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Breastfeeding excruitating, formula horrid

(61 Posts)
craftycottontail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:45:35

Having a rubbish time and feel caught between two unhappy alternatives sad

Breastfeeding is really painful, noth nipples now cracked, sore and scabbing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Midwives have siad my positioning is all good, latch looks okay and they discharged us last week as little one was back to birth weight. National Breastfeeding helpline were useless, basically just Googling for local help and giving me telephone numbers. NCT counsellor said some really useful things but none of her tips get past the fact that it really hurts!

Formula smells! And doesn't seem to satisfy my little man as he roots all over me straight after a bottle. Plus he's been sick since I've given him formula, and was never sick with breast milk. If I make the leap to formula will my baby get used to it?

I just don't know what to do - feel like it's a choice between me being in agony and unhappy, or my baby being unhappy on formula. I've not managed to get into the swing of pumping as there never seems enough time to sit pumping for hours in the day.

craftycottontail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:48:27

(baby is 18 days btw)

SirBoobAlot Thu 13-Jun-13 23:53:18

Have you been able to see a breastfeeding specialist in person? How old is your DS? Is there a specific area of your nipple that hurts the most?

In the short term, try rubbing some of the milk that drips from your nipples back into them as it will help the healing. Try to find your local group or drop in, get to see someone as soon as possible.

Startail Thu 13-Jun-13 23:54:58

It will get better, suddenly it won't hurt anymore and your nipples will heal.

You won't believe me now, but the day will come.

It will sneak up on you and suddenly BFing will feel the most natural thing in the world.

I can't say how long it will take, I honestly can't remember in the fog of sleepless nights and tiny baby chaos it kind of crept up on me.

But it will happen, but until it does {{{hug}}} because it fucking hurts.

housework Thu 13-Jun-13 23:55:09

Apparently if you persevere the pain will go I after a few weeks. I managed 2 weeks. Every suck was like a crocodile bite. She used too suck the scabs off and have mouthfuls of orange bloody milk.I'd had absolutely no idea breast feeding was going to hurt. Ifid known I might have been prepared. Are nct not allowed to tell you?

Cravingdairy Thu 13-Jun-13 23:56:57

Is there a qualified independent lactation consultant near you - I don't know what they charge but they might do a free consultation or even advise over the phone. You could google it. Have you been checked for thrush?It is v v painful bit very treatable. I used to slather on the lansinoh and you can take paracetemol too. Have you tried laid back nursing - that was what turned things round for us and 21 months later I am still feeding mine! I found latching on properly really hard but laid back nursing involves letting the baby do all the work using their instincts and it made a huge difference to us. Good luck and congratulations on your baby!

housework Thu 13-Jun-13 23:58:27

A breast feeding woman came and showed me the rugby hold. It took several minutes to set up cushions and put dd in position.could never work out how to do it on my own.

Cravingdairy Thu 13-Jun-13 23:58:27

I don't think scabbing and pain is inevitable BTW.

catlady1 Fri 14-Jun-13 00:03:18

For me the pain did go away shortly after we corrected DD's latch, I was in tears in the beginning and ended up giving her formula. Definitely try to persevere if you want to carry on bfing.

Out of interest, are you using SMA? I thought it absolutely stunk, and the smell seemed to linger in the steriliser and on the bottles, an awful chemical-y smell. DD didn't seem to like it either, and it made her very windy. But we switched to Aptamil and I don't think it really smells at all, the powder itself smells vaguely sweet but the made-up milk doesn't really smell of anything. DD doesn't have any problems with it either.

showtunesgirl Fri 14-Jun-13 00:06:17

What kind of pain are you getting? If it's still hurting, there could still be a latch problem.

Sunnysummer Fri 14-Jun-13 00:08:01

18 days really isn't very long... Although I'm sure that with scanned nipples it must feel that way! Have you spoken to your doctor, a nurse or a lactation consultant as the others suggested? There are also physical problems a baby can have that make breastfeeding much trickier, but which can be corrected, like tongue tie.

Personally I found my lactation consultant to be worth every penny, I also hated formula and pumping and at 7 weeks breastfeeding is now a breeze. It really is worth trying again - but also it's not the end of the world if you have to go with formula, don't let people guilt you. Good luck!

throwinshapes Fri 14-Jun-13 00:09:12

Bless you.
At 18 days their mouth is still tiny and much harder to get a proper latch (both of mine had tongue tie so even worse latch).
I swear in a week (or two) the difference will be amazing and your sore chads will feel much less sore.
Well done for persevering- if you can hold on for a little longer, your boobs will settle in. <they take a while to toughen up>.

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Jun-13 00:09:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raaraathenoisybaby Fri 14-Jun-13 00:20:01

You need to find a latch on group. Not everyone really knows what they are looking at wrt latch. If the nipple rubs in the roof of the baby's mouth that's what hurts and causes the damage. It's latch and angle.
In the mean time use some lansinoh like you would use Chapstick after every feed but sparingly.

KeepTryin Fri 14-Jun-13 00:23:25

You've done really well to get to 18 days. It does get better. I cheated, I expressed till my scabby nipples healed, then took a deep breath and latched DD on, was much better, seemed to turn a corner and improved everyday from 4 weeks. 4 months in now and so glad I stuck with it. Hope it works out for you

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Fri 14-Jun-13 00:54:53

Go to the chemist (or send someone) and ask for jelonet, a wet wound dressing you can put on your nipples between feeds to stop them drying out and scabing and to protect them from your bra. It really helped me.

I swear it gets easier soon! Well done for trying so hard.

philbee Fri 14-Jun-13 02:39:52

Get proper advice from a proper person who properly knows what they're talking about. There may be an infant feeding coordinator at the hospital, so that would be somewhere to start. If not, can you pay for a lactation consultant? If you can say where you are people might have recommendations.

