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A bit confused about breast feeding...

(34 Posts)
MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 13:48:29

Am trying to breast feed & my son (6 days) latches on brilliantly, feeds for up to 1/2 an hour almost continuously without getting frustrated but I'm confused as my breasts don't feel any different, they don't feel full or hard or anything, they just feel the same as they did when I wasn't pregnant.

Has anyone else had this & did breastfeeding continue ok? Am just a bit worried as I never had any milk with my firstborn & he ended up very poorly because of this. As a result we're offering top ups most feeds just to make sure he's eating enough.

devonsmummy Wed 26-Sep-12 13:51:57

Has he been weighed?
Can you get any milk out by hand expressing?
I'd speak to your HV if I were you as you say your 1st born was poorly.
With both my dc's I knew when my milk had come in (around day 3) by the size & feel of my breasts & the sight of milk

shuckleberryfinn Wed 26-Sep-12 13:56:08

Do you have any breastfeeding support services near you? Offering top ups can interfere with your supply and this sounds like a good case for some knowledgeable and personal support. How is the baby in himself? It's very early days and we all worry about this at first.

Even if you are struggling to breastfeed and your supply is waning there are options you can try if you'd like to continue nursing your baby.

ShhhhhGoBackToSleep Wed 26-Sep-12 14:03:38

It is completely possible to have plenty of milk and not get engorged. My DD (my second child) had a fantastic latch from the start and fed beautifully, I never got engorged and only knew my milk had come in because her possets changed colour!

However, you need to look at how your baby is overall, is he settled, how's his weight gain, does he have lots of wet/dirty nappies, can you hear him swallowing when he feeds? Also, giving a baby top ups at every feed is going to really affect the amount of milk you produce and so your supply. It would be hard to build a good supply and so feed long term if you do this. Are you giving top ups because a midwife/HV/doctor told you to or because of what happened last time?

If I were you I would get along to a bf support group or get in contact with your infant feeding coordinator and get some RL advice.

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 15:14:59

Son has lost a little weight but well below 10% and nothing that the midwife is concerned about. Midwife saw him feeding yesterday & said it looked as though he was feeding well. Has plenty of dirty/wet nappies & no jaundice.
Have been offering top ups because of what happened last time. I just expected some sort of 'change' to my breasts...just to reassure me!

tiktok Wed 26-Sep-12 17:10:28

HelsBels, nothing in your post sounds at all worrisome....except the fact you are topping up, which is very undermining to new breastfeeding.

Many women find their breasts hardly change at all postnatally.

Do speak to the midwife and get a real life opinion on how your bf is going. The top ups can be the death knell, truly, in a situation where you are low in confidence sad

MigGril Wed 26-Sep-12 17:18:34

offering top ups this early will effect your supply. Not all women experience breast changes. But I think it would be a good idea for you to talk to someone in real life.

ZuleikaD Wed 26-Sep-12 18:04:30

My breasts didn't change at all either with DC2 - no engorgement, nothing - and fed him fine.

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 19:18:21

Bit of a glitch this evening, he just would not latch on to either side & was very distressed. I was crying, in cases like these what do you do if not top up?

ReturnOfTheMunx Wed 26-Sep-12 19:39:09

My DS is almost three weeks now and we have weathered plenty of difficult days, including feed where we would nt latch on. I'm talking three hours of trying.

Skin to skin and deep breathing on your part, pass him to someone else try to calm down and strip baby off and you, then try again.

My first baby couldn't feed (medical issues) and so I feel like a first timer too. Just keep persevering, one feed at a time.

Why not phone MW again tomorrow?

ReturnOfTheMunx Wed 26-Sep-12 19:39:47

Oh any my MW said as long as there's one decent feed in a day try not to panic.

mamawharton Wed 26-Sep-12 20:19:38

i didn't get any fullness or hardening with dd until about 10 weeks..... my hv said that i had just established bf quickly and as dddd weight was never an issue and she latched really well it was never a concern

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 20:37:23

I just can't bear to leave him screaming for food when I can so easily give him some formula. To be honest I would rather formula feed him then make him try for the breast when it's not working.

SeventhEverything Wed 26-Sep-12 20:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyWidmerpool Wed 26-Sep-12 21:03:47

There is lots of great advice here. As someone who had a lot of problems and topped up for weeks, I can say that life gets so much easier when you can EBF and it's a wonderful thing, once your feeding relationship is established, to be able to feed immediately without messing around with bottles!

