View Full Version : Problems with breastfeeding
My new son is almost a week old tomorrow, he was born at 36 weeks. To date I have been breastfeeding and while he was in the hospital he had to go into the nursery in which he was also given formula and expressed milk, as he had low blood sugar levels and had a bit of jaundice.
I am still having issues with feeding, I have been given help by the midwives and with videos and pamplets. His mouth is still a bit premature and I have trouble getting him to open his mouth wide to take the right amount of breast, therefore I am ending up with sore nipples - they aren't cracked yet - but a terribly tender.
He also seems to wriggle alot, which I then have trouble attaching, when he does have a big mouth, he then doesn't clamp on and starts to cry.
Just wondering if anyone else has been through this and offers any advice. I am getting rather tired and upset that it has been a lot harder than what I thought it would be - especially when you see so many women that make it look so easy. My boobs aren't exactly huge, and I am wondering whether it would be best to put him onto formula, as he needs to put on weight - as he lost more than 10% during time spent in hospital.
Thanks for all your help.
Although it is really tempting to put him onto formula please don't make a decision so soon that you might regret later. I also had a really difficult time for the first couple of weeks with DD2 and spent a large part of it in tears. What saved me and helped her was a lactation consultant. If you can do anything to help you and your beautiful boy it will be to find one a.s.a.p. They are better than midwives and will not just make you watch a video - they will sit with you and check your technique, babies technique etc and give you lots of tips and support. IT is amazing how much difference even the way you are holding your hands can affect your babies ability to feed.
It really is worth getting the help and getting him feeding well - it will make your life easy and him healthy. People will tell you not to feel bad if you put him onto formula and that is true - but before you make the decision, do both of you a big favour and see an expert!!
I hope it goes well for you.
PS - the size of your boobs has nothing to do with the amount of milk you can produce, so don't factor that in at all!!!
I just wanted to say that I completely understand. My DS2 was excatly the same. He was full term but refused to open his mouth wide enough. I ended up with sore nipples to the point where one bled and I wanted to give up. It became so bad that I ended up expressing from the sorest side and syrgine (sp?) feeding it to him or using a supply line as one side was less sore than the other.
My advice would be similar to the previous post and get a lactation consultant to help you with attachment because I had one and she was wonderful! And just to persevere, in the end after expressing for about a week I just kept trying to get attachment right and trying different positions like football hold. By about 3 or 4 weeks he was big enough to open his mouth wider and the soreness eventually eased off and I am still feeding him now.
A word of warning about expressing, the lactation consultant told me that it can affect supply and be confusing for the baby, but it worked ok for me and I was desperate.
Good luck, don't give up, it can work out!! Hope that helps.
DS1 March 03
DS2 May 05
Hugs to you! This is such an emotional and important time in our lives, congratulations on your new wee babe. Like the others said, a lactation consultant will help you back on track asap and you will have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship ahead of you. When we learn to drive, we're prepared to put in a lot of time and effort over many months, and so it is with many new skills. The difference with breastfeeding is that the rewards are so great! Much better than driving! Getting in touch with your local ABA group will really help you with free support, and they will also recommend a lactation consultant for you. It takes about 6 weeks for most of us to establish breastfeeding. Trust me, the cost, the constant sterilising, making, filling, heating of formula makes being a new mama much harder. Spend lots of time having naked time with your little one, skin on skin really helps the hormones of breastfeeding to work well. Lots of us struggle in the beginning but support and persistance pay off! I'm still feeding nearly 2 years later.
Breastfeeding information and support
ABA – Australian Breastfeeding Assoc.
ABA – helpline
ACT/Southern New South Wales (02) 6258 8928
New South Wales (02) 8853 4999
Queensland (07) 3844 8977 or (07) 3844 8166
Townsville (07) 47235566
South Australia and NT (0 8411 0050
Northern Territory counsellor contact line (0 8411 0301
Tasmania (03) 6223 2609
Tasmania - North (03) 6331 2799
Victoria (03) 9885 0653
Western Australia (0 9340 1200
Oh you poor thing - I know exactly how you feel. I remember sitting the bath sobbing with frustration and pain (my nipples ended up bleeding from the grazes) about 3 days after DD's birth. I was SO close to giving up and thinking that formula would be best for both of us.
However, I kept going despite the pain and really focused on bubs position and encouraging her to take as much nipple as poss (I did this by lifting my breast just under the nipple which helped feed a larger amount into her mouth. Within a few days my nipples were totally fine and we were working as a team. DD is now 16 weeks and it is so easy for both of us, we can do it anytime, anywhere and blindfolded (not that I have tried this but I am fairly certain we'd be fine!).
One of the things (health benefits etc aside) that really helped convince me to keep going was the sheer convenience of bf. Now, I can not imagine the inconvenience of having to make up bottles, sterilise and heat them.
As I said, I know how you feel so please try to keep going - it did work out in the end for us. I have been exactly where you are but managed to get past it. I really hope that you can too - good luck
Hi Natalie *waves* I hope you're getting some help and spending some lovely time having nudie cuddles with bubs and a beautiful babymoon. There's so much help available if you ring the numbers I left and you can establish bf and be rocking in a few short weeks. It's worth it! :)
Hugs to you!
As others have said, contact a lactation consultant. I had problems feeding my first son (he had a tongue tie) and I saw the lactation consultant at the hospital where I had my children. She was fantastic and I strongly believe that had I not seen her I would not have successfully breastfed my other two sons. I am currently still feeding my 3rd son at 10 months and loving every minute of it. Persevere if you can as it is so rewarding!!
I also had trouble with my daughter - she was born at 37 weeks and spent 8 days in intensive care where i had to feed her through a tube in her nose (expressed milk) It took me about 6 weeks to get her to feed correctly. She didnt put on weight during the 6 weeks and I was ready to give it all up. I persisted and she suddenly changed overnite. She now feeds really well and puts on lots of weight.
Dont give up - It is not an easy thing to do . Just think how much easier it will be when everything is going well.
I have just posted my 'story' under "EBM and breast feeding", but it probably belonged under this thread better.
I have had a similar situation to you with my son having low blood sugars and difficulties sucking. He could not get the 'wide mouth' thing happening at all - and he turned purple screaming with most early attempts at feeds. BESS (Breastfeeding support) got me to just give him EBM with a*Haberman feeder for a few weeks until he got a bit stronger and bigger. During that time he had 'special time' near my boobs to create some happy memories of being there... I have a double medela electric pump, which has become an extension of my body... expessing is a pain, but at least he's getting the 'good stuff'.
Things do get better, and for me it turned a corner quite suddenly. Good luck!
Oh... BESS was free. It is attached to the Royal Women's Hosptial & is accross the road from the Emergency Dept - 3/234 Cardigan Street, Carlton). You do not need to have gone to the RWH and you do not need a referral. It is staffed by lactation consultants. Their phone number is: 9344 3651 or see www.rwh.org.au/bess
They are pretty busy and have a waiting list - but if you can get there on short notice, they are pretty good at calling mum's up when they have a cancellation. I went in for a day at a time where they observed/assisted with several feeds (they even provided lunch!). I went 3 times. You will meet other mums there who are having similar problems.
Your local MCH Service may also have a lactation consultant available.
I watched every video, read a million books, asked all the nurses, joined the ABA, went to a breastfeeding day stay thing at a hospital and NONE of it worked. Finally I called a lactation consultant to come to my home. She saved my sanity and my nipples in just 10 minutes!!
Don't feel like a failure, it is really hard in those early days. Call a lactation consultant asap, they're the best. And I'm sure you and bub deserve the best.
Good on you, Cathy! Another star mama! :D
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