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Please remind me why bf-ing is worth it - day 4

(50 Posts)
CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 00:18:10

I've posted for tea and sympathy!

Struggling with feeding DD2 (only 4 days old) due to cracked and bleeding nipples. I have great RL support from DH and professionals. Started expressing this evening to allow nipples to heal and if they are getting better tomorrow I'll get the nipple shields out so she doesn't get too used to the bottle. So all under control (for the moment - only 5 hours ago was freaking out as blood was bubbling out of DD's mouth...) hmm

Anyway, I fed DD1 for 8 months and loved the convenience of it and have really fond memories of some feeds, like walking in the Lakes and the Alps and sitting on a rock feeding her. So please remind me of why I should persevere, how much easier it'll be etc to stop me jacking it all in in the next couple of days.

And how long did things take to calm down for you? I know day 4 is so early but in these early days the hours feel like weeks.

Thanks lovely mumsnetters.

NoNoNoooooo Tue 18-Nov-14 00:40:41

You know you can do it...
I started mix feeding at 5 months and regretted it so much! I HATED making up bottles. I don't think I could have coped with bottles plus the mountains of baby sick laundry during the first few months.
It does get easier, you know it does. hopefully second time around your nipples with toughen up quicker?!

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 18-Nov-14 00:48:19

You can do it, you know you can.

I could post some nice fluffy tales of breast feeding, but frankly I'm not the right woman because mine was much more a pumping/shields/wrestling kind of experience. So think of the cash grin. Think of all those lovely tenners you'll be saving by not having to buy pots and pots of formula.

And then think of the cake. All those lovely cakes you can eat, because you 'need it for the milk'.

There you go, cash and cake grin

HappyAsASandboy Tue 18-Nov-14 01:09:14

I second cash and cakes! Great motivators!

Someone wiser than me said 'the first 6 weeks are breastfeeding bootcamp'. After that, it's all about benefits - convenience, cost, the freedom to go out and not know where you'll go/when you'll be back, no need for hot water in cafés, no need to worry when you're stuck in traffic ...

Rest your nipples and express for tonight if you need to, but remember that you need to need to build your supply. Has your milk come in yet? That should reduce the mangling a bit until the engorgement sets in and soon you'll be through boot camp and on your way smile

Most important - please come back in about 3 weeks and feed my words back to me when I'm in exactly your position with DC3, expected in early December!

jessplussomeonenew Tue 18-Nov-14 01:46:01

The amazing way that bf can soothe and comfort a fretful or poorly baby - when they cry and cry and then go quiet except for the sound of sucking, as their little bodies relax and their eyes start to close. Never fails to amaze me just how effective it is!

squizita Tue 18-Nov-14 02:33:12

My nipples and let down hurt like a swearword for a week then suddenly all was well.
Fingers crossed that happens with you!

My baby rarely cries more than a couple of minutes as boob is a magic bullet (those babies love a bit o' the boob after a tough time), and our grocery shopping is much cheaper than other parents. Most shallow of all i am back to pre pregnancy weight very quickly. Also the science stuff about vitamins etc of course. grin

amy83firsttimer Tue 18-Nov-14 03:15:04

Cash, cake and not having to go downstairs in the cold to sort a bottle. You can just lean over and put baby to boob.

GwenStacy Tue 18-Nov-14 03:44:04

Immunity! My breastfed one year old currently has a vomiting bug, but apart from that has had two colds and that's it!

Coyoacan Tue 18-Nov-14 04:15:51

It was really easy and enjoyable for me, and so much easier and cheaper than bottle-feeding. It is probably too late, but was advised and did put lanolin on my nipples for the last month of my pregnancy as did my dd, and never had problems with cracks. Maybe it is worth using under the nipple-shields.

olympicsrock Tue 18-Nov-14 04:29:50

I really struggled to be with ds as he had tongue tie. When he was 6 weeks old he had a terrible resp virus very snuffle could only breathe propped up. Only thing that helped and comforted was the sucking on me. Couldn' t manage a bottle. I was so glad to have carried on . It got much much easier after 2 months.