Had problem with latching on but biological nurturing saved our BFing relationship. Basically you are letting your baby latch on themselves. There is lots of info on the internet. Best thing though is to ring a BF helpline and get specialist support. Good luck and congratulations.

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 21:04:20

I do want to breastfeed but am totally scared after first son was hospitalised with severe jaundice at 5 days old basically because he wasn't getting enough to eat.
Am going to call a breast feeding counsellor tomorrow for more advice.

I do try & feed him before he gets to the crying stage but he seems to get there so quickly from being asleep & I just can't bear to make him go through that for long. I just hoped it would be easier this time round. But yesterday was a good day, tomorrow could be better again, will just have to wait & see.

GoldenGreen Wed 26-Sep-12 21:16:09

I bf my ds for 4 weeks and my dd for 22 months - breasts didn't change at all in the early days with either of them - I never felt the milk "come in". They both thrived. I was told this is quite normal for some women, especially if you feed little and often. Good idea to talk to a BFC re: the latching on issue.

louisianablue2000 Wed 26-Sep-12 21:45:11

If you want to top up (and I wouldn't unless there was a weight gain issue or he wasn't interested in BFing, neither of which is the case here) then express some milk and top up with that. Don't take the amount you can express as an indication of how much you are producing though, most people can't express as much as a baby can get out.

It is very frustrating when they don't latch on. DS (my third child and 18 days old, but born at 36 weeks so he shouldn't be here yet) prefers one breast to another and we've had up to an hour of him trying to latch on to the less favoured breast which is very frustrating when he'll latch on to the other one immediately. You've just got to keep trying and at least when they get mad they tend to open their mouth enough to latch properly.

TBH it sounds like things are going well. Since he is not jaundiced and is interested in feeding you'd soon know if you weren't making enough milk yet, he'd complain loudly. Remember it can take several weeks to get your Bfing relationship sorted, you both have to learn what you are doing and even if one of you has done it before there can still be issues.

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 26-Sep-12 21:48:18

Well he just latched on to the less favoured side & fed for 20 minutes without pause so am still confused confused. Is there a reason why some feeds it works some it doesn't or is it just one of life's mysteries?

louisianablue2000 Wed 26-Sep-12 21:55:26

Don't expect every feed to be the same. I like to think of BFing a the baby reset button, if they are hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, tired, or wanting a cuddle then a BF will sort out the problem. So not all feeds will be the same length or even treated with the same enthusiasm.

ReturnOfTheMunx Wed 26-Sep-12 22:16:19

You're doing great, no rhyme or reason to these things sometimes!

DS the same, sometimes feeds beautifully sometimes problematic.

I do know how anxious you must feel, DD was re hospitalised several times and I feel like I a, just waiting for things to go pair shaped again.

As I say, one feed at a time. Get some support and advice tomorrow.

I will no doubt be around tonight feeding,so keep posting if you are not ok.

It'll be ok.

tiktok Wed 26-Sep-12 23:53:23

Hels, babies are little humans and don't work like little machines.....that's why sometimes feeds go well and sometimes they don't smile There are all sorts of variables....especially in the early days when the baby (and you) are just really learning about feeding, about working together, and in the baby's case, about the world smile

You are understandably very frightened that the whole thing is going to go badly wrong, and you have very high expectations of what 'going right' looks like....share these worries with whoever is best at understanding and supporting you.

ReturnOfTheMunx Thu 27-Sep-12 02:26:23

Hope night feeds going ok and things look better tomorrow.

pookey Thu 27-Sep-12 03:26:44

Maybe he was crying for a reason other than hunger and that's why he didn't latch on? The crying doesn't necc mean he is in great distress either and tbh you can prob feed him more quickly with the breast than the bottle. I did mixed feeding with my ds and found he was sick more on formula, I was paranoid I had made bottles incorrectly and if you have to warm the milk up you cannot give it to them as quickly as they want it.

My dd was very frustrated at the breast for the first week or so but actually gained weight where often babies lose weight at that point.

It is one of the stresses of bf that you can't know for certain how much they take but you are doing the right thing monitoring his well being, weight and nappies that's all any bf mother can do.

byhec Thu 27-Sep-12 04:59:12

If he doesn't latch try expressing and then feeding him with a medicine syringe, I was advised to do that by a breast feeding expert and it kept us going in the early weeks. Good luck!

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