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PLEASE HELP ME.....I FEEL LIKE SUCH A FAILURE!!
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PLEASE HELP ME.....I FEEL LIKE SUCH A FAILURE!!

Hi, as a few of you know i went into hospital for my inducement on Friday.  I had four sets of gels inserted to make my cervix open, which gave me severe pains.  I had five stretch and sweeps done, my waters were broken artificially, i was put on a drip to make my contractions stronger and then i had an episiotomy.  I finally delivered my baby boy 3 days later on Monday morning.  He is beautiful and i love him so much, but i'm so stressed out.  An hour after he was born i was put on the ward, my husband wasn't allowed in and i was just left alone with my baby, i didn't know what to do, i tried to feed him but i couldn't get him to latch on and i just felt so alone.

All Monday and Tuesday i tried to feed him but everytime i tried he just fell asleep at my breast.  The nurses tried to get him to latch on but they couldn't do it very well either.  I got him to do it for about half an hour but that was Monday.  I was so tired and the nurses offered to take him to the nursery for a couple of hours and feed him some formula.  I said yes because i was so exhausted and worried that he was starving.

We got home yesterday and i continued to try and breastfeed him, still he wasn't interested and fell asleep.  I tried everything to wake him up, i tapped his feet, undressed him etc but nothing, so i gave him some formula again.  I really wanted to breastfeed him and was so against formula feeding.  I wanted to ask you a few questions and if anyone could asnwer any of them or has had a similar experience then i would really appreciate any comments or advice.

If i can't breastfeed him with colostrum will my milk still come through?
Will i have a better chance of him taking my breast if my milk comes through?
When can i expect this to happen?
Will trying to express my breasts help?
If i can't breastfeed and have to use formula should i be supplementing him with water, if so how much?
How much formula in ounces or ml should i be feeding him over 24 hours?
How often should i be feeding him?


I've had 12 hours sleep in the last five days, i'm so tired, so if i sound like i've gone crazy or this doesn't make sense then i'm sorry.  I'm just really looking for some help, i'm so upset and feel like i'm not coping very well.  I feel like such a failure not being able to feed my own son.
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Poor thing! I would not worry too much about him not having much collustrum, at my antenatal class they showed us how much collustrum they taka and it is not more than a spoonfool. My milk came a couple of days after I gave birth (I think), you will know, your breasts will look like cereal bowls!! I had a 52 hours delivery induced by a membrane sweep and slept about 2 hours in 3 days, so i know how you feel. I haven't got the answers to all your questions but I am sure you will find it easier to breast feed once you get your milk. Think that the main thing is that you are both ok and remember that formula is not poison, don't feel guilty! Good luck!  

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210951_tn?1203145344
You are so NOT a failure!!!  I went through the same struggle when my son was born.  He wasn't latching on very well at the hospital and they suggested I use a nipple shield (for some reason), which I don't know if it helped any.  Going home was equally as frustrating!  I recall him crying and I knew he was hungry but he just wasn't latching on so I finally attempted bottle feeding which he also didn't take. My milk came in and came in very well on our second day home and then everything was smooth sailing.  He ate every two hours day and night and this continued until he was about 7 months old  I believe for a new born baby 1-2 ounces every few hours is sufficient for now, but each baby is different.  Some babies will eat less frequently.  There isn't any need to supplement with water though.  Be patient and he will follow in your lead.
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93532_tn?1349374050
It is not as easy as some may think, nursing is exhausting and requires a lot of work. Even nursing my third took time, patience and practice for the both of us. My youngest had bilirubin issues and was very sleepy for the first week, not to mention that the day after he was bron they suctioned 18cc's of amniotic fluid out of his stomach, which was making nursing next to impossible the first 24 hours. With time, diligence, and a lot of lost sleep, we finally got into our groove. He just turned 7 months yesterday and he is fed in his schedule, not mine. So if I am grocery shopping and he is hungry, I stop what I am doing and duck out to feed him and resume shopping when he is done.

