Breastfeeding advice- am ready to give up!(29 Posts)
Hi, I was wondering if anyone can help me!
I had my baby girl on Sunday morning by emcs after a failed induction. I also needed a GA as the epidural stopped working half way through so pretty traumatic.
From the moment I had her passed to me she has been feeding and before my milk seemed to be latching very easily and staying on the breast for 30 mins each time.
However my milk came in overnight on Tuesday and since then I've found it very difficult. Baby fusses and latches and unlatches several times getting very distressed in between but will eventually settle. The problem is that my nipples are in absolute agony. They are cracked and bleeding despite religiously applying breastmilk and nipple cream and I am at my limit and so ready to throw in the towel. We have had a long stay in hospital and have had mutiple midwives and the breastfeeding specialist check her latch and they have all said its good. The supply is also good, I've been able to express about 100mls in 20 mins per breast since the first day. I also have huge boobs which might be the problem?
I'm desperate to breastfeed and enjoyed it so much the first three days, but I'm at my absolute limit. The pain is so awful that it's stopping me enjoying the baby because I'm terrified she will wake up and need to feed so I don't want to touch her. I caved last night and gave her a bottle of expressed milk and have been feeling guilty ever since but just can't take the pain.
This is all making me feel so guilty and like such a crap mum. Thanks for reading if you have gotten this far. Any help or recommendations would be so good. I'm in South East London and will literally pay any amount to be able to sort this out.
Hi, sorry to hear it's been so tough - well done for getting this far though, you've done so well and please don't give yourself a hard time - there's nothing wrong with expressed milk and getting that much out is amazing! I know how painful it can be...ds is 8 weeks now and the first few I was in real pain feeding. This clinic runs on Monday - we've had tongue tie issues and we're just now getting on top of things. This could be your problem or it could be something else, but maybe they can help and at least give you another opinion? You could also contact Ann Dobson who runs the clinic privately but the clinic is there if you can hold out to Monday (I know this seems like an eternity when today is Friday) www.thesmartclinics.co.uk/our-team/ann-dobson/ She also runs a Tuesday clinic in Battersea myhealthcareclinic.com/contact/
You poor thing. There will be people along to give specific advice I'm sure and there is free help available from nhs, NCT etc but if you want to see the best and don't mind paying, PM me for the number for Clare Byam-Cook who is a private breastfeeding counsellor who I think is very good, she's also written a book I found helpful 'what to expect when you're breastfeeding and what if you can't'. She's based in southwest London or used to be at least.
In the meantime, as long as you pump when you give a bottle that should keep your supply going and your options open.
On the one hand experts say bf shouldn't hurt if the latch is right. On the other hand my own experience and lots of friends/family suggests that there can be a bit of a pain barrier in the first week then things do improve.
Congratulations on your DD!
Well done for getting this far after the EMCS and associated trauma.
It's day 3. Shit Goes Down on day 3, hormones are running rampant. Get through today. See how you feel tomorrow.
Do you want to continue breastfeeding? If so, please be assured, everything is normal. Nothing you are doing is wrong.
Baby has less clue than you on how to get the most out of your lovely boobs. There is discomfort initially, because your nipples are being used like never before. It does settle. She has a good latch and that is more than I managed with mine til a few weeks in with lots of practice (so feel smug )
You are not crap.
You are exhausted and hormonal.
You are NORMAL.
Get through today, then tomorrow.
See if your hospital has a bosom buddies style support group, they're other mum's who help new mum's with breastfeeding.
I remember it well just awful
And wait for 6 weeks
Pump and feed your baby via a NUK bottle while your nipples heal they are low flow so like the Breast
Do you have Lansinoh (sp?) cream?
It is very good ime and helped a lot until my nipples toughened up. I know they say it shouldn't hurt if the latch was correct but once my nipples toughened up the pain went.
Oh and get you with all your lovely expressed milk! I never managed that til my 2 were established and my supply was bonkers
Just be careful with relying on pumping too much, your supply reacts directly to the baby's needs, as much suckling as possible (I know, I know, I'm sorry!) will help establish your supply.
