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Struggled first time round, struggling second time round...

(10 Posts)
OhPuddleducks Fri 08-Nov-13 20:25:32

Urge I really thought I'd find bfing easier this time..... My DD was bf until 15 months, but it was a real slog. I have flat nipples and massive boobs and was torn to shreds in the early days and weeks of bf. I truly hated it until about two months in when she got a bit bigger and it got a bit easier. Then went through two bouts of mastitis and a bit of biting around 12 months but she self weaned in the end and I was so proud of myself.

Fast forward to now. DS was born on Sat and went straight to the boob. I noticed quite a prominent tongue tie and had trouble stuffing enough nipple in, so am cracked and sore on both sides. One was so bad I had a blood blister that kept bursting. Got an urgent referral for the tongue tie and it was snipped yest. The hospital advised I rest the sore nipple, just hand expressing for 12 hours which I did. We then had an awful night. DS was in a state and fed/suckled voraciously (not really sleeping for most of the night). I persevered and managed to get him to sleep a couple of times for about an hour so am pretty tired. Nipple was looking better so we had a go on it this morning and DS wouldn't latch on. He would half-heatedly suckle, but without achieving suction and then come off wailing. This went on all day and eventually I begged the midwife to come and see us. She couldn't get him on either or calm him down, so suggested expressing and feeding him, getting him down for a nap and then that would break the cycle.

It hasn't. He still won't latch, so I'm downstairs expressing wondering what on earth to do. Last time I really fought to bf, but this time I have DD to think of too and she's so upset by all this and neglected and I don't know whether it might be easier to move on to formula to give her some stability back.

So I guess I want to know:

If you've struggled twice, was persevering worth it? Or if you've bf your first and bottle fed your second, what was your experience?

Thank you (sorry for the essay)

bigkidsdidit Fri 08-Nov-13 20:33:26

I breastfed my first, no problems at all bar sore nipples for the first week. I am very pro bf and it never occurred to me I would have problems second time round.

Ds2 was born nearly five months ago. Straight after birth it was noticed he had a very bad tongue tie but it couldn't be snipped for more than 2 weeks hmm

Feeding was agony. I mean agony - worse than labour, and he was 9-10 and back to back! I couldn't hug ds1, my nipples bled and weeped constantly, I was in such pain. I dreaded him waking as it would mean more pain.

I switched to bottle at three weeks. Almost everything is better. No pain, he can feed much better and was instantly happier and more satisfied. It means DH does two nights a week while I sleep with ds1, so I am rested and ds1 is happy. I don't find it a faff with bottles. It is easy and I am not in pain.

However, however. I am so sad it didn't work out. I have terrible guilt. I am sad and angry when I see friends bf. I am
So cross his tt wasn't snipped at birth. I am angry no help could be given me where I live.

I hope I get past it soon.

Good luck whatever you do. flowers

OhPuddleducks Sat 09-Nov-13 00:25:33

BigKids that sounds pretty similar to us, except that they seem to have moved marginally quicker on the tongue tie. We just had another awful attempt and after much upset rang our hospital (as instructed by the community midwife) and we're told to speak to our midwife instead (who isn't open until Monday).

I feel so sad too, but am almost resigned to moving on to formula now. I just can't dedicate all the energy into making it work like I did last time with DD to consider too.

I hope you feel better soon. I think it sounds like you did what was best for your family despite what your personal preference would have been and, to me, that means you're an amazing mum. X

BrieMonster Sat 09-Nov-13 01:49:34

Struggled with DS1 so ended up mixed feeding to 5 months. Struggled again (agony, though not like anything you all experienced) with DS2, now 4 months and 90% BF. worth it to persevere, yes for sure but that's because the pain has stopped! I'd not have been so adamant a month ago, but it's as hard to stop as it is to keep going, I found. I felt so guilty thinking stopping, both times. But don't think twice about how DS1 was fed now. I gave it my best shot as are you! People should be proud of however far they get, especially through such obstacles (understatement there I know). So yes for me it has been worth it to battle through but next week might be a different story as I am all too aware. And I wish no-one would beat themselves up for deciding to stop, because no-one else will (or should) mind. Sorry if that trivialises the benefits of BF... I don't mean to say it isn't worth fighting for. Just that you need to allow your own needs to matter too.
Good luck whatever you decide, you're doing great. (Secretly love it when HCP say that to me even though they can't possibly really know.)
Actually you're doing amazingly. I flipping hate expressing and wouldn't have come as far as you in your shoes. You'll feel so proud if you continue and it all becomes a painless routine... But you are absolutely entitled to feel equally proud if you decide to FF at any point.

Splatt34 Sat 09-Nov-13 07:21:18

Is it worth trying shields? I am no expert, struggled with both and therefore mix feed (DD1 til 13 weeks still with DD2 at 23 weeks), but it might give you a bit of relief and if your nipples are flat something for him to get hold off.

OhPuddleducks Sun 10-Nov-13 08:13:22

Thanks Splatt, we've tried them, but nipples are too flat even for them. Got worse last night. Ended up at out of hours doc to be diagnosed with mastitis and then when the doc took a cursory look at DS she was worried his TT snip was infected so we were sent to A&E to check. Luckily a friend came and sat for the toddler. I've been expressing all night, so DP has done all the nappies and feeds. Literally having my first cuddle with him in about 12 hrs. I feel so low.

VegasIsBest Sun 10-Nov-13 08:30:37

You are going to be a mum for the rest of your life. In twenty years' time when you look proudly at the child you have raised to be a wonderful adult, all these early worries about feeding will seem insignificant. Please do what is best for you and your family and don't feel guilty about your choices.

I say this as someone who tried hard to breast feed twice and wasn't able to, despite great support from the NHS and NCT. Now both my sons are tall healthy and wonderful (mainly!!) teenagers and I wonder why I wasted time in the early weeks of their lives worrying about how to feed them and feeling I'd let them down by failing to breast feed.

Good luck

BaldricksTurnip Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:49

Oh you poor thing it sounds awful! Look he's already had your colostrum which is the really important bit. I think you should drop the guilt and just do whatever helps. If that means mixed feeding or dropping bf completely and feeding him formula then so be it. It's more important for both of you to be well and healthy than ill and struggling. I've had mastitis a few times and by God it's agony. I really think you need to do what's right for you and your baby and don't feel judged or pressured.

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 08:46:40

Oh you poor thing. I had mastitis too, it's fucking awful.

OhPuddleducks Sun 10-Nov-13 21:57:48

Thank you everyone. I have to admit I have felt a bit like a loony. It's so hard because every time I see a midwife or doctor they give it the old can-do speech and I genuinely think I can do it and then a few hours later the baby's upset and the toddler's neglected and I'm in tears again. I did manage to briefly latch him on the afternoon after a long walk to the park with him in the sling and I'd dearly love to do it again to prove it wasn't fluke. We're going to see a bf counsellor tomorrow and then DP and I have decided to make a decision one way or the other.

You're so right about looking at the bigger picture. I'm at least feeling a bit calmer now and that I can decide without freaking out all the time. Thank you for listening, it means a lot.

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