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pepper
IMHO it's ok to worry about your weight later on. You need the extra for making milk anyhow and that's ok for now. I know you guys don't have any sex drive yet so REALLY, don't worry about it. Last thing on the mind... that might be hard to do but try to set it aside until babe is eating solids. Just keep yourself healthy and your diet full of nutrient dense foods. (just so you know, 2 years old over here and maybe, maybe i have a teensy bit of sex drive reviving itself from deep sleep.)

An elimination diet might work to illuminate food sensitivities. Cut out all the things you suspect for a few days then add them back in one at a time (once every two days add a new one). You'll see very quickly if one of them makes for a grunty, squealy, farty baby or not.

Girls, dudes just don't think like us at all and it's frustrating and always will be to imagine that they are going to suddenly become something that they aren't (attentive, multi-taskers, helpful with housework, whatever) just because baby has hit the scene. My advice is just to not be afraid to ask for what you need and don't get pissy about things until you Have actually asked and it's still not happening. They aren't mind readers and don't often have the same sort of intuitive ability that women do to consider all that needs doing.
My aunt is into communication as part of her job and she taught me this really, Really simple little verbal trick for getting a mr to do something for you. The way a man's mind generally works, if you ask him if he can or could do something it's a challenge to his actual ability to do so and gets his dander up but if you say will and would you it's more like "Oh big strong man, please rescue this here damsel in distress" *swoon*. Don't let that rub you the wrong way, you know you're asking the exact same thing but if you can phrase it in a way that tweeks him right instead of wrong, why not? And it has worked for me any time I have remembered to use it.

Happy sleeping peaceful baby time to all of you!
ananke
I'm so glad I do well with the pump - it makes this whole upcoming surgery thing less scary. I've been losing weight pretty quickly and now I'm pumping more to stock up for the surgery I am so hungry all the time. But because my gallbladder is full of gravel if I eat something too fatty I end up in agony and vomiting and Mr A needs to give her a bottle while I flail around the place. Which sucks a lot. Once it's out, and I'm recovered, it should be a bit easier.

My sex drive is peeking up now and again - usually when Mr A has taken over for a bit so I can get some stuff done. I start feeling a little more at home in my body instead of being a milk making machine. We've had actual penetrative sex once and it was odd. Kinda painful but not really? Almost like poking a sore muscle. We canoodled again last night and even fingers feels weird now. I know i just need to take it slow and get used to it, but I have a huge flaily emotional reaction to my body doing odd things so it's been hard.

I think the problem at home for us has been slipping into bad old habits from before we were together - he hits his bachelor/slob stride and I get all angsty and closed off. Which leads to stupid fights and crankiness. The gallbladder surgery thing hasn't helped - he gets annoyed when I have an attack because it's usually because I've done something stupid like eat a couple of krispy kreme donuts and I'm not only in pain, but annoyed with myself AND freaking out about the surgery. It hasn't come at a great time but if I don't get it done it'll just get worse and worse and potentially make the surgery worse.

But yeah, breastfeeding is insanely hard work. I was trying to explain to Mr A this morning that it isn't just that I'm tired from too little sleep. It's that my body has just made another human being and now I'm providing all of her sustenance to grow amazing amounts. Sleep doesn't fix that. It helps, but I am constantly creating all the food my rapidly growing baby needs and it's coming out of my body, whether I eat enough or not.
eyelet
The irony is not lost on me that this thread is in the sex forum. Both of our sex drives were dulled for a while and are just now starting to peek out again for us too. I think in part because now that we're used to having a baby, we're both finally getting to be the versions of ourselves that we were attracted to in the first place.

My guy has done a complete 180 from a month or so ago with regard to helpfulness. I'm not sure what finally made it come together for him, but somehow he figured out that the only way we're going to pull this off is if it's all hands on deck. He sees me giving so much energy to taking care of her and to working the rest of the time, that I think he started to feel like a real heel. He joined us on our 3 mile walk this morning, which may not sound like much, but for him it's a major show of solidarity.

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with the gall bladder Ananke. At least it's no mystery and will all clear up after the surgery. Really glad you can pump because otherwise it would change everything for your breastfeeding. My girl is having more good breastfeeding days than bad now. She seems to view it as a different type of sustenance than the formula is...like formula is almost her bread and water, and breastmilk is more her fine dining to be slowly savored. But it really pisses her off if she's really hungry or thirsty and I offer up the breast first.

Pink--I think I am eating enough. And fairly healthy too. I think my body just wants to hold on because it just went through such a huge task and even partial breastfeeding tells it to conserve energy. I will probably start WW soon. I had gained 20 lbs. the year before getting pregnant and weight watchers was helping me then. I agree with Pepper though that this is not the time to go to any diet extremes or try for quick weight loss. I just want to see some gradual progress. It's just hard on my feet and joints to be 40 lbs. over what was meant for my frame. And pregnancy was a real bitch because that was an additional 30 lbs!

A product I want to rave about:
This top I just bought for nursing looks really flattering and is making me much more comfortable nursing wherever I am. I wish it came in some other colors.

http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Prod...ategory_Id=MC29
ananke
Since it's winter here, I go with a loosenecked singlet/shirt (or cardigan) under my long sleeved-top so I can pull one down, one up. I find it is a little more discreet since I need both hand to get my boob out ANYWAY.

