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Really struggling

I've been struggling to get little man to latch on properly on one side, but i thought the other side was ok and he was getting plenty. Been to an appoinment at scbu today for a check as he was on antibiotics for 5 days after he was born, and he's lost weight. image He's 11 days old so should have started putting his lost weight back on.

So it looks like i've not been getting him on right, when i really thought he was as he's having wet and dirty nappies etc. Midwife gave us some advice about getting him on properly while we were there, and that it should never hurt, whereas sometimes i have been gritting my teeth through the pain.

Ended up in tears as i feel like i'm failing my little boy coz i can't feed him properly, and now i'm really worried about his weight.

Came home and tried him on the 'bad' side, trying what she showed me, but it's so hard to get him on, and when i do manage it he sucks for a bit then pushes himself off. It's so frustrating and i just feel so emotional which doesn't help.

Got another breastfeeding advisor coming tomorrow so hope she can help, but at the moment i feel like i'll need someone there all the time to help get him on and make sure i'm doing it right.

Everything's just been so much harder than i thought from day one, having an emcs, then little man was on antibiotics with a suspected infection so we were stuck in hospital for 8 days, and now this. I love him so much but it's just not what i expected.

Just had to get that all out so may have waffled a bit sorry!



  • Hi Tigerlily,

    i'm really sorry to hear you are struggling. it's horrible when it hurts & the latch isn't right. All i can say is persevere & use all the support you can get. Make the most of the bf support worker coming to see you. I had one come in for about 1.5 hours after i came home from hospital. Use lansinoh on your nipples - you only need a small amount. Have you considered going to bf drop in if there is one near you? Try looking up MILK online if you don't have details. Also La Leche have advisors and the nct have an advice line. My nipples hurt for less than 30seconds went my boy latches on which i was told is about right and anymore then the latch is incorrect.

    I really wish you all the best of luck & think you sound like a fab mummy trying really hard to give him your milk so don't give yourself a hard time.

  • Well done - your little boy is very lucky to have a mummy as determined as you, BFing is hard enough after a straight forward birth!

    How much weight has he lost? It is possible that he's lost weight because he's been a bit poorly and that you actually do have the latch right on one side. If he's giving you plenty of wet and dirty nappies and is settled and sleeping after a feed, then he's getting enough.

    In the early days with my DD I got sick of everyone telling me 'if the latch is right it shouldn't hurt' - especially young midwifes who had never breastfed a baby! The latch was right and it still hurt! I had quite flat nipples and very full breasts and my nipple wouldn't physically reach the back of her mouth so every time she fed it rubbed on the roof of her mouth.

    I ended up having to use nipple shields as it was the only way I could continue feeding. I ended up using them for 14 months. I wish I had managed to wean her off them because they're a bit of a faff when you're out and about but once I could feed her easily I didn't want to disrupt anything and left it too long. It's not the end of the world though and it enabled me to continue BFing.

    Anyway, after a while my nipples got bigger and so did she and I think the original problems we were having would have sorted themselves out.

    Maybe have a chat with your BFing advisor about the shields or just get some from Boots and give them a go. I used the Medella ones and never had a problem with supply.

    Just one other thought - are you expressing from the 'bad' side? You need to to keep up your supply, it could be that the flow on that side isn't as fast as the other. Also try expressing before you latch him on that side to get the flow going for him.

    Good luck and well done - it's still very early days and I promise it will get better and easier. You're doing brilliantly and should be very proud of yourself.

    Mrs B xxx
  • I had low milk supply and was told at the hospital to top my little girl up with formula after she had fed off of both boobs. This really helped us because Phoebe was getting practically nothing from me. She gained weight very quickly once I did that. Unfortunately for me, no matter what I tried - expressing and getting her to feed from me as often as possible - my milk never came in properly, I just wasnt able to produce enough to feed her so at four weeks we switched to formula only. I felt so terrible and guilty but my GP told me that I was doing the right thing and that she had already got all of the antibodies that she needed in the first 4 days after birth. I hope things improve for you, but please do not feel guilty at all - you cant help what is happening. If you end up making the decision to swtich to formula or just top up with formula after bf then dont worry - it isnt as scary as all of the 'breast is best' bumf makes it out to be. I desperately wanted to eclusively bf but it wasnt to be, and with my next baby I will try again and hope for a better outcome. But, Phoebe is now a healthy baby and her dad really enjoys sharing the feeds with me and getting the chance to bond with his daughter so there are some positives xxx
  • Hi hon,

    Your post sounds like me last week! I really sympathise and send you my love.

    Its awful at first and especially when you are recovering too as it limits the positions you want to try and you are low in terms of immune system and energy too which doesn't help.

    I just kept asking for more support until I started to feel happier. I went to the bf drop ins to meet the counsellors who were ace at helping me. They helped me get him on 3 times and then let me try unaided to make sure we did it ok. They also listened to the whole birth and feeding story so far and really explained that it takes time to learn and to practice for you both. They said around 6 weeks it just clicks.

    As for the weight, Connor lost 12% which was too much but he had put on more than this by just a week later once we got the method ok. I think sometimes its easy to panic over the weight but actually you'll probably find you do well now you are getting support.

    Hang in there - the best piece of advice I can give you is to get some rest yourself as feeding is much easier when you feel stronger. Can your partner do one feed for you before bed or in the night so you get a few unbroken hours where you know if the baby cries he will deal with it? My partner does either an expressed bottle or formula just before bed for me so I can get ready for bed, sleep and then am refreshed a little for the night shift. Knowing he will do the nappies, pick him up until a specific time really helped. Until hubby went back to work we split the night in this way.

    Really hope tomorrow is better for you xx
  • Sorry i forgot to say that I was in tears at least daily until he was around 14 days old so don't worry, let it out and just know that every feed is a bit more goodness he has had and one feed down for you.

    If you start to feel a bit scared of him or resentful of bf (as I did) try to do some skin to skin of an evening and instead of putting him in his crib between feeds, just let him sleep on you. Lay back with your back/head slightly raised so you're comfortable and relaxing and enjoy your favourite tv with hubby close by to help latch on or pass you tea and snacks. Make the most of the time together when you aren't feeding and this helps you to feel less like a feeding machine/milk pump! My bf counsellor suggested this and I was terrified he would latch wrong and it would disrupt the 'routine' but actually it really helped me change my view on the feeding and feel less trapped.

    I now try to see it as special time that no one else can have with him xx
  • Thanks for all your lovely supportive advice! We do seem to be getting there now. HV came yesterday and he has put on a little weight, not much but she was happy with it. It is getting easier to feed from the 'bad' side now, he take a few tries to get on properly, which can be painful as he's so eager he just sucks me in, but when he does get on i know he's getting some now. He can be a pest though as he is so strong and fidgety it's hard getting him in position, and he does tend to keep coming off throughout a feed.

    I've not given him a bottle yet, as HV advised to avoid that if poss for the first 6 weeks so he doesn't get nipple confusion - which i really don't want after all the struggling! However, hubby is really good with him. He's quite a windy baby, we are now on infacol as it was bothering him so much, but hubby is the best at winding so he often takes him after a feed, even at 4am, to wind and calm him down.

    All in all feeling more positive! HV is coming every week to weigh him until he reached his birth weight again but she was very positive and supportive so it's all good.

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