PepperMallow Tue 18-Nov-14 04:29:51

I also had the most excruciatingly sore nipples but am so glad I persevered as bf is quite literally one of my most favourite things. I just love it! Plus it gives me an excuse to have 10 minutes peace and quiet!

CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 04:43:47

Thanks everyone. I love mumsnet! So, cakes, weightloss, money, no faffing with bottles. And lovely snuffly feeds and comforting. All sounding pretty good. I'll bear this all in mind - expressing galore to try and keep up supply - last express at 2.30 started as pretty much pure blood so was back to the giving up thoughts. But it came good and I've just spent 5 minutes in the kitchen sorting out DD's bottle while she screamed so that got me back onto the right tracks as I was thinking that I would have had my baps out in bed by now.

Every time I waver I'm gonna come back to this thread.

Thanks all.

magpiegin Tue 18-Nov-14 04:48:19

I was like you with sore, cracked nipples and feeding was agony. Sheilds helped immensely. Now at 11 weeks I no longer use shields and it no longer hurts and I don't need to make blooming bottles up!

CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 05:01:33

Hi magpie, thanks. I know everyone is different but do you remember how long they were bad for? Trying to psych myself up.

CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 05:02:36

Magpie. Sorry, also meant to say well done for cracking it.

MummyPig24 Tue 18-Nov-14 06:36:05

I didn't mange to feed my first two DCs for more than a few weeks, but I am 8 months in to feeding dc3 and still loving it. I did have cracked nipples and freaked out when he vomited blood which was from my nipple but by 3 weeks the cracks had healed. It was still sore for a few more weeks but by the time he was a couple of months old it was super easy. I have saved around £10 a week for 8 months by breastfeeding.

And it's not just food, it's comfort too. Dc3 has had a horrid cold and he has got plenty of fluid from breastfeeding and it has comforted him during times when he has been upset.

I love not having to mess about making bottles and cannot believe I did it with the others, what a lot of work! I also secretly quite like the excuse "oh, I can't, I'm feeding the baby, ask daddy"!

Bellyrub1980 Tue 18-Nov-14 07:16:59

We're day 8 here and yesterday I returned to Breast feeding after bottle feeding (mixed EBM and FF) due to bleeding nipples.

The benefits are:
- no guzzling bottles too quickly
- no throwing up the entire bottle after (heart breaking when it's 20 mins of EBM)
- no hours spent burping or wondering if she needs to burp or if that noise was a burp or a grunt
- no changing clothes with every feed because of milk dribbles and sick
- no expressing (a big one for me, I'd always be expressing when I could have been napping)
- no sterilising (when I could be napping)

Downsides of Breast feeding
- Painful nipples.
- more frequent feeds
- shorter naps

I've now vowed to stick with it, go to a breastfeeding support group every week and get as much help as possible. Just 3 days was enough for my nipples to heal and put me off bottles for life.

I'm now not even 24 hours back into it and the nips are stinging a bit already. I know my latch is good. So it's just a case of grinning and bearing it I think. Lansinoh in my pocket at all times.

2Warriorsandawish Tue 18-Nov-14 08:41:32

I was told to put milk on nipples after a feed and let it dry and then put on lansinoh. That really helped healing.

VoyagesOfAStarship Tue 18-Nov-14 08:58:03

Sympathies OP brew. It was hell for me for the first 5-6 weeks and I still remember the awful pain and misery so well. I had cracked and bleeding nipples and huge engorgement.

(At first no one could work out why I had problems - no tongue tie or anything. But with my second DC the BF counsellor said I had unusually large nipples! and that the reason it got easier around 6 weeks was simply that the baby's mouth had reached a compatible size. Happened exactly the same way both times so that makes sense. But I hope it's sooner for you.)

But once it settled down, it was just sooooo much easier than having to deal with bottles. You just whip it out wherever you are, it's always fresh and makes your baby happy. People coo and bring you glasses of water and free cakes in cafes (especially if you hang around in M&S surrounded by older ladies smile). Especially brilliant at night - no trudging to the kitchen and faffing about half asleep. And I shed my baby weight in a few months without even trying.

