Monday, April 19, 2010

Breastfeeding woes

I'm in an awful downward spiral that I can't seem to stop or make any better.  Everyday is worse than the day before and I'm in a constant state of anxiety now that I can't stop.

After returning home from Disney, Piper refused to nurse the first few times I tried to feed her.  She pushed away and cried, etc.  It was a total blow.  I was devastated.  Thankfully, I continued working with her and by the afternoon, she was latching/nursing just fine.  To help to get her back on the breast again, I pumped until I had a letdown so she'd know that the milk was there, etc.  That worked fine.

Fast forward to the next day, I decided just to try to latch her without pumping first.  She latched right away.  Unfortunately for me, I was so worried about letting down before she got frustrated, that it was causing a slower than normal letdown.  She'd get frustrated/cry, which in turn would make me more stressed, which in turn would cause my letdown to take even longer.  One session that day was taking so long and I was so worked up that I had to take her off of the breast, put her in her exersaucer and use my pump.  Of course she was screaming her head off by that point, which make me even more stressed, and it took about 20 minutes to have a letdown.  It was AWFUL!!!!   That experience was so stressful that now I fear it happening every single time I try to latch her on now.  Which, I know, is the worst thing I can do.

I've had several sessions over the last few days that just didn't happen because I couldn't letdown.  I'm sooooooo nervous and anxious now.  And, believe me, I know this is the problem.  I know it is, but I don't know how to stop it.  I'm afraid I'm single handedly ruining our breastfeeding relationship and I can't stop it.   I've tried deep breaths, I've tried distracting myself, I've tried drinking water, I've tried singing, stretching/relaxation techniques before I try to latch her, etc.  Problem is, as soon as I pick her up to put her on the breast, my stomach turns to knots, I get hot, etc.  And, I CAN'T STOP IT!!!!

I know that part of the issue is that she got bottles for six days which gave her immediate satisfaction.  You don't have to wait for a bottle to letdown.  The milk is there instantly.  So, she's definitely less patient that she was before I went away.  But, my stress is making it take even longer than it should  What do I do??  Should I pump to get a letdown for a day or two to see if I can get myself settled back down again (so I don't have the stress of trying to letdown for her)?  But, I'm afraid that's just going to teach her that the milk will always be right there for her and that's not going to fix our problem. 

The other side of me is saying that maybe it's just time to throw in the towel.  My goal was a year and I want to get there but this has just become such a source of anxiety/stress and I don't know how to make it stop.  I'm starting to feel like a crazy person.  I do realize that it's all in my head.  Problem is, I can't make it better...  which is why I'm starting to feel crazy.   What do I do?  Stop bfing?  Pump to letdown?  I just don't know.  I'm writing all of this minutes after having an unsuccessful session with her and I had to put her to bed without nursing.  She's going to start to hate this as much as I am if something doesn't change. 

1 comment:

The Roses said...

Oh, I feel so bad for you and your situation and I honestly don't have the solution either. Have you tried talking to a lactation consultant? I am not sure where you delivered but there is a wonderful one at the Carlisle Hospital (Tammy). I am sure she would help you! Keep trying though. Good luck.