Struggling with breastfeeding(10 Posts)
So. Day 4 and DS2 and I are doing well with breastfeeding. We've been practicing our latch and now my milk has come in DS2 is delighted...too delighted. He hasn't gone longer than 2 hours between feeds and I haven't slept. At. All. Midwife encouraged me to go to bed this afternoon and I managed a couple hours before DS2 kicked off again and the round of feeding, winding, setting him down, he cries, pick him up and start again begins. It's been like that in a constant cycle since 6pm. I haven't even been able to cuddle DS1 😞 please please please tell me this gets easier. I bottle fed DS1 (now 18 mths and not suffered obviously) but breastfeeding was always a preference and I had hoped DS2 and I could manage it. This is just so hard though...plus I think I have blocked milk ducts in my arm pits. Really sore...can barely put my arms to my sides! Reassurance please!!!
Reassurance that it's normal? Yes! It will get better? Yes! You are doing a great job. Perhaps get your dh/dp to take ds2 for a walk when he gets home so you and dc1 can have some 1:1 time. Once your milk supply settles you will be much more comfortable and soon ds2 stomach will get bigger and will go more than 2h.
Congratulations on DS!
Experts will be along soon, I'm sure, but a couple of thoughts:
- massage the blocked ducts when you are feeding to help ease them out
- are you feeding enough from one side, rather than offering both?
- bf babies do tend to feed more frequently than ff babies, and I think you notice the cluster feeding more when you are bf
- yes, it does get easier
Oh, a damp flannel might help sore, swollen boobs too
Yes, that all sounds normal to me. Well done on getting off to a good start with it. You might try feeding the baby in different positions that point his face in different directions to help empty all the ducts and avoid blockages. That seemed to make a big difference for me as I always got blocked ducts near the armpit on the right side. Hot showers just before feeding were helpful too.
For me, what helped with the sleep was to lie down in bed and feed and to have DH sitting with me so I could nod off whilst feeding without worrying about squashing him and then he would pick up the baby and wind him as soon as he dropped off the breast. Is there someone who could do that for you so you can sleep during some of the long feeds?
My DS is 9 months now and after quite a few difficulties and visits to our local breastfeeding group for help, mainly due to his reflux, I'm so pleased I stuck with it and hope he will want to keep going for quite a while yet.
gosh your post brings back memories of this first couple of hellish weeks! Yes it does get easier, there is nothing worse than sleep deprivation but you get through it eventually. Definitely massage those blocked ducts, and just prior to feeding take a nappy, run it under hot water and place on breasts for a couple of mins, followed by massage. Can your DH take over for the winding and settling etc?
all completely normal and completely exhausting. Those first few weeks are so hard. One thing I found with mine is that I didn't have to wind them at all when I breast fed them. Not saying this is true of all babies and really don't want to make your life any more difficult by adding trapped wind to the equation but at this stage I'd just feed DS until he rolled off and fell asleep and then I'd put him down (if he'd let me!)
Feeding lying down was a life saver- I took all the pillows off the bed and tucked a blanket in the bottom of the bed that only came up to my waist and would sleep like that next to him.
I found expressibg some milk from the sore bits in the shower just to relieve them a bit helped with the ducts.
It does get a lot easier!
Block feeding is also a useful tip: feed from one side exclusively over a longer period ie keep going back to the same Brest - really helped me with engorgement recently.
This website is brilliant:
Good luck OP
The cluster feeding of the first few weeks is so tough. It really can be none stop. My advice is normally just go with it, it does get easier but I understand this is very hard with another little one.
Maybe try a Bf box for you with drinks and snacks, bf box for your dc1 with sticker books, books, small toys so you can play as baby feeds and sleeps?
Co sleeping and feeding lying down is what I'm doing for night feeds.
Thanks for all your comments and advice. Things are always more traumatic and difficult in the dead of night, but after a few (and I mean a few!) hours sleep today and some lovely snuggly feeding sessions by resolve has been renewed! I know long term this is the best for DS2 and for us as a family, it's just getting over the hump. I'd forgotten how permanent this first hard stage feels with a newborn, and I'm throwing a new skill into the mix! We'll get there, and I'll definitely be taking on board everything suggested here. Thanks!
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