Tuesday, March 6

why breastfeeding sucks. pun intended.

disclaimer: if you love all aspects of breastfeeding you may skip this post. or if you are pregnant with your first child. or if you don't want to know about the terrors of breastfeeding. no one really has to read this at all, but it was a tad bit liberating and freeing for me to write it all out and click that publish button. let a girl live a little.

breastfeeding loving moms will be coming for me in the middle of the night after reading this. and they won't come unarmed. oh no. they'll have lansinoh by the tube full and la leche league pamphlets.

friends. i know that breastfeeding is best for my baby.
i know the long list of benefits it has for my girl. 

and, the best part of all, it's free!

but can i tell you something?

my boobs freaking hurt.
and i don't mean ocassionally.
i mean all.the.time.
that is on top of all the other areas of me that hurt after childbirth.

here's a little TMI for you.

i have a small crack on my left nipple.

do you know what that small crack is causing me to do?

curse.

curl my toes into the ground, clench my fists, and pray for labor pains to replace the pain for her latching on and eating.

oh ya know, just some of your after birth supplies. 

and then the 2.5 hours in between each feeding, from my elbows, up my arms, down my chest, all the way to belly button aches. aching because my boobs are twice the size of my baby's head and still so full. even if she eats 10 to 20 minutes each side.

showering? ha. forget about it. it hurts too bad to be under the water at all.

since i cannot even bear to nurse story on my left side i broke out the electric double breast pump that was passed down to me after i had brody. it must be at least 6 or 7 years old.

i pumped about 2 ounces and all the sudden the thing started shaking and i could hear parts rumbling inside of it.

it died.
and, in that moment, a little part of me died too.

had to fork over $100 to buy a new one.

then comes the pumping and giving a bottle dilemma...

should i give my 7 day old baby a bottle? will she go back to the breast? oh, the debate. people. it is the debate, you know. i can't not pump because i am in so much pain from engorgement, and i can't nurse because i will lit.tra.lee. die from the pain.

i get this weird tingly feeling all down my right arm and both legs every time story's eating. i have to violently shake them to make it somewhat stop. you're welcome for that mental image.

the second story starts nursing i am ravenous. RAVENOUS. feed me baked goods of any sort but don't come too close or i'll eat you.

and know what else? everyone i know who is breastfeeding right now has cracked nipples, thrush, or mastitis. mmmkay?

need i say more?

109 comments:

  1. My son is 20 mos and I'm still nursing. I still remember the beginning and curling my toes from pain. Brought it all back in this post. I'm not sure if you nursed your other children? But it does get better after about two weeks and is wonderful once It's not awkward or painful. I sooo sympathize with you! I've had Mastitis four times and many painful moments. I've heard cabbage leaves help with engorgement and I liked the Medela brand for nipple cream( more slippery) and I know to didn't want advice, I just sooo want this to get better for you and SOON! Also, in spite of the not so funny circumstances, you made a humorous post out of it.

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    1. i did nurse both the boys but never had the pain when nursing like i do with story. she has a perfect latch, too… just super painful. thankfully i wrote this post last week and it has improved SO much since then! :)

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  2. I know the pains of breastfeeding.
    With my first I had to pump exclusively for 5 months. I kept putting my little guy at the breast and finally around 5 months he caught on and started nursing, so the whole bottle vs. boob confusion doesn't make sense to me. While pumping I had to many plugged ducts and I also got mastitis not 1, not 2 but 3 times!!

    Then with my daughter I had to pump exclusively for 3 months before she got the hang on nursing. But her latch ALWAYS hurt. All the way up to 15 months. With pumping with her my nipples got raw and chunks fell off, TMI I know...

    So I know the pain, but the fact that I couldnt breastfeed my last baby (he is on formula because of my meds) I feel GUILTY. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up with the other two because of the pain, but I would have gladly gone through the pain for my third if I could have.

    You will make it through this. Just keep the mindset that it's best for your baby!

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  3. shame girl! I am pregnant with my first :) thanks for being honest ;) this part is more frightening than giving birth!!

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  4. all i can say is - i'm sure glad julia is a bottle baby! :) after reading that post i will not be second guessing my decision to stop breastfeeding (after two weeks) for another moment.

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    1. good for you Kristin. I dealt with guilt for a LONG time after switching from breastfeeding and it's no way to live!

