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Day 6 of breastfeeding and I'm close to giving up - any advice welcome!!

(18 Posts)
jivegirl Thu 03-Jul-08 00:58:16


My DD2 was born last Thursday. I am very close to giving up trying to bf, but I know I should persevere.. not sure what to do!!

Problems are:
1. really severe afterpains for first 2 days, now thankfully subsided
2. followed by sore, cracked and bleeding nipples, now nicely scabbed up (lovely) have to grit my teeth and count to 10 and try not to kick things for first 30 seconds or so,
3. DD sleeps ALL the time, I know this may not sound like a problem, but it simply doesn't give any scope for getting the latch right- I'm lucky if she stays awake long enough to get on, and then if she coughs or pulls off during the feed she's usually too sleepy to try again. Have tried nappy changing, undressing, ear tweaking etc.

So if we're lucky, we get a 15 min feed, but more usual is 5mins. As a result my boobs are huge and sore (have tried expressing but the sight of red milk and the pain was too much!!)

I b/f DD1 for 8 months, but for first 6 months it was really awful. Not sure I can face going through it all again!

Any advice gratefully appreciated - sorry this is such a moan. Would love to experiment with the latch if only she would stay awake!


Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 03-Jul-08 01:17:41

I'm no expert, but I can sympathise! I've always found that things settle down after the first 2 weeks.

Try vaseline or lansinoh for the bleeding nipples- it really does help! And try to walk around without a bra as much as you can (good excuse to stay in bed with a good book!)

Is your dd jaundiced at all? Are the doctors/ mw's etc concerned about her sleepiness, or is it just a problem when it comes to feeding? If she has been checked over and is fine, I would think if she is sleeping happily, she might be getting more than you think. Have you tried "dream-feeding" ie while she is asleep?I found with mine if you rub/ massage the palm of their hand they suck a bit more- weird but true!!

If you can't stand expressing, try standing in a warm shower- I used to do this and watch the milk flood down and down the drain, but at least my boobs felt better when I got out!

I hope it gets easier for you soon. 6 months is too long to put up with something awful, when it should be enjoyable! I really love bf'ing , and it is a great thing to do, but if it is really not working out don't beat yourself up about giving up, if that is what you truly want to do. hth

MrsSprat Thu 03-Jul-08 01:20:02

Hello - would strongly recommend you try a proper breastfeeding counsellor or ring LLL or NCT helpline (they are 24 hours I believe). My DD was sleepy too and I found it impossible and v.frustrating. Baby shark followed by comatose shark. The peer supporter I saw wasn't much cop, and MWs and HVs were too inconsistent to get us sorted. So mix-feeding dwindled into FF at about 2 months. Will know to get proper help sooner next time.

3Ddonut Thu 03-Jul-08 01:24:15

hello, I'm so sorry that you're experiencing these problems!! If you remember with your dd1, it's sooo hard in the early days and then it gets soooo much better, have a chat with your health visitor or la leche league if it's getting too bad, thinking of you, good luck!

thumbwitch Thu 03-Jul-08 01:30:47

Not sure this will help much but I had trouble getting DS to latch on for any length of time to start (he had a tongue tie); was advised by lactation expert to feed lying down, tummy to tummy with DS in slightly arched-back position. This helped his latch and we co-slept for the first 5 months as well so that he could feed when he needed to. I also used to tickle his earhole with my little finger (not right down of course!) to encourage him to suck, that seemed to work, also strange but true!
After 2 weeks of pain I got DS's tonguetie snipped - that helped a lot. You could ask your HV or visiting MW to check for tongue tie? They must do it with their finger though - 3 MWs checked DS and said he didn't have one, it was the lactation expert who found it with her finger.

You might need to check that her blood sugar is ok - if it is low, then she will be sleepy anyway so you might need to get something into her, even red expressed milk (the blood isn't likely to do her any harm) just to bump her blood sugar up so that she stays awake a bit more.

When I had bleeding nips, I was advised to express anyway to allow them to heal. If you have engorged breasts you can try hot flannels immediately prior to expressing, that can help - don't do the hot flannels if you are not going to express though.

If you don't like lansinoh or vaseline, you could try a herbal beeswax ointment - I got a herbalist friend of mine to make me some and it is fantastic. Link here

HTH and sorry if any of it was grandmother: eggs type stuff

whomovedmychocolate Thu 03-Jul-08 03:35:33

I found kamillosan better than anything for the cracked nipples. Sounds like you have high prolactin levels if you are getting pain on letdown - this will pass as you know but you can help it along by gently stroking your boobs before attempting to latch your baby on.

Also don't rule out painkillers if it hurts - yeah I know you don't like taking drugs - no-one does. But a few paracetamol if it really is painful an hour before you attempt to feed, over the course of a few days will reduce your pain and make it easier.

Above all, be nice to yourself, you've just given birth FFS, and breastfeeding isn't easy when you start, especially when you've got a sleepy baby (try stroking palms of feet and hands btw to keep your DD awake).

