Breast feeding to bottle crisis!!

  • So I just had my son on September 12, 2011 and i tried the breast feeding of him actually on my breast and I didnt like it at all. My boyfriend and I wanted to give him breast milk for atleast the first 6 weeks because a nurse told us that was the most important time period. So I decided to just pump the milk and feed him formula for a supplement until my mature milk came in. So Far I have been extremely engorged for 6 days now I have tried everything, pumping every 2-3 hours, putting my breast in warm water to help the milk let down, I tried ice afterwords and even the cabbage thing. I have a nurse who calls me to check up and she tells me what to do and the engorment wont go away and I can only produce a total of 20-25ml of milk. Im in tears and am super stressed out. My boyfriend keeps pressuring me to keep doing it and I just cant do it nothing works and he says well we spent so much money on the pumping equipment ect. I dont know what to do I dont want to be a bad mother but everything hurts i have dry cracked nipples and bleeding and pumping just kills. Any advice would be very helpful thank you :)

  • the reason that pumping probably isn't relieving your discomfort is because a baby is much more efficient at getting milk out of your breasts than a pump is. the warm water is a good idea, have you tried massage? Gentle breast massage from the chest wall toward the nipple area before nursing, try going around in a spiral from your armpit like a breast exam.also Avoid using warmth for more than a few minutes as the warmth can increase swelling and inflammation.

    here is a great site to check out:

    every time you pump you're signaling your body to make more milk, and if not enough milk is being emptied then you could wind up with problems from your breasts being so engorged. i think pumps really make cracked and painful nipples hurt worse than your baby will. i would suggest either trying to let your son nurse again, or if you don't want to do that, then i would try stopping, regardless of what your boyfriend thinks because you could get plugged ducts or mastitis. you could always sell your pumping equipment on ebay or something and get some of the money back.

    here is a site with great tips for soothing sore nipples:


    First of all, you will not be a bad mother if it simply doesn't work out. That said, you should try because it is good for the baby! Lanolin cream for your nipples is a big help. The pain, dryness and cracking will go away with time. I had my baby girl in May, and it was a struggle for me at first too. Pumping alone can be a challenge, but it can be done. Make sure that you are pumping long enough for your milk to letdown. It takes 2-4 minutes of pumping for that to happen, then the milk should come more quickly. Also, as weird as it sounds, massaging your breasts from the base to the nipple is a big help! Engorgement can cause mastitis, which is an infection, if you don't get the milk flowing. If it has already started (signs and symptoms are redness, hot to the touch, and very painful areas of the breast), it is even more important to get the milk pumped out. Also, if you are concerned you have an infection, you need an antibiotic that your OB/GYN can prescribe.

    I would try nursing the baby again, and if that is just not going to work try to pump! Honestly, breastfeeding isn't for everyone. I personally was uncomfortable pumping or nursing even under a hooter-hider in public. Just don't let your worry about all of this get in the way of you enjoying this time with your baby! It's OK to give the baby formula if you have to. I'm currently weaning my baby from nursing...and it's tough. Keep your head up and try a little more! If it doesn't work out, know you tried and that you are a good mom and your baby will be fine! Good luck!

    Mom and Medical Student :)

  • with my first i felt the same way, i hated the way it felt, so i formula fed with our first 2, we just had our 3rd and iam breastfeeding her, its hard at first but believe me it gets easier, right now your body is just trying to figure out how much supply u need and actually ends up over supplying you.for sore nipples the lanolin really works, the soreness is due to improper latching, but dont let that discourage you! also try breastfeeding her b4 she gets hungry, a crying fussy baby will make it hard for either of you to learn! if u dont want to breastfeed, stop pumping, the more u remove ,the more your body is going to produce! just deal with the engorgment and leaking for a couple of days and your supply will surely dwindle. good luck either road you go =)

  • You should go to a baby store wal-mart or something of that nature and get this nipple cream trust me it helps.I breastfeed my daughter the first 3 months of her life. If you stressed out thats another reason your milk wont let down. Let you boyfriend watch the baby and take a 15 min hot shower and let the water hit ypur breast then rub your nipple with the nipple cream and then attempt to pump. Massaging your breast while pumping helps. I know it miight hurt but let your baby drink off you it really helps your milk flow better...I hopeit works out for you!

