

then my son was born.... at first he seemed to latch on pretty good. I had inverted nipples which was really a problem but i worked through it and got him to latch on. after a few days though it became apparent that he wasnt getting the nutrition that he needed. even though i fed him every hour or two he was still hungery afterwards. over the first week he was home it became more and more difficult to feed him. he was becoming very frustrated and was obviously hungery.... but i was stubbern and was set in my way to breastfeed. when i went to the doctor for my one week checkup, i was told that my son had actually lost weight. i was defeated! how could this be?? i was doing what was best for my son right? i was told at this point to start formula. however, i was convinced that "any day now" my milk would come in more and he would start gaining weight. that didnt happen though. over the week i continued fighting with him day and night to try and breastfeed him.. he was just fed up with it though.. he would get really agressive with me because he was hungery and wasnt getting enough. at this point, i was BEYOND depressed. My husband (who had come in for the birth of our son from iraq) was going back to iraq that week and i just could not keep my emotions in check. every feeding session was torture for me.. and from his screams it sounded like torure for my son too. at his two week weight check he still was not up to birth weight. the doctor looked me in the eye and told me that i needed to get any ideas out of my head and just FEED MY SON. and i did..... i gave him a bottle that night. i cried the whole time... but afterwards my son fell right asleep with a contented smile on his little face. i knew i had done the right thing.

the next day my husband left to go back to iraq. i tried to pump that first week but nothing was coming out... id get maybe an ounce after pumping for an hour or more... i knew that my milk had dried up (if it had ever come in to begin with). i contribute that to the stress of my husband leaving (for a year) combined with a case of PPD.

now, my son is completely formula fed. I am still a little sad that i was not able to breastfeed (i can be stubborn sometimes lol) but this was the first lesson of MANY that i have learned when it comes to mother hood: not everything can be the way U want it to be.

so... WHATS UR STORY??
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  #2  
May 2nd, 2008, 11:16 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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ppiazza3 - (((hugs))) Im sorry you had such a difficult time. But, just as more of a "for future reference" thing - I think its important to let you know that a lot of what you expeirenced was totally normal. Its normal for babies to lose weight the first week, its normal for them to take about 3 weeks to get back up to their birth weight. Its also normal for them to eat that much. Now unfortunately, you dont seem to have a BFing friendly Pediatrician (thats one of the things that happened with me with my first & why I ended up FFing my first). its also normal to not pump much even with a plentiful supply in the beginning. Its also very possible that stress, PPD, etc all contributed to a low supply - but all of it sounds normal & sounds like your milk did come in (if you pumped anything at all - but even pumpgin nothing wouldnt mean you werent producing). And unfortunately, slow or even low weight gain isnt always an indication of supply... its just that far too many ped's compare BF babies to FF babies and dont understand the weight gain differences between them (and many other things as well). Even still, its unfortunate that you had the experience you did & didn't have the support at home to be able to realize that your Ped gave you misinformation.

And this is a major thing -this happens a lot -and I'm not telling you this to say "you should have/could have tried harder" but I do think its important to know that hey - you got some misinformation, not YOUR fault. It could be the thing that makes the difference next time. I know for ME it was. Now, maybe I wouldnt have been so adamant to find another way if my son hadnt had numerous problems with formula after formula for the entire first year of his life... but I am glad SOMEONE took the time to say "hey - there was nothign wrong with YOU - its NORMAL, its OK", b/c that made the difference in me being able to BF my second without the stress, worries, and such that I had with my first (and thankfully without the PPD).

Anyways - I think your story is a pretty common theme - and if you visit the BFing support board, I bet we get 10 girsl a WEEK who come on, in tears, their Peds telling them to switch to formula, their baby isnt gaining enough, or enocuraging them to supplement int he hospital b/c theyre losing weight (gosh, when will the nurses get it into their heads that its NORMAL!), etc. Luckily, they stumbled on the BFing support board, were given advice, resources, research, etc to back it up, many of them end up switching peds, and they end up successfully BFing. Not all, but I'd venture to say many of the ones that come there for support stick around & do well. Heck, weve even had more than few moms come on there, who realized WEEKS or a month or two after the fact that there was never anything wrong with THEM, theyre not DEFECTiVE, and even RELACTATE! lol.

So - thats my public service announcement. I find it so sad that women are still being given misinformation by supposed professionals (who unfortunately have little to no training and usually ZERO experience in BFing - someone needs to make BFing a required course for pediatricians lol) are always giving out the same old misinformation & even if there WAS a problem, they look at formula as the solution.



Lala...

