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Shall I give up on breastfeeding?

(28 Posts)
ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 15:53:25


My LO is 8 weeks. I've had mastitis three times and untreated ductal thrush for 7 weeks. Is it time to give up now?

My LO loves the breast and is even refusing to take the bottle but I can't keep going through mastitis and thrush over and over again. It is extremely painfully and makes me physically

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 15:54:38

(Sorry carrying on) makes me physically ill and sometimes I feel like I can't cope.

Helspopje Mon 22-Jul-13 16:00:10

Have you been to a BF cafe and made sure latch TT ect is okay as that may be the underlying cause for all and is often v remidiable?

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 16:01:42

Helspopje, yes I have been. She was checked in hospital by a lactation consultant.

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 16:02:28

Btw all the problems are only on one breast.

welshfirsttimemummy Mon 22-Jul-13 16:02:59

I think you should do whatever makes you happy. Your baby needs a happy mum smile

JuliaScurr Mon 22-Jul-13 16:08:06

they're meant to be good
don't worry; your lovely baby will be fine no matter what you decide

JuliaScurr Mon 22-Jul-13 16:08:36

RedKites Mon 22-Jul-13 16:08:57

Only you can decide what you should do, but if all the problems are on one side, then another possibility to consider is that many women are able to EBF on just one side. If this is something you might want to do, then you might want to talk to someone (perhaps on one of the telephone helplines) about gradually reducing the feeds on the problem side, and increasing them on the other.

missesjellybean Mon 22-Jul-13 16:10:50

do whatever you think is best for you and your baby..I tried for weeks to bf when it clearly wasn't working as I felt too guilty to switch to ff ...

now a year down the line I don't know why I got so stressed about ff ... and as my very nice health visitor told me you can't tell which babies are bf and ff as they grow up....

but if you do want to continue to bf then I'd give your local bf support worker a call for some help and advice to get you few the next few weeks

whatever you decide just remember you've already done 2 months breast feeding which is great smile.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 22-Jul-13 16:11:27

Why haven't they treated the thrush? Do you want to continue? There may be solutions to the problems you are having but completely understandable if you want to switch (or mix feed).

You could just feed off the "good" side. It is possible to ebf from one side. (Don't just stop cold turkey though as this could also cause mastitis).
I'd get a second opinion on the latch/tt. My dd's tt was missed by the hospital paed. That vould be causing te mastitis.
Presumably you have been taking antibiotics for mastitis and that ha caused the thrush. You'll need oral thrush treatment if its ductal - cream alone won't work - and baby will likely need treatment as well (ask for daktarin rather than nystatin).
The breastfeeding network (bfn) have a help sheet you can take to your gp which indicates the most up to date advice.

Thesunrising Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:36

I'm sorry you're experiencing such a terrible time. If you decide not to continue, please don't look on it as 'giving up' - rather it is a decision to stop and try a different approach. I had the agony of mastitis and thrush at the same time and each feed (and for up to an hour after) felt like being attacked by needles and knives. I spent the first month of feeding in tears most day because of the pain and because none of the advice (often contradictory) i received could fix the problems. You must be as hard as nails to have continued this long - I hope you find a solution that works for you.

missesjellybean Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:19

just checking though are you now being treated for thrush and is your baby being treated / showing signs of thrush? hopefully once it's cleared you'll feel loads better if its been intreated for 8 weeks you must have been in agony sad if you do continue hopefully things should improve as the treatment works

if you do want to ff and dc won't take a bottle from you if you can leave the house...even for 5 mins when a feed is due as your dc will likely take the feed from someone else...also look up NUK bottles they're excellent imo for babies (like mine) who won't take bottles it was a bf worker who told me about them as bf babies take to them really well apparently smile

maja00 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:17:28

Why is the thrush untreated?

If only one breast is bothering you, you could always just feed from the other side (or mix feed) if you wanted to.

