I had dd at 36 weeks and it's been a little bit of a rough ride, group b strep, waters breaking prem, induction, pph, transfusion....
We left hospital on day 2 and I was worried about her feeding/ sucking ability. We were sent home with syringes to top up feeds from hand expressing. About day 5 she started to suckle and I got milk in. Midwife came round on day 5, she'd gone from 6lb 2oz to 5lb 5oz but also very yellow. Sent on to A&E and she was admitted for 3 days to treat jaundice. In this time she was also dehydrated and they were concerned also because of birth history/ blood groups. I felt from a few doctors quite a pressure to use bottle (I did express and use a few when she was too weak/ sleepy to breast feed) but I was trying not to so as to keep breastfeeding going as it's such early days. Other doctors/ nurses were fine with bf and great.
My son had a milk allergy which was hell so I'm REALLY trying to breastfeed. Fortunately I managed to re-hydrate her with breast alone and not sleeping and she was discharged more alert. She's still a sleepy/ small baby though and I must say my confidence is gone with so many different people asking if I have enough milk over and over. I think I do, she poos and wees and re-hydrated and it is clearly coming out. She sleeps after every feed and is happy on the breast. I've been asked to express while they monitor her weight, in case she needs top ups, but that's not going well. I can barely express 20ml with a hand pump (though weirdly it comes still by hand slowly). This is making doubt creep in about my supply. She's now 8 days old, seeing the midwife every 2 days. She's getting more alert, opens her eyes now for short periods and is begining to self wake for food. Seems content, if she's on you or cuddled she doesn't make a peep and will just gaze at me.
I'm not an expert, but hopefully this will bump it for one, or you could try one of the telephone helplines - they are still open over the holiday period, and you will get to speak to someone who is highly trained about breastfeeding.
A lot of things you mention sound alright to me. Many women successfully bf but find it hard to express- it's not a reflection on your supply- and normal to get more out by hand expressing too. You could perhaps try just hand expressing and see if you get more that way? Although I wasn't quite clear why you were expressing? Is it just in case you need top ups later, or are you giving it now?
Also normal to be hit or miss with latching at this stage- I've been really pleased with how feeding has gone with DS2 this time, but it was still a week or two before the latch was consistently right on my more difficult side. She is still very new to this and you've both had a difficult start so it may take a little time before you're experts!
Also within normal to poo every feed- and I think you should take this as encouragement that something must be going in! Vomiting can be normal too, particularly at first, but maybe worth speaking to your mw, especially if it is a lot, rather than a mouthful or so?
One thing you don't mention is how many times she feeds each day? At this stage I believe 10-12 or more feeds in 24 hours is normal. Also does she take the second (or more) side(s) at each feed?
Congratulations again, and I hope this is some help. And I do recommend talking to someone at one of the helplines- whenever I've used them, I've always found them really helpful, and have only regretted once or twice that I hadn't called sooner.
If expressed volume was anything to go on my DD would be on about 300ml a day at 7 months! I really stressed about volume based on how much i was expressing until i read a post from someone who had successfully breastfed a baby to 1 year, yet could only express 20ml at most, even with hospital grade pumps. Good luck,
Sounds like a rough start, poor you so well done for even getting this far
Agree with *red kite*:
- the amount you can express isn't indicative of your supply so try not to worry - poop every feed = good I think - is it vomit or just a posset? Can seem like more than it is but look out for signs of reflux and try holding upright for a bit after a feed - just keep working on your latch and get to a BF clinic asap (and phone helplines), you're both still learning
You're doing really well so make sure she's gaining obviously but take confidence
My LO was jaundice too so maybe have a babymoon to encourage as many feeds as possible - will also be good for building supply. TV remote, snacks, drinks, phone, pillows oh and baby sounds perfect