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breastfeeding getting worse again

(60 Posts)
bakedpotato Sun 13-Feb-05 15:39:50

things seemed to be getting better, i was weaning myself off the nipple shields (old thread) and feeling OK about stuff.
the last few days i've started struggling once more. it hurts, can't work out what's gone wrong, but i'm using the shields/lanisoh more again -- will try to get hold of BFC again on monday.
the shield use is making me worry incessantly about my supply. i'm expressing in the evening (so DH can give a bottle of EBM while I get a bit more sleep: last night i got 3 oz quite easily) and 2ce in the morning, which isn't so productive (2 oz first thing, then 1 more oz after mid-morning feed). i'd have expected to get more in the morning.
DS looks better and seems to be growing slowly according to MW, though i still haven't encountered the HV's scales. but he isn't pooing that often, once every 2 days, which doesn't seem right. wet nappies seem normal though. he was unsettled yesterday but seems a bit better today.
i'm feeling so low. lots of weeping this weekend. why is this so hard. half of me longs to stop b/f so i can stop crying and feeling rubbish and just enjoy being with poor DD again. why am i putting us all through this. of course b/f is best, but it's taking such a toll. feel so useless.
DS will be 3 wks on tues.

Yorkiegirl Sun 13-Feb-05 15:44:23

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NotQuiteCockney Sun 13-Feb-05 16:17:15

I don't think the emotional rollercoaster is necessarily because of b/f. The early days are hard, never mind your feeding choices.

If your supply was bad, the baby would be unsettled and demanding more milk, and/or feeding all the time. If he's happy and alert and attentive, I wouldn't worry about the pooing - DS2 poos once or twice a week these days, and I think the poos started spacing out a bit more around 3 weeks.

Things seem to take a while to sort out - the first weeks of b/f can be hard, and then it's (generally) very easy.

In the early days with DS2, I used to do a lot of "reading and feeding" - lying in bed with both sons, reading to DS1 while nursing DS2. If lying-down feeding works well for you, this can be a nice time to give your DD some attention while giving DS a good feed.

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 16:25:29

oh bp, i know this doesn't help but at 3 weeks, you'd probably be feeling pretty low anyway (hormones etc) and the pain must only be making things much worse for you. with dd1 i had agonising pain for a month or so then (just) bearable pain for another 2 months, but it suddenly and strangely got better. with dd2 the whole discomfort thing (and yes, it was just as toe-curlingly bad "bite on this" type pain) lasted 3 weeks. for me, i couldn't bear the thought of cleaning bottles etc (and am too tight) and knew i'd gone onto feed dd1 for nearly 2 years so was pretty blooded minded through the pain. i never bothered expressing (at that early stage) and dunno whether that helped or not. when i finally did (at work etc) the flow was not as plentiful 2nd time around and i think the very act of expressing stresed me a bit (because of the whole measuring thing whereas normally you just carry on merrily because you don't know how much bubba has had). have you tried having him in bed with you so you don't have to get up? i did that a lot at the beginning (and am not a natural 3-in-a-bed person, i sleep too lightly and so does dd2). does changing the position help with the pain? (ie lie him on the bed and curl your arm around the top of his head etc, so you don't feel you have to try & "get" him on there, it's more up to him - or even the old rugby ball thing? i have a fabbo book at home, will root it out for you as may be back for taps v soon! xxx

Cod Sun 13-Feb-05 16:27:34

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bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 16:31:24

cod, i assume you used lasinoh, and didn't sue them

hercules Sun 13-Feb-05 17:15:29

Did you get much Cod?

Lonelymum Sun 13-Feb-05 17:26:43

BP, I would agree with other posters that you may well feel emotional at this time anyway. It sounds as though you are doing very well, being able to express that much at this stage. I never really had any need to express my milk but did so anyway for mixing with food, letting dh have a go with the feeding etc, and, because I didn't need to I waited until about 4 - 6 weeks before trying. Someone told me you don't become fully established with the b/f until 6 weeks, so you really are doing well to be getting what you are getting at 3 weeks.

Also, don't worry about ds's poos. Once every 2 days sounds fine. They are all different. My 4 were all b/f and ds1 used to dirty every nappy (practically) whereas ds3 only dirtied a nappy every 3-4 days. Both are normal apparently, as long as what comes out looks normal.