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  #3  
May 2nd, 2008, 11:51 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Lafayette, LA
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i hope that for my next child i will have an easier time. listening to my child scream with hunger was not something i was prepared to do this time around. thanx for the support!
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  #4  
May 3rd, 2008, 12:10 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
i hope that for my next child i will have an easier time. listening to my child scream with hunger was not something i was prepared to do this time around. thanx for the support![/b]
I really am sorry you went through that. I also know that it must have made that beginning time that should be overjoyed yet still exhausting into something completely overwhelming & stressful. The one thing I wanted to reiterate is that Lala hit it on the head about breasts & Drs. I finally got the nerve to ask my Ped what she studied about breasts in med school & she looked at me like I had a third eye. She had given me sooooo much bad BF advice. One time she even gave me advice that completely contradicted the pamphlet & printout she handed to me to read later. Even my Gen Practitioner admitted to me that if it isn't cancer - they didn't study it (related to breasts) although he IS BF friendly - and that is why I love him. I really wish you all the best in any future attempts & I absolutely believe you tried your butt off & really weren't given what you needed from those that should have been there for guidance. I don't think any mom should ever feel guilty over anything like that & I certainly hope you don't. I also want to say hats off to you & any mom that does have a supportive man around the house. It is tough for me many days even with Dh here - it is hard for me to imagine being without him & doing it all & then on top of it to just be missing him too. That has to be rough.

I know this is a weird question..but bear with me...MY BF had/has inverted nipples & toward the end of her pg her Ob gave her nipple shells (Not positive that is what they are called) that she wore all the time practically inside her bra. They provided a mid suction to help painlessly break the connective tissue that causes a nipple to invert & thus making BF much easier when baby arrives. I think she also had to do some exercises where she rolled the nipple between her fingers a couple times a day. I am hopefully making sense here - but it worked for her. Since then though I have known 2 ladies IRL that have had inverted nipples & could not make a go of it with nursing & when I asked, neither had heard of these nipple shells. Is it anything anyone ever mentioned to you as a possibility? I am just not sure if this is a typical thing offered - or if my friend was lucky...or whatever.
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  #5  
May 3rd, 2008, 12:26 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 4,346
Quote:
I know this is a weird question..but bear with me...MY BF had/has inverted nipples & toward the end of her pg her Ob gave her nipple shells (Not positive that is what they are called) that she wore all the time practically inside her bra. They provided a mid suction to help painlessly break the connective tissue that causes a nipple to invert & thus making BF much easier when baby arrives. I think she also had to do some exercises where she rolled the nipple between her fingers a couple times a day. I am hopefully making sense here - but it worked for her. Since then though I have known 2 ladies IRL that have had inverted nipples & could not make a go of it with nursing & when I asked, neither had heard of these nipple shells. Is it anything anyone ever mentioned to you as a possibility? I am just not sure if this is a typical thing offered - or if my friend was lucky...or whatever.[/b]

yes, i tried the nipple shells and they did help a little to draw my nipple out. however once he started to latch on and then came off of it because he wasnt getting anything, my nipple would go soft again. it was only hard for like a few min and then it went back to its regular self. and its HARD to get a screaming infant on a flat nipple. lol.
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  #6  
May 3rd, 2008, 04:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,697
Okay here's my story...(It will be long)

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed from the time I was a child. It just seemed like the natural thing to do with a baby. Joining JM and reading the information posted on breastfeeding, as well as other sources, just increased that desire. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for a year. After that I would play it by ear. My husband agreed with me and was very supportive.

I ended up delivering three weeks early due to pre-eclampsia and had a c-section because my baby was in a complete breech position. I literally came in for what I thought would be a normal 37 week appointment, bedrest had helped my bp stay down, and discovered that the pre-eclampsia was getting worse and I needed to deliver that night. (I sort of knew since I had been having headaches and felt bad if I was up for any length of time, but I was trying to keep positive.) I was offered a version but turned it down. (I had several reasons but those aren't relevant here.)

I tried breastfeeding as soon as I was out of recovery, about an hour after my c-section, but it didn't go well. Almost as soon as I had started, the remains of the spinal made me so nauseated that I had to give Logan back to the nurse so I could throw up. Once I felt better I tried again but he was so tired that he wouldn't suck. Over the next three days I had two visits from lactation consultants who couldn't help me that much. I was doing everything right but he wouldn't suck because he was so tired. Since I was breastfeeding the nurses gave me a spreedsheet to chart his feedings. One of the things I had to do was rank how well I thought he did. We considered it a good job if he sucked ten times.

We were in the hostpital three days. (mon night-thursday afternoon) The first day home he did the same thing. If it wasn't for the fact I was too sore to get into my bed, I would have had an excellent night's sleep because he slept for 6 or 7 hours before we tried to force him to eat again. The same thing happened the next day. I was starting to get very worried because he had jaundice and he needed to eat to eliminate it. When he was awake he would latch on for a second or two before pulling away. On saturday, after his heel stick, I ended up buying a pump and some formula. He continued to be very sleepy, but would suck on the bottle better than he had on me. (His jaundice ended up being bad enough to require a week and a half of home phototherapy and forced feedings.)

