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Can someone please help me... had NO help from HV or BFC...

(18 Posts)
worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 10:45:45

Please help me with this, I don't know what else to do; I am getting close to giving up, which I really do not want to do. I can't get any help off my HV, whos solution was to give DS a bottle. No help from the BFC at the children's centre either, who's solution was 'do you think it might be time to just give up?'. Sorry if the post seems a bit jumbled, I don't know where to start really...

DS is 15 weeks. For the last 3 weeks feeding has become progressively worse, with fighting, crying, pulling on and off the nipple, I am really starting to run out of energy. I am starting to worry that it is starting to have an impact on my supply, as when I wake up in the morning, I don't feel as though I am going to explode, which is usually the case. I don't think the problem is my supply though, as after a feed, I can still get off 3-4 ozs expressing. At about 7 weeks, I started using nipple shields, after 7 weeks of cracked and bleeding nipples, and feeding was great, but I noticed that my boobs weren't emptying properly. I was feeding without the shields for at least one feed a day at this stage, maybe two. I decided to stop using the nipple shields, and for about 2 weeks, this was fine, and DS was feeding okay. My supply shot up, so I was really happy. At this stage, I could get about 6 ozs off one side if DS decided to only feed off one side for a change. Then DS starting pulling off the nipple and crying about 2-3 minutes into a feed. I know the problem wasn't supply, as when he would come off the nipple, I could see the milk pouring out, even squirting out sometimes. He has never had a problem dealing with fast let-down either, carrying on feeding through coughing and spluttering sometimes! It would never bother him enough to come off the nipple. But now he was coming off, arching his back, and going red in the face with crying. I tried winding him, but this didn't seem to be the problem either. So, as he was really hurting me coming off and on the nipple, I would use the shields again if feeding turned into a fight, and this would immedietly settle him. If I then took the nipple shield off again, he would know straight away, and start fighting and screaming again. However, we have now got to the stage where the nipple shields arn't calming him anymore. He still pulls off and on the nipple nearly every other suck, which means the nipple shield keeps coming off my nipple, and the whole thing is hugely frustrating.

I have tried feeding him in every position going, it makes no difference. I have tried feeding him in a different room to usual, this makes no difference. Every feed is a huge fight until he gets that tired that he falls asleep on my boob. He has been teething for a few weeks, and has one tooth coming through where his fang would be, so I wonder if it is that that is bothering him. But I have tried teething gel before/ during a feed, and this doesn't have any effect. I have tried Calpol before a feed, and this doesn't help either. I don't know if he is reacting to my milk and it is hurting his stomach? I was lactose intolerant until I was about 18 months old, and I am wondering whether this could be something similar? However, when he has expressed milk in a bottle on a rare occasion, he takes it fine with no fighting.

I just don't know what to do. I don't really have any BF support in RL, and my HV is a waste of time. He has only put on 10ozs in 3 weeks now, so its only a matter of time before I start getting more pressure to start giving him formula, and I really didn't want that to be a decision I was forced in to. The BFC even said to me 'I'm not used to speaking to breastfeeding mums around here' and asked me to think about maybe it being time to give up. I want to go to at least 6 months

Please help!!

ProfessorLaytonIsMyZombieSlave Tue 20-Oct-09 10:50:00

I don't have specific advice (just massive sympathy as you are doing a great job under really difficult circumstances), but bumping for someone who does...

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 10:52:16

Also, forgot to say... my mum is a children's nurse, and she has checked in his mouth for me and can see no signs of thrush. Also, he is generally a really happy baby, lots of shouting and gurgling, no temperature, so I don't think its an ear infection or anything like that either. I just don't know what to do. The last two nights, his last feed has been awful, its ended in tears for both of us I can feel myself getting frustrated because I am just getting no help, and just want to be able to sort this out. No wonder there are no breastfeeding mums in this area with this type of support...

ChairmumMiaow Tue 20-Oct-09 10:52:32

I don't know how to help you here, but can I suggest you call a 'proper' breastfeeding counsellor on one of the helplines. The people at breastfeeding groups are often peer supporters who are not trained to help with really difficult situations!

Anyway, try NCT or LLL

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 10:52:55

Okay let's start from the beginning, I'm sorry you aren't getting the support you need but you are doing really well thus far, sounds like you've had a shitty time and well done for perservering.

Okay, stop expressing unless you have some reason for doing so. You will be making your life more busy than it needs to be - as you say you have plenty of milk.

The reason he's pulling off/turning away is probably a mixture of teething and also that the world is suddenly very interesting because he's starting to move about.

May I suggest you try letting him feed and if he pulls off, say 'no' very clearly and take him off (put your finger in his mouth to break the seal.) If necessary put him on the floor. He will wail in disgust that his game has been stopped. Calm him down and try again and do this as many times as necessary to get the message across that doing this makes mummy's boob go away. He will get the message.

