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help!breast feeding and exhausted - advice please

(29 Posts)
frogmarsh Sat 09-Aug-08 21:28:14

my dd is 2 weeks old and so far exclusively bf, but i am fiinding the whole thing exhausting. To begin with my latch was awry and i got really sore cracked nipples, have worked on the latch with help from bf councillors and it is now fine but my nipples still have not healed - how long should it take?

the main problem though is that dd takes ages to feed - 45 - 1 hour per breast which means that with a nappy change to wake her up in the middle feeding can take 2 1/2 hours by which time she is almost ready to feed again! When do i get to rest!?

Also she will not settle into her cot or moses basket in between feeds only slepp on us or in the sling which is fine but again doesn't give me time for a rest.

sorry for typos - one handed typing whilst feeding

thisisyesterday Sat 09-Aug-08 21:35:38

frogmarsh, has she been checked for tongue tie?

cyanarasamba Sat 09-Aug-08 21:37:54

Hi I am no expert but didn't want to read and not post.

This is still really early days but you are doing great to have got this far. Can you make yourself as comfortable as possible while she is feeding (cushions, dvds, chocs etc) to try and conserve your energy?

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon.

KristinaM Sat 09-Aug-08 21:39:47

lansinoh cream is very good for cracked nipples.it can take a while to heal . what have you been using?

papaya Sat 09-Aug-08 21:46:20

lansinoh and moist wound healing is the ONLY thing that sorted my nips out frogmarsh, try googling you will find loadsa help

papaya Sat 09-Aug-08 21:47:52

ps. my nips were cracked bleeding and sore for 4 wks, moist wound healing helped them start to heal and i felt the difference after the first couple of feeds, with a massive improvement within 24 hours xx

frogmarsh Sat 09-Aug-08 22:03:10

have been doing moist healing and using lannsinoh for the last few days and it is improving, i guess i am just being impatient

what does tongue tied mean? can this make them slow feeders?
thanks for your help

thisisyesterday Sat 09-Aug-08 22:09:02

hi, there is some info on tongue tie here

theyoungvisiter Sat 09-Aug-08 22:14:30

oh poor you - the early days are incredibly exhausting but they do get better very quickly - they soon learn to feed faster and suddenly you realise they are gulping it down in ten minutes and wonder when the change happened.

Some good advice about the sore nipples - and to help with the tiredness in the meantime -

have you tried feeding lying down? It means you can kind of snooze and feed. It takes a bit of practice and at first you probably need to latch the baby on sitting up and then slide down th ebed - but it can be a life saver.

do you absolutely need to bother with the nappy change? I think all this "wakign them up" is a bit of a red herring to be honest - it seems to wake the parent up much more than the baby. I never bothered changing DS at night unless he'd pooed.

You may find the difference just scooping her up and feeding in bed makes is enough to let you feel a bit more human in the morning.

pudding25 Sat 09-Aug-08 22:15:11

My DD (now 13 wks) had a tongue tie. Found out when she was 5 days old and got it corrected at 3wks. She was a really slow feeder. just like you are describing and improvements started after she had it done. Now, a 20 min feed takes 20 mins, not an hr.

A tongue tie is the bit of skin under your tongue being too tight and you can't stick your tongue out. Not only can this impede on bf, it can also apparently cause speech probs. Also, you would not be able to do simple things like clean the food out of your mouth with your tongue, stick your tongue out, kiss!
They do not check at the hospital for this, nor do midwives which is dreadful IMO. I was lucky in the fact that I went to a BF class when DD was 5 days old and they spotted it immediately. We were referred (we live in London), had to wait around at the hospital until we could go to the theatre where they took DD and snipped it without anasthetic in 30 secs and she was immediately fine. No nerve endings there when young.
If it does not get noticed until they are over 9mths, then they will need a general to get it done. Some professionals say that it will stretch when older but it can impede on BF and I didnt want to take the risk of it not stretching and DD having issues when such a simple procedure could fix it.
It is worth getting this checked out.

And I agree, Lanisoh constantly worked a treat. I smothered myself in it for the first few wks.

pudding25 Sat 09-Aug-08 22:19:06

Just wanted to add though that my friend had a very slow feeder who speeded up as they got older. 2 wks is still v young. is someone else around to hold her while you have a rest?

Once you hopefully get BF established and she still wont settle, you could try a dummy. It worked wonders for us in settling and calming DD but do wait until BF is established if you do continue with it.

To wake DD up, we used to strip her bit by bit, lay her on the mat, pick her up, put her down etc etc. It was exhausting but it does get easier.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

33k Sat 09-Aug-08 22:32:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frogmarsh Sun 10-Aug-08 10:43:24

I was wondering, at the moment i offer her both sides but would it be ok to just give her one at a time as she feeds so well and seems so sleepy after just one side? Or will this bugger up my supply?

