I think I want to stop(34 Posts)
DS is 3 weeks tomorrow and breastfeeding is still so painful I have cried through a couple of feeds the last few days and dread every time he wakes up as I know it will be agony again. 4 midwives and 2
HV's have all told me latch is fine and no tounge tie which I kind of believe as I have had about 4/5 feeds which have been painfree (amazing!!!)
DS also has reflux and hardly sleeps at night and giving him baby gaviscon helps slightly but it is such a faff expressing and sterilising bottles to put the medicine in. He's feeding every 2 hours so amongst feeding & expressing I feel like I do nothing else.
Will the pain go away? I feel so guilty for wanting to stop when I assume the pain is temporary or no one would feed for so long. Formula just seems so tempting right now
Do you have to express for every feed? Expressing seems to me to be the worst of all worlds - sterilisation faff and extra work. If feeding direct is likely to be possible long term then it's so much easier for night feeds than having to prep a bottle. Also easier when out and about - nothing to remember beyond you and baby! Says me who went to 3hr music rehearsal for which DH was going to be looking after DD minus the bottle of expressed milk... so chances of forgetting something crucial are rather high!
Mix feeding is possible - others know more than me - so you can feed formula for some feeds and BF others - just watch supply.
The main thing baby needs is some form of milk and as happy a mother as is possible!
Where is the pain coming from when you're feeding? Does it last the whole feed?
Also, HV and midwives are not necessarily feeding experts. Could you get a second opinion on the latch/tongue tie from a lactation consultant?
I'm sorry it's still a struggle ickle. For me it got noticeably easier and better around 4 weeks. And that was after a bout of mastitis in week 3. Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging things I've done physically and that includes giving birth!
I think you mentioned going to a breastfeeding clinic before--might it worth be going back or seeing if you can get a lactation consultant to come give you one on one support? That's really what got me through the worst moments.
If mixing his medicine with formula is an option to give you a bit of a break, it's definitely worth considering. Do you have a partner who could give him the bottles?
Hugs whatever you decide to do.
Yes, the pain will go away. At least it did in my experience (and it hurt with all 3 SmallDragons!). Unfortunately, I can't remember how long it took so I can't offer any kind of reassurance. When it had gone away, it was marvellous.
Of course, what you do depends entirely on you and how you feel.
It might be worth contacting a trained breastfeeding counsellor for specific advice and support if you want to persevere. They may spot something the midwives/HVs missed or suggest something else.
If it is making you completely and utterly miserable, weigh up your personal feeling of "guilt" against the unhappiness and find the right way through, be that formula,mbreast or a mix of both.
Have to express enough to give 15mls at every feed with his me done as he wont take it with water and as he feeds so regularly means I need atleast 6ozs a day.
I went to a breastfeeding group yesterday but the be counseller was ill but was nice to have support from other mums.
Austen that's really reassuring, if I took it a day at a time I'm sure I could make it to 4 weeks and then reasses! At the minute I'm feeding him for about 10 minutes then DP is giving the bottle with ebm, changing him and then I'll offer the other side.
DP is keen for us to give formula a go as he hates seeing me in so much pain and wants to be able to take it in turns for night feeds so we both get a bit more sleep, not sure he realises it is a slippery slope to the end of bf, hence my reluctance u less I'm 100% breastfeeding is over for us.
The pain is right at the base of my nipple, I'm using cream and rubbing in milk after each feed but I'm not convinced it's helping.
It's so tough to weigh up benefits for baby and my mental health as PND has been mentioned a few times, despite my insistence I'm just tired
I'm off to try and find a breastfeeding specialist to try and keep us going!
I strongly second those who have said consult an IBCLC. Google and find one in your area. I did and she picked up a tongue tie which midwives had all missed. It was snipped and then our feeding completely changed - pain gone.
Pain during BFing, especially to the extent you describe, is NOT normal and indicative of something wrong. If your latch is good then it is likely a tongue tie so please get this double checked. It really could change everything.
I've just looked up tounge tie symptoms and DS has 9 out of 11 so that may well be the problem!!!
I'm seeing a HV tomorrow, will she be able to help?
That's so frustrating. DS2's tongue tie was missed by FIVE midwives.
The HV may be able to examine for tongue tie, but most IBCLCs are specialists and will be able to properly diagnose. However if the HV spots it she will likely be able to advise you on next steps. We paid privately to get DS' snipped as the NHS route often involves a wait and I couldn't put up with any more pinched nips.
Just be aware that if tongue tie is diagnosed and snipped there may well be a period where it is a little sore and therefore baby may not want to latch. DS refused to latch for 12 hours and I had to express and syringe feed. Mega stressful but once it became less sore he was straight back on again.
You're doing amazingly; keep going. This will pass
You can stop anytime and it's fine to do so.
Before you do that - please google IBCLC and put in your postcode and find your nearest consultant ring her and get the soonest appointment. It will cost you anything between 25-60 for the assessment (tongue tie positioning latch etc) and £100 or a bit more if tongue tie needs snipping.
You will bypass queues, ring passed from pillar to post and trying tot luck with health visitors who may or may not be able to help.
I'd cut out all these intermediary steps of you can afford it and see an IBCLC asap and then decide what to do.
