Will my milk EVER come in?

(16 Posts)
VegemiteSandwich Fri 28-Dec-12 12:24:51

Just that, really!

He's 5 days old now. When he was weighed he'd lost 11% and we started topping up after feeds. Much as I hated having to do it, it changed him completely - less sleepy, much happier, no more distressed crying all night, started having a decent number of wet nappies and stopped gnawing at my nipples. He put weight back on and started accepting less formula or even refusing it.

So the midwife suggested yesterday that I stop topping up as my milk seemed to come in. Yesterday evening he seemed to want to cluster feed, but ended up more and tressedw and we ended up topping up again after which he settled quickly, so it seems that he was just hungry.

I did try to express yesterday morning, and was amazed at how quickly it spurted out (took about 10 mins to get 35ml, which was used, along with some formula, last night). But late last night, once he'd settled, I tried again to express and absolutely not a drop came out do I must have been entirely empty when he was hungry.

A bit of background: very tired after a few days of labour, 14 hours in the delivery unit, pethidine, syntocin drip, epidural and emergency c-section (up till 3 days before I was booked for a home birth. The birth plan didn't even come out of the bag!). Then of course Christmas, our phone line has gone down and we're trying to get the electrician out to sort out the oven which keeps switching off.

VegemiteSandwich Fri 28-Dec-12 12:26:24

Gosh, sorry for all the typos. Starting a conversation on an iPhone is tricky!

Please do try to just keep going with it, its very rare indeed that you never get enough milk. I was an unlucky one, had no milk at all and no-one picked up on it for 3 days (but thats a whole other thread) I was told that I was of great interest as its extremely rare

Expressing is difficult too, it could be that you were lucky to get that first bit. I've a friend that EBF for over 6 months (DC wasn't interested in weaning) and she never managed to express a drop. DC was healthy and satisfied though

It can take a good couple of weeks to establish your supply, and its normal for a newborn to cluster feed in the evening, so if it was me, I would persevere

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 12:30:05

If you got 35ml the other day then your milk definitely is "in" - don't worry if you can't express again. Expressing output can vary hugely and more often than not is related to how easily you can trigger letdown than anything to do with supply.

Breasts are never truly "empty" as milk is being produced all the time - what probably happened is he fed a lot and then you couldn't express easily as it's harder to get a let down soon after a feed IME.

Smeggnog Fri 28-Dec-12 12:52:38

Well it sounds like your milk is in. Expressing isn't a good indicator I think - for some reason I also struggled to express in the evenings, although it was clear when I was feeding DD at the same time that I did have milk (ie gulping, milky dribbles etc). Cluster feeding happens with nearly all bf babies, it's a way to increase your supply so you need to do it and not formula feed if possible to get the best results. Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear!

I know that being run-down is difficult, especially when bf as it takes so much out of you - literally. Have you been recommended Floradix? I had a traumatic birth with DD1, almost identical to yours except they managed to yank her out with a ventouse hmm I was recommended Floradix, partly for the blood loss (it's a gentle form of liquid iron and multivits, doesn't cause the usual bunged up issues) and partly because I was so tired. It helped me a great deal. Won't miraculously increase your supply but it may help you feel better sooner.

VegemiteSandwich Fri 28-Dec-12 13:04:35

Thanks everyone!

Interesting that expressing isn't a good indicator of supply - just when I was thinking I had a way of "testing".

I'm happy with the logic of evening cluster feeding, the midwife said that's how it would probably work.

Some feeds I can tell I definitely have loads of milk - there are dribbles and I can hear gulps rather than sucking, and he does this really cute littlw yelping noise! But last night/early this morning there was no gulping and no milk on his lips so I still do feel like I'd "run out".

Another thread on here had a link to a LLL sleepy baby page, and some of those I've not tried. And the plan is that today I'll try to do nothing (scar has been quite sore lately) as well as eat better.

I've just been getting so fed up with this supply thing!

VegemiteSandwich Fri 28-Dec-12 13:05:45

An looking into floradix thanks.

crikeybadger Fri 28-Dec-12 13:22:19

As others have said, you won't 'run out' of milk, even if you feel like you have none left. Just wait till he comes off the breast on his own, then pop him on the other side -you can even go back to first side if you think he still needs it.

Obviously you need to rest and eat well for your own recuperation after labour and birth, but don't worry that you need to eat and drink well for a good milk supply...it doesn't work like that.

Just keep feeding responsively, make sure your latch is good and keep your ds skin to skin a lot of the time so that he can feed whenever he wants to.

The early days are hard, but you'll get lots of support on here and keep asking your mw for help if you need it. smile

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 15:21:40

I don't know if you've come across it before but there's a website called Kellymom which has loads of excellent, well-evidenced information about breastfeeding. There's a whole section on it called "Got milk?" which focuses on supply, worries, how milk production works, how to tell your baby's getting enough, how to increase supply, loads of things. You can find it here.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 15:26:14

Also, loads of info on what's normal for newborns and how everything is working behind the scenes here

The dribbles, gulps and leaking is really more to do with speed of flow than how "much" you have, it's very hard to get your head around, but try and forget everything you know about how babies feed - most of our worries and beliefs about breastfeeding (about breasts being empty, not producing enough, wanting to see how much the baby has had etc) all comes from bottlefeeding as a norm and actually you have to almost un-learn all of that because breastfeeding is logical, it just works in a different way to how you expect.

VegemiteSandwich Mon 31-Dec-12 11:53:28

UPDATE: last night was the first night we got through without formula top ups - so finally seem to be getting there! This morning I also had for the first time (TMI, sorry!) I had leaky nipples that left (small) damp patches on my PJs.

The downside was, to get through the night we were feeding near constantly (11.45pm, 12.30am, 1.45am, 2.30am, 5am, 6am and then a sleep 'till 11am).

Now I'm thinking that we do have issues about night and day being reversed, and maybe also some issues with settling/re-settling after being awake, but I'm not thinking that's all so bad for an 8 day old baby with breastfeeding issues.

The thing is, we got much better nights' sleep with the formula top ups. So my husband is seeing this as a backward step and was keen to go downstairs for some formula.

What do you guys think? Isn't this fairly normal newborn crappy sleeping behaviour?

ShowOfHands Mon 31-Dec-12 12:00:01

Your baby doesn't even know he's separate from you yet. Night and day mean nothing to him really. It's important that they feed lots at night to establish good supply.

Just keep at it, feed when he asks and gently start introducing night and day to him. Nights keep it quiet and dark and low key. Days bright and chatty. He'll get there.

Congratulations. 8 days is absolutely tiny. He knows you, milk and you. That's it.

VegemiteSandwich Mon 31-Dec-12 12:11:41

Thanks SOH. Also forgot to say in my update a thank you to bertiebotts and badger whose advice I also found helpful thanks

RedKites Mon 31-Dec-12 18:03:03

Well done, it sounds like you're doing really well. And sleeping 6ish til 11ish is pretty good really, if not at the most helpful time! If you aren't already, it might be worth trying feeding lying down and/or looking into safe co-sleeping if possible for you.

crikeybadger Mon 31-Dec-12 22:04:05

Well done Vegemite smile

Can't really add anything else to what everyone else has said, just remember, that things will get easier in time.

VegemiteSandwich Tue 01-Jan-13 00:42:23

Well, we had tonnes and tonnes of feeds through the day and we also tries to play with him a bit more to keep him awake. All in the hope that he'd be less hungry and more sleepy tonight. He's fast asleep so fingers crossed! (I should be asleep too, not mumsnetting!)

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