Nursing Is Hard

by HEAB on November 12, 2010

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We’re still having a bit of hard time with the whole breast feeding thing, and it has not been easy. However, I’m still determined to make this work as best I can. Again, CD and I left the hospital with a breast pump so that I could keep up my colostrum supply until my milk arrived. We had a few good breast feeding sessions, but often had to feed the colostrum I was able to pump to Summer with a syringe. The milk usually comes in between days 3 to 5 after the baby is born. We’re on day 7 and still no milk. Since Summer could not lose any more weight, we finally had to supplement with formula. It broke my heart as I was so determined to breast feed solely for as long as I possibly could. There were lots of tears shed yesterday, but CD was super supportive and kept reminding me that he was fed formula and turned out perfect. ;)

We had a lactation consultant come to the house last night, and she was very helpful and encouraging. Our routine is exhausting – I won’t lie. Every 3 hours, I try to nurse Summer for 40 minutes, and then while I go pump, Chris feeds her any pumped colostrum and then formula from a bottle. It’s not ideal, but at least she’s still getting my colostrum, even if we have to chase it down with formula.

I’m also taking some herbs to encourage my milk to come in as well as eating lots of oatmeal. Yes, oats are thought to increase milk supply. Endless bowls of oatmeal? No problem!

IMG_6620.JPG

The above bowl was inspired by Katie’s Snickerdoodle Oatmeal. It’s nothing but rolled oats cooked in water, homemade coconut butter, and cinnamon. So simple, yet so good. I think I’ll call it CocoDoodle Oats…or perhaps SnickerNut Oats? What do you think?

Time to hit the La-Z-Boy with Summer…best purchase ever since I basically live it in these days. :)

{ 178 comments }

Jessica @ How Sweet November 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

So sorry you are having a challenging time, but it seems like you are handling it wonderfully. Sending some love your way!

kim @ girlevolving November 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

Heather, I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you, but so glad you have CD to support you! And a lactation consultant! That little burrito is just AMAZING!!!

Heather (Heather's Dish) November 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

i’ve heard nursing is hard, but you guys can do it! one of my favorite bloggers, Becoming Sarah, had a hard time with nursing at first too but has since found success! http://www.becomingsarah.com

Andrea@WellnessNotes November 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

Your little burrito is soooo adorable!!!

And hang in there with the nursing. It will get better!!! Glad you are getting support. Everything will be fine! The toddler was only 5 pounds 4 ounces when he was born, and he got a little bit of formula at the beginning, but then I nursed him completely without any problems. Enjoy you La-Z-Boy; I still love mine… :) Sending you and Summer a big hug!

Abigail @ Good to Think and Eat November 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

I truly admire your commitment to feeding your little burrito. Summer is absolutely gorgeous and so blessed to have such thoughtful and loving parents.

Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

Nursing IS hard! I never realized – I always thought it just came easy as soon as the baby was born. My mum has worked for years as a nurse but recently gave it up to work as a full time lactation consultant. She says it is very rewarding to work with new moms who are struggling – and then to see how happy their are when their milk is in good supply and the baby latches on.

You will be there in no time Heather! :)

Marina November 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

My mom told me horror stories about how she tried to nurse me, in the first few days she tried to pump milk so hard the blood started coming. But in the end, she managed to feed me for 4 months, and although I’m not perfect, I am healthy :)
I remember my cousing having trouble too, for a week or two, but then, she had really really a lot of milk. Relax, I’m sure everything will be fine!
Lots of hugs to you and Summer!

Shauna November 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

I’ve been there. It was seriously hard, but it sounds like you are on track with the love and support of CD and a good lactation consultant. Hang in there, and I will keep you all in my prayers. Who knew such tiny little baby could keep all the adults in the vicinity hustling and exhausted. Amazing isn’t it?

Healthy_Heather November 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

Breastfeeding can be challenging at first, it was hard for me too. But once you two get into sync together you’ll be so glad you stuck it out. Try to relax, get some rest (ha!) and it will all come together – promise! :)

Christin@purplebirdblog November 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

It’s really inspiring to watch you handle each challenge with grace… thank you for sharing these moments and please continue to! :)

lindsay November 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

couldn’t agree more! Very inspiring!

jen November 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

I have had 3 kids and it varies when my milk came in. My first took 3 days, 2nd took about the same but with my 3rd it took over a week. The best investment I ever put in was to rent a hospital breast pump (you have to buy the attachments separate). I rented it for about a month and then the attachments could be in used as a manual breast pump. Keep your chin up, its hard, and your doing great! Give yourself the 6 weeks and you will find that it gets a little easier every day. I had to bottle feed my first 2 but my dd (#3) refused a bottle and had to be feeding tubed until I got the hang of it. I hated it to begin with but I told myself, your doing this for her, she needs this. After the 6 week mark came I actually found that I was starting to enjoy it. I bf her for 9 months where she wweaned herself to a cup :) .

LesleyG November 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

Heather, I am impressed with and proud of your determination. I have a close friend who is a lactation nurse, and you’d be surprised how many mothers are not as invested and caring as you about this issue. What is right is different for everyone, of course, but I applaud you for being determined to do everything you can for your little one. She is, obviously, adorable!

Victoria (District Chocoholic) November 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

So sorry to hear about the difficulties. I have no advice to offer, but I’m sending good wishes. Keep eating those oats!

polly November 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

Lurve you!
Nursing was super duper hard. I love you and know that I was a formula fed baby, and I aint’ too shabby. ;) Really, Heather, I think people get all in a tithy about nursing and it’s a good thing, but shoot… nothing wrong with formula! Abbi got my early milk (like Summer is getting yours) and I remember that being SO exhausting since I had to pump, too. Just do what you can do and that little peach is PERFECT. Just look at her! I wrote you this but I’ll say it again, one of the happiest days ever was when we threw my breast pump in the trash. :D

Happy weekend. You are the best mommy on earth, no matter what that little burrito puts in her belly. She is her mommy’s oatmeal baby! XOXO

Rhonda November 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

Polly- the voice of wisdom and reason!

Nicole November 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I don’t have kids but I’m going with Polly’s voice of reason…it’s just another thing we as women do to ourselves, you know, with the whole being perfect thing? My sister had a hard time breast feeding too and she was so upset about it … but in the end, they ended up being healthy, happy babies!! <3 Good luck girl!! LOVE YOU!!

Little Bookworm November 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

Sorry you are having a difficult time, I hope it gets better soon. The photo of Summer is lovely. :) I think CocoDoodle Oats sounds like a great name for your porridge. :P

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

You are doing a great job Heather! She is absolutely beautiful! I am glad things went well with the consultant. Hopefully you will be full of milk soon! If not, the colostrum is the best thing you can do for her and that is ok too! Keep your chin up and enjoy the cuddle time! Many hugs to you and your family!

Talia @ Texas Gunslinger November 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi sweets! I am sure it has been difficult for you as everything hasn’t gone perfectly “according to plan”, but you are doing a wonderful job and I know you and Summer will get through this. She is so blessed to have you and CD as parents and I know you’re doing everything you can to get her where she needs to be. Gosh, she is darlin’! What a cute little “burrito” Ay! Ay! Ay! :)

Sending hugs and positive thoughts and prayers your way! :)

Deanna November 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

Hang in there – it gets easier!

They make this amazing little tool that will make your life infinitely easier. I’m surprised that the lactation consultant didn’t mention it. Basically, it’s a tiny tube that attaches to a bottle of formula and goes into the baby’s mouth WITH your nipple – so she gets formula WHILE breastfeeding.

My kiddo wound up in the hospital with life-threatening jaundice when he was a newborn and that little tool saved us both. It saved my sanity because I had a doc tell me I was killing him by refusing to give him formula in a bottle (I had gobs of breastmilk) and saved him by making him poop out the bilirubin faster (formula is much more poopalicious than breast milk).

