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I'm in the seventh circle of breastfeeding hell......

(59 Posts)
JetLi Mon 20-Jul-09 00:21:59

DD is 7 days old. Initial breastfeeding was good if painful. Morphine was used in labour and (I blame DP's genes) she is very, very laid back such that demand feeding would mean left to her own devices, she only fed every 6/7 hours which wasn't enough. Advised by midwife & breastfeeding counsellor to wake to feed every 3 hours which we tried, but she refused to latch on leading to both me and her getting increasingly distressed. We'd try for say an hour and then she'd end up with formula in an effort just to get something inside her.
Anyway to cut a long story short, my milk is in, the worst of the engorgement has passed, I'm now pumping - (I'm averaging around 60ml with a 30 minute pump, 15 minutes each side)and we're now feeding her 3 hourly with EBM via bottle and we're got plenty of wet/dirty nappies, and some weight gain and all around a very contented, lovely baby.
Sadly we can't say the same for Mummy because DD refuses entirely to entertain the breast and I feel like an utter shit because I've managed to create a whole nipple confusion thing now which didn't exist before. It's soul destroying. I'm trying to console myslef that she is at least getting breastmilk albeit by an unorthodox method, but how the heck can I re-introduce her love-affair with the breast? I offer at every other feed, after a bit of expressing so the breast is soft and pliable and the nipple is erect and milky, and I offer just for a few minutes, but the poor wee thing seems to be terrified of me and my boobs now and my confidence is at rock bottom. She'll maybe lap a bit at the nipple but then just stares up at me with such a petrified little face and starts to whimper that it breaks my heart. I've tried various positions to no avail.

Shall this too pass? I don't know what to do - breastfeeding counsellor is back on Wednesday and on Thursday we can go to the local drop-in, so help is coming but it seems a long way away and I don't know that time is on our side here.

And I feel so utterly inadequate sad DP is a great support, but I feel as though my daughter is frightened of me.

hercules1 Mon 20-Jul-09 00:29:12

You need to speak to an nct counsellor or la leche league person before then. It is possible to get back to breastfeeding but you need help now. SOme of the advice is lots of skin to skin contact. Make sure you phone someone tomorrow.

mears Mon 20-Jul-09 00:30:07

Have you tried having her skin-to-skin with you without trying to feed her? She may seek the nipple herself if not 'under pressure' to feed. Another thing to try is taking her into the bath. Some times babies take the breast for the first time there as a sort of rebirthing experience. With patience she will learn to breastfeed eventually. Well done on the expressing front. As long as you have milk, you have time smile

treedelivery Mon 20-Jul-09 00:31:47

Oh God love. Poor you. I didn't want to let this go unanswered as it's quite tonight.

Let me think.

You are expressing and doing brilliantly. Thats some time consuming tiring stuff you are doing - so huge pats on the back.

She is not terrified or anything like that, you are projecting this feeling onto her. Look at it again, maybe she is looking up at you in wonder and drinking in your face.

The whimper is her wanting it faster and easier. Fair enough - I feel like that about my dinner too. Try not to take this personally, it is totally understandable.

We have to gradually get the message across that working at the boob is worth it.

Now i need to think how we do this, so I am off to look at Kellymom.

Hang in there. You are beating yourslef to a pulp when in fact - you are putting in a stellar performance. You are coping amazingly well. Your daughter, I know, thinks you are amazing.

hercules1 Mon 20-Jul-09 00:31:57

hope this helps

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 20-Jul-09 00:35:54

You poor thing - I could have written your post about this time last year! I am still BFing DS - so don't give up hope!

Firstly - you are doing so well to persevere. Hard as it may be, remind yourself of that. Your daughter won't be scared of you - until a week ago she was inside you. You and your smell will be only familiar thing to her at the moment

What bottles are you using? We were recommended the Breastflow bottle when we were having the same problems with DS because the way the teat works makes the baby open their mouth wide like they have to for the breast. I suspect that some of the problem may be that the milk isn't coming out of your breast as fast as it does out of the bottle.

I got DS back onto the breast using a nipple shield for about a week/10 days. I weaned him off that by starting the feed using the shield and then taking it off part way through.

What I would suggest in the short term is that you have a babymoon. I really wish someone had suggested it to me! Just stay in bed with DD with your top off so that you can respond to any feeding cues, let her find her own way to the breast.

It will get better - you can do this Ring one of the BF helplines in the morning and talk it through with someone so that you get some support before Wednesday. Good luck

treedelivery Mon 20-Jul-09 00:35:54

Ahhhh Kellymom.

So, when your eyes are less gritty and your feeling fit, you need to read this site and look through it and have a good fish about. Send dh to it too. It rocks.

I love the 'if we have milk we have time'

I love that. That is your mantra until you can get some help tomorrow. There are loads of ways of tackling this - there are many tricks of the trade and gentle methods of retraining dd. It can and will happen for you.

You are not inadequate - you are feeding your child. We just need to cut out the middle man.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 20-Jul-09 00:38:55

Sorry - let me clarify my point about the bottles. The idea with the breastflow is that the baby has to do as much work to get the milk from the bottle as they do directly from you so that you aren't encouraging the bottle as an easy route.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 20-Jul-09 00:41:34

Kellymom is fantastic, so much information.

I love the 'if you have milk you have time' too. Let it quell your panic.

JetLi Mon 20-Jul-09 01:03:44

Thank you so much everyone - I never expected such a flood of responses at this time of night and I'm really grateful for all the info. Reading all your replies has soothed me to such an extent that the milk is fair squirting down the pump right now - I'm sure that is no coincidence.
Breastflow are doing free samples grin so I've signed up for one just now and will hit kellymom and the bath tomorrow with DP.

