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Newborn Feeding Woes - advice desperatly needed

(13 Posts)
dennant Sat 02-Aug-14 01:27:11

Gorgeous baby girl delivered by c-section 5 days ago after a prolonged but unsuccessful labour. Put her straight on my breast in recovery and she seemed to feed ok. Two days on and my supply began to slow down meaning she was feeding non stop but not getting enough. She began to show signs of dehydration and required top up feeding. This was started by cup, which after two days, she is now fighting and resisting. This means she is constantly hungry and only goes down for half an hour before getting hungry again.
I am seriously considering bottle feeding in order to satisfy her, but want to breastfeed if possible too.
Any advice/experiences for/against trying both. I would slways start with boob and move on to bottle onlu to top up, got sn express pump too ready and waiting back at home.

Going totally out of my mind! Please help#

McFox Sat 02-Aug-14 01:36:11

The quick answer here is don't beat yourself up for not being able to ebf. The most important thing is that your dd is well fed and healthy, and if that means mix feeding then that's ok.

My 7 week old DS has been mix fed since birth after a cs and a stay in the neonatal unit and he's doing brilliantly, I have no problems with my supply now and he's happy and healthy. We managed to get him down from a few ff a day go one at night, and last night he slept for 5 hours straight for the first time.

I was as stressed out as you sound a few weeks ago, but I'm really happy with how it's gone now. It's ok to give some formula to get your dd fed and get your supply regulated, just do what you think is right.

catellington Sat 02-Aug-14 02:39:51

Hi dennant. Did you have support from a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant? It isn't too late to get help from a bf specialist, I suggest you contact a breastfeeding helpline, try breastfeeding network 0300 100 0212 (acc to their website). Ask if you can be seen by a bf specialist in your area. I'm a breastfeeding peer supporter so know a bit, but you would be best off ideally seeing a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant.

The production of milk is stimulated by removal of milk from the breast, so introducing formula would likely lead to a drop in supply. If there had been a drop in supply already, I'm not sure how you or your hcp assessed this, a breastfeeding specialist could help you make sure that the baby is well attached so that there is good milk removal, and advise you on increasing supply. Not sure if you are cup feeding formula or ebm.

Hope you get on ok, it is very stressful getting started but it will get better

dennant Sat 02-Aug-14 04:57:03

Hi, i have seen a breastfeeding specialist who has helped me with attachment\positioning etc...
The paediatrician diagnosed the dehydration, we are still in hospital at the moment waiting on blood test results.
She has been cup fed the formula so far, but wont take from the cup any longer. Even the midwives struggled to get it down her, and they do it every day!

tiktok Sat 02-Aug-14 08:49:38

Are you in the uk, OP? I ask because some of what you say seems out of step with what mothers would normally be told. At two days old, you have no supply to slow down - no one (or virtually no one ) is producing milk by that stage, and the baby has colostrum. It is absolutely normal for a baby to be feeding or at least need to be on or near the breast a lot - even most of the time. Signs of dehydration at two days?? Really?

Hand expression is the first thing to try if there are difficulties in these very early days. Does not sound like this has been suggested.

Has anyone tried to help you get the baby into a position where effective feeding is easier and more comfortable? Laid back breastfeeding? Baby led attachment?

Half hour periods away from mum after feeds before the baby needs feeding again are normal.

Has your milk come in yet?

Lots of questions sorry. I agree you need to see a bf specialist and if you are still in hospital there should be one available.

Hope you get good help soon. It is absolutely not too late to get it sorted!

tiktok Sat 02-Aug-14 08:50:27

Sorry, I see you have seen a bf specialist. See her again!

Plateofcrumbs Sun 03-Aug-14 00:15:31

I'm going through something similar at the moment. 8 day old DS has been feeding almost exclusively on formula since birth after a difficult delivery.

We used syringe/cups for first 5 days which was horrendous, then we cracked and started giving formula by bottle. He feeds very well from the bottle which has removed the stress about whether he is getting enough and I also think DS is happier and more settled which is a better starting point for introducing BF than a frustrated hungry baby.

We are managing to introduce some BF now , which hasn't been easy but I don't think it would have been any easier if we hadn't started him on bottles.

dennant Sun 03-Aug-14 10:22:42

Hi all, an update... back at home now, we got discharged yesterday, and trying to figure all this out. Milk has just come in today (boobs feel rock hard!) So persisting with bfeeds during the day although, i relented to bottle feeding to get the formula in her in the end.
To answer some questions, yes i am in the uk, baby was twitching and it was day three she was diagnosed dehydrated. When i wrote the post we were five and so had been trying to cup feed to top her up for two days. We saw the soecial baby units senior registrar as well as various paeds doctors so i am inclined to assume they knew what they were on about. She drank the bottle down like you wouldnt believe! After refusing the cup all that time, she was clearly starving still!
Which brings us to today. Yesterday we came home and partner fed her a bottle before we left, she slept for like 2.5 hrs! The longest she has been settled since she was born! Afternoon she bfed but fell asleep on me, but seemed satisfied. She then had another while i was catching up on some sleep late evening And another bottle at 2am-ish where she slept through till 5.30 this morning, nreastfed, and just woke up again now 9.45am where she is feeding from me as i write. So it seems combination feeding might be my way forwards.
Plate - you sound very similar situation, i totally understand the stress. It is hard isnt it? All you want is a satisfied settled baby!

Fruitsaladmum Sun 03-Aug-14 10:23:13

Have you tried syringe feeding? We had to do that with my son for a few days after he was born. It seems like that would be easier than trying to cup feed (and it is less likely to cause bf issues later on).

Plateofcrumbs Sun 03-Aug-14 14:01:14

We were given mixed advice as to whether syringe or cup was better in our circumstances - cup maybe better as it requires active engagement from the baby, but syringe maybe easier to actually get feed down them (in our case because DS was sooo exhausted and sleepy that he wouldn't engage with feeding at all).

It was impossible for us to get enough in via cup but by syringe we were 'force feeding' him and he was bringing a lot back up and I was also worried about choking.

We are also starting to make decent progress on BFing. Before birth I was determined to EBF but now I'm happy with any progress we make, and there are lots of advantages to mixed feeding (eg DH loves feeding DS and it enables them to bond whilst taking some pressure off me).

dennant Sun 03-Aug-14 14:42:15

I found cup feeding just impossible! She fought it, headbutted, punched it out of the way every time. Screaming the place down while we did it.
Seems much more content with bottle and boob, nut now i have a new problem...belly ache! She is very difficult to wind! Making for lots of tears!

museumum Sun 03-Aug-14 14:51:40

My ds switched happily between bottle and breast in the early weeks but he only had breast milk - by expressing when not bf, I kept my supply strong. Your body only makes as much milk as the baby (or pump) takes, so if you replace too many feeds with formula your body will make less milk.
If you can, express any time the baby feeds from a bottle.

I am no expert but I was told that babies don't always need to seem "satisfied" to be getting enough, they are sucking because they like sucking and to get your body to make more milk as much as to simply satisfy their hunger.

Newborn tummies are tiny. I was shown a picture when my ds was a few days old. I'll see if I can find it.

Good luck.

museumum Sun 03-Aug-14 14:53:32

Here's the picture

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