5 days old and really struggling(24 Posts)
My dd was born on Monday and so far breast feeding has been very up and down. She started off latching reasonably ok but since I had a visit from the local breast feeding charity on day 2 who showed my how to do it properly to avoid any problems things have gone downhill.
Through the day she feeds roughly every 2 and a half to 3 hours for anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. At night though she just constantly wants to be in the breast and won't settle otherwise. Other than feeding I haven't found a way to stop her crying yet and so I'm having to sit up with her from 11-6 whilst dh sleeps just constantly nursing. As soon as she finishes or falls asleep if I try to put her down she screams and the only way to stop is to put her back to the breast.
Through the day it isn't so bad due to the timing in between feeds although despite doing everything I was shown (they've been round twice now) the latch is often difficult. At night particularly though she seems to fight against it - I was shown to sort of hold her neck and pretty much shove the nipple in to her mouth whilst wide open holding her tightly to it - but she often arches her back and pushes away with her hands making it very difficult to get her to latch on in the first place.
Now my milk is in I'm having problems with my left breast which is pretty much rock solid and agony. Even my bra touching the nipple hurts and when she goes anywhere near it I shout out in pain. I'm sat here upset with a screaming baby that I know wants feeding all night with one breast in agony and the other sore from constant use and have no idea how to get through the next 4/5 hours.
Finally to add insult to injury my stitches are I'm sure too tight as whenever I move in bed I feel like I'm ripping them apart so am constantly uncomfy.
Please if anyone has any suggestions that could help either ease the pain in my left so I can try alternate breasts for the rest of the night or suggestions to settle her without the constant feeding it would be very much appreciated. I don't want to ring the charity again tomorrow as they just keep telling and showing me the same thing. Thank you and sorry it's so long.
Congratulations and well done so far!
First of all can you take some painkillers to help your sore breasts and stitches?
Have you tried cold or warm compresses on your left breast,this can ease the fullness and help milk to leak.
Also by pressing your theee middle fingers of each hand flat against the base of your nipple and keeping firm pressure towards your chest.This is called reverse pressure softening and can shift the fluid to soften the area that your baby attatches on to.
Skin to skin might help her to calm down to enable her to attach properly.
Good luck and I hope you get some sleep tonight.
I know co-sleeping is frowned upon but so's going in a cca, unless you use a car seat! Have her in bed. I used a little cushion for my pillow so couldn't smother DD, and if I moved too much out of position I'd fall off it and wake up. Pillow along the length of her back to sepreate her and DP, made him sleep with his pillow half hanging over his side table so lots of room for her 'breathing' space.
Lie on your side facing her, put her on her side facing you and switch breasts according to which feels fullest, you don't have to move her to do this just angle yourself differently. When DD is done she pulls away from me and goes into her back (she couldn't go onto her front without headbutting me out the way!)
Never forget the comfort of bum patting whilst breastfeeding.
Your dc is so young, this is what they do! I started co-sleeping after very nearly smothering dd1 trying to do it 'correctly' and falling asleep.
Ever since I have concentrated on a night time feeding position whereby if I do fall asleep I am very unlikely to smother DC, which seems to go hand in hand with feeding whilst snoozing IME.
Poor you. My lo is just 8 weeks old and we had a tough time starting feeding. Well done for persevering!
Have you tried nipple shields? They sell them in mothercare etc, mine were a life saver as my nipples were just so sore I'd cry with dread when baby seemed hungry. It may be worth asking your MW or HV to check for a tongue tie as this was our problem. LO couldn't move tongue correctly so couldn't latch properly.
8 weeks on we are doing just fine. It will get easier. I think people forget to mention that 'the most natural thing' doesn't always come naturally!
Also, a warm flannel will help start your milk flow and relieve some of the pressure in your breast. You could express over the sink or into a milk container if you have them to make yourself more comfortable.
I remembered that a breastfeeding consultant told me that the milk hormones are stronger at night initially so baby is reacting to that.
Please do try the nipple shields. They really will help with the pain.
You have all of my sympathy.
Can you express at all from the left side to relieve the pressure? A warm flannel might help. I also wonder if there's a breastfeeding cafe near you that you can go to? These places saved me at 8 days old when I was sore, worn out and feeling awful about breastfeeding. The while thing improved for us very quickly after getting some advice from someone with a bit of time to work with us calmly.
I had also been taught the method you have, and it felt like a constant fight between me and the baby to latch. I always felt like I was going to hurt him trying to get him in the right place. I've since found the cradle hold to be much nicer, and it's a bit easier to control his hands (I also have a handsy baby - always trying to get them in his mouth). Leaning back a little also made me much more comfortable. Do you have some lanolin cream? A tube of lansinoh also saved my cracked nipples.