(It’s called a “lactation aid” – http://pediatrics.about.com/library/breastfeeding/blbreastfeedingf.htm)

Steph - VegFortWorth November 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

Wishing you the best that your breast-feeding situation improves. If it makes you feel any better, my brother and I were forumla fed and we turned out just fine. I’m sure your milk will come in time, though. :-)

Summer is so cute wrapped up like a burrito!

melissa @ the delicate place November 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

i was formula fed too and i think i turned out wonderfully :) my bro was given carnation as well and he’s pretty stellar too! you are making her babyfood instead of buying it and i think in the long run will be much more beneficial than this small setback. you have 18 years to feed her HEAB and it goes well beyond breastmilk. think of all the foods you will expose her to and do not forget about spiritual, intellectual & emotional enrichment that I’m sure your family will bless her with as the years go on. hang in there!

Amber from Berlinswhimsy November 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

I had a difficult time nursing my son— he was my first and he was 2 wks early, too. He was kind of “out of it” after birth because of being early and because I had a very fast labor. I had a great nursing coach and I also went to La Leche League meetings. I had to nurse him for what seemed like ALL DAY LONG and it was exhausting and frustrating. However, with support, I perservered and it finally became second nature.

All my support and best wishes to you—- hang in there! It’s totally worth it when/if it all finally clicks… Take care!

sweeter salt November 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

Good luck lady! She is just too cute, looks like a little nugget in that picture (and I mean that in the best possible way!).

Yay Mama!

Laura

Courtney November 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

Your story is almost identical to mine. Because of extreme high blood pressure, I was induced and delivered my first at 37 1/2 weeks. He was just like Summer – 5 pound 9 ounces! I am very well endowed and he couldn’t even come close to latching on for nursing. I pumped for weeks and weeks and tried and tried to nurse. I met with a lactation consult twice a week and was on the phone with her almost daily. I had to use every trick in the book for him to wrap his little mouth around me. I was exhausted and cried through almost the entire time. I did it just like you – would try nursing, then pump while my husband fed the baby. When my husband went back to work, all I did was try to nurse, feed, wash the pumping equipment and start over. Every 3 hours.

It is so so hard. Especially when you picture and imagine it to be one way. I ended up stopping at 6 weeks. I cried, no joke, for a day and a half about it. I was going back to work after 12 weeks and couldn’t fathom having my entire maternity leave be my current routine.

I had all these things rushing through my head – that he wasn’t going to be smart enough without my milk. That there were going to be all these different problems. I was seriously all over the place.

Let me tell you this. He just turned 4 on Monday and he is amazing. He blows my mind. He has a memory like you would not even begin to believe. The other day my husband gave him this math problem

H: Abel if I have 4 pieces of candy and want to share them with two people, how many pieces will each person get?
A: Do they need to get the same amount?
H: yes
A: (does some activity with his fingers, thinks for a bit) Daddy, each person will get 2.
H: How do you know?
A: Because, Daddy (counts on fingers) uno, dos, tres, quattro – they’ll each get 2.

And that’s a formula fed baby. :)

I know what you’re going through and my heart really goes out to you. If you want to email to talk more or I can even give you my number, I’d really be happy to, just let me know!

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Courtney,
Thanks so much for understanding. So good to know I’m not alone in this, and your comment is super encouraging. Just what I needed today. :)

FoodCents November 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

Heaby, the Summer Burrito is priceless. Sending so much love and good nursing mojo your way :)

Ashley November 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

Awww, look at her all wrapped up!!!!!! Just wanted to let you know my brother + I are both formula babies too…and my brother is the smartest person I’ve ever met. :)

Liesl Hypki November 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

Hey Heather! Stay encouraged okay. Everything that is happening is all happening for a reason, and the most important thing is that you and CD love Summer with all your hearts and you are providing the best possibly family she could ever have.
My sister in law had her baby all natural with a water birth and was planning on nursing all the way through, but her milk just never came. It was hard for her and she felt like she was failing her son when she gave him formula. But I’ll just tell you, he’s two years old now and he’s the most perfect little boy, so happy all the time, healthy, strong, and just perfect. I truly believe it’s because of how much they love him, not the kind of milk he receives. They do their best with his diet to make it as healthy as possibly, and to be what he needs, but when it all comes down to it, you can only do what you can do.

Summer will be perfect, just keep on giving what you can. And try to relax and enjoy this time, I’ve heard it goes way too fast. :)

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

That must be really frustrating :-( I know my sister struggled with breastfeeding for a while before she got it down– I think so many new moms do! But she finally worked out the kinks, and now she’s still breastfeeding– 9 months strong!

Kim @ Kim and Mikey November 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

Heather, I went thru the same situation with my daughter. I can distinctly remember sitting in the floor our bedroom, sobbing while pumping, because we had to fee my daughter formula. I felt as though I had failed her in some way. We continued the colstrum, formula routine for a month – ever hopeful that my milk would come in. However, in my case it never did. I am ever hopefully (and praying) that your situation is different, but just remember that you are doing everything you can to esnure the best possible start for your daughter. My Joycie is now 8 months old, and exclusively formula fed and has surpassed the majority of her developmental milestones.

Brandy November 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

Your little burrito is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Congratulations!

Felicia (a taste of health with balance) November 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

Oh Heather, I can’t imagine how frustrating this is for you. She is precious and the efforts you and CD are going through to make her the healthiest baby says so much. You are doing great, hang in there :)

Sally November 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

So sorry to hear you are having a tough time with the breast feeding and things not going as planned. What’s the saying? Man plans and God laughs?

Anyway, Summer is a BEAUTIFUL baby and that’s what matters most!!!

amy. November 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

i’m so sorry to hear of your nursing woes. enjoy your recliner, enjoy your girl. i hope that it gets better (and easier) for you as you go!! best of luck and congratulations!

Anna @ History Running Girl November 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

My mom’s milk never came. I was formula feed and turned out just fine!

Hang in there! Everything will work out for you and the baby!

Kaneil, The Ritts November 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

She looks like the most lovable burrito ever! I’ve never heard a peep about nursing being easy…props to you for continuing to try! She’s already perfect!!

Hang in there!

Kaneil

Anita Ruiz November 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

I know I already said this but she is so cute! Sorry to hear about your difficulty breastfeeding but I am so excited to hear you working so hard to breastfeed, I am a huge advocate. On the positive side you will be a pro if you decided to have another burrito.

Sounds like you and CD are doing great as new parents. I am so look forward to your post.

Corey @ therunner'scookie November 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

I can’t get over how gorgeous she is. I wish I could get wrapped up in blankets like that :)
You are being a wonderful mommy – hang in there, you’re doing great Heather!

Annie@stronghealthyfit November 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

Sorry you’re having such a tough time with breastfeeding- thanks for your honesty and openness in talking about it! Hope it gets better soon. Summer is beautiful :-)

Alina @ Duty Free Foodie November 12, 2010 at 11:11 am

I know someone else with this exact situation! She was so set on breast-feeding, and she has had to switch to formula (100% in her case), which was not what she was expecting.

But you know what? A lot of babies are fed with formula and turn out just fine. Your baby looks healthy and beautiful!

janae@hungryrunnergirl.com November 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

Summer is absolutely beautiful!! I am sorry you are having a hard time breast feeding. People make it sound so easy but From my sisters and friends experience it really isn’t! Good luck and hopefully you are getting some sleep. Enjoy your oats!

Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) November 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

You’re doing a wonderful job, keep up the good work! I know it can be hard, but you are doing exactly what is best for your baby! The milk will come, and she will get the nutrients she needs :)

Good luck, lots of love!

xo

Katie November 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

So sorry you are having troubles. However, I was also fed formula from day 1, and look at me – perfect in every way. :)

Summer is a absolutely adorable all wrapped up like a tasty and warm burrito!

Marcia November 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

OMG, so while I was off being busy-as-all-get-out at work, you went off and had your daughter.

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Nursing is very hard.
My milk came in on day 6 and 7 (late on day 6). I turned into a raging lunatic with hormones when it did.

Nursing was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I would say that it was 5 weeks before I had it down. Maybe 5.5 weeks. By “have it down” it wasn’t until then that I didn’t sob uncontrollably in severe pain at least half the time.

By about 6-7 weeks, we had it all down, not awkward, not painful, piece of cake. But sheer stubbornness is the only reason that my son never had a drop of formula.

Lots of my friends supplement (ed) with formula. It’s good for your sanity, and doesn’t mean you won’t develop a good nursing relationship later. It just may take a couple of months.