Christ I am hungry all the damn time now. Pumping ALWAYS does this - I've got close to a full day in the fridge but i am eating us out of house and home. Today I've had two bits of toast with peanut butter, 2 apple muffins, a bunch of crackers with tuna and cheese, some gummi snakes and some chocolate. Uh, looking at that, I probably should eat vegies for dinner. I've drunk a shitload of water too. I could seriously keep eating. It's driving me crazy. I know I should be grateful since I don't seem to be gaining at all with it, but I would like to feel sated. Maybe more vegetables will help. I should have vegies for lunch.

I'm so glad your guy has stepped up to the plate eyelet! I remember the start was a bit rough.

Fallon is coming along great - 6.5 kg now (so she's gaining a pound a week...) and tall with it. Every time I pull her into a sitting position she starts trying to stand up instead! Mind you she needs a pretty high level of interaction during the day and I really feel like I am not cut out for the SAHM thing. I think that's the crux of our occasional cranky times - we're trying so hard to find out a way for him to stay home while I work but it's hard. If I weren't in a feminised career path it'd be a bit better, but I'm having to change my goals now (go private/academic) which kinda sucks.
eyelet
Ananke-I was wearing a nursing tank covered by a loose shirt of any sort and would do what you're doing. And I still do, but it's nice to have something with just one layer since it's so hot here. I'm liking it so much I'm going to go see if they have a pattern for it at the fabric store and will ask my sister to sew a couple for me.

I say go ahead and eat! If you're not gaining weight and you're really hungry, you should oblige your body. Maybe a protein shake would help. I took them while I was pregnant to help prevent pre-eclampsia and they did help a lot with the hunger.

Fallon is almost as big as my girl even though she came a little early! If Elowen stays on this track, she'll be a tall one. I'm only 5'6" but there are a lot of tall people in both of our families.

I'm so damned in love with this baby, it's unreal. She's a great sleeper and when she wakes up to feed she goes right back to sleep. She so happy and relaxed. She will tolerate me working at the computer for a while without paying much attention to her, but I do take frequent breaks to chat with her. Since I run a web based company, the transition has been pretty smooth. I don't answer emails as quickly as I used to, and my shipments might be a little slower, but with each passing week it improves. I'm glad I did that second job for a while before she was born because it got me used to being more efficient with my time. I can't recall--what is your profession?

My 43rd birthday is coming up soon, and for the first time in years, I really feel like throwing a big dinner party celebration. I'm so glad to have my healthy baby, that my relationship is more on track, and that I can still do the work I love. Also pretty glad Obama is in the White House! I'm having this overwhelming feeling of gratitude.
pinkmartyr
my kid is doing something really scary! he's 13 months old. twice this week, he's banged his head or pinched his finger, and stopped breathing in the middle of crying. he'll cry out once, then in between screams, he'll pause, stop breathing, and his lips turn blue. yesterday i think he almost passed out. i have heard of kids holding their breath when they're mad, but not after a minor injury. this is terrifying to me, and i'm pretty sure we're going to see the doctor this week. does anyone have advice?
koffeewitch
According to the books "What to Expect the First Year" and WTE the Toddler Years" this is actually fairly common. It always terrifies the poor Mommy, but is not dangerous...pediatricians claim that if the kid DOES pass out, their autonomic nervous system will take over and they will start breathing again while unconscious. I know that sounds really scary and probably does not make you feel a whole lot better. Try to remember you are NOT alone; many people's kids do this and it is only a phase that your child will outgrow. Hopefully your ped can help you come up with some good strategies to help calm your baby and distract him when he's starting to get really upset. In the meantime, hang in there, Mama, we all have our bumps in the road. smile.gif
pinkmartyr
koffeewitch, thanks so much!
eyelet
Does "What to Expect" say this can happen after an injury, or just when mad/upset?
eyelet
Does "What to Expect" say this can happen after an injury, or just when mad/upset?
koffeewitch
I've read this can happen anytime they are really upset. Along with "head banging" and other kiddie habits designed to make a Mommy feel inadequate. smile.gif
pinkmartyr
i talked to the pediatrician this week. she said this breath-holding was fairly common, both in cases of tantrums AND being hurt. she isn't concerned about it, and assured me that the worst that will happen is that he will pass out, at which point his body will begin breathing normally on its own. she did say he will grow out of it.
koffeewitch
It's always nice to know other people's kids do the same nutty shit. I always start blaming myself when my kids do some weirdo behavior, but the truth is that their undeveloped nervous systems and their general lack of maturity and development cause them to pitch fits no matter how loving, nurturing and supportive the Mommy. Of course, if my kids ever have issues in front of my mother-in-law, she swears on a stack of Bibles that HER kids never acted in any such a way. I guess her kids were born already knowing how to clean their rooms, sit still for hours on end without a complaint, and eat all the veggies on their plate. They never had tantrums, made messes or nosed around in the kitchen drawers. It's just the lazy mommies like me who have problems, of course.
pinkmartyr
when did you guys cut out the night time bottle? emmet drinks cows milk from a cup all day, and nurses morning and evening. at bedtime, he has a bottle of cows milk. i really want to eliminate that. i am trying to offer him a cup of milk after his bath at night while we read stories or play, in the hopes he drinks up then.
i am not concerned about weaning from the breast yet- just am not crazy about him having cows milk from a bottle at night. what do you all think?
koffeewitch
I always exclusively breast-fed and started them onto soy milk with a sippy cup when they were older. I nursed my kids to sleep at night-time because it was easiest for all of us, but dif. things work better for other Mommies. It sounds like he drinks well from a cup all day...are you just worried the bottle at night will become a hard habit to break or bothered that bottle-drinking at night is sometimes associated with ear infections, etc.?

