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HELP day 5, given formla cos i can't face the pain, dh upset, i'm upset (LONG)

(45 Posts)
craftynclothy Thu 13-Aug-09 12:04:45

dd2 born on sat.

wouldn't latch on initially...i have large flat nipples and she's definitely struggled with them (she was only 6lb 5oz and it just all seems so big for her).

started by drip feeding every feed and trying to latch. plenty of colostrum/milk.

dd started to latch on after drip feeding on day 3. Had a huge feed that afternoon, then slept 5 hours. hadn't hads a wet nappy for 24 hrs so called (independent) mw who came out. typically dd latched while she was coming out & started making wet nappies afterwards.

while mw was here she checked my latch and said it was good. I was finding nipples a bit sore afterwards but she said it was all fine, just me getting used to it.

Had mw visit next morning, dd2 had latched on at every feed through night (every 2 hours) without drip feeding. mw (different one) checked latch cos i said it was uncomfortable and said it's fine. also said that it's me getting used to it and will pass. also told me to get lansinoh which we did

each feed has got more and more painful. I don't feel like the latch is right tbh - i feel she only really get5s my nipple in.

ended up begging dh just to take her away from last night sad. he rang mw who told me to massage the breast, express a small amount so dd got the taste and would latch on quickly.

did that feed (through the pain). tried to sleep afterwards but couldn't for worrying about next feed.

did next feed crying and screaming with the pain. spent the rest of the morning crying, told dh to go get formula. even now (about 6 hours after last feed) i can hardly bear to touch my breasts.

dd has now had 2 formula feeds. dh is upset cos it's not as good as breastmilk (though he doesn't want me to be in the pain i was in last night either). i'm upset and don't know what to do.

all i know is i can't face latching her on again. one nipple has bruise across it.

can anyone help/advise?

(thanks if you've got this far)

muddleduck Thu 13-Aug-09 12:28:19

Phone the NCT breast feeding help line
They are really really helpful.

0300 33 00 771

Good luck smile

philmassive Thu 13-Aug-09 12:31:20

I'm not an expert but I have BF'd my 2 ds's (still doing one at 2.5 years but that's another story!)

It sounds like the latch isn't right as you say, if you have a bruise that sounds wrong.

Is there any chance that you can get your midwife, HV or even a friend who's had some BF experience to come and sit with you?

You can do it, you really can, but it's to do with feeling like you can as much as anything else. And 5 days in I'm sure you're feeling tired and emotional and shell shocked, that's normal!

Some things I found helpful were remembering the 'tummy to mummy' thing - hold babe so they are facing you, looking under your arm, so to speak. And get some support for your arms with a big pillow to help you keep them in the right position - it's easy to let your baby tip away from you if you have tired arms.

Also (and I know that this is a tall order with bruised boobs and another dd in the house) it really helped me to just sit and cuddle my ds's and feed whenever they wanted at the beginning. The more they feed the more the milk flows as I'm sure you know.

Also I was wondering if it would be helpful to just express a little bit of milk before feeding to stop you being so swollen and uncomfortable and also maybe make it easier for babe to latch on?

Finally, weird though it sounds the old wives tale of a cabbage leaf (dark one, not the sort you put in coleslaw!) really did help me with my sore boobs - that and kamillosan.

Hang in there, it sounds like you're doing a good job but need some support. I'll be sending you positive vibes, if that's any help grin

muddleduck Thu 13-Aug-09 12:36:03

Sorry if my post seemed impersonal.
I just think that this is the time to get advice from the experts. The NCT people really know their stuff and I worry that you might get overloaded with lots of well-meaning but contradictory advice on here.

tiktok Thu 13-Aug-09 12:43:02

I agree with muddleduck - I am an NCT breastfeeding counsellor and you really need to talk to someone about this. Talkboards are fine, but they can be so confusing when you are upset.

Speak to someone - it may be you need to ask for specialist help face to face...this could be a counsellor if one available or a midwife.

You need help today. Don't leave it until tomorrow or we are then into the weekend.

Good luck.

SilverStuddedBlue Thu 13-Aug-09 12:50:28

didn't read your post properly but...find someone who recognises thrush, if you have any suspicions at all. It does occur in your nipples and is agony; like being stabbed with burning knives as the baby feeds. Mine interspersed with mastitis (had both 3 times). Gets worse with time.

