Will I regret giving up?

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
TeamThomas
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Will I regret giving up?

Post by TeamThomas » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:27 pm

I'm writing my first post through the tears of pain and despair I shed most days. Blasted hormones! My beautiful, healthy DS is enjoying tummy time on my chest and I shouldn't have a care in the world. But we've reached 9 weeks and I'm not sure how much longer I can go. I have the dreaded vasospasm, which medication, vitamins and constant heat packs don't seem to be minimising, DS pinches my nipples so much they are covered in blisters and sores and I have recurring bouts of mastitis, blocked ducts and milk blebs! However when the little treasure is latched on, he is the happiest, most contented baby, so the decision to give up is incredible hard. He's only been fed breastmilk so far, but I feel I am missing out on quality, care-free time with him as I sit attached to the pump or am unable to hug him due to excruciating nipples. But what if it all gets better next week? I'm not sure what responses I'm looking for here. I guess I just want to know I'm not alone and not feel so distraught at the prospect of not being able to breastfeed.

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fellare
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by fellare » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:46 pm

oh, big hugs. you sound very upset!

have you called the helpline yet? It sounds like there could be quite a few things going on. Most of them fixable. has he been checked for tongue tie? does it hurt during the feed as well?

what are you doing to heal the nipples?
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
Ms Firestorm born august 2015
Whatever you perceive to believe, dream.... be free.... (eMDee)

Jenbt85
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Jenbt85 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:07 pm

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your baby boy :)

It sounds like you've had a really tough start to breastfeeding, well done on getting as far as you have. It's a really tough call to decide whether or not to continue or not. It sounds really overwhelming to have so many challenges. How do you feel about calling the helpline (1800 686 268) to debrief and get some tailored advice? Have you seen a lactation consultant?

As Fellare said, if latch is an issue there might be tongue or lip ties that are making it hard for your little one to attach properly. My little one had trouble latching at first and I was in tears after three days, so can't imagine nine weeks of that. Do you have a trusted health professional that you could go back to?

I'm fully supportive of breastfeeding, but it's important to keep in mind that if you choose to give up then you haven't failed. If breast milk is important to you and you choose not to continue then donor milk might be an option.

Sending you gentle hugs, whatever you decide to do please feel free to stay around. We're all here to listen.
DS - bf 18.5 months (565 days)!
DD - breastfeeding

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TeamThomas
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by TeamThomas » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Thank you so much for the support. I've called the helpline, I have a lactation consultant, DS had tongue tie snipped at the hospital and was re-checked at 6 weeks. I keep taking a few days off breast feeding to give my nipples time to recover, but the vasospasm hasn't lessened, so it doesn't really work. I do need reminding that it's not a failure, it's just hard when you naively approached motherhood thinking it would all come naturally and that labour would be the only painful bit!! I am in awe of the mothers who have posted on here about being in excruciating pain and have just kept on going.

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Yankee
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Yankee » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:36 pm

Just wanted to add my big hugs. My saga was similar to yours, and like you I got a dose of vasospasm. My LC said it's vey common after nipple damage. Mine was not as severe, so I kept going. It did go away but it took weeks and the warmer weather to fully shake it off.

For me what would have made me give up is if it was starting to negatively effect bonding with DD. Personally I don't think the positives of bf outweigh the negatives if you start to resent your time with your bub. Only you can make that call though. It certainly doesn't make you a failure, look at how much you've stuck it out so far! No matter what happens, make sure you acknowledge all you've gone through so far.
DD born September 2013

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fellare
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by fellare » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:39 pm

hugs, yes, we're let to think motherhood will just be natural and that breastfeeding will just happen. But like many natural things, breastfeeding is a learned skill (like walking) and for some it takes a lot more than others. you're certainly not a failure when you've tried your best and battled this pain for 9 weeks! that is showing amazing strength and determination.

are your nipples still getting damaged? Or is it just vasospasms now? Sometimes scar tissue can trigger vasospasms. If you are still getting nipple damage, something is still wrong. perhaps one of the other ties (upper lip, posterior tie), or something else.

