I applaud you for seeking some help/advice before giving up on breastfeeding. It does not always go smoothly, even when it has been going well for a while, things could change for any reason. Your son could be getting fussy on the breast because he realizes it takes more time and takes a little bit more work on his part to get the milk than it does from a bottle. What he is doing is very normal. I invite you to really think about how you are really feeling about breastfeeding. Are you anxious about it? Are you being completely present while you nurse? Sometimes we tell ourselves stories that aren't really true, or listen to other well meaning advice that disregards our own instinct; and it's so easy to get frustrated and start thinking of the other things we want/need to do while feeding our children...especially when it isn't going as well as we planned - Plans are neat. Motherhood is messy:)
I've copied an article a friend of mine wrote. She is a LaLeche Leauge consultant and an advisor with Birthing From Within - a holistic approach to birth and parenting preparation. I really can't say anything better than how she already put it. I encourage you to copy and print her article, and really feel what she is saying. I think it will help you get through this transition right now.
Also, we all know that breastmilk as absolutely the best for our little ones for the first year or two. That said, it is absolutely important for you to know that sometimes we have to do the next best thing...wich is formula. As long as we feed our babies with love and awareness, and no guilt for the choices we have to make. Just be sure that you really listen to your inner wise mamma voice; that voice that listens to your belly heart and to your child before making that decision.
I hope you enjoy my friends article, and may you have many many happy days of feeding your baby.
mom of 4. Birth and Parenting Mentor
Breastfeeding From Within
By Virginia Bobro
Birthing From Within encourages and teaches "doing the next best thing" when it comes to making decisions within the flow of labor and birth. The same mind-set is important during postpartum and breastfeeding. In the days, weeks, months, and even years that a woman is breastfeeding, she will face numerous obstacles, detours, and unexpected events. How she prepares prenatally and how she views these challenges can make a difference in her ability to cope.
As a breastfeeding counselor, I support many breastfeeding mothers who have to change their perception of what a "successful" breastfeeding relationship is. Some mothers need to wean much earlier than they hoped. Others need to supplement with bottles or formula. These are opportunities to re-envision what it means to nurture and nourish their babies. Many mothers are humbled when the "breastfeeding fairy" presents them with difficult circumstances and spoils their fantasy that nursing is easy and blissful.
When breastfeeding does not go as expected or hoped for, a mother can feel regret, anger, blame, grief, and guilt. Inevitably, this negative self-talk begins to affect her self-esteem and attitude, her ability to receive support, and her relationships with her baby, partner, and others in her community.
So, what can be done?
In addition to learning practical things that make breastfeeding easier, do this:
♥ Learn and practice mindfulness.
The same pain-coping practices you learn to help you cope with labor can help you postpartum when you need to still your mind, quiet negative self-talk and deal with physical discomfort and stress. (See Birthing From Within, pp. 213-238).
♥ Get a breastfeeding "reality check."
Breastfeeding is natural, but not always straightforward and easy. Very few women sail through breastfeeding on calm seas from beginning to end. Even for the most vigilant captain, storms arise outside of her control, and still, she can do the next best thing. When women know that they can influence but not control what happens, they can see the wisdom of preparing for all possibilities.
♥ Set up your breastfeeding support system.
Having a supportive crew onboard in the first months of motherhood can make all the difference. Welcome meals, errands, and compassionate listeners. When breastfeeding gets rough, support is needed to keep going and not get mired in "what ifs" and judgment. You need to hear acknowledgment that you are doing your best, not more advice and information.
♥ Focus on connecting with your baby and yourself as a mother
Come to breastfeeding with an open heart. To the degree that you can, let go of your ideals and goals, such as breastfeeding exclusively for six months. Just hold the intention to do the best you can. When you love yourself and feed your baby in love, this is the heart of breastfeeding from within
EXERCISE: Feeding with Love
When sitting (or lying down) to feed your baby, try this:
Begin to notice all the sensations around you, beginning with your baby:
Look at her face, notice the touch of her skin, take in her smell and her sounds.
Then begin to bring your attention to your own body: Where does your body touch your baby's body? How is your breath moving in and out of your body?
Where do you feel relaxed and open?
Where does your body feel tight, tense, or closed?
Gently and mindfully breathe into those places, softening and releasing anything that is unneeded in this moment. This may take several minutes. Go slowly and do not expect perfection!
As your body lets go of anything extra, feel your heart opening.
Allow yourself to inhale the presence of your baby, loving her in this moment and loving yourself as well. With each new breath, feel into your baby's heart, visualizing a connection that endures beyond feeding time.
If feeding is difficult, your focus may return to the task of latching or monitoring the feed. Do what needs to be done, then, when you are ready, take another conscious breath and return to your opening heart.
Local La Leche League
Other Supportive Breastfeeding Moms