HV is coming tomorrow so i will ask her about tongue tie

Thanks for all the tips and advice

determination Sun 10-Aug-08 10:59:10

I can remember the pain like it was yesterday and the only thing that completely healed me (within 48 hours) was the Silverette

Ensure that your positioning is perfect every time and if it feels really sore - unlatch and start again. Tease your LO by rubbing your nipple on her nose and cheeks until she roots with a BIG WIDE OPEN MOUTH then latch.

You would get loads of information on the www.kellymom.com website.

Breastfeeding in the Early Weeks

ShowOfHands Sun 10-Aug-08 11:04:36

You absolutely don't need to feed from both sides if the baby doesn't want/need it. I only ever fed from one side. Fed exclusively for 7 months and still going at 15 months.

Well done. It gets easier. Would you consider co-sleeping? Or feeding lying down in the day so you can nap too?

TheProvincialLady Sun 10-Aug-08 11:09:32

You are doing really well by the sound of it. Those first few weeks are hard. One thing I found very helpful was going to bed and letting my DS sleep on my chest. Provided you have no pillows, cushions or bedclothes near you it is fine. My DS wouldn't sleep anywhere except sling or being held, it is very common, but at least doing it that way we both got some sleep. DH used to do it too.

frogmarsh Sun 10-Aug-08 12:09:43

I would love to feed lying down but am very nervous of any changes at the moment as have only just got the latch sorted and don't want to ruin it. Can you really latch them on sitting up and then just slide into a lying position?

frogmarsh Sun 10-Aug-08 12:11:25

Also is it safe to have them lying face down on your chest asleep? this is her preferred position and she often sleeps in the sling like this with DH slumped in the chair

TheProvincialLady Sun 10-Aug-08 12:19:30

Yes that is how my DS slept. It is better to be in a bed though because if your DH falls asleep it is very dangerous in a chair or sofa.

Roca Sun 10-Aug-08 12:43:22

frogmarsh you are doing great - keep going, try not to think too far ahead but to savour the times now. And don't set yourself too much to do in the day - just be there for the baby. It is such a hard time - I was in tears loads with my first as was in so much pain and getting to 6 weeks seemed to crawl when it started getting a little easier but you WILL get through it - take each moment as it comes, you are doing the best for your baby and it is really hard. There will be times where it all seems to much - try to ride through those as how it is and you will get through the other side. smile

ChairmumMiaow Sun 10-Aug-08 12:52:03

DS was just like this - he fed often and for a long time for the first few weeks. He slept on me, DH or in the sling. It does feel quite intense - having this baby on you or near you 24/7 but I found it got much easier when everyone on mumsnet told me this was normal, and I just relaxed into it (easier said than done). Daytime on the sofa, nighttime in bed. I hadn't mastered feeding lying down (and when I did DS still needed picking up to be winded unfortunately) so I didn't get much sleep at first. Borrow DVDs from friends, get some trashy books you can read one-handed , get a thermos mug so you can drink some tea, and settle in for the duration.

I also found that getting outside with DS happily in the sling helped. Did a bit of shopping, went for a walk - anything to detatch myself from that sofa!

As time went on, he got quicker at feeding, started sleeping in his moses basket and everything got easier. Now he's 6 months and I miss that cuddly sofa time when he'd feed for ages. He always wants to wriggle around these days!

Good luck and you're doing great!

frogmarsh Sun 10-Aug-08 13:46:41

Thanks everyone you have really made me feel better, i just wish the nips would heal up and then i could sort of enjoy it!

Roca i know what you mean about crying, i have been n floods everyday (usually between 8 and 10 in the evenning wierdly)

theyoungvisiter Sun 10-Aug-08 14:11:05

re: feeding lying down and worrying about the latch - they do sometimes come off when you change position, but the important thing is that now you have got the latch right you know what it should feel like.

If it feels wrong after you change position then don't hesitate to unlatch and redo it.

And I'm another one who only ever fed single sided - until DS was nearly a year he could only ever manage one side. I never had any issues with supply - but of course if you do feel like it's affecting things you can always go back to offering both. If the baby needs more milk she will want both sides, so you can monitor it by her appetite.

pudding25 Sun 10-Aug-08 19:44:36

I am only feeding single sided too and have done that from the beginning. There is always still milk in my breast at the end of a feed even if she has fed for 25-30 mins.

frogmarsh Mon 11-Aug-08 19:49:38

Had a bit of a meltdown last night, when i had extreme pain after feeding, sort of searing burning pain which i have had on and off for the last 2 weeks. Decided i could not cope and so Dh gave her 2 formula feeds in the night and i expressed. Felt terrible in the morning, guilty and upset. HV came and sent me off to the doctor and it turns out i have nipple thrush. Not good news but at least we can be treated now. Am managing to feed off the right breast but am expressing from the left as it is just too mangled and painful.

Please give me the will to carry on, i am so close to giving up. I just want to be able to enjoy my daughter.

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