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Breastfeeding experiences.(10 Posts)
So I'm due my scorn child next month and I'm stressing about breastfeeding.
I had a traumatic birth with my first, won't go into details but I done his first feed which everyone said went well but then I was too poorly so he was taken for the night by the midwives and given formula.
When I was able to sit up the next day they brought him to me to feed.. again they said it was perfect, his latch was fine and we were naturals! I was happy and we went home thinking everything was great.
It wasn't great. It was horrendous. The pain was unbearable, my husband who has children already who were breastfed kept telling me it didn't look right. By day 3 my nipples were raw and bleeding and I physically couldn't take the pain anymore. So my husband fed him formula.
I saw a feeding specialist who said his latch was perfect but his tounge tie meant he was unable to draw the milk properly so he was sucking really hard causing my pain. She gave me a pump and advised I pump regularly until his tie is cut and then try again. I pumped religiously for weeks but I never produced any milk.. at best 5/6 drops at the bottom. They told me I needed domperidone (I know that isn't spelt right) on prescription from my doctors to help.
My GP refused to prescribe it, she told me it isn't licensed for what I was requesting it for she told me I'd been though enough with the birth, difficult recovery and that my baby was thriving on formula and I needed to start to relax and take care of myself and stop feeling pressured to do something that just wasn't working for us. So that was that.
I'm due number 2 soon.. if I didn't produce milk last time, will I this time? My boobs never got engorged.. people complain of how painful it is when your milk comes in, I never experienced that.. does that mean I didn't produce milk?? Pumping never produced anything.. so am I unable to breastfeed? I'm so confused with it all.
How long did you breast feed for? Milk comes in between days 3 and 5 and effective sucks is one of the things which encourages your body to produce milk.
I was very ill have my first and stopped bf at 6 weeks, was combi feeding before this but with my second it was a very different experience. Expressing milk needs an emotional response. I gave the occasional bottle for DD2 but stopped this at 6 ish weeks and I’m still bf her at a year. I can’t express milk but it’s not an indication of how much milk you have.
Look for a private lactation consultant
Watch YouTube videos of how to latch
Join Facebook breast feeding groups now, it will help you know what is normal.
I haven’t posted on here for over a year but I saw your post and wanted to send you a reply as I really feel for you.
First of all, congratulations on being pregnant again. It should be a happy time and I’m sorry you feel worried about feeding.
There is all sorts of breastfeeding evangelical nonsense out there and I hope you get some helpful, practical advice to help you with your concerns. If you really want to breastfeed there is help available via children’s centres and NCT and your local health centres and also from lactation consultants etc if you can manage to see one. You don’t say you want to breastfeed, but I assume from your message that you probably do, or are worried if you can’t. There is help out there. Speak to your GP (or midwife, or health visitor), find other mothers in your community who can help share their experiences, see a breastfeeding counsellor - do your homework with them before the baby comes and, when the baby has come, insist the midwives help you and watch you feed.
I wanted to share with you my experience of feeding my two babies in case it makes you feel better and to help get it into perspective. Because it is about perspective, but that’s really hard to remember when you’re trying to get a hungry baby latched and you’re dog tired, and you have a toddler to be up with in the morning etc.
I struggled to feed my daughter when she was born. She seemed to latch ok but not get enough milk and no matter how long we spent at it, she lost weight and seemed unsatisfied. I like you struggled on with pumping and stressing about it, also giving formula then hating it because it felt like it compromised my chances of feeding, then feeling guilty that I was trying to achieve some sort of breastfeeding award when actually my baby was just hungry and a bottle would have been just as good if not better than breastfeeding, which just wasn’t working. After 5 months of sitting on the sofa, crying, feeding then pumping then bottle feeding then hating myself I decided I wanted to enjoy maternity leave and my baby was much happier and more settled with formula. I didn’t look back. As the hormones settled once I stopped feeding, I realised how utterly obsessed and irrational I had become about feeding and it was a hormonal thing - something I couldn’t see at the time but everybody else kept telling me.
