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Please Help Me! Breastfeeding, left breast issues!

(13 Posts)
JRWREN2110 Sun 05-Jul-15 21:12:16

Anyone who takes the time to read and reply to this, thank you! I really need some help. I have a three day old baby girl.

Ok so when I started breastfeeding the colustrum, she definitely preferred the right breast, refusing the left at first, but with perseverance over her first night and day at home she was feeding from both perfectly!

So my milk came in late last night, I fed her on the right breast (it was it's turn) and she fed for 40 mins in the night, this morning I tried for ages with the left to no avail, gave up and fed for 10 mins on the right, tried again with the left (eventually got 5 mins from her).

Prelude: went to have her weighed, she lost less than 4% of her birth weight which was good, I told them about the left breast and they said to persevere trying and wake her up to try etc and to come back if I need help.

So baby blues has hit me like a ton of bricks today. I am offered her the left breast only, she cries for about 15 mins fights and fidgets ( i resolve myself that she is fussy and despite crying the whole time-hormones-but that if I do this she will learn to feed from both sides again), eventually latching for 5 mins and because she is so exhausted, she falls asleep and no matter what I do I just CANNOT wake her, I strip her off etc and do all I know to do! SO I leave her and try again when she wakes with the left, same thing...

I am crying, feeling like I am failing, going to have lopsided boobs and I am terrible at this, I just am shoving my nipple in her mouth constantly and I feel she will hate me soon. They are engorged and sore, I tried hand expressing before to make sure they aren't to tricky to latch for her, but she is just not taking to it!

So far feeding times have looked like this:
12am: R : 40mins

LARGE GAP: I tired to wake her and feed her at 4am, 5:30am but she wouldn't wake up and latch, she just cried and fell back to sleep)

7:40am : R : 15 mins
10am: L : 5mins
1pm : R : 25 mins
3pm : L : 5mins
6:30pm : L : 5mins
8:30pm : R : 10 mins (I unlatched her to try and put her on the left, but she fell asleep).

Should I just express my left to even it up fro now, I bought a hand pump today. I am at loathe to use it, but am starting to think it might be the only way... I really wanted to breastfeed naturally....what do I do??

Please help me....

UpUpAndAway123 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:14:29

Hi,
before I start-Congratulations!!
I had issues with my left side from the start-it was a poor latch with me. She was my second so quite experienced but still struggled! It seems bleak now but you will get there!
Firstly, you will not have lopsided boobs so stop worrying about that.
You are doing the right thing hand expressing before feeds as when your milk comes in they can become quite full and tricky to latch. When you need to feed on your left, make sure you ate comfortable and try to relax (easier said than done I know); one position to try would be to hold her with your left hand so she is on your left side and coming towards your nipple from the side rather than the front of you. This may trick her into thinking she is on your right as she is in the same position.
Another may be to feed her lying down. I will try to post some pictures.
If she really is flat refusing the left then I would express with the pump and then either give with a cup or just feed from the right.
Tomorrow you need some support. Contact mw and explain you need face to face help, there should be someone attached to your local children's centre who could come out to you or a local peer supporter. Ring the national breastfeeding helpline for support 0300 100 0212 as well.
Hopefully you will get some more advice. You are doing incredible!

P.S. cranialsacral therapy worked wonders with my dd-may be worth looking into?
x

UpUpAndAway123 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:23:06

Kellymom website is brill but seems to be down at mo.

www.babycentre.co.uk/a8784/good-positions-for-breastfeeding

The first position I described is like the twins one but obviously with just one baby!
The second is the side lying but with dropping your left breast down rather than giving the breast closest to bed.
How was the birth? Maybe she has some tension which is making her struggle on left. In that case I recommend the cranialsacral therapy I mentioned. It's a bit alternative (and I am really not) but it's like magic! x

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 05-Jul-15 22:27:45

Ok, don't panic, you're doing really well.

I had exactly the same, except dd would only feed from my left breast (right breast has an inverted nipple). I well remember my feelings of stress and despair about the whole thing at the point you describe - but they did quickly pass, and it all worked out fine.

It is important that you pump the breast she is not feeding from in order to maintain supply in that breast - it may be that when she gets bigger/better at feeding she will be fine with both breasts. An electric pump is more efficient, I think. I was able to borrow one from the health visitors - could you ask them? Then I gave the expressed milk in a bottle as a top up. This had no impact on my baby's ability or desire to breast feed - indeed, she became a bottle refuser at a later date!

