Please tell me your bf success stories

(28 Posts)
LavalavalavaLamp Sun 11-May-14 10:01:04

Dd is 5 weeks, ebf but not gaining weight amongst other issues.
Please can you tell me your bf success stories? I need some encouragement that I will crack this and it will get better.

You obviously need to speak to your health visitor as I am not medically trained and I think babies should be gaining weight, even if slowly, but my experience is below.

My DD (now four and a half) was breastfeed, she lost weight after birth and didn't regain it for nearly four weeks. I just kept feeding her, she had plenty of wet and dirty nappies and periods of being alert and not screaming or crying so I didn't think there was anything wrong with her despite pressure from midwives/have to top up with formula to improve weight gain. She did gain weight, just very slowly at first. I tried to feed her every three hours initially rather than let her sleep longer (timed feeds from start of previous feed even if they took ages).

My DS (5 weeks too) on the other hand won't feed (well latches and sucks, but appears to get very little out) from me so I pump and feed to him by bottle, going to see someone again on Monday to double check things like tongue tie etc..

LavalavalavaLamp Sun 11-May-14 10:28:11

Thanks Poirot, she was gaining but has just maintained the last 2 weeks and still isn't back up to birth weight. I'm lucky that I've had a lot of support and they aren't pushing top ups yet (perhaps because they know I'd like to avoid that if possible). I'm just losing hope that I will be able to sustain her by bfing alone

mangofizz Sun 11-May-14 15:08:55

If you have a look through my past threads you will see I have been living a nightmare with my baby (also 5 weeks, 6 weeks on weds) and breastfeeding too. I have had loads of support as well and now turns out I have a supply issue due to a tongue tie and all the worry in the early weeks. I have topped up with formula under the guidance of a lactation consultant because I was worried about him not gaining the weight over my desperation to breastfeed.

Topping up with formula works both ways for me, I breast feed him at every feed and top him up if hes still not satisfied after a good go at both sides, I switch feed him and have to really pay attention to what he's up to on there. I feel like its taken the pressure off me as the formula top ups give me confidence he isnt hungry and is gaining, im not so desperate, which was working against me. On the other hand, every time I have to give him formula im disappointed in myself that I cant satisfy him on my own. However, ultimately, he is being fed, gaining weight and im always making sure he is full and settled.

I also spend absolutely ages expressing (for hardly any reward) you could try that so you only have to top up with breastmilk. Thats my new ultimate aim as he really doesnt seem to be able to get what he wants in one go from me, he needs the extras!

Superworm Sun 11-May-14 19:43:10

We had a difficult start. First two weeks were ok and I thought it was going well. Then I developed mastitis that I couldn't shift for three weeks, then got thrush from all the antibiotics. Weight gain was fine but I fed him every 40 mins thinking it was normal.

TT that was the cause of it all. Had it snipped three times and it still reattached. I saw at least 8 HCP all said things were fine. I found a great LC at 6 weeks who helped me get on track. By 12 weeks things were going well.

It was so very hard. I cried a lot and thought about stopping many times but it got better and I'm still feeding him now at 2 years - and love it smile

Toadsrevisited Sun 11-May-14 19:53:12

I'm lucky- despite mild tongue tie (spotted by midwife on day 1), DS and I have successfully EBF. He's now 15 weeks and has doubled his birth weight. The first weeks were hardest, but with supportive family and DH to bring lots of drinks and snacks, and amazing Lansinoh, we got past it. It's now so convenient, pain free and cosy. I realise it's not so easy for every one, but it's worth persevering. I found that reading a lot about BF helped so I could tackle problems like mastitis and overly fast let down really helped. Good luck!

crikeybadger Sun 11-May-14 19:58:30

Hi lava,
Do you have any idea why her weight gain is static? Have the midwives given you any tips to increase her milk intake?

Liara Sun 11-May-14 20:03:42

Had a very difficult start with ds1 - he was seriously failing to thrive and I did not have enough milk. I went through the whole relactation process - giving him formula through a tube as he bf, expressing, supplements (More milk plus, which made me lactate so much I got mastitis sad) and although I managed to produce plenty of milk ds was still not gaining any weight.

