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Hating breast feeding

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#1 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:26 AM


My little boy is only a week old and I feel as though I have already failed him as a mother.

I’m a trying my hardest to BF him but it is so damn painful. I have just been up to the maternity unit to ask about it and as I thought he doesn’t latch on properly (even with the nipple shields I need to use) and my poor nipples are ruined. They are so sore and messed up its not funny.

I feel guilty about dreading feeding time as I have a really good supply and he is thriving on the breast milk but I just cannot tolerate the pain. Last night I had to give him some formula and it nearly broke my heart.

I see a LC on Wednesday but not sure how I will manage with BF until then. I have borrowed an expressing machine from the local hospital and will trial that (so far so good).

My question is has anyone successfully bottle fed for a couple of days and then been able to BF successfully?

Also I will continue to try to BF until Wednesday but have been told to stop when it hurts to give my nipples a rest. If he needs a feed do I just express from one breast and give it to him every time he is hungry and then alternate between breasts at every feed?


#2 mummacampbell

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:35 AM


So sorry you are having trouble it is hard isnt it.?

My son would not latch on properly and I ended up just bottle feeding him and it was the best decision I ever made as it removed a lot of the stress and I was able to actually enjoy my son original.gif

#3 Batmansunderpants

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:44 AM

I am n the exact same position op, with added mastitis. I had to rest my nipples for 48 hours and pump 3 hourly to keep up supply. It is so tiring. You can express both ides or just one per session and store in the fridge for bub.

I am going to stop feeding when my mastitis clears. I understand the guilt associated with stopping too.

Edited by Miss Cookie, 11 November 2012 - 10:44 AM.

#4 twilightangel

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

If you don't feel happy giving him formula could you continue expressing and bottle feed him expressed breast milk.

#5 Zahhy

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

I hate BFing too, as it is very painful for me due to Nipple Vasospasm (had it with DS without anyone picking up on it, although he had latch problems as well, finally figured it out with DD, but still only made it to 12 weeks comp feeding), I'm expecting it this time around again. I find it is a bit better if I warm my nipples with a warm heat bag just before feeding.

the Women's on Vasospasm

I think the reason no one picked up on it with DS was that as a first time mother they assumed I was exaggerating the pain so they didn't consider it.

With DD I did manage to express for a few days before getting in to see an LC and still feed, but just not fully BF - I think though this had more to do with me than any supply issues, before having children I was extremely pro BFing, after having so much trouble with DS I'm more in the camp of "try to BF, but it's not the end of the world if you can't". If it wasn't so much better for them, I wouldn't even try with #3, but I'm hoping to make 6 months this time.

ETA: Congratulations, BTW biggrin.gif and good luck with however you proceed.

Edited by Tonberry, 11 November 2012 - 10:53 AM.

#6 No girls here

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

Don't give yourself a hard time.  If you are able to express easily then definitely do that to give your nipples a break.  When mine were in a mess I did a lot of expressing as I was dreading every feed and it worked fine for two of my three boys.  

One of my boys (my first) was extremely impatient and wasn't too keen on breastfeeding as he liked the fast flow of the bottle.  He had expressed milk for a few months and then moved straight to formula.  I felt guilty about not breastfeeding him but in retrospect I should have also considered my own mental well being and not put any more stress on myself (he was a difficult baby as well) and I really regret not switching earlier just because I felt guilty.

#7 lucky 2

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

My question is has anyone successfully bottle fed for a couple of days and then been able to BF successfully?

Also I will continue to try to BF until Wednesday but have been told to stop when it hurts to give my nipples a rest. If he needs a feed do I just express from one breast and give it to him every time he is hungry and then alternate between breasts at every feed?

I wouldn't directly breast feed if all it did was cause nipple damage, it means baby isn't feeding well anyway.
Give milk in a cup or bottle, which ever is more efficient.
Babies certainly go back to bfing after short term bottle use, most anyway but your LC will have some tricks to help with this.
Your breasts will find it hard to build a normal supply when you have bfing difficulties so expressing is very important to help your breasts get the right messages and build supply to feed baby and to have plenty of milk when you see the LC on Wednesday and try bfing again.
Ideally if you suspend bfing you express at least 8 times in 24 hours, expressing each breast twice (switching sides when the flow slows, 4 sides at least) for a total of about 20-30 mins, maximum.
Expressing for shorter sessions more frequently is better than longer sessions infrequently.
Ideally you use a hospital grade electric pump and it shouldn't hurt to use, start the milk flowing by hand expressing then use the pump, going as high as possible on the suction without any pain, if it hurts then turn it down until it is comfortable.
Use a long teat if you can and have lots of cuddles and skin on skin time on your chest to keep him familiar and happy near your breasts.
Also see if you can get in to see the LC earlier, perhaps ring tomorrow and see if she has a cancellation.
All the best.

