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  1. #1
    smallestangel Guest

    Default How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Hi

    I've had a few problems that have discouraged me, but I'm still hanging in there. Since having the c-section from hell, it's been rough from the get-go. I really haven't had a pain free nursing session since we came home from the hospital.


    I decided to breastfeed when I first became pregnant and I've always said my goal was one year. Right now, I'm just taking it day by day. Six months alone seems like light-years away.


    So, what were your nursing goals? Did you surpass them? What were some things that got you over the hump when you felt like weaning, but didn't.

    Thanks!

    Amanda & Jacob :)

  2. #2
    LucyG is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Amanda,

    It sounds like you've had a rough start! It's great that you are persisting, and I think you will start to find that things get easier the longer you nurse.

    I planned to nurse at least a year, but didn't really have any definite notions of how long I'd continue after that. My DD is almost 14 months old, and we are still going strong. I am not planning to wean her anytime soon, but I will admit that it's a bit of a relief that she eats more food and nurses less than she did as a younger baby. It can be very stressful to be someone's entire food supply, can't it?! At this point, it is very evident to me that she gets more than nutrition (though that's a big part of it) from nursing. The comfort factor is a huge boon now that she is a toddler.

    Something that really kept me going during rough spots was to talk to friends who had nursed (or were nursing) their babies. They could understand what I was going through, and I could see that the benefits would outweigh the problems if I continued. This board has also been a huge help. It's great to communicate with other moms going through the same issues. I applaud your efforts, and I promise that nursing really does get easier and more enjoyable the longer you do it!

  3. #3
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Hi Amanda,

    I initially planned to nurse 6 months or so - but told myself I'd give it 3 months, then see how things were going. We had some rough times. I used a nipple shield with DS for over 6 months. I got a terrible case of thrush, then mastitis 3 times! The funny thing is that while you've got something awful like mastitis, it's a terrible time to quit (I didn't want an abcess) - and when things are going great - I thought why quit when it's going so well. Of course I had lots of support from friends and a local lactation consultant.

    We're now at 9 months and it seems really hard to stop nursing. Who wants to mess with bottles. At about 6 months, it really becomes so much easier to nurse than to bottle feed.

    What's keeping me going now is that my mother in law asks at least weekly "when are you going to WEAN????" Maybe we'll keep it up until he's in kindergarten :)

    Hang in there. It can be so hard at first. It really does get easier. You have the right idea, just take it a day at a time.

    Hugs,
    Amy
    mom to Andrew 7/9/2003

  4. #4
    jbowman is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Amanda,

    You are wise to take it day by day. When I found out I was pregnant, I really wanted to breastfeed too. My long-term goal is to breastfeed for 12 months. In order to attain that goal, I've set smaller goals--my first goal was simply to try it and to see how it went. Fortunately I didn't have any problems, so I set my next goal: 6 weeks, then 4 months. DD just hit four months, and now I am going for 6 months. This has really helped me b/c each time I hit one of my "milestones" I think, "I am woman hear me roar!" These "mini" goals have given me a lot of confidence.

    Plus, as everyone says, breastfeeding gets easier with time. DD nurses for shorter periods and less frequently (it is a bit shocking when you come to the realization that the baby doesn't eat ALL OF THE TIME anymore!).

    I like that I save money by breastfeeding and that I am providing my daughter with nourishment--that helps me. I also like the closeness. Of course I also like pumping--it gives me freedom if I need to be away.

    I joke that I am so used to breastfeeding my daughter that I'd nurse in front of the pope!

    Good luck and hang in there--there is a lot of support on these boards--many of the women in this community are very inspiring!

  5. #5
    firstbaby is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    I also had my heart set on BFing and we were fortunate that my DS has been an "eater". We got the hang of things quickly but during the times that he would root constantly and eat every 1 1/2 hours during growth spurts, I would ask myself if I could keep going. My initial goal was to see how it went until 6 months. Then as my return to work date approached I worried about being able to keep it up once I went back (at 12 weeks). My DS is now 13 weeks old, and pumping at work hasn't been bad (I got a lot of support from this board). So we are back to the 6 months goal, but then I realized that once he starts some solids (around or before 6 months) he'll nurse less - so going until a year shouldn't be so bad after all :)

    What has kept me going is my mom. When my sister was born very prematurely they weren't sure if she was going to live. My sister had to stay in the hospital for 6 weeks after she was born and my mom pumped bottles (with a manual pump) for every feeding that she couldn't be there to nurse her in the hospital. Every time I've wanted to give up, I feel like a wimp considering the commitment and sacrifice my mom made.

    Good luck - you can come to these boards anytime for support!

