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More wwyd - 4 day old baby and breastfeeding?

(47 Posts)
sailorcherries Sat 20-May-17 13:32:40

My DS is 4 days old today and has been bottle fed since the hospital. I tried to bf for 4 straight hours after my elective c-section, however nothing, and I mean nothing, came out either breast (not even when trying to hand express). My poor baby was starving and the bottle helped.
He had a great latch though, despite my issues.

He ate 2oz every 3-4 hours and was brilliant from the get-go.

I did want to breastfeed and although slightly down in the hospital about it, I knew it was best to bottle feed as I had nothing to offer.

First day back home, bottle fed and he stuck to the hospital routine, absolute dream baby.

Yesterday my boobs exploded and I decided to attempt to bf at his 6pm bottle feed. He happily fed for 40 minutes and then fell asleep. He woke up an hour and a half later but wouldn't go for the boob and then only took 1oz of formula.
This then affected his 10pm and 2am feed. He became inconsolable and wouldn't latch at all, he ended up taking 2oz at 10, 2oz at 12 and 2oz at 2 before sleeping through until half 6. Both OH and I were frazzled, DS was upset and it was so completely unpleasant.

When he woke this morning he fed for 40 minutes with a great latch, nodded off and only woke up at half 10 (a good 2.5-3 hour sleep).
We then decided to bath him, change him and then I settled down to feed. He fed for over an hour from one breast before coming off, he still had his hungry cues so I tried the other breast as he refused to relatch to the original. 20 minutes later he still hadn't latched and was becoming increasingly agitated, so OH made a bottle and he happily took 1oz before sleeping.
By this point he had been up for almost 2.5 hours and finally seemed content.

Is it too late for me to try and replace bottles with breast?
Am I only going to manage one or two good bf feeds a day?
Am I doing him any harm in combination feeding just now?
Should I lose the bfing as he was content with the bottle, had a routine of sorts, and now I've put it out of whack?

I know breast is best, however I also know a happy mum is the most important thing as long as baby is being fed.
In the hospital I was too overwhelmed to think properly but since being home I've almost been in tears from feeling like a failure over not breastfeeding (as I wanted to), to being accepting of our routine to being upset over breastfeeding again to being upset over feeling like I've confused and broken my baby with these mixed signals.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 20-May-17 13:35:58

A difficult birth can delay the milk coming in as your body recovers.

If you're willing to try BFing, give it a go. BFing is different in that baby has to work at building your supply up and will try little and often compared to a bottle.

IrnBruTortie Sat 20-May-17 13:37:01

My elective c/S DS was similar. Lots of skin-to-skin helped.
Good luck

Nottalotta Sat 20-May-17 13:40:17

It's not too late. Your milk has come in which is great. Can I suggest you post on the infant feeding board?

FormerNymphet Sat 20-May-17 13:40:30

I recommend calling your HV or Midwife. They are a mine of helpful and useful information.
Usually your local area has a breast feeding advice line.
You are going to get a lot of mixed up advice on here. It is better to talk to a health professional.

Nottalotta Sat 20-May-17 13:41:30

Oh and really don't don't worry about the 'routine' l.

FormerNymphet Sat 20-May-17 13:41:48

In the interim lots of skin to skin will promote milk flow.

ToastyFingers Sat 20-May-17 13:43:12

If you really want to breastfeed I'd persevere. There's nothing wrong with combination feeding so long as he's getting enough milk (plenty of wet and dirty nappies).

However you feed them though, every 2 hours throughout the night is a fairly standard feeding schedule for a newborn, especially once they get past the super sleepy first few days.

GummyGoddess Sat 20-May-17 13:45:11

Not too late, at one point DS was about 80% bottle fed as I couldn't stand it (was so so painful). He is now almost fully breast fed with an occasional bottle.

sailorcherries Sat 20-May-17 13:46:03

Thanks everyone. I guess I was under the impression that unless you went from the get go then you had no chance.
My miwdwife is coming back out tomorrow, so I'll be speaking to her then. She appeared yesterday before the milk came in, which meant also before the doubts came.

I just want a fed and content baby.
But worry I'm confusing him with the "oh yay successful feed", "aw no half a feed here have a little forumala" to "its been two hours and you've not latched, have a bottle". All of this in less than 24 hours.

sailorcherries Sat 20-May-17 13:48:24

Toasty I'm well prepared for the 2 hour feeding, but last night he refused to latch at 10pm so had a bottle but only took half hos regular amount. 2 hours later he was still refusing to latch, hadn't slept, been changed etc and then finally settled enough to take another 2oz but then became so upset that it happened again until he fell asleep after half 2.

I don't mind the 2 hourly feeds, but the increasingly agitated and upset baby did make me feel like shit.

Welshmaenad Sat 20-May-17 13:52:48

I relactated after switching to bottles and went on to BF DD for nearly a year.

LOADS of skin to skin, cuddle in bed under layers, bathe together, keep her on you.

Offer the breast frequently, don't worry about timings or routine, she will need to build your supply with frequent feeding.

Consider getting a supplemental nursing system if you're still offering formula, so she can be supplemented at the breast.

Speak to your midwife/HV and ask if there is a lactation consultant in your nhs trust. Mine was amazing.

Keep yourself fed and well hydrated, try oats to encourage milk production, supplements of fenugreek can also help.

Welshmaenad Sat 20-May-17 13:53:23

Sorry, just spotted you have a DS not DD but principles apply! Good luck xxx

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Sat 20-May-17 13:55:54

Just keep offering the breast when he roots for milk. Don't worry about a feeding schedule or sticking to timings but go with what he wants.