For you, it may just not be meant to be. If you feel in your heart you really want to try, keep at it. If he is having a rough time latching, try pumping to keep the supply up and go that route. The latch is very different on a bottle versus the breast, so that could be contributing to the confusion as well. Also, it is easier to get formula from the bottle initially, at least until your letdown starts.

Have you contacted a lactation consultant? While the nurses can be a tremendous help, lacvtation consultants specialize in issues related to nursing and may have som ideas. Have you tried varying positions? I usually use the standard cross cradle hold, but my boys also did really well in the side luying position. Inf act that is how I nurse at night, it empties out more milk for them at a faster rate and allows them to drift off to sleep. Of course, a full belly will do that anyway : )

If you need any help, let us know. You can email me privately as well, I am alwyas available to help anyone through their nursing issues. As many know, I have had my fair share! ***@****

Andi

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Avatar_n_tn
To keep milk supply up since you say he won't attach and suckle, be sure to use a hospital grade pump--you can rent these, call hospital, send hubby over to get it.  You can put your own milk in a bottle just like formula and he can eat that inestaed of formula. When the drugs wear off (I am assuming the lack of alertness is post delivery and temporary not a deeper problem) and he can wake up a bit he can try at the breast.  I used a lactation consultant too for my first.  If your milk comes in and no one is there to suckle your milk will dry up and you will be on formula permanently. The pump has to happen now, not in a week or two. lalecheleague.org is good site to see for bf advice.

My first baby, just to commiserate (we all feel for you!), didn't latch very well (prolongued epidural)--although he did enough to make my nipples bleed and I cried everytime I saw him for 3 days. On Day 5, he was "starving"-- (we didn't do formula or water or anything, ped said it was fine)--and he had been crying and crying too, like 24 hrs/day. I hadn't slept in 8 days at that point.  Finally came the Lact. Consult. and within moments he was properly latched on, happy as a clam and fell asleep.

Luckily this bf thing worked for us (with great pain) because we later found he was severely allergic to soy and milk and wouldn't have been able to deal with any formula.  If you want it you can do it, but yes, it is exhausting. GET YOUR HUSBAND to take baby so you can sleep a bit is my #2 advice. If he can't, get a person to come and hold baby and go to bed. Milk is affected by exhaustion too. Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
you are not a failure, but many of us have felt that way when things didnt go as we dreamed. its pretty normal all you are experiencing. my son would fall asleep too, i undressed him, took a wet washcloth to him. i worked with a lactation consultant. i could have never done it without her!  my ins paid for it, it was done through my ped's office. and if you just feel you cant do it, and go to formula, you still will not be a failure. you are exhausted, and emotional, and you need as much support around you as you can get right now. focus on the great things right now. you have a healthy little wonderful baby!! ask your pediat. about lactation consultants, or the hospitol where you delivered. it will make the biggest difference in the world.
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150937_tn?1235947480
i am so sorry you are feeling this way!  you are not a failure.  if you really want to breastfeed, then just keep at it. your little one is learning as are you, with practice and patience you'll get there!  the 1st 4-6 weeks were overwhelming 4 myself and i did cave, and supplemented with formula (i wasn't for or against either though)  if you do decide to formula feed, no water supplement is necessary right now.  as far as how much?  Either Breast or Formula, I have always fed my babies on demand...as painful as those 1st weeks of sleepless nights it is, I haven't put my dd (6 months old) on a schedule still.  If she is hungry, she eats!  I wish you all the best and Congratulations on your little bundle of joy!!!
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164559_tn?1233711618
No you are not a failure.  You and your baby had a long difficult delivery and both are tired.

Your milk will come in 3-4 days after birth.  You can still try to nurse, it is up tp you.  Call LaLeche League, they will have someone come over and help you.

or you can pump and give a bottle.

or you can give formula.

Whatever you choose you are doing the right thing for you and your baby.

