Should I give up breast feeding? I need help

Nikki - posted on 02/04/2010 ( 208 moms have responded )

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My baby is 3 months old and I am considering putting her onto formula, this is not something I am taking lightly and to be honest I dont realy want to but I am having so many problems with breast feeding im getting to the point where I just cant do it anymore. My baby has never latched on properly, I have been to lactation consultants to drs and midwives and it never makes a difference, therefore she has a lot of wind and I have sore nipples, my supply has gradually been decreasing as well so I went on maxalon to try and help and now I find that my milk is like water, my baby is not sleeping, is always cranky, I havent slept for more than two hours at a time and im just exhausted. When it comes to feeding her she is fussy, pulls off every few seconds and it takes up to an hour to get a good feed into her, but then she still needs another feed two hours later. I just feed sick at the thought of having to bottle feed her, I know it's selfish but more because it's just something specal between us, I feel like if I give that up then im just not needed or something, stupid I know and also the health benefits for her, I just dont know what to do, if I do put her onto formula can anyone recommend brands they have liked.

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Krista - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi Nikki -- I've got the big ol' boobs too, and found that holding the baby straight across did NOT work well for me.



What worked for me was this: sit cross legged on the floor or on a bed -- someplace comfy. Put a pillow next to your left hip, with one end of the pillow resting on your thigh (we'll use your left side for demonstration purposes right now.)



Now, pick up your baby and tuck her under your left arm, with your left hand and upper arm cradling the back of her head and shoulders. Her lower body is resting on the lower part of the pillow, so you don't have to hold it up. Line her up so that her head is comfortably on your lap and she's looking straight up at you. The top of her head should be around the middle of your thigh.



Now, take your left breast in your right hand. Hold it with your thumb on top of the breast, and your fingers underneath the breast, about an inch or so back from the nipple area. Press your thumb straight backwards towards your chest so that instead of pointing straight forward, your nipple is angled up a bit.



You might have to lean forward a bit for this -- eventually you'll be able to get more comfortable, but for now, getting the latch is important. You can always adjust your position later once you've got the hang of things. Lean forward (don't hunch over, though -- you should still be able to keep your back straight) so that the nipple is just touching the baby's mouth. You might need to tickle her upper lip or nose with your nipple to make her open up her mouth. When she does open her mouth, insert your breast as far as you can into her mouth, aiming your nipple NOT towards the back of her throat, but towards the middle part of the roof of her mouth. Once she starts sucking, she'll pull your nipple into the proper place.



I found this position worked a lot better for me as a large-breasted woman mainly because my boob wasn't squashing my baby's nose, and I could actually SEE my nipple and how it was positioned towards his mouth. Plus I only needed the one hand to hold up my baby's head, and could use the other hand to hold my boob where it needed to be. When I tried aiming my nipple towards the back of his throat, he wound up pulling my nipple downward, and I was getting really nasty abrasions on the nipple itself from his tongue. My sister advised me to try angling it upward a bit more, and it worked a treat.



I hope this helps. Please let me know if it's not working and I'll talk you through it and see if we can work it out.

Cassie - posted on 02/04/2010

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Also, for the latch and soreness, you could try a nipple shield. It is a wonderful short term fix and can also be used long term even though it isn't suggested. I'm still nursing my 15 month old using a nipple shield. I would have given up long before 3 months had I not begun using them. I have had no issue with supply, never had sore nipples, and it completely solved our latch problem. Although it is not the best solution, it is one that has allowed me to nurse my daughter for so long and may work for you as well.

I can't give any advice on formula as I really don't have any experience with it but if that is the route you choose to go, you may have to just try several until you find one that will not bother your daughter. From what I have heard, most babies who switch from breastfeeding to formula feeding have a lot of constipation and gas issues which would be why you may have to try out several different brands before you found one that worked.

I do suggest that you try to continue nursing. Krista's question is a very good one. You may be having discomfort and latch issues if you are very large chested and not using the best hold for both you and your daughter. Also, if you do decide to continue nursing, once you have your latch worked out, your supply can pick right back up. Just because it may have dwindled, doesn't mean that it can never come back strong. :) Whatever you decide, everything will work out for your little girl but if you are able to continue nursing, at least you'll save a bundle on formula as it can get pricey.

Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2010

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I agree with the nipple shield suggestion. Also, foremilk, especially if you are on something to increase your supply, IS very watery. So, pump it out first, then let your daughter have the richer hindmilk. I had to do that with my son, who is now 4. He had oral sensory problems and couldn't handle prolonged oral contact. He also wasn't strong enough for it, so we were still feeding every 2 hours at 7 months. Eventually the pump-and-nurse method should increase your supply so you don't need the supplement anymore, and you'll be able to pump less.



Failing all, formula is not poison, and it's better for her to grow on formula than to founder around on what milk she can get from you. She will still need you just as much as she does now, just in a different way.

[deleted account]

Hi Nikki...I went through the same thing with my daughter....10 yrs ago and similar with my son...I tried for 6 weeks, I supplemented ,pumped,etc etc, drove myself and everyone around me crazy..the best advice I got..."you tried, you did your best, now it is time to also take care of you, so you can take care of your child properly ,calmly and less emotionally...she will be fine..she will not love you any less,both my kids are fine and love me...You will be starting cereal soon and puree's,she will get all her vitamins, you can also supplement with vitamin drops. As for the formula...I used SMA which does not exist now..it was the "plainest" formula I found , anything with extra iron or extra omega was very hard on their stomaches, but your child may be different.Good luck...