This is simply my experience but I and my two friends who have breastfed agree- at first it hurts. I had the latch checked and attended several support groups/cafes but the truth is, for the first four weeks or so breastfeeding hurt. It reached its peak at the end of the second week, and remember well what you're talking about with the flinching and dreading feeding. Lanoline is your friend and get some ibuprofen down you for the inflammation.
My DD is now almost one and it's not hurt even a bit since she was six weeks old. I never believed it was possible but I could breastfeed her standing on my head with one arm now. I know it's hurting but get some support and don't give up. You'll regret it if you do.
Have you tried nipple shields to give the cracking chance to heal?
Hi OP, congratulations on your new DD! I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems feeding especially after a good start. I'm wondering if your DD is having problems adjusting to the increased flow of milk, this is very common. Also while some discomfort is normal, cracked and bleeding nipples are not and indicate there is a latch or position issue. It might be that she is latching well to begin with then struggling with the milk coming too fast and coming off and on and chomping your poor nipples in the meantime!
I would see a qualified breastfeeding consultant or lactation consultant - midwives are lovely but their breastfeeding training is not very in depth and they often contradict each other!
Has anyone shown you the biological nurturing position? This is great as the lying back position helps to slow the milk flow, also she can latch herself more easily and move her head around. Have a look on you tube.
Also you could try expressing a little and then feeding so there isn't such a strong let down for her to cope with.
Finally if you're desperate you could try nipple shields - my DD1 would not latch at all so I fed her through nipple shields for 8 weeks before she got the hang of it. Be aware they can affect supply though and could cause nipple confusion so keep trying to feed without and express at least once a day while using them (you can always freeze the milk)
Hope that helps and good luck!
Could your breasts be too hard and full for her? Try and express some off, just with your hand, before she feeds.
Try and carry on it gets better as your nipples harden up. I had bleeding nipples too and it hurt but it doesn't last long. It should t be like that so check your latch, I watched a few videos of effective latches. Re-latch when it's sore otherwise it's a viscous circle,
The pain will pass. Ask if there is a bf specialist who can advise you or look at you tube for videos of making your baby's latch deeper or the flipple technique. Loads of midwives said my latch looked fine, but it obviously wasn't deep enough as it was causing me so much pain and bleeding etc. there is no shame in giving formula for any reason, but I would urge you to wait a few days as you are at that horrible stage where your hormones are insane and you feel terrible- once that passes in a day or two you may regret making any rash decisions at that time. You are doing dis well having come this far- people on here give great advice if you stick around. Be kind to yourself. Good luck xxx
Oh you poor thing, i got in a similar state with dc1 and actually ended up giving some formula, but kept my supply going enough that when i healed a bit i could go back to breastfeeding, ended up b.feeding for 11 months so it is possible to build it back up. At around day 3 my boobs were like dolly parton and it was very tricky to latch on because they were so firm. Your baby could be finding it hard to latch on now youre bigger and could be pulling off because your let down is too fast for her now your milk is in. i would try expressing a bit at the beginning to make your breasts softer and easier to latch and also to remove the first rush of milk that she might be struggling with. Also if you have a less injured breast start with that one and then hopefully she will feed more gently off the other side. It is awful though, i remember feeling completely desperate about it, but if you can get some advice and keep going it does get easier.
Thank you so much, baby is finally settled and I feel so much better reading all your comments.
I do have lanisoh and have been applying all the time but it doesn't seem to have made any difference. I have also got an appointment for a lactation consultant tomorrow and will try nipple shields in the mean time.
Thanks so much for your support! I so want to be able to breastfeed her but feel a bit conned by every midwife I met telling me that it doesn't hurt. It looks like it does!
Have a look at the kellymom website. Good solid advice there. Agree with PPs it sounds like your supply is a bit over-exuberant at the moment. Quite natural during the settling in phase. Kellymom will have some advice on dealing with it- I haven't personal experience of oversupply but agree wit the others that the first 2 weeks or so were very tough (relentless feeding, burning nipples) but then it improved massively.
Best of luck and congrats OP .