It is painful but shouldn't be by this stage. I am bfing my second child, now 7 weeks and spent first month showing clueless mws and GPs the latch and them saying it was fine. If I said I was sore, or talked about the thrush and blocked ducts they said 'ah, probably a latch problem', ie 'you're doing it wrong', but then couldn't tell me how to improve it. Last week we saw a bf counsellor who diagnosed tongue tie, and said she couldn't believe we'd managed to make it this far. I nearly cried. DD has had it snipped but we still have some problems which I hope we can resolve gradually.

Bottom line is, get help from someone who knows what they're talking about because many people think they do but they don't, know that it's not your fault, regardless of what people imply, and know that you have done really amazingly to persevere, it sounds horrible. As pp said, some formula is nicer than others, and if you have to switch that's what happens, it's not poison and you need to be in a good state to look after your DC, bfing is not the be all and end all of caring for a baby. Good luck!

Sorry to be blunt - DD has fallen asleep so must attempt cot transfer!

philbee Fri 14-Jun-13 02:43:25

Also second lansinoh after every feed - slather it on! That will help with healing the nipples. I had a massive crack with DD1 and it sorted it out. As pp said, its moist wound healing, lots of info online. And if they don't heal get GP to prescribe cream for thrush as its easier to get thrush with damaged skin. You can use Vaseline until you can get lansinoh if you need to.

Longdistance Fri 14-Jun-13 03:30:10

When I had problems I found a local Sure start centre, and they had a bf group, where a mw and bf councillor would be there giving expert advice. It saved my sanity, and was like you, in between a rock and a hard place with bf.
I had massive cracks, I eventually used some nipple shields so the pain wasn't so bad, and then when my nips healed, I'd get dd to latch on fine again without. By his point my nips were made of steel, but doc said I had thrush from the wound. Was given Nystatin, which was useless, and then given Daktarin oral gel, which was fab.
I second the rugby hold. I used to pop dd on a pillow beside me, sat upright, and she got a good feed this way.
My dd didn't put any weight on for two weeks, and she was mega hungry too. I had so much milk too. But, couldn't for he life of me express much.
I hope it gets better soon, and you find the appropriate help.

SoYo Fri 14-Jun-13 04:14:10

My bubba is now 14wks & I can't believe I'm still BFing. I hated every second if it for the first 4 weeks & it hurt so ,iChat that all I wanted to do was push her little face off me. I couldn't understand at all how this was possible supposed to be good for bonding! I couldn't get my baby to settle after formula otherwise I'd have switched & expressing hurt just as much.

The things I found good were:
- ridiculous amounts of Lansinoh
- Jelonet from chemist if really cracked is amazing
- rugby ball hold or feeding lying down (learned from YouTube)
- against all the BF friendly advise I used nipple shields (medela ones) when it was really bad, she didn't get as much when I used them so fed a bit more frequently but to give my poor abused nips a days reprieve a week was bliss at the time
- taking her out as much as possible to try to extend the time between feeds on really bad days.

Good luck & be kind to yourself.

Want2bSupermum Fri 14-Jun-13 04:30:42

Get yourself a pair of nippleshields. I had a terrible time breastfeeding but my sister has managed to make 2 months. She swears by motherlove nipple cream. You can buy it on amazon. A little goes a very long way.

I took painkillers for the time I bf. I couldn't do it and moved to formula. DD was on special stuff but DS is on costco own brand formula. If you are using bottles I strongly suggest using Dr Browns and having gripe water in the house.

Kveta Fri 14-Jun-13 04:35:05

You poor thing OP, those early days can be so hard sad you're doing an amazing job to keep going through the pain.

Do you have a local La leche league group? If you look here. you should be able to find out. they are great for providing informed support, and should be able to help you out. Often a subtle change in latch can work wonders, but it is hard to identify how to make that change yourself, especially when in pain, so an outside perspective can be really useful!

Another thing that many mums find useful is 'biological nurturing', which is worth a Google.

Good luck!

glossyflower Fri 14-Jun-13 06:55:59

I really sympathise as I was the same.
Please don't give in as once you get settled its really is worth it.
I used a nipple shield. My HV said it wasn't ideal but rather me use the shield than not BF at all.
It sorted out my sore nipples immediately. However with the shield baby doesn't latch on very well and you are at risk of your milk drying up.
You also have to get the right size shield and apply it correctly.
A couple of weeks ago I gave up the shield and after a few days my nipples weren't so sore.
If your nipples are bleeding and cracked baby is not latched on correctly and in my experience midwives are rubbish at giving BF ing advice! All the midwives when I had my baby said "looks fine" because she was suckling fine but she wasnt latched on properly at all.
It takes time and still after 7 weeks I have problems with my DD latching correctly.

Are there any BF support groups in your area? My local hospital has one daily so worth checking out of yours does.


itsaruddygame Fri 14-Jun-13 08:20:45

Definatley get your latch checked again. I was told my latch was fine by more than one midwife - it wasn't - I was in agony. It took another (fabulous) midwife poking around and having good look whilst the baby was feeding to identify a poor latch (that looked reasonably ok). She visited me for a couple of days - watched me latch on and off and helped me. The pain stopped straight away when the latch was right .... It took a couple of weeks for it to stop being tender but it no longer hurt so much I thought I would have to give up.

Get someone who really knows there stuff to help (lactation consultant or similar) to come and help you face to face as soon as you can!

WoTmania Fri 14-Jun-13 09:35:46

MWs mean well and some are brilliant at BF support but most don't have the training or up to date information.
It really shouldn't hurt if the latch is 'good'. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the national BF helpline. If you feel up to it give LLL or NCT a call or find your local groups.

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