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Twit's BF'ing questions (after a quick grumble)

(16 Posts)
Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 12:24:27

I am currently BF'ing DS4 who is 4 weeks and it is going well, despite the mastitis I have got ATM. He has been gaining weight well (born 7lb14, 9lb11 on monday) but I keep having wobbles.
It might be him getting his flaming arms in the way and turning his head the wrong way whilst crying for a feed at 2am wink or nothing at all, just me not in my comfort zone which, unfortunately (in my eyes), is FF. I really would love to BF him as long as possible but right now am on the edge of stopping so that I can be back on familiar ground.
I think part of me feels guilty for being more snappish with the other LO's as well, I can feed comfortably and one handed with a bottle - not so with BF with my SPD I find it hard to sit comfortably (I cannot feed lying down because of the size, shape and geography of my boobs). This means I can't do as much with them (the DC's) as we would like or need and so it goes on.
I know FF isn't poison, if things hadn't worked out I would not have felt guilty (as I have done before) so I have no problems with that.
Equally I know that BF is the absolute best I can do for DS4, and I knew it wouldn't be plain sailing at first so no shattered illusions there. I even asked DH not to let me just give up if things got a bit rough, but to remind me why I wanted to do this in the first place and let me moan if needed - which he has done last night brilliantly.
He got me to see that because I felt so unwell I was possibly not making a balanced decision and to wait before making a decision - DS is still feeding from both sides, so no worries there - I just needed to see the DR and get my medicine. ( BF being free helps him stay focussed)
So why am I posting? I think right now I just need reassuring that it's ok. Later I may need a slap grin

Oh and the actual question here; my (older wiser) Dr said keep feeding from sore boob, the one who came to visit suggested otherwise... although she did say maybe only stop if it got worse when I pushed her. Instinct tells me to keep feeding but what would you suggest?

And finally for now, how do you know when BF is established? Are there signs? ( I know I'm not there yet, just curious)

<<offers tea and cake to any who have read thus far>>

Paschaelina Wed 27-Jul-11 12:34:08

Definitely do keep feeding from the sore boob first and completely empty the breast each time to make sure there is no chance of any more blocked ducts.

Sadly enough, for a mum who's been feeding 10.5 months. I don't actually know when bf was established blush. It just was at some point.

As to the rest, it gets easier about the 6 week mark I think. (at least it did for me). Tea and cake have an enormous amount to do with how well it goes. Don't run out. grin

Albrecht Wed 27-Jul-11 12:41:16

Keep feeding off the sore breast, the more milk you can get out of it the better. See kellymom for brill bf advice.

Well done for getting this far. First 6 weeks is the hardest, honestly. Once you get through that bit, it really really gets so easy for most people. Now I can hold ds in one arm and answer the phone or whatever while bfing. No planning how long you'll be out for, its all on tap and free etc.

When your breasts settle down a bit (ie not gushing or looking like zeppelins), they aren't feeding most of the day and night and basically you begin to think, ok I can probably do this - you are established!

If the arms are doing your head in, try swaddling him, at least at the begining of the feed. He doesn't realise he's pushing you away, remember he's not had to look for food before and might be getting in a bit of a tizz.

Can you feed lying back with him lying on your tummy. Lots of cushions, can be comfy. See here

worldgonecrazy Wed 27-Jul-11 12:49:30

I found the first 10 weeks hard, including deep-tissue thrush and bleeding nipples, all the usual stuff!

I knew breastfeeding was established when I suddenly realised it was no longer causing screaming agony to feed. Suddenly a whole new world opened up, feeding became a doddle, life became easy and the world was a much better place.

One of the breastfeeding support workers also suggested chocolate cake and a glass of wine to get through what she referred to as 'the witching hour' which happens around 7.00 p.m. when all baby wants to do is feed, feed, feed.

Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 12:52:58

Oh so I should start all feeds on the sore side? I tend to feed 'til he drops off on the one side then offering the other if needed- not sure if that makes a difference?
I had started thinking just get to the 6-8 week check as a short term milestone and then see.
I have read about Biological nurturing but I can't lie on my back ( even a bit) plus I'd be a bit nervous about getting the latch right having pretty much sorted it.
I did threaten him with a sling, and he responded by sucking his thumb shock

Paschaelina Wed 27-Jul-11 12:59:54

Yes just til the mastitis settles down. Have you got antibiotics? If he isn't hungry enough you can express the rest. It just helps to clear the milk from the ducts to minimise any chance of more inflammation.

FWIW biological nurturing didn't work for us, he needed me to be upright before he would latch. A sling is a bloody marvellous invention though. Especially with other children to deal with.

Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 13:02:15

Kinda wishing I hadn't looked at the kellymom site, have now got the what -ifs?.
I can't massage while feeding 'cos I need two hands to feed ATM. Will I notice a change in his nappies (am thinking blood and pus - yuk).
I really don't want it to get worse sad.
If I always feed from the sore boob first what will happen to the supply with the other one? Will I get mastitis in that one too by doing this?