Darlene - posted on 02/08/2010

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Nikki,

I went through a very similar time when my baby boy was three weeks old. He has serious issues latching at first and my milk was slow to come in because of a lot of bleeding during an emergency c-section. A few things that might help. Newborns and young babies under six months old will feed best on demand. There is no set schedule. Because their tummies are so tiny they eat every hour or every fifteen minutes. At three months, yours is probably wanting to cluster feed all evening and I know your nipples must be very sore. This is completely normal behavior for a baby of her age and you are not alone, trust me. Bottles may seem easier to you at this point but, in the long run, they are so much more work and you miss out on the bonding that nursing gives you. Don't give up breastfeeding if it is something you are truly invested in. I know it is hard--I have been there. It is so worth it once it gets going. Have you tried fenugreek herbs to help with supply? You can get them an any natural food store. Also, if you are exhausted, overwhelmed and feel like things are completely out of control, this could be postpartum depression. This was my problem. I was so emotionally out of whack that I felt like no matter how much I wanted to nurse, I just didn't have the energy and couldn't do it. I went on antidepressants (Wellbutrin and the LC assured me they were safe for the baby because hardly any gets into the milk) and within a day I felt so much better. We are nursing still and he will be a year old this month. Keep seeing the lactation consultants, they are a godsend. Have you tried pumping to bring up supply? During the first two months I would nurse him, pump, and nurse again. I know it feels like you have no time for yourself, and maybe that you are losing your mind. But, you are right, this is a special thing between you. I almost put my son on formula at three weeks for the same reason but the night I decided to let them dry up, we got him out of the bath and he did that rooting for the breast thing. We were both so relaxed and I thought--what the hell? One last time. He latched on without a problem and we looked into each others eyes and I knew we could make it through it. Have you tried nursing her lying down next to you so you can sleep while she nurses? We cosleep and nurse lying down and that saved us! Good luck and let me know if you need someone to talk to!

Darlene

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Briita - posted on 02/10/2010

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i am not sure how many people have suggested this allready, but i agree with the women that recomend a nipple shield. i see no reason for it to not be a long term solution if that is what works for you and your baby!! and i also want to congratulate you on how long you have breastfed! it is hard work, and you are doing something amazing for your baby!! i hope everything goes well for the two of you.

Kate CP - posted on 02/10/2010

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Thank you ladies for your helpful responses. This thread is now closed to further comments.

Sheila - posted on 02/10/2010

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Please don't give up. Breastfeeding is a challenge. Try adjusting your diet to a more bland, non-spicey diet and drink some protein shakes. Sometimes foods can change the taste of your milk. Try suplementing half water and juice combo to extend the feedings so you can have time to produce your own milk.You also need to increase your clear fluid intake so your body isn't deprived. Your body will give to the baby first.

Annie - posted on 02/10/2010

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I had all the same problems as you. What it required was my mom coming and staying with me to let me get SOME sleep and pumping after EVERY feeding, then I would give my son what I had pumped out. At first it was just a few drops, so we supplemented with formula. (can't remember which brand). It took two months, but by the time we hit that point I was pumping out 4 ounces out of each breast, and he was nursing so well that we had a ton of milk stored in the freezer. I nursed him until he was fourteen months old. I have had issues with nursing each of my children, but by the time they are about three months old we usually have gotten over the rough patches. Of course I am married to a dietician. He also works for WIC and has had lactation training, so that helps. Wish you the best. Nursing is a wonderful way to be close to your child and to enhance immune systems, but it is not the only way. If you can't make it work, and it is taking a toll on your bonding with your child, the cons may outweigh the pros.

Nicole - posted on 02/10/2010

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If you are having trouble and causing this much discomfort I would say you should switch to formula. The formula's are so much like breast milk that the negative (your problems with breast feeding) outweigh the positives. Do not feel guilty. Enjoy holding and rocking your baby with a bottle and have the same bonding w/out the negatives that you were experiencing. Good Luck!

Selena - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have to tell you that breastfeeding for me WAS NOT a joyride. It took many months of working at it and doing on demand feeding (sometimes every hour) before she really took to it. I had to eat ALOT of food and liquids to produce enough milk and I still had to do on demand feeding. I tried supplementing with Similac, she didn't mind it but I did. I was determined to do it for her sake. But don't feel bad not all mom's can do it. If you are being drove litterally crazy with it all then you should stop. I, however. pushed it to the limits with my Sophia. I just knew I had to do it so I stuck it out. It was hard. No sleep ever until she beagan crawling at 9 months That tired her out). I was doing every hour I'd say the first 3 to 4 months, and at least every 2 to 3 hrs after that untll she was about 10 mnths. Then she began eating some and usinga sippy cup with water and a little juice. Then at 11 months I started her on whole organic milk and still breadtfeeding. I did it until she was 13 months and she just quit, just like that no weeing at all. Kinda hurt me but I knew she was done.

It's a hard call. Only you can make the decision. Just know all babies are different and that I have been through it with sucess. Sophia was hard to latch, alot of time was spent doing the act of breastfeeding, she was cranky and cried alot and slept very little, but to me it was worth the aggrevation.

If you need any more info you can reach me at mssselenak@yahoo.com. I'd be glad to answer anything you need. There are people out there that care. Selena

Amanda - posted on 02/10/2010

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maybe try expressing, give yourself a chance to heal and baby still gets the best of both worlds... your milk will be like water if it's just foremilk that she's getting which could be the reason that shes cranky and not sleeping, she needs to get the hind milk to be satisfied its the milk at the front that gives her the wind... found this out the hard way too...

