Man I don't know if I can do this breastfeeding. It's so hard and I don't know what to do anymore. My sister in law has been here to help every single day since the baby was born and we're still having trouble getting him to latch. Yesterday, my sister in law had her friend who's a lactation consultant see us. She was a huge help. After meeting with her, I had no problems getting David to latch on. Well at least he was latching on pretty well on one boob. (He has a preference for the left one.) We had a good night. It was so good in fact, that after putting him to bed at his 2am feeding, he didn't wake up until I woke him up at 6. I didn't realize so many hours had gone by. I got up to feed him and it was like all the hard work had gone to hell. I had so much trouble latching him again and when he latched on finally it was extremely painful which is what led us to the consultant in the first place. I have scabs on my nipples and they are so sore. He woke up again at 9 and when I tried getting him to latch, he wouldn't on either side. No matter how many times I tried, he'd latch on for 2 seconds (painfully mind you) and then he'd let go and start crying hysterically. He wouldn't stay latched and then he'd just wail which makes me feel like a failure. I feel like I'm failing as a mom here. I don't know what to do. All I could do was cry hysterically with him and wake up my husband. My husband finger-fed him the milk I had pumped last night and this morning. I feel like I'm risking my sanity here. Before getting pregnant I was on anti-depressants. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should just give him the bottle. I can pump my milk. Not being able to latch him and then hearing him wail is really taking a toll on me. I need guidance!

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 11:15 AM

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 11:20 AM

That sounds so familiar!  I had the same problem with my first Michael.  He had such a hard time latching on and my nipples wore sore and scabbed over from that.  You need to get the whole areola in his mouth and relax.  Do not tense up and keep trying.  It took me a while before we got the hang of it but we did.  I nursed thru the pain.  He never slept good.  I had to sit up with him after he nursed otherwise he would throw up to try to keep food down.  I was afraid to move once he did latch because I did not want him to stop and then we would have to try again.  But do not give up.  It is so worth it.  I ended up nursing him two years.  Through another pregnancy and I was then nursing him and my newborn daughter (crazy) that only lasted a few weeks.  But the reason was I did not want him to be jealous.  It was crazy times.  On the otherhand, do not beat yourself up over it, if it is easier for you to give him the bottle then do so.  I only nursed my daughter two months and then gave her the bottle.  I was sad about it but then I realized I had two kids now and my nipples were sore again.  Do what's best for you.  It is hard work having a newborn.  I wish you the best!  My kids are now 15 and 13.

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 11:22 AM What your describing is exactly what most women go through on their first breast feeding experience. You can pump and have some one give the baby a bottle for one feeding but don't stop trying. It takes about one month for you and for the baby to learn and then its a breeze after that! 

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 11:27 AM My youngest had a hard time latching on also.  If it's not working for you, then it's not.  You have to do what is best for you and your little one, not what everyone else thinks is best.  If you want to hang in there then call your pediatrician and get the number for the La Leche League (sp?) and they can help you with breastfeeding issues.  Best of luck!!

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Hi there friend!  I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time.  First, try to relax.  Everyone who has breastfed has gone through this experience before.  It is frustrating and emotional.  My first son had a very hard time latching on.  I was so miserable.  My breasts bled and were so sore.  I cried every time I fed him.  I understand completely how you feel.

Yes, you can pump your milk, but nothing simulates your breasts like your baby can.  Put some lanolin on your nipples before you put him on to your breast.  Make sure he nurses from both breasts.  Go to youtube to check on some latching videos, join the group breastfeeding moms here.

I know this is difficult and overwhelming.  If you need encouragement, I'm here.

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 12:48 PM also, make sure you are not using any bottles or artificial nipples of any kind during this period.  Don't use a pump right now either as this only disrupts the natural process.

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Here's what you do.  Forget everything the lactation consultant and everyone else told you.  Trust yourself, your body and your baby.  Right now, go take off all your clothes and all your baby's clothes and lay in the bed together for the next 3 days.  I'm not kidding.  Well, you don't have to lay in the bed but basically spend the majority of your time with skin to skin contact with you and baby.  YOu can be sitting up or even standing and of course you can go to the bathroom and eat and sleep.  This is usually referred to as a "nurse in".  Get help from so, family and friends to help you deal with anything else in your household but for the next few days, doing this will help you and your baby learn how to nurse properly and easily and naturally.  Your baby's number one form of communication is his skin.  Touch stimulates his motor skills, his vision and his brain.  In return, he communicates to you through touch as well.  This has been ignored in American(and other) society but it is seen as important in other countries that don't have the "problems" with BFing that we have  here.

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Jun. 1, 2008 at 1:34 PM Ok, what helped for me was using a nipple just fits over your nipple and he can latch on to it. Jamie had trouble like that from day one. Turns out mine were too big, so the shield I used made the nipple smaller so he could latch. I know exactly how traumatizing this is for you. You're not failing as a mother. Yup, skin on skin helps too. I fed Jamie in my robe. Yet, because I was a full knock out csection, we had problems from day one. They gave him a bottle in the nursery and a paci before I even woke up from anesthesia. Anesthesia made my milk come in later than normal too. Then, I couldnt keep up with his demands...I'd only be able to make 20 at a he was breast and bottle fed for the first ten weeks. Then I had to go on my cancer preventing meds, so we went to formula. No matter what, stay calm. He's ok! It's hard as all get out though. If you need to go back on your meds, it's better for him to have a sane mommy than breastfed at that point. I got all kinds of flack for stopping breastfeeding. Shoot, it was considered a miracle that with all the health problems I had that I could create any milk at all! YOu have to do what's best not just for him, but for you also, you're a team...

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