We have milk - we have time smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 20-Jul-09 01:10:25

Sleep well

treedelivery Mon 20-Jul-09 08:58:10

bumping for any early moring bf gurus out there!

How did you sleep?

tiktok Mon 20-Jul-09 08:58:50

JetLi - some great support and ideas already on here

Skin to skin, and no pressure, is definitely the way to go.Your dd needs to be 'lured' back to your breast on her terms - she is not 'confused', she's just had a few struggles at the breast which have (temporarily) turned her off...there may have been some midwifery-led pushing and shoving, and tense insistence (an hour trying on the breast will have wound you both up ).

So....the breast can be a peaceful, loving place from now on. Keep her close, hold her in biological nurturing positions (google it), and feed her ebm in a bottle so you know she is getting well-nourished, and you become less worried about whether she actually feeds from the breast.

When she starts to re-discover her instinct to snuggle into the breast, you know you are on your way

treedelivery Mon 20-Jul-09 09:00:31

Ahhh TikTok.
Knew you were out there wink

TheProvincialLady Mon 20-Jul-09 09:21:41

Good morning, hope you got some sleepsmile

Something you could try in addition to the other things is to bottle feed with your top off and your DD in just a nappy, holding the bottle right next to your nipple and your DD in a similar position to BF. I found with DS1 that it helped to reinforce the idea that breasts were nice snuggly places to be and that there would be milk.

TheProvincialLady Mon 20-Jul-09 09:26:09

Oh and also, are you pumping with a single pump? If you can get hold of a double then you will halve your workload - and double pumping increases your milk. This is a really good pump ameda lactaline

JetLi Mon 20-Jul-09 11:22:34

Hi - had a good night, pumped and fed at 7 this morning and I pumped again at 10am, electric on one side and manual on the other so effectively double-pumping and that was sooo much faster, and I took off 90ml so thanks for that advice TheProvincialLady - will also investigate the double pumps.

Thank you tiktok - Did a couple of hours skin to skin this morning so far as well - she fell fast asleep so this was why it was a long spell. She is stirring now and I have the EBM all ready to go.

Rang the local Mothercare and they have the Breastflow bottles in stock so I think DP will nip out for us in a little while - the TT teats do seem very "easy" for her.

I'll go feed her topless now smile

fishie Mon 20-Jul-09 11:30:18

good work jetli. i didn't get ds to latch on for five days and was quite beside myself. when he did the latch was not good but i was so relieved i didn't do anything about it until it was very bad.

so when she does do it make sure it isn't hurting, the suggestions here are great for getting a good initial latch.

logrrl Mon 20-Jul-09 11:32:27

just an idea, and I am not a mummy who thinks that slings are the answer to everything...hee hee...but if you wear a wrap sling (am sure you are familiar, but bigmamaslings is where I got educated) you can put baby right next to your boobs, froggie style, for a lovely snuggle and a sniff wink with no pressure. You sound like a wonderful mum and I wish you luck!

TheNatty Mon 20-Jul-09 11:51:11

sorry you are having so much trouble jetli, going thru a similar thing here where DS doesnt like one of my boobs, and refuses it quite often. hmm
the girls on our postnatal thread will give u extra support im sure xx

ExistentialistCat Mon 20-Jul-09 22:00:35

I'm in the 7th circle of bf hell, too, JetLi!

DD is 2 1/2 weeks old and has had difficulties latching on and staying latched on and sucking if she does manage it. She becomes very distressed very quickly. We had high hopes when mild tongue tie was diagnosed and corrected, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Biological nurturing, every bf position imaginable, doidy cups, loads of skin-to-skin, feeding in th bath, finger feeding with a syringe -you name it, we've tried it. And we've had loads of support from health professionals. I did draw the line at the lactation consultant's advice to stop showering and using deodorant, though!

I got so distressed about the whole thing that the local bf clinic ordered us a week's holiday from attempting to bf DD. In the meantime, I've been expressing every 2 hours. Whilst it's great not to have to battle with a distraught baby, the constant pumping has left me more or less housebound and comes with its own pressure of making enough milk (we've had to top up with formula as I cannot keep up with DD's voracious appetite, even though I'm expressing in the region of 600-700 mls in 24 hours!!).

I'm exhausted and seriously question whether all this is worth it...

fishie Mon 20-Jul-09 22:06:54

poor you existentialistcat. how are you feeling with it all? i'm no expert but a whole week seems rather a long time to not attempt bf, esp with top ups.

jetli hope your day has gone well.

JetLi Tue 21-Jul-09 01:32:41

Oh I'm sorry existentialistcat - that's really awful for you. I agree about the pumping - it's hard going. I'm eating loads of porridge as it's meant to help with the milk production. A double electric pump should be arriving tomorrow here. I've tried the Breastflow bottle for 2 feeds this afternoon - she seemed a bit puzzled to begin with but soon got the hang of it. I'm hoping that will help us along. Have you been advised to try nipple shields at all? We've done lots of skin-to-skin this afternoon and I got her to at least lap at the nipple and do a bit of snuffling and rooting around but that was all. Just done a pump and getting ready for some sleep. Back up at 3 to pump again.

fishie Tue 21-Jul-09 08:45:30

that sounds good jetli, have you tried having a bath together, or google 'biological nurturing' you should get some vids of babies self attaching - sorry can't link myself am blocked at work.

JetLi Tue 21-Jul-09 20:16:20

I'm hoping to try a bath together tonight. No further progress today sadly although I have managed to get 1 feed ahead with the pumping so have 1 reserve in the fridge.

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