Struggling with breast feeding :(

Hello ladies, well after our dramatic few days we are still in the hospital with the idea of letting us out on Monday. Little one is doing fab and I'm recovering slowly! I'm really wanting to breast feed and trying so hard to but little one managed to crack both my nipples, give me blisters and make them bleed in one night! So midwife suggested I take the day off, top him up with formula and also express milk and try again today. I have been applying lanolin every hour and jelo net and roughly managing to express about 10-15ml at a time. But I'm still so sore and even expressing has me wincing. I really do want to breastfeed and I enjoy doing so when able to but it is so painful and little one is so unsettled because he just wasnt getting enough :( I don't know what to do and it's making me feel awful and not good enough! I hate the idea I'm not able to feed my own baby :( x

10 Replies

  • Hi, welcome to crack-of-dawn posting on the internet ;-)

    Glad to hear you're on the mend and looking to be discharged soon. What you're describing is absolutely normal for the start of breastfeeding. I've done it twice and those first few days before your milk properly comes in are HARD! Have you had your latch checked? An incorrect latch can cause sore nipples but both of my babies have latched perfectly but just been incredibly hungry so I ended up sore and bleeding a little until around day 3 when my milk came in (you'll know when it does, you'll be drowning in the stuff!)

    Under normal circumstances I wouldn't advise taking a day off and using formula (I'm not a pro by the way, just a mum), as I know that powering through will leave you with a good milk supply. However you had such a traumatic birth, absolutely don't beat yourself up if you feel it will help to top up with formula for a day to give your boobs a rest. Your midwife knows what she's talking about ;-)

    Please please don't feel bad though - I know it feels awful to think you're not doing it 'properly' but I'm sure you're doing a fab job - like I say this sounds exactly like my experience of establishing breastfeeding and I managed to feed one baby for six months, and am currently feeding a 9 week old. If you do need to rely on formula that's not the end of the world though, do what's best for you both. Happy baby and happy mum is the most important thing.

    Good luck, I'm sure it'll get easier really soon xx

  • Oh bless u... its hard if they are so bad. .. its like u have to toughen ur nipples up for breastfeeding. ..I breast fed my first no problem but with my second had exactly the same problem as u i winced every time I latched her on then couldn't bear it any more so switched to bottle which she wouldn't take! I was really down as I'd really had enough of being in pain .. it really got to me. .. u have been thru alot already u can't be hard on urself if ur really struggling. .... can u not just keep expressing and giving it to him that way? And when they have healed a bit or are not too painful then try again? The more u express the more ur produce. .. but if it is too much don't be hard on urself u have tried and tried... maybe ur nipples are just too sensitive and soft... and the more anxious u are when trying to breastfeed will affect ur milk and being in pain is not nice. . :( don't beat urself up.... xx

  • It does take a gd few days for ur milk too come in and yeh it really hurts but yeh when it arrives u kno I leaked through bra and top with 2 breast pads in each. It is hard and I think every breastfeeding mum on here knows how u feel. Has he been checked for tongue tie as my friends son had it and she was in agony with feeding blisters etc because he onv cudnt latch on properly. . .if u can hang in there. It will get easier. Xx

  • Yeah he's been checked for tounge tie. I'm really trying to persuivere through the pain, it's more harder watching the little one scream his head off because he is hungry :( I think they more wanted me to top him up because he was looking so dry and hadn't passed a dirty nappy since he was born :( just feel heart broken on his part :( xx

  • its horrible isnt it..on our second night st home I was feeding every hour and I cud hear his belly rumbling. .u will b suprised though coz when he got weighed 5 days in I was convinced he lost which is common in bf babys but he had put on 6oz..its hard and heartbreaking for first few days but pls believe me when I say it gets easier and better xx

  • I can just echo what others have said here. No-one tells you how hard and painful it can be to do something that is 'natural'. It's my 3rd time round and to be honest I'd forgotten what it was like at the beginning. If you can persevere it's definitely worth it.

    One tip is to air your breasts as much as possible as it really seems to help. I also used the Avent nipple cream which was great stuff. You can buy gel pads which can be heated/cooled to sooth them.

    I'm sure you're doing a great job. I was feeling inadequate and fretting that Joshua was not getting enough - but his weight gain proved otherwise. Hope things improve for you soon xx

  • I feel your pain. I was told by the midwife after giving birth that my lg wasn't tongue tied and then 5 weeks later the NCT breastfeeding counsellor said she was, after me having very sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. Ask for the hospital's lactation consultant to help you, get her to check positioning, latch and for tongue tie, my lo had a deep, tight tongue tie which wasn't immediately obvious, a real expert in breastfeeding had to spot it (my GP had a look and said she wasn't tongue tied but since I was so determined he'd refer me, I got a private midwife to cut the tongue tie as it was going to take another 3 weeks on NHS and she said it was definitely a tongue just hard to spot it if it was not something you are a specialist in). Definitely spend as much time as possible with nothing covering your nipples, I walked around my house with an open shirt on for a few days and it really helped. Try to do as much skin to skin time too as that will help encourage your milk. Keep asking for help. Hard to do, I know but you have to relax, keep trying lo on the breast, keep offering it as when he's screaming you won't be relaxed. I finally cracked breastfeeding at 8 weeks when I decided to give up but didn't want to get mastitis again or express (I didn't get on well expressing). I'd decided I'd try her on the breast give her a little bit and then top her up with formula - suddenly it started working (although not perfect every time, it was good enough). I managed to combine formula and breast feed her until she was 10 months old. You have to do what's right for you, don't beat yourself up about not breastfeeding, as dons88 says - happy mum equals happy baby.

  • You can ring an NCT breastfeeding counsellor on 0300 330 0700 and they can help tremendously.

    Hope you are hand expressing-that will be more gentle than a pump.

    Have you let baby get on itself (ie lying on your chest and finding it's own way to the breast) this often gets a much better latch than when we do it.

    Someone skilled will be able to make a real difference for you, hope you can find the right person.

  • Thankyou so much for all your support ladies! My little one is quite greedy as well so when he's hungry he gets himself so worked up for a feed that he struggles to latch on! But today has been a better day :) I just got so upset as one of the midwives have me a really hard time for wanting to top him up with formula!! Which really annoyed me as three women which had their babies after me didn't even try breastfeeding and went straight to bottle! Least I'm trying :( xx

  • don't let anyone make u feel bad about how u feed ur baby, hes being fed so whats the problem, u kno whats best for him so just do it how u feel best, hes being well looked after and is loved so really they shud keep their beaks out xx

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