nearly ready to give up bf(24 Posts)
Thanks again for all the advice. Still here and still struggling. About to get a private bf counsellor and get checked for thrush after a clinic today.
Sorry for the late response, the BF counsellor I would recommend is called Geraldine Miskin. Not only did she immediately and correctly diagnose my DD's posterior TT (I had been told in the hospital that dd could not have tongue tie because she could stick her tongue out ) but she also explained the mechanics and positioning of breastfeeding so incredibly clearly, made it very easy to understand what positions would work and why i was having problems. she also recommended some ways to help Dd feed and wind better until we got the TT sorted. if I have any problems BFing future children she will be my first call!
one of the things she suggested was nipple shields as a temp measure - they didn't work for me (DD's mouth was too small for the size I needed) but could help you while you heal?
Oh yeah missed the 15 min thing, that's really me. Bf babies suckle for nourishment & comfort, there's nothing wrong with comfort suckling (apart from the fact that its bloody annoying ). As chocolate says, any suckling will help build your supply so it's not a bad thing or need restricting
Yes I agree 3 hourly or even 2 hourly feeds are not enough at that stage. And re the 15 minute thing, I'm sorry to contradict someone's paediatrician but it doesn't sound right to me, please do check and double check this before limiting feeds to 15 minutes. I think best not to limit them at all except for vital loo breaks if you are wanting to build supply.
Loads of good advice here, but just wanted to add that 3-4 hourly feeds is far too infrequent for bf babies, especially prem ones.
I know what you mean about feeding all the time, but that's what new bf babies do (a nurse in SCBU told me that after I said incredulously, "but I've just fed her!). The long feeds & cluster feeds will help establish your milk supply & once that has happened, things really will get easier (bfing was hell for me initially so I do understand!).
Agree to get your ds checked for tongue tie (are you in South Wales as I can recommend a fab bfing counsellor who will check for tongue tie?). Also get yourself to any bfing support groups near you - literally saved my life when dd was newborn.
Good luck op, I really hope things work out for you
Katie Fisher is a surrey based lactation consultant. She is frequently recommended on another forum. If you balance the cost of a session versus the cost of formula it might be money well spent.
Good luck either way.
Contact NCT or the Breastfeeding Network. They will be able to give you advice over the phone or can refer you to a local breastfeeding counsellor. They won't charge for their services (private lactation consultants charge)
If you do decide to stop, they will be able to advise you how to stop safely - going cold turkey isn't necessarily a great option for you and could result in mastitis.
Whatever you decide to do is a good decision.
Just reading post..my lo was born at 35 weeks , had a very difficult first few weeks, damaged nipples etc..persevered, still breastfeeding 9mths later.. Agree that hospital grade pump will yield more, medela symphony..good luck
www.kellymom.com is your bible. That website is fantastic and will explain everything about supply, duration of feeds, when to swap, etc etc.
This lady sounds good re tongue tie experience, plus she runs a few groups which you might be able to attend before booking a private appointment or if money is an issue.
You can also find your nearest La Leche League group here
Thank you all so much for all the advice and words of support - it's given me much to go on.
Lansinoh doesn't seem to make any difference unfortunately - it's the aureola that he's been sucking on that hurts.
Will definitely check the tongue tie again, YoniBottsBumgina / minipie and will try the new position this afternoon.
Thanks for explaining about the first 15 mins and how supply woks, MyNameIsButterfly and YoniBottsBumgina
Thaknks minipie, same to you
Have got the medela pump and not seeing much difference between it and the one I used in hospital, but as its a different situation might be worth trying again. I am in Surrey - don't know if I can afford a BF counsellor, but would definitely consider one to one session if you can share details, please.
Good point about the formula cost, chocolatemartini!
That stage is very hard and they do want to feed nearly all day long not to mention frequently at night. If giving up is going to make you sad in the long run and bf is important to you, with a good lactation consultant you absolutely can get through this and get to a stage where it is easier. If you have to pay for help do remember that formula is expensive too! Don't struggle on without help though.
hmm it does sound a lot like tongue tie... posterior type , which is harder to spot and often gets worse in its effects as time goes on.
Who checked your DS for tongue tie? Is it worth getting a second opinion? I was told in NICU that dd was not tongue tied, but many weeks (and much struggle and pain) later a BF counsellor and surgeon confirmed that she was in fact posterior tongue tied. it was snipped and the difference was amazing.
