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Trying to get to grips with bf a newborn and im really struggling

(13 Posts)
OompaLumpa Wed 22-Jun-11 18:22:10

Had our DD a week ago by ElCS and came home 2 days ago. Dd had tongue tie which was snipped in hospital and she is now latching much better. I was expressing too and feeding from a cup whilst in hospital bit as the BF improved i stopped expressing.
Now we are home i am reall struggling. She latches ok and then falls asleep. I dont know when she is feeding or when she is sucking for comfort and she now seems to want feeding every hour and my boobs which were full now feel pretty empty so i have started expressing again but nothingmuch is coming out.
I am at the end of my tehther and feel like whatever i give her is not enough. Im not sleeping and havd some really painful stabbing pains from my cs so im not as mobile as i wold like and getting comfortable to feed her is impossible.
Should i give up and out her on formula? I dont want to but im exhasuted and so is she. Im officially a mess.

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 18:26:08

i know it probably doesn't feel like it to you, but i think you're doing really well!

this early on it doesn't matter whether she wants food or comfort, it's all kind of one and the same to a newborn, and frequent feeding is good for your supply both now and long-term.
when she latches on is she doing big long sucks and can you see/hear her gulping milk?

i would advise seeing a breastfeeding counsellor to watch you feed and give you some ideas on keeping her awake and how well she is feeding and if there is anything else you need to do

FrumpyPumpy Wed 22-Jun-11 18:28:34

Can you call a BF counsellor? In the meantime skin to skin as much as possible. Can you stay in bed for a couple if days? Swap sides with nappy change or strip baby down to vest or nappy if drops off... We used to do this.

You will get there but I would call a counsellor for help.

TheRealMBJ Wed 22-Jun-11 18:35:10

Oh OompaLoompa sad it sounds like you had a rough time to start with. I am sure you must be exhausted. It is great that your DD's TT was recognised and snipped so early on and that the latch improved afterwards. You are doing well and you can breastfeed your baby!

Expressing is a really, really bad way of determining your milk supply. Some women can never express more than a few drops, so don't gauge your milk supply on that. It is better to look at other signs to determine whether your DD is getting enough BM. It is very, very, very unlikely that you have 'lost your milk'

Am I right in thinking she is now 7 days old?

Is she producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies? Is her wee very light coloured and her poos yellow? How many feeds is she having in a day? Do you have any pain or discomfort while you are feeding?

There are lots of things that can be done.

lilham Wed 22-Jun-11 19:15:27

One thing I've learned about bf is that you can't judge how much your baby is getting by how long the feeds are, how full your breasts. Is she getting lots of wet and dry nappies? How about weight gain? Kellymom.com has a wonderful page on what to expect for the first two weeks of bfing. Definitely try to talk to a bf counsellor. It's really helpful discussing your concerns to someone knowledgeable. Good luck.

japhrimel Wed 22-Jun-11 19:25:36

Hang in there. It really does sound like things aren't going as badly as you think.

Find a comfy position, ideally in the lounge in front of the TV with easy access to the kitchen! I found that sitting upright with DD in cradle hold worked well for us after my EMCS. And be prepared to stay there and have people bring you food and drinks.

Are you taking your painkillers regularly? Do. And if you can't shower every day, wipe your wound with sterile saline to keep it clean - you don't want it getting infected!

If you're getting lots of wet and dirty nappies and her weight is doing okay, she's getting plenty of milk. Suckling lots (even if there is little milk) is how babies increase your supply, so try to just go with it. Basically the first 10 days after your milk comes in is one big growth spurt. It won't be like that forever, I promise!

If you can feed lying down (I couldn't soon after the CS but some people find it easier) then do. It really helps when you're getting knackered.

And do as little as possible generally. You've just had a major op and have another being who is dependent on you. You'll need help with everything for a little bit, so rope in family and friends to come round and make tea/lunch/dinner/hoover/etc.