He was eventually diagnosed with severe reflux and cmp intolerance, a couple of months of medication and the elimination of all cmp from my diet and he went from off the bottom of the charts at 4 months to 90th percentile by his first year! The formula was cut out after I relactated (he was on supplements for 3 weeks), and he carried on bf happily until almost age 3.

Do you have any idea why she is not gaining?

NutellaStraightFromTheJar Sun 11-May-14 20:03:50

We had a hideous start. DS lost over 10% of his birthweight in the first week. I had a horrendous hv who made me cry and feel like a failure because my nipples were sore and bleeding. We then both had thrush for over 6 weeks and mastitis to boot. We were off and on antibiotics. DS would feed endlessly and just could not seem to latch correctly. I would literally cry though feeds and avoid feeding in front of anyone because I was ashamed of how much pain I was in. I still have a scar on one nipple, and had open wounds for ages.

Then, somehow, at around 10-12 weeks, it slowly got better. The thrush finally went, ds put on weight, it stopped hurting and became easy! We ended up exclusively bfing until 6 months and carried on until around 14 months, when ds slowly became less interested and we stopped dropped the last couple of feeds. By the end, I honestly loved bfing, despite our rocky start.

Interestingly, ds was finally diagnosed with fairly severe tongue tie at 6 months, which had been missed because he has a slightly larger than average tongue. This was most likely the root of most of our problems, and is definitely something I will beg midwives/doctors/hvs to check for more thoroughly when my next dc is born.

So yes, it can get better, and don't be afraid to ask and ask and ask again for help. I found a hv at a bfing clinic who was lovely and supportive. But also, if you do end up feeding another way, of course it doesn't matter! Your baby will be healthy and lovely and will never know the difference.

LavalavalavaLamp Sun 11-May-14 22:36:31

Thanks for all your responses, really really encouraging. I'm just trying to steal an hour or two of sleep so in brief they think her static weight gain is caused by not getting enough hind milk, probably because I've been feeding her whenever she stirs regardless of hunger cues. I've spent this weekend trying to break the cycle with breast compressions and have also been giving her dentinox colic drops. She does seen more settled but the scales will tell really. I'll be back so keep em coming!

Kveta Sun 11-May-14 22:39:46

Lava. Who has been advising you so far? It might be worth calling the la leche league helpline tomorrow and see if you have a local group to visit. I found mine very supportive and a mine of information! I have been lucky to have two babies who fed well and never lost weight, but have spoken to mums in the same boat as you who were well supported by la leche.

callamia Sun 11-May-14 22:49:11

Lava, I was about to tell you that the best advice I received was 'if they're awake, feed them' - I'm not sure the idea about hind milk is necessarily a good one... I'm not an LC, but I've had a lot of good advice from bf counsellors and was told to feed often to encourage supply.

Our problems were getting out of nicu with a bottle-fed baby and introducing him to bf about 5 days after birth. It was horrible. He was so hungry, and I didn't have enough milk for him yet, so I fed and fed and got grazed nipples, and fed and fed and cried. All that feeding paid off. Seven months in, we're still going.

LavalavalavaLamp Mon 12-May-14 09:46:04

I've seen a couple of people from the infant feeding team, the possibility of tongue tie was discussed but I've been told that there's not enough to snip.
I was following the feed whenever they're awake rule but this meant feeding every hour or so and she didn't even gain an ounce so I'm happy with the current advice that I've received. The colic drops do seem to have helped a lot and she is sleeping for longer stretches so hopefully I'll see results in her weight tomorrow.
I'm off to a support group in an hour and the infant feeding team are still in touch with me if there's still no improvement.
It's great to see what others have overcome, it does give me hope.
Thanks again.

