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Why is bf so so hard?

(32 Posts)
mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 03:39:08

It is day 3 so please be gentle. This is dc3 so I know how bad the first 6 wks of bf is but with every baby I hope it will not be so dreadful & I will have a few days to enjoy my new born.

So the situation now..

I am horrifically engorged. In agony. Both boobs as hard as rocks, can't sleep as even flat on my back I am in such pain & have taken maximum paracetamol & ibuprofen.Moving my arms is painful. I have cabbage leaves in bra ( I say bra but can't wear any bra, just have enormous nursing breast top.)

I have very flat nipples, so each feed has been difficult to latch but I have persevered every time & each person who has checked has said the latch is good. I think, since I am now on dc3 that it IS the best latch I can achieve with my nipples.

However, my nipples have become more & more sore till at this point they are agony & I physically can't allow ds to latch any more. He can't latch anyway because of the engorgement. Hence every feed I cry profusely, try desperately to squash the nipple to allow him to get on, but it is so difficult for him & I am so tense that the milk doesn't flow so he drops off again.

In order to help this evening I found an old breast pump, adapter broken, will only work on AA batteries & we only have 2, but still.. I tried to express off a little so I am less engorged, so ds can latch. It doesn't really work, my nipples are even more sore after using the pump & ds still can latch. I feed him the 10mls I've expressed from a syringe & manage to get him on the other boob for a few mins.

I spend an hour & a half in the bath trying to massage some of the lumps in my breasts but with no real success. Then I read about enforcement on the Kelly mom website & they don't recommend heat & all my hard pummelling may have damaged the breast tissues. At any rate, they are still getting worse.

I try again to feed, with no luck & screaming baby. Then try to express again & in excruciating pain get 10mls each side which I feed to ds with a syringe.

He sleeps for 2 hrs. He is screaming for food for an hour & I physically cannot get him to latch because of the engorgement, flat nipples & pain. I am crying & his hunger & my desperation is breaking my heart. I have 1 bottle of pre-made formula that I bought in case of emergencies.

I've just fed him 27mls of it from a syringe & he's fallen asleep.
I know it's only going to make my engorgement worse, but I really don't know what to any more.

I will phone tomorrow & try to borrow a good breat pump from the midwives or HVs, but it is Sunday & I don't fancy my chances. I have done this with the previous dcs & pumped for weeks & just fed expressed milk, but it was so so hard & it took weeks before my nipples were in any way ok. I also had a private appt with a bf consultant with my last baby, & it helped but it was still extremely tough for the first 6 wks, constantly pumping & feeding. I ended up feeding him till he was 16mths, so I know the joy of feeding, but right now I can't see how I can get through the next few weeks.

I am really sad to have given him formula already too.

I know there's nothing anyone can do to help I just need to get it out.

Sid77 Sun 06-Apr-14 03:50:37

I'm afraid that I don't have any expert advice, but am up at this ungodly hour and really feel for you. You could call la lechwe league tomorrow (might be open Sundays?) but your midwives should be there on a Sunday and will hopefully help. Good luck, brew

GiraffesAndButterflies Sun 06-Apr-14 03:52:08

sad you poor poor thing. That sounds so awful. There is nothing like the agony of engorged breasts, it's just horrible.

I'm sure you've tried this stuff, but just in case- different positions? Is it any easier for your DS to latch in a different hold, maybe lying on your side?
Have you tried reverse expressing a bit so your nipples aren't so flat? Haven't tried this myself but I think there's a Kellymom link, will go look.

flowers congratulations on your new baby. Remember, this pain will pass and you will still have a new baby son smile

GiraffesAndButterflies Sun 06-Apr-14 03:54:48

reverse pressure softening from kellymom

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 03:55:55

Thank you Sid. I can't stop crying (I know, it's day 3, that's normal right??) but I can't sleep or even move I'm in such pain across my whole chest & arms.

If people don't bf, what happens when their milk comes in. I am just wondering how long the engorgement will last if i'm not able to 'get rid off' some of the milk by either feeding or expressing. I am worried about mastitis, I've had it loads of times in the past.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 03:57:58

Thank giraffes. I saw the reverse thing on Kelly mom & tried but perhaps a bit half-heatedly as it is so painful to touch my nipples or breast.

