End of the road?

(43 Posts)
Popalina Thu 01-May-14 20:53:42

I would appreciate the help of experts on here!

I will try and keep this short!

DC2, 4.5 weeks old, excruciating breastfeeding lasting for hours and a hungry baby at the end. A few days in I ended up topping up with formula and called a lactation consultant who diagnosed tongue tie, despite the hospital telling me it wasn't. Also she wasn't feeding effectively at all -hanging off the end of my nipple and biting.

Went privately at 3 weeks to get it snipped and it was a tight 50% TT with high arch palette. Fed after the snip and there was no change. Persevered with breast, expressing and formula and pain levels the same to the point where I can't put her on at every feed. Pain is nipple and areola, the side where her lower jaw is. My technique is excellent according to everyone and latch looks ok from outside.

I bought some nipple shields today and they have helped my pain (I think I have flattish nipples too) but her technique hasn't changed at all and she is effectively trying to suck a swimming pool out of a straw (kellymom's words!). She pulls off a lot and milk is pooled in the shields and dribbling out of her mouth and nose. I don't think my supply is great as it's been screwed from day 1. Also I am getting constant stabbing pains in the boobs all day but I think it's just me. Had thrush ruled out.

My DC1 is 23 months and I couldn't breastfeed him due to late tongue tie diagnosis and no change after snip...plus formula given by hospital.

So, do I just give up now? I feel miserable, stressed and with all of the different types of feeding I am not seeing my other child. I have a few days of help left and then I will be on my own so I need to decide what to do. I just don't know how I will be able to build my supply up with other child to consider and how craply dc2 is feeding. I keep thinking that her technique might improve in a few months time as she will be bigger and able to get more of me I to her mouth but I won't last until then.

I guess I probably know it's doomed but I suppose I needed to get my story off of my chest..excuse the turn of phrase!

Also, had loads of visitors staying and am fed up!

Popalina Fri 02-May-14 00:08:35

Also, she has lip tie. It's quite a combination! Just tried the shields again and she just won't open her mouth wide enough. Argh!

nevergoogle Fri 02-May-14 00:15:11

bumping for you. sorry, I don't know, it's beyond my experience.

but well done for persevering this far.

DS1 was 8 weeks old before he achieved a proper latch due to breathing difficulties and delayed breastfeeding due to being tube fed in NICU. We used shields, and topped up with formula, had nipple confusion and mastitis....but saying all that, after 8 weeks we went exclusive BF without shields and were able to keep going for a full year.

I realise it's not the same situation, but 4 weeks could still be early days.

Hoping someone more useful comes along soon.

Popalina Fri 02-May-14 00:40:11

Thanks Never. How did you get off formula top ups?

McBaby Fri 02-May-14 00:59:53

Get the tongue tie checked again. Our first cut was not deep enough so my DD tongue was still severely restricted.

We had horrible pain at lower jaw and a perfect latch fe the outside but her tongue did not cover her gum ridge so she bit through every feed. Cranial sacral osteopathy really helped improved this and move her tongue forward and encourage her mouth to open more as all the ligaments etc were v tight.

Popalina Fri 02-May-14 01:45:09

Thanks am baby. Her tie looks fully cut. It wasn't with DS and I know they can re grow but hers hasn't. DH strongly opposed to cranial osteopathy so not an option.

Purplevi Fri 02-May-14 02:11:08

Close your doors to visitors this is the time for you and baby to sort out things not to entertain.

Popalina Fri 02-May-14 05:04:07

I wishing could Purple but it's a large in law family who I can't offend. I haven't seen any friends yet.

nevergoogle Fri 02-May-14 10:33:17

re: getting off top ups. because he got nipple confusion he kind if went on feeding strike altogether. then when we finally latched on there was an intense period of feeding lots and lots to up my supply.

and tell your visitors to naff off. time to focus.

