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So close to giving up breast feeding............what have I done wrong?

(13 Posts)
malteaserbunny Sat 10-Sep-11 17:06:43

Help! My ds arrived 4 weeks early and he is now 2 weeks old. I have always wanted to bf but he had trouble latching on and staying on in the early days, because he was early so I have had to express then bottle feed.

We then had to spend a few days in hospital as he was jaundice and needed phototherapy. This was stressfull, more for me than for ds and many times he was so distressed while trying to latch on. The only way I could ensure he was getting breast mill was to express and keep ahead of feeds.

Now we are back at home there are good days and bad but the whole process is wearing me down a bit. When feeding time arrives I offer one breast. If ds latches on properly he can spend 30-50 mins, I then ofnfer the other. Sometimes he gets so frustrated latching on that after about 10-15 mins I will give him a bottle of ebm. When he does latch on he tends to fall asleep quickly then wakes up after about half an hour, i then try again and it usually ends up in another bottle of ebm.

i am exhausted expressin and feeding, just want to give up

hazchem Sat 10-Sep-11 17:43:37

God it sounds like you are doing an amazing job. You have worked really really hard and have given your LO and excellent start in life.
someone with much more knowledge then I will come along shortly with some more concrete advice.

just didn't want to leave you hanging there when your probably about to have along evening of feeding ahead.

Shallishanti Sat 10-Sep-11 17:46:38

you really need someone to come round and watch a feed, are you still getting visits from the midwife?

kellestar Sat 10-Sep-11 17:52:38

I arranged for a breast feeding advisor from the NCT to come out, wasn't a member at the time, it really helped me, the advice was brill. Still BFing DD 9 mo.

planetpotty Sat 10-Sep-11 17:59:39

Firstly well done!! - I know first hand BF can be (for some) and how hard it can be to keep going when it's tough and how frustrating it is that it can't just as easy as it is for some others.

As above has said you need some help from the professionals I did with second and they were wonderful - I actually went back to the birthing centre when milk came in and thought I was in for a massive lecture that they were too busy but they were so so supportive and fixed the problem (tongue tie was discovered) if I'd not gone in we would have had to give up very early sad

Please seek out progressional help and in the mean time get as much help as you can with everything else.

Massive hugs and huge pat in the back.

Hope this all works out for you smile

Tempingmaniac Sat 10-Sep-11 18:25:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

malteaserbunny Sat 10-Sep-11 19:39:10

thanks so much for your positive responses. i really appreciate it. Just thought the whole process would be wasier

Albrecht Sat 10-Sep-11 19:50:58

It is easy / easier for lots of women, you just don't know beforehand how its going to go. I agree with the others, sounds like you are working really hard at this.

If you phone one of the helplines or go to a bf support group (see here) someone should be able to help you make a plan for how to get to ebf if that is what you want. Also good for moral support.

Falling asleep at the breast is pretty normal for newborns but without knowing all the details of his weights and behaviour its hard to say over the internet if its a problem due to his start or nothing to worry about. The more rl help you can get, the better ime. Good luck.

MangoMonster Sat 10-Sep-11 19:59:34

I think many people want to give up after 2 weeks. Bf is really hard but it usually gets better around 6-8 weeks. After that, it's a doddle. You're not doing anything wrong, it is hard. If you're worried about technique or anything contact the lactation specialist at your hospital.

FormbyDoula Sat 10-Sep-11 20:48:28

Good advice to try to contact a local breastfeeding counsellor. Where are you based? In my area (Sefton, Merseyside) we have counsellors that will come to you for free, so hopefully you won't need to pay if you have a similar scheme nearby.

My DD was 3.5wks early and was only 4lb8oz. She really struggled to latch on and gained weight very slowly. She was a twin so I used to put her twin on first to get the milk flowing and then put her on. Could you maybe pump a bit before each feed to get the milk going before latching him on?

Unfortunately nipple confusion can become an issue as it is much easier to drink from the bottle, so he may be getting frustrated cos it's harder from the breast. If he has lots of wet and dirty nappies and his weight gain is OK (but don't worry too much if he is not 'following the line') then he is probably getting enough milk. Try to latch him on before he cries for a feed eg pretty much every time he opens his eyes try to feed him even if it hasn't been long since he last fed. You can't feed too much at this age! It is better for him to try before he is ravenously hungry and crying to be fed.

Could you try different positions such as laid-back BFing to try to help him latch? Maybe go to bed with the baby for the day, do lots of skin-to-skin (very important) and just try latching him on whenever he seems interested.

You are doing a great job so be proud of yourself!

lilham Sat 10-Sep-11 22:43:52

I'll definitely get that latch looked at. FYI, my DD was very good at latching and feeding from birth, but it was still really hard in the early days. (Maybe it's just as hard FF but I wouldn't know. DD gained her birth weight so quickly that I never considered formula). I remember ringing the hospital hotline twice one evening because she just wouldn't stop crying. There were nights were my DH and I would be rocking, then it's an hour or two gone so it's time to check nappies and feed again. I think it's just adrenaline that helped me through it.

I didn't express in the early days. It's such hardwork I really admire what you've done for your DS.

organiccarrotcake Mon 12-Sep-11 09:35:46

OP, how many wet nappies a day are you getting, and how many dirty nappies?

Can you describe the dirty nappies? What's the colour/amount?

A lot of what you're describing sounds fairly normal with such a young baby, but it might be that your latching problems are being compounded by the fact that you're offering EBM in bottles, and he's getting confused over the two different "nipples". You say he's feeding for around 1/2 hour from the first breast which is brilliant. But you're struggling sometimes to latch him and he's getting frustrated so having someone come and watch you (ie a breastfeeding counsellor) will probably fix this as they should be able to give you tips on how to get him to latch more easily, and therefore faster.

Another thing to consider might be to watch for pre-hungry cues, so you're getting him well before he's at the crying stage, so you have more time to get him latched before he's frantic. This info might help:

www.kellymom.com/bf/start/basics/hunger-cues.html

If you have the support of a breastfeeding counsellor, you'll probably find that you can drop the bottles, because if you can sort out the latching you'll not need them - and that will get you out of the vicious circle of nipple confusion with the bottle impacting on the latch. Do you know how to contact your local BFC? For an NCT one, go here www.nct.org.uk/branches and put in your region.

Keep posting no matter what happens - you'll always get support here. smile

SearchSquad Mon 12-Sep-11 09:43:20

You are doing great. Just hang in there, and I promise it does get so much easier that becomes second nature to both you and your DC.

If he is finding it difficult to latch on, please do get him checked for tongue tie. My DS had it and after it was snipped, breast feeding him became a breeze.

Also, you will find lots of excellent advice on BF on kellymom.com.

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