Do I give up on breastfeeding?

Kathy - posted on 10/26/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My baby girl is 5 weeks old, from day one we've had breast feeding issues, first she wouldn't latch, then we got a nipples guard and that helped. I finally after 2 weeks got rid of the guard but she still had issues taking one side and when we went to the Dr she wasn't gaining weight so I was told to offer a little formula after each feeding to make sure shes getting enough to eat. I was feeding every 1 1/2-2 hours during the day. That little bit keeps going up a little bit more in trying to get feedings down to every 3 hours so I decided to start pumping again to try and get some milk saved up and I'm getting MAYBE 30ml... which means that she's not getting enough right? To see if this was just because she had eaten I gave her what I pumped and formula so it was longer between pumping and same thing, hardly anything. Should I give up and just stick to the bottle and save us both frustration??

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[deleted account]

well for one hun you the pump doesnt pull as much as you little one can. so its hard to tell how much she is really getting. i know its hard at times but if you really want to breastfeed you will find it in yourself to keep going but if you decide to switch to formula dont feel bad. alot of people just cant do it be thankful she has gotten this much. i hope this helps

Karen - posted on 12/04/2010

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Yes, you should ! Been, there, done that. And now with my second child, I stopped much earlier and I haven't got any regrets. Well, ok, once in a while, but my baby is so much calmer now as when I was breastfeeding him, that I know, I made the right choice. And do not forget: a happy mum = a happy baby !
x

Iysha - posted on 10/28/2009

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I had issues too. Te routine all day was breast, bottle pump... non stop. I just went for formula feeding only. my daughter was premature, and by her 2 month well baby check up, she caught up to afull term baby's weight at 2 months. It served 2 purposes well. Gave her the nutrition and calories she needed to grow and gave me back my sanity.

Brandy - posted on 10/26/2009

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What your are able to pump has nothing to do with what your baby is getting. I breastfed for 8 and a half months and the whole time couldn't pump more than 1 ounce but she kept gaining and always had the right amount of wet diapers so she was getting enough. So, just keep doing what you are doing until your supply is up and I wouldn't even try to pump just keep putting the baby to your breast and your body will respond. It might take a little bit, but it will work itself out. Don't give up!

[deleted account]

man i know how frustrating it can be!! both my boys bf for about 4 mos, 5 with second.. the first stopped when he did b/c i was pg lol.. when he was 3 mos.. oh Lordy.. my milk changed, he didnt like it so much.. did great with the formula.. but he got those first 4 mos in so i think we did well.. my second boy was a piglet from day one lol.. loved to nurse sometimes every 1 1/2.. again.. oh Lordy.. felt like a milkmaid on top of that i pumped both sides after every feeding for at least 10 min.. hated pumping but it worked for me.. had enough milk to feed my whole street.. then when he was 5 mos i started supplementing with formula and rice cereal.. so the sweet piggie was ready for formula more often and really liked the cereal.. they're both healthy and thriving.. so i would say that if you really want to stick to it.. drink more water, stimulate your breasts a lot!.. the milk will come i promise, hard work but will work.. try to relax when bf, that was my fav part about it.. the relaxing hormones came in and helped me still work for bf my boys, i have great bond with them.. but make no mistake, if you want to switch to formula.. it will work also.. bond is still there either way

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Belinda - posted on 10/28/2009

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i had troubles with all 5 of my kids, i felt depressed, stressed and upset, i even tried expressing, but in the end i would give up with breastfeeding, but just remember it is your choice if you feel the need to give up for your peace of mind DO IT, she got the beneficial part from you, she will grow up healthy.

Tammy - posted on 10/28/2009

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Dont give up! I had sooo much trouble for the first 9 weeks too. He wouldn't latch for the first 48 hours, I had cracked, bleeding nipples, got mastitis twice and had a low milk supply. I tried everything! I had to supplement with formula as my baby didnt put on any weight over three weeks, he lost 50gm. I got a script for Domperidone which helped heaps, brought my milk supply back up. I used a supply line when i had to supplement. I expressed for a total of 4 weeks to try to get my nipples to heal, cos they just couldn't when my son was feeding. Expressing milk is no indication of how much milk you actually have. It was third time lucky of trying to successfully breastfeed that it finally worked.

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2009

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DO NOT GIVE UP!!! I stopped breast feeding when my daughter was around the same age as yours. I wish I had tried harder. I just didn't produce enough milk. Get some Mother's Milk Tea, it helps to calm you so that you produce more milk. Stress makes it harder for you to produce enough milk. Also, remember, your body will not make more milk than what your baby needs. Also, sometimes it helps to place a warm towel over the breast before pumping or feeding, it helps the milk flow a little better, or so I'm told. It also wouldn't hurt for you to pump as often as possible to help get your production up. I would get so excited when I would pump an ounce, but I never could get more than that. Good Luck!! Remember, just relax.

