how long do the REALLY hard days of BFing last?

(23 Posts)

DD2 is 5 days old and I am finding BFing v hard going - nipples are bleeding and blistered, I'm struggling with latch and she wants to be permanently feeding all evening into the early hours.

I've seen a LC so hopefully latch and damage to nipples will improve slowly now but how long was it, in your experience, until BF stopped being an awful ordeal? DD1 was BF and I had a tough time feeding her too but had loads of other issues like thrush thrown into the mix.

If there had have been formula in the house, I would have given up BFing last night, I'm sure of it sad

Hang in there! I was pain free after about 2 weeks with DS & the round the clock feeding settled down 4-6 weeks ish. He's 28 weeks now so we've just started solids, his first move towards being less dependent on me already sniff. Congratulations on your new baba!

I know this is so so hard but you've done the right thing and sought help and that will make a difference very soon. Keep asking for help when you need it from your lc, see if there's a support group like Baby Café or La Leche League in your area and try to relax, hard though it sounds. This early stage is difficult but it's nearly over and it will get easier.

Plus if you're really struggling with pain ask one of the people above about expressing a bit just to give your nipples a break. it's not always recommended as it can mess with your supply but sometimes it gives your poor boobs the chance to heal smile

good luck and well done

I remember feeling exactly the same. I was still in hospital on my 5th night as it was a bit of a rough birth, I remember breaking down & absolutely sobbing my heart out on the phone to my mum at about 2 in the morning. I was absolutely convinced they wouldn't let me take DD home as I really felt I'd got to the end, BF-wise & that I'd failed as a mum.
I felt that the first week to 10 days was the hardest. It was about a month before it fully stopped hurting, & by 3 months I can definitely say I genuinely & fully enjoyed it, with no lingering discomfort.
Definitely recommend you ask about a feeding clinic at your local hospital or Children's Clinic, & speak to your HV. They should be able to check your technique, give you help & support. Check out your 'green book' ie the A4 Birth to Five book the HV gives out, start with pages 6-8.
Ultimately, don't beat yourself up about it. 'Breast is Best' is only true if it's best for you both. Good luck & congratulations on your new baby.

Just realised that LC means Lactation Consultant. Glad you've seen them. Carry on going if the problems continue - I went 4 times.

Get her checked for tongue tie. Although saying that, the first LC I saw wasn't sure about dd's tie - I had to get a more knowledgable one along.

YeahThatsTheBadger Wed 17-Apr-13 06:43:27

About 6 weeks. I was struggling like you - bleeding nipples, crying and toes curling with the pain of DS latching on. A friend told me that at around 6 weeks ot just suddenly changes, and it did.
Great advice from 50shades "breast is best is only true if it's best for both of you."
Good luck!

SomethingSuitablyWitty Wed 17-Apr-13 06:50:55

I've had an easier ride than you with dd, who is one month old todaysmile . One thing I found very helpful with the healing is a type of bandage/ dressing that you use under your pad on the nipple. It is silicone and foam and the name is mepilex. I am not in the UK and not sure how well this approach is known but the relief when you put it on after a feed is instant cooling and protective and healing is much faster.they are expensive though.

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 17-Apr-13 07:13:23

Around 5 weeks for me but I used cold cabbage leaves and lanolin cream until then they helped a lot. My dd is 11 weeks now and I'm glad carried on through the first few I cam so close to giving up in week 3 but now it's so easy no pain just stick her on the boob and she's fine latching on. It does get easier soon but others right do what best for you.
I would also say I had the midwives, breastfeeding woman and HV all checking my latch and I've call the breastfeeding national support number a few times they were fab helping me space out Feds as my dd was feeding every 45 mins at one point well worth giving them a call.
Good luck OP smile

Fairypants Wed 17-Apr-13 07:17:30

I found the early days bfing dd2 harder than dd1 cause I had really bad after pains with every feed. The painful bit was over by the time I was handed over to mw at ~10 days. I still had constant feeds in the eve for a while though and that kind of repeated every now and again when she was going through a growth spurt and my boobs needed to learn to produce more.
It will get better and you have contacted the right people to make sure there is nothing wrong. Those early days are tough though.
Congratulations flowers

