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Getting the latch right with a newborn is nothing like how it's portrayed

(28 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 27-Jun-13 19:15:08

In breastfeeding videos. It's not the calm and measured experience. It's not slow and accurate. My experience is arms waving in unhelpful directions, arching away from the breast, headbutting into the breast, sideways gurning in the opposite direction etc

My nipples are sore and potentially bruised. It hurts deep into the breast after a feed. The latch looks correct and feels fine after the first couple of sore sucks.

This is dd2 so you'd think I'd know what I'm doing, I feel like I'm failing massively sad.

Hv suspects thrush - dds tongue is white and from how my breasts feel.
What can I do?
Will the prescribed stuff work?

Shall I just give up and ff? sad

nellyjelly Thu 27-Jun-13 19:19:14

It does sound like thrush. Best go to docs asap though the over the counter stuff may assust you, baby will need something. Can ou get to an out of hours service.

Once the thrush is gone will probably not hurt but fee l for you. I though with DC2 it would be a breeze but struggled all over again. Still good to see a bf counsellor just to check latch. Also suggest swaddling for feeding, really calms and stops the thrashing about.

Good luck and don't give up!

Kveta Thu 27-Jun-13 19:22:56

You're not failing, really you're not. You are looking for help!

Not sure where you are in the country, but I find LA leche league excellent for informed support, you could try and find a local leader to call for help?

Kveta Thu 27-Jun-13 19:24:31


Jimmybob Thu 27-Jun-13 19:28:31

Great you are getting help and get the thrush sorted and it would feel better. I thought it would be easier second time round until I realised that this baby had to learn how to do it....so it wasn't just me in the equations. Also I had to learn to bf with another dc around trying to get my attention etc....keep going and you will find that you can bf, answer complicated questions and make diner at the same time!

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 27-Jun-13 19:30:39

I had a nightmare with dd1 so assumed this time would be a breeze as I got it figured out last time.

Hv has put a prescription through for me to collect tomorrow so I hope it does the trick.
It's harder having problems with dc2 because you still have dc1 to look after!
Dd1 is 22 months so still demanding just in different ways!
I'd forgotten the draining feeding through the night too! Dh is lovely but doesn't produce milk so pretty useless smile

I'm just v tired and grumpy and aching.

Would like a night off!
(Would be too tempted to have every night off thereafter if I did though!)

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 27-Jun-13 20:00:46

Can you send DH to supermarket pharmacy for the prescription tonight? It really will help if you can get it treated ASAP. Do you have stuff for you and DD? You need to treat both of you. Some doctors won't prescribe the gel for babies under a certain age because it's a choking risk if you shove great big globs of it into their mouth - if you smear a thin layer very carefully then it's perfectly safe from birth.

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 27-Jun-13 20:29:50

Yes hv has prescribed drops (?) for baby and cream for me.

Can't get it until tomorrow as she did the diagnoses over the phone and said she'd write up prescription before she left to be picked up tomorrow. Surgery shut now so can't get to prescription even if I could get to pharmacy!

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 27-Jun-13 21:06:30

I don't really enjoy breastfeeding - it's more just a way to feed my baby but I feel inexplicably guilty if I start wishing for bottles! Weird

TerracottaPie Thu 27-Jun-13 21:22:52

DC2 is the only one that bfing was great from the outset. On DC4 now (5 weeks old) and have already had blocked ducts, mastitis and thrush. I do find myself thinking at times that I should know what I'm doing by now! Although to be fair things are pretty good now.

Re the thrush, if thats definitely what it is then yes, the treatment will work. If my very recent experience of thrush is anything to go by you'll start to feel an improvement in a couple of days but it might depend on how quickly you've caught it and started treating you both.

Hopefully this will all be a distant memory for you soon and you'll feeding with no worries smile

ovenchips Thu 27-Jun-13 21:29:32

There's a good leaflet from Breastfeeding Network(BfN) on thrush that you can download, to help decide if this is the issue.

