Crying buckets over breastfeeding 6 day old. Help!(74 Posts)
So I had my beautiful boy on Friday but didn't get out of hospital until Tuesday because of problems with feeding (trouble getting latched; having to express; topping up with formula).
I used nipple shields at first which helped him latch but not very well I don't think as my nipples were getting mashed flat after feeding. So decided to stop using them & had many a power struggle to get him to latch without. Managed it but each feed still starts of with a struggle as he cries his head off & goes a bit frantic. Then when he does latch it is shallow (nipple looks a teeny bit mashed when finished) & he tends to get sleepy.
I am crying SO much over this as his hungry cries really upset me, and make me feel I'm not providing. He usually cries not long after feeding & has to be cup fed formula. I am also worried that my milk supply is not being built up properly as my breasts still feel very soft after the last feed.
I just don't know how to get him to latch properly (and I do know all about the 'nose to nipple' thing etc) & make sure my milk doesn't dry up.
I failed on the breast feeding, my dd spent 2 weeks in the baby unit, they had given her the bottle on a couple of occasions, I had lots of help trying to bf but in the end I couldn't cope it was like a fight and i couldnt cope with seeing how upset dd got and that made me feel miserable and really stressed. I tried expressing too but wasn't getting enough but perhaps gave in too quickly.
Sometimes I wish id persevered a bit longer, especially when heating up bottles in the night and more so when dd had colic and constipation, oh and the expense of formula. However the bonus is I immediately relaxed once I switched to formula, I know exactly how much dd is getting and even better I can share the night feeds a little which is such a bonus!
Don't continue to feel upset or stressed though, if you can be happy, relaxed and enjoy your baby in the precious early days I would say that is so much more beneficial. Your giving bf a good go and if formula is the way its the way.
My baby had an uncertain start in life but is thriving, happy healthy and content on formula and so am I!
Given that the midwife wasn't very helpful in general, can I suggest that you get a second opinion re tongue tie. A lot of midwifes have absolutely no training on this (my son lost 16% of his birth weight in the first 5 days, and he saw several midwifes, doctors and HVs before I finally saw a BF expert who spotted his TT). They are especially hard to spot for the untrained if they are a posterior TT.
Lovely to see some more great advice today . If your hospital don't hire out pumps, try your local branch of the nct, assuming that you are in the uk of course .
Just wondered if you'd read this on healing nipples, this on latch and this on relactation.
Agree with looking at jelonet, breast shields, taking painkillers and bothering the hell out of MWs and BFCs till you get the support you need and deserve .
O an i should said, while I am probably not the majority against the predication of all the HV's my milk is only now drying up.
My two penneth:
If you want to bf - get rl help re latch.
if you are not that fussed its don't beat yourself up; mix or go for straight formula.
I bf for a week then due to pain, digestion and weight gain mix fed till 3 months and then switched to formula. DD is thriving.
I am very pro breast feeding (its free! Natural and undeniably best in an ideal work). That said I am but very anti women beating themselves up over it and / or it being such an issue if they have problems that it detracts from enjoying the newborn stage.
By close I mean so baby has only a tiny weeny gap for air and was held closer/higher!
I had BFing problems which took about 4 weeks to overcome with lots of tears and pain but eventually it clicked into place. My issue was that I wasn't holding baby close enough at all. Once I had him pulled really into me and he got a bigger mouthful it all started to work. not sure if this relates to you but please do get some rl help.
I found advice by Jack Newman and these videos helpful when I was struggling.
Good on you for perservering. :-)
Just wanted to add, if you are not bf and are pumping to maintain supply, it's very important to express 8-10 times in 24 hours including some of those sessions at night. Hire a hospital grade double pump if you can. Give the ebm to your lo and top up if necessary.
You do not need to sterilise your pump or any other cups, syringes or other stuff you've used whilst expressing so long as it has only had ebm on it. Washing thoroughly in hot soapy water is sufficient so long as your baby was full term and not low birth weight. You do need to sterilise anything that's had ff in it though.
Consider cup, syringe or spoon feeding rather than bottles as this should make it easier to make the switch back to direct bf.
Get rl help from a specialist as soon as you can.
sorry if you mention this - but have you tried nipple shields? I used them for 2/3 days and they allowed me to heal....and then I got back onto putting baby to the breast.
if you want to BF, the longer you go without putting the baby to your breast the harder it will be to get it going again - I know how agonising it is, I also wept with pain! but you really need RL support in the form of someone sitting with you going through your latch - an expert not an unfriendly midwife.
Can your dP drive you down to a BF group? and well done by the way for getting this far through the pain. its horrible.
have you asked your hospital if there is a BF expert midwife ?
Thanks all for your advice & support. I will definitely look into those burns dressings to get healed up & find a nearby bf group to go to.
I'll update further down the line - hopefully singing & dancing about bf success!
And if you still want bfing or mix feeding to work, I'd ask Mn to move the thread as there are some BFCs who post in the bottle and breast section
married yes the advice has changed. The ware has to be 70c. Lots of people think they need the water this hot to kill of the bacteria in the water but that's not the issue. The water has to be 70c to kill of the bacteria in the formula.