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  5. so SO sorry girl. I REALLY have been there. I think already told you this, but when Abigail cut her first teeth it was awful. AWFUL. open wounds, the pain in the shower (thus no showering), etc. I even had the pain down my arms too because it was so terribly intense. We did get through it, and it was worth it, but it was TOUGH. Breastfeeding a baby is no joke. and though I AM one of those women who is passionate about it...I also think that you HAVE to do what is best for you and esp if it is causing so much stress and pain, it's not beneficial for you any longer. You will still bond with sweet Story with a bottle! and you can always try the breast again when you heal. Again, im SO sorry. for real. I FEEL you because i have been there. love you friend...praying for relief, in every way. i know its an emotional thing.

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    1. you are such a blessing to me, friend! thank you for all your help!!

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  6. oh danielle, you poor girl. if anyone has been there, this is definitely not tmi. the cracking is the worst. (kind of can't believe i am typing this out right now.) it does get better, i promise. but i say you need to do what you need to do for you. if it's a bottle, so be it. the hot water from the shower may actually help a little with releasing the milk? now who is sharing tmi? also, have you tried soothies?
    longest comment ever. hoping for relief SOON!

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    1. thank you friend! it is getting better each day… thank goodness!

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  7. ugh, i hear ya. Lies. I know the lactation consultants tell you it doesn't hurt to breastfeed but it does (and as an L&D nurse, they will come after me for saying it...but i do. I also tell them if they tell the lactation nurses i said it, i will hunt them down, i need to keep my job.) A girls gotta tell the first time mammas the truth!
    I had mastitis 5 times total between my two boys. It's awful and i thought i was dying.
    Ohhh what we endure for the love of our little people.
    Hang in there.

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    1. i know it! and thank you for your honesty :)

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  8. eeek. that's all I'm gonna say.
    and that moms deserve medals of pure gold. and diamonds. and chocolate.

    xoxo

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  9. Ugh, you just reminded me of cracks... Got them from pumping. Now my boobs feel achy thinking about it.

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  10. Ooh, my boobies are hurting for you!
    When it's good it's good and when it's bad it's really bad huh?
    xx all the best

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  11. my sweetie friend!
    i have no idea how terrible this is for you, but i am grieved for you. praying that your pain decreases quickly and you get RELIEF. AND that you have a peace about what to do. whatever you choose? the lord already knows, and it is the right choice.
    also, wish i could bring you baked goods. xo LOVE YOU.

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    1. i love you for many reasons. one of them being cause i know you would be all over the baked goods.

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  12. oh my goodness, that sounds horrifically painful. i'm so sorry. i will be praying for you!

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  13. thank you all for your sweet &funny comments. i wrote this post last week and it has gotten much, much better since then. i had to pump the one side and bottle feed it for 3 days and it provided time to heal. PTL. still so much pain in the first couple minutes on each side but i do think it's slowly going down. thank goodness! it's always something though. right!?

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  14. I am sorry Danielle, I bottle fed with my daughter but my sister and friends who were breastfeeding said the same thing....heck I thought I was going to die when my milk JUST came in and I didn't let my daughter near my girls. I am praying for you! Your daughter is beautiful!

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  15. I am sorry Danielle, I bottle fed with my daughter but my sister and friends who were breastfeeding said the same thing....heck I thought I was going to die when my milk JUST came in and I didn't let my daughter near my girls. I am praying for you! Your daughter is beautiful!

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  16. Lol! Girl, I say screw it! Put some cold cabbage leaves on your boobs, wrap them up tight and wait for them to dry up. Putting your daughter on formula isn't a crime and she'll be perfectly fine. I breast fed for four weeks, pumped for 2 more and literally hated every single moment of it. I was so happy when I finally said screw it and got formula and a bottle. And because I was happier, my baby was happier!

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    1. i love your advice! thankfully it has gotten a lot better since i wrote this, but i will totally throw in the towel when i'm done this go around!

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  17. Danielle, i love your honesty! i am bringing baked goods tomorrow :) Love you

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    1. oh sarah! i love you! and i love the baked goods already! :)

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  18. praying for you for grace and strength! i understand what you're going through. with my fifth child, i had to pump on my left side because i was cracked and bleeding. and after about 4 or 5 days of that, i was able to go back to nursing on that side again. my nipple just needed a few days to rest and heal up. praying that things will get better very soon! hang in there!!
    blessings, lora

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  19. i just had my third baby and i can't tell you how hungry i have been with nursing. crazy. as far as THE debate..do what is best for you and for story. it will all work out fine. my daughter was in the nicu when she was first born and they wouldn't let me nurse, only bottle feed and she went on to do fine with nursing. good luck. hope you start feeling better very soon.