Johnny - posted on 10/28/2009

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Kathy, I've been there. I had 3 breast surgeries before my daughter was born and suffered major supply issues. She also has had some trouble with her latch all along. I had to supplement her with formula until she was 5 months. But it worked out. She's still breastfeeding at 15 months! And we have a wonderful nursing relationship. I am so glad that I did not give up. There have been moments when I wish it would have just come naturally, but I am so glad that I made the choice to make breastfeeding work.



So, check out www.lowmilksupply.org for tips. I did power pumping (every hour while she slept), I nursed every time she asked for it, I took domperidone, fenugreek, blessed thistle, nursing teas, and drank plenty of water to keep hydrated. When I first got my pump when she was a week old, I produced just a few drops. Now I pump around 5 oz on my lunch hour at work.



It was probably more difficult for me to get my supply up than for most women, because of the damage done to my breasts from the surgeries. Most women I know who have had supply issues have been able to turn them around pretty quickly with the right techniques. And if she's still having latch issues, talk to a Lactation Consultant or the La Leche League. Here are two more great websites for you:



www.kellymom.com

www.drjacknewman.com (definitely check out the super helpful videos)



And I definitely agree with the cookie suggestion, although I'd personally go for oatmeal (which some consider to be a great lactation aid).

Jen - posted on 10/28/2009

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I complety agree with Anna. You can do it. If you find that she is not eating as much, there are natural products you can take to increase your milk supply. Talk to a Lactation Nurse. Formula is more filling and harder for babies to digest. Breastmilk is easy to digest which explains why you have more frequent feedings. If you have to put her on every half and hour do it. She maybe going through a growth spert.



My son had problems latching on one side as well and it hurt like crazy. I went to a breastfeeding clinic and was shown the proper way to help him latch where it was comfortable for me and him. I found squeezing my breast like a hamburger to ensure my son had the entire nipple arola in his mouth was the best way he fed and it didn't hurt.



How is your let down?

Kathy - posted on 10/28/2009

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Hmmm pb cookies... those I'd have no danger of having to share, my fiance doesn't like them... as far as her being content after feeding... no... she cries wanting more and more till I've given her formula, which the amount of that she's eating is going up and up, we'll see what happens, after talking with my fiance, her daddy last night, he agrees that we should just go to formula, she did get the first milk from me, and I know from the nurses and lactation consultant I was working with at the hospital thats the most important part. But haven't completely given up just yet...

Jen - posted on 10/28/2009

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DON'T GIVE UP!!!!, I had so many troubles in the begining, but I didn'y quit. The benefits are huge not just for baby, but for you as well. Is your daugher content after feeding? Don't feed on a schedule, feed on demand. Your baby will tell you when she hungry. Pumping is hard period and your daugther is much better at getting to the milk then a pump. So don't go by what you pump. Remember your baby doesn't need alot of milk in the begining, there stomachs are still very small and the frequent feedings on demand will satisify her. As long your baby is not crying and she sleeps after feeding your doing well. You will get the hang of it.

Jennefer - posted on 10/28/2009

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Make yourself a nice batch of peanut butter cookies! Don't share, eat them all yourself. Look up La Leche League online and call the number listed for your area and ask for help, if you want to keep going. It's hard for so many moms at first, but it gets better. It's much easier with support and knowledge, don't struggle alone!! And I'm serious about the cookies, make whatever kind you love!!

Kathy - posted on 10/27/2009

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I know from the formula I have given her that she eats more than 30ml... when we were still in the hospital they had us giving her formula when she wouldn't latch and she was eating 45-50ml then... so far I'm still trying but no matter how long I feed for without formula shes not satisfied from me, she'll cry for more food till I've given her at least 60ml formula, sometimes shes still hungry after that.

Anna - posted on 10/26/2009

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Don't give up, you are doing great to stick at it this long despite the frustration. It can take them a few months to truly get the hang of it. Your doctor is not doing you any favours by telling you to give her formula - this will only reduce your milk supply.

The best thing to do is let her nurse as often as she wants. When my son was that age, it seemed to be every half hour. It is best to nurse rather than bottle-feed if you can, because she will get more milk from nursing than what you can pump. 30ml is not bad at all! They only have tiny little stomachs - that's probably all she can fit in. A little and often is fine.

