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Good 2nd bfing experience after disastrous first experience??

(8 Posts)
flappityflippers1 Tue 16-Feb-21 20:18:07

Hi all,

I have a DS who is 3, and breastfeeding was a fucking disaster. I’m now 32 weeks pregnant with baby 2.

Has anyone had a horrific time of it with their first and stopped, but had a better time with their second?

Background if necessary:

I fully intended to ebf DS1 until he self weaned, never give a bottle or formula. Attended the classes. Watched endless videos, read all the info, searched all the websites, interrogated my bfing friends etc.

I had a crash section, though this didn’t appear to affect my supply as milk came in on day 1 (midwives were astounded considering the birth). From the off baby would not latch at all - he had expressed milk from a syringe or cup to start with, then after a day or so we started with nipple shields - he would latch then, but would often pop off. It was like he was just shit at feeding! He was checked for TT 3 times all said none present. We couldn’t afford a private consultation at the time (I’m aware that they don’t always check properly in hospital)

He had a tiny teeny mouth and I have pretty flat nipples, so I don’t know if that made it harder for him. He was also a small baby at full term (born 40+4)

We ebf for 3 weeks while using shields. He was above birth weight by day 14, however I developed mastitis in both breasts at this time. Unfortunately it became severe and gave me sepsis. Unbeknown to me, it also killed my supply, though I was feeding constantly as knew to feed through it.

Unfortunately, despite being above birth weight at 7lb on day 14, by day 21, he had dropped to 5lb12 and was screaming constantly due to lack of milk. He was then admitted to hospital. We were offered several options, however I had understandably lost all confidence and opted for formula top ups. He was a different baby overnight on bottles and thrived.

I then moved to pumping to rebuild my supply, and continued trying to get him to latch (trying all the tricks, also had a lactation consultant and feeding team with me every day). He was largely fed a mix of breast and formula for a further 3 weeks, and we moved fully formula at 6 weeks (due to shit advice from dietician, rather than issues with pumping etc)

With baby 2, I am having a planned section - so aiming for a far calmer birth and not being put under GA and obviously far less drugs. Will get immediate skin to skin etc.

I have a loose plan of exclusively pumping and bottle feeding - I have no issues with bottle feeding and happy to pump.

However, I may decide to give direct feeding another go - I’m refusing to make a decision until he is here as not willing to pressure myself either way (bfing caused PTSD and severe PNA and I also had PND, I have a history of mental health issues anyway so have to be extremely cautious.)

I’m really looking for stories of those who have had an awful first go and gone fully bottles, but have tried again second time around - and how did that work out?

OP’s posts: |
ClammedupClam Tue 16-Feb-21 22:11:09

My first experience of BF was pretty bad, although differently so to yours! I was determined I was going to BF - completely unprepared with anything related to formula. Within a few days breastfeeding was agonisingly painful, and my nipples were bleeding. Everyone kept saying to keep trying and suggesting different positions, lanisoh etc. but we just couldn't crack it - 7 days in my nipples were just massive scabs and I was crying every time she woke up as I couldn't face the thought of feeding her. Like you I was also recovering from an emergency CS, which made it all the more difficult to cope as I was in quite a lot of pain from that as well. I carried on breastfeeding twice a day, and pumping but mostly she was fed formula. I hated pumping so dropped this after about 6 weeks, and then dropped the two breastfeeds a day at about 10 weeks as she didn't really seem that interested in latching any more.

I also experienced PND partially as a result of my BF experience first time so was determined to be more pragmatic about it when my DS was born. I had a VBAC which was straightforward, and I felt generally less stressed afterwards. Within a few days my nipples started to get sore again, so I immediately started alternating between breast and bottle (formula or EBM if I had enough), and pumping to increase supply. By not feeling pressured to BF every time it meant my nipples didn't get into a state so quickly, and I had more time to sort out my latch. Once I was happy with my latch I decreased bottles and increased breastfeeding until we were on 1 bottle a day formula which he still has now. I'm really glad he's always had that as I am going back to work soon and I have no concerns about him taking a bottle.

In short, mix feeding has been brilliant for us and I highly recommend it! By taking off the pressure to exclusively BF from the start I was in a much better place emotionally and physically to figure it out. He never experienced nipple confusion, and I do feel like it has been the best of both worlds!

HastingsSpoon Tue 16-Feb-21 22:16:32

DC1 I just couldn’t get him to latch, he wouldn’t latch at all (flat nipples) I was going, distraught & just went onto bottles pretty much straight away as it just wasn’t happening.
DC2 I breastfed successfully for 3yr 3mo. I was absolutely determined & learnt everything I could to prep. Luckily he came out straight away latching like a trooper, we struggled when my milk came in (absolute boulders with no nips grin) but used nipple shields for a few days until it was settled.

I didn’t have a traumatic time as you did with my first but I was really upset about it, I went with the ‘easy option’ as nobody in my family had BF before & there was no help from midwifes, etc, unfortunately.

You can have a positive experience next time round smile every baby is different.

Good luck

Goneback2school Tue 16-Feb-21 22:21:14

Ds1 was a big baby and very hungry but even still I got double mastitis and switched totally to bottle feeding by the time he was 3 weeks old. With ds1 and then dd it was a totally different story, both fed well and even though dd had mild tongue tie there were never any major issues feeding. Both the younger ones fed until 1 year old.

flappityflippers1 Wed 17-Feb-21 07:45:09

Thank you all this is so encouraging to hear ❤️

Mix feeding sounds a good option as it would keep the pressure off me - I hadn’t considered that!

Boulders with no nips is exactly how I’d describe my boobs 🙈😂

OP’s posts: |
Rbdh Wed 17-Feb-21 08:01:28

Yep! First was a disaster, second 2qs perfect from the minute he was born until we stopped at 11 months. Go for it! I expressed colostrum before the birth to help supply and in case I needed it (I didn't), worth doing I think.

TheSockMonster Wed 17-Feb-21 08:22:49

Yes, I did!

First DC had a mild tongue tie, I had flat nipples and despite loads of help we never managed to perfect the latch. He ended up dehydrated. I ended up with bits of nipple falling off and a breast abscess the size of a silicone implant that took nearly 5 months to heal. Absolute nightmare.

Second DC 18 months later. It was a bit of a struggle to get started, but after the first few weeks we were doing well and by 6 weeks it was as easy as pie. Ended up feeding her until she was 2.5 yrs old and having to bribe her to stop!

Good luck!

shouldistop Wed 17-Feb-21 14:12:22

Ds1 wouldn't feed from me at all, it was awful. I pumped for him for almost 3 months.

I told myself if it didn't work out within a few days next time then I'd go to formula. Ds2 is almost 11 weeks old now and even though he was born with 100% tongue tie (since divided) I've had no trouble since the initial pain / sore nipples for the first week maybe.
He feeds like a dream, 2 hourly during the day but only once between 7.30pm&7.00am.

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