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    1. i'm glad we're starving together at least ;) and best wishes for your nursing journey as well!

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  20. Oh I remember grieving over breastfeeding. I thought it was all supposed to be natural and easy and I had a baby girl who had a crooked jaw. She literally could not latch. I pumped and pumped and bottle fed her and I was a miserable mess, bleeding nipples, pain, etc. I finally quit pumping and went to formula. I grieved and cried for days. At my 6 week follow up my OB told me that my daughter needed "a mother not a martyr." It really freed me to love her and nurture her and let go of the fact that breastfeeding didn't work for her.

    I think all mamas should follow their instincts and do what they feel is right for their babies. No judgment from this mama! And I agree that Story is a beautiful baby girl!

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    1. thank you! and i LOVE mom not a martyr… how true.

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  21. YES. Thank you for writing this, seriously. New moms need to hear about the horrors of breast feeding :) I had NO idea to expect any of this, but when I had Natalie I had a very rude awakening when I tried to breast feed. It.hurt.so.freaking.bad.

    I only breastfed her for 3-4 days then pumped for 5 weeks. The 3-4 days I breast fed her led to SEVERE cracked nipples which bled and scabbed over... which led to HUGE golf ball sized/rock hard clogs. I couldn't even hold Natalie because I was in so much pain. It sucked.

    So I totally feel you. Story needs a healty/happy mommy more than she needs breast milk. I believe that with my entire heart.

    I felt some guilt about pumping over breast feeding and then more guilt when I decided to stop pumping, but I just couldn't get my clogs out so I was sore and engorged for 5 weeks. Not good.

    I felt a million times better and more sane immediately.

    Your love for your babies is the best thing you can give them.

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    1. i wish someone warned me before i had brody as well - as awful as this pain is, it is nothing compared to the breastfeeding journey i had with my first. our love is the best thing, so true!

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  22. danielle you have endured so much with your breast feeding stories from your other 2 babies. and IT IS OK if you decide to give Story formula. millions of other babies are alive and WELL after being fed formula.
    some mothers NEVER even attempt to nurse. you did. you have!

    i nursed livi for only 4 months, i nursed bryson for only 3. i never once had a cracked, bleeding nipple, and let me tell you, if i did, I would have QUIT right then and there.

    You are AMAZING. you are an amazing mom, and an amazing woman. you do NOT NEED to endure the agony you are feeling.

    everyone will be OK AND WELL if you stop. and you will be so much happier, and in much less pain. ha.

    dont feel bad!

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    1. i so appreciate this post and agree!

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    2. Well said! I 2nd everything said!

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  23. OMG! i just left a big post and its gone! hopefully t just dissapeared and was sent to you miraculously. if not- please let me know and i will rewrite it.

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  24. I remember the pain, the tingling feeling and the pain of showering. I breastfeed my 1st for 7 months and my 2nd child from 17 months....I just want to encourage you because I know its painful for the first couple months...but it does get easier. Your milk will adjust. My sister just gave birth on the 24th of Feb and her friend said to fill up a sock with rice and microwave it and put it on your breast...she said its AMAZING! Try it. She also had crack nipples and I did too. Dont give up, it is painful...but it gets easier. Breastfeeding does work, I know so many mothers out there say Oh just give up, dont go through the pain, but its something beautiful you are giving to your child. Something that nothing else can replace. Also try using nipple shields when you are cracked....or try nursing on the side you are not cracked for a couple days and let the other one heal. I dont know if any of this will help....praying for you.

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    1. thank you for your suggestions! it has gotten much better since i wrote this out last week :)

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  25. Same thing with my first. The nipple shield was my saving grace! It is like a thin clear plastic thing that goes over your nipple to protect it while nursing. Have you tried it?

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    1. i did! it makes the pain a little less awful, i'll take it :)

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  26. Seriously...breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart! It was shocking to me how difficult those first few weeks of nursing are! I've always viewed nursing with a 'we'll give it a go and see what happens' approach. But, I truly believe what's best for your baby is what you do for her out of love as her mommy. Hang in there, and whether you nurse or choose to give her a bottle, feeding time is not where she will receive the greatest impact. The greatest impact comes from you raising her, loving her, and teaching her about Jesus. Not knowing you personally, but reading where your heart is from your posts, I have no doubt that you will raise a sweet girl who hungers and thirsts for Jesus as she pursues HIM with all her heart! :) Bless you!

