I just need to have a whinge/ get some advice from those who have been there before. Sorry this will be long.
Some of you may be familiar with my story. I struggled to establish breastfeeding with my 3yo and quickly gave up and put her on formula.
I was so desperate to get it right this time around. I had my DD2 3 weeks ago and before hand posted many threads here asking a million questions and thanks to all of you I was able to establish breastfeeding successfully this time around.
In hospital DD was a little breastfeeding champ. She had a great latch and quickly picked up weight, I had very little pain, everything seemed to be going well.
Since we've gotten home things have gotten progressively worse. I have really intense nipple pain and large breasts that are cumbersome to position DD on. It got so bad that I had an LC come out and she was very helpful and gave me a lot of info and showed me how to attach DD properly but I just feel like it's not getting easier. Everytime I call her to follow up she keeps saying it will get easier if I follow the correct latch but it's just not happening.
The nipple pain is still there. I have to use both hands to breastfeed as I need one hand to hold DD and the other to hold my breast off her face so it doesn't suffocate her, and squish the nipple so it fits in her mouth. I also have major anxiety about feeding in public as I need to see what I'm doing and how I'm positioning my breasts/ hands and I can't use a cover so I feel like I can't leave the house.
I'm getting to the end of my rope. In the hospital I had visions of breastfeeding for 2 years but now I'm struggling, I can't imagine getting to six months. I'm so close to throwing in the towel. I just want to put her on formula so DH can feed her overnight and I can actually get some sleep and give my nipples a break.
I don't really know the point of this post. Just hoping someone here has some words of wisdom for me to get me through. Today was my first day on my own with both kids as DH went back to work and it's been so hard. All I can think of is putting her on the bottle to make life easier.
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26-04-2016 17:47 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
I am in breastfeeding hell!
26-04-2016 18:13 #2
Yes it is extremely hard and I have been there. Many thanks to the awesome lady in Woolworths that day that helped me get the bottle and formula because I was crying so much I couldn't see properly.
If you give your baby formula you will not be giving up or not getting it right. You will be feeding your baby and doing what you feel is best for your entire family which gets a 10 out of 10 mark in my books. It sounds like you've given it a red hot go so don't be so hard on yourself.
Would pumping and using a bottle be an option?
26-04-2016 18:27 #3
Take a breath, you're doing really well.
Don't stress about having to use 2 hands at this stage, you're still on your L plates. It took me weeks to learn to feed without using a heap of cushions and pillows. You will both get better at it. There were plenty of times I needed a second pair of hands to get the attachment right.
Don't stress about feeding in public at this point either. If you absolutely need to feed in public then use a feeding room so you have some privacy and don't wait until bubs is screaming before you do it. Buy a new toy or sticker book for your toddler to keep them entertained if you have to.
With regard to pain it could be a number of things and your LC is the best person to assist with that.
Are you using different positions or only feeding in the one position? I know breastfeeding is such a massive learning curve but using different positions can really help because it puts pressure on different parts of your nipples. A fantastic position to master is the lying down position in bed. When you can get that right you can lie in bed and watch tv or read (or even sleep!!) whilst bubs feed. It's bliss.
Lastly, and most importantly, take every day or feed as it comes. Don't worry about how you're going to make it to 6 months, 2 years or whatever. Your goal is to get through the day. If that's too much then your goal is to get through the next feed, that's all. Ever feed is giving your baby amazing nutrients so congratulate yourself for every feed.
26-04-2016 18:29 #4
firstly, big hugs, it's not easy is it?
re the latch - what's changed between how she was latching while you were at the hospital and now?
re feeding in public, don't feel bad. I'm the same and I don't have massive boobs (DD size so not tiny but they're not huge) and I just don't feel comfortable either. since being a prisoner at home probably isn't a viable long term option either, what about taking formula or ebm when you're on the road?
re night feeds and your dh helping out, could you express a bit and have some ebm ready to go? or just offer formula at night?
I BF my ds when I'm home during the day, but when we go out I take a bottle of formula or ebm with me. I feel for more relaxed knowing he has his next feed ready to go and I don't have to rush about looking for a parents room to feed him or risk exposing myself.
my ds had issues establishing BF too and I, like you, came very close to throwing the towel in. it felt impossible and that I was doing more harm than good to my wellbeing by continuing to pursue the issue. expressing and formula became good tools (regular expressing kept my supply nice and high) until ds finally "got it" around 6 weeks and has been BF ever since. I still express once a day first thing as we give formula at night. otherwise he's BF at all other times unless I'm out and about or we have guests, in which case we give a bottle.
i guess my point is, is it doesn't have to be one or the other. use expressing and formula as tools to give yourself a break and keep you sane. express regularly to maintain your supply. let your dh help out and catch up on your rest. it may all click for your DD in a few weeks. until then, it's survival mode and doing what you need to keep your supply up to keep the door open for BF. that was my strategy, buy myself time by keeping my supply going and deciding whether I should keep going. luckily for me, my ds finally got it. if I'd given up earlier and switched to formula, I'd have never gotten to the 6 week point where he finally got it.