P.S. I pitched the idea in the community forum for a breastfeeding thread...if this is something anybody would be interested in, please share comments in the Bust Community FOrum.
pinkmartyr
my first choice is always to nurse him. he was exclusively breast-milk fed until 11 months, when i started supplementing with cow's milk. my supply had gone down a lot. i agree that nursing is always the easiest option!

i am worried that a night time bottle will become a hard habit to break. i was worried about the pacifier, but he started showing signs that he was ready to give it up around 10 months old. now he's pacifier-free. sometimes i think i should just relax and do the same with the night time bottle- wait til he shows a sign that he's ready to stop.

i nurse first, then supplement with cow's milk at night. his pediatrician wants me to stop nursing by 15 months, and to that i say, ha! i'll quit breastfeeding when he's ready or closer to 2 years old, whichever happens first! that's just the right choice for me.
koffeewitch
I am absolutely thrilled that you are going with your own wise Mamma instincts and ignoring your peds "15 month" limit to BFing. I wonder if your ped. has any idea anyway what it's like to take breastfeeding away from a child before they are ready. You'll have a whiny, screaming fight on your hands for no good reason except to indulge your pediatricians arbitrary decisions.. Of course, there's no reason to let your pediatrician know that you are still breastfeeding. For the most part, I let everyone think that my toddler has weaned unless I know that they are "cool" about the subject.

It doesn't sound like you really need to stress about the night-time bottle. But I always think that a Mamma''s instincts for her own babe are right-on much of the time. He's already drinking from a cup during the day so you won't need to worry about that; but if the bottle thing really bothers you see if he'll drink from the cup at bed-time.

As far as milk supply, unless you are on certain types of hormonal birth control, the amount of milk you make is regulated by the amount of time the baby sucks. (Everytime the baby puts pressure on the breast areola, a chemical/hormonal reaction occurs causing your body to produce oxytocin and prolactin. This is how your milk is produced. If you nurse your baby at night, you will begin to produce more milk at his bed-time).
eyelet
Koffeewitch--since I seem to recall you are studying to be an LC (was that you?) I wanted to let you know about a website that has been invaluable to me and will be to anyone who has extremely low or slow supply due to breast surgery or traumatic birth. It's www.bfar.org. They have a sister site www.lowmilksupply.org as well. I want to add that emptying the breast completely is another cue for milk production, not just the suckling. I have such severe nerve damage and did prior to the surgery, that I have a very difficult time with let-down. I don't respond to a pump, and have to use almost self-hypnotic techniques to stimulate let down even while nursing. There are a lot of women out there who have to supplement with formula despite going to heroic lengths to make more milk, and it's important to be sensitive to how hard that can be on already stressed out moms.

Kudos on trying to spread the word about breast feeding since so many people get discouraged early on and give up on it.
ananke
Well, since this thread in sex, I figure I may as well ask y'all about sex. It's been 5.5 months and we've had sex three times. Well, once was 'complete' twice I had to stop. During the birth I had two second degree tears (on either side goddamn it) but they've healed up perfectly. Now it's just lack of a sex drive and fear it's going to hurt. This is the first time sex has hurt with Mr A and it's sucking hardcore. I hate it. It brings up a whole heap of other emotional shit that I just don't want to deal with (it was bad enough that breastfeeding was triggery for a while). My best friend was talking about her therapist and recommended I go and see him and Mr A mentioned it as well, I just hoped (wished?) I was better. It's been 8 years! Christ. I just want to have sex without fear or flashbacks or any shit like that.

GAH.

We go slow, we use lots of lube, we take it easy, I'm on top. All the usual things. It's just hard to take a long time when there's a chance BunBun will wake up AND I dislike prolonged foreplay because I find it far more triggering than sex itself. We're using condoms which isn't great, but I am just so tired of thinking about it. I just want to be able to love on MrA without fear, or turning into a crying mess.
girl_logic
Sorry to intrupt in the middle of your question ananke - I have a quick question for moms and dads. Is 1.5 years old considered too old for little dolls for boys? I'd like to make a set of these http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34979918 as a gift for a child I know, but I'm not sure if it'll be appropriate.

I've bombed on gifts for him and his mom before - i.e. giving BPA free bottles shortly after he was bottle-weened, out of ignorance.


((Ananke)) I'm so sorry you're going through this. With the physical pain, is it possible your body still isn't completely healed, maybe an internal scar got re-opened at some point? I wonder if there's something other than intercourse that you could both get into until you know for sure that your body is ready. (Also I wonder if there might be a vitamin deficiency that's slowing down your healing.)
koffeewitch
Wow, all these posts are awesome.
Girl logic: I love for little boys to have dolls...how else will they grow up to be responisble, caring fathers? I warn you that I seem to be in the minority with that opinion. My little boy has always played with a doll and he is a fabulous older brother now to the new baby.

eyelet: thanks for the great links. I am studying lactation, yes. You are an amazing mama to keep breastfeeding with so many challenges. I can only imagine the frustration! Did you also have any problems with plugged ducts or mastitis, just curious?

ananke: My heart goes out to you; I am also a survivor and am occasionally bothered by flashbacks. Nursing a baby does cause a diminishment of sex drive and the exhaustion of a new baby does not help. There is no cure to force your body to react the way you want it to react. I hope you can be patient and loving with yourself. It might help to have a code word or signal so your partner can know when you are having a flashback. Then he can remind you to take deep breaths and stop any activity that may be upsetting to you. I do think most couples become less sexual after the baby is born for varying lengths of time. You are definitely not alone. My babe is the same age as yours and I focus more on giving/receiving back rubs and having more sensual forms of intimacy. I've also seen a counselor on and off for years...talking about my abusive past has taken some of it's power over me away. I think of sex as sex and abuse as abuse, never as sex. But this is easier said than done.