If you are in Lambeth or Southwark the fantastic Milkspot cafes may be able to help - the BF expert midwives there can refer babies with suspected tongue tie, for instance, which I know can cause painful feeding. It was on their advice I hired a hospital grade pump which helped keep supply going when my baby was refusing to feed - I would have stopped by week. 3 without that.
They are the most amazing, supportive, calming women and I've seen so many new mothers go into those cafes in tears (including me) and come out, if not transformed, at least on the road back to somewhere a lot better than where they were.
If you are in or near Peckham, camberwell, Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Herne Hill etc they may well be in your area. Good luck!
You poor thing. I was you 9 weeks ago . I spent 11 days in hospital and found the bf advice varied, contradictory and patronising at the best of times.
If I could go back in time and give myself advice it would be:
1. Relax. Feeding expressed milk is nothing to feel guilty about. Look at it this way: currently, your baby isn't getting the best of you because you are stressed out and very sore. Having a break by giving an expressed bottle instead is going to give your nipples a chance to heal and you a chance to clear your mind. You are doing both of you a favour!
2. Use the nipple shields if you have to. Don't listen to the midwife who told you it's a bad idea (they saved me when I was on the verge of giving up too! One feed a day using them for a few days was enough to get me through the pain barrier)
3. It does hurt. It's normal at first. Ignore anyone who says otherwise! Let your baby suck your little finger and feel the strength there - your nipples aren't used to that!
4. Ask for a private room. You've had a tough enough experience as it is, you are more than deserving of it and it will help you to focus and concentrate on feeding. It will also give you a space to have a bloody good cry if you need it.
5. Keep using the cream, obsessively!
Good luck OP, I'm sorry you've had a rough ride. It does get better, easier and even enjoyable, as difficult as it might be to imagine right now!
Definitely nipple shields until your nipples recover. There is no need to give up unless you decide to. Use every trick there is to keep going. Babies become great at bf in a few weeks after which bf is so much easier than bottle!!
I have huge boobs and baby destroyed my nipples before I got the feeding style right. I find that the rigby ball hold allows her to get at my nipple without being swamped by the rest of my huge tit and the angle means my nipple is not distorted. My nipples have managed to recover whilst I continued to feed.
Hope you're feeling better OP. I BF DS for 15 months. It does hurt at the start. Suddenly your boobs get lots of sucking. Even if latch is perfect I felt it was a bit like new shoes rubbing. Hurt the first time and then better when blister heals. Except baby keeps needing food
I had this with my third - it was agony when he latched. But it got much better and became pain free after 3 weeks or so. Rugby ball helped me sometimes too. Take pain killers, use shields - anything to get through. I swear to you it will get better!
Breastfeeding my DD was agony for the first 9 weeks. I saw plenty of specialists but no one could figure out the problem until MN posters helped me. In my case I needed the exaggerated latch (Google for instructions) to get the nipple properly in her mouth. She tended to take the nipple straight in rather than at an upwards angle, so the exaggerated latch helped place her in the right position.
You may also find other positions more helpful. I assume you are using cradle, have you tried rugby hold? Is feeding lying down an option with your CS scar?
Finally you may have an oversupply and too much milk is coming out at first which may be causing your DD to unlatch. It might be worth hand expressing a few squirts at first to get rid of a little bit of milk before latching her on.
Breastfeeding is tough. If you can stick out the first 6 weeks I promise you your supply will settle down, nipples will toughen up & it will get much easier. Saying that, I can appreciate the thought of 6 weeks sounds like a long way off. In addition to all the above advice I'd also say to hand express - just a little amount -before each feed to make your breasts easier to latch on & not so full of milk. This helped me enormously, a little trick which without I think I would have stopped.
Yes it's sore to begin with. Once you get cracks/damage sorted it will improve. It goes from really sore, to toe curl, to tingle to nothing. After a few weeks all you'll feel is your milk as it 'lets down' - such a strange feeling, knowing your milk is rushing to feed your hungry wee baby.
You've done brilliantly, you are doing brilliantly and whatever you choose will be the right thing for you and your baby.
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