Fear of attachment

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings

Fear of attachment

Postby ouch » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:44 pm

My son is 8 and a half weeks. He has been solely breastfed up until the past few days when I have had to rest my nipples and use formula for 1 feed per day. They are split in a way that looks like they have had elastic bands tied around the bases of them. I have been very upset at having to introduce formula as I fed my eldest son until he was 6 months old. I have been using a pump to express milk for every feed as this does LESS damage to me although every feed splits open the small amount of healing I have had a chance to do. I would continue this way were it not for having a 2 year old at home as well. Between bottle feeding my youngest, nappy changes, settling back to sleep and then pumping I am barely able to keep up with my eldest's meals and toilet training let alone the washing, housework and quality play time with my boys. The pain I get whenever my baby tries to attach to my breast is so severe that I get physically sick(goosebumps, stomach aches) from the anxiety I get as I am "psyching myself up" for a feed. I had trouble bonding with my son initially and am now beginning to feel slightly similar again because our 1-on-1 time together is so traumatic. Also, I feel like he is picking up on my stress and he isn't enjoying feeding either. My husband is extremely supportive and suggests I wean him off me and onto formula full time but I can't stop crying at the thought, I feel like a failure and a selfish mum for putting my comfort before his health. Has anyone else been in a similar position? I am terrified that my son will get sick and it will be my fault for not having toughed it out and continued to breastfeed until he is older.
Last edited by ouch on Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Postby nermylama » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Sounds like you're having a really tough time :( I haven't experienced that so I don't know what advice to give you. Have you given the helpline a call? There's a link in the top right corner of this page. They're super helpfull!
Courage is not always a lion that roars. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice that says "I will try again tomorrow"
Posts: 7975
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:39 pm
Location: Storking Ralphy, I'm waaatching you!

Postby ouch » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:54 pm

I spoke with the helpline a few days ago, as well as again today. They have suggested cutting down the amount I pump as well as the strength of the pump to allow my nipples to rest and heal more and to continue pumping a small amount daily to ensure I keep a slight supply so as once I am all healed I can encourage an increase of milk again and take up where I have left off. This does make me feel better because I was concerned that if I weaned myself off breastfeeding while I healed my milk supply would end and that would be final, meaning that once I felt capable again I would be all dried up and it would be too late. I don't want to stop breastfeeding, i just need a chance to heal so I can do it better.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Postby Ari's Mum » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:10 pm

Hugs from me. You sounded exhausted from all that pumping and looking after both your baby and two year old. You can always build up your supply once your nipples are healed. Remember supply equals demand. Don't forget the helpline if you have ant more hurdles and you need reassurance. :D :D
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Storked Norrie and proudly storked by Terramommy...
User avatar
Ari's Mum
Posts: 1499
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:43 am
Location: Dry Tropics.

Postby Nedsmum » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:45 pm

Sounds like you have a good solution. From what I understand, once the nipples rest, they heal very quickly....

It wasn't your 'fault' that your nipples got damaged - some kids just have really bad sucking patterns - my first attached really easy, my second one had a suck that would have scared anyone off - I had to detach him all the time because it was just plain 'wrong' - had he been my first, I think I would not have lasted very long at all.

I think a big hug for getting this far, and I hope that you can rest your nipples and let everything heal, and then build things back up again...

You are not selfish at all - breastfeeding was not meant to be this painful - at work we have lots of kids who were breastfed, some who had both, and some who were not breastfed after the first few days - I have noticed that the ones who were not breastfed at all, seem to have trouble with their eating, and some would say 'oh, that's because they weren't breastfed' - but I actually believe it's the other way around - they weren't breastfed because something was disorganised with the way they were sucking from the very beginning, and it made it very difficult for their mums...

Good news is they work it all out, and you certainly should not feel guilty for that ...

It's very possible to build the milk back up and continue on once you are healed...if that's what you want to do...

Do you have anyone you can call in to help out with the older one ? Does he go to childcare or anything ? Can you add a few extra days to give yourself a break? - If it was a birth injury you'd call yourself 'sick' and take it easy - the same with breastfeeding complications - it is an injury/illness to have damaged nipples, mastitis or whatever, but I guess we don't ask for help because it's a bit of a 'taboo' subject ?
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!
User avatar
Posts: 9549
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:36 am
Location: Switzerland

Postby Ronale » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:04 pm

It sounds like you're having a rough time. You've done well to get this far, and there's some great suggestions for you by pps. It sounds like the helpline has also given you some good suggestions.
((Hugs)) hope it gets better for you soon
User avatar
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Melbourne

Postby Penguin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:29 pm

You poor thing, it sounds like you're having a rough time. Make sure you call the helpline as many times as you want.