DD was also 6 weeks early - congratulations on getting your LO home
Do you have a hospital grade pump? if not, ask your NICU, they will probably rent you one. I found I could express SO much more using the hospital pumps and I'm sure they also boosted my supply. I think more expressing with a hospital pump would be easier on you as a way to boost supply than more frequent feeds.
if you're in Sw London or Surrey area and can afford a private BF counsellor I can recommend someone excellent.
You really need experienced RL help here, OP. The problem with breastfeeding support is that you often really have to fight your own corner for it. It's not how it should be but it is unfortunately the case.
If you are happy to stop now, then do it, don't feel guilty, you have done your baby a world of good by feeding up until this age. There's a great poster which shows the benefits of breastfeeding up to different ages:
Helps to stabilise babys blood sugars and
protect babys gut
A great opportunity for the first skin to skin
The antibodies in your colostrum provide
natural immunity from infection
Helps womb to contract towards normal size
Sticky black meconium is cleared more readily
from babys bowel
Instant relief for hot, swollen breasts when
your milk comes in
Transition to world outside womb is eased
Frequent feeds means time to sit or lie down
and for you and your baby to get to know each
Food and drink always ready at the right
temperature, adapting to babys needs
Hormones help you get back to sleep after
For premature babies lower risk factors for
heart disease in later life
Saves time sterilising and making up bottles
Half the risk of chest infections now and up to
seven years old
^ That is all of the good that you have done for your baby so far, and if you want to stop, that is an absolutely valid decision and should be respected. If this is what you have decided please skip past the rest of my post.
If you really, really want to carry on, it will be worth fighting for.
Tongue tie can be (and is frequently) missed. I'm only seeing a couple of signs in your post but it would be worth looking into - you need someone who is really experienced with it. You might need to hassle the various BF helplines or look at www.milkmatters.org.uk - they have experts who will come out to see you personally. You're probably not going to find a tongue tie expert in a breastfeeding support group, although it's possible.
Sounds like you may have a problem in the boob which is sore - does it feel sort of lumpy or is there a red patch which is sore and hot? That could be a blocked duct which can lead to mastitis if it does not get cleared. If it's sort of shooting pains deep within the breast then it's more likely to be thrush. If you think it's mastitis or thrush then you need to seek medical advice ASAP. If it's that he's chewed the nipple then that will be self evident. Have you got any Lansinoh? You could also look into nipple shields. They aren't great long term, but as a tool to help make feeding more bearable until it improves they are invaluable.
Being alert after feeds is really really good. That is one of the signs he's getting lots of lovely food and drink from you. Are you sure he is not satisfied, ie, is he rooting again, or is he just unsettled? Most babies will accept a bottle and then look magically settled afterwards whether they were hungry or not - have you tried winding him, walking around with him? If he's crying but doesn't want to go back on the boob it might be that he just wants to suck, you could try your little finger, or a dummy.
30ml is quite a normal amount to express in one go and doesn't mean your supply is low or that's all you have "left". Supply doesn't work like this and doesn't need time to refill, so try not to worry about this. A baby is far more efficient than a pump.
You could try a biological nurturing position as this is different to other positions and lets the baby find their own way, usually leading to a better latch. Google this for more detailed instructions or a video, however, all it is is you lying semi-reclined and putting the baby skin to skin on your chest allowing them to "crawl" up to the breast and latch on. They can do this from a few minutes old, so he isn't too young. It's quite amazing to see - don't be tempted to help him.
baby gets what it needs with first 15 min. That was told to me by my paediatrician when my baby was feeding for hours. He also said to take her off the breast after 30 min as she was comfort feeding. They just love to suckle that why your baby is most likely to cry when you take him off. I gave mine dummy and what every they say it makes latch worse is rubbish coz she was terrible before and add son as I gave dummy Hey latch was much stronger she didn't cry after feeds. amazing. If yours got plenty of wet/dirty I would try dummy
Have you been checked for bf thrush? I had I and it hurt like hell. May explain the pain at least.
I breastfed through mastitis, bf thrush, latching difficulties, all sorts. Finally got it all sorted and my baby started being really sick on my milk. Think it was a reflux issue, but hv suggested cutting all kinds from my diet, trying to give meds in a syringe before bfing was a nightmare and wasn't helping. Much to my hubby's disapproval I switched to formula. Despite the guilt I felt, it was the best decision. Bf was running my life, and like you he fed 3 hours like clockwork.