Good luck and congrats again!! My neighbor had her third baby girl on Weds. As yet unnamed. Ah, babies…

Ashlee (Ash & Lew Plus 2) November 12, 2010 at 11:27 am

Heather, after reading your post I decided to post a copy of a guest post I did awhile back about breastfeeding my twins. If you get a chance maybe it will help. You are amazing, don’t forget that!
http://ashandlewplus2.com/2010/11/12/two-mouths-to-feed/

BethT November 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

My milk came in around day 7, so don’t get discouraged. You’re doing everything right! I know I shared my story with you via email – it’s very similar to yours – and now, 3 weeks postpartum, milk is in and little Lucy is eating like a champ! It gets better every day. Hang in there, Heather.

Kimberly November 12, 2010 at 11:30 am

I have to 2nd everything Polly said ;) You are the perfect mommy for your little burrito no matter what happens. God gave her to YOU because He trust you enough to love her and care for her the best that you can. Nursing didn’t go as planned with my first two and I remember crying a lot of tears, but they turned okay. Praying for you~XOXO

Katherine November 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

Nursing is really hard! I’ve got a 4-month old and the first month was really hard. We supplemented with formula at first too because she was so hungry! I actually didn’t even realize when my milk came in because it came in so slowly. It was my husband who pointed out that the (what I thought was) colostrum I was expressing onto a teaspon (yes, babies will eat off of a teaspon!) was more watery and was probably milk. So you may not even realize it when it comes in. What helped me get my supply up: massaging the breasts to get the milk out, taking Fenugreek capsules (I think this made the biggest difference) and drinking Mother’s Milk tea. Hang in there…it’ll get better.

Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar Free November 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

Ohhh…so sorry to hear about your breast feeing dilemmas. Don’t worry! You are doing the best you can for your little burrito…I mean Summer ;)

Have a good day! Get lots of rest :) Eat oatmeal :) :)

Tangy November 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

Hang in there–it will come!! And you’ll know it–you’ll have the biggest, hardest, perkiest boobs you’ve haver had in your life! LOL And it will really make pumping soooo much easier, as well as nursing. Just get those nursing pads ready ;)

rachael (peace, kale, and yoga) November 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’m sorry that nursing is not going as well as planned:( I drank traditional medicinals mother’s milk tea. You are already an amazing mother.

Lesa November 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Those first few weeks are so wonderful and so so hard all at the same time. I also had a difficult time with nursing, hang in there and don’t beat yourself up. You and CD sound like AMAZING parents already and it sounds like you are doing everything (and more) that you can to make nursing work. Take it easy on yourself and rest in between your demanding schedule, a happy (guilt free;)) Mommy is the best gift you can give her :)

Debbie~ November 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Nursing can be so hard!! Like I said in a previous response, I have had 4 kids..my first was bottle fed, my second, I wanted to nurse so badly but ended up having a very extreme case of mastitis which made it so excruciating to nurse. After a couple weeks I switched to formula. I remember being so disappointed. My last two were text book when it came to nursing….everything just worked out.

I know what you’re going through…those early days of motherhood are difficult, emotionally and physically draining. We have an ideal of what we think having a baby will be like, and in reality, the experience almost never fits the ideal because everyone is different.

Just remember to be easy on yourself and try not to stress. You’re a great Mom and you have such a great support system that you will find what works the best for you and your family. Either way, Summer will be loved and cared for and ultimately that’s all that matters:)

Lori November 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I do know how you feel. I went through the exact same thing. I cried for days over the fact that I couldn’t even provide enough food for my daughter. I did the same thing as you, fed her for forever, pumped and then topped her up with formula. I also tried herbs and I did seem to get more milk but I had clogged ducts and it couldn’t come out – then I just had pain. In the end I realized she was much happier just having her bottle – she had been working sooo hard for so little, it exhausted her and she was losing weight. No matter what works for you or doesn’t, please don’t beat yourself up over this. Summer is so lucky to have such wonderful parents who love her so much. Breast milk or no breast milk, she will be just fine! And is she ever precious, I am loving the pictures!

Nia November 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I am a breastfeeding proponent – I nursed both my kids, and they breast-fed for almost 2 years each. That said, I feel like the success of breastfeeding (or not) is one of those things about which new mothers judge themselves too harshly. Your beautiful daughter will be more than fine whether or not this is successful for you (and I do think you are in early days and are very likely to be successful!). But be gentle with and kind to yourself. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that my early-days anxiety (about all sorts of things) was rarely worth it. And use LOTS of lanolin after each feeding! :-)

alessandra rubalcaba November 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!!!!! I wanted to suggest a product to you that I used for all 3 of my babies when we traveled.. it’s a travel swaddler blanky which keeps them safe and comfy… just a suggestion and I’m so happy you all are safe at home!! :)

http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_swdltrvl.php

(btw: i don’t work for the company, I just liked this product- lol)

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Thanks Allesandra. The nurse swaddled Summer and put her in the car seat before leaving the hospital, and so I didn’t realize that was unsafe. Won’t be doing that again!

Kimberly November 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

That is the coolest blanket EVER!!! My sister-in-law needs one of those!

Meagan November 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Heather,

This is my first time commenting but I have been a reader for nearly 2 years! I know first hand the troubles you are having with nursing your sweet one and it is completely discouraging my milk did not fully come in until nearly a month after my son was born, which meant I had to supplement with formula. After it did come in my son never had another ounce of formula. We were able to have a wonderful nursing relationship for nearly three years. Formula or breast milk, love is what makes children grow and I’m certain there is not a deficit with that in your house.

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Thanks Meagan. Very encouraging. :)

Stephanie November 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm

The lactation consultant in my area recommends fenugreek, blessed thistle, traditional medicinal’s mother’s milk tea, breathing/relaxing (yoga breathe!)…and CHOCOLATE COVERED ALMONDS.

The last two sound like your coping skills already! You’re gonna do great!

Carolyn November 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Lactoats…

Sarah November 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Keep up the good work! Breastfeeding can be difficult at times–the important thing to remember is to stay patient. I tell my clients to keep up with it–if supplementation has to occur, then it has to occur. Just remember–it’s supplementation, to replacement :) Congrats on your little peanut :) she is a cutie!

Tab - Just Weighing In November 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

we bought a LaZyBoy chair for our nursery too and it is hands down the best purchase for that room that we made. I spent many a nights sleeping in there (and still do as my boy is teething). Kudos for trying to breastfeed – I tried for a few weeks but it just didn’t “take.” Something about my milk, and the baby being so big (10.1 lbs. at birth) etc., etc. so we pretty much went bottle all the way. I pumped for about six months before walking away from my milk altogether. I agree with you – it’s super hard! Hang in there!

Natalia - a side of simple November 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

My heart goes out to you, Heather. You’re doing a wonderful job keeping it all together and just doing what you have to do. Praying that nursing gets easier for you and Summer :)

Leila November 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Oatmeal really works and Lentils are magic too!!
It’s hard – very hard and painful – but after 5 to 6 weeks you actually start to enjoy it. I PROMISE!!

Tracy November 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

She is adorable!

Hang in there, Heather! I know your struggles. My first 2 breast fed, easy peazy. My twins, however, went through similar issues as Summer. I just wasn’t producing enough milk for the 2 of them. When it came down to a need for them to gain more weight we gave in and switched to formula. You’ve given your best effort and then some, so don’t feel bad if she’s formula fed! It’s not like you didn’t try!

My twins are now 11 and every bit as healthy as my older boys!

I like “Cocodoodle”!

chocolate-covered katie November 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Oh HEAB, I’m sending tons of chocolate-covered hugs. Obviously I don’t have any idea about how hard breastfeeding is, especially when everything isn’t working like clockwork. But it’s just so unfair that you’re trying to do what’s right by your little girl and nature is messing with it. You are amazing. Amazing. Never forget that.
I’m keeping you in my prayers, asking God to bless your little baby. But ya know what? He already has. She has YOU for a mommy.

P.S. I love your cocoadoodle oat name. So cute… but nowhere near as cute as your burrito! ;)

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I never knew how hard nursing was until my friends started having kids. One of them kept getting constant infections and finally decided to call it quits. She said she cried for a couple of days, but was thankful for the time she had nursing. Sending good thoughs your way!

