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struggling a bit with Breastfeeding

(23 Posts)
vmcd28 Sat 04-Dec-10 14:24:57

ds2 is 15 days old, and I feel like I'm struggling. I'm crying a lot too cos I can't seem to get "away" from the feeding. Hes either clamped onto me pretty permanently, comforting rather than feeding much of the time, or my boobs are too full, painful and uncomfortable, and I'm getting fed up with my bed sheets getting so wet during the night.
Ds1 isn't getting any/much time with me at all.
dh has been getting ds1 ready for school while I've been sleeping but he goes back to work on tues, which I'm dreading, as ill have to do extra. My friend is taking him to school so at least I don't have to worry about that.
My c section wound is a little inflamed and uncomfortable which is also getting me down.

Just not sure what to do. Dh is doing virtually everything. I'm just a milk machine at th moment

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 04-Dec-10 14:34:16

Little by little it does get better though. At first I set myself the target of reaching 6 weeks and it felt like a huge struggle. But by about a month in, 6 weeks felt really doable and I revised my target to 4 months. My ds is 4 months now and I'd really like to continue for a year.

Personally I found 2 weeks was my lowest point, and the worst bit for exhaustion.

By 4-6 weeks your supply should have calmed down a bit, and you won't be feeling so full and uncomfortable. I wore a bra and used breastpads at night for the first 4 weeks, then after that I only leaked from the opposite side while feeding so just kept a muslin handy. Now my breasts never feel full to bursting (unless ds unexpectedly sleeps through!) and I don't leak at all.

At about 4 weeks I introduced a dummy and occasional bottles too - I know the official recommendation is to wait til 6 weeks, but I felt things were pretty established by 4.

Basically what I'm saying is you've pretty much done the really tough bit and got breastfeeding going, and it gets easier from here. In a few weeks time feeds will take 15 minutes every 3 hours and all your hard work will have paid off.

Albrecht Sat 04-Dec-10 14:38:45

Congratulations on your new baby!

This a totally normal way to feel, from my experience and loads of threads I've seen on here. For some women, it takes a lot of work to establish breastfeeding. BUT it will so be worth it in the next few months when you will actually have more time for both your dc because you will save time on all the washing, sterilising, waiting for kettle to cool...

The feeds will begin to space out and the boob-too-full pain will go once your supply settles down - usually around 6 wks.

Have you got a decent hv / gp you can chat to about crying and feeling this way? Just to reassure that you are doing well.

That is great your friend can help with the school run. Accept any other offers of help for the day to day stuff so any free time you can spend with your sons. Be kind to yourself, not only are you getting the hang of a new addition to the family, you are recovering from an operation.

vmcd28 Sat 04-Dec-10 15:15:02

I've just had a good look at my wound. Definitely infected. Waiting for nhs24 to phone me with an appointment time to see the doctor.
I just can't stop crying. I'll now miss ds1's effing swimming lesson waiting for this phonecall (this would have been the first proper time out since last weeks swimming lesson).
Ds1 is upset I'm now not going. Ds2 is crying to be fed, less than 2hrs since he feeda long feed.
I'm just feeling so low right now

vmcd28 Sat 04-Dec-10 15:25:04

"2hrs since he had a long feed" is what that should hv said.

I'm just remembering why I threw in the towel bfeeding ds1. I'm starting to dread ds2 waking up

mrsgordonfreeman Sat 04-Dec-10 15:39:40

You feel so knackered and the c-section wound isn't helping. Of course you're exhausted and hormonal! It's like it never ends and you never get a break.

If it helps, and as the other posters have said, it doesn't last forever. I only have one dd myself and I must admit I panic slightly at the thought of having a newborn and a toddler...

Your new baby wants to feed a lot, and that's normal. Your DH is doing everything for you, which is good, don't feel guilty about letting him look after you.

I found what helped was accepting my milk machine duties for the first few weeks, and gradually dd fed less frequently, slept more, and I began to feel human again. It will happen.

I had an infected cs scar too, it was horrible tbh, I was advised to give it a good clean every day with cooled boiled water and some tea tree oil, and stick a sanitary towel down the front of my knickers to protect it. Seemed to help.

Putting a towel under your bedsheet will absorb the leaks without being too uncomfortable, and/or you can sleep with a bra and breastpads on.

Finally, if you feel you need some help with feeling so low, don't be afraid to phone your GP or NHS Direct, or even post here.

mrsgordonfreeman Sat 04-Dec-10 15:41:11

PS, a lot of posters in the same situation swear by popping the baby in a sling, would that be possible with your cs scar in the state it's in?

mousesma Sat 04-Dec-10 15:41:56

Oh vmcd28 I do understand how horrible you must feel now. I spent many of the early days of breastfeeding sobbing on the sofa because DD just would not stop feeding. It must be so much harder with another child to contend with too.

