Breast feeding hell!

(39 Posts)
Claraloumum Thu 27-Feb-14 20:35:59

My little ds has spent the first week if his life permanently attached to my boob- and I mean for up to six hours at a time! He seemed to just be nibbling and not really swallowing. I was totally exhausted not getting any sleep, so he got formula a couple of times to give me a break. The peer support worker kept telling me he was latched on fine, but I knew he wasn't. After seeing a different midwife, I changed positions and he fed really well - for a day. Lots if gulping and dripping from the other nipple. I even got 6hrs sleep in 2hr shifts. Today, he won't latch again and is shallow sucking and falling asleep after 5mins. I am an emotional mess- can't stop crying and my anxiety levels are through the roof! Any advice/ help please!!! (He is gaining weight etc)

Claraloumum Thu 27-Feb-14 20:37:00

Also, I've tried pumping but can get practically nothing!!

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 20:38:31

Sounds like you need some qualified advice on the latch, and to be checked for tongue-tie - have you tried calling the NCT breastfeeding line or La Leche League? They will be able to help you find a breastfeeding counsellor.

Limelight Thu 27-Feb-14 20:40:53

Someone will be along shortly who's an expert but first of all my love, you need bucket loads of brewbrewbrewbrewbrewbrew

Laquila Thu 27-Feb-14 20:42:18

Definitely call La Leche League on 0845 120 2918 and get him checked for tongue tie and a breastfeeding cafe if you can. Have you tried biological nurturing? Didn't really work for us but lots of people swear by it.

I know it's horrendous and really do sympathise! I know you won't believe me but I promise it will get better.

Quodlibet Thu 27-Feb-14 20:42:22

Or google 'milk spots' in your local area. I agree you need your latch checking by a specialist (normal midwives aren't specialist). I went to one in my local sure start centre who did two very intensive hour long one-to-one sessions with me which really really helped.

Re the expressing - it takes a while to yield much with a pump. Keep trying and you will get there.

Well done for getting this far - you are doing a great job.

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Thu 27-Feb-14 20:44:25

Firstly, don't panic. Jut because you can't get anything from pumping doesn't mean you haven't got any milk. I'm afraid this grazing behavious is quite normal, albeit tiring for you.

Is he doing plenty of wet and dirty nappies? If so, then he's getting enough to eat.

Someone else with better advice will be along shortly, but you are doing fine smile

Limelight Thu 27-Feb-14 20:46:26

I agree re tongue-tie incidentally. It's absolutely worth checking.

With the benefit of hindsight I'm fairly sure my DS was tongue-tied (mildly) and it was never picked up. We muddled through but there was such a difference between the way he and my DD fed / gained weight etc.

Your DC is gaining weight which is a good sign. It's possibly just settling in. Both of mine were prolific feeders for the first couple (or indeed six months) particularly while they worked out what they were doing (and indeed while I did too).

everythinghippie29 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:48:13

Aww, it will get better I promise!

My little man is 10 weeks now and it is so much easier.

Cluster feeding is exhausting but totally normal this early on. I found that having Breast feeding days where we just hunkered down with snacks, drinks, muslin cloths and a t.v series lined up and just demand fed him. I was paranoid he wasn't getting anything and was trying to express with no luck but expressing doesn't have any baring on how much your baby is getting! They are experts at milking us!grin

I usually pulled at the nipple a bit so it was easier for him and then held my boob like a sandwich and just stuck at it relatching him when he came off. It is tiring getting started and and I remember feeling similar to how you describe yourself at the moment and I really did feel hopeless but it does just fall into place.

If you truly feel awful and stressed go to formula, there is no point in getting yourself poorly over it all. You are obviously trying so hard and your little one will know and love all the cuddles! Your LO is gaining so obviously you are doing great.

Good luck and congratulations on your baby!

Limelight Thu 27-Feb-14 20:48:49

Oh and put the pump away until you get everything established.

This DOES get better so please do hang on in there.

Abracadabra1 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:51:48

It is really hard when they feed non stop isn't it. Lots and lots of skin to skin, let him feed whenever he wants to he needs to do this to stimulate your milk supply. Do not try to do any housework or anything else if you can avoid it. I would leave the expressing for now until you've mastered feeding. Is he having wet and dirty nappies? Is feeding painful? If it doesn't feel right take him off and latch him on again. The frenzied constant feeding will calm down, really it will. Lots of tea and biscuits in the mean time!

ShoeWhore Thu 27-Feb-14 20:51:54

I agree please do try and see a RL bfing specialist. He is gaining weight so that's great. I saw a bfing counsellor when ds1 was 3 weeks old - walked in having never successfully latched him on and left an hour later knowing exactly what to do. She was amazing. You've clearly managed to get it right already so you can both do it again I am sure.

