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Advice needed please for sister

(29 Posts)
HufftheHedgehog Tue 19-Jul-11 21:26:30

My sister gave birth early on Monday morning to a lovely little boy smile, by emergency c-section, and they've been in the High Dependency Unit. The nurses there have been giving top-up feeds of formula via syringe, as 'breastfeeding doesn't seem to be going very well' (their words).
My sister was really keen to try BFing, but if the nurses are feeding by syringe then surely my DN won't feel the need to BF?
I've suggested to my sister to keep DN as close as possible, and to let him feed as often as he wants, but she's finding it difficult as she has to ask the nurses to lift DN to her.
Is there any encouragement or better advice that I could give her?
Thanks

Grumpygils Tue 19-Jul-11 21:27:56

Is she expressing? Best help is to suggest she calls one of the helplines and keep being supportive. Congratulations on your DN and hope he's well soon.

Grumpygils Tue 19-Jul-11 21:29:07

Also, suggest she might ask if the hosp has an infant feeding co-ordinator, lactation consultant, or infant feeding specialist midwife who can come and help her.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 21:30:35

hmmm well yes, breastfeeding won't be going well if they're formula feeding him will it? hmm

I will admit that I have little experience of HDU, but is it possible for her to have kangeroo care with him? and feed as much as possible? is he premature?

she should NOT worry about asking them to help her. breastfeeding is really important, esp if he is poorly/premature and they ought to be doing all they can to help her

what area is she in? if you're allowed to say

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 21:31:56

and yes yes, if he is not feeding brilliantly she does need to express a lot, she can then ask them to syringe feed him ebm as well instead of formula

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:33:05

this might be helpful. She would benefit from having her baby close to her at all times.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:34:18

And she can insist on him being fed donor milk instead of formula

DuelingFanjo Tue 19-Jul-11 21:34:26

she needs to start expressing. I had a baby in neo natal for over a week and expressed every three hours. It is tiring but it's well worth it to keep your supply going. I was able to bring the baby home and get him off the bottles and onto my breast within days.

Ask for the ward breastfeeding person and for the use of a breastpump. They will have one.

crikeybadger Tue 19-Jul-11 21:35:45

Was he early Huff?

Agree with Grumpy that she needs to express to keep up her supply. She can either ask to be shown how to hand express or ask to borrow a pump.

Formula doesn't have to be the first resort- she could always ask if the baby can be fed with donated breast milk from a milk bank.

If breastfeeding 'isn't going well' (and what do they mean by that?), then the staff need to support your sister and get it back on track.

Oh and lots of skin to skin will do wonders.smile

Hope things improve soon.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:36:05

A double pump would be helpful

Grumpygils Tue 19-Jul-11 21:36:25

This might also help, even if he wasn't prem some aspects still apply.

MainlyMaynie Tue 19-Jul-11 21:38:16

Have they been supporting her to express for some of the syringe feeds? That's how most babies seem to start off when they're in special care. There should be a breastfeeding support person there who can help and expressing facilities. My baby was in SCBU for a few days and I expressed for syringe feeding as the treatment was making him too sleepy to feed. We didn't have a problem going back to breast feeding afterwards.

crikeybadger Tue 19-Jul-11 21:38:57

Hey look at that, two references to donated breast milk in one post, organiccarrotcake would be proud. grin.

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:40:46

;) crikeybadger

MaMattoo Tue 19-Jul-11 21:41:12

Ask her to express...getting BM is good, if not straight from source than via bottle! Get a hospital grade pump or any medela pump and get the milk going.

I got a lot of grief from breast feeding consultants after a horrible CS. They told me all about how bad a mom I was being by giving his formula while in hospital. I got home and because he had been formula fed by bottle he did not latch on. BUT I exclusively breast fed baby via expressing only..for 6 months! It was a LOT of pumping but possible to do and moved him from being born in 40 centile of weight to being 98th centile in 4 months!

Congrats on DN and fret not...there are ways...as long as mommy is happy and comfortable with her choice, it's good!

twinklegreen Tue 19-Jul-11 21:41:37

Sorry that should have been wink

HufftheHedgehog Tue 19-Jul-11 21:45:08

Thanks for such quick replies - MN is brilliant!

DN isn't premature, my sister was induced at just after her due date because she had high blood pressure. But he is quite small - 6lb 13 oz. I'm not sure why the nurses are so keen to get him on formula as he wouldn't be getting much breastmilk at the beginning anyway, just colostrum.

thisisyesterday Is it possible to express colostrum, or is it better to wait for her milk to come in? And we're in Scotland, sister is in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Grumpygils thanks for that idea about seeing an infant feeding specialist, I'll suggest it. When I was in ERI a few years ago with my DS the midwife I saw there was really helpful.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.

HufftheHedgehog Tue 19-Jul-11 21:56:24

Oops lots of posts as I was typing my previous reply smile

Thanks again everyone for such quick advice. I'm going in to see them tomorrow so I'll ask if she can be shown to hand express, and see if there's any donated breast mile available.

I'm just so frustrated for her because she was so keen to try BFing, and to be told after less than 2 days than there's issues with DNs feeding isn't going to do anything for her confidence sad

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 21:57:59

Perfectly possible to express colostrum, the midwife hand expressed some from me for DP to syringe feed DS when I wasn't up to feeding after the birth.

DuelingFanjo Tue 19-Jul-11 22:02:49

huff I was given help had my boobs squished and squashed by the midwives within hours of my son's birth. He went straight to neo natal but the midwives helped me to express by hand and then within 48 hours I was given a big pump on wheels. I was getting ooodles of milk and my supply kept going because I expressed every three hours. I was also going up and feeding the baby myself once he was out of his incubator thing. My son was 6lb 15oz and actually put weight on with just breastmilk - they were feeding him with a bottle, so there really shouldn't be any need to use formula.

Good luck, I hope she and the baby are ok and that they are both discharged soon.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 22:09:21

yes it's possible to express colostrum. obviously the more she can put baby to the breast the better. she should be insisting that she is able to do this as much as she/baby wants and then express in between so they can feed him that if they feel he needs extra

I would also make a point of asking if they have "baby friendly" status, and if so why they are insisting on formula top-ups rather than helping her to express and give EBM.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 22:11:08

here is a link to le leche league edinburgh too.
might be worth calling them and seeing if there is any help they can offer?

organiccarrotcake Tue 19-Jul-11 22:29:08

crikeybadger grin

OP, what is "not going well" with BFing?

thisisyesterday Wed 20-Jul-11 15:34:47

Just "spoken" to my breastfeeding informer for Scotland!
am glad she is in the Royal Infirmary because friend says to speak to Karla Napier... she is based there and is very good!

so hopefully you've been able to see her today

gallicgirl Wed 20-Jul-11 16:54:03

I BF my DD initially but at 6 days she was admitted to hospital due to weight loss.

Hospital asked me to express so they could ensure DD was getting at least 50ml each feed and if i couldn't express, they asked me to give her formula. We syringe fed when I wasn't BF in order to avoid nipple confusion and this continued when we went home.

Eventually we switched to bottle because DD just wouldn't feed from the breast and I think it's possible the syringe feeding made her lazy. Why should she use all that energy to suck when we happily pour the milk into her?

I would encourage your sister to keep suckling and see a BF counsellor as soon as possible. BF comes first for as long as baby needs it THEN offer top ups of expressed milk or formula.

good luck.

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