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Please help - advice needed on Breast feeding against all the odds...

(6 Posts)
misspollysdolly Mon 11-Aug-08 09:22:55

Posting on behalf of my lovely friend again who's having such a rough time with feeding. She's had (?still has) a nasty thrush infection in both breasts and is still in a lot of pain while feeding, plus her nipples are so raw that when she tries to feed her baby she bleeds++, which is really distressing for her.

Can anyone give me any advice as to the best ways she can continue feeding - she is absolutley desperate to continue breast feeding her baby and is starting to despair. I have bfed both my babies but thankfully with relatively no problems so feel a bit useless as to what advice to offer her.

The most difficult thing for her at the moment is that everyone around her (mostly) are just telling her to stop bfing - which she just doesn't want to do. Can you lot offer me (her) any hope that the situation can be truned around - can you have such a dreadful start and still go on to successfully bf for quite sometime? How do you let bleeding raw nipples heal and still maintain your milk supply? She's panicking now that her milk supply is diminishing even though she is trying to either express or latch baby on everyday despite the pain. Is it as simple as this? Can your milk just 'dry up'? I didn't think milk stuff worked that way...?! What is the best approach to healing and maintaining - can any of the bf specialists out there give us some sort of action plan?!

Also is there anything to be gaining by protecting her nips with silicone shields, for example - I know they get a bad press on MN but I just wondered whether this is one occasion where they can be useful...?

She's so down and going slightly mad at the feeling that she's failing her baby. Can anyone offer her any help?! Furthermore does anyone know of a good bf counsellor in the Lowestoft area?!

Thanks guys.

determination Mon 11-Aug-08 09:30:39

I had this problem with both my dds and i used Silverette and was completely pain free and healed within 48 hours. They are expensive but well and truly worth every penny (you would spend more than that on FF anyway). I could see my nipples healing before my eyes.. they are fantastic. All you do is express a little bit of milk into each cup before applying directly to the nipple and wear constantly unless feeding. They do look a bit silly but i didn't care expecially when i was immediately relieved.

She will get through this, alway remember to tease the baby with the nipple for a really wide open mouth before latching.

Hope she heals soon x

edam Mon 11-Aug-08 09:35:41

I really sympathise having battled through all cracked nipples and mastitis. My toes used to curl at every feed... but I had lots of help from a b/f counsellor (saw her in person which is really important) and a supportive dh and HV plus lots of friends who were all b/f.

I ended up b/f for seven months so these early problems can be overcome, honest. All that support really helped as did seeing a counsellor (via my HV - but try La Leche League and NCT if her HV isn't helpful). Nipple shields did help me over the worst - I know they get a bad press but I don't think I could have coped with the pain without them.

Also ended up giving ds one bottle a day - again, controversial but it meant there was ONE feed where I got some relief. And didn't stop me b/f till 7 months.

Lansinoh and putting some milk on the cracked nipples were also good.

Hope some of that helps.

misspollysdolly Mon 11-Aug-08 13:37:56

Just bumping for more pearls of wisdom...!

Thanks for the responses so far - determination I have forwarded her the link and hope she'll invest in those shields - they look great!

Do babies forget how to latch on? After how long? Her baby is 8 weeks old and has been mostly bottle fed for the past few weeks as feeding has been so painful. Will she be able to re-establish bfing once she's in less pain...? What will re-establishing really involve...?

Thank you

VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 13:57:34

She needs to check the thrush is definitely being treated properly, what is she taking?

best info on thrush, if she hasn't received decent treatment print off that leaflet and go with her to the GP's.

Best thing for healing is breastmilk and lanisoh.

Unfortunately expressing and latching on once a day won't have done her milk any favours, but if baby will still latch all may be able to be turned around. She needs to feed and/or express every couple of hours.

Call the breastfeeding helplines for more tailored advice and one-on-one in person help. The numbers are on my profile, she needs to see someone.

Can she explain to family why she is so set on breastfeeding? Maybe type up a letter explaining how important it is for her and why, and that if these people really cared they'd support her rather than suggest stopping. Then next time someone says something, just give them a letter, or post everyone one with a note at the bottom saying 'I posted this as I do not wish to discuss it, please respect my decisions even if you can't support me, and refrain from making any comments about the situation or this letter in future'.

misspollysdolly Mon 11-Aug-08 20:36:33

Just bumping for more pearls of wisdom...!

Thanks for the responses so far...

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