Friday, September 24, 2010

Breastfeeding frustrations...

I am so frustrated with breastfeeding right now!
Here is what happens: First of all, I am still trying to get him to latch on well. He is finally opening his mouth all the way (most of the time), but I don't find that he sucks hard enough.
Anyway, he starts to suck and I have a let down. He eats for about 7 minutes. After that, I don't have another let down for about 5 minutes so he gets frustrated that there isn't any more milk coming out so he starts to scream. I put him on the other side and the same thing happens. I think he is trying to increase my milk supply right now so it isn't a good thing that he doesn't suck after the initial 7 minutes. Usually after he eats then I pump and just give him the rest of the milk in a bottle. That is what's going on right now. I wish that my let down reflex would just keep happening so he could eat properly. I know things don't always happen like you want them to though. I am just going to keep doing it this way. He starts to eat on me, then I just give him the rest in a bottle. That's the only thing that I can do right now to keep him satisfied. Hopefully later he will learn to suck harder and my let down reflex will get better. It is hard too when I am by myself. I have to put him down and let him scream while I pump...that is hard to hear and I definitely don't have a let down while he is screaming so it kinda defeats the purpose. It's easier when my hubby is here because I can pump while my hubby has him and he doesn't cry as much. Even after all of this...I am not going to quit!! I am determined to give him only breast milk (even if I have to just pump and give it to him in a bottle)...he will not have formula!!!

Sorry about this...I just had to vent a little. I know that I am rambling...hopefully you can understand me! LOL

Please if you have any advice for me leave a comment. I would really appreciate any help I could get! Thanks! :)


Tasha said...

Breastfeeding is HARD. Period. Never ever feel that you are not doing a good enough job because YOU ARE.
I never pumped, although now I wish i would have, but I have heard that you need to start pumping more often than he is eating. Pump Every two hours and this will increase your milk flow. Store it in freezer bags (milk bags) - they save for up to 6 months.
I ended up getting a very bad thrush infection and cut my breastfeeding off. Sad but at the time it was best for me and my baby. Good luck!!! And lots of hugs!!

TempestBeauty said...

I never had more than one letdown per feeding... even if you aren't having a let down, he's probably still getting milk!

Keep him on one side until it's empty?

They get better at emptying the breast as they get older. I know it's frustrating and I know it's SO hard... keep it up! You're doing a fantastic job :)

Natasha C. said...

First of all, good for you for sticking it out and making that commitment to stay with it! Breastfeeding can be hard, but it does get better. I'm with TempestBeauty, usually once you have a let down, the feedback loop that is breastfeedign has started and he is getting milk. I would suggest a few things--have you heard of baby-led latch? Here is an article that describes it for you. It might help in this situation.

My other suggestion is to wear him in a baby carrier (preferably a wrap) with some skin-on-skin contact for a good portion of your day. This close contact with you can help to 're-wire' him biophysically and get the two of you back on track.

Your body is fully equipped to feed your baby all that he needs. Try not to stress too much about how long he feeds, how much on each side (all babies tend to have a preference). And know that your baby is the best 'PUMP' you could have!

I hope this helps, and again keep at it Mama, it does get better!

Jacksmom4life said...

Hello, I too only have one letdown. My son is 3 1/2 months and this is what I so. I let him nurse until he pulls off then I burp him and offer the same boob again. The foremilk comes out faster which is easier to get out. But you want him to get the hindmilk too. Try to make sure you are relaxed. He will feel if you are tense. Also your letdown will be better if you are relaxed. Sometimes they gulp the milk down too fast and just need a quick break. Keep it up. You are doing awesome! Also the less you use the bottle the better his sucking will get. Remember the bottle nipple doesn't have any resistance. Your nipple does. Keep it up mama you are doing an awesome thing for your baby. We breastfeeding moms are behind you!!!!

Apple said...

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will keep doing my best!!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking exactly what Jack's Mom said. One of my babies had a weak suck & I doubt I wouldn't have gotten thru it w/ out guidance from a fabulous lactation consultant at WIC. While we were working on strengthening her suck, I used a supplementer...basically a tube that flows from a bottle w/ breastmilk w/ one end of the tube inserted into baby's mouth along w/ the nipple. This way baby has to actually suck but is getting enough milk. The less bottle feeding, the better.

The most important advice I can give though is to find a Le Leche League chapter near you. Even if you can't go to meetings, the leader should be more than happy to chat w/ you for better troubleshooting & loads of encouragement or even meet w/ you. or put you in touch w/ experienced mamas or LCs who can help you thru this. The Internet is awesome for info & support but sometimes there's nothing like hearing,"You're doing a great job, keep it up!" in person :-)

Darcel @ The Mahogany Way said...

I 2nd finding a La Leche League group to attend.
Some babies empty one breast so quickly. My last two kids were like that. They could empty one side in 5 minutes.
I've been feeding on one side 3-4 times, or until my other breast feels full, then I switch.

Keep up the good work!

Ester Kiely said...

I can't offer much advice on breastfeeding as sadly it didn't work out for me. But you are doing a great job! Whatever works for you is the right thing so keep doing what is most comfortable for you and your baby.

Cindy Lou said...

I'm not sure how old your little one is, but he sure is a cutie!!! Breastfeeding can be so enjoyable and frustrating at the same time, but keep it up...My children are now 16 and 14...I breastfed my youngest until she was 16 months so I hope this helps...

When my daughter was 6 weeks old and I had to return to work my milk seemed to slow down, I read an article about Fenugreek. It's an Herb that helps produce milk and used commonly in India. I checked with my pediatrician and local la leche and they both said it was ok. I was let down was better and my daughter was getting fuller. The only side effect that I had was my milk smelled like maple sugar (oh..if I was really active my sweat would smell like it too). The doctor said it probably made the milk sweeter, so possibly she sucked harder.

Also, my doctor recommended that I drink extra fluids than normal and drink....Please feel free to e-mail if you have any questions. Good luck and don't give up...It's worth the fight : )

Luschka @Diary of a First Child said...

Hi, I'm also not sure how old your little one is but he looks quite small in the pictures. First thing I'd suggest is make sure he doesn't have a tongue tie as that can make the latch difficult. Also, I THINK you only have one let down per feed, but I'm not 100% on that. I 2nd what someone else said - pump as often as you are able in the beginning, as that will increase your milk supply. Also eat oats as they help milk production (or you can make lactation cookies if you have the energy!) and have mother's milk tea, just to make sure you are giving your body the best production help possible.

I found the angle I was holding my daughter at influenced how she fed too - holding her too 'upside down' meant she had a lot of reflux and colic, which was very unpleasant for a while. That MIGHT be why he gets frustrated at the nipple - it's not really the you, it's him?

Do you have an electric pump? What could help is pumping on one side while he feeds on the other.

Remember at about six weeks your milk stops reservoiring and your boob size will probably decrease and milk will come 'on demand' rather than being readily available (it's still available, just not waiting, if that makes sense) so the more you feed the more you'll have. Which makes both going in to and coming out of a growth spurt GREAT fun! Lol

As they get older it becomes a lot easier and they learn to drain a breast a lot faster.

Trying to think of what else there is to say, but if you need more help, check out these websites:

best for babes

All the best, and keep it up - it really does get easier :)

Apple said...

I want to thank everyone for their comments/advice. He really fed good the last couple of days so maybe he was just having a bad week last week. I will never know, but I cherish everyday that is good with breastfeeding.