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Bit of reassurance for 5 weeks breastfeeding struggles

(8 Posts)
Skillbo Tue 21-Jul-09 11:39:44

I am hoping that someone will be able to make me feel a bit better about my breatsfeeding as still struggling five weeks in!

My first child was born in mid June and I am determined to continue to feed her myself. However, we don't seem to have got the hang of feeding and each feed is still very painful. I think her latch is quite shallow as my nipple comes out all squished and blanched and I can see she hasn't got a huge mouthful of breast. I don't know whether this is due to the size of my boobs (pretty big so I think she closes her mouth before I can shove her fully onto the boob!)

I have seen a breatsfeeding counsellor several times (and will be going to see her again at 1pm today) but any advice or just reassurance that it can take this long to get it right, would be great,...

I am just worried that I have instilled bad habits in her which can't be sorted out now...

Cheepz Tue 21-Jul-09 12:28:50

it took me 12 weeks of trying all sorts of things including using nipple shields for every breastfeed from week 4 to week 12 and supplementing with occasional bottles when he was hungry and I didn't have enough milk - he was a 10 pounder. Then after 12 weeks perserverence I tried him off the shield (tried once every day!!) and he latched. Basically because my nipples were quite flat (sorry if TMI) it was like he was trying to latch onto a slippery apple, and it took a while for him to develop a technique and for the shields and feeding to draw me out enough for him to latch.

after that he fed til 8 months naturally with no problems.

get all the help you can but try not to panic about using shields or bottles to take some of the pressure off - people put too much pressure on themselves and the thing noone warns you about is that breastfeeding can be really hard and you and the baby need to learn how to do it. you only ever see images of babies latching on in and instant and happily suckling away, but its not like that for lots of people.

good luck and perservere

IsItMeOr Tue 21-Jul-09 12:32:10

Hello Skillbo - my little one is 4.5months now, and I can remember these early days well. Yes, 5 weeks is still early days.

Is she growing/thriving okay? By which I mean to say, don't worry too much if she's not following the weight charts, but does she seem generally okay and doing normal tiny baby things - regular wet nappies, some periods of wakefulness during the day, crying!

If she is, then that's the first hurdle crossed, your body is obviously giving her the nourishment she needs.

But if it's hurting you, obviously something needs to be tweaked. You are doing the right thing seeing the BF counsellor to help you with your latch. My nipples were (ahem) "crusty" for the first 6-8weeks as I recall. And it was definitely past a couple of months I think when the first few sucks stopped being really uncomfortable/painful for me.

I didn't get my latch sorted properly until way after 5 weeks (hence crusty nipples), and baby just seemed to suck harder and more enthusiastically when he needs to up the supply.

So I would say, try to relax, trust yourself and your baby, and it will almost certainly all be fine.


giantkatestacks Tue 21-Jul-09 12:33:22

Skillbo - congrats! I think with my 1st that it took about 6 weeks for us really to get the hang of it and we really struggled until then.

Ask the counsellor about different positions - I remember being too impatient to start feeding and so I wasnt waiting long enough for my ds to open his mouth wide enough so the latch was often wrong.

Does the pain continue through the feed or is it just at the very beginning?

IsItMeOr Tue 21-Jul-09 12:33:46

Cheepz you are so right about those pictures - never of newborns though, are they? Methinks there is a good reason for that!

Skillbo Tue 21-Jul-09 17:07:56

Thanks for all your kind comments - it's always nice to know you're not alone with these things and I guess I shouldn't worry that we're not blissfully feeding like all the ads yet.

Isitmeor - she's putting on weight fine (she gained over a pound in a week a while back) so as you say, she is getting what she needs - I just need to persevere...

The counsellor has now got her climbing up my belly and putting herself on (really primal but fascinating to watch)which we've just tried for the first time at home a minute ago and she came off herself and seemed satisfied for the first time that I can remember in a long time so, although horribly impractical for when we're out and about, it will hopefully teach her how to latch properly and then we'll be off and running.

Thanks again - will keep going as it is lovely when we get it right!!

splodge2001 Tue 21-Jul-09 17:32:29

Hello skillbo

5wks,8wks, 12 wks pain even! It does eventually get better - IT ALWAYS DOES - just remember that,

I had horrible pain with DS until 8wks. thought that with DD it would be different - It was different - even worse!!!

she had tongue tie - worth checking for, and a small mouth. I got the tongue tie smipped but it still hurt - had lots of intervention with LCs but nothing helped so I gave up trying and just waited. She still squashes my nipples but the pain hAS GONE. if shes gaining well then even if they dont show you a magic solution
just rememvber that when her mouth is bigger it will b easier and your nipples will be less senitive

hope this helps - pelling getting worse due to 'painfree' feeding DD right ow

IsItMeOr Tue 21-Jul-09 17:54:53

Climbing up your belly?! Blimey, that sounds like v.advanced baby feeding. Glad it sounds as if it is working better for you.

And well done on that weight gain - you are clearly doing very well.

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