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only 12 days in and I feel like giving up already

(147 Posts)
sprite25 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:08:33

DD is only 12 days old and I've been trying my hardest to breast feed but really starting to get to the end of my tether with it. DD has had multiple problems (nothing major) but I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm still having visits from my MW who has helped and I feel better after her visits but always end up back at square 1 feeling exhausted and frustrated literally to tears (even today). Despite feeding DD for around an hour and half we're still having to top up her up with cup feeding formula. Should I just give up the ghost now and switch to bottles and formula???

BikeRunSki Wed 25-Dec-13 22:15:16

I am going to get flamed for this, but hey, it's Christmas.

I hated bf. I bf ds for a week, and he lost 23% of his birth weight. Paed recommnended topping up. which quickly became full, ff.3 years later, When DD was about 2 weeks old (and that was a struggle) I told my mw that I didnl't want to bf anymore. She said "Well, if it is making you unhappy, then don't. I'd much rather you were happy." DH was despatched to Tesco straight away.

My DC are now 5 and 2. Amongst their peers, you'd have no idea who was bf and who was ff.

BonaDea Wed 25-Dec-13 22:21:50

First of all. It is hard at the beginning for most people so don't feel you are not doing well.

You are still getting your supply sorted so your baby will be suckling a lot to get lots of milk going.

When you say you are 'having to top up with formula' why do you think that? Tiny babies feed often and for a long time. It does NOT mean you don't have enough

For some great advice phone the LLL free helpline and good luck!

sprite25 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:25:28

I do honestly want to BF as its the 1 thing I had planned that hasn't been taken out of my hands (everything I wanted/had planned for labour and birth never happened and ended up being the complete opposite) and believe its better then formula....but I do hate it, they say its meant to build a bond between mum and baby but I actually dread it everytime I know she needs feeding. I feel as though if her hunger isn't being satisfied by me, shes having formula anyway and its just stressful for me and her then what's the point. But know I'll feel guilty and a failure if i give it up sad

callamia Wed 25-Dec-13 22:34:30

I hated it too, but I continued out of bloody mindedness, and I'm glad that I did. I cried every time he wanted to feed, I made excuses to put it off for another five minutes, I hated it, and I hated myself for hating it.

I don't know why you're needing to top up with formula, whether his is something you've been advised, or something you feel like you should do. At her age, I never felt like I was satisfying my baby either, and I was giving top ups that I think only made me feel better - I don't think they had any effect on him at all.

Do go and see a breast feeding counsellor if you can get out. Talk it through with someone who has the time to do this with you - it saved my sanity at a point where I thought I couldn't do it.

And, if you decide that it's not for you, then don't give it another thought. Don't feel guilty, you're still providing for your child - and that's not failing anyone.

sprite25 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:40:04

We had to start topping her up with formula under doctors advice because she was losing weight and was dehydrated due to a tongue tie meaning she couldn't latch on and feed properly. I would also feed her for hours on end until my nipples were raw and she still wouldn't settle meaning I was literally up all night and still unable to nap during the day. MW has said to wean her off the formula and give her more breast but I feed her til I'm sore and it hurts and she will still be hungry. She's also impossible to keep awake during BF which I think means she doesn't suck enough to get the hindmilk and to build up supply (we burp her, change her, strip her down to nappy, tickle her, talk loudly to her, move her about she still falls asleep after a few sucks) I know these are probably all normal things that people go through when starting to BF but on top of the normal Ups and downs of being a new patent I just seem to be finding it too much to cope with

pickles184 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:45:20

I was told by numerous 'helpful' people that there must be a problem with supply as my dd seemed to be one hour on one hour off frequently. The first 4 weeks were super tough, I thought about giving up often. The thing that got me through was thinking just one more feed and then it just seemed to get gradually easier and we fell in to a pattern with shorter feeds and longer periods in between. She was producing wet and dirty nappies so I decided to stick with it, all babies are different and some take longer than others.
I do believe that it has to be what works best for everyone, be it breastfeeding or formula. It is normal for babies to feed often and for relatively long periods on whatever they are being fed. Please speak to the lll and if there is a lactatiom consultant in your area they are worth their weight in gold. If you want to keep breastfeeding then they will be able to help you and give the best advice.
Don't beat yourself up whatever though, you're doing an awesome job and it will all come right in the end

Piffpaffpoff Wed 25-Dec-13 22:54:18

Could you try expressing and you can give her your milk once a day rather than the formula. That would at least give you one feed a day 'off'. (My DCs got one feed of a bottle of my expressed milk every day from about 2 weeks.) I remember it took about a month with DC1 for me to not be absolutely wincing/cringing in pain for the first 2-3 mins of each feed but it got better with time.

However, I am another who is going to say you are not a failure if breastfeeding simply doesn't work for you. My view on babies is you listen to all the advice in the world (including this!) and then you pick the one that works for you and your baby. It might not be what everyone else is doing, or what you pictured yourself doing but just do what is right for you and the situation you find yourself in.

SomePeopleNeedHelp Wed 25-Dec-13 22:54:55

The falling asleep is normal, yes.

