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Repeat mastitis, feel totally trapped by breastfeeding

(11 Posts)
CheersBigEars1 Wed 13-Apr-16 15:45:25

I'm 8 months into feeding my DS and feel totally trapped by breastfeeding. Ive had almost constant blocked ducts in one breast and am now on my third bout of mastitis in the last 6 weeks. I've tried absolutely everything to fix it but I have a weird inverted nipple which doesn't seem to work properly. I feel like my life has turned into a constant rotation of hot and cold packs and medication. I'm totally exhausted with it all not to mention the lack of sleep. I feel so trapped by breastfeeding and just wish I could get on with my life and feel normal again. Does anyone else feel like this? Will it ever be over? I just want to enjoy my wee one again.

tiredybear Wed 13-Apr-16 21:24:22

Breastfeeding is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. It is relentless and overwhelming at times. I'm still feeding my LO now and he's just turned 1 but he still wakes once in the night for a feed!

You've done an amazing job keeping breastfeeding through all these difficulties. Mastitis is awful.

If it's really getting too much, why not consider stopping? It's really important to look after yourself, both mentally and physically.

Coconut0il Wed 13-Apr-16 21:56:53

Agree with above. You must look after yourself. 8 months with the problems you've had is fantastic. There is nothing wrong with stopping if you want to. If you want to carry on it won't be forever. Keep taking care of yourself as you are and remember it does pass.

CheersBigEars1 Wed 13-Apr-16 22:19:15

Thanks guys. I just feel like such a failure. My hippy birth plan turned into an EM CS and now my extended breastfeeding dreams are drifting away too. I feel like my body has really let me down...But your right I think I need to consider stopping, I just don't think the issues are going away and it's taking over my life. I'm not sure how to stop at this stage, there is so little information on it and he still wakes loads at night, it's all a bit overwhelming.

knaffedoff Wed 13-Apr-16 22:32:48

I would just feed off the breast that works well, just gradually reduce / hand express the money breast and the milk will supply will slow and reduce accordingly. I was always much better at feeding off one side and by 8 months I was only offering that side!

knaffedoff Wed 13-Apr-16 22:33:25

Minxy not money :-)

tiredybear Fri 15-Apr-16 21:27:53

Sorry you feel like such a failure. So much of what I expected about motherhood was very different to reality. Why are we mummies so down on ourselves?

You had an EM CS, which must have been VERY traumatic, then got straight on with being a mum, breastfeeding through some huge difficulties for 8 MONTHS!! You are NOT a failure. You're a superhero.

Knaffedoff gave some good advice re stopping. Maybe talk to your HV as well.


AppleAndBlackberry Fri 15-Apr-16 21:46:57

You could just feed on one side for a bit if you don't want to stop completely, or just stop gradually. 8 months is a great achievement. I had to stop earlier than I wanted to with DD1, I was upset for a little while but I knew I needed to stop really (pregnant with 2nd child, exhausted etc).

FreiasBathtub Fri 15-Apr-16 22:03:35

Oh Cheers. Breastfeeding is hard, man! I'm hoping that I can word this right, because I know when I was struggling with feeding I found it really hard to believe people who told me I was doing well.

I fed for eight months and it is one of my proudest achievements. Still, I stopped sooner than I'd have liked because it was best for me and, by extension, my DD. I would say that stopping before you thought you would be ready is emotional, and you can't reason those emotions away. You do kind of have to go through them. But you will come out the other side into a place where you're OK with it.

I had a similar horrible birth ending in an unexpected stay in NICU and concerns (thankfully unfounded) about DD's long term health. I think when your body lets you down in labour, breastfeeding becomes a way to compensate. Again, you have to go through those feelings. But as you go on they do subside.

In short, let yourself grieve the end, but be assured that you will at some point come to know this to be the massive achievement that it is. And that an anonymous Internet stranger is rooting for you!

dilys4trevor Sat 16-Apr-16 09:03:21

You know you need to stop. As with anything, once it becomes something that gets in the way of enjoying your child and feeling happy, time to ditch. I don't think they get much out of it by this stage anyway; it's the first six months that count and you've beyond nailed it.

But I know it's hard to know how to stop. All the advice seems to be about how to start and how to keep going!

Does he take a bottle at all (sorry if I've missed this)? I got to eight months too with DS1 and didn't know where to start to stop, if you know what I mean?! I got him to accept a bottle and slowly dropped feeds in favour of the bottle. I meant to drop one a week but it took on a life and he was bottles by day and boob only at night within a fortnight. I had mastitis too so you need to go slow. But once he is on a bottle for at least one feed you're on your way.

The feeling once I was no longer breastfeeding was amazing! I had EMCS too but it didn't bother me. By the time I got to my third child I breastfed for only four months. My first-born self would have been shocked!

CheersBigEars1 Mon 18-Apr-16 13:25:51

Thanks so much to all for responding. Mastitis has gone now thanks goodness and am feeling so much better in mind body and spirit. I have resolved to stop now so its just the mechanics that need sorting out. I was at the doctor this morning and she was very wary about giving up until the infection has fully cleared (she said to wait 3 weeks), but i think ill try a bottle of formula at lunch time before that.

Knaffed - i have heard of feeding from one side only, did the other side completely stop? This could be a good interim step for us.

Freias - it does feel like a greiving process. I didn't even realise i was so hung up about it until i started to realise i had to stop. I think the mastitis really affects my emotional state (well that and the sleep deprivation!) but your right i should be proud of battling through not down about it.

Dilys - thanks for the advice on giving up. Can i ask you gow did you get on with the night times? i've no idea how we will get to sleep and cope with the wake ups without the boob. there must be a way!

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