I know this is easier said than done, but try not to stress out about this as your feelings may affect the an mount of milk you produce. Your priorities now are to eat well, drink loads (my tip: drink a glass of water every time you feed) and to rest as much as you can. I know you have a dd too (how old BTW?) and you feel you want to do things with her too, but your priority must be you and the baby. It won't be this hard for long.

Lonelymum Sun 13-Feb-05 17:29:57

I did not see your original thread about your b/f diffs BP. Is your problem cracked nipples or something else? I only ask because, having b/f ds1 and ds2 with minimal diff, I had a terrible start with dd. Eventually, she and I were treated for thrush and, although we never knew if that was the root of the problem, the terrble pain did go away soon after. Could that be your problem or is it cracked nipples? Sorry, sure you don't want to go through it all again.

Cod Sun 13-Feb-05 17:32:22

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Cod Sun 13-Feb-05 17:34:06

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Erinleigh Sun 13-Feb-05 17:38:24

Hi baked potato - sorry to hear you are in a lot of pain with b/f...

Does DS have entire nipple and area around it in his mouth when he feeds? If not, he might be sucking on the nipple only, which will make you v sore. If the latch is wrong, not only will it make you sore, but baby might not gain as much b/c he won't be getting the full amount of milk...

Unless your baby is losing weight, I wouldn't worry too much about your supply; I fed twins and could rarely express more than 1-3 oz at a time. Some women just express more easily than others. When you feel comfortable enough, could try feeding DS while expressing from other breast... it is an awkward position, but could help you express more in less time, as baby brings on the milk flow.

I don't know what your BFC has advised about using b/f shields, but mine told me not to use them more than a day at a time; she felt they would make the nipples more sore. When I had one of my nipples crack and bleed, her advise was to air out my breast - literally - and I went without a bra for a day. In terms of support it felt strange but it actually helped. I kept feeding though that day was really painful; the next day the pain had subsided and was nearly gone the day after that. The nipple cracking I experienced was due to expressing too vigorously; wasn't poor little hungry DS2's fault - all down to a hungry machine!!

Keeping b/f pads clean and dry if you use washable ones is also important, so your nipples don't get chafed by the dampness.

I hope I've mentioned something that will be helpful, and that I haven't said anything to contradict your BFC or bring more confusion to the emotional ups and downs you are already experiencing!

You've done really well to get to 3 weeks if you have been sore all the time; most people seem to give up quite quickly. For myself, I found that the "emotional hump" seemed to be somewhere around 4-5 weeks; it was as if I suddenly felt confident that the twins were getting enough, and most of the soreness and strangeness of b/f had worn off.

Maybe it is down to the drop in pregnancy hormones that we seem to struggle through the first month... in other (non-western) cultures, women within the family structure rally around mothers with newborns to provide practical and emotional help after a birth. I think we miss out on some of that.

bakedpotato Sun 13-Feb-05 18:05:25

i think the basic prob is positioning. i try and try but something really doesn't feel right. i'd love to read to DD (3.4) when feeding, lying down or not, but there's no way i could manage that, even with the shields. it does sound lovely though.
the expressing is helping me a bit, it proves i am producing, even if i don't seem to be getting much in the AM. dd was tiny and stayed tiny for ages, i always suspected my supply. also that late evening feed which DS can give as EBM does lift my spirits. it's great to get out of a feed
had a little sleep feeling a bit better but it's bavk to the shields for time being. without them i really wouldnt' have got this far.

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 18:09:31

i used nipple shields for ages, don't worry (my nips were cracked, bleeding, and looked like they'd been "filed" down by dd1, but the positioning looked fine at the time.. ). could you record some stories for dd onto a tape? obviously, liberal use of cbeebies recommended, and story cds are big in our house atm. x (if i remember i'll copy some for you)

tiktok Sun 13-Feb-05 18:12:27

Hi, BP - well, I know the automatic response is to jolly you along and say everythibng's fine, but I am not going to do that. There is enough in your post to make me feel your worries need checking out. A not-quite three week old baby usually does poo more often than every 2 days - not doing this isn't a sure sign of something wrong, but it is unusual (it's not until four to five weeks minimum that it becomes less unusual). Most babies of three weeks are not hurting their mums when they feed - this makes me think the bfc should be able to make some suggestions on a better/effective latch. No, you don't need to ensure all the areola is in the baby's mouth -some women have areolas the size of saucers! But a good latch does mean a lot of breast in the baby's mouth...

