+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    20,686
    Thanks
    925
    Thanked
    740
    Reviews
    1
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 postsRuby Star - 15,000 postsDiamond Star - 20,000 posts

    Default Expressing, nipple confusion and cracks

    Hi Girls
    I just wanted to start a thread on some general breast feeding issues. I had several problems with our first born and I thought that there might be some others out there who are going through similar experiences. For a few weeks I really thought that I'd give breast feeding away, but I'm *so* glad that I didn't. I would just like to encourage anyone who might be feeling overwhelmed. There are so many tricks and techniques to breast feeding that you might never know about unless you ask the right person . So my story...

    My first baby never really attached well while we were in hospital. I had very flat / inverted nipples and she has a tongue tie. We went home from hospital with a breast pump, as we had to express every feed. The first few weeks were very frustrating (and painful). I had cracks on my nipples that seemed like crevasses, but I was reassured when my lactation consultant (bless her) told me that each crack was making my nipples that little bit longer and easier for my daughter to attach to. I was always very leaky, so it was difficult to dry my nipples after each feed. I found that breast shells (plastic domes that hold your bra away from the nipple) worked really well and hastened healing for nipple cracks.

    While we were expressing feeds and bottle feeding my breast milk, my baby developed "nipple confusion"; she didn't really know what to do with a breast when one was presented to her. Feeds were a two person effort (thank goodnes for my DH). I would try to breast feed her, she would refuse the nipple and get very upset, husband would bottle feed her and I would express for the next feed. The lactation consultant (again, bless her) suggested feeding with nipple sheilds. Bingo! the nipple shield was similar enough to a bottle teat that she knew what to do! Then after a little while longer we were able to start with a nipple sheild and take it off after a few sucks. I expressed some milk into her mouth and the light bulb went off! She finally realised what a breast was for. We then continued a normal breast feeding relationship until she was about 6.5 months old when I went back to work.

    We also had low weight gains with our first daughter. Fortunately, our paediatrician is VERY pro breast feeding and suggested that we continued to work on our breast feeding technique. My lactation consultant again suggested a slight feeding variation that saved the day. Instead of feeding on just one or two sides at each feed, try "interlude" feeding. This is where you feed on the first side for 5-10 minutes and then go to the second breast for 5-10 minutes and then go back to the first breast to finish the feed. This ensures that the baby gets all that precious "hind" milk (the creamiest, fattiest milk) from the first breast, as the short rest makes it much easier for the baby to completely drain that breast. This technique kept our weight gain satisfactory and we did not need to complementary feed with formula.

    After all that drama, I was sure that second baby would present far fewer problems. However she also felt the need to do some nipple rearrangement with similar *huge* nipple cracks developed in order to stretch the nipple (but only on one side thankfully). This created far less drama, I was able to feed on one side only when the pain on the cracked nipple was too much. It usually only required 24 hours for the crack to heal sufficiently to allow feeding and I pulled out my old breast shells to help that process along.

    There were some days when I would have cheerfully given it all away, but for one reason or another, the benefits of breast feeding kept me in the game. I have never had a big emotional attachment to breast feeding, but I am convinced that all the drama I went through is be FAR outweighed by the benefits that both of my daughters have received from breast feeding . Please feel free to ask any questions, I can only tell you what my experience has been, but I hope that its benficial to even just one person.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    185
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    19
    Reviews
    0
    Hi Samantha,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I had exactly the same problems in hospital with Grace. I wasn't as couragous as you, I changed to formula with her as I didn't think I could cope with the attach, express, top-up routine every 2hrs. I am glad I made the change, as I didn't have DH at home to help, and I really like knowing exactly how much she has had.

    I sometimes feel a twing of guilt for not trying harder, but at the time I was a real emotional mess.

    Thankyou for your post

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    20,686
    Thanks
    925
    Thanked
    740
    Reviews
    1
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 postsRuby Star - 15,000 postsDiamond Star - 20,000 posts

    Talking Guilt - the scourge of the mother...

    Hi Gemma
    I'm glad you enjoyed reading the tale, I certainly had many resources available that allowed me to cope. But whatever you do, don't give in to guilt (I know that's much easier to say than do , and I struggle with it a bit EVERY DAY ). At the end of the day a healthy and sane mother and bub is the only goal (and how you get there is *really* not so important).

