When feeding doesn’t go as planned . . .

Breastfeeding I have heard it enough times, every child is different but sometimes you just kind of ‘forget’. Before Jelly Bean arrived I assumed that I would breastfeed him as I did with Little Bean and Beanie Boy but things haven’t quite gone to plan. I had a few breastfeeding issues with Little Bean when she was born but within a week we had it sussed and I successfully fed her for the first 6 months and would happily transfer between the breast and the bottle. When Beanie Boy came along he was a breeze, he took to the breast so easily and I was able to feed him myself for 8 months until his first tooth came and he decided to use me as a teether. That said, he was really difficult to transfer from breast to bottle and so at 8 months I decided enough was enough and went cold turkey with him one day until he finally accepted a bottle.

Now it’s Jelly Bean’s turn and I naively assumed that all would be fine, how wrong could I be? With thanks to his quick birth Jelly Bean was full of mucus for the first few days and so didn’t have an interest in feeding. Despite putting him to the breast straight away and him latching on quite well he just wasn’t interested in feeding. In a panic and desperate bid to get home to my family on the second day I decided to use a nipple shield to help him to latch on but I didn’t really consider how he had latched on, I was just happy that he did.

After our short stay back in hospital I thought that we had breastfeeding pretty well sorted, I managed to get him latched on reasonably well during the day (still with some soreness) but at night it would all go wrong, no doubt because we were both so tired. Last week I couldn’t take the pain of breastfeeding any longer and took the decision to express and bottle feed again until I could get to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital. In the meantime I have been watching countless ‘how to latch’ videos on YouTube keep attempting to correct his latch myself. I have managed to get him on quite well twice now (without shields) but the rest of the time I end up with a nipple shaped like a new lipstick which from research online tells me he has a shallow latch and so is crushing my nipple between his hard palate and his tongue (OUCH!!). Looking around online I have found recommendations of trying ‘laid-back feeding’ to improve a shallow latch so this is my next plan although I will be heading to the breastfeeding clinic later this week.

Have you had breastfeeding problems in the past and if so how did you overcome them?

4 thoughts on “When feeding doesn’t go as planned . . .”

  1. Ooooh that’s a tricky (and painful) one. 🙁 I had similar problems with one of my twins. It took us about 3 weeks to finally figure out. I contacted the ABM (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers) and a wonderful lactation consultant came to see me and helped me work out where we weren’t quite getting it. It was wonderful to have that support and I’d highly recommend contacting them to see if they can help. I think NCT, La Leche League & possibly your local NHS services may all have breastfeeding peer supporters who could help too. The best advice I got was just to carry on and stick with it! I ended up feeding both twins for a year, so it was well worth the discomfort and ‘sussing out’ time at the beginning. Best of luck! x

  2. Hi I understand the pain and when its going not to plan it takes over everything it was all I could think about. I have had trouble with all 3. Only after my third and being internet friendly I realised our problems. The culprit with all 3 was tongue tie however with the first two I thought it was a newborns tongue. My third had a 100% tie and it did improve but we had a battle due to using shields for 10 days. I later found out my third had reflux which explained why I thought my supply was low. He was feeding because he wanted to sooth his throat not because he was hungry. I stopped with my second because of his wind and rock hard stomach myself or doctors never thought about reflux.

    I hope you come out of the otherside soon

    Here is my post about why I stopped http://lovebeingamummy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/stopped-breastfeeding-today-if-only-it.html and here is my post about tongue tie http://lovebeingamummy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/please-check-for-tongue-tie-as-soon-as.html


  3. Poor you – brings back memories! I was really lucky with my first 5 who all took to breastfeeding no problems, including the twins who used to feed at the same time, one on either side. When my sixth came along I arrogantly assumed it would be just as easy…but I was so wrong. After a month of agonising feeds and a baby who was not getting enough to eat, I discovered I had an abcess and she wasn’t getting any nutrition at all. After a lot of soul-searching I put her on the bottle where she thrived, I got better and all was right with the world. At the time it was the worst thing in the world but there is life after those baby years and I look at my fit, healthy, smart kids – including my youngest who is now 7 and a competitive gymnast – who were all breastfed for different lengths of time and know that I made the right choice for each of them. Good luck and don’t be too hard on yourself – babies don’t come with instructions, no matter how many you have xx

    • Wow 6 children!!! Much credit to you, I’m definitely finished with having children now. I am happy that I have been able to breastfeed my babies and I know that if I have to stop in all honesty as long as he is healthy and we are both happy that is what matters but I will definitely exhaust all avenues first. Thank you for a lovely comment x

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