Having said all this, my baby never learned to latch on my right breast, and I didn't pump enough so my supply gradually dwindled to nothing in that breast. However, it is perfectly possible to feed a baby from one breast only (although strangely, some of the HVs I met refused to believe this, even when I was doing it, and dd was clearly alive and gaining weight!) and I continued to bf dd until she was almost two. I never looked noticeably lop-sided, either.

Is there any chance you could get to a bf group, or similar, and get some expert advice?

Quickchangeup Sun 05-Jul-15 22:31:16

My DD wouldn't feed from my left side to begin with. I tried the rugby ball hold which helped a little but feeding laying down on my side on the bed worked best. After a couple of weeks she fed happily from both sides so it will get better.

Iwillorderthefood Sun 05-Jul-15 22:33:14

Hi congratulations. One more thing to consider, are you left or right handed? Both DDs I bf got on better with the side I could hold her with my dominant hand.

Keep going, this bit can be really tough, I took four weeks to establish breast feeding this time around, if you want to do it, keep trying. The lying down latch is a life saver.

Kiwiinkits Sun 05-Jul-15 22:36:52

I had trouble with my left breast for both my babies. Pumping and persevering works to a certain extent. But in the end what worked best was acceptance. I accepted that left didn't work as well as right. Accepted the size difference between boobs. And accepted that my baby would feed happily for twenty mins on one side but only for five mins on the other. The baby got what she needed: a calm mummy and yes, enough milk.

Mehitabel6 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:43:13

I had that problem. Just accept that they like one side. You seem to be very lopsided, but rest assured it does go back to normal!
The second DC I was determined to offer the left side first but it didn't work and lopsided again!
Again it went back to normal.

SarahJinx Sun 05-Jul-15 22:48:53

Congratulations on that three day old bundle of gorgeous!! I'm not an expert at all, but I did bf both mine. Just wants to add, if it helps even a teeny bit, that ds used to feed for an hour at a time, Dd however, only ever fed up to 15 mins a side, she was really quick, or I had faster flow. Who knows. Anyway, I just wanted to say that you clearly have plenty of milk, and you're offering regularly and she WILL feed if she's hungry.

Definitely speak to a peer supporter if you can, but you're doing brilliantly xx

JRWREN2110 Mon 06-Jul-15 16:49:35

Everyone, thank you so much for all your replies! I was at the end of my tether and I needed someone to understand/help/give advice etc. I cried when i read all your replies as they came in, the response was heartfelt and I felt less alone.

Breastfeeding is tough! I got help, they think I it is a confidence issue with me, we are doing much better and feeding from both sides. I did pump off some and she had it from a bottle (I felt I had failed) but at least she wasn't starving and I could rest a little for an hour or two to recover from her heartbreaking cries. I went to the breastfeeding clinic today and my god did I learn a lot! I was just too worried and being too gentle with her so her latch wasn't happening.

Today so far, so good, I hope it continues! Apparently day 10 is difficult too confused!

Thank you again! I am really grateful!

Quickchangeup Mon 06-Jul-15 19:25:33

Glad you got it sorted, it's a hard slog to begin with but in a few weeks time it will dawn on you how natural it's become, well at least that's now I felt! Day 10 you may experience cluster feeding and growth spurt at 4 weeks if I remember correctly. It coincided with my period returning and I was in agony with breast tenderness and a baby that wanted to feed all day. Good luck with it all, you're doing great! Enjoy your newborn cuddles they grow up to fast!

Mehitabel6 Mon 06-Jul-15 19:27:59

It is difficult at the start- I assumed it would come naturally to me and my baby, but neither of us had a clue! It gets easier.

absterfabster21 Wed 08-Jul-15 20:35:24

Keep it up! It honestly gets better and easier.

I had trouble too at the start, only way I could get baby to feed was strip him to his nappy and brush with cold wet cotton wool and blow on him to startle him enough to wake to feed, he was so dozy and phlegmy from emergency section. Sounds so cruel but it worked!

You'll feel like you are constantly feeding (mine fed on the hour for about 9 weeks, then it gradually stretched and now I feed him every 3 hours during the day, longer at night as just feed if he wakes after more than 3 hours.

Well done for persevering. You'll also soon be able to feed your baby and have a cup of tea at the same time, they get stronger and become experts like you do too, I can get up and answer the phone while he feeds now but I remember at the start I felt like I needed an extra pair of hands and 100 cushions.

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