Please help me! Thinking about giving up BF(11 Posts)
it's exactly 5 weeks today since i gave birth. I have been breastfeeding him as i did breastfeed successfully my 2 other girls for more than a year each.
To sum up my situation: 5 weeks of sore and burning breasts, 2 weeks of mastitis, about to start the third course of antibiotics, mastitis has given me excruciating muscle and chest pain to the same level of labor pain, which the doctors can't explain (i've seen 5 in total, at the GP and A&E), now on 3 types of painkillers, I've got thrush and lumps that appear every other day, either blocked ducys or very painful overfilled milk glands, one of them right under my armpit, feeding 12 times a day/8 to 10 hours a day....still have pelvic disfunction after birth and split abdominals...I don't think BF is working for me this time and i am split in half thinking about giving up. I am on the edge, physically and emotionally. Has anyone gone through the decision of giving up BF? Or thinking about it? Please help!
Sorry to hear you are having such a terrible time. I had Thrush constantly until my daughter was about 5 months - the last time it came with excema all over my breasts and took ages to shift. Feeding my DD every hour or so was pretty grim and I felt so depressed about it. I came very close to giving up a few times, but my DH spurred me on and reminded me how I had said I always wanted to BF as long as I could. I couldn't face the thought of failure and how guilty I might feel so I stuck it out, but it was very tough and I had some very dark times where I got frustrated with my DD too. I agree that you need some local consistent support - I paid to see a private lactation consultant and she helped me with some alternative remedies, suggestions about a low yeast diet to combat the Thrush and gave me a very good LLL leaflet (you can buy it from their website here www.lllgbbooks.co.uk/product/264/treating_thrush_-_pack_of_20_folded_a3_sheets/default.aspx. She contacted me regularly by phone and was such a support and well worth the money (approx £100 for a 2 hr visit in my own home which was a 100 miles round trip for her so covered fuel costs, about 6 phonecalls of 30 mins and several emails with info/links and articles). I hit is with everything the leaflet suggested and a 3 week solid course of Fluconazole (50mg per day instead of the loading dose of 3 x 150g which is often prescribed) and Diprobase cream which shifted it in the end. I also went regularly to our local Baby Cafe and got a lot of support there. My GP wasn't much use - I had to take the suggestions from the Lactation Consultant to her! I never got Mastitis luckily so have no experience of that.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what's for the best armed with as much info as possible. There are no prizes for sticking it out - what matters most is how you feel. I wish you all the very best and if you are Yorkshire based at all, let me know.
OP, that sounds awful
You will find a way through this, I promise. You'll get lots of help here, and from the breastfeeding support lines.
The BfN's mastitis leaflet is worth a read:
and their thrush leaflet:
There is possibly a difficulty with your DS draining the breast, leading to the blocked ducts and mastitis. But the antibiotics, if you need them (as not all mastitis needs them) may well trigger thrush which could possibly lead to your baby getting thrush in his mouth, which may make him sore, and his latch not so good, so not draining the breast so well....
It sounds like you need some joined up care though as you're in so much pain. You might consider phoning the BFN's drugs line to talk through the meds you are taking - they might have some insight into what's going on with how the drugs are going to mix together and also interact with your milk. Their number is 0844 412 4665.
Tongue tie, as eaurouge mentioned, could be a factor here as it would trigger the symptoms you're getting. I'd recommend Milk Matters' email tongue tie help: milkmatters.org.uk/international-service-tongue-tie-talk/ and Ann Dobson, specialist IBCLC in tongue tie www.ann-dobson.co.uk/ (she travels all over the country). Here's a list of tongue tie symptoms: www.ann-dobson.co.uk/tongue-tie_symptoms.html
Just some thoughts to start with. Hope you're feeling better today, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Chocolate cake and a glass of wine - won't help with the breastfeeding but you'll feel so much better afterwards.
Try all the help that is there - see if you can find a support group so you don't feel that you have to get through this alone.
Try also not to set yourself up for failure because that is when mums add to their own guilt.
Oh, you poor thing, that sounds so horrible,
I can't really offer much advice- but I hope you come to a decision and it is the right one for you.... It may be worth speaking to a BF counsellor- they should be trained in helping someone switch to formula so please do not feel they will force you to keep breastfeeding if you that is not what you want.
Hope you get this sorted,
I haven't had as many issues as you op but have stopped bf today, ds is 6 weeks. After a trip to hv today, floods of tears later, sore swollen boobs, thrush and a unhappy baby-poor latch and thrush- the hv asked me if I wanted to carry on and I answered no. This shocked me as I was sure I would just keep going. I know it's best, I am pro bf, I have tried very hard(attended bf clubs, had a bf support worker etc), would try again if I am lucky enough to have another child but if I am completely honest it was making me miserable and I refuse to look back at this time and think that. I am really shocked I came 2 this conclusion, but my goodness it's like a weight has been lifted.
Be honest with yourself about what will make you happy aswell as baby.
If you are stressed out over breastfeeding and it is making your life a misery, then it it much better to give it up and move forwards. Ditch the guilt! Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, but it should not be used as a stick to beat ourselves with when it doesn't work out. You have done remarkably well to manage five weeks and have given your little one a great start. I wouldn't have lasted five minutes if I'd had all of the post partum issues you are having to contend with. Credit to you. Well done and good luck.
Thank you all so much for your support. I feel so guilty into stopping breastfeeding as I can see my DS growing so well. I am going to take it very slowly, introducing bottles slowly, dropping a feed a week or so. I am feeding 12 times or more a day so my milk supply should reduce slowly. Tried not to take painkillers today and the aching chest pain has come back, but it is bearable this time. The doctors keep telling me it's caused by mastitis, I am quite sceptic about it as I had mastitis before with my first baby and it was nothing like this. Read tons of articles about mastitis and thrush and followed the advice given. I am exhausted, tired and don't enjoy breastfeeding or can't look after any of my three kids in a proper way.
I hope I am making the right choice here. Thank you all for your encouraging words.
OP - just to say do what feels right and don't feel bad about not bf. If it's caused you lots of pain and trouble then perhaps it's just not meant to be this time. You've bf for 5 weeks and given your baby the best start. Just do what comes naturally.
OP you poor thing. Regardless of what you decide re the feeding options is the doc sure the chest pain is the mastitis, you haven't got a chest/lung infection perhaps, or pulled a muscle - the pain you describe sounds worse than mastitis......
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