Breastfeeding Nightmare

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Rosebay, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    sorry to dump but I have some stuff to get off my chest (! lol!).

    As you know I had my little boy last Saturday and frankly I had an easy labour really, gas and air, only a small tear, no stitches. I opted to stay in the hospital for a few days to get the feeding established and really just because I was so bewildered etc.

    I didn't have that many problems latching him on but my nipples seemed quite sensitive. Elliott had swallowed a lot of mucus during labour and so was very sleepy for the first few days which meant a huge fuss getting him to wake up to feed- stripping him off and blowing on him and 50 mins on the breast etc. After two days though he started getting a bit more demanding but my milk hadn't come through. All he wanted to do was to suck and they kept telling me to put him back on. The final straw came for me on Tuesday night when he was feeding for 4 hours straight- every time he wailed they told me to put him back on. I ended up crying so much with tiredness and pain that they took him away to give me a break and then gave him some formula to fill him up.

    The day after next I went home and he was still really wanting food the whole time. The first night home was a nightmare- he was screaming frantically and several lumps had come off my nipples and he was throwing up bits of it and blood which freaked me out. They had told us to feed him small amounts of formula off a spoon if he wouldn't settle but it was so hard to get enough down him to stop his hunger. At 4am after phoning the midwife she came out and fed him 90ml of formula milk and his whole little body relaxed- he was so hungry. She gave us some syringes and hoped that my milk would come in (I think this is day 4-5 now) but it didn't and it was taking us several hours to feed him small amounts of formula.

    At this point I called my Mum who came and helped scrape us off the floor as I hadn't slept more than about 10 hours in a week (I didn't think thebody could do this) and the midwife was telling me to rest to help my milk in. Another 24 hours passed and although I was producing milk a little bit I got no hormonal shifts, no full breasts and (when I expressed with a pump to try and give my nipples time to heal) only about 10ml of milk in total. It got to Friday and more bits came off my nipples which were now sorer than any of my other bits put together (it wasn't the latching on they think- more the time spent and my skin/make up) that just thinking of feeding him made me cry. I felt so down because I was in such pain and he was so hungry and I just couldn't enjoy being with him as I was so worried about him.

    Eventually I got 3 hours sleep and decided- day 6, to give up the breastfeeding. We put him onto formula and he is a totally different baby- he's taking 100ml every 4 hours and he's not cried that horrible desperate cry since. Sadly I have now developed mastitus so just when I'd decided that yes I'd turned the corner I got knocked back again but they got me antibiotics very quickly and it seems to be better now. My Mum's milk never really came in with my brother either. They seemed to say that if I expressed and syringe fed him formula eventually it might stimulate more milk but they couldn't say when.

    I feel very emotional about the whole thing as it was such an ordeal and means that I'm hanging on my my fingernails slightly when I otherwise might have been a bit more sorted by now. The last two days he's decided to be up all night with one thing or another so now my DH is freaked out that I will never sleep again and will run crying into him in the night as I did one of the nights last week just crying for help (I was trying to give him some rest so one of us was functioning).

    My Mum has gone home to sleep today- she'll be back Tuesday if we need her. I've had 2 hours sleep since midday yesterday as he was up all night but today we have kept him with us and he's been drifting in and out of sleep all day rather than just being flat out like the last two so I'm hoping he might choose to sleep tonight. (Not through obviously- just any sleep at all would be cool!) He's no problem it's just that I'd rather he was fussing in the day rather than the night! Any tips? He seems to quite naturally have slipped into a 4 hour feeding pattern of 11, 7, 3 which is cool.

    Anyway. Sorry to moan, I just wondered if anyone else had had bad breastfeeding experiences, I'm trying very hard not to see it as a failure. I can't help feeling that the hospital were wrong in getting me to have him latched on so much though. The last night I was there there was another woman in the cubicle next to me sobbing over her boy in exactly the same situation i.e. feeding for long periods. When the specialist breastfeeding midwife came on the next morning she seemed horrified- I think it was a case of not everyone pulling in the same direction really.

    Oh- some more questions. I had to learn about formula dead fast- do you have any tips? At the moment as my head is totally frazzled I'm using the premade up stuff but how do you mix the powder. Do you cool the boiled water in your kettle, do you wait for it to be totally cool? Do you make up the 6 feeds at once? Any hints and tips gratefully received!

