In agony

(20 Posts)
BonaDea Sat 13-Apr-13 04:00:07

Jus hoping for some reassurance I think.

My DS is 3.5 weeks old and ebf. The whole bf'ing situation has been hellish since day one - first a very sleepy reluctant feeder who was being topped up by expressed milk by cup, tongue tie which was released, bad latch and now a bad case of thrush. Other than a couple of random feeds , each time I feed my son is agony. The thrush has brought us down to a new low of pain. We have seen a lactation consultant who has been able to provide some help with the tt and latch issues.

I dread feeding. The lovely snuggly times I has envisaged bonding with my baby have proved to be nothing but an exercise of endurance. If I didn't love him more than anything I would have given up ( or perhaps just runaway screaming from the torture) days ago.

I am so determined to keep bf'ing but I won't be able to handle this indefinitely. I know the thrush is now being treated but I am pretty sure out latch issues have resurfaces during the last few days as I can see similar nipple damage to before. I feel quite stupid for not being able to get such a simple thing right.

Is it going to get better? It can't always be like this, can it? Will something fall into place in relation to latch which suddenly makes everything.easy?

BonaDea Sat 13-Apr-13 04:02:47

*pls excuse typos - combo of 4am and ongoing nipple torture as I type!

MrsHoarder Sat 13-Apr-13 04:16:16

Well done for getting this far. I haven't had issues as bad, but things did get easier as ds got bigger and I remember realising that it didn't hurt any more.

Have you tried a bf cafe or one of the helplines?

thistlelicker Sat 13-Apr-13 04:29:27

Well done for lasting! But if its causing you so much anxiety ... Is it worth it! U don't want anxiety passing around baby do u?? Have u thought about expressing and giving it in bottle? Or do u do skin to skin?

Jenijena Sat 13-Apr-13 05:17:35

I could have written this ten months ago... So much what i went through.. A very gentle tender hug. Things that got my through...
- setting myself targets 'I will feed him till 3 weeks/25 days/4 weeks/30 days' and sometimes 'I will do one more feed'
-warm baths, showers were excruciating
-expressing hurt less on the nipples for me
-co-codamol
-a bit of formula when it was too much
-my doctor didn't believe in thrush, wouldn't treat it... (Patronised me as well) I was so upset, I tried anywhere for the drugs. But he did have my milk checked for infection (I think to prove to me there was nothing wrong as 'breast feeding hurts' in his opinion), it took three lots of antibiotics but I'd had a strep B infection in my milk on three successive tests
-showing my latch to anyone who would look
-not wearing a bra hurt so much, I went into the shower/bath wearing it and took it off then.
-cake. So much cake.

It did get better, although even today my nipples show the scar of the ravaged ness, and as late as five months they bled occasionally (although not always with pain)..

I gave up several times, for a couple of feeds, but the thrush-type pain doesn't seen to bear any relationship to the amount of feeds, and I kept on saying 'just one more feed'.

For me, once I realised it hurt more than my labour, it dawned on me the need for pain relief. I also, in conjunction with the one more feed bargaining, had a pact- if it made me more happy to give up than continue, I would. But as the pain got worse without feeding, I wasn't convinced that would be the case. I'm not sure I could do it again.

I spent a month on pain killers, three rounds of Antibx. By 10 weeks I was 'ok' (although occasional bleeding later) but there was an improvement on the latch from 6/7 weeks. That will seem an eternity from where you are, but I promise you you can do it.

The happy conclusion to my story is that in still feeding now, at 11 months... And it doesn't hurt. apart from the teeth

Jenijena Sat 13-Apr-13 05:19:07

Oh, and you are emphatically NOT stupid. You area brilliant mum trying to do the best for your child.

ZuluWorrier Sat 13-Apr-13 06:39:13

What Jen said!
You've done brilliantly to get this far - its so horrid when reality turns out so differently to hope/expectation.

Your experience sounds so similar to mine when dd1 was v little - I used to dread every single feed because of the pain, found myself saying "just one more feed" each time. I had bleeding nipples, mastitis, thrush & poor weight gain for my daughter hmm

BUT I also found things improved v suddenly around 6/7weeks -my milk just seemed to 'come in' (couldn't express much before then); it was as if we (dd and I) suddenly just 'got it'!
I don't know whether it was because her mouth had got bigger over time (i have big nipples) or whether we finally found a position/latch that worked for us (after speaking to at least 20 different lactation consultants/ midwives/ Breastfeeding counsellors re latching for the previous 6wks).
By 12wks things were much more comfortable for both of us I think. I ended up bf for 15mths.

On a practical note one of the lactation consultants recommended 'Lilypadz' breast covers which helped me at least bear putting on a bra/clothes (dd1 was a summer baby so I at least had the luxury of wondering around at home topless if need be smile). They are expensive but worth it.

Good luck - hope you see some improvement soon..

McBaby Sat 13-Apr-13 07:42:36

When was the tie cut. It can take a couple if weeks to become pain free. If a has been not improved go back to the doctors it may not have been cut all the way through or scar tissue may have reformed.

