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BFing a newborn - Help please!

(28 Posts)
Imafairy Sat 20-May-06 18:51:42

I tried to BF DS1 and gave up after a week becuase of cracked nipples, exhaustion and general un-wellness.
DS2 was born on Thursday night, and I got him latched on pretty much straight away. Since I got home yesterday though have been having problems. The toe curling pain had me in tears for much of last night. As soon as he attaches he also falls asleep, and even with lots of stimulation I don't know if he is getting anything.
Have tried getting things going manually but don't appear to be produing anythin. Have been giving my nipples a break and supplementing with formula, in the hope that something will start coming through, but I don't want to give up yet. MW was supposed to visit today but didn't so can't ask her.
Is it supposed to hurt this much? I have tried getting nipple and areole into his mouth, but his mouth is too little and nips are too big, which I think is part of the problem.
Any hints or tips please?

moondog Sat 20-May-06 18:56:14

Fairy,Tiktok is about (best help on earth) so should come in.
Can I just say that formula will NOT HELP??
By giving it,you reduce demand on breasts,which produce less milk and so the vicious cirlce goes.
You need a proper discussion with a breastfeeding counsellor and pref. a face to face visit and pretty damn quick.

It's early days so your milk is still coming in. Ds has reserves in his body to tide him over (temporarily) while it does.

Ring the Association for B/feeding Mothers helpline and do it NOW

0870 401 7711

tiktok Sat 20-May-06 18:59:14

Oh, Imafairy....this is so sad, and at you not getting a m/w visit.

Most women will not produce much on day 2 - of course you won't get much out.

You need help and support - try calling some of the bf helplines, and call the mat. unit and ask why no m/w has been.

In the meantime, try holding your baby skin to skin, just hold him between your breasts, and be patient. He may well find his own way, with no pressure. It should not hurt the way you describe it (a bit of tenderness or more). Some mothers find a bath with their baby helps, too (you will need help with this).

Formula may not be necessary, really... give the midwives a call and discuss this. You can hand express and give what you get to your baby in a cup. But the main thing is to help him relax and enjoy being close to you at the breast and the rest will follow.
Good luck and keep us posted.

fairyglo Sat 20-May-06 21:27:40

I find Lansinoh really soothes sore nipples (available from chemist and recommended by hospital midwives and antenatal midwife). I put it on after each feed to let it sink in before the next one.

SoupDragon Sat 20-May-06 21:32:17

I know the toe curling pain you speak of. None of my 3 have gaped properly as newborns making latching damn difficult. I got there in the end with all of them but it did take a week - the pain didn't last that long though, honest.

Definitely call a bf-ing counsellor for help - the NCT has a helpline but I don't have the number to hand.

2Happy Sat 20-May-06 21:35:26

I had toe-curling pain. It was because the latch was wrong and I ended up with cracked nipples . Get help fast! Good luck, really thinking of you.

mandymac Sat 20-May-06 21:38:31

I just wanted to wish you luck and say that if you need help or advice and you have an emergency number for your midwives - use it! I was advised that they are there to help with breastfeeding and will respond 24/7, so I called them a few time in the wee small hours when I was in agony, someone always called back and the advice was helpful - in fact just having someone to talk to was great! I have large nips and it took a while to get the latch right - you do need to keep latching off and on until you get comfortable - I did used to have to really try and push the nipple up toward the roof of DDs mouth, whilst flattening the areola so she could get enough of it in (I am sure a breastfeeding counsellor would explain this better . Also, DD was very sleepy for the first week or so (slightly jaundiced) so I spent feeds tickling her chin, gently squeezing her arms and blowing on her face.

Sorry for rambling - I hope some of this helps - Good luck !

expatinscotland Sat 20-May-06 21:41:54

I agree, GET HELP! It's not too late at all.

Ring the NCT as soon as. They saved my breastfeeding. DD2 sucked three HUGE blisters on my left nipple the first day of her life, to the point where a midwife came in and remarked, 'That looks really sore'. As the counsellor said, it only takes a couple of bad feeds to do that.

The NCT counsellor gave me the '10-15 second guide'. Put them on. If it is still agonising after 15 seconds, take them off and try again. She had to sit w/me pretty much an entire day till we got it right, and dd2 is an easy bf'er.

If they go crazy screaming, pop a clean finger in their mouth till they calm down a bit and have another go.