Heaven - posted on 02/10/2010

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Consider acid reflux or a milk intolerance. Not your milk of course, but the cows milk that might be going into yours from the things you eat and drink. I had similar problems with my son (minus the latching problems). We later found out he has a milk intolerance. Of course if it hurts her she won't want to eat, but is hungry and must eat... thus the pulling off every few seconds. I eliminated main dairy products thinking that I was dairy free but it's in EVERYTHING! Its in Nutrigrain bars, bread, cereal just so much. It comes by many different names to. Here is a link of all the different types of names to look for in nutrition labels. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/mil... It is so hard to eliminate dairy products from a diet. It was in so many foods I ate that I just couldn't do it. We switched him to Soy formula and he was a much happier baby. Although, many babies with a lactose intolerance also have a soy intolerance so that is something to keep in mind. It wont be bad if you switch your kido to formula, you gave breastfeeding a great try. Keep in mind that if you are still having problems with her and are using regular or even soy formulas you might have to go to a hypo allergenic formula such as Nutramigen. Cows milk based formulas are really hard for babies to digest. Cows milk is meant for baby cows, not human babies. The proteins are so much larger than human ones that it is harder for them to digest then breast milk. Or, it might be reflux. These are things you should bring up to her pediatrician. Don't feel greedy if you still want to breastfeed her, breast if best after all!

Gemma - posted on 02/10/2010

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I had simular problems to you with breast feeding and also felt the same about putting my son onto formula. IT WAS THE BEST DECISION!!! he is healthy and happy I can see he loves me dearly and no amount of breast milk is EVER going to change the bond you have with your baby. At the end of the day it isn't working for both of you and changing I think is the best for both of you. Good luck, you can do it!!

Janet - posted on 02/10/2010

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The best benefits are supplied to the baby during the first six weeks of breast feeding. Actually, if you can do it for the first two weeks, that is sufficient as far as nutrients and antibodies, etc. I had to stop after 8 weeks because I had to return to work. I also had to supplement my breast feeding with formula throughout the first 8 weeks because I wasn't producing enough milk. Don't feel guilty. You're a great mom. You've given your baby the best you had to offer. Believe me, your baby will be glad you put her/him on formula. The baby will sleep sounder and so will you. You can't be at your best without the proper rest. I used Similac and Infamil - but that was 31 years ago LOL - I'm sure things have improved. My daughter just turned 31, is healthy, happy and graduated from College with honors. Hope this encourages you.

Janina - posted on 02/10/2010

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I don't have any real advice to offer regarding breast feeding. That being said. Please stop beating yourself up. It sounds like you are honestly trying to make the breast feeding work. You are being a great mom! I hope that you find a solution whether it be through a new technique or through formula.

Good luck.

Colinda - posted on 02/10/2010

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No your not being selfish, maybe you are too tense and babies can sense this. Also have you tried getting regular nipples and cutting the ends off so and putting them over your own nipples, this helps the baby latch prpperly. This helped me, and what are you putting on your sore nipples? Not that nipple cream they sell, yuck have you tasted it? I used vitamin e capsules. And yes I had calluoses on both my nipples when i quit feeding after 6 and 1/2 months. Lanlolin will help them go away. Dont give up good luck!

Lori - posted on 02/10/2010

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Nikki,

When I had my son he did not latch onto the breast. He was fussy, agitated, not eating and I was a miserable wreck. I could not keep myself together, I was so upset that I could not get him to eat. I talked to the nurses at the hospital and with my doctor and no one could help. Finally my mom told me to quit trying and put him on a bottle. I pumped my breasts and give him the milk in a bottle, then I supplemented it with formula. He instantly calmed down and was a happy baby. He got all the colostrum from my milk and he ate like a pig. My suggestion to you is to stop trying the breast. Give her a bottle and she will be happy. If you are still producing the milk, pump it and use it with the formula. There is nothing selfish about it. If she is fussy, cranky, not eating, you need to stop. You can still have that special bond with your daughter with a bottle. it's the way you hold her and love her that creates the bond.

Judy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have been there and know what you are going through. My kids are now 10, 6 and 3. With the 1st one, we sailed through breastfeeding for 13 months.. she never had a drop of formula. But #2 was a different story. After having such success, I figured I'd be a shoo-in for the next one. Wrong! I remember getting her a bottle ready when she was 4 days old and literally sobbing that I was going to bottle feed. Guess what? She was fine. We ended up doing every other feeding formula. It worked for her and for me. And with #3, with the busy life I had, I did the same thing and barely thought about it. He did well too.



I know there is so much out there about how breast is best. And it may have its advantages which are documented. But I also contend that those results are flawed as it is not based sheerly on the content of what the baby is fed. Breast feeding moms are more likely to cuddle their babies - how can they not? I think that has a much bigger impact to the life of a child than the food source. If you are taking the time to mimic breastfeeding with a bottle by cuddling and holding instead of propping, I think that is 1/2 the battle.



Now that my kids are older, I see that there is so much more to worry about as they get older. Bullies, drugs, sexting, education, society, economy, what is this world coming to kind of worries. I can't tell which kid in my daughter's 4th grade were breast vs. bottle fed. Nutrition is the utmost importance but there is so much more out there when it comes to being a mom. Don't let this one thing skew your thinking.