I found that stage really hard and also used to do the 'nooooo not time again' feeling. I think they should really stress that the bonding bit of bf, for a lot of people, doesn't come until later.

Lots of bf experts think that the reason they feed for ages is not just because of tiny stomachs but because you (your smell and taste they know from the womb) is the one comforting thing to them in the big wide world. So they feel lovely and safe, so have a cosy nap. I agree it can be painful and suffocating feeling but might help to think of it that way?

What you said about the birth sounds stressful. Have you thought about a debrief from the hospital, to get your head around what happened and why. It can be so disconcerting being pitched into this new life. And you will sometimes just have crap feeds or she'll be unsettled for some reason you'll never fathom. Doesn't mean she won't put on weight or have problems.

Piffpaffpoff Wed 25-Dec-13 22:58:33

And have you got Lansinoh (?spelling) or some other nipple cream if you are sore. That might help too - worth a try at least.

Hope things get easier for you soon.

EagleRay Wed 25-Dec-13 22:59:35

Poor you OP - I feel really sorry for you. Those early days are so, so hard. I was in a very similar position almost a year ago when DD was born. Like you, I felt that every single last choice around the birth had been taken off me and after a traumatic few days in hospital where DD failed miserably to feed, I went home. A tongue tie was diagnosed a few days later, by which point she had lost a fair bit of weight and was told I had to top up with formula in order to avoid readmission to hospital. I can remember just crying and crying and feeling such a failure.

I can remember dreading feeding as it bloody hurt, but at the same time I was determined to keep going so that I felt that just one thing had gone right about the whole birth thing.

I was told I would never be able to fully BF as my supply was going to be poor after the shaky start, but over a period of weeks (and with encouragement from fellow MNetters) I was able to cut out the FF after just a few weeks.

Lots of good advice here already, but one thing I would add which helped enormously in terms of keeping on top of feeds was getting a feeding app which enabled us to log all BF and FF (I used Total Baby). It was quite fiddly cutting down on formula but we just looked at the total formula for each 24 hour period and reduced it by tiny amounts, and then one day she had none at all!

And here I am, DD nearly a year old and I am needing help to wean her off BF, quite an achievement given our seemingly hopeless start smile

Good luck, and keep posting - it's hard but hopefully in a few weeks you will be finding it much easier

lokijet Wed 25-Dec-13 23:00:13

Dont worry about her feeding for ages or that this means she's not getting enough. Some babies just like suckling - weigh ins will let you know if there are any issues. 12 days in it is really hard but if you keep with it you will see the benefits when you are not faffing with bottles or powder in the middle of the night ir out and about. I found la leche really helpful - they offered support and suggestions on different holds etc. All the best whatever you decide.

sprite25 Wed 25-Dec-13 23:07:22

Some feeds go better then others and I feel more positive about it but then it gets to 4 in the morning and she's screaming and crying to be fed but is also fighting against it (MW said the punching and grabbing is their natural way of getting the milk to flow) and I just end up in tears telling DH to get her a formula top up because after 2 hours im too sore to keep going but gave her formula top up earlier after already BF for hr and half and about an hour later she was so violently sick that im now terrified of putting her down. I think the top up was too much and feel guilty for giving it to her but dont know what else to do when it hurts to keep feeding after hours on end but she's still hungry

MummyWeatherwax Wed 25-Dec-13 23:11:07

Just wanted to add my support and sympathy.
It's so hard - I felt just like you, constant feeding, feeling like it was pointless.

But there is a point - All the reasons you wanted to bf in the first place are still there, health, convenience etc. at your stage I was going one feed at a time, saying I'll bf her this time, but not making any promises to myself. Then it all comes together and becomes easy. I still found it a chore at times, but I liked the snuggles and felt so proud of growing her big and strong - after a "failed" birth (EMCS), it made me feel there was something I could do right.

Have you had someone check your attachment and positioning in real life? Even marathon feeds shouldn't make you that sore if all is good. And many mums find that having the TT snipped makes a big difference.

MN often has great advice, and will always help cheer you on if you need encouragement, as well as supporting you if you do choose to ff.


MummyWeatherwax Wed 25-Dec-13 23:18:13

X post - just saw your last.
Babies will often take a bottle even when their tummy is full, it's a reflex to do with having the firm teat in their mouth, so taking a top up doesn't mean she's still hungry.

At this stage, nor does wanting to suck - she can't comfort herself any other way, an it's very soothing for her. There's a massive growth spurt at this stage, so constant feeding is common, both for hunger and to increase your supply. The good news is that because it's been a few days, you are nearly through the other side, if you can persist a little longer.

It's so frustrating when they sick it all up, really disheartening hmm, I feel for you. But it will not be forever. One feed at a time.

Shootingstar100 Wed 25-Dec-13 23:19:03

I was surprised when my DD was the same age how long she spent feeding and remember being afraid that she was just 'comfort feeding', sleeping on me etc. My MW advised me to 'go with it' and I think this really helped build up my supply. Make sure you eat & drink loads as you'll be so tired otherwise. I was in so much pain for the 1st 6wks I nearly gave up loads of times. In the end I bought some Breast Angels and they were amazing - sorted out the soreness in 2 days! Also remember there seem to be frequent growth spurts where you'll feel like you do nothing but feed for a few days!