With my son, I really hoped it would be easier and at first it was. He seemed better at it and I suppose I’d had some practice. But at 4 weeks he seemed insatiably hungry and I couldn’t keep him satisfied - he lost weight and I was back in a dark place. I came close to post natal depression over it. Again - hormones. Even though I knew from my experience with my daughter I would get past it, I would still sit and sob on the floor clutching the breast pump, dreaming of being able to leave the house and enjoy my baby. When I gave up breastfeeding him at 7 weeks I was so sad. I felt I had failed. But three weeks later my baby had gained weight, was settled, smiling, and I could finally let go of the breastfeeding thing. Now it seems absurd I was so upset about it.
I’m telling you this because it sounds like breastfeeding might have been hard for you (I think it’s hard for lots of people) and you shouldn’t blame yourself or let it define your role as a mother. You role is to love you baby and of course feed them - breastfeeding is great if you can do it, but bottles are also great if you can do them too/instead. Don’t let it dominate your thoughts during pregnancy or after your baby comes. Try to keep it in perspective and remember this. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget and to feel alone with it.
I should add my children are now 1.5 and 3.5 and my God they are like racehorses - healthy, strong, tall, full of energy. I used to worry they’d be sickly and weak because of formula (!). That could not be further from the truth!
Good luck, OP.
Nothing compared to what you went through but I had a tricky birth with my first and struggled to bf, raw and painful nipples after a few days, ending up combi feeding. I couldn’t express with my first, never got more than half an ounce but frequently had engorged boobs.
With no2, I’ve been feeding her for nearly 9 months, never had engorged boobs at all and can express, not loads but sometimes 2 1/2 oz if It’s a good day. It’s been a wholly different experience altogether.
Good luck xx
@Lockdownseperation I managed 3 days but I had to stop after that as the pain was too much and my nipples just bled constantly. i done all the things they tell you to do but nothing seemed to work.
@Redsockwhitewash thank you for sharing you experience.. I totally relate to it.. I was obsessed and it took over.. but everyone encouraged that, midwives, specialists all encouraged me to keep going.. it was only when my GP said I needed to stop I realised how
much of an issue it had become.
My little one was a poorly baby, hospitalised several times with things that are mostly simple childhood illnesses, allergies and eczema on top.. I felt so much guilt that it was because I didn't breast feed him but in reality it probably made no difference! He's a happy healthy toddler now!
I'd love to be successful this time, but my husband has made me promise that if it's problematic and he says enough is enough then we go to formula and that's that. Between traumatic birth and letting breastfeeding take over for the first 8 weeks I really missed out on a lot and I want to be able to enjoy it more this time.
It sounds like you weren’t able to give your milk a chance to come in.
My DD2 has had a few bottles of formula but was mostly breast feed and she has more allergies and of greater severity than DD1. DD2 also had more infections as baby than DD1.
The important thing is a well-fed, healthy baby. And ideally a relatively relaxed mum!
If you want to give it another go (and there’s no reason to assume you can’t - my mum couldn’t feed my older sister, but had no trouble at all feeding me) then I’d suggest being prepared - get some Lansinoh cream (helps sore nips) and maybe some nipple shields in case you get sore again. Some mums find that hand expressing a tiny bit (literally a drop) before you expect to feed can help to stimulate let down so your baby doesn’t have to work as hard (so doesn’t hurt you as much!).
Overall, I had a great experience with breastfeeding, but the first 2 weeks were TOUGH. It might be that as you already have one child, you don’t want to go through that. In which case don’t stress - many children do just fine on formula.
Ask to be referred to your local infant feeding team - mine were wonderful and definitely helped me to carry on breastfeeding. It's worth having a read of the Kellymom website which is great and there's a fantastic facebook group called Breastfeeding Younger Babies and Beyond that can help with literally anything breastfeeding related. Get as much support as you can and then if it still doesn't work out you know it wasn't meant to be.
Sounds like a combination of things contributed to your troubles the first time. It could be very different this time. Try to relax, you're not a failure if you don't/won't/can't breastfeed, your beautiful baby will get plenty of nutrients on formula. Much more important is that you and baby are happy and relaxed.
It sounds like your milk didn't come in properly because baby wasn't able to suck properly. This time around it shouldn't be a problem. You were just unfortunate, it's nothing you did or didn't do.
Your doctor sounds brilliant! Domperidone has killed people.
It could be different this time, or it could be the same. It’s up to you whether it’s worth pushing through. There’s no requirement to do so. The breastfeeding lobby have straight up lied to women over and over. Formula won’t hurt your baby.
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