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Is it supposed to be this hard?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
This is my first baby so I don't know, but I'm finding breastfeeding really hard. My nipples are sore and it hurts, and he seems to want to feed constantly? How do I know if I'm making enough milk? Should I give him a bottle every now and again to make sure he has enough?

Sorry for all the questions but I don't really have anyone to ask irl!!
post #2 of 45
Welcome to MDC!

It is hard at first. How old is your baby?

The best way to know if baby is getting enough milk is to watch the diapers. Here is a great chart: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html

Bottles usually ADD to breastfeeding problems and can decrease your supply. Best to avoid them if at all possible.

The NCT has a free phone for breastfeeding help, and may be able to set you up with 'real life' breastfeeding help in your area: http://www.nct.org.uk/info-centre/a-to-z/view/20 (see on the left side for phone number)
La Leche League is awesome too - and they have phone support as well: http://www.laleche.org.uk/pages/about/helpline.htm

Did you get good support from your midwife? Don't be shy to ask for support!

If you have time to look on the web, www.kellymom.com is a brilliant resource, and www.drjacknewman.com even has videos that can help you see how baby attaches and tranfers milk.

Hang in there - you can do this!
post #3 of 45
ps. Nursing all the time in the first few weeks is completely normal and is helping your body to set a good milk supply. It seems non-stop - but it will get easier as baby gets older. It is worth it - hang in there!
post #4 of 45
Totally normal. Avoid bottles, they will only complicate things. Don't be afraid to take a tylenol if it's really painful, I took them when I really needed them with baby #1. Use lanolin if it helps on your nipples and give them plenty of "air time"

Sounds like you are doing great! Nursing frequently is VERY normal and will help you establish a great milk supply.
post #5 of 45
Totally normal. Breastfeeding in the early weeks is often painful. Your baby is nursing a lot to establish a good supply and bottle-feeding will interfere with your supply. So avoid bottles.

With my first, I remember DD nursing non-stop to ramp up my supply and I dealt with painful nipples, and then she was confronted with over supply (think firehose in the face) and I had to deal with engorgement. I don't remember for sure, but I think it pretty much leveled out around 6 weeks, or at least became a lot more tolerable.

So yes, the first weeks are hard, but from there out it is the easiest and laziest (said with affection ) thing you can do to nourish and comfort your baby!
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.
Being attached to you nonstop sounds exactly right for the first couple of weeks. I know your nipples are probably sore and you are uncomfortable and craving a shower, but you are doing all the right things for your baby. It is VERY hard in the beginning. You are doing wonderfully!

Do not take the advice about the bottle. It will really complicate things this early on. Feeding your baby on demand and not "spacing out feedings" is the best thing for him. There's no need for you to "know" how much your baby is eating - the diapers will let you know that he is definitely getting enough. A trick I learned is to only set out 8 diapers in the morning, and you'll know by the end of the day how many baby used. It was too much for me to try to remember how many wets I actually changed when it seemed like I changed 100!

On top of that, we are all here for you! Having this forum has been a huge lifesaver for me (and my DD) and I am SO glad you posted here! Welcome to MDC!
post #8 of 45
i know what you are talking about.

does the nipple pain go away after 10-20 sucks? it would sting and make the flinch, but then go away each time dd latched on. my midwife and IBCLC said it was normal as long as the pain "numbed out" and wasn't constant. the pp's suggestions for dealing with the pain are great. i also liked those cool silicone patches that you can put over your nipples - can't remember the name. you can put them in the refrigerator for extra cooling. if it's constant, you might need someone to help you work on your LO's latch.

dd was also constantly attached to me. she usually didn't go more than 30 minutes unlatched (she slept 2-3 hours at night). in the evenings, she did cluster feeding and would be latched on for hours at a time. it's a shock if you are prepared to nurse 10-15 minutes each side every 2-3 hours. i think dd would have been a very unhappy and probably unhealthy baby on that schedule.

i know that you've been linked to kellymom.com. it is a really great site. just type in anything in the search box (weight gain, feeding schedules, etc.) and read the articles.
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
My baby's two weeks old tomorrow - and in the last two weeks I feel like he's been almost constantly clamped to me. I'm lucky to be able to take a long bath on my own.

My midwofe and I did not get on very well at all - I'm a young mum and she was just very patronising. She actually gave me condoms while I was on the maternity ward after my son was born!

The health visitor is a very nice lady, but also a bit patronising and shall we say an older lady... she doesn't seem to know much about breatsfeeding and she suggested I give bottles so I can space the feeding out a bit more and also know how much he's taking.



The first few weeks are just hard. Stay away from the bottles. They DO nurse all the time in the first few weeks.

hang in there- it gets better!

