Breastfeeding help 6 days old - urgent(28 Posts)
My DS is now 6 days old and breast feeding has been hard so far, my right nipple is far too painful and mangled to even consider latching on that side, so I have been expressing off that breast and then giving via a bottle when feeding just off my left breast doesn't seem to settle him (probably had 5 bottles in total). And I have been ready to pack the whole thing in however over the last 12 ish hours we <fingers crossed> seem to have got the latch on my left breast cracked (nipple is a bit sore and damaged but with new latch it seems ok). The problem is he seems to have become unsettled on my breast but I really want to give this the best shot that we have. So my question is what do I do?
Do I sack in today and just sit in bed and feed him constantly off my left breast and hope that my milk flow increases enough to feed him solely of this one until my right nipple is better? Do I carry on expressing off my right and storing for a later time? Do I keep giving it in the bottles? (I'm worried that he is becoming unsettled on my breast due to having had a couple of bottles and it being so much easier!)
Please any advice is hugely appreciated.
Definitely stay in bed with him. Lots of skin to skin.
Have u got nipple shields for right?
Do you have any La Leche League groups in your area? O Google other breastfeeding support - there's often lots of peer to peer supporters who would be able to visit / talk on the phone about your best options.
Just going back now to read properly but wanted to suggest that first.
Definitely sack off today and have a feeding marathon. I think your instinct about bottles feels right so would maybe express and store from the right to keep supply up but would try to avoid giving more bottles of you can.
Good shout from pp about nipple shields. Also, paracetamol and lots and lots of lanolin cream and airing it to help your right recover as quickly as possible.
Keep going - you sound like you want to continue so with determination and some RL help if you can get it you can do this!! It will be absolutely worth it in the long run and you'll hardly remember this bit I promise.
Last thought, Facebook for breast feeding groups in your area - or even look for Attachment Parenting or Babywearing / sling groups as they are often full of experienced breastfeeders who might be able to sign point you towards a BF counsellor / supporter
Forget today, sack of the week.
Stay in, load up the tv, have lots of snacks to hand.
Then feed, feed and feed some more.
Fwiw what helped me was not unlatching. Latching on was very sore, so when she had gone to sleep i sat with her latched on, then she'd wake and stat feeding again without having to relatch- no pain.
You're doing really well to persevere. It will get easier for both of you.
Second the idea of lots of skin to skin. Have a baby moon if possible - you and baby tucked up in bed together with the aim of just getting as much rest and skin to skin ad possible. Do you have lansinoh cream for the mangled nipple? Also breast milk on it can help heal.
I would personally not express off of the damaged nipple any more than necessary to relieve engorgement. I would also try not to offer the bottle unless You really have to as it's so much easier to get milk from a bottle and you don't want lo to favour the easier option.
Can you ask for more support from your midwife/ HV? Or a peer support group?
You must be feeling upset and worried but it does get a lot easier. Ask for help and make sure someone is looking after you as well as baby. Plenty if drinks and as much rest as possible.
Hope it goes well
Lansinoh nipple cream after EVERY feed and in between too if expressing - it's really healing. And let the air at your nipples too. And yes just let your baby feed constantly today. He is communicating with your body to make more milk.
My son is three weeks old. Up until last week I feed him from both breasts and if he still seemed hungry I gave him a top up of formula. He seemed to accept and not get confused between my breast and the bottle. We have finally turned the corner and I am dropping most of the formula top ups. I think what helped me is letting myself off the hook and just gradually establishing the bf but keeping open minded about mixed feeding. I had some worry that he was still hungry after having a b/f so doing the top ups helped me (also expressed a lot too rather then use the formula). I am still finding bf really hard and my son has a painful latch. Also recommend after every feed rubbing lanolin cream on your nipple. It stops them cracking and bleeding. This was a huge breakthrough for me. Sold in boots! Also, night he be unsettled due to wind? Maybe spend a bit longer getting the wind up and see if he seems more settled. I think your doing really well. I would just keep doing what your doing and remember it's still early days and you are both getting to know each other x
And make sure you are drinking lots of water. Dehydration can really hurt supply.
Cross poster with lots of other good advice !
Kellymom is a great website for information and support as is the milk meg on Facebook
Carry on expressing too - you need to keep up the 'demand' so your body knows to keep producing on both breasts.
Staying in bed and having a calm bonding day sounds good - also have a google for bf cafes and groups they're often mw or hv led so someone can be there with you.
My DS was unsettled feeding and after numerous different feeding techniques, expressing and taking the top off the milk and dr Browns bottles it turns out he was just very colicky. In hindsight I would have formula fed as the expressing took over my life! But of course you want to do everything you can.
I thought the first week with my newborn was the scariest and doubted myself all the time. Trust your instincts, get a good nipple cream and enjoy your new baby - you're already doing a great job!
