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Friend couldn't leave hospital until her dd took several oz, so gave formula - she wanted to breastfeed.

(29 Posts)
SayItLoud Wed 06-Jul-11 20:58:13

I was fairly certain I'd find a good thread to send as a link to my friend, but have looked through ten pages and can't find one, so please help me with your best advice!

My friend had her dd in hospital this week, and was apparently told that they didn't know the baby was getting enough milk if she breastfed, and she couldn't leave until they were sure she took x number of oz, so advised giving formula. My friend was keen to breastfeed, and now the baby is on regular formula.

Without getting into the ins and outs of what the hospital should have done (bad advice, I know, but I'm not sure exactly what was said or how it was phrased, how much pressure put on, etc), can the experts out there offer her any advice to help establish breastfeeding anyway, or is it too late? The baby was born on Sunday, so now 3-4 days old.


IdDoAndyMurrayInAHurry Wed 06-Jul-11 21:04:12

No expert here as only bf for 3 weeks, just bumping until someone better comes along
With my limited experience, I would definitely think there is still hope as your friends milk will only just be coming in.
Hope you get some good advice

SayItLoud Wed 06-Jul-11 21:06:14

That's what I thought, surely the baby would have only been taking colostrum while in hospital anyway, not needing three ounces or whatever they said she should have managed?

Thanks or the bump!

MockingbirdsNotForSale Wed 06-Jul-11 21:11:25

Its not too late for your friend to get breastfeeding I'm sure. Hopefully someone experienced in this will advise.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Wed 06-Jul-11 21:12:08

Bumping for someone who knows more, like Tiktok or Truthsweet. I shouldn't have thought it was too late to start though. Has your friend seen a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor?
Rubbish advice from your friend's hospital though angry

SecretNutellaFix Wed 06-Jul-11 21:12:51

You need to put out a shout for tiktok.

pushmepullyou Wed 06-Jul-11 21:21:18

Again not an expert but have bf my DD for 20 months and now bfing 4 month DS. The best thing to do from here is probably to spend as much time as possible encouraging the baby to latch on and feed as sucking stimulates milk production. I would advise your friend to strip off to her waist and the baby to its nappy and spend as much time as possible in bed together having skin to skin contact. When the baby is hungry always offer it the breast and encourage it to latch on. This can be difficult and uncomfortable until both mum and baby get used to it so I would also encourage her to get some RL support from a bfing counsellor, the hospital should have one, but NCT and La Leche League may be worth a try if (as seems to be the case) the hospital is shit. Please reassure your friend that if she still wants to there is no reason atall why she should not be able to bf her baby. I can't believe that she was given so little support in hospital.

pushmepullyou Wed 06-Jul-11 21:24:51

Sorry about the lack of paragraphs. Typing on my phone

TruthSweet Wed 06-Jul-11 21:30:07

whydobirds - blush

SayItLoud - It's definitely not too late for your friend to get back to bfing. Making it low key and unpressured by taking baby to bed and having some skin to skin time - biological nurturing would be a lovely way for your friend and her baby to spend a day together or perhaps having a bath together - these are good ways to encourage baby to latch on without stress for mum or baby.

Lots of gentle stroking, cuddling, kissing and dozing together (safely though - not on the sofa) will help raise oxytocin levels in both baby and mum. If baby latches on great, if not then it will help mum if she hand expresses (or pumps) with baby near by or next to her. Dad can have a snuggle too so no need for him to feel shut out.

If baby doesn't manage to latch on at all at the moment then expressing (by hand or pump - though double electric would be quickest) at least 8-12 times a day is the generally recommended way to increase & maintain a full milk supply.

If you can help your friend to call one of the bfing helpines so she can get tailored information to her specific situation.

If she feels up to it asking the Maternity service why she was given the advice she was (baby needs to take Xoz to be let home) and if that is in line with current NICE guidelines. It would be interesting to find out if the hospital is at any stage of acquiring BFI status.

Don't forget to reassure your friend that ANY amount of breastmilk she gave her baby was important to her baby's health even if she never gives her baby any more bm.

twinklegreen Wed 06-Jul-11 21:44:42

It is definitely NOT too late.

