Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 29

Thread: Feeding difficulties Debrief

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    6,683

    Default Feeding difficulties Debrief

    This thread has been created so that those who were unable to bf at all, or for as long as they wanted to, have the chance to vent and receive support.



    It is a forum requiring thought and support, without any criticism, judgement or any form of convincing that things should have been done differently. It is also not the place to offer bfing advice.

    So please be thoughtful when posting replies.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    On the edge of Crazytown
    Posts
    1,178

    Default

    Ok I will jump right in here then and pour it all out. This is my story from 11 yrs ago. I have pretty much moved on and gotten over it because it has been so long. But I will still always regret that I was not able to breastfeed my daughter.

    But, now that I am pregnant again it is back on my mind. So, I may as well lay it all out, shuffle it round, look at it from another perspective and hopefully learn from my own experiences. And from others who post here.

    DD1 was born exactly on her due date. I stayed 6 days in hosp, mainly for the healing of some very nasty stitches. I got some help in hosp with attachment. Mostly just a nurse or mid putting bubs head in one and and my boob in the other and whacking them together. Ok probably it was more than that but thats what it felt like to me!

    I left hosp sore from stitches and not confident with our feeding technique. I was given a leaflet with a phone number for the local ABA person and with a community health nurse number.

    Soon after getting home the blisters and cracks and bleeding began. Attachment was painful, like hot needles sticking through my nipples.

    I never had engorgement, i never had a let down reflex feeling, my milk never "came in" in a big rush. My baby just kept sucking away and hurting me.

    I struggled and battled to breastfeed my DD. I fought on bravely. I was determined to succeed, i was determined to not give in.

    I struggled on so long that in the end i couldnt take it any more. I was cracked and bleeding, i was in agony, i dreaded my baby waking up and being hungry, and boy was she hungry! she was not getting enough milk from me.

    Every attempt at feeding ending up with both of us crying our eyes out.

    I rang the ABA number. It was disconnected. I rang the child health nurse, left a message, she never called me back. I rang the hosp. the midwife was busy everytime I rang.

    I got a manual pump. I pumped away for ages and no milk would come. I was so cracked, and stressed and upset all that I got was a bottle with blood in it and no milk.

    I was devasted. I got some bottles and formula and fed my baby her first full meal. She guzzled so much that a lot of it came back up.

    I tried expressing manually and with a pump. I still wanted to get it right. I did everything I could at the time to make it work but soon realized the stressed out state I had gotten myself into was probably not helping and I just couldnt cope. DD1 was fully on formula by 2 weeks old.

    DD2 came along 3yrs later. I had an excellent antental instructor during pregnancy who explained attachment so fabulously well that I finally felt excited about the prospect of trying again. I was booked into a different hosp this time. The had a stack of videos available which I watched over and over before and after the birth.

    DD2 attached well, it was sore for just a little while but still nowhere near the agony of the first time round. I wanted to feed for as long as I could.

    At 6 weeks I was told my baby was not putting on enough weight, at 8 weeks there was some real concern over her growth and some supplemental feeding was recommended. I was feeding her both sides for a total of an hour usually and every 3hrs or less. But she wasnt growing much.

    By ten weeks with some supplemental formula she started to grow better. More formula was recommended to keep up the trend. Soon she was refusing the breast and would only take a bottle. She was fully formula fed by 11 weeks.

    While I was more happy with how things went I still wish I had been able to continue that special coonection with her for longer.

    So thanks for reading. Hopefully I will have some wonderful stories to tell you about the magic of breastfeeding in a year or so from now.

    p.s. I have a very impressive set of 18DD boobies but obviously its not the size that counts.
    Last edited by myson; September 6th, 2008 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    6,683

    Default

    Myson, thank you so much for sharing your story. You certainly have had a very tough time. I wish you all the very best for this time hun.

  4. #4

    Default *Very long* Sorry, need to get it out

    .....
    Last edited by cheekymonkey; April 21st, 2010 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    On the edge of Crazytown
    Posts
    1,178

    Default

    hi cheekymonkey. Im glad you posted. I cant answer your questions and I dont have any advice, but Im glad your here. You have obviously tried very hard and thats really great.

    Its interesting what you said about cup size. Mine didnt really change dramatically either. I never really felt engorged or anything.

    I think it can be hard for some to grasp the "not enough milk" idea. I know your body is supposed to provide what baby needs but...??? well, i guess sometimes it doesnt????

