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Utterly miserable about breastfeeding.

(52 Posts)
WiggleyWorm Sat 06-Sep-08 15:49:58

I don't know where to start with this so this post will probably come out all garbled - sorry in advance!

I really really want to breastfeed. My baby is just over two and 1/2 weeks old. We spend 5 days in hospital trying to get him to latch on which he finally did but only for 10 mins at a time (is this enough time?) Two weeks later he isn't putting on any weight but he hasn't lost any either. I am feeding anywhere between 2 hours to 3 hours day and night. As I said he feeds for about 10 mins then falls asleep and is virtually impossible to wake him back up. For the last 5 days feeding has been well....agonising. It doesn't last all through the feed but for the 1st minute of feeding I just can't even talk. I have also started to get shooting pains in one of my breast when I move. I am on the verge of giving up - surely it shouldn't be like this? I am on the verge of giving up and it is making me so unhappy. Does anyone have any words of wisdom or help as all I do is want to cry :-(

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 15:52:24

breast feeding counsellor!
Hang on I will find you some numbers

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 15:53:08

Unless your Health Visitor is helpful- couldshe help with latch?

WiggleyWorm Sat 06-Sep-08 15:57:53

I am due to see her on Monday for the baby weigh in. She did seem really nice when I first met her. I am worried I will just start having hysterics when I see her, and she will think I am a tad unstable :-). It is all rather 'close to the surface' at the moment. I have to go and feed him now so I won't be around for a bit. thank you for replying though Polar Bear xx

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 15:58:00

NCT
La Leche League Tel. 0845 120 2918

LackaDAISYcal Sat 06-Sep-08 16:01:57

Oh sweets, it is soo difficult when things aren't going well, and energy sapping as well. We have all had moments of wanting to give up, but please be assured that the problems you are having are fixable smile

Have you seen a breastfeeding counsellor? or spoken to one? On one hand, it's bad that he isn't gaining weight, but on the other, he isn't losing so he is obviously getting something. What can happen though is that babies who aren;t getting enough sleep more to conserve their energy and you get into a viscious circle. Is he producing lots of wet and pooey nappies as well?

If feeding has been hurting, it's almost certainly because his positionong and/or latch just isn't quite right, and you perhaps need to look at both of those to try and correct it. Even a tiny alteration in his positioning can have a huge effect.

the shooting pains in your breast; could it be a blocked duct or the onset of mastitis? Are there any sore or red areas on your breast? If his latch isn;t perfect this can cause problems with blocked ducts.

It's also possible that it's thrush and you need to check for signs of it on your nipple or in the baby's mouth. If his mouth is sore, it's going to make feeding more difficult.

Another reason for the latch and pain could be that he has a tongue tie. do you know if he has been checked for this?

sorry to ask so many questions.

If you haven't done so already, I would suggest that you call one of the helpline numbers; you will speak to a qualified breastfeeding counsellor who should be able to out you in touch with a local counsellor who will come out to see you if needed. The numbers are here. NCT tend to have the biggest coverage ime.

poppy34 Sat 06-Sep-08 16:02:38

can't contribute much as my b/f experience was right up there with some of the worst in my life (so huge hugs and sympathy to you - you're not alone in finding it tough) but on a practical level would suggest eating little/often and trying to relax - I know its easier said than done but think its very easy when you're struggling with htis to end up feeling bloody dreadful which doesnt help with anything.

is mw till visiting to ask or is there a b/f drop in cafe locally you could go to sas well as others suggested on here ?

3littlefrogs Sat 06-Sep-08 16:02:55

Definitely get in touch with a breast feeding counsellor. Also, has he been checked for tongue tie?

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:03:00

She will have seen it all before!
You have done so well to get this far, and you're right, it shouldn't be like this, and neededn't be.
Is he jaundiced?
The actual amount of feeding (2 or 3 hours) is normal, and good, just look after yourself and sleep as much as you can. For the rest - the 10 mins, the sleepy baby, lack of weight gain, the pain you need more help, although some of it may be absolutely fine. Could you have thrush?
I think you need to see someone in the morning - you have been let down, the people who shouldhave been making sure you could feed comfortably haven't. Can you call the hospital -I think I could call the ward until DS was one month old. Where are you (roughly) although don't say if you'd rather not.
Oh and
Congratulations!

I'll keep this bumped and someone better informed will come along soon

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:03:49

And I've x posted with them

LackaDAISYcal Sat 06-Sep-08 16:04:08

And there is great advice here on Kellymom

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:04:26

Do you have RL help? A DH/DP?

poppy34 Sat 06-Sep-08 16:05:15

out of interest what are peoples experience on how long it takes to get hold of nct person -my experience was not good of getting hold of counsellers (frankly 5 days for someone to ring you back is a bloody lifetime when you're feeling like wiggleyworm)

policywonk Sat 06-Sep-08 16:07:42

I agree with SPB that you should talk to someone qualified (this doesn't mean health visitor or GP as they don't always know much about breastfeeding).

However, I just wanted to add that BFing quite often is very painful at first, and it doesn't always mean that you're doing something wrong. People don't often tell you this in advance as they don't want to put you off! I found it horribly uncomfortable for the first six weeks or so with my first son, and then something 'clicked' and it became much easier and more pleasant. Even with my second son, when I considered myself to be an old hand, it was still painful for the first few weeks.