Are you a member? It would be worth visiting your local group, for support more than anything! Most groups will allow a few meetings before becoming a member. You can find your local group here : https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/contacts/groups
even if you decide to wean, you're still welcome, our groups are open to everybody!
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
Ms Firestorm born august 2015
Whatever you perceive to believe, dream.... be free.... (eMDee)

Jenbt85
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Jenbt85 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:24 pm

TeamThomas wrote:Thank you so much for the support. I've called the helpline, I have a lactation consultant, DS had tongue tie snipped at the hospital and was re-checked at 6 weeks. I keep taking a few days off breast feeding to give my nipples time to recover, but the vasospasm hasn't lessened, so it doesn't really work. I do need reminding that it's not a failure, it's just hard when you naively approached motherhood thinking it would all come naturally and that labour would be the only painful bit!! I am in awe of the mothers who have posted on here about being in excruciating pain and have just kept on going.
I'm in awe too - and I'm in awe of you reading your story. I don't know that I would have had the strength to put in what you have so far. Whatever other people have gone through, what is happening for you is what matters most. Whatever decision you make, it will be the right one for you and your family. I agree with Yankee's comments.

You sound like a really caring mum. Breastfeeding is great if it works out, but it's also only one aspect of parenting. It's hard when we're given false preconceptions of parenting. I've thrown out everything I thought I knew! The forum has helped with amazing parenting advice and has reformed ideas of what is "normal". Without the forum, I would be lost!!
DS - bf 18.5 months (565 days)!
DD - breastfeeding

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Snake Hips Mcroy
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Snake Hips Mcroy » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:51 pm

Wow what a rough start you've had, and what a strong mama you are to have got this far.

I very dear friend of mine had extreme feeding pain for 13 long weeks. She pushed through, despite developing pnd due to the pain, and really didn't enjoy those early months in the way you are 'supposed to'.

She is still breastfeeding now, and her lovely daughter is 3.5. She always planned to breastfeed for the long haul, and that's why she kept going for so long at the start with such pain. She once said to me that if she had planned on weaning at 12 months, she would most definitely have given up in those early weeks - because that early investment would be too painful for just a few extra months of breastfeeding. But for a few more years, for her it was worth it.

But we can't tell you if YOU will regret giving up, or if it will lighten your burden - only you can know that. Hugs hugs to you xoxo
DS1 - born May 2011, breastfed for 26 months
DS2 - born Dec 2013, breastfeeding like a champ

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Yankee
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Yankee » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:07 pm

How are you feeling today TeamThomas?
DD born September 2013

TeamThomas
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by TeamThomas » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:19 pm

Yankee wrote:How are you feeling today TeamThomas?
Today I got mastitis again! I've decided I will express for DS until 3 months and if we're not successful by then, formula it is. I'm on so much medication for vasospasm and mastitis that my BM is probably not that much better than formula at the moment!! I never imagined any of these conditions getting in my way of providing naturally for my baby, but I'm not enjoying what should be my first "blissful" months of motherhood and getting to know my beautiful, smiley boy. That is the plan. Thank you for your support xx

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Nicwwjd
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Nicwwjd » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:19 pm

Oh TeamThomas- vasospasm is really horrible. I had significant vasospasm issues when feeding DS. I tried all manner of things, and it was so, so hard and painful. Both during and between feeds. I think I have posted a bit more of my story on another thread, and what i found most useful... Here is what I can remember (sorry I can't remember more- but it is good revision for me as I'm expecting #2 in 7 weeks time).
- breast warmers helped a bit, as did making sure that my chest was always covered and warm and not exposed to breezes
- I looked into and used vitamin supplements to reduce the spasm of the vascular soft tissue
- I had my LC check for thrush (which we found I did have- and it was stubborn)- and treated it as per the Melbourne Women's guidelines (I had to show them to the pharmacist so they would provide me with the medication)
- I used gel breast discs (pm if you'd like the name of them), and also some other compresses to help with healing

