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Thread: Nipples too sore, can't bf, getting depressed

  1. #19
    ~Belinda~ Guest

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  2. #20

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    prama,

    it seems there are a few members who are here promoting FF (in a BFing support forum, where they wouldn't allow it if a BFer were saying the same in the FF forum) and I won't argue that sometimes it's an option. Esp if you're in pain, it's the easier option at that time, no doubt about it. But I hope in all the FF advocating in here, you don't miss the message that as hard as BFing is, a BFing relationship can be an incredible, wonderful thing. And while it's not about how much you love or don't love your baby, it's about an aspect of parenting that cannot be replicated by FFing. But everything has an opportunity cost, and you must weigh these out:

    FF means no pain now
    BFing means bearing the pain for a kind of relationship you don't get FFing.

    I can't explain how wonderful that relationship is to someone who hasn't been there, but note the women who have BFed before who cannot now, they mourn so much. Or the ladies who BFed for a long time, they absolutely believe the pain is worth it.

    So FFers, while we welcome your contributions, please don't discount what the encouragement and support the BFers have given in the BFing support thread.

  3. #21

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    Sushee, I'm sorry if I came across that way.. I really do apologise. I was just being supportive and putting across my story, so Prama wouldn't feel alone. I think the worst thing about being in pain with a new baby is that you do feel alone and that nobody can possibly understand what you are going through. I'm not against BF, I'm actually in awe of anyone who can do it, because it didn't work for me. I haven't made the decision whether or not to try to BF with this one, and I hope that if I do and I have struggles, then I can turn to BB and have some support (something I never had with the first struggle). I'm truly sorry if my post came across as anything against BF, I blame pregnancy brain for any wrong words, cos sometimes its hard to find the right words to express what I want to say.
    Prama - good luck in whatever you decide to do.

  4. #22
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  5. #23

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    it's taken me all day to write this. It's very long!!


    Thank you so much, reading everyone's experiences makes me feel I'm not alone... When we went to the bf classes, they made it seem like everyone can, and the women who cant are the ones who have medical conditions. I did ask the lady, can everyone really bf and she said yes. They never said anything abt sore, cracked nipples and its effect on you. Nothing about the psychological effects.

    thanks barb, here's my experience.
    I enjoyed my pregnancy, I was very active, swimming twice a week plus yoga, putting on 12kgs. I felt wonderful, except the last few weeks I was feeling heavier. People fussed over me. The only down side was I couldnt sleep anymore. I finished work on the 1st and was looking forward to having the month off. Bub came almost 2 week after I finished work. The day I started contractions, I was going to wash all his clothes, sort out the nursery, there was still much to do with the nursery. He was born just past midnight on Thursday, the 14th and I had a pedicure appt, just one last chance to spoil myself.

    I had irregular contractions early Wednesday morning, I thought they were just BH as the timing was all over the place. I rang the hospital at 4am and they told me sounds like false labour and told me to take some Panadeine. Plus I could walk and talk during the contractions so I still thought they were BH. They still continued, so about almost noon or so I rang the hospital again, and they said wait and see unless I really want to come in. The contractions were still very irregular, 5 mins apart, then 12, then 5 again, 20mins etc.
    By 3pm I had enough and if this is false labour I wanted it to stop. So went to the hospital, at 4pm the midwife said I was 1 cm dilated and I was having the baby.
    I was like, no, I dont want to have this baby today, I'm not ready. Ive got 2 weeks to go. This cant be happening.
    (All the girls in my Belly Buddies group were so wanting their bubs to come out but I still wanted to have my time and wait till the due date)

    Anyway, they sent us home and told us to come back when I had 3 contractions in 10 mins. Finally abt 9pm they got regular so we went back. At 10pm, I was already 8-9cm dilated. No time for anything anymore. I had gas as it got too much. I remember saying at the end 'I cant do this anymore, I want to go home'
    I wasnt excited abt bub coming. I feel terrible saying this.

    When I first looked at him, I didnt bond with him. I knew he was my child but nothing maternal kicked in.

