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Newborn and breastfeeding (sorry - long and ranty!)

(37 Posts)
AnythingNotEverything Sun 27-Oct-13 23:17:55

Can I have a good old moan?

I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 5 days ago. She was big, almost 10lb, but had a standard, untraumatic, quick labour. We had lots of lovely skin to skin in the delivery suite, and she latched just fine. It was a lovely, almost perfect labour.

The subsequent (and continuing hospital stay) has been less than perfect.

I had to consent to give formula via cup when she was 8 hours old due to unstable blood sugars - we'd been on the ward a couple of hours at this point. By the end of the first day she was being tube fed, first continuously, and then on a three to four hourly cycle.

At the end of day three we found she was jaundiced, so she's been strapped to a UV light ever since (48 hours, at least 12 more required). Because she has to be rushed back into the bed, she only gets a quick go at the breast before I have to change her and get as much EBM/formula down her as I can and as quickly as I can to get her back on the lamp.

On day four they removed the tube, and we gave EBM and formula top ups after trying her at the breast.

I've had no support to establish breastfeeding. To be fair, they've enabled me to feed by providing a pump and sterile bottles to collect, but we've had no help with latching or other advice. Today is the first day she's had no formula, but has had EBM from a bottle. We had to stop cup feeding because she spilled too much and the staff couldn't monitor her intake.

Her blood sugar stabilised on day three-four, but we're struggling to get the jaundice down to the right levels.

My frustration is that all the hospital systems are set up to monitor the progress of babies who are ff - ie where you can measure exact volumes and force fluid down a baby like a duck on a fois gras farm.

How is this "breastfeeding friendly"? It feels like when I said I wanted to breastfeed I ended up on the slow path, because they're duty bound to support me, regardless if how inconvenient it is.

I'm sorry. I hope this isn't an incoherent ramble. I've been in hospital nearly a week, and have seen so many babies leave with the same issues as my DD, but allowed home because they're ff.

I have no issue with ff by the way - I just don't see why my DD and I should be stuck in hospital because the systems can't measure and monitor our feeding method!

glorious Wed 30-Oct-13 07:38:43

I'm so glad you're home smile thanks It must be wonderful, especially with another DC.

Did the night feeds go better?

AnythingNotEverything Wed 30-Oct-13 23:27:53

Wowsers. What a rollercoaster. We went home for 15 hours, then we're called back to a clinic to discuss likely congenital hypothyroidism, and ended up being re admitted for jaundice.

On the plus side, the breastfeeding is back with a vengeance! Fed on demand at 3, 6, 9 and now at 11. I think she's cracked it, despite the lethargy from the jaundice and CH.

It's only due to the boards here and you lovely folk that I knew I should persevere.

A consultant paediatrician congratulated me today on her fluid levels. I could've cried with joy!

glorious Thu 31-Oct-13 03:43:54

oh anything what a tough time. Do you have any idea how long you might be in? Great that she's feeding well, consultants aren't often known for their compliments so you must be doing brilliantly.

I'm glad we're helping a bit, keep posting smile

AnythingNotEverything Thu 31-Oct-13 08:16:29

I was hoping just overnight. They have taken bloods this morning, and if they are clear we then need another clear reading after a few hours off the lamp. It's a slow process.

I think we discovered cluster feeding last night - she fed from 11pm-4am pretty much non stop. She's therefore not spent as much time under the lamp as she could've done, which I hope doesn't hold us back.

elfycat Thu 31-Oct-13 10:05:18

It's grim being readmitted... just when you think it's safe to go home!

Sounds like cluster feeding so be prepared for your boobs to swell up a notch in a day or two. Get her under lamps as much as you can, but nutrition is also important. DD1's recovery was quite swift once she got a dose of UV.

I still can't stand to see her in the colour yellow 4.5 years on, but that seems to have been the only long-term side effect.

glorious Thu 31-Oct-13 17:52:05

Yes I remember how long the wait between blood tests was, it felt like forever.

Cluster feeding is a brilliant sign and the milk will also be helping flush the bilirubin out, though obviously the lamp is very important too.

How are you feeling?

AnythingNotEverything Thu 31-Oct-13 18:43:47

Tired, emotional ... Finding being alone in the middle of the night really hard.

glorious Fri 01-Nov-13 07:40:09

Yes, the nights are very lonely aren't they, especially when you can't cuddle your baby. How are the bloods? brew for you this morning.

readysteady Fri 01-Nov-13 07:57:09

Anyway you can position the light so you can feed baby at same time? That's what they did with me in hospital co slept with UV over both of us. Not sure how good that is but it was a lifesaver for me and my daughter. Xxx

AnythingNotEverything Fri 01-Nov-13 12:38:11

We've been discharged grin

Feeding going well - 2-3 hourly during the day and slightly longer at night, but I know it's too early for a pattern.

So glad we persevered with fb.

glorious Fri 01-Nov-13 14:25:33

Yay fantastic news!

I wish we'd been able to feed with her under the light but no that wasn't possible (it was fixed to the incubator). So probably not for anything either. Good that you could smile

readysteady Fri 01-Nov-13 17:57:17

Thanks. It was the midwifes idea, she wasn't sure if it was possible but between us we fiddled with the attachment thing and managed to spin it round so it faced the other way no not over the cot any more. So was a bit of a bodge it method.

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