LavalavalavaLamp Fri 23-May-14 09:54:11

So, last week she'd put on weight and was back up to birth weight, I was elated and had a really good week where she would feed and then sleep really nicely allowing me to get out and about or just eat lunch.
Then this week she'd put 3oz on which is apparently not enough. It really knocked my confidence and I was advised to switch feed for 48 hours. I really hated switch feeding, and dd wouldn't settle so I gave up on that after half a day.
I decided that since she was well I'd just carry on as I had been and try not to get anxious about weight gain.
Her feeds have give a bit stupid again though, lasting for ages, then she wakes a few moments after feeding so I end up feeding her more.
She's 6 weeks now, I feel really fed up, it's meant to be easier by now. I'm so tired, will I ever crack this?!

jimijack Fri 23-May-14 10:04:18

Both mine had tongue tie.
Fed ds 1 till he was 7 months, ds 2 is still bf and he is 16 months old. We both enjoy it.
It got much easier and is now the norm.

Keep going, as long as there are wet & dirty nappies you are doing fine.

I took mine to be weighed every 2 weeks to take the pressure off. Based on the above plus my confidence in his happy, healthy nature, periods of being alert and sleeping patterns gave me much more information about his health.
Slow but consistent weight gain happened without me stressing.

(I am a hcp so feel I could recognise any early subtle indicators of issues arising)

crikeybadger Fri 23-May-14 10:33:28

Sor ry you're finding things hard lava. 6 weeks can be a time where babies have a feeding frenzy so hang in there! That said, you might want to consider getting the tongue tie checked again -it's not the size of it that is important, but its impact -slow weight gain and long feeds can indicate tongue tie.

Also, once they are back to birth weight, the recommendation is not to weigh every week....as you've found, any slight fluctuation can lead to worry. It's better to consider the weight as one of a number of factors that will show that your baby is thriving.

LavalavalavaLamp Fri 23-May-14 14:00:22

That's interesting about weigh ins, makes me feel less reckless.
The tongue tie thing is tough, I might just be playing the blame game because having a newborn is harder than I expected. If she does I think it must be posterior (been googling, I know, not a good idea). She had her 6 week check yesterday and the dr said she didn't have tt. He said that tt causes latch problems and at this point I'm confident that her latch is fine.
I've tried to push any thoughts of 'I haven't got enough milk' out of my head because I know it's supply and demand but it's hard not to wonder...

Imeg Fri 23-May-14 17:55:55

I found the first 6 weeks really hard and weight gain was slow. I tried breast compressions and this helped and from 6 weeks he got more efficient at feeding.
He's now 10 weeks, weight gain steady but a bit slow, though I think probably due to sickiness now rather than poor feeding, but he's doing really well in himself, smiling, making lots of noises etc. I felt it was worth it when we went on an outing to London yesterday and I could just feed him whenever he was hungry on train/tube/in pub without worrying about bottles etc. (In the end he only needed feeding twice, once in the pub and once on the tube). Really convenient - this was my main reason for wanting to breastfeed.

LavalavalavaLamp Fri 23-May-14 18:22:24

Imeg that really speaks to me, convenience is one if the main reasons I haven't given up already.
I have had some really nice smiles.
She's been feeding pretty much constantly for the last two hours! Am I going wrong or could this be a growth spurt?
I'm sorry your little one has been poorly Imeg.

Imeg Sat 24-May-14 07:20:13

Sorry for any confusion, he's not poorly, just brings up a lot of milk, but saw GP yesterday on health visitors instructions and GP said waiting and seeing was a reasonable option and so I'm happy with that for now.
His weight could be better but I think he's feeding quite efficiently now, just not always keeping it down.

LavalavalavaLamp Sat 24-May-14 13:17:17

Sorry that's me being alarmist!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 24-May-14 16:19:53

Hi lava - well done on persevering!!

My BF journey was a nightmare from the start. I couldn't get him to latch on in the hospital, he was too lethargic to feed, the staff kept telling me to give him bottles, he lost 9%of his birth weight in less than 48 hours and I was an emotional wreck!!

I went home 2 days after he was born and kind of fumbled along with the feeding, not really knowing what I was doing and just hoping things were going as they should. It didn't go smoothly and I spent most feeds in absolute tears because I felt I wasn't doing it right. It was difficult time consuming, DS always seemed to be feeding and I was exhausted!! If it wasn't for my DH I would have given up within that first week.