Mary - posted on 02/10/2010

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i think u did great i had the same prob, it all depends on what u think is best u kno her better than anyone... my soreness went away about a month in.and you should be eating and drinking enuff.occasionally supplementing is okay but be carefull if u stiil want to breastfeed ,not to doit more than once a day(i did it at night) so that your body doesnt slo down production,also pump after feeds that will help... but if u decide to do formula dont feel bad,you did it longer than alot of people,and soon she'll start on slids anyway...good luck!

Mary - posted on 02/10/2010

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i think u did great i had the same prob, it all depends on what u think is best u kno her better than anyone... my soreness went away about a month in.and you should be eating and drinking enuff.occasionally supplementing is okay but be carefull if u stiil want to breastfeed ,not to doit more than once a day(i did it at night) so that your body doesnt slo down production,also pump after feeds that will help... but if u decide to do formula dont feel bad,you did it longer than alot of people,and soon shell start on slids anyway...good luck!

Michele - posted on 02/10/2010

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The best people to ask about this is the La Leche league google one in your area. They are supreme breastfeeders and will come to your house to help you if needs be or you could just attend their classes. Some of them are extented breastfeeders but take what you need from them. Their help is amazing with them I nursed my son for a year. I am really proud of that. But that is the average in australia. I used the la leche league when i was still in ireland and the help was incredible they are never judgemental. Good luck plus my boobs where an F when i was nursing. Remember everyone is different so don't fret.

Lecy - posted on 02/10/2010

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Fran, I drank about 3 pints a day nothing major but I did make sure my diet was good
cause I believe that helps you milk supply too. I had bleeding sore nipples for the first 12 wks but then it was fine, may b my nipples are now made of stone :)

Fran - posted on 02/10/2010

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Out of curiousity, how much water do you drink?? I had to drink about two gallon of water a day to keep my supply up. I too had a lot of soreness and bleeding with both girls.

Lecy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I feel so sorry for you Reading the above It sounds like you have been having a reall tough time:( it sounds like you could be a little stressed and I wouldn't blame you with the situation you are in, this however could be effecting your milk supply. I had areally hard time getting my head around giving my little one formula

and he was 10 months so I can understand you upset. Personally I would try giving your

little a mixture of breast and bottle, may be giving the formula before bed thus allowing you to get a little more rest at night, which could inturn help your milk supply as you will be a little more relaxed. Some babies are just naturally

hungry so please don't think it's just you cause that probably is not the case. If you keep feeding little one a few times during the day this will keep you milk reproducing. I'm no expert but I hope that helps x

Lu - posted on 02/10/2010

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Wow, you have a lot to read through. A stressed out mum is no good at all for milk supply. With my second I was incredibly tense - feeling guilty about my 1st child because no2 seemed so so so hungry. I know that stressed dried me out totally with both babes and the tension meant that I could never get myself in quite the right position. I started to top DS up on formula after each feed because I was getting sore and he was mixed fed for about 6 weeks, then because he was more satisfies I was more relaxed - we both got comfortable with the feeding and my milk flow increased - he latched comfortably and I was able to stop the formula feeding. I fed him til about 11 months. I think I would have stopped sooner if I had taken the advice I was given NOT to mix feed.



Don't beat yourself up - you've done a grand grand job and I think now at this stage babe might like a chilled out mum ( I used aptamil - s'posed to be most like breast milk)

Jess - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi Nikki.I am sorry to hear you are having problems with the breastfeeding!!I can completely understand what you are going through!My son is now 11 months old and I struggled alot with it..he was latching on but I didn't think he was properly even though the midwife and lactation consultants said he was.I really don't think my nipple was far enough back in his mouth so he was getting tired and frustrated and not getting enough milk cause he was waking about every 2 hours and even less during the day.He ended up with colic but I can't help but wonder if he was actually just absolutely buggered and extremley hungry!!Because I kept being told that there was nothing wrong with my milk I kept on nursing him because I felt it was the best for him and us,but it was causing me to be so,so tired and really stressed.I ended up depressed and on medication because I basically broke down and couldn't cope.I had no choice but to put him on formula and it proved to be the best thing in the end.He seemed more content,him and I were getting more sleep,and other people (especially Dad) could help with the feeding,which also ment between my partner and his mum,I could have a little bit of 'me' time which is really important!I hope you have had time to read this as I see alot of people have wanted to help you which is so neat,there are alot of people who have had the same or similar experience.So at the end of the day try and remember that its not your fault and if you can work it out and succeed with breastfeeding,fantastic,but if you need to go to formula,try not to be too upset as you have given your baby the best start with your milk and made it this far!!And also,babies who are fed formula even right from birth do absolutely fine!Lastly,if you are just as confused as I was about what formula to use,Novalac is a great brand.It is in some chemists (you may have to ask) but is quite expensive,but they now sell it in Foodtown/Countdown for much cheaper!They have normal Stage 1 & 2,special ones for colic,reflux and many more.They have actually just started to advertise it on T.V as one of the best as it is really gentle on their tummys.All the best Nikki!

Kim - posted on 02/10/2010

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Have you tried expressing and putting her on the bottle that way ?

Just a thought

Whatever you decide - dont beat yourself up over it . Any brand of fromula will do - it will be the baby who decides which one she likes at the end of the day.



Good Luck!

Roberta - posted on 02/10/2010

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oh and did you both get checked for thrush? it can cause baby's mouth and your nipples to get extremely sore, and difficulty in nursing.