Tracy November 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm

And btw, nursing IS hard!!! Exhausting, even when it goes as planned. So much more difficult than I imagined. You’re doing GREAT!

I also wanted to add that when we decided to switch to formula for my twins it was a huge relief. We no longer had to worry that they were getting enough calories. Both of them gained weight quickly after the switch. I’m not suggesting you give up…just saying don’t feel bad if you do!

Namaste Gurl November 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Ah, lovely Heather– you’re doing just great. Hang in there, I’m sure things will clear up in no time. Formula or not, Summer will turn into one wonderful girl because of her amazing parents!

Love you and praying for you :)

JenP November 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

My mom’s group had a saying that whoever coined the phrase, “That sucks,” was obviously a nursing mother. Hang in there. It will get better. The lactation consultant should help – see her as often as you can. My boys are well past nursing, but I still remember how awfully hard it was at first, but it will get better and it will be so much easier in the long run.

elise November 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

AWWW…shes so cute.
Stick to it Heather and know that every mother has these frustrations and feelings of exhaustion and they will pass. Nursing is HARD. Being a mom is hard. And you are still recovering from a MAJOR procedure but all your focus is on her, so your body is likely completely worn out. I know you and CD are such amazing parents based on your posts and semi-knowing you in real life.
Also, I wanted to thank you for sharing your birthing story and all the details. I read it a couple of days ago but couldnt comment at the time. It is hard to lose control, especially when youre in a foreign place like a hospital and youve done so much prep beforehand. All turned out well, so in the end nothing else matters except that you and Summer are safe, but I really enjoyed hearing your emotions through the entire birth.
XXXX

Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

That reminds me of an episode of The Office where they were having trouble breastfeeding. Another couple came in and seemed to have no problem with it! I guess it all depends person to person, but I’ve heard it’s not all that easy. Hope it gets better for you!

Shannon November 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

aww, your little burrito is ADORABLE!!! keep doing what you can and don’t be too hard on yourself!! i haven’t been through it but have heard it’s not easy…. *hugs*

Janelle November 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hang in there! You are doing great! It took me over a week to get milk with my first, and I did supplement with formula in the beginning too. Things did start to click though and we ended up being a great nursing duo:) You are doing the right things and using a lacatation consultant is so smart! That three hour schedule is brutal, but it does get better!! I only know you through you blog and I don’t comment frequently, but I hope you can be encouraged, your baby is just precious, and you are doing a fantastic job!
-Janelle in PA

Annalisa November 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Hi Heather! Congrats on the new baby! I’m 13 weeks pregnant and I am now getting excited (and overwhelmed!). I can’t wait to read more about your new adventures.

My sister had a hard time with her baby the first few weeks. She wasn’t getting enough milk in and the baby wasn’t gaining weight. They ended up putting formula in using a syringe while she was feeding and that helped for a few days until her milk finally came in to support the baby.

Good luck! I’m told it gets easier :-)

eml November 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Oh HEAB – it will all work out! Remember, even if she does have to go to formula – it may be the best thing for her, because the alternative isn’t going to be good for her! It’ll happen the way it’s meant to be.

And LOTS of people go on formula – it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Goodness! You aren’t the first or the last to struggle.

But, my goodness, that is one YUMMY burrito! :)

…now, go eat some oats! Anything with coconut butter gets my vote :)

Susan November 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

You’re doing great, you really are! I didn’t read through all of the comments so this may have already been said, but in addition to the herbs, I found that Mother’s Milk tea – organic, from Traditional Medicinals – helped me a lot. I also think my milk didn’t really come in well for 10-14 days.

My brother (single w/ no kids) said something poignant to me – so many people are so judgmental and vigilant about breast feeding, but the minute their kids get older, they feed them packaged crap and McDonald’s. Isn’t it more important to encourage your kids to eat a variety of healthy, natural foods throughout their life than to stress about a little formula here and there?

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Susan – good to know.

TSB November 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Its hard to do the nursing schedule. Very stressful for the mother. My sister had to actually discontinue nursing because she found it got to be too stressful and confining. She had to constantly be at a certain place and stick to that schedule. And then she was never guaranteed a good feeding. She felt the formula could be the physical answer for her little one, and provide her family with some mental relief. You have to do what you can in that time.

Kara November 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I’m sorry your milk hasn’t come in yet! Mine came in fine, but my little girl never got the hang of things and I pumped for her for 3 months. She’s on formula now.

Just a random thought, unless I’ve been misinformed, you shouldn’t swaddle for the car seat because the safety mechanisms can’t work properly. I know it calms the baby down, but it probably isn’t worth the risk. Although if you walked to the doctor and that was a shot of the stroller, then I’m sure that’s fine :)

Good luck with the nursing and remember that your sanity and the baby’s health are the most important things!

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Kara,
The nurse swaddled Summer and put her in the car seat before leaving the hospital, and so I didn’t realize that was unsafe. Won’t be doing that again!

Carrie S. November 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

A belated congrats to you a CD on the birth of your beautiful daughter! Summer Juliet is a lovely name. So is CocoDoodle :)

trailmomma November 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

HEAB, I don’t comment much, and I haven’t read the rest of the comments but I nursed my daughter for a year and we had a horrible start, horrible.

Hang in there! We had to do all these special weird feedings and stuff with my daughter.

Now, what I might say, may sound bad but it isn’t . . . it was advice given to me and it worked. I know you’re probably inundated with advice, comes with being a new mother unfortunately . . .

It will take 3 months maybe 4 before nursing becomes “easy” and as easy I mean as easy as it seems to every other mother. That sounds like forever and it will change daily when Summer gets more efficient at sucking etc.

As for helping your milk, I cannot stress enough, WATER WATER WATER WATER, drink lots of it. Also, I know you’re not a fan but having a glass of beer or a glass of red wine will speed up your milk. I know people think it is an old wives tail but my husband brought me a glass of wine while in the hospital and my milk came in shortly after. I have heard beer is better yet I am gluten free and do wine instead. Not a lot, but a glass. Trust me, it will relax you. If you prefer beer over while, do gluten free beer.

The whole issue with breast feeding is being relaxed. Try different positions if necessary, laying down with her, sitting with her, football holding her etc.

Nursing is the best gift you can give your daugther. Don’t let giving her formula freak you out and make you think otherwise, I would make sure your formula is gluten free though.

Best of luck, email if you ever need help.

kimberly guy mason November 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm

hey heather! nursing is soooo frustrating with the first one, but well worth it! i have many a story with tears! email me and i will give you my number or give me yours and i will call you and try to help or just encourage. i just stopped nursing josie at 15.5 months, but all of mine were different. halle (my first) would never nurse and so i pumped for 5.5 months and supplimented – would not recommend the pumping verses nursing! kelli just about tore me up and i had to feed her with a suringe, but was determined to nurse her and with lots of prayer and regular visits to the lactation nurses (and i mean daily) we did it and i nursed her for a year! i could go on, but the main thing is it is hard (especially if your milk doesn’t want to cooperate) and it does hurt, but it is really worth it! Just stay determined and PRAY! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Love you and congrats again! Kimberly

Margie November 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Hey Heather,
Don’t fret. Your milk WILL come in and once it does you’ll be able to increase your supply REALLY easily. I was so obsessed with nursing exclusively with my first born, but with my second I realized it wasn’t THAT big of a deal. I gave him a bottle of formula in the hospital because he was still hungry after an hour of nursing. I gave him formula a handful of times those first few months, but then went on to nurse him until he was 2 years old. I was starting to think he’d never wean :-) Oh, and nursing does get easy after a couple of months. Easier than getting out of bed to prepare a bottle or packing bottles when you go to the park. Hang in there! You can do it!

Rachel November 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

You’re such a sweet loving mom. Summer is going to look back on these posts someday and cry tears of gratitude for you’re and CD’s love.

Everything will be fine, swear! Try to relax as much as possible. Summer will grow healthy and strong and you have made all the right choices/moves because she’s her, healthy and happy.

