We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
9% weight loss, nipples shredded, won't wake to feed. Can't do this again.(87 Posts)
I had a terrible time bfeeding my son. Now it's happening again with my 5 day old daughter. I just want to stop. Why can't I manage this? Midwife is coming again to weigh her on Monday but I can hardly wake her to feed and am so exhausted I'm worried I'm going to fall asleep feeding her tonight. She was up for 6 hours last night. I feel like I'm giving in to the panic. Oh god I need her to feed every 2 hours and sleep in between tonight.
I'm no expert but I am sure one will be along very soon. It sounds like you need some rest. Can you give her a little formula so that you can both relax and then try again? I've been there with all of my 3DC and it's very hard.
Congratulations on your new baby
I bottle fed my 3 kids.
Could see exactly what they took, and it didn't hurt win win
Honestly, if you hate BF this much just don't do it!
I didn't start ff until 23% weight loss, and hated every minute. I should have started sooner, we'd have all been happier.
Has your little one been checked for tongue tie?
If you want to stop then do. If you want to give one bottle to give you some space then do.
I hated breast feeding and wished I could have made it work. I tried very hard at it but remember it is a two person thing and most if that is your little one's job. I was a much better Mum when I gave up.
I'd use some formula to try and improve the situation right now. It needn't be the end of breastfeeding, there doesn't have to be some big decision about it, just some pragmatic choices from feed to feed to help you feel in control and to get you where you want to be.
Do you have a partner around to support you? Can they take the baby as much as possible between feeds?
I would get your DP (if poss) to give a formula feed. Express if you can and rest as much as possible between then and the next feed. Use lansinoh to help heal your nipples if you're not already. Repeat this as many times as you need for your nipples to improve. Don't worry about how much you can express, use what you get and make up any shortfall with formula.
What do you want to do, OP? If there were no judgement from family/friends (with their own agendas and issues) or midwives and health visitors, what would you do?
Do what works for you. Fuck what other people think; they aren't the ones sitting up all night crying with exhaustion and watching their tiny baby shrink.
My advice would be try expressing, or give a bottle of formula before bed so you know she's feeling full after at least one of her feeds.
And buy Lansinoh nipple cream.
My little girl is 2 weeks old and this was me for her first week! She lost 10% and I was stressed but she would not wake long enough to feed and if she was awake she'd fight it and have her hands all in the way.
In the end I started expressing and giving her a bottle, plus a bit of formula I felt I hadn't expressed enough. I'd always try breast first, but after 10 mins if it was still a battle I gave her a bottle. It didn't cause nipple confusion and gradually she just transitioned to staying longer at the breaks. I genuinely think she needed the energy from the bottle top ups to learn to feed for longer at the breast.
Now she's feeding very well although still needs tickling awake at times, and still has the odd bottle of expressed or formula from OH if I just need to get a longer stretch of sleep!
Also 7-10% is apparently common weight loss for a breast fed baby in the first week. Don't panic, just do what you need to do to get by.
Can't you try mix feeding?
When I was scraping bits of skin of my nipple thinking it was dried milk I knew it was game over for me. And I glad I went on to formula - it won't kill your baby'
If you want to stop them stop.
There are if course multiple things you can try which experts will post very shortly no doubt.
However of you are looking for someone to say it's OK to stop and there's nothing wrong with formula then stop. There's nothing wrong with formula.
Your physical and mental health is as important if not more so.
If you hate it, stop. I've tried to breastfeed three babies and my nipples shredded every time. I was falling asleep and nearly dropped them too. We swapped to bottles and it was so much more bearable.
Literally no one could look at them and 'tell' they were bottle fed now.
It seems I'm not one of the people who can breastfeed. It's taken me a long time to be fine with that. Be kind to yourself. Fed is best. You need to do what is best for you.
Something I hadn't realised when I fed my DS was that his lower lip was tucked in and not out when he was feeding. If you look at the pictures of a correct latch, you'll see what I mean.
It was causing his lower lip to rub and cut under the nipple.
The lady who came to check me slipped her little finger into his mouth and gently turned his lip outwards. The difference it made!
With my DD, I knew to check and had no problems. I also knew to go straight to the doctor and get us both treated when I suspected we had thrush - he actually didn't know what it was, but I bloody did!! It'll be a white coating in the mouth and will make you both very sore, so get that checked, too.
You are doing your best and you must do what is right for you. You won't fail the test; there are no "Perfect Mother" certificates - you will only ever be "good enough". So don't feel forced or pressured into doing anything that doesn't work for you.
You can stop.
Sometimes you need to get permission from other people, so here it is.
