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help - falling to bits

(21 Posts)
squirmyworm Fri 26-Mar-04 18:23:27

potted history - breastfed ds from start with great difficulty - thrush, terrible pain, nightmare first 6 weeks - then got all this sorted and started to really enjoy it.

Ds now 5 months and I'm due back at work next week. Think I may have been a bit blase about this but was really hoping to continue late and early feeds wherever poss and have ds take formula at the other two.

Spent my first long ish day away from home today and came home with appallingly sore breasts and couldn't stop shaking. all my joints ache and the only thing that soothes them is a really hot bath - also (weirdly) the balls of my feet are agony. All I've done is drop the 11am feed (still doing the 3pm one) but feel like death and don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have red patches on one breast (along with cracked nipple - great!) and the other one feels like it is going to go pop. What have I done wrong?

Situation is complicated by fact that ds will NOT take a bottle - screams the place down. Poor dh who is a star and is main carer is trying everything (formula stirred into food, given on a spoon etc etc) but not getting very far.

Please give me any advice - I will have to drop the 3pm feed too soon and the thought of going through this again makes me desparate.

Need to know:

should I just go cold turkey and stop (don't want to)?
should I just offer one side (the same one) at each feed (I'd quite like to stop feeding on the cracked nipple side for obv reasons and don't mind looking lop sided for a bit? at least then I'd only be in pain on one side!

aughh!

squirmyworm Fri 26-Mar-04 18:24:31

oh and also - how do I stop ds from starving!

mears Fri 26-Mar-04 18:33:26

Squirmyworm - try and avoid overful breasts by expressing milk off. Have you thought about expressing milk for ds? I would not stop cold turkey.
If you do not want to express when you are away, I certainly would express for comfort. Eventually your mil production would reduce. Sounds as though you have mastitis starting, probably because of cracked nipple. Especially important to shift the milk form that breast. Ibuprofen is the best painkiller to take. You might even need an antibiotic.
Am afraid I need to go now - someone else is sure to help soon.

hercules Fri 26-Mar-04 18:43:45

Can't offer any advice SW just sympathy. I was dreading going back to work at this age for the same reasons. I had visions of standing in front of a lass of 30 teenagers with wet patches on my blouse! (I'm now going in Sept).
I was told by a bf counsellor that dd would be fine without drinking milk from this age as long as lots of solids. Make sure lots of feeds obviously when you get home and at night (just what you need when you're working).
Would def express for comfort at work even if you pour it away.

motherinferior Fri 26-Mar-04 19:02:30

Squirmy, get a pump NOW; your best bets are the Avent (hand) or Medela (battery), both available in Boots. (I do know about breast pumps, see the 'everything you wanted to know about them' thread!) First priority: the potential mastitis. Read every thread on here about it, and get the milk out, use a comb on it, etc. Neck down the ibruprofen. Get an emergency doctor's appointment if it's still hurting in a couple of days. At the very least it's a blocked duct which could lead to mastitis.

I had v similar problems when dd1 abruptly dropped two night feeds and started sleeping through. In retrospect I am AMAZED I didn't get mastitis. Was awake, in swollen pain, in the small hours every night for about six weeks.

Re the bottle: at this late date, the best thing to do is go with the Mears school of thought (don't fret, babe will take it); can you put some of your own expressed milk into it, given that expressing seems to be a good option for comfort even if not longer term? He won't starve. Keep repeating this in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Email me through contact another talker if you want to, as well; I'm away tomorrow but back on Sunday. HTH. MIxxxx

karen99 Fri 26-Mar-04 19:38:54

The symptoms do sound like possible mastitis. That's exactly how I felt when I had it - also due to a cracked nipple. As MI and Mears say - express express express. If it's too painful to feed off the sore boob then express every 2-3hrs and ask dh or mum or sister to massage the sore breast down towards the nipple.

For me it took about a week between dropping feeds for my boobs to settle. If you drop too many too quickly it will hurt. If you don't want to express for ds then just express off enough to take the hardness away (otherwise you'll stimulate it too much and produce the same amount)

There are lots of threads on this. I'm sure you'll find some more advice. Hope you feel better soon. HTH.

squirmyworm Sat 27-Mar-04 12:31:03

thanks all

definitely looks like the mistake I've been making is not expressing - thinking it would mean I'd just still keep producing. What I didn't clock was the fact that you express to the point of comfort and then stop and you'll eventually not be engorged at that time of day - is that right?

