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feeding,issues, when is it best to express?

(14 Posts)
cleoowen Wed 06-Mar-13 19:52:46

Having feeding issues with my almost 12 week old. I have felt like either he is not feeding productively or I am not producing enough milk or it is too slow for sometime. So started expressing after the morning feed, taking fenugreek and trying to drink more. I was also feeding for alot longer and so felt he was going longer between feeds. Still demand feeding but felt it turned out to be every 3 to 4 hrs between feeds.

Anyway, for the last two Weeks this solution doesn't seem to be working and I can't just carry on feeding longer and longer. He's fine in the day but by the last two/three feeds in the evening he seems hungry and so would not go down to sleep.

Today he took two 4oz expressed bottles so I know he is not getting enough and he wanted the boob afterwards. We we're giving him the bottle in the morning but now I think I will keep it until the evening as I feel if I didn't have the bottle tonight to give him before bed he would have been screaming with hunger.

I want to give him two expressed bottles a day as feel this is what he needs if not more. But feel my milk supply is low and find it hard to get a decent amount out except from both boobs in the morning.

So when should I express for the second bottle? He has not put on enough weight according to the Hv and have been advised to give him 8 feeds a day. But don't want to express and find he struggles to feed because of this and my boobs have not refilled as such for the next feed, currently at 2 hour intervals.

glorious Thu 07-Mar-13 09:44:08

Mainly bumping in the hope that someone more knowledgeable comes along. But do you think it might be a growth spurt? They're supposed to be common about that time and in that case all the feeding might be about increasing your supply.

If you definitely need and want to express more could you try one breast while feeding from the other? A bit of a juggling act but maximises the benefit of your let down. Otherwise could you do straight after so the maximum time has elapsed before the next feed?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 09:44:57

Firstly, the amount you can express is absolutely no indication of how much you are producing, so please don't worry about that. Also fussy evenings are also normal and not an indication of low supply. Also taking a bottle isn't an indication that baby is hungry or that he isn't get enough from you.

If you think you aren't producing enough milk, the best thing you can do to increase your supply is to feed more often. I'd try offering the breast in day at least every 3 hours, personally I'd try every 2 hours for a while. More feeds are also good if you think your baby is hungry.

I'd also offer at least both sides at each feed and do you do breast compressions? If you google youtube Dr Jack Newman, some videos should come up on latch and breast compressions.

Is there a Breastfeeding support group you could go to? I think its worth asking a BFC to observe a complete feed and to check for tongue tie.

When you say your HV says he's not putting on enough weight, is he dropping centiles. I think it would be really useful for you to ring one of the Bfing helplines and speak to a BFC about all of this smile.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 09:50:26

Xposted there with glorious but yes, 12 weeks is a prime time for a growth spurt and the best thing for a growth spurt is to get some drinks and snacks, get your phone and the remote, put your feet up and feed, feed and feed some more smile.

Expressing whilst feeding also worked for me.

glorious Thu 07-Mar-13 12:26:05

There you go, I knew someone more helpful would be along soon smile

cleoowen Thu 07-Mar-13 15:15:39

thanks for the advice everyone. unfortunately it has been worse today and he,has refused the breast for the first time ever. I am trying to feed him every 2hrs but maybe wasn't hungry.

I also feel like I just don't have enough milk or he is struggling with his,latch and feeding technique. He has started crying when on the,breast and trying to feed but coming,on and off and then crying with what seems like frustration. I then try him on the other breast which he feeds from rapidly for a few minutes then there is a cycle of him feeding, stopping and,me wiggling his ear to keep him awake.
, him starting, feeding a,few more gulps and then beginning to fall asleep again. This happens throughout the feed until he gets frustrated and moves to the other breast. Apart from at the beginning I don't feel like he is feeding properly as tiny sucks with little swallowing. but seems to want more when I try to take him off.

I've had this problem before, and thought I d solved it because I wasn't leaving him on long enough. But now this isn't working I guess as,he is growing and I can't just increase the feeding time to hours and hours.I am trying to avoid this by stopping him when he comes off or when he's not swallowing but this is after only 20 mins max. So thinking he's still not getting enough as not much actual swallowing and sucking time during this time just butterfly sucks.

I am worried about bedtime as last night he was crying and I was trying to feed him to sleep but he wasn't taking it. fortunately I had a bottle of expressed milk which he gulped down in 5 minutes. today I haven't managed to express hardly anything so don't have that backup. I have some formular but worried he won't take it as has never had it before and is not completely confident taking the bottle.

He's also being sick more recently after feeding. It's not much, but could this be reflux? Trying to get him to have more milk and he's sicking it up.

cleoowen Thu 07-Mar-13 15:21:12

PS yes dropped a percentile and was only on the 5th to start with. So don't think it is a growth spurt.

Is it true that the first 3 months are the most important for breastfeeding?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 15:47:16

Dropping one centile is perfectly normal and dropping a centile doesn't mean its not a growth spurt. Lots of babies drop a centile and lots have a few days of increased feeding at around 12 weeks.

However, I'm not a BFC and with all of your concerns, I think it would be really helpful for you to talk to someone who is trained and either alleviate your concerns or help you come to a decision you and Lo are both happy with. Try one of these numbers smile

cleoowen Thu 07-Mar-13 19:22:00

Thanks guys. Managed to get the health visitor to.come tomorrow instead of Monday so hopefully that will help.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 20:25:01

Is your HV particularly good with her bfing information cleo? It's not too late to give one of the bfing helplines a call tonight, they are only too willing to help smile

cleoowen Fri 08-Mar-13 10:54:52

She's pretty good but not that helpful last time she came and had this issue. Suggested hand expressing before so gets to fatty milk quicker, done this couple of times but not improved, maybe should have tried more but didn't want to waste milk as such if he needed it.

Woke up at 10 and,2 last night like when he was a new born last night so definitely hungry but would not take bottle correctly.

Going to see what she says and will then ring helpline. Just feel you can get so much different advice.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:09:54

Sadly lots of HVs don't know that much and hand expressing before a feed seems like very poor advice. I really, really recommend going to your local bfing support group and ringing one of the helplines. Your HV might have good intentions but it doesn't sound like her feeding information is upto date.

cleoowen Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:21

back to original question. Could low supply be,due,to starting to express in morning and,hubby giving baby expressed bottle,instead of bf? This has,been recent routine to try and,get dc to take a bottle.

Or could fact stopped cluster feeding at night and did dream feed instead,have caused low supply?

So back to OP when should I express?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 10-Mar-13 07:41:43

Just bumping for you.

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