Thursday, December 07, 2006


So here's my take on bottlefeeding. A little history first. I breastfed my first daughter for 6 months. We had a super minor latch-on problem at first, but fixed it in no time, and everything after that was cake! I truly enjoyed the experience, and she flourished physically and continues to do so. She wasn't sick once until she was around 6 months old, and only had 1 ear infection through her entire infancy, toddlerhood, etc.

When I conceived my second daughter (who's now just 6 weeks), I had planned to breastfeed again. I looked forward to doing it all over again, stocking up on all the appropriate equipment (pump, Boppy pillow, nursing bras and pads, you name it). I didn't anticipate any problems as I had already done this before, thus I knew what I was doing. Upon her arrival, the only breastfeeding problem we seemed to have was that she was rarely awake to eat! I mean, seriously, she was the picture of the ultimate sleepy baby. In the hospital, the nurses brought her to me every 2 hours and expected me to scrape the bottom of her bare feet with my fingernail in order to wake her up....only to have her fall right back asleep again once she latched on. Skip ahead...

A few days after we got baby home, I noticed that I had a line right down the middle of my nipples. They were sore, but not intolerable. I just chalked it up to initial soreness and kept nursing. Soon, the pain got worse. I called a La Leche League consultant, and she advised me on how to use the cross-cradle hold. This didn't work; it simply made the line cross a different way on my nipple. In addition, I noticed my nipples were starting to get cracked where they meet the areola. Not good...but I kept going, assuring myself that it would get better soon, and if not, then I'd call a lactation consultant.

By the time baby was a bit over a week old, I was almost in tears every time she latched on. This situation only added to the baby blues I was suffering from. I called a lactation consultant, and she couldn't even see me until the following day. When I went in, she said the damage to my nipples was bad enough that she was worried about mastitis, staph, etc., but she showed me how to use the football clutch and said my nipples should heal in 24-48 hours. The clutch was very difficult to use, but I nursed on, tears and all. 48 hours later, no healing. The cracks in my nipples would re-open every time baby nursed, and even when I pumped. The pain was so bad that I would break into tears every time I nursed, and I didn't see any hope for healing in sight considering that the pump re-opened the wounds as well. After MUCH wrestling with the situation, I felt like I was forced to give up nursing if I wanted to have any sense of normal mental and physical health. After 10 days, I switched to bottlefeeding my new baby, and I've HATED it ever since!

1 comment:

madeline said...

That totally sucks, no pun intended.