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  1. #1
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    Default Encouragement needed

    Some may have read my other thread about vasospasms. This is a vent/tell me it gets better thread as I'm really struggling. I spent the night crying and feeling hopeless.

    I had a pretty traumatic birth but then took to bf really well. After day 2 I had an epidural headache and had to try feed laying down for 2 days. I mustn't hve been doing it right because I got cracks and blisters within a day. I had two blood patches that haven't worked but am now able to feed sitting up. I'm using nipple sheilds as I'm still healing.

    Then the vasospasms kicked in with full force. We have one LC in town who spoke to me last night over the phone. She Made things so much worse by telling me nothing other than I will lose my supply from using sheilds and most people with vasospasms give up bf.
    So far I have great supply and have used sheilds since day 3. I understand it can affect supply but at the moment the pain from the vasospasms is bad enough, I can't physically and emotionally cope with trying to wean off them yet.
    Bubs is gaining plenty of weight and every nappy change she is soaked but last night she was fussing at the breast and I was hysterical screaming at dp that I was starving her. If the shops had been open I woulve gotten formula

    Bf is really important to me and my baby loves feeding. I just feel so bad for using sheilds, for risking my supply, for crying when she feeds, for getting frustrated.

    Someone tell me it is worth it

  2. #2
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    It sounds like you are doing an amazing job, particularly in light of traumatic birth and complications regarding the epidural! You must me so strong and determined to keep breast feeding!

    It's worth it! Give your self little goals like bf til next feed or Thursday or next week. It makes it less daunting. I used this approach with my second bub and we are still feeding at 6 mths.

    I have used nipple shields for both my bubs, and had vasospasm with my second bub, and it sucks! I have an inkling that the shields made the vasospasm worse for me, due to the way bub was chomping when using them, and vasospasm can worsen with trauma.

    Regarding supply and shields, I saw a LC in toowoomba who told me its not an issue, the most important thing remains good attachment, and if after 3 days your supply is good, then your most likely using the shields correctly.

    Wish you all the best

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    Try ringing the ABA they have some good support and advice, please don't worry too much about using shields I used them with ds because I had cracked and bleeding nipples and they were the only way I could keep feeding. I too had a night where I cracked and came in tears begging for a bottle cos I couldn't do it.. Thankfully after some sleep that passed and I kept trying. Could you maybe try expressing too? That way dp can occasionally take a feed and you can have a break and help your nipples heal. Lasinoh is also a brilliant cream that I'd recommend. It sounds like you're doing brilliantly especially after a traumatic birth. I hope the ABA can be a bit more help and support and it gets easier soon

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    Sorry I can't offer much help on the nipple shields but I blistered like crazy too in the beginning. I fed lying down for months cos bub scraped against my tailbone on his way out haha. I just soldiered through the pain because breastfeeding was the only option in my mind. Anyway, bub learnt to attach properly within a week or two and the pain/blistering stopped too!

    If your supply is fine and your baby is happy, I don't see why it's an issue. Maybe as soon as your nipples feel better you can try without the shields again? It DOES get better.

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    Hope you don't think I am following you around the threads
    My vasospasms were worst with my first babe, that along with injured nipples like you describe made feeding a toe curling experience. I recently had a post LP headache like you described and think you are bluddy awesome for persevering feeding your bubba in that sort of pain. Good lord I was lucky my kids were older and could be cared for by others.

    I found feeding lying down tricky with my first. With him I had to express (never tried the sheilds) and would feed expressed milk, then boob and alternate to try and give my nipples some time t recover.

    It does get better with both the sore nipples, and the vasospasms. I feel awful that you have been made to feel guilty. You have a a rough week? or two. I'm in awe

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    You poor thing! I have only ever been able to feed using nipple shields. My DD is now 4 months old and no supply issues for me. I too was told my supply would go and that I had to wean her off them but I found that too stressful so just took the risk and kept using the shield with no problem. I also agree with others that setting small goals to aim towards works well.

    You sound like you are doing an amazing job. BF can be extremely tough.

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    Thank you so much everyone
    I've just had a shower and feel a little better already.
    I'm on my phone so can't quote even though I'd like to respond individually.
    But in regards to expressing, I actually brought a manual pump the other day as I was so engorged the midwife at the hospital when I had my second blood patch suggested I express some before attaching bubs. The problem is it hurts more than bf and nothing comes out I also can't hand express or get milk out at all unless bubs is feeding. I think it's a psychological thing maybe? The other night when baby fed I had my bra off and my other breast was leaking the whole feed so we put a bottle there to catch it lol
    I know expressing will hurt with the vasospasm but does anyone know why it would hurt when I don't get the vasospasm?

    Thanks again xx

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    I don't have any experience with vasospasm, but I did have an extremely difficult bf journey in the beginning. I had to use nipple shields for a period of time early on due to cracking and bleeding and I don't think it affected my supply, although bub would often feed for longer with the shields I noticed.

    So anyway, I still have a good supply almost two years on and I used nipple shields in the early days. You just do what you have to do, and if you think you need the shields to feed comfortably then it's worth giving it a go. I know my poor nipples thanked me for the shields!

    And yes, the hard work pays off and it is definitely worth the effort. It sounds like you're doing a great job.

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    Sending you lots of hugs, I have no real advice sorry but I know in my case it got easier.

    I had badly cracked nipples that would bleed (not badly bleed), I didn't use shields either, my toes world curl with the pain, I had no real support from my family nor DH they all said to give up and put him on formula but I'm so stubborn and I wanted to BF.
    The soreness lasted around 10 weeks and like your LO my DS gain wait extremely well.
    I wish you all the luck in the world xxoo

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    Etienne  (29-11-2011)

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    hi etienne, not much to add, but congratulations, and you are doing a great job, keep going, successful breastfeeding is such an acheivment. ABA will be able to help, and the many wonderful mums here, but do follow the advice that works for you. Often you will hear something that sounds like a good idea, but when you give it a try, it is not so good. Dont swap and change, and find your head spinning from all the advice, just choose what you think might suit, and then give it a bit of time, like a few days. That way you will know what is working, and you will be confidient in what you are doing. It does get better, I promise you. Marie.

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