End of BF??? Advice needed!!

(19 Posts)
NickyEds Tue 18-Feb-14 18:05:11

After problems BF due to Tongue tie followed by supply issues I'm currently mix feeding DS (he's 8 weeks). It absolutely broke my heart when I was told to top him up with formula at 11 days as he was losing weight but over the last few weeks I've got used to the idea- got tired of the guilt and the tears. Now I feed DS every feed and top up with formula- sometimes a little sometimes a lot. It's not ideal but it's DS is absolutely perfect and thriving and we were getting on ok.
At my 8 week check with HV when we discussed feeding she more or less said that I'm wasting my time BF as he probably isn't getting much. Also I had what felt like period pains last night so if it starts does that mean I'm not really BF at all??
DS has been feeding off me for hours today and it's really lovely. I know he takes some milk as my boobs go hard then soften as he feeds (and he throws bits up!)- just never enough to satisfy him. I don't need to exclusively BF but I'd hate to give up altogether so soon.
If my period starts does it mean I'm not really giving him any?
DS seems to love BF even if it isn't really filling him up so am I just making a rod for my back bf for comfort?( this is what HV implied).

Frusso Tue 18-Feb-14 18:09:58

If you don't want to completely give up, then don't.

If you are happy with the arrangement then continue with it. You don't need your health visitors approval or permission.

Not an expert by any means, but didn't want to read and run! Sounds like he is def getting milk from you and if you're enjoying it, could you work to boost your supply so you could stop ff if you wanted? Perhaps contact Le leche league or NCT bf support for advice?
I got my period back after 2 months and my daughter if EBF, so I don't think it has any effect on your supply! I know of people who got AF at 10 weeks as well grin, thinks it's down to hormones rather than supply.
Well done you do bf for do long and for obviously being such a wonderful mum!

Kittymalinky Tue 18-Feb-14 18:13:32

Bfing isn't just about milk, it's about closeness and bonding too so if you're happy and you're both getting something out of it then keep going.

I'm pretty sure even a bit of bm will be providing the benefits

Your hv is talking crap! Wow this really annoys me, it's hard topping up but sounds like you are doing the right thing for your ds.

I had to top up ds at around 4 months, people told me I should use it as an excuse/way to wean off breast feeding but I was adament that I wouldn't as I wanted so much to breastfeed him. I slowly reduced the amount of formula top ups once his weight had gone up over probably about 2 weeks and got him back to ebf. He is still breastfeeding now at 20 months and even though its still painful it was worth it...when hes ill all he will take is breastmilk and recently couldn't even keep water down for 2 weeks, so I'm glad I stick with it if just for that!

Op, do whatever makes you feel comfortable, go with your instincts and ignore the hv, how does she know what milk he is getting from you?!

Weegiemum Tue 18-Feb-14 18:16:26

My periods came back at 8 weeks all 3 times despite EBF - and I fed for 12 months, 15 months and 25 months. It's no indication (I'm overweight which means periods come back earlier).

cookiefiend Tue 18-Feb-14 18:26:59

Don't give up!!!

DD is now five months. I broke my heart having to mix feed- I was so set on bf, but was really ill to start with and have tried EVERYTHING, but my supply has never met the demand. But here I am still mix feeding. I know she gets around a half to a third of her calories from me- it varies as she has growth spurts where she feeds more- but she gets less formula than she would if just in formula and is thriving.

The bf clinic and my gp are pleased as she is still getting the goodness of breast milk from me- antibodies etc. Dd loves bf and takes great comfort from it. She asks to bf to sleep most nights and for naps. If you are happy go for it.

X

Sunflower1985 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:00:28

Long-term mix feeder here. Went through similar struggles with my ds, now 6mo and on solid, bf and ff.

My periods have started and stopped and gone crazy. No pattern and no real correlation to how much ff I was doing.

I understand the strong desire to bf. We use a supplemental nursing system, homemade with a bottle and feeding tube from amazon. He takes his ff at the boob along with breast milk (like sucking a straw). Got down from top ups at every feed to 3 a day this way and only bf at night, which I find less stressful.

Bf isn't just about feeding for many of us, and to imply that there's something wrong with that goes against instinct IMO.