Also try applying teething gel before feeds and yes Calpol is good but Neurofen for children is much better for teething babies as it is anti-inflammatory as well as painkilling

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 10:52:58

thanks Professor

Bucharest Tue 20-Oct-09 10:53:49

Telephone one of the 2 numbers Chairmum has linked to- LLL in particular saved my sanity on more than one occasion- they will also reply via email if you prefer. smile

mrsmhaAARRrrket Tue 20-Oct-09 10:54:55

i woudl second chairmumMiaow, hope you have better luck there sweetheart xx

do you think hemay be ready for weaning? this may be something lll can help you with?

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 10:59:10

He's 15 weeks - so no, not ready for weaning hmm

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 11:05:40

Thanks everyone

Really want to wait until as near to 26 weeks as I can re: weaning. That's also something people in RL are super keen for me to start with too. I just feel like I'm constantly fighting against what people want me to do (in RL), and that for some reason breastfeeding until 6 months, and wanting to wait until weaning is seen as being almost hippy-ish and a bit extreme ... hmm

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 11:16:02

Sorry to hear all this. Please complain about the 'bfc' at the children's centre. No 'real' bfc would say this. I get very cross at this, and quite sad, as it means me and my colleagues (who are breastfeeding counsellors) get tarred with the same brush.

Your baby sounds healthy and thriving. The weight history is well within normal. There is no indication he needs solids or formula.

I think you need to be closely observed by an experienced person who knows what to look for - you can call the breastfeeding helplines and find someone in your area who is available to arrange this. I can't even begin to guess what's happening, except I can say breastfeeding is not usually like this and struggles and fights at the breast can be fixed.

I hope you find the right help.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 11:17:14

You are absolutely right to wait on the weaning - his intestines are not yet even sealed and to wean him now will increase his risk of food allergies and also not solve your problem.

Now it sounds to me like you are a very sensible mum who is just feeling a bit fed up with the problems every mum goes through with babies. They do change their behaviour and have problems like this - and you'll cope with it very well I'm sure. Don't let people get to you and just ignore them. You clearly have your head screwed on, you just need a bit of practical advice on how to keep on doing what you are doing.

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 11:25:55

Thanks tiktok- there just seems to be no breastfeeding support around here. I went to a support group when DS was 4-5 weeks old, and I was the only one that turned up!! It was run by 'little angels' then, and a woman came around to the house a couple of times to help me with the feeding, and in the end, the thought that DS had thrush in his mouth, and that diagnosis helped with the feeding problems we were having early on. But a few weeks ago, I had a letter from them saying that their funding had been cut, and they couldn't carry on with the regular visits they had planned with me, and since then, I have not seen any little angels people at the children's centre. Are they still going do you know?

Thank you whomoved, they are nice things to hear!!

wukter Tue 20-Oct-09 11:26:24

Amy, it seems to me to be connected to the nipple shields, he is being fed with shields, breast and bottles of EBM. Plus the fact of your supply increasing and decreasing, he nay be a bit confused. I have no advice - but your story rings bells for me regarding my own similar aged DD - we haven't cracked it yet for her. Maybe the teething kicked in at the same time as change in feeding practise? Sorry, this is no help really, but it may be something to consider.

worriedamy Tue 20-Oct-09 11:32:43

wukter I did wonder if it was a bit of nipple confusion too? He only very rarely gets a bottle btw, maybe 4-5 times since he was born. But when I stopped using the nipple shields, he was okay for a couple of weeks... and now, the nipple shields don't calm him down. Actually, they either don't make any difference, or he just falls asleep. Have you found a solution?

tiktok Tue 20-Oct-09 11:39:33

I'd be looking at what role shields have played too...but honestly, amy, your next step should be to get someone to watch and assess based on their own observation as well as what you are telling them.

At the moment, you are trying a whole list of things and combination of things, and I think you might be muddying the waters.

Little Angels seems to be still going - I have just checked their website. Give them a call???

wukter Tue 20-Oct-09 12:07:34

Well, our DD just started rejecting (furiously) the odd bottle she was getting and fussy (furiously fussy) on the breast at the same time, as you describe your little man. Like you we have slow weight gain issues. I gave up on bottles and was basically sitting around all day topless with baby snacking. Things are a bit better now but I have to go back to work in 5 weeks and am worrying... So no - no solution! But it was confusion.

Do as Tiktok says! She is always right smile

dilbertina Tue 20-Oct-09 13:14:50

Just wanted to add..don't panic about the weight too much it does slow down so much as they grow - my dd put on NO weight from 14-17 weeks - seemed fine in herself, I only had her weighed because I was in having her injections done. My HV just said to keep an eye, and it was probably a combination of me being extra busy and bit stressed with moving house plus breast-fed babies often plateau a bit around the 4 month mark. DD is now 28 weeks, recently started weaning but otherwise she has just been breastfed. I did check her weight a couple of times after the 17 week check but mostly I relied on the fact she was alert, obv. developing fine and has continued to be frankly rather podgy looking!

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