I think these are the latest guidelines, but please correct me if I'm wrong
Bit late to the thread, but just wanted to say that was me nearly 14 years ago, and I remember vividly how upsetting it was. I persevered for 6 weeks, crying every feed and the pain was toe curling. I couldn't carry on.
But he's 13 now and just fine. Good luck with whatever you choose. x
Do you have a la leche group near you? Also the local hospital here has specialist breastfeeding consultants ...
The main thing is that your LO is having something, whether it be formula or breast milk and that you concentrate on enjoying the early days! Good luck
How you hold them can help. I couldn't get dd to latch properly, then discovered the rugby ball hold and hey presto!!
Good Luck OP. Far better that you feel well and happy at this very special time and that you are not miserably in pain. I soldiered on for 8 weeks and really should have called it a day much sooner (he's 18 and 6'2" now and plays front row - so he seems to have survived OK).
Now, check this with a health professional but I was told to do the bottles, by an a&e sister who had become the local nct breast pump lady: thoroughly wash and rinse bottles and then sterilise. Then fill each bottle up to the 3oz mark and put in a plastic bag off a roll and put in the fridge. At feeding time - add 1oz boiling water and the milk powder and shake. You are then ready to roll with milk at the right temperature which is freshly made every time. *I give the instructions with the caveat though that they are 18 years old and the advice may have changed* so please check it. I was told you could keep the bottles in the fridge, in the plastic bag for 24 hours and got into the routine of doing them every morning.
Good luck by the way - hope the next few months and years are very happy for you and your new family.
Morning! I'm so sorry you are going through this, and you are amazing for trying to persevere.
I'm currently feeding 5 day old DC3, and naively thought I'd be a veteran by now, but my nipples were trashed and I was in agony within 48 hours! The others have given some great advice about where to go next- I would strongly advise going to a breastfeeding group/cafe/drop in where they actually SEE you try and feed over a session.
Thought I could share my experience of trying to actually heal the poor nipples? Lansinoh alone simply didn't do it for me, and I was finding that my bra or breast pad were sticking to the skin and taking the top of the nipple again each time.
What has healed my nips in less than 48 hours is using some burns dressings called Jelonet, which were recommended on here. Cost a couple of quid from local chemist and they are impregnated with some sort of Vaseline. I put lansinoh on my nipples, then mould the dressing over it, then a breast pad. The idea is that the healing is then moist, and you don't just take the scab off the wound each time.
I've been v impressed with the improvement and have been able to feed again on the less affected side. I've also temporarily been using Medela nipple shields. I know midwives hate them, but I figured a few days was a non issue if it lets them heal and keeps me breastfeeding.
As others have said, ultimately formula is not a disaster at all! But I do think some of your problems are fixable, just not with some of the staff you've met so far unfortunately.
Best of luck either way x
Did either of them give you any suggestions for getting you nipples to heal? Did the mw observe a whole feed?
Agree that going to a local Bfing support group sounds like a really good idea. If you want to make bfing work I think you are going to need lots of RL help and quickly. If you're not sure where the local bfing support groups are, get in touch with your local lll leader and ask for their help. I'd also ask a BFC to check for tongue tie again, especially as your mw didn't seem too clued up on bfing. I'd call them today
There's no harm too in contacting the MWs again on the support no you should have been given. If you call them rather than wait for one to call around they may have more time
Ps - any chance dp/someone else can take full responsibility for sterilising etc for time being? So you can just concentrate on recovering and cuddling/feeding baby?
Just wanted to say how impressed I am at your perseverance.
Midwives can be a bit crap with bf help - I'm sure some are great but with mine it was clear they had less bf expertise than I would have liked.
Can you get to a bf support group at all?
(Sorry I should've put this into the appropriate talk section. Anyway..)
So I broke down in tears when the midwife came & told her everything. She is not the warmest of individuals but hey ho. I asked her to check if he was tongue tied which he's not apparently, so that's not the latch prob. Tbh, she didnt really help much.
I called the NCT breastfeefing helpline for latch advice & got some useful info re: trying different positions & stopping sleepy feeding. Am frustrated tho as I've not breast fed in a couple of days as wany to let my nipples heal completely (couldn't resist having a quick go last night & blood was drawn so called it quits)
So where i'm at now is formula feeding DS & he's easily taking 90mls a feed;
Expressing to try and keep milk supply (hit & miss: 10ml yesterday afternoon, pathetic amounts in sessions since). Hating the formula mainly as I'm finding it such a faff & am already sick of the sight of the steriliser. Hoping once nipples have healed I can attack the breast feeding with a vengeance to make it work. DS stills turns his head to root when I bottle feed so hoping the boob is not too distant a memory for him.
Very much hope you have had a better day today. And congratulations on the birth of your son.
Agree about checking for tongue tie- my dd had hers cut at 3weeks and it was a big improvement. Don't pay too much attention to the recommended positions e.g. nose to nipple, the shape/size of my breasts has meant my dd never been in that position. Try and go to a breastfeeding cafe if you can find one near you, just having support makes all the difference.
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