Advanced search

expressing and only getting a teaspoon full after ten mins...what am I doing wrong?

(51 Posts)
MostlyCake Tue 30-Jul-13 14:33:59

Combining bf on demand with expressing after each feed on mw advice to stimulate production. DS is 12 days old and as I had a problem with the latch my milk was slow to come through. According to Google, I should only express for ten mins but at the end of the time I literally have a teaspoon full if im lucky.

What am I doing wrong? Why have I got so little milk? I have until Thursday when the mw comes back to have a decent supply or I exoect ger to start pushing formula (ds nit putting on weight) - all advice welcome!

Thanks in advance

dinnersinthedawg Thu 01-Aug-13 12:59:01

Not sure about the expressing but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone with the early latch problems and slow weight gain. My DD is 5 weeks tomorrow and when she was weighed yesterday she had finally got back up to her birth weight (7lb 9oz). Over the last couple of weeks the HV has been great and didn't suggest formula as she was happy the latch was now corrected and was comfortable in giving it a little time to see if the weight improved. I also took fenugreek which I think helped the supply. Good luck with it whatever you choose to do.

MostlyCake Thu 01-Aug-13 14:17:11

Hi my friend has sent me a number for a local support group who I'm going to call today to get advice.

Offering forumla at night seems crazy to me as it is replacing a feed but its frightening to think I'm not feeding him enough - failing to thrive is a devastating phrase especially when I'm feeling so vulnerable... Every mw appointment I end up crying.

Am trying switch feeding now, had been under the impression that to get the hind milk he should stay on the same boob for rhe whole feed but it really seemed that he was emptying it.

He has loads of wet and dirty nappies, around ten at night and a bit less during the day mostly yellow poop but has been green the last few - normal?

Its just a tricky time, we're all upset and worried and the easy option is to go fully to formula...I am worried that by not just giving up bf now he will stuggle to put on weight for another few weeks then ill be forced to go formula anyway. MW coming back tmro to weigh him, fingers crossed he's put on weight.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 14:33:47

Did a midwife say "failure to thrive" to you?? If so that is utterly unacceptable! That's a very serious diagnosis and does not mean a baby who is a little slow to regain birthweight.

Don't worry about hindmilk - so long as you feed to your baby's cues then it will sort itself out. Some good info here:

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 14:41:39

There's some more info on things to do to help weight gain here too

monal Thu 01-Aug-13 15:05:06

This was me four weeks ago OP. I also cried every time I saw a doctor and my little girl took 3 weeks to get back to her birthweight. We have problems with latch, according to the lovely lactation consultant we saw she has a lip tie and posterior tongue tie, but no doctor I have found (France) will treat it. What has worked for us is nipple shields, in the end. Also like you I couldn't get anything expressing, either with a manual or electric pump, but now I can get a whopping six ounces in a night. I second the posters saying express in the dead of night. Has your LO been checked for tongue tie? And I know how scary it is when it seems like your baby isn't getting enough but look at all the wet and dirty nappies and stand your ground a little if they push formula on you. I hope the group is helpful and I hope she starts putting on the weight for you.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 16:14:00

Glad you are getting some help. This is really not ' failure to thrive'! There are other indications of getting enough milk and one is pooey nappies. That and the weight gain are positive signs. Green poo can mean a few things, talk it all over with the support group. If midwife suggests formula, say you'd like to talk it over with bf support first, don't panic.

Hope the group are helpful today.

Splatt34 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:37:27

Mostlycake - as I said on my earlier post you must make your own choices, but adding a bit of formula as top ups needn't mean you switch fully to formula. When I added some formula at 2 weeks for DD2 she had 2-3 oz twice a day. I still cluster feed in the evenings and bf overnight. At 9 weeks she now has 4 x 3 oz top ups most days, sometimes more sometimes less. I had the same with DD1.

All I'm saying is by all means do what you need to do to ebf if that is what you want, but if you decide to give some formula that needn't mean you have to stop breast feeding.

MostlyCake Fri 02-Aug-13 22:26:50

Splat, how do you keep your supply up? Doesn't adding a formula feed in decrease your milk?

Jenny70 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:40:00

Every formula feed decreases your supply, so you enter a bad circle.

My advice #1 - dump the pump. Try hand expressing, even in shower - you don't need to collect milk to bottle feed, just send message to breats that more is needed.

Squeeze from top of breast to behind the nipple, never need to squeeze the aeroli bit at all(great if nipples sore).

I know midwives etc are hung up on weight, but sometimes your baby is smaller than average, and they are feeding fine, even though they are low percentile. But balancing that is the mums that don't make enough & baby does need artificial milk. Only a dr or you can decide which is true for your baby.

Personally, I would hand express & not collect (can collect if easy but often too awkward) and talk about medications to increase supply before introducing formula.

FrussoHathor Fri 02-Aug-13 23:08:49

The green poo is typical of when he's getting more fore-milk than hind milk. Which makes total sense if you are trying to up your supply by getting him to suckle little and often.

I second the poster who said to get him checked for posterior tongue tie. It's less obvious than your typical tongue tie. But the problems are the same.

Eating oats can help boost your supply, as can fenugreek. And remembering to drink lots of water.

dinnersinthedawg Sat 03-Aug-13 02:29:21

I read somewhere that it is best to express 1 hour after a feed - this gives the milk a chance to build up again after the feed but doesn't interfere the next feed (assuming 2-3 hour interval). If baby has fed well there will be nothing to express straight after a feed.