Listen to your intuition and try different things to see what works for you and your little girl. My son went through a stage where he would only latch on if he could suck my little finger for 5 minutes first ie they all have their quirks! Don't worry about conforming to the doctors standards - like feeding so many ml every 3 hours - babies just don't work on schedule like that :) Good luck.

Christine - posted on 10/26/2009

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Quoting Anna:

Keep it up! Remember, your baby is much more effective than a pump, so the amount you pump is much less than your baby is getting. Also, when you supplement your body will make less milk because it's not "needed".

Try this if you're worried about supply issues: Take a weekend and just laze in bed with your baby, plenty of fluids, and the dvr. Have your significant other wait on you (especially at diaper time!) and only get up to pee. Feed baby on demand until s/he falls asleep. Your body will be making an ample supply by Monday!


 



Yes to what Anna said!  Nursing vacations work wonders, as does:  oatmeal, mother's milk tea, lots of good food, water, rest (when you can get it) and lots and lots of close contact with your little one.  Allow her to be at your breast as much as you can.  This will significantly help, even if it is for a few minutes.  I know it is frustrating, and I had some of the same issues (nipple gaurd, latching, etc.).  You CAN do it and so can she...it just takes time, and patience.  I know yours are wearing thin, but you can do it.  Hang in there Mama.  Believe in your ability to breastfeed your child. 



 



MDC Rocks--check this out:  http://www.mothering.com/discussions/for...



Kellymom:  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/index.html

Faith - posted on 10/26/2009

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my son (he'll b a month this friday) refused to latch on immediately so i pumped but i wasnt producing much so i just mixed my milk in with the similac and even tually as time wore on i started producing less and less so i quit. at least u tried... u gave her what u could just like i did for my son. if she refuses to latch then u can't make her. but do what u feel is best for u and ur lil girl

Tanya - posted on 10/26/2009

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Kathy,
I was only able to breastfeed for three months due to health issues on my part. Like you, I also had problems with breastfeeding. Everything from latch issues to thrush to low milk supply. I was supplementing with formula just to give my guy enough food.

The good news is that he is now 9 months, fed on formula alone since month 3 and he is in the top of his weight percentile. He is a very big boy, wearing 18 mo. clothing. I had many people tell me that kids on formula wouldn't thrive as well but this was not the case for my boy.

As well, I was told that they needed the antibodies and everything in the breastmilk to be healthy. Well, my boy has only been sick once in his whole 9 months. Other kids I know on breast milk have been sick far more often.

I don't write this to say that there is a better way. Just that you shouldn't feel guilty or bad if you choose to use formula. A lot of people said things that made me feel guilty but now I can see that my boy is very healthy and it has all worked out fine.

Ashley - posted on 10/26/2009

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I breastfeed for a month and a half, It ended up back firing on me because I was not pumping when she ate from a bottle, which I should have known better. I ended up doing half breast milk and half formula for another month and that worked great because she was still getting some breast milk (some is better than none) but I ended up giving in to the formula and shes been doing great on it. I would suggest to do whatever YOU feel is right whether that be all breast,half and half or formula. I beat myself up a lot once I stopped breastfeeding which just led to emotional drain so follow your heart and do what works best for you and your baby :)

Kimberly - posted on 10/26/2009

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I couldn't breast feed either and now Cody is in the 100% on the charts. you have to stop and ask yoursefl how much stress is this for me? You gave it a try!

Lori - posted on 10/26/2009

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I breastfed and bottle fed. I think it's a very personal choice. i produced enough for my son so he didnt technically need the bottles but i felt that sometimes I needed a break. i was extremely sore and had blisters, from him latching incorrectly the first day, that lasted over two months. i went with the modo that any amount of breast milk is better than none, so even just one day is better than no days at all. i also feel that they make formula for a reason. i am a completely formual fed baby, never had an ounce of breast milk, and i'm fine. so far my son has had both, and he's fine too! do whatever makes you most comfortable and is the least stressful on you physically and mentally. that can mean to only breastfeed if its something you feel strongly about, not breastfeed at all because it's causing you to much stress or do both so you know she's eating enough but also getting some of the really important nutrients from the breastmilk. good luck and congrats on your baby!

