Help! I am so discouraged with breastfeeding!

Allison - posted on 12/17/2008 ( 37 moms have responded )

7

20

0

I have so many issues and I am getting just tired of all the obstacles I have to go through in order to breastfeed.
I have a 3 1/2 month old son who had a great latch from day 1. We struggle ALL the time with Thrush. He doesn't get a bottle or pacifier so I don't know where it keeps coming from. I've done all the research and we have both been on meds since he was 6 weeks old. I am so frustrated with the pain. My nipples have thrush all over them and it is so painful to nurse. This time it is not in my milk ducts so that's a relief. I can't even pump now b/c of the thrush in the milk so I am homebound feeding him every 3 hours.
Now, in addition to thrush, my son is violently eating. I really think he is going to pull my nipple off!! He eats and flails his arms, scratches me with his nail (yes, I've tried mittens), and is just so active.
I really need support or advice from other moms who have had some of these problems. I want to breast feed so badly, but I am really considering stopping it all together! Please, any advice or support is greatly appreciated!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

37 Comments

View replies by

Tracy - posted on 01/07/2009

5

3

0

Wow - you are amazing for getting this far! You sound like a really dedicated Mom and that is so great. My comments wont be specifically helpful, but hopefully they are supportive. For the first few months of brastfeeding I practically cried everytime becasue of the pain. It wasn't thrush, though, it was just soreness. And now at 10 months her teeth are causing even worse pain. I am trying to get through it, but I dont know how long I can last.  I can't imagine the pain you a re experiencing. I just wanted to write to encourage you to do what you think works for you and the baby. If you can continue, great, but if not, you will still bond  with your baby and keep him healthy and happy because you are a good Mom, and that is all that counts!

Leanne - posted on 01/06/2009

32

14

2

I have never delt with thrush before but feel terrible for you. Hang in there! All I can recommend is go to your doctor and figure out what is going on. My doctor referred me to a doctor who is a lactation specialist for other breastfeeding problems and it saved my breastfeeding. Maybe there is someone your doctor could refer you to? Keep going back to your doctor or whoever will help you to figure this out. Maybe a lactation consultant will give you some tips too. Your doing a great job and I hope you can find out why you are still struggling with thrush. Good luck!

Jeanne - posted on 01/06/2009

1

0

0

The ONLY THING that worked for me with our two bouts with thrush was: diflucan (a prescription) 2X a day for TEN DAYS while giving baby Nystatin after each feeding. This was what the LC recommended and I had to tell my doctor as diflucan is normally only prescribed for one day. It's horrible, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with it. OH I FORGOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: buy (or get from your Lactation Consultant) the little cups made by medela to cover sore nipples. These will allow air to circulate but will keep your clothes from rubbing and making the nipples more sore. Also, the LC had me use a mixture of Lotramin AF, Bacitracin and something else on my nipples after each feeding. It's late--sorry this is jumbled, but I felt so bad for you I had to write!

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2009

35

11

0

I've nenver had thrush, and and so thankful! My son is still a pretty bouncy feeder. In the morning my husband brings him to me in bed and all I do is pull my shirt up. I let him decide which side he wants and how he wants to lay. He used to like to look all around the room while still attached, and needless to say that wasn't very fun. I believe in tough love, so when he would do that, or scratch me, or poke my eyes or stick his fingers in my nose,
I'd get him off and look him in the eye and tell him "This is time to eat. Not time to play, or hurt mommy. If you want to eat, then eat. If not, go play" And I used a serious, but not mean, tone. He understood after a while. And while it's best to continue with breastfeeding, that doesn't mean it has to be a painful ordeal for the both of you. At least he's had 3.5 months of breastfeeding, and that's a lot more than a lot of babies.

Naomi - posted on 01/06/2009

16

30

0

As for your child squirming and moving around like a little worm... it may also be the thrush in his mouth bothering him that's why he's so active.

Naomi - posted on 01/06/2009

16

30

0

I'm so sorry your dealing with that :-(



My son and I both had thrush for 3 months on top of 3 (almost 4) Mastitis and it was hell! Unfortunatly yes all of the diet things may help but in the end what I did to get rid of it was the following... (grueling infection control)



- make sure everytime your done breast feeding, wash your nipples with warm soapy water and let airdry. Try avoiding using the breast pads because the more warm and humid, the more the thrush comes back.