    I think what's also contributed to my whole depression and problems with feeding
    was the midwife who scolded me on the first day. The first night after bub was born, I tried to bf him, I thought at that time I was doing it right. He also didnt sleep all night. I was up all night trying to calm him. I didnt know that I should/could call the midwife. The last midwife whose shift ended, said if you need anything the next shift will be on. No one came to see me or check on things and I didnt know that I should call them. Plus I hadnt slept since I had contractions on Wed, and this was Friday night. The next morning, I had just got out of bed and was trying to calm bub, and the midwife barged into my room and asked 'did you feed him well' I said he didnt feed very well. And she really had a go at me, abt not feeding bub, and if he gets into trouble, the midwives will get into trouble...
    i was really in tears. when DH, and I was tears again &just then the pediatrian walked in. so we told him what happened. i think she was told but she was still very nazi like. if bub wasnt attaching, she'd violently shove him to my breast, and if i told her he was chomping, she'd say he's attached correctly and didnt want to know anymore.
    then bub's weight fell below the allowed 10%, and because of that woman, I felt it was my fault cos I didnt bf him well the first night. BF went downhill after that, bub's tongue was on his palate and he didnt know how to attach properly and if he did, he would chomp on my nipples.
    I really wanted to feed him, but it was getting worse and worse. i think every midwife at westmead had had their hands on my breasts!

    anyway, im off bfing at the moment, expressing enough to relief the discomfort. But even expressing with an electric pump, my nipples are very painful. I hope the discomfort goes away, im a bit worried about mastitis.

    I had a good sleep in this morning. 5hrs was luxury!
    And this morning also, I looked at bub and toldl him I loved him.. DH reckons I;m getting more maternal. I think the relief of stress of bf and feeding him is allowing me to relax and to start to enjoy him..
    Despite all the pain the last week and half, I really learnt how much DH loves me and his child. I never knew how much till now. I feel like the luckiest woman alive.

    Anyway, that was my birth experience. Nothing prepared me for this..

  6. #24
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  7. #25

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    Prama I have breastfed all three of my bubs.

    My first I almost gave up because it hurt so much! They were cracked and bleeding. Mason spewed up blood after one feed.

    I persevered simply because I had so much milk that it seemed a shame not to. I used nipple shields and expressed to both rest my nipples and myself so DH could feed bub and I could nap.
    I do remember the toe curling and the shooting pain still quite vividly but I took it one day at a time and the soreness seemed to get less intense. I thought I'd try a feed without a shield and to my surprise it was quite comfortable. By about 4 weeks we had come through it and Mason was even helping himself on and off! Feeding was a very nice experience from then on and he fed till he was 12 months.

    My second, Angus, was a natural and I had no problems with him at all.

    My third was a repeat of my experience with Mason and I found myself ready to throw it in when I developed an ulcer from a crack on the base of my nipple.
    It was agonising and I was in tears but drawing on the memories of my previous breastfeeding journey I persevered and again used nipple shields and expressed to rest my nipple and we came through the other side around 3 weeks and went on to have a wonderful 15 months of breastfeeding.

    Why I'm telling you all this is to share with you that it's not all easy. Many have faced pain and hurdles and come through it because it is a very beautiful and rewarding time.
    I have spoken to so many mothers IRL and they express regret that they didn't persevere. If only they had the support to encourage them to keep going rather than switch to formula when it got hard. Be it from their mother or friends because that is what they did. I know I had both my mum and mil telling me to "put Mason on the bottle". Maybe I stuck it out to shut up mil

    I went to a tupperware party with my mothers group where I was the only one breastfeeding out of 5 and all of them said they wanted to but it was all too hard.

    If breastfeeding is what you want to do then please by all means don't give up without trying everything you can. Express to keep up your supply and feed it to your bub rather than the formula. Contact the ABA for advice over the phone and hopefully a lactation consultant without delay.

    If you want to do it then you can Keep the long term picture in your mind. It most definatley won't always be this hard. Don't forget you are still recovering from the birth and that in itself is hard enough!

    And if you chose not to breastfeed your baby then that's alright too. Own your choice and be proud that you tried your best

    ETA you posted while I was typing! No wonder you are feeling emotional. I honestly don't know why some go into the health care profession when they so lack compassion and caring. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling rested and better about the situation!
    Last edited by ~Raven~; February 24th, 2008 at 08:42 PM. Reason: reply to pramas post

  8. #26

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    I didnt think anyone was promoting FF over BF. To me, it was sharing of experiences that made me feel better about myself and knowing I wasnt alone. And for my own sanity.