Deep breaths! Summer (and both of you!) will be fine!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Heather, bless your heart. I have BEEN THERE. Where you are. Nursing and pumping around the clock. BECAUSE of the challenges I had with nursing…that’s WHY i became a lactation educator…to help others who are going thru what you’re going thru.

Read your email. Good. Glad the LC was helpful and offered you some things to do. And rule #1 is always, feed the baby. In an ideal world this would be breastmilk but the world isn’t always ideal and so in your case, it’s formula. This is a tool.

Just like there are “vegan nazis”, there are “nursing nazis” and I am both a vegan and both a nursing advocate, but when those paths dont work for a certain person, I would never be black and white about it :) You are doing the best you can…dont stress about the formula, even though I know you are.

I also have some online forums and support groups I can lead you to which are dedicated to precisely what you’re dealing with but the last thing you probably want/need to be doing right now is spending time at your ‘puter.

Living in the Lazy Boy. Yep :)

Hang in there…email me any time. Any time!!

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) November 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

From what I hear, you are definitely not alone in struggling with nursing. My sisters (and sisters in law!) were never successful; my mom never even tried with any of her children. With no experience of my own, I am short on suggestions here, but just know you have my sympathy. :)

Sami November 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Awh Heabs! Try to stay positive, you’ll be a nursing mother before you know it! :)

Susan November 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I’m sorry that things haven’t gone according to plan 100%, but CD and Polly are right – a little formula won’t hurt a thing! Summer will still gain all the benefits of breastmilk even if she doesn’t have it all the time. Hang in there beautiful!

maya November 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

my sister in law got terrible recurring mastitis in both breasts after my niece was born and decided to quit nursing altogether, we all worried so much. they made sure to use a very good organic formula (which i’m sure you are doing as well) and my niece is so healthy, strong, extremely articulate and verbally advanced for her age (will be 3 in february). she’s tall for her age, and has plenty of “extra reserves” for growth spurts. i’ve done a TON of babysitting and nannying and i have to say my niece is one of the healthiest most intelligent kids i have ever spent time with! now, sure i’m a but biased, but still… can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on how smart and vivacious she is! i think you will do the best thing, and whatever it is, whether breast feeding or not, you have Summer’s best interest at heart and that is what counts!

Amanda November 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hi Heather-

Have you ever read the blog Marvelous Kiddo before? The author has a lot of information about breastfeeding (and mama-ing in general). You might like it:

http://marvelouskiddo.blogspot.com/

I think it’s wonderful that you’re as determined, and it sounds like you’re doing the best you can. Summer is lucky to have parents that really love her.

Amanda

Allison November 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Breastfeeding is hard. I found it very painful with both of my kids. I was going to write you my whole big story, but ultimately, just know this, Summer has two loving parents. That is all she needs. Formula or breastmilk, she will be fine. Do the best you can and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. That won’t help. You are doing everything right.

Jenny November 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

hey heather – i’ve never commented before (i don’t think?) but i read your blog all the time and LOVE it! i have definitely been encouraged to try new recipes and eat healthier by your example….:)

i know you’ve gotten many comments already re: breastfeeding, but here’s one more to hopefully encourage you – you are doing a GREAT job. it is HARD girl! with both of my babies i struggled with a severely low supply, and i so know that heartbreaking feeling when you have to offer formula. i’ve dealt with some sh** in my life, to be frank, and yet i still count breastfeeding as one of the MOST challenging periods in my life both physically and emotionally. what my lactation consultant told me, which made me feel so much better, is that even a teaspoon of breastmilk (regardless of if you are supplementing with formula) has the same concentration of nutrients, antibodies, etc. as a cup of it. for some reason, i had never looked at it this way. so, feel GOOD about what you are giving your little girl and know that you are doing an amazing job. (and, incidentally, my husband was also fed nothing BUT formula from day one and he is quite healthy and extremely intelligent!)

and it is indeed true that it gets easier. it’s hard to imagine, given the nurse/pump/supplement schedule you are on right now – that is so rough – but i promise you – it WILL get easier.

hang in there!

jenny (tolleson) winston

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Thx so much and so good to hear from you. :) Very encouraging advice. Was your lactation consultant named Jackie? She told me she worked with a lot of BA alumni. She was so helpful.

Jenny November 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Yes! Jackie was my lactation consultant. She was at my house right after I brought my second son home, and then the next week, and then the next week! And we texted constantly. She was a HUGE help. Thank the LORD for her, and others like her!

Malena November 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Congratulations, Heather and CD! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted.

I am also a new mom. My little boy is 8 months old, now. I just wanted to say that it sounds like you’re doing a great job! The beginning of breastfeeding was hell for me, too! I remember being brought to tears many, many times… wondering when it would get easier. It gets better. And when it does, you’ll be happy you stuck with it. You are doing an awesome job! CD is, too! Daddy participation is so important for breastfeeding, too!

Keep on rockin’, mama. It will get better!

Pam November 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hey Heather – I’ve never had children, but my sister has and I supported her for the first couple of weeks with her first baby, so sort of – I’ve been there! Including at 2am for a few nights, frustration that the babe apparently wasn’t feeding from her, so I loyally(and bleary-eyed) prepped the bottles in steriliser to give formula….eventually it wasn’t required…but that’s not to encourage you to judge yourself against others!

Rather, I wanted to reiterate a few things which were really important for her, and might help you:

Keep relaxed when you’re nursing Summer as she needs to know that you’re ok, relaxed and in control, so she can feel safe. That’s easy to say if you’re feeling frustrated, but try to keep that in mind.

Keep yourself well-rested, and if you feel tired, sleep whenever you can. That will help you to stay relaxed, and help your body to work well – healing itself and coping with the demands. Make the most of offers of support from your loved ones….and don’t worry about the housework/dish-washing…it’ll get done at some time!

Someone else has already said – take plenty of water, water, water! My Sis used to have a large glass at her side, and sipped every time she fed the babe, as well as at other times. Sufficient for you and Summer, that way!

Someone else has also said, get yourself comfortable and into a routine with Summer. My Sis used a breast-feeding lap sac to lay her babe on for support – this helped her avoid shoulder-pain. Getting that position first helped her much more. Here’s a link for them – it’s a UK address, but I’m sure you’d find something like this in the States?
http://www.nctshop.co.uk/Cushions-for-support/products/51/

And my cousin had very pert breasts which caused her back- and shoulder-pain as she had to hold her babe so high….not sure how she overcame that one, but she went on to feed for 4 years!

You may already know this – but teach Summer to ‘ask’ for her food, by stroking your nipple against her cheek so that she turns to latch on and feed. And my Sis always insisted that her babe ‘feed properly’: If he was lazy and didn’t open his mouth properly to take the full nipple area, she would end up sore. If he latched incorrectly she would take him straight off and the prompt was always ‘wide mouth’, and eventually he got it!

Take a good and varied diet, too, to make sure Summer is getting what she needs.

On reflection, it seems quite a selfish and assertive process – in that the mother takes good care of herself and gets things just right, for it to be successful. Babes and children need that authority, so be firm with
Summer!

The most important thing is that Summer thrives – and if that means fomula, then so be it. You would only be failing her if you insisted on breast-feeding despite her not thriving, and you’re not doing that.
Part of being a parent is that children don’t do things to expected routine/order! And often parents have to over-ride their own feelings/desires to help their child thrive. Guess you’re learning that now….

Take care Heather, keep up the good(but hard) work – little Summer loves you!

Pam

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Pam, thx so much. Very good advice.

Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast November 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Hang in there Heather! Don’t feel bad about getting emotional over things right now – you’re hormones are going crazy and you’re also running on little no sleep. If you are able to take 3 minutes to do a couple yoga moves in a quiet room by yourself, you will feel tons better.

All of this will be a hazy memory before you know it and you will be dancing in the kitchen with your baby like I was this morning. I promise. ;)

Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast November 12, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Hopefully this makes you smile… I made “kale in a jar” the other day (massaged kale in a tahini jar). Enough said.

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

EE,
:)

Clare @ Fitting It All In November 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’m so sorry things aren’t going as planned, but commend you for doing everything you can! It’ll happen!!

