Breast feeding not going well.

(11 Posts)

Ds is a week old and it seems my milk supply is very low. They are yet to be engorged despite him feeding constantly. The first few days when he was just on the colostrum went well, 6 dirty nappies whilst still in hospital. However since getting home he lost 13.8% body weight, only had one or two wet nappies in a day and no dirty ones. He was also sleeping for 5 hours at night after a night frantic on the breast. The midwife instructed me to give him half an hour on each side then express and top up to 50ml with formula. This has been for the last 2 days. He has started putting weight on and has finally had a dirty nappy. This is my third baby and third attempt at breast feeding. The last two attempts failed. I'm quite upset as I really wanted it to work this time, and it seemed to start so much better than last time. Is there any way to increase the milk supply? When I pump I only manage to get 10ml all together.

tiktok Mon 12-May-14 14:51:31

Aw, pink, so sorry this is happening to you sad

Can you give a few more details of his weights?

To establish a good milk supply, you need to be feeding your baby on both sides and possibly three or four smile each time....and you need to have someone watch you feed to check for effective milk transfer. Your baby's mouth needs to be checked for tongue tie, because this can interfere with effective feeding.

50 ml top ups every time are a lot for a new baby - check with the midwife that you can start to reduce these to protect your milk supply.

You got off to a great start, but it may be he was just not feeding often enough when you came back home.

You can also call any of the breastfeeding helplines and speak to a breastfeeding counsellor.

PeaceLillyDoge Mon 12-May-14 14:51:56

Oh I feel your pain! I've been in exactly your situation with the 13% weightloss and is awful.

First of all, you're not failing to breast feed!! You're absolutely doing it, it's just really hard going sometimes in the first few weeks.

Their stomachs are tiny at this point so don't worry about the expressing only 10mls, they can't take much more at this stage. Also, you can't compare breast milk amounts with formula amounts as they need so much more formula as it isn't as nutrient rich as breast milk.

Personally the following worked for us:

- feeding every three hours, especially through the night which is important to stimulate milk production. Baby shouldn't be going five hours without a feed. We had to keep waking ours up which was really hard

- feeding then expressing and then giving them the top up of breast Milk. We did this by syringe to start with then add I got more milk and could express more we moved on to bottles

- weekly weigh ins to make sure weight was going up

- seeing a breast feeding consultant at the midwifery unit to check latch etc. This was really helpful

- using an electric breast pump

- taking domperidone to increase supply

- Eating lots of oats which also helps with supply

I never thought we would get through it but after four weeks we were able to stop the top ups abs baby is now exclusively on the breast.

You are doing brilliantly, keep going, get all the help youcan locally.

TwoPerfectGifts Mon 12-May-14 17:40:44

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see how you can be engorged and have low supply.

This sounds like me with DC1. Engorged constantly but tongue tie meant she only ever took a little milk, very frequently, and never emptied the breast. She put on weight like that but I can easily see how it might have been different.

It's def worth going to a BF drop-in to get him checked for tongue tie. Even if it's not that, you will get good feeding advice.

TwoPerfectGifts Mon 12-May-14 17:43:35

Oh, and congratulations on your lovely newborn thanks

TwoPerfectGifts Mon 12-May-14 17:45:52

Sorry, just reread the OP - I see now you wrote 'yet to be engorged' blush

He was born 3.9kg and went down to 3.36kg. Now he is having the formula top ups it is going back up again, today he is 3.49kgs. I feed him from both sides each time and keep switching until he stops. Then if I try to put him down he wakes up and wants more. When I give him the formula he is more content and goes longer. I don't express as much as I should because it just isn't practical to be hooked up to the pump for hours each day. The midwife just said that I use it until the milk stops flowing but it never really flows. I tend to go for half an hour. Is that too long? Its also hard because I can't put him down to do it as he won't settle. So at the moment he goes on the breast for an hour or so then I give him the top up, then I pump for a bit when he is settled and then give him that.
PeaceLily- did you get engorged at all in that time? Its great that you managed to get the flow going,maybe I won't give up just yet. What is domperidone and where do I get it?

Also did you pump through the night as well as the day?

IWillIfHeWill Tue 13-May-14 02:21:59

Congratulations on your new baby. I don't suppose this will really be helpful but I'll try. This is a counsel of perfection - most people won't have the opportunity - but I'm putting it forward anyway.

To boost your milk supply quickly, I suggest three days in bed with the baby. Do you have someone who can look after your older children? You need to do nothing in the way of housework or childcare, just focus on milk production.

Baby constantly at the breast, no need to time each side, just switch when you feel.

For you, enough to eat and drink but not too much. I used to take a flask, bottle of water, sandwiches. People always recommend nuts - you could if you like but urgh, I hate the things.

When the baby is asleep, express - relax and don't worry about how much you get. Just do it for fun. It will really build up your confidence in your milk production capacities. You're an experienced mum so I won't go through the very basic 'how to' but pm me for that if you think it would help.

Don't worry about topping up with formula. Its ok. Babies have had formula and then gone on to be exclusively breastfed and have fed for years. I know two such babies, very well.

Stop worrying about being engorged or not. I know its an amazing feeling, if I could go through it again tomorrow I would, but for some people it doesn't happen, particularly if they have breastfed before. Your body is used to breastfeeding, that's all.

This isn't a test, you can't 'fail'. Its ok.

bebees Tue 13-May-14 03:08:23

Hi! I've had 2 babies and 2 v different experiences of breastfeeding!! Second time round was sooo much easier and successful! The main advice I'd give is to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of protein and relax as much as poss! I have never (as suggested in the post above) expressed milk for fun... It's not fun!! Or spent three days alone in bed with my newborn child as that would be a cot death / accidental smothering waiting to happen due to sheer exhaustion!!

tiktok Tue 13-May-14 08:51:00

Pink, you say, "Then if I try to put him down he wakes up and wants more. "

This is normal for a week old baby who is programmed to be close to you, and for whom breastfeeding is more than food/drink, but a way of connecting with you and feeling safe.

"When I give him the formula he is more content and goes longer. " You are making the mistake of confusing 'going longer' with 'contentment' (I guess you mean stays asleep on his own for a longer time, compared with when he is breastfed, when he wakes up sooner). Formula feeding does tend to make babies sleep a little longer, but that has nothing to do with contentment and everything to do with the slower digestion of formula.

New babies are 'designed' to want to stay with you, and to bf often....and the people around new mothers should be helping to make this possible with lots of tender loving care smile

You don't have to stay in bed for days on end if you don't want to, but being close to your baby, and keeping him in bed with you for some of the time (following safe sleeping rules), will help a lot during this time.

You may well feel thirstier during these early days, but beyond drinking to thirst and eating to hunger, you don't need to be concerned about eating and drinking (extra protein is not needed to make milk) .

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