I had horrendous thrush deep in breast tissue (years ago now), creams were not effective as could not reach far enough into breast. One of the things which helped was courses of flucanazole. But looking at current BfN info, seems courses of flucanazole are not really recommended now.

Anyway the best thing that I took which cleared up the thrush once and for all (after suffering with it for months and months and months) was a probiotic. Worked fabulously well.

I took Threelac (not cheap tbh) which is specifically for thrush/ candida. And with a probiotic (must be high dose one, normally powder or capsule) you have zero potential side effects for baby or you.

It is totally miserable though when you are having pain and bf problems, hope things pick up soon.

MissingMyMarbles Thu 27-Jun-13 21:50:40

Can I just clarify, you said it feels fine after the first couple of sucks? Is it ok after that? It's just that thrush is normally painful throughout the feed and afterwards. Also, a milky coating on the tongue is normal and can be confused with thrush. If the pain subsides then it could be you just have a painful let down.

They shouldn't say that it isn't painful if you're doing it right, because in the beginning it is. I had a similar experience to you with DD2. I couldn't believe how much agony I was in, and how sore my chest was: it just ached everywhere. It took me by surprise too, as it was second time around, but it does get easier.

I hope it's not thrush, but whatever it is, I hope you get it sorted soon. A bf counsellor or support group will help and check your latch for you. Can you actually see your hv tomorrow, rather than just have a phone diagnosis?

Please don't be hard on yourself: you are not failing your baby.

JazzAnnNonMouse Fri 28-Jun-13 04:51:14

The first few sucks hurt the nipples but then it's fine so that's why I think latch is ok however after the feed I get deep shooting pain within the breast itself.

Longdistance Fri 28-Jun-13 05:51:50

Could be ductal thrush, in which case you need to see your gp to prescribe Fluconazole. There is some information on it on the Breatfeeding Network website.
Good Luck.

FanjolinaJolie Fri 28-Jun-13 09:36:19

jazz not to worry you but I had thrush with both DD's and the only thing that shifted it was the Fluconazole, and a 10 day course.

If the thrush is not treated effectively you and baby just pass it back and forth.

The thrashing/butting etc will be the baby having a sore mouth from the thrush, they can also pull off the breast while latched on it is so painful. First few sucks can go OK then they feel the pain and start thrashing about on the breast, it is awful to see them so distressed while feeding.

Well done on getting help, try to go with it but if you feel you are not improving go straight back to DR.

FanjolinaJolie Fri 28-Jun-13 09:37:43

deep shooting pain*

I described it to my GP like laser beams zapping into my breast

JazzAnnNonMouse Fri 28-Jun-13 09:51:52

How long should I give this first treatment then before asking for something stronger?

FanjolinaJolie Sat 29-Jun-13 08:48:18

I am not sure how long the creams/gels would take to work, ask your HV or GP

midori1999 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:20:16

Not sure if this helps, but I also only got pain at the start of a feed with DD when she was a newborn/up to several weeks old and then got agonising pains in my breast after and between feeds. It had me in tears, it was like agonising stabbing pains and I can remember laying in the bath on my side with my boob submerged trying to relieve it.

I also had nipple damage though, but the latch 'looked' good apparently and DD was gaining up to 1lb a week, so I was told the latch was good. However, once I started being very careful about latching (easy to get 'lazy' about it when you're knackered) it started improving and then stopped, so I believe it was latch. The nipple damage also healed.

Mine was also only ever one side too, which made me think it wasn't thrush.

JazzAnnNonMouse Sat 29-Jun-13 10:40:51

I'm doing the same as you did re baths. I think my nipples are damaged too but the cream seems to make them worse as it stings and makes everything even more sensitive.

I got to the point last night where I couldn't cope any more sad trying to feed from 11pm-2.30am up and down with tiny feeds. Every time dd comes near my breast I have to really stop myself from flinching away. Anyway it just wasn't happening so I gave her a bottle. Just sat in tears while she gulped it down. Felt like the worlds worst mum. Irrational I know but I can't shift the guilt.

