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Breastfeeding: I NEED ADVICE


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I'm scared for you, BTR. I don't think I'd be trying to breastfeed again after all that, even if the doctor said it was best.

 

Yeah, I'd get a second opinion. These are the first doctors who let your condition get so out of hand, right?

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I did start breastfeeding again, but I only do it a couple times a day. I still supplement with formula because it really is easier. When I breastfeed, he's hungry every hour or two and nurses for about 20 minutes and it really takes up so much time. We had more of a routine before and it'll take time to get it back. With formula, I feed him one bottle in ten minutes and then he's good for the next three hours at least.

 

OH good news, he slept througth the night for the first time last night!

 

Anyways. I saw three different doctors, one surgeon, and talked to one lactation specialist. Doctor A sucked and got me into this whole thing, but doctor B and C were great and told me to continue breastfeeding. The surgeon told me to stop breastfeeding. All the others encouraged me to continue, so I'm going to give it a shot for a while at least.

 

The surgeon hasn't gotten any results back yet so I'm still in limbo, but it feels like the lump has gotten smaller. It's golf ball sized again, not baseball sized. Maybe it will just go away after all, who knows. The pain has stopped completely and it's not hot to the touch so I seem to be healing.

 

As for breast pumps, I talked to the lactation consultant and it would cost me $85 a month plus a one time fee of $55 for the tubes and such. I figure if I'm going to spend that, I'm just going to go out and buy a really good pump. The pump I really want is the Avent Isis Duo. I did a lot of research on them and that one seems to be the best and I've only heard good things about it. I have an Avent manual pump (which I really like) and I have all Avent bottles and nipples so it would be the most convenient. It also looks like they have the best breastmilk storage systems as well. If you go to Babies R us, they have a buyer protection plan thing (it's like insurance) so if it breaks within the first year, they replace it. It's a good idea since these pumps run between $200-300.

 

I also heard good things about the Purely Yours pump as well and the Medela ones. All three of those are double electrics, which I want.

 

I got an Evenflo one that worked wonders at first and it was under $100, but after a week of continually pumping, it just doesn't work well, even on the strongest setting. I can get more milk using my hands. It would probably be a good choice if you rarely pumped though, I don't know.

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Hey BTR,

 

Wow!

 

You are one tough lady. Glad to hear things are improving and the lump seems to be shrinking. Make sure to wash your hands well before and after breastfeeding, to help prevent it from happening again.

 

Hope things continue on this path for you!

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Im glad things are going better for you!

 

WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Thats awesome that he slept through the night! I bet you woke up and ran to make sure he was breathing! Did ya? Thats what I did the first time LiL MIss here slept through the night. I woke up and raced to look at her, even though she was right next to me anyway, and then I starred at her until I was sure she was alive =-)

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Still no word on the test results.

 

But good news. One breast is completely healed, and I owe it to breastfeeding. It cleared out the milk duct that was causing all the problems right once I started breastfeeding again.

 

I made the right choice.

 

That's great, BTR! I'm happy you're on the road to healing. But in all honesty, your thread has scared the heck out of me about breastfeeding. I'll give it a try, but at the first sign of serious pain/swelling anything like you experienced...the baby's on the bottle!

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Yes, I always freak out about him sleeping longer than usual. He's so peaceful that I poke at him until he moves or stick my face close to him until I can hear him breathing. Motherhood is so stressful, I had no idea! I worry about every little thing!

 

I'm sorry Scout!! I honestly have never heard of anyone going through anything like this before. I don't want to scare you any more than I have, but once you see signs of redness or swelling, it will only make it worse to stop breastfeeding. That honestly was the hard part because I would dread him getting hungry, but I would have been way worse off if I had dropped it at that point.

 

My sister in law had mastisitis AND thrush (a yeast infection that occurs in babies mouths and passed on to the mothers breast) and she got through it with minimal discomfort and is still nursing her very healthy 8 month old (she nursed 3 other healthy babies for an entire year each as well). So not all cases turn out as bad as mine. I'm also under so much stress (I already have to go to court next week for custody and such) that my body can't really handle a lot. I'm certain that played into it getting so bad.

 

And even after everything is said and done, I'm continuing to breastfeed. I really really like it...it's such a wonderful bonding experience and something that I only am able to do for a small amount of time that I don't want to pass it up. And it really is so great for the baby. It's more convenient (I discovered I was out of formula at one feeding time, that was fun) and cheaper. I don't regret doing it at all. If I had to go back, knowing I'd go through all of that crap, I'd still do it.

 

I just suggest that anyone who wants to breastfeed should read up about it or talk to a lactation specialist.

