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Breastfeeding advice needed - 4 day old baby!

(26 Posts)
DaffyDuck88 Thu 27-Dec-12 19:48:40

Oh dd is adorable but my ability to breastfeed is not. Have had to give her some formula as nothing coming through. Breasts engorged today and am in agony. Have tried hot flannels, cold flannels, massaging and using the hand pump. Its all just pain and no gain so far. Any advice or top tips? I really want to do this and am hoping its just down to technique sad

incyspider Thu 27-Dec-12 20:06:45

Hi, firstly I'd recommend the breast and bottle feeding forum there is some really great advice on there

2nd of all if you're really engorged I found it that DD1 found it really hard to latch on because my breasts were so swollen so try to hand express some first if you can. Warm your breast with a flannel first because that can make it easier.

Then nose to nipple wait until her mouth is wide open then bring her to your breast not breast to baby.

I hope that helps a little bit. Have you got a local breast feeding counselling service?

QTPie Thu 27-Dec-12 22:11:53

The nose to nipple thing as above... "tummy to tummy (so the baby faces into you), nose to nipple, stroke her top lip with your nipple (her mouth should open wide, if not repeat the stroke), then pull her onto your nipple (not push your nipple into her mouth)".

Cabbage leaves.

Agree that you must hand pump or use your fingers to pump to release he tension so that baby can latch. I had a Medela Swing pump (electric) and used that.

Check out NCT and La Leche League for local counsellors - pretty sure that hey have emergency (pretty much 24 hour) advice available.

MoonHare Thu 27-Dec-12 22:20:03

My experience has taught me that the best way to establish bf is to feed your baby often. Do NOT leave hours between feeds - a mistake I made with my first because I just couldn't believe she could possibly need feeding so often or for so long each time.

If your breasts are too engorged for baby to latch then express a little but otherwise just feed the baby lots for the first couple of weeks, you'll establish a good supply of milk this way.

Be encouraged that being engorged means your milk has come in, colostrum WILL have been coming through up til today, even if you couldn't see it. Take it one day at a time, you can do it.

Don't feel nervous about contacting your local bf counselling service, there will be one somewhere near to you - google it and if there isn't use one of the national help lines. They offer such wonderful support and the sooner you speak to someone the better.

Best wishes.

DaffyDuck88 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:20:24

Huge thanks incyspider! I hadn't found that thread, reading through it now. I have a hospital appointment on Saturday and details of breast feeding support options but it seems only mumsnet is 24hrs! Am currently sitting here cold compressing boobs, tried hot flannels but was then told I should have used cold. Am dreading the pump again but know it has to be done. Lo just doesn't get anything in the brief moments she does latch on & so gives up & we have to give her formula which is not what I want at all. Can really understand how this can push you to your wits end sad
Will read through the thread, many thanks again for taking the time xx

QTPie Thu 27-Dec-12 22:28:31

Get some advice as soon as you can. How long have you been giving LO formula? On whose advice? MW?

The NHS makes me despair: honestly, the should be an awful lot more support for women who want to try to breastfeed sad


incyspider Thu 27-Dec-12 22:45:47

I agree with QT try and get some RL advice as soon as possible. If you're uncomfortable I also found getting in a hot bath helped and expressing in there. Which felt a bit odd but the relief
This website is great for advice and is often suggested on here this page I'm linking you to has advice for struggling to establish feeding. I have to admit I couldn't get the hang on the pump for a couple of weeks and hand expressed. If you manage to express any into a bottle give that to your DD instead of formula. Remember her stomach is around the size of her palm so she won't need much to fill her.

Wishing you luck and even though I am pro breast feeding remember formula is not poison.

louisianablue2000 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:46:48

Don't give her formula, that will affect your supply, express some BM and cup or syringe feed, NOT bottle at this early stage. Was she weighed at 3 days, what is her weight loss like? If she's not getting enough milk she will have lost a lot of weight (or is this why you've been told to give formula?) and could possibly be dehydrated. Have they tested her blood sugar? If that is OK then she's getting enough.

