New here and needing support and advice

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
New here and needing support and advice
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 1:02pm

Hi ladies,

This site was recommended to me by a friend. I have been cruising around reading and I am hooked ! All of you are fantastic and it is so rare to find a truly helpful and encouraging environment during this difficult time. After reading a lot of stories I thought I would share mine and see if there are any other mom's like me.

My daughter was born on 8/31 via C-section due to breech position. She is the best and hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Upon working with a LC we discovered that she has a very small mouth and getting her to keep her tongue down was almost impossible. They started me using a nipple shield to keep her tongue down and an SNS system because my milk was not in. By a week later when my milk finally came in I was already exhausted of the whole process. I was excited because I thought it would get easier. It didn't. She would fight and thrash with only occasional good latch and swallowing. She absolutely would not nurse without the shield either so I  was still having to pump also. By the time she had nursed enough to be satisfied and I had pumped and cleaned up, she would wake up again in 45 mins or an hour. I felt like I was going insane. I felt that feeding my child was a punishment for her and me. Not an enjoyable bonding time like it should be. The LC's told me that at every feeding I had to 1. Pump one breast to get the milk flowing 2. Offer the bare breast until baby got frustrated 3. Put shield on and nurse 4. Have DH massage baby and breast  to keep her alert and make milk flow faster 5.. Do whole process for other side 6. Then pump. Oh and "don't stress" they say, but this could occur every hour. Stress is bad for milk production so just relax. And just when do they suggest I rest ?

Soooo short story long I guess, I decided to supplement with a bottle. Which worked beautifully. I don't dread feedings, I feel like snuggling and smiling at my baby instead of avoiding  and rushing through feeding like a chore. I was trying to BF a couple of times a day but couldn't figure out what benefit she or I were getting out of it. I guess I feel guilty. Like I should desperately want my baby to nurse. However even if I drive myself crazy and work around the clock to get baby on breast, I still have to go back to work in a few weeks! So what happens to all my hard work then ?? I'll be back to doing what I'm doing now. I guess bottom line for me is that I'm fighting the pressures and opinions of all my mommy friends (Facebook is horrible for my morale at this point) with my strong desire to maintain my sanity and not feel guilty ALL THE TIME !!! Am I a bad mom for this ? I don't particularly enjoy being tied to my pump however the positive feeding experience is worth it for me. And yes, currently I dream of weaning time. However, in the meantime I will keep this up as long as I can.

Any words of advice or encouragement are welcome. I hope you are all having a good Wednesday!


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2012
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 8:41pm
I so sympathize! My son was a preemie, and I started pumping until he learned to suck. I thought he would take to nursing at that point. But no go. He would struggle to latch, or nurse for 10 minutes and fall asleep, or nurse for 45 minutes and then still need a whole bottle. He would only latch on one side and only with a nipple shield. And I would still need to pump my other side. Like you, I couldn't figure out how to make it all work. Eventually I decided just to EP. While it's been hard, it was so nice not to worry about how much food my son was getting. He is almost a year now, and is happy and healthy and growing well. But, I do still feel bad that he never nursed. With the prematurity, my c-section, and then not breastfeeding, I feel like I missed out on so many experiences. I felt guilty that I didn't try hard enough, or gave up too soon. But I think that the biggest thing I've learned from motherhood is that every mother and baby need to find what works for them. Oh, and throw all your expectations out the window! If your baby is doing well, and you have some measure of peace and sanity, I think you're doing great!