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  • "Potsworth" started this thread

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 5:46pm

Is it too late?

I have been breastfeeding Henry since birth, exclusively until day 7 (colostrum till day 5) when he was weighed for the first time since birth and had lost 15% of his birth weight ;( That day we started topping him up by syringe with EBW. We have a lot of trouble latching, and have had wonderful support from a breastfeeding assistant but i have very large breasts, flat nipples and although he sucks really hard, he just isn't getting the milk for some reason X( Syringe feeding really didn't work so we have started giving him bottles and even though i am expressing, mimicking feeds, i can't keep up with his demand ;(

I really want to keep breastfeeding but his weight is either going down, or standing still whenever we exclude formula and my main objective is for Henry to be full and content and thriving.

His sucking reflex actually doesn't seem affected by bottle feeding which is great but after a breast feed he is hungry still straight away. Is it possible that my milk doesn't have enough calories/fat etc to fill him up? I am expressing about 10oz in 24 hours at the moment. He takes 4oz every 3.5 hours.

Any advice? I feel like such a failure :bawl:

Chilli

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 6:03pm

I wanted to post not with great advise I am afraid but to say you are not a failure!

Are you drinking and eating a good diet? you need to always have a glass/ bottle of water beside you even now into established BF with DD2 I still know when i haven't had enough water or eaten enough so I sit and relax get some rest drink a pint of water have a sandwich and start again. The best advise I was given by Bells was to lay in bed with bottles of water, food, mags boobs out baby ready and just sleep and feed and bond! it works wonders, don't beat yourself up he's a lucky boy :smile:

Bells

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 6:05pm

RE: Is it too late?

Hi chuck, you're not a failure at all, you haven't failed, you haven't given up, you're here asking questions and looking for answers, trying your best..... that's not being a failure!

I know you say that his latch is great and that you have a breastfeeding assistant who will have checked that everything's as it should be but it may be worth trying a completely different position for him. It may be that, although his latch is good, he's not getting enough breast tissue into his mouth in order to massage the neccesary parts he needs to get a really good feed. Various techniques have gone out of fashion now for increasing the amount of breast that baby gets into the mouth as health care professionals have adopted a 'hands off approach' when helping women to get their breast into their baby's mouth. In the good old days a midwife would use a finger and thumb to gently compress the areola, lining it up with the baby's mouth and at the moment the baby opened his mouth and tipped back his head, the midwife would bring baby's head quickly and neatly onto the breast, letting go of the areola and allowing that first suck to draw the nipple right to the back of the throat. While these techniques may not be popular or necessary with everyone, there's still a place when a Mum has large breasts and tight or flat nipples.


Of course, it may be that he's just very new and wants to feed constantly which is pretty normal to be honest.

Edited to add that it's highly unlikely that your milk does not contain enough calories. We have women in third world countries surviving on rice and dirty water who can and do nourish babies through breastfeeding. As long as you're looking after yourself then your milk will be perfectly suited to your baby.





  • "Potsworth" started this thread

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 6:27pm

That's another thing...

Co - sleeping. I would love to sleep in the bed with Henry, i think this would help with bonding and breastfeeding. Is there a website with the safety guidelines? He doesn't sleep well without me but i am petrified with him sleeping on my chest as this doesn't seem safe.

Thank you Chilli and Bells, already i feel a little better and more capable. Just so tired from no sleep and too many cooks spoiling the broth IYKWIM X(

Bells - Yes that makes sense about the latch being great but maybe the position isn't getting enough breast tissue to extract the milk. We have tried rugby ball and standard position. I also do what you have just described with my thumb and finger etc. The HV said to try and get 3-4 cm of aerola from the bottom in his mouth. Can i do anything else? He will latch for 30-40 mins sometimes. Breastfeeding on demand would be best i guess? Even if it is nearly all the time?