    I know that BF is a wonderful experience that cannot be replicated by FF, that's what everyone says and that's what I've been trying so so hard to achieve.

    God knows how much pain I've borne with such painful nipples. I dunno, to me the statement sounds like I havent borne the pain and switched to FF. I've switched to FF for now as a last resort. It wasnt my intention and I;m hoping to try BF again in a week. But at the moment, even the mildest expressing via the electric pump is so painful. I've rented the one that the hospital used, Ameda.
    I'm sorry but that statement has upset me. Now, I'm back to feeling like I didnt try hard enough, and I feel guilty for switching to FF. I feel now like I cant do anything right, BF or FF......

    p.s. i have seen a few Lactation Consultants at the hospital, spoken to my GP and the Early Childhood Centre. I've tried everything I know. Yesterday, I was finally told by the LC, for the same of my mental health and my baby's happiness to switch to formula.My GP told me the same thing on Thurs.
    My milk never increased, I get 20-40ml only expressing both sides for 20mins.
    Last edited by prama; February 24th, 2008 at 08:43 PM. Reason: p.s.

  9. #27

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    Prama.... I am gobsmacked and appalled and disgusted at those midwives! Argh! Really mad at them, I'm so sorry that you didn't have the attention and support you needed at such a crucial time.
    No wonder things have been rocky!

    I really think you need to complain - at some stage, perhaps it's not your focus now, but don't let this go unreported, it's not good enough.

    That is so wonderful to hear that your relationship with your dh has been strengthened, and I'm so glad to hear that you're starting to connect with your bub - it takes different amounts of time for everyone, just a day at a time hon.

    And still, I reckon, if you're able, keep expressing to keep the supply up, that will give you some room, and time for your nipples to heal a bit, and then you can take 2.
    All the best.

    ETA: No no Prama, I am totally getting from your posts how painful you found b/fing!! No doubting that!! (I wonder if it's possible that a manual pump is gentler than an electric one? I'm sure someone who knows these things will be able to say, but I vaguely remember conversations where people with electric pumps have been able to express far more quickly, which perhaps leads me to guess that a manual one might be gentler?)

    ETAA: I know nothing of these things, but 20-40mls sounds enough? Like, my friend studying midwifery tells me that a nb's stomach is only the size of a walnut or something? (Once again, as the others have said, it certainly sounds like you're trying hard, and if formula is what you need to do, whether short term or for good, then there's no shame at ALL in that.)
    Last edited by Nelle; February 24th, 2008 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Keep thinking of things to ramble about.

  10. #28
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  11. #29

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    There was just that one midwife that was such a b!tch. The others were really wonderful and understanding. If anyone's at Westmead Private, I'll tell you who she is!
    I am going to make an official complaint.

    Nelle - I did order a manual pump from ebay. I'll try with that when I get it.

    I'm going to go get a couple hrs sleep before it's time to feed bub again.

    p.s. 1DH is adding his comment that all the LCs seem to say BF shouldnt hurt, maybe only for the first 60s, and then it shouldnt. But it looks like it hurts for quite a few women.

    p.s.2 At this stage bub should be taking in 70mls. And the last few days my milk has turned almost watery and only at 10ml. I;m going to go see my GP and have a final chat with her.
    Last edited by prama; February 24th, 2008 at 09:02 PM. Reason: ps1 and ps2

  12. #30

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    Prama, please don't feel bad for using formula. You are doing what you needed to you. No-one thinks otherwise. Sushee's post was merely pointing out that you hadn't decided what to do going forward, and that given that your post was in the bfing support forum than you were probably wanting some support and advice about starting to bf again rather than just ffing testimonials. Whatever decision you make will be the right one, and you shouldn't feel bad. You can only do what's best for you at the time. You do have the option to start bfing again, and if that's what you want to do in your heart, than it is worth a shot so that you don't feel regret later. However, if all you feel is relief that the pain is over and you are comfortable with a decision to continue to ff, then that is your answer. Don't feel pressured, just give yourself time.

