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feel like giving up on b/feeding - encouragement please

(4 Posts)
sotough Sun 16-Jan-11 09:21:37

Morning everyone. I have a two week old daughter, and, as happened with my son, who is now 3.5yrs old, i am not producing enough milk for her. With my DS we went through hell for the first two weeks of his life, not realising that he was basically starving, as i was feeding near enough constantly (with correct latch etc and plenty of professional advice) but apparently, not a great deal was coming out. he lost a huge amount of weight before anyone really realised what was going on and then i had no choice but to start on formula. i did mixed feeding for 10 weeks to try to give him whatever benefit i could and then stopped b/feeding altogether as what little milk i had was basically gone.
Because of what we went through with DS, i have been much more aware of potential problems with my milk supply from day one with DD. I started off exclusively BF but she seemed incredibly hungry even after long BF so i started topping up with formula in the first week. again she lost weight and midwives advised increasing the formula.
I am still doing both - i BF before giving her the bottle. I guess it's like a 'starter' for her before her main course from the bottle = certainly i can't satisfy her needs with my milk alone.
I would be happy to go on like this for a few months. However, now she seems quite 'bored' by breastfeeding; she started off with a very good latch but now seems to fuss a lot and constantly drop off the breast. It's like she knows she's going to get a nice easy bottle anyway so why should she bother?
does anyone have any thoughts on my situation? I am tempted to give up the BF as she has become so difficult to latch on for any period of time and I am feeling exhausted and a bit miserable about it. by trying to both BF and bottle feed, some feeds are taking two hours from start to settling her - by which point it's nearly time for the next feed.
I should add that i've had lots of support and advice and am gutted that it's happened again, but the most important thing is that my daughter doesn't go hungry. Is there any point in me persisting or should i admit defeat and move on?

needsatrim Sun 16-Jan-11 09:30:38

Hi. It is hard isn't it. Have you tried expressing and giving her that as well as formula. I hate to think of you beating yourself up struggling with the bf. If you feel it isn't working and making you all miserable then do what you feel is right for you. I really struggled with my ds and when I had dd I was determined to not fret about it and go to formula if I struggled with bf.
And going to Formula/bottles is not defeat. At the end of the day you are feeding your baby and meeting her needs so whats the problem . Don't feel pressured by the breaswtfeeding mafia. It really isn't a great success for everyone. You have enough on keeping your family going without making yourself feel a failure.
Be firm, make a decision and go with it. Good luck and well done for trying.
With a big hug.

xx

thisisyesterday Sun 16-Jan-11 09:42:48

sotough, it is normal for a breastfed baby to feed very often in the first few days, and even weeks.
my milk didn't come in until day 4 with all 3 of my babies and up til then they were feeding every 20-30 minutes or so!

it is highly unlikely that you aren't producing enough milk, unless you happen to have a particular physical problem. It's more likely to be an issue with milk transferral and the supplements you are giving

it's normal for a baby to lose weight to start with, and then to gain.

you really need to speak to a qualified breastfeeding counsellor on how to start reducing the formula top ups and increase your milk supply again. it can be a lot of hard work, but it's certainly do-able

the problem with supplementing, especially in the early days is that this undermines your milk supply. milk is made on a supply and demand basis. the more your baby asks (feeds), the more milk you make.
if you are replacing feeds with formula then your baby isn't stimulating you to produce more and your supply drops. then you end up adding more formula to make up for that... and it's a downward spiral.

you can try and make ethe bottle more difficult to feed from for her, so that it is mre like the breast. keep her quite upright, have frequent breaks rather than giving it all in one go (to stimulate the letdowns she would get when breastfeeding) and use the smallest teat size you can find.

japhrimel Sun 16-Jan-11 10:17:42

Ditto to the above. I struggled at first as poor positioning meant my DD wasn't getting enough fattier milk so lost more weight.

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