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to be very annoyed with the post-natal wards lack of support with feeding?

(40 Posts)
feelingratheroverwhelmed Wed 19-Oct-11 21:04:23

Considered putting this in "feeding" but wanted a wide set of opinions, so here goes.
I've just had three days in hospital after having DS2. I began bf straight after birth and it seemed to go well. He spent a big chunk of his first day on the boob.
He began to get a bit sleepy after this, and feeding started to become uncomfortable. He was "nipple" feeding so I was experiencing discomfort at every feed pretty much. He was still feeding a fair amount, and he was more often than not on the boob when the midwives came in our room for this and that.
I expressed my concerns at the end of day 1/beginning of day 2. A couple of MW's showed an interest and had a cursory look at the latch, and said it was fine.
Now DS1 had tongue tie, and it took us weeks for this to be identiified. This was a really horrid time, I expressed loads and it took over our life. I told them about the history (tongue tie is often seen in siblings), of my experience, and concerns, and how I knew that bf was not supposed to be hurting like this. I also asked, lots, to see the BF specialist nurse. Each time I was fobbed off, told everything was fine, the specialist was busy etc.
Baby check done by paeds, another cursory check in mouth, no TT.
By yesterday, 48 hours in, I had blisters and sores on both nipples. I showed this to each MW who did things with me throughout the day, again asking for help, as it was getting worse. Same response. Finally, just as the day shift was ending, my asigned mw came in and said "as long as you can tolerate the pain, then we don;t advise you to stop feeding. There's no problem."
I was furious!
Thankfully this morning a nice mw told me she'd spent the night worrying about me, and would be referring me to the specialist today. I was seen, DS is tongue-tied, i was given advice and told what to do next. We are getting it sorted privately tomorrow.

Now, before you go in you are given lots of info about the importance of bf, ff not encouraged. There are posters covering every wall in every clinic / ward about bf, telling you about the support available. This is utter bullshit.

I'm now sat at home with my three day old DS with basically destoyed nipples. I have tears in my eyes each time I feed. It can only get better, thankfully, but no thanks to the majority of staff I had the misfortune to come across during my time in hospital. Apparantly, this is normal. And they wonder why people give up so quickly?!

I am going to send a letter of complaint, but what do people think? AIBU to expect support, or was sucking it up acceptable??

feelingratheroverwhelmed Wed 19-Oct-11 21:08:05

Sorry that was long, but one final thing. It defintely felt that because this was my second child, they were leaving me to it, despite my constant requests for help. I'd done it before, they could see me trying to feed, so why would I need their help?!

JamieComeHome Wed 19-Oct-11 21:12:11

I agree. Similar experiences with DS1, different reasons. Got passed around several MW, one of whom was rough and nasty to the baby (DS1). When I finally saw a bf advisor on the 4th day I was so demoralised I had decided to give up.

I chose not to bf DS2 because of this

Beaurevage Wed 19-Oct-11 21:13:06

I would expect the support, regardless how many children you had before. Every baby is different. Most definitely a letter of complaint is in order, especially as they got the TT wrong.

feelingratheroverwhelmed Wed 19-Oct-11 21:15:15

Should I take photos of my poor shreaded nipples to attach to the letter? I've very tempted to!

Iggly Wed 19-Oct-11 21:15:52

Sounds like my experience - with my first (and only) DC. I think the MWs were too busy and actually most of them don't actually have a clue when it comes to BF. one told me DS was latching on fine - looking back now I know that was rubbish!

moogalicious Wed 19-Oct-11 21:15:59

what jamie said. One mw actually scoffed, "what, you don't know how to breastfeed?" when I asked her for help. No, actually, I didn't - the baby was my first. Like jamie, I chose not to bf dc2 because of the lack of support and the guilt I felt.

BeyondLimitsOfTheLivingDead Wed 19-Oct-11 21:16:00

I agree to, I was on the CLW for birth and the following day and it was shit. Plus I was the only BFer in the room.
Went up to the MLW and they were brilliant, and I was in a room full of BFers.
YANBU to complain, I would.

JamieComeHome Wed 19-Oct-11 21:16:01

you poor thing. Am wincing in sympathy

Emsmaman Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:12

Sounds horrible and you're very strong to see it through. I found it odd that after all the BF pushing that the midwives/other professionals do during pregnancy (i.e. at my 12 week appt, they asked if I planned to bf, I said I was going to try but was open to ff if it didn't work for me - I got told I had a bad attitude), within 6 hours of DD's birth they wanted to give her formula as we were having a bit of difficulty learning how to feed properly. With perseverance and some utterly useless mw's bringing my confidence down, my DD was flourishing within a week and had gained weight by the first weigh in (I think 2 weeks after birth). Now at 6.5 months she has only had breast milk.

moogalicious Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:35

sorry, YABNU to expect support!

Gigondas Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:36

Yes complain- I asked for bf support... She rang me 5 days later.

The irony of all the bf posters and actual support is not lost on me either. Dd2 due I'n January - I do want to try to bf but no way will I suffer the way I did with dd (not thread hijacking. It had issues that weren't diagnosed and got zero support from la leche or not when rang)

moogalicious Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:46


JamieComeHome Wed 19-Oct-11 21:18:45

moog - the guilt is awful, isn't it? When i had ds1, all I saw when bfeeders, because I felt so guilty. When I had DS2, and had made my peace with FF, I noticed how many others were FF as well.

BoastingByStealth Wed 19-Oct-11 21:19:00

YANBU and I thoroughly support your decision to put it all in a letter of complaint.

Support should be there, particularly when the mother knows something isn't right and is constantly asking

The pressure to give up bf and "just put it on the bottle" when things get tough is immense. Two of my sisters, each bf their 3rd DC, having successfully extended bf their first two children were advised to give their babies a bottle by HCPs.

JamieComeHome Wed 19-Oct-11 21:19:12

all I saw was bfeeders

Gigondas Wed 19-Oct-11 21:19:53

That is so good to hear Jamie re attitude- not that I felt guilt re ff but I did feel a failure as everyone else seems to bf fine and I didnt

moogalicious Wed 19-Oct-11 21:20:43

Never got over my guilt jamie, even with dc3. But hey, they're all fit and healthy! The lack of support in the hospital was astonishing. DC1 was given formula despite the fact I said I wanted to breastfeed.

SootySweepandSue Wed 19-Oct-11 21:21:28

I had a similar experience. In hospital for 3 nights, DD couldn't latch and no-one helped me (out of at least 20 different mws or specialists). I was back at A&E 12 hours after discharge with DD jaundice which was spotted by an old dear at a BF cafe! Total bloody shambles!!!

GuillotinedMaryLacey Wed 19-Oct-11 21:21:37

I won't go over my story again but YANBU. Nearly four years on I'm still furious at my experiences of mw, hospitals and being. Due to give birth just after Christmas and am already spoiling for a fight.

LingDiLong Wed 19-Oct-11 21:21:45

Ouch. YANBU. I don't understand why tongue ties are so difficult to diagnose?? I know so many people who have had this problem missed - a friend with a child who had a cleft palate and her tongue tie wasn't picked up on for years. All the doctors that must have looked in her mouth and no-one noticed! Another friend struggled to breastfeed her son and basically expressed for around 6 months. Years later a doctor told her he was tongue tied and his top lip was tied. Again, so many midwives/breastfeeding councillors had looked and said he wasn't tongue tied.

Hope things turn around for you now OP.

feelingratheroverwhelmed Wed 19-Oct-11 21:21:48

When the paeds did the baby check they said they may need to give DS formula in a bottle to test his sucking reflex if I felt there was a problem. MASSIVE info poster just outside that room that included the point that they do not use bottles with babies under (can;t remember but about 2-3 weeks) at all. He can suck, i know he can suck, that is not the issue. I just didn't say anything more to them after that as they were clearly hearing something else.

GuillotinedMaryLacey Wed 19-Oct-11 21:21:57

BFing not being hmm smile

Magneto Wed 19-Oct-11 21:26:13

I completely agree. In my experience they tell you you HAVE to bf before the baby is born but once it arrives they leave you to it or haven't got a clue what they are on about.

faverolles Wed 19-Oct-11 21:26:53

Please complain. TT is a real bugbear of mine (well, one of many!)
Ds3 has a TT, a really obvious one. I spotted it soon after he was born, and showed a MW. "oh no, it's not TT, he just has a short Tongue" hmm
Showed the paediatrician when he did his baby check, he told me it was never a problem for babies. hmm
Showed the gp when feeding was still painful 4 weeks later, he told me to give DS a bottle, as he'd had all the goodness I had to offer him hmm
I would love to start a campaign to have babies checked for TT routinely before they are discharged, and for it to be snipped if there is one.
Not everyone will breastfeed, but every single woman who wants to should have proper support to ensure they continue as long as they want. TT diagnosis and treatment should be part of this support.
YANBU OP. I hope feeding gets better once it is snipped. Well done for carrying on despite the pain. And congratulations for your new baby smile

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