- Use a small baby face cloth (dry) and wrap it around your finger and swab your child's tongue and cheeks after each feeding.



- I also would apply gentian violet on my nipples at night. Try wearing used t-shirts because that stuff really is nasty for staining! Then let your child nurse with the gentian violet on your nipples. WARNING: Your child will most likely have it all over his or her face (purple staining) but it does go away in a few days or using it.



 



Like many I tried the Nystatin for 2 months and got nowhere with it. Vigourous cleaning (yourself and child) and the Gentian Violet did the trick for me. But unfortunatly if you skip one time... you have to start all over..... I learned the hard way :-(

Amy - posted on 01/06/2009

9

21

0

wow sorry to hear that. I would say change bra daily cahnge breast pads frequently try yogurt in your diet. The violent eating like Emily said with let down I try to manually express just squeeze your breast while he is sucking that helps my let down come faster and try feeding him a little earlier than you do if your are doing it every 3hours try feeding him at the earliest hungry signal so he is not fighting for the food because he is so hungry.



As far as stopping keep breastfeeding it is the absolute best thing you can do for him. If you need to pump and bottlefeed even though I think that would be an absolute pain. Just keep on trucking try all the suggestions talk to your OB, ped, or a lactation consultant for maore suggestions.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2009

138

27

16

I have no special advice to offer. I just wanted to give you some encouragement. You are doing a fantastic job! Try to stay positive, I know it can be hard to do when it is painful and frustrating, but just hang in there!! Good Luck!

Jenna - posted on 01/06/2009

145

29

19

Oh and my lil guy is a thrasher especially when covered out in public. He also has now learned to pinch and rip the nipple out of his mouth. 

Jenna - posted on 01/06/2009

145

29

19

I don't know where you are from but I was seen by a md run bf clinic in Vancouver, BC, Canada she prescribed me a compound cream antifungal/antibiotic/antibacterial for yeast and to heal war wounds on my nipples. It also can be ingested and does not need to be wiped off prior to feeds. I struggled for the first two and half months through pain, blistering and bleeding at every feed due to his overbite. I think I too had thrush the whole time due to getting antibiotics during delivery.  I didn't try this myself but have you looked into acidophyllis a natural remedy to restore the good bacteria in your body. It would be found in any pharmacy in the vitamin section. It is often reccomended to those women who have chronic yeast infection when they take antibiotics.

Stefanie - posted on 12/22/2008

117

7

6

I haven't dealt with thrush, and am sorry that you have to. You are a wonderful momma.

One thing I haven't seen people mention is to sterilize your sheets. I have heard that is often overlooked by moms trying to get rid of thrush. I would guess you would have to do that everyday, but I'm not sure. If I was getting over thrush I would. I second (or third) the recommendation for Genitian Violet, my sister-in-law used this when she had thrush and it cleared pretty quickly.

My son is like yours a "violent" eater, I have come to accept it, but my nipples don't hurt like yours do. I know that he is more likely to be violent if he is hungrier. The more he snacks during the day between large feeds the less he thrashes. I don't mind breastfeeding in public but sometimes his antics are embarrassing b/c of how much attention he draws. EVERYONE always knows I'm feeding even though you can't see anything.

Anne - posted on 12/21/2008

34

8

3

Poor lady! You are doing so well pushing thought this problem. Have you tried Gentian violet? Nystatin didn't work for me. Ask your doc for gentian violet, put it on your nipples (it will kill the thrush and make you feel MUCH better) and douse your baby's mouth and bottom. It stains, but I was willing to put up with anything to get rid of the itchyness.

Jeanine - posted on 12/21/2008

21

30

2

What worked for me was sunlight... as much as possible... and keeping your nipples open and aired. So yes.. walking around topless... in the garden LOL. No.. every morning after my bath i'd go lie in the sun, topless. The vitamin D works wonders. Also, Lansinoh ointment is amazing. Its a bit pricy, but it rreally works. MY little one is 3 months and a bit, and eat like a little monster and i dont even use anything anymore!!! Its pure lanolin. Check it ouut..



