Breastfeeding excruitating, formula horrid

(61 Posts)
craftycottontail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:45:35

Having a rubbish time and feel caught between two unhappy alternatives sad

Breastfeeding is really painful, noth nipples now cracked, sore and scabbing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Midwives have siad my positioning is all good, latch looks okay and they discharged us last week as little one was back to birth weight. National Breastfeeding helpline were useless, basically just Googling for local help and giving me telephone numbers. NCT counsellor said some really useful things but none of her tips get past the fact that it really hurts!

Formula smells! And doesn't seem to satisfy my little man as he roots all over me straight after a bottle. Plus he's been sick since I've given him formula, and was never sick with breast milk. If I make the leap to formula will my baby get used to it?

I just don't know what to do - feel like it's a choice between me being in agony and unhappy, or my baby being unhappy on formula. I've not managed to get into the swing of pumping as there never seems enough time to sit pumping for hours in the day.

craftycottontail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:48:27

(baby is 18 days btw)

SirBoobAlot Thu 13-Jun-13 23:53:18

Have you been able to see a breastfeeding specialist in person? How old is your DS? Is there a specific area of your nipple that hurts the most?

In the short term, try rubbing some of the milk that drips from your nipples back into them as it will help the healing. Try to find your local group or drop in, get to see someone as soon as possible.

Startail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:54:58

It will get better, suddenly it won't hurt anymore and your nipples will heal.

You won't believe me now, but the day will come.

It will sneak up on you and suddenly BFing will feel the most natural thing in the world.

I can't say how long it will take, I honestly can't remember in the fog of sleepless nights and tiny baby chaos it kind of crept up on me.

But it will happen, but until it does {{{hug}}} because it fucking hurts.

housework Thu 13-Jun-13 23:55:09

Apparently if you persevere the pain will go I after a few weeks. I managed 2 weeks. Every suck was like a crocodile bite. She used too suck the scabs off and have mouthfuls of orange bloody milk.I'd had absolutely no idea breast feeding was going to hurt. Ifid known I might have been prepared. Are nct not allowed to tell you?

Cravingdairy Thu 13-Jun-13 23:56:57

Is there a qualified independent lactation consultant near you - I don't know what they charge but they might do a free consultation or even advise over the phone. You could google it. Have you been checked for thrush?It is v v painful bit very treatable. I used to slather on the lansinoh and you can take paracetemol too. Have you tried laid back nursing - that was what turned things round for us and 21 months later I am still feeding mine! I found latching on properly really hard but laid back nursing involves letting the baby do all the work using their instincts and it made a huge difference to us. Good luck and congratulations on your baby!

housework Thu 13-Jun-13 23:58:27

A breast feeding woman came and showed me the rugby hold. It took several minutes to set up cushions and put dd in position.could never work out how to do it on my own.

Cravingdairy Thu 13-Jun-13 23:58:27

I don't think scabbing and pain is inevitable BTW.

catlady1 Fri 14-Jun-13 00:03:18

For me the pain did go away shortly after we corrected DD's latch, I was in tears in the beginning and ended up giving her formula. Definitely try to persevere if you want to carry on bfing.

Out of interest, are you using SMA? I thought it absolutely stunk, and the smell seemed to linger in the steriliser and on the bottles, an awful chemical-y smell. DD didn't seem to like it either, and it made her very windy. But we switched to Aptamil and I don't think it really smells at all, the powder itself smells vaguely sweet but the made-up milk doesn't really smell of anything. DD doesn't have any problems with it either.

showtunesgirl Fri 14-Jun-13 00:06:17

What kind of pain are you getting? If it's still hurting, there could still be a latch problem.

Sunnysummer Fri 14-Jun-13 00:08:01

18 days really isn't very long... Although I'm sure that with scanned nipples it must feel that way! Have you spoken to your doctor, a nurse or a lactation consultant as the others suggested? There are also physical problems a baby can have that make breastfeeding much trickier, but which can be corrected, like tongue tie.

