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6 days old and closing to giving up

(14 Posts)
Upsidedowncake Fri 04-Jul-08 09:00:35

I breastfed my last baby for 15 months, but am having real problems getting DD to latch on.

She is now 6 pounds 6 oz, I am fairly well-endowed. We are managing one to two 'proper feeds' a day - the rest (about 5 feeds) are expressed milk delivered by a syringe. Have been through engorgement and thought the problem was solved, but it isn't.

I can't carry on like this. Also, I lost a lot of blood at birth and iron levels are 7.8, so am finding it harder to cope than I would do normally.

Any tips for helping her to latch on? How bad will it be to give up and go on to formula?

moondog Fri 04-Jul-08 09:02:33

Poor you!
It's hard at first.

I've linked you to an MNers great website. Numbers of the helplines on the right. RING!!!


mum2oandh Fri 04-Jul-08 09:05:46

Poor you, sending loads of sympathy, you could try the breastfeeding advice lines of either the NCT or the LaLeche League (the No's are on their websites. They are fantastic and helped me loads. If you phone at the start of a feed they will stay on line and talk you through it.
Good luck, the beginning bit of feeding can be so hard.

MarsLady Fri 04-Jul-08 09:08:05

Try the help lines and check for tongue tie.

Have you got someone who can cook for you? You need lots of iron rich foods. Strawberries are good (not that I'm suggesting it as your staple diet but there are plenty around)smile

Mummyfor3 Fri 04-Jul-08 09:10:59

My Sympathies and well done for persevering!

Any chance you could take a babymoon, you know: go to bed with baby, sleep and feed as you both want to for a couple/few days?? I know, difficult to achieve with other child, however maybe you could draft in help from mum/MIL/siblings/friends...??

You are obviously an experience breast feeder and know you have been able to do it once before.

If latch difficult due to engorged breast try expressing a bit to make breast softer. Having said that, I am rubbish at expressing and found that allowing DS3 a few sucks on nipple rather than proper latch made things soft enough for him to latch on properly after I took him off BEFORE I got sore.

Low blood count: again sympathies, been there, done it; it is exhausting, isn't it? As if a new baby was not tiring enough! Are you taking iron tablets? Some hospitals give them with Folic acid and, crucially, with vitamin C as this helps iron absorption. You can achieve the same effect by taking iron supplement with orange juice rather than water. This also reduces possible side effect like constipation smile.

Hang in there and congratulations on arrival of little one!

tiktok Fri 04-Jul-08 09:18:32

Upsidedowncake - you need skilled help right away. As well as calling the helplines, a midwife should be available to visit you, check on you and the baby, and the feeding. Don't leave it till after the weekend.

The midwife should check on your baby's nappies (he should be doing several soft yellow poos each day, and weeing lots), frequency of feeds (7 x a day is not very often), and maybe weigh your baby, discuss treatment for your anaemia and help you with advice on how you can get rest and help at home.

Hope things get better today.

Upsidedowncake Fri 04-Jul-08 09:43:23

Thanks everyone. Just off the phone with a great NCT lady who is trying to find me a breastfeeding counsellor to visit. She had lots of good tips, and thinks I might have retained a lot of water from being on syntocinon, hence hard to latch on, so am off to try some of her tips.

Re her weight, she has only lost 1 oz since birth so am not worried about that.

They checked for tongue tie in the hospital and didn't think there was a problem.

And am on iron three times a day.

Any other ideas gratefully received!

bythepowerofgreyskull Fri 04-Jul-08 09:46:38

can't help with practical tips. I would just like to say that DS1 didn't latch properly until day 10 we too did syringe/cup feeding after trying to latch for 10 minutes.
it was horrible time but once he got the hang of it we never looked back.

Good luck, hope you manage to get the rl support you need smile

Upsidedowncake Fri 04-Jul-08 12:01:20

Well she fed off both boobs at her last feed (first time today) so every step forward ...

Grey skull, thank you for your message - knowing you stuck it out for 10 days made me feel a million times better.

Marslady, when I feel up to it, will email you with details of my fab birth doula experience.

munchkinmum Fri 04-Jul-08 13:23:01

UDC - well done! I had massive problems at the start and am feeding my ds 9 weeks later! It took guts, determination and sheer 'bloodymindedness' to carry on but am happy I did it (it's still hard at times now!).

Take each day at a time and a massive hug from me as I know how hard it can be. x

moondog Fri 04-Jul-08 17:51:53

Good to know it's going better Upside. smile

VictorianSqualor Fri 04-Jul-08 18:01:13

Great to see it's getting better so quickly.

BFing is IMO, one of the hardest things to feel you're doing right yet the most amazing and easy (once sorted) thing you can ever do for your child.

You're doing great, keep posting smile

BreastfeedingMum Fri 04-Jul-08 18:45:59

Hi, I'm new here so hope it's okay to give some advice. Firstly well done for breastfeeding. As you probably remember from before the first few weeks are the most difficult but when you have an older child to look after you're probably not getting as much rest as you did first time around. Is there any way you could get someone to help out a little? Or try to get a bit of a nap when the children are resting? Even 10 minutes can help a lot.

As for your low blood count, women who suffer a low blood count shortly after birth are more likely to suffer post-natal depression so it might be worth speaking to your gp who should get you to take the edinburgh test which is a multiple choice verbal or sometimes written test to check for postnatal depression. It is fairly easily treated and the earlier it's caught the better and quicker your recovery will be. Make sure to tell your gp you're breastfeeding as you may be prescribed antidepressants and if so it's important you get some that are compatible with breastfeeding.

I hope things continue to improve but try to take it one feed at a time and this will ease the mental pressure a little and make breastfeeding more likely to be successful!

Anyway, my thoughts are with you as it's not so long ago that I was in a very similar position to you so I know only too well what the strain is like!


Upsidedowncake Thu 10-Jul-08 16:23:11


Thanks very much for all your support last week.

I just wanted to let you all know that DD was weighed today and has gained an enormous 12 ounces (from 6.6. to 7.2). The times of day and clothes were exactly the same, so I am one happy bunny.

Also my iron levels have gone up from 7.8 to 10.4 in a week!

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