Sorry your friend has been pressured into something she does not want, but it is completely understandable that she gave in to the pressure from HP's. Her baby is Still very young so the chances are good smile

She would benefit from having support from a Breastfeeding Counsellor. ( try ABM, LLL, BFN, NCT)

I would suggest... Feeding the baby from breast first then offering ff afterwards IF baby seems to need more, giving top-ups from a cup- not bottle, Double pumping ( to increase her supply), lots of skin to skin contact, biological nurturing, breast compression. Keep at it, it doesn't happen overnight, but it will happen. smile

SayItLoud Wed 06-Jul-11 21:45:03

Great advice, thanks all, esp for extensive advice and those links Truthsweet.

mrsmazarib Thu 07-Jul-11 01:56:57

hi there....hope u dont mind me joining the thread but was wondering...i am 34 weeks pregnant and was last week diagnosed with gestational diabetes and started on insulin. i am aware that after the birth baby may become hypo and am concerned that the hospital may want me to bottle feed to 'top up' baby if he does become hypo...i want to bf, i exclusively bf my dd for two years. i have recently moved to the middle east and have been told by my sister in law that it is common practice for the baby to be kept in the nursery in the hospital and bottle fed even if the mother is bfing to 'give her a rest'. i want and have told the hospital that i want the baby to room in with me, i am concerned that giving formula will upset me and baby and make breast feeding difficult. what to do?? anyone any experience ?
sorry for hijacking the thread, should have started new one but its 3 am and my head aint working too good !

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 07-Jul-11 05:39:57

You do need to start a new thread, you'll get far more responses. There's also a gestational diabetes support thread in Pregnancy that you might find useful.

Briefly, though:

What did the hospital say when you said you wanted to room in?
Do you have a midwife? Talk to her/the appropriate person about expressing colostrum prior to the birth, so if the baby has a sugar crash you can feed that - that's what we did with my first, it was given to her by dropper, not bottle.
What are your hospital rules about checking yourself out? Check this, because I would check myself out as early as possible if I was somewhere with compulsory rooming-out and bottle-feeding.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Thu 07-Jul-11 06:03:44

Op what happened to me was dd was born at 11:20 and latched on by bf support. She was then removed to be weighted etc. When I got to ward she just wouldn't latch on again. By 2am I was getting very worried and spoke to another mw who was fab and suggested pumping and then use a drop thing to put it in dd's mouth. By the time the doc came round to see me dd had latched and had a proper go twice! She said that they wouldn't have let me leave till they were happy she was feeding.

So it's mot suprising toe re the feeding but I am shocked that they may have insisted on a bottle before she could leave. I think that is cause for complaint.

As others have said it is not too late for her. I remember a thread where someone had restarted bf by putting baby to the breast lots of top off tome for mum etc. Sorry can't look for it and link as am on my phone.

Finallygotaroundtoit Thu 07-Jul-11 06:31:55

Sayitloud, tread very carefully. The choice to bottlefeed may be your friend's.

Without knowing the details, the 'not knowing how much baby is getting' concern may have come from DF.Hard to imagine any competent staff saying that (could be wrong)

If you are a keen bf supporter (yay!), could she be deflecting onto staff what may have actually been her choice? She may have had only a vague intention to bf and decided it wasn't for her.

Make sure she knows where to get support if she wants it.

pinkgirlythoughts Thu 07-Jul-11 09:02:27

I was told that DS had to either have some formula milk or be taken into the SCBU, as at three days old, he'd hardly drunk anything whatsoever. I'd been expressing colostrum and basically squirting the syringe down his throat to get him to take anything at all (he latched on to the breast well, but just wouldn't suck!). It really wasn't what I wanted, but that threat of having him taken into special care made me agree to it. Apparently, he gulped down 40mls, then fell fast asleep! That coincided with my milk coming in, so the next day, even though he'd been formula fed, we still managed to establish breast feeding. It can be done!

mrsmazarib Thu 07-Jul-11 12:26:25

thanks...*tortoise*.. yeah the midwife said that it will be my choice if i want baby to room in...its something they are thinking about in the hospital. thanks for the advice about all, never really thought about harvesting colostrum before hand...have been leaking since about 20 weeks so am thinking this wont be a problem..back at hospital tomorrow so will get on the case with the midwife. i dont know, after comming from a small community practise in Scotland where the midwives are wonderful to this hospital where it all seems a bit up in the air, confusing, disorganised even...feeling a tad shitty !!!
thanks again xx

suzikettles Thu 07-Jul-11 12:37:19

It's absolutely not too late but it will be hard.

The thing that's been the biggest hurdle to overcome by people I know who have tried to return to bf is that whole "you can see how much the baby is taking" thing. She would have to learn to trust bf, and trust that her baby is getting enough and that can be hard psychologically, especially if she's seen the hospital valuing the measurement of intake above bf (because, hey they're the professionals so they must know best...).