It will get better, but do seek out some extra help if you can. I hope you manage to get some rest tomorrow.
Thank you everyone. I went for a little cry in the bathroom before and when I came back dh had woken and managed to settle her, though she is awake, screaming and back on the breast again now.
Dh is now asleep but to be honest I think co sleeping might be a good idea for us and will try this tomorrow thank you for your description notanyanymore I'm also patting her bum as she feeds at the min,
I did try a hot flannel on the left breast when in the bathroom before but it doesn't seem to have helped, though good point about the painkillers firstupbestdressed - I have been taking these in the day but not at night so will make sure I remember to do so going forwards. I think I will try grab some nipple shields tomorrow if I make it through tonight
Thanks for the suggestion loobylou.
Re hand expressing and massage I don't really know what I'm doing but tried gently massaging the left before when did the hot flannel but it didn't seem to make any difference. Will try the three finger suggestion and hopefully make it through to morning with my right hand side (and sanity) still in tact. Thanks.
Sorry callamia just seen your post. I will google the cradle hold and see what that is, am happy to try anything that might help. Have been using the Lanisoh as both nipples were bleeding yesterday and it has helped the skin it's more the latch now that is causing issues and then the pain from the left being so full and rock solid. And I thought childbirth was meant to be the hard bit!
I can add nothing new but just wanted to send all my encouragement and
good wishes your way.
You are doing really well, your baby is new and getting used to you and working it all out If you continue to have latching issues your baby might have a tongue tie - this can be much harder to diagnose than you might think and can be easily missed. If you can afford it a lactation consultant would probably really help you both with this and general feeding issues. I have co-slept with all four of my children, it can be done safely and has been great bonding for me. The kellymom website is amazing and has info that would help too. To relieve an overfull boob I would massage toward the nipple with a flat warm hand until milk started to come out. You could also do this while your baby is feeding on the other side as the sucking will stimulate the let down reflex. Some don't recommend nipple shields but they saved my life with ds when I was sore in the early days. Try not to use for too long though. Also not everyone's cup of tea but a dummy can be a lifesaver with a very sucky baby and might be worth a try. I know there has been a recent news story but all my children were really calmed by being swaddled and we haven't had any hip issues. Once they were calm or asleep I just undid the swaddle. HTH x
Poor you and congratulations and well done for sticking out what must e some horrible nights!
Do you think that she might not be getting enough during the day and is catching up at night? In the first few weeks many of the babies I know were feeding for 45 mins or more, every 2 hours. Have you tried doing the continued feeding thing during the day? Still might be frustrating, but much better than extreme sleep deprivation.
In week 2 I had supply issues, so had 2 lovely days in bed with the baby, feeding continually and working my way through DVD box sets on my laptop while DH and my mum brought me food and took the baby whenever he slept so that I could catch up on rest. Was great for bfing and also a lovely little break, maybe it could try something similar?
Also, can you call the lady who came to visit? I've found that most bfing charities are really helpful.
Good luck, and even though it doesn't feel like it right now, the early days fly by when you look back!
Well done on all your amazing work so far. Breastfeeding can be so emotionally and physically consuming.
I wanted to echo sunnysummers suggestion to try feeding more frequently in the day. This helpedy 5wo DS, who I used to wake every 1.5 - 2 hrs in the day to feed. He needed the calories to help him be more wakeful. He's still a night owl but it has helped slightly.
Also yes to cosleeping, I try not to as DS was prem but we do feed lying down sometimes (heaven!) and I get a nap then. The ISIS website is a great resource on research into cosleeping so check that out.
Finally, can your DH help a bit more ? I found it very lonely having mine snoring next to me while I struggled through the night so now he has DS for one evening feed of expressed milk and in the night he does nappy changes which gives me a few mins respite. A nice cup often and a couple of biscuits in the night help me too!
Good luck X
I really feel for you, the first few weeks were really tough for me as well. Things which helped us:
1. Nipple protectors - not shields but solid cups I put on after each feed to stop my bra sticking to my nipple. The midwife gave me them - can't remember the name of them, will try to find out and repost.
2. When my son refuses the boob and arches his back he needs burped can you try that?
3. Feeding pillow was crucial to get him in the right position - I found it really awkward to hold him and my boob without it in the first few weeks.
4. Set yourself targets. I told myself I could give up at x weeks and every time I got to the target week things had improved so I continued. 6 weeks was almost magical as things seemed to click into place.
5. With my son we were advised by the midwife to introduce formula top ups as he was so small which created a vicious circle of not having enough energy to feed properly so falling asleep on the boob and not eating enough. We fed him using a tiny cup to prevent nipple confusion. Gave him terrible wind though so watch out for that.