Donna Porter November 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Nursing is hard, yep, that sums it up! But, it sounds like you have a great support system and that really makes a difference. Have you tried warm compresses before and after nursing? That help when I was having trouble nursing my youngest daughter. Here’s hoping that the milk fairy visits soon :)

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Donna, I have, but I’ll keep trying. Thank you!

stEPHANIE T November 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm

My Mom started feeding my brother whole milk at 4 months (as well as cottage cheese and eggs!) WOW, that goes against all the “rules”! He is never sick, graduated from Harvard, and is now a super Dad to two cool kids :) . Many of my friends breastfed their babies and they are sick way more often that my little little girl.. I tried too REALLY hard to breastfeed, but it became too stressful for me I needed to just let it go…BTW, they make really good formula nowadays!! My daughter is now 17 months a happy and healthy! PS one of her favorite foods is brussel sprouts or broccoli sauteed with a bit of bacon :) Maybe I should add some almond butter or mustard to the brussels!

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Stephanie T,
Mustard! :)

Katie November 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hang in there Heather – your commitment to your daughter and giving her what you think is best is amazing! So glad you have the support of CD and the lactation consultant. I’m a total EBF nut too (and have done some pretty crazy things over the last 11 mos to keep my daughter nursing – odd positions once teeth came in, nursing in public restrooms or the car when we were traveling, etc). But despite that, don’t forget: just like with getting the epidural during birth, the most important thing is Summer’s health and even if breastmilk is incredible incomparable stuff, she can still grow up strong and healthy and perfect on formula! (I too was a formula baby, who turned out with no allergies, a great immune system, the works!)

Oliver Rain November 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I’ve been stopping by to visit for the last while. Congratulations on little Summer. She is lovely.

I just wanted to throw in my two bits as an NICU nurse. I work often with nursing moms and babes who have difficulty with nursing and we do have to supplement sometimes to keep up babe’s weight. Keep up with the pumping. Your milk will come in…it always does! And if you truly want to continue with nursing, please just be patient. Try to relax. I always work with deep breathing exercises with my moms before nursing. And when Summer get s bit bigger it will be easier too. She’s just a wee little girl!

My own daughter had to have formula for a few days to help get through newborn jaundice, but she went back to nursing wonderfully and we continued until she was 14 months old. She’s now a happy, healthy 12 year old.

You guys are doing great.

Caroline November 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Summer is beautiful, congrats!!! And I’m pretty sure oatmeal can get us through anything….
By the way, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and just realized you attended Auburn…. I’m a freshman there right now!

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Caroline,
War Eagle. :)

charlotte November 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Nursing was agonizing for me the first time around. It hurt so much and my milk took forever to come in and I couldn’t get him to latch on right… I remember sobbing to my mom, “This is supposed to be natural! Why won’t it come naturally?!?” I did eventually get the hang of it and 4 kids later I can tell you that it does get easier than it is right now. Definitely hang in there – it’ll happen! – but also, don’t feel guilty if it doesn’t work out. Just like childbirth, it’d be nice if everything went as planned but the point is to have a happy healthy baby – any which way you can get there! You’re doing great, mama!

Goddess Leonie November 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hello my love,
I have been thinking of you and CD and your beautiful daughter… My thoughts and prayers and good energies are with you all… You are all doing an incredible job, going through the biggest transformation you will ever make. You are strong and amazing and beautiful just as you are.
If you feel called, acupuncture can help as well as all the galactagogue herbs…
I want you to know you are doing an incredible, sacred, profound job and that you are so so loved and supported by so many!
Big love
Goddess Leonie

HEAB November 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Thanks Leonie. :)

Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy November 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Good luck with nursing!!!!! Way to stick with it. I will be sending you good vibes and hopefully everything will start working out!

Lauren November 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Sweet Heather, I’m praying you would feel so encouraged and hopeful. You are doing such a good work loving on your sweet baby, giving her the nourishment she needs, and sharing your honesty so graciously on here. Much love to you, Heab!!

Dr. Diane November 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Formula fed as an infant — and now I’m a pediatrician ;)

Write me anytime, Heather. You’re doing great.

:)

Pure2raw twins November 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Sorry to hear things are not going according to plan, but sounds like you are doing everything right! Keep pushing forward, things will get easier. Well okay maybe not right away, but you will find your rhythm!! I wish I had more advice to give.

Thinking of you all!!!
Hugs
Michelle

Katrina (gluten free gidget) November 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Praying for you guys!

Jill November 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Heather,

Oh my gosh-wow! All I can say is that that schedule sounds SUPER exhausting and it seems like you are hanging in there beautifully. You are entitled to all the tears you want after such a big life change. And BTW, if it makes you feel any better about Summer not getting only breast milk from day 1, know that she will remember and love you for *so much* else as she grows up. I only had formula, but can definitely say that I was a happy, healthy and allergy-free kid. It was my mom’s time spent reading to me, playing with me, teaching me piano, and just being a mom in every sense of the word that ultimately mattered. I know that was super-cheesy, but I hope it made sense and encourages you :-)

Josie November 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

praying for you all,HEAB!

Kristen @ Kristen, Sweetly November 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I am sorry you are having a hard time of it. I love that Chris pointed out that he turned out perfect! So silly. You can only do as much as you can; if it doesn’t work out, Summer will still be a little ball of perfect. :-)

Leanne @ The Energetic Mommy November 12, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Don’t get discouraged! The first weeks of breastfeeding can be challenging to say the least! Good for you for contacting a LC right away as well. Luckily, I have been able to nurse all three of my boys, but I always went in knowing I would do the best I could and if all else failed they would be bottle fed… and they would be healthy and loved either way.

Jennifer R November 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Hang in there! Breastfeeding the first child is by far the hardest (I have 3 kids). You are doing all the right things — and lactation consultants are wonderful resources! And do the mothers milk tea and fenugreek… and most of all, try to reduce your stress (I know, easier said than done with a newborn). It will get better and you’ll get through this tough time. :)
hugs,
Jennifer

Halley (Blunder Construction) November 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Happy to see some things never change, as in, your morning oats (and afternoon and evening oats as well.) Summer look like a baby burrito, try not to eat her up!

PeonyJen November 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm

You go girl. Keep pumping, taking those herbs, and downing the oatmeal. Your body will do what it’s meant to do.
I’m cheering you on!!!!!

Amy November 12, 2010 at 11:53 pm

it took me 6 weeks to get breastfeeding down and was able to keep it up for just over 1 year with both my kids……..Persevere!! It is worth it!

Kristy November 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Heather, do you have any “Mother’s Milk” tea? It is suppose to help increase milk supply. Let me know if you have never heard of it and I can send some to you. It is made by Traditional Medicinals, which is local for me. Hang in there Momma! I had a hellish first 6 weeks of nursing my first born. I remember how hard that can be.

Erin November 13, 2010 at 12:43 am

Oh Heather! Frustrating. I’m so proud of you. Just read your previous post and really tearful now :) What an amazing birth experience. I am thinking of you all. So much love sweetie

Samantha November 13, 2010 at 4:07 am

Oh sweetie, hugs, and hang in there! Nursing isn’t always easy for so many new moms and babies! And if it makes you feel any better, with my oldest, it was 9 days before my milk came in, he was hospitalized an extra week for extremely high bilirubin levels (jaundice) and had to have some formula, my dad passed away when he was 5 months old which sent my milk supply spiraling down from stress, and I still managed to nurse him (with some supplementation) through 12 months old. Pumping is a wonderful thing and it will help your supply! But you’re doing the right thing being diligent about offering it to her so frequently.

Glad to hear you’re still getting rest when you can!

michelle November 13, 2010 at 4:58 am

I feel for you Heather. Breast feeding is so much harder then you could ever imagine until your in the position. The breast pain is bad enough let alone the emotions that changing hormones bring. I had so much sadness from not being able to breast feed and look back now only to regret that time wasted with negativity. Do whatever is best for you and Summer and the rest will fall into place. She will do fine on formula or breast milk as long as she has a happy mommy!

Kay November 13, 2010 at 7:20 am

Hi Heather,

Check out Dr.Jack Newman’s website. He’s the best doctor around here in Canada for breastfeeding related (milk not coming etc) questions. He has helped so many women have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with their child.