AND speaking of babies...mine is screaming right now!!
eyelet
Hey Ananke-We've only had sex three times in 5.5 mos too. And for the first time in my life, I needed lube and didn't want it to last too long. It freaked me out because I didn't expect it. And I didn't manage push Elowen out my vagina as you did Fallon. Don't rush yourself. Lots of people have trouble and yes, BFing dulls the urge. It takes a lot of urge to get over the hurdle of painful memories, so please be patient with yourself until the libido goes up a little.

You might be like me and not have anyone to babysit, but if you do, I'd recommend you schedule a block of time together without the baby asleep in the next room so that you can have some non-sexual foreplay. Try going out to dinner and having some wine, or even hanging out with some other adults as a couple--these are things that might remind you of happy evenings spent together that ended in bed in the past. And if it takes another six months before sex becomes a regular thing, don't be too hard on yourself about it. It's really really normal.

girl_logic--I'd love it if someone gave my kid those presents.
eyelet
Actually--if you count the time before I had the baby, it's more like 7 months.
ananke
I think the dolls depends more on the parents than the kid - most kids adore dolls of all types and those look nicely chewable as well!

I think I do need to just relax - pregnancy was great for me as far as hormones and mental health and I guess I assumed it'd come back once the tears healed. I'm pretty sure everything is healed nicely, it's just a mental thing (and a lube thing - I know what you mean eyelet!). I do need to relax and just be kind to myself about it instead of cranky. It helps to hear that I'm not alone as well! Everyone else I talk to is either "oh we were back at it like rabbits at 2 weeks!" or "it's been three years and I only do it when he begs enough". I like sex! I miss it! I don't like it hurting and I know I should have waited a bit longer that first time, and not been so impatient. We're trying to spend more time doing intimate but not-sex things but Mr A is really scared of making me feel pressured that he backs off entirely and misses anything but the most blatant of come ons and I'm really not in the right frame of mind for a blatant come on to not have sex but fool around. He reassures me that it's okay but it's hard to beat years of conditioning not to be a tease.

Gah, more time heals all, but I'm just so damn impatient. I feel better today since I spent some skin time with Mr A last night, with a back rub. Fallon has started reverse cycling for some reason though, which is making the nights really not fun - I think it's because she's really reluctant to feed in public (she might miss something!) so she'll have two tiny feeds over four/five hours (she usually has a biggish feed every two hours during the day) and making up for it at night.
koffeewitch
I've read that lots of women experience pain after healing (during intercouse) because the area around the tear is tight and the nerves may not be healed. I've read many women experience pain for more than 6 months after birth, so it may not be all in your head at all.

Mr. A. sounds very wonderful and considerate. I think with sex after parenthood you also have to sorta have a sense of humor. Let's face it, ya just get started and your kid walks in or the baby starts screaming. If you drink at all, I find having some wine together in the evening helps with any pain and with relaxing, enjoying the moment.

I hope I am making sense, baby is calling me again!!
girl_logic
" think the dolls depends more on the parents than the kid - most kids adore dolls of all types and those look nicely chewable as well!"
laugh.gif

The only other thing I can suggest on the sex is the joys of finger-fucking (which I personally looove and find more comfortable because of his size). I usually lie down in the position that I jill off in (on my belly) and he lies on top of me or beside me and uses his fingers while I'm getting myself off. He likes to talk to me at the same time. Then I'll finish him off with oral. Everybody happy :-)
kittenb
QUOTE
I just hoped (wished?) I was better. It's been 8 years! Christ. I just want to have sex without fear or flashbacks or any shit like that.


Annanke - You ARE better! You are so much better! Unfortunately, it isn't uncommon for survivors to sometimes have new survivor stuff to deal with after the birth of a baby, or, really, any kind of medical change with your sex organs. I believe that you will get through this. If you decide to go back to a counselor, please don't look at it as a failure of any kind. It is just time for a different type of work. [code][/code]
koffeewitch
kittenb said it purrfectly. I still go to a counselor when I start to feel like I'm spiraling downward. It's easier to catch myself from falling than pick myself up when I've hit rock bottom. We all need mental health days and we need to give our bodies and our psyches the honor and love they (we ) deserve. I have a hard time when my kids reach the age that I first remember being abused (I was probably just under 2). WHen I see a child that age, it makes the crime that much more unbelievable to me and it brings up a lot of bad emotions. BUt I have a wonderful counselor and some great friends; I dont have to go through it alone anymore.
pinkmartyr
Hey girls, I wanted to share a recipe from my lactation consultant.

Lactation Cookies

1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 c oats
1 c or more chocolate chips (or raisins)
2 tbsp Brewer's yeast (be generous)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to butter mixture.

Beat until blended. Sift dry ingredients together, except oats and chips. Add to butter mixture. Stir in oats then chips. Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake 8-12 minutes.