  • Thank you to every one for their advice i have been trying still and not much of an improvement. I might end up just stopping but I will see a specialist tomorrow :)

  • Bless your heart sugar!! I went through the EXACT same thing with my first child! I had to pump because I had trouble with my epidural and had to lay flat for 3 weeks (no fun with a newborn) but I was bound, set, and determined to breastfeed. I ended up getting terrible blisters on both nipples that bled everytime she latched on or I pumped (2 years and another baby later, I still have the blisters) so I know how you feel! As for the engorgement, try to let the baby latch on if at all possible even if its just long enough to relieve you, afterall, your baby is your best pump. And if you decide that you don't want to continue using breastmilk and want to switch to formula, it does NOT make you a bad mother. The fact that you even took a shot at it, shows how much you love your baby. Just make sure you are emotionally ready to quit because once it's gone, it doesn't come back. I wasn't ready to stop with my daughter when I did and got highly upset about it. I hope this helps! Best of luck to you and your new family!

  • dont pump extra. your body produce more milk bc its thinking the baby is eating. the more you pump the more milk you'll produce and the more engorged you will become. my doc told me not to pump extra, just pump enough  to feed the baby. youll be uncomfortable for a couple days but you body will figure it out and nly produce the amount of milk ur baby needs

  • I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble.  Breastfeeding can be pretty tough.  My daughter wouldn't latch right and I was super stressed about it.  Have you tried using nipple shields when you breastfeed?  They worked wonders for us.  I didn't even have a problem with dry/cracked nipples.  They can be a little messy when you take them off--the milk pools a little inside them--but just have a rag handy.  They were pretty cheap, too.  I breastfed my daughter for almost 5 months and I never had to replace the 2 I had.

    Make sure also that when you're feeding or pumping that you're relaxed.  I pumped off and on and I noticed that when I was stressed or in a hurry I didn't pump nearly as much.  Just sit somewhere comfortable, put on a movie or a show you like, and don't pay attention to the bottle or the clock.  Set a timer and put it somewhere you can't see it so you don't stress about how much milk is in the bottle vs how much time you've been pumping.  And don't worry if it doesn't work out.  Breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone, and there's nothing wrong with bottle feeding.

    Someone else mentioned massage to relieve engorgement--it really does work.  I just kind of massaged the spots that were hurting.  I also found that wearing a sports bra instead of a regular bra or nothing was helpful.  They give just enough support without being too tight.

    Good luck!!

  • We were advised the first week to also give our baby formula until the "real" milk came in.  The problem with that is the baby will get used to the nipples of the bottle because they are long and convenient in that they go straight to the back of the throat.  I know it's easier said than done, but you really must be patient and try not to stress.  Your baby can sense your stress and will also stress making it a difficult process. 

    For the dry, cracked nipples try using Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Breast Cream or  Medela Tender Care Lanolin.  It really helped me in the beginning. (Note: the Lansinoh is a lot thicker than the Medela.)  When pumping, make sure you have it positioned correctly on your breast.  I purchased the Avent Double Electric pump (which is now my best friend at work), and as you know you can't return the pumps once they are opened, so I was determined to get it right because it cost a pretty several  I noticed that if it was positioned wrong or had too strong of a suction, it would hurt and my nipples would be very sore. I would suggest taking some quiet time with your baby and nursing and get used to that feeling before trying to pump.  I know you said you didn't like it, but trust me, it gets better and will actually become a soothing feeling to you and your baby.    

  • One thought for you regarding the pumping - is the flange (the part that you put on your breast) sized correctly for you? Most kits come with a 24 mm size hole for your nipple/areola but a lot of women need a bigger size. The correct size will often produce more milk when you pump. If you hold the flange up to your breast and look in the mirror, you should be able to see your nipple through the hole and a half inch of areola all the way around. If you can't, you might asking the nurse who calls where you can get the right size. Hope this helps a little! :-( Hang in there!