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Old 05-15-2008, 06:43 AM   #1
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I'm about to give up

I have been determined to breastfeed before I gave birth. After not receiving adequate support at the hospital, I sought the advice of a lactation consultant. She confirmed that the trouble with him not wanting to latch on was that I had flat nipples. She let me use a nipple shield, which worked great, but hurt very much. The lactation consultant then said that he was not extending his tongue enough and that he was pinching my nipple, which caused the pain. She advised that I let him suck my finger to teach him to extend his tongue. Both my husband and I have been trying to teach him by following her advice, but we are not very successful. He is still hurting me a lot when I latch him on. I am pumping every 3 hours, even through the night, while substituting with formula, but it's wearing me out to do both. I am ready to give up, I am so worn out.

Any advice or suggestions?
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: I'm about to give up

Ok, bear with me. What is the most immediate problem? Is he not gaining weight? Not wanting to latch on and eat at the breast? Or is it pain on your part?

I have you had him evaluated for tongue-tie? And is the lactation consultant you're seeing an IBCLC? If she's not, you need to find one who is and see her. If she is, please try and find a different one.
Flat nipples are not a reason to be unable to breastfeed. Many women with flat nipples(like myself) are able to breastfeed. Actually, one of mine is flat and one is inverted, but that's not the point here

Nipple shields can be a useful tool, but they're not for everyone. For us, they may have helped my pain problem. But they could have negatively effected my already questionable supply, and they would have made nursing more complicated when it came to overnights and nursing in public.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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Re: I'm about to give up

Thank you so much for responding so quickly!

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Ok, bear with me. What is the most immediate problem? Is he not gaining weight? Not wanting to latch on and eat at the breast? Or is it pain on your part?
His weight is fine and his health seems to be fine, too (according to his last checkup a couple of days ago). He is dealing with some tummy issues, but I am sure they will pass. My most immediate problem is that I am worn out (haha, isn't every new mom?) and I don't seem to be able to function on only a couple hours of sleep. Between his upset stomach (constipation, flatulence), feeding him (hypoallergenic) formula, and pumping, I hardly get any sleep or rest at all. I have started to give him very weak fennel tea and some gripe water, which does seem to help some. I just don't know if I can keep feeding him formula and trying to pump and trying to get him to feed without hurting me for much longer. It seems that I need to make a decision one or the other way. Even if I can stand the pain and try to start breastfeeding him exclusively, I am not sure if I am making enough milk for him. I only get about 3/4 ounce each time I pump.

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I have you had him evaluated for tongue-tie? And is the lactation consultant you're seeing an IBCLC? If she's not, you need to find one who is and see her. If she is, please try and find a different one.
Yes, they evaluated him for tongue-tie and they said that wasn't the issue. The lactation consultant is supposedly the best in the state and she is also certified.

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Nipple shields can be a useful tool, but they're not for everyone. For us, they may have helped my pain problem. But they could have negatively effected my already questionable supply, and they would have made nursing more complicated when it came to overnights and nursing in public.
I was actually pretty excited about the nipple shields, as they seem to work with him very well - but still the pain problems...
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:37 AM   #4
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Re: I'm about to give up

It's been 10 weeks for us and it still hurts me. Keep working on his latch. It will get better. I would quit the pumping (if you can) and just work on nursing. It'll help with your exhaustion. Sometimes I talk to an LC daily...do what you need to do and get lots of support.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:38 AM   #5
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It's been 10 weeks for us and it still hurts me. Keep working on his latch. It will get better. I would quit the pumping (if you can) and just work on nursing. It'll help with your exhaustion. Sometimes I talk to an LC daily...do what you need to do and get lots of support.
You guys are just so much tougher than I am. Maybe it's my inability to deal with the sleep deprivation. I have never done well on little sleep - it makes me so depressed.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:40 AM   #6
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You guys are just so much tougher than I am. Maybe it's my inability to deal with the sleep deprivation. I have never done well on little sleep - it makes me so depressed.
No- YOU CAN DO IT TOO. It will pass. You've got to take it one day at a time, one feeding at a time. It may surprise you how fast it gets better. With each feeding that hurts, or each bad day, I tell myself, "We've been here before and it WILL get better. Tomorrow won't hurt so bad." And it usually doesn't. Babes are quick learners.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: I'm about to give up

I have not had this problem, but I wanted to say try and hand in there. I have heard others rave about the Nipple shields. Are you able to pump? Both a friend and my SIL pumped exculsively for about 6+ months.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:42 AM   #8
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I have not had this problem, but I wanted to say try and hand in there. I have heard others rave about the Nipple shields. Are you able to pump? Both a friend and my SIL pumped exculsively for about 6+ months.
Thank you for your support. I was thinking about pumping exclusively myself, but I would still have to substitute with formula, because I am not making more than 3/4 oz per pumping session (and I try to pump about 8 times a day).
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #9
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Thank you for your support. I was thinking about pumping exclusively myself, but I would still have to substitute with formula, because I am not making more than 3/4 oz per pumping session (and I try to pump about 8 times a day).
Well, first if you are substituting some feeding with formula this early, even if you are pumping those feeding times, you are risking your supply. No pump is as effective as getting milk out than a baby's sucking, not even a hospital grade pump. Every time the baby nurses it puts an order in to your body to make more milk. If no order is put in your body makes less and less. No one told me how hard it would be to breastfeed in the beginning. I honestly given the choice, would rather give birth once a week than deal with the first few weeks of breastfeeding. For me, it was toe-curling agony every time dd latched on, and my nipples bled so bad that her spit-up was pink from all the blood she was getting with her milk. After about the three week mark, I noticed one morning it was a little better instead of worse. Every day was a little better than the last, and bu one month there was no pain at all. Your nipples have to toughen up and get used to nursing, and if you think you are sleep deprived right now you will feel even more so if you switch to formula only. Nursing releases hormones into the mother's bloodstream that help her feel more rested, which is nature's way of helping ease those first few sleepless weeks with a newborn. You don't get that same help having to get up in the middle of the night and heat formula. There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, please stick with it! It really will get better soon.

eta: what really helped me out those first couple weeks were the videos on www.drjacknewman.com. There are videos of proper positioning and latch that were a lifesaver. The hospital lactation consultant only helped a little as far as explaining what to look for, but these videos are awesome.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:16 AM   #10
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Re: I'm about to give up

Its well worth it mama. You sound like a new mama I met at my last LLL meeting here is a link to go find the local LLL chapter near you those moms are great help. We are helping well they are helping two moms right now come off nipple sheilds. http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html good luck mama and drop the formula
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