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    1. thank you so much for this! your sweet words made me smile - such truth :)

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  27. Calendula cream helped when mine were cracked. It was the only thing that healed them. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. Danielle, I'm so sorry you're having a hard time. I can relate 100%. I think what you need to hear is, you're doing an amazing job. And your love for Story is not dependent on cracked nipples.

    If need be, give her a bottle. I started supplementing with expressed breast milk bottles (and formula sometimes too) very early on after my first because of similar situations as you described. She was maybe 9 days old when she had her first bottle and always favored the breast until the day she was weened. She jumped from bottle to breast a lot and NEVER had nipple confusion.

    The lovely LLL ladies swore to me on the phone that I was making "the biggest mistake of my life" and in tears I just had to hang up the phone. I then went on to feed her a bottle of expressed milk and she was happy and full and I had a chance to rest and heal for a few hours before round two. When she took to the breast happily and easily.

    I've been blogging on the topic recently too, and just last night I posted Why Bottle Feeding Rocks - http://montrealnest.blogspot.com/2012/03/bottle-feeding-rocks.html maybe it would encourage you? Can't be a coincidence that I just read your post this morning!

    Either way, you're a great mom and Story is a lucky baby!
    Do what you need to do!
    xo

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    1. emily, thank you for this! i can't wait to read your post!

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  29. ha ha i love this post! i had my first baby last month...and even though its gotten so much better i still agree. and the let down?? it hurts so bad too!!

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    1. heck yes it does! it will get better in time, keep telling myself that ;)

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  30. 1. i stumbled across your blog a few months ago and i LOVE it.
    2. your kiddos are beautiful.
    3. i am so glad you wrote this post! i sobbed for the first two weeks every time i breastfed my daughter, it hurt so much. i'm glad i wasn't the only one. there should be a "sore boobs" league, or something, where we have meeting, just like LLL, and everyone gets a medal of gold for every single time they breastfeed, and of course the meeting rooms are made entirely of chocolate. good luck to you!!

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    1. thank you so much for your kind words! yes, i agree sore boobs league ladies UNITE :)

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  31. i'm sorry, danielle! this brings back memories (traumatic ones). i finally got a nursing consultant (i can't remember if my insurance paid for it) and it got better and then i hated the (almost) hour i had to sit there. so i pumped and bottled fed for 5 months. i'm sorry this isn't more encouraging but know that you are not alone. nursing in bed while half asleep is not part of my story either.

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  32. you are hilarious. it's not always a walk in the park. breastfeeding is difficult! my boobs turn into basketballs with no nipple sticking out just a brown aerola. ha for TMI. if we have a 3rd (not sure?), i will just be praying God spares me some of that ole pain involved.love you!

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    1. ha! and yes sparred pain! love you friend! and i vote yes on #3 ;)

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  33. So sorry! My best friend for about a month and half was in terrible pain every time she nursed. I felt so bad for her but she kept going. It's finally better for her. My boobs didn't hurt like that but I didn't produce enough milk. I had to feed G almost every HOUR for 2 months to finally produce enough. Was it worth it? Looking back on it 2 years later, I would do it again.

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    1. i love your perspective, anna! and i need to order another pillow for a gift soon ;)

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  34. Ah yes!! Thank you for posting this! This time around with my 2nd son has been better than it was with my 1st son but it's still pretty painful. In fact, TMI, this time, my cracked nipple bled. :( It was terrible-- and it wasn't the baby that did it to me, but the breast pump! Ugh! We're a little over 2 weeks in though and thankfully it's starting to get better. I'm just hoping to BF longer this time than I did with the 1st. (only 3 months due to PPD)

    Also, for your last post about bras and Target. Target does have one by Bravado, I think it's just "Bravado Basics" and it's sized like S, M, L... the XL is AWESOME! Super comfy bra. I bought several and that is def my fave.

    nestofkrohs.blogspot.com

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    1. hang in there friend! i hope you are healing okay - you are not alone! and i am looking for that bra this week! xo

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  35. i'm praying for you danielle! i have had cracked nipples, mastitis, and my babies have had thrush. i've been through the guilt gamut of stopping early too! it's no fun. a necessary evil i call it. yes. i said it! breastfeeding can be evil. i only nursed jake for two months. i couldn't stand it anymore. hang in there. blessings to you and baby story!