    My best friend was breast feeding her son when i told i was pg, she felt such a huge surge and let down and then the baby choked cos there was too much milk pouring out! BIZARRE! she had bucketloads to spare. I couldnt even express 20ml when my time came. I spent so much time wondering whats wrong with me.


    p.s.
    Thanks for this new thread MantaRay. I love BB for this exact reason!

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi Myson,

    I too have been waiting for a thread like this, I didn't really feel like I fitted in anywhere, formula feeding was not a choice for me either. Are you planning on B/F your new baby? I can understand that you must be thinking a lot about your previous B/F experiences at the moment. I feel like I need to have a plan in place for baby no. 2 (although definitely not on the cards yet) I have had an ultrasound because I was worried I had insufficient glandular tissue. when I stopped feeding, I got engorged for the first time overnight, but even though I could barely move my arms I could only express about 80 mls. Ultrasound was clear though, normal glands. I just want to isolate the problem, maybe it was a combination of things. I'm glad you are here too.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Warrnambool Vic
    Posts
    1,476

    Default

    Hi, cheeky monkey and Myson,

    Thanks for sharing you experiences. I would suggest that you make an appointment to plan/discuss/debrief with a skilled Lactation Consultant some-time before you have your next baby. She would go through a full medical history with you. There are some conditions that can have an effect on your lactation, such as thyroid conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes etc. (However, for others reading, people's bodies still react differently, for instance, with PCOS, some women have too much milk, and others don't have enough) There is always a reason why women don't produce enough milk. Unfortuntely, with our limited understanding of lactation, we may not know what that is in time to help you and your baby in this lactation. There is no "breast function test" no way of testing if the breast is working optimally. Like other organs of the body, some-times it doesn't work optimally, and supplementation is needed. It is a crushing blow to a mother who has been led all her life to understand this would happen easily and naturally. As cheeky monkey describes, babies who have breastfeeding difficulties often have bottle feeding difficulties - it was that inherent problem that is part of the reason breastfeeding didn't work out. And, as you point out, bottlefeeding mums often do it tougher - without the breast to soothe and comfort, and having to do something you thought you never would.
    Usually when breastfeeding doesn't work out, it is the culmination of several complex problems (if it was easy, we'd have had it sorted.) I think in both of your stories, your time in hospital holds clues to what happened. Those early feeds are really important. I think there is every chance that breastfeeding will go much better next time.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    1,028

    Default

    Hi
    I think what you said barb bout hospital is definetley what happened to me 12 years ago when i had dd, i was not confident at breast feeding and straight after having dd she had trouble with attachment, i was so sore even after a day of feeding. I was determined to keep trying but it seemed every time she needed a feed and i asked for help (which was a big thing for me as i usually dont want to bother anybody) everyone was busy. When the time came to leave hospital i thought i might be more comfortable and relaxed at home so i never told anyone how much trouble i was having, and the first night home all we did was cry, dd wouldnt attach properly and i was in so much pain. I battled on for awhile and when the mchn came to visit she said abruptly " ohh she doesnt even know how to attach properly", why are you holding her that way you need to hold her head, gee your making things too difficult, she made me feel like i was a failure. When she left i went to the chemist and bought formula. I cant believe how much what one person can say to you affects your life. This nasty woman is still a mchn today, and i have heard from a number of people that have been cared for by her that she is a lovely lady, well i am not sure if i just got her on a bad day or what but she ruined my breat feeding, and i was still anxious about feeding now 12 years later, and i think this might be why i have issues with it. Cheekymonkey i agree with Barb i think you should see someone whilst pregnant to get you ready for this bub, i wish i had and maybe then i would have had the confidents this time around.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    3,299

    Default

    I'm not sure where to start really. In hospital, all the midwives and two LC's said he had perfect attachment and that he was going to be a great feeder. He had lost more than 10% of hs birthweight on day 3 and his blood sugar levels and temperature had dopped.

    Because my milk had not come in yet a midwife convinced me that he needed a top up so he had it via the nasal tube. I wasn't happy about it and balled my eyes out, feeling terrible. In the meantime, the midwives helped me express colostrum so at least he was getting that. By the next morning, he gained sme weight, got warmer and BSL's went back up so out came the tube. My milk came in on day 4. By the time we left hospital on day 7, everyone was happy with everything.

