On the verge of giving up

(17 Posts)
FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 16:43:26

My DD is just over 5 weeks old and I've EBF'd this far despite a horrendous cracked nipple on one side. However I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up. For the last 2 days she's been screaming off and on all day for no apparent reason - she screams and pulls away from me if I offer her a breast and when she does feed she only does so for short periods of time - this afternoon she's gone from midday till 4pm with only a short feed despite giving me all the cues as she goes into meltdown as soon as the breast touches her mouth. I managed to express a small amount (1oz) on top of the short feed, and she took that so she's obviously hungry.

On top of this my left boob, the one with the crack, is starting to feel painfully swollen - it's not engorgement as I had that before - and I'm worried I may be developing mastitis. I'm seeing the health visitor tomorrow to have DD weighed so will ask her advice.

I feel like I'm spending most of my days in tears at the moment instead of enjoying my DD. To cap it all off DH is in the military and off to Afghanistan at the end of next month, so I'll be dealing with everything on my own - the only family I have nearby is my 74 year old MIL.

FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 16:46:36

I ought to add DD has been diagnosed with a very minor tongue tie that my GP has refused to refer for snipping. The specialist who diagnosed it will snip it privately, but wants to see if she outgrows it first.

She's also seen a cranial osteopath after a lactation consultant identified she had problems turning her head to one side. Those issues were sorted and we're due back for a final check over in 2 weeks. We can't see her sooner as she's on holiday now.

FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 16:53:58

Sorry, don't mean to drip feed. I also ought to add that she was a big baby - 8lb15oz at birth and at her last weigh in at 3 weeks she was up to 9lb4oz, having dropped almost a pound in her first week. She appears to be growing ok, she's out of newborn clothes already, and she's still getting wet and dirty nappies.

whereisshe Tue 15-Apr-14 16:54:39

Poor both of you sad
Have you tried skin to skin while feeding? Or feeding in the bath (big deep bath, 37 degrees or thereabouts)? Or after baby massage? Or feeding lying down? I find those things relax DD when she won't focus to feed.

And lansinoh plus a nipple shield for the cracked nipple if you aren't already.

If you do decide it's too much, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that - you've done lots already.

katandkits Tue 15-Apr-14 17:03:14

I would press for getting the tongue tie sorted. The mini kit had a mild one but fortunately I was able to get it corrected and breastfeeding was plain sailing from that point. If you think you have mastitis I would get to the doctor asap. Does your boob feel hot?

katandkits Tue 15-Apr-14 17:04:09

Can you see the lactation consultant again?

FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 17:45:51

She has a drop in group on Thursday's but isn't always there, I was planning on going anyway.

My boob is a bit warm to touch, warmer than the other one anyway and it's twice the size.

I tried skin to skin in bed earlier (she's not a fan of bath time yet!) and it simply prompted the mother of all meltdowns. She won't feed using laid back breastfeeding, but will normally feed lying down during the night. Not this time though.

JustAboutAdeqeuate Tue 15-Apr-14 18:12:44

Sorry you're struggling sad

A few things spring to mind, sorry if you've already thought of them.
Could you & DD have thrush? That could explain the pain and your cracked nipple. Any white stuff on her tongue?

Could be an oversupply issue, particularly from the massive boob. The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding is a great book anyway, but covers this well. If that is the case and your DD is struggling either with the force of the letdown or not getting enough fatty hind milk, then you could keep feeding with one boob over and over, , express before offering, and keep offering the breast frequently.

Could be silent reflux, and she's pulling away because feeding hurts. Keeping her upright after a feed would help, but she could need medication. A trip to the GP could be in order.

Good luck, you've done brilliantly to get this far.

FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 18:33:32

Thanks all. She's feeding again at the moment so I feel a bit better. I've called the Doctor's surgery and have been told to call back first thing to try and get an emergency appointment.

Someone suggested that it could possibly be the start of early teething that is leaving her uncomfortable. Anyone have experience of this?

katandkits Tue 15-Apr-14 19:42:29

Its possible of course but unlikely so young. Its more likely to be w feeding issue such as reflux/tongue tie/thrush.

I would also see if offering her a feed before she appears to be demanding it might help avoid the meltdown issue. A calm baby is always easier to get latched on!

Do see the doctor tomorrow, mastitis is the last thing you need on top of everything else. Hope you get some useful help in the next day or two and things improve.

FrankelandFilly Tue 15-Apr-14 20:23:20

I aim to see the Dr tomorrow, just got to convince the battle axe receptionists that I warrant an emergency appointment.

I know the teething is a long shot, though she does fit some signs - increased drooling, chewing the back of her hand.

I try to feed her when sleepy but she seems to sense it and wakes up fully to cry. She's not too bad at night, though she has trouble latching on to my swollen boob.

whereisshe Tue 15-Apr-14 21:37:21

Five weeks is one of the major growth spurt / development leaps as well, so it may not be anything you're doing differently. Have you seen the wonder weeks book? I've found it invaluable for DD's fussy periods to understand what's going on.

katandkits Wed 16-Apr-14 07:54:43

Mastitis definitely warrants an emergency appointment! Hope you have a better day today. You are doing a great job. Can you express from the bad boob so that it doesn't get worse? That way you can also give yourself a bit of a break with a bottle feed, or pop the expressed milk in the freezer for a bit of time off for you when your DH is about at the weekend.

katandkits Wed 16-Apr-14 07:55:35

Mastitis definitely warrants an emergency appointment! Hope you have a better day today. You are doing a great job. Can you express from the bad boob so that it doesn't get worse? That way you can also give yourself a bit of a break with a bottle feed, or pop the expressed milk in the freezer for a bit of time off for you when your DH is about at the weekend.

FrankelandFilly Wed 16-Apr-14 08:59:37

I'm waiting for someone to call me back from the surgery.

I managed to express 4oz off over night but she did feed lying down twice, though it was agony and not very long. I've given her some of the expressed milk about half an hour ago but I need to express more as it's nowhere near enough.

FrankelandFilly Wed 16-Apr-14 16:15:12

Well I have antibiotics & DD has a clean bill of health. She's actually fed well from my non-infected side 3 times so far today so we may see some light at the end of the tunnel.

I'll keep expressing to take the pressure off but if she can manage on one boob for now I think I can push through this.

Thanks for your support everyone, things looked utterly black yesterday but now they're a bit brighter.

whereisshe Wed 16-Apr-14 18:31:24

Great news! I hope things continues to improve.

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