Persuasion Sun 06-Apr-14 03:59:24

I don't have any advice (particularly since you clearly have lots more bf experience than me!) But I'm up feeding my 8 month old and just wanted to tell you have lovely it is now and like you already know it will get better. You can totally do this (if you want to), not least because you've done it before. And don't beat yourself up about the formula, we do what we need to. X

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:00:42

Oh god you poor thing. I can very much empathise, having been in a version of this situation with my DD. The engorgement is horrible isn't it?

If you are in London I have a spare pump that I could lend you if that would help. I remember having to hand express in the early days (are you able to do this?) and the one thing that helped was when DP gave me a lovely shoulder massage while I was doing it and told me I was doing a good job; being able to relax for a bit (so difficult, it's such a vicious circle) helped me get some milk out.

In my experience the point you are at now (engorgement and bleeding nipples) was the very worst point. I was in floods of tears. But it did get better - I am sure it will for you, whether you decide to push on with BF or that FF is the best option for you at this time.

Please don't beat yourself up - you are doing a brilliant job.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:01:32

Also there just is no nipple for me, just areola & I just have to try to centre ds's mouth over the middle of the areola.

For him it really is like trying to latch onto a hard round bowling ball.

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:04:00

Oh and I am sure you are already but just cos you don't mention it - copious applications of Lanisoh?

GiraffesAndButterflies Sun 06-Apr-14 04:04:06

Can you send your DP or DM or someone back to the hospital tomorrow to get you a pump? As you say, might be difficult to get hold of your hv tomorrow, but the hospital must have them. If that's what worked for you before it's probably a good bet.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:06:38

Thank you for saying I'm doing a good job. I just hoped I wouldn't get in this same state this time. I am just in floods of tears & trying so hard, but can't see how I could have done it differently. I keep apologising to ds that I have such terrible nipples.

I think I just have enormous boobs which overproduce coupled with impossible & over-sensitive nipples. Every time it has been awful.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:09:36

Yes, will move heaven & earth to try to get a good pump tomorrow.
I tried to arrange it before he was born, asked everyone, but they said they could only loan for 24hrs/didn't loan them anymore etc depending who I asked.

I should have bought one on ebay but got made redundant just a couple of weeks ago & everything got busy & money tight.

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:11:16

I can't see what you could have done differently. Some of us just have bloody bastard uncooperative nipples. But you've already managed to feed two children with them which is no small achievement, you should feel really proud of yourself.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:12:06

Oh and thanks for the offer quodlibet, but sadly not in London & yes, am putting the lansinoh on every time.

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:13:55

OP could you borrow a pump from a friend? I'm sure anyone who's BF and had a pump gathering dust would be happy to help you out. As I said if you are near me I have a spare.

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:15:05

Sorry xpost.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:15:59

Thank you quodlibet

My tears have dried up a bit and at least ds is still asleep & not crying to be fed. The formula will help him sleep I guess. I should try to sleep too.

Thanks all for the moral support. Dh was snoring so I sent him to sleep in the other room. He wasn't helping & someone has to look after dd & ds1 tomorrow.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:17:35

That's a good plan. Because this is dc3 most of my friends have older dcs & I am on lots of local fb groups. Someone might have one I could borrow.

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:18:41

OK another idea (maybe not everyone's cup of tea but needs must, my mum suggested it to me at the time) but could you get DP to orally relieve you? It's what people did in the old days according to my nan...

Antidote Sun 06-Apr-14 04:20:49

If you are in Cornwall I have a spare manual breast pump that I found very gentle and effective ((avent). I am more than happy to lend it.

Stay strong, it does get better.

I've struggled with this in the past, and together with a jaundiced baby meant I just couldn't cope with carrying on BF.

I having DC3 on Monday and hoping it'll be easier this time (!) - i've bought a Lansinoh latch assist in the hope it might help. Might be worth a try along with some of the other tips?

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:22:31

(BTW you don't have to answer that).

I think you did exactly the right thing with the formula if its going to get you over the hump.

mummeeee Sun 06-Apr-14 04:28:22

Never heard of that but knew there must have been some other ways before people had breast pumps. Tbh I don't think I could let dh near them because of the pain & sensitivity but I could mention it to him (so that when I ask him to massage my shoulders he does it willingly because he is just grateful he's not being asked to do anything else!)

Quodlibet Sun 06-Apr-14 04:32:25

Well I am sure he can make himself useful one way or the other!

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