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To ask if it possible to start breast feeding again at 4 weeks??

(50 Posts)
TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:08:57

Strange one this....

I was in hospital with my baby for a week. First couple of days I breastfed exclusively.. My baby was on antibiotics and poorly and tongue tied and struggling somewhat, giving up, fighting, falling asleep without eating.

Hospital decided to send the BF person with the expressing machine to me without discussing it first, I was that tired/confused/ill/uneducated that I went along with everything they suggested - which was hook up to a machine, express, bottle feed (they initially suggested THEY feed her with a cup, but she spat everything up so they "let" me bottle feed) and then asked me to top up her feeds up to 50ml every 2 hours with formula (they followed me up on this every 2 hours recording feeds, how much breast milk, fomula, nappies...etc) I didn't even ask why they were keeping track of all this!! (the anti biotics were for an infection she likely got from my waters breaking 2 days before birth they said)

I didn't really ask questions (was she dehydrated? I don't know!!), was on another planet after traumatic birth, but once I got home and continued to express I noticed my milk was drying up, and I was having to use more and more fomula! (formula was always second option and I tried to express every 2 hours) I had bf support and they suggested a million things to increase milk flow... nothing! In the beginning I was infront of her with milk, but then less and less

Was bloody angry I didn't persist with BFing and that the hospital somewhat led me into a situation that wasn't ideal... but like I said, I was stupid... and poorly and doing everything they said.

Anyway... I dried up to the point of a few ml and there was nothing but formula to feed her. Ended up completely stopping, had no engorgement and my breasts were "empty" which pissed me off no end, because I was wearing breast pads from about 20w pregnant - I had more milk then!

Anyway... after over a week of just formula feeding, my boobs have started leaking again?!. I'm so tempted next time she roots/cries that I try putting her on the breast again....

Should I? I don't know. She still probably won't latch properly, but she's much better now, and stays awake for longer, so have more time to persist

Am I just asking for trouble trying again?

I don't want to express again, it was so time consuming.

I probably made a lot of mistakes... but first time mum, and always envisaged I'd be a breast feeder. She is thriving and happy on formula. So don't shoot me down! Need advice, so no breast feeding brigaders or guilt trippers. Not here to judge on how anyone feeds their baby as long as they do smile

NotQuiteCockney Sun 08-Feb-15 22:11:37

You might well be able to mixed feed. It would be better to ask this question in Infant Feeding though ...

No problem with putting her back to the breast. Sometimes tongue ties loosen as the baby grows.

FlipFlippingFlippers Sun 08-Feb-15 22:11:38

Nothing wrong with very gently trying again. No pressure. Make sure baby isn't too hungry/fussy. Maybe try and use a breast pump to up your supply a bit. Good luck!

hiddenhome Sun 08-Feb-15 22:13:21

Yes, you can try again. Get some fenugreek if you need to boost your output. Start as soon as possible.

penny13610 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:15:10

Go for it, if you can get her to latch on you stand a good chance.
Just be relaxed and be your own boss.

TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:15:17

NotQuiteCockney last time I've posted threads on here and infant feeding, I've got a much bigger and more helpful response just to the fact of how many people from different circumstances frequent this board. smile

FlipFlippingFlippers I was expressing every 2/3hours with a pump when I "dried up" It was odd, came out of no where. One day I was 80%breast 20% formula, and within days nothing was coming out. I thought it was the pump!! bought someone else, and nothing!!

I remember in the hospital my boobs being huge, sore, leaking through the breast pads... then I went to needing no breast pads, then soft breasts, now nothing. But then 2 days ago realised my t shirt was soaked...

strange!!

mangofizz Sun 08-Feb-15 22:15:45

Yes you can but it probably wont be easy! i'd ask for this post to be moved into the feeding topic and there will be lots of people who can help. Good luck smile

TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:16:57

I barely got responses from feeding before on a different feeding subject. I got a lot more on here :/

TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:18:19

I might try tomorrow morning when OH is at work.. he thinks I'm obsessing and guilting myself into it. Everytime he sees me looking at breast feeding things online he tried to stop me because he thinks it's depressing me (he's probably right)

But I always expected to be holding my baby to my breast.. not a bottle...

I'm a daft git I know. She's happy and well, and I did my best... but still!

toomanypasswords Sun 08-Feb-15 22:18:37

Have you got any breastfeeding counsellors in your area? At the local children centres? I've seen them with both of my DC and they've been really helpful (although for different reasons to the situation you're in). They would probably be able to offer you the best advice on what to do and how to start BF-ing again if that's what you want to do (though I would imagine it would probably be combination feeding rather than exclusive breastfeeding) . If it were me, I think I'd give her the option next time she roots around - I can't see that it can do any harm. I think it's often harder to express than it is to feed directly as babies are more adept at getting milk than a machine is. Good luck!

SweetValentine Sun 08-Feb-15 22:18:54

Yes it is possible, i did similar - you need good support though. And something medicinal to help increase supply. Does your local Sure Start centre have a bf support group?

PotatoLetters Sun 08-Feb-15 22:20:39

Fenugreek is good, try taking some. I got it from Holland and Barrett. Also try skin to skin hugs, maybe a bath together and try not to get stressed if it doesn't work straight away.

magictorch Sun 08-Feb-15 22:21:05

I could have written your post, OP, right down to timings, knackeredness and railroading in the hospital.

Ended up successfully mixed feeding and my 22 month old still has a bedtime feed. Give it a go - and good luck!