OompaLumpa Wed 22-Jun-11 20:20:29

Hi all thanks for your messages. DD is a week today. She is pooing ok but midwife said today she is still losing weight. Midwife didnt really help as just told me to ring my gp if im in pain as i just sat and cried with my head down. She looked at wound and said it looks good so must be something inside. I get stabbing oaims that literally take my breath away as i try and stand and walk and if i lean in any direction. That makes things difficult and i dont feel im bonding with DD, i am just the milk machine and DH does everything else. Had a bit of a difficult cs and i never anticioated this pain and how useless it would make me feel. I have been taking tramadol but midwife told me i have to stop taking it and take codeine instead. Please tell me thisngets easier.

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 20:27:04

'i haven't had a c-section, so can't comment on that, but in terms of being the milk machine, and it all just feeling very overwhelming then uyes, it really does get better!
breastfeeding IS hard work in the early days. it can be very intense but IME it's well worth it.

I think if I were you I would visit the GP and explain the pains you're having and ask if that's normal and if not get it investigated.
and, as I said before, see a breastfeeding counsellor. if baby is very sleepy it's possible she isn't taking as much as she could be... how often does she feed? have you tried stripping her off to keep her awake? have you tried lots of skin to skin and feeding every time she stirs?

as someone who gave up breastfeeding earlier than i'd have liked, because I felt i had little choice, and who has regretted it ever since I would say don't give up unless you're really sure you want to. it's easy to stop breastfeeding, but it's incredibly difficult to re-start if you have a change of heart... take it a day at a time, or a couple of days at a time and just see how you get on

quietlysuggests Wed 22-Jun-11 20:30:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Boogiemumma Wed 22-Jun-11 21:47:07

Hi Oompalumpa, well done fpr sticking at it, I can empathise with you I know how hard it is. I had ELCS 2 weeks ago and DD also had a tongue tie cut whilst in hospital. I continued to have problems BF but have found that having a BF counsellor visit and assist has helped a lot. DD however, was still imo not feeding as she should and I took her back to hospital to see the feeding specialist to recheck her mouth and it turns out they had either missed a bit of the tongue tie or it had re-grown. It may be worth gettng your DD re-checked and certainly id recommend seeking help from a BF counsellor. Good luck i'm sure this can all be sorterd for you. x

japhrimel Thu 23-Jun-11 10:27:25

Has no one told you how to stand, walk and move after a CS? shock

Do not lean sideways. Bend at the knees, not the waist. Don't lift anything heavier than your baby and try to not even lift your baby from the floor. When standing up, take a deep breath in first, then stand straight. If you need to cough or sneeze, hold a cushion firmly to your wound first. A post-CS support belt may help.

You've had major abdominal surgery. It will hurt. But take painkillers - I was taking paracetamol 4x daily, ibuprofen 3x daily and codeine 4x daily. Tramadol is about the strength of codeine, but doesn't work as well in some people. Both tramadol & codeine have a synergistic effect with paracetamol so work better with it.

Getting moving will help, but you need to be very careful and also stand straight so the muscles don't bunch around the wound.

japhrimel Thu 23-Jun-11 10:37:59

Have you had a bath? Having a bath with your baby is very good for relaxing and bonding IME

Also, feeding lying down can be a lovely snuggly time.

You are not a milk machine. You are the most important thing in your baby's world.

bumpertobumper Thu 23-Jun-11 10:47:51

I may be stating the obvious but are you eating and drinking enough? the painkillers and pain might interrupt your hunger pangs or something (i am guessing, didn't have csection), but in my experience the amount of food i needed was incredible, and gallons of water. Masses of bland food, avoiding windy things (am sure this is a topic for another thread, but generally avoid things that are known to be farty, and fizzy drinks until baby is a bit older).
Fennel tea is also good for helping milk production. There is a herbal tea blend called Mother's helper from health food shops which has fennel and other helpful herbs. It isn't cheap - about 4 quid, but that is peanuts compared to formula.

You are a milk machine, just accept and enjoy it. It may seem strange but in not very distant future when each feed only takes 10 mins 3 times a day you (I) will look back fondly at the days when it was an opportunity to sit for hours on end watching crappy tv. Also miss the giant appetite and necessity to satisfy it...

EAT EAT EAT smile

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