26-04-2016 18:33 #5
Don't stress mumma! You're doing really well! 🙏 I had my first DD 6 months ago and for the first 4 weeks breastfeeding was so painful for me. I had cracked nipples to the point where they would bleed and nothing helped except lanolin cream. I stuck it out and after the 5th week I had absolutely no pain!
Don't feel like you're giving up at all! You have to do what's best for your baby AND for you!
Have you thought about expressing and feeding her your breastmilk from bottles? The pumps suction isn't as strong as bubs sucking reflex so may not hurt so much, especially if you use a shield and some lanolin cream!
Let us know how you go.
Wishing you all the best and I hope your nipples feel better soon! 😘
26-04-2016 18:36 #6
If the pain is only recent, it could be thrush. It took me 3 months of nipple pain to figure that out!! The only other sign was a little bit of nappy rash. Once I treated it, the pain went. Might be something worth checking.
Their latch does improve as they grow so you'll find you'll be able to get out and about more as she gets older and grows a bit. Sometimes it helps to say "this too shall pass"...I never believed it but it's true even though it feels like forever when they are little.
Good luck xx
Eta. After 3 months of pain initially we are still going strong at 27 months!
26-04-2016 18:41 #7
I am in breastfeeding hell!
You're doing a fab job, no matter what anyone says, breastfeeding is NOT easy for everyone and it takes time to get established.
With big boobs, can you try a lie down feed? I found mastering that was key, I had 12H cups on the first 6 months of feeding. And Yep feeding in public when you have boobs with the surface area of Antartica to cover isn't easy. Just do what is comfortable, find a feeding room, use a cover or sit in your car and feed if you find that more comfortable.
If you're in pain, something might have happened with the latch. Do you have a community nurse who could help you feed? about 3/4 weeks in i was getting terrible cracked nipples and pain and I couldn't figure it out. I went down to my local MACH nurse clinic and one of the midwives watched me feed and worked out my DS was sucking in his bottom lip, and i actually had big bruises I couldn't see. As soon as he latched I'd run my finger under his lip to get him to latch properly and from then on it was fixed. It can be something simple. So important to try and find the right help.
Try and hang in there, you're doing a great job. Could you try another LC? It sounds like you need someone there to watch you put baby on and check she's latching properly.
Last edited by Clementine Grace; 26-04-2016 at 18:43.
26-04-2016 18:50 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2015
The pain could be a lot of things. Do you have cracks or nipple damage at all?
Does your DD have a lip/tongue tie? Did the LC check this?
Regarding using both hands - its actually really really common to do this. I did it a lot with DS and still do it with DD.
You will probably need to help with latch/guide nipple into mouth for a little while longer. It is completely normal to do this
Have you tried different positions for feeding? Some are more comfortable than others.
Also, if you are not comfortable feeding in public then try expressing a bit and bottle feed EBM/formula while out.
Or get comfy in the parents room and feed there.
26-04-2016 19:56 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
So sorry @Mama Mirabelle you're trying so hard and it is so freaking hard and why does it have to be so hard when we're already tired and emotional?! So not fair.
Have you tried a nipple shield? Medela make a large size this might help bub get on with your large boobs and might also help the pain? My DD is almost 10 months exclusively breastfed the whole time every single feed with a nipple shield due to her inability to latch (small mouth, prem baby, flattish nipples round boobs etc). Worth a shot xx
26-04-2016 21:37 #10
It's super hard but well worth it if you can stick it out! I had damaged nipples that bled and then i somehow managed to rip them under the skin so the left one took weeks to mend.. It was so bad my toes curled at every feed 😁😁😁
BUT.. 10mths on and I'm still at it and love it.
It does get easier and bubs mouth will grow and she'll get more used to it also. Don't stress about being out for feeds. You can time trips around naps for now and then when things get easier venture out over feed times..
They say an average of 8 weeks to really get into the swing of it.
In the meantime it might be worth using the Medela nipple shields for the pain? They saved me for a good few weeks.. Good luck! You got this! 👊🏼🍀
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