Roberta - posted on 02/10/2010

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My girl had a latch problem therefore I was slow at producing, therefore she began to lose weight, my consultant encouraged me to keep trying, but to also supplement with formula, try also pumping and see if you get a good amount off each breast. I tried a side hold, her on left with left breast. Still though I had to feed her every two to four hours. And also try compression just before you nurse, press on, and like one of my friends told me for the nipple pain, loofah lightly in the shower, and cold or warm compress. Also does she aquire a good suction on your finger, if not you may wish to try bottling your milk, so she stays healthy. Remember eat and drink lots. Good luck:)

Christine - posted on 02/10/2010

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You have done really well to have breast-fed for three months in the circumstances. I didn't even manage it for that long, because, like you, I had difficulty getting my baby to latch on and suffered sore, bleeding nipples. I felt devastated to give up and go onto formula but my son was more contented and I maintained skin-to-skin contact while I was feeding him, which helped. You are certainly not selfish and I hope you find a solution which gives both you and your little daughter contentment. Whatever the outcome, you have given her the very best start in life.

Danielle - posted on 02/10/2010

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Nikki,

Some things that helped my millk flow and helped keep it from getting watery was drinking lots of apple juice, orange juice, and consuming plenty of carbs....and I would drink a small glass of red wine before feeding and that would help my flow.(I think the wine really relaxes you) I had a problem with just relaxing...especially because she was fussy but now she is 5 months and I don't have a problem any more. When ever she had problem with staying latched...I would check a few thigs....first...if i was tying to nurse her on one breast and she wasn't tking it, I would then switch to see if she would take the other(sometimes milk flow is better in one than the other).If that didn't work...I would check to see if she had gas bubbles. Try to burb her and massage the tummy. 3rd...Sometimes she would get too worked up in the beginning to feed..so I would then try rocking and bouncing her to calm her down...and then she would eat.



1st: try both breasts

2nd: check for gas(burb and massage tummy)

3rd: Soothe(bounce and rock)then try feeding



I hope this was helpful

Pamela - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have 4 kids and have nursed all of them. My first child was very difficult. You said you tried a lactation consultant etc. Were they able to observe you breast feeding to see what the problem might be? Latching on could be lots of different things from not positioning the nipple correctly, not holding the baby at the correct angle, to an insufficient suck reflex in the baby. Did anyone suggest gently massaging the roof of her mouth near her soft palate to encourage sucking? You might also want to try nipple guards/shileds ( I think this is what they are called ) like is suggested if you have an inverted nipple. A friend of mine had to use these with her baby in the beginning in order to get the baby to latch on and suck correctly.

Breast milk is naturally watery and bluish ( kind of like skim milk ) It's only thick in the very beginning of nursing - so your milk is probably just fine. You could use a breast pump to increase the volume of milk you produce. My son was a big baby when he was born and consequently a vigorous eater. It was not unusual for him to eat every two hours - I used to have a glass of wine or beer in the evening to relax me and also to allow my milk to 'let down' more easily.

If she pulls off frequently, is fussy and has lots of wind it does sound like she is taking in a lot of air - That can be very frustrating, painful and can make a mom tense - I would definitely try a glass of wine or beer.

I think its great that you have been perservering thus far...any amount of breast feeding is better than none - so do feel good about what you've been able to do so far.

Another option is to pump your milk and bottle feed your daughter your milk. This would be my next option before I tried formula. You can pump your milk and freeze it in order to stock up - that way another adult could help out with the feeding and allow you time to rest.

I think it's wonderful how dedicated you are to your baby.

Robin - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have 8 mo old twins and they still nurse every 2-3 hours, and eat solids. It is exausting, but it won't last forever. Try gas relief remedies, boiled water with dill is a good one. If u really feel it's in the babies best interst to switch then do it. Three months I'd better than not at all. Good luck.

Becky - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi Nikki! I know you posted this a few days ago, but I just read this and wanted to give you some words of encouragement. I have 4 children and breast fed all of them. And I had trouble with each one! It was either infections or nipple sorness/cracking, lack of enough milk and so on. When I had so much trouble with my third, I kept trying and stuck with it b/c I really felt that she sould be breast fed. But I was in pain and depressed and exhausted. So, after 3 months I switched over to formula. It took trying a few before we found the right one for her but I don't regret it. With my fourth, I had trouble right from the start and decided not to torture myself for 3 months! She had a bit of a hard time adjusting to formula and ended up being on Alimentum but she is doing fine! She is 19 months now. Don't be too hard on yourself and please don't let others influence your decision either way. You need to do what's best for you and your baby. And one more thing, if she is ok on regular formula, the Wal-Mart brand is almost half the cost and has the same exact ingredients as the more costly brands. The are all regulated by the FDA so they all have to meet certain requirements for formula. GOOD LUCK! :) Becky

Marcy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I second the Nestle Good Start suggestion. That was the only formula my sons could stomach without being gassy and upset all the time. I admire your efforts to continue breastfeeding and would advise you to continue even if you do supplement with a little formula. Try not to feel badly about it. I know what it's like... with my first son, I was iron-deficient and produced so little I was only able to feed him breastmilk about half the time and always had to use a bottle because I had to pump the milk... he never latched correctly. My second son, though, caught on quickly and we had a wonderful nursing experience. I hope the same can happen for you!

Christy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I haven't time to read all the replies and i wont go into my 4 month long whirlwind of a struggle with breastfeeding. I will say that if you have tried everything and are at your wits end - and satisfied with your level of attempts, it is okay to stop. I had to get to a point that i knew that i have tried absolutely everything and had contacted everyone there is to contact before i could let myself give up without guilt/regret/having felt "if i had tried a little longer/that one other thing" before i could let it go.