But good luck. You're an amazing mother, even for trying to start with!!!!

Vanessa - posted on 12/20/2008

17

5

5

Hang in there, it is totally worth it!!! I just have a few suggestions for the thrush issues....first sunlight. The lady who taught my birth prep classes ( and she's been a doula and teacher for 20+ years) said that it will help clear up thrush to make sure that your breasts get some sunlight...probably wouldn't whip them out in the front yard, but maybe when the sun comes through the window or something. I don't know why this works, maybe because yeast thrives in the dark and damp but its worth a try. Secondly, liquid garlic for the little one. This works wonders for the baby and then you don't have to load him up with medicine all the time! You can find garlic in the liquid form at the health food stores.. Also, I have had good experience with eating yogurt..all those probiotics in the yogurt are great, but make sure that you are eating yogurt that doesn't have a ton of sugars in it because it can be counterproductive! Hope that helps. Good luck and just keep reminding yourself that it will get easier and it will be worth it.

Carolyn - posted on 12/20/2008

25

52

1

I haven't really had an breastfeeding issues, but a mom I know was telling me about the difficulty she had when her little guy had thrush.
They battled with it for a couple of months. Medicine, ointments, everything. She cut breads and other foods containing yeast from her diet and that helped some. Now comes the crazy sounding part. She heard from another mom that it might be the moisture her clothes held against her breasts that was keeping the thrush from going away. She and her little one started having one naked day a week to "air out." She hasn't had a problem since.

Jennie - posted on 12/18/2008

1

16

0

Dear allson

have you ever heard about La leche league? It a group of breastfeeding mom's that meet usually meet every so offen.they talk about of coarse breastfeed and other issues. they even bring their other children. Also there is such thing as lactation consultants that work in health units and other health facilities. Just remember yes breast is best but remember the main thing is your baby get the nutrient to develop.

If you decide to quit don't let anyone make you guilt.If your are too stress out how can you cherish this precious time in your babies life.

Katie - posted on 12/18/2008

7

30

0

I never had to deal with thrush, but I did the violent eating. It may seem harsh, but I stopped for at least 5 minutes when he flailed and 'abused' my nipples. Doc told me to do it and even though it sounded harsh, it took about two weeks and it stopped. You are doing a wonderful thing for your son, keep on keepin on mama!

Cindi - posted on 12/18/2008

19

13

0

Hi Allison... I am on month 14 of breastfeeding my son. Pain has come and gone and come again, and gone... right now it is only extremely painful when he closes down with his sharp little teeth to nurse - grrrr.... Anyway, it's funny, as I was reading the replies you have gotten it brought back memories, recent as they were, I had already gotten over them! My son latched perfectly from day one, never lost any weight and doubled his weight by his 1 month check up, so no issue there... He has always gotten enough to eat, but for some reason after a month or so the pain of him latching and nursing was so bad that my toes would curl and my eyes would instantly tear up, almost unbearable and this from a woman who endured natural childbirth, naturally - no drugs (I wanted them but couldn't have them - but that's another story) My husband felt so bad for me, he kept telling me it's okay to quit, but I stuck with it and don't regret it at all. As I type this now I have mild pain in both breasts! But I know, it WILL pass, it WILL be okay and he will have the best in life I can possible give him!

Oh, and please don't be afraid of breastfeeding in public. I'm not suggesting that you just let it all hang out (but do what you like! =0) ) but if you wear a zip front sweater with a shirt you can lift under the sweater (unzipped), put a blankie over your shoulder and you are completely covered, front and back! I used to walk around stores this way and NO one, not even my husband could tell if he was feeding or sleeping! Don't let breastfeeding confine you to your house! It's a wonderful thing that you are doing for your son, you are giving him your best, the best, most perfect food, made just for him! It's a great thing!!!!

Jeanine - posted on 12/18/2008

21

30

2

The best thing for sore nipples is Lansinoh ointment!!! Its 100 % natural and works like a bomb!!!!!!!!!!