I’m not an affiliate, nor do you have to pay him anything. I’m just a happy mom who learnt from his website and awed by the amount of info on his website.

http://www.drjacknewman.com – click on breastfeeding help.

HEAB November 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Kay,
I read Dr. Newman’s book early on in my pregnancy. I wish I could fly up to Canada for a consultation. He’s an amazing man.

Chris of FabFitand40 November 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

My kids are 12 and 9. I was unable to breastfeed them both but wish I could have. I say keep trying, but do not worry if you are unable. Both of my kids are healthy as can be, are a pleasure to be around, and consistently knock it out of the park academically. It’s all good…just enjoy her!

amanda @ fake ginger November 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

Good luck with nursing! I remember crying most nights those first few weeks because it was so discouraging to not get anything out. Fenugreek was the only thing that worked for me.

Hayley November 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

I know exactly what you are experiencing…everything down to the last detail. I felt so much guilt about breastfeeding not going as well as I’d hoped, but now I am completely over it. Chloe is doing great on formula – growing well, thriving, healthy, and that is all that matters. If you’re providing Summer with your colostrum (and your milk WILL come in!) that is what’s most important since the colostrum contains all the antibodies. If you truly have your heart set on b-feeding don’t give up! Chloe wouldn’t latch on much in the beginning and when she did she’d fall asleep. It would take forever to get through a feeding and then she’d still be hungry. However, I think this had a lot to do with the fact that she was 3 weeks early and only weighed 5lbs at birth. By week 3 things got MUCH better (she was more alert, weighed a bit more, could suck better, etc). A friend told me to stick it out until that time and things did change. However, I will admit that I have no patience and after sitting there for an hour with Chloe one day and then still having to give her a bottle I gave up. I’d stopped pumping for a few days and my milk supply decreased rapidly so I was done with b-feeding (this was after about 5 weeks). The best thing you can do, if you are determined not to give up, is to continue pumping as much as you can and to keep trying to nurse with Summer. I always said while pregnant that I WOULD breast feed no matter what and that people who weren’t successful just didn’t try hard enough. Now I have the complete opposite opinion and realize that for some people it comes easily and others it doesn’t. The most important thing to remember is that Summer just needs to grow and get strong and healthy – and she will – whether she’s on breast milk or formula.

I’m always here if you need me! I know what you’re going through..xoxo

The Healthy Hostess November 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

Nursing is totally hard at first, but it gets easy and it’s so great! If you get mastitis, let me know – I have some great supplements that will help!

Amy November 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

Heather, you are an amazing mama already – hang in there!!! Also, FYI that the Weston A. Price foundation has some excellent info on homemade baby formula if you’re concerned about the conventional stuff. I thought you might be interested:
http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/319-recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula.html

HEAB November 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Amy,
CD already has this recipe bookmarked. You know us well. :)

Monica T November 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Heather I had a really hard delivery with the first (made us sign a release because they were not sure if we would both make it) baby and with breast feeding. The milk did finally come for me, but it only stayed about 6 months. I found out later that the previous generation of females(there are none in my gen.) also had a difficult time. I let my self get really stressed and in since the boy would also not latch on pumped every feeding for those 6 months. I learned that it is never good to risk my own health even for the sake of my child. It took me a long time to fully recuperate as I accidentally got pregnant with the second when the first was 6 months old. While I love both my kiddos and feel soooo blessed to help them. I wish I had been willing to let more go–and just focused on enjoying my children. I wasted too much energy trying to pump, etc. If my mom had been in town she probably would have stopped me ;) –but she wasn’t. Set a time limit, be reasonable and then let it go(although it sounds like you are being very balanced!) and just enjoy your new baby girl–formula fed or breast fed!

Allison November 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

Hi Heather – hang in there. I’ve got three kids and nursed them all for 2 plus years each, but the first one was HORRIBLE in the beginning. It took us weeks to get it. Hang in there . . . and you know what? If it just doesn’t work out don’t beat yourself up about it. I know a lot of people here have attested to the fact that they were fed formula and turned out great – my middle daughter (breastfed until she was almost 3) is allergic to everything under the sun. Sometimes things just are what they are:) Enjoy your little princess.

Gina November 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

Oh boy, this brings back memories. It is so exhausting and yes, you do feel like you don’t do anything but sit in a chair all day/night long and nurse, nurse, nurse. Grace wanted nothing more than to be latched on to me, all the live long day. I was her human binky, lol! I didn’t have a lot of milk either and eventually had to supplement with formula, but I did manage to nurse her until she weaned herself at 8 months.

I’m sure you have some Lansinoh or something it like it, but if you don’t have CD run to the store right now to get you some – best stuff on the planet for sore nipples, and great for chapped hands too.

Christine November 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

HEAB –
Hang in there!!! The first few weeks are unbelievably difficult. My suggestion would be SKIN-TO-SKIN contact as much as you can with the little bubba. I spent much of the first weeks of Elise’s life with little to no clothes on (mainly cuz I was too tired to get dressed). I wasn’t able to breastfeed her at first since she was in the NICU for 4 days, by the time she was home, she and I stayed in bed together a lot (which I know people have their opinions about!) but I’m convinced that is what helped my milk supply get up because of the hormone response it caused. Whatever you decide to do, just know you are doing great!!!

Nora November 13, 2010 at 10:37 am

Sweet Heather,
Our friend (April) told me about your blog and I’ve peeked at it from time — now I “tune in” to find that there is a new little person in your home/arms/heart. My eyes well up with joy for you.
I guess that it takes THIS for me to jot you a note — or, maybe it’s just that we mothers cannot help putting our ore in! That said, here’s MY advice:
Do less — worry less — revel more. I know that it’s hard — with trying to start breast feeding (more on THAT later) — and your hormones after birth taking you on a roller coaster ride — and anxieties about this awesome new responsibility — and (ugh!) the lack of sleep — BUT: This is holy precious time — time out of time — when you, your baby, your “nest” are, and should be, out of the hubbub, the “normal” stream of life. So — sit it your comfy chair, just gratefully and humbly hold this precious new soul — sleep/doze/daydream when she allows, sip a pretty glass of wine or champagne in celebration/relaxation (AND it helps with letting your milk come in), and be calm in the knowledge that you will not do Summer any harm — your love, your joy in her being here, and (yes) your calmness all ensure that she will have all that she needs to thrive. Becoming a mother is an all-of-a-sudden thing; becoming HER mother will be a day-to-day, lifelong thing. Realize that you are blessed and let the magic unfold.
That said — on breastfeeding: calmness, the aforementioned wine, understanding that what’s “natural” is not always “easy” — you WILL do what is right and best for her. (Dear one, this is only the first (microcosm, if you will) of all the efforts/decisions/heartaches/joys/love to come — take a deep breath and enjoy the journey.
Since sharing our stories seems to “help” — here’s mine. I had TOO MUCH milk, my breasts were so engorged that I could barely move — pain, tenderness, even the gentle stream of the shower was too much pressure. My babies couldn’t (even though I knew to be careful about this) take my entire nipple correctly and I got nasty, painful, infected cracks (I STILL have the scars!) and then I got mastitis and, with it, a scary high fever, and became dehydrated so my milk dried up then I had to START OVER again. A CONTRAPTION (a nipple shield — like a bottle nipple that fits over the mother’s nipple) finally allowed an “UNnatural” way of “natural” feeding and I nursed my 1st babe for a year (till I was 6 months pregnant with my 2nd) then nursed the 2nd with the shield right from the start. We do what we need to do — we love them and are guided by that love — and our little ones thrive.
My love (and I’m sending you PEACE) to you and your family.

HEAB November 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Nora,
So good to hear from you and thanks for you comment. It was very encouraging – just what I needed today. Love you and miss seeing you!

jacobc November 13, 2010 at 10:47 am

Ahhh, that sux.. I’m sure Summer would be much healthier with your milk, as nature intended. You would think there would be a medicine for that?

We can pump dairy cows up with meds to produce double the amount of milk without having a calf. Heck, we can even cloan a goat! But nothing for humans? sad

beth November 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hang in there HEAB! It is hard and it hurts too!
La Leche league helped me ALOT! and the b00k the w0manly art of breastedding, (my keyboard is wack right now)! hugs!!!

