Sunday, April 12, 2009

Praying It's Not the Beginner's End

Ever since starting day care, my nursing relationship with my son has been getting poorer and poorer. Today, he barely nursed at all. He would latch on, suck 2 or 3 times, then bite. And he has teeth, so it hurts. Since 8:30 this morning, he hasn't eaten for more than 3 minutes at a time. And he has bitten me so many times I've lost count. I can't imagine that he isn't incredibly hungry right now. I'm sure he'll wake up in the middle of the night, crying in hunger. And I have no idea what to do. I want to fix this more than I could ever express.

As I mentioned before when talking about my concerns about supply (which have proven unfounded -- I'm pretty sure I have had no supply issues), I feel very strongly about this on a personal level. Please know that I have no issues with people who can't nurse or who choose not to -- and I don't think breastfeeding is necessary to a strong and healthy relationship with one's child. But it's something that is important to me. And I'm beyond devastated right now. My nipples are in pain from being bitten so many times. And my breasts ache with fullness. And I am so frustrated and so sad. It's been over a week that these issues have persisted. It seems to be getting worse rather than better. And I'm just so sad.


Jen said...

That is really tough :( I hope it is just a phase or adjustment that passes quickly.

Nicky said...

I'm so so sorry, and I understand completely what you're going through. It sounds like the mirror of my own experience.

I'm sure that you've done all of the same frantic googling and searching for help that I did a few weeks back, so I'll keep the advice to a minimum. But the biting usually implies teething, so do whatever you can to decrease his discomfort before nursing sessions (Tylenol, cool teething toys, etc.). And anytime he doesn't nurse well, make sure that you pump. Carrying him around with both of you topless helps, too.

Most important, hang in there. Nursing strikes are devastatingly depressing in ways that I could never have imagined until I experienced it. If you need to chat, you know where to find me.

Mommy, Esq. said...

I miss BFing Ned. But I like that we ended on a high note. One of my other friends had to wean b/c of biting - it happens. I have heard (as Nicky mentions) that nursing strikes don't last for too long - I think the average is less than a week. Keep trying and you will both get the hang of it. What I learned with Penny is not to stress about things out of your control - we feed her what she'll eat and then just don't worry about it. Try the same with him and let him play/hang out while you pump so you can enjoy him. The key is to try not to (yeah right) stress. Good luck.

Cece said...

Because I'm the breastfeeding expert... (NOT) but I had a friend who went through this and any time her LO would bite, she would say OUCH and take her son of the breast. She just kept doing that over and over until he understood "If I bite, Mumma won't let me nurse. I shouldn't bite".

Of course - this is second hand advice - but might as well give it a whirl, right?

missedconceptions said...

From experience, this sucks (no pun). Baby S kept biting me and only a stern "NO" worked. I also made an exaggerated hurt/sad face because his pediatrician said they are great at reading faces, even more so than words/tone. I felt like a big weirdo, but he did stop once he gazed at my face.

Pump, pump, pump and feed with bottle for a few days. Earth Momma Angel Baby makes nipple salve that will heal the bit wounds, too.

It is very disappointing, but you will get through it.

mo*reezy said...

I'm sorry that you're going through all this - I hope you can continue as long as you are able/want to.