Personally I found my lactation consultant to be worth every penny, I also hated formula and pumping and at 7 weeks breastfeeding is now a breeze. It really is worth trying again - but also it's not the end of the world if you have to go with formula, don't let people guilt you. Good luck!

throwinshapes Fri 14-Jun-13 00:09:12

Bless you.
At 18 days their mouth is still tiny and much harder to get a proper latch (both of mine had tongue tie so even worse latch).
I swear in a week (or two) the difference will be amazing and your sore chads will feel much less sore.
Well done for persevering- if you can hold on for a little longer, your boobs will settle in. <they take a while to toughen up>.

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Jun-13 00:09:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raaraathenoisybaby Fri 14-Jun-13 00:20:01

You need to find a latch on group. Not everyone really knows what they are looking at wrt latch. If the nipple rubs in the roof of the baby's mouth that's what hurts and causes the damage. It's latch and angle.
In the mean time use some lansinoh like you would use Chapstick after every feed but sparingly.

KeepTryin Fri 14-Jun-13 00:23:25

You've done really well to get to 18 days. It does get better. I cheated, I expressed till my scabby nipples healed, then took a deep breath and latched DD on, was much better, seemed to turn a corner and improved everyday from 4 weeks. 4 months in now and so glad I stuck with it. Hope it works out for you

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Fri 14-Jun-13 00:54:53

Go to the chemist (or send someone) and ask for jelonet, a wet wound dressing you can put on your nipples between feeds to stop them drying out and scabing and to protect them from your bra. It really helped me.

I swear it gets easier soon! Well done for trying so hard.

philbee Fri 14-Jun-13 02:39:52

Get proper advice from a proper person who properly knows what they're talking about. There may be an infant feeding coordinator at the hospital, so that would be somewhere to start. If not, can you pay for a lactation consultant? If you can say where you are people might have recommendations.

It is painful but shouldn't be by this stage. I am bfing my second child, now 7 weeks and spent first month showing clueless mws and GPs the latch and them saying it was fine. If I said I was sore, or talked about the thrush and blocked ducts they said 'ah, probably a latch problem', ie 'you're doing it wrong', but then couldn't tell me how to improve it. Last week we saw a bf counsellor who diagnosed tongue tie, and said she couldn't believe we'd managed to make it this far. I nearly cried. DD has had it snipped but we still have some problems which I hope we can resolve gradually.

Bottom line is, get help from someone who knows what they're talking about because many people think they do but they don't, know that it's not your fault, regardless of what people imply, and know that you have done really amazingly to persevere, it sounds horrible. As pp said, some formula is nicer than others, and if you have to switch that's what happens, it's not poison and you need to be in a good state to look after your DC, bfing is not the be all and end all of caring for a baby. Good luck!

Sorry to be blunt - DD has fallen asleep so must attempt cot transfer!

philbee Fri 14-Jun-13 02:43:25

Also second lansinoh after every feed - slather it on! That will help with healing the nipples. I had a massive crack with DD1 and it sorted it out. As pp said, its moist wound healing, lots of info online. And if they don't heal get GP to prescribe cream for thrush as its easier to get thrush with damaged skin. You can use Vaseline until you can get lansinoh if you need to.

Longdistance Fri 14-Jun-13 03:30:10

When I had problems I found a local Sure start centre, and they had a bf group, where a mw and bf councillor would be there giving expert advice. It saved my sanity, and was like you, in between a rock and a hard place with bf.
I had massive cracks, I eventually used some nipple shields so the pain wasn't so bad, and then when my nips healed, I'd get dd to latch on fine again without. By his point my nips were made of steel, but doc said I had thrush from the wound. Was given Nystatin, which was useless, and then given Daktarin oral gel, which was fab.
I second the rugby hold. I used to pop dd on a pillow beside me, sat upright, and she got a good feed this way.
My dd didn't put any weight on for two weeks, and she was mega hungry too. I had so much milk too. But, couldn't for he life of me express much.
I hope it gets better soon, and you find the appropriate help.

SoYo Fri 14-Jun-13 04:14:10

My bubba is now 14wks & I can't believe I'm still BFing. I hated every second if it for the first 4 weeks & it hurt so ,iChat that all I wanted to do was push her little face off me. I couldn't understand at all how this was possible supposed to be good for bonding! I couldn't get my baby to settle after formula otherwise I'd have switched & expressing hurt just as much.

