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2 quations from a frustrated mummy who doesn't want to give up but it getting worn down and worn out:(

(48 Posts)
alittlebitshy Sun 24-Aug-08 20:15:35

my ds is a month old toay and had be exclusively bf! [proud mummy cos dd was mix fed from 2 weeks ish].

However I am still v v sore (tears rolling dowm face sometimes) on one side and just feeling overwhelmed. we're vageuyl considering one formula feed before bed (ha not that we can predict when before bed is [desperate, tired emoticon] to give me and my boobs a rest and to see if it settles him for a bit. ARGH. I know I know, all the wrong reasons

2 quick questions:

HOw long is the right length (i know i know, how long is a piece of string?) for a feed. Ds will stay on for ever if i let him - so generally if he's still on after 40-45 mins i've been taking him off (though not if clearly actively sucking/swallowing at that point - that would be mean grin) am i doing a bad thing????

What is it "meant" to fele like for me when he is feedng? On one side it's v v ouhc- on the other it is less so but i'm not sure it's totally comfortable..

I know these are really subjective questions but..... am going insane with the sore side and the feed feed feed of my day.

morocco Sun 24-Aug-08 20:20:03

congrats on making it to a month! esp if you have had v sore nips the whole time.

have you been to any drop in baby cafes or support groups at children's centres? they would be great to help you check your latch to see if everything is ok, also great just for a chat and bit of moral support

v v sore doesn't sound right tbh. maybe the latch is almost but not quite right for example. how are things looking with the wet/dirty nappies and weight gain? have either of you had thrush?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 24-Aug-08 20:22:12

Message withdrawn

n5rje Sun 24-Aug-08 20:24:04

I'm not an expert but just for moral support I've always done max 20 mins on side one and then offer side two. If there's no interest I'd stop at that point. I've also found that sometimes you just have to literally grit your teeth when one side hurts and wait for things to improve which, at least for me, they always have done. I hope things get easier and that you feel able to carry on - have you tried expressing. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to help.

BouncingTurtle Sun 24-Aug-08 20:25:29

I think to be honest you need to see a breastfeeding counsellor as it sounds to me like there is a problem with your ds's latch.
Also it really is a case of 'how long is a piece of string' when it comes to feeding times, there was a straw poll done recently and babies feeding times vary very widely!
Check out this website How Breastfeeding Works it has the numbers of all the major breastfeeding organisations and they will be able to get one to speak to you, who will come out and see you, or will arrange for you to see them. Also, if you can can you go to your local Baby Cafe - they will have experts and other mums on hand who can help you.


alittlebitshy Sun 24-Aug-08 20:52:32

I should have said blush that I've been seeing a really lovely bfc. She's come out several times and i've been to her drop in group. We just can't get the positioning on the left I just can't get it the same each tim.


hotCheeseBurns Sun 24-Aug-08 20:56:42

Can't you tell when baby's stopped actually drinking and is just sucking? If you can hear/feel the difference you'll know when to switch over. Excessive sucking will of course make you very sore!
You must be nearly over the painful stage by now though, soon it'll be easy and comfy as anything.

alittlebitshy Sun 24-Aug-08 21:00:24

see now I just feel inadequate
And I am so sad that everyone else (yes i know i'm slightly exaggerating) can do this and I am struggling. A month in and we should be ok

crying now

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 21:01:09

so sorry you're hacing problems, painful feeding is hideous, it really is. very upsetting and not a nice experience to go through at all.

how long should a feed be? well babies often feed for up to an hour, or more. they tend to come off when they've had enough.
I realise this is often impractical, but it doesn't last forever. bear in mind that if ds isn't feeding effectively he may need to stay on for longer to get a full feed.
the fact that he is doing this is good because babies can get very tired and then not want to feed, but he is clearly trying to get what he needs.

feeding feels different for everyone. some people barely feel a thing, others have a painful letdown, there are many things that can alter how it feels, but it shouldn't be excrutiating pain or anything like that.

Have you tried feeding in a rugby ball hold? so he is in the same position as he would be when feeding from the "good" side?

