Please help; I feel like I'm torturing him.(22 Posts)
DS is one week old today. We have been trying to breastfeed from day 1 and stayed in hospital for five days in an attempt to get it sorted. In the end I decided I could fail just as easily at home.
I think the problems are:
1. I have really, really big boobs (36HH) which take quite a bit of manoeuvring.
2. He has trouble latching on (although he has latched on and sucked and does not have tongue tie, according to the docs/midwives) and seems to just fall asleep a lot as soon as he is snuggled into my boob.
3. I have arthritis in most joints so using my wrists and elbows to do the 'bring the baby to breast' thing is painful and I can't take all my meds because I'm breastfeeding (catch 22). I can't solve this by not using them because of point #1.
4. DS has hydronephrosis (swollen kidneys) which makes me panic about his health and well being.
I live in Middlesbrough. As far as I can tell, there is no support available here: no La Leche League, breasfeeding cafes, etc. I can't travel to another town because I've got quite severe anaemia so the midwife has put me on strict bed rest for ten days.
So far, we've experimented with cross body hold and rugby ball hold. Cross body has met with more success but only using the right breast (he won't go on the left breast at all so I'm using that one to express from).
Sorry for the horrendously long post, but I'm so desperate as I feel like I'm torturing my gorgeous boy every time I try to make him breastfeed.
You poor thing, I expect that lots of people will be along with some good advice.
Have you tried the 'breast crawl'? You put the baby on your tummy a d he crawls/wriggles towards one and latches on. I believe there are videos on U-Tube. The first time I did it I was amazed as DS latched on without any pain whereas previously I had been struggling.
Another thing to try is feeding in or just after the bath.
Was he checked for posterior tongue tie as well?
There are BF supporters in Stockton, I'm sure they'd be happy to help. PM KaraStarbuckThrace for information - she can probably put you in touch with the nearest help.
Are you sure there's no tongue tie? They are t always adept at telling.
Also have you got cushions to prop baby up?
Have you tried ringing anyone to talk through ideas?
I too have v large boobs (34K) and found a couple of pillows really helpful in the early days of breastfeeding. Used to put them on my lap and have DS lying on them plus one under my arm in the side he was feeding on. I'd also roll up a muslin and pop that under my boob to help support it and make it easier for him to latch on.
I'd also second the suggestion of getting another opinion on the tongue tie. DS had one which 3 midwives and the paediatrician missed. Was eventually diagnosed by a breastfeeding supporter connected to the NCT at our local breastfeeding cafe. I know the NCT isn't everyone's cup of tea but might be worth pursuing.
another 36hh here! i used to sit crossed legged on the sofa or bed with a v shaped pillow over my legs and ds/dd laying in a cradle hold with one arm under him iyswim!
then i used to pinch the bit of nipple i wanted them to put in their mouths and hold it until they latched on. (usually had to keep hold to some extent to allow them to breathe!) i really struggled at first until a lovely midwife literally grabbed my boob and shoved it into ds/dd's mouth! it took a lot of trying (and the occasional squirt in the eye from nip squeezing!) but in the end we got there! frustrating though, well done on getting this far!
I haven't read all replies as am rushing but wanted to quickly post. 32J here. At first I found it so hard, my saviour was rugby hold - do you know it? outube it to see real people doing it.
I also have chronic pain, mine is my lower back from broken cocyx in labour. My baby was born 9lb so was never light. The easiest position to feed him in where he needs the least support is lying on the bed. He needs to be much lower than u think - again youtube for videos or I can post a picture tomorrow.
Put your boob on the bed and line his mouth up with where your nipple is, dont try to pull your boob up to meet your baby. Position boob first, then baby. If you master this position you will eventually learn how to feed ling down using both sides without moving.
Good luck & well done for getting this far.
Also, if you look at the National Breastfeeding website they have a telephone number and they should be able to provide you with any local support groups.
First off you are doing brilliantly, and congratulations! A friend once told me that bf takes six weeks to master- I agree! So don't feel you are failing if it isn't plain sailing straight away.
I too found that a pillow on my lap, with baby facing boob was the most comfortable. He used to fall asleep there too, I just left him there. It is great skin to skin and toucan catch up on tv!
Remember, nose to nipple and pull down lower lip so folded onto self then pop nipple in. It does tale time, weeks for me and the baby to get used to it and learn how todo it. It is frustrating for both at times, but stick with it, do worth it!
