Please reply. Really need some guidance

Julie - posted on 07/05/2016 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hello! My daughter is 5 weeks old and I have been exclusively pumping my breast milk and bottle feeding her for the past two weeks as physically breastfeeding did not work out (long story). Though less painful than breastfeeding, pumping is still extremely painful and I dread it. Not good for someone who pumps 8 times for 20 minutes plus every 24 hours and hand expresses for another hour plus on topmof that. I have tried different sized medela flanges, beaugen nipple cushions, and pumpin pals flanges. I know the setting is not too high as i can barely stand to turn the pump on and I know I don't have thrush. Also, I feel like I never get to spend any time quality time with my baby. I am either pumping, getting ready to pump, cleaning bottles and pump parts, hand expressing, chasing my 2 1/2 year old around the house( she could use some more good Mommy time too), or desperately trying to get some sleep. My poor husband doesn't get hardly any time with me or to do the things he would like to because I need him to pick up the extra slack and take care of the kids while I'm hooked up to the pump. And with the constant breast pain, physical intimacy is hindered quite a bit. Like seriously, if anything at all barely brushes my nipples it is awful (sheets, water from the shower, a shirt without a bra on, etc.) I can't even give him a hug without wincing. I feel like I'm under house/pump arrest. I can't go anywhere because ill have to pump soon or it takes so much time and effort to get packed up and out the door that is isn't even worth it. I really want to give my daughter breast milk. I know there is nothing wrong with formula. Breastfeeding did not work out with my first daughter and we had to go to formula. But knowing breast milk is better, I really just want to give my baby my milk. I'm just wondering if it is worth it to be this miserable. Constantly hooked up to a pump, my breasts and nipples are damaged and have been in constant pain since my baby was born, and I still have to supplement with formula some because I can't get my milk supply up enough. I have a history of postpartum depression and that is one of the main reasons breastfeeding did not work out with my first. I really don't want to go down that road again. One cannot be a good mother like that. And as I'm sure you know, breast vs bottle is such a controversial subject. some people think formula might as well be poison and if you cant breastfeed then you're a horrible evil person and a terrible, selfish mother. I feel embarassed and guilty to be seen feeding my baby formula and like i owe everyone an explanation or some excuse for why i am doing so. I know that's silly, but it really is how i felt with my first daughter. I guess I'm asking, do you think it is worth it for me to continue pumping to give my daughter breast milk or should I consider stopping to focus more on being Mommy/wife? Am I a quitter if I stop? Is it more selfish for me to stop because inhate this and i cant take carebof my family or keep going because I want my baby to have breast milk? If I keep going does anyone have any advice for how to deal with the pain from pumping? I am really looking for some guidance. Please pray God would give me clear direction and make His will known.

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Sarah - posted on 07/06/2016

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I read the replies and you have some advice to work with to try to get your sanity back and still give her your milk. What e really stood out to me in your OP was this phrase: "I'm just wondering if it is worth it to be this miserable" I completely understand how you feel, the pressure to breastfeed is enormous and there is a lot of judgement of mothers who do not breastfeed their babies. Whatever you decide to do, will be the best thing and the right choice for you and your family. This should be a joyful time for you, not a miserable, painful and exhausting period. You are not selfish, you are not a quitter, you are a human being and a worried mother. Feel good about the effort you have made and make no apologies for whatever you decide to do. Good Luck!

Sofia - posted on 07/06/2016

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Have you considered taking post-partum anxiety/depression medicine? Zoloft is good and won't transfer to your milk

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Stephanie - posted on 08/12/2016

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Hi Julie,
How are you doing now dear? I'm just seeing this. I wanted to encourage you and know that we are here for you. Are you taking care of yourself nutritionally? That is a big part of this whole breastfeeding thing. I know many moms that just don't get what they need everyday to make enough milk. I have several friends that have had success by adding some things to their diets that have made a huge impact. And if you are planning on anymore children this would be something to add in the future as well. Message me and I'd love to share more with you about what they have been doing.
Stephanie

Linda - posted on 07/25/2016

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I realize this is a couple weeks old. If you are still having problems with breastfeeding, I would strongly advise getting in touch with La Leche League. There are chapters all over. They can really help with the breastfeeding. You should not be that sore breastfeeding.

Also, I would consider anti depressants if there is one that is safe while breastfeeding. They really can make a diference.

You should talk to your doctor about both issues.