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  36. I don't think I've said congrats yet!! so happy for you and your family. praying for you about the breatfeeding thing...so hard!! and I'm not sure if you live near a Sonic or not, but they have the same ice as the hospitals. I know it's crazy that I know that, but I too am craving ice like you wouldn't believe. (i guess it's a sign of anemia. so take some iron) i'm actually eating it right now.

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    1. and congratulations to you too, friend! i just saw the pictures of your sweet girl! yay! we don't have a sonic but i so wish we did!! eat some more nugget ice for me! ;)

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  37. So sorry for you. I just went through this a few weeks ago with my son. Sounds like you might have too much milk. Annoying problem to have, right? And if you're engorged, it's more difficult for Story to latch, giving you sore nipples. Here is a super helpful article about how to reduce your milk supply to match more closely what baby needs. http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html Also, rubbing breast milk on your nipples after you nurse might help with the cracks. It's magical stuff. Good luck and be encouraged! You're definitely not alone and any amount of breast milk she gets is a good thing!

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  38. Oh I'm with you. I had a heck of a time breastfeeding my now 12 week old. While my nips never got that bad, my milk stopped growing in volume with the baby's needs so I had a screaming newborn at my boobs when my milk ran out and he was still hungry.

    I struggled with topping off with formula, and tried getting advice from leche league people - but their advice was just to take him away and try again. Well, he's still screaming and the milk is still not there. He was hungry. So I caved and we started supplementing.

    Then I was pumping and nursing and supplementing - all pretty exhausting. And now my boobs are starting to dry up, but I'm back at work and wanting to try to pump at least a bottle a day. But it's hard.

    And really - it's not free. In fact, breastfeeding might cost more than formula all in all. After you total up the pump, storage bags, nipple cream, leak pads, nursing tanks and bras plus you still need bottles for when you eventually leave your baby's side.

    I know breast is best and I tried, still trying, but I wish my Breastfeeding class didn't act like it was the easiest thing in the world - it's been the hardest about being a new mom.

    Meggy from Chasing Davies and Chasing Babies

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    1. agreed! and you did and are doing a wonderful job!!

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  39. I wish more moms would say this out loud! Nursing with my first was HORRIBLE! He was a preemie but still it was insanely hard and the lactation consultants were so harsh! They made me feel like a failure as a mother for even contemplating giving him a bottle. I lasted a couple weeks before switching to pumping (around the clock!) and giving him a bottle. And then, horror of horrors, I gave up pumping and switched to formula. And guess what? He survived. He'll be ten in a couple months and he's off the charts smart and the healthiest of my 3 boys! When numbers 2 & 3 came along I made sure the lactation Nazis didn't come anywhere near us. And they both nursed just fine. It's different for every baby. Do what's best for sweet Story & what's best for her (and her brothers) is to have a sane mother :)If you decide to switch to formula, don't over-think it. Either way, it'll all be okay.

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  40. Ouch. So sorry. That stinks. :( I put up with it for 6 months with my oldest- no regrets, but I wasn't exactly a huge fan. Good luck, sweetie. Take care of yourself, okay?

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    1. will do, friend :) to say im not a huge fan either is an understatement ;)

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  41. Your agony sounds just like my sister's right now.... the pains of motherhood! Please take care and stay strong xo Story is super blessed to have you xox

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  42. seriously, you poor thing. I'm so sorry!!!! I hear its no fun!!

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    1. i will agree with that ;) but it is getting better.

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  43. I came here from Jess's blog of which I'm a frequent reader.

    I hear you on lactation consultants not telling you that nursing is painful. I believe they do a disservice to women by perpetuating these untruths. Childbirth is painful too but nobody ever lies about that.

    Here is how a conversation went in the hospital with the LC who taught my breastfeeding class:

    Me: Her latch must be bad because this is excruciating.
    LC: No, that is a perfect latch.
    Me: But you said that it shouldn't hurt.
    LC: It shouldn't.
    Me: But it does.
    LC: Hmm...

    My daughter just weaned herself after nursing for nearly 2 years.

    I can't tell you how many nursing problems we had. The pain was beyond insane. I would get what looked like holes in my nipples and in order to continue nursing I had to bite down on a washcloth as tears streamed down my face. Toe-curling, insane pain that no man will ever have to experience!

    I even took pictures of my nipple problem and emailed them to LLL leaders and lactation consultants and nobody could figure out what was going on (this was still happening when my daughter was 10 months old).