6 doz. cookies.
nakedmolerat
Hi everyone! It has been way too long since I've posted. I hope all of you are well! I can't believe my little guy is already going to be 15 months old! It's gone by way too fast! Pink, I have missed you! I hope you and your little guy are doing awesome! I deleted my old myspace account, I made a new one but I've been on so infrequently that I haven't even added anyone yet. I went back to work full-time and am in a long-distance relationship with my boy now, and I have been running around like a mad woman trying to maintain everything. I will be writing soon. Congratulations to all the new mommies on the forum, too! Happy New Year to all the hot mamas!
pinkmartyr
nakedmolerat, i've missed you, too! i still have myspace, but am using facebook more often.

if anyone wants to email me or look for me on facebook search by my email address- asirna@cox.net

so glad to see you! xo
julie124
Hello, Bustie mamas! I followed ananke and eyelet over here from the pregnancy thread...my little guy Henry will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. (WOW, did that already go fast.)

Anyway, it's great reading everyone's posts and getting different perspectives on the whole mothering thing.

So, I have a question for y'all...lately I have developed some hard bumps under my arms that I suspect might be plugged milk ducts, but am not sure. It's also possible that they are some sort of plugged hair follicle or something (I've gotten those before in other places), but I'm suspecting they might be plugged ducts because they are on both sides, I've never gotten them before, and one of them tends to get sore whenever my breasts are full. Anyone else heard of this? I figure I'll give them a little more time to go away before calling the doc, but I'm not even sure who to call - the OB, the lactation consultant at my pediatrician's, or my internist?

I've especially appreciated hearing about everyone's adventures in breastfeeding. I nursed in the hospital, but little guy pretty much made mincemeat out of my nipples and the lactation consultant recommended that I pump for a few days to allow them to heal. On top of that, Henry had jaundice so the pediatrician wanted us to supplement with formula for awhile (my milk hadn't come in at the time) so that we could get the bilirubin out ASAP. It took a lot longer for my nipples to heal than I'd expected, and we hadn't gotten in a good routine before I took a nursing break, so I only recently got Henry back on the boob. I'm pumping every three hours or so and nursing when I can, and while we've been able to reduce the amount of formula we're giving him, we still occasionally have to give him a formula bottle when he's hungry and I don't have time to nurse or pump in time for his feeding. I also have to correct his latch a lot...some days he's great, some days he doesn't seem to want to open his mouth wide. Oh yes, and nursing him takes much longer than giving him a bottle because he tends to fall asleep on the boob and is hard to wake even when switch nursing (though that helps). And his new development is that he sometimes will be nursing and decide to pull away...with me still attached. Yow!

Anyway, all things considered I feel pretty good about where we are right now...I just wish we could get more of a rhythm going on the nursing so that I feel comfortable doing it when we're out and about.

Sorry for the long post...just glad to be here!
eyelet
Hey Julie
Try this site for good info on clogged ducts.

Not much time to type as baby in on arm.

smile.gif

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/re...t-mastitis.html
pinkmartyr
julie, i'm glad you wrote. make sure you let us know how its going!

i've had plugged ducts several times. my baby is 15 months old.

from my own experience, reading kellymom, and talking to my lactation consultant, this is what i know....

plugged ducts feel like wedge-shaped lumps. i have seen visible redness on my breast around the area of the clog. once you've had a plugged duct, you are pre-disposed to getting them due to the distortion of the milk duct. it helps to soak your breast in hot water, like in a hot shower or with hot compresses. you can also make hot compresses using castor oil- an anti inflammatory. heat some up, pour it into a disposable diaper (or washcloth / cloth diaper) and hold against your breast several times a day.

IF you develop any symptoms that feel like the flu (body aches, fever, chills) accompanied by extreme breast tenderness, this is a symptom of mastitis. in this case, rest as much as possible (yeah, right, i know, but seriously get some help with the baby and go to bed), and take ibuprofen (its an anti-inflammatory). you can use all the hot water/compress ideas, too. if you catch mastitis early and treat it by feeding often and getting a ton of rest, you can kick it without the need of antibiotics!

in either case- nurse or pump often! i totally second eyelet's suggestion of the kellymom site. i love it. if you do need to see a doctor, call a lactation consultant first.

i've had plugged ducts, slight mastitis, and thrush. we had a problem with recurrent thrush, that finally a prescription for diflucan fixed it. right now i am taking lecithin supplements- my lc recommended them for recurrent plugged ducts/mastitis.

good luck to all!
julie124
Thanks for the tips and the kellymom site...great resource. My plugged ducts under the arm seem to be getting better (they feel smaller and don't hurt anymore), though they haven't gone away entirely yet. I've been putting the hot water in the shower right on the bump for a bit of hot compress/massage action.

I've also been investigating possible causes for Henry pulling away from the breast/getting really upset while nursing. He has a lot of the symptoms of overactive let down, especially since it seems to be worse when he's really hungry or when I'm really full. It's also possible he has thrush...I think I see a white spot or two on his tongue, though my husband claims it's just milk. He has his two-month well-baby checkup on Tuesday, so I will probably ask about all of this then...most of the time he seems to be getting plenty of milk, and he seems to be chunking up quite nicely as well. (And there are PLENTY of dirty and wet diapers!)

Hope everyone else is well!
ananke
The underarm blockages I've had respond REALLY well to gravity assist feeds - I'd basically lay on my left side, put Bunbun on a pillow and feed her with my right boob (the blocked one). You can feed on all fours with bubby laying on the ground on their back, but I never got that bad.