Julie - posted on 07/06/2016

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Thank you Margo. We're going to take it day by day. if I can get my breasts healed up a little ill try power pumping for my supply. Though I probably won't be able to do it as much. I'm a stay at home mom and my husband is gone a lot. For now we'll just keep trying and see if we can come up with a plan that works better for everyone.

Margo - posted on 07/06/2016

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With my second daughter (I didn't know enough about the breastfeeding process to do it for my 1st daughter) I ended up pumping exclusively. She stopped nursing after 8 weeks. I was so worried that my milk supply would dry up. I read about power pumping. Since the baby is so young and doesn't need to much milk, it is the perfect time to start a regime of power pumping. If you take an eight hour time period and pump for 15 minutes each hour, you will see a marked improvement in your output of milk within the next 2-3 days. After doing this for one day a week for three week, I was producing double the amount of milk than what my daughter needed. I was able to give her breast milk until I decided to stop after she turned a year old. I went back to work when my daughter was 8 weeks old. I only power pumped on a day when my daughter was at a sitter. On the other days, weekends and such, the entire year of pumping was a family process though. My husband had to take care of my 3 year old daughter and the baby while I pumped milk on my regular 3 hour cycle. When we went places, i would pump before or on the way to the venue to make sure I was able to have a 3-hour window of freedom from pumping. If you are determined to give your daughter breast milk, you will be able to work it out. On the other hand, if you decide it is best for your sanity to give her formula, do not feel bad about it. Remember - this too shall pass. It easy to get caught in a cycle and feel consumed with everything you feel NEEDS to happen, but in reality there are only a few things that need to happen. Your daughter should be fed - either formula or breast milk, and you have to stay sane. So do what works for the time being. All will work out. Keep praying - God will provide.

Sofia - posted on 07/06/2016

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They help and will help with 2 year old. I'm on it and it's helped me a lot, mostly for anxiety. Help me be a more calm mother

Julie - posted on 07/06/2016

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Yes, but I have another 2 year old little girl who needs her Momma too:) And I am really hoping to avoid needing any antidepressants this time.

Julie - posted on 07/06/2016

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Thank you. I'm going to keep trying. After a couple of really long heart to heart discussions with my husband I think we've decided to try to reduce the pumping time to no longer than 15 minutes at a time and maybe taper off to a couple less pumps a day. Perhaps that would help with the damage and give me more time to take care of my other responsibilities while still providing Anna with a decent amount of breast milk.

Sofia - posted on 07/06/2016

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You are not selfish or a quitter! I do love that you give her breast milk. Keep it up. It's so hard but keep going a little longer

Julie - posted on 07/06/2016

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Thank you for replying. I really do appreciate it. Breastfeeding just truly is not an option for us. My daughter is incapable of latching properly. I have worked with an IBCLC, a breastfeeding educator, and a LL Leader. I do know why, but even after 3 weeks of working on it diligently, she would not open her mouth wide enough and even if I can get a somewhat decent latch she will quickly pull off either all the way or to where just the tip of the nipple is in her mouth. We spend 2 plus hours every time just trying to get a latch. We would both get very frustrated and she would often fall asleep moments after attaching due to exhaustion and irritation from this awful process. I breastfed my first daughter for 4 weeks and developed severe postpartum depression that took over a year to climb out of. Even with medication. With her I was so determined to make breastfeeding work I nearly destroyed myself and my family. I grew to resent my daughter and was unable to love her. And even though her latch "looked perfect " it was one of the most painful experiences of my life that only got worse over the course of that 4 weeks. One of my biggest regrets is what I put my family through in my pursuit of breastfeeding. I cant let that happen again. I felt myself going down that same road this time and made the decision to stop before I fell apart again. And now after this daughter has been bottle fed for the past 2 weeks I highly doubt it has improved her latch. I know Had I continued trying to breastfeed it would have been bad for everyone. A loving, functional mother is more important than being breastfed. I just really wanted pumping to work out so I could provide her with my milk even if I couldn't physically attach her. I think I'm slowly realizing though that this just may not be Gods will for us. I don't know.

Sofia - posted on 07/05/2016

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I breast fed until she was 26 months. It was so hard! In the beginning I screamed in pain...whimpering every time for weeks! But gradually my nipples got used to it...the more you breast feed, the more the supply. I would get back on the cluster feeding and no pump. Pump is worse...breastfeeding eventually feels good and soothing! Do you have La Leche League? If you call, someone can come over and help

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