The things I found good were:
- ridiculous amounts of Lansinoh
- Jelonet from chemist if really cracked is amazing
- rugby ball hold or feeding lying down (learned from YouTube)
- against all the BF friendly advise I used nipple shields (medela ones) when it was really bad, she didn't get as much when I used them so fed a bit more frequently but to give my poor abused nips a days reprieve a week was bliss at the time
- taking her out as much as possible to try to extend the time between feeds on really bad days.

Good luck & be kind to yourself.

Want2bSupermum Fri 14-Jun-13 04:30:42

Get yourself a pair of nippleshields. I had a terrible time breastfeeding but my sister has managed to make 2 months. She swears by motherlove nipple cream. You can buy it on amazon. A little goes a very long way.

I took painkillers for the time I bf. I couldn't do it and moved to formula. DD was on special stuff but DS is on costco own brand formula. If you are using bottles I strongly suggest using Dr Browns and having gripe water in the house.

Kveta Fri 14-Jun-13 04:35:05

You poor thing OP, those early days can be so hard sad you're doing an amazing job to keep going through the pain.

Do you have a local La leche league group? If you look here. you should be able to find out. they are great for providing informed support, and should be able to help you out. Often a subtle change in latch can work wonders, but it is hard to identify how to make that change yourself, especially when in pain, so an outside perspective can be really useful!

Another thing that many mums find useful is 'biological nurturing', which is worth a Google.

Good luck!

glossyflower Fri 14-Jun-13 06:55:59

I really sympathise as I was the same.
Please don't give in as once you get settled its really is worth it.
I used a nipple shield. My HV said it wasn't ideal but rather me use the shield than not BF at all.
It sorted out my sore nipples immediately. However with the shield baby doesn't latch on very well and you are at risk of your milk drying up.
You also have to get the right size shield and apply it correctly.
A couple of weeks ago I gave up the shield and after a few days my nipples weren't so sore.
If your nipples are bleeding and cracked baby is not latched on correctly and in my experience midwives are rubbish at giving BF ing advice! All the midwives when I had my baby said "looks fine" because she was suckling fine but she wasnt latched on properly at all.
It takes time and still after 7 weeks I have problems with my DD latching correctly.

Are there any BF support groups in your area? My local hospital has one daily so worth checking out of yours does.


itsaruddygame Fri 14-Jun-13 08:20:45

Definatley get your latch checked again. I was told my latch was fine by more than one midwife - it wasn't - I was in agony. It took another (fabulous) midwife poking around and having good look whilst the baby was feeding to identify a poor latch (that looked reasonably ok). She visited me for a couple of days - watched me latch on and off and helped me. The pain stopped straight away when the latch was right .... It took a couple of weeks for it to stop being tender but it no longer hurt so much I thought I would have to give up.

Get someone who really knows there stuff to help (lactation consultant or similar) to come and help you face to face as soon as you can!

WoTmania Fri 14-Jun-13 09:35:46

MWs mean well and some are brilliant at BF support but most don't have the training or up to date information.
It really shouldn't hurt if the latch is 'good'. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the national BF helpline. If you feel up to it give LLL or NCT a call or find your local groups.

carovioletfizz Fri 14-Jun-13 14:22:47

Sorry to hear you are having a bad time. Well done on persevering. I know how sore it can be.

Firstly if you PM me where you are I might be able to help locate a local group for you?

The Breastfeeding Network Supporterline is definitely worth a call - 0300 100 0210. Open 9.30 to 9.30.

I know this has been said before but once you get the latch right, it really doesn't hurt. I say this as someone who had excruciating pain, black scabs, crying through every feed - then the MW showed me the rugby ball hold and it all just fell into place.

Take a look at this video make sure you are going through all the steps for latching on. Remember, baby's mouth must be really wide open - think eating an apple rather than sucking spaghetti!

Good luck and do pm me with your location, I am a breastfeeding helper and might be able to give you details of a local group or supporter that can help.

THERhubarb Fri 14-Jun-13 14:30:29

I remember the pain all too well.