You dont HAVE to switch to formula and even if you have switched you dont have to stay with it. Something that really helped me be okay wiht quitting was a website that links breast milk donors with moms/babies in need. It is called Milkshare.com and it really has a lot of great advice and tips on breastfeeding as well as the linking to other moms. It carefully goes through everything you need to know about deciding on donors and safety. We used it for most of my daughters first year (aside from the first 2 months in which one of my friends was donating her milk to us) and i would reccommend it to everyone who needs it (or who could donate).

If you want to continue to try for a while, i recommend kellymom.com as an amazing resource and there are several books out about increasing supply. One is about foods to eat to increase supply i think called "Mother Foods" and the other is about latching problems "Supporting Sucking Skills" and Dr. Jack Newman's website is invaluable!

If you need/want support from me feel free to email me at personal_balance@cox.net.

Marni - posted on 02/10/2010

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I forgot to say that when your breasts are tight and full it is harder for the baby to latch. So if you have a pump use it for about a minute to just soften the areola and nipple which will help. Also pump for about 5 minutes after each feeding to tell your breasts to make more milk, but if you are on medication you may not need that now. I think you may need to work on relaxing enough so your body will respond with a milk "let down" (milk ejection reflex) and that will bring the fatter higher calorie milk down to your baby. Visualizations really do help!

Anita - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have large breasts and successfully nursed my daughter. You have to experiment with different feeding positions to find what works best for you. And breast milk flows more slowly than a bottle, taking an hour to feed is not uncommon. And if feeding every 2 hours is a concern try pumping and bottle feeding. You can more accurately gauge how much she's getting and others can help out so you can get some rest.

Marni - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi, I know its been about a week since you posted this but it is never too late to get your milk going. My friends have had a great result with "domperidone" as a drug that helps make more milk. You may have milk engorgement and may not realize it with large breasts. As a breast feeding peer counselor I have found, for myself too, that the football hold is great for larger breast as this position aids in relaxation and hands free to hold the baby's head so they can not slip off the breast. You may have a "let down" problem and so you need to relax, hydrate!!, and visualize the milk flowing down. I thought of waterfalls. The more you nurse the more stimulation = more milk. Use lanolin to heal your nipples & if you can get "soothies" from lactation center or the motherhood store try them they really help the healing process. You should be nursing every three to four hours during the day, and no longer than four to six at night to keep up your milk supply. If you skip a feeding then your baby might want to eat every hour or two after the skipped meal, this is called cluster feeding. I love using the website called kellymom.com. She has excellent explanations and information for nursing moms. Nursing is a learning process, and it is a 24hour job so try to nap when the baby naps at least once a day. Keep going!! A little supplementation is OK if your baby is not gaining well, but it sounds like you really want to make full time nursing your goal. I recommend lookin on the web and calling the La Leche Leauge in your area if you'd like more one-on-one support, plus going to a new mom's group would be great too.

Heather - posted on 02/10/2010

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I had a lot of trouble with my first baby nursing, but nursed my other three for a long time. Have you tried getting in the tub with your baby and a lot of skin-to-skin contact and try feeding her before she cries. Crying is the last feeding cue and she may be too frustrated to latch at that point. Try to start feeding when she's rooting or sticking a hand in her mouth.

Also, breastfed babies do nurse more often...that's completely normal. Her tummy is only the size of a golf ball. It gets full fast and then she needs to eat again in about 90 minutes to 2 or 3 hours later. And three months old is a major growth spurt. Babies eat more at those critical periods. Good luck!

LINDSEY - posted on 02/10/2010

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hi dont know if u've gotten the tips im about to give u cus u have tons of replys :)

there is 2 places that are really good at helpin with the problems you r havin... 1 is "La Leche Leauge" http://www.llli.org/ and the WIC program has great lactation pro's that help with almost any nursing prob. i nursed all 3 of my kids & had a really hard time with my second n third. the first i nursed for 1 1/2 years. the second would make me cry with his succkling that felt like it was gonna tear off my breast. i asked for help at the hospitol where i gave birth the lactating nurses helped a lot also. Formula is not the best for ur baby but if u have to ask ur babies pediatrician and they should b able to recomend the best fit for ur baby. there are some tea's they sell at trader joes called "mothers milk" they helped produce more milk and were relaxing. stressin on the occasion doesnt help the milk production too well. Lastly make sure u r eatin appropriate foods. i know many people say it dont matter n u should b able to eat whatever u want. but it does matter. Oatmeal helps a lot, staying hydrated and staying away from gasy foods help. ex: broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and other foods that r hard to digest. hope it helps. ;)

Cheryl - posted on 02/10/2010

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Pat yourself on the back!!! You have stuck it out and have tried your best if yu are lacking sleep and your baby is not happy I think both of you would benifit from formula. You will become a better mama with a goods night rest and seems like your lil one isnt getting all she needs. You have tried professional help so you have sought out help. Maybe its time? Just my opinion, I know its hard to give up but when you and your baby are suffering maybe you should try formula :)

Tina - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have 3 children which I breastfed. All were different. I had the most success with my last one. Maybe a combination of being more relaxed, being more patient, and not dealing with work. I found the Medela dual breast pump was the best money ever spent. It helped my milk production tremendously. My second child nursed for almost 6 months and I thought my milk wasn't satisfying him. I wish I had had the pump for him, we might have been more successful. It's a personal decision for each of us. It sounds like you are really stressing over the situation and that is the worst thing you can do. You have to do what is best for your baby and for you. If you decide to switch to formula feel confident that you have given a good head start. Nursing for whatever length of time is better than none. My first only nursed for about 6 -9 weeks when I went back to work I couldn't handle it. She is now 20. Don't feel guilty. They all turn out all right if we do our best. Good luck

Jenny - posted on 02/10/2010

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How about expressing for a few days to give your nipples a break and getting a good nipple cream. Nipple shield is a good idea aswell. It is worth persevering if you can as it will get easier.

