really what is better?

I need some opinions, I don't want to cause an argument, I'm genuinely having a hard time making a decision. I have been ebf since my lo was born 11 weeks ago and we have had a lot of issues. He wouldn't latch in the hospital at all, then i got mastitis, then thrush, then an allergic reaction to thrush meds, then another 3 bouts of mastitis. I've persevered through the pain, and the medication but I think I have a problem with one of my ducts and I'm constantly on the verge of another mastitis. I really don't want to give up bf, but is this a case where actually my milk isn't better for lo? He has had so much medication through me and I feel guilty for that, but I would also feel guilty stopping. I just don't know at the moment image

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  • i think you should speak to your doctor about the medication to reassure yourself and to get the milk duck situation checked. surely they would not prescribe something that could hurt the baby through your breast milk. your breastmilk is better for baby than formula, but it's really down to you whether you continue or not.
  • I agree that you should speak to your doctor, they may be able to give you some indication of what's happening with your ducts because you sound like you want to carry on, though not if it's going to drag out all these problems and I don't blame you - it sounds nasty! I have to say I've always found that both doc and HV seemed keen to just tell me to give up if I was having problems, so beware that they may say that. On the other hand, your docs might be much better than mine! I don't want to sound defeatist - I was gutted when I gave up bfing to return to work - but if you're miserable doing it, it's not worth it. Determination is a very powerful thing, but there's a limit. Your doc will hopefully help with letting you know about the medication side of things too. If you do stop, get advice on how to do it gently, I found that I was very uncomfortable for about 10 days and that was after cutting down one feed a day per week for four weeks. Dropping the last feed triggered a final bought of mastitis (I was so lumpy you could see a tennis ball shaped lump through my shirt - not fun!) so definitely chat to the doc or HV about the best way to do it.
    Good luck with whatever you decide hun x x x
  • Hi, your doctor shouldn't have prescribed anything that would harm baby through your breastmilk - but it is worth checking it out with them. I would also see them about the milk duct thing at the same time.

    Sounds like you've had a pretty awful time, but you've done a fab thing keeping it up for 11 weeks! Your breastmilk, even with medication, is the best thing for baby, but you do have to factor in your own feelings as well! If you feel it is spoiling these early weeks, and that you are too ill to enjoy your time with your baby, maybe the best thing for you both would be to go on to formula - that's what it's there for!

    If it was me, I would give the docs another go, put your mind at rest about the meds thing, try and get the duct problem seen too and then put a time limit on it - say 2 or 4wks and make a decision then.

    I think whatever you decide, you can definitely say you have given bf your best shot!

    HTH xx

  • Firstly, well done for persevering through all that! I had thrush and it was awful! The closest I came to giving up was during those weeks. And mastitis is no picnic either, so before you do anything else, congratulate yourself on feeding through all of that!

    I agree with everyone else's advice. Talk to your doctor about your meds and get the milk duct checked out. Feeding should start to get easier in the next week or so, but if you are worried about a recurrence of mastitis it may carry on being very hard which probably isn't a particularly healthy situation for you or your baby. As Tottie says, being too ill to enjoy your child isn't the best place to be in the early weeks. But even if you do feel you can't go on, 3 months of breast feeding is a great accomplishment, especially when faced with the complications you have had.

    Good luck and I hope you get all the help and support you need from your doctor and hv.
  • sorry little wolf I exclusively bf not expressing, I don't think i could have expressed for that long. Emily, re docs, I'm pretty sure most of them would tell me to give up, one suggested it when I took the allergic reaction. I've been to an infant feeding advisor rather than docs as they don't seem to have a clue. I think the problem is I don't want to give up, we've been through a lot and its now getting so much easier , i just feel stupid phone up the docs every 2 weeks for more antibiotics image I know that very little goes through breast milk but he's always more unsettled when I start a new course, although that could be the mastitis rather than the antibiotics. Thank you for all the replies, I won't be stopping yet, I just pray that the mastitis goves me a break for a while xx
  • Well done for persevering for this long! I've had mastitis twice in the last 8 weeks, and had thrush and mastitis at the same time when ds was tiny - so I can only imagine how hard it's been for you having 4 lots of mastitis so far.
    I agree I;d ask someone to check your milk ducts if they do seem to be getting blocked so regularly. I'm sure the docs shouldn't be prescribing anything that would be bad for your baby - although I can see why you;re concerned because of repeated doses of antibiotics. I am a believer that breast is best, but it has to be best for mummy too - I don't think the problems you've had mean breastmilk isn't best for your lo, if he's feeding ok and gaining weight - but do you feel it's best for you given that you're going through so much?
    You do sound like you want to carry on, and I'm also a believer in 'things can only get better' - that's what kept me feeding the first time - maybe give yourself a deadline of another few weeks to see if things improve, then you might be a bit clearer either way of what you want to do.


    Sorry, just re-read Tottie's reply - I completely agree with what she's said (and think she put it better!)
  • jellytots - if you don't want to give up, don't, hun! I think mummies can be amazingly determined, and you've come so far through all these things already. That's what really got me when I went to the doc with mastitis and he just told me to give up. I thought they were meant to be encouraging/helpful not defeatist! (it really wasn't that bad, I just needed antibiotics as it wasn't shifting on its own)
    If it's improving, chances are you've got to the worst point and it'll be much better from here. I hated it at first, then once I got to about 8/10 weeks I loved it more than I could ever have imagined after the early days. I still feel guilty at least once a day for stopping when I did, but I know I made the right decision for my family. Good luck hun x x x
  • jellytots speak to your gp or hv and see what support they can get you, maybe they will be able look into what is going a bit more and tell them how you are feeling, they are there to support and help you through. You are doing brilliantly and if you want to continue keep it up, if you choose to stop dont feel like you are failing or letting your baby down, your baby will thrive whether you bf or ff but get the support first and find out what is going on, I wouldnt worry too much about the meds though because they wont prescribe anything that will interfere with your milk xxx
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