Desperate breastfeeding new mum(47 Posts)
Hi! 👋🏼 I’m currently in the hospital 2 days postpartum and this has been the worst night of my entire life. My beautiful baby just wouldn’t settle even after 6 hours straight on the boob. I tried massaging the boobs, switching nips every so often, all sorts. He just wanted to feed and feed (even though my milks not properly come in yet). Eventually after hours of me trying and both me and baby bawling our eyes out, a midwife stepped in and asked if she could give him a very small amount of formula. I said no at first and persisted but more time went by and more and more blood starting pouring out of my very over used nipples. I feel like a complete failure. 2 days of feeding and he’s already been given formula. Is the ‘2 night syndrome’ actually a thing? Did anyone else go through it? Has anyone ever had to add formula before your milk came in??
I’m so sorry you’re having an awful night. When we brought our son home on day one he fed and fed all night and the next night too - it was exhausting and so hard. I decided to give him a little cup feed of formula just to see if it would settle him. Like you I didn’t really want to but I was desperate and sore. We’re still breastfeeding 14 weeks later so it didn’t stop us.
Definitely try to get support with your latch so you feel more confident going home and try to find out where your local breastfeeding support in the community is - they were a lifeline for me.
Finally good luck, it sounds like you’re trying your very best for your baby and he’s very lucky to have you.
Oh you poor love, that sounds really tough. I’m sorry I don’t have much in the way of advice on the formula question but bumping for you.
Also just to say, breastfeeding is super tough at the start, you’re doing a great job and you are definitely not a failure. If you don’t have any already, ask someone to buy you some lansinoh cream (purple tube) - it’s really good for sore nipples. Congratulations on your baby OP xx
You are the opposite of a complete failure! Sounds like a baby who needs to suckle for comfort. My first DS was like that. You can give him your pinky finger to get a wee bit of relief. I reckon you'll probably wake up in the next day or so with massive boobs full of milk with all he milk he has been stimulating. You definitely need some support today from whoever's is available in hospital (lactation consultant/peer supporter etc.) to make sure he is latching on as deeply as he can, if hes not then he's maybe not getting as much milk transferred and hes not settled after a feed. That would also cause you some nipple trauma. Put heaps of lanolin on your nipples and let them air with a loose t over. I've heard some good things about jelonet dressings too.
You are literally 2 days into learning a skill that neither of you have ever done! If a little bit of formula gives you the rest (of mind and nips) needed to start today afresh and try again then it can absolutely only be a good thing. Once he is 3 years old and requesting McDonalds on the daily you'll forget the 20mls of formula he had as a 2 day old!
I've currently got a 3 week old who has never ever latched and expressing for him every 3 hours. It's the opposite of my first time where my DS was never off my nipples and emotionally was very difficult for me at first. It's certainly not how I had planned to feed him. But the important thing is that he is fed and thriving and growing.
I'm 3 months post partum and remember this stress well. You have done amazingly well to withstand the feeding for so long. Baby is likely needing both comfort and to stimulate your supply. It is a very long time to feed though. I would ask for a lactation consultant or similar to properly check your latch and investigate the possibility of a tongue tie. DS had a tongue tie which was not picked up by the midwives despite me asking and them telling me he was fine. They are not trained to check for them. I managed to get a referral to the tongue tie clinic via breastfeeding support. DS had to have several formula top ups in his first night because he was taken to special care for getting cold and he wouldn't latch after first feed. He is fine and is exclusively breastfed now. I actually have too much milk rather than not enough!
Congratulations on your baby! You can do it. Look after yourself. Formula is perfectly fine both as main food source and fall back for you. Your mental health and wellbeing are important too.
Congratulations on your baby 💜
You're not a failure at all xxx
My ds is almost 10 weeks and has been mix fed from day 1 pretty much. He was 4 weeks early and we struggled with latching and even him just being awake enough to feed properly in the hospital, so midwife asked if could give formula to top up at first and I said yes. About a week on and we had phased out the formula as we got into the swing of things, but at 5 weeks re introduced it so he has a bottle in the evening to give me a break! Please don't feel like you're doing something terrible because you're not, you are just feeding your hungry baby and giving your body a chance to re charge. Ask for help with feeding as much as you need and once home keep reaching out for support. But don't put ores on yourself, try to enjoy some non feeding cuddles and remember you have done an amazing thing getting this little guy here, you got this 😀
Sorry that should be 'don't put Pressure on yourself' have no idea where 'ores' came from 😂
If you so want to breastfeed still, don’t panic! My twins were given formula on day 2-5 but we left hospital with them fully breastfed on day 7 and they carried on till they self weaned at about 2
Sleep if you can, eat, drink, go easy on yourself, get some lansinoh and try again tomorrow if you want to.
Congratulations on your gorgeous bundle.
Oh yes, and all 3 of mine had dummies after 2 weeks and all fed breastfed fine - just helped us to have an extra way to settle them
My friends baby had a small amount of formula in hospital - they just made sure he didn't have any more once he got home and managed to establish breastfeeding just fine in the end. Still feeding now at 18 months.
Obviously it's not the same for everyone but just wanted to say that just because he's had some doesn't mean that you definitely can't breastfeed anymore. There's still hope it could work.