[deleted account]

Have you considered pumping? I breat fed my son for 13 months in the morning and at night by breast during the day while I was at work he got my milk in a bottle. I pumped everyday at work and put it in zip lock bags and froze it. Also breast fed babies can eat as often as every 20-30 min. in the first 6months. If she is too fussy to eat she has waited to long to eat. Breast fed babies can process breast milk faster than formula because it is natural and does not have chemicals that are hard to break down.

If your baby is having trouble latching you might try rebirthing. Get in the bath tub fill with warm water close the door to keep in the warm air - you may need to turn up the heat in the house. Lay your baby on your belly keep pouring warm water over her back this may take some time but when she gets hungry she will crawl up and latch. It is natural for her and she will remember and once she makes that latch it will be a correct latch. Some times when a child is born they are kept away from there mother too long and their natural instinct fades away. With my son the hospital took him out of the room and kept him away from me for 4 hours at first he did not latch correctly but it is second nature and your baby can remember.

Leslie - posted on 02/10/2010

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Nikki, first of all, it's not stupid to feel that if you stop nursing you won't be needed. I know how you feel about the difficulties of breastfeeding. Your concern about it is just one way your telling how much you love and care for you baby, so it's not selfish. When my babies were nursing I was constantly wondering if they were getting enough, so we decided to supplement w/ formula. So that may help her sleep more soundly. (I have no idea of a good formula since there are so many new ones out there). I do know that if you pump, as terrible as it seems, it will help your milk supply increase. She's only three months old and I remember being sore and stressed out about it. But the pain does go away, just not as soon as all the professionals promise! To help w/ soreness and inflammation, this sounds gross, but, put some of your milk on and around your nipples. For siome reason, it's the most natural way to heal that skin. You'll feel freaky doing that, but it helped me. As for her latching, have you tried other positions? My little ones often pulled off frequently if they were distracted so I always had to go to a quiet place w/o much noise or people. Since she's so young, 2 hours between feedings seems normal. And to supplement w/ formula can help as well to give your body a break. But do try to relax because stress is also a huge factor in decrease in milk supply. I really really hope things work out for you. I know you've got a lot of responses, so many of us have shared your experience. No matter what, your baby will always need you and depend on you, whether you nurse her or bottle feed. You'll see!

Patsy - posted on 02/10/2010

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NHS leaflets given to pregnant women and new mothers claim that breastfeeding protects against obesity, allergies, asthma and diabetes. However Michael Kramer, a professor of paediatrics who has spent more than 20 years studying the subject, and is an adviser to the World Health Organisation and Unicef, claimed that much of the information used to persuade new mothers to breastfeed was either wrong or out of date. However, studies showing that breast milk wards off ear infections and stomach bugs stand up to scrutiny.



It is also thought that breastfed babies will have a higher IQ than those that have been bottle fed. This theory has yet to be proven.



Health officials put a great deal of pressure onto young mothers to breastfeed and if they are unsuccessful in their attempt – which could be due to a number of circumstances, they can be made to feel like failures. Their tension and anxiety will be felt by the baby and will be very unsettling. In my opinion it is important that every mother tries it but it isn't as essential for perfect health as everyone makes out. If mothers can breastfeed, that is best for the baby but I do not believe it is a guarantee that you will have a permanently thin, beautiful, intelligent, healthy child.



I managed to raise four very healthy, intelligent and beautiful people on SMA. My breastfeeding attempts failed miserably but the guilt soon passed and we formed a better bond after they were put on the bottle, because I was less tense and stressed. The children felt this and became more responsive. Happy Days. Good Luck

Joanna - posted on 02/10/2010

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It actually sounds like you may be making too much milk if your milk looks watery now. She may have extra gas because of this as well. Quitting now may actually be super hard on your body if you are producing a lot of milk as you will be in a lot of pain and need to pump for a while to decrease the pain. It could actually make life more difficult. I have not seen you or your baby but I had a lot of problems with my first too. I hung in there and around 4 or 5 months old it started to settle down. I was able to stop pumping and taking supplements and bf became something wonderful and not something I had to work at anymore. My daughter was premature and had a terrible latch, was losing weight, I was in constant pain, I also later found out I had thrush which contributed to the nipple pain, and her gas problems and after a round of treatment we were both a lot better. Anyway, what i am saying is that it will get easier. My daughter was nursing about every 2 hours at that age and started to spread out her feedings by 4 or 5 months old. By 6 months when I introduced solids, she was about every 4 to 5 hours. I eventually found out I was also making a lot of milk which caused her to nurse more often as it was watery from the supplements I was taking. With my son, I took nothing and felt like I was making no milk but he gained better and spaced out his feeding much earlier. Anyway, that is my experience of having difficulties. Bf is not as easy as everyone thinks, but when you get through the first few months it is so worth it, and by the second child it comes much easier and the benefits so outweigh the work. I truly realized with my second how grateful I was not to have to bottle feed a young baby who needs night feedings. I would have to wake up, heat a bottle and feed it which would take waking fully and getting out of bed and doing some work, where bf I only rolled over pulled my breast out and went back to sleep. Now I did take my kids to bed with me the first 6 months until they didn't need night feedings anymore and that may be something you may want to consider if you are sleep deprived. Even getting a mini co-sleeper to attach to your bed could help. I used to hang my breast over the side of the co-sleeper and latch my daughter on and go back to sleep. Oh and I eventually found out my daughter had a dairy allergy and reflux so it was good I continued to nurse her as formula would have made the problem worse. Also, I have large breasts and the football hold worked best for me and helped keep my daughter more upright, I would lean back on a pillow and prop her on a pillow. Anyway, I hope you can figure out something that will help. Seeing LC's and Dr's didn't help me. I wish I had known someone who actually had some personal help. There was a Mom who tried to help me but I was uncomfortable because I didn't know her well, but she was the most help of anyone. Okay, I rambled enough, I hope you can figure it out, but I would say try to stick with it if you can, it does get easier. But don't feel to terrible if you can't do it, I know many babies do just fine on formula. Good luck and God Bless, and feel free to pm me if you want.