What shape is your nipple after the feed? Should be symmetrical and round - if there is top of lipstick type flattening on one side then maybe the latch. I was assessed by MW loads of times but this was never mentioned - 1 phone call with lactation consultant who mentioned that helped. Basically had to just 'shove' the nipple in further as it often slipped during the feed. As baby got older and mouth grew didn't have to be so conscious about the shoving as just did it himself. For me this was around 6 weeks.
No shame in going to formula though. We did mix feeding with just 1 bottle of formula at bed time from 5 weeks and worked really well for us (had v serious prev issues with admission at day 5 and renal failure as my milk had taken so long to come in so knowing he had that little top up gave me a bit of sanity).
Good luck. Xxx
Agree with the 'shoving'! My lactation consultant realised DS had tongue tie when I told her I had to hold my boob in his mouth and support it to stop the pinching. She then looked at my nipple after a feed and spotted the tell-tale line down the middle, which apparently indicates the baby isn't pulling the nipple far enough in (due to TT) and is therefore rubbing it on the hard palette.
One nipple is very round pillar shaped but with white numb patches and the other side always looks like a little hook at the end of feeds?!
Will speak to DP about trying a private lactation consultant and will have a go at shoving boob in a bit more tonight.
Thank you for the support, just feels like I'm fighting a losing battle at the minute!
Try ringing the national breastfeeding helpline. It's amazing what help they can give over the phone. If it's just a latch problem then they can help. If not then you will have ruled it out.
As for right now as the helplines are closed this late at night Google DrJack Newman, positioning and attachment videos. His are the best for good latching.
Has you midwife or HV watched a whole feed, baby latch on feed right to the end? This is the only way to tell if they are truly feeding well. If they just had a quick look then said evening was find and dismissed your pain then you haven't had anyone give you good support so far. If you really want to breastfeed then try some good support first it shouldn't hurt and you don't have to wait for it to get better.
I agree though that if you rule out latch tounge tie should be looked at a well.
Do you think the gaviscon is helping? I ask as there is little evidence in it being more effective then keeping babies upright for 30 minutes after a feed. I know someone who only have it for certain feeds that she thought helped. Like last thing at night.
I think seeing a lactation specialist is a very good idea. All the midwives missed DD2's tongue tie and in hindsight I think DD1 probably had one too but it was never picked up.
We mix fed DD1 for 12 months and are doing the same with DD2 (9 weeks). I always breastfed from both sides, giving a bottle when I needed a break and never gave a "full" feed of formula. Bf at night is particularly important for supply so I always made sure I still bf at night first for at least 6 weeks. Nipple shields also helped, but I would get an assessment done first. Are you hand expressing, or using a pump? I found hand expressing soul destroying - though I never got much with a pump either, at least it was quicker! Well done for persevering - you are doing an amazing job!
Thank you all for helping me keep going another day!
Just seen an amazing health visitor who has helped change our latch and referred us for an upper lip tie.
DS has put on 11ozs from birth weight after losing 7% so although it's not been fun for me I'm determined to keep going as something is clearly going well for him!
Glad you can see some light at the end of the tunnel!
Brilliant. You're doing amazingly. Just take each feed at a time.
Hopefully the referral will come through quickly.
In the mean time, get down to Boots and pick up some Multi Mam Compresses. Incredible little gel patches you put in the fridge then pop on sore nips after each feed. They helped me SO much in the early days.
It might also be thrush causing the pain. I've just been suffering after 3.5 months of it being fine. No outward symptoms other than a stinging/burning pain at each feed and after. I finally got treatment from the Drs though and within a day it was better!
Worth considering too in case that is contributing.
Just wanted to say that at 3 weeks it was still painful for me, and it got miles better by about 4 weeks. One side was much easier and pain went away completely. The other side got better after the crack healed but was still white and lipstick shaped. Paying attention to positioning helped - so recreating what we had on the right on the left, but the main thing was that she got a bit bigger and it just got easier. When that happened the pain was completely gone. I'm now at 8 weeks and it's really easy.
When it was hurting I remember feeling so guilty at how difficult I found it. And then one side was suddenly fine and that meant half as much pain, and then it just got easier and easier. As soon as the pain was gone I could barely remember that it used to be hard at all.
If you want to stop, do. When I was at 3 weeks I wanted to keep going but thought I would have to stop if it was always going to hurt the way it did. I was frustrated by all the advice that it shouldn't hurt if the latch was good as I couldn't see anything wrong with it but I was still in pain. In the end she just needed time to grow and it was sorted. If I'd had known how soon the end of all the pain was I wouldn't have spent so much time worrying.
Sorry OP if that came off douchey. With my last paragraph I just meant that whatever is best for you is the way to go. So if you do want to stop then don't feel pressured but if you want to continue and are hoping it gets easier then it definitely did for me.
Mini thrush is very rare in the early days and highly unlikely with a 3 week old when mum has had no pain free feeding already.
Unless she has had a large amount of antibiotics with birth. Thrush normally present with older babies after a period of pain free feeding. 9out 10 times mum just needs support with poisoning and attachment. And yes you can get rid of the pain with the right support I've seen it done, but it's true that it does often also get easier as babies get bigger.
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