It maybe your baby and breastfeeding are taking a little while to take off - well done for getting rid of the shields. Expressing is ok, but not instead of feeding. If expressing means you are going longer between feeds, that's not such a good thing.

So - no need for panic, as your baby is looking well, and m/w is not concerned. But yes, a sensible, calm look at how you can make it all a bit better is a good idea. You are not rubbish, and you have already made great progress, but you still need support and some input from others...and there's nothing wrong with that.

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 18:16:55

tiktok, one of the bfc's thought my dd1 was grinding down the end of my nipple because it was "hitting"/making contact with her hard palate before enough of it was in her mouth (I suppose what i'm trying to say was it didn't go far enough back)...but then retracted when she had a look at the latch. nothing spectacular changed but the situation did get better. does that make sense?

bakedpotato Sun 13-Feb-05 20:06:15

tomorrow i'm going to try see my lovely HV, who saw me through the nightmare of DD's slow growth; god knows how but i exclusively breastfed for 4 mths then mixed for another 4. i saw her last week and she remembered how miserable i was throughout. i said i wasn't going to martyr myself again and she knew exactly what i meant. i mean, i can't spend weekends draining the lifeforce from the family, and that's what i'm doing at the moment. it's not fair on anyone. i'm missing them, and they're missing me. at the moment i feel i'm failing everyone.
depending on what she says -- she knows me and my family, i'm not just a stat to her, and i trust her -- i may go to see the bfc or i may go and buy some formula.

tiktok Sun 13-Feb-05 20:32:41

Sorry, bundle, not sure what you are asking me.....

BP - slow growth is not a problem unless the baby is showing other clinical signs of not getting enough.....is it really just the feeding that's making you feel so crap??? It's just that the way you describe your feelings (draining the life force from your family, feelling as if you are failing everyone) sounds a lot more than would be justified by the baby not gaining fast.....good you have an understanding HV, hope you can talk to her and that she will listen.

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 21:04:53

just about the position of the nip in the mouth (as if she was sucking it up to the palate instead of way back into the back of her mouth)- even though it looked as if everything was ok from outside there was still damage going on. did all the right stuff, lots of people had a look and helped with positioning etc.

Pollyanna Sun 13-Feb-05 21:07:14

BP sorry you've hit a bad patch - I agree with what others have said about feeling low - when dd3 was just under 4 weeks, I felt really unable to cope, and it seems worse at weekends.

Also dd3 hasn't pooed any more than once every 3 or 4 days since she has been born - as far as I know there is nothing wrong with her (well she is putting on weight and seems healthy), although I'm now worried after tiktok's post about this.

I hope you get some comfort from your hv/bfc.

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 21:09:42

one of my baby group's little boys didn't poo once for 9 days and he regularly went for 4 or 5. nothing wrong with him, he's not a stonking 4.5 yr old.

motherinferior Sun 13-Feb-05 21:13:38

BP, sweetie, just seen this thread. Hugs. It is a tough stage, isn't it, those first six weeks - between the euphoria of the birth and the euphoria of the first smile - I remember DP finding me, the baby and dd1 all weeping at that stage.

Some babies do poo every couple of days, I agree (not, alas, either of my effluviant little cherubs).

bundle Sun 13-Feb-05 21:14:15

i think dd's record for a day was around 10...

motherinferior Sun 13-Feb-05 21:18:43

Friend of mine's baby once pooed up to her ears.

BP, I've just remembered that I posted this thread when DD2 was four weeks old - oh, you poor love.

bakedpotato Sun 13-Feb-05 21:43:01

pollyanna, nice to hear from you. why are weekends the worst? i don't quite know/ paerhaps because they remind you of all the things you used to do with your family and can't now do because you are on the sofa feeding.
tiktok yes it is the feeding -- only the feeding -- which is making me feel so crap. (apart i'm sure from the hormones.) i just find the experience joyless. it hurts. i can't do anything while feeding, can't reach for phone/remote/book/DD. hate it hate it. obviously the alternative is also fairly miserable.
DS seems OK to me, alert/jolly in spurts, whingy at others. he's sleeping pretty well, and we're tired, but not totally disembowelled by tiredness as we were with DD.
i just miss DD, DH, being able to go out ( no way i could feed out the way i feel at the moment), energy. i feel my old life is sort of within grasp, but the pain will always get in the way.

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