 

I had no idea how important it was to make sure my milk ducts were empty, and it's so simple and easy to check. I'm sure this is why it happened, plus I had so much milk it was ridiculous (I'd wake up and the entire front of me was completely soaked). So just educate yourself. And it really does hurt the first couple of days until your nipples get used to it, but that goes away really quickly, just get some lanisoh (lanolin) and that truly saves the day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can feel the milk ducts. It's kinda weird. Your breasts are really hard or firm and then when you feed the baby, your breast gets much softer. You can feel it. Sometimes it stays firm in one area, and if you kinda massage it while the baby is nursing, it will push the milk out and then that part goes soft too. So when you finish nursing one breast, you want to make sure the entire breast feels soft before you switch. That's what I was doing wrong. One or two milk ducts wouldn't go soft so they got clogged, then infected. And as you can tell, that's BAD NEWS. It's really hard to get them unclogged and once infection sets in, forget about it. You want someone to come in and just cut them off. Sucks.

 

As for the breast pumps, the Avent Duo has this special feature where you control how fast/hard the pumps, and then it sorta memorizes it. So you can set it so it pumps exactly how your baby nurses, which makes it easier. Because there's two types of milk...the initial one when they first start nursing, but then you can feel your milk "let-down" (it feels to me like there's a rubber band around my breast that sorta just moves down my breast, if that makes sense) and then the good fatty milk comes in. It's strange because I personally have to be in a good environment and not stressed for this to happen. I have to concentrate otherwise that just doesn't happen. It's so weird. But the avent has special things to help with this.

 

I went to babies r us and they have these seminars on breastfeeding and they go over every kind of pump they sell and explain all the features each one has and how they're different. I suggest you check this out if you have it in your area before dropping hundreds of dollars on something you don't know how to work.

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Okay I sound like an Avent salesperson, but here's what is written about it:

 

"The ISIS iQ DUO Twin Electronic Breast Pump is the first breast pump with an iQ - an electronic memory that learns from you! It’s the most personal pump you will ever own and is the only pump designed to respond to your needs as a breastfeeding mother.

Features:

Electronic Memory learns your pumping rhythm

Ultra Quiet, Powerful Motor matches vacuum of hospital-grade pumps

Let-down Massage Cushion works gently and naturally

Infinitely Variable Control over suction, speed and rhythm

One Button controls the entire pump, right at your fingertips, close to the breast

Safe and Hygienic Design protects milk against cross contamination and germs

 

ISIS iQ DUO is a high-performance electronic pump that combines all the features that can improve milk production: natural let-down, efficient double pumping, and infinitely variable control for precise comfort.

 

Unlike other pumps, ISIS iQ DUO lets you customize every phase of pumping. There are no pre-set controls, yet it is so easy to use, you can instantly determine the most comfortable speed, suction and rhythm.

 

You begin by manually pumping, then ISIS iQ DUO learns and automates your personal pumping rhythm. ISIS iQ DUO does all the work, yet it feels like your gentle touch.

 

The soft Let-down Massage Cushion gently stimulates the area around your breast, working quickly and naturally. This petal massage is combined with a hospital-grade vacuum to make pumping easy and efficient. You enjoy infinite variable control over all settings, so pumping feels precisely comfortable. A single button controls the entire pump and it’s right where you need it: at your fingertips, close to the breast.

 

ISIS iQ DUO is ultra quiet and ultra comfortable, so you can feel totally relaxed when expressing milk… And when you’re relaxed your body produces more milk, faster. "

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You just sold it to me, BTR. Man, I'm so lucky to have you!!! You really have no idea how much you have helped me!!!!

 

THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING. I have to go back to work six weeks after my delivery (if I have a natural childbirth). I just hope I can pump (or begin pumping) quite soon after the delivery so I can get in the groove of things and not get wiped out before returning to work. I really, really want to breastfeed!!!

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Well good luck Dilly! Start reading on it now and I'd make sure to meet with a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital, and they usually have some sort of breastfeeding support groups at hospitals that you can go to to make sure you're doing it right.

 

Don't think that just because it's going smoothly that you know what you're doing. That's where I made my mistake.

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Probably about 3 weeks after he was born all my problems started. I was producing SO much milk and he just couldn't keep up I guess. I never even thought to check my breasts or that he had to empty one before I switched him.

 

Oh, this is also important. You have to keep it equal...like have the baby empty one side, and MAKE SURE you have them nurse the other side first next time. It'll surprise you just how quickly you'll forget what side they nursed on last. I heard some women will put a safety pin on their bra on the side they nursed on last. But I always have a hair band on my wrist and I learned it was easiest to just put it on the side I nursed him last and switch it next time (it does get tricky if I want to put my hair up though...). I've seen bracelets you can buy that you're supposed to do the same thing, and they have a little thing to keep track of the hour. They're pretty cool and look like they'd be really easy to make.

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Anyways, point is, that's important. Other than that, I'd ask the lactation consultant (they usually have one meet with you in the hospital, but everything looked like it was going smoothly for me so I didn't have any questions...). Oh and you have to switch breastfeeding positions often. I was just doing the one where you hold them belly-to-belly and apparently that only empties some of your milk ducts. They have the football hold which I think by the placement of my abscesses, would have prevented me from getting in the trouble I got in.

 

Here's a link for some pictures and basic info of some different positions: link removed

 

"Mothers should experiment with various breastfeeding positions. After all, different ducts are emptied in the breast, depending on the child's position."

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