    I wouldn't have survived without Medela shells:
    http://www.amazon.com/Medela-SoftshellsTM-Sore-Nipple-Kit/dp/B001XDKTXQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1331088510&sr=8-3

    I also had mastitis that I'm confident would have killed me if antibiotics didn't exist.

    Then as a result of the mastitis my little one swore off my left breast and I pumped it for the 11 months before giving in and letting it dry up. Fortunately I was able to donate 13 gallons of breast milk to some needy babies because of all that pumping.

    I was determined to breastfeed my daughter until she was at least a year old because I was not breastfed as an infant (there wasn't the support back then that exists now and my Mom had lots of problems and gave up by the time I was 6 weeks old). I have some serious health problems that you are much less likely to develop if you're breastfed. My Mom was able to successfully breastfeed my younger sister and will never forgive herself for not making it work with me because of my health issues (issues that my sister doesn't have).

    Breastfeeding doesn't just affect your child's health now, but for the rest of her life. Breast milk heavily influences the development of the immune system and those first 6 months of life are critical.

    Anyway, I'm proud of any mom who makes personal sacrifices for the health of their children. You can never get this time back and never again will you be able to profoundly affect your child's health the way you can right now. So keep up the good work Mama!

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  44. I cannot yet relate but I can say that if we lived closer I would be there daily to bring you chai and feed your cute face with delicious pastries. I'd even bake them for you!

    Love you friend. Xo.

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  45. Danielle, as I sit here waiting for my 38 week doc appt which is in an hour, you're scaring the crap out of me with this post & Story's birth post! :) Granted this is baby #4, and I've birthed and breastfed babies a few times already, but I am suddenly afraid of the pain again... I hope you're feedings are going smoother by now & as others have said, it WILL get easier! I struggled with my 1st for a week, and gave up. Do I regret it? No. He went on to be a happy & healthy formula-fed baby, who is thriving at age 7. But then when #2 and #3 came around, I gave it another shot, and although there was pain (never NEARLY as bad as there was with #1), I went on to successfully nurse them for 6 & 9 months each. I'll be giving it a go again, this 4th time & hoping that we have success again as well! Best of luck to you and your sweet angel that you're able to continue breastfeeding her (and if not, that you'll let yourself be content with knowing that it's OK either way)!

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    1. oh sarah! you will be fabulous, i'm sure of it ;)

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  46. Danielle, congrats on your sweet little girl. I read your blog for quite a while now but I think I have never send you a comment. Anyway, this time around I feel like I could give you some helpful advice:I had both of my babes in Germany and over there you have a midwife coming home to you for almost half a year after giving birth, helping you with nursing, checking your healing and so on.This was just wonderful! I had the same trouble after my first one. Huge tear which lead into surgery after four months. Not fun stuff at all. But therefor it was even more important that the feedings worked smoothly. My midwife told me to leave a drop of breast milk to dry on the nipples to prevent cracking and heal cracks. Use those plastic protections while they heal for feedings. I had ice packs and cold plain yogurt on my boobs to slow down milk production for days. And sage as tea will slow down production along with cold showers. All this lead into being able to nurse both of them for 6 months full. I hope this will help. Your body will adjust soon. Enjoy that sweet baby to the fullest. All the best Verena

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  47. thank you so much for sharing, verena!

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  48. Danielle,
    I have read your blog on/off for about a year (usually when I'm working the midnight shift, I'm a nurse). I now have a 7week old so am just catching up on all the blogging i've missed. I had the same issue a few weeks ago, I had multiple cracks on BOTH nipples and thought I would die at every feeding and that I might have to stop nursing b/c it hurt so bad. I was pumping (with my lanolin cream on, which helped ease the pain during pumping) but called a La Leche League woman in my area, she said there was a thing called 'triple nipple cream' that her pediatrician had prescribed for her when she had thrush. Granted, I didn't have thrush but it helps nonetheless, anyway, you can make it yourself, (or get a prescription) it is equal parts of the following: 1% hydrocortisone cream, polysporin (antibiotic) and an anti fungal medicine (we used monistat). I couldnt believe how quickly it healed me!! After 24hrs of applying it (every 3 hrs or after feedings) I was able to nurse without much pain at all. You can only use the steroid cream for 48hrs though. My pediatrician said taht if there is a little left before your baby feeds, it is okay or you can gently wipe it off. Hope this helps!! (we decided to make it on our own instead of wait 24hrs for the pharmacy to make it). GOOD LUCK!!