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 03:00:55

Spoke to a bf support person today who basically reiterated the same advice given by the mw. Because I live 9 whole miles from the town they won't come to visit me but I have to negotiate public transport to get into them for actual physical support...not impressed!

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 03:03:53

HV coming Monday so will try to get thru the weekend and hope her visit coincides with a feed.

I wont give up yet but this is so much harder than I ever expected.

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 03:11:53

There is a mw run group every Wednesday held in the health centre, I've still been in my pj's the lsst few times but will be going this week.

PurplePidjin Sat 03-Aug-13 07:22:10

Keep going, you're doing an amazing job. Make sure you eat, drink and rest smile

Unbrushed hair, half dressed, odd shoes, whatever. Get yourself to that support group. Mine has been an absolute life saver, and I've met some really good friends. Don't underestimate the power of someone saying "Yeah, i know, shit ain't it" brew

AlbertaCampion Sat 03-Aug-13 07:40:17

This could have been me with my DS! Both the pumping and the unwelcome pressure to top up with formula feeds when he was a couple of weeks old. Eventually the midwife said that I had the weekend to turn things around, or formula it would have to be. My solution: to feed EVERY two hours around the clock, for two days' straight. Not just little feeds, but as much as he would take. Hard bloom in' work - but he put on a good amount of weight and we were flying high.

The following week he developed reflux and we were back to square one, but that's another story! Suffice to say I carried on BF and all was fine in the end. He's now built like a little tank. grin

CelticPromise Sat 03-Aug-13 08:20:29

MostlyCake I am fed up on your behalf about lack of support angry I don't know about the service in your area but in mine it's almost entirely run by volunteers and it's not always easy for us to do home visits. I would give one of the national bf support lines a call- they are generally staffed counsellors who really know their stuff.

Feed feed feed, lots of skin to skin, and really focus on the latch each feed. If he's pooing plenty and already started to gain, chances are you've already turned it around. Good luck.

FrussoHathor Sat 03-Aug-13 08:31:28

Nct national support line 0300 330 0700

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sat 03-Aug-13 08:53:04

long time since I breastfed....for expressing I used a manual pump and I found I had to make sure the suction part was flush to my skin for it to work, couldn't express with the electric ones at all. Things that also worked were thinking about ds while expressing, works the same way as a crying baby starts your let-down reflex I suppose.

Incidentally with ds2 I was very ill and couldn't exclusively breastfeed for the first few weeks (I was producing, he wasn't latching, boobs were engorged but the electric pump at the hospital wasn't emptying them, I ended up doing it by hand) I reintroduced breastfeeding little and often alongside decreasing formula feeds and successfully breastfed him till age 2. he still thinks they're his.

Take care of yourself and your lovely 16 day old.

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 12:19:55

Thanks everyone, it helps so much to know other people have gone thru the same thing and to get sone encouragement. DH is completely on board with the bf but feels helpless and useless when I'm up all night and am knackered.

He has put on another 90g and is now only 100g off birth weight. We've decided to go cold turkey in formula and feed on demand for a week to give bf a chance to get properly established and if he's still gaining then continue with exclusively bf but if not then to add in formula.

I've been sitting in this chair feeding solidly from 8am and hourly between midnight and 6am... sigh...thank goodness for mumsnet talk archives!

FrussoHathor Sat 03-Aug-13 12:56:22

Hoping the weight gain continues. Keep a drink handy, and plenty of rest. DH could help by getting you drinks and snacks.

PurplePidjin Sat 03-Aug-13 18:46:56

My dp felt useless to start, so he started bringing me breakfast in bed - porridge with a banana and some dried fruit, as oats are meant to be good for supply - plus a big travel mug full of coffee. Feeding you is feeding the baby. Also, get them out for a walk together. We started at about 2 weeks, just 10 minutes round the block so i could have a bath in peace. Now at 8 months they're happy for 3+ hours without me (although there's no sign of the dreaded separation anxiety yet so i might eat those words in a few weeks!) Still, it's amazing how 20 minutes in a hot bath with a trashy book makes you feel like a human being again!

AidanTheRevengeNinja Sat 03-Aug-13 19:33:54

For what it's worth, my baby took 3 weeks to regain birthweight. Fortunately I had sensible midwives who knew about breastfeeding - once satisfied that he wasn't dehydrated or at imminent risk, they advised to just breastfeed more often, which I did (a lot!) I just kept offering at every opportunity, didn't wait for him to "ask", even set my alarm for nights.

Once he started putting on weight he was off and he is now almost 91st centile for weight and height.

PurplePidjin's advice for what your DP can do is great. Feeding and looking after you = feeding and looking after his baby. Make full use of him! smile

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 22:30:36

Thanks again everyone, I'm going to stick it out for now -the plan is to get to Saturday and see how things are going then to get to the next Saturday until we reach the mythical six week mark by which time I should have cracked it!

DP us great at feeding me! He's back to work on Tuesday though and I'm dreading it...If I can't gey

MostlyCake Sat 03-Aug-13 22:33:04

Thanks again everyone, I'm going to stick it out for now -the plan is to get to Saturday and see how things are going then to get to the next Saturday until we reach the mythical six week mark by which time I should have cracked it!

DP us great at feeding me! He's back to work on Tuesday though and I'm dreadingt...If I can't get a shower before 1pm when he's here I'm hardly going to manage on my own....

One hour at a time! I can do it! !

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now