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 17-Apr-13 07:17:39

Just thinking it may be worth using nipple shields until your nipples heal but never used them so not sure how old baby has to be maybe others will know???
Get the lanolin cream I was red raw and bleeding first few days the midwives suggested that it worked straight away instant relief and you don't need to wash it off inbetween feeds either sorry if I sound like an advent for the stuff but honestly without it I was in so much pain

I used nipple shields with DS1 for thirteen weeks when he was tiny and they absolutely saved our bf relationship, without question. Before that I had had to peel my nipple off the breast pad for every feed, breaking the scab yet again. No amount of Lansinoh helped.

Realistically most people are comfortable and confident by six weeks. But that feels a long way off at ten days. Give yourself kinder targets - can you do all of today's feeds? Can you keep going to the weekend?

It generally does get better, but if it doesn't you've given it a damn good try. After ten days you're approaching a hundred feeds. How many people do a hundred agonizing things they don't have to?

Good luck.

Thanks so much everyone - it's really reassuring to hear from people that have made it out the other side!

I totally agree 50shades and I hope this time around I will be more open minded about the possibility of FF - I was adamant I was going to BF before and I think I could have done both of us a favour by calling it a day earlier, in hindsight.

SamraLee Wed 17-Apr-13 08:13:21

I couldn't cope with DD being hungry when she was learning to latch, as she was a screamer the moment she got hungry. I was convinced I was doing a bad job and I didn't care how I fed her, I just didn't want her to be upset. I gave in to the formula, but I tried to breastfeed her while my husband was making the formula. If she latched on and it went okay, I kept breastfeeding, if it wasn't going well and I she was really upset, I just gave the formula. My daughter is 9 months old and almost exclusively breastfed, I give her a bottle of formula right before bed. I just couldn't stand to see her so upset in the early days and am a first time mom.

It can be hard, but keep trying with the breastfeeding. In my opinion breastfeeding is way better than bottle feeding as far as my personal enjoyment and bonding, etc. I'm assuming you already know all the other benefits of breastfeeding over formula. However, if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, I'm of the personal opinion, it's better to give in to the formula, than make both you and your baby overly upset about breastfeeding.

I wish you the best with your breastfeeding and keep trying, it will get better!

ThisIsYourSong Wed 17-Apr-13 08:14:02

This really sounds like it could be a tongue tie to me. Even if its been rules out by a LC doesn't mean it doesn't exist, a huge amount are missed.

Can you see anyone from Milk Matters - they are really the experts in TT http://milkmatters.org.uk/

If it is a TT, having it snipped will make a huge difference.

Sorry I can't remember how to link on my phone

GirlOutNumbered Wed 17-Apr-13 08:19:02

It is s hard, I think for me it was about four weeks, but now BF is so easy, it's really worth it.

meepsmum Wed 17-Apr-13 08:24:28

4 weeks for us to feel comfortable. 3 months once the feeding frenzie settled.
6months now and still going...still a boob monster and going back to work part time tomorrow...
stick with it...it gets better.
try multimamm compresses from boots...little gel wipes u leave on nipple between feeds. heaven
good luck xx

EspressoMonkey Wed 17-Apr-13 08:27:27

DC1 i struggled with, but by 5 weeks i was pain free and doing very well. DC2 i never had any problems with she was a dream to BF and is still BFing at 1.

I know it can be very hard, hang in there, it will be worth it in the end i promise you. Aside of the obvious health benefits, an EBF baby is soooooooo much easier for you in the longrun. And nobody is judging you, and if they are then just ignore them they just feel insecure themselves. Do what is best for you. And well done for a good job so far!

Just popping back to say thanks for everyone's lovely supportive messages. Since seeing the LC things have improved a lot - nipples are healing nicely andDD seems more contented. Still a work in progress but so much easier to keep going when latching isn't agony!

That's fantastic news and thank you so much for coming back to let us know x

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 19-Apr-13 06:12:14

Well done OP that's good news smile

SamraLee Fri 19-Apr-13 06:52:22

Yay! smile

Well done OP!

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