I had patronising midwives and even breastfeeding counsellors telling me that if I was doing it right, it shouldn't hurt. They seemed to look at me as if I was a right soft arse. It wasn't until I came across Mumsnet that I realised I was not the only one who suffered.

It was also painful with my second and I'm hardly sensitive to pain - I gave birth to him at home without pain relief!

My breasts are quite small so I don't know if that had anything to do with it?

One bit of advice I was given was to squeeze the end of my breasts, almost like a sandwich, before offering it to the baby so I could ensure that she got a good mouthful. That seemed to help.

Yes it was toe-curling agony every time I fed her and after 3 months I gave up because I just couldn't bear it any longer. I wish I had stuck it out though. I lasted longer with ds, a whole six months and by that time I was become very adept at feeding.

The tips I would give is the breast sandwich tip above; also do some breathing exercises just before you latch the baby on, like when you were in labour, so that you are completely relaxed; tilt yourself back a little whilst feeding - don't hunch over.

Those tips helped me get through the worst of it.

You have my every sympathy. All I can say is that the pain will eventually subside. Right now it's at its worst, it will not get much worse than this, so with that thought keep at it if you can. You will soon start to feel an improvement.

THERhubarb Fri 14-Jun-13 14:35:31

caro that is completely and utterly wrong, I'm sorry.

I WAS doing it right. The latch, the positioning and everything was spot on. I know it's hard for some people to accept this but accept it you must if you are going to help new mothers - for some people breastfeeing just hurts.

It was the same with my ds, born 3 years later. Again, everything was right. The pain just subsided over time.

I also had a huge letdown reflux. My milk would come spurting out absolutely everywhere and would be really painful. I couldn't feed in public because the baby would pull away (the milk was drowning her!) and the milk could cover a huge distance. I was forever wiping milk from my walls and furniture.

This again, passed in time.

You can be doing everything right and you can be an experienced feeder and it can still just hurt. From speaking to so many other mums, I know this is the case. By telling mothers that they must be doing something wrong you are only making them feel like failures. I almost gave up because of that attitude. Only when I had accepted that it just hurt and I was convinced that everything I was doing was ok, could I just get on with it.

tobiasfunke Fri 14-Jun-13 14:56:10

Rubbing breast milk on your nipples and letting it dry between feeds helps heal the nipples. It was absolutely magic for me.
As regards formula- if he is being sick perhaps he is drinking it too quickly because he is used to having to suck harder for bm. That is what happened DS when we introduced a bottle after 6 months. He literally sucked it down in one gulp and then regurgitated it.
Try a slow flow teat.

carovioletfizz Fri 14-Jun-13 15:38:50

Therhubarb, sorry to hear you had a painful experience BFing. It's not wrong,however, to say that if the latch is correct, ongoing scabbing and extreme pain to the extent the op is suffering should not be an issue. I don't think it would be helpful to suggest to crafty or any other mum to suggest that 'breastfeeding just hurts' when that need not be the case with a few adjustments to positioning and latch.

OP, you are absolutely not a failure, and I do hope that's not what you read from my post - breastfeeding is a skill and can be really hard, and it sounds like you are doing brilliantly to persevere. Latch is something that is tricky to perfect and I hope the links and helpline numbers I have posted above may help you. Take care.

craftycottontail Fri 14-Jun-13 16:09:00

Thanks so much everyone. I'm currently feeding rugby hold and it's fine (but generally is in the afternoons). I think because there are times it doesn't hurt it reinforces that midwives etc are right when they say my positioning and his latch are fine. There's something very different about the times when it's painful.

I've been using lansinoh from the beginning as had read on MN it was good.

I'm in Norwich which seems to be a black hole with breastfeeding help. There's one breastfeeding cafe near me on Monday mornings but little man slept through it last week and refused to be woken. Will go again though.

Googled but can't seem to find any local lactation counsellors - if anyone has any recommendations for Norwich that would be great. Don't really know who to pester for help as midwives have discharged us, health visitors (who run the cafe) don't seem to have much epertise and the heLplines just tell me all the same things. LLL don't have any local groups according to their website.

Actually just remembered there's an LLL logo on my hospital website, will check that out!

