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worried about breastfeeding-long

(8 Posts)
Busyalexsmummy Mon 25-Jul-05 22:25:57

just wondering if theres anyone whos been in a similar situation as me.
with ds, i wanted to breastfeed, but i thought it would be easy(i'd been working in a maternity for 6 months and had been latching babies on boobs a few times a day, so kinda thought id be fine!)
anyhow, when ds was born, he didnt want to suck, when put to boob, he just screamed and screamed, then fell asleep, the m/ws tried lots of stuff but nothing worked and eventually i gave in after 24 hrs and let them give him formula in a syringe, he then had it in a bottle the following day as they said it was neccessary as he would lose his sucking reflex, so that was that.

After i had him as well as trying to latch him on, the m/w's kept putting me on the pump but nothing was coming out, i dont know wether i actually produced colostrum or not as i never leaked when pregnant and nothing appeared afterwards until day 7 after the birth when my milk came in. the pump did nothing and the m/w's kept trying to squeeze my nipples to get some to come out so he could smell it, but no success.

anyway, i felt emotionally wrecked after birth and by day 3 id had enough and went home, stopped by the shops and bought a box of baby milk, i still expressed the tiniest bits of milk for him once my milk came in, but only managed to do it till about 10 weeks, then my milk dried up.

anyway, nothing, no book or person had prepared me for how i would feel if breastfeeding didnt go to plan, i dont think i recovered emotionally from the birth till about 9months, i felt guilty and resentful and loads of strange feelings i thought id never have.

now im over 23weeks into my second pregnancy and starting to get quite nervous about the breastfeeding issue again. ive chucked out all bottles in the house(apart from ds's 1 bottle)ive used avent nipplettes, ive bought breastpads, gel breastpads, im going to buy some breastfeeding tops in a few months. Ive distanced myself from most of the people i consider were a negative influence last time round, ive made more friends who breastfeed, ive collected numbers for LLL NCT etc. ive written my birthplan with a clear statement that formula is not to be given whatsoever.......

i just feel so emotional about the whole thing these past few weeks, it doesnt help as s-i-l is due 2 wks after me, and she pretty much rubbed in the fact that i didnt end up feeding ds, her ds was 5 months after ds and she fed him for 4 months, she has already started going on about how much shes leaking etc and how she wants breastpads for her bday etc(why do it, she knows full well im sensitive about the issue and getting scared about it happening again)

the one thing i really want to avoid this time is, the fact that because i bottle fed last time, everybody thought it was their right to take ds off me, i hardly got to feed him/hold him as other people were doing it instead-found it highly amusing though that when s-i-l-s baby arrived no one was allowed to touch him, let alone pick him up/feed him!

what else can i do? or do i just have to wait and see how it all pans out this time?

anyone else been in this situation? how did it work out? anyone else feel like i do?

thanks for getting this far and reading it all x

baggybear Mon 25-Jul-05 22:43:41

hi busyalexmummy! just read your message and felt myself go back in time. I have 3 DSs. I tried to B/F DS1 but like you, he wouldn't latch on, he was tried from pethadine and just wasn't playing ball. So, after just 2 days of trying I gave in to the bottle. DS2 came along when DS1 was only 14 months old so B/F ds2 and looking after DS1 was a real nightmare but I managed for 2 weeks. DS3 was a completely different matter though. I stopped feeding him 4 weeks ago at the age of exactly 2! Now i have just found out i am expecting #4.

I found myself feeling soooo guilty for not feeding DS1 at all and DS2 for such a short time. But after time I got over it. Then I had DS3 and, because we got on so well with B/F, i found myself feeling guilt again because I hadn't stuck at it withthe other 2.

The difference, i think is, I had more confidence with DS3. I had got over the "first baby" thing, and the "two at a time" thing, so only had one thing to get the hang of.

I think you will be fine with your new baby. You will have much more confidence and will be able to give B/F more time. And find out if there is a B/F support group near you. They are the best for keeping you going. And knowledge is a powerful thing when it comes to feeding your baby - find out everything you need to know!!

I will let you into a little secret - i am a B/F counsellor, so if you need any more help or advice I'm more than happy to help.

baggybear Mon 25-Jul-05 22:44:37

Have faith in yourself and you will be fine. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

jabberwocky Mon 25-Jul-05 22:51:02

Had a similar experience with ds. I managed it for a few weeks, but never enjoyed it like I thought. When I gave ds a bottle he loved it and never looked back. Completely refused the breast after a short while. I was able to express and did so until he was 13 months old, but still feel some grief and disappointment that bfing didn't go well for me. It is painful even to read many of the threads about it so I try to mostly avoid them.
All I can say is, everyone says that each pregnancy, birth and child is a completely unique experience. This time may go just fine for you, especially as you are not the first-time mum you were last time. I have read from other MNer's that a bf counsellor makes a world of difference and I wish I had tried that.
Good luck! and don't worry for the next 17 weeks about this - sit back and enjoy your pregnancy. Little one is just starting to move around so talk to him/her and relax. Life is a journey. Even if it doesn't go like you thought, it's an interesting ride...

vicdubya Mon 25-Jul-05 22:55:47

Hi Busyalexsmummy..I'm really sorry to hear your experience of BF with ds wasn't how you had hoped.

I feel a bit guilty about posting here when I didn't experience many problems with BF, but I did get some brilliant help from the BF counsellor attached to my hospital, in the first few days (without which I'm not sure what would have happened).

I was thinking could you get in touch with a BF counsellor now, to talk through your situation, offer advice and hopefully to be around to support you when the time comes?