#8 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

I have spoken to my DH and he agrees that I try expressing for a couple of days and then wait for the LC to show me how to BF properly.

So should I express every couple of hours or so or do I wait until bub is hungry? ATM I have alot of milk (I expressed 100ml in 5 mins from 1 breast) so I was wondering ifmaybe I should just express every 2-3 hours to keep up my supply?

I have a hospital grade breast pump so how often would i use that (I don't seem to find this painful at all which is how I knew he wasnt latching properly when BF). Also when I do BF him i am damaging the nipple. Sadly Wednesday is the earliest I can see the LC.

Edited by puffsgirl11, 11 November 2012 - 11:30 AM.

#9 happygurl06

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

I bottle fed DS for two days whilst waiting for the LC visit.  Best think I did.  My nipples had time off and DS still got his BM.

I expressed every 2 hours both sides left/right then left/right again.

Good Lu k!

#10 lucky 2

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

I reckon you have a good plan and good equipment original.gif .
I'd express as much as you can at least the 8 times as above.
That could be after each feed (baby led) or timed, which ever is the most manageable.
If you continue to have enough milk or ideally more than baby needs and your nipples start to heal and your breasts are feeling healthy (ie no blocked ducts or mastitis symptoms) then this is great and a good goal to aim for.
I hope you heal quick (? use some medical grade lanolin or multimums?) and get baby back on the breast in a comfortable and effective way, there is certainly plenty of time to sort this out considering your baby is only one week old.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby and to your DH for being supportive of bfing.
All the best.

#11 Lokum

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:02 PM

QUOTE (puffsgirl11 @ 11/11/2012, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have spoken to my DH and he agrees that I try expressing for a couple of days and then wait for the LC to show me how to BF properly.

So should I express every couple of hours or so or do I wait until bub is hungry? ATM I have alot of milk (I expressed 100ml in 5 mins from 1 breast) so I was wondering ifmaybe I should just express every 2-3 hours to keep up my supply?

I have a hospital grade breast pump so how often would i use that (I don't seem to find this painful at all which is how I knew he wasnt latching properly when BF). Also when I do BF him i am damaging the nipple. Sadly Wednesday is the earliest I can see the LC.

Good on your DH for supporting you in keeping a supply for the next few days.

As Lucky2 said, try to express 8 times in 24 hours. So maybe 2-3 hourly during the day, and 3 times overnight? You'll probably find that you get heaps more milk in the morning, and it dwindles over the course of the day. While you could probably feed the baby off one breast per feed -  for expressing, make sure you give each side at least 5 minutes (or even better, 4 sides of 5 mins each), to keep them stimulated.

I wouldn't worry too much about matching the volume or timing you express to the volume/times you feed the baby. Feed the baby on demand, and just keep producing bottles of, eg 60-80mls as often as you can. (If you express 100ml+ in one go, keep some over for the next bottle, as the baby might not take it all, and then you have to chuck it out. Better do lots of smaller bottles and give the baby 2 small bottles at a feed, than waste it. You might use snap lock bags or breast milk bags to store it in, as you'll run out of bottles. Storage bags are good because you can label them with volume & time, so you don't forget which is the freshest. If you're getting up to 2/3 days worth of milk in the fridge, chuck some in the freezer.)

You might find you express 70% of the baby's intake in the first half of the day, but  it's important to keep doing it in the evening and overnight, even if you don't seem to be getting much.

I expressed and fed EBM for 3 weeks while we tried to sort out my baby's latch (eventually got going with the help of shields.) We went on to feed for 15 months. It's hard in the beginning, especially alone in the middle of the night, but try to set little goals - like hanging in there until Wednesday, and then maybe one more week. If you survive it, it will be well worthwhile, and get much easier over time.

If it doesn't work out, you'll be light hearted in knowing you did your best, and didn't chuck it in lightly, and it just didn't work.  