I had such a desperately traumatic time trying to breastfeed my first child. No exaggeration. I had crippling postnatal depression and anxiety due to how alone and terrified I felt. My boobs just fundamentally didn't work.
Second child, I just went straight to formula. The relief that I didn't have to go through such a horrific experience was huge.
Good luck whatever you decide
Love, if you want to keep going phone your midwife or hv, try nipple shields for some relief, express, there's a few things you can try....
Or give some formula, I had a terrible time with dd1 but fed her for ten months, dd2 I expressed because she was preemie but when she started actual feeding it was awful again, as I was sat crying at the thought of feeding her I decided expressing what I could and mixing with formula wouldn't kill her. She's 12 and healthier than her older sister.
Don't feel you have to keep going just because you are told you should, but also if you want to don't be afraid to reach out for help
for you, I have a 6 day old and can sympathise with your nipples - my LO has tongue tie and I am in agony!
Can you hand express into a syringe and give baby a bit that way? I managed to do that to a sleepy baby in the first day (she wasn't fast asleep, or wide awake, but still took it).
But ultimately agreed with PP, do what is best for YOU. Fed is best.
My dd was 9% down by day 5 - has your milk come in? She'd packed on 1 lb by a day 14. You know it's ok to supplement with formula if you're exhausted. Do you have a partner that can wake you up for the feeds? Do what you feel you can bear, how you feed the baby is not as important as feeling happy and calm.
I found the multi-mam compresses (amazon) helped a lot with shredded nipples, and iced compresses too.
OP, I had almost exactly the same as MissClarke86 - I second using top ups. We did this with my first dd for around 3 weeks by which point feeding was better established and we didn't need to top up. It gave me that little break from stressing over how much went in and how frequently. Also, after that I was quite good at expressing so stocked up for when I was ready for that
bottle glass of wine.......
Oh OP I really feel for you! Im pretty much in your situation with my 15 day old.
Last week, at 5 days my baby hadn't wee'd for 48 hours and the midwives were really concerned. I'd left hospital with a lazy latch on a nipple shield and a pump and I was breast feeding and topping up with expressed milk. I ended up exclusively expressing so I could measure what we were giving her and she LOVED it... I've been doing this since. She hops from boob to bottle... and has also have a formula bottle each day if I've felt I'm struggling to get enough milk for her (this is less of a problem now, my expressions are now enough for a full feed for her)
I'm a ftm so I really have no idea if this is sustainable but my MW'S have been really supportive of it, dd is thriving, and we're all happier than we were 9 days ago.
She still cluster feeds, and there are still times where she'll spend an hour on the boob and then come off Ike she's never eaten! But I can relax because I know she has ebm in the fridge!
HV came of Thursday and told me that there were many issues that need addressing but after speaking again to my MW she's going to be told where to go. I've brought my baby from a poorly place with no wet nappies, severe jaundice and weight loss I'm not taking her words too seriously.
Do what works for you... and don't feel pressured.
Try nipple shields
Get some breastfeeding support ASAP - a trained person who can help you latch on without pain. Mw can refer you to someone if you ask. Ideally ask for someone to come to you ar home to help.
It shouldn't hurt so you need to work on your latch.
It does get easier! This is the hard part - if you can get past this you'll be away and home with feeding. If you introduce s bottle now you'll never fix the issue and will just end up formula feeding as you'll never get the latch right and so it'll always hurt or not be transferring milk properly. This is fine but think truly what you want as once you introduce formula there is usually no going back up exclusively breastfed.
Ask ask ask for mw support.
Oh and also try just feeding off one boob for a feed at a time for a day so the other one gets a bit of a break!
Cockermum - I know many people who have exclusively pumped and given bottles for 6 months. It's hard work though so well done you!
A baby who stays asleep and will not wake for feeding needs seeing by a midwife or other hcp. That's the priority now, OP. The BF can be sorted when this urgent situation has been dealt with.
If you introduce s bottle now you'll never fix the issue and will just end up formula feeding as you'll never get the latch right and so it'll always hurt or not be transferring milk properly. This is fine but think truly what you want as once you introduce formula there is usually no going back up exclusively breastfed.
This isn't true, OP; introducing a bottle now doesn't mean the end of breastfeeding unless you want it to.
Aye - that's not true. It's fine to introduce a bottle or two if the op has breastfeeding sorted but she hasn't so introducing formula at this stage, crucially without fixing the breastfeeding, will likely mean the end of the breastfeeding - definitely within a few weeks. Don't give erroneous advice. It's fine to switch to formula but don't tell her it's ok to switch and that she can still keep up breastfeeding without first fixing the latch issues.
Please login first.