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Exclusively pumping - some help & advice?

(9 Posts)
hmd94 Fri 08-Nov-19 15:53:20

My DD is 6 days old and I've suffered really badly with bleeding/cracked nipples to the point where I'm crying through every feed and hating the fact I have to feed her. This morning I decided to take a break, to save my mental health and bond with DD and give my nipples some healing time. I've been exclusively pumping for a the day but need some help/advice. Should I try and go back to breastfeeding in a few days? If I decide to exclusively pump all the time, does anyone have any tips? Any help would be appreciated I'm sad I can't hack breastfeeding and don't know what to do, I never thought it would be this hard....

modge Fri 08-Nov-19 16:01:57

It is hard. I remember dreading the baby waking up as I knew it meant I'd have to feed again. I do feel for you, you've done really really well to get through this first week.

Firstly, I'd have your latch checked by a feeding consultant (not your midwife or HV unless you are confident they have specialist knowledge). In my case it turned out my baby had a posterior tongue tie and could latch but not properly so despite the midwife saying all was ok as he was feeding, it wasn't. Having the tie divided and reworking on the latch made a massive difference to us both. Even if there isn't a tie, sometimes an adjustment in positioning can make a massive difference.

No advice on exclusively pumping I'm afraid but I know that you need to keep stimulating supply one way or another if you want to keep giving breastmilk.

Ultimately, your mental and physical health and the health of your baby are the most important things, so whichever method of feeding works best, is the best one for you.

Fishlegs Sat 09-Nov-19 07:51:14

I exclusively pumped for 7 months, as my eldest was born with a cleft lip and palate. It wasn’t easy, but it is doable. I would have struggled if I’d had more than one child to look after at the time, as some days I seemed to be chained to the pump!

Most people need to pump at least 8 x daily to keep their supply up, including once in the small hours.

You will need a good double pump, and ideally a hands free pumping bra, so that you can hold your baby at the same time (or just mumsnet etc if she’s sleeping. There’s a great book which tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about exclusively pumping, I’ll try and find it in a minute.

However I would echo the pp in a) asking someone experienced to have a look at the baby’s latch (someone once said to me it’s like hooking a fish!), and b) there’s no problem in going down the formula route, the main thing is that you are happy and well, then you can care for your baby with all the love and attention she deserves smile

Fishlegs Sat 09-Nov-19 07:55:09

This was my bible, I’ve just seen you can get it for £2-3 on eBay.

Someone more experienced will hopefully be along soon to give you more advice on how to get your baby back to the breast, although there’s no substitute for a lactation consultant or someone similar watching your baby feed and advising.

Good luck x

Fishlegs Sat 09-Nov-19 07:57:55

Sorry, I’ll stop posting in minute.

Maybe you’ve not had much response as there’s a section called Infant Feeding where all the experienced posters hang out. If you report your op to mumsnet you can ask them to move your thread there?

SnuggyBuggy Sat 09-Nov-19 07:59:28

Have you tried a lanolin cream? I went through the bloody scabbed nipples stage and it did improve with the cream and working out a better latch.

eurochick Sat 09-Nov-19 07:59:30

I did it. I had a prem baby who didn't have the strength to latch to begin with and then got used to bottles. I tried to get her onto the boob but she never got the hang of it.

Expressing is bloody hard work and very time consuming. I probably got less bonding time as when my husband was around he would do input while I did output for the next feed. Plus there is all the washing and sterilising. And my nipples cracked anyway.

If you can try to make it just a temporary measure while you heal a bit.

slippyfeet Sat 09-Nov-19 10:44:13

I exclusively pumped for six months with my first baby. Out of misplaced mum guilt that breastfeeding wasn't working and breast is best, yada yada yada. To be honest I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, based on my experience. It really is double the work. In order to exclusively pump you really need to have a pumping session eight times every 24 hours. I nearly drove myself mad with exhaustion doing it. I wish I'd have either mix fed or just FF.

If you're going to do it then I'd buy a decent double electric pump (I had an Ardo Calypso) although I've heard good things about the Elvie. It's expensive though!

For cracked sore nipples Jelonet gauze and Lanisoh cream are fab.

Honestly, I'd either breastfeed, or if you can't mix feed with expressed and formula.

Second baby, I mix fed from the start. Expressed milk in the day and formula at night for 12 weeks then onto formula only. I was a lot happier and well rested second time around and there is zero difference in my children's health or development except baby number 2 had a happier, more chilled out mother!

Also not everyone can express well. I was lucky and could, with a double pump, get 12oz off in half an hour. I know lots of people who breastfeed fine but can only get 1-2oz off on a pump.

Hope it works out for you, those first few weeks are tough. Be kind to yourself!

slippyfeet Sat 09-Nov-19 10:50:05

Also, can I just say if you want to stop breastfeeding it's fine to do so. Your baby has had the colostrum now which is super good for them. If you're hating feeding her, if you want to, it's ok to stop. There is nothing wrong with formula. Don't let your first few weeks be marred with worry of guilt over feeding. Get your baby fed whichever way works best for you and then just enjoy.

If you do want to continue BF, maybe contact some support - at six days you should still be under the midwives, can they come and see you to help or send a support worker. La Leche League also can send people depending on your area, or give advice over the phone. There are usually support groups that you can go to as well.

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