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Still feeling down about BF failure. Lactation consultants??

(9 Posts)
helsybells Tue 06-Nov-12 10:37:00

I only managed to BF my first newborn for the first week to two weeks and I just couldn't cope with the pain and it was making me angry with the world and her and very down.

I got help from several midwives and went to my local BF support group but I just couldn't make it work. Baby has been on formula since and is thriving but I still can't quite accept that I was unable to make it work and can't seem to draw a line under it.

I am currently pumping though finding it very difficult to make time to do so. Baby just won't be put down and I can't pump while I'm holding her. So I'm only managing 1-2 pumpings per day when husband is home to look after baby.

I am wondering whether I should try and find a lactation consultant. I found a couple near to me privately but they are all quite expensive and I wonder if there are any available on the NHS. Does anyone know?

I tried biological nurturing and it did hurt less but I just didn't feel comfortable in myself stripped to the waist lying there on the bed in the middle of the day. I did not find it a good experience. I just want to be able to hold my baby in my arms and feed her like a normal person and not have horrid pain.

The main reason I suspect it doesn't work is my nipples are just not normal. They are both big, one of them is huge and very irregular and I think may be slightly inverted too. Now baby is a bit bigger (6wo and 8lb) I tried again a few days ago and it hurt so much and brought it all back and I ended up having a few extremely down days as a result of it, just couldn't stop cryinge etc (welling up now thinking about it)! Now feeling much better again but BF just seems to turn my world upside down and I basically hate it though I desperately don't want to. I have worked with midwives and local NCT BF councillor on latch etc but it just doesn't work or improve.

HV says it's more important for me to be a happy mummy to my baby than be a miserable down angry person who can BF but I just want to find a way around this problem while its not too late.

Mrscog Tue 06-Nov-12 10:41:47

Hi Helsy I'mnot an LC or an expert (I'm sure someone much better than me will be along soon), but from what I know it's great that you're still expressing - this means that if you can sort out the painful latch then there is every chance you could establish at least some BF.

Has your baby been checked (by an expert) for tongue tie? I think that can make BF very painful.

When is the pain - is it all feed, more at the end? More at the beginning? Thrush can also be very painful (although I think this is rarer in the early stages of bfding)

keep on with the pumping if you can - are you setting your alarm to do one in the middle of the night? (Grim I know but excellent for milk supply), plus don't forget that your baby has already had BM at the most important stage - every feed counts smile

helsybells Tue 06-Nov-12 10:53:42

Thanks Mrscog. I haven't had a check for tongue tie. Who would I raise it with? I have googled tongue tie to find out a bit more and my baby has absolutely no "bit" under her tongue though I have heard that doesn't necessarily mean it's not present though I do think it's unlikely it is worth checking out I agree.

Pain is obviously at the beginning which I accept is normal and to be expected but then the whole feed is just uncomfortable. I just can't relax and can't wait for it to be over. One MW said that at my baby's particular age at the time that 20 minutes should be enough so I found myself counting down every second until 20 minutes was over.

What are the symptoms of thrush other than the pain? I don't think it is what is wrong as I suspect the MWs etc would have picked up on it and I think they asked about it but discounted it based on my feedback.

Thanks for the tip about doing a nightime pumping. I'm pretty shattered with doing nightime bottle feeding anyway but I might try and get a night time express in too as you suggest.

crikeybadger Tue 06-Nov-12 11:01:14

Does your hospital have an infant feeding specialist Helsy?

This all sounds really hard at the moment for you and perhaps getting some good specialist help would be the way forward?

As a last resort, maybe a nipple shield would help your baby latch on comfortably? Not always popular as they can have a detrimental effect on milk supply, but if it means you can breastfeed without pain, it may be worth chatting to your HV about.

helsybells Tue 06-Nov-12 11:06:34

Thanks crikeyb. I tried a nipple shield. The smaller ones were too small for my nipples and the larger ones were too big for baby to fit in her mouth!! She couldn't "get over" them to latch on.

I haven't heard of infant feeding specialists before so I will look in to it. I will ask HV at next visit.

It sounds funny but I am so mixed about all this. A part of me wants to forget BF and move on. Another part is desperate to try again and for it to work. I genuinely just feel guilty. Anyone and everyone has told me not to - professionals, friends, family, husband and people on this forum but I just can't seem to drop it. It keeps rearing its head with me again.

mawbroon Tue 06-Nov-12 11:09:52

Tongue tie needs to be checked by an expert and sadly most hcps's are not experts.

No visible frenulum means one of two things. Either there is no frenulum (not unheard of) or it is buried in the membranes of the mouth like this This is called posterior tongue tie and is missed a lot by hcps and others.

There is a lot of inaccurate or just plain wrong stuff on the net about tongue tie.Dr Kotlow is a leading expert, so have a look at his stuff.

You can find expert help at Milk matters

mawbroon Tue 06-Nov-12 11:10:42

Also this is helpful

MyGoldenNotebook Tue 06-Nov-12 11:19:44

Oh you poor love. The guilt is horrendous - new mothers are so hard on themselves. I was where you were a few months ago and ended up switching to full time FF. I still give myself a hard time about it from time to time but on the whole I have made my peace with it.

I wish you all the luck in the world with BF as long this is what you want, but I promise the world won't end if you decide to FF. You are obviously a very lovely mummy to continue doing something that causes you so much pain (physical and emotional) for the benefit of your baby. But you do need to know that it is ok to want to stop - it really is.

Good luck either way - come back and let us know how you get on if you want. You will always find support here whether you BF, FF or a bit of both smile

babybouncer Tue 06-Nov-12 14:04:56

I'm still bfing DC2 at 7 months, even though I was unable to bf DC1 and I look at my 3 yr old now and think after all that heartache, he's a fabulous little boy and I have a great relationship with him and he is a happy and healthy child. If only I had been able see into the future, it really would have avoided me feeling so guilty.

Even though I have been able to bf Dc2, I'm fairly sure I didn't do anything very different - it was just a completely different situation.

Try not to be so hard on yourself - it is such a small part of being a mum.

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