Get to bed with her and have lots of skin to skin contact. I was told with DD1 (who was term and large but took 3 days to start feeding) to not go longer than 6h between feeds as an absolute maxium. With DS (36 weeks and small, took even longer to start feeding) I fed at least every 3 hours during the day, every 4 hours at night until he started demanding regularly.

Is she your first baby? When I was in hospital with DS it was quite reassuring for me to see than even some FF babies took a while to get to grips with feeding. If you massage your breasts don't do it too hard or you could cause blocked ducts. Wear a supportive bra and feed regularly to balance supply and demand. Don't over express or you'll have major oversupply issues.

You need to speak to a BFing expect, hassle your HV/MW for one tomorrow morning.

DaffyDuck88 Fri 28-Dec-12 02:10:21

Thanks everyone. DD did latch on for first post birth feed but then couldn't get it again. We had been kept in overnight owing to presence of meconium during delivery but all was well so it looked like we could go home. Then the feeding issue arose. As she wasn't latching on properly for more than a few sucks at a time, was advised to feed her some formula via a cup to make sure she was getting something. I have continued to try to get her to latch on but although she seems to search and search for it and make all the right indications that she wants it, she just wont latch and it didn't appear I was producing anything. As a result she has had increasing amounts of formula via the cup and most recently bottle.
Now my breasts are rock hard so I know the milk is there but I've not had much luck expressing it and am even worse at getting lo to accept it.
Think I will definitely try the skin to skin in bed tomorrow if I cant see a consultant or something and just keep at it.

Trying again now, lets see if she's able to latch on now.

Again many thanks for advice. I cant believe how emotional this makes me.

FuriousRox Fri 28-Dec-12 03:25:02

The engorgement stage can be really painful but it will pass so be reassured on that front. You can take paracetamol to ease the pain.

Try to get to a bf clinic/cafe ASAP for help with the latch.

One tiny piece of advice that helped me: when you are bringing the baby onto the breast, make sure she comes in chin first. To help achieve this, try pushing her on not by pushing her head in, but by pushing her on with the heel of your hand between her shoulder blades. Wish I could demonstrate.

Seriously, good luck. It can be painful and confusing at first but so worth sticking with!

MummyElk Fri 28-Dec-12 05:09:03

Google kellymom for some good advice and tips.
I think you need some decent bfing advice, not sure why mw suggested formula so early, your dd's tummy is as big as her clenched gist, no bigger, so she doesn't need masses. At this stage it's all about bonding and supply. Definitely lots of skin to skin.
Can you ask for someone else to show you how to express? Are there infant feeding co-ordinators who can see you?
You're doing a great job and this is totally sortable - you might just need to fight to get the right support. Don't let them give you the easy answers - formula might be a short term stop gap but it won't help you and your bfing relationship long term.
Good luck!

KBwan Fri 28-Dec-12 14:00:49

Congratulations Daffy on your baby girl.

Everyone here has given great advice about breastfeeding, hopefully you've had some success today (and your boobs are starting to feel a bit better!).

As an aside - at your appointment on Saturday, it might be worth asking them to check for tongue tie, which can really affect a baby's ability to latch on... probably won't be, but doesn't hurt to check.
Good luck!

crunchingicicles Fri 28-Dec-12 14:58:31

Also, try some savoy cabbage leaves, packed around your breasts in the bra. Don't wash them, just bung them straight in, but do wash nipple before attempting feeds/expressing. There's something in it that encourages the excess out of the breasts. Be warned, if breasts are hot you may 'cook' the cabbage. The smell is interesting... But the relief is amazing. Even more relief if you put the cabbage in the fridge!

