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BF supply problems - I'm worried I've ruined it

(12 Posts)
acaseofyou Tue 18-Oct-11 09:10:51

My feeding is a mess sad

DS1 was quite little when born (a long and skinny 6 lb) and then put on hardly any weight for weeks. He started throwing up a lot at about 4 weeks, so we assumed he wasn't putting on weight because he wasn't keeping enough down. Doctor advised to feed him little and often, which we did, but my supply went down accordingly. At 7 weeks he was way below the 0.4th percentile and his jaundice was getting worse, so we were admitted to hospital and he had lots of tests done. It emerged he just wasn't eating enough, so the consultant said to top up with formula after he'd fed from me, to flush his system out properly.

Turns out he was starving sad he wanted at least 90ml extra after feeding from me every time, and as soon as he was eating more he turned into a different baby. Slept better, jaundice went away, put on loads of weight.

That was a week ago. I'm feeding him from both sides every three hours or so and letting him stay on till he tires out to stimulate my supply. Eating and drinking lots, etc. It's still not enough - I'm still topping up with formula though I've reduced it to 60ml a time. Really worried that giving him formula at all is compromising my supply still - but he's hungry and I don't have enough for him, so what to do? He's only just got back into 0.4th percentile and can't risk him dropping again.

Stress!

RitaMorgan Tue 18-Oct-11 09:43:17

Can you feed him more often? At least 2 hourly, and swap sides every time he loses interest - you can offer 2, 3, 4 sides in each feed.

latrucha Tue 18-Oct-11 09:51:50

You won't have ruined it. It sounds to me like you have tried to respond to your baby's needs as you have been advised. Well done. And well done for keeping up with bf.

I would second what RitaMoragn said. Feed more often and offer more than one 'side'. As you have introduced formula I would't drop it straight away but phase it out.

BertieBotts Tue 18-Oct-11 09:55:27

I think you really need to see a proper breastfeeding counsellor or someone qualified, replies on a forum can only go so far. Try contacting the nct or la leche league in your area, (on phone so can't do links) our even look for a lactation cconsultant If you have the money to spare.

do you mean you re feeding every 3 hours, or just waking baby every 3 hours if they haven't fed in this time? I age with the advice to offer both sides, and a 3rd, 4th, 5th side etc if he is interested. skin to skin between feeds might help and encourage him to feed more often. Also , unless it is making you more tired and stressed out, could you try expressing for the top ups? This way you know he's getting your milk, and the expressing should help with supply as well. But definitely seek out done rl expert help. Good luck!

Mampig Tue 18-Oct-11 09:59:00

Others are right. Feed, feed, feed. Offer boob at every opportunity to get your supply back up and phase out ff gradually. Have u thought of a babymoon? You can and will do this if it's what you want smile. Well done on persevering this far!!

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 10:17:35

acaseofyou, this was me 4 months ago, Ds was a big baby when he was born so he could afford to drop a little bit of weight but he lost 12% and was not having any dirty nappies, so we got refered to the hospital and did exactly the same and I started the top ups on the advise of the hospital doctor. It is awful when they take the full 90mls isn't it, my breast feeding advisor said this wasn't necessarily because he was that hungry, just because it was there and he could have it, a bit like when you have eaten a big meal and are not hungry but still have a big slice of cake because you are being offered it.
Unfortunately I am still having to give the top ups now at 20 weeks, have tried to phase them out several times but have never managed it completely, think maybe ds has just got used to having a bottle after his feed from me.
Have you tried expressing? I could only get 1-2 oz at a time and this took over an hour so I was feeding for an hour, expressing for an hour then ds would be hungry again so I would feed for an hour then express... nearly sent me crazy and was making me very sore so did not carry on with that. But might be an idea if you can do it.
Hope you are ok, be gentle on yourself, it is such an emotional roller-coaster. If you need anyone to sound off too I know exactly what you are going through..

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 10:27:16

Oh and I was told to only feed for 20 mins at a time because they said he was tiring himself out trying to feed for too long at a time and he should get all he needs in 20 minutes (he was 16 days old) angry feed for as long as you can, it all helps to boost your supply smile

RitaMorgan Tue 18-Oct-11 10:33:25

Anyone who tells you your baby should be doing something should be met with suspicion imo! My ds was still taking more than 20 minutes a feed and barely going 3 hours by six months grin

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 10:38:32

I know, the 20 minute feeds only lasted 2 days until I realised how crap it was. Dp took some convincing as he is one of those people that takes advice from medical professionals as gospel hmm but after an emotional meltdown rant from me he decided that it was best to leave me too it.

pinxminx Tue 18-Oct-11 13:47:59

This was me a couple of weeks ago...
The advice I was given was very similar to what everyone has already said. The only other things that I have done were:
Spend a whole weekend in bed feeding, nothing else at all -sleep + feed!
I got a lot of reassurance from a Breast feeding lady from the breast feeding network. She checked DS's latch etc. She suggested separating the top ups from the other feeds as the baby can come to expect the top up as part of a feed. I am now doing a top up last thing at night only and my supply seems to have caught up as DS is now gaining weight steadily.
It is such a horrible and scary thing to go through, but it is working out for us slowly.
Good luck!

Icanonlytry Wed 19-Oct-11 13:53:53

pinx I think that is my problem with ds, because he was topped up after most feeds he has come to expect a bottle after his breastfeed. Even though my milk supply has improved massively and ds only usually takes 1-2 oz now (sometimes nothing at all) he still wants the bottle afterwards, even if he only feeds from it for a few seconds.
This was never suggested to me but I would recommend separating the two.. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it smile

Debs75 Wed 19-Oct-11 14:09:03

have you tried pumping after a feed?
If you pump as dp is feeding him a bottle you will produce more and what you do express you can use as the topup at the next feed. it is a faff with sterilizing the pump but you may be able to wean him off the formula at least

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