I pumped, attempted to breastfeed, and supplemented as necessary. I was able to keep up with his needs with pumping and didn't use much of the formula until his jaundice finally went away. Then it was as if his appetite increased three fold. Suddenly I wasn't pumping nearly enough and he still wouldn't latch on. He would get very excited when I first offered the nipple but spit it out after a suck or two and scream. I tried offering it before the bottle, in the middle of the feeding, (hoping it would help to take the edge off of his hunger first) and when he was tired instead of a pacifier. I also tried nipple shields but they didn't make much of a difference. I even asked a friend who is very knowledgeble about breastfeeding to help. Once in a great while it would work and he would nurse for five or maybe ten minutes, but most of the time ended in frustration for both of us. I was hesitant to push the issue for too long each time because I didn't want him to develop a negative association with my breast.

I started looking for information on ways to increase my supply. I would power pump six or seven times a day for an hour. (which consists of on ten minutes and then off ten minutes.) I had read that some women found it really helped. It did increase it a little bit, but not enough. The cycle of power pumping, breastfeeding attempts, and supplementing continued. At his two month appointment I asked his doctor about reglan. She gave me a prescription and told me to take two pills a day. I was producing more but still not enough. (If I couldn't get him to breastfeed, I wanted to come as close to pumping what he needed as possible.) When he had to go in a week later because of a cold, I asked if I could increase the dose. The doctor said upping it to four pills a day was fine.

The reglan worked and I was pumping around 75% of what he needed, but three days after increasing the dose I had a nervous breakdown. I started crying uncontrollably and constantly, couldn't sleep, and worse yet couldn't be around my son. Just the thought of him crying filled me with so much anxiety I couldn't stand it. I could barely look at him. When I did have to hold him I started shaking and wanted to get up and run away. I felt like a failure as a mother and wanted someone else to take care of him. I thought about getting in the car and driving away. I even half considered giving him to my older sister to raise. (although there was no way dh would have gone for that.) During this time I kept pumping though.

None of us knew what to do since this had come on so suddenly. Eventually my mom asked if it was possible the reglan was causing it. I didn't think so, but I went online to read the side effects. I was stunned. Depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, seizures, even suicidal ideation were all linked to this drug! (Logan had started becoming fidgety around this time and I think it was the reglan causing that too.) I stopped the medication and saw the nurse practitioner at my ob's office the next day. She was dubious about the reglan causing my problems and thought my condition was due more to exhaustion, being home bound, and lack of a schedule. I was offered a small dose of zoloft, but was hesitant to take it. However I was desperate, and dh was all for it, so I did. I also switched from the mini-pill to regular birth control because I was having continuous bleeding. I had put up with a year of that before getting pregnant, which was how I found out I had pcos, and didn't want to endure it again. She told me I couldn't breastfeed while on it which didn't matter because without the reglan I wasn't producing enough to make it worthwhile anyway.

It took about two weeks for me to get back to normal. Some of it may have been the zoloft, but I really think I just needed to get the reglan out of my system. (I have since weaned myself off of the zoloft and feel fine.) As much as I wanted to breastfeed, I couldn't sacrifice the bond with my child to do it. He needed me to be more than a milk machine. (which is all I could have been if I had stayed on the reglan) Once I felt better I enjoyed being a mother again. I also felt a weight lift off of me because I didn't have to worry about giving him to someone else so I could go pump. I still feel bad about only lasting 2.5 months, but I'm hopeful my next experience will be better.
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  #7  
May 3rd, 2008, 04:09 AM
acupofjoe's Avatar Proud mama of three!
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i think if it doesnt work out then its best to try to at least do both formula and BM. some BM is better then no BM at all.
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  #8  
May 4th, 2008, 09:06 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 11,576
(((elena)))

Yes, thats unfortunately a very commonly known side effect of reglan. You had a rough start from the beginning, and the cards stacked against you. Luckily pre-e is almost always reversible if you have the rightinformation in a future pg, and probably even totally preventable. Unfortunately, few OBs get any information on preventative nutrition or how to reverse pre-e with a change in diet.

Check out blueribbonbaby.org

ITs got the Brewer pg diet for Pre-E (Developed by an OB).

I really dont get why OBs dont know abotu this. It has a solid proven success rate.

And reglan - again - its darn near malpractice for a dr to NOT warn you of the SERIOUS side effects of reglan. Domperidon is a much better alternative, but you now have to order it from overseas pharmacies (Another complaint of mine of the politics & pharmaceutical companies lol).