Hang in there, it does get easier, I promise.
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I would do the pump right now as well.  Get a good one and start storing up your milk in bottles....this way when your baby decides to latch on, your milk supply will be there still...also your baby can at least drink your milk instead of formula.

I had such problems on #1 baby...she latched on fantastic, but I was so sore and my nipples sore and sore from the c-section that everytime I knew I had to feed her, I dreaded it....I felt so bad and sad that I felt that way.....I then got an infection or at least thought I did with my surgery and they put me on medication.....I was very inexperienced and ended up not continuing to breast feed....I should have had my husband get a pump...I was so ill prepared...I feel bad to this day....my daughter ended up being a formula raised baby....she is fine and great and it didn't seem to make a difference.

But that strong urge in me still to this day feels so bad about not breastfeeding her...I miss it and wish I knew more of how to handle it back then.

This time around, I will be prepared and get my bottles in should I need to pump.......and I will pump if I am sore in the nipple area and feed my new baby that way until I heal up.....then I will continue to breast feed.....otherwise pump!

Don't think you are a failure...and believe me, I know how you feel as I was in a different boat but the SAME boat...I still to this day feel bad about it.....

Don't give up if that is the route you wish to take....PUMP!!!!  and at least you know your baby even if taking the bottle will be drinking YOUR milk!  Then keep trying...

If you choose formula, then that is fine too...just don't feel bad...my dd is great formula fed or breast fed.....she doesn't even remember!

JT
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First off, congrats on baby!  Those inductions can take awhile, my first one did too and the birth was tough.  I tose through my episiotomy and it took just as long to stitch me up as it did to push him out.  I did not want to bf at first andbf  we did formula.  When he went in for his first appt. a few days later, I had a change of heart.  The nurse came in and helped me to get him started and I had full blown milk by then, so he missed out on the colostrum, I was a little bummed, but he was a big baby and very hungry all of the time so I guess it was okay.  Even if you struggle in the beginning, your milk will come in fine in another day or so.  It's hard work, and I had sore nipples too, I used bf cream and it helped a lot, and after a few days it got better.  They also sell nipple shields, they go over your nipplesw to protect the skin and make it more comfortable.  If that doesn't work and the lact. spec. isn't an option, ask your pediatrician.  They deal with that stuff all of the time.  As a last resort you can either pump or use formula.  No matter what you are not a failure.  The first few weeks are a blur and you are so exhausted.  It will get better.  Good luck!  BTW what did you have and how big?
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162331_tn?1390022267
Please do not feel like you are a failure.  You have had some exhausting days and have worked so hard to deliver your son.  If anything that ranks you right up there to SuperHero status.  If you are exhausted and stressed it makes it more difficult to nurse.  I would suggest contacting a lactation consultant.  If your baby will take the bottle then he should take your breast.  Just wait until he is hungry enough and fussy and is really awake to offer it too him.  You need to relax.  The more stressed you are the harder nursing can be.  It makes it harder for your milk to come in and to let down.  It normally takes about 3 days and your milk should start coming in.  You will know when it does.  Your breast get huge and hard.  The more formula you feed the less milk you will produce.  It is all about supply and demand.  The more your breast get drained the more you make.  Drink "lot's" of water.  So, if you find you cannot breast feed and he refuses to take it but you are committed to breast milk then you will need to pump and put it in a bottle for him.  But I would suggest that you keep trying.  The first few weeks are the hardest.  Once your little guy gets the swing of nursing, that is all he will want to do.  If you breast feed or formula feed you do not have to give extra water.  They will get what they need from the milk.  Especially when nursing, breast milk has all they need until it is time to start them on cereal or food at about 4-6 months.  Get some help so you can get some rest.  The more tired you are the harder it is to have a clear head and not feel like you are having a melt down.  Remember.....you gave birth,  you can do anything.  Blessings to you SuperMOM!
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93532_tn?1349374050
Actually, try not to let him get fussy, they tend to have a rough time nursing when they attempt to latch when they are frantic and hungry.

Start trying to nurse when you see early signs of hunger like rooting or attempting to put fists in the mouth. If you wait too long, you will both get overwhelmed very easily.

