the breast is best?

She has a good latch. She’s a good sucker. I have an ample supply.

But breastfeeding is still hard. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that this is what I have to bitch about instead of shots and wandings.

La Leche League’s book is titled The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Ha. Around here, it’s a not so womanly test of wills.

Sometimes it seems she prefers the bottle. Sometimes it seems she prefers me. And sometimes, perhaps most frustrating of all, she seems to prefer the pacifier.

I’m not looking for advice anymore – I’ve tried everything short of standing on my head while feeding her. I usually get her to eat.

What works best? Soothing her into almost-sleep, slipping the pacifier out of her mouth, and exchanging for the boob. And sometimes that doesn’t work. Sometimes I try walking, bouncing, and lunging as I attempt to get her to latch on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I end up a dripping, sweaty mess in either case.

And I worry. Even when people tell me not to. She’s tiny. She’s approaching 4 months and she weighs maybe just over 10 pounds. Look that up on the charts; it’s really not very reassuring. So her not eating isn’t really an option for me.

Today she took a bottle of expressed breast milk after latching until very shortly after my let down and then screaming any time a boob got near her.

This has been going on for over a month. Sometimes it’s worse than other times. I feel defeated yet still conflicted in this moment. I know it can’t continue this way; I don’t want to stop. And I feel a little angry. At whom, I’m not sure, but there’s some anger there.

Maybe I’ll pump and supplement each feeding with bottles of expressed milk. Maybe I’ll give up altogether.

And really, I don’t want anymore advice. If you can think of it, odds are I’ve tried it. I’m just tired.

~ by Larisa on April 27, 2008.

17 Responses to “the breast is best?”

  1. Just my thoughts to you and virtual (((((hugs))))) to you BabyHope and your boobs. Belinda

  2. zYou’re doing a great job! I had problems getting my daughter to latch at first. She also cried at the sight of my boob. She eventually did latch, but I ended up pumping for 3 months. Pumping can be hard too, but try not to make it out to be a big deal. I made it a big deal and ended up hating it. My friend just pumped for 4 times a day and didn’t worry about how much she got and it wasn’t a problem for her. Actually I let the whole nursing thing consume me for 3 months.. I ended up switching to formula, but must admit I felt guilty about it for so long. I agree the advice got old when I had problems with the latch. I tried everything to get her to nurse the way I wanted. I say that because she did latch eventually but was a SLOW nurser. After I experienced giving her a bottle of expressed milk I didn’t have the patience to sit there for 45min 8-10 times a day. It made me feel so strapped down and depressed.

  3. just remember you are doing the best job you can. and you shouldn’t feel guilty. i cannot breastfeed due to a medical issue and my baby is thriving on formula. sometimes you just cant breastfeed, even if you are able and you want to. i am ubanle to and i wish people didnt look down on those of us who bottle feed – there is really nothing wrong with it. its more important that babyhope is growing and is healthy. good luck but you shouldnt feel guilty if you opt out of the boob.

  4. Breastfeeding is hard. Physically and emotionally. My daughter was a nightmare. So, no assvice from me. Just empathy. Hang in there.

  5. Breastfeeding is SO effing hard – I hear you. I’d (almost) rather go through labor every week of my life over and over again then the first 3 weeks of breastfeeding.

  6. Ditto Chris…SO effing hard.

    One thing that got me through the rough times was knowing if I quit, that was it and I couldn’t go back so if I wanted to quit, I had to make sure it’s what I REALLY wanted. Also knowing that I did good up to that point and if I did quit they’d be fine helped take some of the pressure of.

    And you have done great.

  7. Sometimes you just have to accept the the situation. Don’t let what anyone else says bug you. Nursing changes constantly anyway.

  8. Some babies are just small. I had one 90% for height and I have 2 0-10% for height. What most doctors feel is that the head/height/weight should be appropriate and all on the same curve. Some babies follow their own curve…as long as they are growing(and that can go in spurts…a few times mine barely changed in weighed but lenghtened out and then caught up later) and healthy and following their own path then generally its not a concern. Remember a lot of the scales for percentiles “say” they take breastfed vs formula fed into account…but they don’t. Many formula babies are HUGE compared to breastfed babies. But usually by 2 they level out. One key thing that often get forgotten in the whole percentile thing is to “look at the baby not the scale” thing. I come from short people and my hubby comes from tall people…so it was hard for my doctor to remember at first(especially after our tall first child) that genetics are important for the height and weights…and they don’t just boil down to simple numbers on a piece of paper.

  9. Sorry it is so rough. Cooper is teething and it is making nursing a nightmare. Do what you have to do. It doesn’t change the fact that your a great mom and have made it this long. Hope things get better soon, whatever you decide.

  10. Well you know I don’t have any advice! So all I can say is I’m sorry it’s hard and hope it gets easier for you. And now I’ll say the most useless cliche ever…hang in there. And imagine that cute little kitten on the poster…okay you can club me now đŸ™‚

  11. No advice here but just a boost to say that YOU will figure it out.
    YOU are figuring out what works best for mom and baby. Every mom no matter how short or long they BF feels guilty wehn they give it up. But you know what? It doesn’t last long đŸ˜‰

  12. No assvice here either. But wanted to say you aren’t alone. My 10 1/2 wk old is also very difficult to breastfeed. I have had many nights of crying (me and her) and have had a lot of emotion wrapped up in it and a lot of conflict over weaning or not. It’s not easy. Just know you’re not alone.

  13. I hear ya. My daughter refused a bottle, which meant I got no breaks. I say breastfeeding was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Rewarding, but also very hard.

    My daughter has tracked small too, at 27 months, she’s only 24 lbs. she’s finally back on the curve. As long as they are healthy and the doctor isn’t concerned you may just have a little peanut.

  14. I have no earthly idea how frustrating this is, but what I do know is how much you love and care for your daughter’s wellbeing. That has to mean something and no matter what the outcome, BabyHope is getting the best care and love possible.

  15. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time in this area. I hope it changes soon.

  16. I read that book, they make it sound so self-evident. “Try hard enough and it will work”. HAH!
    I tried, very hard, for months. I had two LC’s scratching their heads. My daughter takes bottle and boob with the same vigor and enthousiasm, but I never, ever managed to get supply anywhere near what was needed. I did my best, and that’s that.

  17. Congrats on your beautiful daughter! Breastfeeding is so hard and so emotional. I have learned though, to not worry about what others think and say. You don’t have to listen to the books or doctors or other mom’s – even your own. My mom told me to do what makes me happy and what makes the baby happy. Then, she said, you will know you are doing it right. So, formula, breast, bottle – whichever makes both of you happy is right. End of story!

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