It is not uncommon but wasn't quickly picked up in my case because of inexperienced hv. 1 magic pill sorted it each time.

Sent you this with well-meaning but no medical credentials...your story of pain increasing with each feed rang bells...ditto crying thro' feeds and hv response to pain of "sore nipples"'s worth persevering, if you really want to BF.

mum2JRC Thu 13-Aug-09 12:53:50

I've not got enough time to do a proper long post. My first son I had terrible problems getting him to get a good latch.
It's normal for you to experience slight tenderness for the first few days after birth but by the sounds of it your feeling more pain than this.

Are you making sure your baby's mouth is very open and wide when latching on. I think you've mentioned it but hand expressing a bit before she latches will draw the nipple out before she latches on.

Is she getting lots of wet and dirty nappies now? By now you would probably be wanting 5 or 6 wet nappies with a couple of dirty nappies each day.

I would suggest you need to see someone that specialises in breastfeeding to get the appropriate support with your daughters latch.
You could phone a breastfeeding helpline for advice. NCT, La leche league and there is others.
The NCT breastfeeding support line is 0870 444 0708 as apart from advice on the telephone there might be someone who can come to visit you and look at her latch.

If your not able to feed her directly to your breast I would keep expressing every few hours to ensure a supply then your daughter could also have what you've expressed. If your not wanting to give bottles this can be given in a cup.

I hope that helps a bit.

wukter Thu 13-Aug-09 12:53:54

Hi Crafty, just to add a note of support, the same thing happened to me in the first week, DD was on formula for almost 24 hours. It was a godsend, DP fed her, I got a patch of sleep, boobs recuperated slightly (I second Kammillosan). The break did me the power of good I returned to BF exclusively now, 7 weeks on, so don't feel you have "missed the boat" so to speak with BF'ing. You may well return with renewed vigour after the little break from it, as I did. I am sure you will get plenty of support & excellent advice here (again, as I did!) Good luck with whatever you decide smile

thehairybabysmum Thu 13-Aug-09 13:00:26

I found feeding v. painful with ds1 as he fed v quickly i think. A nipple shield helped. They are not recommended by some but in my case it meant i could carry on feeding him myself rather than a bottle.

My ds could feed with or without them s it didnt seem to affect him. Boots sell them.

DitaVonCheese Thu 13-Aug-09 14:50:52

Just wanted to send support. Agree it sounds as though you need specialist help. Good luck and congrats on your new baby

NigellaTufnel Thu 13-Aug-09 14:55:41

If you have flat nipples you may have to do two handed bf.
When feeding on left breast, take left hand and support/ gently push your breast up, to make the nipple more pointy.

Maybe that will help

jimbobsmummy Thu 13-Aug-09 15:30:17

I had exactly the same problem. It was so painful I was crying with pain. One morning I was feeding him and his mouth was full of blood from my nipples. Everyone said the latch was right etc etc but it obviously wasn't working. He wasn't gaining weight (dropped below 0.4th centile) and was jaundiced. Every feed he was getting distressed, as was I. We topped him up with formula, just because we had no option really.

The only solution to the problem for me was nipple shields which transformed things instantly. At 14 weeks he is now breastfed except for a night time bottle which I kept going for my own sanity. He also no longer uses the shields now.

If I had listened to the doom-mongering from the various breastfeeding counsellors about how awful nipple shields were and just continued doing what they said was correct, I have no doubts I would have stoppped breastfeeding him at all by about 3 weeks old.

Now I don't say that nipple shields will be the answer for everyone, but for me they were a lifesaver!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 13-Aug-09 15:40:18

Message withdrawn

jimbobsmummy Thu 13-Aug-09 15:54:32

Well all I can say is that the 'expert' real life help was in my case utterly useless.

''Also Breastfeeding Councellors DO NOT spout doom and gloom about nipple shields, just unsupervised nipple shield usage because if you don't do it right it WILL end the bfing.''

2 midwifes, 3 different breastfeeding advisors in person at the breastfeeding drop ins and goodness knows how many phone calls to the NCT and LLL helplines.

Every one of them said don't ever use nipple shields as it will stop you breastfeeding. Its normal to have pain, just persist, etc etc. Which frankly was terrible advice.

