Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Arg I hate breastfeeding- sometimes!
I know that lots of you are no longer breastfeeding and I know that it is my choice, and sometimes I love it, but Sophie has just virtually cracked a ring around my entire nipple.
Now this sort of post is exactly why we have this blogg- as I don't think it would go down very well on For Battle!
I have found the advice from lactation consultants and everyone else who wants to have a say so annoying and mostly crap, that I have decided to let off steam. I am currently using a nipple shield until my nipple heals and then I will go back to feeding mostly because I enjoy the closeness it gives me. Finally weaning Alex to a bottle gave me a lot of freedom but I also missed it, so I am caught in the same double bind with Sophie. Breastfeeding is convenient because I don't have to sterilise, sometimes it is wonderful, particularly after the first six weeks and other times it is pure hell, as far as I am concerned it is much worse than labour and pregnancy combined at some times. Why do we get so much rubbish and conflicting advice from so called specialists when our own experiences and emotions over the whole issue are conflicting enough regardless of whether we are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, introducing solids early or late etc.


Mindy said...

Owww, owww, ow, ow, ow ow ow. Isn't it funny how all the lovely bfeeding literature forgets to tell you how much it hurts sometimes. I'm hanging in there for as long as I can because I hate sterilising with a passion. I've still got two months to go though, so we will see.

Do what works best for you. Charlie and Alex worked out okay I think.

Tina said...

If I can get everything working well I would like to get to at least four months, preferably six, so I don't have to sterilise. But at the very least I am going to Queensland in three weeks, I don't want to have to take sterilising gear when I go, that would be a whole extra bag of stuff.
Alex and Charlie did work out just fine, as I am sure all non breastfed babies do, at least all the ones around here. But I know what you mean about hating to sterilise. Steamers are useful. I think I will probably stop sterilising once Sophie is on solids, and shoving everything in her mouth, there is not much point once that happens.

Wenchilada said...

Oh hon, I really feel for you! I know I wimped out at 2 weeks, but you know? No-one told me how painful it was going to be and man, godammit, frick that hurt!

Do what you need to do, the best advice I had from the gorgeous community nurse I see here was, "Sweetie, if this is making you really unhappy and you aren't anjoying your baby, stop. This should be a happy time for you."

I followed her advice and at 7kgs and 63cms (wow, she's like a whole 100cms shorter than me!), Pers is going great guns. But, again, it's your call, see how you go after Brisvegas...

Goodluck, solidarity and all that...

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

argh, christ, my sympathies too.

put me down for three months of inverted and continually cracked, bleeding nipples, using breast shields and breast shells (to try and draw them out), doing a breastfeed/sup/pump routine around the clock, and the mastitis (although not full-blown, it was horrible enough thanks), and finally the sebbhoric (sp?) dermatitis. on nipples. it still hasn't gone away. is that TMI? lucky this is mostly anonymous. heh.

and then it turns out the Dinghy had (so called) silent reflux and needed a thickened feeding anyway. christ on a cracker.

on the occasions it was all working, I love breastfeeding to absolute bits. loved it loved it loved it. and so did the Dinghy, bless the little chick. I think that's what made it even harder to admit defeat. his enthusiasm. but physically I wasn't up to it. giving up was one of the hardest things in the world.

like mum said to me, I'll support any decision you make to the hilt. just make sure you're (for the most part) satisfied, and that Soph is satisfied.

I'm mystified by how many people we know who haven't been overly successful with breastfeeding due to a number of reasons, despite their desire and tenacity, myself included.

sure, genetics have to come into it. some women have better boobs (not talking size) than others. but does anyone know if there's any correlation between the age at which you first have a child and your success at breastfeeding?

could it be that the older you get for your first child, the less able your body is to get down to business? it seems to be that women tend to dry up as they get older in combination with subsequent children - although I have no hard evidence for that. just a thought. if I were popping out a bub at 18 instead of 37 (gah) would it be different? we'll never know!