I'm happy to express for ds if I am somewhere I can get the milk home to him in good nick (job takes me travelling). Otherwise I will xpress and chuck it out

had the most horrendous night - sweating, unable to sleep and shaking but weirdly (as have had mastitis before) no obvious blocked duct or hot 'lump' just a couple of patches.

fed ds from both sides at 7am and feel a lot better. Am now trying a selection of drinking vessels to get an alternative 11am feed down him since bottle seems to automatically induce hysteria! however will not fret as he is on lots of sloppy solids (as we dastardly types mix milk into them!!)

LOL hercules re wet patches! have already developed a boob skimming hand 'check' to make sure nothing is becoming obvious

motherinferior Sat 27-Mar-04 20:52:08

At the moment, just drain the breasts. I've been thinking about you today. Take care!

Lisa78 Sun 28-Mar-04 13:09:10

how are you today squirmy?

karen99 Sun 28-Mar-04 15:33:00

Hi squirmy, you might find your boobs go up and down if you don't decide on expressing fully once a day or expressing to drop a feed. What I mean is that if you want to express for ds then you may need to do this regularly every day, eg. fully express 3pm each day, simulating a feed. Otherwise if it's every other day or at different times you may find the boobs get full one day, then they think you're trying to drop a feed and aren't as full the next day, then there's not much to express, etc etc. the boobs may get confused. However, if you decide to *drop* a feed then you only need to express for comfort for a few days until the boobs settle down and just know they're needed at 7am & 7pm. A half-express or a missed-express may make you uncomfortable on some days. HTH (found this out the hard way myself!)

squirmyworm Sun 28-Mar-04 19:29:26

thanks karen99 will try that - wonderful things boobs but when they go wrong - ouch, hey?

thanks for asking Lisa and MI - much better today thanks. still some red patches and a sore nipple but MUCH better. went for lunch at a hotel and had to ask the kitchen staff for two cabbage leaves in a napkin - bet it kept the whole kitchen amused! the chap sitting next to me asked if I was ok so without really thinking I said 'yes fine thanks, just had to pop a couple of leaves in my bra as I am still breastfeeding' - he looked a bit bemused. note to self, must get some inhibitions back.

they seem to be settling now but I'm thinking probably best not to drop my last daytime feed (3pm) until dropping the 11am one has settled - say 2-3 weeks? what does anyone think? Until then I'll follow your advice and express fully at 3pm if I'm not around to feed ds and only express for comfort at other times if I have to. sound ok?

karen99 Sun 28-Mar-04 19:56:05

sounds like a plan!

I'm sure all boobs are different but it only takes me about 5-7 days before boobs adjust to new regime.

squirmyworm Sun 28-Mar-04 20:04:04

honestly I swear mine arrived home about ten minutes before I did last week....

squirmyworm Sun 28-Mar-04 20:04:23

that's the rest of me iyswim

karen99 Sun 28-Mar-04 22:32:50

lol sm

karen99 Sun 28-Mar-04 22:33:34

meant sw!

motherinferior Mon 29-Mar-04 08:42:09

Yes, take it slowly. Am tempted to say Suck it and see

Crumpet Mon 29-Mar-04 09:21:59

squirmyworm, just on the bottle point, I remember the first time I really used mumsnet was when I was desparately trying to get my dd to drink from a bottle at a similar age. I found some useful threads and was reasssured to see that the general view was that it just needed time - took a couple of weeks of trying, if I remember rightly. We took to giving her an empty bottle as well outside of feedtimes to play with so she got used to the feel of it in her mouth, which may or may not have helped speed the process - at least it become a familiar object. But I remember the days of speeding up to the nursery to bf, until she started taking the bottle!

mears Mon 29-Mar-04 09:22:22

Your plan sounds OK squirmyworm. Your breasts are just so efficient now you are going to have to be led by them Even though expressing does keep stimulating milk production, it does not stimulate as much as the baby does. You might even find that you can leave EBM and forget the formula. Cool bags are a perfect way of keeping milk safe for consumption. What you don't need you can freeze. That's what I did when working anyway.

motherinferior Tue 30-Mar-04 12:20:55

How are the bosoms today, squirmster?

squirmyworm Tue 30-Mar-04 19:32:34

thanks again all
once again mumsnet has saved my sanity. boobs are sulking and have shrunk to the size of deflated pigs bladders but there still seems to be plenty in there so it's onwards and upwards!

bottle still not working though
will keep trying. encouraging to hear it can take a while. Also bought a new cup today which seems to be in favour

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