    Cheers

  4. #4
    razzle's Avatar
    razzle is offline FORUM MANAGER~ Always watching...
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    11,735
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    18
    Reviews
    0
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 posts
    Hi Samantha,

    I enjoyed reading your post as well. I didn't have nearly as much trouble but had some all the same. It took ages for Eloise to get the hang of breastfeeding - she knew what to do but (a) I didn't have enough milk at first and (b) my nipple seemed too big for her to get her mouth completely around , so I had to supplement feed her. My lactation consultant told me about nipple confusion and the like so we resorted to giving her expressed breast milk mixed with formula from a cup (in the hospital) and then we switched to a syringe when we got home - it seemed a bit easier. Although - let me give you all the tip - syringe feeding at 3 in the morning to a hungry baby is NOT fun!! And neither is having an electric pump attached to your breast at every spare moment! To make matters even more difficult, she was diagnosed with a heart murmur at 2 days old, so all her energy was going into sucking and she was falling asleep before she could get full. I was feeding her with a cup every 2 hours. We were very worried because she was not gaining weight and was very jaundiced. Everyone was telling me to give it up but I was determined! And we did get there in the end.

    Eventually, after about a month, we managed to successfully breastfeed. And then, after all that, she completely went off breastfeeding by 3 months. I expressed as much as I could but my milk dried up within the week. She went straight onto fomula without a backward glance.

    I still feel a little bit guilty that I couldn't feed for longer, but there were just too many things going against us. And as you say - sane mother = happy baby!!

    Cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,503
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    10
    Reviews
    0
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts

    Default breast feeding

    HI girls,
    What a great thread. I firmly believe that it's really important for mother's to support each other in whatever decisions they make as mothers. Deciding whether or not breast feeding or to go bottle feeding would have to be one of the hardest decisions we make as mothers. Harry also had trouble attatching and then sucking whilst in hospital. First of all he wouldn't attatch and then when he did he didn't know what to do. So we had to do sucking practise (really we did!!!!) with him to get him to suck. Once he put it all together we were off and haven't looked back since. I now realise that I'm one of the luckly ones and have successfully breast feed Harry for the past nearly 6 months.
    We were at his health check on Friday and the Child health nurse asked me if I had thought about dropping a feed. I was shocked, I asked her which one I should drop as I consider all my feeds to be important. So we went through Harry's routine and she told me I could drop his afternoon feed and just give him water instead. I went home and thought about it and realised that I truely love breast feeding Harry and unless I have to when I go back to work next year, I don't want to drop a feed. This is a personal decision I have made. As long all our little ones are all thriving does it really matter!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    185
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    19
    Reviews
    0
    hmm that's so nice. My one of my close nursing friends breastfed and she loved feeding time and the connection she had with her bub...he used to stroke her breast and smile!

    I obviously didn't have that but I always loved cuddling grace before naps and bedtime...to the point where she won't go to sleep without being rocked (I know I have set myslef up for hell later). But I love that time with her, and still do and I don't wan't to give it up!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    44
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    2
    Reviews
    0

    Thumbs up Mummy Milk

    Wow - it's been really lovely reading all your stories. It makes me realise just how lucky I was with my breastfeeding our little bub. Georgia was just straight onto the boob at hospital and sucking strongly. Which doesn't mean to say we had no hiccups - I think it was more me learning how to attach her properly so her mouth was wide! Thank goodness for those wonderful lactation ladies. But after some really sore nipples with minute cracks compared to you Samantha, we made it(with the help of Lansinoh). Now with Georgia being 10 1/2 mths I am already starting to dread the time when breastfeeding will be stopped all together. Her day feeds are already down to 3 - morning, afternoon & bedtime - she just cut down naturally due to solids and some days she doesn't even want her afternoon feed Sigh - I just love looking down at her looking up and me and making each other giggle. I will just have to treasure the next 6mths as I plan to feed her to about 15mths or so because then I am hoping to be pregnant again! Georgia has only been sick with one headcold - which I think?/hope has a lot to do with the breastmilk (and the fact that I am lucky enough not to have to put her in daycare - read other post about endless sniffles from daycare!). I just also want to say that I think mums that make the decision to switch over to formula for whatever reason are magnificently brave as they are of course doing what is best for their little bub.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    1
    Reviews
    0
    Reading these stories has made me realise just how much more determined I am to get breastfeeding back into full swing! Suffering from postnatal stress has meant my milk supply plumetted and I have been trying very hard for the last few weeks to pump and increase to keep up with the demands of Bailey. Having partner at home does help and reading stories on the net means I don't feel so alone and anything is possible if you just stick with it! Am desperate to try and reestablish feeding and am going to see nurse on thursday! Am actually thinking about medication to up supply quicker! Anyone else with stories like this I would love to hear about it and if there are any tricks to get bub back on the boob please let me know!
    Just remember if you are determined you can do anything!


 

Similar Threads

  1. Cracks in skin folds and behind ears
    By jazzybaby in forum General Parenting Tips, Advice & Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 22-08-2012, 21:16
  2. Girl Name confusion
    By larazie in forum Choosing Baby Names
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 22-06-2012, 19:28
  3. GP and OB confusion
    By Hutchy in forum Pregnancy & Birth General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-03-2012, 15:40

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

FEATURED SUPPORTER
ProSwimProSwim Rostrevor runs learn to swim classes for children and adults. Lessons are run during the Summer months ...