I also found than cranial osteopathy really helped my LO learn to openly to open her mouth and extend her tongue.

In the mean time you need to treat thrush and heal and damage to the nipples and cope with the pain, my regime was.

Ibuprofen and co codon ok
Daktarin then thin layer of vasaline and then jelonet.
No disposable breast pads they can make thrush worse.
Two showers a day I found the water soothing

saffronwblue Sat 13-Apr-13 07:46:33

Oh poor you. I went through this . I can remember my toes curling and tears of pain shooting out as I latched the baby on each time. It will improve. Just keep asking for help but know that it will all suddenly come together.

What they all said. I also found it helped to have a target. I would say that i would give it one more week and if there was no improvement i would stop. I didn't get thrush but recurrent mastitis and bleeding nipples were agony. Sheer bloodymindedness kept me going till 6 months. Both babies also had good weight gain and i lost pregnancy weight easily which was a nice bonus. I am glad i did it and would do it again but formula was much easier.

You are NOT stupid. Breast feeding is difficult and it is normal to have problems. I second breast feeding cafe. We had one run by a sympathetic health visitor and breast feeding counsellor. They never solved my problems but it helped to have a shoulder to cry on and i am still friends with mums i net there years later.

BonaDea Sat 13-Apr-13 09:57:34

Thank you all. It is nice to know I'm not alone at least and that others have been through similar. To talk to people IRL you'd think no one but me has ever struggled.

Like the 'just one more feed' mantra. I can do that!

Luckily I have co codamol left over from my section (the pain of which was nothing compared to this!!) so have been popping that. Otherwise I'll just have to hope that something 'clicks' for us soon.

ZuluWorrier Thu 25-Apr-13 21:07:06

How is it all going, Bonadea? Any improvement?

BonaDea Fri 26-Apr-13 03:44:32

Thanks for checking in! smile

We still have thrush. First round of creams and course of anti fungal meds did not clear it. Ds's mouth is much improved but my nipples are still inflamed and have deep breast pain. It is not as bad pain-wise as at the start tho.

I am on a second round of the meds (fluconazole ) and also trying alternative remedies like - bi carb of soda on nipples and air drying before applying cream, washing all my bras and tops after one wash on 90, ditto with lo's clothes , blankets and muslins, taking a probiotic tablets to rebalance the good bacteria in my body...

It is a massive pain in the ass, all of the above. Makes it hard to go out (although we do) and creates masses of extra work. But needs must, we can't live like this. hmm

Any other thoughts gratefully received! Should say that latch is better now. Have changed position to football hold which I don't find as easy but which seems to work much better. Initial latch always v painful but rest of feed ok.

McBaby Fri 26-Apr-13 06:16:34

Have a look onlind at grapefruit seed extract and thrush. I found it helped when I was disparate but use with caution on skin but I also used it to soak bras in etc to kill thrush.

BonaDea Fri 26-Apr-13 07:11:16

Thanks mc baby. Left that off my list but have ordered some of that too!! wink

HandMini Fri 26-Apr-13 08:39:33

Well done BonaDea. Keep it up if you can, sounds like you will be out the other side soon. I found BF very painful both times, for various reasons including TT, so I do understand your pain.

BonaDea Fri 26-Apr-13 09:53:05

Thanks it is do nice to have some encouragement. DH has been great but have to say GP was v unsympathetic, as if this was just some minor inconvenience rather than something which is causing me constant pain and has made me consider stopping feeding my baby. Grrrr. Would like to give her a dose and see how she likes it!!

BonaDea Fri 26-Apr-13 09:58:45

Thanks it is do nice to have some encouragement. DH has been great but have to say GP was v unsympathetic, as if this was just some minor inconvenience rather than something which is causing me constant pain and has made me consider stopping feeding my baby. Grrrr. Would like to give her a dose and see how she likes it!!

HandMini Fri 26-Apr-13 10:12:41

I'm afraid that is the reaction you will get from some HCPs and I may get flamed for saying this I don't believe anyone who has not breastfed themselves understands what it's like (physically and emotionally), so you do need to see yourself as the expert when you're talking to other people who haven't BF IYSWIM

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 26-Apr-13 11:37:50

I think you are doing amazingly tbh op and have one very lucky baby to have a mother determined to bf. I'm sending you a bunch of thanks and some awe!

I had some tough times, though not as challenging as you have had. What got me through as others have said was just taking one feed and each day at a time - that way I got through to around 4 weeks, where I felt things clicked somewhat and then eventually to 6 months ebf. If I can do it, you can definitely do it!

Please get your DH to make you lots of lovely fennel brew - good for settling your and baby's stomach and bring you treats like nice biscuit biscuit

Eating pro biotic yoghurt really helped with my thrush btw.

Have you thought about joining your local LLL group if there is one? I did and it really helped - very supportive and the Leader is always a trained bf counsellor.

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