Whitney - posted on 02/10/2010

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I would definitely suggest trying out a nipple shield before you give up on breast feeding. When my baby girl was born in December she had some serious latching problems and also couldn't understand Suck, Swallow, Breath. If u are having trouble with sore nipples they sell ice packs that are especially designed for nipples. I used them at the beginning along with the Lansinoh nipple cream and have not had any problems since. Don't feel bad if you have to stop nursing! U can always pump and make a bottle of half breast milk and half formula. That way she will still be getting the benefits of the breast milk and the filling sense that the formula can give her. When my daughter goes through a growth spurt every few weeks I breastfeed her until I am empty and then fix her a bottle of abut 2 ounces of Enfamil Premium and give her that. I understand not wantin to give up because of the amazing bond it brings to you and baby. Trust me, if you can get the latching down then it will be much more enjoyable. I just sat down one day and said to myself "We are gonna work on this latching thing til she gets it!" It took about 2 days but eventually she understood what to do to get a good grip on my nipple and it has been a breeze ever since. I hope that everything gets better for you. Good Luck!

Carolyn - posted on 02/10/2010

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First - you should be so proud of yourself for making the choice to try breast feeding in the first place. With that said - continue brestfeeding - but supliment her diet with a bottle and/or start small amounts of cereal everyother feeding. This may give you the "break" you need. I have 3 girls (all are a bit older now) and brest fed all of my girls - Once I was feeling like they were not getting enough (especially at the night feeding time) I began feeding them formula mixed with oatmeal (per my dr's recommendation). This really helped them sleep for longer periods.



Someone else mentioned pumping (this is also a great way to help increase milk supply). And if you have concerns - don't hesitate to contact your Pediatrician or nurse.

I am sure they can give you some recommendations as far as making the transition from brest milk to formula (heck maybe they even have some samples or coupons).



Sounds like you are an awsome mom - and best of luck.

Carolyn

www.snowflakegems.com

Anya - posted on 02/10/2010

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Well if you've tried La Leche League and lactation consultants and they are unable to help, the only advice I have to offer about latching on is this......When my son was a new born, and he wouldn't latch on properly, my husband who was paying attention in the training sessions, put his finger on the baby's chin, which caused him to open his mouth fully and he was able to latch on that way, and everytime with success thereafter. If you find that that doesn't help, consider pumping for bottle feeding at night that your hubby can help with and breastfeeding during the day. It is worth the effort, milk is the perfect food and to date, has not been able to be reproduced. Don't give up yet, we all know how hard it can be, But the benefits far outweigh the current misery you're feeling. Anja

Shalla - posted on 02/10/2010

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Have you tried pumping your breast milk to make more? There is also a tea mother milk at the health food store that help you produce milk. A beer in the evening will also increase your milk supply and help the baby sleep. Red Rasberry leaf tea is really good, I drank that all the time with my daughter and produced enough milk to feed a third world country (not a joke) I had a ton of milk.

Mariah - posted on 02/10/2010

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I just thought of something else - OLIVE OIL!! It's very nourishing - plus, it's antibacterial. I also use it on my little guy's dry skin sometimes (they actually suggested it in our birthing class in place of lotion). Also, when I was having so many problems (and I WAS), they ended up giving me an ointment of three things - anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and I can't remember the other, but if you talk to your lactation consultant, that may help. Otherwise, have you tried calling your area La Leche League? They are usually very helpful. Hope this helps - I struggled for many weeks wanting to give up, but not wanting to break that bond. I also HATE the thought of giving him formula...I'm glad now that I stuck it out, but you need to do what's right for you. Good luck! :)

Susan - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hey Chickie, I understand your struggle. I had to quit nursing my son when he was only 6 weeks old because I had some medical issues and needed to take some meds. Only u can decide what to do and u will get alot of opinions, bottom line is, you have really tried. She will be fine if you switch her to formula, I like Parents Choice Gentle Formula. My doctor told me, if you are so miserable you can't enjoy your baby, why put yourself through it. If you are exhausted, she is fussy, and you both are just grumpy, you are not really getting to enjoy being a mommy. It is hard at first, but you will adjust, both of you. If you can't breast feed her it doesn't mean you are a bad mom, some people don't even try. So pray about it and make the decision that is best for YOU and YOUR BABY, the decision is not the same for everyone. Good luck!!

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