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Breast feeding not going well(19 Posts)
Hi, I am looking for advice or support as I don't know what do. My DD is 5 weeks old and has been feeding constantly through the night since 5pm yesterday. She is EBF. She has also been screaming at the breast and coming off during feeding. This endless feeding has been going on for some time. Some days are ok but the bad days far outnumber the good. At the moment I am hating breastfeeding, my nipples are sore, I haven't had any sleep and I think I am spiralling into depression. I think I am going to have to give up breastfeeding. I don't know if this is cluster feeding or if she is just starving. I have been going to a few local breastfeeding groups, they make me feel more positive for a short time but things are not going well and I am mainly sat on the sofa crying. My baby doesn't always latch properly and even when she is she makes a clicking/sucking sound. I have really tried my best with breastfeeding but it might time for me to stop. I feel like a failure and that people will judge me for formula feeding.
It isn’t easy, it’s up to you how you feed. Don’t worry about being judged we all get judged for how we feed and I say that as someone who has mix fed and is still bf and he’s two!
Maybe mix feed for a while and then see how you feel. You can either bf first and then top up with formula or replace a couple of feeds a day with formula. I did the first option.
Make sure you are eating, drinking and getting as much rest as possible (not easy I know).
I didn’t bother expressing it didn’t work for me
Very unmumsnetty hugs xx
I should have added if you do stop don’t do it suddenly as that can lead to mastitis.
See if you can talk to a lactation consultant.
Could be wind, could be cluster feed. Could be us using your breast as a dummy.
I ended up using breast shield and topping up with formula after last feed at night. This got us around 4 hours sleep.
I gave mine a dummy from 10 days old, the mam ones (can be ordered on amazon) and it made a huge difference.
I had to wind ds really well and give him infacol or gripe water. He also had a bit of reflux so a propped the head end of the Moses basket up with an encyclopaedia.
Firstly congratulations on your baby!
Second, you sound like you are working really hard and doing a great job. Breastfeeding can be hard work at the best of times but your description of constant feeding, crying at the breast, sore nipples and especially the clicking sound rang some bells over potential tongue tie for me. Sometimes it can be quite a posterior tie that hcps can miss.
Baby could also as others have said be windy/going through a frequent feeding stage etc but I would say do try and find someone who can help with position and latch again. Sore, cracked nipples can lead to thrush and infections and adjusting the latch or identifying and dealing with tongue tie might help if that’s what the problem is.
It might be worth just ruling that out whether you decide to top up with formula or not as a tongue tie can impact feeding from bottles too. A trained bf counsellor normally can help with this and generally assist with latch and positioning.
What are nappies like? Are there plenty of wet and dirty nappies? And what colour is the stool? If that’s all normal and weight gain is within expected range then you should be able to be reassured baby is getting enough milk.
Also hard as it is do not worry about what others think! You know your baby- if you feel you and baby will be better off with supplementing then that’s the way to go! As op said you can combine both as well as expressing milk if you want to.
It feels like a lifetime now but in a few weeks this will be a blur and you will have all this sorted and behind you. Almost all mums have ups and downs and plan changes in feeding at this point and it does pass.
Best of luck x
I could have written this, breast feeding for me was horrific until one day it was suddenly the easiest thing ever. I’d deco get a lactation consultant out if you can afford it, she calmed me down, helped me relax, showed me how to increase supply. Gave me shields and showed me how to use them and was at the end of the phone for me.
Just to echo babypeach, the clicking sound and constant feeding, not latching well, can you get your baby checked for tongue tie by a lactation consultant or similar? Not just a nhs midwife, breastfeeding support worker (they often lack training). I struggled with bfing for 8 weeks, till we had tongue tie snipped. There are independent tongue tie practitioners if you can afford it. We paid £100 to see someone in Huddersfield. More than happy to recommend them if you’re nearby
Sounds like classic tongue tie. The Association of Tongue Tie Practitioners has a website where you can find people who will come and assess baby at home and divide the tie if necessary.
We had DS2 snipped at 8 days after a total failure to establish breastfeeding (he wouldn't latch). Tongue tie was severe and posterior, we were told there was no way he could have bf with the tie in place. I had been assured by several midwives that he didn't have a tongue tie (DS1 had a very visible one so I asked specifically).
After the division he latched immediately and was a much more alert and contented baby. It was an almost instant change. Best £150 I ever spent!
Newyearnewunicorn thanks for advice on mixed feeding. This may be the way forward. I am just concerned that it will make my milk production go down or dry up. I have tried winding. I will look into using a dummy.
Weenurse I spoke to a lactation consultant yesterday, it was helpful, I guess today is just a bad day. Thanks for your advice.
babypeach Hi and thanks for the advice, the lactation consultant said DD has a small tongue tie, but that it may not make any difference if cut. She said it was up to me
but that as she grows bigger things will get easier. It's hard to know what to do. Baby is gaining weight and has lots of wet and dirty nappies. She just appears to be so hungry, she is still feeding now! I hope this ends soon.
Namelessinseattle Glad to hear that breastfeeding became easier for you, I hope this happens for me soon.
Thanks NoSuchThing and Sunshinegirl82 for tongue tie advice, I am going to speak to someone else tomorrow about DD's tongue tie to get a second opinion. I am in London so I will have look at the ATP website.
I might be wrong here, but isn't the clicking a sign of oral thrush? Does your breast hurt after a feed?
ReganSomerset Thanks, I didn't know that about oral thrush, I will look into it.
Just to echo others about tongue tie. I think my DS1 may have had it, we had a hard time breastfeeding and I gave up at 11 weeks. I felt guilty about formula feeding as breastfeeding was absolutely rammed down my throat as the only way to feed but he wasn't gaining weight, I had PND and was otherwise really unwell. He thrived on formula and we never looked back but in hindsight I wish I'd got more advice at the time and had mixed fed and possibly been able to move back to fully breastfeeding.
I also have it in my head that they have a growth spurt or development leap around 5 weeks so might be fussing and feeding lots because of that
@Greycat100 definitely get the tongue tie cut! I was told similar with my ds. It was a minor tie & unlikely to make a difference. I waited until 6 weeks & got it cut. Wow, it made such a difference!!
Also if you wait much longer it will be a more arduous procedure.
If it goes help I am feeding my second baby currently who is a similar age. Our cluster feeding experience does sound very similar to yours. It's relentless but important to build your milk supply. And from what I remember it doesn't last too long.
Thanks ReganSomerset for telling me about your experience of BF then going on to formula, it sounds like it was a the right thing to do for your little one and you. I also feel like I have had BF rammed own my throat.
giantdinosaur thanks for letting me know about your experience of tongue tie. I may need to rethink, good to know that it made a difference. I hope the cluster feeding sorts itself out for both of us soon.
Think I'm getting the credit for someone else's post there, OP!
Sorry ReganSomerset I should have thanked Jenfur.
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