Lala...
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  #9  
May 4th, 2008, 09:37 AM
short_n_swt's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I to wanted to breastfeed as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I did so much research, got myself a doula and midwives who were passionate about breastfeeding, and was all excited I KNEW I was going to breastfeed.
I also had pre-E, but my midwives didn't know because they had to cancel my weekly appt to attend a birth. I went to the drop in pregnancy clinic, because I didn't know what was going on-why my blood pressure was so high, why I couldn't walk because I was so swollen, or why my protein was 4+. They suggested I go to the emerg since I was pitting. I went to the emerg and the doc on call was furious that the midwives didn't make time to see me in my 40th week. She said I needed to get to my delivering hospital ASAP, and that she would send all my tests over there. (the hospital I went to was very small, a level 1). So I paged my midwives, and they told me I was fine they were sure, but to go to my hospital if I felt more comfortable doing so, there wasn't much they could do because they were in a birth.
I got to the hospital, they insisted I needed to stay the night and be monitored, if my condition hadn't changed by morning they would induce me.And since my midwives weren't coming until the next day, my care was transfered to a OB-GYN. I was induced the next morning, I laboured until 6pm, I went for a c-section because the baby wasn't decending, and the doctor wanted to go for dinner (his exact words).
I came out of recovery about 40 minutes later, and the first thing I wanted to do, was breastfeed. The midwives worked with me for about 2 hours that night. I was so exhausted but I kept trying, and the nurses came to help me as well. She just kept latching on and falling asleep. I tickled her feet, rubbed her cheek, played her chin, anything to keep her awake and sucking. No go. The next morning, I tried again, I tried all day and it was the same thing. She wouldn't stay awake to suck. She had jaundice, and I was told I couldn't bring her home with me if I didn't get it cleared, so I was really determined. I stayed up all night again and continued trying. I tried nipple shields as well. Finally, I tried pumping. I got one CC of milk. They had me pumping every 1.5-2 hours to keep my supply 'moving'. Before I would pump I would try her at the nipple and it was the same thing-she would sleep. I had a lactation consultant come day 3. She did everything I tried, including positions. She couldn't figure it out either. So I continued to pump only 1 CC. She was loosing weight, and here if the baby looses a certain amount of weight, they have to stay in the hospital and gain back the weight before they can be discharged. Again it was more encouragement. By the end of day 3, I was a mess, I was crying so hard because I couldn't give my daughter what she needed, and she needed food by this point. I told the nurses I would continue to try for the night, and hope things would work out. By 4am, I wasn't pumping anything literally. I was dry. I sat there crying so hard, the nurses had to tell me to calm down or I could rip a stitch or hurt myself internally. That moment, I mumbled the words, "give her formula". I couldn't do it anymore, I was physically drained after everything. I was so upset. I was beginning to hate myself. The amount of stress, the lack of sleep, was not doing either of us good. She had the formula, I didn't even want to give it to her, I asked the nurse to-because I felt like such a bad mom. I sat there and cried. When I was released I came home and tried again, and still nothing.
I blame much of it on the induction, the fact my baby was drugged with all the crap they call meds they put in my body. The stress about having a c-section when I was the most up-willed person to have the most natural birth anyone could have.
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  #10  
May 4th, 2008, 09:56 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nebraska
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Quote:
ITs got the Brewer pg diet for Pre-E (Developed by an OB).[/b]
I've read about the brewer diet. The pre-eclampsia foundation has a lot of info on it. Unfortunately none of the studies that show benefits are peer-reviewed, or as I understand it even conducted by independent parties, and Brewer's theory of why pre-eclampsia occurs is about twenty or thirty years out of date. Many women on the site tried the diet under the guidance of their doctors or midwives and had negative results. It's as passionate a subject on there as breastfeeding is on here with many women, most of whom have done extensive research as well as having tried it themselves, dedicated to debunking it.
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  #11  
May 4th, 2008, 09:57 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I hate hearing these stories

This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about birth as well. Most people dont realize just how closely tied birth is to everything - and how much it can impact everything. I mean, its a life altering experience as it is - but you can see just how huge of an impact the birth you have has on so many things. Its just the beginning of the cascade.

Lala...
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  #12  
May 4th, 2008, 10:34 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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I love that people know more about the benefits of breastfeeding now and are passionate about it. However that passion has the flip side of making those of us who try and fail feel incredibly guilty. It makes it hard to accept when it just isn't going to work. If I hadn't felt so strongly about breastfeeding I would have given up, or more likely accepted the amount I was able to pump on my own, before resorting to reglan. I wouldn't have felt as though every bit of formula I gave him was hurting his health and been desperate to find some way to at least be able to exclusively pump. Thus I would have saved myself, my son, and my family the hell we went through.