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 16:47:18

Thanks everyone! Ductal thrush was diagnosed last week and I am on oral tablets as well as cream for me and drops for DD. GP has been great about it. Mastitis re appeared for the third time on the weekend and having both mastitis and ductal thrush at the same time is just too too much hmm

To those suggesting using just one breast, I've been doing that for two days as LO is completely refusing a bottle (NUT bottles are being delivered this evening / thanks to ocado!). However, she doesn't seem satisfied and wants to constantly be on the breast.

I'm booking an appointment with a paid lactation consultant who does tounge ties - it's definitely worth it before I stop.

I could take nursing tea to increase supply (it has worked for me in past) but I'm worried about the infected breast - that it's going to get worse. But very strangely, for every 6 hours the infected breast is only pumping out 20-30ml?! How is that so so low??

TarkaTheOtter Mon 22-Jul-13 17:05:08

Might be low because your body doesn't respond very well to the pump. Some women can't pump at all (even with oversupply!).
The baby might need to cluster feed for a bit as you switch to using one side only. Feeding is the most effective way to increase your supply so if its possible try to feed her as much as possible. The more she empties that breast the more signals are sent for your body to produce more milk on that side.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 22-Jul-13 17:06:23

Just to add, I have massive sympathy for you coping with mastitis and thrush. Must be bloody painful!

maja00 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:09:30

Agree the baby is probably just feeding a lot while supply catches up in that breast. I know a couple of people who just fed on one side for various reasons - one until her son was 3!

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 17:11:35

Tarka, thanks! My LO is constantly on my good breast because she is hungry and I'm worried that's going to get sore. I tried placing a nipple sheild but she refused and blew a fit!

SpottyTeacakes Mon 22-Jul-13 17:12:10

I really, really feel for you. I've only had mastitis once and I've said if I get it again I will have to stop! I just wanted to add though that my supply completely dropped in the effected side (and ds is almost eight months so I have a well established supply) and I could only express the same amount as you, but once the pain had gone (after a few days of antibiotics) and I was able to feed again on that side it did come back and is now fine. I really hope you feel better, I always remember something someone said on here 'never give up on a bad day'.

Once I was able to feed from that side again I always started on the bad side then switched to the good one and it only took a few days.

If you think you would be happier ff though then remember you have done so well to keep going through three bouts of mastitis and there's lots of good advice on here about getting a baby to take a bottle. Good luck smile

ButteryJam Mon 22-Jul-13 17:16:25

Thank you Spotty and everyone else smile it is so lovely to have support and to be around people that don't push breastfeeding down your throat (I know they mean well).

midori1999 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:13:27

Only you can decide what you think is best for you.

I dried up one side after getting mastitis in it 11 times and goodness knows what I was thinking to not have done it sooner.

I would imagine your DD will feed almost constantly if you have started just feeding from one side only, as she will need/want to increase the supply on that side.

Mastitis can reduce supply temporarily, so that is one possible reason for not getting much out when you are expressing.

PieceOfTheMoon Mon 22-Jul-13 20:27:10

Hi Buttery. How long was your course of anti-Bs? Reason I ask is that I had recurrent mastitis for which my GP prescribed several 1 week courses of anti-B's. The mastitis always returned within a few days of finishing the course. Thanks to another mumsnetter I eventually found out that you should take them for at least 10 days. Once I told my GP they gave me a 2 week course and it cured it for good smile

I went on to feed successfully for 9 months. When I went back to work at 6 months I mix fed, using bottles during the day. He hated it at first and I had a very stressful few weeks trying what felt like every bottle on the market. In the end the only one he would take were breastflow bottles (I think available online only). If you do decide to bottle feed these might be worth a try.

ButteryJam Tue 23-Jul-13 14:43:34

Thanks again everyone. Just found out my DD has a posterior tongue tie which may be the underlying cause.

missesjellybean Tue 23-Jul-13 15:19:36

oh are they going to do an operation to correct it?

just so you know where I live they do the operation pretty much immediately within a week or two if you are breast feeding exclusively and it can take about 6 weeks if you're doing mixed feeding...

so if you are doing a bit of both it might not be worth mentioning that iyswim .... did the NUK bottle help at all or have you not gone there yet?

glad you have some answers and good luck with things smile

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