I think around 2 weeks was also my worst time. I got through it by accepting that DD was not going to feed for 20mins in nice 2 hour intervals. Once you let go of the expectation it frees you a bit of the disappointment too. I also took one day at a day i.e. each morning I'd say to myself I only have to get to the end of the day and then if when I get up tomorrow I can't face it anymore I can stop. We EBF until 14 weeks and now mix feed at 21 weeks.

Do you have anyone who can come over and help you when DH goes back to work. I found that I could cope better when all I had to concentrate on was feeding and someone else looked after the house and brought me meals etc.

It is cold comfort now but it will slowly start to get better.

AbiAbi Sat 04-Dec-10 17:53:59

Vmcd- just wanted to add my voice of support to the others (not sure if you recognise me but my DS is a few days old and you and I posted on a lot of the same pregnancy threads)

I'm sorry to see you're having a rough ride of it- the advice you've been offered re: the c section scar is spot on. Emotionally I am right where you are at the moment; today's been VERY heavy going, my DD is bored, DH is struggling with work issues and I am exhausted! I don't have any advice, other than keep posting and unloading here, and -of course- this too shall pass smile

CamperFan Sun 05-Dec-10 01:58:45

Right, this is going to take ages to type, with one finger, on my phone,but hey, I have time because I'm feeding in the middle of the night!

I could have written your post a few weeks ago and at almost 6 weeks I'm not going to lie and say that everything is perfect now, but it certainly is easier and a whole lot better!

I also thought my epi scar was infected. It wasn't but until i knew that the stress of it made everything so much worse so you need to get it looked at asap. Are you still under mw care?

Is bf painful? At 2 weeks it was for me and one of the things at kept me going was that

CamperFan Sun 05-Dec-10 02:27:24

That it was going to make me emotionally even worse if I stopped.

DS1 will not be harmed by you not being the perfect mummy for a few months. And you have done the most amazing thing - you have given him a brother!! All the sacrifices you have already made, this is the worst bit of it and you have already done more than 2 weeks. A few more weeks and Ds2 will be going longer between feeds and settling a bit more in the day giving you some time with Ds1 and feeling a bit more human. When ds2 settles for a bit, I say "quick, ds1 and mummy time, ds2 is sleeping!" and we've made it into a funny thing. Have you got mum/mother in law to come? Mine each came for a week and did all the cooking and playing with ds1, bedtime. Hard to lose the control but completely necessary and gave me another 2 weeks to crack feeding. Have not had to do preschool run much due to people being here and this week, the snow. When I have done it, ds1 has just been very late! Isn't your ds1 in reception? I am sure they won't mind. It is a major faff, yes, especially in this weather but ds2 slept all the way through the times I have done it.

I understand about the work thing too, it was the same here, I just hope there are other things about the job that make the stress worthwhile! We have come to an agreement - dh sleeps in spare room. He gets up at 6am and does dishwasher, lights fires, gets ds up and dressed, brings me breakfast, before he gets his train. He can also take ds2 in a

CamperFan Sun 05-Dec-10 02:39:40

Sling if necessary, can your dh do something similar?

You are doing an amazing job. We all cry, is completely normal as it's bloody hard work.

BaggedandTagged Sun 05-Dec-10 03:11:01

I know opinion is divided on comfort sucking on boobs (ie should you let them, given that babies do want/need to suck for comfort?) but I gave a dummy from a week old on advice of the mw as DS was actually "feeding" for about 20 mins of a one hour "feed" and just comfort sucking for the rest which was ragging my nipples and (ashamed to say) really really doing my head in as felt was constantly feeding.

Plus it made getting him to sleep in his carrycot a lot easier in that I wasnt "feeding to sleep" and then trying to transfer him without waking/ having to let him sleep on me. That meant I had a bit of time to do other stuff and I felt a lot more in control.

re bed sheets, I just sleep in a bra with the pads in. Weird at first but I've got used to it now.

jaggythistle Sun 05-Dec-10 03:53:54

hi, just to say i got an infected c section scar too, hopefully you will get antibiotics quickly for it. i felt absolutely awful until i had the antibiotics and then i almost started to feel human again. it must have really been taking it out of me and i had thought it was just lack of sleep!

DS is my first baby as well so it must be really hard just now for you with your DS1 as well.

hope it all gets better soon for you.

chaleyannscott Sun 05-Dec-10 05:17:44

You poor thing. My six month old still feeds constantly day and night - I have learnt to feed her whilst I doze. My 2.5 year old still feeds but only a couple of times a day. There are moments where I just think 'no more, leave me alone!!!' and then I know I need some 'me'time that won't hurt the girls. For me that is usually a 20 minute walk all by myself, or a long bath, whilst daddy takes over. Makes the world of difference to me. Also if gives me time to remember they are only little once and they are just doing what comes naturally. But it can be overwhelming at times.

