Breastfeeding Questions - Help Me With Breastfeeding!
Hi there, I was given your card by my health visitor and need some help!
I have a five week old son and he is my second child and I am breastfeeding. I didn't with my first so I am finding it all a very challenging experience.
I have cracked nipples that have not healed since the first week, the feeding was sore throughout the feed in the first weeks but now there is only an intial pain, although toe curling, and the rest of the feed is ok.
So my first question is how can I help my nipples heal? I do believe that my son is latched on properly and the health visitor has checked and is quite happy that he is. I am using the Lansinoh cream after every feed, but they are not healing. He does at times mess about on the breast but when he does not go on properly I take him off and try again.
My second problem is that over the past week or so my son has developed what I believe to be colic. I have not as yet had a chance to discuss this with the health visitor. He has been very unsettled in the late afternoon and evening sometimes stretching on to early moring. I am finding this very difficult and wonder if you can offer any advice. I am using gripe water at the minute and find it offers some relief.
There are a few things that I think may explain the colic or attribute to it:
1. My milk flows very fast at the beginning of a feed. Whereas during the early weeks he would initially feed for ten or fifteen minutes before coming off, he now feeds for five or eight mins at max. He also gulps very fast and at times seems to struggle with the flow. He will then mostly fall asleep and I will change his nappy to waken him and try him a second time where he usually feeds a little slower. But I usually have to take him off at the end as he does what the midwife referred to as fluttering when he seems to use me as a soother. I have introduced a soother but don't use it very often.
2. I am unsure if expressing has attributed to the colic. From about
1/2 weeks I expressed milk for freezing in case of an emergency. I have also given him a bottle on three occasions which he delt with very well taking 4 oz each time.
3. He is doing some green nappies. They are usually yellow and very watery but at times they are green which the health visitor said is wind.
Please can you offer any advice on these problems. He feeds mainly every 3-4 hours and on occassions every 2, mostly in the evenings.
You are having quite a time of it, aren't you!
To answer your first question, the sore nipples are usually the result of incorrect latching on. Ensure the baby has a good full mouthful of your areola at each feed and not just your nipple. After the feed allow your nipples to dry - leave your bra cup open for a short while to let some air at them. Some women find that putting a little bit of breastmilk around each nipple after each feed helps heal them. If they don't heal in a few days see your GP in case you have thrush. Have a look at the following links on my site:
The initial pain at the beginning of each feed is normal and will disappear if you continue breastfeeding over a few months.
Colic usually strikes at around 5 - 6 weeks and can last until about 14 weeks. It also often occurs in the early evening and can go on until the early hours of the morning. It is very distressing for both mum and baby but rest assured it will pass.
No-one really knows what causes but it is very unlikely to be related to expressed milk. However, there are a few things you can try. Gripe water can help as can some other over-the-counter medications. But always seek your GP's or a pharmacist's advice before self-medicating!
An evening massage and bath can also be effective.
Have a look at the following article for some tips:
The feeding pattern sounds normal. He is more used to drinking now and his sucking reflex is more efficient now than when he was first born. So the feeding time at the breast will be shorter.
As regards using a dummy read this article for some advice:
Green poos can be the result of an infection so it would be best to check this out with your GP. If you are giving expressed breastfeeds be careful to sterilise equipment and to store and defrost the milk correctly.
As far as I can tell you have are having a normal breastfeeding experience. The first weeks are the most difficult but it gets easier in time.
If you are at all concerned about your baby, speak to your GP or health visitor for medical advice.
If you can, try to join a local breastfeeding support group. It is a great way to compare notes with other new mums and to offer one another tips!
I hope this all helps and well done for sticking at it!
Let me know how you get on.
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