Chilli - I think i will try this tomorrow, thanks :D

If he loses weight at his weigh in on friday and the HV says to top up with formula, what should i say/do? I don't want him to lose weight ;(

I am so desperate to make this work. DH and i have very strong feelings about BF and the goal posts keep moving. I just can't believe we expressed milk let alone gave him formula but here we are...

Thank you for your help

xx

  • "Potsworth" started this thread

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 6:29pm

Also, how long would it take for my milk supply to dry up? I have just expressed for the first time in 24 hours and only got 2oz from both breasts. I was so tired i just couldn't face hooking up to a machine, it feels so disjointed. I'm worried now that things have gone too long but surely if i get him on the breast next time he is hungry it will still be established? I do hope so...

Bells

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 7:34pm

Co-sleeping. There are a lot of us that have done it and who will stand up and say so. There are also those who are so terrifically frightened of anything going wrong that they will not entertain the idea. The risks are that you can roll over and suffocate baby, that you will pull the covers over baby's head and he will overheat/suffocate. There are studies that show that if you smoke, drink or are completely exhausted, the chances of something going wrong are higher. That said, many Mums sleep with one eye and ear open, many breastfeeding Mums find that they are 'less' exhausted if they co-sleep. Many babies settle better in their Mum's bed and night times are sometimes a lot easier.

Nobody will tell you whether to co-sleep or not because everyone's frightened of something going wrong, it's a choice you must make yourself. I co slept with both of mine, one for 8 months and one for about 4 months (that baby settled much better in her own bed for some reason). I found that it suited me, I knew the risks but the benefits outweighed them.

Breastfeeding on demand would be a good idea. Initially you would become the human equivalent of Daisy the cow. You would feed frequently and your breasts will often feel empty, he may become fractious at this stage as your body catches up with the demand. All of those things are normal. Cancel your plans for a few days, retreat to the bedroom with a bag of minstrels and Heat magazine (oh, and the baby!) and do nothing but feed, eat, drink and rest.


If he has lost a bit of weight on Friday and your HV wants to know why, tell her that as you haven't had accurate advice concerning breastfeeding you have felt under pressure to supplement his feeds with artificial milks and as a result your milk supply (which should be pretty much established by now) has decreased. Say that you are now in the process of re-establishing your milk supply and breastfeeding on demand as per the World Health Organisation guidelines and as yet your milk supply has not caught up with H's demands. Mention that it would be helpful if you could speak to a lactation consultant and get some support on effective breastfeeding as the advice you have come across so far has been unhelpful, has left you worried and feeling like a failure and you feel that it has hindered your chances of successful breastfeeding. Tell her that H is happy, alert and healthy and that you are confident that his weight will pick up once you sort out your feeding..... which you intend on doing.

In fact... I'll come and tell her for you!

Don't even compare the amount you've expressed with the amouth that H is getting by suckling at your breast. Your milk isn't even established yet and you're still feeding a lot and supplementing. Stick him back on the boob and let your supply build up again. It'll be fine!





mrsjasper

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 8:18pm

Quoted

Originally posted by Potsworth

If he loses weight at his weigh in on friday and the HV says to top up with formula, what should i say/do? I don't want him to lose weight ;(


xx


Weight loss is normal. If your HV suggest topping up with formula tell her to stick it ask her to go away and find some research based evidence that topping up is necessary and that weight loss in such a young baby who is otherwise healthy is a problem, and once you have read it (she won't find any 'cos there isn't any) you will consider whether you want to follow her advice, and in the meantime you will continue feeding your baby the best food available.

He is YOUR baby and you can feed him what you want to feed him. Your HV can only advise not tell you what to do.

Oh and just to add to Bells advice, you might need more than one packet of minstrels!!





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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 8:52pm

Bells - So with regard to co sleeping... if i choose to do this in between feeding tomorrow to get extra rest; can i have a pillow? A blanket/duvet? Where/how should Henry and i lay?