I was really glad I didn't give up - it can be hard at first but I've loved BF!! Nothing better than cuddling up on sofa / in bed feeding with your feet up!!

Whatever you decide to do well done for coming this far. There's great advice on here and if you can get to a breastfeeding group I'm sure there will be good advice there too!

stepmooster Wed 25-Dec-13 23:28:16

Hi OP, I've bf 2 now. Both challenging in their own way.

DC2 had very congested nose which meant when he fed he took in a lot of air and had horrid wind. I'd spend hours feeding/winding. It would also make him overeat, as he was doing it for comfort and then would spew it up. Those early nights went on and on...

You could try a dummy to see if that settles your baby, but if like my DC2 who would wretch at a dummy then you have to let them have the real deal.

The only thing I did to get sleep was co-sleep. I lay on my side and him next to me. I snooze whilst he feeds. Now he goes back in his crib when he falls off asleep or he stays next to me.

I know its not done thing, but co-sleeping can help your sanity.
If done safely then it can help.

fruitpastille Wed 25-Dec-13 23:39:52

I would try a dummy. Also nipple shields helped my two latch and gave some protection to me.

Gwlondon Wed 25-Dec-13 23:54:16

I paid for a lactation consultant to help me. She was very helpful and I wouldn't have got through it without her help and support. If your DD has a tongue tie try and get some help related to that. It is important and maybe solving that will help overall.
I really recommend a lactation consultant. You never know how good any advice is until much later but at least if you pay for it there is a much better chance that she will give you info that will be worth it's weight in gold.
Good luck. It is awful in the beginning. Lowest point of my life but once I got through it, it was magic and v.useful.

hotcrossbun83 Wed 25-Dec-13 23:55:24

I could have written your op! Ds is 14 days, we've had problems inc jaundice and I have to say, I hate bf. when we bottle fed a few times it was so peaceful and he looked up at me while he drank, i much preferred it.

On day 3 of trying to re establish bf, after using a bottle for a few days. Worried about my supply after taking a break (expressed but not every feed) but it seems ok, going to try and not give a top up tonight as last night it did no good anyway ds still didn't sleep for many hours after.

I've been feeding now for nearly 3 hours, he won't settle. I know how you feel and god I want to give up. 2 nights on bottle feeding were much more restful. But I don't want to give up so aiming to get to mw visit on Friday at least, I find small targets help.

I'm highly likely to be on here all night if you want to chat!

Gwlondon Wed 25-Dec-13 23:59:17

Also biological nurturing position helped me when my DS was young. When he was young it was hard to get in a good position with the cradle hold but biological nurturing is easier when they are young. Hard to explain it but lie back 45degrees and lay baby in your chest and let them move to your nipple and just support their bum or head. Sounds odd but is useful.

Christelle2207 Thu 26-Dec-13 00:01:08

Hey you sound like me when ds was 12 dogrin. I just couldn't hack it, at about two weeks I gradually increased the ff but this meant I could express too. Eventually got to a happy medium with a mixture of ff, bf and bottles of expressed milk. Still doing it at 5 months, a weird routine but works for us. Ds put on no weight in first month but then shot up the charts. If you have to increase ff you just do, dont beat yourself up. I couldnt believe how tough bf was. If I have another baby I would try again but have much lower expectations of it working out x

Gwlondon Thu 26-Dec-13 00:02:49

YawnCricketAgain Thu 26-Dec-13 00:15:39

Are you my sister?! Your situation sounds so similar that I have actually name changed just in case...

Either way, I think your decision rests on how much more you can take. It isn't easy for anyone in the beginning, but your situation sounds particularly tough.

I agree with some other comments to try a dummy, and avoid topping up with formula too often. Babies don't need large volumes of milk at this age, just little and often, so don't worry too much about quantity.

oh and just in case you are my sister... ignore all parental advice! wink

AnythingNotEverything Thu 26-Dec-13 00:18:14

You've had some great and varied advice above, but I just wanted to add that this is probably the hardest bit!

At 12 days you feel you should be doing better than you are, but you forget that this is a hard skill for you both to learn! Plus the rollover fatigue is starting to hit, you may be panicking about DH goon back to work soon, people are wanting to visit ... All equals stress.

DD is 9 weeks and we're still ebf. We had a tough start with formula feeding through a tube and topped up for days and then five days under a bili lamp.

Our latch still hurts sometimes, but not for long. Keep up with the Lansinoh. Get DH (or anyone!) to take baby off you, preferably for a walk) so you can shower in peace. Eat and drink - I was RAVENOUS for 6 whole weeks, and even now I can eat a full packet of biscuits with one cup of tea. Don't worry about long/endless feeds - rest whenever you can.

If you want to continue, get your latch checked, the tongue tie sorted, and persevere. I read on here once that you shouldn't stop bf on a bad day. Always stop when you can make a true measured decision. I think that's good advice.

Oh, and remember all you need to do in at least the first six weeks is keep the baby alive and settle your supply. Housework, friends, shopping ... It can all wait. Make sure someone is looking after you!


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