The reality is you need to look after yourself as much as anything and bfing is bloody hard work. Perhaps upping the formula and combination feeding for a few days will give you a bit of a break and give you a chance to get over the pain and have some distance to decide your best course if action.
Worth getting checked for bf thrush though. Hurt more than mastitis.
Sorry, actually it was the MW who did this with me - the BFing support worker was not great but I know there are fantastic ones out there and they do do home visits.
Have you got some Lansinoh? It has helped me so much - seems to just magically heal nipples. It's expensive but so worth it! Will a BF support worker come out and see you? Mine did and it was really helpful. We practised latching on and off until it was bearable. it gave me confidence to keep trying. still have very painful days but definitely feeling much better. Good lucj whatever you decide xxx
Yes, he has been checked for tongue tie and was fine.
He's only getting the occasional top-up when he's had all breast milk there is at the time. So might be 90 ml of formula in 24hrs.
I have been to a bf clinic a couple of times and things seemed to have improved only to go completely pear-shaped recently. As I said he seems to have lost the ability to latch on properly and when he does he'll sometimes not suck effectively - only a few deep ones and shallow, pulsating ones from there on...
Will go to the bf clinic again on Monday expecting to spend there the afternoon - am desperate to make it work and will call the bf network helpline tomorrow as well.
who runs your breastfeeding clinic? have they helped at all with the latching difficulties?
if not then find another breastfeeding counsellor who CAN help.
The problem with formula top-ups is that they can mean that baby is just too full to take enough from the breast, which can lead to supply problems. also agree that ideally you would want him feeding a little more frequently
I have no doubt that this could be turned around with the right support, you just need to find it.
has he been checked for tongue tie?
giving up breastfeeding is a decision only you should be making. and it's a bloody hard decision (as I know only too well). You need to make the decision that is best for both you and your child, and only you know what that is <hugs>
Has he been checked for tongue tie? An hour long feed sounds like he might be having some trouble transferring milk effectively - especially if the latch isn't good and is damaging your nipples.
Have you tried calling a breastfeeding helpline or speaking to a bf counsellor at all?
Whatever you decide to do now, 7 weeks of breastfeeding is a brilliant achievement, especially with a premature baby. You have given him a great start.
maja00 - thanks for your response.
If I go to more frequent feeds - all I will be doing is feeding - baby takes about an hour on both breasts. Not sure that's sustainable as I fear I will go insane with sleep deprivation.
My one nipple / aureola is so sore I can't do it at the moment anyway - his trying to latch on makes me cry. Before he managed to destroy one of my aureolas he did get both sides at each feed and it was enough for the first two weeks. Last few days - not enough and having to supplement with formula
I stopped bf at 7 weeks as I just found it too difficult, painful and upsetting. Dd has thrived and I feel I did what was best for us both - I understand the hugest benefits are in bf at the very beginning so at least I did that.
Do what you can for what's best for you both.
3 hourly feeds are maybe a bit infrequent - have you tried offering more often, maybe every two hours?
Does he take both sides at each feed? Switch feeding, where you swap back and forth each time he comes up so offer 2,3,4+ sides each feed can help boost your supply.
Am on the verge of giving up bf.
Have a lovely little boy who will be 7 weeks on Monday (born 6 weeks early). Initially he was ebf and then switched to bf. He's on a 3 hourly cycle during the day and 4 hourly at night and I express couple of times for the night feeds plus top up with formula. It's been nearly 3 weeks now and it's getting worse and worse.
I think my supply is dwindling as baby is alert and not satisfied after feeds. I am trying to express after every feed, but only manage about an ounce (30 ml) at most. And to add insult to injury he's lost the ability to latch on properly and one of my boobs is mega sore.
Have been trying all sorts of positions - baby across tummy, baby under my arm - legs towards back, baby in my lap and baby on the breastfriend pillow and some worked for a while and now don't work.
Don't know what else to do - would really like to bf...
Nearly every bf feed ends in tears... (mine - frustration / his hunger I think).
Think I will give the sore boob a break and express while continuing to bf with the other and will go to bf clinic one last (third) time on Monday.
Sorry - just needed to get it out of the system...
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