Jessica - posted on 10/26/2009

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USING AND EXPRESS PUMP IS A DIFFERENT SUCKING TO A BABY SUCKING ON UR NIPPLES IF UR BABY ISNT GAINING WEIGHT IT MAYBE THAT THE BABY IS GETTING THE NEEDED FAT FROM UR BREAST MY FRIEND HAD THIS PROBLEM AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING WITH THE BABYS JAW AND COULDNMT GET THE SUCKING WRITE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT ... WHEN U HAVE A SHOWER MASSAGE UR BREASTS UNDER HOT WATER AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Catherine - posted on 10/26/2009

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Don't quit yet! You know the benefits of breastfeeding, and clearly are trying everything you can think of to make it work! If this is what you want for your baby, KEEP AT IT!! It isn't always easy, but not everything is, when it comes to motherhood. Keep on keeping on! You'll make it work!

Tara - posted on 10/26/2009

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Go with what you feel is best for your baby. If you want to continue to try to pump and breastfeed, go for it, if you feel that switching to formula is best for you, do that. Speaking from the experience I had with both my children, sometimes you just can't do the breastfeeding and need to switch. My lactation consultant and doctor both told me that if my milk hadn't come in after 3-4 weeks then it would likely not come in sufficiently to feed my kids - like you I was pumping and getting less than 30 ml (out of both breasts, that was with pumping and feeding on demand - I did have a breast reduction about 10 years ago, which has made a difference in my situation though).

In the end I decided that rather than have my kids associate feeding time with stress and tears and still be hungry, I would go with the bottle and then keep trying to pump and supplement in the breastmilk. I also tried putting both kids on the breast first, then bottle, then pumping, and unfortunately, nothing I tried (including the drug Domperidone, which is what I believe Bridgette is speaking of) worked. Both girls are healthy and thriving and I'm much less stressed and worried about them not growing properly now (my oldest is 19 months and my youngest is just over 3 weeks).

Ultimately, do what you feel is best for you and your baby and don't let anyone else tell you what you should or shouldn't do.

Tracy - posted on 10/26/2009

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I am a mom of three and have been a working mom until recently. I too had trouble with nursing. Yes I know that breastmilk is best but at the same time, I feel there is nothing wrong with formula. I was able to nurse and pump some breastmilk with all three of my kids for the first couple of months, but then I used formula. My kids turned out just fine. Bottom line... don't stress about it. If breastfeeding works for you great, if not use formula and don't let anyone pressure you into feeling guilty about using formula. If you aren't stressed your baby won't be stressed either. But I would give it a little more time, and see if your milk does come in more before you give up completely. Good luck.

[deleted account]

First off, don't stress! You can do this if you want to and are comfortable continuing - I think the best thing you can do is not try to space feedings out the 3 hours. Let her eat as much as she wants and as often as she wants. That's the way she triggers our body to make more milk for her. In those first several weeks, sometimes my son would want to eat every 2 hours, and each of the feedings would last an hour and a half! But breastfeeding is all supply and demand - the more she feeds, the more you make. I'd suggest cutting down on the formula supplement (since that just means she's not at the breast as much), but if you're not comfortable doing that, you should at least pump whenever she gets a bottle. Pump for 15 minutes or so, and always at least 5 minutes after the milk has stopped flowing. What you are able to pump is not an indicator of how much she's eating (babies are way more efficient) so don't let that worry you. I'd highly recommend this website for breastfeeding advice:
http://www.kellymom.com

Tamara - posted on 10/26/2009

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I had breastfeeding issuses and just decided to stop, my baby is almost 4 weeks old and wouldn't latch on..and with a nipple guard in the hospital he did for a while, but he wasn't getting anything and gave up, to get my baby some food I decided to supplement with formula, it's not the same as trying to breastfeed but your baby gets food and after the colostrum(immunities from you) the milk is just pretty much fat for the baby to gain weight..Now I'm not saying don't breastfeed do what you want, I would first cry because my baby wouldn't last on and nurse. When I pumped I only got an ounce or less out of each breast, which I would add to his formula. If you feel like you should stop breastfeeding then do it, you're not less of a mother for formula feeding, if you want to continue and try and you're not getting much milk I would supplement just so you know your baby is getting feed well.

Samantha - posted on 10/26/2009

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I had the exact same problem. I ended up drying up and couldn't breastfeed anymore. It's kind of disappointing because I know breast milk is the most healthy, but I unfortunately had no choice. Although you may have a chance to up your milk supply. You need to pump as much as possible even if there is nothing coming out because it sends a message to your body that you need more milk. And if your baby is having such problems taking to breastfeeding, then just put the breast milk in a bottle. It's easier that way anyway. My doctor had told me that when I still had milk, I needed to add a little formula powder to it to up the calories and that really helped my baby gain weight. Ask your doctor if you maybe need to up the calories in your baby's bottles. If they think it's best for your baby they will give you directions on how to do it. Hope this helps.

