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Losing my mind on postnatal ward

(370 Posts)
newmum0604 Thu 08-Apr-21 02:45:31

Had my first baby Tuesday evening, over the moon, she is perfect but I'm scared for my mental health right now. I have slept a total of 1.5 hours since Sunday night.

They won't 'let' me leave til they see her feeding well, without someone helping me. I understand where they are coming from but I'm finding it pretty fucking impossible to establish breastfeeding in this environment. I want to be at home, in my own bed, quiet and relaxed.

The issue is she seems to latch on OK but won't keep going for more than a few seconds, stop start like this for maybe 10/15 minutes every 4ish hours. She is sleeping a lot, I could be sleeping too if it weren't for the background noise. But this means I can't think straight about the situation. Every time I started to feed in the first 24 hours someone would appear and take over, so even though she seems content they won't class it as me having actually done anything/being capable. Have expressed into syringes a couple of times, not going to let her starve ffs.

AIBU to switch to formula purely so I can leave in the morning before I completely go over the edge? I know that sounds incredibly dramatic but I genuinely feel on the edge

OP’s posts: |
Llamasally Thu 08-Apr-21 02:49:36

Simply - no. It doesn’t have to mean the end of BF of you so switch for a short time (unless you want it to that is which is also completely fine) and you could just tell them you’ve changed your mind.

But you also don’t have to do this, you are not a prisoner and you can tell them you appreciate their support and will be picked up at x time/date and to please arrange discharge. You can get further BF support at home if you need to.

CalicoKate Thu 08-Apr-21 02:55:08

I had the same experience 16 years ago. Tell them you are going home. You will be better at home. You need sleep. I got my dh to take over feeds for one night and then went from there trying to establish feeding the next day after I'd had sleep.

MrsMaryMystery Thu 08-Apr-21 02:57:51

Ask if they have a private room by any chance, or sone earplugs.xx

Been where you are now and sympathise!

CalicoKate Thu 08-Apr-21 02:59:04

Get your dh to support you in telling them you need to go home to sleep. I was on a ward with 6 crying babies. How the fuck I was expected to survive on days of zero sleep I have no idea. I had health complications but they agreed to do the necessary blood tests at home. In other countries they sensibly give women their own room

oliveroses Thu 08-Apr-21 02:59:56

My midwife team switched me to formula top ups themselves and were then happy for me to go home. Like @Llamasally said it doesn't mean a return to bf isn't possible. It took me about 3 weeks of formula top ups before I established bf fully but there were specific reasons for that.
If your baby is latching on okay but repeatedly slipping off have they checked for tongue tie? Hope you are ok x

NewMumSoon1 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:02:15

Although I don't breastfeed (I formula feed my 4 month old) I can completely empathise about struggling in the post natal ward. I absolutely hated it and cried non stop for the 5 days I was there. It's almost as if the midwives forget you are either recovering from major surgery as I was or you're trying to adjust to having a new baby without the help of your partner. My trust only allowed they visit for 2 hours a day due to Covid and I still think this is the case. I also found every midwife had different ways of working which really didn't help! Thinking of you and know how you're feeling. Sending my love zzz

SakuraEdenSwan1 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:04:21

Just do what's best for you @newmum0604
My youngest was tiny born and would not feed at all from me or midwife even when I expressed he still would not have it being syringed in. He slept loads and was not maintaining his own temperature. After putting him under a heater I was told to wake him every 2 hours and feed him, he would not take anything, like you I was exhausted so changed to formula and he bloody drank that!

Connelloni Thu 08-Apr-21 03:06:17

Just leave. The postnatal ward is hell on Earth. Go home and continue getting bf support if you need it, there are so many resources available but sleep and preservation of your mental health is paramount right now. Ask them to bring you the discharge papers and get out of there!

jemimafuddleduck Thu 08-Apr-21 03:06:58

I really sympathise. I could have written your exact post a few weeks ago when I gave birth, especially with the latching on a s slipping off repeatedly.

Turns out in my case it was due to having flat nipples and a fast let down - baby couldn't latch on properly and when she did she choked from the force of the let down!

The community midwife recommended nipple shields (I thought these were only for sore nipples - apparently not) and as soon as I put them on I was immediately able to feed my baby for 25 mins in one go - game changer.

Do what you need to do to get off the ward and get some nipple shields - I bet you they will help, they saved breastfeeding for me. Good luck x

BootsScootsAndToots Thu 08-Apr-21 03:07:42

Tell them you are going home and to start your discharge paperwork (as apparently that can take a long time 🙄)

I was discharged at 9 pm in January with dd1 as I asked after lunch and they kept faffing, wanting me to stay another night but I was so done with them that I just kept insisting.

Finally I got everything sorted and just as I was about to leave they asked where her car seat was and then said I would need one.

Thankfully dh stepped in and said we're in London, and will be taking the bus for the 10 minute journey home.

Postnatal wards are really what eternal hell must feel like.

Trustisamust Thu 08-Apr-21 03:11:20

You don't have to stay. I didn't even have my baby in hospital! grin

daffodilsandprimroses Thu 08-Apr-21 03:19:53

Poor you. And congratulations!

This mirrors my experience though and I never did get my baby to latch on.