Unfortunately we're the ones who get caught in the middle. Women who choose to formula feed don't go through the feelings of guilt and unworthiness as a mother the way those of us who couldn't do. That's why it hurts when I come across people not wanting to buy other's "excuses" for not breastfeeding. I shouldn't have to share my whole story for people to be understanding, but often it seems like I do.
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  #13  
May 4th, 2008, 11:13 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I can see where youre coming from, however, the flip side of THAT is that sooo many mothers assume they cant, are incapable, etc - without realizing that they COULD. Its not that theyre a failure, its that there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you see the BFing board, I cant tell you how many moms there are given misinformation, NO information, etc. Most of them would give up if it werent for someone going "well - what exactly is going on? Is it something we can help with? Why are they saying you cant?" With my first, I was in that exact same situation - given misinformation, was told I couldnt, and gave up. I fought with formula for a year, and later found out - you knwo what... they were WRONG. I never felt like a failure, but i was definitely saddened about the fact that I couldnt BF my son. That later turned to anger when I found out that some idiot drs who knew nothing about BFing duped me into believing there was something wrong with ME. the only person with anything wrong with them was THEM (the drs).

If you look at the above post, theres a clear example. I dont blame the mother, i do blame the peds. She was given a lot of misinformation & it was all stuff that with the right help, guidance, etc - she probably would have been very successful.

And in the end, I do believe mothers deserve support no matter what... particularly those that put all they had into trying. However, at the same time - I dont believe anyone can "make" someone else feel a certain way. they can say ccertain things that trigger feelings for someone - but they didnt put those feelings there or MAKE them feel that way. Nor do i think those feelings are a bad thing - often time its therapeutic to process those feelings rather than supress them & every one goes through different phases in trying to deal with/cope with/ process what has happened to them & what theyve been through.

I know I personally was very defensive when I was questioned about my choice to BF - I wanted people to know I TRIED, but i COULDNT. That turned into sadness, that turned into a journey to become more educated on what went wrong, what was wrong with me. Then it turned into more sadness & anger but in a different direction.

Guilt for many moms is a process of coping, and nobody can make another mom feel guilty. Other people cannot control our emotions. It took me a long time to realize that.

And additionally, I think that trying to make sure that people have the right information about BFing and what is/isnt normal is one of the ONLY ways moms will ever get the straight information about BFing. If everyone just shrugged and said "oh you couldnt... ok", rather than supporting them and going "im sorry that happened to you - why couldnt you?" then a lot fewer women would bf and more women would continue to go around thinking theyre defective, theyre broken, they cant.

We arent broken. Our society maybe, but not us lol.

Lala...
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  #14  
May 4th, 2008, 01:17 PM
irishxrose
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Before I came to JM, I didn't really know anything about breastfeeding. I was a formula fed baby and so was my brother... my mom didn't even try to breastfeed. Even my grandmother didn't breastfeed my mom or my uncle. I knew practically nothing about breastfeeding. And then I came here, and started doing research. One of my friends had her son in the middle of my pregnancy, and she breastfed him; and at that point I really wanted to try and was determined to do it.

After I gave birth to my son they took him to the NICU for a few hours because something was wrong (they never really gave me a clear answer on 'what was wrong'". So there goes that precious first hour of bonding time and starting the breastfeeding relationship. They brought him back, and I tried to breastfeed him. The lactation nurse was a complete idiot who didn't help me at ALL. I have large severely inverted nipples, and at that time no one even told me or let me know about the nipple shields. He could barely latch. My family wasn't supportive at all of my breastfeeding, except my MIL. That didn't help either. Then Joshua started losing a massive amount of weight in the first three days. He was born at 6 lbs, 15 oz. We left the hospital with him weighing a little under 5 lbs. At home, he lost even more. I even tried pumping... no go. I pumped for over an hour and a half and came away with a few lousy drops. Joshua was screaming nonstop those first few days because he was so hungry, and I couldn't produce any milk. The fourth day I had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the night and we switched to formula because I couldn't do it anymore.

Add to that my bi-polar medication that hadn't been proven yet to be safe for breastfeeding. Then there was the emotional issues I had with BF because of past sexual and physical abuse. No support, idiotic nurses who didn't know what the hell they were doing and didn't give me ANY options that I now know could have helped salvage my BF, physical, mental and emotional issues were my reasons for having to switch to formula.

That's my story.
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  #15  
May 4th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North
Posts: 7,824
With my first, we only made it 6 weeks and I switched to formula. When she was born I decided to bf at the last minute because one of the nurses talked me into it. Dd had a pretty good latch but she was having seizures and cried constantly so by the time she was 24 hours old, she was transferred to a bigger hospital where they had to put her in a medically induced coma to achieve complete seizure control. So, that meant that I was pumping so they could tube feed her(the nose tube). Luckily, before she came home, the meds were decreased enough so that she was able to nurse and I was also lucky that while we were feeding her the pumped milk from the tiny bottles, she would still nurse. I was uneducated on bf so I didn't realize how fortunate I was that she didn't have nipple confusion. We made many trips back and forth to the hospital for all kinds of tests to try to determine why she was having seizures and why meds. weren't helping. I was stressed to the max and not eating properly. As a result, my supply dwindled. Again, not being educated, I didn't have any idea what to do so I switched her to formula. That was nearly 15 yrs. ago and information on bf was harder to come by but I do wish I had at least tried to educate myself a little while I was pg. and not after dd was born.