But she's only 3 days in so it should be absolutely possible if she's prepared to feed on demand, lots of skin to skin & cuddles - better posts giving this info above.

A bf counsellor or similar helping her with this and giving her encouragement from someone that she trusts that her baby is doing well/thriving etc without formula will also be a huge help.

I do agree with Finally though, it's got to be her decision with her 100% behind it, and if she wasn't really that fussed about bf she may have felt ok about having the choice made for her. Information about her options is good, but be prepared for her to feel that sticking to ff is best for her, and for her not to necessary welcome the info that you're giving her. Despite your best intentions, she may see it as pressure.

Yesmynameis Thu 07-Jul-11 13:28:28

I agree to some extent with Finallygotroundtoit. IMlimitedE hospitals are sometimes reluctant to discharge until feeding (of some kind) looks to be getting established.

My friend was asked to stay until her dd had been observed to have taken 2 decent bf. SIL was in hospital for 4 days/3 nights after a completely straightforward birth because DN wasn't latching on. I guess if she'd been willing to give him a ff she might have been discharged sooner.

Maybe something got lost in communication? here's hoping?

At less than a week old it's certainly not too late to work to establish bf so long as baby is still getting regular feeds whilst this happens. Is her community mw supportive and can they provide guidance, if not can she receive rl support from a bfc?

ohmeohmy Thu 07-Jul-11 14:32:53

Totally wrong of MW to pressure someone like this. I was told exactly this by a neonatal nurse but I refused and made it absolutely clear to nurses on duty if I left the ward that they were to call me and not FF. I would then check the chart to make sure. This caused me a huge amount of distress (more than the brain surgery he was in for), meant that I barely slept because I didn't trust them to call me back to the ward for feeds. I was also told my milk wasn't nutritious enough as I was under a lot of stress.
Feeding my ds myself was crucially important to me as he was in a life thereatening condition and it was the one thing I could do for him when everything else was out of my hands. For that to have been undermined is disgraceful and I'm sorry to hear there are others like her.

Hope your friend gets over this bump. Good luck

BeeMyBaby Thu 07-Jul-11 14:42:43

From personal experience - its not too late, I really struggled with BF and FF my DD with a syringe, but kept trying to give her cuddles and encouring her to try to latch on (very sleepy baby, and my milk was delayed), also kept trying to express, finally on day 6 my milk came in and I flipped straight from 90%FF to 100% BF.

midori1999 Thu 07-Jul-11 16:46:06

mrsmazarib, my DD is 17 days old and I had insulin controlled GD in my pregnancy. I was supposed to be on an insulin/glucose drip during labour to help prevent a hypo in baby after the birth, but they didn't have time to get one started before I had her. Her blood sugar was meant to be above 2.6 and her first reading prior to her second feed was borderline at 2.7, but with regular feeds it was never below 3 after that. I had harvested colostrum, but not much as it's painstaking and I went into labour at 37+6 anyway, but I didn't need the harvested colostrum, just frequent feeding.

Skin to skin apparently helps regulate baby's blood sugars too.

In the UK there would be other options available uf you didn't want your baby to have formula, such as glucose drips or donor milk, not sure if these are options where you are?

gallicgirl Thu 07-Jul-11 19:05:14

Can I clarify something?

My baby was born at home and fed ok initially so slightly confused that hospital won't let baby go home until feeding well. Does this happen only in cases where baby is struggling significantly and obviously suffering as a result?

I know it can take several weeks for baby to latch on properly in some cases so that would be a long stay in hospital!

Also, surely you can discharge yourself and baby?

The biological nurturing site really helped me OP so please pass info on to your friend and lets hope it goes well.

RitaMorgan Thu 07-Jul-11 19:37:23

You can leave against medical advice at any time - it's unlikely the hospital would call the police/social services but I guess they could.

They want to see the baby is feeding well before discharge - if a baby won't latch then they'll want you to be expressing and syringe/cup/bottle feeding or formula feeding.

marzipananimal Thu 07-Jul-11 21:15:07

I can definitely be done - I gave up bf on day 2 and started again on day 5 and was exclusively bfing by day 10. Had trouble with the latch (which is why I gave up in the first place) but no problems with supply. Am still happily bfing at 10 months. If your friend wants to get going again she should definitely get in touch with a bf counsellor

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