Support from your DH and the LC (and EB!) are really important, so grab onto those!
I think there's still a great chance you'll end up with a BF baby... a few days expressing is no big deal. GL

#12 Mung bean

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

I second everything that has been said. One thing I want to mention though is the possibility of a tongue tie.

What you are describing happend to me and my son was tongue tied, it can be quite common. Get the LC to check it out really thoroughly and if you bub is tongue tied then a quick snip from the doctor will be the best thing that happens for a healthy feeding relationship.

That said it could just be the usual taking off of a feeding relationship :-)

Good luck

#13 Bathsheba52

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

I was admitted to hospital after birth of my first son and my husband had to bottle feed son for 48 hours or so - then I resumed breastfeeding. I expressed in the meantime.

So you can do it; in your situation I think expressing and bottle-feeding is great.

Hopefully the LC can work out the problem. I used a nipple shield for about 6+ months and I remember my nipples finally healed 11 months after birth. I then fed for another 17 months, as I wanted the "good" breastfeeding experience to outweigh (and outlast) the "bad" experience I'd had at the beginning.

Get the LC to check for a tongue tie - and if this is causing the latching issues, get it fixed!

Best wishes for a great breastfeeding experience.

#14 Kasey5

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

Good on you for breastfeeding and continuing despite the difficulty. It does get easier!
Did you know you can get free 24 hr advice 7 days a week from the Australian Breastfeeding Association? They have trained counsellors to help you, and you can call today. The ph no is 1800 686 268

Good luck!

#15 BetteBoop

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:21 PM

Yes, I did OP.

My milk didn't come in immediately, following a difficult birth. I tried to BF in hospital but my nipples became were cracked and it was just agonising.

I stopped altogether and put DD on formula for about 10 days. In the meantime, I kept massaging my breasts to stimulate the milk flow.

After letting my nipples heal for a couple of days I tried expressing every few hours.

Once my milk came in, I got a lactation consultant to help me with latching. DD was BF until she was a year old with no further problems.

So my advice is to take a break. Give your body some time to repair and then try again.

Don't start guilt tripping yourself. Take a deep breath and put this into perspective. It is far better for your son that his mother is mentally well and happy than anything else.

But if you can't BF, then you can't BF.  It will be okay.

#16 Dowager fancie

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

OP, I expressed for 11 weeks before DD was able to latch on properly,

Each feed time, I would try to get her to latch on, then feed her expressed breast milk in a bottle. Then after she was fed, express more breastmilk ready for the next feed.

I won't say there weren't a lot of tears and frustration and guilt and pain, but when she finally latched on it was so wonderful.

She breastfed until 23 months.

Hang in there, OP and avail yourself of any assistance out there.

#17 Pinky101

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

Hi OP,

DD had tongue tie and caused quite a bit of damage to my nipples in the first few days. I used lots of lansinoh and expressed (both sides each time) for a few days (every 2 hours but my supple wasn't great) and we fed using a syringe.

I wouldn't use the syringe if I have the same issue next time (lots of milk wasted). I would either try a cup or a bottle next time.

My nipples healed and then I was able to feed her using the nipple shield until her tongue tie was fixed at 10 weeks. I continued to breastfeed her until 13 months.

DD did have a few bottles of EBM while we were still in hospital and had no problems with nipple confusion (in fact refused to take a bottle when I tried much later).

As per PP, I suggest getting the LC to check for tongue tie. Sounds like your supply is much better than mine was at that time too.

I also encourage you to keep at it at least until you see the LC.  It really does get easier. But even if it doesn't, at least you won't beat yourself up that you didn't give it your best shot.

Good luck.

#18 DbdB

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

You could try doing a litte bit of BF then feed him expressed milk. That way he is less likely to refuse to BF down the track.  I do both bf and expressing. My DD is fine with it, but some babies get nipple confusion.
In the first 5-6 weeks I used a nipple shield, and loved it. There are different brands and sizes. If you have the wrong size it might rub and hurt.
Good luck.  It will get easier in time.

#19 ollies-mum

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

You sound like you have a great plan and some good advice above. All I can offer is keep persisting with help until it gets better. My boy is 19 weeks and I'm still feeding with nipple damage. Its only just been picked up he has a tongue tie and seeing a specialist this week. Point being get help and dint just think it will get better like me. Good luck I know how hard and painful it is.