I've been pretty quiet round here - we had a bunch of holidays and I've been pretty exhausted. Bunbun stopped the good sleeping once we introduced solids (partly solids I think, but partly the holidays). So I went from one, maybe two, feeds a night and once I got her latched we'd go back to sleep to three or four and I'd be awake most of the feed. We're finally getting back into the rhythm of it all but I'm terrified of what we're going to do once I go back to work. She's loving solids which will make cutting down on the feeds easier, but I'm really really scared about the whole thing. Money isn't going to be a fun topic either - not only will it cost us more for me to work (I have transport costs) but we'll be earning less altogether. It sucks. But Mr A hates his job with a passion and I'm not coping overly well with being at home (although he did point out that I've done so much better with being a mum than I did being unemployed/studying). We've got enough of a cushion that we can supplement my income for 12 months at least, but I still worry.

Apart from that, Bunbun is constipated (motherhood has made me fascinated with her pooping) which is bad. She's not happy about it. She is happy about the prunes I fed her this morning - I am amazed how well she's doing with solids (the eating bit, digestion hasn't been great). We're doing baby led solids/weaning with a bit of spoonfeeding and she's doing really well. One full on choking (scary. as. fuck.) and lots of "I'll just jam this entire chunk of apple in my mouth and swallow! Argh, it doesn't fit!" *puke*.
eyelet
Hey Ananke-Nice to hear from you. Our days of good sleep have also gone since solids. But I think in Elowen's case it is more about the teeth than digestion. She's got the two bottom ones and seems to be hurting still so more must be on the way. She takes very short naps during the day and seems to need a lot more attention than she used to. All in all, this 7 month has been the hardest by far. I work from home so started back about two weeks after she was born. This is the first month I've really longed for help because I'm having such a hard time getting in a block of uninterrupted work. And because I'm groggy of course. Last night she woke me up 8 times! And she doesn't even want to eat, she doesn't know what she wants.

It must be frustrating contemplating paying more to work, but knowing you'll go nuts if you stay home for the next however many years. I think I'll put Elowen in daycare half time once she's completely weaned and ready to socialize with other kids. I really don't think I'm stimulating enough company for her. She's a social animal and seems frankly a little bored with being at home.

Elowen hasn't choked on anything, but has this scary gag reflex when she gets too much food in her mouth and doesn't know what to do with it.

Tell me again what day your baby was born? Was it the exact same as E's--June 10th? My child is huge--I think she's about 30 inches now and 22 or so lbs. Off the growth charts. I hope she levels out soon.

jenny_dreadful
Hi all, I'm new to this forum and have followed Eyelet, Ananke and Julie over from the Pregnancy forum. My little boy, Archie, is nearly 7 weeks old now and I'm beginning to get a little bit of time back in the evenings for communicating with the outside world! I'm having issues with breast feeding which is causing me some real angst and I would really appreciate some perspective from Bustie mums.

Archie was in special care when he was first born after inhaling meconium. He was in intensive care for the first 2 and a half days of his life during which time he was tube fed formula. I have never been able to breast feed him, although I have tried consistently for the past 7 weeks. I have a good supply of milk, but Archie has just never managed to latch on. Nearly every midwife in London has tried to get him to latch on, I've seen a breast feeding counsellor, and I've used nipple shields, breast compression techniques and hand expression directly into his mouth but whenever I try to get him onto the breast he gets distressed. I think he's just got too used to the easier delivery of milk from a bottle.

I have been expressing my milk and giving this to him, but over time his needs have outstripped my milk production and I have been supplementing with formula. I've tried to increase my milk production with cluster pumping, which has helped as has taking fenugreek supplements and eating porridge, but I still need to express 2 or 3 times to make a single feed, and Archie is feeding 6 times a day. From reading the Kellymom site I know that breast pumps cannot stimulate supply anywhere near as effectively as an efficiently feeding baby, but even so I am able to cover no more than half of Archie's daily milk requirements.

I think I'm reaching a point where I'm going to give up. The expressing takes so much time (2 hours a day to make 3 feeds) and is hard to fit in to a day of baby care. I am full of grief about not having been able to crack breast feeding, I can barely look at my nursing bras without tearing up. But I think I'm kidding myself now that I'm going to be able to get Archie to do it. Giving up the expressing would give me a lot of time back, but it feels like severing the last tie of my baby to my body if I'm not feeding him my milk, and it feels like I'm really turning my back on something I really should be persevering with.

I just don't think there's anything left for me to try with breastfeeding -it's almost making me want to have another baby so I can get it right with another one!
ananke
eyelet - yeah, Elowen and Fallon were born the same day. In spite of our due dates being about a month apart! Fallon has just started settling down with the sleep again, which is a relief. And it turns out my boss had no idea about the rules for breastfeeding mums at work, so that was a great conversation. We're looking at possibly moving as well, which will suck, but hopefully pay less rent.

jenny - that sounds so difficult. You poor thing. While Fallon did latch on and feed from the breast early on, it took us about 8 weeks to get sorted. As they get bigger, it gets easier. Have you tried a supplemental nursing system? I think eyelet used one. Several women I know with breastfeeding issues have used them successfully. Have you tried laying down feeds when he's sleepy? Even now I find that much easier than fussing about with anything else. If you want another resource the Australian Breastfeeding Association runs a forum and the women there are really supportive and knowledgeable.

But when it comes down to it, it's your choice.
eyelet
Oh Jenny, I feel your pain! I had such a rough time with breastfeeding. Admittedly my breast reduction 10 years ago was the primary problem, but it didn't help that I had a miserable 24 natural labor then had to give up and get a c-section. I was demolished for a while and that made it even harder to make and let down milk. I had to start supplementing on day 4 of 5 after my strapping 9 lb baby got down to 7.5 lbs. Heartbreaking. I never knew how much I would grieve over the lost opportunity to fully BF.

