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Breastfeeding help . . . picky 5 week old

(24 Posts)
greatscott81 Thu 23-May-13 16:44:59

My daughter was born weighing 8lb 6oz by c-section as she was breech. Following the birth we never established breast feeding because there were nurses in and out every two seconds to do tests and we didn't have the guidance (she is my first baby). We were kept in hospital for an extra night because she wasn't feeding and had dropped a significant amount of weight.

When the midwife came over, she said my DS had dropped even more weight and we would be readmitted if it continued. Now terrified, I started expressing milk which my little girl guzzled quite happily. She's been putting on weight ever since and is very happy.

However, the problem is I am now stuck expressing. I always offer the breast and she often drinks from it for a while (and often spends a good hour drinking then dozing) but then she gets frustrated and starts pulling away. I then offer a bottle of breast milk which she launches at as if she's starving. Luckily I have been able to express enough but I am now waking up 20 minutes before I anticipate my baby waking up so I can express and have plenty of milk for her. I seem to be in an endless round of expressing/feeding and i feel like I belong in a milking parlour!

I have seen every expert there is locally and nobody has been able to offer any advice. She isn't tongue tied, she is healthy and is able to latch on. Luckily she is able to go between bottle and breast easily but I am desperate to exclusively feed her from my breast. She also refuses the left boob completely. Do I just have a contrary baby, or is there something/anything I can try?!

Sorry for the long post! Any help MUCH appreciated.

tiktok Thu 23-May-13 19:07:38

Wow - what a story, hope we can help smile

Key to making bf work well and abundantly is frequency.

How many times are you expressing? How many times does she come to the breast?

stargirl1701 Thu 23-May-13 20:29:33

Could you put the expressed milk into a Supplemental Nursing System?

greatscott81 Thu 23-May-13 21:44:48

Thank you for your replies - sorry for the length of post!!

I'm expressing every 3-4 hours . . . so every time she would naturally feed. I put her to the breast practically every time (although my husband often takes over for the early morning feed which is one bonus of our situation!)

What is a supplemental nursing system?! Sorry to sound dim . . .

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 23-May-13 23:26:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 23-May-13 23:27:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiktok Thu 23-May-13 23:27:58

Sorry - it's late so will be brief and maybe return tomorrow.

I make that about 6-7 times in 24 hours?

Not usually enough for maintaining a good supply and def not enough to build up a greater supply - how would you feel about expressing and feeding much more often?

stargirl1701 Fri 24-May-13 07:43:01

An SNS is a device that attaches to your breast so you feed from the breast and top up at the same time. I used the Medela one which I got on Amazon.

TanteRose Fri 24-May-13 07:47:33

yes, she would be feeding "naturally" every 2 hours

try feeding more often

greatscott81 Fri 24-May-13 12:28:42

Thank you for the advice.
WouldBeHarrietVane - she is pretty good at night only wakes once and feeds and settles well. I've tried giving her a dummy but she spits it out was soon as she realises she isn't getting any food.

I will look into the supplemental nursing system . . . thank you again!

tiktok Fri 24-May-13 12:30:23

greatscott, you will prob get better results with simply feeding more often - the further details in your posts suggest pretty strongly that not feeding anything like enough is at the heart of this concern.

Hope things get better.

tiktok Fri 24-May-13 12:31:07

Dummy not a good idea, BTW smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 24-May-13 14:29:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PinkPepper Fri 24-May-13 14:36:30

I needed to increase feeds with my boy, we just went to bed and if he so much as yawned I'd pop my boob in.
I'd wake him at night too if he's not feeding enough. Feed feed feed. Keep yourself topped up with water and snacks (for your sake not so much babies)
It won't be forever, if you can really feed loads for a few days I think it'd really help boost supply and feeding.

greatscott81 Fri 24-May-13 15:09:45

tiktok - I'm feeding on demand at the moment which works out approximately every 3 hours - when I've tried to feed her more frequently she spits the milk out or won't even open her mouth.

Sorry to sound dim but how can I get her to feed if she isn't interested? As I said, she's my first and this is all such a minefield!

Many thanks for everyone's contribution on here - it's really helpful.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 24-May-13 15:21:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 24-May-13 15:23:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiktok Fri 24-May-13 15:24:40

greatscott, feeding 'on demand' is not always enough - if you need to increase supply and intake you might find it helpful to respond to every feeding cue, and to engender feeding cues by keeping your baby on or near the breast as often as you can day and night (it won't be 24/7, I know). Switch nursing can help - changing sides several times between feed.

Would be a good help to talk to a breastfeeding counsellor and find ways to manage all this. 6-7 feeds in 24 hours is not a lot for a baby of 5 weeks; some babies are of course happy with this, and your baby may be perfectly fine smile But it sounds like she won't be happy with breast only unless you make it more 'rewarding' for her....and that was your original query ie how to get her back to breast only without the expressing.

Hope this helps.

PinkPepper Fri 24-May-13 17:11:08

Yes feeding on demand didn't work for my boy, I'd just have him in bed next to me and when he stirred I'd offer. My bf support worker reminded me that every few sucks he was getting something.

boobybum Fri 24-May-13 21:08:22

How about spending a day or two in bed (and i mean the whole day!) with your baby and feeding as much as possible. I don't know whether you are able to feed lying down but it is great if you can. This may help to boost supply and if there is no bottle on offer then you DC may be 'forced' into taking the breast. I agree with other posters that there don't seem to be many feeds at the moment, I think I was practically sat in a chair feeding all day at this age (not so bad if you have someone on hand to fetch you drinks/snacks!)

greatscott81 Fri 24-May-13 22:22:29

Thank you to everyone who has posted.

My health visitor has said that we are feeding exactly the right amount; she's also highlighted that my baby is healthy and thriving (which is the main thing). I've seen two lactation experts but neither has been able to offer a solution. It's very draining (sorry for the pun) but hopefully we'll get there. I will certainly be trying some of the tips on here - willing to give anything a shot as am very keen to avoid my milk supply dwindling.

redwellybluewelly Fri 24-May-13 22:39:57

With the best will in the world health visitors are not always the most suited to advise on breastfeeding. And I'm being extremely tactful.

Other things I tried were lots of oats, flapjacks and oaty cereal, plenty of water, a pint per feed and a great deal of skin to skin.

The advice above is great, only way you'll stop the mix feeding is by encouraging your DD to feed more often, and night feeds are particularly important because those are the ones that boost prolactin and your supply.

I suppose reading your posts I'm struck a little bit about how you want to maintain the convenience of your DH sharing in the feeding and also the 'good' baby overnight. Suspect you might have to decide what you want most, give it a week, try the skin to skin and don't express before a feed (get a bit ahead if you're really worried and pump after a feed). Then if it all goes to pot you can return to mix feeding?

redwellybluewelly Fri 24-May-13 22:41:22

Oh and fenugreek tablets, double dose, you'll smell of curry but look like pam Anderson grin with a cracking supply!

tiktok Fri 24-May-13 23:17:02

greatscott, your query was how to ensure your best chance of feeding direct - that's what lay behind my suggestions, which were really thinking of how to make it more rewarding for your baby to do so, so you would not have to express in order to 'finish' the feed.

She's fine and healthy, from what you say, and your HV may well be right that she is feeding well and often enough for health and growth... but that wasn't your concern.

If you want to make it more likely that your little dd will feed direct from the breast, then you will need to feed more often.....that's the biology of it smile

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