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5 month old in hospital- how to keep up supply

(17 Posts)
Vinnyinny Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:37

I'm in hospital with my DS who has Bronchiolitis. He's refusing feeds and I'm expressing so they can give him my milk via a tube. I'm stressing about my supply and expressing isn't going to well. Is there anything I can do to help get more milk and keep my supply up?

It's not a relaxing environment. He's hot, not breathing too well and his heart rate is through the roof at times. He's struggling and so am I. I can't bear the thought of not being able to feed him after all this because my supply has dropped off. Any tips would be gratefully received!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 26-Nov-12 22:08:27

Really don't know sorry but hopefully someone will be along soon with some information or support.

RubyrooUK Mon 26-Nov-12 22:18:51

Sorry to hear this Vinny.

My DS was in hospital at 4.5 months and had to be tube fed for three days. He was devastated at not being breastfed and I was also expressing for his feeds in the tube.

It is very hard. Especially when you are tired, stressed and exhausted.

I don't have any brilliant advice, sorry. I just decided that this was my job and I was going to be damn good at it (I was a crap expresser). I ate massive meals and expressed looking at a picture of DS beaming away. I told myself that every feed made him stronger and I put the stress away in a box inside my head and concentrated only on getting him better.

I felt like that helped me concentrate on expressing and not panicking. When DS improved and was able to come off nose feeds, I then just sat with tears running down my face for hours letting out all the stress and worry.

I hope things improve for you. Sorry I don't have brilliant advice but just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.

blondieminx Mon 26-Nov-12 22:20:13

Eeek your poor ds and poor you. Sending you an unmnetty hug.

Have the hospital given you one of those mega milking pump machines? Medela I think they're called. Pale yellow. Had to use one when DD was in hospital confused Very efficient. But babies always get more out than a machine so don't be disheartened if it seems like not much is coming out.

Are you keeping your fluids and calorie intake up and getting some rest, to give your body the best chance of keeping supply up? I'm sure someone far more knowledgeable will be along shortly but if you keep offering the milk then surely baby Will take what he needs?

Wishing your DS better soon.

blondieminx Mon 26-Nov-12 22:21:42

X-post with Ruby, sorry... Slow typing on iPhone!

RubyrooUK Mon 26-Nov-12 22:22:58

Also I was not getting nearly as much milke out by expressing in hospital as I would do feeding DS. But when he did start feeding again, he got my supply up really quickly again.

When he first came off the tube, his appetite was low anyway so he was able to build up the supply again by feeding more and more as he felt increasingly better. So it definitely didn't mean the end of breastfeeding for us.

RubyrooUK Mon 26-Nov-12 22:24:17

milke..? Sorry, my typing has gone mad just remembering that awful stressful time!

JustAnotherLlama Mon 26-Nov-12 22:33:07

Agree with all of the above, make sure you're eating properly, I know it's the last thing on your mind but it's important for you to be getting nutrients. The medela pumps are fantastic, most hospitals have ones they loan out.

When expressing do 5 minutes on the right, 5 on the left then back for another 5 on the right and again on the left. It helps keep your supply even. If you're expressing in hospital ask if they have a warm cloth you can use as it helps stimulate and relax, if you're at home then a hot bath works wonders. To keep your supply up try and express every 3 to 4 hours.

I hope you get some sleep, it's important that you're well rested. Your ds is in the best place for now, take some time to make sure you will be at your best when he's ready to come home.

gallivantsaregood Mon 26-Nov-12 22:33:23

Hospitals are hot and dry. You will def need more fluids than usual. Stress wont help but no use telling you to relax, CIS it is impossible.

Hope he's better soon and you can get home and hopefully your supply will return to normal. Xx

GingerPCatt Mon 26-Nov-12 22:38:27

Don't worry about your supply. You can always increase it when your baby is able to feed again. Just pump regularly and focus on getting your baby healthy. Once your dc is okay, pump after every breast feed. This will get your body into producing more. Ask the lactation specialist at the hospital or lll for help. Or you can google kellysmom - I think that's the breast feeding website.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:43:24

How stressful for you - hope that ds makes a quick recovery.

