Breastfeeding, does it get easier?

(21 Posts)
Bearfrills Sun 09-Mar-14 11:53:02

I BF'd DD for roughy three weeks and she was a breeze in terms of latch, no soreness, etc. I moved her to FF as she wasn't feeding very much (she would happily go 6-8hrs between feeds), sleeping all night, and was slow to gain weight.

I'm BFing ten day old DS (DC3) and he's feeding well - every 2-4 hours for roughly 30-60 minutes at a time, lots of wet and dirty nappies.

But my god, I'm sore!

He much prefers the right hand side and feeds off there with no problem, good latch, comes off it himself when he's finished and usually content when he comes off.

The left hand side is a different story. He fusses terribly at the side, pops on and off the nipple, chews at it, twists his head with the nipple in his mouth and so on. As a result its absolutely shredded. I've got a deep crack running around the tip of the nipple that widens when trying to feed off it and it bleeds. It hurt that badly I was crying trying to feed him off that side and had to take him off.

I've tried different holds and lying down and he won't have it, he's got to be across my body or nothing. I've had his latch checked at the hospital and by three midwives, they all say his latch his fine. He's not tongue tied and latches perfectly on the right.

I've got some Lanisoh which I'm slathering on every chance I get and I'm letting it air when I can too. I've been expressing from the left side just before he's due a feed to try keep my supply up. I get 2-3oz. When he's ready for a feed I'm BFing from the right hand side and then offering a bottle with the 2-3oz I've expressed, if he's still hungry, but this isn't really sustainable long term and sitting with a pump is not something I can do when I'm out and about.

Does it get easier? I really wanted to BF for longer this time, for convenience more than anything as I can't be bothered faffing around with bottles when I have two other children to see to. I expected a bit of discomfort as my nipples get used to the change but not this. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Does it get easier?

SugarMiceInTheRain Sun 09-Mar-14 11:59:27

It does get easier, hang in there. I still get a bit sore on one side - DC3 is 3 weeks old - but it's a lot easier than it was. If I recall correctly, by 6 weeks with DC1 & 2, feeding was a piece of cake smile Sounds normal to me - some babies just find one side much easier than the other.

AnythingNotEverything Sun 09-Mar-14 12:05:11

It really does get much easier at 6 weeks.

I know this sounds a bit out there, but a friend saw a cranial osteopath because her baby fed badly on one side, and he sorted not right out. I didn't really believe in them until I heard that story. Baby couldn't move her neck to get into a comfortable position apparently.

Keep expressing to keep your supply up on the sore side and let it heal. A nipple shield may help too.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 09-Mar-14 12:28:53

It gets so much easier I promise! Cabbage leaves from the fridge and lansinoh nipple cream are amazing. Also I had fab advice from the breastfeesing support helpline I cannot praise them enough without their help I would have given up 4 weeks in- I'm still breastfeeding my 13 month old so their advice obviously works smile x

stargirl1701 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:15:31

Hydrogel pads would promote healing. I would get RL help for the latch on that side.

rosiedays Mon 10-Mar-14 01:47:38

Oh yes it gets much easier. Dd is 7.5 months and basically feeds herself now, there was a lovely mn line that i read back in the painful early days. .. 'it's great when you can just shove them up ya jumper and let them get on with it' that's where we are now smile
I'm very glad i stuck at it. Well worth it now.
Good luck and congratulations.
(I second savoy cabbage leaves from the fridge and real life support)

TheScience Mon 10-Mar-14 01:54:42

I'd think about just feeding from the good side.

Sunnysummer Mon 10-Mar-14 02:10:06

It does get much easier, but it does also sound like maybe you'd be comfier with some support. Have you had a check in with a midwife or an HV who could look at it and see if there's a fix with positioning? A specialist lactation consultant would be even better, ours was worth her weight in gold. smile

I definitely wouldn't stop feeding on the tricky side - some people do make a go of one-sided feeding, but when DS nearly dropped one side I looked ridiculous and would probably have finished bfing early! The best advice I got when trying to rejig my small side was to feed often, which may be hard, but I also tried different holds. There is some grea advice on kellymom.