Is there anyone (friends, family?) who could help you with the boring stuff (housework etc) so you can focus on your little ones?
User avatar
Posts: 10031
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:21 pm

Postby ouch » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:35 pm

Thanks so much everybody, especially Ned's mum. You have made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. Since last post I have gone out and bought a big tin of "the enemy" (formula) so I have plenty and can allow myself enough time to heal properly. My little guy has taken his bottle happily and is now cozy in his bassinette. Fingers crossed he will not have any tummy trouble in the next little while and I can get back into breastfeeding ASAP! Thanks again everyone, I'm not even ashamed of having the formula in my kitchen where I can see it (I did hide it in the cupboard when I first got home because I didn't want anyone to know and I got upset every time I looked at it).
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Postby Nedsmum » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:09 am

You know, I was completely anti-bottles, anti-formula before I started working in childcare. Now I just take it as a part of the job and I have three kids and had hardly used bottles at all and now I give them often to children at work each day...

Funny how your perspective changes!

I really hope that you can go back to breastfeeding, if that's what you want to do - but in the meantime, that bubba needs to be fed and your nipples need a chance to heal...and hopefully after that you can get it going again...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!
User avatar
Posts: 9549
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:36 am
Location: Switzerland

Postby aelfgiua » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:21 am

Hi Brooke,

Are you near a local ABA group http://breastfeeding.asn.au/contact/groups.html? when you are healed a little maybe you can head to an ABA meeting as there are usually counsellors there to observe you feeding and just sort out any positioning and attachment issues you have to prevent this in the future. Also some councils have free LCs that you can see for the same purpose, but they can also help should you require further help, i.e nipple shields etc. LCs are amazing at being able to look at a sore nipple and troubleshoot immediately on what has caused it. Even if you have to pay for one they can save money on formula in the long run.
Mum to 2 wonderful girls

08/07 and 11/10
User avatar
Posts: 4025
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:36 pm
Location: Footscray-Yarraville Group Melbourne

Postby ouch » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:20 pm

Just to update, It has been 2 weeks since I was at my roughest point with breastfeeding - my son is now ten and a half weeks. I had spent what felt like the entire weekend attached to my breast pump and had expressed plenty of milk so as I could bottle feed my little man while my nipples healed. This worked really well while my husband was home to distract both my boys but hasn't really been possible on the days he is at work. I healed up reasonably quickly with 2 days totally painfree but now the splits have returned and are now so nasty that they are weeping. The agony is back whenever my son first attaches and I am beginning to get very anxious whenever feedtime approaches again. I am off to my local hospital tomorrow for an appointment with the lactation consultant, hopefully we can work out why this is happening and how to correct it otherwise I think I am going to have to end my breastfeeding days which is devastating and makes me feel like the worst mother in the world!!! Thankyou so much to everyone for your advice and words of encouragement at a time when I really needed it.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Postby Gwen's Mum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:49 am

Just wanted to offer hugs, and to say best of luck with your LC appointment! I hope they can offer some ideas to help you continue your bfing, if that's what you want to do. I'm sure you've already done this, or considered it, but perhaps it might be worth a call to an ABA counsellor to talk through some options, too?

Let us know how you get on! :)
Image Image

Welcome Daydreaming's DS! - 18 Sept '13
Welcome Feather's DS! - 27 Oct '13
Gwen's Mum
Posts: 1837
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 10:08 pm
Location: Queensland...again!

Postby ouch » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi all, I went away camping over the weekend and spent what felt like the whole time attached to a foot pedal operated breast pump because the lactation consultant though that while my nipples were so damaged the electric one may have been to strong for me. I had some pain still but no where near as much as when my little man would attach himself, I did find some bleeding when pumping which turned my milk an orangeish colour and almost had me off breastfeeding for good. I was worried that I may had bled before and my son may have ingested it without my knowing. Once I got home I continued using the pump to express milk for my son. After the fifth day I was brave enough to attempt feeding my son directly from me and SUCCESS!!!! I have fed straight from me for the past 3 days at every feed and am having virtually no pain and at times have to look down and check that he is still feeding because I can't feel anything. I am so excited to be feeding again, especially since my older son has a cold and my baby hasn't shown a single sign of feeling unwell - what a great immune system he must have :) I have been using lanolin cream after each feed and it's fantastic!! I am so happy, by having used the pump all this time too I am confident in my ability to breastfeed as I have seen how much milk I have been producing and have even had to tip some down the sink at times as my son wasn't drinking as much as I was making.

Hopefully by bragging about how well things are going I haven't cursed myself and things will continue to go so smoothly.

Thankyou again so much to all the people who have offered advice and compassion, it was a really emotional time for me and I now feel like SUPERMUM again. :D

Brand name removed - mod :)
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:33 pm

Postby mooki » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:30 pm

great to hear :D

I think that its also OK to feed EBM that has a bit of blood in it, Im pretty sure Ive read on here before that its OK but hopefully someone can confirm or deny that for me.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 16784
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:45 pm

Postby nat*4 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:04 pm

You are amazing!!!! Awesome job well done and congrats love :-D I went through feeding issues with my second unfortunately without the same result so I know how you were feeling and can also understand your joy in being able to feed again..

You rock girlfriend xoxoxo
DS1 2003, DS2 2008, DS3 2010 and some little angel babies <3<3
Hoping to add to my little brood :):)
User avatar
Posts: 3895
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:28 pm


Return to When breastfeeding does not work out

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest