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To breast feed if it's causing DS pain or discomfort?

(88 Posts)
QueenAmongstMen Sun 01-Oct-17 18:51:52

I have a 6 week old baby and at Day 7 I had him assessed for Tongue Tie because feeding was horrendous and at Day 9 he had it snipped.

Feeding was pain free following the division but I've continued to have problems on one breast with poor attachment, clicking noises, milk leaking out the side of his mouth and lots of spluttering. His feeding on the other breast still isn't perfect but pretty close.

Due to being 5 weeks post Tongue-tie repair and still having these problems I had him reassessed three days ago and after lots of discussion, reassessment of his sucking abilities and observing feeds the woman said the problems I'm having aren't related to his tongue tie and in her opinion it's because he has a misalignment of his neck. He has always tilted his head to the left and she said it's very common in c-section babies, which is how DS was delivered. She advised I see a Chiropractor or someone who performs cranial osteopathy in order to correct his neck positioning.

It is likely that breast feeding is uncomfortable for him due to him being unable to feed in the correct position and having to twist his neck in an unnatural position for him and I can see that this makes sense as DS has never comfort fed and unless he's hungry he will not go to the breast. His feeds are often very quick and it's like he sees them as nothing but a food supply and he wants to get the job done as quickly as possible.

I will be contacting the Chiropractor tomorrow and it's usually a week wait for the initial consultation and then weekly sessions with most necks being corrected in three sessions.

I was talking to my brother about it this evening and he basically said I'm being cruel to continue breast feeding if it's causing discomfort and I should just "put him on the bottle." I explained I was intending to get the misalignment corrected and within a month things should be fine but he said that a month is a long time to go if I'm causing DS discomfort.

His comments were quite upsetting actually as I had never considered myself to be doing anything wrong by DS by intending to continue breast feeding him.

Aside from the feeding difficulties mentioned above DS appears settled at the breast and doesn't seem to be in pain or discomfort hence my plan to just carry on breast feeding alongside having treatment but my brother has made me doubt myself now.

Is continuing to breast feed for the next month really such a bad thing? Even if it's slightly uncomfortable until treatment is complete it's no different to what he's used to anyway, and surely the benefits of him being able to breast feed correctly after the treatment outweigh the ease of just putting him on bottles instead?

Has anyone else been in a situation like this?

DonkeyOaty Sun 01-Oct-17 18:58:17

Have you tried the rugby ball hold?

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 01-Oct-17 19:04:13

I doubt he's in discomfort if he'll happily latch on and feed. He may well just be an efficient feeder. As PP has said you could try different positions for that side to see if that seems to help him relax. Your brother is not being helpful at all.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Sun 01-Oct-17 19:11:20

I don't think he is in pain feeding.
Who are you seeing about his tongue tie? I would be tempted to get a second opinion from another tongue tie practitioner, as it sounds as though the tie wasn't fully cut. That is pretty common.
Chiropractic treatment in babies isn't evidence based. Although some mums do swear by it, there is no evidence that c sections cause neck problems in babies. Personally I would be wary of letting anyone manipulate my baby's neck.
I would experiment with different positions. I found feeding lying down in bed comfortable for us both. Also feeding in the sling. Any milk that baby couldn't swallow flowed away onto my clean sheets so baby didn't cough and splutter.

user1489434024 Sun 01-Oct-17 19:23:51

The clicking and dribbling is more likely from a fast let down and should settle as baby gets used to and your supply settles. I wouldn't stop BF X

QueenAmongstMen Sun 01-Oct-17 19:25:24

I have tried the Rugby ball position but I just can't do it. I find it incredibly unnatural and uncomfortable and DS got all flustered each time I tried it.

The lady who cut his tongue tie was a lactation consultant and I went to see a different lactation consultant the other day.

My worry was that the tongue tie had grown back but she said if the problems I'm having were TT related I would be having them on both breasts, not just one. She assessed his tongue function and said he had good peristaltic movements, he was able to move his tongue well and cup her finger and confirmed his TT wound had healed well and there was no regrowth. She scored his tongue function out of 14 and his score was far better than it had been pre-division. She said the clicking I hear is most likely due to him having a very high palette (the top of his mouth is like a cave) and obviously nothing can be done about that.

I just don't know what to do for the best.

tissuesosoft Sun 01-Oct-17 19:30:01

I think cranial osteopathy would be better than a chiropractor? One that specialises in infants

portuguesefordummies Sun 01-Oct-17 19:32:57

Sorry to hear it's not going smoothly for you so far. I wouldn't pay too much attention to your brother though, doesn't sound like he is an expert... I agree trying some different positions is a good idea, we found lying down took a bit of getting used to but then got a lot easier. Also had a BF cushion which helped take some of the baby's weight while I tried out different positions. It doesn't sound like you are ready to give up yet. Have you considered expressing for a feed or two and seeing if that makes a difference? Fwiw mine were both quick feeders, rarely more than 10 mins at a time. Hope it gets better soon!

QueenAmongstMen Sun 01-Oct-17 19:45:44

The problem is that I really don't want to start introducing bottles. We've had such a rough start and now learning of this problem I just really don't want to do anything that may jeopardise the breast feeding.

I BF my first son for 2.5 years with no real problems so having a difficult breast feeding experience this time round feels a bit disheartening.

It cost us quite a chunk of money to get his TT fixed so I want to do all I can to get breast feeding as near perfect as possible otherwise spending that money will have been for nothing.

He's curled up next to me now and even though I know deep down that the issues aren't my fault, I still feel guilty that things have been so bumpy. I want the feeding experience to be lovely for him too, not just for me sad

paia Sun 01-Oct-17 19:48:22

It doesn't sound like he's in discomfort.

When my baby was cutting his first two teeth, feeding did cause him some discomfort - getting a bit upset latching on and pulling off a lot. Once the teeth were through things went back to normal.

Sounds more like your baby does short feeds because he feeds efficiently and/or you have a fast let down - I do as well and at 6 weeks old there was definitely spluttering and clicking and milk leaking out of his mouth. That all stopped as he got older and could handle it better.

As a pp has said, try feeding him lying down.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 01-Oct-17 19:52:15

Well, goodness, how are you supposed to bottle feed, either?!

Has your brother ever thought about the mechanics of feeding a newborn baby? There are various positions you could try on the breast or with the bottle, but I find it quite hard to imagine how anyone could be utterly certain the bottle would make it impossible for him to put any strain on his neck. IME a lot of the positions in which newborns will happily bottle feed are quite similar to the positions in which they'll breastfeed.

I'd tell your brother to butt out.

Whatsername17 Sun 01-Oct-17 19:54:54

I'd feed from the 'Good' side and express from the other. My dd had ebm from week 3 and it never caused any issues. No nipple confusion or anything. She had one bottle of ebm per day.

WellThisIsShit Sun 01-Oct-17 19:59:25

God I remember those days, the GUILT. So heavy and everything felt life crushingly vital that I Got It Right.

First of all, take a huge deep breath and focus on you. Your a good mum making good decisions for you and your baby. It's ok. Don't let those really ruddy unhelpful voices get into your head and start that guilt twisting away. People say stupid things, annoying things and ignorant things. But you don't have to take their opinions on.

Right! Having said that, about the whole bf thing.

If it's hurting your baby horribly, and it will continue to hurt them for months and months, then maybe you could try expressing, or even formula feeding etc.

But as far as I understand it, that's not the situation. Keep trying to find a position that the baby seems more at ease with. And try an infant chiropractor, some people say they do wonders, I think it depends on the baby, but definitely worth a go.

My first idea was the rugby ball position but you don't get on with that (nor did I!), what about lying down feeding? Could help a bit?

Bearhair Sun 01-Oct-17 20:01:39

My dd had neck issues and just screamed if I tried to bf. She wouldn't/couldn't. It must have been painful. She got dehydrated and we had to bottle feed. I really doubt your ds is in pain if he's getting on with it and it sounds to me like you're doing/trying all the right things.

try2hard Sun 01-Oct-17 20:02:12

Definitively sounds like a fast let down meaning he's finished quickly and splutters on the extra milk. Kellymom has lots of advice for that, changing positions etc but also as the. Any grows they get used to it and can cope with the quick flow rate

MatildaTheCat Sun 01-Oct-17 20:04:16

Please don't give up now based on the opinions of your brother. I'm assuming he's not qualified in this area?

As a former midwife, I really second trying to get the hang of other feeding positions. The rugby ball method is very easy once you get the position right. Sitting on the edge of the bed with pillows supporting the baby to the correct height allows the baby to feed without any twisting and also allows a good view of the latch. It was my favourite position. Rather than chasing around getting more and more advice and spending more money, this could help.

If he's a contentedish baby who is gaining weight and thriving he's doing fine. Sure, get further help if he's not but it does actually sound as if you are doing really well and maybe thinking he's in pain when he isn't.

ItsInTheDogsMouth Sun 01-Oct-17 20:05:36

I certainly wouldn't listen to your brother, one thing you'll find is that everyone thinks they're an expert on your baby and people seem quite willing to thrust their opinions on you. It's hard to not listen to them when you have a new baby and are feeling vulnerable and maybe a bit out of depth with it all. I would certainly try different positions, lying down worked for me, but took a lot of practice. Go to bed often and practice! I experimented with the rugby hold, but it always felt really unnatural to me. Sling feeding was my saviour for when i had to get up out of my lovely bed! I had a fabric wrap sling for my first born and she lived in it!

ElizabethShaw Sun 01-Oct-17 20:07:14

The woman you saw presumably wasn't a doctor so not sure if she is qualified to diagnose neck problems? And she recommended cranial osteopathy which is total woo with no evidence behind it hmm

I'd go and see a medical professional if you are concerned he has a painful neck.

MayCatt Sun 01-Oct-17 20:11:01

My DS had difficulty feeding on one side after having tongue tie snipped. It was driving me crazy until I found out that after having tongue tie babies can often feed much better on one side so you have to move the baby round rather than flip them over so they are always lying on the same side to feed.

I'd preserve with the rugby ball if you can, especially trying some pillows or cushions underneath your baby, or sitting sideways at a table with a thick blanket for your DS to lay on. See if you have a local NHS/nct breast feeding support worker who could come to your home and give you a hand to figure out ways that will work for you.

We were also advised to have cranial osteopathy but found that encouraging DS to use the 'weaker' side (putting something interesting on the side he didn't like to turn to as much) really helped and didn't end up needing the osteopathy.

Your 'D'B was totally wrong to make you feel bad about BF. Trust your instincts OP and good luck! flowers

QueenAmongstMen Sun 01-Oct-17 20:11:36

I have tried feeding lying down but the position his head naturally falls into makes it very difficult for him to stay latched on because his nose faces downwards towards the mattress so he struggled to breathe. Plus, it's not a very practical position to feed in unless you're prepared to be housebound sad

I've had a recommendation for a lady who performs osteopathy on infants with positional related feeding difficulties so I'm going to contact her in the morning. There's no harm in going and just seeing what she says.

The two LC that I have seen, and my HV have all said that as long as feeding is pain free and DS's weight is ok then I should continue to breast feed even if things aren't "perfect". I guess when I was thinking about feeding being pain free I was only thinking about myself, I hadn't considered if it was pain free for DS.

I think it's the fact that he never comfort feeds that makes me think it's actually painful to feed? DS1 was always on the breast when he wanted comfort and soothing but DS2 is not interested. If he's upset and I attempt to put him at the breast to calm him down it just makes him worse and he pushes away from me. He also never smiles at but though he wilk smile for others...I of course have decided it's because he associates me with pain. I'm being ridiculous I know but the thought I might be causing him pain or discomfort purely because I want to breast feed isn't a nice one sad

Blueberrysandgrapes76 Sun 01-Oct-17 20:17:14

No breastfeeding is perfect

You sound like you are doing a wonderful job.

Please don't give up now - it gets easier from here - as he gets bigger and stronger and his neck issues resolve you'll both just go from strength to strength.

You are not hurting him by breastfeeding him! Your brother was giving an uninformed opinion. Many babies don't comfort feed. Maybe you have a slightly large/fast milk supply on the bad side hence the spluttering etc.

IMO the only reason to give up bf would be if he's not gaining weight or your health or mental health is suffering - you're not hurting him or making his neck worse. Please perservere

QueenAmongstMen Sun 01-Oct-17 20:17:34

I have thought about whether I may have fast let down in the 'bad' side as I know on the occasions I've hand expressed the milk just comes shooting out.

Can you have fast let down on one breast but not the other?

pudcat Sun 01-Oct-17 20:17:40

Instead of turning him round to feed off the other breast can you just move him across using pillows at the side of you to help support him.

Cheby Sun 01-Oct-17 20:19:01

Two tongue tie babies here, DD2 has had her tie done twice and it has regrown birh times. Her weight gain is poor and she has needed formula top ups. We were using an SNS at first but moved to bottles once my supply was full established at 4 months.

DD2 is shit at using bottles. Tried loads of kinds. Still using a slow newborn teat. Milk pours out of her mouth and she splutters and sprays it everywhere.

TT babies have just as much trouble with bottles, you're best off sticking to breastfeeding and trying out lots of positions. As your LO gets older you'll be able to do sitting up positions more easily.

Having one sided tensions is definitely a thing for c section babies. My eldest had infant torticolis which made it hard for her to turn her head one way and feed on my right side. There are some gentle things you can do like holding toys on that side and ncouraging them to turn that way. I think osteo helped us so I think it's worth a try.

Blueberrysandgrapes76 Sun 01-Oct-17 20:19:14

Especially if you have breastfeed before you might have a fast/large milk supply and hence he doesn't want to comfort feed as hes already had enough milk

Please please get out of your head you are hurting him because you aren't!

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