    The alarm bells about my supply started when DS hadn't gained alot of weight after we left hospital. When the CHN came to visit at 10 days, DS had only gained 70 grams. She told me about ways to boost my supply, so I startd expressing after every feed and feeding on demand whenever DS was unsettled etc. A week later still only 70grams. No huge concerns yet as I was tld those gains are acceptable for a breastfed baby. CHN suggested I see the LC at the breastfeeding clinic. Couldn't get down there until after my 6 week check as I had a c/s and had no one to drive me.
    The LC checked him out, watched him feed, looked at his suck, attachment and said everything we were doing were fine maybe just feed him more often which was impossible because by then he was feeding every 2 hours and taking 1 hour to feed! She suggested I try fenugreek and keep up the expressing so I did. Went back a week later, DS only gained another 70 grams. This time she did the weighing before and after a feed and he seemed to take in around 100mls total from both sides. She suggested I start taking Motilium which I did, but DS still was not gaining and by 9 weeks had even started to lose weight.

    Saw the GP for his 6 week checkup, who checked him out and said he was fine and healthy. Was very encouraging about not to worry too much about the weight charts.

    At 9 weeks I decided to see another LC recommended to me by my sister and a friend. I finally felt like we could get somewhere as this woman checked everything about his suck. I mean she did not just watch him feed, she used her finger and checked his suck herself and concluded he was not sucking well enough. I felt hopeful now after weeks of despair and tears and stress. We got a nasal tube and using my finger, the tube and EBM we started our "suck training". I noticed a slight improvement but still not good enough. THe LC also suggested I hire a double electric pump so I contacted the ABA but never heard back from them about it so just carried on with my Avent pump. Was feeling disappointed about that.

    At 10 weeks again we saw the GP (different one) who also reassured me about the weight gains but we still did tests for UTI and DS had an ultrasound on his tummy. We had everyone confused because he showed every other sign of getting enough milk (ie wet nappies, alert, reaching milestones, etc).

    At 12 weeks we saw the paediatrician. DS was skinny and I felt so bad that I could see his ribs. I felt so guilty that I wasn't providing him with enough milk but on the other hand I felt so guilty because I had to give him formula. The paed sent us for blood tests to make sure was all ok. It was concluded that DS just needed more calories and so she prescribed 100mls formula top ups after every breastfeed.

    So in 4 weeks DS gained 2kg and is almost back to the weight he should be around. I give him the formula top ups using the gastric feeding tube I got from the LC so he is always at the breast. I let him breastfeed as normal and then pop the tube into his mouth while he's still attached. Doing this has maintained my supply but it hasn't got back to a huge enough amount that we can drop the top ups.

    Throughout the weeks, with all the expressing, fenugreek, motilium, I would notice a boost in my supply but because DS wasn't sucking properly I would just end up with blocked ducts. Thankfully, never eventuated into mastitis because I always fed and massaged them until they cleared. I tried everything to boost my supply, expressing, motilium, fenugreek, even the old wives tales of aktivite and lactation biscuits.

    The whole experience had me in tears constantly and I know the stress started to affect my supply as well. I felt like such a failure that my body couldn't do what it's supposed to do even though the LC had told me it is DS's suck that was the problem. When I think back to the early weeks when we were up 2 hourly around the clock, I feel bad that he must have been so hungry.

    I still express whenever I can and he will get this in place of a formula top up, so that's a start I guess. I hope that one day we can get rid of all the formula top ups. And I hope for the next baby it works alot better.

    Thanks for reading...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In Bankworld with Barbara
    Posts
    14,222

    Default

    I'm going to come back to this later when I have more time....

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    not with crazy people
    Posts
    8,023

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
    This thread has been created so that those who were unable to bf at all, or for as long as they wanted to, have the chance to vent and receive support.

    It is a forum requiring thought and support, without any criticism, judgement or any form of convincing that things should have been done differently. It is also not the place to offer bfing advice.

    So please be thoughtful when posting replies.
    Bl00dy hell MR - Im sitting here bawling and Ive only read what yourve posted.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

    I have so many unfinished issues about our BF journey and I need to debrief. I'll hav eto come back when the kids arent reading with me

    again

    thank you

  12. #12

    Default (depressed) weaning from breast to formula HELP

    I have been breast feeding my baby for almost 7 mths and I hate it and the only reason I have continued with it is because he won't have formula. I am so sick of breastfeeding it is controlling my life. I had pre-natal depression with this baby and post-natal depression with my first DS. I feel myself crying and getting frustrated everyday atm. I just know it would all be easier if he bottle fed. He is still not sleeping through so I am still on 3-4 hours sleep a night and with my husband at work and a toddler to look after I can never seem to get a break. I just want him to stop breast feeding so when my husband is home he can help more. I had no trouble at all with DS No. 1 with sleeping or getting him on to formula at 6 mths. So if anyone has any advice that may help him to bottle feed I would appreciate it very much as I know that most of my low moods atm is because I am sick of breast feeding.
    Thanks

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    not with crazy people
    Posts
    8,023

    Default

    Firstly Wednesday HUGE congratualtions to getting to were you are BFing even though you hate it. It amazes me day by day to the lengths and sacrifices so many of us go to for our children.
    You must find it so hard to deal with and I take my hat of to you.