I would have been happy to have been 'supervised' using them, (whatever that means) if any of the numerous people had suggested that, but none of them did. So I did it myself, unsupervised, and you know what, it didn't end breastfeeding at all. But not using them would have done.

Dodgy anecdote or not (how rude, by the way) this was my situation. It wasn't advice in any way, I was just telling her what my story was.

tiktok Thu 13-Aug-09 15:59:05

I have never told a mother nipple shields are 'awful' and not to use them ever. I do explain the downsides. I think that's important. Shields can occasionally help.

" Its normal to have pain, just persist, etc etc. Which frankly was terrible advice."

It certainly is terrible to say that - I don't think NCT counsellors say that, or they shouldn't. I don't think the words 'just persist' have ever passed my lips, to be honest! Neither 'just persevere'. Neither 'it's normal to have pain'.

jimbobsmummy Thu 13-Aug-09 16:00:26

Sorry, make that 4 different breastfeeding advisors. I forgot the one at the hospital.

grouchyoscar Thu 13-Aug-09 16:02:51

Crafty Sending you good vibes and support. You're doing really well, the early days are horrid. I have flat nipples, they did pop out for me to feed DS but have flattened since I stopped (bah!) They took time to pop out tho hmm Remember it's breast feeding, not nipple feeding

If your latch is good, get the MW/Doc to check out why it's so painful, pain is usually caused by a poor latch so it may be something else. Keep expressing and drip feeding if you are in pain, that way your milk supply will be maintained. Rubbing your milk into your nipples helps with soreness and cracking.

You can do this, he trick is to relax, believe in yourself and get help from the profs to check there isn't an underlying problem.

All the best with this. Sending cabbage leaf vibes your way

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 13-Aug-09 16:05:01

Message withdrawn

Chulita Thu 13-Aug-09 16:05:35

Just to say congrats on your new baby and I hope you get the support you need. BFing can be v tricky but there are lots of people who can help. I hope you get someone helpful and supportive. [hugs]

jimbobsmummy Thu 13-Aug-09 16:08:13

Examples of conversations with feeding advisors -

'The latch is fine. If you have inverted nipples pain is normal as they are tethered under the skin and they are getting pulled out. But if you don't keep on with it you won't get the supply... etc etc.

I said 'but it is so inverted he can't get it in his mouth...' 'Of course he can, inverted nipples don't stop you feeding, you just need to let him get the hang of it, the latch is fine.'

'you really don't want to use the nipple shields, they are really bad and likely will cause all sorts of problems and reduce your supply' 'what, more than not feeding him at all?' well, do what you like, but we don't advise them'


Perhaps if you had been there tiktok I might have got better advice! I've asked before, what area do you work in?

PotPourri Thu 13-Aug-09 16:14:26

Message withdrawn

tiktok Thu 13-Aug-09 16:14:40

Can't tell you what area, jimbobs - 'tis a secret ;)

It is in the UK, though.

None of those conversations were with NCT bfcs, I sincerely hope

Shields can cause problems, though....the benefits have to outweigh the risks.

trixymalixy Thu 13-Aug-09 16:19:45

Hi crafty,

Fellow august ante natal threader having problems too.

DD is 3 days old and I have terrible cracked nipples and finding feeding painful. You'd think having BF DS for 2 years it would be easier this time round!!!

I had horrible cracked nipples with Ds as well and ended up using nipple shields to get through the pain. It was toe-curlingly painful latching on, but nipple shields definitely helped me persevere.

A bruise means the latch is not right though, so it might be an idea to get a counsellor out. Do you have the Bounty pack? i was looking throught the booklet in there and there's some good pictures showing how to latch on.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 13-Aug-09 16:25:41

Message withdrawn

joyjac Thu 13-Aug-09 16:29:25

Nipple shields might provide temporary relief and get you over this hump OP, but if you have large nipples be careful they are not going to get 'pinched' in the shield.
Has your baby been assessed for tongue-tie? It can be the cause of severe nipple pain/trauma. Do try to express, both to keep your supply up and to give to the baby. It will keep your options open and may give you the break you need to heal.
I would definitely encourage you to get an RL expert,.NCT, LLL or whoever is in your locality. Not all midwives are BF experts. sad

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