Pootles2010 Wed 27-Jul-11 13:09:23

Can't personally comment on mastitis, but you mention about your ds flailing whilst feeding - my ds did this, i found swaddling him helped, even if you just do it whilst feeding him.

Do you have a bfing counsellor? Or a support group to go to? Ours was great, helped massively.

Paschaelina Wed 27-Jul-11 13:11:38

Keep offering the other boob alternately, then anything left in the affected side, express off. It should only be for a few days and your supply in the unaffected boob will easily pick back up.

Also give a BF counsellor a call. They are used to these questions www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk/ is good, and www.laleche.org.uk/pages/about/helpline.htm

organiccarrotcake Wed 27-Jul-11 13:13:04

twit If you find that the other boob is getting too full or not feeling drained enough, feel free to start feeds from that side so you're balanced. Really, the point is to try to keep the affected side drained while the mastitis clears but as you say, don't do that to the detriment of the good side. Try not to over-think this, IYSWIM, just go with what feels right with the understanding that trying to keep bad boob empty (or frequently draining) is a good thing.

Can you express? Expressing off the bad boob may help. Maybe you can hand express in the shower or bath? Massage in the shower or bath may help as well, if you can't do it while feeding. If you've got a wide-toothed comb, gently but firmly combing the breast towards the nipple can help to ease out those blockages.

Don't worry about "what if". Kellymom has loads of info but it covers everything, even the really, really rare stuff. It's a bit like reading a medical book sometimes - you get convinced you've got really obscure stuff grin (well I do!!).

That flailing arms thing is so, SO frustrating, but so much more than made up for in a few weeks when instead of flailing he puts them up to your cheek, looks into your eyes and smiles at you as he's latched on, telling you how much he loves his boobies. <melt>

Is there a breastfeeding group or cafe you can go to? Most have play areas that you can let your DCs run riot in while you focus on you and bub.

You're doing brilliantly by the sounds of it, though.

Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 13:40:32

There is nothing at all in my area, they are so desperate they asked if I would consider becoming a BF adviser (assuming it all goes to plan and I continue).
I took my first anti-biotic earlier so hopefully will start getting better after a while.
He isn't flailing he's putting them to his mouth {still v annoying though]
Would a good plan be to keep alternating as sometimes he only has one side but if he does this and none is taken from the sore side to try expressing, just to keep things moving? This in my head seems more sensible, plus he gwts good 'clean' stuff every other feed confused

<<hands out more cake>>

organiccarrotcake Wed 27-Jul-11 13:55:32

Yes, that sounds like a good plan <speaks through cake crumbs, yummy, thanks!>

Are you interested in becoming a BFing advisor?

Don't worry about "clean" stuff. Nothing on your poorly side will be a problem for him. It's all good stuff, even if there's a bit of infection. All fine.

Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 14:46:43

yes I would love to, it's another reason I'm hoping to carry on BF'ing until whenever. I may end up picking all of your brains alot, to get different experiences and ideas when I start the training. If that's ok obviously. I think that's partly why I'm possibly over thinking as well.

I hope DS doesn't get tummy ache or we get thrush from all this, I know the milk from the sore side is fine and dandy but in my head the good side is better grin. Am not happy about the empty stomach/hour before food thing though, I'm peckish most of the time.

organiccarrotcake Wed 27-Jul-11 15:44:12

Of course, twit. There's quite a few peer supporters and/or trainee breastfeeding counsellors on here, and our resident qualified BFC (tiktok). Would love to talk BFing grin.

Twit Wed 27-Jul-11 17:09:46

Eeexcellent
<<said in style of Mr Burns>>
Yes my rather lovely MW suggested being a BFC (eventually I guess) and me not being particularly into the whole group thing might mean I can help others who aren't either as well as tagging along to a group (if it gets set up - as yet like I said nothing) I told her to contact me in 6 months in case it didn't work out because it wouldn't be right if I wasn't speaking from at least some experience.
I might end up having to sometimes go to the local post-natal ward (is that the right ward - I forget) as well she reckons it's so bad. shock
And I actually have a decent HV as well who was encouraging it so I'm really quite excited by the idea as I find it so interesting. I love the idea that I might be able to help the (all lovely) MW's in my town by taking some of the BF problems on for them as they are swamped as well as helping mothers and babies figure this stuff out even if it's just a shoulder to cry on.

I have been reading all of your pearls of wisdom for months now and even though you don't know me alot of you are familiar to me, so hopefully we can all eat cake together while I learn (so expect alot of dumb and not so dumb questions grin).

cara2244 Thu 28-Jul-11 01:07:49

Twit, I agree with others about the six week thing. It suddenly gets so much easier.
A really good latch will help you. Get baby positioned so that he is in the best position to latch, with his head slightly tilted back so he can get a big mouthful! I was getting sore boobs the other day as I had got slapdash and was just shoving baby on in any old position.

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