    What bottles have you tried? Is it the bottle or the formula that your DS detest's so much?

    Would you consider expressing or have you just had enough full stop hun? And what formula's have you tried?

    I had alot of trouble with Mateauz and getting him to suck on bottles...I tried quiet a few until I bought the new tomme tippee ones that have a teat that looks like a nipple. they are fantastic and look nothing like the normal teats on bottles. Must warn you though they are a bit expensive but well worth it for satisfation that Mateauz is taking the bottle.

    I to found it hard with DH at work all day, a BF baby, a toddler and 2 other kids (one special needs) at my feet. My DH also felt left out and wanted to bond with Mateauz very badly so as my supply wasnt up to scratch we decided to give Mateauz a night time formula feed that daddy gave him. It gave me a break and gave DH time to have his bonding with his son. It also helped me feel human and even though I hated the thought of giving him formula..it made the world of good for him and for me.

    I know everyone says happy baby = happy mummy....but when mummy isnt happy then baby inst happy either.

    you have to do for you what is the best for you and your baby hon.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    bunbury WA
    Posts
    2,114

    Default

    hi girls
    it was fantastic to read your stories and to know there are other peope out there with the same issues. When i had my son in1999 i was 18 and single and didnt have a great deal of confidence i had problems breast feeding from day one! i couldnt get him to attach had bleeding, cracked and sore nipples i used to cry just knowing he was due for a feed. following everyones addvice i struggled on for 5 horrible weeks then feeling like a failure i put him on formula.
    so when we got pregnant i was sure being older and with the support of my DH i could learn all i could and be confident enough to ask for help breast feeding my daring lucy...but after a week again i had bleeding cracked and sore nipples
    i tried shields, creams everything i could get my hands on. everyone is surpised to hear my 18dd boobs are useless too.so again my daughter is on formula and again i feel like a failure... why do some people make it look so easy and yet for some others its so so hard. we are planing to have another child at some stage and i dont even think i will try this time.
    i just wanted to do for my babies what no one else could i wanted the closeness of breastfeeding.
    lucy has just started smiling and with every smile my feelings of failing slowly fade
    I feel better allready just telling my story so thank you's for reading
    tasha

  15. #15

    Default Low Glandular Tissue

    How can I move past this. Thinking about not being able to breastfeed takes up every spare minute of my time. I won't go into my story again, but I have just had a debrief with a lactation consultant. I thought it might help me to feel better but it didn't. I know my next BF journey is going to also be a haze of pumping, supply lines, supplementing and breast refusal. At best if I have "a willing baby" I will be able to drop top ups when solids are well established, that is if I even get that far. I am ashamed at the way I feed my baby, I'm embarrassed by bottle feeding in public. This isn't me. I was meant to breastfeed. It feels all wrong. I feel like a freak and a failure. I'm angry that none of the LC's/ GP's, MCHN bother to look any deeper. How do I move past this?? It doesn't help that barely anyone has this condition, very rare, I have nobody to talk to who understands, who is in my position. These feelings are sabotaging motherhood for me and I don't know how to make it stop.
    Last edited by cheekymonkey; April 21st, 2010 at 09:34 AM.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    travelling
    Posts
    9,557

    Default

    You guys have been through so much.

    I am lucky 3rd time around & am still feeding DS at 7 months. It keeps coming into my mind to decide when to stop, but I freak out about stopping. I am no where near ready yet, & I am ok with that, but I'm scared I'll never stop. I'm making up for so much lost time with my girls.