Thank you so much for your advice. DH has just come back from Tesco with lots of fruit, yoghurts, magazines, mineral water and yummy meals for my babymoon tomorrow... If you don't mind though i have opted for maltesers not minstrels :snigger:

We are both determined to make this work :D

Mrs J - Thanks for your advice too. Henry's yellow skin has gone now and he put on a significant amount of weight last week so i think this is a good time to try again.

Thank you so much everyone, i feel able to do this now and am excited to give it my best shot :smile:

blowkiss

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 9:16pm

Have been reading through your thread today, and just want to say, you are doing really well!....bfing is tough, and in the early days, totally and utterly exhausting, I remember being tired and aching all over.

Your determination really shines through, and I am sorry you have been given conflicting advice from your HV, not very helpful for you!

I got some good advice about bfing at my antenatal class, but nothing prepared me for the constant feeding in those first few weeks, and how much it takes out of you, but I did find that feeding H when he wanted, and for how long really paid off...it will feel like you are feeding almost 24/7 at the mo, but it will calm down.

As for a babymoon, excellent idea, enjoy every minute!(I didn't quite do the staying in bed thing when H was born, wish I had, but Dh did do everything, and I spent almost all my time on the sofa, feeding H, and being looked after, for the first few weeks, so almost the same!) I did alot of skin to skin contact with H too, which really helped.

oh, and by the way, your avatar, well Henry is absolutely scrummy!

xxx



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Bells

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 10:25pm

Quoted

Originally posted by Potsworth
Bells - So with regard to co sleeping... if i choose to do this in between feeding tomorrow to get extra rest; can i have a pillow? A blanket/duvet? Where/how should Henry and i lay?


Just common sense really chuck. I used to put baby in the middle of the bed at breast height and so I had my pillow as normal. I slept in just knickers and had my duvet at about waist height which covered the babies tummies and then I had a towel at the ready (draped over the headboard) so that when I fed and my 'other' boob leaked I would grab the towel and put it over the leaky boob. You could have a light cellular blaket there to pull over you if you get cold too.

It's a good idea to have a mattress protector, put some of those pampers care mats/inco pads/ under your bottom sheet or lie on a towel as you might find that you get quite a lot of leaky milk patches and a bit of baby sick on your bedding.





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Wednesday, April 2nd 2008, 1:02pm

Flat nipples I can help with :snigger:

I had horrendous trouble with DS#1 as mine were inverted on one side and flat on the other. DS#1 had a small mouth and couldnt latch well.

I ended up with open raw wounds on both nipples (I still have the white scars).

So..... what worked?

Well, eventually, working out how to use breast shells. These were Avent breast shells, and SHELLS not shields.

You wear them for 15-20 minutes before a feed. They help extract the nipple by providing a little bit of pressure (and they catch the leakage) which then gives your child a target to aim onto and something to actually latch onto rather than the child giving you baby-hickies on your nipples!

  • "Potsworth" started this thread

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Monday, April 7th 2008, 1:31pm

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their support.

The babymoon went really well. We are still working towards eliminating formula and it is getting less and less as my supply increases. He is latching much better and i can hear lots of gulps and tummy noises as he feeds, he is content for an hour at most before he needs topping up but i always try BF first. Just got to get my supply up. Breast shields really help aswell, i was very envious of the inch long nipples the women had in a DVD my breastfeeding assistant showed me :snigger: I can get 3/4 the amount he has just taken in formula by the time he is hungry for another feed IYKWIM. He is such a hungry baby :snigger: He is 9lb now!

Anyhow, thanks again :smile:

xx

mrsjasper

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Monday, April 7th 2008, 1:33pm

Great news Potsworth, well done.





Rivka

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Monday, April 7th 2008, 1:48pm

Really Brilliant news, all your effort is paying off!







Bells

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Monday, April 7th 2008, 3:25pm

Excellent! It sounds like you're doing really great. What a victory for you, well done!!