I found isis basic hand-powered breast pump the absolute best and it saved me many times. Lansinoh, nice quality breast pads, warm baths with lavender (dr hauschka lavender bath if you can treat yourself) all help meanwhile.

DuckandCat Tue 18-Nov-14 11:35:52

Hi OP.

I'm 4 days in too and feeling just as crapy if it makes you feel any better grin

Thank you for starting this thread. I fed my 2yo until she was 14mo and I had honestly forgot how shit it all was in the beginning and last night was ready to jack in all in. sad

DS wants to feed ALL the time, he's also decided that attached to me is the only acceptable way to sleep. If I try and put him down, he wakes up and wants feeding again!

My nipples are swore and cracked, I also have very swollen lymph glands under my arms, so I can't lift my arm off my sides either.


But here's the positive...

-The antibiotics I got from the GP have started to work so underarm swelling is going down.

- nipples are still swore, but not as horrific as yesterday and the pain is easing faster once DS is latched on.

- having fed DD I know this will get better! And I'll be so grateful for not having to drag my backside downstairs to make bottles in the up-coming freezing weather!

Hope you're feeling a bit better(ish) today too. flowers I'm off out now to buy some nipple shields!

Annarose2014 Tue 18-Nov-14 12:12:07

Guys, feel free to come over to the November post-natal thread for lots of sympathy!

CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 20:00:34

I posted a mega update to this earlier and lost it. Boo hoo.

Thanks all for your replies. Voyages, I also have large nipples which was a factor with my tiny DD1 so maybe that's something of a problem again as DD2's latch is fine (gifted and talented already!).

You guys really motivated me and when I was expressing at 2am I thought, yes, I'll do this. I then woke with the most horrendously cracked and bleeding nipples. The pump had done such more damage than DD2. I tried expressing this morning and was basically just pumping pure blood. I decided, reluctantly to give up and thought about all the benefits of formula feeding, which pretty much boil down to wine, exercise and nights out.

So I stuck my shells (is that what they're called, for catching the milk?) in my bra and set off for Tescos and Boots and bought bottles, milk (naice organic milk, naturally) and that kind of gubbins.

I came home and after a while realised my shells were leaking so went to change my clothes. And lo and behold, after about 4 hours of being immersed in breast milk, my nipples were like new (slight exaggeration but much much better). So in the next feed I gave her a little milk in a bottle to take the edge off her suck, stuck on the nipple shields and fed her. And it wasn't too bad. So I'm really optimistic. I fed DD1 with nipple shields for 7 months after she didn't latch initially (her small mouth vs my big nipples) and that was all fine and dandy.

So 2warriors, whilst I was liberally applying breast milk already, it does work for me in vats! Duck, sounds like we're in the same boat. I just assumed everything would be easy second time around (apart from having a toddler too). Hope you feel better soon - how are the nipple shields working out?

And Annarose if you're there, where is the November post-natal thread, please? Sounds like my kind of place.

Thanks all.

moggle Tue 18-Nov-14 20:14:02

Hey - it's here

Useful to read this. 6 day old DD (first DC) has a good latch but it is sore at the moment and there was a fair bit of blood this morning. Have spent all afternoon with my baps out applying milk and lansinoh every half hour and they are feeling much better. Have tried to vary the hold and breathe through the first 30 seconds exactly as I did in labour :-D We can do this!

BraeburnIsNotHam Tue 18-Nov-14 20:34:23

flowers OP
Why continue:
- baby poo does not smell bad when only fed with breast milk
- feel good factor
- bonding!! I was a giant dummy for my DD and breast fed her to 15 months. She is now 3.5 and we are still very close.

As for the tips:
- pure lanolin cream helps
- are you using a manual pump? They allow you to be more in control of the pressure. Otherwise try expressing by hand (it takes a bit of practice, but it is a lot softer on the breasts).

Don't give up!!!

CheshireSplat Tue 18-Nov-14 20:52:03

thanks Moggle and Braeburn. Moggle, I've read the thread now, thanks you. And Braeburn, thanks for your words of encouragement - the poo did cross my mind!!!

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