Popalina Fri 02-May-14 12:20:08

Thanks never, that's what my prob is. When I try an intense feeding frenzy she ends us stressed, dissatisfied, more chewy and my pain levels become unbearable. Think I will just express what I can and accept that it's not going to work for our family!

Singsongmama Fri 02-May-14 12:59:33

Didn't want to read and run...

Well done for trying so hard to continue BF - a lot of folk would have given up a long long time ago! Take the pressure off yourself and do whatever is going to mean that feeding is enjoyable and not stressful. Good luck.

GeordieMama Fri 02-May-14 13:07:23

I used to get the pain between feeds like you described. Turns out it was vasospasms from DS's poor latch (he also has TT and even after getting it snipped it took a while to get his latch right). Do your nipples ever go white after feeds? Try using heat pads between feeds.
I had pain during and between feeds for around 4 months but I'm still going at nearly 7 months and it's easy now.

Pabboo Fri 02-May-14 13:13:17

Have you called the breastfeeding network (http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk)
Or seen the lactation consultant since the snip? The consultant should provide follow up appointments and should be able to advise as to what to do next.
It may be a change of position would help while you and she get used to it all without the TT. It is hard to give advice without seeing face to face, so I would def get back in touch with the LC.
You also sound exhausted, and overwhelmed by all your visitors etc. get help from people, if they must come around- don't be rushing around for everyone!
Hope you can get the help you need, whatever you decide xx

Popalina Sat 03-May-14 21:45:36

Hi all. Thank you for your replies. I haven't called the breast feeding network yet. Do they take calls at weekends?

Been busy with visitors today but should be free by tomorrow evening. Fate has dealt me another hand in that I have my husband home for longer than I thought and the nipple shields are providing more relief than I expected. I now feel very much on Unchartered territory as I didn't get any relief from shields with dc1 and was just expressing at this stage.

Missy is still chomping on my nips with her jaws but with a layer of silicone to protect, it's bearable. What I am now confused about is why she will feed for half an hour, pull off a lot, appear to settle and then ten minutes later be crying with hunger and down 3 ounces when there is milk pooled in the shield and milk comes out when I squeeze.

I must have a supply issue as she has been mainly formula fed til now with irregular, short breast feeds through the day. So why is there still milk in my boobs and is the problem that she isn't getting it well, or it's not coming quick enough or ther just isn't enough of it? Or is it the shields she is struggling with? I used a medela small as I have small, flat nips. I do get those full boob pains through the day - at least I think that is what they are unless they are vasospasms but nips don't appear white. I also leak when she cries or I think about feeding her but I have never got that rock hard engorgement that people talk about.

So many questions!!

Popalina Sun 04-May-14 09:13:36

Just shamelessly bumping in case anyone can answer. Fed her quite a bit this morning but had to offer bottle as visitors downstairs and I need to get out of bed. Last day tho.

NickyEds Sun 04-May-14 09:52:30

Popalina- sounds like you're doing really well in a really hard situation. It does sound like a latch problem (sorry I hate people saying that-it's so vague isn't it). My DS is mix fed and he was tt at birth but after it was snipped and everything healed the pain stopped so if it's still hurting I'd try LLL or other such helpline. Are you still under community mw team? Local lactation consultant?
It's really hard with visitors but if they are in any way decent they won't be offended by you saying you need to focus on feeding your baby at the moment. You don't have time to entertain- you just had a baby!

Popalina Sun 04-May-14 11:37:18

Thanks Nicky! HVs and breast feeding councillor both couldn't help as latch looks perfect from the outside. Ridiculous isn't it!? I think I might be coming to the end of my tether. I had a little cry this morning. It's all too much.

Even if I could get bfing established I have a 23 month old active boy and I just don't know how I will be able to be pinned to the sofa feeding every hour and a half.

Popalina Sun 04-May-14 11:38:26

Sorry,I think I am feeling sorry for myself! I can't even put her down. All I have had this morning is a cup of coffee and then I spilt bleach all over the toilet floor. Am a right state!