I had an operation when my ds was 8 months and was in hospital for a week or so. I did feed him most days when he was brought in, but often not more than once a day. I hand expressed to keep my supply up, though didn't get much out. Had no problems at all when we recommenced proper feeding at home.

By 5 months, your supply will be pretty solid. Carry on expressing what you can, keeping your food and fluids up and spending close time with ds. Some herbs - possibly fenugreek? - might help?

toomuchpizza Mon 26-Nov-12 22:52:27

Bronchiolitis is horrible, we've been there several times in the last year. Don't worry too much about your supply, express at regular intervals and drink plenty water as hospital is so hot and it will make you feel better. When we've been in the nurses are always on at me to drink plenty and keep giving me jugs of water!

If it helps my ds3 was seriously ill with bronchiolitis last Christmas at a week old. I was so worried about my supply as we were still getting established. He ended up on a ventilator and spent a week in PICU at another hospital and then another week in the local hospital, so for about 8 days he was unable to take the breast at all. I expressed every 3 hours from both sides more or less - the day when he had to be ventilated and tranferred by air I missed about 8 hours as things were so scary. All my ebm was given down his ng tube but he had some formula mixed in when I couldn't quite keep up. When he came off the ventilator he was soon happily feeding at the breast and for the first few days he fed every hour which was exhausting especially given what we had all been through but he was soon feeding normally and now 11 months on (and several further admissions wth bronchiolitis) he is still breast feeding with no signs of stopping. I hope this gives you some encouragement that it is possible to get past it and keep on feeding.

I will be thinking of you, and hope your wee one is better soon. There is a lot of bronchiolitis at the moment - the wards here are full of it. x

MinaP Mon 26-Nov-12 23:10:34

I am sorry you are going through this. My twins, now 5, where born 28 weeks and 2 days and spent 11 weeks in hospital. I was expressing during the whole time. My advice is to try and get a double pump as you want to half the time you do it for, also do it every 3 to 4 hours. It doesn't matter if you don't produce a lot, the most important is to keep the flow going. Try to express in the same room as your baby, try to hold him while you express, may express one breast at a time. Try to eat well and sleep well. If you feel you cant leave your baby get the hospital to give you a bed or bring an airbed. Try to feel like home.I know its not easy to do so but a pair of sleepers and soft jogger will help a lot. Just remember this will pass!

Thinking of you.
All the best

discombobwotsit Tue 27-Nov-12 06:14:39

hi Vinny

I'm also currently in hospital with my 5 month old ds2, and was unable to feed him at all for 3 days while he was in hdu. I second all the good advice here, make sure you eat plenty and drink lots of water, and try to rest in between pumping!

I know its hard but try not to stress, your son is in the best place and he will improve and you will feed again - my boy took all of a nanosecond to latch on once i was allowed to feed him again + I'm sure once your ds feels better he will feed again. Don't be surprised if he reverts to a newborn feeding pattern for a while though, he has some catching up to do and will be upping your supply again!

The amount i got from pumping did seem to drop towards the end of the 3 days, but i did some manual compression and this helped, you can read about this on kellymom, sorry i can't link as I'm on my phone.

Hope things improve for your ds soon.

Vinnyinny Tue 27-Nov-12 09:16:04

Thank you all so much for your kind messages, they are reassuring to hear. DS did manage to feed a bit last night. I was in tears and only managing tiny drops of milk via the medela pump. We didn't get much sleep but after reading all your messages I have new resolve to just be as positive as possible and help DS get through it.

I know it's common but Bronchiolitis is a horrible illness. My poor boy is a shell of a baby at the moment sad

blondieminx Tue 27-Nov-12 22:18:30

Hope that today has seen some improvement.

In case it's handy here's the Kellymom website link

isabelladeste Tue 27-Nov-12 22:48:26

The last thing you've got time for is to start baking bread but the spices in this worked brilliantly for me - at the very least try just fenugreek on it's own:
http://reciperifle.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/henrys-tit-bread.html?m=1

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