You are amazing. You have just grown and birthed a baby. That's mega. Your body has been through a lot and you are giving everything to this new little person. Be kind to yourself.
A little formula to give you a break and peace of mind is fine. It's normal not to have milk for a few days. Remember their body's have reserves for this so don't feel guilty at all.
I also used a dummy with my son (for some nipple break (I put it in front of my boob for ds to comfort suck on when I needed a break but I still had him at the breast as such.
Breastfeed is natural yes but it's also a skill and can be hard and painful to start with.
After an ok start to feeding with my son I had really hard time with my dd. Due to thrush in the ducts which was agony (think razor blades) so I used nipple guards for a break sometimes and also expressed and gave in a cup sometimes (my milk had come in unlike yours).
Do what you need to do to feel comfortable, feed your baby and stay sane. At the end of the day trust yourself and don't feel bad asking for support xxxx
The second night was HELL. I cried all night. Rang my husband distraught at 5am.
It gets better. I'm still feeding my 2nd baby and he's 18 months old.
Remember, however long you manage to feed, you've done well.
Some babies can be mixed fed easily - don’t worry about giving formula. You need a rest. Agree with other posters about the Lansinoh cream.
Congratulations with 1 dc. Yes i topped up a little until milk came in and dc then was ebf. I offered breast first everytime and hand expressed drops as my dh fed formula.
Breastfeeding is very hard imo, it's worth it now for my dc and but was a killer the first week especially
It sounds to me like you've done the right thing in giving him a little formula. I think some people act like giving any formula is likely to lead to bf failing. The reality is more complicated.
We gave 4-5 bottles a day from a few hours old, alternating with boobs. Sometimes I went for over 6hrs without putting babe to breast. When two weeks in babe decided to refuse bottles, we moved to ebf, and 10m later that's where we are.
A teeny bit of formula is nothing in computation, and if it helps keep baby calm until your milk comes in, then great.
Congratulations on your little one. Your doing great x
Just to add, we tried to mix feed by choice. How I went about it isn't how someone who wants to ebf should do it, more that early formula doesn't necessarily cause any problems with bf long term.
You need support from a breastfeeding trained midwife, peer supporter or ideally and IBCLC (lactation consultant). My only qualification in this is having bf two children for 1 yr plus. The bloody nipples stage is something I went through with both, but with the first I struggled on for too long in the first few weeks and it was mentally so hard. With the second I immediately called on a private lactation consultant who came and spent two hours supporting me on day 3, diagnosed tongue tie and helped me with latch, position etc. I also expressed for a couple of days just by hand into a clean glass and fed my baby colostrum from a tea spoon to give my nipples time to recover. My baby survived on that for a little while. So ask for help, help and more help and if you want to give formula or let baby suck your finger or someone else to comfort them so you can rest or whatever you need to do, do.
The second night was awful for us. She would not stop screaming. The next night was infinitely better when milk came in x
Has your baby been checked for tongue tie? And have you asked for a second opinion? It gets missed ALL the time.
I remember the second night vividly. It was awful. I resisted the formula too but it was such a tiny amount and I was desperate. It never hurt him! DS shredded my nipples until midnight that night then refused to settle until 5am, leaving me in tears of agony and exhaustion.
In the end, a friend online saved me by telling me to put my little finger on the roof of his mouth (nail facing his tongue) and let him suck on that. It worked.
The next day I was in bits. DH arrived and I remember telling him that I could handle the pain or the tiredness, but not both at the same time. The midwives told him to ban visitors and to let me rest while he looked after DS. They also gave me a pump to allow my nipples to recover while still providing milk. Lots of Lansinoh and nipple shields too.
It still took a few weeks to get the hang of bf and I had a lactation consultant visit the house a couple of times to help and build my confidence. The bonus of the pump was that it gave me a huge supply and I was able to store lots in the fridge/freezer, allowing DH to do some night feeds.
We got there in the end and you will too! Don't be afraid to ask for help and above all, get some rest and look after yourself. Happy mum, happy baby!
You are doing great. It’s so hard at the beginning but a little bit of formula will do no harm at all. Keep pushing for advice on how to latch, have lots of skin to skin and believe in yourself. Congratulations on your new baby.
Agree that the second night was awful!
DS ended up having formula too, and I sobbed through it and thought I’d wrecked BFing because of it - I hadn’t. He was just hungry and four months later is still EBF apart from that one bottle.
Please get support from a specialist on your latch. I also recommend the gel pads you can buy from Amazon to help your nipples recover. They are expensive but I think they saved me from giving up and I wish I’d use them with DD.
Finally, keep taking pain relief. I seemed to completely forget that I was ‘allowed’ help with the pain of my nipples, but once I was offered paracetamol for them felt much better.
Good luck - it is so hard but will get easier.
Second night is a thing!
The constant feeding is the baby doing exactly what it needs to do to promote supply. The bleeding suggests your latch isn’t right.
Seems odd to be given formula though, more helpful would be nipple shields.
You need to insist on proper help with this. It is really hard to get BF established but so much easier in the long run so do give it a go-but be kind to yourself, your hormones are all over the place. I didn’t stop crying day 2/3.
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