To be so distraught about breastfeeding
lloveroftobleone · 25/07/2017 06:30
That I just don't know what to do? I am completely at my wits end and worried about the state of my mental health to be honest. I have desperately wanted to breastfeed ds as I stopped with dd after 5 days when she lost too much weight and I panicked and switched to formula. I was heart broken at the time and feel it played a big part in post natal anxiety due to the guilt of feeling like I had not giving her the best start I could.
Ds is 6 weeks and ebf. I feed him ALL THE TIME but was feeling so happy to be breastfeeding and really loving the closeness and our bond. However he has still fallen two centiles from 50th to the 9th and only gained 5 ounces in 12 days. I have had lots of support and he was diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie.
We saw a private lactation consultant yesterday who advised his tie is unlikely to benefit from a snip and when she observed me feeding she felt improved technique and position would solve the issue.
Basically, he had a shallow latch and just fed from the nipple and was really struggling to feed efficiently. Lots of rapid sucks, not much swallowing. I hate that he has to work so hard.
The consultant got me to feed with a nappy under my boob, and self latching and it was amazing, he had a huge wide mouth for the first time and did long deep sucks and swallows. It felt so lovely and I left feeling mega positive.
However, since I got home I can't replicate it. He has gone back to the shallow latch. I have spent all day and night trying to get him to replicate that brilliant feed but failing. I called the consultant who just advised to keep practicing.
Yesterday evening I got pretty hysterical. Its all just too hard and I am so worried about his weight. If it was just a case of putting in the hours and feeling tired I could do it but I feel like I am starving my baby. The consultant advised he will find feeding challenging due to his tie and without being able to get that good deep latch, which we have tried everything to achieve over the last 6 weeks with loads of advice, he won't gain weight.
I don't feel like a failure necessarily, it's more a feeling of grief for the experience I have had glimpses of, the feeling of closeness and that I am able to provide him with everything he needs. I am torn between carrying on but feel the time and energy needed to just keep him at an acceptable weight gain is not sustainable requiring hours of pumping to build my supply. I am already feeling neglectful of my beautiful daughter and husband who is mega supportive. But the thought of giving up just feels wrong as well.
I swore when I was pregnant that I wouldn't do this to myself again and would give it a good go but not get hung up if things didnt work out. Yet here I am again, just so distraught at what is the best thing for Ds and my family.
I am honestly normally a really positive, laid back person which is also why the anxiety after my daughter and how I am coping now is such a shock. Any advice or shared experience would be amazing right now.
Ohnomoomoos · 25/07/2017 06:47
Hi op, I haven't really got any advice, but I think I can understand how you feel.
I gave up breastfeeding ds1 because it was just so painful due to a shallow latch. I won't go into all the details but I tried and tried, we both cried a lot, I found it very distressing that I couldn't feed him. There wasn't much advice and support for me back then.
I was so determined to breastfeed ds2, but I had the same very painful experience, only this time I had ds1 to look after as well as trying to put the hours in trying to get ds to latch.
I did stop and switched to formula, I won't lie I regret it and wish I'd persevered, but that's easy to say now. They both needed to be fed one way or another.
The pressure I put myself under and the guilt I felt sent me into a big depression after ds2, I felt like a total failure I wanted to be the one to give him everything he needed.
Both both are way past that stage now and are very happy and healthy. I shouldn't have tortured myself so much, infant feeding is only one stage of parenting, as it went I coslept with ds2 and that gave us closeness.
I think what I'm trying to say is, whatever you do decide, please don't torture yourself. Your baby won't care or remember how he's fed.
Theworldisfullofidiots · 25/07/2017 06:48
You are tired and things seem worse when you are tired. You are doing brilliantly. See if you can see the consultant again and practice and it might just click. You are not doing badly as you are taking control. Give yourself a timescale for plan A and plan B doesn't mean you've failed.
HollyHollyHo · 25/07/2017 06:58
Well the good news is that you know he can latch effectively. It's just a case of replicating that.
On the other hand, you've fed him for 6 weeks. It's a fantastic start which will have made a tangible difference to his gut and immunities. There's no point in me telling you it doesn't matter if you move to FF now as it sounds like you are really beating yourself up anyway.
Short term plan, speak to the consultant again, maybe see if you can video the technique so it's easier to replicate.
TheRubberDucky · 25/07/2017 06:58
I know exactly how you feel. Although it was the pain of breastfeeding for me that was too much.
After about 6 weeks I ended up switching out 2 feeds a day for formula and kept the rest as breastfeeding so at least I knew I wasn't starving them. It was helpful too because I found expressing ridiculously slow and hard work so a formula bottle meant my DH could feed too and give me a break. Just remember - At the end of the day, your just giving your baby food, don't feel bad for doing half / half or even switching. Good luck and try to take it easy. ￼
Smilingthru · 25/07/2017 07:00
I had to stop bf DD as she had a severe tongue tie and this severely effected her latch. I had it snipped but the bad habits were in place. Like your ds she never did the long purposeful sucks and even now at 16months when she has he bedtime bottle she doesn't do it!
I ended up expressing and bottle feeding my breast milk (until my supply ran out) and then topped up formular until I had no choice but to exclusively ff.
Can you do express and put your milk in a bottle? Is there any way you can go back to the consultation? My local hospital has a breastfeeding support group running most mornings, is there anything like that you can attend?
hoopdeloop · 25/07/2017 07:02
My DS was born with a tongue tie (not sure what kind) and he got it snipped and it made a huge difference to his feeding. He couldn't breastfeed until it was done.
I also had to use nipple shields to help his latch. Not sure if they will help with your feeding, but could be worth a shot
NameChange30 · 25/07/2017 07:02
Could you get a second opinion on the tongue tie division? See another lactation consultant or a tongue tie practioner?