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:07:43

no idea sorry bt i agree however they are volunteeers. would be nice if the hcps could get it right (as they did for me, i should point out, in fairness)

LackaDAISYcal Sat 06-Sep-08 16:09:59

hey SPB smile

Wiggleyworm, another idea, and a really nice thing to do, is have a babymoon, where you and baby get semi naked, and get tucked up in bed together and with lots of skin to skin contact, just allow him free access to the breast. It;s a really good way of reconnecting and helping him to do what is natural to him.

You could try some biological nurturing positions as well which should help him get himself latched on.

sorry if that's a lot to take in at once.

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:10:03

policy, was it painful to the point where you considered stopping even though you definitely wanted to continue?
i have no idea how much pain is 'normal' and at what level it definitely indicates something wrong

StealthPolarBear Sat 06-Sep-08 16:10:48

hey if she babymoons she can't MN!
(only joking, wink hi daisy)

LackaDAISYcal Sat 06-Sep-08 16:14:47

poppy, when I called the NCT on a sunday afternoon I had a call back within two hours and the number of a local counsellor to call.

I'm sorry they never got back to you quicker though.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 06-Sep-08 16:19:29

laptops SPB......wonderful inventions grin

I'm not sure about the "how much pain is normal" thing either, although as much as you hear that it shouldn't hurt, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence on here and talking to women in RL, to suggest that it is the norm rather than the exception, at least in the early weeks.

milkybarsrus Sat 06-Sep-08 16:29:18

OMG please check if your baby has a tongue tie, it took me 2 weeks of hell trying to get my little one latched on and my boobs being pulled and twisted by various midwives and then a wonderful h/v visited , took one look and said he's got a tongue tie!!! 'now lets get it sorted shall we'. waiting list with the NHS was 6 months! baby wouldn't wait 6 minutes if he wanted a feed, so that was obviously out of the question. so with my baby money (all of it) i went private. It cost £400.00 shock, but immediately it was done he was put on the boob and had a 20 minuted feed.!!!! and there he stayed for another 18 months basically. grin

wigglyworm my ds is 2 week old and he has lost a little weight but nothing to worry about. He too feeds on average every 2 hours, occasionly every 3 hours in the day.

he feeds for around 10 min max.I was worried that wasnt long enough but apparently it is normal. However he is very sleepy and all the tricks of stroking feet face hands, making sure he isnt too warm have had no effect at all.

I got some help/advice from my sil who is a
LLL BF councellor as was also painful and also had shooting/stabbing pain in one boob.
She helped me with latch as he kept falling off, and couldnt get back on properly.
So far allk is well, still have one breast that is quite sore, but seems to be easing off. H stillk sleepy but seems content between feeds.
Good luck and please get some help.

I cried and nearly went out in early hours to find formula.

This is also my second and I struggled to bf my dd too. but managed till 9 months.
But you also have to do whats right for you too.

Sorry for rambling on....blush

tiktok Sat 06-Sep-08 16:30:40

Wiggley - I am a breastfeeding counsellor. I can't promise that someone will come out and see you...we don't cover the whole country by any means, and as we are all volunteers it is not always possible even to see people in our own areas. Someone might be available for you to go and see, and there may be a support group near you. Please don't be put off calling though - there is a lot that can be done on the phone. Don't be put off by the possibility you will cry on the phone - many callers do. We understand that the emotional aspect of feeding a baby can mean tears come easily.

It sounds to me that you would find it helpful to amend the way your baby gets attached - but do talk to someone about it all. It will help.

There are several numbers you can call. 5 days for a call back is absolutely out of the ordinary - usually you get through straight away or else a call back within a couple of hours, tops. If you don't get a call back, try again - something may have gone wrong. Just occasionally, the technology of the messaging system goes wrong, or in other cases, women think they have left their correct phone no. and they haven't.

Hope you get sorted very soon.

policywonk Sat 06-Sep-08 16:30:47

SPB, it really was eye-watering. I remember feeling very definite that I would feed for six weeks and then switch to formula (don't know why I had the six week limit set - completely random!) And I had a lot of RL support from DP, mother and MIL, all of whom were very positive (and the latter two had personal experience of extensive feeding). I can quite imagine that I might have given up if any of those had been putting pressure on me to switch.

I'm not saying that the OP (or anyone experiencing pain with BF) shouldn't seek proper help - it's a very good idea. I wish I had done it. There might well be an underlying problem that could be addressed. However, I do think that in their desire to improve BFing rates, HCPs sometimes underplay the extent to which BFing can be painful and bloody inconvenient in the early weeks. I particularly dislike the line 'if it's painful then you're doing it wrong' - I just don't think it's true, and i think it makes a lot of women think 'I'm obviously doing something wrong, I'd better stop.'

kayjayel Sat 06-Sep-08 16:31:06

WW = I reallyfeel for you - you describe exactly how I felt with DS who I managed to feed til 11 mths. Just took each feed as it came. I also felt it shouldn't be like this, and wnted to give up, but it was worth it in the end.

get as much help as you can from all comers. What helped me most was knowing friends who had pain and problems but kept feeding. What didn't help was reading/ being told that pain meant a bad latch, so I would worry I was doing it wrong. In the end babies have a powerful suck and nipples/skin are sensitive! I focussed on little changes - when I could feed without swearing, or crying, for instance. when the pain only lasted the first few minutes. And it got easier and less painful. If you're committed and supported you can get through it. Of 10 bf friends only 2 said it was pain free and the others ranged in how long the bad pain lasted from 2 weeks to 4 months. You're doing a great job getting through these early weeks.

With dd, it got easier quicker, but I had lots of tips by then, incl. from bf counsellors. Feeding in different positions helped.

Really wishing you well, do get support from everyone you can.

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