-Angela
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
post #11 of 45
You've gotten lots of great info so far, so I just want to chime in: YES, it is HARD, at first. Really hard. I think the biggest mistake out there in the breastfeeding-promotion literature is the downplaying of how hard it is. I think if I had known ahead of time how hard it would be, it would have been a little less of a shock to my system, therefore easier.

BUT. It DOES get better. I can't say how soon, it's different for everyone, but I promise you it will get better and you won't regret the hard times. YOU CAN DO THIS. Hang in there. Come here for support whenever you need it. Find a local La Leche League group. Talk to a lactation consultant. Look up some of your questions on kellymom.com. You will be okay! :
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
You CAN do it. You're a mom now. No one ever said it was easy But you CAN do it. You WILL do it. You are the mama

Don't give yourself any other choice.

There IS no other acceptable choice.


-Angela
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I think the biggest mistake out there in the breastfeeding-promotion literature is the downplaying of how hard it is.
:

Breastfeeding is usually harder at first than bottles would be, but it gets a lot more easy than bottles in a little while. So the hard work you're doing now will pay off for you soon.

If you have enough help, try to make it so that your only jobs in the next couple of weeks are to feed yourself and the baby and keep yourself moderately clean.

Good luck!!
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
Thanks for the welcome everyone

I just don't know if I can do this though I want to be able to take a break and leave him with someone else sometimes. I wanted to try breastfedding cos I knwo their are benefits even just for the forst few weeks but I don't know if i can carry on.
If you stick with it, in a few weeks you will have bf mastered and you can express if you want to leave him with someone else for a bit. There are sooo many benefits to bf. Look at this link http://www.llli.org/docs/Outcomes_of..._June_2007.pdf
The hardest bit is at the beginning. You can do it mama!
post #15 of 45
1) Congratulations on your new baby!

2) It is very overwhelming the first few weeks. Hang in there and go easy on yourself. You're doing great. If you want to go out, can you take your baby with you? The carry great in a sling or a wrap and if you practice at home where you are comfortable, you can nurse without it being a big deal.

3) If your nipple are really sore, it is worth talking to someone who knows about breastfeeding about the latch (attachment) just to make sure that baby isn't on your breast in a way that is causing it to hurt more. There are some great pictures here http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...resources.html

4) Ignore the old health vistor when it comes to feeding info - she's obviously full of bad advice. Give NCT or LLL a call when you have questions - they are kind and warm and helpful.

5) You can do this. I know it seems like an eternity of nipple pain right now, but it will get easier. By nursing your baby you are avoiding all the risks of formula feeding. You baby gets perfect nutrition, plus immune boosting, brain building, and cognitive and emotional development each time you feed her.

You're awesome, you're strong and you can do this!

Pop back here as often as you need for advice, support and encouragement!

And if you have specific questions be sure to ask them. The moms here have tons of exellent info to share.
post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I'm just feeling a bit alone and overwelmed at the mo!
post #17 of 45
As someone who had a very hard time in the first few weeks of BFing, I just want to encourage you to stick with it -- you're doing a wonderful job!! I've recently had to use some bottles for my now-7-month-old DD (because I had surgery), and it's so much more complicated to wash bottles, warm bottles, have equipment on hand, etc., than it is to just lift my shirt and nurse DD whenever she's hungry -- it was awful!

Those first weeks of discomfort were SO SO SO worth it for the bond we now have and the convenience of BFing -- soon, you will be so happy that you made the choice to stick with it!!
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudysmummy View Post
Thanks everyone. I'm just feeling a bit alone and overwelmed at the mo!
I know, I KNOW. And, I know we are just anonymous strangers on the internet...but you are not alone. SO many of us have really, really been there.
post #19 of 45
You can do it. Your lo is so new, and it is hard in the beginning. We've been there, it does and will get easier.
Bottles and formula might seem easier right now, but in short few weeks, you will be able to feed your lo anywhere anytime. Moms who bottlefeed have to carry around BAGS of stuff (I witnessed one around thanksgiving): formula, bottles, nipples, drop-ins, water, scoops, etc. They have to measure, mix, heat, feed, wash, sterilize, rinse and repeat. Over and over.

And all you'll have to do is lift your shirt. Imagine doing all the bottle procedures at 3am. With bfing you turn to your lo, lift your shirt and continue sleeping

Hang in there!!!
post #20 of 45


The first few weeks are just BRUTAL. I wish there was more open discussion of that. The first few weeks of being a MOM are brutal. Then you add in breastfeeding...

Dd totally mauled my nipples- they were hamburger. But things got better. And better and better. She is still nursing now

-Angela
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