My DS was born slightly early at 34+6, but was a massive 7lbs11! Was in neonatal for 12 days before coming home, and to start with was tube fed. A couple of days of formula and mixed expressed milk then onto expressed breastmilk completely. We tried to establish bfing, but he started to lose weight and his nappies dried up and in the end had to bottle feed the expressed milk. I try him on the breast before most feeds, the day before yesterday after 20 minutes he did latch on and fed (stop-start) for about half an hour, but was still hungry and needed topping up afterwards. Since then he hasn't really latched at all.
I have seen a bfing support lady who confirms my position etc.. Is all fine (having fb my daughter I feel I am happy with this). I have been advised just to keep trying, and to try nipple shields (which I have ordered and should be here soon) for the time being, and to keep my supply up by expressing 7/8 times a day (I was only doing it about 5 times a day before that).
My breasts feel quite soft, which it am sure they didn't before and I don't seem to get quite as much milk out as he is eating. Currently I have a frozen supply, but this is depleting.
Does anyone have any experience of going back to breast? Or using nipple shields to help with this? Or of keep expressing and feeding by bottle? At the moment I am tied to house really due to expressing and am not sure on the long run how sustainable this will be...
Have you heard of a Supplemental Nursing System? It stimulates the breast whilst also providing expressed milk or formula. I used one to relactate with DD. I used the Medela one - from Amazon within 24 hours. A bit of a faff but I found it useful.
I also rewarded myself for pumping I laid out 12 chocs/sweets every morning at 8am and I ate one every time I pumped over the next 24 hours. I made sure to pump at least 3 times overnight. Pumping while looking a photo helped as well as smelling some of her clothes.
I found the LLL helpline bloody brilliant through all of this.
I pumped for 9 weeks before tongue tie was sorted. Since then have breastfed, we're now at 13 weeks. It is possible - keep offering the breast so it's not strange to your baby.
Well done on expressing. It's exhausting. See a breastfeeding councillor as regularly as you can - my local bf cafe gave me lots of tips & ideas, I would have given up much sooner otherwise. You are doing brilliantly. Supply will creep up the more you pump. Also the more you drink & the less stressed you feel.
My son was tube fed for a time too. One of the things I used to do when getting him back into established breastfeeding was to have a syringe full of ebm and syringe that in his mouth so he got the taste then quickly switch him from the syringe and latch him on, worked quite well for a time. Call the LLL helpline as soon as you can though, you'll find them so helpful. Well done on all your hard work so far
I am using nipple shields since week 2 because my baby would not latch. He is now 13 weeks and just jumped up a percentile. He is thriving so well with the shields that I have not even tried weaning him from them.