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Advice on re-establishing BF after TT snip. Or at least sustainable mix feeding.

(6 Posts)
ecuse Fri 01-Jul-11 11:13:34

Hi everyone. My 9-week old daughter has just had a posterior TT snipped a few days ago. Previously she had been feeding very inefficiently and had lost a lot of weight at 4 weeks so, on doctors orders, she was BF at every feed then being topped up with a bottle of formula. However the 'top up' is pretty much the whole feed - so she'll take about 100-120mls most feeds after BF. Sometimes less if she's had a good feed.

I have to say, since she's been snipped I can't tell any improvement in her latch or the way she's been feeding. In fact, if anything, it's slightly worse.

My plan for next week is to follow the advice here on kellymom as to weaning off formula (short version: reduce formula by 1oz per day every 2-3 days and re-offer breast if still hungry, as long as enough wet/soiled nappies and weight gain is stable).

However if we're going to get back to exclusively or predominantly breastfeeding then I am going to need to sort out her latch. Does anyone have any advice on reestablishing BF after TT snip? Can it even be done at this relatively late stage, or should I spend my energy shoring up the feeds I can successfully give her? For example, she usually feeds well first thing in the morning after a long break - so should I focus on establishing a routine based on say, two BFs a day (morning and night) and accept that it'll be formula the rest of the time? Do people have good experiences of mix feeding in the long run, or is it always a slippery slope to stopping BF altogether?

Mollcat Fri 01-Jul-11 11:36:46

ecuse my son's TT was snipped on Wed pm at 6 weeks. I haven't been BFing since 3 weeks (nipples where so damaged I couldn't) but was expressing around 2-3 feeds a day with the rest formula. Similar to you probably in terms of amount though because he's 12lbs and hungry!

Improvement was by no means immediate and I ended up with more nipple damage yesterday - her tongue will be sore and feel odd to her. Better again today but I've been warned to expect ups and downs. If you put a clean little finger in her mouth, is she still "pistoning" the finger (i.e. sucking it in and out against her palette)? Or is the finger in one place with her lapping against it? It's taking my son a little while to start doing the latter because his tongue is sore and he isn't used to it.

Just wanted to say that the LC I'm seeing thinks I should be able to get to EBF again (I am not promising myself anything) and her main guidance was just to feed feed feed as often as possible to stimulate supply and top up with formula if needed which is what you're doing anyway. I also looked at the kellymom advice but haven't tried it. I do think it can be done but it's hard work.

I know there are others here who've re-established BFing at 10 weeks - you still have supply so it ought to be possible to build it back up but we are both in for a long hard slog. Can you get some help from one of the helplines? Good luck - will be thinking of you.

lucy101 Fri 01-Jul-11 12:26:39

Hi there - I had a TT snipped when my baby was just 4 days old (although it had to be done again when he was about 10 days old) and he refused to go on the breast at all until around 3 weeks so my first three weeks were formula and gradually more and more expressed milk. From 3 weeks until about 8 or even 9 weeks BF was still painful and my nipples were very sore and cracked (and I had a lot of help from a LC and rang all the helplines etc.- Ameda comfortgels were fabulous during this time).

At over 4 months , BF is fine now but even though I have tried to get my BF to 100% I just can't do it (and I have tried everything, so it seems I have some other supply issues/DS has some milk transfer issues) so I now offer and feed from both breasts for around 20-30 mins and then offer formula (except at the early morning feed after he has slept for long time when I don't offer formula). My DS won't always take the formula top-up - he has between 20 and 120ml but usually less than 50ml.

His formula intake has actually gone down over time so clearly hasn't affected my own limited supply so for me mix feeding has been a success (even though I was pretty devastated for a long time that I couldn't completely BF).

If you want to properly relactate then go for it (it can be done even though it is a big commitment especially time wise in terms of the pumping) and also consider getting a hospital grade pump - only the Medela Symphony worked for me when I was getting my supply up.

japhrimel Fri 01-Jul-11 13:09:40

I haven't dealt with TT but DD was on big top-ups.

What we did was transition the top-ups to EBM first, then gradually drop them. I couldn't just cut them out as her weight was so precarious. It was time consuming pumping all the time, but it worked. I borrowed a double pump - Ameda Lactaline -and it really helped.

Noop Fri 01-Jul-11 13:36:05

Lots of videos and advice on here including breastfeeding after TT op.

MedicalEd Fri 01-Jul-11 14:20:47

My DD's TT was done at 4 weeks, so earlier than your's, but we got back to ebf within about two weeks.
She was topping up almost every feed in the week before the snip (3 week growth spurt) and I felt the same depression and inadequacy as sometimes she would take loads of formula.
I did notice a difference in the latch almost straight away but it is still not great (she is now 4 months).
However she just seemed to need fewer top-ups as she was milky drunk after boob so I didn't offer bottle unless she had been on for ages and was still looking for more.
She had her last formula top-up at 6 weeks and we haven't looked back since.
I would say get your latch checked by a LC or a good NCT counsellor and get it checked and checked again.
It will take practice for your LO to learn a new way of feeding but if you keep taking her off when it looks wrong or is painful and re-do it then you will get there.
Good luck. smile

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