    Thanks for reading! Feels good to get it out!
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  2. stephlw25

    stephlw25 Well-Known Member

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    Hiya, you definitely shouldnt feel like a failure. You did your best at breastfeeding but at least your little man is happy now! i know how you feel thou, jamie didnt take to the breast very well so i gave him formula and expressed milk for a few weeks. part of me though wished i tryed breastfeeding again but jamie was happy enough on the formula so i just continued on that. Dont beat yourself up about it hun, just think its made him a happier chap!!

    With the bottles, i do six at a time. get everything sterilized etc and ready, boil the kettle and fill the bottles with the boiled water to the required level. (obviously cooling it down if you need it straight away by putting the bottle in a jug of cold water) i then just leave the bottles with water in on the shelf in my kitchen and i add the formula as and when i need it. i find this easier for me personally but some people prefer to actually make up the bottles with the water and formula at the same time and store them in the fridge, this is fine too but they have to be used within 24 hours!
    Just remember to pour in the water first and then add the formula,(i did this wrong to start off with....put powder in first!!! :oops: :shock: ) you always put the same number of scoops of formula in according to how many onces there are in a bottle...... so if 3 ounces of water = 3 scoops of formula. 4 ounces = 4 scoops etc etc!!
    Hope that helps a little!! dont mean to offend if you already know this stuff its just i was so confused at first with how to make up a bottle! :oops:
    Any questions feel free to PM me!
    Good luck hun let us jnow how your getting on and hope the mastitus clears up soon, ive not had it myself but heard its not very nice!

    Steph x

    (sorry if ive waffled on a bit!!!! lol)
     
  3. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! No you won't offend at all with advice- I know nothing, help! Do you sterilise the jug you put the boiled water in? Does a scoop come with the tins of forumla? where's the cheapest place to buy it? Will he be on SMA gold for a while or is it just newborn?

    Thanks again!

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  4. stephlw25

    stephlw25 Well-Known Member

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    I use boiled water from the kettle and just pour that straight into the bottles.
    The jug i was refering to was to heat up or cool the bottle down once it has been made therefore doesnt need sterilsing. so to cool the bottle down placethe bottle into a jug of cold water (sorry i wasnt clear on that before!) hope i havent confused you !! lol think im confusing myself now!!!! lol

    Yes there is a scoop that comes with the formula, dont worry there are instructions on the back of how to make up a bottle so that will probly be a lot clear than i am being right now!!!!!!!!! lol

    Again which formula to buy is personal choice and theres a lot of conflicting advice surrounding this. All of them claim to be closer to breastmilk so i think they are all the same really, im using cow and gate premium whichs claims to be "closer than ever to breastmilk"
    But like i said i think all of them claim this so its just personally choice really. I was recommended cow and gate so just went with that and jamie is fine with it. just have a read of them and go with what you think

    steph x x
     
  5. Hypnorm

    Hypnorm Well-Known Member

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    hi i'm sorry the breast feeding went so badly, but i think you were given terrible advice by the midwives, and it sounds like they weren't helping your baby to latch on properly, other wise you wouldn't have had bleeding nipplesand mastitis. they could have advised you to use nipple shield and they should have fed/cup fed colostrum to him,
    They were correct to say feed on demand as that stimulates your milk production.

    I also found my mw useless, they gave me blood blisters on my nipples where they had tried to latch my baby on, he was jaudiced and also wouldn't wake up. he couldn't latch on v well as i had v flat nipples, so my hubby got me some nipple shields and they really helped him suck corrctly and get milk out, even though i was told off by my mw and told tht i would never be able to breast feed with 'those' . he would feed for 2 hours at a time, so i felt like i was sat permamently watching the tv. it is now 3 months on, i am still breast feeding but had i taken any notice of the mw i probably wouldn't.
    Did they offer you the chance to see a trained breast feeding counciller? if not the really shoudl have. my breasts didn't become full untill day 7, and then settled down.
    I hope this doesn't sound all wrong, the NHS let YOU down, you certainly were not a failure you tried but it sometimes doesn;t work. i still have bad days where my toes curl in pain. and he feeds every 2 -3hrs
     
  6. minikins

    minikins Well-Known Member

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    I had a breastfeeding nightmare that lasted a couple of weeks - too long a story to put down here but I think it might help to share with you, PM me if you feel like a chat and I will give you my number and perhaps we can have a gossip if you get time :)

