Breastfeeding flunkie


Written on Thursday, July 20, 2006 by Jessica

I'm a breastfeeding failure. My nipples are horribly sore, probably due to nipple confusion -- which of course is my own fault, because I opted to bottle feed what I'd pumped instead of using the SNS (supplemental nursing system). Granted, we used a special nipple called a Haberman, which is designed to mimic breastfeeding, but it's not the same. I guess I was so grateful to Bob for his help with night feedings that I didn't want to ask him to use the more time-consuming SNS -- which is stupid b/c he would have used it without complaint.

Worse, I gave into pressure to use a pacifier. I didn't want to seem like a paranoid first-time mom.

No surprise that my milk production isn't enough. I make enough in the morning, but it declines all day long until finally he's waking up every hour to eat during the night. (It's amazing how many parenting decisions are influenced by fatigue. I don't think I would've used a pacifier if not for being exhausted. Now I'm paying for it.)

Even though I wasn't looking forward to breastfeeding, I never expected to be bad at it. I read the blogs of lots of successful breastfeeders, and I just don't know how they do it. I want to blame other factors: the c-section, which prevented me from establishing breastfeeding immediately; NICU for giving him a pacifier and bottle; the pediatrician, who prescribed formula while he was in NICU. But it's no use. I'm a breastfeeding failure, and it's no one's fault but my own. It's a miserable feeling.

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  1. Danielle/Brooke |

    oh Jessica, don't feel bad.Tommy does not breastfeed either. It is hard to breastfeed. Don't let anyone tell you that is easy, it is a natural things but that by no means makes it easy.

    And look on the bright side it frees you up some and as long as you got some into him you have done better than me. Tommy was able to get a little bit of colosterum (sp) that I was able to pump before I dried up.

    And pacifers aren't bad. as long as they are not 4 and still using them :-)


  2. Shana |

    It probably isn't too late to get a good nursing relationship established. It would take a lot of work on your part, but if this is something you really want to do, it would probably be worth it.

    And of course, if it is NOT something you really want to do, you know what?, you done good, OK? He got a good start with some breastmilk and there are certainly some advantages to formula feeding just as there are also some advantages beyond the health-related ones to breastfeeding.

    If you do want to try to salvage your breastfeeding, I suggest the following:

    Contact your local LLL or a lactation consultant

    Visit, particularly the section on breastfeeding during the neonate period.

    Lansinoh for those nipples. Lots of it. And remember that the worst of the pain when nursing with poor abused nipples lasts only for a minute or two. Once you get past the worst of the pain -- and it doesn't last long -- you can get in a good nursing session.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this and I hope you find some happiness and peace with whatever course you decide.

  3. Jessica |

    Thx Danielle, but at least if I dried up, I could be at peace with the fact that it wouldn't be my fault. However, I met with the lactation consultant today, who tells me I have tons of milk -- which means I've been supplementing with formula unnecessarily!

    Thx for the advice, S. I'd actually made an appointment with the LC yesterday even before I launched into my mini pity party here on my blog. I'll have to write another entry about what happened.


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