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Struggling to continue breast feeding

(13 Posts)
Mirshid Sat 22-Feb-14 16:29:27

My daughter is 6 weeks tomorrow and until yesterday I thought we were finally getting the hang of breast feeding. She became very fractious yesterday and wanted to feed non stop from 5 pm until 9.30 which I know is a cluster feeding thing, the problem being that she doesn't seem to be latching on properly and then comes off and screams and screams, it is making me feel terrible to hear her, she has continues in a similar pattern since and I am unable to get her to stay latched despite skin to skin and advice from nct helpline. I have tried
expressing but have only managed 15ml. Feeling such a failure, my husband has bought some ready made formula to try and reassure me that she will have food if all else fails as no of wet nappies has dropped (5 wet and 2 dirty). Not sure what to do as I just want her to be happy and well fed...

findingherfeet Sat 22-Feb-14 16:32:44

You're not a failure at all! The first weeks are really hard going as your supply is established and in my experience can be bloody painful not to mention utterly exhausting.

It does sound normal however hard it is and it will get (massively) easier. There's no harm in topping up with formula but please don't feel you've failed.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Sat 22-Feb-14 16:36:57

Are there any support groups in your area? They were a godsend to me, lovely people with good advice!!
You are not a failure at all

Mirshid Sat 22-Feb-14 16:46:28

I think there are as have been to breast feeding cafe although it seemed mainly tea and chat...and health visitor is coming on mon but not sure what to do until then I don't want her to go hungry, I asked the nct lady if someone could come out and see me feed to check positioning etc but haven't heard back yet.. I'm not sure what to do with bottle feeding as not sure how much to give her etc and I so wanted to keep BF but not at the expense of her health and happiness...

ZenNudist Sat 22-Feb-14 16:54:55

I remember that as ds1 got older he got even windier. The coming off screaming sounds like wind could be the cause. Try tiger in the tree pose to wind (Google it) & enlist your dh to do the winding.

Dh & I used to pass ds1 back & forth to get the wind out. There's always more in there than you think!

I don't think you should get too hung up about the number if wet & dirty nappies, sounds fine.

Don't lose faith now, you've just got through the hardest part of bf, the first 6 weeks are the worst (ds2 is nearly 4wo & it's been shit). It's worth hanging on now as the benefits of ease & convenience will start to kick in soon.

I also sympathise with bad latch problems as this has especially been a problem with ds2 who has tongue & lip ties that make latching hard. My advice if your dd is latching badly is to watch online videos about 'improving latch through improving position' Jessica Barton on YouTube. Also using nipple flipping and biological nurturing position to get deeper latch. It's a total pain having to concentrate on tummy to mummy and nose to nipple. I wish even now that ds would catch on to what gets him the best feed so I don't have to try so hard. But I have the advantage of having been here before and knowing it definitely gets easier.

You are doing really well. Bf is not easy. You should feel really proud for getting this far.

ZenNudist Sat 22-Feb-14 17:05:27

Also don't want to be preachy but I'm assuming you know that resorting to formula now is a slippery slope to compromising your milk supply?

You're going to need some good advice if you want to mix feed. If you want to keep bf you're best off not losing faith in the fact that you do have enough milk.

If you actually prefer to switch to formula now that's just fine but be aware that it's not a magic cure all and you might still find you have same problems, especially if it is wind ff Wont improve things.

you're doing your best to get the support available (mn great for that!). Also having confidence in what's normal behaviour for bf babies really helps. Good luck.

Mirshid Sat 22-Feb-14 18:07:30

Yes she is definitely windy and I wind her every time she comes off. I know my milk supply will diminish with formula and she's more likely to have colic etc which is why I'm so reluctant but I'm more worried that she is suffering because of my detirmination to continue. Have just had another try- think we have the tummy to tummy and nose to nipple but now she is refusing to suck although has had some plus 20ml of expressed milk so hopefully is not starving as she is now resting quietly on my chest. Will keep trying as have had another wet nappy so she is getting something I think...

Piddlepuddle Sat 22-Feb-14 18:16:46

Just wanted to add that please don't think the fact you can only express a tiny bit means there isn't milk there. Your DD can suck far harder and more efficiently than a machine! I also agree things get much better from about now. Good luck

Mirshid Sat 22-Feb-14 18:20:16

Hi piddle puddle, there is def milk there as it runs out all over the place when I'm trying to feed her just not into the blasted pump!! Will keep going for the moment thank you ladies... Nct lady has called back to arrange a visit for next week so if we can just get through weekend...

GreenGoblin0 Sat 22-Feb-14 20:09:17

Don't have much too add other than to reiterate what others have said. Please don't feel like a failure. Breastfeeding IS hard to begin with but once you have established it is so worth it for so many reasons. I seem to remember that my DD went through a similar stage at that age and we thought it might be colic in the end. We gave her infacol which seemed to help. Hang on in there.

quackojuliet Sat 22-Feb-14 21:01:36

I might be completely wrong here but I have had similar experiences with 8 week old dd on the odd day. When I've looked back it has seemed that she was reacting to something in my milk. Lik today she was very fussy and constantly on/off the boob and angry after I had a curry last night and for lunch today. Could potentially be a flavour in your milk/something giving her wind like broccoli etc? Just a thought

dannydyerismydad Sat 22-Feb-14 21:09:05

Has your little one had a growth spurt? Our muscle memory gets used to having our hands and arms in a certain place for feeding. If your little one has grown, holding her bum in the usual place may mean she's not in quite the right place any more. Try shifting her bum sideways by an inch or two - sometimes the tiniest adjustments can make the world of difference.

Sometimes babies just get fussy - it's nothing to do with what you're doing right or wrong. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Mirshid Sat 22-Feb-14 21:16:14

Thank you all for the encouragement, she has just had a 10 min feed in a nice relaxed fashion (normally she has fed for longer I might add but better than nothing) with a good latch and I'm feeling a bit better, she has had two previous days/ nights like this and we have come through it so fingers crossed this is a blip. I think and the nct advisor though this was the case that it's a combination of a growth spurt and the fact that I took her out every day and perhaps she was a bit overwhelmed as a result. She has definitely grown but will find out by how much on mon with HV.

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