    Keep the faith this whole breastfeeding lark is an emotional rolercoster.

    xxx
     
  7. OverTheMoon

    OverTheMoon Well-Known Member

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    I can sympathise I was made to feel like the biggest failure/worst mum ever when I had similar problems breastfeeding. I was in floods of tears after one home visit from the midwife and my husband said thats it enough is enough you are not going through this any more he can have formula milk and thats it. I think i needed that because i was just tempted to struggle through with bleeding nipples and no sleep cos i thought that was the best thing to do.
    My lil boy is now the happiest bub in the world he sleeps through the night, is healthy and well developed and just perfect. It makes me so angry that us women are still made to feel like we must keep on with the breast feeding when our whole world is falling around our ears!
    Anyway I will stop ranting just wanted to add my 'two penneth' and once the inevitable guilt subsides you will realise that a full baby is a happy baby!!! Yaaaaaaaay! xxx
     
  8. Skidoo

    Skidoo Well-Known Member

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    Rosebay - you poor thing; it sounds like a nightmare! I'm hoping to breastfeed, but your message is a reminder that not everyone can. It must be heartbreaking, but you're doing the right thing by giving him formula and getting some rest!
     
  9. Rosieroo

    Rosieroo Well-Known Member

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    Thank you ladies for being so honest about the potential problems. I want to breastfeed and I think there is so much pressure on women to do so it's unfair! I explained to DH about the different experiences on here and I know I have his full support if things don't work out.
     
  10. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your kind replies. you've made me feel loads better about it.

    At the end of the day I think I did my best, I think the hospital could have made it easier for me and they gave a lot of conflicting advice about latch on and stuff. Next time I'll try the nipple shields I think but then maybe next time my milk will actually come in, or come in earlier, who knows... (with my Mum it came in with me but not my brother)

    The bottom line is that Elliott is very happy and content now and so are we- it was breaking my heart watching him so frantic trying to get the milk from the syringe and then still crying from hunger. I am still disappointed but moving on thankfully- it really helps to share :)

    Thank you so much :)
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  11. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    This is striking such a chord with me. I am currently experiencing difficulties and finding it really tough. Baby likes to latch on and has a good latch apparently but I am finding it so painful. Plus my milk has stillto come in (I know its early days) but she is still hungry after being on my boobs for 40 mins each. It was decided to top up on formula, and this was working, on my boobs for a while, top up then back on boob until asleep. However since I got home it seems to have gone down hill. I was feeding her and felt a really sharp pain, took her of the breast and found a blood blister thing hanging off my nipple. Freaked out completely. Tried her on the other breast and the same thing started to happen, I am in a lot of pain and decided just to give her formula of which she has had a bit but not a huge amount.

    You do feel like such a failure, I want to breastfeed but just don't seem to be able to. And what terrifies me the most is that because bottle feeding is so demionised by this country I have no idea how to use formula, sterilise bottles etc. Am so scared in case I harm my baby!!! It is really starting to get me down. Sorry had to get that off my chest (if you will pardon the pun!)
     
  12. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Hi Beanie,

    ouch! I'm with you girl! I had several of those blister things, he ended up sicking them up it was horrid! If I had to do exactly that week again I would have tried those nipple guards. Are you feeding him formula with a cup or syringe rather than a bottle too? If you're on the verge of giving up I think it's worth trying feeding with bottle and expressing your milk rather than letting her suck, this way you still get stimulated but you also get a nipple rest. I have discussed this with so many people since and this is what I think I would have done differently. Having said that DO NOT beat yourself up if you decide to go to formula. It's not that difficult to do and there are some advantages (someone else can feed baby, you know how much they're getting etc). A friend of mine was so anaemic after her c section that she couldn't breastfeed and after a week in hospital trying, when her baby had lost 15% of her body weight they advised her to go to formula and said that there wasn't an enormous difference and not to feel bad about it. This after making her feel like breastfeeding was the only way to go! She's so upset by the whole thing that she is still crying about it and won't let her husband feed her baby formula as she feels so guilty that she can't feed her from her breast. It's really easy to get upset by it but try not to. You've got to think of yourself as well as baby as she's affected by you and if you're totally hating the breastfeeding and in are in agony then it's going to make you very unhappy.