    I fell pg with DD1 at 17. I was way too young, I knew nothing, & I had no real support.
    In my favour I had the fact that I was quite mature for 17 & I did know that I wanted a natural labour & to BF. & I did read alot.
    The labour went reasonably well. I did have gas & pethidine, & t was kinda long, but I birthed vaginally & ended up with no stitches.
    I put DD1 to the breast about 20 minutes to half an hour after birth. The pain was instant. In everything I had read, there really wasn't anything at all about BFing & I just assumed as it was natural & something the body is made to do that it would be easy. I was definetely not prepared.
    So the MW checked my attatchment & said everything looked fine. Just said that sometimes women with fair skin can have pain while feeding. I don't have fair skin, its quite dark, but I do have very light coloured nipples & areola's. They are also quite small - they did get bigger whilst pg, but only maybe 3 - 4 cm across the areola & still only faint pink colour.
    I kept feeding her. I think 2 more times I was checked for attatchment & all looked fine, but the pain was there every feed. The feeling like a needle/pin being pushed through my nipple at all angles.
    When DD1 was 2 weeks old I was at the MCHN. She also checked attachment. All good again.
    By the time she was 6 weeks old I was in tears feeding her. It hurt & it was getting worse. I went & bought a manual breast pump.
    For about a week I spent about an hour expressing, then about an hour BFing & giving the EBM. It was taking forever to express & I wasn't getting very much at a time. Around 20 mls.
    So I bought FF. I did BF/FF for a couple of weeks. She was mostly on the FF.
    I gave her her last BF at 10 weeks old.

    I felt so guilty. I think the fact that I was only 18 added to it. I wanted to prove to everyone that just because I was a young mum didn't mean I couldn't do the best for my child.
    I was diagnosed with PND, offered counselling, but I wasn't too worried myself, so I didn't go.


    3 years later. DD2.
    I had a great labour. It was long with pre labour, but so calm & relaxing & drug free.
    DD2 went to the breast almost instantly. It was amazing. There was no pain.
    I had read about BFing this time around. How to toughen them up & prepare your nipples for feeding. Things were great!
    Till she was 4 weeks old. I had no problems feeding in front of people I knew, but when a friends BIL was at her house I felt a bit awkward. I tried to attatch DD2 under my shirt so noone would see. BIG mistake. I put her on wrong & was cracked & bleeding.
    The pain was excruciating. This time I was cracked. I don't know what the pain was last time, but this was pretty much the same except I could see why it was there.
    I was scared of pain while BFing, so I gave her a few FF's. The next day I went to feed her & things were good again. I had healed up.
    So we were kinda back on track. Except for her colic. DD2 had bad colic & for 10 weeks she was up screaming til 3am EVERY night. From about 1 week old.
    I was sleep deprived & had a toddler to take care of. It was hard.
    Then the pain started. I had too much going on without dealing with that as well. I gave up. We had both developed thrush & I was hoping that FF would also help with the colic.
    I had no idea that thrush causes pain til I had DS, so I just assumed the pain I had with DD1 was back.
    I also had PND again & it was suspected that I didn't get over it from DD1.
    It was all too much, so she was put on FF full time again. I think her last BF was about 5 weeks.

    I felt guilty up til DS was born. DD1 is asthmatic & DD2 gets eczema. 2 of the things it is suspected BFing helps with. I do know that both are also genetic & they do run in both sides of the family, but thats no consulation.

    At 6 weeks I had problems with DS. My nipples are still very sensitive, but its not excrutiating. Its bearable. I nearly gave up, but I was a crying mess about it & my PND which I had so far avoided was coming back full force, so I rang my MCHN.
    Along with a phone call to a LC we sorted it out. I had thrush & was cracked.
    I used Nilstat & nipple sheilds for a couple of days & its all gone smoothly since.
    I feel so much better. I am still suffering with PND, but BFing DS is the only thing I do that makes me feel like I'm here for a reason.

    I'm very lucky this time around, & I don't mean to rub it in to anyone else. I just know how lucky I am this time around. I finally feel that I am worth something to my children.

    Sorry this was so long. Thanks for reading.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    6,683

    Default

    to everyone.

    Thank you for sharing your stories. It is so sad there is such a lack of support - both practical and emotional. I hope that by writing it out, it has helped you to process it all.

    Cheekymonkey - what a great idea to debrief with a LC. I am sorry that it hasn't helped you feel better, but I hope that in time it does.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    Cheekymonkey - that's a heartbreaking situation to be in. When your body has grown in an odd way, and won't do what it is meant to, and that affects how you can interact with your bub it is really hard.

    Make sure that you do as many nice things with your bub as you can - bazillions of cuddles, seeing the world together, reading him your favourite books, and so on. Focus on all the wonderful things you can do together rather than dwelling on the one special thing that didn't work, although you tried so very hard.

    And - while BF helps settle babies, it isn't a magic fix-it every time. Some of the other things we have to use are walks (in the pram or in a carrier), rocking (usually on my lap on an office chair, swivelling back and forth), music (bub likes silverchair and isn't big on lullabies, but whatever works...), going somewhere noisy and interesting, walking around showing him lights and colours, rubbing his tummy and back, sitting in his room and talking to him while he settles, and so on.

    hugs
    Kate
    Last edited by Kmn; October 12th, 2008 at 11:13 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •