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really worried and confused where has my milk gone?

(10 Posts)
Mantha81 Sat 23-Jul-11 09:26:36

Hi ladies,

This is going to sound stupid but I am genuinely worried. I have never been exc. BF because he had problems feeding from birth. Daily BF was supplemented with 1 formula bottle. Over last couple of weeks I have feeding from birth. Daily BF was supplemented with 1 formula bottle. Over last couple of weeks I have increased formula due to wind and tummy ache problems, I found his tummy was better after feeding from a bottle (he was also getting very upset while feeding from me). I've hired a medala but can't express as much as I had hoped, over the last week I would say his formula in take has gone to 4ish bottles, a couple of expressed and 2 night feeds from me. Last night we were at B&Q about 8pm and I was heavy and painful with milk, ended up feeding him in the carpark (i was in my car!). I was mildly firm during night but so tired I was falling asleep so, from B&Q carpark until the now (24 hours) he hasn't fed from me. He's been with nanny from this morning until Sunday. I've tried to express but only got about 1oz in about 3 goes, normally I'd have about 9oz's by now. My breasts aren't firm as normal (in fact completely soft) and nipples are white on the tips. I've had no skin to skin with him and won't until Sunday. Has milk gone? Has the formula increase been too much? What's going on? I really want to go to nanny's get him and let him suckle. I feel really awful. He's 8 weeks by the way. One more thing... Absolutely no leakage. Normally would have gone through 3 pads since last night, but haven't had to change?

Thanks ladies

ShowOfHands Sat 23-Jul-11 09:39:42

It's normal for you to stop leaking and stop getting engorged BUT this is in an established bfing relationship which I don't think you've attained.

You need proper, rl help. I'm no expert but if bfing wasn't providing sufficient milk and causing problems with wind and tummy ache, I think there was a latch issue potentially, certainly an issue with adequate milk transference. Did you see a proper breastfeeding counsellor? Do you have the number for one? A local bfing cafe too for regular support?

The expressing thing is a red herring and no sign of what's actually happening.

At 8wks with bfing not adequately established and infrequent feeds I agree, your instincts are right. You already haven't fed for 24hrs and won't feed for at least the next 24hrs. This, along with the formula is going to severely compromise any supply you have.

It is not lost. You need to let the baby suckle as much as possible, get his latch checked and sort out a proper schedule for reducing formula (you can't just cut it out as he's reliant on it) so that you can redress the balance to somewhere you're comfortable with.

crikeybadger Sat 23-Jul-11 09:57:20

Agree with SOH that you need to speak to someone about this as soon as you can. Can you give one of the bfing helplines a call for now?

In the meantime, I would personally suggest that you keep expressing - you may not get much milk out, but it will get your milk production going again. Ideally this should be 8-12 times in 24 hours.

If you want to get back to some breastfeeding, you'll need help and support to draw up a plan to reduce the formula gradually.


Al1son Sat 23-Jul-11 10:47:19

Agree with previous posters. You do need to get some help to check the latch etc. FF is unlikely to be better for his digestive system so if you can make sure the mechanics of BF are in place you should be able to establish BFing and get over all wind issues.

Your milk responds to the demand but it doesn't dry up permanently within days. Don't panic and think you've lost the ability to BF because you haven't. All that's happened is that you supply has reduced to match the demand. It is perfectly possible to increase it again, up to EBF amounts if you would like to do that.

I EBF my DDs for months but never got engorged after the first few weeks, very rarely leaked and could only ever express a couple of ounces at the absolute most.

aswellasyou Sat 23-Jul-11 12:09:16

Ditto what everyone else said. I never got engorged and only leaked a few times (the first time when my daughter was 5 weeks). It doesn't mean your milk has gone, but you're milk supply will have decreased by the sound of things. You can get back to whatever you want in terms of feeding but it will require work i.e. skin-to-skin, expressing, lots of suckling, etc. It would help if you get your son back on the breast asap, but you can still do it when you see him next.

TruthSweet Sat 23-Jul-11 13:36:49

Could you go and get your baby and have a babymoon* with him? That might help increase the hormones responsible for bfing (oxytocin is released when you do skin to skin and it triggers milk let down too).

It's not the end of bfing but you would be well advised to get in contact with a breastfeeding counselor either from one of the bfing helplines or a local one from the NCT/ABM/LLL. Would you be able to give a rough location (county/city/region) so we could give you a list of ones local to you?

*lounge in bed cuddling with baby, lots of skin to skin, touching, stroking, snoozing, feeding (if you need to give baby formula don't worry, just let him get comfortable being near your breasts and hopefully he will latch on).

mooshy1970 Sat 23-Jul-11 14:35:06

"I really want to go to nanny's get him and let him suckle."
So go get him.... skin to skin lots of feeding chuck out the bottles and trust your body.

theyoungvisiter Sat 23-Jul-11 14:51:18

"chuck out the bottles and trust your body."

I don't think this is good advice - hopefully the OP can decrease the formula with proper support but I don't think anyone can advise her to go cold turkey when we have no idea of the situation.

OP - I echo the advice about feeding as much as possible and speaking to a breast-feeding counsellor about the situation - preferably face-to-face if you can get to a drop in. Is there a reason why you can't go get him from his nanny? 2 days without bfing is a long time at this stage, as others have said.

fraktious Sat 23-Jul-11 15:23:45

White nipples and digestive discomfort makes me think thrush. Is his tongue white?

You should definitely go get him if you want to.

mooshy1970 Sat 23-Jul-11 15:43:08

Ok maybe that was a bit hasty.
If you cant get to your baby or he cant feed from you because he is either at nannys or you are giving him a bottle you need to remove the milk / or stimulate your breasts at least 8 - 12 times in 24 hours, inc at night when your prolactin levels are peaked.
supply is reliant on this regular milk removal - by baby or pump or hand expression.
not feeding or stimulating your breasts for extended periods will reduce your supply over time - it is not too late now tho even if your baby is away from you.
if you arent feeding your baby directly
use your pump regularly, 10 mins on one side then 10-15 mins on the other.
Dont worry if you get only small amounts as long as the pumping is comfortable the stimulation is what you need..
i dont know why your baby is with nanny but can you maybe have your baby with you ?
The ideal would be a full consultation with a breastfeeding expert, but if this is not possible could you ask your health visitor to do a home visit ? Observing a full breast feed would be very helpful in helping you with a plan on reducing the formula and ecl. breastfeeding.
If you tell us more about how he behaves while at the breast , what it feels like, any pain etc,can you hear him swallowing, does he fall asleep and come off himself ,wet and dirty nappies etc it would be helpful .
You sound like you miss your baby and i wish i could bring Sunday to you x

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