    You have been through so much already. As I have said, I can totally relate to your difficult start to mothering. I too believe that DS's early arrival meant it took me longer to bond. He was born on the day before I was due to start maternity leave. I can also relate to the rough mws and lack of support. It is a really tough way to start your relationship with your new baby, and I think much needs to be changed in the whole obtetrics/midwifery world, but that is a bit OT. Just know that motherhood does get easier and does get more rewarding. You will get past this and be ok, but it's ok to feel as you do. Don't let that guilt get to you. You are doing a great job and you are a great mum. Hang in there.

  13. #31

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    Prama, watery milk just means that you are getting only the foremilk - you are probably not getting a let down. There is nothing wrong with your milk, you could still bf IF you want to. If this is the path you want to follow, I recommend a LC over a GP, you will get better advice and more gentle support. GL with whatever you decide.

  14. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by prama
    My milk never increased, I get 20-40ml only expressing both sides for 20mins.
    That is a perfect amount for a 2 week old bub. As Nelle said their stomach is only walnut sized. This is why they want to feed so frequently.

    I believe the point that Sushee was making with her post was that this being in the breastfeeding support forum, and the way you had expressed that breastfeeding was what you wanted to do, that some of the comments seemed to be more of a positve promotion of formula feeding rather than supporting of someone having problems with breastfeeding.

    As I said in my post before if you chose not to breastfeed your baby then that's alright too. Own your choice and be proud that you tried your best. Don't feel guilty

  15. #33

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    And in 20 mins, excellent! Riv was sooo sleepy and lazy those first few weeks, some feeds took 40 mins!! (though we fixed that eventually)
    You could be doing better than you think!!

  16. #34

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    I second everything Sushee said about BFing.
    For me, BFing was horrendous for the first 6 weeks, then not so horrendous for another 2 or 3 weeks until it 'just clicked', like all my BFing friends said it would.
    Yes, I was angry that of all the useless things I was told when pregnant, not one person said that BFing could well be challenging and to stick with it. Luckily, I'm a stubborn cow and I did stick with it, and also luckily, once my friends knew I was having problems they were good enough to tell me that it does get better, if you persist with it. My anger subsided when I started to hear useful things like that!
    The postscript is that I"m still BFing DS, and I even BF'd him on recent holidays to Ireland and the UK, where women who noticed took our BFing as their cue to 'confess' to me how much they liked their BF experience (BFing is not widely practiced in those places).
    So, whatever you end up doing, if it IS BFing, rest assured there is plenty of support here and plenty of women who can share your experiences and help get you over the line

  17. #35

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    prama,

    the post I made was not directed to you as such, but to everyone participating in this thread. I'm all for getting all information, and making an informed choice, ie pro-mum as I said before.

    But as you posted in the BF section, I was surprised by the amount of posts from FFers saying that yes it's hard and that changing to FF may be the answer, but very few posts were actually from BFers saying that those first few weeks are hell, but damn it gets better, so much better, if you can stick it out. If you can, but if you can't, that's fair enough too. Yes no one tells you that it's hard at first, no one tells you that it's painful, and getting support can be so hard. Similarly no one tells you that if you stick it out, that it gets easier and easier, that those first few weeks are not typical of how it's going to be, that BFing is a skill you need to learn, just like riding a bike, where you fall and hurt yourself all the time, and most importantly, that there is a great benefit to your and your baby's well-being to be had at the end of it.

    It concerned me that in a BFing support section, 80% are saying that the best decision they ever made was to move to formula. I then fear the message from BFers that it's bloody hard sometimes but worth it in the end tends to get lost. But what I'm not saying is that the benefit to your well-being now (less pain) is any more or any less important then the potential long term benefit of continuing to BF. Only you can make that decision.

    But surely in the process of sharing our experiences, it's fair to put forth a balance of both opinions? A balance of both sorts of encouragement? But the way it was going, there were far more posts saying that switching to formula was the best ever decision (and I can quote them if you like) then opinions from BFers about the benefits of seeing it through. I did not make it FF vs BF, I did not attack FF to make BF seem superior, but I also don't wish the opinions of BFers being minimalised either, esp in this thread. The reverse would not have been tolerated in the FF sections, I promise you.

    So I suppose my last post was more a gentle reminder as to which forum everyone was posting in, and the objective of the forum, than anything else. It's a BFing support forum designed to assist mothers who wish to continue BFing. It's not about your personal circumstance, prama, because as I've said before, no one doubts you're a good mother.

  18. #36
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