Please help and dissuade me from giving up

(21 Posts)
nickelbabe Mon 11-Feb-13 20:35:36

smile
you're doing great.
I can only agree with whateveryone else says - one boob per feed, make sure you use the opposite side the next time.
let her finish on the side she's on, even if she falls off/becomes unlatched

yes if it's uncomfy cabbage leaves in the other boob while you're feeding.

relax and don't panic.
you don't need to space out the feeds because at this stage it could ruin your supply
if you start to worry about blockages then massage your boob towards the nipple whilst you're feeding her, especially where it feels extra full or lumpy..

your boobs are .trying to work out what milk is needed and when, so you won't know what on earth is happening sometimes! that's why you should avoid swapping sides- when you swap, your supply thinks "shit I'm supposed to be feeding twins, quick make more make more!"

Lostonthemoors Mon 11-Feb-13 20:25:48

Sounds like things are going in absolutely the right direction. You are doing brilliantly!

Keep up the good work with lots of herbal brew and biscuitbiscuit to fuel you smile

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 11-Feb-13 19:45:18

I can't thank you all enough.
Today has been more comfortable - still can't pick my toddler up without wincing but I can at least I can move my arms a bit more....

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 11-Feb-13 04:59:08

Poor you!

I had massive engorgement with my second (size of baby is irrelevant, by the way). My midwife/lactation consultant said:

a) block feed - one boob at a time, definitely. And I second all of Thumbwitch's advice. But
b) THIS IS IMPORTANT: At 6 days in, your engorgement is not that much about supply yet. Your boobs are just confused. So she said, feed baby, hand baby over, go have an incredibly long shower and just drain both boobs completely. It won't set off a huge over-supply spiral, which is what I was terrified about, it'll just give you a bit of relief. I did that, and they never did get quite so full again, and it settled down generally around the ten day mark. Although I did leak like a bastard for the first three months, it wasn't uncomfortable or turn into mastitis or anything.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Illgetmegoat Mon 11-Feb-13 04:34:01

Oooh poor you, not fun.
But if you can bear it keep going, the shortest length of time I have ever had for supply to settle down is 10 days the longest was 14 days - so you only have another 4-8 days to go before it all gets easier hopefully. You've broken the back of it.

Can only second above advice - cold cabbage leaves (I actually had some in the freezer at one point) helped and I found good support helped ease the ache a little but the 2 things that I found essential were 1) draining one breast entirely before swapping for the next feed, ensuring the hindmilk was emptied 2) Feeding lying down, tilted a little so baby was not flat, but I used to feed with my 'top' breast. Once we settled then I could feed to emptyness in any position, but really needed the extra bit of gravity at first. Hopefully some of the things you're trying work out well for you. I avoided hot baths or too much stimulation like massage etc as I found it increased leaking and didn't help with trying to reduce things. Although saying that, if your nipples are getting a little sore invest in some Lasinoh before things get raw - prevention is def better than cure when it comes to nipples.

I was affectionately, ahem, referred to as the milker because I always had a lot of milk even after it settled, just stopped getting so painfully engorged. In the end I couldn't get the volume any lower so I ended up pumping for the milk bank - I obviously only did this once settled - I never got engorgement, proper engorgement rather than fullness, blocked ducts or mastitis again so I found it very helpful to express. And as a nice side effect I had a freezer full of ready meals so DH could feed them too. It may well take just a few more days before your breasts get a handle on things but if you find you are still making extra milk then you can be comfortable with minimal fuss and won't have to feel like this indefinitely.

Well done for getting through this bit, I love bfing but only once it's established, it can be a right pain in the tits to get there though. Obviously we want to cheer you on, but if it's enough for you then it's enough; persevering and some marked discomfort is one thing, being in pain and unhappy is quite another.
Congratulations on lovely new born DD btw.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 11-Feb-13 03:02:18

Yes trying that now Thumbwitch grin

Dottiespots Mon 11-Feb-13 02:59:32

Just want to say a big....well done you. Most of us have problems with breastfeeding one way or another until it becomes established and then it is the easiest most convenient simplist feeding method ever. I breastfed for 6 years in total. Three years with first baby and then went straight onto feeding second baby for three years. I was very sad to give up but the bond I have with my kids is very close. There now grown up.

Thumbwitch Mon 11-Feb-13 02:47:40

Do you feed lying down, Icould? That helps me to get DS2 to drain my boobs better as well, he's not so effective when I'm sitting up. Just another idea. smile

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 11-Feb-13 02:43:22

Thank you all so much. You are giving me faith that it will improve when I am lacking perspective.
I saw a MW colleague today and my latch is fine. And the past couple of feeds have drained my breasts a little more I think...

