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When Does Breastfeeding Stop "Sucking" ?

  1. #65
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you pixelelf and expatmom for your comments.

    Well, an update here. Yesterday was my first day back at work and also marked my daughter's first eight weeks. My nipples are still uncomfortable. Has anyone else developed actual callouses on their nipples from breastfeeding because that's the situation with me now. I would have switched over to formula by now except that we tried formula with my daughter for one feeding and it made her so sick that she screamed and wouldn't sleep for two days straight (usually she is very peaceful and sleeps quite well)--she was just miserable until she passed all of the formula out of her system--then she went back to being herself again. It was traumatic to watch her suffer so much and it was actually suffering for us too. So, I feel like my only choice now is breastmilk for her even though every day it's hard to go on. I've also been pumping--pumped at work yesterday as well. She was willing to take the bottle when I wasn't home yesterday and drank about 5 ounces (2 in mid-morning and 3 in mid-afternoon) and she came to see me at lunchtime so I fed her then. This time, breastfeeding is just a day-by-day process. It's still uncomfortable and sometimes actually painful. Since I started this thread I was treated for thrush (whether I actually had it or not is debatable because the treatment didn't change things) and also came down with mastitis and was on bed rest for several days recovering from that. Also, my cycle returned this past week so I'm doing my best to try to maintain a milk supply now as with my son, as soon as my cycle returned it seemed to be an uphill battle to even continue breastfeeding because of supply issues.

    So far, breastfeeding still sucks and I don't know when (or if) it might stop sucking. :(
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #66
    expatmom is offline Registered User
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    thanka, I was in your shoes about a month ago. I NEARLY came down with mastitis because it was too painful to pump even on massage setting and too painful to latch. I was in despair and desperate for help. I battled with painful nipples for more than 8 weeks. I don't know what you mean by callouses but I did have some bubble like formations on my nipples too during my thrush outbreaks. I believe that GPs here are generally not updated when it comes to treatment of thrush. When I got treated the first time, my GP was very conservative and gave me Nystatin cream and tablets. They didn't clear up my thrush. Then 2.5 months later, I went back to the GP armed with information given to me by LLL and demanded a very strong antibiotics to combat my thrush. I took those antibiotics for over a week and my pain was still there. In fact it got worse but after the tenth day or something, I got better and better. I was on flucanazole 400mg as the first dose and then 100mg each day for two weeks. Took 2 weeks for it to clear totatlly. My baby who showed no signs of thrush was also treated upon recommendation from LLL so that we wouldn't pass to one another. So if you're still in pain, please get some info of drugs from LLL to show your doctor. I also applied gentian violet $13 at drug store in HK and a high dosage of probiotics to combat thrush. I err don't even know whether or not it was thrush I had but I was so desperate.

    In terms of supply issues, this is what I did to increase it:-

    Pump after every feed, and I would make sure my pumping sessions would not be more than 4 hours apart.

    "So far, breastfeeding still sucks and I don't know when (or if) it might stop sucking. :( " You sound like me a month ago. The pain and the discomfort and lethargy - all combined were awwwfuullll. Mainly the pain. I cried so much. Breastfeeding REALLY sucked. It was the most horrible experience trying to hold back screaming in pain when baby was sucking because I didn't want to scare her. I saw three lactation consultants who told me that my latch was okay so it might have been thrush/cracked nipples or whatever it was...... but 3+ months when I thought it would never get easier because I was just not the perfect breastfeeding mum, it happened. Touchwood, I have been painfree for a month now.
    I am also a working mother so I understand as well how tough it is to go through the entire night breastfeeding AND pumping to try to make it work, experiencing such awful pains while at it and then having to go to work pretending all is well. What made it worse was that my baby refused to take the bottle (even now) so I'd be running to and from work even at lunchtime to feed her. I remember a few weeks ago, I was so tired running home from work in the heat at lunchtime and crying, thinking, "I am a working mother. I have a right not to breastfeed. I am so friggin' tired" but then I got home and saw my baby light up when she saw me and I said to myself, "I'm wrong. She has every right to breastfeed as well".

  3. #67
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for sharing, expatmom. Thankfully, I don't have extreme pain like I had with my son. I just have itchy, irritated skin that comes and goes. After I feed my skin is bright pink/red but then goes back to normal except for the tip of my nipples which is now like a thickened, hard piece of skin--much like how the soles of my feet get in the summer if I'm wearing sandles all summer long--that's what I mean by callouses. The skin is just tough and hard. Basically, while I'm feeding my daughter I feel irritation as if her tongue is constantly licking my skin but we also checked into latch and apparently that's all good.

    I was treated with medication for thrush and then also treated myself with gentian violet (I have at least 3 bottles of that stuff at home--awful, nasty stuff--hate using it) but it did absolutely nothing for the condition--I think it actually made it a bit worse so I decided to "leave good enough alone"--it might just be how this is going to be.

    I have the number of a dermatologist and have been thinking of going to see one to see if it's a skin problem--but in that case, there probably is nothing that can be done also as the best they can do is give me a topical steroid to treat the symptoms--the doctor who treated me for thrush also gave me a topical steroid but I had to wash it off before feeds and that made the condition worse (having to wash all the time).