Was using Cow and Gate, hopefully other brands will smell less and agree with him more!

I too am v v annoyed that nothing was said in antenatal classes and all the things I read beforehand about the pain. Feel I wouldn't have been so stressed about it if I'd known. He had problems sucking from the start and ended up feeding colostrom via syringe which the hospital said was v normal.

Interested in baby led latching as would make sense with how strong his instinct is to root around my chest, will investigate that too.

One of the helplines said him feeding for long stretches (30-60 mins) is indication that something might not be right but can't find any info on this??

Thanks again everyone smile

craftycottontail Fri 14-Jun-13 17:50:23

Oh dear I didn't notice the 2nd page sorry!

Caro thanks for your kind offer, can't figure out how to PM from my phone but I'm in Norich NR4 area.

Breastfeeding pain seems to be a complicated issue - either the multiple midwives I've seen at hospital and afterwards are undertrained in advising on positioning and latch or breastfeeding really can hurt.

I've taken to bed since 3pm with baby trying skin to skin for cluster feed session and switching breasts when they start to hurt. Don't know if this is advised but it's being mainly ok... Determined to push through this! He's still going hmm

Yep I think DS is being sick by drinking formula too fast.

carovioletfizz Fri 14-Jun-13 18:11:52

Hi crafty,
Maybe it might be worth recording the time of day and position when it hurts as you say it only hurts sometimes - you might see a pattern? You are doing brilliantly! Skin to skin sounds like a wonderful idea.

I found this for you
which may have some useful Norwich links.

It looks like there is a breastfeeding support centre in West Pottergate on Thursdays from 10-12, at the West Pottergate Health Centre, though I know that's a few days away. Tel is 01603 620263.

The NCT also have a branch in Norwich and they will hopefully have some breastfeeding supporters in your area who can help.

Give the Breastfeeding Network Supporterline a go if you feel you want to talk to someone who's breastfed and can talk your issues over 0300 100 0210. Open 9.30 to 9.30.

It does seem complicated at first - but I promise once you get the hang of it it will feel easy. It's a bit like learning to drive. Soon it will be second nature. Just take it one feed at a time, take your time latching him on and it should all fall into place. Hope you have a good night with him tonight and things start to get a little easier.x

FaddyPeony Fri 14-Jun-13 18:20:42

Breastfeeding really hurt for me too, although every expert going was super impressed by how well dd latched on and how comfortable I looked feeding her. A lactation consultant diagnosed posterior tongue tie and we got it clipped at 14 weeks. That said I do think that breastfeeding just hurts for some people! How would it not when your nips have never been sucked on constantly like that before?

OP - remember that you can put on lansinoh before a feed as well as after. It helps a bit. If you stick with it, in 2 weeks' time it should already feel a lot easier and you will be vv glad you persevered.

fuckwittery Fri 14-Jun-13 18:20:48

Has he been checked for tongue tie? As latch might be perfect but tongue tie could cause the pain x

FaddyPeony Fri 14-Jun-13 18:22:34

oh delighted to hear that the skin to skin might be helping a little OP - I used to lie down on my side with dd in bed when it felt very sore and that definitely helped a lot. keep doing that!

TreeLuLa Fri 14-Jun-13 18:24:43

I BF DTs and it was agony for about 6-8 weeks. Real teeth clenching, crying agony.
Turned out I had thrush on my breasts. When that was fixed, was fine. If they are red, a bit flaky and sore, it might be that.

Hope things get better soon.

craftycottontail Fri 14-Jun-13 19:26:51

He's still going 3 hours later and now it's starting to hurt again. Beginning to wonder if it's just repeated abuse that makes it hurt!

I've tried all those helplines, they all say the same things.

He has been checked for tongue tie and doesn't appear to have it, midwife who checked him said even if he did have it they wouldn't always treat it (though National Breastfeeding helpline says that's false - how they know local hospital policy I don't know).

This is frystrating sad I'm holding on to this pain resulting in something that's good for my baby. It's better than the emotional wrench of seeing him vomit formula and struggle to fill his nappy. He also sounds congested after formula and doesn't after breastmilk. Will keep reminding myself of these things!

carovioletfizz Fri 14-Jun-13 21:11:01

Hope you get a bit of a break soon crafty. Might be worth asking your HV about thrush if that is a possibility?

glossyflower Fri 14-Jun-13 21:17:29

How old is your baby? And what is your milk supply like?

