Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warning- tmi nursing post ahead

I am a nursing momma. I did with Olivia for 13 months, and will do the same with Ava. But this road has been really rocky. Reallllly rocky. Mind you, Ava is 6.5 weeks old, and I fully expected to have the hang of this by now. And I don't. Here is a small timeline:

-Latched great day 1. Continued to do well in hospital. Kind of a bad latch, leading to cracked nipples from day 2.
-Milk came in. Engorged. Baby refuses to latch. Lactation consult in home #1.
-Pain. For the duration. Feeding a baby every 2/3 hours on cracked and bleeding nipples. Can't pick up my toddler, can't cuddle newborn to my chest. Moving too fast, no good. Dealing with it, figure it will get better soon.
- Baby projectile spitting up 9 times out of 10. Screaming while nursing most times.
- Lactation Consult in home #2. Found out supply was sucking, due likely to her not wanting to nurse for tummy issues. Lack of demand= lack of supply. Attempt to fix latch, no go. Bring on nursing, bottle, pumping, repeat. Problem fixed.
- Diagnosed with reflux and I stopped eating dairy.
- Barracuda baby continues to latch really shallow. I do EVERYTHING I can to get her on right. If she latches properly, she sucks for a second, screams bloody murder and tears my breast in 900 directions, til she gets where she wants. Mind you, nipples still cracked and bleeding.
- Baby crying on and off throughout entire nursing sessions.
- Also I have the only nursling in the world who doesn't want to nurse when she is sleepy. Will scream instead.
- This child is like a board. She is usually stiff, and that includes one arm that is stiff armed pushing against me, AWAY from the boob she has firmly in her mouth.
- And she chomps. Like, a freaking alligator.
- And now, I have a clogged duct, which is not a huge deal, but I may well be working on mastitis. Awesome.

I am having a really hard time dealing with this right now. Really hard time. I will not quit. But I cannot continue this way. I really dread each time she nurses. The only time it's ok is in the middle of the night. She is much more relaxed, and so am I.

I am open to anything. Someone, please, help!

Where is this peaceful mom? The one pictured below with the baby who latched right on after birth and mom was convinced it would be so much easier this time around. Where is she???


  1. Oh no!! I wish I could help. Do you use lanolin? It was my saving grace. Will she take a bottle? Maybe you could pump for her (although I know its not the same). Good luck! -Kim (fellow bumpie http://lsp-projects.blogspot.com)

  2. A couple thoughts - not that I'm an expert, since I gave up on nursing after a few weeks. But, have you thought about trying a nipple shield to keep your nipples from being torn apart by your barracuda baby? Or, might exclusively pumping & bottle feeding BM be an option? That was my plan when we had so much trouble nursing, but my supply was already in the tank by then and I felt it was just too late by then. Best of luck to you, sweetie. I hope you get back to that peaceful place!

  3. Becuse you say she's stiff all the time makes me think she needs to see a chiropractor. Infant chiropractics is so gentle. They use taps and nudges, no popping, and it helps with soooooo many issues, sleep, nursing, colic, pretty much anything!

  4. Hey not a bad idea on the chiro! I need to go anyways! Maybe I will go in tomorrow for both of us. Good suggestion! And thanks for all the advice everyone. Tonight was frustrating to say the least.

  5. ugh! I remember the screaming nursing sessions (that would be me, not LO). Good for you for calling in the nursing consultant. I had to call mine 3 times at least. Started to get embarassing. "Hello, it's me again..... We're desperate."

    I used the Medela Hydrogel pads like crazy. And they're expensive, but I didn't care.

    We tried nipple shields but LO hated them and tried to bite them off me. Ow.

    It sounds like you might be developing mastitis or a blocked duct, too. I had one crazy painful side that was actually a blocked duct and I didn't know it. Developed into mastitis on both sides. I went on the antibiotics and then the duct cleared by using my breast pump.

    Do you have a good breast pump?

    Sorry if this is too long of a comment. I totally sympathize with you! Give me shout if you have a question or wanna vent.

    Saw your post on the Bump and just had to write you. You can make it through this, girl!

    Emily Laney
    emilywynne (at) gmail.com

  6. Hey Rinney, I'm right there with ya on this one. I'm proud of you for sticking with it for this long, it's hard being a milk vending machine!

    Some tips I learned today at my consult (that you prob already know, but it has helped me)...#1 - I used the My Breast Friend at the consult (http://www.mybrestfriend.com/). It straps around your back for back support and offers a flat surface with little pillows for the babe. It makes me want to throw my Boppy in the trash, i LOVED it. I bought one at Babies R Us on my way home. #2 Use olive oil when pumping. Makes it easier on the nipple and helps with cracks. #3 Warm wash cloths before and ice after. Wet diapers and freeze them and put one on top and one on bottom to relieve swelling. #4 Nipple shields (I know you have used these before). They were a God send. Adriana was the same way, violent and crying...this has helped me tremendously.

    I love you, you're doing great...hang in there...

  7. Oh, also, I bought some Mother Love nipple cream...it is organic and safe to use before the babe starts. www.motherlove.com

  8. Well, first off. I love you, and you are doing an AWESOME job even though it's incredibly frustrating and hard right now. Most mamas might have given up by now with all these things going on. I know you want to keep bfing, so I would definitely keep a lactation consulant's number handy. I literally talked to one every week around 4 months when we started having supply issues. I had to do that whole darn bfing, pumping, bottle cycle and I HATED it. I've heard nipple shields help, but I think you already tried those and didn't like them with O. I will recommend those Soothies gel pads to everyone b/c they were the only thing that made my sore nipples better...no cream helped. Have you tried all the positions with A- football hold, lying down, etc.? I probably am not helping with these suggestions, but you are doing great already! Have you ever looked at kellymom website? It has all sorts of advice for breastfeeding...