When DS hit 6 weeks old I started having cracked nipples, I felt we were going backwards in terms of his attachment and feeding just went downhill. I was absolutely convinced I was doing something wrong and my confidence just plummeted. In order to get some help I joined a Breast Feeding Support Group, cried my eyes out to a Breast Feeding Support line, had a Peer Supporter come round to my house, paid privately to see a Lactation Consultant and also met up with the Breast Feeding Co-Ordinator for my County. During this time I was feeling very low and like a complete failure. I was having prolonged episodes of non-stop crying about how hard I was finding it especially when other women seemed to find it so easy - that was my perception anyway.

However, things have improved dramatically!! DS is now 9 weeks and we have finally turned a corner!! Feeding him has become something I enjoy again, he's feeding better, he's a more content baby and I'm glad I sought out so much help and support as opposed to giving up.

It can be a difficult and long journey but it is worth it. I think some women expect BF to work like a dream from Day 1 but for some of us it just isn't like that. I expected it to be something that would come really naturally to me but it just didn't. Like I said though, things have improved massively for us now and I'm so glad I stuck it out.

LavalavalavaLamp Tue 03-Jun-14 02:59:55

So I thought I was getting there but apparently not. Had to introduce two small formula feeds a day.
Tongue tie has been suggested AGAIN. Seeing a specialist in a couple of days.
The lactation consultant thinks tt is causing poor milk transfer which has affected my supply. I am absolutely gutted, I feel like my supply is dwindling to nothing and I might as well give up and just ff.
what a fucking waste of energy the last two months of bfing have been!

cathpip Tue 03-Jun-14 03:23:06

Lava, a lot of people would of switched a long time ago! My dc3 is the first dc I have successfully breast fed. With dc1 my milk never came in, with dc2 she was so large that I was advised to top up with formula after she lost 10% of her birth weight, and then she decided that she preferred formula milk to breast milk. She also only ever gained 2ozs a week and that was on formula, nothing was said as her birth weight was 10.9lb, so dropping so much on the centile chart was fine. My dc3 is successfully feeding and gaining lots of weight, but if I express can only get 3oz off at best. Are you able to express? This could increase supply. Does your dd have a favourite side? My ds does and I consequently have lopsided boobs -nice-! Believe me I'm no expert, but you are doing everything possible to keep breastfeeding, also have you thought about starting off on the breast and then topping up with expressed milk? Am not sure if that would work or if it's recommended, it is just an idea. Oh and good morning smile

TarkaTheOtter Tue 03-Jun-14 03:26:41

Not a waste lava, every drop counts. Whatever you decide to do now you've given your baby a good start and should be proud of your perseverance.

Monikita Tue 03-Jun-14 10:24:10

We had a terrible start that wasn't fixed until DD was 21 weeks old. Painful feeds, poor weight gain, low supply. I was ttold she had the perfect latch and no tongue tie by bf support and HVs. GP told me I couldn't make enough milk and to give formula.

Was exclusively pumping for 8 weeks with ff top ups.

Finally got a private lactation consultant in who diagnosed posterior submucosal tongue tie. She had really poor tongue mobility and a really shallow latch. Got it cut twice (done poorly so it reattached with worse mobility - if you get divided, I'd recommend using a surgeon or dental surgeon, not a lactation consultant).

Finally got her upper lip tie and tongue tie lasered, and then brought her back to the breast with lots of skin to skin and bed sharing (she also had breast aversion by then). She was also diagnosed with CMPI around this time.

I bf her to 14 months when she weaned due to me getting pregnant and I went back to work when she was 8 months. She's a very healthy and cheeky 16 month old now!

Do whatever's right for the two of you (and your sanity!). You've already done amazingly to get this far x

Sorry for the essay!

LavalavalavaLamp Tue 03-Jun-14 15:48:25

Feeling less emotional in the light of day. Wow monikita that really is a success story following a load of shit.
Fingers crossed tongue tie is the source of our issues and the snip sorts us out.

LavalavalavaLamp Tue 03-Jun-14 15:49:15

Sorry, meant to say thank you everyone for replying

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