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the usual, difficulties bfing

(11 Posts)
LLKH Tue 07-Dec-10 17:09:00

I know I can't be the only one, but I feel really alone.

DD is 3 days old which I know isn't very old. She had a very straightforward birth, but I'm really struggling to feed her.

I have offered her both breasts, tried numerous positions, done the 24 hour skin to skin thing on mw's advice. While she has latched properly sometimes, she hasn't fed for long enough at a time.

I am dyspraxic which may mean I am holding her badly, but she also has a tendency to flail her limbs and push herself away from the breast or push the breast away from her. We've tried swaddling which seems to help as then she can't flail and can focus on the latch.

The mw has told me to express which is fine as I have plenty of colostrum and will, tomorrow, have plenty of milk (I leak when she cries, but I just can't get her to stay on the breast), but I can't seem to find any references that say how to hand express. We haven't got a pump because a) I was arrogant enough to think I wouldn't need one and b) she was born at 37+4 weeks on the weekend we were planning to get hold of things like that if we needed them.

Has anyone got any good references or been through anything like this? I'm feeling really discouraged, dispirited and worried my milk will dry up before it even comes in.

It's really important to me to breastfeed here and I already feel I've failed her somehow because I can't feed her.

tiktok Tue 07-Dec-10 17:23:30


You're right - 3 days old is not very old

You don't need a pump - hand expressing is usually better than a pump in the early days. It's part of the midwife's job to teach you to do this. Ask her

Babies often flail and push themselves away - but it is partly because they are trying desperately to get on. will give you ideas on how to hold her so she gets on comfortably and with less frustration.

Your milk will definitely not dry up - you will continue to make milk for a while yet, and yes, if things have not got themselves sorted, you can (hand)express, but honestly, no need to worry things will not work out.

Skin to skin and the biological nurturing, perhaps in the bath as well as on the sofa or in bed lets the baby self-attach and it can work wonders

Try it now

GMajor7SwansASwimming Tue 07-Dec-10 17:30:21

You've come to the right place for fabulous breastfeeding support and advice smile

My DD was born by emergency caesarian and my milk took an age to come in. The first few days were very stressful, but I am still bf at 11 months, so it can be done with the right support.

Try these two sites to get you started:


Jack Newman

There are also several breastfeeding helplines available for you to call and speak to a bf counsellor.

Good luck and congratulations!

GMajor7SwansASwimming Tue 07-Dec-10 17:30:59

Oops! X-posted with the big T!

MoonUnitAlpha Tue 07-Dec-10 17:38:10

I was going to suggest biological nurturing as well! I didn't discover it until my ds was 6 weeks, but suddenly all his head bobbing/pushing himself away made sense when you realise what they're trying to do.

I wish someone had shown me it earlier, and with the next baby hopefully we won't go through all the fighting each other and midwives manhandling us that made getting him to latch on so distressing at first.

tiktok Tue 07-Dec-10 18:03:10

'Big T', indeed

Yes, Moon - BN is latch-tastic!!

plasticspoon Tue 07-Dec-10 18:46:20

Hi LLKH, I'm sorry you're feeling like this

Others on here are far better placed to advise (and have replied already!) but I just wanted to send you a virtual hug from someone who has been where you are very recently (my ds is now 5wks). We're still working on the bf but it has improved massively. I've had great support on here and from the la leche league bf'ing counsellor (0845 120 2918).

I guess my advice would be to keep asking and asking for support until you get what you need!

Greeninkmama Tue 07-Dec-10 19:33:43

Yes, La Leche League can be great - the NCT has breastfeeding counsellors and there are sometimes local groups too. Ask your HV about bf support in your area or find a group via the internet.

It can be helpful to remember that bfing is a skill that you can learn - getting help from a bf counsellor can make all the difference at this early stage. She can help you pinpoint any difficulties and show you good latching technique. If the baby is flailing around, it may be that she can't get the milk (because she is not latched on?) or sometimes that the milk lets down too fast (in which case she cries in pain and jerks back).

Are you trying to do the cradle position (the one where the baby's head is in the crook of your elbow?) Most people start with that but it isn't recommended for newborns. The rugby ball hold is better: you place the baby's head in your hand, with its body along your arm and legs behind you (supported on a cushion). You bring the baby's nose to your nipple, wait for her to open her mouth wide and then bring her in closer so she can latch on. If she is on right, then you will see her ears waggle as she sucks (and it won't hurt). Very tricky to describe in writing so have a look at the website suggested above or at the NCT one. But ideally, get a bf counsellor to come and show you.

The other thing that can really help is not trying to do anything else - in lots of cultures the mother stays home for six weeks while other people take care of the cleaning and cooking etc. I highly recommend staying in bed with your baby for as long as possible!

All the very best of luck to you. xxx

LLKH Fri 17-Dec-10 09:15:40

small update. She is now fine and hardly ever stops eating! thanks for all your encouragement.

tiktok Fri 17-Dec-10 09:36:36


CamperFan Fri 17-Dec-10 13:39:38

Well done.

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