But yes you can go home if you wish. flowers

MagentaGiraffes Thu 08-Apr-21 03:26:02

Post-natal wards are hell. If all else is well, discharge yourself in the morning and the community midwives can visit you at home every day for the first few days to advise on bf if necessary. You need to do what's best for you and your baby and it doesn't sound like this environment is helping either of you (unsurprisingly! In civilised countries every new mother has their own room). I left 24 hours after a c-section, twice, because it was unbearable being there. You'll be much happier at home if there are no medical issues and you just need to establish feeding, it usually takes 3 days for your milk to come in anyway!

SeaToSki Thu 08-Apr-21 03:27:03

You can just leave, with or without paperwork (they can put them in he post if they really want you to have them)
Sleep is crucial for you. Do be sure the baby isnt jaundiced and is keeping warm on their own before you push the nuclear button though

RisingSunn Thu 08-Apr-21 03:30:09

Go home. You don’t need a stressful start to your new life with baby. Feed baby expressed breast milk or formula. Get into the comfort of your own home, and start breastfeeding from there if you wish.


IfYoureCrappyAndYouKnowIt Thu 08-Apr-21 03:32:12

The wards really are hell, I agree that you need to discharge yourself asap. With me, they kept faffing and faffing and eventually I got dressed and took me and the baby and stood by the door. Then the paperwork magically appeared.

Congratulations on your lovely baby, really hope you'll be home and enjoying her properly soon.

jessstan2 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:32:25

Go home! It sounds like a nightmare (a waking one in your case). You cannot relax on post natal wards and you can please yourself once at home.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby.

ChocOrange1 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:34:01

They can't force you to stay if you don't want to. Just discharge yourself, or of your partner is allowed in to visit get him to be your backup as no doubt they'll try and persuade you to stay.

Drivingbuttercup Thu 08-Apr-21 03:37:02

You have just described my life since last saturday when my baby was born. Baby slept for 22 hours with little milk. Eventually she woke up and i had no milk coming through and she wasnt sucking enough but latching fine. I had to give her formula, as her blood sugar could have crashed. The postnatal ward was awful, if we slept somebody elses baby would wake us up. I could have passed out with the heat. I couldn't express as baby wouldnt allow me to put her down. I needed help from my husband. I was told feed- express- feed express etc. Got to midnight on day two and i was exhausted, i just werent getting enough milk. Midwife eventually suggested formula again as she said i needed a break. I gave in and she gulped the bottle down, she must have been starving. We both slept for the next four hours. Only to be disturbed by breakfast time. I managed to express 2ml when i woke up. I was so chuffed with 2ml. My milk started coming through and i managed to express more through out the day. She still wasnt sucking enough though. Eventally i said to the midwife i need to go home. I had a pump at home and i could carry on doing what she had suggested at home , i didnt need to be there. I went home and glad i did.

The problems havent stopped though. Ive now got a huge supply of milk but she's not sucking and drinking enough so ive carried on with syringes and expressed milk. She's losing weight. I have seen two midwives and both have said carry on. the formula has had no interference with the breastfeeding. I have an appointment had the birthing centre tomorrow fingers crossed she has gained weight. But i think she has lost more weight.

Ineedcoffee2021 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:44:20

go home
the hospital i had dd in were actually instructed by a counselor to let me home for my mental health, i wasnt coping in that environment

DarkMatterA2Z Thu 08-Apr-21 03:45:18

Go home. If around, get your DP/DH to give the baby a bottle of formula while you have a bath or shower and sleep for a bit. Then try again. You'll get there but for now you need to rest. It sounds like you've used up your reserves.

MM321 Thu 08-Apr-21 03:58:17

Congratulations 😊 Agree with the others @newmum0604 - tell them you’re going home!
I had my baby in Nov and managed to split my pelvis 3 days before my scheduled induction 😓 I couldn’t move pre-birth and had to be carried to the toilet etc. After delivery I could walk with crutches but was very unstable and it was excruciating. I couldn’t lift my legs from floor to bed etc. I was put into a room alone on postnatal with my baby at 5am, perched on the side of my bed and there I stayed 😓 asked for help multiple times and got none. Couldn’t get myself into bed so couldn’t sleep (after 3 days being lifted on and off my couch unable to lie down because of my pelvis and then a 39 hour induction - I had probably slept about 5h in 5 days), was having to try and carry water back from the sink to change my baby’s nappy while only able to stand using crutches, had no meals because I couldn’t walk to the end of the corridor to collect them, and no visitors due to covid. I asked for breastfeeding support as I was struggling to position because of my pelvic injury - a lady walked in, showed me a knitted boob and a doll and left again. A midwife walked in a wee while later and saw I was attempting feeding - “oh good, you’re feeding” and left again because they were so busy. Another midwife came in and I asked her what time I was being discharged - “ohhh, it’ll be tomorrow at the earliest. We need to see you feeding well” - but nobody was sticking around to watch baby feeding 😡 Eventually it got to 1pm, I was still sitting on the side of my bed (with stitches 😓) with people walking in, poking and prodding at my baby then leaving without offering any support so I buzzed them and told them my DH was on his way and I’d be leaving that afternoon. I was home, relaxed, fed and feeding baby properly by 5pm and it’s the best decision we could have made.
Do whatever you feel is best for baby and yourself OP! You’re useless to your baby if you’re exhausted.

Magnificentmug12 Thu 08-Apr-21 04:12:00

I don’t know, what of you get home and she still isn’t feeding properly, there will be no one around to monitor it and will take a age for someone to come out to you.

Sansaplans Thu 08-Apr-21 04:14:55

If that's the only reason then I agree, discharge yourself. Postnatal wards are hell.

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