    Use the Lansinoh stuff after every feed as it forms a barrier to stop infection, you don't want mastitus too- if you get worried by red itchy spots or feel fluey get it checked out as the antibiotics can get to work fast on it and stop it before it gets really bad.

    There's some great advice on here about bottlefeeding that people gave me as I didn't know anything about it either but just ask if you decide to go that way. Try to have a good sleep before you make any decisions though, it was one of the best things that the midwife advised. You need to look back and know that you made the choice while thinking straight. I don't regret the choice I made, I'm still bitter about my experience in hospital and the fact that no one mentioned the nipple guards to me or using the bottle before I finally gave up but I'm not crying about it any more. Elliott is growing almost as you look at him and is happy and alert and I'm no longer dreading feeding him in the bad way that I was starting to because of the pain.

    Good luck hun, sending you huge virtual hugs
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  13. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rosebay,
    What a nightmare you have had. My story was pretty much the same, painful feeding and very little milk. As far as I am concerned putting Jessica on the bottle was the best thing for her and me. Breastfeeding would be great!, good for baby, no bottles to sterilise or warm and its there on tap (allegedly). Oh and you lose weight apparently.
    Its one of these things, you either can or cant and if you cant, dont worry.
    There has not been 1 day when I have regretted what I done and my thriving happy big girl is testament to that.

    Laura.
     
  14. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Laura. I didn't want to moan about it too much but talking about it helps and it does seem like lots of people have had similar experiences which I never realised before.

    beanie- I forgot to say, if you do decide to use formula there are the ready made cartons for sale if you're too stressed to suss out the powder to start with. I used those for a week until I was unstressed enough to work out the powder although that said it is really easy.

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  15. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Beanie,
    Dont worry about the bottlefeeding. Your sterlisier will give you instructions as will the milk and there is always the forum.
    You just need to get into a routine of sterilising and making the bottles up in advance and you will be doing it with your eyes closed before long. It just becomes one of those things you do like making your bed.
    Dont get stressed

    Laura.
     
  16. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the advice. thins have improved a bit, still have sore nipples but she is feeding from me regular. we still top up her feed with formula and when she was weighed today she was her birth weight. however i now worry abut how much she is feeding, she will happily be on each breast for 20 mins, need topping up an hour later, thewn be hungrey again an hour after that. the midwife was surprised and said that i didn't want to get into the routine of a snacking baby. i thought i was demand feeding but now think i am overfeeding her but vwhen she is screaming for food what else can i do
     
  17. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Beanie,
    Does your baby have a dummy? I was told that Jessica was a sucky baby and sometimes was quite happy to use my nipples as a pacifier. Its murder trying to work out how much they get from a boob.
     
  18. Hypnorm

    Hypnorm Well-Known Member

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    i go to a breast feeding group that has a BF support counciller and she said that you cannot over feed a breast fed baby, and is really annoyed with midwives who say motheres are feeding too often. babies only have small stomachs and will feed regularly, my boy has always fed every 2 hours but al;ways a full feed not snacking. after all demand feeding is feed when hungry. i have never used a dummy with Ewan, he uses his fingers
     
  19. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    It feels like it has all gone wrong again. Had a bad day yesterday, was in a lot of pain and Seren had to be topped up with formula a couple of times. Today I have had a much better day pain wise and have been able to feed her but I think my milk just isn't happening. She woke at about 3.30pm and has only just settled. I have fed her for ages on both breasts and she is still hungrey, shoving her fists into her mouth and properly screaming. My boobs are empty at the moment, she just keeps suckling away but is never satisfied. To make matters worse she hasn't had a poo today (since midnight last night), just wet nappies which isn't like her, and I now think its because she was given so much formula and that I have messed up and made her ill. Trying to contact a midwife but no reply on the phone. I feel like I am such a failure with this, thought I was getting somewhere and now feel like I am back to square one.
     
  20. Urchin

    Urchin Well-Known Member

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    Aww beanie don't blame yourself, you are doing everything you can to try and help your little one.
    It's quite normal for a baby to go a while without pooing, my friends baby didn't have a poo for a week!
    Make sure you're drinking plenty of fluids, and ask your midwife about increasing your supply if it's bothering you. In the meantime, she's having the formula she needs, and if she's feeding a lot maybe she's having a growth spurt or something.
     

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