I found lying in bed easy with one baby and hard with another. DC3 has only mastered it at 5 months!
I am a 34HH usually btw. Oh, and this DC also didn't like l boob for first 2 months. Just keep going, and one day all will be well.
Loads of typos, sorry. Left handed as guess what? Breast feeding!
Thank you everyone. Your help is so, so appreciated. I am going to go through each of your suggestions one by one and try them out.
We've just had a very successful breast feed using Goodbye's tip of putting a muslin under my breast, so my spirits are a bit higher now. Good tip!
Banana, I keep squirting him in the face as well, poor thing.
ShouldI, I will try again with the rugby hold and try lying on the bed with him. I'll also take a look at You Tube and see what I can find.
For everyone who suggested tongue tie or posterior tongue tie, I will ask the midwife to check again next time I see her.
The boy is now asleep in his crib looking very satisfied. I can't explain how amazing that makes me feel. Thank you.
And Woops, thank you too. I didn't realise other people found it difficult or that it could take so long. I thought it was so natural that it would just happen straight away. <naive>
I am pleased to hear that you are feeling a bit better. I agree, it took DS/me a good 6 or so weeks to finally get to grips with feeding. It's easy to say, but try to relax, I think that's why feeding in the bath is often so successful as its far more relaxing.
Hi Kreecha, there are breastfeeding support groups in Middlesbrough.
I will pm you with details.
I really would recommend getting TT ruled out.
I will try and find out the detail for Middlesbrough's infant feeding coordinator.
Congratulations, and I'm glad it's feeling slightly easier now.
I second the muslin under boob tip. Also, I find the best feed DD (21 weeks now) gets is when I'm lying on my side on the bed. I had more pain in one side than the other and we both started preferring the least painful side. Lying down was so much better it pretty much evened out our preference so there's no favourite now! I put a pillow just behind her bum and it keeps her on her side so she is facing straight on and not twisting her neck round.
A MNer gave me a valuable tip when she was small of folding a muslin and putting it under boob while lying on side. As well as letting it 'settle' before moving baby to the right place. Genius.
Also, when they're very small, a big boob is a lot to contend with. As they grow it gets SO much easier.
Good luck tonight, I hope each day gets better.
I can't message you from here but I will later when I can get to my PC.
However if you go to www.nct.org.uk/branches/teesside/advertise-us/%C2%A3190-burning-hole-your-pocket/antenatal-courses/branch-z/bras-breas-0, you will find a complete list of breastfeeding groups in Middlesbrough.
There is one tomorrow afternoon at Overfields Children's centre.
You are deffo not alone. With DC2 I remember crying at night at 4 weeks thinking this is supposed to be easy! Why can't I do it, why won't he latch etc. But he didn't starve and eventually we were pros!
My BFF saw me trying to bf and said it looks so hard/ painful. I hope I can do it. She has had first baby recently and both took to it straight away. Gah!
Kreechas - so pleased to hear you've had a successful feed. Hope you can get a bit of rest yourself although if you're anything like me you won't be able to stop staring at your beautiful baby
I've got those boobs.
When you get the hang of it you'll find you can feed from both boobs with baby on same side in bed, and also you can feed whilst lying on your front.
Well done for getting this far! Our LO is 5.5 weeks and I also thought it would be easy... Am 40dd and have had similar experiences to you. Just to let you know everyone said it would get easier and it has! Still not perfect but I feel competent now and like I will go the course whereas a couple of weeks ago was convinced I could not do it and would have to switch to formula. Agree lying down and rugby ball are great, tho I now tend to mainly do cross cradle either in bed propped up with loads of pillows or downstairs on Ikea Poang chair again with more pillows. Drinking fennel tea and trying to relax. I also switch boobs each time even tho he clearly prefers one as worried about what otherwise might happen to supply. He is getting better with it! Good luck and enjoy... I am starting to find it genuinely rewarding now tho thought I never would!
Thanks again, everyone. Feeding is going so much better today; it feels like we've really turned a corner. Your support really has made such a massive difference.
I will definitely look into those breastfeeding support groups, Kara. Thank you.
Fingers crossed everything continues to go well and someday perhaps DS will go on the left side and poor old right boob will get a rest. Going to try lying sideways using the muslin next.
I'm certain that if you go to these groups you will meet other mums generous of boobage . I'm a 36G myself. Seeing other mums bfing will help you see what positions you could adopt.
Sorry haven't been back to you, both dcs and DH have been ill.
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