Lostonthemoors Sun 10-Feb-13 23:12:49

Dissuading away here - you can do it!

The engorgement can be sore and tiring - no wonder you are feeling fed up, but it will pass.

By 14 days in the engorgement is likely to have settled down completely and you may even be posting saying you are starting to actually enjoy bf.

For now, thanks to you and just think of the massive health fix you are giving your baby with all the amazing colostrum. You are giving lifelong lower health risks and reducing the likelihood of infections and allergies.

Un MN huge to you.

Midori1999 Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:42

Poor you, the engorgement is dreadful.

I had awful oversupply this time, which meant I had mastitis when DD was 7 days old, then again when she was 3 weeks. I started block feeding and it did help a lot.

Can you try ringing one of the helplines, as I'm guessing a support group is out of the question at the moment?

fapl Sun 10-Feb-13 22:28:20

If your main issue is painful engorgement, stick with it, it will pass! With my 2nd my milk came in so much quicker and engorgement was worse. I couldn't lift my arms, or bend over, I was in so much pain. I think at that pain level it passed within a fortnight (you forget this stuff soooo quickly, I can't remember for sure, but it wasn't long).

I will add, my DS had a tongue tie and I had over supply, so best advice is if you are having trouble don't delay getting help in real life from a breast feeding counsellor.

Stick with it, you will do it grin

gwenniebee Sun 10-Feb-13 22:02:24

I'm no expert at all but I just wanted to give some encouragement. I remember being terribly engorged and just finding the whole thing ridiculous, dripping like a tap, hurt when I picked dd up because I was so tender etc. But it did mostly settle down within a few days, once my body adjusted to her needs. I was told to take ibuprofen for the inflammation and I'm fairly certain it helped.

TandC Sun 10-Feb-13 21:57:14

I assume you're demand feeding. If not, you must. Don't give up, it's tricky now but stick with it as it's easier for you in the long term and the health benefits for you both are huge. x

theboob Sat 09-Feb-13 21:26:11

i had this problem , lie baby on floor and dangle your breast into her mouth , this will drain the breast and worked wonders for ne whenever i felt like this
would also second massage in the bath

nillynoon Sat 09-Feb-13 21:23:22

One boob per feed at this stage. If baby needs boob within the hour of last feed, offer the last boob first. Express a little off if you are in pain. Cold packs offer relief - you can get breast nurse gel pads in boots. Get so.done to check your latch - as much as you know, it's hard to see from the angle you're at and an objective pair of eyes may help

ellangirl Sat 09-Feb-13 14:40:41

I had a lot of warm baths and massaged my boobs before a feed to help milk flow and try to prevent blocked ducts. Also, ibuprofen for pain when it was bad really helped.

noblegiraffe Sat 09-Feb-13 14:04:47

It might settle down, DD is two weeks and the insane engorgement has stopped. Don't express and don't give up yet! Hopefully your boobs will get used to making enough milk for a dinky baby.

Thumbwitch Sat 09-Feb-13 14:02:56

www.breastfeeding-problems.com/oversupply.html
This might have something useful - and interestingly, it suggests that you shouldn't offer both breasts at each feed, because that might be exacerbating your problem.

Just do one at a time - get her to drain it down fully (if she can) and then do the other one next time. smile

Thumbwitch Sat 09-Feb-13 13:59:47

Have you tried the cold cabbage leaves? Might help.

Would competitive pain stories help? My DS2 had tonguetie, like DS1, but it wasn't snipped until he was 5wo so I had amazing latch agony discomfort until it was done. Still feeding him, he's 4mo now and I think the main reason I persevere through the problems is because I can't bear the thought of having to do all that sterilisation and carrying formula and bottles around with me - the occasional discomfort etc. from full boobs is far less bother to me, even when I get a blocked duct.

But I haven't had mastitis.

I don't know whether milk-banking might help? But then you said that your supply increased more the more you expressed, so probably not.

Hope you can find a way to be more comfortable. smile

IcouldstillbeJoseph Sat 09-Feb-13 13:53:57

I BF DS1 for 7 weeks - he was 10lb at birth and i thought that accounted for my absolutely huge, uncomfortable, engorged breasts. I ended up with mastitis twice and eventually gave up (with much guilt etc)
I wanted it to be so different this time. DD is much, much smaller and is 6 days old. Weight gain good, plenty of wet and dirty nappies, changed stools etc. My nipples are a bit sore but I'm a MW and confident in my latch - the main issue for me is the engorgement. Just so uncomfortable even to move. I don't want to express as I did that before with DS and my supply went even more berserk.

DD will feed well but I never feel like my breasts are anywhere near empty. I offer both at each feed.

I don't want to give up but I'm losing faith and I hate my massive, painful breasts.

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