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 21:04:03

oh alittlebitshy, please don't feel liek that.

actually, that's a pointless thing to say because I sat in tears many a night with ds1 saying exactly the same thing. I can't even do the most basic of things for my baby... give him food.

you are NOT inadequate. you and baby have to learn how to do this, it is ok for it not to go right. Not everyone has an easy time of it and knows what they're doing (I sure as heck didn't but I'm still doing it 10 months down the line!)

your body is producing milk all the time, baby won't suck at an empty breast. you will probably be experiencing a letdown, when baby suddenly sucks longer and deeper and you can hear swallowing. yes?
and then after that has finished he may well just be sucking and sucking with not much sign that anything else is going on right? (that's def my experience)

munchkinmum Sun 24-Aug-08 21:08:08


Very well done for getting this far - I had a nightmare at the start so I am right there with you!

I had vvv sore nips at the start (aswell as thrush shortly after...). In the end, with in-depth support from the bfc at the local hospital, I started to hand express and then pump for a few days with lansinoh on nipples after each expression to give my nipples a chance to heal (yep - they were that bad...). This was because I could not tell if the latch was right or not as I couldn't tell if any pain was from a bad latch or just from original sore nipples. It was only after healing and going back to bfing that I got the knack.

And to be honest, I did not feel like I had cracked it until about 12 weeks...! Don't be put off by this, by all accounts I am just one of those unfortunate people where bfing does not come easily and I think that in my case, I am in the minority.

I am not saying to do what I did, I agree with the other posts that you could do with some expert and regular support.

Keep at it - you really can do it! I just know how crap and miserable it is so you have my symapthies.

rubyroo Sun 24-Aug-08 21:12:30

hi hun hope you still reading this you are not inadequate!!! i bf my 2nd dd after failing miserably with dd1 and it was a struggle every day. just try to to take it one day at a time you are doing brilliantly to keep going like this when its so sore for you most people wouldn't. look my dd always fed for about 1hr each time i swapped her after about 30mins to other side i know its v limiting but just put your feet up and put on some daytime tv or if you can start to get out and about to some child friendly places and feed there. i got used to getting my boobs out after a while and found it really helped to be with other people during marathon feeds!! also about mixed feeding we started after about 6wks to give a 10pm feed so that i could get some rest fo rthe middle of the night feed. at the end of the day some breast is better than none if you express about 8pm then go to bed you should keep your supply up and exhausted mummy is no good to anyone. i think its much harder when you have other children too you need to do whats best for you and your family. about the pain it might be an idea to explore the thrush issue is it pain that lasts after you count to 10? or pain after? anyway sending you big hugs

Denny185 Sun 24-Aug-08 21:14:32

alittlebitshy, I was sore for about 8 weeks with DS, less with DD2 but only coz I sussed out what I was doing wrong. In my case it was always the left side due to baby being too far over (pushing over too much with dominant hand). Lansinoh and shields helped a bit, but correct positioning was the key.

Would emphasise what everyone else is saying you are NOT inadequate, BF is just hard work to start with, some people are just v lucky that it clicks quickly.

Also dont be afraid of asking for RL help either HV, BF councillors, BF cafes etc.

Youv'e done so well to make it to 4 weeks just remember that and be proud of the good start you have given your little one.

PinkTulips Sun 24-Aug-08 21:16:40

are you using lansinoh on the sore nipples?

are they sore from cracking or sore as in bruised.

in either case i would definitely do what others have recommended, after about 20 mins switch him to the other side.... it means your nipples don't have to put up with quite so much.

at this age they do often feed for hours in the evening. it's called cluster feeding and is totally normal... obviously it's hard to relax and go with the flow when you're in pain but even if it is ds's latch causing the discomfort it will ease as he gets bigger and his mouth gets larger and finds it easier to take in the nipple fully.

don't feel inadequate, sometimes bfing is hard in the first few month, there are very few of us here who didn't break down in tears at more than one point in the early stages but i promise you it does get easier.

i found with dd who also had quite a painful latch that differant hold sometimes eased the pain. have you tried differant positions? do you feed lying down? feeding while lying down has the added benefit of giving you a chance to catch up on some sleep while ds gets on with it

IlanaK Sun 24-Aug-08 21:18:31

I just want to add to what others have said: although normally a baby will come off when they have had enough, it is not always the case. My first two did, but my third (now 5 weeks old) does not. He likes to suck and will stay there as long as I let him. He is well attached (I am a bf counsellor) and is not actively feeding anymore (I have several "letdowns" during the feed but this is after that happens), but will NEVER willingly let go of the breast. DUring the day, I take him off when I know he is actually finished feeding. At night (we co-sleep), I fall asleep while he is feeding and will often wake an hour or so later and he is still there.