Beth November 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Ha! i logged into my lappy!
I just wanted to add that i too had a hard time nursing! I feel ya! My LC recommended I take fenugreek. I took insane amounts, I *THINK* i took 3 caps morning, noon, and night! My milk came in alright! i WAS SPRAYIN’ EVERYWHERE! and I smelled of maple syrup ~smile~
After that i drank a nursing tea, I think it was Yogi brand, yellow box.

Sorry my comment is choppy,I’m making ham! yum!
You CAN do it Heather!

Paige is Running Around Normal November 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I don’t know much about nursing but I’m sorry it’s still not in. Lucky that CD is such a great reassuring hubby though. Hang in there, sweetie!!

Jan November 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I know it’s hard. My son was born 14 days early and was diagnosed with “failure to thrive” because he lost weight. On Saturday afternoon my doctor wanted to supplement, but agreed to go the weekend and check his weight early Monday morning. I decided to do it the “German” way since my husband and I were stationed there at the time. I went out and had a big glass of beer and a nice steak dinner. I ate beef and chicken all weekend and had desserts, milk, and more beer. I had a HUGE intake of calories. I think he gained 3 ounces by Monday! Try eating a LOT more!

eml November 14, 2010 at 8:54 am

That’s interesting! Is one cause of difficulty nursing a lack of caloric intake?

HEAB November 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm

eml,
Nursing requires around 500 extra calories a day, and I believe it. My appetite and thirst are out of control!

meagan November 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Nursing IS hard! We’re on the third month and my daughter fell off the weight chart so we’ve had to start supplementing. It broke my heart too, and I felt so guilty. But you know what? I finally came to the conclusion that I love my daughter, and I love myself, too—and this was what was best for her physical health and my mental health (we’re having problems nursing…not sure what it is.).

I just wanted to give you support! It is hard. You can do it. My milk was delayed as well–they say that intense labors can do that, and mine was similar to yours–so try to relax and rest as much as possible. Your husband sounds awesome. They can really make all the difference.

Erin November 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Congratuations, again, Heather! You and Summer look so beautiful and I’m so happy for you.

Heather November 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Hi Heather – good luck, keep trying :) see if you can find a nipple shield it has helped several of my friends who were having trouble at first!!

HEAB November 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Heather – I have one. It’s helped with the latch a ton!

Stephanie November 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Ahh nursing. I had so much trouble with nursing that I ended up pumping. Nine months later and I’m still pumping. It’s amazing how emotionally tied you get to feeding your baby breast milk and how much it hurts when it doesn’t work out. You are doing an amazing job!

kindredmama November 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

sounds like it’s time for a good lager for mommy. It always kicked in my milk supply. I swear by it! It really works.:)

HEAB November 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Kindredmama,
I’ve heard that from several people. I think CD needs to go do a Guinness run. ;)

Amy November 14, 2010 at 3:26 am

Hang in there Heather!! You’re doing an awesome job! Your milk will come in and don’t kick yourself for having to supplement with formula. For some of us, we just can’t breastfeed how we’d like. I had problems both times with my milk supply and all my kids ended up bottle fed completely from 3 months (one of them earlier) and all of them are healthy, thriving human beings. Don’t give up yet!!

Casey Thomas November 14, 2010 at 4:26 am

Oh Heather, I’m so sorry to hear it’s been so difficult…I hear that so often from friends and even clients.

Sending you a ton of love and hope it gets easier soon!

Casey xx

Kath November 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

I’m sorry to hear this is so hard for you! But I’m sure you’re doing the best to provide your little one with the best she can get! :)

Beth November 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Congratulations on your sweet baby girl! What a darling little peanut :)

Lissa November 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I love and appreciate your absolute honesty and candidness, sharing with us your pregnancy/baby/nursing experiences. I too hope to nurse and am very fearful of struggling since I know it doesn’t come easily or naturally to many women.Keep doing whatever you’re doing–your little peanut will be strong and loved no matter how she’s fed … just being her mom is a blessing! :)

beki November 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Breast feeding is soooo much more difficult that one would think! I tried for a solid month but NEVER got my daughter to successfully latch on. Because she wasn’t latching on, I had rely solely on the breast pump to stimulate my milk, which was successful either. I would only get 1-2 ounces at a time, so I was forced to supplement with formula as well. I eventually gave up on pumping, which was exhausting and became a more rested formula feeding mama. I wish I could have nursed, but my daughter is so healthy. She will be 3 in April and has never gotten sick enough to need antibiotics and doesn’t have any known allergies as of yet. Breast milk is best, but I think formula has come a long way.

BroccoliHut November 14, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Thanks for being so open about your breastfeeding experience. I’ve been learning more about lactation as part of my nutrition classes, and I think it would be such a rewarding specialty to go into. We’ll see what the future holds…

maya @ finding balance in tokyo November 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm

I hope you are having luck with the breast feeding! My very first nephew surprised us all four days ago by showing up 5.5 weeks early, but thankfully healthy! My sister has been anxious for her milk to come in so they can get some fat on him and get him discharged from the hospital ASAP.

Similar to you naming your daughter Summer despite her fall birthdate, they have named him August Theodore despite his arrival in November. They keep saying “August came in November..” It’s pretty cute! :D

I’m anxious to get back home to meet him.

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

Maya,
I hope your sister’s milk comes in soon for little August. Love his name. :)

Colorado Kimmy November 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

Don’t give up on breast feeding Heather! I had to do the same pumping schedule as my baby got used to the bottle when we had to give her formula to help get rid of jaundice. She just didn’t breast feed well and wasn’t getting enough milk. I just wanted to let you know about the “nipple shield”…If your baby gets used to the bottle during this time and later rejects the boob, there are nipple shields you can buy. I had to use them so that my nipple felt like a plastic nipple. It was sooooooooo difficult but I didn’t give up and eventually was able to transition her off of them as she grew and got stronger. Good luck – you can do it!!!

Chandra November 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

I’m so sorry you are having trouble with nursing. I completely understand wanting to nurse for as long as possible. This was a goal I wanted to reach with both of my children. But I for differing reasons I didn’t make it with either. Sometimes we have to let go of our goals and switch them up a bit. It was very hard for me when I finally had to give formula but it was fine and what my children needed. Try not to listen to the nursing fanatics who make you feel horrible about supplementing we each have to do what is best for us and our families. As hard as it is you are making the best decision you can for Summer. I have a friend who had a hard time getting her milk to come in but she kept at it and it finally came in. We encouraged her to continue to put her son at her breast because that time isn’t just about nourishment but it’s also about bonding. They supplemented with formula and she kept at it and they had a very long nursing relationship.

Sarah November 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

Summer is ridiculously adorable :) What a beautiful vision to wake up to! Good luck with the breast feeding. Hopefully everything will work out soon.

Sarah @ BikingNBaking November 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Hi Heather!
So Im sure you have endless resources, but I thought I would just throw an idea out there. Natalia Rose, who has written a few books about raw foods (even though she doesnt advocate an all raw or vegan diet) has a website http://www.detoxtheworld.com and somewhere on there I remember reading that mothers who are breast feeding should eat lots and lots of greens to produce good milk. She compared it to cows, saying that cows that make the best milk are the cows that eat greens all day. SO while I know were not cows, and Ive never had a baby or breastfed, I thought I would give you another idea!

Good luck and Summer is SO so cute!!!
-Sarah

Allie (Protein Girl) November 20, 2010 at 9:39 am

Oh man nursing IS hard. Fenugreek? Check. Nipples bleeding? Check. Please don’t remind me of the trauma. Think of yourself as Nursing in the professional sense, like a trauma nurse at Ground Zero of adorable babydom.

Courtney November 26, 2010 at 1:49 am

Congratulations on your baby girl! I too have a little one. She is 2 1/2 months old and we are still having BF issues. I nursed my two older children for 14 and 16 months. But, I have to say that it was much harder the second and this third time around. It is physically and emotionally demanding, but worth it. Don’t worry about the supplementing. I am doing it too (did not with the others so it was hard for me). Just keep up with BF as much as you can. If you need a break and give her a bottle. Don’t sweat it. She’ll be fine and you’ll be a happier Mama. When Mama is happy everyone is happy.

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