#20 Juliette3

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

Please do not feel guilt or failure. I also had terrible pain when I had my first - I still have big white scars on both my nipples from the chunks I lost during my BF struggles. I struggled through such fear and sadness and pain for 11 weeks, even with LC help. When I stopped and moved to formula it was like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I wish I had done it earlier and saved us all from all that turmoil. Being a happy, relaxed mum is more important than being a BF mum in my book, so that should be your priority. I hope you can work BF out if that's what you want, but please don't feel failure or guilt. I went on to BF my other two for 3 months with no pain, but never enjoyed it so they were all happily formula fed from 3 months on and they have certainly thrived! Good luck and don't be so hard on yourself!

#21 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

i expressed and fed with my dd, as she was unable  toattach until nearly 6months old. its hard work. i pumped every 2 hrs in the day, then my bedtime, any time she woke for feeds overnight, and first thing in the morning, so around 10 times a day. i had supply issues, but was able to boob her after she was a bit stronger, and im tandem feeding now.
good luck, and do whatever you need to do to get through. its possible to fix things later if needed

#22 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

Really the most important thing is having the supply for baby, doesn't matter if it via expressing or direct feeding. My bub can take both bottle and nipple equally well. It's up to individual babies.

I would express in your situation to give my nipples a break. They do toughen up but they take time and though mine are no longer sore and luckily never bled, latching on still hurts.

Give him a bottle of EBM is fine. Then try again when nipples heal.

You can even breastfeed just one side if the other side is more painful, then express the more painful side. And vice versa.

Expressing as I typed. original.gif

Edited by Mum2TwoDSs, 11 November 2012 - 01:07 PM.

#23 MaeGlyn

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

I completed a breastfeeding course with ABA before breastfeeding, as it really is a skill to pick up, more than just breastfeeding. And then there can be issues to such as tongue tie or biting than can effect feeding.

I would recommend the breastfeeding line. They are a wonderful resource and are free.

I had just decided to give up breastfeeding 11 days in because my milk didn't come in after double pumping and it started coming in. So there is always hope. The nurse thought it came in because I just started to relax, not pump or stress anymore. Although you are already one step ahead of me with having your milk in. I fully breastfed my son for 4 months so even a bad start doesn't mean it won't work out.

Latching- the most valuable piece of advice  from ABA classes I learned was that you want the baby to have a really big wide open mouth facing your breast when you attach. Think Pac-man. If you see no pac-man don't attach. If there is pain, reattach as the baby isn't attached properly. There should be no pain when breastfeeding except the twing of the let down reflex. Pacman makes it every simple, an easy way to learn to attach. And when the baby open's their mouth this wide, it is very very wide, not just a little wide. I also learned about demand feeding in the early months, and letting the baby suckle as much as they need to and using skin to skin. They said most babies will latch properly if they are full-term, as long as their are no other issues. Problems come up with breast damage when the baby is allowed to feed with wrong attachment and not taken off. Good luck.

Edited by MaeGlyn, 11 November 2012 - 01:08 PM.

#24 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (puffsgirl11 @ 11/11/2012, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have spoken to my DH and he agrees that I try expressing for a couple of days and then wait for the LC to show me how to BF properly.

So should I express every couple of hours or so or do I wait until bub is hungry? ATM I have alot of milk (I expressed 100ml in 5 mins from 1 breast) so I was wondering ifmaybe I should just express every 2-3 hours to keep up my supply?

I have a hospital grade breast pump so how often would i use that (I don't seem to find this painful at all which is how I knew he wasnt latching properly when BF). Also when I do BF him i am damaging the nipple. Sadly Wednesday is the earliest I can see the LC.

OMG, you have got lots of milk. I am so envious!!! wink.gif

#25 Kay1

Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

I had a similar situation with my second. I expressed for a few days and fed him with bottles til my nipples healed. It did make him even worse at latching though as he got used to the small teat and ease of the bottle. I got some of those big Happy Baby dummies which seemed to help as he had to open his mouth wider and this helped when we went back to breastfeeding.  We soldiered on and I ended up feeding him for 10 months. Good luck, I know how painful it can be and how emotional the whole thing can get. Only you can decide how important it is for you to persevere and how much pain you are prepared to put up with. Breastfeeding is great when it works (so convenient) but you need to balance it with your emotional/mental wellbeing. I think seeing a lactation consultant is a very good idea though. One week is very early days, there's plenty of time to turn things around. original.gif

Good luck!

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