Breastfeeding – Week 4 update

written by Bella Drew 23 October 2017
So I’ve now been exclusively breastfeeding for 4 weeks and I thought I’d would write an update on how these weeks have gone.
 
Breastfeeding is something that seems so simple, easy and natural is actually so bloody hard. Harder than labour and birth. Seriously, id much rather labour and give birth all over again than go through the pain of breastfeeding.
But and a big but, it’s so so rewarding for both you and baby that im so glad I’ve stuck with it and hopefully it will get better soon.
Apparently, the 6-week mark is when it starts to get easier, so let’s hope so!
 
 

Week 1

 

  • Nipple pain
  • Bought nipple shields
  • Fed in public
So it all started really well, on the day she was born she latched like a pro, spent ages eating and it wasn’t painful at all.
By the next evening, it was hell. I was in so much pain that it physically made me feel sick. I would sit and dread her next feed then cry all the way through it as the pain was unbearable. And this was coming from someone who only had gas and air to deliver.
I called the midwife and was told to come up to the delivery suite, the midwife was lovely she sat and watched me feed, she could tell I was in so much pain. She checked Primrose’s mouth and found a posterior tongue tie and that could be why her latch hurt so much, so she booked her into the tongue tie clinic.  She taught me the rugby hold which really helped the pain and said that I could use nipple shields until my nipples recovered. I went home positive that I could feed her again.
 
The shields worked amazingly, there was next to no pain and I could tell Primrose was getting all the food she wanted. They were a bit of a hassle though to sterilise and remember to grab them before a feed but I wasn’t in pain so im not going to complain about the small things.
 
I also managed to feed in public for the first time! It was at a costa and I did make up a bottle of expressed milk but us being first time parents, didn’t realise we had to take the little no spill cap off before feeding her so bless her heart, she wasn’t getting any. So I gave her my boob. It was a little awkward as I had to put the shield on whilst holding her but I managed it in the end.
 

 

 

Week 2

 

  • Sorted latch out
  • Going well
  • Fed in public without Conor
 So once I got my latch sorted with the shield it was going great. I felt really good about it, she was doing well. Primrose had her tongue tie cut so I knew that her latch would improve and soon id be able to not use the shields (yay!).
I even fed in public for the first time on my own, up the city in front of everyone. But it felt so natural (apart from the nervous sweats I got).

 

 

Week 3

 

  • Trying no nipple shields it worked
  • Latch going well

After such a great 2nd week and her tongue tie healed, I decided to start weaning her off the nipple shield as I knew I didn’t want to use it all the time, especially since I plan to breastfeed until shes at least 1 years old. So one morning, I just plonked her on without the shield. She latched like a dream, she didn’t hurt, I could feel that she had a deep latch and was definitely getting a ton of milk. This was such an achievement for me, it really made my week. She latched all day without the shields, but I decided to carry on with the shields at night to avoid my nipples getting too sore and ruining all the progress we had made.

 

Week 4

 

  • Supply issues
  • Shallow latch
  • Back to nipple shields
  • Stressed
  • Growth spurt/cluster feeding

This week it started to go a bit downhill. One night whilst she was cluster feeding, she would latch on suck for a bit then pull off screaming. We changed her, calmed her and I tried to feed again, she just wasn’t accepting it. After trying for half an hour with her screaming until she turned purple I gave in feeling bad that she was so hungry and gave her a bottle of expressed milk. Every time this happened I sat there crying. I felt like such a failure, how could I not produce enough milk for my baby? Tried hand expressing to check if there was milk and she was being fussy but nothing. I thought it was a one-off.

This happened every night for a week. During the day she would drink fine, maybe a little fussier, not settling for her naps and constantly wanting to be on my boob but I think that was her growth spurt. I spoke to my health visitor and she suggested pumping to see if I had milk there and to try and stimulate milk flow. I’ve ordered an electric breast pump and my manual breast pump just wasn’t cutting it.

I also noticed that her latch started to hurt me again, she went back to having a really shallow latch and within a couple of feeds, my nipples were so sore again. I could hear her clicking again and a sucking sound with lots of dribbles so I knew it was her latch. I’ve reverted back to the shields as my nipples were cracked and so sore again.

This has really stressed me out, which isn’t good for milk production anyway but I can’t help it. Breastfeeding is such a natural thing and it really disappoints me that I’m struggling so much. Every time she cried because there’s nothing there or I have to substitute with a bottle of expressed milk it breaks my heart.

No one wants to hear that their baby is hungry but yet you’re feeding them with nothing coming out. It’s horrible.

 


The Plan

 

Hopefully, the next few weeks things will pick up.

Im going to try everything to get my supply back up:

Fingers crossed that something will work, as I really really don’t want to have to give Primrose formula. I think before I would even consider that I would try to find some donor breast milk for her.

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5 comments

Tom 23 October 2017 - 7:40 pm

This should go worldwide. It would help so many mothers going through the same as you. Bravo to you. As a father of 4 I applaud your efforts and agree that the longer breastfeeding experience is overwhelmingly positive both physically and emotionally for the child.
Life is a balance. Take care of yourself mentally and physically as well so you never harbor resentment for “having” to do anything for the little one like breastfeeding or working 3 jobs. :-). Keep smiling!

Reply
Bella Drew 25 October 2017 - 12:52 pm

Aw, thank you so much. Yes I totally agree with you, there are so many things that people don’t tell you before having a baby and how hard some things will be.
It really is, I love breastfeeding but its definitely a struggle.
Wise words 🙂 x

Reply
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