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Just been to see friend with new baby, bf not going well how do I help?!

(11 Posts)
MawBag Fri 10-Oct-08 17:37:59

Baby is 11 weeks old and has put on 3lb since birth. She's being bf but having one bottle before bed . Mum is still using nipple shields cos 'it's too sore without them'. I suggested that she see a bfc to get latch checked but she said she thought it was fine which it clearly isn't. Baby is tiny still looks like a newborn to me (but then she's only 1lb bigger than my dd was when she was born). My friend doesn't seem to be enjoying her daughter at all and it's really sad.

She had awful 'care' while in hospital and obviously still isn't getting the help she needs.

So what do I say to her? Feel really nosy and I wouldn't usually get involved in other people's feeding issues uninvited but I don't think I can ignore it. Help!

tiktok Fri 10-Oct-08 17:48:18

Hmmmm....not enough info to say if bf is going well or not. 3 lb weight gain may be fine - it doesn't immediately strike me as 'not enough'. The sadness of your friend may be a more pressing issue, do you think? Shields and soreness need addressing, it's true, but she seems to be managing things. You've already suggested a bfc and she doesn't want to see one, so prob not a great idea to keep pressing on with the feeding questions. There may be other ways you can support her - ask her how you can help?

chandellina Fri 10-Oct-08 17:59:03

sounds like me - my DS is nearly 11 weeks old and had gained 3lbs since birth at his last weigh-in a week ago.

we also give one bottle a day of mixed EBM and formula.

but even though he may look like a newborn, he is totally healthy and happy and nourished. (moving up the centiles on the charts)

i'm still a little sore too, though shields didn't help so i didn't bother.

if she isn't enjoying it, that's a whole other issue but on the face of things, i don't see the problem??

MawBag Fri 10-Oct-08 18:00:18

I'm glad you think 3lbs is enough, I wasn't sure and my dd has always piled weight on.

But she doesn't seem to realise that shields aren't a permanent solution. She isn't demand feeding either I didn't want to ask too much but I know she was timing feeds. She said baby couldn't be hungry cos she'd only been fed an hour ago but baby was rooting and crying.

Maybe I'm overreacting. Just felt really sad for them both when I came away.

Don't know anything about PND so don't really know what to look for or how to help. Feeling totally useless just now!

MawBag Fri 10-Oct-08 18:04:20

Thanks for replying chandellina. I don't think I'm articulating any of this very well! Really don't mean to offend anyone.

Oh I don't know. Now thinking I'm totally overreacting and should stop sticking my big nose in.

tiktok Sat 11-Oct-08 09:51:32

It's clear you want to help and support her, MawBag....can you call her and say you are a bit concerned and is here anything you can do?

Nipple shields are not ideal but some people use them long term and manage fine. The timing of feeds and apparent ignoring the baby's signs of needing a feed may look a bit uncomfortable to you...but it's hard to tell from one visit what works better for an individual I think. Maybe be honest with her and ask if she is ok?

Becky77 Sat 11-Oct-08 10:02:31

I had an really painful time BF up until 10 weeks... And it did make my very miserable and sorrowful that I wasn't able to enjoy that time as much as I wanted to... Having said that my DD managed to still gain lots of weight so she was getting the milk out somehow!

Just try and be understanding of your friend and offer support... Also she may find that things resolve themselves very soon as her baby's mouth will be getting bigger now... If I were her I'd keep trying without the nipple shields to see if the latch has improved any... It really does stop hurting

chandellina Sat 11-Oct-08 20:33:43

it's great you're concerned - it's just hard to know if there's a problem or not. i agree she should maybe give it a go without the nipple shields and see if things feel better now. i initially could only feed DS in the cross-cradle position to get him latched on. only about 10 days ago tried the normal cradle again and it works for us now. (so much more comfortable, and a lot easier when out in public). my point is - things change over time.
also don't know what to say about him rooting. i feed on demand but know the despairing feeling when DS has been on my breast for an hour and then roots half an hour later. but sometimes he really just does seem to need a change of scenery to get his mind off that yummy boob, and won't show hunger again for another hour or two ... i think some babies love to snack and will always welcome a feed.

TinkerBellesMum Sat 11-Oct-08 20:38:44

Why not suggest she tries a BFing group? Might be a little less informal and would be nice for her to go somewhere where lots of people are breastfeeding together.

lizzytee Sat 11-Oct-08 21:53:47

MB, to me the key thing that comes through your post is that you are concerned about your friend's well-being - and maybe this is where she really needs your help. When dd was very small, two of my friends were in touch every couple of days and it made a big difference to me. I've since done the same for one of them when she had her ds, You don't say whether this is your friend's first baby, but if so, she may not yet have realised that no-one finds life with a tiny baby easy. I do think that the suggestion of a support group is a good one - if you do, I would suggest being specific about where and when it is and that you don't have to have a problem to go. I really would have benefited from a support group but didn't realise this.

elvisgirl Sat 11-Oct-08 22:47:40

Does your friend understand baby-led/on demand feeding? Maybe you could suggest she tries it to see if it makes baby more settled & mention all the stuff about how they only have tiny tummies, how sometimes they might just feel thirsty or slightly hungry like when we fancy a cup of tea & a biccie but not a full meal & also how sometimes they just like to comfort suck as sucking is a reflex for them. And how even if latch is "fine" it could be improved to make things better.
Also the whole thing about supply & demand - once babe is getting what babe wants both parties may start to enjoy the experience more. A bfing group is a great idea & can help show her how to wean off using the shields.
But also agree she may need more help - bfing is such a big thing, if it's not going right it really feels so awful as it's the most important thing for the baby & you are responsible for it.

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