DS had posterior tongue tie and dividing it did make a difference. I don't see the harm in dividing it when it might help! It's a very quick, simple procedure.
guinea36 · 25/07/2017 07:03
My DD had tongue tie but positioning was also a big help. I totally understand the struggle with positioning - something needed to click for me to get it but remember it's not all down to you - a significant part of it is also your DC getting it as well.
Are there any breast feeding clinics in your area that are on today? Perhaps see if you can go. At the very least talking to someone should help you calm down. I found videoing and taking photos of the position when I was there really helped. I've now got lots of pictures of me breastfeeding and looking stressed stored on my phone that I'm a bit worried I'll accidentally upload onto Facebook! However the pictures have been incredibly helpful as a reference when I found a feed difficult. Perhaps you could also go back to the consultant and film the position.
In addition pls try to go easy on yourself. I know how upsetting it is - even without worrying about weight. I gave myself a cut off point and if things hadn't improved to some extent by this point I decided I would change tactics. Can this work? Could you consider combination feeding at that point if the breastfeeding alone is still tough? Hope things improve soon
Scentofwater · 25/07/2017 07:03
Our first lactation consultant said the exact same thing, we went to another (I was also at wits end) and she cut it and my dd fed instantly well and without pain.
My advice is to go back and ask for it to be cut, it is a very minor procedure. It may or may not help but it may well be worth trying.
ihavetoWORK · 25/07/2017 07:08
OP I had issues with my DD, not the same but similar. I ended up expressing to help wait gain while wecaddressed issues. So it went try to latch, feed Expressed, try to latch again, express next feed (or if express when DD was getting breastmilk from someone else). Eventually DD got it.
I won't lie, it was hard and tiring and for a while I was quite fragile but im glad we got through in the end (took a few weeks of this routine). Ultimately you must do what works for you. Of you would like any advice on what I did do pm me.
NemoRocksMyWorld · 25/07/2017 07:08
Oh you poor thing! I know exactly how you feel and it's horrible. I have attempted to feed four with varying degrees of success and I remember saying "I don't mind feeding all day and all night, but I just want it to be right for them". My supply is always a bit touch and go. I also don't understand about the tongue tie. Could you get a second opinion?
You are doing so well. I know it is really difficult but try to remember that this seems like the end of the world now, but when they are older no one knows or cares how they were fed. Do the absolute best you can and if it doesn't work out, know you tried your hardest and that is all you can do.
Other people will come along with more tips on technique (I was never that good at that side of things). The only thing I can suggest that worked for me, is when my last baby was fractious (only I one I exclusively fed until six months) I went to bed for twenty four hours (if I could!). I had loads of snacks and TV and the baby just fed whenever he wanted and I got a break. Also I learnt to sleep lying down and co slept with the last one, and I think that helped because with my poor supply, he never went more than a couple of hours with out a feed, and fed alot in the night. Anyhow like I say I'm no expert and always feel like I'm doing it all wrong! But I really hope it gets better for you!
Screwinthetuna · 25/07/2017 07:11
Google breast feeding support in your area. They can often come out to your house. The more in a state you get about it, the more baby will pick up on it. Have you tried feeding lying down?
Try plenty of skin to skin when you can, even if it's just sitting naked on the sofa from the waist up every evening. I don't really understand the nappy underneath thing?
If you do decide to do top up feeds or switch to formula, it isn't the end of the world so please stop putting so much pressure on yourself.
NameChange30 · 25/07/2017 07:12
If you do want a second opinion, you can find an ATP registered practitioner here:
Tabymoomoo · 25/07/2017 07:12
I really feel for you OP I remember that desire to want to do the best for your baby and feeling like a failure when bf doesn't go to plan. My 2nd baby was a terrible feeder and when weight dropped I moved to expressing full time after my mum saw what a state I was in. It was exhausting, particularly while dealing with a toddler, and I missed the closeness of the bf by at least I knew he was still getting my milk. I managed to do it for 2 months but it took a lot of hard work - had to start building up supply expressing every 3 hours even through the night. I used to express even in the bath! It certainly wasn't an easy option but may be worth looking into whilst transitioning to formula? There's lots of advice out there - Kellymom is a good website and pumping mummies group on BC was so helpful.
Good luck and try not to feel too guilty it isn't your fault.
RelaxMax · 25/07/2017 07:13
It really doesn't need to be either/or. I'm breastfeeding my DS2 but he also has formula top ups. I don't think that's reduced our closeness or the sense that I'm giving him the best start.
In fact it's giving my DH a chance to have that closeness as he does the bottle feeds.
Don't forget the bond between dad and baby is important too and taking over some feeds can help with that as well as giving you some time to spend with your daughter.
So in your case topping up might be a good way to help your whole family and certainly nothing to feel guilty about xxx
lloveroftobleone · 25/07/2017 07:18
Thank you all so much for being so supportive. I am very tired!
Ohnomoomoos, so sorry you had this crappy experience too. A big part of my brain, especially in better moments can get perspective. My daughter is really healthy, has the odd snotty nose and that's it. If I was reading this post I would just say, give him a bottle and don't beat yourself up over it! It's so different when you're in it though isn't it.
abigwideworld · 25/07/2017 07:20
You might get some pretty bad advice here OP. Lots of people will also just tell you about their own feeding experience which isn't always helpful, especially when people had bad experiences.
You have done amazing feeding so far :) Have you thought about getting some face to face support with positioning? You could try LLL or your midwife/HV or a BF support group. The National BF helpline are lovely and can provide a friendly ear, they have good advice too about tongue tie and positioning.
Don't despair :) you are doing really well and every day that baby gets bigger and older and you get more experienced it will get easier.
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