I personally don't blame any of the professionals who gave me advice, even when I think (know!) some of it was impractical - fine in theory but not in practice. like the consultant who wanted me to feed on the breast for 40min then pump for 40min every 3 hours. when I repeated it back to her and she did the maths, she realised how STUPID that was. STUPID!

but they're just trying to turn a trend around. I've just been flicking through a parenting mag from the UK which is 2 years old - there's a survey in it which found that one third of babies in the UK were being put straight to the bottle without any attempt at breastfeeding. I found that really sad.

even if I couldn't achieve it myself for terribly long, I still think breastfeeding is the best option for the baby. and there was no way I would have put the Dinghy straight to the bottle without trying.

Tina said...

Good point about the age of the mother. I did a quick surf to see if I could come up with something but there is so much other information about breastfeeding that if it is out there I missed it due to the sheer load.
The nipple shield seems to have helped in the short term, but because it makes it harder to suck I now have some blocked ducts, this put me on the whole express to try and clear them roundabout. So now I am just hoping that by tomorrow things will have settled down a bit. I will see how I go but if I keep getting this sort of trouble I will stop. Sophie is very good about latching on, the main problem is that she gets a lot of gas, when she gets gas she does this head back thing, ususally while she is attached to me. It is incredibly painful and when she tore my nipple it was just one fast movement, as she was doing it I could feel it happen.
Anyway enough about that, I heard that Indrani, one of the Descartes squires who is now living in Sydney, also had a baby in April. I am trying to get in touch with her and see if she is interested in meeting up with us, or at least having a look at For Rattle, is everyone happy with that?

Wenchilada said...

Ummm...cabbage leaves? If anything, they're nice and cool and will help with pain relief...

Indrani? Can't say I've met her, sure, more the merrier, can't hurt. I reckon Tyg'd have her details...do you want me to check with her?

Tina said...

A friend of mine in Brisbane sent me her e-mail last night so I will try that and if I don't get an answer I will ask you if you can get me her details. Thanks.
Cabbage leaves are good.
I went to bed last night thinking of the whole 40 minute feed, 40 minute express every three hours and just trying to figure out how someone could think it good that a person only has 1 hour and forty minutes in every 3 hours, around the clock to live their life.
Thats like when I was told Alex was growing too fast so just stop feeding him. Now for a start look at his father, did he grow to fast or was he just going to be a big person? Next, fine but if that was the case I was going to record Alex crying constantly for 24 hours and then put it on a feedback loop outside their house so that they could also live through the pain that their advice would have given.
I find it difficult to believe that some of these people are trained.
Speedy, I have another friend who has a son with silent reflux, the thickened feeds are not helping him so he he is just about to go onto 1ml of mylanta after every feed with a maximum of 13ml to be taken in one day. We talked about it a while back but I didn't know the doseage. She rang Tresillian and they came up with the same advice and with a dosage. So if you are still having problems this may be something you may want to consider.

Wenchilada said...

Speedy, they discharged me from hospital with the 40 minute feed each side and told me to "just keep going until you can't go anymore" with the expressing. It wasn't until Nanny Manley turned up and pointed out that this was just ridiculous that I realised yes, how bloody stupid! I mean, honestly!

I got very little support while I was in hospital and found that unless I did some self directed learning, no-one helped me or told me anything (see my most recent rant on Captain Underpants).

Mousicles said...

I found this link to breastfeeding t-shirts and stuff


I particularly like the one that says "Mom's to lazy and cheap to use a bottle".

Apart from all the real proven benefits of breastfeeding, this slogan took my fancy :)

Tina said...

I like the "If nursing in public offends you please feel free to put a blanket over your head!" and the "I play with My Baby's Food..." I may have to get that one for Mal. Or even better "I see mommy's boobies more in a day than daddy does in a year". I found the one you like Mouse, that is quite cute. I also like the "Silly man tits are for kids!" There are lots of others that I liked as well, but I am not sure that I need to have a choice of 1750 products or whatever it is all promoting breastfeeding.
Sophie and I went back to normal breastfeeding today and the first thing she did was rip my nipple again. At the moment I think I am positively down on the whole breastfeeding thing.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

some of those shirts are just fab! love the 'Lactivist' one.

but others, like the bottle with a line through it, I think are just devisive (sp?). being pro-breast should not automatically make you anti-bottle. shades of grey, etc.

