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Help! I've lost my way too, looking for hope

(11 Posts)
Sunny88888 Wed 28-Dec-16 00:18:45

Hello,

My son is 9 weeks old. We've had problems breastfeeding since the beginning. It's been painful and he had a tongue tie which was sorted at 6 weeks. Because of the pain and also because I thought he wasn't getting enough milk, we have done a fair amount of bottle feeding. He doesn't seem to mind switching between breast and bottle.

The pain has decreased now so it is bearable but still painful. I also have supply problems. I've been going to breastfeeding support groups and the lactation consultants told me that these problems will get better.

Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and whether things did get better as I need hope to carry on, otherwise I will have to switch to formula and feel quite sad about it.

Thanks!

Beachmum85 Wed 28-Dec-16 12:23:34

I had real problems BF with DC1 (which resulted in pain, damaged nips, a nasty infection and eventually an abscess sad). This time, with DC2, I enlisted the help of a doula from the start and she has given me such wonderful advice and BF has been pain free (problems in other areas with sleep etc, but you can't win them all!). Here are some pointers:

When you feel you have no milk - don't worry because your breasts are always producing milk, no matter how empty they feel.

To boost supply, try switching boobs every 6-10mins (this works so well, watch out for sudden engorgement the next few days!)

If you want to continue BF, I'd reduce formula as much as you can and just let your baby suck as much as he wants to stimulate your supply as this is directly related to your baby's needs. You may need to set up camp of the sofa with a couple of box sets and just let him go for it!

Don't give formula in the eve/night if you can avoid it.

Stay strong! Just remember you're doing an amazing job, no matter how you end up feeding your baby! flowers

Beachmum85 Wed 28-Dec-16 12:31:18

Also I have found this feeding position to be amazing: http://www.naturalbreastfeeding.com

doctorweenie Wed 28-Dec-16 17:46:48

Hi op.
Just wanted to say you aren't alone. I'm bf my 13 week old and it's still painful. I've had tongue tie issues and due to a suspected milk allergy I can't give formula.
Feels like a long lonely road doesn't it.

My advice, keep going, believe and trust in your body. It can do it.

I had the same issues with my ds 4 and bf him till he was nearly 3. The sense of achievement is great.

Sunny88888 Thu 29-Dec-16 07:58:44

Hello thanks for your replies! I did the constant switching and that was kind of successful - a happy baby after a feed. He was hungry again really soon but think this is a good idea.

The only problem with letting him suck as much as he wants is the pain confused

Also that video is great, the babies look calm and it makes feeding look so easy. Unfortunately when I tried it. On both occasions my LO was flailing around, shaking his head from side to side, sometimes even with my nipple in his mouth. Even when he did manage to latch on he only stayed there a few seconds then cried a lot and was very distressed. He calmed down again when we went back to the underarm position. Do you think he's too old at 9 weeks?

Doctorweenie, did you have pain this long with your first and did it get better?

Beachmum85 Thu 29-Dec-16 10:32:24

Hi OP, glad the switching seemed to work! It really worked for me and DS.

When you're trying the biological feeding position, make sure baby's tummy is really pressed into you so you're holding him really close. You may have to gently guide him/ hold him onto the nipple with a hand on his back (don't hold his neck so that he can easily tilt his head back for optimum latch).

You shouldn't feel any pain after 30secs or so, and if you are there is definitely a positioning issue that should be sorted by a MW/ Lactation consultant so give them a call or go along to your local BF group.

Hope this is helping! x

pileoflaundry Thu 29-Dec-16 10:57:08

I had very similar problems, with tongue tie and pain even afterwards. The pain turned out to be due to DD feeding from me as from a bottle. When I managed to stop using bottles the pain stopped too.
I got my supply up by pumping after almost every feed, including in the night which was exhaustingly hard. It took 10 days, after which I went back to ebf, my nipples recovered and DD thrived (I'm not saying at all that you need to aim for ebf, just that getting away from the pain can be done). On the minus side I never dared to try another bottle...

Sunny88888 Thu 29-Dec-16 11:18:03

Hi Beachmum, actually I tried the biological position again this morning and we managed two feeds of 15mins. After both feeds there was none of the usual crying and he seemed satisfied. Thats the first time I've ever seen that as before he'd fall asleep or I'd have to take him off because of the pain.

It was still a little painful but definitely felt better so perhaps I just need to give it time.

Anyway, feeling v hopeful. This could be our Christmas miracle. I'll let you know.

Hi pileoflaundry, I think he could be sucking the nipple like a bottle as he's had a lot of bottles. Definitely trying to cut down now.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write on here, I really appreciate it.

Beachmum85 Thu 29-Dec-16 14:25:40

Brilliant OP!

I know how heartbreaking and lonely painful BF-ing can be so I really feel for you and glad to help in any way I can.

Keep us posted! x

cookiefiend Thu 29-Dec-16 14:33:32

It is sooooo hard hit you can do it if you are determined. Cut down formula really gradually. And express after every feed if you can- especially at night. Let Him feed when he wants but not for a crazily long time in one seating. It will only hurt you. Little and often is better than one massive drawn out feast.

Once I could I dropped the night bottle feeds as it meant I didn't need to faff about with a bottle and meant the formula wasn't keeping her asleep too long to wake for another feed (frustrating but important to have the night feeds).

Good luck!

Sunny88888 Mon 16-Jan-17 21:07:46

Hello, I wanted to come back here and let you know what happened, especially as it could be interesting for someone else experiencing similar problems if they come across this post.

Unfortunately it didn't work out. The natural position eventually became sore as well. I switched back to rugby ball hold and that worked for a while and I also used nipple shields but I found it too difficult to keep up the regime of pumping after feeding to make sure I had plenty of milk and also doing formula top ups. We cut down on formula because the lactation consultants told me I was overfeeding him (with formula) and that he was crying because of wind after feeding.

However The final nail in the coffin came when I went to get my son weighed and while he didn't lose weight, he dropped from 50th to 25th percentile. The health visitor wasn't actually worried but as a Mum you can't help but worry. So a couple of days later I just decided it was all too stressful and It would be much better to be a happier Mum, less worried and to get a bit of my old life back instead of not doing much at all except feeding-related activities and worrying about it. I'll be a better Mum in other ways since I have more time now. Plus it's a really horrible feeling to associate feeding your child and pain.

I feel really really sad about it but will get over it. My DS is much happier and we have a nice little routine now plus he sleeps through the night. So there are a lot of advantages 😊

If you're in a similar situation, you could persevere and it would probably work but as the health visitor said to me "formula isn't poison". For me I didn't feel pressure from others but I think there is something about feeding your child with your own milk that is very emotional so it can be hard if it doesn't work out.

I'm just celebrating with a couple of glasses of wine 😉

Again, thanks for posting your replies, they were really helpful x

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