Jacqueline - posted on 12/18/2008

18

31

0

hi Allison, im jacqui, i suffered too tremendously the first 6 weeks. it pretty much started the day we left the hospital. my nipples bled, he wouldnt latch on properly, he'd just take the nipple.(ouch) i was feeding every 15 mins for 5 mins at a time cos i couldnt last from all the pain.i would cry as it was so overwhelming i just wanted to feed my baby. the nxt morning i ran to the chemist n bough a pump. phew! wat a relief! my breasts were so swollen n starting with the rocks of milk developing

(mastitis) masaging wasnt helping but once i started xpressing just to relieve my nipples n using nipple cream it got beter,still never latched on properly but i was no longer in pain specially after 6 weeks as my milk started flowing better. all i can say is hang in there it is all worth it we enjoy it now n feeds so much better he is now 16 weeks old n i still xpress on occasion as i returned to work one day a week we feed every 2 1/2 hours n hes a happy boy so ive introduced formula only when i have to xpress to leave him milk wen i work. this is usually at night when hes gone down for the nyt.

but yea hang in there ull soon get the nack. its like learning how to drive manual, the more u practice the better u become. n as for scratching u.... trim his nails or he may b very uncomfortable with how ur holding him i find footy style so easy n bubba ate better. but then again baby may not be getting enough as ur flow may slow down. im so happy ive persevered as we xperts nao. hehehe. good luck with it all. oh i found drinking a glass of milk with every feed was helped alot.

Jenny - posted on 12/17/2008

61

0

6

All I can say is hang in there. I am on month 16 nursing my son and am so glad I stuck with it. It is a really actually enjoyable experience now. We had thrush and pulling and painful issues and plugged ducts until about 4 months. I cried every time he nursed and was frustrated all the time. And then, all of a sudden, it just got better. I'll just list the things that I did/tried and the order I tried them:
1. Gentian violet & Nystatin
2. No sugar or yeast product diet
3. Dip nipples in mild vinegar solution
4. Lots of air drying (shirt off, no bra most of the day)
5. Washed towels, jammies and bras daily with vinegar in laundry. Someone also once told me that you could re-infect yourself and baby from YOUR SPOUSE so I washed hubby's stuff in the same manner and when intimate had a shirt on.
6. STOPPED using nursing pads and Lansinoh and just leaked and changed shirts or used cloth diapers
7. All purpose nipple ointment from a breastfeeding guide book I have. I could get the recipe for you if you want it.
8. Started re-examining positioning and stopped doing football and cross cradle and started just doing the good old cradle position.
9. Just let go of the stress and trying to get son into a routine and nursed whenever (even every half hour). The relaxation makes milk flow faster and the more frequently you nurse, the more often oxytocin is released which makes milk flow faster too...it's a vicious yet wonderful cycle that starts with you and your emotions.
It was around step 4 above that things started getting better and by step 8 I was convinced I was rid of the thrush and it was just a soreness issue due to positioning and son's clamped latch. This seemed to be a very long journey, with multiple visits to doctors, lactation consultants, LLL meetings and long talks on the phone with anyone who ever breastfed and late night hours of internet searching. I truly feel your pain and know that if you have made it this long, just hang in there sistah! You are not alone and doing the very best you can for your baby.

Allison - posted on 12/17/2008

7

20

0

Thank you all so much for your wonderful words of support and encouragement! I am on Diflucan, he is on Nystatin for thrush and Zantac for reflux. I am going to keep waiting it out and hope it gets better. I will definitely be trying the probiotics and yogurt. The hardest thing is going to be cutting out the sugar!!
I can't tell you all how wonderful it is that there are people out there offering you encouragement when you just feel like you are at the end of your rope! Thank you again...

Petrina - posted on 12/17/2008

6

8

0

Hi Allison. We had thrush at about 2 months old after battling a lot of obstacles ourselves. The pediatrician prescribed nystatin and my dr. told me to use it topically on my nipples as well. After doing additional research and talking with my lactation consultant, this wasn't going to get it. Mommy needs to be treated as well. I had to call my dr. three times and press them to give me something in addition to my son getting nystatin. Finally, they prescribed Diflucan for a week and it disappeared. I also boiled everything I could to get rid of it on the surface and washed my clothes in very hot water with a little vinegar and soap.