Bottle feeding is fine and it's certainly helped you out of a hole but I found breastfeeding great because it's free and always ready at the right temperature and volume.

Good luck!

queencerulean Sat 20-May-17 13:58:39

If your boobs are too full sometimes it can be difficult to latch. You could try just hand expressing a little bit off and see if he finds it easier to latch. Also have you tried different positions? Sometimes the rugby ball or lying down next to each other can work easier that the usual sitting with him on your lap position.

I'm certainly no expert but I do remember how it feels when the milk comes in and your hormones are all over the place. You are doing great I'm sure.

Littlebunnyboy130 Sat 20-May-17 14:04:23

Babies can prefer the bottle as it's hard work removing milk from the breast (this hard work is beneficial in development of jaw and palate). It could just be that he prefers the easier flow from bottle ATM but will soon get used to the breast.

Polly2345 Sat 20-May-17 14:19:17

Given you had a c section it sounds like you're doing great.

My LO was combination fed from being 5 days old until she was 6 or 7 weeks old. Then we went full b'fed. I too had a caesarean (emergency) and my milk was v slow to arrive so DD wasn't putting on weight. That's why we started combination feeding and then she v gradually dropped the bottle feeds in favour of breast.

I'd say get all the advice you can from HV, Midwife and any local support groups. I went to a great local breastfeeding 'cafe' run by trained volunteers. Eat lots of carbs to keep your supply up. Offer breast at every feed, but don't worry if he's having some bottle too. They don't have a feeding routine to begin with - some days I barely left the sofa cos she just fed and fed and fed! Other days she went for hours between feeds.

Just keep doing your best. It sounds like you are!

ToastyFingers Sat 20-May-17 14:20:04

Sorry you had a miserable night love, little ones are a lot of work. Sorry too if I came across badly, you seemed concerned about the frequency of his feeding but I misunderstood.

Hopefully your midwife will be helpful, although not all of them are clued up on breastfeeding, so it's important not to take bad advice as gospel.

Lots of skin to skin cuddles will help and maybe try offering the breast every now and again, even if ges not showing hunger cues.
My youngest was so impatient, by the time she was rooting she didn't want to work for the milk so I had to just offer her every hour or so.

ToastyFingers Sat 20-May-17 14:21:12

Also, congratulations on your wonderful little squishy!

Splandy Sat 20-May-17 14:26:08

It's not too late. Keep trying to breastfeed if you want to. I bottle fed my son expressed milk for a week until his tongue tie was sorted. The first few breastfeeds after that were difficult but he got used to it. I would say that not all midwives are experts when it comes to breastfeeding. I remember one angrily telling me 'well I don't know do i, just put him on and let him feed' when I had my first. My midwife second time around was brilliant and she put me in touch with the breastfeeding network. A woman came out to my house and helped me, she was great. I'm not sure whether they offer home visits in all areas but it's worth looking into if you don't feel happy after our midwife visit. They have a helpline too. I had the numbers for a few helplines, some which are through the night or 24 hours when you're struggling in the middle of the night.

sailorcherries Sat 20-May-17 14:38:10

Can anyone recommend a breastfeeding support group/network/website?

I had a look at La Leche League last night but the only one near me was 14 miles away and they hadn't updated anything (website or facebook) since before October last year sad

A1Sharon Sat 20-May-17 14:39:44

Hi sailorcherries congratulations on your new arrival!
I have 3 DSs and have expressed, mixed and exclusively bf so I have done a bit of everything. grin
First off, there isn't really very much to come out of your boobs until your milk comes in, that's normal. You haven't missed the boat to bf. And IMO it takes about 6 weeks to really get the hang of bf, for you and baby. It does take some perseverence, and lots of tears as they wont latch etc. It won't just happen this weekend, he gets it and on you go, like everything it is about learning and practice makes perfect.
Number 1-If your DH has some paternity time, and you have good family support, then spend the next few days (weeks!) breastfeeding. That's it. DH can organise house/food/whatever. You are to sit on sofa/lie in bed. You need to relax, sleep whenever you can, don't be worrying about stuff.
Number 2- One minute he will feed like a pro, the next its like he never saw a boob. Normal. And annoying. Stick with it. Try different positions. I remember crying at night as I just couldn't get him to latch etc as we lay in bed, it was awful. Eventually I could do it standing on my head-well I didn't actually try!
Number 3-He might feed every 2 hours, he might feed every 30 mins, he might feed all day long- all normal at this stage. Mine fed every 90mins . Sometimes they're not hungry they just like being on the boob.hmm
What you went through last night was normal, it is very hard during the nights, when they're hungry but won't feed, on and off the boob, an ounce here an ounce there, its soul destroying. But that is normal, and after 6 weeks or so more of a routine should become evident.
Obviously that is all just my experience, others may feel differently.
But if you really want to give breast a go I'd say ditch the bottles for a bit, see how it goes.
And if you decide to go just with formula/bottles you haven't 'failed', you are doing what is best for you and him.
You're amazing! flowers

A1Sharon Sat 20-May-17 14:41:54

You could just try mums and tots groups as there will be other bfing mums there?

ImALurkerNotAFighter Sat 20-May-17 14:47:16

The flipple technique helped me a lot.
themilkmeg.com/get-better-latch-exaggerated-latch-flipple-breastfeeding-technique/

Kittykatmacbill Sat 20-May-17 14:48:03

Definitely definitely not to late! Sounds like you doing fine, there is no way a four day old has a routine. You should still be under your midwife presumably? Ask her for both support and any local support groups. We had a local really good NHS clinic you could attend and there were several breast feeding support groups across the city including in our ikea cafe!

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