Would you consider temporarily using nipple shields? Or expressing your milk and feeding from bottle/cup?


Longdistance Fri 14-Jun-13 23:46:00

Sounds like he's cluster feeding.

Definitely get some nipple shields to protect your nips. And get checked for thrush.

craftycottontail Fri 14-Jun-13 23:46:22

He's 18 days old. My milk supply seems fine - flows pretty easily, he makes a gulping sound sometimes so not sure if it's a bit fast for him at times?

24 hrs later I'm in exactly the same position, can't bear to feed him any longer. DH has just come home from work (he's on afternoon-evening shifts) and is giving him some formula. DS fed constantly from about 3pm to 9pm today, we both slept a bit then he woke at 11pm looking for more.

I DO feel like a failure as just don't have the energy and pain threshold to give him what he wants.

Kellymom website says this cluster feeding might be a 3wk growth spurt (he's 3wks on Sunday).

I think I'll have to get my head round pumping in order to preserve my sanity.

craftycottontail Fri 14-Jun-13 23:51:15

I tried nipple shields but he took the top of the shield to the back of his mouth and bit down on my nipple instead of sucking it through to the top. Even more painful. Health visitor who runs the breastfeeding cafe said I was fitting them correctly but that they don't work for all babies.

I'll ask her about thrush on Monday but don't seem to have any of the redness/flakiness described - does it always look like this?

carovioletfizz Sat 15-Jun-13 07:39:24

You mustn't feel a failure, you are doing a great job and really persevering although it's hurting.Please, don't be so hard on yourself - as many have said on here, breastfeeding can be difficult at first, and you are trying so hard.

I hope you're feeling better today. The gulping sounds good, a sign that he's getting your milk.x

Longdistance Sat 15-Jun-13 13:15:22

No, my thrush was sore. Slightly pink, probably brought on by the cracks I had on my nips. I'd suggest seeing a doc for thrush, as they can prescribe the drugs there and then. I remember the toe curling pain of it.
Chin up op, you're doing really well.

philbee Sat 15-Jun-13 15:03:58

My thrush (ah, my very own) is like longdistance's, not red or flaky, but nips are definitely a much brighter pink than usual, more noticeable in the mirror than by looking down at them. And I get needley pains after and in between feeds, plus just general soreness. I think the red flaky thing isn't the case for everyone. GP can give you cream, and gel for baby's mouth. You both need treating or you'll keep reinfecting each other. Joy.

katiecubs Sat 15-Jun-13 15:09:56

I am bf ds2 and its going fine now - gave up with ds1 for similar issues (so painful!) honestly it really does get better, I found at 3-4 weeks it eased up a lot,

It's like breaking in a new pair of shoes, see how you are doing next week!

craftycottontail Sat 15-Jun-13 15:36:53

Really appreciate all the encouragement, thank you!

So after the marathon cluster feed yesterday he's done the same today - feeding since 8am! DH just took him so I could have a quick shower and we're back in the nursing chair (best £40 I ever spent!)

It's already getting better I think - perhaps just being in a different frame of mind is helping. Still hurts at times but it's getting easier to push through and I feel so much better for persevering! Helps having DH around as it's the weekend, he woke up with me during last night's feeds and read Peter Rabbit to us smile

Oh yay and he's just brought me tea and a snack, what an amgel! Moral support makes a HUGE amount of difference.

FridaKarlov Sat 15-Jun-13 20:26:16


I just wanted to post and let you know my experience: my daughter is now 4 months breastfed, but the first four weeks were awful and I felt the antenatal classes I attended did nothing to prepare me for how hard and painful it was.

My baby had a tongue-tie that was corrected at 10 days, but by that point my nipples were wrecked- huge cracks, and with toe-curling letdown. My baby was also feeding constantly, it felt like having my nipples pierced every couple of hours and I was screaming every time she latched on.