  6. #6
    pritchettzoo Guest

    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    How old is your son now? If you've been doing it for more than 6 weeks and it still hurts, you may have some latching issues or thrush or... If it's relatively soon after his birth, the pain may go away once your nipples get used to it.

    It hurt like hell for me the first 4 weeks. My goal from the beginning was at least a year, but when I was in so much pain, I made the goal 6 weeks. By six weeks, I was pain free (although nursing almost constantly thanks to a growth spurt!). People kept telling me her latch was off if it hurt, but I could tell she was latched correctly (and an LC I trusted said she had a good latch), so I thought *I* was insane. I've since read posts here that say red-headed and fair-skinned people have a more painful time of it. I'm both, so maybe that was it. My DD will be 7 months next week, and we're going strong!

    Good luck. Make some smaller goals and celebrate when you reach them. If you can give some more information about your son's age and what kind of pain you're experiencing, someone here may be able to point you in a helpful direction.

    Anna
    Mama to Gracie (9/16/03)

  7. #7
    JenCA Guest

    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    I planned to nurse for at least six months, perhaps a year or more. Unfortunately, I encountered more problems with bfing than I care to share. I weaned DD at three months.

  8. #8
    C99 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Amanda,

    I hear you on the difficulties and questioning yourself. Before Nathaniel was born, I had every intention of BFing for a year. Then he *was* born and we encountered a ton of difficulties (8-day NICU stay w/ nursing-resistant nurses, preemie, nipple shields, mastitis, thrush, etc.). I remember telling myself that if I got through the first month and was having doubts, I could switch. Then I made it through the first month and gave myself a goal of 3 months. At 3 months, I made the goal 6 months. At 6 months, I made the goal 1 year (although we night-weaned at around 7-months). And then at 1 year, I couldn't imagine trying to wean him completely, so at nearly 15-months-old, he still nurses 4x day.

    It's hard, I know. But you can do it with determination and a great support network!

    HTH
    Caroline, mama to DS 01/03, DD 05/05, DS 04/07
    http://littleshoulders.blogspot.com
    "Now that you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -- Dr. Seuss

  9. #9
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    I know what you're going through. After having an emergency c-section, which resulted in a slow nursing start in the hospital, then a cracked nipple that got infected in the third week which put me on antibiotics and pain pills and required me to nurse from only one side (and pump the other), and my inability to find a comfortable nursing position other than the football hold, and a son who wanted to eat almost every hour from 2 weeks until 6 weeks, I was ready to give up after five weeks. Everytime he nursed on the sore side, the worst shooting pain would go through my elbow and arm. Luckily, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who reminded me of the benefits of nursing, but said if it was too painful then he'd support me if i stopped.

    Needless to say, my son gained back all of the weight he lost in the hospital by the 2 week appointment, he's been running at the 90-95 percentile in weight, my cracked nipple healed, we learned to nurse in more positions and locations, and we've been able to get him to more of an every 3 hour schedule, and now at 3 months, everything is going well and I don't regret sticking with it. Everytime I heat up a bottle, I'm reminded of how much easier it is to nurse. I hope to make it through the year, but I'm heading back to work tomorrow so we'll see how that goes.
    Cathleen
    Mom to DS 8, DD 5 and a Greyhound Princess

  10. #10
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    Default RE: How long did you plan on breastfeeding and where are you now?

    Amanda if you have not had a pain free nursing session, I agree with Anna that there might be an issue with thrush or latch. I had undiagnosed thrush for 8 weeks despite going to my ob and Ryan's ped (both are severly uneducated with ALL symptoms of thrush since it is sometimes not as plain and simple as a white tongue or rash). I would cry almost everytime he nursed (and it was a lot in the beginning) and just grit my teeth and pray for it to be over. Once I went back to the LC and they diagnosed us with thrush and I got treated, I had that wonderful feeling of nursing pain-free for the first time. I didn't know how I was going to make it when I was in so much pain, but I kept telling myself that no matter what I was going to nurse. I am so glad that I didn't give up since here we are at 10 months and my goal is 14 months.

    The beginning can be tough but at around 5 months it becomes sooooo much easier. At 7 months, you won't even remember the pain and suffering!! LOL.

    What kept me going was the support of so many wonderful nursing moms on this board and how much I was determined to give my child the best nutrition possible.

    I would highly recommend a visit to an LC just for peace of mind that things are right with Jacob's latch and there are not any underlying medical reasons why you are having difficulty. I wish I had gone to the LC a few weeks after Ryan was born for this very reason. I saw 4 LC's in the hospital when he was born because we had latch issues and had to use a nipple shield for a while and pump. I hope things get better for you soon and please keep us posted on things!!!! :)
    Mom to R and R

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