    When I was pregnant I had serious skin issues that could only be resolved by just giving birth. I think that breastfeeding actually causes the irritation to my skin--just the act of doing it--and the only solution is when I stop breastfeeding. I wish I could have stopped already for comfort's sake but then I have the problem of my daughter's intolerance to formula.

    Having had a child already and struggling with breastfeeding him for six long months and grieving the fact that it was a horrible, painful experience start-to-finish and wishing in hindsight I had just went to formula earlier on so I could have enjoyed those first 6 months with him instead of hating it, I'm just able to let go of breastfeeding and move on--if only my baby's tummy could do so.

    Yes, breastfeeding is wonderful if you can work it out and in your own mind you know your rationale for keeping with it--if it makes one feel better to breastfeed their child even though they're suffering then that's a choice but for me, I am not so hung up on it anymore--breastfeeding vs. not-breastfeeding in the long-term doesn't really equal out to much difference. So, for now, I'm suffering, every day, but I feel that going to formula would be even more miserable for my family at this point--choosing "the lesser of two evils" now.

    Again, thanks for sharing and I really do hope that your pain stays away and that you can keep going as long as you want to. :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #68
    hrn0620 is offline Registered User
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    nipple butter much better than lanolin

    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    Thanks much. Did you buy the Medela cream in Hong Kong and if so, where did you get it? Can you remember the price? Thanks for any tips. :)

    There is NOTHING like Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. I have tried them all and recommend only this to my breastfeeding friends. Each of my friends who have tried it also swear by it. MUCH better than lanolin. It actually helps HEAL the nipples.

    http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/br...le-butter.html

  5. #69
    ychia76 is offline Registered User
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    I bf my two kids until they are about 1 yr old and they weaned themselves off me.
    My first one was really hard since he was in NICU for 3 days for not feeding on anything. No breast nor bottles. The lactation nurse told me to pump if I want to breastfeed to keep the milk coming. For three days I was pumping every 3 hrs and my husband would sent the milk over to the hospital.
    And having inverted nipples doesn't help with breastfeed. And for 6 weeks he only took bottles as I pumped, I was getting fatigue from the routine pumping, feeding and cleaning bottles and by the the time I was done I had to pump again.
    I was doing the reverse breastfeed once a day and when he is not too hungry so he doesn't get frustrated.
    And just keep at it until he breastfeed full time at 4 months old.
    Applying ghee to the nipples really help so the nipples doesn't crack. I did have clogged ducts and that was painful. This maybe a bit nasty, I had to squeezed out the clogged duct and yellow pus came out and blood too. It was so painful, but after a week, I was okay and 2 weeks down the road clog duct again.
    Then with weaning, I need to pump out excess little by little, drop from 8 feedings to 6 then 4 to 1.
    For the second, she feeds constantly since birth and I had cracked bleeding nipples from her sucking so hard and even applying ghee doesn't work to keep the nipples from the bleeding. 12 feedings a day for the first 3 months.
    I think for me it was at the 3 months turning point either give up or keep going no matter now hard or painful.

  6. #70
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Thought I would go ahead and update this thread.

    Well, my daughter is about 14 weeks old now and I'm still breastfeeding her. I went back to work FT when she was 8 weeks old and so I pump milk at work.

    I was diagnosed with post-partum depression when she was about 10 weeks old (it started about when she was 8 weeks) and have recently started taking some meds for that. The meds messed with some things including my ability to pump much milk so this past week I went on domperidone as well which seems to be helping. I recommend it. Interestingly, as I've shared my experience with feeling so down with PPD, a lot of my friends who are either breastfeeding or did in the past have come out to tell me things like, and I quote, "i did notice a direct correlation between nursing and depression. the hormones required for my milk to let down always made me feel deeply, intensely sorrowful and hopeless." There have been so many people who have been telling me they had this exact experience! So, I just wanted to add that in that hormones are wacky things and just because you're doing "the right thing" (breastfeeding) doesn't mean nature is always gonna be on your side.

    I'm also gagging down copious amounts of fenugreek (nasty stuff!), fennel and brewer's yeast, eating huge bowls of oatmeal every day for breakfast (gets a bit old after 14 weeks, let me tell ya'!) and taking excellent supplements from USANA. Doing as much as I can.

    It still ain't easy. I still don't have a glorious feeling while breastfeeding. I just do it because it's practical as my daughter was so sick when we gave her formula--she really couldn't tolerate it. It's still day-by-day for me a lot though. Ain't no "pleasure cruise" for sure.

    Also, I found that the ONLY THING that helps my poor nipples (which also still hurt and itch a bit) is pure coconut oil. I just started putting it on them several times a day, especially after feedings. My daughter hasn't had any reaction to it and it is the only thing that makes it better. Lansinoh didn't do much for me. Now, my nipples are usually soft (not brittle) but they do hurt sometimes.

    Baby is doing well and gaining weight. At her last checkup she was in the 95% for weight and 90% for height in HK. She's a "mixed" baby so I'm not sure how well these standards actually apply to her.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #71
    banane76 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the update and sorry you have PPD. My breastfeeding experience is much better than the first time around as my baby latched on right away. So far he is still feeding well! He's 11 weeks old now and definitely gaining weight. Good luck and good on ya for hanging in there to continue breastfeeding even though you're still not enjoying it.

  8. #72
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Are oatmeals meant to promote milk supply? Mrs Chee the lactation consultant advised otherwise ...

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