I've managed a few feeds since but I really don't want to. After the initial pain of poor latch with dd1 I was really good at breastfeeding - this time I'm not and I'm so so tired.

Dh has gone out to buy breast pump and nipple shields. I hope to continue breastfeeding but its so painful I'm not sure I can.

It's making me v emotional and I'm spending all my time trying to do it. Dd1 needs me too.

I just feel wrecked.

JazzAnnNonMouse Sat 29-Jun-13 12:55:59

The expressor made me bleed sad

My nipples weren't bleeding before and thought the expressing was going ok until dh said to look at the milk - It was red sad

I don't want to do this anymore.
My breasts hurt inside and out. They ache with fullness, i have deep shooting pains, thrush, hard lumps and everything's sore.
I've cried so much I've got a headache, my eyes are sore and eczema is flaring up.

I feel so sorry for myself and sound pathetic but I just feel so upset and guilty.

I just want to give her bottles now - I feel like ill be judged, I'm judging myself sad

Don't think I'm being a good mum.

kiwi5 Sun 30-Jun-13 10:37:57

oh u poor love. do NOT beat urself up about this. what is more important? a happy mummy and baby or a mummy in pain and a baby who will pick up on this. u have given ur baby a wonderful start-bottle feeding will not undo or counteract this or make u any less pf a loving amazing mum. do what is right for u and ur baby. u r important too. take care x

midori1999 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:34:26

You need to do what is best for you. That doesn't make you a bad Mum! I remember only too well the pain in the first weeks of breastfeeding my DD and it does make me dread this time a bit, but I regretted stopping with my first 3DC and that was what spurned me to continue.

Would you want to keep feeding if you could stop the pain? If you're bleeding too it does sound like a latch problem to me and if you can get that sorted then feeding will be pain free or virtually pain free almost immediately.

Also, has anyone checked for tongue tie?

JazzAnnNonMouse Sun 30-Jun-13 13:14:06

I only bled with the expresser.

I would kind of like to carry on feeding her if there was no pain but I feel like freer with using the bottle as I have a few times today.
I feel like I can be there for dd1 more as when feeding it can take so long and I'm the only one that can do it.

We'll see, I might mix feed, I might express some and do it that way. I know breast milk is best so I will try but if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen I guess.

FanjolinaJolie Mon 01-Jul-13 10:12:37

Jazz you poor thing. You need a few hours kip/hug/cup of tea/RL support etc etc etc. You may be brewing mastitis along with the thrush going by your sysmptoms.

I was there where you are. For some reason three-four weeks in was my worst point with both DD's with thrush then a blocked duct which was borderline mastitis but luckily never grew to a full infection. I had hard, hot lumpy boobs, cracked nipples, deep tissue thrush and white nipples, DD had white coating and red raw mouth. Shaking and shivering for 12 hours. It was a disaster.

Unfortunately what you are going through is not uncommon.

There is nothing wrong with giving a few bottles to give yourself a break. The only think to remember that each bottle you give will diminish your supply and it can become a slippery slope to get back to EBF if this is your wish. If you think you may wish to do with RL support is absolutely essential.

A poor latch which has damaged the nipple causes thrush. For every BF that you do offer (if you are mixed feeding) really try to get a good deep latch. I thought DD's latch was good as it was only slightly painful but the evidence was in the shape of my nipple after a feed which was compressed and looking like the end of a lipstick (if that makes sense)

I ended up sacking it and trying mixed feeding, it didn't work as DD would refuse the breast after the speed and ease of bottle feeding. I continued to express for about two to three weeks and mixed EBM with formula in a 'cocktail' until my boobs dried up pretty quickly. I regretted it a few weeks later when DD developed eczema and I wish I has stuck with it. I am not saying this to guilt trip you at all, please don't take it as that just to let you know my experience.

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