Ineedsomesleep Thu 03-Jul-08 09:01:55

Phone one of these numbers now:

National Childbirth Trust: 0870 444 8708 (8am-10pm)
La Leche League: 020 7242 1278 (24 hours)
Breastfeeding Network: 0870 900 8787 (9.30am-9.30pm)
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: 0870 401 7711

All the lines are manned by qualified Breastfeeding Counsellors and they are excellent. They are always my first port of call if I'm having problems and they've always helped me.

tiktok Thu 03-Jul-08 09:51:45

jivegirl - you need help straight away, and from someone who can see you and your baby. Call those numbers by all means, but really, you need a midwife.

The things I would want the midwife to check are

* baby's weight
* nappies - your baby should be pooing at least 3 times every day, soft yellow poo
* frequency of feeding...length of time on the breast is less of an issue, but she needs to feed a lot day and night - 10 times or more
* positioning and attachment

It's not low blood sugar that would be the main thing to be concerned about (though yes, this could be an issue), but dehydration...and it needs to be checked out as soon as possible.

You can work on experiments with the latch once you are sure the baby is well.

Hope things are ok.

jivegirl Sat 05-Jul-08 20:20:42

Just to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for responding to my plea for help, and to update you that things are starting to get better grin

Whomovedmychocolate - I am taking paracetamol and this helped alot with the letdown pains (finally gone thank goodness!) Kamillosan has also helped tremendously - nips are now lovely and soft rather than hard and blood encrusted - yeuk!!

Tiktok, I asked the midwife to weigh her yesterday and she has gone from 7lb 14oz to 8lb 1oz in 8 days, midwife also happy with colour, hydration etc. so that has reassured me that she is feeding enough.

I have given up trying to wake her 3hourly - I'm letting her feed when she wakes (about every 4 hours) and making sure she's properly awake before attempting to latch on.

Joolyjoo, I reckon I'm going to be the talk of the street cos I'm now always walking around with my boobs out - much to the delight of my 2yr old who likes to exclaim 'boobies' in a loud voice whenever she sees them!!

Thumbwitch, I am using hot flannels religiously now, makes a real difference. Thankfully the engorgement seems to have gone now, and everything is starting to settle down.

So here's hoping things keep getting better. Thanks for all your support.

PS the frustrating thing is that I asked the HV for support - she gave me the details of two local breastfeeding support groups, but then she told me they don't allow toddlers in! (apparently someones toddler fell on a baby so now they don't allow them). How ridiculous is that?!


Caz10 Sat 05-Jul-08 21:11:06

That's fantastic! Hope things keep improving. DD was very sleepy, unwilling to latch etc - hard work but we got there. Am hmm re no toddlers at the BF groups - I go to a BfN group and there are loads there - I'd check with the groups directly.

constancereader Sat 05-Jul-08 21:13:51

Surely the toddler thing can't be true??!!

jivegirl Mon 07-Jul-08 23:58:40

It's true! This was from the health visitor we saw last week. I asked if there were any BF groups in the area and she gave me a few options, but then added the bit about no toddlers..

Something to do with insurance - dunno if it's the venues that are saying no or not. HV still tried to give me contact details, but I said it was pointless if I couldn't take DD!!

Maybe it's just bizarre northern behavious lol

hunkermunker Tue 08-Jul-08 00:02:32

JG, glad things are a bit better now.

Do get the contact details - it may be you can check with the group organisers about taking toddlers. Also, you can promise you'll keep your DD in her pushchair and ply her with raisins/choc buttons/whatever so she doesn't fall on the babies(!) for the first session, maybe?

tiktok Tue 08-Jul-08 00:03:53

'No toddlers' is honestly not ridiculous at all - some venues are just not suitable for toddlers, and a noisy toddler-full venue can be off putting for very new mums with 1 small baby....there is a strong case for 'babies only' groups, be fair!

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 08-Jul-08 00:05:14

That is bizarre! So glad things are getting better for you, though. I noticed (while sitting bored in doctors surgery the other day) that our area has (unbeknown to me during any of my forays into bf'ing!) a network of real mums who will talk to you on the phone or visit you and who are trained as bf'ing counsellers- maybe there is someone like that near you?

Lifesaver for me was meeting other mums who were bf'ing (or otherwise, actually!- just the company helped distract me from the pain!) I trawled around baby massage classes and postnatal exercise classes like a saddo until I found some people willing (or stupid enough!) to go for a coffee with me. It made abig difference to those early weeks, and we are all still really good mates. I found it a lot easier to bf in public when there were a few others doing it too- kind of like your own bf support group!

jivegirl Tue 08-Jul-08 20:45:25

Thanks Joolyjoo, I'm very relieved the torture didn't last too long. Clearly it just took a few days for my nipples to get their teflon reinforcements out grin

Still don't fancy bf in public though. Last time I was part of a big group of NCT girlies and we all bf en-masse, but we've all conceived #2 at different times so I'm going it alone for now!

Ineedsomesleep Tue 08-Jul-08 20:50:00

Jivegirl, isn't there any other bfing friendly groups in the area? Like Baby Cafe's, La Leche League or NCT socials? Or you could always go to somewhere local that you know is bfing friendly.

une Wed 09-Jul-08 20:52:20

Jump on the first plane or boat to Norway, you can bf anywhere here wink

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