Wenchy, I found hospital almost *too* helpful - it was overwhelming sometimes. the end result was the same though - like you, I had to sort out what to do. the local baby clinic were the same, too - that was where I showed the midwife how to do maths.

I think some of them are so enthused about your boobs that they forget the sanity of the person attached to them. heh. but although I found them really frustrating, I also thought they really were a great resource. really nice people, too.

as to Indrani, I confess I don't know her at all, and sometimes I like to just hang out with people I know and are comfortable with. I need that sometimes. by the same token I don't want to be all exclusive and such. so I guess I can't say yea or nay.

btw cabbage leaves: I found them really soothing too! however - after using them I tried to find some info about why, and read that they can decrease your supply if you use them too much. I guess it stands to reason, if they relieve engorgment.

Tina said...

Thats OK. The whole reason I was asking was to make sure that everyone is comfortable. If not I, and or everyone else can meet up with her on occasion anyway. We will keep our mothers group to people that everyone knows.
I did some searching on Pubmed to see what it had to say about cabbage leaves. There was not much about the mechanisim of action but one study did mention that cabbage leaves worked the same as ice packs but that mothers preferred the cabbage leaves. Another study compared chilled cabbage leaves to non chilled leaves and found that the action seemed to be the same. So it defnetly seems to be something that the cabbage contains otherwise it would just be the cooling effect and this would not happen with both cooled and non-cooled leaves. Very interesting.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

all I can add is that when it gets to the thicker lumpier leaves, they ain't so comfortable to sleep with ;)

Wenchilada said...

The other thing someone suggested was to put a couple of disposable nappies in the freezer and use them for ice packs. Can't remember if you wet them first or not though...but apparently they provide some good relief.

Tina said...

It would probably make sense to wet them first. I guess that would be the newborn nappies. I can just imagine trying to walk around with a couple of Alex size nappies on my breasts. I mean I know my breasts are a reasonable size but I think you would have to be Dolly Parton or Pamela Anderson to fit nappies Alex size.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oooh I would actually think you *wouldn't* wet them first. if wet, they'd probably get too stiff to manipulate (ooh err) and as they thawed they'd just get soggy.

if the nappy was dry, the funny crystal things inside would get cold, but the nappy would retain it's flexibilty. and they'd probably be cold, but not as cold as a frozen thing, which might actually be too cold. if you know what I mean. I've put a face washer in the freezer to cool it down, but I wouldn't put a wet washer in the freezer.

Tina said...

Good point! I think I will stay away from the nappies, they are very good for what they are intended for, but I am not keen on wearing them in my bra.

Anything girl said...

Hi all,

Even though it was a long, long time ago for me, I still remember (and agree) that they really don't warn you about the difficulties of breastfeeding until way, way too late - if I was ever to do it again I'd be trying to toughen up my nipples for months before hand (the mental image of my nipples doing some sort of army boot camp quite amusing really...but where was I)

Oh yes, in answer to Speedy's wondering whether it makes a difference being 18 or 38...I was 19 and very bemused. I don't know whether biology/instinct of being young is or isn't offset by confidence/wisdom of maturity.

I remember a few cracked nipples early on which were agonising but somehow I managed to get through them (no torn ones though - I don't think I could have persevered with that). Do they still say to use Wool Fat (raw lanolin)? Then a mastitis in my right breast at about 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 months (when he was a tad too young for solids still) reduced my supply, so from then on I was supplementing a bottle or two a day. I do remember reducing the breast feeding quite gradually though, and it was only after the first bottom tooth came through that I stopped altogether, when it was only the very first feed of the day that I'd have any milk for(that very early morning ritual of bringing him into bed with me for a feed and a cuddle was the closest I ever got to "bonding" really - I still don't know if I ever bonded in the way I hear & read other mothers talk about). Once he had teeth top and bottom I couldn't stand the pain of being bitten, that was enough! So that would have been when, 8 months?? something like that. By then he was breastfeeding for comfort not nutrition, I know that much - but I'm not a teething ring, thanks. And having bottle feeds as his primary nutrition from 5 or 6 months hasn't harmed him (physically or psychologically) in the slightest, methinks.

PS - most of you know me, and I won't be weighing in here often because my memory is too foggy to be useful.