Please don't give up! I had milk blisters and clogged ducts with pain all over my chest and into my arms. Try having him nurse with milk blisters on the nipple and then clamp down and pull off!!! I was ready to die! My milk production also went down a little because of the stress and pain... but we nursed through it. I thought it would never get better, but it did. And I'm so glad I did. He's just over three months now and we're back to pain free, happy nursing sessions. Just hang in there and stay on top of your doctors if what they are giving you isn't working. The LC said thrush is very hard to get rid of and commonly comes back. She also told me that if it does come back to get gentian violet because, although it is a mess and a pain in the butt because it gets everywhere and stains everything, it works the best.

Mieke - posted on 12/17/2008

2

5

0

Hey I had the same problem the thrush came from reflux, also 3/4 m is a difficult period I saw it with family and friends too if you get past it it becomes a way of life just sit it out for a week it will get better For the pain you could try some ice befour feeding onyoure breast

Marly - posted on 12/17/2008

125

11

11

The only thing that would make you a bad mom in this situation, is if you stopped feeing him altogether, haha

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2008

23

7

3

My daughter seems to want to rip my nipples off too, with her mouth and her hands. Luckily I don't have very sensitive nipples so it doesn't bother me too much.
In your case, if it's getting that bad, don't feel upset if you have to start bottle feeding. Breastfeeding is supposed to be a beautiful bonding experience, and it sounds like you need a break, and it's just not 'beautiful' to you anymore. There's a lot of pressure to breastfeed, but it doesn't make you a bad mom if you decide that it's too much. I hope everything gets better for you.

Marly - posted on 12/17/2008

125

11

11

I thought he was pooping too, but then I open his dipe, and surprise, no poo, or pee. He is a mysterious little tyke.

Shae - posted on 12/17/2008

117

12

17

Holy Cow! I thought that I was reading something that I had written, because it describes what I am going through right now (and have gone through in the past!). My daughter is 3.5 months, and she just got her second bout with Thrush. The first time, she was a month old, and we dealt with it for 6 weeks, trying to get rid of it, and she doesn't use a paci or a bottle either. I haven't figured out where it comes from either, and it's so frustrating! I am hoping to nip it in the bud, this time...but yeah, my nipples are SO sore, and when she first gets thrush, she starts eating for extended periods of time, and also flails, which frustrates me, and so this also makes my nipples even more sore! I never experienced Thrush with my 1st baby, and my 2nd had it only once, and after battling it for 6 weeks, we just gave up and went to the bottle (she was 7.5 months by then). But for my daughter now, I just can't give up breastfeeding because she just too little...and I don't want to pay for formula when she would be on it 100% of the time right now.



Just know that it will eventually pass, and hang in there! The first time my baby had it...the dr. gave us Nystatin to use. After a month, that wasn't working, and they gave is Diflucan...and it cleared it up wonderfully and fast!

Emily - posted on 12/17/2008

1,065

17

124

The breath holding and grunting sounds like he's filling his diaper. My kids all do that even when they're just peeing.

Marly - posted on 12/17/2008

125

11

11

Oooh I really wish you were having a better experience with this. I remember when my nipples hurt SO bad, I dreaded every feeding. They hurt so bad that it raidiated to my entire boob, and all down my arms. They feel better now, but My son is like yours, he is a violent eater...he does everything yours does, and will even hold his breath for a second, and grunt really lound before resuming his eager eating...I wonder if he is getting too hungry by the time i feed him and that is why he is so wound up, when i feed him sooner, he seems more calm, and it is not a wrestling match, but a calm bonding experience. My nipples still get tender from time to time, but nothing like what your dealing with. I don't know how to help you other than tell you, your are undoubtedly a GREAT mom, and whatever you decide, your not failing, you will do what is best for you and your son. Good job with your dedication to this so far, I admire you, I had a fairly easy time and still was tempted to give up. I will most definatly be praying for you, whenever you pop into my head. Be encouraged, your a wonderful mommy I can tell.