When I was pg. with my second dd, I wasn't entirely sure I would bf but as luck would have it, I found myself at a debate board, not unlike this one, and ended up in many bf/ff debates where I felt I was being treated unfairly and that they were unneccesrily raking me over the coals . I took their information/links/books suggestions and also did my own research. It still took a while for me to get past the ""bf is best but formula is a fine choice"" mentality because even though I bf my second until she was 11 months, I supplemented her with formula after she ws 7 months old until she was about 12 months. Not even entirely sure now WHY I thought that was something I needed to do but I did it. With my boys, we didn't do formula and I bf until they self weaned at 23 and 21 months. Over time, my opinion changed drastically on the bf/ff debate. And the women who I thought were giving me a raw deal in the debates 9 yrs. ago, are the ladies who were my best supporters in the end.
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  #16  
May 4th, 2008, 11:08 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Quote:
Okay here's my story...(It will be long)

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed from the time I was a child. It just seemed like the natural thing to do with a baby. Joining JM and reading the information posted on breastfeeding, as well as other sources, just increased that desire. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for a year. After that I would play it by ear. My husband agreed with me and was very supportive.

I ended up delivering three weeks early due to pre-eclampsia and had a c-section because my baby was in a complete breech position. I literally came in for what I thought would be a normal 37 week appointment, bedrest had helped my bp stay down, and discovered that the pre-eclampsia was getting worse and I needed to deliver that night. (I sort of knew since I had been having headaches and felt bad if I was up for any length of time, but I was trying to keep positive.) I was offered a version but turned it down. (I had several reasons but those aren't relevant here.)

I tried breastfeeding as soon as I was out of recovery, about an hour after my c-section, but it didn't go well. Almost as soon as I had started, the remains of the spinal made me so nauseated that I had to give Logan back to the nurse so I could throw up. Once I felt better I tried again but he was so tired that he wouldn't suck. Over the next three days I had two visits from lactation consultants who couldn't help me that much. I was doing everything right but he wouldn't suck because he was so tired. Since I was breastfeeding the nurses gave me a spreedsheet to chart his feedings. One of the things I had to do was rank how well I thought he did. We considered it a good job if he sucked ten times.

We were in the hostpital three days. (mon night-thursday afternoon) The first day home he did the same thing. If it wasn't for the fact I was too sore to get into my bed, I would have had an excellent night's sleep because he slept for 6 or 7 hours before we tried to force him to eat again. The same thing happened the next day. I was starting to get very worried because he had jaundice and he needed to eat to eliminate it. When he was awake he would latch on for a second or two before pulling away. On saturday, after his heel stick, I ended up buying a pump and some formula. He continued to be very sleepy, but would suck on the bottle better than he had on me. (His jaundice ended up being bad enough to require a week and a half of home phototherapy and forced feedings.)

I pumped, attempted to breastfeed, and supplemented as necessary. I was able to keep up with his needs with pumping and didn't use much of the formula until his jaundice finally went away. Then it was as if his appetite increased three fold. Suddenly I wasn't pumping nearly enough and he still wouldn't latch on. He would get very excited when I first offered the nipple but spit it out after a suck or two and scream. I tried offering it before the bottle, in the middle of the feeding, (hoping it would help to take the edge off of his hunger first) and when he was tired instead of a pacifier. I also tried nipple shields but they didn't make much of a difference. I even asked a friend who is very knowledgeble about breastfeeding to help. Once in a great while it would work and he would nurse for five or maybe ten minutes, but most of the time ended in frustration for both of us. I was hesitant to push the issue for too long each time because I didn't want him to develop a negative association with my breast.

I started looking for information on ways to increase my supply. I would power pump six or seven times a day for an hour. (which consists of on ten minutes and then off ten minutes.) I had read that some women found it really helped. It did increase it a little bit, but not enough. The cycle of power pumping, breastfeeding attempts, and supplementing continued. At his two month appointment I asked his doctor about reglan. She gave me a prescription and told me to take two pills a day. I was producing more but still not enough. (If I couldn't get him to breastfeed, I wanted to come as close to pumping what he needed as possible.) When he had to go in a week later because of a cold, I asked if I could increase the dose. The doctor said upping it to four pills a day was fine.

