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Late milk so I supplemented with a bottle and feel so guilty

(16 Posts)
Nickname1980 Fri 14-Feb-14 07:35:35

At 3 days old, my milk still hadn't come in and my baby had an orange nappy - which meant he was dehydrated - dry lips and was screaming all the time. He couldn't sleep or settle and he couldn't suckle much either before howling.

At 2am, my husband and I drove to 24 hours tesco and bought a bottle of infant formula and a Breastpump. The Breastpump to stimulate my flow, and the formula because we were so worried about our dehydrated baby.

My baby took the formula happily and slept for the first time all day. He just changed into a happy baby.

But my milk still isn't in and I feel so guilty that I couldn't feed my own baby. I really want breastfeeding to work and am afraid that, by giving him that bottle because my milk isn't in, I have spoiled my chances.
I am so worried that he'll reject my breast now.

Did this happen to anyone else?

I also find breastfeeding a little painful. My midwife said my nipples are cracked (I have been applying cream). I wonder if that's another reason why my milk isn't in yet?

TheBookofRuth Fri 14-Feb-14 07:37:18

I did that. Had an emergency c-section and it took five days for my milk to come in.

I'm still happily bfing two years later. Try not to worry, sounds like you're doing great. smile

Playboxpony Fri 14-Feb-14 07:42:04

Don't feel guilty, you fed your baby and he's happy. One bottle, or even more, is not the end of the world or 'bad'. Re the breastfeeding just keep putting him to the breast as much as you can. It is hard work in the early days...and sore. Ask to see a breast feeding counsellor in your area if you're still worried. Good luck

Epictantrum Fri 14-Feb-14 07:45:20

This happened to me with both babies, milk came in around day 5 or 6, and I breasted both for over a year in the end. Well done for recognising it and helping your baby, and keep at it with lots of breastfeeding and the milk will turn up eventually. Don't feel guilty, there is really no need.

Epictantrum Fri 14-Feb-14 07:45:51

Breastfed, not breasted!

Seeline Fri 14-Feb-14 07:46:49

Don't feel bad - your baby needed feeding and you provided for him. My DS was in SCBU for a week after birth. He was fed through a tube for the first few days, and then started on a bottle. I was trying to express but with no success, due to very long, hard labour resulting in a transfusion. I didn't start bf'ing until several days later, but 6 months on I was still mix feeding quite happily (majority bf'ing).
BTW second time round was completely different and EBF DD until 15 months so don't worry. As long as baby is happy and healthy it really doesn't matter smile

Gimmesomemore Fri 14-Feb-14 07:49:30

I'm a bf peer supporter and what you've described is very common. You've not ruined anything re bf. Please try and ditch the guilt.

I'd suggest getting your latch checked. Get lots of skin to skin and keep offering the breast.

Breast compression can work well especially in the early days, so try and see if you can find details on this.

snoggle Fri 14-Feb-14 07:52:53

How many days are you now?

With DS1 I had a traumatic birth and PPH so my milk was late too. He got dehydrated and ended up on an NG tube while I pumped like mad till the milk came. Once it did, all was fine and we bf for over a year.
A midwife told me that in some cultural groups in the city I was in, it was quite common to give a bottle for a couple of days until milk came in. She said it wasn't ideal as need baby to have colostrum and have to keep putting them to breast to stimulate supply, so there's more of a risk of not going back to bf. But if a baby is dehydrated as in my case, help can be needed its not a disaster (it was that or a drip). As soon as milk was in we stopped, never needed a bottle again. But loads of stimulation and skin to skin was important in the meantime.

peggyundercrackers Fri 14-Feb-14 08:03:21

Don't worry about it, this kind of thing happens all the time. I eventually gave up BFing because my dds weight didn't really change much, she lost weight over the first 5 weeks and there was talk of her being admitted to hosp. She kept screaming and wanting to feed for 5/6/7 hours at a time. I tried expressing but couldn't get more than about an ounce at a time. HV told me to give up and to bottle feed as my body just wasn't producing enough milk -after that life became much easier - I didn't feel guilty as I tried and it didn't work out, he ho that's life...

callamia Fri 14-Feb-14 08:14:23

Don't feel bad at all - you are feeding your baby, that's the important thing.

I went through something not dissimilar, having supply issues because my son was in NICU for his first few days and was tube/bottle fed (another story). I had to let him reed as often as possible. The advice from the bf counsellor I saw was "if he's awake, feed him". I did supplement with formula, because I was worried, but the supply really did come good.

BF cafés are an enormous support, checking your positioning etc. I took our baby at 8 days and it rescued me from a very anxiety-provoking and painful time.

glorious Fri 14-Feb-14 09:52:19

You've done the right thing, dehydration isn't good.

It can be normal for milk not to come in until day 5 so don't panic about that, it will almost certainly come soon. A pump isn't the best way of getting colostrum out, have you tried hand expressing?

Also I'd really suggest you get the latch checked as he may not be transferring the colostrum properly. Is there a support group near you?

Nickname1980 Fri 14-Feb-14 15:39:47

Thank you so much everyone! I feel so, so reassured by all your comments. It will be 5days tomorrow so I'm really hoping my milk will come in any time soon. My boobs are starting to feel quite heavy, so that might be a sign!

I am definitely going to check out support groups as recommended by some of you guys. I just did a quick search, and there seem to be a few in my corner of london.

glorious Fri 14-Feb-14 15:48:41

Heavy is good smile I'm in SE London so pm me if you want any help finding a good group if you're close, they can be a bit variable.

lanbro Fri 14-Feb-14 15:58:33

Heavy is definitely a good sign; if you're anything like me you'll probably wake up in the morning looking like Jordan!

With my first it took about 5 days, I did give one or two bottles but went on to ebf for a year. With my second it only took two days but with the benefit of experience I let dd2 suckle almost continuously so she obviously stimulated my supply. Literally all night I would put her on one boob, as soon as she came off I swapped over. We both slept as well so that was a bonus!

Good luck and definitely no need for any guilt!

drivenfromdistraction Fri 14-Feb-14 15:59:01

Don't feel guilty. As soon as your milk comes in, you can go back to exclusive bf if that's what you want.

My milk came in late with DC3 (at 5 days) - she was a month early which might be the reason. I had to go into hospital with her as she had severe jaundice at 4 days. She had to have formula for 4 feeds until my milk came in, and then I was able to go back to breastfeeding - she never had another drop of formula.

ListenToTheLady Fri 14-Feb-14 16:09:08

Of course he's a happy baby - he had some food. As a parent your most important job is to keep him safe, loved and nourished, not to prioritise bf above all else.

There are some very strong messages out there about breastfeeding that can make you feel like a criminal if you struggle with it. That's not fair. I am very pro-bf but I also had all kinds of problems. My DS was losing weight and had to have formula at first. I went on to bf him successfully, struggling through a lot of pain, severe mastitis and other issues, and it got much easier from about 6 weeks.

It makes me cross that it's sometimes implied that everyone can bf easily and there's no such thing as not enough supply. I know from farmer friends that it happens with animals - why should we be any different?

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