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Back to 100% BF with 7 weeks old (currently mixed fed)

(10 Posts)
Melanka Mon 11-Feb-13 13:13:34

My 7 weeks old son is being combination fed. We introduced formula top-ups in his 3-4 week during the night. Sleep depravation and baby blues made an impact on me and I could not cope with his feeding frenzy and fussiness during the night. i got over feeling guilty (never thought I would feed my baby formula before). Had a cracked (and inverted nipple) and fed from one breast only and expressed from the sore one. I always offer breasts first before giving any F. Would love to exclusively BF but feel have times when my supply is low. Tried expressing, fenugreek tea and after no effect, tried tablets also. I eat and drink well. I found staying in bed with my son during the day helped a bit. Also made a cushion filled with polystyrene beads for feeding and it also helped with position as it was getting uncomfortable for both of us as my son grew. Latch is good ( had great support from community midwives). Currently 100% BF during the night and give 2 or 3 formula top ups during the day - overall I'd say he takes no more than 150 ml from the bottle during the day (either formula or EBM if have any).
I want to remove F completely but not sure how to boost my supply even more? I am considering hiring a professional pump as I only have a manual one.

Please share your experiences/knowledge. My GP said that I should be fine and recommended contacting breastfeeding consultant for support. His nappies are good wet and dirty with nice yellow poo. He put on weight nicely as well (5 kg now) and GP said i might go cold turkey, be prepared for few days of fussiness.
What can I expect to happen if I stop giving topups? The reason for them now is that my son is occasionally still hungry, rooting, sucking his fingers after BF.

tiktok Mon 11-Feb-13 13:28:09

Wow, what a difficult first few weeks ! And you have come through them - you're now pain free and comfortable I take it - brilliant.

The only really effective way of making more milk is for more milk to be removed from the breast. All the other stuff - herbs, diet, fluids, teas, tablets - are marginal in their effect at best. You remove milk from the breast in one or both of 2 ways: expressing, and feeding the baby (as you well know smile ).

Anything that interferes with that being done frequently makes you make less milk. Sometimes, other considerations apply, of course - your own well-being, and the baby's need for more nutrition in the short term.

You have got both those aspects sorted - you are feeling ok, though a bit wobbly and under-confident; your baby is doing well, and shows clear signs of thriving.

So....if he roots and sucks his fingers after breastfeeding, what about just breastfeeding him again? Direct? Not ebm? You won't run out of milk - the breasts may slow their flow, but they are not empty even when you have fed from both sides. Even if they feel empty, even if he kicks up a little fuss and shows irritation, just put him on again...and again....and often as your baby will accept. Not to the point of having a fight or struggle with him - a minor fuss is ok.

If you are not ready to drop the formula/ebm altogether, have a plan - instead of 150 ml a day, aim to give no more than 100 for a few days, and then 50 and then you will be well on your way smile

Prob no need to express at all, by the way.

Melanka Mon 11-Feb-13 13:58:21

Thank you tiktok.
The reason for exp still is that feeding time varies. Sometimes it is 20 min and sometimes it is 2 hrs. I thought that if i express i will at least have some of the best stuff. I only exp after a short feed.
I resisted my son's fussiness just now, kept putting him on and then switched sides when it became too much for him. He's feeding still. Thanks for the encouragement! It looks like he might settle to sleep well and we'll go out for walk :-)

tiktok Mon 11-Feb-13 14:08:17

Hmmm....length of feeding time not really an issue here, IMO smile

You are perpetuating your wobbly confidence ('has he fed for long enough? Is there still the good stuff in there he's missing out on? Better express.....')

Sounds to me you have been suckered into the foremilk=bad, hindmilk=good I right? Only very rare situations need this sort of 'engineering' and the baby sorts what he needs anyway smile

Melanka Mon 11-Feb-13 14:41:23

Oh, no, i don't believe the myth about foremilk and hindmilk. By 'the best' i meant natural. But admit it's lost confidence that causes doubts. Feeding for hrs can be draining (of course motherhood is a 24/7 commitment, don't want to sound cruel). Thanks for being there for me in virtual space.

mamacoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 21:46:00

You've got great advice above, just wanted to offer some encouragement- dswas mixed fed for 6 weeks while I was vv ill, then I went to just being v ill and managed to get him to be ebf smile he was bf til 19mo, only stopped bc it got painful when pregnant again! So you can do it, just keep feeding!

Melanka Fri 29-Mar-13 20:49:13

Just wanted to update.. My ds is 13 weeks now. What happened during last 6 weeks:
I did not manage to come off ff topups but still bf during night time. Went to see bf consultant when ds was 9 weeks - we were devoted plenty of time, however nothing was detected even when he started being fussy during the feed. Bf consultant suggested checking for thrush with gp as ds had white tongue although did not have fm for about 14 hrs (normal to me). Gp prescribed oral gel & nipple cream - ended up in out of hrs clinic as ds had an allergic reaction to the medication. Still shiver when think about ooh doctor, who without asking any questions categorically stated ds is being overfed and I should only feed from one breast, give him max 120 ml and to make sure weigh him before and after every feed! (As to this day it almost make me cry I consider making a complaint) never mind, got new med but no improvement in bf. Possetting kept being more severe and my ds has been diagnosed with reflux.
I am rather distanced and do not panic or seek advice for a broken nail but now feel rather down for not recognising it earlier and let down by medical staff. My gp did not ask any other questions even though she remembered what i said about ds pulling off the breast and not being comfortable at 6 weeks review.

Welovegrapes Fri 29-Mar-13 21:02:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

discrete Fri 29-Mar-13 21:07:30

Sorry you have had such a bad time.

Unfortunately reflux can be very hard to diagnose. We only managed it with ds1 when he was 4 months old, by then we had seen no fewer than 10 hcps, all of whom had put it down to something else!

In the end he had to have a ph probe which showed incredibly severe reflux.

The good news is that the meds did work, and ds1 was able to continue to bf until almost 3 yo!

Melanka Fri 29-Mar-13 21:32:08

Thanks for your support.
Welovegrapes, yes i do want to go back to exclusive bf. went back to exp so give ebm if there is any but always offer breast first anyway. Doing all as i should but i found it is difficult to pin point the cause when there are a lot of things going on.
Dicrete, thank you for sharing your story. It's great to hear that there is a happy ending!

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