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Help - if it's not one thing it's a-bloody-nother

(11 Posts)
MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 00:19:04

DS is 4 weeks old and feeding has become a bit if a nightmare. He seemed fine at first, then I developed a milk blister due to poor latch and/or thrush. I had to stop feeding from my left breast, it hurt so much.
I've treatment for the thrush, but the right nipple got sore as well. I expressed and bottlefed along with the occasional painful feed on the right side. The expressing along with having to deal with the thrush (and a sick toddler) was way too much to handle.

So on Saturday, as a last ditch "if this doesn't work I'm stopping" plan, I bought nipple shields. They were fab and have enabled me to feed direct from the breast on both sides. However, on Sunday and today, he has fed almost constantly all day. He falls asleep at the breast, and wakes up five minutes later, screaming for milk.

I tried him just on the breast without the shield this evening, and ^he fed fine, but later in the evening, ^he just wouldn't latch at all. He was screaming, which probably didn't help. I've ended up giving him formula, which ^he troughed because I'm so knackered, I just need a break. I've expressed some to make up for it.

So now I'm wondering:
Have I knackered my supply by expressing/bottle feeding/nipple shields (this all started on Thursday)
Has he got nipple confusion, or was is it possible that ^he was just too upset to latch?
Is there a four week growth spurt? Could the constant feeding be that?

I've had a fucking shitty week and I just want to feed my baby without worrying about latch/thrush/supply/expressing sad

Sorry it's a bit rambly.

pootlebug Tue 27-Sep-11 05:01:50

I haven't any experience with nipple shields but didn't want to read and run as you sound like you've had a rough time.

You won't have knackered your supply by expressing/bottle feeding though - not for such a short time. I think it is quite possible he was too upset and wound up to latch.

Growth spurts....well the books say that they are at x time, y time etc....I think they just are when they are, especially in tiny babies. So the constant feeding is most likely that.

I would try lots of time in bed/skin to skin. Drink lots of water and eat plenty to keep your supply up (oats are meant to be good so break out the flapjack) and try to get some rest as well as some skin to skin snuggles to encourage him to the breast.

Have you a breastfeeding counsellor near you? Local children's centre, doctor's surgery, NCT or La Leche League should be able to advise. I think it is probably worth chatting to one if you can. On the whole they tend to be better at bf advice than midwives.

DecapitatedLegoman Tue 27-Sep-11 05:44:12

He hasn't got thrush in his mouth, has he? Otherwise I agree with pootle's post totally - rest up in bed with him on your chest and let him do his own thing.

MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 07:07:19

He has no symptoms of thrush, but they gave him daktarin gel just in case.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't drink enough, so I'll make an effort to drink more today.

He's just not helped matters by sleeping for six hours. I rely on hum to wake me up so my boobs were agony. I've woken him up to feed, and I'm seeing a breastfeeding trainer today, so hopefully I can get some advice.

I don't know if I can cope with a day like yesterday though. All I ate was a yogurt, until dinner. I just didn't have time. I was either sat feeding DS2 or attending to DS1's needs.

Thanks for replying smile

Truffleshuffler Tue 27-Sep-11 07:22:32

You can cope, just take one day at a time.
Try and grab something to eat before you sit down to BF i.e. a sandwich or cereal bar, you should be able to BF and eat at same time, same with a drink.
If you're not using some sort of get on your sore nipples I would recommend Lanisol, expensive but well worth it.
Also, the usual advice of taking any help when you can get it (when my DS was little, one of my Mums friends would pop in for half an hour and hold him so I could have a proper lunch which it was great.)
Good luck with the breast-feeding trainer.

Truffleshuffler Tue 27-Sep-11 07:42:33

Oops, some sort of gel

tiktok Tue 27-Sep-11 07:52:19

It's lansinoh, not lanisol smile

Thrush is unusual this early on hmm . Pain in the nipples at this stage needs to be checked out and it is almost always due to a need for a better latch - has anyone really knowledgable checked this out?

Drinking more water than you want is not going to help with any of this or with supply but of course drink to satisfy thirst for your own comfort smile

The constant feeding could be a response to the nipple shields which can prevent effective milk transfer.

Important thing would be to discuss the whole thing with someone who knows about bf - things to take into account would be weight and growth of your baby, as sometimes long-term problems of the sort you describe can mean bf is taking a while to get going and there could well be a supply issue now.

Happily, this can be dealt with and turned round - 4 weeks is early days. But the whole situation needs to be looked at, inc ruling out possibilities like tongue tie.

Hope you find good real life help.

MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 08:14:24

I went to a feeding group on Friday with LLL peer supporters, and they said the only issue with latch was that his bottom lip isn't always curling down, so he's pinching the nipple between his lips a bit. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it. I wait until his mouth is wide open, and head tilted back. They said I was doing everything right.

He would also click when feeding, and shift about a bit, so by the end if the feed he'd not be on properly, even if he was at the beginning.

I spoke to the MW about the thrush. My nipples would burn after feeding and I'd get stabbing pains through my nipple when feeding.

MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 08:16:51

Oh, and he's gaining weight very well, I'll see if I can get him weighed again today.

MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 11:27:02

Just fed him without the shields. I still don't think he is latching correctly. He seems to start ok, but then slowly slide off until he just has the nipple.

MrsChemist Tue 27-Sep-11 22:35:14

thanks again everyone.
I spoke to a health trainer today. She was fab, stayed with me for ages, checking the latch and talking me through various thing and <touch wood> I think I've got it sussed. smile

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