Bridgette - posted on 10/26/2009

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No don't give up. Go to your Ob gyn they have pills you can take to increase milk...completely safe. Then if that is still to much remember. Whats right for mom is right for baby.

Priscilla - posted on 10/26/2009

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I too would recommend to increase your pumping and see if that helps you make more milk. Both of my children were premature and never latched on. I really wanted them to have the benefits of breast milk so I PUMPED for a year and gave them that from a bottle. In the beginning I was pumping every two hours and it was a huge hassle but very worthe it to me....Ultimately it's up to you but if you really want to do it, don't give up. As was previously mentioned there are a lot of resources available( from the hospital where you delivered, in the community, etc...) You have to do what's best for you and your baby. :)

Anna - posted on 10/26/2009

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Keep it up! Remember, your baby is much more effective than a pump, so the amount you pump is much less than your baby is getting. Also, when you supplement your body will make less milk because it's not "needed".

Try this if you're worried about supply issues: Take a weekend and just laze in bed with your baby, plenty of fluids, and the dvr. Have your significant other wait on you (especially at diaper time!) and only get up to pee. Feed baby on demand until s/he falls asleep. Your body will be making an ample supply by Monday!

Marcy - posted on 10/26/2009

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Kathy-

You can do this. Just relax. Don't try and rush anything. I would say that nursing a newborn was one of the toughest things I have ever done. We had problems latching, my son lost weight, I used a nipple guard, I felt like a walking zombie etc. I think after 3 months it started to get easier. Breastfeeding is truly amazing and if you can do it push forward. Just relax, put your feet up, watch some good movies and let nature take its course. I tried so hard to put my son on a feeding schedule when he was nursing but he was always a snacker and nursed for 10 minutes, lost interest, played with his toes for ahile, took a quick nap and then wanted to nurse all over again. I questioned over and over again if we son was getting enough food. My lactation consultant actually sent me home with a scale and said weigh him before you feed him and then weigh him after (this is how bad I was). Have you gone to see a Lactation Consultant or just a doctor? If you have access to a LC I would highly reccomend it. We live in the next town over from Dr. Sears and we were blessed with being able to go to their LC. She saved me from having a breakdown. Best of luck to you.

Lucy - posted on 10/26/2009

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Your baby can get more out of you than the pump can - you won't let down as well to the pump. My daughter also had severe issues with latch and nursing so we did switch to bottles and pumped milk. It took a long time for me to build up my milk with the pump. WIth all of the health advantages for both of you, it is work working through to the nursing (believe me, exclusivly pumping is worse!) I know it is hard to see that when you are sleep deprived and frustrated!! I would also consider switching back and forth between sides every 10 minutes while nursing and decrease your use of the bottle. If your child is getting full from a bottle, they will not work to stimulate your supply. Also, my lactation consultant said the best way to get your supply up is by pumping for 5 minutes directly after you have nursed, and pumping both sides at the same time. Doing both sides at the same time increases the release of oxytocin which is the hormone that stimulates your milk. Also, by pumping your self dry and then continuing to pump for a little bit tells your body that the baby is STILL HUNGRY, and then you will make more!



Good luck!!!! You can do it!!!!

Samantha - posted on 10/26/2009

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I gave up after similar struggles with my twins and I can honestly say it is my biggest regret, so just make the decision that you feel is right and that you won't regret.

Good luck.

Heather - posted on 10/26/2009

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The breastfeeding Moms will tell you NO! DON'T GIVE UP...while the Moms feeding with formula may say YES! I am one of those breastfeeding Moms that did not give up. I personally feel that the benefits of breastfeeding are too huge to give up. I would highly suggest that you meet with a lactation specialist a couple times or more until you feel more comfortable. (drink lots of water, eat well, feed very frequently, your body will stay up with her sucking) I know this may sound silly but as soon as I quit worrying about how much milk my son was getting he started to climb the weight percentile scale. It is so hard to begin with especially if you haven't done this before. AND I also get that some Mom's feel more comfortable feeding their children formula. You need to ask yourself what is the most important for you and the baby and go for it whatever that may be :-)

Lauren - posted on 10/26/2009

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Sounds like you're having a bit of issues. If you're really into breastfeeding I wouldnt listen to anyone else and go with your heart. I also had troubles at the beginning and was told to supplement formula, that lasted one premade bottle. If you've started pumping you could pump more often and hopefully get better results. Breastmilk supply depends on your baby and if your body thinks you've got a really hungry baby your supply might increase. Keep up the good work, sounds like you've gone through problems already and came out on top. You can do this.

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