Not the bonding experience I'd hoped for...(14 Posts)
My DS is 6 weeks old and has so far been exclusively breast fed. But I'm feeling pretty miserable about the whole breast feeding experience and haven't found it to be the bonding experience everyone around me seems to say it should be!
Don't get me wrong I love my little pieces and have a lovely bond with him but I really don't think breast feeding has helped us establish that.
Despite having our latch checked and all the usual checks done he seems so unsettled feeding. He thrashes about, cries and will never come off content and has now started fagging and sucking up smelly clear fluid with white milk lumps. The only saving grace is he's putting on weight ok but he barely settles and he's so unhappy almost all day.
I've been going to the breast feeding clinics every week and have been told it's wind, then colic, then was referred to a breast feeding coordinator who told me she couldn't help because he's over 6 weeks old and out of her remit but she though he might be getting frustrated with a slow flow.
I spend my days dreading the next feed and on the rare occasions he does fall asleep during the day I dread him waking up. I feel we're both exhausted by the whole process. He gets maybe 8/9 hours sleep in a 24 hour period and I've been surviving on a broken 3/4 hours or less since he was born.
I suppose I'm just looking for people who've been in a similar situation that can say it does improve and fairly soon. And that bonding feeling when feeding can come later on.
I felt like this (and developed severe pnd because of it and gave up breastfeeding at 8 weeks, best thing I ever did. I did feel guilty for a while but it gave me my sanity back and meant I could properly share the night feeds etc. I enjoyed formula feeding so much that when I had my second child I didn't even try to breastfeed and went straight to formula feeding as I knew it was the right decision for us as a family. No regrets whatsoever.
I suspect you will get lots of replies telling you to preserve and it gets better etc and for many people it will but I guess I wanted to balance it out by saying years later how you fed your child won't matter at all - my eldest is now 13 and all that breastfeeding angst is firmly forgotten! - so whatever you do don't feel guilty about it and if you do decide to stop breastfeeding that's ok too.
(Meant to add when I began to formula feed and felt better about things generally I found I bonded better with my dd then).
I felt like that it's them stupid antenatal lasses that make it sound like a beautiful easy experience. I would have rather had the real gritty version so I knew what I was going through was normal
I bf DS1 and I'm bf DS2. DS2 fed all the time for the first 3 months. If he wasn't attached to the boob he was crying, he was hardly ever content. I got comfy on the sofa and watched box sets and fed him all the time. I didn't mind so much this time as I know he is my last baby. With DS1 the constant feeding got me down so he had a bottle of formula everyday.
It definitely does improve. After 12 weeks DS2 started to go longer between feeds and he was generally more cheerful. He also started sleeping much better and everything seems better when you've had more than a few hours sleep.
I'll respond to your question about "does it improve and will the bonding feeling come later", but I'm not going to try to tell you that you must keep breastfeeding if you're finding it's causing you difficulties and you don't want to continue.
The sicking up is normal, what you describe is what my DS occasionally brings up. I think it's just their immature digestive systems occasionally struggling. The fussiness can be caused by a period of growth and your baby wanting to increase your supply. If he comes off still unsettled do you offer the other side? You can keep switching sides until he's more settled. If he's really unsettled all the time has anyone investigated for silent reflux?
I think it's shockingly crap that the breastfeeding coordinator has told you she can't help! Can they refer you to a lactation consultant?
You could try giving a bottle of formula a day, maybe in the late evening by your DP/DH (if that's applicable) as then you can get a chunk of sleep.
It does get easier. It's a skill and it takes time for both of you to perfect it, don't forget it's new to him too.
I meant to also add about bonding... When my DS was older and attending nursery at 10 months ish, breastfeeding was a lovely way of re-connecting after I'd picked him up from nursery. That was definitely a bonding experience.
The thing I find with breastfeeding is that most of the hard work and stress comes in the first few weeks. My DS2 is 10 weeks now and breastfeeding has settled down and is much more predictable.
I'm not going to advise on the bfing as I was lucky and found it easy/loved it.
However, the smelly clear liquid with milk that's being thrown up is exactly what dd1 had. Does it smell vinegary? Poor dd1 had awful reflux from early on, she was always unsettled (although usually straight after a feed rather than during) and would throw up pretty much straight away. She was also a terrible sleeper because of it.
I had no clue until someone on here advised me to go to the doc who gave her gaviscon. Sorted her out and she grew out of it once she was weaned. Oh and she was intolerant to cows milk protein so I was dairy free for the best part of a year.
If bfing isn't for you then I think there are formulas designed for cmpi but the doc will still give gaviscon for reflux.
It's such a hard time. It does get better though, just choose whatever works for you
It took me and DD around 8 or 9 weeks to get the hang of it (and for my nipples to stop being in agony).
I had a rough start to breastfeeding, the first 6-8 weeks were pretty tough. Pain, constant cluster feeding, terrible sleep... Baby is now 6.5 months, and breastfeeding is easy, convenient, and a really wonderful bonding experience. But it definitely wasn't at 6 weeks! From 10-12 weeks things were a lot better. If you're able to persevere then do, but don't feel guilty about giving the occasional bottle. My little one wouldn't take a bottle until about 10 weeks and I felt incredibly trapped by it. I jumped for joy when she finally had a bottle! Now we don't use them at all, but it gave me a much needed break after 10 weeks of feeding every 1-2 hours. I found that baby was much more settled after around 12 weeks, with everything, not just feeding.
Watching with interest as I am really struggling with bfing. My ds is only 2 weeks and I feel like we have such a long way. Bf clinic were helpful to start then they basically told me I was going there too much (I did go every day for a week but felt that I wanted to be confident in the latch as I kept panicking amand getting it wrong at home)- they also misdiagnosed his tongue tie as having a short tongue- I've since seen a LC who has snipped it.
Using nipple shields now which haven't helped much as he seems to just get a mouth full of silicone which just pulls in my nipple. I can't seem to get him to latch on without it now as he's used to using it as well as a bottle.
I dread every feed as he quickly gets very agitated and then I get frustrated. I feel like I've made the feeding process very stressful for him and his neck tensed up when j try and latch him on. Once he's on it hurts and there's a horrible flicking sensation and j have to squeeze something in my hand to make it bearable.
Hope it gets better for you OP. I know how you feel, waiting for it to get better
I would go to the gp now - this sounds like there could be a potential digestive issue like CMPI or reflux and if so its not going to get better on its own.
You might be advised to cut some things from your diet to try and discover the cause. Hope you get to the bottom of it soon.
My baby is 3 months old and I am only really starting to properly enjoy breastfeeding now. We didn't have a terrible start but there were some issues and it's hard to enjoy it when the baby is fussy and you're worrying about what might be going wrong. At first I found it hard, then it was OK but didn't feel particularly special, and now she has started smiling up at me when she finishes a feed (or sometimes in the middle!) and it's great.
I'm really sorry you haven't been able to get help, as it seems as if there is definitely a "technical" problem. It sounds as though you want to carry on breastfeeding if possible, so seeing a lactation consultant sounds like a good idea. Good luck!
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