6. The final thing is don't think that the baby will only feed every few hours - breastfeeding is almost constant in the first few weeks. I was stunned by this and was sure we were doing it wrong or he wasn't getting
enough. They feed like little gannets to get your milk up and it's pretty relentless for a while. If you know this is happening it's not so bad to accept!
It will get better I promise. I was on the verge of packing it in a hundred times but persevered. Can you get to a support group locally? I've been going to one since about 6 weeks and it has really helped. If you can get out of the house to one now it will really help.
Oh and don't forget to eat cake - you deserve it!
One more thing, it is a total pain and can be v stressful especially if you have a hungry screaming baby but if the latch hurts beyond 30 seconds and isn't improving you need to unlatch and try again. The first 30 seconds or so were toe curlingly awful but eased off. If it ddoesn't ease off the latch is not quite right.
I found looking at how the nipple points normally to be a guide as to how it should be in the babies mouth. Try to angle him so you don't twist or bend the nipple. The nipple to nose advice didn't work so well for me purely because of my nipple direction!
Hi excited congratulations just wanted to add my support! I certainly wasn't aware of how difficult breastfeeding would be when my lo was born just assumed it would come naturally! It's great that you have already had someone come round but I'd get them to do so again to help with the latch & check for tongue tie (my lo had this but we didn't work it out until 4 weeks.). Probably a bit early for you but when you feel ready to go to a local bf group with a bfn person there they are great places for support and help. You may find there is a local fb page for your area that gives advice on these.
Babies do feed more often at night as its when your milk production is at its highest (definitely a design fault!!) & by cluster feeding they are increasing your supply.
from what I've heard (but I'm not an expert) you do need to try and empty the engorged breast either by letting lo feed or expressing. A hot flannel on it can help expressing or try in a warm shower. Also recommend using breast milk on your sore nipples it worked wonders for me squeeze a little on before feed and after.
You're doing an amazing job & just remember it does get easier.
How are things this morning?
Thank you for all your kind words. She's latched on ok to the right all night so I'm pretty happy with that and guessing means no tongue tie but the left has an area about the size of a tomato by my armpit which is beyond solid and has made it agony to lie on my left for the past few hours. Will get some hot water on it and try work on it in the shower.
Just offered the left to dd but she couldn't get on the nipple as it seems quite flat and just came away with blood on her cheek.
mostlycake thank you for the tips - will definitely head out for some sort of nipple protection today. Also do have a bf cushion that I'd forgotten about - will have to get that out. Targets is also a good idea, doesn't help that MIL keeps asking when I'm going to put her on the bottle so she can have her for longer than the few hours she is spending at our house every day (but that's another story!)
Will definitely check out local groups if I make it through the next couple of weeks. Re feeding more in the day I feed her when she wakes up but had read not to wake her up from sleep at this age as it messes with her natural sleep patterns or something? So much to learn about being a mum!!!
Lots of good advice here. Come over to the October 2013 antenatal thread for support - we're all very friendly
19 day old DS feeding as I type
So glad the night improved. We're you given a number for your hospital ward or health visiting team? A call to them might point you in the direction of some breast feeding support.
It may still be worth asking someone to check for the tongue tie. Your GP could do it.
Hope the shields provide some relief. Should stop the bloodshed
With regards to feeding in the day, I was always reluctant to wake my boy. I was told by the bf, specialist that between 7 and 12 I should aim to "stuff him until he can take no more" For about a fortnight, every time he so much as squeaked I'd feed as little or much as he wanted. It was good advice. He started sleeping longer and I was far more ready for the day with some sleep behind me. He is now 8 weeks, feeding every 3 hours in the day and sleeping 5 at a time most nights. There is light at the end if the tunnel!
As for the bottle question, my short answer would be "never, he's a breasted baby"
I've only just spotted the bit about your MIL. Put a stop to that now; its obviously making you stressed and that will not help since the baby will pick up on your stress and it makes bf harder.
Looby that feeding schedule sounds like a dream! I presume you mean 7pm to midnight and not the morning? Will try that tonight. I have the midwife coming round later for the heel prick test so will ask her if she has any advice also and about tongue tie.
On the plus side I managed to get some milk out in the shower under the heat and she's just managed to latch on. Not sure she'll get much out but slowly does it and can feel the pressure easing up a bit. Thank you all, this forum is a god send :-) x
Sorry cross post! horatio the MIL is already driving me up the wall with a number of things - going to have a chat with dh about her this aft!
Hi, well done on makingnit this far! I think it might be a good idea to get a breast pump to help relieve pressure on your left breast. The red patch could be a blockage which if it becomes infected will give you mastitis. Look out for flu like symptoms and keep the milk moving out to stop it getting worse. Go to out of hours for antibiotics if you start to feel unwell.
agree that nipple shields and dummy are life savers. Good luck!
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