And just to reassure you, I am a very unleaky BF'er. I never actually saw any colostrum, my milk didn't come in with any particular problems (no engorgement etc), I only used breast pads for a few weeks, I could never hand express, and I have never actually seen milk come out of my breasts, etc.

I think it is very insensitive of your SIL.

Perhaps this time round you can encourage relatives etc to be helping out with your ds, while you focus on the new baby?


motherpeculiar Mon 25-Jul-05 23:04:38

awh sweetheart I hope it works out for you this time

I had problems first time around too, although did manage to feed DD1 (mix-feed) for about 6 months but it was awful, truly awful at the start

I too was really worried about the Bfeeding this time around, but as some of the others have suggested, took full advantage of my local bfeeding counsellor (in my case even before DD2 was born I attended a day long workshop to try to get over my fears and try to learn some new things)

in my case, luckily, there was no problem second time around and I've enjoyed it so much more than I imagined possible

I truly truly hope you get to do it this time, sounds like you are doing all the right things just now getting yourself ready - just a shame your sil can't realise the upset she is causing

I wish you the best of luck

a lot of it is probably down to the baby too, I honestly don't think I did much different this time, but DD2 just "got it"
(if you are in SE london let me know as I can recommend a great counsellor)

Ellbell Tue 26-Jul-05 00:09:17

Hi Busyalexsmummy

Yes, I've been in a very similar situation to you. My dd1 was born early by c-section due to placenta praevia and was small due to the placenta problems I'd had (4lb 12oz). She didn't seem to have a sucking reflex at all and was fed by nasal-gastric tube for about two weeks after birth. Like you, I just assumed I'd breastfeed, and was totally unprepared for my baby to show no interest in food whatsoever (she just slept). She had to have formula down her tube at first because they were worried about her size (or something) and just wanted to get some milk into her. I expressed and expressed (I was pumping for 20 minutes every 3 hours) in hospital to try to get some milk to come in and it took days to get even a drop, but I did persevere and she got whatever I could squeeze out down her tube. There was no way she was going to breastfeed though I was on an ultimatum that if I couldn't get her feeding within a week of her birth I'd have to go home without her. Well, I was determined that I was going to breastfeed, so I did go home without her (cried for about 24 hours solid!) and kept up the expressing etc. After about 10 days the nurses who were looking after her in hospital started suggesting giving her a bottle, but I wouldn't let them. Instead I started using nipple shields which seemed to help her 'get a grip' (she was tiny and I have quite big boobs with quite flat nipples - sorry if TMI). Eventually, I did get her home feeding with nipple shields. However, she was clearly not getting enough milk. At 6 weeks she was still only about 5 and a half lbs, and the doctor and HV started suggesting that I give her formula again. At that point I could have tried mixed feeding, but I was desperate to put some weight on her and so I just stopped. I have always regretted it though.

When I got pregnant the 2nd time I was determined that I'd be more successful in breastfeeding. Dd2 was born more or less at full term and was a greedy piglet from day 1, which did help a bit. Nonetheless, I needed a LOT of help to get breastfeeding established, and found it very very painful. When she was 8 weeks old, my dh had to go away on a 5-week training course for a new job, and I remember just sobbing on the phone to him one night because I had blisters on both nipples and was just in agony. It was only then that I finally got some really useful help. It was a Bank Holiday weekend and so I couldn't go to the b/feeding clinic at the hospital as it took place on a Monday, but someone suggested another b/feeding support group in the local area (about 15 miles away, but I'd have gone to Timbuktu by then if I thought they could help). I dragged baby and dd1 (who was still under 2 at that time) to this church hall in the middle of nowhere and they just immediately saw what I was doing wrong. I could have cried. In fact, I probably did! I realised that I could ONLY feed in the 'rugby ball' position. Anything else and I got sore immediately. I am just annoyed that it toom me over 2 months to find that out. The story doesn't have a totally happy ending, because in the meantime I'd decided to mixed feed (just to stave off some of the agony really over that weekend before I found the miracle support group). I did go on feeding dd2 until she was about 7 months old, but basically the more she got a taste for formula the less of me she wanted. In the end, she was just having a short feed immediately when she woke up. However, at least she had that, and at least I did work out a way of feeding without pain.

It's very unlikely that I'll have a 3rd baby, but if I do, I know what I'll do. However, I will also be less hard on myself... if it doesn't work out, well... I know I've tried. I don't think I'd put up with that pain again.

One consolation for you... My dds are totally different in their attitude towards food. Dd1's lack of interest in food initially came from her being small, but it continued into weaning (don't start me off on the battles we had there) and she is only now (at 5) starting to eat 'normally'. Dd2 has always been a little piglet and she just loves food of all sorts - she prefers broccoli to chocolate! So there's a good chance that your 2nd baby will be very different from your 1st when it comes to food.

Good luck and sorry this is so long.

Chuffed Tue 26-Jul-05 09:38:00

You will be fine busyalexmummy. You are aware this time that it isn't as straightforward as people make out, some people do have trouble and it does take away a lot of the stress of it all. dd didn't have a suck reflex at all when she was born, couldn't even suck a bottle so of course breast feeding was a little difficult. It did come on with bottle feeding in the hospital and before every feed we put her to the breast and tried to bf first. It took 3wks and at least one dose of good tears but we managed to feed till 10mths, mixed feeding from 7-10 as I was back at work.
I too didn't have any leakage, no fullness, in fact my boobs didn't change size at all and the bf bra I bought a cup size bigger was always too big.
So in short you know that if the worst happens and it takes a while to get the hang of it all your baby will be fine on some formula, don't let anybody make you feel inferior, and just keep trying.

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