I encourage you to visit www.bfar.org and create a log-in and get involved in the conversation there. There are also people who haven't had breast reductions, who are just having problems BFing. At the very least they are a great source of moral support.

Good for you for pumping all this time. You're right, the inability to empty the breast is probably what's slowing down production. I was never able to even let down for a pump because of nerve damage, but even with intact breasts it's a much less efficient method than feeding.

Some strategies that might help if you are willing to try them:

Taking additional herbal galactagogues (alfalfa, marshmallow, blessed thistle, and more which are talked about at length at the above website)

Taking Domperidone (OTC in the UK, which I think is your location). It's a reflux drug that has the side effect of increasing prolactin, which increases milk production. Long term, it can stall your weight loss, but it might be what you need to boost supply enough to compete with the bottle for his attention. Later, once established, you can wean off it.

Using an at-breast supplementer. I bought a medela SNS at first but really hated it. I recommend this product:
http://www.lact-aid.com/

It's more practical because it has a one way feed and you don't have to waste the milk or formula if the feeding isn't finished because there's no backwash. You can rig it to use a bottle instead of a bag to make it easier too.

They may not sell this in the UK, but even if not, I think it's worth the extra effort. If it doesn't work out for you you can probably sell it to another UK mom on the BFAR website.

If you have to give up, don't be too hard on yourself, but before you do, I encourage you to try a few more strategies. If for no other reason, it's a real hassle to have to cart around formula for a year and to get up during the night for bottles.

I am still BFing some at 8 mos., but I know we're nearing the end because she'll only nurse when very tired now. It has been a struggle but I'm SO glad I stuck with it this long.

And yes, try lying down. That's the only way Elowen would nurse bare after about 5 mos old.

Feel free to PM me about any of this, and hang in there!
eyelet
Oh and PS Ananke, E is also starting to seep well again. Thank goodness! We're both so much happier this way.
pepper
Jenny, has anyone checked for a tongue tie? It can be missed by docs who aren't familiar with mild cases and can have an enormous impact on breastfeeding. Here's an article my friend wrote about her experiences, different from yours but illustrate how hard it can be to get this diagnosed properly.
best of luck to you.
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct08p11.html
pollystyrene
QUOTE(pepper @ Feb 4 2010, 01:20 PM) *
Jenny, has anyone checked for a tongue tie? It can be missed by docs who aren't familiar with mild cases and can have an enormous impact on breastfeeding. Here's an article my friend wrote about her experiences, different from yours but illustrate how hard it can be to get this diagnosed properly.
best of luck to you.
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct08p11.html


*delurking*

If your baby needs a frenectomy, you may want to look for a dentist that does laser surgery. For an infant, you may want to look for a pediatric dentist specifically. I work in a dental office and we do frenectomies on kids (and adults) pretty often and we use a laser instead of the old-fashioned (and more painful, longer recovery time) scalpel. So much better!

*relurking*
aphelendra
Hello all!

Just wanted to pop in and support the thread!

I'm 16 weeks pregnant and planning (hoping) to breastfeed. I was so very happy to stumble across this thread. Most of the forums I've found thus far are very one sided, some even border on hysterical. Seems like there's a nice mix of parenting styles, ideas, and such on this thread.

One quick question before I head back to the preggers forum . . . did anyone here do birthing classes? I want to take a class on natural birthing (though I'm well aware it may just not go that route!) and am absolutely perplexed about which route to go. Lamaze? Bradley? The only thing my hospital offers is a 4 hour long crash course in all sorts of labor techniques . . . I'd like to go a bit more in depth.

Anyways, glad to have found such a wonderful thread! I'll be back soon! Good luck to all!
julie124
aphelendra, congrats on the pregnancy!

mr julie and I did childbirth classes - our hospital had a basic childbirth class and an "unmedicated childbirth" class, and we ended up taking both (because I figured even a bit of overlap wasn't a bad thing). Neither was specific to Bradley, Lamaze, etc but both classes actually incorporated a lot of information on breathing techniques and comfort measures (different positions, etc) as well as education on the stages of labor and what to expect. The unmedicated childbirth class actually had more focus on coping techniques, as you might expect. Our classes were each 4 classes of 3 hours each over a month's time. A friend of mine took the "express" class (one Saturday morning for about 4 hours) and while I think she enjoyed spending less time in class, if you're at all hoping to go drug-free I would recommend taking a longer class or supplementing with additional info. Personally, I didn't end up so much with a "method" but found that the info I learned in class gave me kind of a smorgasboard of options that I could pick from to figure out what worked for me. It was helpful (and helpful for mr julie to know specific ways he could help me).

I've heard wonderful things about Bradley classes. Another friend did hypnobirthing for her first kid and found that it didn't really work for her, but I hear it works for some folks.
pepper
I went to one hypnobirthing session (the hypnotist pinched my arm in mid-trance which I wasn't supposed to feel but I did). I thought about going back once again just because I liked the positivity and focus on the power of the mind for "pain" control but I gave birth a week and a half early so I never did see her again. Oddly enough, she called my place the day I was in labour and gave me a little session over the phone which was nice (no pinching, ha ha).
I had both babies at home unassisted and I have to say, pain free. What I felt was certainly intense, physically as well as emotionally, but the word pain is a very poor description of that. It was large, huge, encompassing, possessing, devouring, but not like any kind of pain I've ever expereinced. It was like being swept out into a rough and stormy sea, there was just no use fighting or resisting it. What really helped me to ride it out was just utter surrender and allowing it to happen without trying to control it at all. I was like, "Ok, this his happening no matter what I think or do so I better just breathe and let it occur." There is a natural resistance to "pain" that it's difficult to not succumb to. It reminded me of having wicked cramps as a young girl, how all the crying and balling myself up would just make it so much worse. Relaxing and breathing and meditating into a floaty space was the only thing that ever gave me any relief.

