Can you help me help her?

Jane - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




I didn't breastfeed my 2 boys for several reasons but when/if I have a 3rd child I'm bound & determined to do it w/ that child & that's why I joined this group. I just wanted to get an idea of what it is all about & now I'm all about breastfeeding if a mother is able.

What I'm asking for is help for my best friend. I don't know enough myself to encourage her to continue BF. Her son is 1 month old & she's been pumping since he was born. She tried several times to have him latch on but she said it hurts so bad that she cries. She also said that it seems he's on her breast forever & he doesn't seem to be getting anything. She has read books & called the lactation nurse but she's getting all the same advice from these sources. She said she feels like all she does is pump, feed & then it starts all over. How often to breastfed babies eat? Is it normal for her to start feeling depressed because it's overwhelming for her? Her husband is also putting pressure on her to BF because of course that's what's best for their son. She said she's going to start the baby on 1 bottle of formula a day, won't that lower her milk supply & make the problem worse? Please give me some advice so I can try to help her get thru this.


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Sarah - posted on 02/20/2010




Being really sore is normal and most likely means a latch problem as some have already mentioned. I had horrible pain for weeks. I got through it by attending a breastfeeding support group once a month. There have been a lot of good suggestions on here that I won't repeat, but I suggest Medela Soft Shells to help ease the pain. here is a link:

This things saved my nipples! They were so sore i couldn't stand anything touching them. You need to expose them to air as much as possible, but you leak. These allow nothing to touch the nipple and they collect the milk. Besides putting lanolin cream on the nipple she can also spread her own breast milk on them. Breast milk has healing qualities.

April - posted on 02/19/2010




supplementing would be a mistake, yes. anything that isn't breast milk (including cereal and solids) replaces it.

marathon nursing at 1 month old is very very normal.

nursing is a blind trust type of thing. you have to literally trust your baby. there just isnt a way to measure what's inside our boobs!

every breast fed baby is different. some nurse several times an hour. some nurse once every hour. some make it to 3 hours (but i dont recommend letting a newborn or 1 month old wait 3 hours. if they're napping...wake them)

Betty - posted on 02/18/2010




if you dont pump regularly milk supply slows. if she is pumping try increasing the amount in the bottle if possible. my son eats every two to three hours and he eats 5 ounces. has since 3 months. it did hurt when i first started BF but after a few times i didnt feel too much, just one of those things longer you do it the less it hurts. I did get depressed when i first started. I also did not feel he was getting enough bc i didnot visually see the amount. I thinks its of luck

Nicole - posted on 02/18/2010




If there is pain associated with bfing, there is a problem. Most likely a latch problem. This problem is not being helped by the use of bottles. (Artificial nipples can interfere with a baby this young latching properly to the breast.)

First, discontinue using the bottles until the latch is corrected.

Second, SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT! Lots and lots of it! Tell her to take 24 hours where she just rests with baby skin to skin with her breasts. Let housework go and every now and then get in a warm bath with baby at her chest.

Then, anytime she latches the baby (if the baby does not latch himself with all of this skin to skin), she needs to tickle the upper lip with her nipple, when the baby opens wide (almost like a yawn), then bring the baby to the breast CHIN FIRST (leading with the chin so that the nipple is pointed toward the roof of the mouth).

If it hurts, the pain will go away after a few sucks and try the latch again the next time. If she pulls the baby off and relatches during that feeding, it's likely to frustrate the baby or tire him out and if the latch is bad again, it is double the pain for her. Trying again at the next feeding is more bearable.

If he seems to be spending a lot of time at the breast, she could use breast compressions (see These may help. But it is still crucial to work on the latch (remember mouth open wide, nipple pointed to the roof of the mouth and chin should indent the breast while nose is NOT pushed into the breast), because when a baby is latched poorly, milk flows poorly.

She could also change the position that she's feeding the baby to help latch. If she gets latch correct and uses breast compression, the milk flow will get better and baby will spend less time at the breast.

About introducing formula, this will alter the babies gut flora and can cause tummy aches. It is also harder to digest, so again, tummy upset. And, yes, it does help diminish milk supply. Also, it is important that a baby this age gets their feedings at the breast, they can then regulate the breast changes when going through growth spurts and a baby at the breast, keeps adequate milk supply better than a pump.

MOST IMPORTANT: Tell her to relax! This will get better! A baby is less likely to latch on to a stressed out mommy. This WILL get better. You are a great friend to be so helpful.

Mackenzie - posted on 02/18/2010




yes that will just lower her supply, ah this is tough. It does hurt at first when they latch on, I cried too, I screamed at times, but that only lasts for like 5 days and then it doesn't hurt anymore! If she continues pumping her supply is just going to be way too low, nohting builds supply like actual baby sucking, did she try like any lanolin based nipple creams? they help gt through those first painful days. SHe sounds like she needs alotof encouragement, it breaks my heart to hear of women having a hard time with this:( To answer your other question, all breastfed babies eat differently, for different amounts of time and many different times a day. The great thing about breastfeeding is your baby will eat when they need to and the amount they need to, as long as they are gaining and thriving and having enough wet and full diapers there is no need to obsess about how much and how often the baby is eating. Good luck to your friend! It is tough but it is the BEST gift you can give your baby!!!

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