It's a learned behaviour. I was too slow at getting my nipple into dd2s mouth at first, and so she'd clamp down and it would hurt.

Aim right at his temple and try to be quick.

Lansinoh, Lansinoh, Lansinoh cream. It DOES work. And I had nasty blisters the first like week-10 days after dd2's birth.

beartime Sat 20-May-06 22:03:26

I had toe curling pain and got them to check my positioning everytime and they said it was fine - i think he was just a hard sucker. I found it REALLY painful for about 3 or 4 weeks and then my nipples gradually got used to it and it got better (with the help of Lansinoh put on after every feed) So just keep going and remember how good it is for your baby. A friend of mine said imagine he would starve if you didn't bfeed him. Now (6mths) I love it! Also I wouldn't supplement with formula if you can help it as you won't build up your milk supply enough I don't think. If you want to make sure you build it up enough you can wake him up to feed at least every 3 hrs tho obviously feed him more often if he wants it.

With getting the areola in, you can try either stroking his bottom lip with the nipple, or putting it by his nose and waiting till he opens and then lunging it in quick while his mouth is still open, and if it only covers the nipple then take him off and do it again.

Mine was also sleepy as jaundiced but I think he still got milk out even tho' he looked fast asleep. I'd let him go for a while ans then experiment with slipping him off and if he came off easily I knew he was asleep so then I'd lay him down on the floor till he woke up, also I changed his nappy mid feed to wake him up.


cheeseypeas Sat 20-May-06 23:03:54


I'm so sorry to read your post. I had huge breasts and nipples when I had my DS (who was a bit early and very tiny). Letdowns used to make my toes curl too, but as there was no nipple soreness, I knew it was just the let down. It got better with time. It was hard and confusing and the first letdowns hurt but it got better and better every day. I'm still feeding him now and he's 1. We have got sooo, so, so much out of breastfeeding. Both of us. You can do it. Just please, please ditch the formula. It will cause a vicious circle of lessening milk supply and possible nipple confusion. If you are worried that your baby isn't getting enough, express some milk and feed it to him using a little cup. You can sit him up on your knee, hold it too his lips and gently let him lap it off the top. I used this technique at the start when my DS wouldn't latch on. It kept my milk coming in and stopped him rejecting my nipple.

As long as you ditch the formula and make sure you are getting him latched on properly, the rest will come with time and a bit of faith. Remember women have been breastfeeding thier babies for millions of years. The problem women face now is that we don't have people around us that do it and so we have to learn it from scratch. There's no need to compare with forula milk as it is totally different stuff. It's quality and not quantity with breast milk. My DS amazed me by putting on stacks of weight when I thought he was getting hardly any. Trust him, trust your body and trust nature!

I used to say this in my head at the start and it really helped with positioning and latching on...

Tummy to mummy
Baby to breast (not breast too baby)
Nipple to nose
Angle of the dangle (I.e Lift your breast up straight and try not to hold it at contorted angled)- its like him drinking out of a bent straw.

Try holding your baby's head with one hand and with the other, use your thumb to push your nipple in on one side and try and latch him on with the raised bit of the nipple.

Lots of skin to skin and bedding down with your baby will help to. Just have faith in yourself.

Sorry for long post.

Good luck x x x

moondog Sat 20-May-06 23:05:07

Nice inspiring post cheesey.

jamiesam Sat 20-May-06 23:13:19

I would also suggest that if you can get advice about trying different positions. I was incredibly cautious when bf ds1 and although unbelievably painful (ground top off one of my teeth!) I couldn't bring myself to try any position other than the classic (babies head in crook of elbow)

I was overwhelmed with ds2 when i tried bf while lying in bed within the first week, how easy it was. There are several other positions (eg rugby ball?) that I think might be worth trying, but will leave advice to other more knowledgable MNers.

cheeseypeas Sat 20-May-06 23:31:29

Forgot to say, don't worry about him being sleepy and not being able to express much manually. Your milk probably hasn't come in properly yet and even when it does, its the let down reflex that gets the milk coming out fast - that depends on the babies.

Babies are often very sleep in their first week or two so don't worry about that.

If you have got a breast pump, you could start expressing some milk at the end of feed to help enchourage your milk to come in and trigger the supply and demand thing.

If your milk supply has suffered because of the forumla feeding, you can easily fix this with some expression.

