Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feeding Frustrations

Why do people love breastfeeding so much? I've been asking myself this question from the day I brought my baby home. All I've heard are how awesome it is once you get it going and how convenient it is from people. Um, am I experiencing a different thing than all these people?

Don't get me wrong! I am SOOO thankful that my little buddy is nursing now and is doing awesome at it. I think it is sooo cool that God designed me to be able to nourish my child like this without anything else.

I'm not gonna lie though. Most days, it is a frustrating struggle for me. I either end up frustrated, feeling like a failure, or just plain tired!

The little guy latched on at about 3 weeks and I was SO excited about it. I had been using a shield up until that point which really helped establish him being comfortable nursing. I took it away one day and he's been fine without it ever since. Well, there started the soreness, the blisters, and all the other unfortunate scenarios. But, I kept trucking.

Honestly though... if I could, I would use formula. If the organic formula we buy wasn't so expensive and if he were still able to get all the nutrients he needs... believe me I would. Cai is a SLOW eater. I think this is why I don't like it. Feeding him formula is so fast and easy. He's done and full. When he nurses, he usually falls asleep... so I try everything in my power to keep him awake. Get him in his diaper so he's cold, change his diaper, tickle him... but to no avail. This kid just loves falling asleep while he eats. It's so adorable in the sense that he feels so comfortable with me. But, on the other hand, I hate the cycle. He will eat, but won't eat enough, so I stop after trying to make him eat more. Then, 30 minutes later, he's crying to be fed again because he didn't eat enough during the entire hour that I tried to feed him. So, count it up... I literally spend ALL day feeding him. Whereas, if he were eating formula... we would be done in 10 minutes and he'd be good to go.

Why oh WHY do people enjoy this? I can't get anything done during my day. Although I LOVE snuggling him and bonding with him, there comes a point where I need to brush my teeth or take a shower or do the laundry.

I feel at a loss and I'm not sure what to do. I have seriously tried everything. I can't even go do the store most of the time because he doesn't have enough in his belly to go. I know that I would just be setting myself up for a miserable time because as soon as we get there he is hungry again.

Any thoughts? Any hugs? I need them!


  1. Ha I thought that too, everyone kept saying they loved it but I hated it! Now Sophia is 5 months old- I am wayyy under my pre baby weight, the pain has stopped, an it's great. I think when your baby is like 2 months old, you will suddenly realize that you like it. It is very frustrating at first but it gets easier! It also helps your baby bond with you which is so great!

  2. I had some of the same experiences with Judah. The difference was that I never gave him formula so I really didn't know that it could be so convenient. :-) Part of the solution is just relinquishing the need to do so much during the day and realizing that this is a phase that feels like forever when you are going through it but will seem like the blink of an eye when it is over.
    The up side is that it should get way better pretty soon.
    However, you could consider a combination of feeding techniques. One bottle of formula a day will give you enough time afterwards to get something done. It's cheaper than going all out on formula. If you are able to pump, you can also set aside milk to use when yoe need to and it might help boost your milk flow.
    Hang in there! This season really will be over before you know it!

  3. laura,

    once again i admire you for your honesty and vulnerability. first of all, i want to encourage you that this is a season. like all seasons, your son will soon be just a few weeks older, and he will be more alert and probably staying awake for a full feeding at the breast. but until then...

    i have a good friend who had a similar circumstance. she would breastfeed some, and then supplement afterwards to make sure her son got enough nutrients. the supplementation could be formula or breastmilk that you have pumped.

    i know that sometimes people feel like they've "failed" if they use some formula, but that's simply NOT TRUE. breastmilk is of course the most natural thing for your son, but the best thing for your family is for you to be healthy and happy, and if this means supplementing with formula every once in a while, then do it. and i bet by the time he is 3 months you can be breastfeeding for every feeding.

    also, you could consider talking to a lactation consultant. i know that they are usually super helpful with any and all nursing issues.

    you're a wonderful mama. keep it up.

  4. I went through the same exact thing with everyone of my children. I was SO determined to nurse my babies, because it was the "right" thing to do. Yet, everyday ended with me in exhaustion and in tears.

    I can remember leaving church after talking to other young nursing moms, and sob, because I felt like I somehow had failed as a mother. Matt literally would grab my face and say, "YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER!".

    It wasn't until Hunter (the 3rd) that I was able to let the guilt go. I finally realized that my good mommy status didn't come from breastfeeding v. formula. The best thing I could give my baby (and husband) was an emotionally healthy mommy.

    When I decided to pump and bottle feed, things turned around for me. I got to where I could pump while bottle feeding. It cut the feeding time in half. :)

    When Hunter was 8 weeks old I was in a restaurant without a pumped bottle. I started to panic when the lady I was with suggested me to put her on my breast (in the resturant, no less) just to pacify her. Bingo. She latched on and I nursed her for the next 9 months, so I finally got what I wanted.

    You're doing an awesome job. Keep up the good work!

  5. Weird. I was typing almost the exact same thing at the same time as the person before me. :)

    I guess we're in tune with the Lord. LOL

  6. oh honey! i am SO excited for you. HE'S HERE! i am proud of you and am sending you big hugs across the miles for what you went through and what you accomplished! bravo, mommy. i am so sorry you are having BF issues! i had some major ones, one where the shield really helped me. have you tried pumping? i know it is far from ideal, but then you can get him what he needs without the time frustration and then he might get on a schedule somewhat... i would LOVE to talk with you and give you advice. i do not know what i would have done as a brand new mommy and no other mommys to tell me what to do when i was exhausted and frustrated. if you get a minute, please email me and then we can talk on the phone. i feel you girl and i'm here! love you a ton and again, am SO PUMPED for you two! xoxox