Northumberlandlass Fri 28-Dec-12 15:11:45

I remember being in tears with the pain when my milk came in & told DH to fuck off laughing at me with my massive tits
Lovely lovely MW massaged my breasts, encouraged me to stand in warm shower (it was like milk Niagara falls) and sent my DH out for a few savoy cabbages (still my top tip) - they are amazing.

Once my nipple was actually viable for DS to latch on he did, but it took a few days to sort out the supply/demand bit. I would wake up at night soaking with milk....

Ironically enough when my supply settled down I was paranoid i didn't have enough to feed him! I did of course.

incyspider Fri 28-Dec-12 15:36:14

Thinking about you today OP. Hoping you're feeling a bit better.

DaffyDuck88 Fri 28-Dec-12 20:29:12

Thanks incyspider and everyone else too for your sound advice. I called the community midwives this morning and someone came round a couple of hours later. It was really helpful. Breasts are really full but nipples flat hence lo not able to latch on. Midwife examined my breasts and said all was fine I just have to keep trying to express and presenting to lo. We tried with a nipple shield and to my astonishment she sucked for a full 15 minutes! She didn't manage to draw anything though which has been the cause of all her frustration and my anxiety. But she kept on at it! And has come back to the breast a couple of times since without screaming. Am about to try again now.
Baby was also weighed and all is well, the signs of jaundice have also cleared so thats all good. I feel a lot more relieved just at her having suckled. I've had a hot bath and been hand pumping away all day just to keep nipples the right shape and milk flowing. Midwife was all practical advice and made me feel all wasn't lost, which is a marked achievement on how I was feeling yesterday.
Thanks again everyone. I may still pop up on the breastfeeding thread1

QTPie Fri 28-Dec-12 21:01:11

Sounds very positive - hope it continues to improve smile

FuriousRox Fri 28-Dec-12 21:16:31

Well done! Keep asking for help here and in rl any time you feel you need it - there is loads of support out there, so do use it. And enjoy your new dd, despite the challenges of getting started with the feeding!

incyspider Fri 28-Dec-12 21:17:02

Sounds like a good day and your LO is doing really well smile

DaffyDuck88 Sat 29-Dec-12 14:50:04

Hello everyone, been a good day! I have expressed some milk - hurrah!!!! AND have been sat for the last hour with lo suckling away! With nipple shield but its a start. Am so happy and so so relieved. We're on our way!

incyspider Sat 29-Dec-12 18:48:44

That is great news well done for sticking with it!

crunchingicicles Sat 29-Dec-12 20:29:26

Well done to you both! Hope things continue to improve & you both get to really enjoy it. smile

louisianablue2000 Sun 30-Dec-12 01:04:19

Brilliant! Just to say the merconium may have been a problem, 2 of my DC had merconium in the waters and both took a while to get started feeding but once they started that was it. Just watch out for any nipple pain and speak to a MW/BFing expert to check latch as soon as you experience any pain (it's not inevitable but is spectacularly painful if it does).

NAR4 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:48:25

I had a lot of problems feeding my fourth baby. My nipples were just too big for her to latch on effectively. I had to use nipple shields for about a month until she grew bigger. There are lots of different size nipple shields available, so if you find one doesn't work well, try a different one. Best to not use them though if you can get baby to latch on without.

Feeding the baby when in a nice warm bath can help with let down and allow baby to get some milk, even when they are not latching on very well. Try expressing while sitting in a warm bath and as soon as milk starts flowing, get dh to pass your baby to you. The skin to skin contact also helps you to both stay relaxed and feel close.

Hope all is improving for you. It does get easier.

LaCiccolina Sun 30-Dec-12 22:57:15

It's day 4, honestly it does get easier but u must take it feed by feed. Don't worry about tomorrow at all as its too far in the future. Keep offering ur breast I mean ALL the time. I was she'll shocked by how much dd needed to try before she got it. Was a good week! Then well it started to settle a bit. I felt in the first few days I was barely dressed.

Stay calm and keep posting, always someone on this chat board

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