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Close to giving up(13 Posts)
Dd is nearly 3 weeks old I'm EBF her but really struggling.
Hadn't anticipated how much babies fed, she feeds all the time in the day it can be every 40 mins to 3 hours if I'm very lucky- at night it's a constant cycle of changing her, feeding for 40 mins or so burping and back to start.
Alongside this I've had a trapped nerve since labour so am struggling feeding all night in pain been to docs and hosp as pain so bad but nothing they can do and can only take ibroprofen and paracetamol as bf so tablets not helping much. Then since last night my nipples are killing using cream and cabbage leaves which are helping but think the constant feeding means they have no time to recover.
I expressed yesterday and got quite a bit out so know my supple is ok, dd took milk from bottle but feeding her after that was hard think the bottle confused her so not sure if I should try again or not.
I'm seriously thinking of ff her now I will be disappointed as I think if I wasn't in so much pain I would be coping better
It is hard, isn't it. Ultimately it's your decision, how important is breastfeeding to you? Your baby will thrive either way, you need to look after yourself too. If it's any consolation I felt like giving up a couple of times near the beginning and I'm now at 4 months and glad I persevered. Ways it's better now: feeds are shorter, gaps between feeds are longer, feeds are more predictable ( my baby feeds more in afternoon/last thing at night, less in morning/early afternoon, so I can plan my day a bit better), it hardly ever hurts (kept working hard to get the latch right, plus tried laid back breastfeeding so I use that position when she is fussy), breasts are less leaky. I am glad when we go out I don't have to remember to take bottles.
3 weeks is really early days - have you seen a BF counsellor to help with the latch and work out why it's hurting? I saw one at the hospital 5 times, kept going back til we got it sussed. You could also try La Leche League - their website lists local groups. Your health visitor can also help signpost. Get some hands on face to face help.
Oh and bear in mind you might not get more sleep if you switch to FF! Sleep when you can, you will eventually get more sleep, all you need to focus on now is resting and feeding. Is someone else looking after you, sorting meals, housework etc?
I don't know anything about trapped nerves, is it expected to get better on its own? There are stronger painkillers than paracetamol you can take while bfing - I was given diclofenac to take post-c-section which is safe, if you're in a lot of pain ask them to prescribe something stronger.
They can definitely put you on stronger painkillers than paracetemol and ibuprofen alone -- if you'd had a c-section it would be routine to give you better painkillers. They are fobbing you off if they are telling you they can't prescribe anything because you are bf.
Thanks will go back to doctors again tomo, pissed off that I've obviously been fobbed off been there 3 times plus the trip to a and e will have to our my foot down with them
Poor you OP, it is so hard getting bf going. Have you got good posture/enough support when feeding so as not to exacerbate pain? Would hot water bottle or cold patch thingies on sore area help?
I remember at that stage being in floods of tears that it was just so constant and DH pointing out there was an alternative I.e formula. But I'm glad I stuck with the bf as like other posters have said it got so much easier after a couple of months.
Also, we did end up giving one bottle of formula at end of the day - I felt bad about it but it gave me a break and helped to fill up a seemingly never satisfied baby
Print out this factsheet from the Breastfeeding Network on pain relief while breastfeeding and take it with you.
OP i felt like that with my LO when she was first born (shes 10 weeks now) i remember crying because it felt like she was on my breast constantly. Breastfeeding was hugely important for me and at the end of week 3 it came to the point where the constant feeding and pain led to a huge row between me and DP. He took DD off me and fed her formula (at the time i sat sobbing and refused to watch) it took a midwife to put it into perspective for me. I had given my LO the best possible start, she had been EBF for a lot longer than most babies. And that babies on Formula also thrived. She told me that i had to find a feeding method that suited me and then we would both be happy.
Now i breastfeed but give the odd bottle of formula. At the end of every feed during the earliest weeks i tried to express a little extra and then my DP would give her EBM at about 11pm every night so i could get a rest (this is now swopped to a ff). I have had mastitis twice and thrush twice. But am still breast and bottle feeding. Controversially i no longer wind her of a night and i bf lying down.
I suppose what i'm trying to say in a really long winded way, is don't stress to much you will find a way that suits you. Your already doing an amazing job, congratulations.
I think that around three weeks is a really low point, too - usually your nipples haven't toughened up yet, so they're really painful, the baby is particularly fussy around then, and also there's a 'feeding cluster' day at exactly three weeks IIRC.
Once you get decent painkillers for the trapped nerve I think it'll get a lot easier. I would urge you to take it day by day, because you're seriously at the absolute worst of it right now and if you can get through another few weeks you're laughing. Once breastfeeding is really established, it is SO much easier and more convenient than formula. I'm not expressing any opinion about health benefits, blah, but I hate to see women give up here, when it's hardest, and thus lose out on the convenience factor later - because they get the worst of both worlds, if that makes sense, breastfeeding only in the early, difficult stages and then tying themselves to bottles and sterilisers and whatnot later.
A physiotherapist might be able to help with the trapped nerve. The waiting times for nhs can be very long so I would go private. Or maybe see an osteopath.
I agree with others about pain relief. I was given codeine and diclofenac post c-section.
I resorted to a dummy with both DDs. They were using me as a dummy otherwise. At every bf, make sure the latch is right. A pillow under your DC might help. I made the mistake of letting DD2 feed with a bad latch thinking I would get it right at the next feed. By the next feed the damage has been done. Once I started correcting the latch at every feed, my nipples felt so much better.
Finally, congratulations for having a baby! You have done really well to bf so far. If you can sort out your pain and latch problems, then bf usually gets easier after about 4 weeks. However there is nothing wrong with formula.
Would second getting a lactation consultant to check your latch and position, and also to check baby for tongue tie, as this can give her difficulty latching and make feeding slow (and is generally easy to fix too!). Is she grizzly between feeds? Babies with reflux often feed constantly too as milk soothes their throats. But constant feeding can be normal too in the early days. It definitely does get better for most people though, so if it's something that's important to you, get some help (some MWs are really good too) and stick with it for a bit longer. But equally don't feel guilty or that you're doing wrong by her if you either mixed feed of switch totally to FF. It's tough enough with a new baby without unnecessarily giving yourself a hard time
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