Have you tried the rugby ball position? That really helped by baby latch properly, I was about to give up but then tried that position and he took to it really quickly. Good luck.
Thank you both so much for your speedy responses. I don't have any nipple shields (I tried them with DS1 and I could never get them to work) however if I can find someone to go and buy me some then it's worth a try. I'll try anything at this point!
So after about 45 mins of faffing about and crying at my boob he finally accepted that that is what he was getting and to just have it.
Will definitely look up la leche league and local FB support groups.
I'm worried as yesterday they said he has only gained 20g's and this seemed like it wasn't good enough for them. I really don't want to affect his weight gain anymore!
So many replies whilst I was writing my last comment.Thank you al so so much I will go back and read now.
Arg this sounds so so so familiar. I ended up with so much bleeding from one of my nipples as my daughter had a very painful latch. Nipple shields made it worse- and I found them very uncomfortable. I fed off one Boob, expressed off the other and fed her using bottles that were quite hard to suck from (can't remember the name) I paid for a 'lactation consultant' and even she couldn't sort it out. After a month I gave up-you sound more determined than me though!! I just found it so painful that it affected my relationship with her and made me not want to hold her as I associated her with pain. I tried Lansinoh creams etc but the bleeding wouldn't stop and the splits got worse and worse. I got so so so worked up over it.
I think perhaps keep trying today and see if you can 'turn a corner' with the settling and if not is there anyone you can contact for help?
I have been applying lots and lots of lanolin so we were right with that one.
Will definitely spend the day snuggling up and feeding as and when he wants off my left breast.
This is the third day of not feeding off my right breast so I'm hoping it'll soon be OK to use again.
Will look up Kellymom and BF cafes.
Thank you all for you support, advice and encouragement.
A 20g gain is good!
Be aware weighing more than fortnightly isn't helpful- the gains are so small that scale calibration, a wee or a poo before weighing can completely wipe out a week's gain.
Id even stop weighing and go on how he is- keep an eye out for hydration (wee, poo, tears, fontanelle etc) and general health.
Personally i think expressing is an utter pita, painful, time consuming and doesn't increase supply as well as feeding. It's just a big extra hassle on top of all the other difficulties. And very demotivating if you cant express much- some people just cant, but it sows the seeds of "not enough milk". Express if you have a spare half hour or to relieve engorgement buy don't feel you have to express.
Probably teaching you to suck eggs but has he been checked for tongue tie? My DS had a minor one but it was enough to make feeding bloody painful and difficult, it was missed by 3midwives, once snipped feeding was no longer agony and he settled straight away.
He seems well in himself, still a slight amoun of jaundice to him but it's definitely fading and plenty of wet and dirty nappies!
With regards to tongue-tie a mw in he hospital said 'well he certainly isn't tongue tied' when he was screaming trying to get a latch. However he has a post-natal check tomorrow so I will double check with them.
I was told DS2 didn't have tongue tie when we were struggling with the latch. After a week of pain, bleeding nipples and lots of crying on my part as well, I got a second opinion. He was tongue tied, had it snipped and the relief was immediate.
Get yourself some multi mam nipple compresses for the sore nipple asap. Available in pharmacies and cost about 18 euro in Ireland. They are much better than lanisoh for an urgent fix and use the compresses continuously to encourage healing over the next day of so. Also consider a nipple shield to see you over the hump. Hang in there... The exact same thing happened to me. Final bit of advise... Don t look beyond the next feed.take it one step at a time. An odd bottle won t do any harm in my opinion but will have you space to recover. You are doing great!!
Also if you haven't already tried this look for 'laid back breastfeeding' on you tube or Google 'biological nurturing'. It's a position where you recline and baby latches on their own. Could help?
OP, that's a really uncomfortable and difficult start
Please don't worry about the use of bottles. There is no real evidence that this affects a baby's preferences - sometimes if BF is really unproductive and frustrating for a baby, he may appear to go for the bottle in preference, but this is not happening in your case....your baby is somewhat unsettled, but this is likely to resolve. The bottle is a temporary tool; it won't be needed soon.
There are some good ideas already for you ( except the suggestion not to weigh - new babies esp those having some issues with BF, absolutely do need to be weighed, to help check BF is effective, and that they're thriving. Later on, once the problems have gone, there is no need to weigh often, but for the present, you do need to have your baby weighed. By now your baby should have stopped losing, and that looks to be the case - great ).
Perhaps someone in real life can sit with you and observe what's going on, to help support you, and cone up with suggestions on comfortable positioning and attachment.
Have you tried silver nipple shields? Stupid expensive (but not vs 10 months saved on formula buying) but saved me. They are called breast Angels and help you to heal. Really helped get back to normal and also in between feeds to stop it getting bad again.
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