NickyEds Tue 18-Feb-14 21:35:37

Thanks for your kindness everyone. BF was such a nightmare to begin with that I felt we were doing well and it just really knocked my confidence to be told it's essentially pointless- I was actually feeling as though he was taking more B milk but I don't really know-just happy DS is still getting some and enjoying feeding him. I think I'll look into the supplemental nursing system- I'd never really considered it before. Do you think 8 weeks is too late to change feeding( to anything other than just ff)?

cookiefiend Tue 18-Feb-14 21:50:03

Some people manage to sort it out at about three months the bf clinic told me so keep trying. Just gradually reduce the formula don't do it quickly as I thought it was going really well and reduced formula too fast and she lost a little weight so we panicked and had to massively increase the formula and I have never recovered from then on.

I assume you are trying everything- I am not sure how much actually helps me but I do it anyway and some people have results- fenugreek, domperidone if your gp will prescribe it, brewers yeast and make sure you are eating lots- in te first two weeks I think that was part of my problem- not eating enough.

Having struggled so much I can't tell you how happy I am I coul give someone some advice on it- I have spent s long feeling like a bit of a failure! Love the idea of a supplemented. Wish I had tried it. How would I make one sunflower and am I too late?

CelticPromise Tue 18-Feb-14 21:53:34

Eight weeks isn't too late. Can you go to a bf group and get advice?

Rushing but will try to do a proper reply tomorrow.

Madratlady Tue 18-Feb-14 22:17:55

My 9wo ds had a tongue tie which wasn't diagnosed until he as 4wo and snipped at 5wo. He couldn't latch on to bf at all (not at all happy with scbu discharging him before feeding was properly established) and after a nightmare first couple of days at home where he screamed non stop and sucked on a nipple shield without getting any milk I started expressing and bottle feeding. Now his tongue tie has been cut he can bf but won't because he's too used to a bottle. I'm expressing about 6 times a day and mix feeding because I think some breast milk is better than all formula.

Madratlady Tue 18-Feb-14 22:20:08

I found fenugreek increased my supply slightly when I was trying to be able to express more. I need to get some more though because my milk has reduced since I stopped taking it.

CityDweller Tue 18-Feb-14 22:28:58

I also found fenugreek boosted my supply. I started taking it when I went back to work and wanted to increase my pumping output and it had a real impact. So much so that I had to stop taking it because I was getting engorged on days when I wasn't pumping! So, could be worth a try... I've also heard that oats are good for milk production.

Frusso Tue 18-Feb-14 22:40:38

Oats are great for milk supply, oat milk works too.
Offering feeds little and often (cluster feeding) is good for boosting supply. The more on/off he does the more you milk production is triggered.

8wks is still early days, my supply didn't settle until 12-14 weeks. It's supply and demand. The more he demands (so the more you offer) the more you produce.
Expressing between feeds can also help.

MaMattoo Tue 18-Feb-14 23:08:57

I second fenugreek. Fresh/dry/ cooked/ stir fried..it works.

I would only say do what feels right to you. HV is only for guidance, accepting their advice as the truth is not a great idea!

Well done for persevering!!

Sunflower1985 Wed 19-Feb-14 08:33:01

It was a couple of months in that the lactation consultant at my bf group recommended supplemental nursing to us. I found this method online, as there is a product you can buy but it's pricey. Take a feeding tube, e.g. this one and cut a small hole in the top of a teat of a bottle. Put the regular formula in the bottle and thread the tube through. I put the bottle in a little bag around my neck, or hold it. Latch lo on and then insert the tube into the corner of their mouth along side the nipple. They suck and take the formula as through a straw. The lower the bottle is with respect to their head, the harder they have to suck, and the more they will be stimulating your supply.
The tube has a scale on it and I usually insert it so 4cm are past his lips.
After each feed I rinse through with very hot water, holding the tube with tongs so I don't scold.

Hth, but worth googling for a video.

TinyTear Wed 19-Feb-14 08:38:34

Fenugreek is good yes,

and the HV is talking bollocks about the period... i exclusively breastfed my boob mosnter bottle refusing daughter who still has mummy milk at 2yo and got my periods back at 7 months

vichill Wed 19-Feb-14 18:57:17

i would ring the breastfeeding helpline. they know loads and will devise a plan with you to get your supply up. i had nipples that scabbed, bled and had bits fall off and they even managed to keep me bfing. they were so lovely and not breastapo in the slightest. there should be a number in baby's red book.

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