I totally understand your pain. It is toe curling. And like the other ladies have said, there is more to being a Mum than how your babyis fed. It is Important that you make the decision that you are most comfortable with, and the one that is going to be best for both you, your baby and your family. And if you decide that continuing with breastfeeding isn't the best choice for you, know that you have given it your 100%! Feeding through that much pain ain't easy at all. Gentle hugs to you xo

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Nicwwjd
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by Nicwwjd » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:21 pm

Sorry- we must have posted at exactly the same time! I'm pleased you have a plan to go forward with! You sound comfortable with it too, which is good. And you're right, until we are I these situations we don't hear about them! Well done for persisting for so long with such discomfort! Hope that it settle for you x

TeamThomas
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by TeamThomas » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:22 pm

Snake Hips Mcroy wrote:Wow what a rough start you've had, and what a strong mama you are to have got this far.

I very dear friend of mine had extreme feeding pain for 13 long weeks. She pushed through, despite developing pnd due to the pain, and really didn't enjoy those early months in the way you are 'supposed to'.

She is still breastfeeding now, and her lovely daughter is 3.5. She always planned to breastfeed for the long haul, and that's why she kept going for so long at the start with such pain. She once said to me that if she had planned on weaning at 12 months, she would most definitely have given up in those early weeks - because that early investment would be too painful for just a few extra months of breastfeeding. But for a few more years, for her it was worth it.

But we can't tell you if YOU will regret giving up, or if it will lighten your burden - only you can know that. Hugs hugs to you xoxo
That puts it all into perspective. We don't have long to enjoy them at this age and start to develop the strong bonds we want to continue. Thank you

TeamThomas
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by TeamThomas » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:27 pm

Nicwwjd wrote:Oh TeamThomas- vasospasm is really horrible. I had significant vasospasm issues when feeding DS. I tried all manner of things, and it was so, so hard and painful. Both during and between feeds. I think I have posted a bit more of my story on another thread, and what i found most useful... Here is what I can remember (sorry I can't remember more- but it is good revision for me as I'm expecting #2 in 7 weeks time).
- breast warmers helped a bit, as did making sure that my chest was always covered and warm and not exposed to breezes
- I looked into and used vitamin supplements to reduce the spasm of the vascular soft tissue
- I had my LC check for thrush (which we found I did have- and it was stubborn)- and treated it as per the Melbourne Women's guidelines (I had to show them to the pharmacist so they would provide me with the medication)
- I used gel breast discs (pm if you'd like the name of them), and also some other compresses to help with healing

I totally understand your pain. It is toe curling. And like the other ladies have said, there is more to being a Mum than how your babyis fed. It is Important that you make the decision that you are most comfortable with, and the one that is going to be best for both you, your baby and your family. And if you decide that continuing with breastfeeding isn't the best choice for you, know that you have given it your 100%! Feeding through that much pain ain't easy at all. Gentle hugs to you xo
What was the outcome for you? Did the pain subside or you just learnt to handle it better? I've been trawling forums for similar cases and all the ones I find end with success or you never hear from them again. Do we feel such despair at not BFing that we can't return to the forum and promote it? As a side note: My LC said if you know you a prone to vasospasm you should start on the supplements at 32 weeks of pregnancy. Of course I had no idea as it is my first, but thought I'd pass on that little tidbit if you're ready for #2

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snowie
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Re: Will I regret giving up?

Post by snowie » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:36 pm

Hello TeamThomas
I'm another who had vasospasms, I can't remember for how long - just that it was awful. In our case I'm sure it was from undiagnosed tongue tie. I remember having a deep crack across my nipple for about 4 - 5 months. For some reason the vasospams subsided possibly my body got used to BF? However, my nipples were always the wrong shape after a feed even at 2+ years. I'm hoping for a more pleasant experience this time around.
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