The way I got through it was to express milk using a pump for a week and bottle feeding her it, supplementing with 1 bottle of Aptamil in the evening, and using lansinoh and a bit of breastmilk on the cracks to heal the nipples. Once they'd healed I put her back on the breast and haven't had any probs since. Co-sleeping and feeding her while lying down also helped massively.

I'm very glad I stuck with it as now I love breastfeeding and am going to try and carry on until she's a year old- which seems amazing to me as I was so close to jacking it in!

Longdistance Sun 16-Jun-13 07:09:23

philbee if you get a tingling sensation, and it feels like you're feeding baby broken glass, you may have ductal thrush which will need treating by a gp with Fluconazole, a loading dose, and then a spread out dose.
Information can be found on the Breast feeding Network site.
Good luck

The thrush queen!!

LAF77 Sun 16-Jun-13 10:13:31

Please get to the West Pottergate session. If you called the BFN, perhaps they could put you in touch with Jan who runs it in advance of Wednesday.

Hopefully, Norwich won't be a BF blackhole in a few months!

Good luck and take care.

philbee Sun 16-Jun-13 19:26:41

longdistance I don't get problems while feeding, but tingling, itching, soreness afterwards and sometimes the stabbing pains. We both have cream and DD has oral gel and we've been using that since Wednesday, so if it's no better by Tues when I'm going to the bf group I'll see whether the counsellor there thinks I need the tablets (is that fluconazole?)

THERhubarb Mon 17-Jun-13 08:49:36

caro as crafty has said, if people were honest about breastfeeding then perhaps more mothers wouldn't give up quite so soon feeling like failures.

Yes there can be problems with latching on, with thrush, etc. But are you told about ANY of these problems beforehand? No.

You are told, by midwives and breastfeeding counsellors that if you are doing it right, it should not hurt. This puts the emphasis onto you, the mother, which implies that if it does hurt, it's not thrush or anything else but the way you are feeding which is wrong. It makes you feel like a failure as a new mum.

I wrote an article about my experience for the NCT as I was so angry by the attitudes I had come across. I realise that most counsellors meant well but they all seemed to imply that the pain was largely my fault. Their attitude was that if the positioning and latch were fine, then there should be no pain. You wouldn't believe how many responses that article got from women who all had the same experiences and many of them, like me, had given up breastfeeing after feeling like utter failures.

If we knew the truth about breastfeeding then we wouldn't have put so much pressure on ourselves to get it right. If I knew about breast thrush and mastitis I would have got these checked out. I only found out about them by googling problems with breastfeeding.

I did get mastitis once but I did not get breast thrush thankfully.

With both of mine, the pain was there from the very start of the feed although it got more bearable towards the end and now I do feel that it was to do with the letdown of my milk. Once we had both settled into a routine, from around 6 weeks onwards, the let down became less severe and the pain would subside until, with ds, I was able to feed with ease after 3 months.

Knowing all the problems associated with breastfeeding would not have put me off trying and it may even have resulted in me feeding dd for longer instead of finally giving up after 3 months. I was angry that no-one had told me of all these issues so that I could have investigated them. I was angry that they implied the pain was all my fault and that I was not feeding my babies correctly, or that I was being soft and imagining it. The responses from my article showed me that I was not alone. There were many angry mothers out there who also experienced pain and who were also made to feel like failures.

I found many more on Mumsnet. In fact I had such an argument on here once (years ago) with a bf counsellor who didn't believe me that sometimes, it just bloody hurts, that I started a thread and she had to concede defeat when many posters came on to say the same thing, that their positioning was fine, the latch was fine, but it still JUST HURT. They too, were angry at how they had been treated.

So yes, do investigate breast thrush, do watch out for mastitis and do make sure you get cracked nipples treated (I also advocate rubbing breast milk on them, but AFTER your baby has fed so that your nipple is covered in the creamy breastmilk which makes more of a difference I think) but if you have investigated all these possible causes and are still in pain then it's just one of those things which is more common than you'd expect. I doubt it will be investigated as midwives and bf counsellors seem to have this huge problem in even admitting that painful breastfeeding exists. But it DOES subside and you CAN get through it. You need a lot of moral support and more importantly, you need to be believed.

