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HELP urgent advice needed.

(13 Posts)
Piggyleroux Sun 31-Jul-11 19:46:39

Posting for sil who has a 5 week old dd. Sil made a decision not to bf long before dd was born. However, dd has been extremely colicky, vomiting after each feed and was admitted to hospital last week after failing to thrive. She was on regular infant formula. Sil said she was sure she was mixing it up correctly and even tried the ready cartons just to be sure.

Anyway, gp prescribed different formulas all to no avail and it has now been decided that she has severe lactose intolerance. Sil doesn't want her to have soya formula so she has now decided she wants to breastfeed.

Her question is, is it possible to reestablish breastfeeding after five weeks? How does she go about it? She is super stressed out and is not really getting any support form her gp or hv so I said I would post here.

Can anyone advise?


AllYourCakeAreBelongToMe Sun 31-Jul-11 19:49:16

Um. AFAIK it's possible. After all, there are adoptive parents who breastfeed. I'll see if I can find something by Dr Jack Newman- sure he wrote something about this. Also, put a shout out for Tiktok or Truthsweet.

EauRouge Sun 31-Jul-11 19:52:16

Yes, it is possible, but it depends on individual situations so I wouldn't want to say whether she could definitely do it for sure. I would suggest she go along to a LLL group where she can get more information and support. Groups list here.

Kellymom has a page on relactation here.

Good luck to her and her DD smile

PacificDogwood Sun 31-Jul-11 19:53:16

It can be done.
Takes a huge amount of dedication, hard work and support, but yes, can and has been done.
It's called 'relactation' - here is what Kellymom has to say on the subject.

I'll hunt some more if I get a chance.
Good luck to your SIL and LO smile.

PacificDogwood Sun 31-Jul-11 19:53:49

Ah, pipped to the post by EauRouge...

Albrecht Sun 31-Jul-11 19:59:48

Yes it is possible, even women who have not given birth to their baby have been able to breastfeed. See Kellymom for great info on relactation.

The things to do are express and keep putting the baby to the breast to build up her supply. She should ask her hospital if they have a lactation consultant and if its poss to borrow a hospital grade pump. She can also hand express after pumping (see here for an image). The more the breasts are stimulated the more milk she will produce.

Cuddling her baby with their tops off, having baths together etc are great ways to get the baby used to being at the breast and hopefully latching.

I would recommend getting some expert advise (see here for bf helplines no and local group details database) as her baby will need to be fed on some type of milk while she builds her supply. She should also ask hospital if they have access to a human milk bank as she may be able to feed donated breastmilk.

She will also need to cut cows milk out of her diet herself (I think).

RitaMorgan Sun 31-Jul-11 20:07:47

Is it definitely lactose intolerance rather than cow's milk intolerance? It's just breastmilk is full of lactose too (it is milk sugar) and it is very rare for babies to be intolerant to lactose. Dairy is more usual.

PacificDogwood Sun 31-Jul-11 20:56:09

I am back <<sigh of relief that bed time is over>>

This sums up the trials and tribulations of relactation quite nicely

I'd second the advice to contact LLL and/or hospital lactation consultant (usually a specially trained MW) on board. Crucially, it should be somebody with experience and faith in the concept of relactation - it can be a hard and lengthy slog and your SIL will certainly not need doubters and detractors at her side.

The principle is that removal of milk triggers the production of milk, so yy to lots of putting baby to breast, lots of skin-to-skin contact and frequent pumping. As a rule a feeding supplementer with FF will be used to sustain the LO while milk supply builds (a fair number or ?most adoptive parents may not produce enough milk to fully feed their LOs on their own I think. Your SIL has the advantage that she was pregnant v recently and that milk production will have started even if she then did not continue at the time, so will be easier to trigger again).

Do some web-surfing using 'relactation' and 'supplement feeding' to get some more ideas.

I'd also agree with Rita: genuine Lactose intolerance is incredibly rare in new babies and would not be 'cured' with BFing as human milk also contains Lactose. Cow's Millk Protein Intolerance is less uncommon. BTW, Lactose intolerance (some babies do make not enough Lactase to start with, the enzyme that breaks down milksugar) can be almost instantly improved with the use of Colief which contains Lactase. Worth a try IME.

Also what about reflux?? Has that been considered? In the absence of radiological test, the trial of treatment with Gaviscon or Omeprazole can often give pointers.

Piggyleroux Mon 01-Aug-11 07:37:49

Thanks everyone. According to the consultant at the hospital, it is a severe lactose intolerance Although cows milk protein intolerance does sound more likely (just what sil has relayed back to me so could be wrong).

Anyway, it now turns out that bfing was the doctors idea rather than my sils and actually she is not keen on the idea at all but thinks it is preferable to soya formula. They had already tried infacol and gaviscon.

I offered to express bm for her (I am bfing my 16 mo) but when I tried it took an hour to express an hour but I guess that it because my supply is so established now.

tiktok Mon 01-Aug-11 08:45:47

If it is lactose intolerance, it's overwhelmingly likely to be secondary or acquired lactose intolerance - not the massively rare congenital LI. LI can develop as a result of gastric upset and become worse with repeated 'doses' of lactose. It gets better.

If it's very severe, then breastfeeding may be out, as well - though it would have to be very severe. In any case the baby will need something alongside breastfeeding while her supply restarts. Some LI babies can breastfeed.

Honestly, it sounds like she needs to really, really check what the diagnosis is. The baby could be cows milk protein intolerant, and also LI (secondary sort). If he is CMP intolerant, it will mean he needs specialist formula.

Docs need to write down what they told her, I think, and she needs to make a list of the formulas the baby has already had.

Hope things work out.

tiktok Mon 01-Aug-11 08:49:43

Might help her to talk to someone about her reluctance to try breastfeeding - she must have a strong dislike of the idea, from what you say, having seen her baby so poorly, not thriving and admitted to hospital sad

Most mothers would give it a go, I think, as a response to this, but a few have a very deep aversion and it may be a private thing she does not want to discuss....but if she has a health visitor, midwife or doc she likes and trusts she could talk to them?

TruthSweet Mon 01-Aug-11 09:12:04

For anyone who is interested in relactation or supporting a mother during relactation this is a good read. It is prior to the change from 4 to 6 months exclusive bfing being recommended but it still has relevant information on how to support a mother and why relactation is to be attempted - I just hope the science is still all current!

TruthSweet Mon 01-Aug-11 09:13:53

That's not me casting any judgement on whether or not the mother in this thread should or should not attempt to relactation - just an academic posting so to speak smile

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