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Breastfeeding help - new mum

(38 Posts)
Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:07:46

Hi I'm a newbie on mumsnet and a first time mum of a three week baby. I've been breastfeeding excusively but having trouble which is really undermining my confidence as a mum.
My little boy has a new habit of pulling on me toward the end of a feed. Yet if I take him off thinking he needs winding or is done he does his hungry face or starts rooting so I stick him back on. Only for him to suckle a couple of times then start pulling and grunting again. Now I feel like i can't read my baby anymore - is he hungry? If he wants to comfort suck, why is he pulling? A couple of times I've broken down in tears thinking my boobs are rubbish and I have no milk (sadly I go and check to find that there is)
I'm seeing a BF counsellor soon as I think his latch is wrong(he won't open wide - not sure if having a bottle in special care before we'd established feeding is relevant?) but wondered if anyone had similar experiences? My hubbie is knackered from taking baby in the night to check if hungry (I.e. Does he cry for food) and I can't put baby to sleep anymore. I feel a failure.

Tambajam Sat 24-Oct-09 08:16:54

Hi there
Congratulations on your baby. It's positive that you are seeing a bf counsellor soon but I think it would be helpful for you to chat to one today.
The national breastfeeding helpline opens in about 90 minutes on 0300 100 0212

You will get through to a counsellor in their own home.

They will ask you questions about his nappies, his behaviour during the feed, is he back up to birth weight, your comfort levels, how you manage breastfeeds (i.e. one sided or two sides? When do you switch sides?)

Pulling at the end of the feed at this age could be wind as you suggest. It might also be his way of saying, 'this flow isn't fast enough anymore. Other side please!' It could also be related to the latch not being great and he's a bit frustrated. It might also be overtiredness at this age. Or he is pooing.

Bottom line - if he is pooing about 3 times a day (poos the size of a £2 coin or bigger) and you are getting 6 obviously wet nappies in 24 hours and he is back up to birth weight, then he is very very likely to be getting enough milk.

DON'T feel like a failure. Reading a newborn baby's cues is bloody hard and EVERYONE finds it tough. It just takes time for you to get to know each other. You will get more confident.

If you ring the helpline they will troubleshoot and run through a bunch of questions.

mehdismummy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:17:13

firstly you are not a failure, i bf my ds for over 2.5 years and i felt like that in the begining, have u tried putting him on the other side? phone the breastfeeding network they are wicked, but you are rubbish it just takes time for both of u 2 get it right.

mehdismummy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:18:25

so sorry that was meant to say not rubbish, sorry xxx

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:29:58

Thanks - I want to phone up but as soon as I think doing it I want to cry so not sure I can get through the call... He is pooing and weeing loads and is a right chubster so putting on weight. In the day I feel positive and think I can overcome the problems but come night feeds I fall apart.
I use both sides in feeds but my left nip is so sore now,I'm scared to do so! Which makes me feel guilty as could be denying baby food. At the mo I'm just coping as hubby isn't back at work yet so can help more when I'm blubbing at night.
I guess I never though it would be this hard. I've spoken to other new mums who complain of sore nips but no mention of misreading their baby etc - which adds to my sense of failure as I think I'm the worst at feeding!

NotQuiteCockney Sat 24-Oct-09 08:35:43

If he's peeing and pooing lots, it sounds like he's fine. Babies are weird and frustrating. I certainly struggled to read what my first baby wanted.

New babies are really tricky. I always found the first six weeks really tricky and tiring.

A sore nipple may well be a sign of bad latch. When are you seeing a BFC? They're unlikely to be able to fix a bad latch over the phone ...

mehdismummy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:38:12

i say it agian babe its hard in the first couple of months, you obviously are doing something right as dc is gaining weight and poing and weeing!! it is harder at night because you are so tired, god i use to cry on a regular basis!! the breastfeeding network are brilliant and will help you as i am just rubbish at explaining things!!! dont be so hard on yourself babe its not as easy as they portray it on baby programmes!!! do u live near me btw?

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:40:43

The BFC is coming over on Monday. My neighbour recommended her so hopefully we can get it fixed. I have worries though that it might take a while but hope she can help. The midwives etc have said latch is fine before but clearly wrong as at one point my nipples felt like they were red raw!! That has subsided a bit as made a conscious effort to start again. However baby's new thing of yanking my nipples has thrown me!

NotQuiteCockney Sat 24-Oct-09 08:41:52

Oh, and there's a Breast and Bottlefeeding section on here, where you'll get more and faster help on this, than in Parenting. Just FYI.

MrsHappy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:42:31

Get your latch checked because it might help boost your confidence but this all sounds quite familiar to me.

At around 3 weeks my DD had a growth spurt and started to act very frustrated at every feed (and in between). She was hungry and was suckling lots to try to get my breasts to produce more milk which, within a few days, they did. I just let her suck as often and as much as she wanted and it did pass.

An alternative possible explanation might be that your let down is becoming a bit slower. Not that this is a bad thing, but rather that your breasts are learning not to gush so much. He might be having to work for your milk for the first time and so be getting cross. Have you tried just switching to the other side when he pulls off?