Freckletoes Mon 10-Mar-14 02:10:36

Yes-it does get easier! Curl those toes and grit your teeth-it won't be long before it all sorts out! Good Luck!

kiwiscantfly Mon 10-Mar-14 03:46:11

If you can get RL support from a BF support worker things should get easier. I didn't get the swing of BFing for at least a month and then at seven weeks I went to a Breast Feeing Network drop in to finally sort out some niggles, despite loads of MWs saying everything looked fine. The lady there watched me feed, praised me heaps and made on minor adjustment and everything was much easier. You're doing a great job!

I had nipples like chopped liver at that stage. I used nipple shields and then it took forever to wean her off them. Couple months later, it was easy and happy. If you can get over the hump it will be worth it.

OwlinaTree Mon 10-Mar-14 08:06:04

I'm really in pain on my left side, nipple is so tender and chapped. It's excruciating when he latches on, then I can sort of 'feel' it once he gets going. I think the nipple is larger on that side too. It's awful if he comes off knowing I've got to have the pain of him going on again.

Right is a bit sore but nowhere near as bad. We are 5 days into bf. How long will it hurt for?

rosiedays Mon 10-Mar-14 09:05:22

Owl, congratulations smile
I think you should get some rl help to check latch, position etc.
A friend of mine described early bf days as like breaking in new shoes smile
Are you using a lanishton after every feed? and keep your top off as much as possible.
It is so worth flowers keep going and get help/support. Xx

OwlinaTree Mon 10-Mar-14 09:21:57

Thanks Rosie, I'm seeing midwife tomorrow so will ask her to check. I'm slathering on the lansinoh and I'm trying these breast shells today as milk has come in I strongly suspect.... I keep crying for no reason!!

Thanks for your encouragement, I really want to keep going but after him feeding on and off for 2 and a half hours in the middle of the night I'm needing that encouragement to keep going!

rosiedays Mon 10-Mar-14 10:57:54

The best thing i did was accept that ALL i needed to achieve in a day was feeding baby and feeding myself.
We co sleep and i spent days in bed just feeding and sleeping, feeding and sleeping. ... ask mw to show you how to feed laying down on the bed. I got very sleepy when i fed in early days and it was lovely to just dose cuddling dd after feed.
The first few weeks can be hard going, your both learning something new. Xx

Bek81 Mon 10-Mar-14 13:19:25

I was the same as you, I remember crying at night whilst dd fed from right side only, in the end I expressed solely for a week, husband would feed her at night whilst I expressed ! It was very time consuming but afetr a week nipple had time to heal completely and when I tried her at the breast again she latched perfectly on right and left, I continued to express a couple of times as well as breast feeding, got a nice supply in the freezer and dd switched from bottle to breast no problem right up till 6 months smile she is now being a pickle but that's a whole other story! Good luck xxx

Bearfrills Mon 10-Mar-14 19:53:38

Congratulations owl and thank you everyone for the advice.

We went out today and I did my first ever public BF, I stayed home for weeks after having DD so never hit that 'milestone'. I fed him on the bus and then I fed him in the restaurant while we were waiting for lunch thn he started looking for another feed straight after and I had no choice but to latch him onto the left side. It hurt. Really hurt. And the crack reopened and bled, then he did a little wiggle and I don't know what he did when he wiggled but it was absolutely fine after that and didn't hurt at all.

I just fed him off that side again a little while ago, he fussed a bit but did eventually settle. He fed for about 15mins and it was tender but nowhere near as bad as yesterday and the day before.

He also went from 12:30am to 6am last night so I've had a good sleep! It's been a much better day all round grin

Bearfrills Mon 10-Mar-14 19:55:52

Oh, I got some nipple shields yesterday to try on the left side. I put Lansinoh on to glue it down a bit, he sucke the shield right off the nipple, gave me a "WTF?!" raised eyebrow and refused to feed with it. So that was £7 well spent hmm

OwlinaTree Tue 11-Mar-14 00:26:08

Thanks bear, well done on the first public breast feed!

kiwiscantfly Tue 11-Mar-14 01:36:39

Well done re feeding out, if you can master that you can do anything! I made sure I practised like crazy when I had someone with me when we were out, my mum was visiting from NZ and I think we went it somewhere almost everyday from 3-6 weeks so I could practise, and it was totally worth it, confidence is everything, and as someone once said to me, fake it till you make it!

AnythingNotEverything Tue 11-Mar-14 08:20:36

Yey! Well done OP. It get so much easier from here on in. You really reap the rewards later with bf.

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