It took me 4 days to get my DS to feed at the start. We followed the advie of the midwife and if my DS went longer than 4 hours we would offer him the breast for 15 mins, if he wasn't interested we would offer him about 40mils of expressed milk (expressed in advance and kept in the fridge). We wouldn't try him for longer than 15 mins incase he got stressed and if he wanted milk at any other time I would tryand feed him.
The basically helped us both learn roughly how to feed and made sure my milk came in.

Sorry for another long post and Good Luck again!

Cappucino Sat 20-May-06 23:36:27

haven't read all the thread but just to say

it hurt sooo much when I was bfing dd2 the first couple of weeks, I cried every time

but I never gave formula and just stuck it out; midwife recommended a great cream and I just waited for it to go off

it went off. dd still feeding now at 17 months, and it's been a lovely experience

keep going and good luck, thinking of you

milward Sat 20-May-06 23:48:27

Could try Lansinoh - put on loads & don't wash off. Check position - try bf lying down.

Could try this - Stroke your baby's cheek next to the side he is going to bf from so he turns & opens his mouth as a reflex. For the left breast - stroke your ds right cheek as you hold him in a cradle bf position. Call the nct helpline xxx Bf on demand & your milk will come in very soon - perhaps tomorrow!! Many congrats xxx

cheeseypeas Sun 21-May-06 10:03:29

Hi again

Last post now I promise! Just wanted to add that 4 hour thing was only done in the first 3 or 4 days until feeding was well established. Then I demand fed. This was done because we had had feeding problems at the start.

Good luck again.

Imafairy Sun 21-May-06 12:23:36

Girls - thank so much for your posts. MW came this morning and we managed to get a good latch and he had a good feed using the rugby ball position, so I'm going to give it a go again later on. Also, milk came in overnight, which I think has helped. Hubby has been dispatched to get breast pump. Haven't had any luck getting Lansinoh (will Mothercare have it?) so am using Kamillosan till then.
Thanks again for your support - will keep you posted.

2Happy Sun 21-May-06 12:45:04

That's good to hear, Imafairy. Yes MC will have lasinoh. Also get yourself some jelonet dressings, they can be put in the fridge between feeds, so cool and soothing after a feed. They're not cheap, but I found them fantastic. They come under several brand names too, I got "mother's mates" from Boots, but MC may sell them under another name. Hope it continues to improve.

MrsBadger Sun 21-May-06 12:46:49

my local Waitrose stocks Lansinoh - list of other stockists here - Boots, Mothercare and pharmacies all worth a try.

don't let dh come home till he's found it!

moondog Sun 21-May-06 13:56:48

Imafairy..lovely to hear your update!
Have been doing my worrying mother hen act about you since yesterday.
Come back if you need another boost!

Munz Sun 21-May-06 13:57:06

ima - get a nursing pillow if u don't already have one.

I had a terrible problem with latching for the first few days at home - like u wanted to stop. but well done for coming so far, the rugby hold was the only one which worked for me - and didn't hurt, well let down did a bit but after 12 weeks had absolutly no pai (it all went away after about 4) use copious amounts of the cream mentioned - tescos sell it but u have to ask at the pharmacy.

12 weeks on we're still feeding despite the odd day of wanting to stop. stick with it hon u'll be so glad u did. then once your well established etc u can express/swop your hold as we're now having to do.

ooh and if ur boobs are really sore try a warm bath with two flannels over your boobs - sorry if that's been mentioned b4, but I find that, then cream then a good pad really helps. - ooh and make sure you have a good fitting bra.

moondog Sun 21-May-06 14:22:23

Yes pillow a very good idea.
I set up a nursing corner (table,reading matter,pillows in situ,footstool) that was mine alone.

Munz Sun 21-May-06 14:24:32

I have the middle seat on the sofa - lots of room, a pillow to hold Joey on and the rugby hold worked really well only been this past weekend he's too big for that and doesn't like it any more.

(if u can't mnage to afford a nursing pillow I only have one of those v pillows from argos - does the same job)

ooh and make sure your comfy and relaxed as well it helps. (I know that's hard to relax)

beartime Sun 21-May-06 22:24:40

An armchair with one pillow on your lap and one under your elbow is good too.

CappucinoInABadMood Mon 22-May-06 12:40:54

my midwife nicked me some samples of lansinoh from the hospital. it's quite expensive and you use a really tiny amount so I never actually had to buy a tube

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