Sep 5, 2014

For Moms Struggling With Breast Feeding: My Breastfeeding Story


Okay this is a looooong one all about my struggles with breastfeeding and to be honest it's a hard one for me to talk about because wow it did not go well for a looong time. So, please be kind, it's something that's super personal for me but that I want to share for other moms struggling with breastfeeding. I've TOTALLY been there!

10 comments :

  1. you are such an incredibly brave person and such a beautiful mother, Sarah. i've always felt connected to you through your blog, and this is such a special story you've shared. i'm not a mom, and i'm not planning to be anytime soon, but i actually find myself worrying all the time about breastfeeding. i found out recently that i was a trouble-baby as far as breastfeeding, and it made my mom feel horrible and made her feel like she wasn't doing what she could for me. the fact that she felt that way in 1990 and didn't have anyone to turn to to tell her it was okay is so sad to me. what you're doing is incredibly powerful for moms and for woman. you know your baby and your body better than anyone else, and you're doing the best thing as a mother. it's enough.

    xo nicole
    writeslikeagirlblog.com

    ps. Jocelyn is the most gorgeous, sweet little girl!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I can't imagine the stress of having to go to all those doctors and I am so glad for you that they finally figured out it was acid reflux. I just recently heard that babies with acid reflux do not always spit up! That was very surprising to me.
    I also agree with you that if it's not going right, you should abandon it. While I believe that breast is best, I also agree with you that your mental sanity is really important, especially for a first baby.
    Thank G-d, my baby girl latched well pretty quickly, but breastfeeding was not a walk in the park. I had an excellent lactation consultant that worked closely with me and my husband helped by cleaning pump parts and giving a bottle in the middle of the night (and if we had to give a bottle of formula, we did!) And the idea that breastfeeding suddenly gets better, that I agree with. I remember thinking about it one day randomly, that it was suddenly so easy, and I thought back to when it wasn't and it made me sigh with relief and even laugh. Now that my baby girl is eight and a half months, there are other challenges. She's a little bit addicted and doesn't like to eat too many solids.Falling asleep without the aid of nursing is difficult. And suddenly my nipples are all cut up and blistery again? So it does get easier, but sometimes it gets hard again too.

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  3. I just watched this whole thing and all I have to say is you are a CHAMPION MOTHER! Thank you for sharing this, and for being real about the struggle. Even with a 4 month old, I still feel panicked sometimes about whether or not he's eating enough. It's so hard not to know, and you sound like you REALLY went through the ringer in that regard. You are beautiful and so is your baby, and I'm glad it's going a little better!

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  4. So, I almost cried when I listened to your story, because like you I had a hard experience with breast-feeding, and very different than anything I had ever heard before. I am a new mom to a four-month-old gir and my painful experience started in the hospital. I was told by a lactation consultant that I had "nothing to latch onto" flat nipples? Who knew. But still I tried for at least a month and a half to breastfeeding, and I tried EVERYTHING. At the same time my baby had extremely bad colic and was screaming most of the day, and she would scream even more when I tried to latch her. I did supplement throughout this time because I knew she did like to take the bottle. I also tried pumping, which was the most horrible experience of my life. I got a fun breast infection and I was hooked up to the darn thing almost all day. Anyway, for me and my mental stability I had to switch to formula. I did feel horrible about being a breast-feeding failure, or so I thought. But now I feel really good about my decision to stop. I was literally going crazy with the bad colic and the feeding problems. Sorry if this is too much information from somebody you don't know, but I just wanted to let you know that there are other people out there with a similar story. I think you are amazing for keeping with that after all that! And thank you for sharing your story. I wish I had heard something like this while I was going through my hard time.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your experience. I had a hard time breastfeeding when my baby was first born too. It was very frustrating because he was in fact latched on correctly, and was eating enough and gaining weight, but it was still extremely painful for me. I would literally sit with my teeth clenched while he ate because I was in so much pain. I read a lot of books and watched a lot of videos and they would always say "if the baby is latched on correctly then it won't hurt" but in my case that just wasn't true! I ruled out possible infection or other problems that could cause the pain and finally just determined that sometimes it just plain hurts to have an infant sucking on your nipples 12 times a day! After nursing in pain for 3 weeks I started pumping and feeding him bottles of expressed milk. I pumped exclusively for about 1-2 weeks until my body could heal more, then I started switching between pumping and nursing every other feeding and once I got used to that I went back to exclusively breastfeeding. It was a process, and I was lucky to have a supportive husband and a baby that took a bottle without any problems. Now, I tell everyone that it is absolutely possible that you could be doing everything right and it will still hurt! It just takes a lot of time and patience and trusting yourself. Thanks again for making an opportunity for readers to share their experiences.