Also, do not add water this early. They have such a low blood volume it does not take much to throw off their electrolyte balance and that can lead to serious health issues.

And remember that during the first week it is almost a given your nipples will be sore. I can all but promise you it will go away in a week. Even with the amount of time i have nursed with all of my boys, with each one the first week had me ready to quit. By day 4 I was in agony, but by day 7 or 8 it seemed to go away. It does get easier with time, your body is getting used to a completely new experience. Breastfeeding takes its toll on your nipples in the beginning, they ahve never been exposed to lacthing 24/7, it is no wonder they get so sore!!
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Poor thing! I promise that you will feel rested again. I was worried that I never woul dafter my DD was born. LOL. Oh my gosh, I remember that time and how difficult it was. I strongly think that you should purchase a good pump. It will be a great help to you. I did the math and it made more sense for us to purchase instead of rent. I also liked to be able to store relativly large quanities of milk when my daughter was a bit older. We bought the Medela model that cost about  $250. It was wonderful and while $250 seems steep, it sure is a lot less expensive than formula. Well worh the money.
I remember being so exhausted and just wanting to give up. I did occasionally pump and give my DD a bootle of milk, but I would suggest that unless your doctor reccomends it . It will cause nipple confusion and make it even more difficult to nurse properly. However, pumping to ease the pain of engorged breasts and freezing the milk for later is a good idea.
I am so glad that I stuck it out now. I don't remember exactly how long it took for my daughter to nurse easily, but it took weeks. It was the most tiring thing I have ever done but so worth it! You WILL be able to breast feed. Don't give up.
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162331_tn?1390022267
I didn't mean for it to come off that the baby be frantic.  I guess each of us have different definitions of fussy.  When I started nursing, especially my first one...we couldn't get him awake.  He would sleep 4-5 hours straight and I would try to nurse and he would fall back to sleep.  So the lactation consultant said let him wake up more.  If I was serious about nursing to not put a bottle in his mouth.  He would suck on it and go right back to sleep.  So, we waited for him to start moving around and rooting and making some noise.  When he was more awake and alert and really wanting to be fed and maybe even started to cry a little.  Not frantic, but awake enough to want to be fed.  Please, do not think I support letting your baby get frantic.  It will make it harder on both.  But it is making sure the baby is awake.  I know what it is like to have a baby that just sleeps all the time those first weeks.  I would get so miserable.  My milk would let down and leak everywhere.  I would try to get him to nurse.  All I did was to get milk all over his face, lol.  What a sight.  Now when the second one came, he was born they layed him on my tummy and he started rooting right away.  He latched right on and didn't let go until he was 1 1/2 years old, lol.  He knew what he liked.  Now I will be giving birth to my 3rd one in Aug.  I hope he is easy like my 2nd son was to nurse.  Yes, you are right to warn her of sore nipples.  Many people quit when they get to that.  But stick it out, it does get better.  Just make sure to get the baby's mouth on the aerola and not just the nipple.  Good luck to all!
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93532_tn?1349374050
Had my friend not warned me about that first week, I would have thrown in the towel on day four with my 1st son. But once I got thorugh that first week, it was much easier and got to the point that I rarely notice it now.

I am sorry, lovefamily, I just wanted to clarify, some people can take information wrong and might then be back on in a week frantic themselves having misunderstood the advice given. Letting a baby get overly hungry spells disaster! My 3rd was also a very sleepy baby in the beginning due to the bilirubin issues. Same scenario, he would nuzzle a little and BAM, milk all over the place, well everywhere but his mouth!! It took a lot of time and patience to get his eating pattern established but now he is a moose like my others boys were as babies and nurses like a pro!
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162331_tn?1390022267
LOL!!  Glad to hear that your little "moose" is doing so great.  It's crazy when you try to feed them and they are not interested and you have milk squirting everywhere but in their mouth!  Moms have to have a sense of humor that's for sure.  
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