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  49. Thank you so much for posting this. Reading your post as well as the comments here has been extremely therapeutic for me. My daughter is almost 4 months and I only made it 3 1/2 weeks breastfeeding. It was an incredibly horrible experience for me. I've mostly dealt with the guilt of switching to formula, but you have extremely sweet and thoughtful readers and some of the things they've said really spoke to my heart and allowed me a little more freedom to lift my chin a little higher and feel a little less insecure. Thank you to your *and* your readers.

    And I pray it continues to get easier for you!!!

    You can read about my experience here (if you're interested):http://lovejoyandlaughter.blogspot.com/2012/02/breastfeeding-and-heartbreak.html

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    1. i would love to read about your experience! thank you for sharing it!

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  50. Ewww I know the feeling. The little boobie cups the hospital gives you for pumping were entirely too small and chapped my nipples. Literally. It was painful pumping and breastfeeding. By time I smartened up and bought bigger cups it was too late, no amount of cream would help either. I stopped breatsfeeding/pumping around 4 months. I was exhausted from working 50+ hours a week plus pumping through the night while she was sleeping. But the damage was permanent. This may be TMI but I can't stand anything to touch the nipples, not the husband or the water while taking a shower. I truly feel your pain. I hope you get some relief!!

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    1. thank you for your support and SO sorry that you are still dealing with the effects of it!!

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  51. I have two kiddos and nursed both of them and needed help in the beginning with both of them too. I thought with my second I would be an expert since I nursed my first till she was a year but that wasn't the case... each baby is different and your body is different with each one too! But I did have the engorgement problem with my second and I was extremely fortunate to have access to a free lactation nurse who had 30+ years of experience and she was able to show me some tricks to help with the latch. Even when I thought she had a good latch the nurse was able to show me that she didn't and that the entire nipple needed to be inside my baby's tiny little mouth but once that happened it stopped hurting as much and the cream helps too. As far as having too much milk- the nurse had me pump both sides completely empty in between feedings. She had me do this 3 times over 2 days and after that my supply became normal and manageable and I was no longer in pain! Glad to hear things are doing better but be encouraged that by the time Story is a month old you will both be pros at this beautiful breastfeeding thing!

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  52. I'm currently 8 days in to nursing my 3rd baby. This post made me remember I'm not the only one and I'm not doing anything wrong...it's all part of the process. Can't wait for all the pain to go away!! C'Mon day 14!

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  53. I am so sorry, reading your post made me want to cry for you and then come and bake you some muffins. I so wish we could all make it better and easier for you, but I hope and pray that it does start to get better and easier for you!! Your little Story Kate is absolutely gorgeous and such a blessing, but if nursing doesn't end up working, remember that it doesn't mean you're any less of a good mom or not giving her what is best...whatever you decide is best is best!! Good luck, and again, I'm praying it all gets better! Congratulations on the beauty, and let me know if you need me to send you any cookies or muffins.

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  54. Tag your it! http://pumpkinloves.blogspot.com/2012/03/tag-your-it.html

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  55. thank you for this post! i feel like everyone around me has a beautiful nursing relationship and can whip their boob out to feed their baby anytime. i on the other hand have a five month old who has left me with scars on my nipples from the deep cracks he gave me from those first few sucks. i would much rather go through labor and delivery (he was 10lbs12oz born at home) than go through that pain again! lactation consultants are miracle workers.

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  56. i just read this....I AGREE! I breastfed my 2 girls and my son - with THRUSH in both sides (first girl - thrush for six months, second girl - thrush for 5 months). And yes, there was a lot of cursing. Man, did it hurt. I hated breastfeeding until it left and killed myself over what I was doing wrong to get thrush! And then, last baby, I didn't produce enough milk and he was a lazy eater so by 3 months had to go to formula and bottle feed. And that was after medication to produce milk, pumping all the time and a contraption to stimulate the milk while he nursed! Lovely! I'm so glad you wrote this! It ain't all sunshine and roses when it comes to breastfeeding!

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  57. I'm pregnant with my second and I am way more scared of the pain from breastfeeding again that I am from actual childbirth (which I did naturally). Oh boy... I am praying that this time around goes much better. I feel your pain and hope things have improved so you can ENJOY breastfeeding.

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  58. that is on top of all the other areas of me that hurt after childbirth.

    https://www.rx247.net

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