In my (non expert) experience there is a mind-body connection when it comes to breastfeeding. Get stressed about it and milk seems to come slower. Relax and trust your body and it will do its stuff.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 24-Oct-09 08:44:54

Oh, missed your posts ... um ... not to be indelicate, but is the BFC someone you're paying? Or is she someone from one of the Big Four (BFN, NCT, ABM, LLL)?

Because the ones you pay for are often not v well trained. The ones from any of those organisations are a safer bet.

At any rate, if you want more options, if you're willing to say where you live (borough, or start of your post code or whatever) then people on here can probably find you a baby cafe, a walk-in place where you can get in person help, and meet other local mums, too.

mehdismummy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:45:49

you will b fine babe trust me it will all come together and then if you are anything like me will not be able to get dc off the breast!!!

AliBean Sat 24-Oct-09 08:46:14

Hi Iggly - I just want to let you know that I felt exactly the same as you at that stage and that it does pass really quickly. My DS is 6 weeks old and three short weeks ago I was sobbing during most night feeds through sheer exhaustion and frustration that he seemed to be discontented and I couldn't read him right! Three weeks ago I could have written your posts...BUT now three weeks later we are calm, I can read his hungry face and I know him much better. I have had three extra weeks of weigh-ins with good weight gain and encouragement from HV's and GP and my boy is calm and happy all the time. He slept for 5.5 hours last night for the first time and I feel great.
I hope that doesn't sound like I am bragging - I just want you to know how fast things improve and that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!
Just be kind to yourself and try to relax - it will be so much easier.

On a practical note - I had really sore nipples too - thought the left one would drop off from the size of the crack! MW and HV recommended to express for a few days on that side to give the nipple a break - 2-3 days max and that helped. Also had nipple shields as an emergency back up.

Good luck and best wishes x

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:48:53

Thanks NotQuiteCockney. Can I move the thread or do I need to repost? Will check help sections as no idea!

MrsHappy - when he first did this, I switched boob and it solved the problem. However it hasn't worked the last few feeds so just when I thought I'd sorted it... Maybe my letdown is slower but don't know how to tell. I'm trying to relax before a feed but end up hunched up waiting for the pain when he first gets on. Or I wait for the pulling, feeling tense as I "know" the feed will go wrong. So his next feed i will try and relax although morning feeds are easier as I have milk.

mehdismummy Sat 24-Oct-09 08:52:25

have you joined local mumsnet? also post a new thread in breast and bottle feeding x

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:56:22

Counsellor is from a localBF group and free (live in SE London) They have meet -ups as well so I plan to get myself out of the house and go along - although I've only had one outing so far as I lost nearly a litre of blood post birth so taking ages to recover! So not confident about outings yet.
AliBean- it's encouraging to read your post - I keep telling myself it will get better but come 3am I don't believe it...

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 08:57:51

Mehdismummy - not done that, will do! x

suburbansweetheart Sat 24-Oct-09 09:01:35

Igglybuff. I'm first time mum of a 2 and a half week old and having similar problems. Finding it really hard to cope when my baby cries and don't know what to do. DH great and often taking her to try and settle her, but also getting run ragged. Feel upset and guilty as I'm not enjoying motherhood and just don't know if or when things will improve.

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 09:14:38

Hi suburbansweetheart. It's so hard isn't it! Especially when I feel I have no time to myself - my daily luxury is a 15 min shower.... Have you got any mums you can meet with? I've found it helpful to email a couple of girls I met in antenatal classes to compare notes although not sure they're as honest as me as I'm the only one confessing to blubbing all the time!!

Igglybuff Sat 24-Oct-09 09:16:52

Have posted in the breastfeeding thread now.
Sweetheart-send me a message if you want to compare notes/let off steam off the thread xxx

GhoulsafraidofVirginiaWoolf Sat 24-Oct-09 09:20:55

Igglybuff - if you ring one of the voluntary organisations and just cry for a bit it is absolutely fine - honestly smile I have been that bf mother weeping down the phone several times and they are so nice you find you can get thru the sobbing and actually talk. A good friend is training as a BFC with one of the big BF charities and and said they are trained to listen to crying - it is actually part of the service. A good cry and then some well-informed free help from someone with bf expertise can actually make all the difference. Good luck to you and ring them today. Doesn't mean you can't see the person on Monday. Take all the help you can get (esp. the sort you don't pay for). Get some tissues handy and get the phone.

GhoulsafraidofVirginiaWoolf Sat 24-Oct-09 09:21:54

oops just seen that you are actually seeing a free BFC blush

LeonieBooCreepy Sat 24-Oct-09 09:23:50

Message withdrawn

NotQuiteCockney Sat 24-Oct-09 09:23:50

Oh, relieved to see it's a free BFC - sorry I got the wrong end of the stick. (Ghouls, always good to keep pointing out non-free = crap)

It does sound like your breastfeeding should be fine, you obviously have lots of milk, your baby is thriving, it's just a matter of sorting out the latch.

suburbansweetheart Sat 24-Oct-09 09:25:06

Thanks Igglybugg. Would be great to compare notes (hopefully of how things improving!). There is a bfeeding group near me that I'm planning to start going to. Feel a little nervous though about meeting new people and then probably ending up crying and sounding like a terrible mother! Will try out suggestions from the post and just let her cluster feed in the evenings to see if she is happier. HV coming on Monday, so hopefully weight will have gone up (not back to birth weight last week) which would give me some more confidence.

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