The reglan worked and I was pumping around 75% of what he needed, but three days after increasing the dose I had a nervous breakdown. I started crying uncontrollably and constantly, couldn't sleep, and worse yet couldn't be around my son. Just the thought of him crying filled me with so much anxiety I couldn't stand it. I could barely look at him. When I did have to hold him I started shaking and wanted to get up and run away. I felt like a failure as a mother and wanted someone else to take care of him. I thought about getting in the car and driving away. I even half considered giving him to my older sister to raise. (although there was no way dh would have gone for that.) During this time I kept pumping though.

None of us knew what to do since this had come on so suddenly. Eventually my mom asked if it was possible the reglan was causing it. I didn't think so, but I went online to read the side effects. I was stunned. Depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, seizures, even suicidal ideation were all linked to this drug! (Logan had started becoming fidgety around this time and I think it was the reglan causing that too.) I stopped the medication and saw the nurse practitioner at my ob's office the next day. She was dubious about the reglan causing my problems and thought my condition was due more to exhaustion, being home bound, and lack of a schedule. I was offered a small dose of zoloft, but was hesitant to take it. However I was desperate, and dh was all for it, so I did. I also switched from the mini-pill to regular birth control because I was having continuous bleeding. I had put up with a year of that before getting pregnant, which was how I found out I had pcos, and didn't want to endure it again. She told me I couldn't breastfeed while on it which didn't matter because without the reglan I wasn't producing enough to make it worthwhile anyway.

It took about two weeks for me to get back to normal. Some of it may have been the zoloft, but I really think I just needed to get the reglan out of my system. (I have since weaned myself off of the zoloft and feel fine.) As much as I wanted to breastfeed, I couldn't sacrifice the bond with my child to do it. He needed me to be more than a milk machine. (which is all I could have been if I had stayed on the reglan) Once I felt better I enjoyed being a mother again. I also felt a weight lift off of me because I didn't have to worry about giving him to someone else so I could go pump. I still feel bad about only lasting 2.5 months, but I'm hopeful my next experience will be better.[/b]
Your post is heartbreaking! Did you know that the mini-pill is also known (not well-known unfortunately) for causing depression and major mood swings? It sounds like between the mini-pill and the Reglan that you are lucky you didn't go completely psychotic! I was on the mini-pill while I bfed my first and it caused PPD, and I began self-harming. When I was told to stop breastfeeding by my psychiatrist when I was 8 months postpardum, (I had to see a shrink weekly for many months after I began cutting), I decided to stop taking the minipill since I wouldn't be bfing anyway. I hadn't even stopped bfing yet, but within DAYS, my mood swings and depression lifted and I was back to my normal happy-go-lucky self. It wasn't until then that I connected the mini-pill to my PPD and began researching it and found out about the horrible side effects of that little pill. Even people close to me who'd had the same experience with progesterone-only birth control didn't talk to me about it until I brought it up, and then it was like floodgates opened. My cousin joked that DRs should be required to prescribe prozac automatically with the minipill, and my sister called them "angry pills." And there were entire groups of people online who had similar stories. I'm frustrated that no one mentioned this to me while I was busy slashing my arm to bits. I guess they didn't want to tread on my feelings, but &^%& it would have helped me so much to hear it.

Thankfully, after the experience, I went out, talked to people, researched and learned, and now i will never ever put a progesterone-only birth control into my body ever again. And I guess, a lot of us are hoping that by telling women that maybe it was misinformation or just plain lack of information that led them down the formula feeding path, that it doesn't have to be like that next time. Armed with the proper knowledge, many women CAN succeed, even if they weren't able to in the past...
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  #17  
May 4th, 2008, 11:39 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,697
I didn't know the mini-pill could cause those issues. I was on the mini-pill for a little while before starting reglan, but it's certainly possible it was a factor too.

I'm all for education, especially when someone asks for help, it's just the assumption people sometimes make that a woman's reason for stopping bf'ing is only an excuse that bothers me.