My point in this is just to say that all babies are different and some do want to stay there all day. HOWEVER, that is only ok if he is well positioned and not causing you pain or damage to your nipples.

As to what it should feel like: If he is well positioned, you may well feel a "tugging" on the breast. I can't think of a better way of describing it. So, no pain or discomfort, but as he "sucks" (not a good descriptive work for it), it sort of tugs on your breast tissue (not the nipple).

hotCheeseBurns Sun 24-Aug-08 21:28:18

Don't feel inadequate!

Breastfeeding can be f**king painful and from what I've seen almost all women either give up or consider giving up because of it.

The only thing that pulled me through was the support that I got from my family. Make sure you surround yourself with people who want you to carry on!

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 21:43:23

alittlebitshy, are you still there????

alittlebitshy Sun 24-Aug-08 22:13:25

sorry - had to go and...guess what...feed grin.

thanks for all the info and advice - am processing.. slowly.....

left nip is sore cos has a little left over crack/graze in the centre (but not getting any worse) but also cos I thik am just getting the latch wrong (non dominant ghand etc etc).

Bfc keeps helping me - i get it right for a couple of feeds then... few hours later it goes wrong again. Grr.

Yup - uasing lots of lansinoh.

thisisyesterday Sun 24-Aug-08 22:19:30

it sounds like you're on the right road. if the crack isn't getting worse that's good.
it's best if you don't let it dry out (some ppl recommend letting boobs air, but don't! lol). if it all dries it'll just crack open next time baby feeds.
keep it moist, lots of lansinoh and it should heal up.
hopefully once it has healed things will get a bit easier.

keep at it with the BFC, it will become easier, I promise you, and as DS grows he'll get better at it.

PinkTulips Sun 24-Aug-08 22:21:45

you mad woman... you feed while MNing, not instead of wink

i know they're frowned upon by many but have you considered a shield on that side? my PHN after i had dd told me that while they're not really recommended, when the nipples are badly cracked they do help them to heal and make feeding easier on you. that said i never tried them as the local chamists didn't have them and by the time i got into town mine were on the mend.

do you rub some milk on it after the feed and leave it to air dry? worked wonders for mine, then when you need toredress slather in tonnes of lansinoh and whack on a breast pad so the bra doesn't rub against it.

PinkTulips Sun 24-Aug-08 22:24:09

lol thisis, conflicting advice or what?!

for what it's worth i always found leting them dry before using the lansinoh worked better than keeping them wet all the time, they seemed far more tender and the wounds felt 'open' when i kept them moist wheras if i alllowed them to dry i did feel some relief.

MrsJohnCusack Sun 24-Aug-08 23:40:28

oh you poor thing
lots of good advice here

what about a nipple shield? or I havew seen something recommended on here before called silver- something (not much use am I)

will go and try to find the name. cracked nipples are hideous, had one for ages with DD and used to cry everytime she latched on

oh and WELL DONE though!

MrsJohnCusack Sun 24-Aug-08 23:43:53

ok these things
(this is from a post by determination) - "I resorted to importing Silverette from Italy, these are mini Sterling Silver healing cups which are worn between feeds and they COMPLETELY HEALED me within 30 hours. You can get them from here.."

chipmonkey Mon 25-Aug-08 01:03:46

Well done on getting to a month through all that pain! You have done very, very well and you should be proud of yourself!
Don't think that this is something that comes easily to everybody else and not to you. Loads of people run into trouble with bfing, it just tends not to come up in general conversation. You have lots of good advice on here, take it one day at a time and keep posting!

alittlebitshy Mon 25-Aug-08 13:26:01

Still v v sore. The side that was ok is feeling a bit raw around the edges now and I am just feeling very morose about the whole thing

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