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  6. I had a baby with latch problems, acid reflux, she was allergic to milk, and wouldn't drink the dairy free formula. So I felt so helpless and I would try talking to other people about it and everyone made me feel so stupid and like I was the problem. I always dreaded breastfeeding/pumping too, and it wasn't a joyful experience for me either. My milk supply suffered since we were having so many issues and I ended up having to pump exclusively and it always felt like we were "meeting ends meet" and barely having enough milk for my daughter in a day. I have never felt so stressed. But you do make it through and figure out what works for you and your baby. But you shouldn't feel judged by what articles say out there or what other people are telling you. Just do what you feel is right.

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  7. oh my gosh thank you!! Awesome video, so brave to share. My baby is 4 months old now. Long story short....it's still so frustrating and i sometimes just break down in tears!! He was born 6 weeks early and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. He had to use a nipple shield for a while because he was too small to keep the suction and keep it in his mouth. Breaking that habit was extremely hard. Now lately he will just randomly not latch on! Everyone says well maybe he's not hungry? Well it's been 5 hours now so pretty sure i know he's hungry. Ugh so frustrating when he's screaming, i'm crying, and he just won't eat. Glad breastfeeding isn't just hard for me, though i'm sorry you had such a hard time!! Related to soooo many things you said in this video, thanks!

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  8. oh and pumping....totally hear you. Since my baby was in the nicu i pumped exclusively for three weeks (ouch). then when he came home he didn't eat nearly as much as i was making with pumping so i'd feed for 45 mins-1 hour and then i'd have to pump for 20 minutes to get rid of "the rocks" :). and then it would be time to eat again! Pump, feed, pump, feed, it's exhausting and yes i felt like a cow!

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  9. I can completely relate to everything your feeling. When my son was born I had done everything to get ready to breast feed. I had read an article about desensitization and preparing your nipples for breast feeding. I was so overly prepared. So when my son was born and I could not for the life of me get him to latch, I was dumbfounded. I was doing everything right. And of course breast is beast is thrown at you everywhere you turn as a new mom. I was pumping in the hospital, I pumped 4 oz of colostrum, my milk came in the night after he was born. But still he couldn't latch. We were feeding him with a dropper to avoid nipple confusion with a bottle. Nurses and lactation consultants assured me he would latch, just keep trying. We went home and still no latch. The next day I took him back to the hospital because he was jaundice. We spent 5 days in the nicu. That first night seeing him with a uv blanket and a blindfold I decided that for us bottle and breast milk was best. We tried 4 different bottles... Finally he was able to get suction on one and I pumped constantly. It wasn't until 4 months later that a lactation consultant friend of mine noticed that my son could not stick out his tongue. Turns out my son couldn't latch even in perfect conditions. He was "tongue tied". I had never even heard of such a thing. His lower frenulum was attached all the way to the end of his tongue. My son ended up having surgery to correct the problem. And still he was never able to latch. I pumped for the first year before my milk dried up. However I remember feeling so helpless and guilty those first 4 months, like I was failing at motherhood. And feeling like everyone and their mother was judging my inability to feed my child. My son is almost five now and other that an adorable lisp, that he should grow out of, you would never know he was a tongue tied bottle fed baby. My husband and I are getting ready to try for number two. I'm so excited. I know that we are much less concerned about popular opinion and what everyone says is best. We are ready to grow our family, and my son Martigan is going to be in his words " the best big brother ever!"

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  10. Oh girl, I just wanted to give you a big hug through that whole thing. Pretend that's not creepy coming from a stranger on the internet. I'm a mom/baby and nursery nurse and there are SO many women who struggle like you did. Breast is great when it works but it doesn't always work and it's almost never as easy as you would hope. I've seriously considered being a lactation consultant solely to be the voice of reason and support for the not-perfect-breastfeeders.

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