Best of luck OP.

craftycottontail Tue 18-Jun-13 08:51:19

Thanks Rhubarb, great post and I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. After pushing through another few days of cluster feeding (which was okay to start with but soon turned into hell again) I've decided to switch to formula. We're using HIPP organic and DS is lapping it up. He doesn't get spots on his face or vomit afterwards like he did with Cow and Gate. He seems very content.

After initial feelings of guilt I feel SO much better in myself, more energetic and feeling able to just enjoy my little boy without any more feelings of resentment towards him or dreading the next feed. For all of us formula is the right choice. I'm sure it's debateable what good he was getting from my milk anyway when I felt so run down, a sobbing mess and unable to prepare proper meals myself while DH at work because I was pinned to nursing chair for such long stretches.

THERhubarb Tue 18-Jun-13 08:57:22

Good for you crafty! We have to make tough decisions as mothers sometimes and we don't need the guilt trip to make it worse. You did what was right for you and I agree with you. Some people would argue that the baby's health is more important than yours; that is crap. Your health is vital if you are to bond and care for your baby.

I'm very pleased that you have found a solution smile

Layl77 Tue 18-Jun-13 09:05:46

Sounds like baby might have a tongue tie? I'd speak to a lactation consultant ask midwife to check babes mouth.

SlinkyB Tue 18-Jun-13 09:58:36

Just scan read the thread OP and just wanted to say how happy I am for you that you've found a way that works for you and your baby! smile

I could have written your exact posts when DS was that age; he's now a healthy, happy 2.5yr old.

The respite that the bottles of formula gave my nipples was such a relief, and I actually enjoyed being able to mix-feed for a couple of weeks too (bf first/last thing, formula all other times, my milk supply was still ok and my poor nipples had healed).

Please don't feel guilty; other people will do a grand job of that for you sometimes!! wink

philbee Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:10

Glad to hear things are better, crafty. Your health (mental and physical) is the most important thing so you can keep on looking after your baby. Hope things continue to improve. smile

LAF77 Tue 18-Jun-13 20:38:10

crafty I would suggest that you go to see Jan at West Pottergate tomorrow if you can. Your DC may have a tongue tie that has been missed by the MWs as most do not have specialist knowledge to know what they are looking for. If you choose not to bf anymore, it would be in your DCs long term interests to have it dealt with now.

BF can be painful at first as your body is getting used to the letdown of milk and your nipples can get sore. However, bleeding suggests that there is something is wrong beyond the normal adjustment process.

Be gentle with yourself. I also remember trying to do everything, cook, clean, when my DS was just as tiny. I was so frustrated that I couldn't just do it all and have everything ready for DH when he came home.

PM me if you want to chat and some moral support in Norwich. I'm in NR1.

LAF77 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:21:10

I also just saw this pop up crafty about BF support at Chapelfield in case this works for you.

mrsnoodle55 Sun 23-Jun-13 10:51:37

crafty -I know this thread is a few days old and you might not see this, but if you do I wanted to say I think you've done absolutely the right thing. I have 2 kids-8 yrs ago I went to hell and back trying to breast feed. I am convinced it lead to (undiagnosed) PND, then ultimately divorce and life as a single mum. This time round (DD is now 16mths) I was determined not to go down the same path.

However! Once again I found it so hard, yet just couldn't admit defeat. The cycle began again. Tongue tie snips, endless appointments with bf counsellors, I drove 100 miles to see a lactation consultant, medications, pumps, supplementary devices...and still a fussy baby, not gaining weight, and a stressed out and exhausted me.

The turning point for me was at about 2 months-at 3am i was trying to tape a supplementary feeding tube to my knackered nipples whilst baby screamed her head off, starving. 8 yr old son woke up through the racket and banged his head on bunk bead, baby then ripped tube off in her panic. I saw the light. I ripped the rest of the stuff off and threw it at the window, went downstairs and made a bottle.

I admit-I was upset for a few days. But we rediscovered a life, and I enjoyed her. I look back now, and i don't recognise myself. Both bottlefed 8yr old son and bottlefed 16th month old daughter are fine. Neither had allergies/tummy upsets/son is a stick insect!

Enjoy your baby xx

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