We can be so hard on ourselves with this and there is often a lot of guilt associated with the choices a mama makes during her pregnancy and birth experience and I can say from my own two rounds that THAT right there is a huge determining factor in how it goes for you, during the birth and beyond. Letting that go is key, I think, to having a good experience. If you are accepting of yourself, no matter what, if you end up in cesarian, having and epi, whatever happens, if you just accept it as what was meant to be that's the best thing. No matter what you chose, a healthy baby and mama in the end is the goal. It's good to have a birth plan and all that but it's great to go with the flow and give yourself whatever you need at the time is what I'm saying.

Guys, here's my gripe of the moment. How come the kids bounce awake as early as can be on the weekends but I have to drag them out of bed each day of the week? Just how is it that their sleeping bodies can tell the difference between a school day and one when mom might actually be able to catch a few extra winks? Hmm, why is that?
aphelendra
Pepper, your description of birth is so beautiful and very much reassuring as well!

I am definitely very very aware that the best outcome is a healthy babe and a healthy mom, as we have a niece who required very serious medical intervention at birth, so we are trying not to get too too wrapped up in the "birth experience". I think we just consider a natural birth to be kind of a bonus in this situation, and we want to try for one even if doesn't end up working out.

Julie, I think we may end up trying the hospital course as a first step, I'm glad to hear you found yours helpful. Our hospital class costs about a third of what most Bradley/lamaze classes cost, so hopefully we'll find it helpful enough!

Oh an Pepper, your query about your kiddos made me chuckle. I kind of remember being little and just being so dang excited about my fun filled weekend days that I was just too amped to sleep. Unfortunately, I don't think school inspires the same kind of restless exuberance for most kids!

Happy parenting!
julie124
Okay, ladies, thought I'd post quickly looking for a little advice. I believe Henry is teething (already - only 3 1/2 months!) and he keeps biting me on the left breast when I try to nurse. (Not on the right, oddly enough.) I've done some looking at other sites re: what to do about that (including the kellymom site, always helpful), but I'm wondering if any of y'all dealt with this specifically and what - if anything - worked for you. The poor love, now that we've FINALLY gotten into a decent rhythm with the breastfeeding I really want to keep it up.

While I'm at it, I guess I'll ask another general query - any thoughts on at what point we should start weaning him from the swaddling? We've been swaddling him at night and when he gets fussy and it really helps calm him down, but I don't want him to get too old and then not able to cope without it.

Hope you all are doing well!
koffeewitch
julie124- I am nursing my 3rd baby right now and he happens to be a severe biter (my first two never did more than give me occasional or accidental nips). Since your baby is only biting on the one side, I wonder if his gums are being irritated when you nurse on that side. If that IS the reason, then you are lucky; I would think that as his teeth break through the gums and the pain subsides he may stop feeling the need to bite. (My babes all got their first tooth at 4 months, so maybe it will come soon). Maybe you could try some Oragel before you put him on the left breast.
One strategy I use to prevent bites is to keep my eye on the baby's sucking pattern. In order to bite you, the baby has to change the position of his tongue giving you (sometimes) a little notice before he bites you.

As for swaddling, I always found that at a certain age the babies did not like it anymore and would kick off any type of blanketing. I've read that many other cultures keep their babies swaddled until much older than we do in Western societies without problems, so I don't know if you need to worry about him becoming dependent on it.

I can't believe my baby is 10 months old already, I miss having a "little" one.

aphelendra: My midwife was always impressed with the Bradley method and the women who went through the Bradley classes. I never took classes, but I read everything I could find about childbirth. That said, there is an ENORMOUS difference in birth experience based on everything from the position of the baby and whether you have a back labor or not. Out of three births, 2 of them I did naturally. The one I used medication was for back labor...and if I had a fourth baby I feel I would need very experienced help and support to get through a labor with "back labor pains" and not use medication. I'm now pretty confident about getting through a natural birth otherwise, but especially if you experience any type of "difficult labor" such as an induced labor or back labor, please do not beat yourself up or feel that you have "failed" if you require medication. Get to know the different stages of labor and have some plans as to how to help yourself. (What got me through the last natural birth was having my partner bring me two large lot compresses that I kept wrapping around my belly and back). The last stage of labor (transition) is the hardest part but usually goes quickly. Once you can push, you often get a renewed sense of energy and confidence. For most women, the whole trick is making it through the 8th through 10th cm. I even make my partner remind me that I am in transition, that it's almost over and that I'm doing a good job (the main things a laboring woman needs to hear).
koffeewitch
Just an activist FYI:http://www.intactamerica.org/learnmore

This is a petition to send to the CDC to stop them from recommending routine circumcisions for infant boys. The American Academy of Pediatrics NO LONGER recommends circumcisions for reasons outside of religion. I don't know why the CDC wants to encourage the ridiculous myths surrounding this issue (like having a circ. will prevent venereal disease, etc. This was believed in the past, but there is no basis for this belief).

Personally, I think a circumcision should only be performed if the parents have made an informed decision themselves....and not because the doctor feels it is "routine" to do so.
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