In the meantime, there is loads of really good bfing advice on attachment here

Claraloumum Thu 27-Feb-14 21:54:43

Thank you so much for all your replies! I went thru hell with my first dd, who never latched on properly. I had to give up when I prolapsed a disc in my neck constantly hunched over trying!! I was so happy this time when he seemed to suck pain free. I had no idea he had to suck a certain way and swallow too lol!! I live in Northern Ireland so not sure we have specialist bf counsellors. Any norn iron mummies out there know?The peer support who was lovely was no help at all other than tell me he was latched on fine and it was normal to feed continuously for 10 hrs!
My nipples are starting to crack so I tried nipple shields - he hated them!! Will one day of non feeding affect my supply? Sorry for the rambling - I'm just so desperate to succeed at this! Hopefully midwife calling tomorrow will help!

everythinghippie29 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:01:34

If you've not tried it, slather on the Lansinoh in bulk before and after every feed. I took paracetamol regularly as well to help ease the pain and crackedness! sad

I found that taking a break made my breasts really painful and engorged and I ended up really paranoid about supply drying up which didn't help stress.

Make sure you prop yourself up nice and comfy on loads of pillows to help your back/neck.

La Leche is well worth a contact and Google your local area as there might be a breastfeeding support group where you can meet people in the same boat/ get to moan about what a pain in the bum (boobs?!) BF can be!

ShoeWhore Thu 27-Feb-14 22:23:53

It's important to get yourself into a comfy position for feeding so you're not hunched over. I used to put a yellow pages under my feet, which helped massively and a small cushion behind my back - also found it easier to feed in a proper chair to start with (harder to get the right position in bed)

This is what worked for me: it's called exaggerated attachment (and is easier to do than describe!) Get your hand under your boob so you are holding it around the outside of your nipple in a U shape. When your baby opens his mouth, aim his lower lip for the very outside edge of the darker bit and quickly flip his head round (think like the action you would make if really exaggerating taking a big bite out of an apple) - at the same time kind of roll the nipple into his mouth. He should get a really big mouthful.

If you aren't happy with the latch then don't be scared to take him off and start again. HTH.

CooCooCachoo Thu 27-Feb-14 22:39:09

No better advice but wanted to send you some positive vibes. The first few weeks are HARD but it DOES get better.

Claraloumum Fri 28-Feb-14 18:33:35

Well, last night was awful- no sleep at all! He wouldn't latch on properly and just nibbled all night. Fed for 5mins then dozed for 20! Finally at 7.30 I was starting to get really sore around my c section area so I gave him to hubby who gave him 35 mls formula so I could take painkillers and sleep. Midwife today thinks the wee man is messing! Snacking all the time so never gets hungry enough to feed well but also not full enough to sleep well. She suggested giving him 20 minutes then when he starts to nibble take him off and see if he will settle. He's putting on loads if weight - 7 ounces over his birth weight at day 10- so obv my supply is ok. I'm not worried at all about him - just whether I can stick with it! My poor little 16 month dd doesn't get any time with mummy and its breaking my heart!
Btw there are no specialist bf counsellors in Northern Ireland it seems!!

TheScience Fri 28-Feb-14 18:38:12

When he stops actively swallowing on one side, do you offer the other?

Claraloumum Fri 28-Feb-14 18:38:37

Ps you guys are amazing!! I don't feel so alone anymore. All the books etc says it's so natural and easy, pain free blah blah blah, so when it so isn't, you feel like a failure!!

Claraloumum Fri 28-Feb-14 18:39:42

Yes, sometimes I let him wake up a bit and offer him the same side too.

TheScience Fri 28-Feb-14 18:44:40

Do you mean you put him back to the same side, or offer both sides? You might find offering the other side gets him actively feeding again and fills him up quicker.

Claraloumum Fri 28-Feb-14 18:47:56

If I think he hasn't fed well on that side and I still feel quite hard, I offer the same side again. I also offer the other side too. But then he only gets the foremilk though???

TheScience Fri 28-Feb-14 18:51:22

I wouldn't worry too much about foremilk/hindmilk, they sort themselves out. Better to watch the baby's cues so if he comes off/falls asleep/starts messing about on one side switch over.

Claraloumum Fri 28-Feb-14 21:19:47

Ok. So far so good this evening. Fed 30 mins then slept 3hrs. Fed again 30 mins but I think he's cluster feeding tonight as he won't settle to sleep. Day 10 growth spurt maybe. I managed to hand express 50 mls over the last two days so if I get it tough for sleep, at least I have that as back up. Thanks again everyone - your advice and support has been wonderful.

everythinghippie29 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:47:57

Ah really great to hear Claraloumum, hope your poor boobs get a little rest and your little guy keeps up the good latch!

Growth spurts are always tough but I found after each one we've been through we've come out the other side with an easier latch/feed routine (or it just feels easier compared to growth spurt feedsgrin )

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