[deleted account]

I am a mother of 3 and my 4 month old is the first that I have stuck with breastfeeding, so I know both worlds. For the thrush, dealing with it now myself, eat yogurt everyday, I have already noticed a difference and I have only been eating it two days. Get in yourself set in the mode that no matter what you are going to breastfeed. It is such a pain bottle feeding, with all the junk to carry around not to mention the stains that formula leaves on the clothes and the smell of formula is awful. Not to mention all the other benefits. You will feel so much better if you stick with it. Good luck and just stick with it.

Emily - posted on 12/17/2008

1,065

17

124

Yep, yep, yep, yeast feeds on sugar, so too much sugar in your diet could be affecting it. My husband is having some yeast issues and is on a yeast free/sugar free diet. You'd be surprised how many things yeast is in too. Also vinegar has some yeast in it, so most salad dressings are also out. Also, I don't drink, but I know beers and most wines can also contribute to a yeast overgrowth.

[deleted account]

We dealt with thrush for about 3 months. I gave my son Nystatin 4x/day, but that wasn't enough. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so my doc told me to cut out all sweets/alcohol, as those foods "feed" the yeast. The bonus to that was that I dropped another 5 pounds of baby weight! I also took a probiotic every morning, and I also found a probiotic specifically for babies, as there are no cow's milk ingredients - it's a powder that I would put on my nipples just before breastfeeding. Another option would be to add it to already-warmed breastmilk if you ever get him to take the bottle.

As for the violent eating, it could be that he's just getting more active? My little guy is 4.5 months right now, and I swear it's like he's doing gymnastics on me sometimes! I've had to wear the Hooter Hider at home just to cut out the distracting things for him to look at, and when he's nursing in the cradle position, I just get him to wrap his hand around my finger. I don't really interact with him during nursing... just try to be "all business" and get things done. It's still enjoyable, just more peaceful!

Good luck!

Emily - posted on 12/17/2008

1,065

17

124

Also, if reflux is an issue, you can try more vertical feeding positions, ie. him sitting on your lap, or in a sling while you feed. I personally avoid medications as much as possible and find there's usually more than one way to solve the same problem. That said, if your child has a legitimate medical condition, sometimes medication is the best option. :)

[deleted account]

I'm sorry about the thrush problem... I never dealt with that, but I hear it is really challenging.

As far as the "violent feeding"... my daughter would always kick and flail whenever I nursed, pushing on me with her hands and suddenly pulling off the nipple (with the nipple still firmly attached! Ouch!) She also would complain, cry and just generally seem unhappy when she nursed. Well, it turns out that she had reflux. So, you might want to ask your pediatrician if your baby's behavior is consistent with reflux. Also, a baby doesn't necessarily have to spit up a lot to have reflux (my daughter very rarely spits up) They can diagnose it by doing an x-ray, if necessary. My pediatrician put my daughter on Prevacid, and it helped a lot. Good luck!

Emily - posted on 12/17/2008

1,065

17

124

Thrush is a yeast infection and could be coming from your diet. Try avoiding foods with yeast (try a yeast-free bread, etc.). You should be on pro-biotics to encourage the growth of good flora for your system and avoid anti-biotics which only provide a greater advantage for the yeast.

Make sure you're sterilizing everything that comes in contact with your milk... breastpads (change them frequently, and if you're using cloth make sure they're being sterilized in the wash), bras, burp rags etc.

As for the violent eating. My kids will often do this when they're waiting for a let-down. You can try pumping or hand expressing until a let-down comes and then put him on the breast while the milk is flowing freely. You can also swaddle him when you feed him so that his arms are pinned to his sides. At around 3 months he should be hitting a longer growth spurt, and may be frustrated by a slower flow of milk. Try feeding him more often (like every hour at least) and allow him to suckle longer after each feeding to boost your supply.

Finally, you're doing great!! You've made it 3 1/2 months in spite of difficulties and you are truly providing the best for your baby. Don't give up now. I didn't have the information or support with my first to continue to breastfeed when I encountered difficulties (loss of supply due to pregnancy), and weaned my first at 4 1/2 months. It's still my biggest regret of parenthood, though the experience did help me with my commitment to nursing my second and it helped me nurse through my third pregnancy. I'm now slowly weaning my 2 1/2 year old, and constantly nursing my 11 month old.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and it does get easier. Keep up the good work!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms