Saturday, October 1, 2011

An Update on Bre.ast Feeding

So far BFing is not going so well. 

Starting back at the hospital, Avery came out and was put on my chest with her little tongue going crazy.  She all ready had a sucking reflex and went straight to the bre.ast.  I thought oh, this will be so easy!

Well it turns out she had an awful latch and just that one feeding caused damage and blistering.  It doesn't help that I am so pale (I guess that makes you more susceptible to damage and bleeding from BFing).

The next few days in the hospital I only BFed.  She would struggle with latching and I didn't know what was right and wrong, so she continued to damage me.

On Wednesday afternoon, a Lactation Consultant came to see us and spent an hour with Ray and I showing us what we need to do.  She gave me a ni.ppple gaurd, which helped with the pain alot.  She also showed me how to pump.

Once we got home, I continued to exclusively BF.  But on Friday night Avery was starving and my milk hadn't come in.  Saturday morning when we tried to feed, she sucked so hard for the milk that wasn't there, the ni.pple guards filled up with blood and I was in crazy pain.

So that is when I had my meltdown and we gave her formula.  Once I stopped sobbing, I realized that I was no longer 100% responsible for health and weight and it was the biggest weight lifted off of my shoulders.  I enjoyed being the one who could take care of her and I liked the bonding of feeding her, but wow, that is a lot of responsibility and stress.

For one week, we only feed her via bottle.  During the day it was bre.astmilk and at night it was formula (adding the formula was our plan to begin doing at one month anyways).  She took to the bottle no problem and was so happy to eat! 

But I wanted to give BFing one last ditch effort, so we went to see our hospital's Lactation Consultant.  It is one of the things I love about our hospital, they have an entire department for BFing and if you delivered there you can use them for free!

So we went to see her and she was the same one we had in the hospital and loved!!!  We worked on the latch and learning what was right and wrong.  Avery will go for bre.ast, even thought she has been on the bottle, which is great, but she will go from a great latch to causing damage very quickly.

The whole experience was very frustrating for her and somewhat overwhelming for me.  I really do want to nurse (not exclusively though).  But I am not sure if I am up for this. 

And because of how quickly Avery goes from good latch to bad latch, even the lactation consultant recommended using the ni.pple guard.

Lately, my hormones have been crazy and I am dreading Ray going back to work, so do I have the strength/will power to make this work . . . .I don't know.

I have so much new respect for those who do BF.  It is hard, tiring, and stressful (at least in the beginning).

The good news is that she got weighted at the appointment and is now 7 pounds 10 ounces (as of September 30th), this is 4 ounces above her birth weight!


  1. Ugh, I am sorry about the issues you've had with BFing! I think everyone's experience/journey is different, and you have to do what is best for Avery, but also best for you. One of my girlfriends gave me really good advice with BFing: find someone to help you make the decision to either keep going or quit and don't feel bad either way. Whether it's the lactation consultant, pediatrician, a friend... talk it through with someone and decide what is best for your family.

    Just to give you my two cents... Max has had numerous feeding issues, so BFing is out of the question for me (he is on super-broken down, super-expensive formula... another story). And NOT to knock BFing at all - I think it's awesome if it works for you - but as soon as I quit (2 weeks to the day after he was born), we were a different family. No longer did I need to spend time away from my son pumping when I wanted to be cuddling with him, and my husband could share feedings. I feel like I've bonded more with Max now than I did when I was BFing... I was so concerned about if he was getting enough (which he never was), how I was going to pump afterwards, and how much my nips hurt. BFing is obviously great, but if you decide that it doesn't work for you and Avery, do NOT beat yourself up... it's a decision a lot of us make, and in my opinion, my kid is happier.

    Again, just my two cents :)

    So glad to hear she is higher than her birth weight - way to go, Mama!

  2. So sorry you guys are having a rough time BFing. I agree with the previous comment that you need to do what's best for you and your family. I think it's awesome you have lactation help, but they can't be there for every feeding, so whatever you decide to do, Avery will still be a happy, healthy baby! I use a nipple shield ALL the time when I BF and the pain is down to a minimum now but it took awhile for my nips to toughen up. You are a great mom for sure because you are taking so much time to try to figure what's best for you and Avery. Awesome that she is gaining weight! You are doing a great job!

  3. Uggghh, if you recall my first posts after Addy was born, I was RIGHT here with you. I was a mess, had a 6 month old desperate for my attention, too, and I was exhausted beyond words. I didn't think I could keep it up. But it has always been a passion and goal of mine (BFing), so I felt like I HAD to keep going. I didn't WANT to and I KNOW if I could have let go of it early on and not felt guilty, I would have been happier with her early on. That said, I stuck with it because EVERYone said it gets easier. And it did. By the time she was 2 months old, it was so much easier and by 3 months old it was a breeze. And now, it's my favorite time with her. Hands down. Like I said before, I supplemented with formula early on for my sanity and to make sure she was full . But as soon as the issues evened out (which I read almost always happens naturally as they age), I phased out the little bit of formula she was getting. Like others said, no matter what you decide, it will ALL be ok...she will be happy, healthy and YOUR precious daughter:). No matter what. I have one completely formula fed baby and one completely breastfed baby - there are pros and cons to both. Do what you feel is right and all will be well. This is mommyhood:). Not always a dream, lol! Breastfeeding in the beginning has still been BY FAR the hardest thing I went through with either baby. You will get your battle scars for sure:). Thinking of you, hun!

  4. I'll be praying for you and Avery as you battle through this together. I know it can't be easy, but I'm sure whatever decision you make will be the right one. Not that I know, but just don't beat yourself up about it all. Best of luck!

  5. I don't have any advice to offer, but I just wanted to say that you are doing a great job! You are a wonderful mom to little Avery, regardless if she eats from your boob or not! :)