I'm so sorry the mini-pill did that to you!
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  #18  
May 5th, 2008, 08:55 AM
mommyKathyX3
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With my oldest I was 21 at the time, and kinda took everything that had to do with pregnancy and childbirth as a "it'll just come to me or the doc/mom will tell me anyway". The idea of breastfeeding was kinda "ick" at that time. I decided I'd try it, but not exclusively. After my water broke at 36 weeks, and I had to be induced cause I wasnt in labor at ALL, and I finally had Julia after almost 2 full days in the hospital with Pit. (whole nother story ) Well, she wasnt taking to me much, so I pumped some and the nurses said they'd give her formula in the mean time. I was fine with that. I was only getting a few tablespoons of colostrum so they kept telling me she needed more. (she WAS 6 lbs 5 oz, so not a premie size, and had no REAL problems so they were WRONG, but again, whole nother story) After my milk started coming in, I noticed she kept spitting up a LOT. At the time she was on a soy formula automatically cause they said since I had milk allergie/sensitivities as a baby, we should play it safe ( long story short, I'm VERY upset about that) Well, once she was a bout a week old, and had only NURSED from ME about 4-5 times for a few seconds (I have soft large nipples making it hard for them to learn to latch), but she was getting pumped milk about 1/2 the time we noticed her spitting up had turned to projectile vomiting. It just got worse. Like it was something from the excorsist. This tiny 7 lb baby was spitting up 3-4 feet away. No joke. By the time she was about 3 weeks old the doc said to try cutting out some stuff from my diet, saying it was the breastmilk. (didnt even THINK it might be the formula. That "perfect soy" formula. ) He gave me like 2 days and when she wasnt doing any better, she was admitted to the hospital at right about a month old. She was there for 3 days and they ONLY gave her pedialyte for the first 2 days, and then she stopped throwing up. So we were sent home saying that "if I continue to breastfeed, then I am going to have to virtually eliminate EVERYTHING normal out of my diet indefinatly" Well, we were young, and that sounded TERRIBLE, and I thought formula was just as good REALLY, so whats the harm. I'm not doing her any GOOD trying to nurse her. We then went on the trek to find the right formula. That took a few weeks, and even AFTER we found something that didnt make her projectile vomit, she still was VERY spitty uppy. I think mainly she had reflux and a sensitivity to milk. If I would have had her on some sort of med for the reflux, and I would have either cut out dairy, or reduced it a lot, she would have been fine. My son went through the SAME thing right after birth, but I was able to get it under control cause I had a breastfeeding FRIENDLY doctor, and was informed about how beneficial bm REALLY is. My second had NO problems except learning to latch right away.

My oldest was on formula from 1 month on.
My second was MOSTLY breastfed until about 4 months, then started getting some formula. I was just too lazy to pump really. She was getting at least half of her milk from breastfeeding until she was about 10 months old, then she didnt want the bottle anymore, and by 11 months old, she was not wanting the breast either. I realize now, she really was probably just having a nursing strike, but I assumed she was done, so I stopped.
My youngest was exclusively breastfed until he was about 5 months old, and then at 5 months old, we started giving him tastes of food. Nothing as a "meal" but just tastes. He didnt like anything but mommy really though. I think he was a good 10 months old before he started eating tablefood on a regular basis. I'd have to look it up though. He was WAY old compared to everyone else though. He's had a total of 2 cans of formula in his lifetime. All AFTER he was 6 months old though. Those times were my emergency backup I had cause I was someetimes out doing things for school (my oldests) and he was with daddy or grandma and they ran out of pumped milk. (me and my lazy pumping thing ) I say he was EBF until 6 months and after some supplimenting, but a VERY tiny bit.

Next time I PROMISED myself I am not going to do ANY formula. i'm going to splurge on a GOOD pump so its not so much of a PAIN IN THE BUTT to pump when I need to.

I am very passionate about it, cause I had a CRAPPY doctor, and NO support when I had my first, and honestly I'm surprised I did as well with my second cause I had no support then either. I was totally ill informed and right now we are dealing with some problems that VERY possibly could have came from the fact she was formula fed. Do I have guilt? Yes, I do. Only because I wish I would have KNOWN and it WAS preventable. Will I beat myself up over it? No. I will live and learn, and hope and pray that nothing every REALLY happens to make me able to not breastfeed. Will I feel guilty if that happens? No, cause its NOT my fault. If you CAN'T there should be NO guilt. Sadness, yes, guilt, no.
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  #19  
May 5th, 2008, 10:18 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 4,346
Quote:
I have large severely inverted nipples, and at that time no one even told me or let me know about the nipple shields. He could barely latch. My family wasn't supportive at all of my breastfeeding, except my MIL. That didn't help either. Then Joshua started losing a massive amount of weight in the first three days. He was born at 6 lbs, 15 oz. We left the hospital with him weighing a little under 5 lbs. At home, he lost even more. I even tried pumping... no go. I pumped for over an hour and a half and came away with a few lousy drops. Joshua was screaming nonstop those first few days because he was so hungry, and I couldn't produce any milk. The fourth day I had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the night and we switched to formula because I couldn't do it anymore.[/b]
its comforting to know i am not alone... that part of ur story was so similar to mine i could have written it myself... except that i somehow made it two weeks. i still dont know how.. those two weeks are a blur of tears for me--his and mine.

the guilt of switching to formula is overwhelming.. but the satisfaction of seeing a growing baby is priceles.


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  #20  
May 5th, 2008, 10:45 AM
short_n_swt's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere in Ontario
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Quote:
the guilt of switching to formula is overwhelming.. but the satisfaction of seeing a growing baby is priceles.[/b]

I love this statement, it's so true!
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