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Help with BF & destroyed nipples - 3 day old baby

(33 Posts)
BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 22:02:31

My friend gave birth to her DS on Sunday; due to massive & horrendous complications following the birth (not a CS) she has to stay laying down, including for bf.
As a result of laying down & not being able to see him properly, DS isn't latching very well, and her nipples are already wrecked and are turning black sad She has managed to express a little but not enough to give her nipples a break for more than 1 feed.

She's not getting much help from her hospital, and doesn't know whether to keep trying to feed her baby directly or whether to express more & feed him from a cup. Does anyone have any advice?

Her DS has slight tongue-tie (which is being looked at in a few weeks) but seems to be feeding well despite all the above. My friend is obviously in massive pain from the birth, subsequent surgery, & sore nipples and is finding the whole experience quite overwhelming and upsetting sad

Any advice?

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 22:06:19

ok well the tongue tie needs sorting NOW, not in a few weeks, and she really needs a proper breastfeeding counsellor who can help her with a better technique for feeding lying down


is she able to sit up at all? even just slightly? if so she might want to try biological nurturing. if she can prop herself up slightly on a couple of pillows, top half naked, get baby stripped off and just place him on top of her. he ought to be able to find his way to the breast and latch on.

unfortunately if she has a lot of nipple damage it might still feel a bit painful, but that should ease as they heal.
but if the tongue tie is stopping him latching properly then that needs sorting asap

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 22:09:11

I think the TT isn't top priority at the moment because she's still having to have surgery etc (due for more tomorrow). I guess it's one more thing she can't quite handle!
Does TT get sorted in hospital or elsewhere?

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 22:43:13

oh poor her sad

it depends on the hospital really. some have people who can snip, some don't. does she have a husband/partner who can push for that to be done?

what hospital/area is she in?

Eebs Tue 12-Jun-12 22:56:33

Can she lie on her side? I had to feed lying down but could lie on my side. It was really hard. My memory was I made sure dd had very wide mouth before dropping my breast into it! Dh helped so had to learn what to look for

Eebs Tue 12-Jun-12 22:57:15

And lots of lansinoh

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 22:58:41

She's at St George's in south London. I've suggested biological nurturing to her but she can't lift her head above spine level at the moment. Her surgery tomorrow hopefully will help sort that part, so she said she'll try BN after that.
I feel so sad for her & am desperate to help.

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:01:20

Thing is she can't see his mouth when he's feeding so can't see whether/when he's got his mouth wide open or not.
Her DH could help I guess but he's not there overnight.

Eebs Tue 12-Jun-12 23:08:15

Oh goodness how overwhelming for her. Starting breast feeding is hard enough. Not sure what to advise. Breast feeding counsellor who is willing to go to her in hospital?

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:12:43

i think if she wanted to express she would need someone to help her do that? if she can't really see what's going on?

ideally someone would be available to help her breastfeed and get baby positioned right.
she's in a good position to argue for someone to do this, if she needs to. midwives are there to look after mum and baby, and they aren't doing that right now if baby isn't feeding well.
if he isn't latching well then he may not be transferring milk effectively either

i can't imagine that her nipples are going to get any better until she can see what she is doing and the TT is snipped to allow baby to latch properly.

bugger of a situation for her sad she really has my every sympathy.

any way her DH can get a private room for her and stay with her overnight? i know that's possible in some hospitals?

just going to see if i can find out any info on local BFC;s for her

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:12:57

I think a proper bf counsellor would be good for her, as she's had loads of crap/conflicting advice from the many midwives she's had coming in & out over the last few days.
Where would someone find a bf counsellor that could visit in hospital? Is there a website I can link her to?

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:13:53

St George's Hospital, Tooting, London
A rapid-access tongue tie clinic is available every Monday. Contact: Catherine Milroy, Consultant Plastic Surgeon (Tel: 020 8740 1134)

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:15:22

monday is forever to wait, and I'm angry that if this was spotted yesterday while the clinic was on, the baby wasn't taken down angry

i would call the woman tomorrow, or see if her dh will and explain the situation and see if anything can be done. She may also know if there is a breastfeeding counsellor or infant feeding co-ordinator on site that can come and see your friend

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:16:04

Wow thanks smile I'll forward her the details.

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:17:50

LLL group in Wimbledon who may be able to help also

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:18:08

proper link sorry!

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:20:26

and of course, I hope her surgery goes ok tomorrow and she has some more movement soon. It must be pretty miserable for her right now, without the added stress of breastfeeding issues.

fingers crossed that it all comes good over the next few days

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:21:35

one day i will learn to put it all in one post.

if she does decide to express at all then yes, cup/syringe feeding best right now, she may not have enough colostrum to do cup feeding so syringe maybe better.

she would want to be expressing every 2 hours or so

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:22:07

Thank you smile fingers crossed

AlanMoore Tue 12-Jun-12 23:22:19

Well, I think she is doing amazingly well! Second the Lansinoh and cup feeding to give her nips a break. Is milk bank milk a possibility given her circumstances? Or mixed feeding? I am mix feeding my new DS (he is bf apart from one formula feed from DP, a night one but not the same one every night iyswim), decided to as my nipples were sooo painful on day 3 and have found the extra sleep VERY beneficial so keeping it up, but can understand not wanting to.

Given that she is quite poorly I am shocked that the staff aren't helping her feed - I know how short staffed a lot of postnatal wards are but in this situation surely they could help her latch baby on.

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:26:03

Forgot to say originally, she has already given him expressed milk in a cup, so she knows that's possible. It's just that he obviously loves bf for the comfort/suckling element too smile
I've forgotten the 'rules' for expressing - do you pump both sides in one sitting, or just one side then switch at the next time?

AlanMoore Tue 12-Jun-12 23:27:11

Just wanted to add - I know mixed feeding wouldn't work for everyone, I am lucky to have baby with good latch and a plentiful supply, also this is my second baby so I felt fairly confident about starting feeding.

It's tough enough finding decent positions after uncomplicated CS never mind if you can't sit at all, I hope she is better soon.

btw it's me with the plentiful supply, not the baby...

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jun-12 23:41:47

both sides each time. hospital should have a nice electric pump she can use, but she will probably need someone to help her do it given her reduced mobility.

def get some lansinoh on.

ring tongue tie lady and LLL.

ask midwives/tongue tie lady is there is a breastfeeding counsellor in the hospital who can come and sit with her and help her with feeding lying down/biological nurturing.

and tell her to join MN wink

BobbysBeardOfWonder Tue 12-Jun-12 23:47:00

smile will send her all these suggestions, thank you!

MollyDefoe Wed 13-Jun-12 00:08:29

I can really recommend a private lactation consultant and tongue-tie specialist called Ann Dobson, who works throughout London and visits clients at home. DD and I have had a variety of bf problems, including tongue tie, and have received a real mix of conflicting advice from various doctors and midwives. Ann was amazing - she virtually solved all our problems in one go. I can't recommend her highly enough. She has a website with info about her and contact details:

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