Misty9 Sun 04-May-14 19:50:06

Oh OP, you sound like I did with ds; it's miserable isn't it? sad

I'm no expert, but I can tell you our story if it helps. Ds was severely tongue tied, picked up at birth but deemed unnecessary to snip (midwife was anti snipping; we knew no better). His mouth was tiny and he just didn't seem able to open it wide enough to latch well. Agonising feeding him and I used to dread him waking up as it meant he'd be hungry. Four horrendous weeks in we paid to get his tt snipped privately (had just missed the post natal cut off and we were relocating after that). Made no real difference to the pain though.

I persevered, mainly due to being stubborn as a mule, and about 11wks in the pain started to improve. I believe this was mainly due to his mouth growing and therefore improving his latch. It was incredibly stressful, mostly due to the conflicting advice we received from everyone, and I well remember being regularly in tears and it seriously affected my bonding with ds. I was also repeatedly told my latch looked ok.

Dd is now 2 weeks old and when feeding was initially toe curlingly painful, I really panicked thinking it was going to be a repeat of ds. Thankfully, the pain quickly improved and she's been cleared for tt -- unfortunately we're having other issues, but that's another thread!--

I fed ds until he self weaned at 15mo - BUT I swore I would not do the same if history repeated itself as the cost to my mental health and bond with ds was not worth it IMO.

Hope that helps, and feel free to ask anything else smile

Popalina Sun 04-May-14 21:01:06

Thank you for sharing Misty. You did well getting that far!

I think I would persevere if it wasn't for my toddler who I care for full time but I just can't see a way forward. If she was a good feeder but it just hurt I wouldn't mind so much but I can see her being on and off all day and night, always hungry, never getting enough and me not able to cope with my toddler. I know in the grand scheme of things he won't remember but I also don't want to compromise his situation too much as it's not fair when I know she will be fine on formula.

The conflicting advice is awful isn't it!? I hope you get your issues with your dd sorted.

Thanks again for sharing your story.

NickyEds Mon 05-May-14 06:46:16

Hope you had a good night Popalina. Formula will be fine. And yes the conflicting advice is terrible- we were told different things literally every day with DS. My sister gave me some good advice when I was in tears giving DS his first f top up- go to a school and point to the ff children- you can't. You need to do what's best for your family as a whole-I have often wondered how women manage bf with other children! I mainly wondered this whilst sat on the sofa for hours feeding DS!! I'm glad in many ways that we persevered with some bf but when I remember the early days all I remember is the tears and the pain and I'm still not sure I could do it with a second.

Popalina Mon 05-May-14 06:54:06

Thanks Nicky. It helps to be able to talk it through on here with sympathetic people! It is a whole new ball game with a second child, especially two under two.

Rachie1986 Mon 05-May-14 07:05:45

Hiya

Sorry to hear you've struggled - well done for keeping going!

Just one thought (and I'm no expert), but perhaps when she pulls off and there's milk in the shield, she's still hungry etc she finds bf hardwork compared to the bottle and just gets a bit tired? Just an idea..

You must do what's best for you and your family xx

Popalina Mon 05-May-14 07:18:42

I think so Rachie. She isn't a good feeder and chews rather than sucks, hence the pain si I suspect she is finding it hard work for little reward. Not sure how to change that. It's 3 weeks since her TT was cut and she is moving her tongue better but suspect she is treating my boob like a bottle teat. On the other hand I can't go cold turkey on the bottle or she would probably starve.

NickyEds Mon 05-May-14 07:25:16

Don't go cold turkey on the bottle if your baby is having quite a bit of f-I tried and the pain of hearing my baby crying with hunger was too much for me-I lasted about 2 feeds.
I'm certain my DS got "lazy" with the breast after too many bottles. I'd got him down to around 6oz f a day then he had a massive growth spurt and just seemed to want the speed and ease of the bottle.

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