vmcd28 Sun 05-Dec-10 12:29:22

Thanks everyone. It helps just to know we're all going through the same thing.
I feel less emotional today but I'll see how long that lasts!
I went to the out of hours doc yesterday and got antibiotics for it. She said it is infected but looks localised so hopefully we've caught it early.
On the plus side, ds2 slept from 0130am till 0940 without waking!?! The downside is that DS1 was up during the night with a sore tummy,aaargh! He's NEVER ever ill, but chose the first looong sleep to feel unwell <bangs head off wall>
We gave ds2 a dummy the other evening when he wouldn't settle after a very long feed, but I instantly regretted it cos he loved it but kept spitting it out and panicking, so I had to keep putting it back in. I took it away after a bit cos I knew I'd have to keep doing this all night...
Camperfan, I think this is partly what's been making me so weepy, the fact that there are many things getting on top of me, but the only one that's instantly changeable is giving up the bfeeding, BUT I'm not ready to do that yet.
Camperfan, Bfeeding isn't sore once he gets going, but when he first latches on and I get the letdown reflex, it is often AGONY. I have screamed in pain, cried in pain and have to stamp my foot for the first 10 seconds at least of each feed. Horrendous. I just hope that part of it gets easier cos it's making me nervous each time he needs fed, and making me worried when I need to feed him in public!

Jaggy, I think you're right - over the past few days I've been feeling more and more useless and low, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the infection that's been working on me rather then just being tired and hormonal.

Ds1 is at school and I have two friends doing the school runs while I can't drive. My dh is going to get ds1 up and dressed before he goes to work, and I'll just need to give him breakfast and get him out the front door. Easy. Except it all feels a bit daunting.

I have a friend who doesn't work now, and she's offered to get shopping or to help, but tbh I'm not sure what she can do in the scheme of things. I have a freezer full of precooked meals so eating isn't a problem. My mum works full-time and my in-laws have passed away. It was just easier when dh was around doing the nappy changes.

I know it'll all work out. I know it will. Just feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

Abi, yes I remember you
Congratulations on your ds, and thanks for your support x

Does anyone know about breast engorgement? I feel as if mine are often very full and sore. Health visitor said to hand express some milk off to relieve them, but does that not just make your body think baby is feeding more, so produces even more milk...??

jaggythistle Sun 05-Dec-10 13:13:16

i think the idea is to express just a little to get comfy but not stimulate too much production.

i think there is some info on Kellymom if you've time for a look.

glad you got the antibiotics, i had to go to the out of hours service too. everyone seemed to think it looked ok and i think she just swabbed it to humour me. i wasn't happy with it weeping a bit though (sorry tmi) and sure enough got a call to pick up a prescription about a week later.

AbiAbi Sun 05-Dec-10 16:47:43

With my engorgement I hand expressed a teeny amount in a hot shower, and took ibruprofen.

vmcd28 Wed 08-Dec-10 11:28:20

Thanks again to everyone for the help. Things going better now with the feeding, but last night was a nightmare. He "needed" fed pretty constantly from 6pm onwards but the majority of it was comforting only. I was happyish to go with this cos I know cluster feeding can happen just before a longer sleep. We all went up to bed at 1045pm, and he needed fed again. He was glued to me (or screaming) for two hours. Two hours. Ugh. This was after a full evening of more regular feeds. My nipples were getting sore and I felt like I had nothing left to give. Any tips? What if this turns into a regular thing? I know cosleeping has been mentioned but I don't feel comfortable about that -y ds and I are deep sleepers and I don't feel there's enough room for three of us to safely sleep in the bed x

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 08-Dec-10 11:35:56

Is he about 3 weeks now? I think there is a growth spurt about then, so he might be working hard to up your supply.

If your nipples are sore don't be afraid to take him off and correct the latch if necessary. Or maybe you or his dad could offer a clean finger for him to suck so you can take a break - we did this a lot before getting ds a dummy at about 4 weeks!

vmcd28 Wed 08-Dec-10 11:53:38

Hi, moonunit, he's 19 days. He did a similar thing at 12 days, I think it was.
He was latched on ok, but it was just the length of time he'd been feeding that was making me sore/tender.
I tried the finger in the mouth cos it worked well a couple of nights ago, but he went off his head after a few sucks! He screamed louder than before! I think it must be a growth spurt cos he's just fed for 40 mins, and his feeds a couple of days ago were around 20 mins.

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 08-Dec-10 12:01:40

I guess if he's not happy with a finger it's probaboly genuine hunger rather than just wanting to suck - hopefully it's just a growth spurt and will be over in a couple of days!

I think the growth spurts are at around 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. My ds is 4 months now so we're between growth spurts but into the 4 month sleep regression hmm Every time you think you've got it sussed something chnages...

vmcd28 Wed 08-Dec-10 12:21:52

Thanks for advice. I agree, the finger was not what was require! I wish I felt like he was genuinely feeding when he's latched on for so long. It gets tedious at that time of night, and god forgive me, I was getting annoyed at him last night.
Oooh, I've just remembered, when I got my antibiotics for my wound infection I was told they were safe with Breastfeeding but could make ds more windy. I wonder if this is adding to him being unsettled...
Anyway I'll try to have a nap today in preparation for tonight, but I fear I may not get enough time between feeds to have a sleep!

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