BobbyButtons Sun 08-Feb-15 22:26:55

Get some nipple shields and sterilise them. Use those to BF your baby. Your DD will latch on easily as the shield will be large like a bottle teat. Then you can wean off the shields.

I had a similar experience with my first child. I wanted to BF but on advice of hospital I have a bottle and I was stuck bottle feeding for 2 weeks. But a midwife suggested shields as baby would think it was a teat.

It worked, I still had milk and I then exclusively breastfed for 8 months.

I'm sure you can too.

Good luck

TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:27:31

magictorch
Not just me then ay??

I thought there was something really wrong... because my hospital are big on breastfeeding and skin to skin, and they just threw me into formula without me asking or suggesting it...I STILL don't know why they did it...

In fact this amongst my horrible crappy labour and birth I may ask for a debrief because the whole week I was there was a blur! Although my OH said when he came to visit me I kept mentioning something about the "feeding nazis" getting on my nerves while I was half asleep and crying about being a failure... haha, So It clearly bothered me so much. (Hope no one takes offence, It was just something I must have been blurting out in a semi conscious rant)

Just had a look at fenugreek, and It seems to cost a tenner - I don't have a tenner until friday (don't ask!!) But I think I'm going to keep trying her on the breast at feeding time. Even though she is used to bottles her "sucking" is much more energetic than when I was trying at the hospital, she never bothered even bottles was hard, now when I cuddle her she sucks on my nose lol smile

TheHermitCrab Sun 08-Feb-15 22:28:22

Oooh sheilds what a good idea smile

mangofizz Sun 08-Feb-15 22:35:18

Try some nursing tea too, you can get it on amazon. I dont know all the ins and outs of relactation but as it hasnt been long and its still early days you can be really successful I imagine. My advice would be to pump whenever you can, feed, feed feed and top up with expressed where possible and formula when you need to. You could try and get some domperidone from the drs but they only reluctantly prescribe it these days and you might not really need it anyway. Spend a couple of days in bed if you can doing skin to skin and feeding on demand.

I had a really difficult breastfeeding journey, its the hardest thing I have ever done, wishing you the best of luck

Loletta Sun 08-Feb-15 22:35:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOddity Sun 08-Feb-15 22:43:16

The skin to skin is good for a lot longer than that first week, I would be tempted to just spend time with your top pulled down and baby nuzzling in for a cuddle and a root around and you may find if you put her there enough and she has a little comfort suck that things just take off. If she is sucking on your nose, that sucking reflex is alive and strong. Milk supply is absolutely amazing. There are even examples of people who have adopted children and with lactation supplements and some patience they have successfully mixed fed. La leche league have some great q&a plus helplines. Also look on facebook for a lll group for your area, e.g, South east, North east, north west or whatever and you may find a group with lots of peer supporters on there with an absolute wealth of experience on these matters or at least lots of medical people willing to help you get the right advice. You could also ask if anyone nearby has some fenugreek spare. Really good luck and good on you for even thinking of doing this.

nnchange Sun 08-Feb-15 22:44:11

I had a similar experience. Certainly try bf again, leaking milk again sounds like you should be able to restart bf. A Medela supplemental nursing system is good in helping to get restarted. You start off bf with formula in the 'container' (worn almost as a necklace). You put baby to the breast and feed via a tiny tube you tape to yourself. Baby stimulates the nipple with every feed and helps with restarting bf.

cabbageandgravy Sun 08-Feb-15 22:45:47

Sounds to me like its well worth trying. Tell dp sweet of him that he doesn't want you upsetting yourself, but loads of people on mumsnet think it could work (me too! People can occassionally lactate who've never even have kids, never mind given birth just weeks ago) - but at least you'd now you tried your best.

Big mistake i made was not getting enough tit in LO's moth, really slowed it down. Try & get actual breast skin below nipple in there above bbs tongue, that's how they 'milk' you.

Good luck, no guarantees but worth a try, and just try a little at a time if babe gets frustrated, all good stimulation.

Mammanat222 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:54:20

DD is nearly 3 weeks. I stopped bfing on day 3 as my nipples were so sore and cracked she wouldn't take them. FF a few feeds until I got my pump then expressed for almost a week.

Tried baby back on boobs when she was 10 days old and haven't looked back. It helped that expressing did keep my supply going and also baby is very particular and will only accept boob.

So I would say try it. And get on the phone to your local breastfeeding support group tomorrow.

littlejohnnydory Sun 08-Feb-15 23:09:10

You absolutely can but it will take huge effort and dedication. Google 'relactation'. Ask to be referred to the infant feeding co-ordinator for advice and see if there is a breastfeeding support group locally. Good luck, and it absolutely can be done.

Aibuaddict Sun 08-Feb-15 23:10:39

Go for it. I didn't breastfeed properly until mine was about 8 weeks and this was after a bout of mastitis caused by expressing. Baby is now 10 months and still happily breastfeeding.

Fenugreek (both the tea and pills) are scientifically proven to boost your milk production by as much as 9 times so worth a go if you're worried about how much milk you have.

Good luck!

Pickle131 Sun 08-Feb-15 23:32:27

Just to encourage you that the more you just let baby suck, the more you'll start to produce. I've had a couple of weeks of fussy baby feeding poorly and even lost a bit of weight while I was ill. I've been feeding her as much as possible, and have really noticed my supply has increased. It takes your body a little while to respond to demand, but it's worth keeping at it if it's what you want, and it sounds like it is.

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