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It's getting worse-will it improve

(14 Posts)
Mummified123 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:47:30

Hello, my lo is 5 weeks now and I have been trying to ebf since birth. I left hospital able to bf but things slowly got worse. I became engorged and baby wouldn't latch so I expressed which has still not stopped to date. Tongue tie was fixed at 3 weeks which I thought would solve many problems but didn't. He also has reflux now apparently

I have been expressing just to top up feeds and this week I thought I would try and not express and just bf. Things started well on Monday, lo fed all day slept after feeds and seemed contented but things have gone down hill since then. I don't no if I have supply issues as lo just sits on my breast for a couple of minutes then stops sucking. To get him on the breast I have to literary fight him, he thrashes about punching me. My breast do feel super soft now I don't no if that does indicate a supply issue. When sucking he would suddenly stop and either pull back on my nipple or come off completely and scream. If he does stay on he ends up just chewing on my nipples for ages. I've been to the bf cafe and apparently his latch is fine. I thought giving him the breast exclusively would improve my supply and I can stop with the bottles , it seems to have got worse , should I keep expressing, I thought having baby nurse would be the best way to regulate supply. Today I gave in and expressed to top him up I just don't want to express forever as I really don't have time as I'm home alone

I'm seriously considering moving to formula, my lo never seems content and is always hungry. I can't go out as he is always so upset he refuses to nap.

How long before my supply goes up, will it ever go up if baby refuses to empty my breast? Sorry for the rant I've just reached the end of my tether

pigsunited Thu 06-Nov-14 19:33:15

Oh I'm so sorry to hear your story, it sounds very familiar unfortunately. My DS is 10 weeks old and I could have written your exact same post.

DS had his posterior TT snipped at 3 weeks. The lactation consultant said it would take 2-3 weeks to improve, but there was no improvement and at 4 weeks post-snip we found out it had reattached. We had bumbled along with ebf until then with a mixture of good and bad feeds, but around that time feeding got worse. DS would fight the breast or just suck a couple of time and then sit there and do nothing/fall asleep. I think this happened because my supply was starting to regulate, because previously I had oversupply so he didn't have to do much to get the milk.

It became counterproductive to try and fight to get him on the breast as he was developing an aversion, plus I needed to get some milk into him. So I started expressing round the clock, and he was mainly either finger fed or bottle fed during the day, and breastfed during the night (strangely he doesn't fight the breast at night!).

We are now 10 days out from the second snip which was done by laser. Sometimes I can manage to get him to latch on and feed, but mostly he refuses, or latches but then starts fussing. Some things that do sometimes help him to latch are to have him suck on my finger or a dummy, and then quickly put him on the breast, to catch him when he is just waking up from a nap and sleepy, or to put some white noise on in the background.

At the moment I am expressing about 6 times a day after feeds (whether it is breast or bottle) to try and maintain my milk supply. I had the same problem that you did last week when I tried to ebf and didn't express at all for a couple of days and my supply totally dropped - I could tell because I only got 10 mL from one breast when I expressed in the morning, compared to about 100 mL normally!

Are you doing any suck retraining exercises? DS needs to learn how to reuse his tongue so a handful of times a day I have him suck on my finger and pull his jaw forward at the same time with the other hand to get him to suck properly. Also running your finger along his bottom gum from side to side to encourage his tongue to move properly is supposed to be important.

Have you checked that the TT has not reattached? It seems to be fairly common.

I can totally understand why you are thinking of moving to FF feeding, as I am in the exact same position. My plan is to give DS about another week, and then I will stop expressing, or limit it to once or twice per day. We are also pretty housebound and I would like to get out more as I've given it a good shot now and I'm ready to move on. I will still bf at night as long as he will accept it and I have milk, and I'll probably keep doing the suck retraining exercises on the off-chance that he improves and I can give bf another shot. The GP is worried that I have/might develop PND, but she has said she has not concerns about moving DS onto formula. I found it useful to hear an objective view as it puts things into perspective.

Good luck whatever you decide. I totally get where you are coming from, it is so so hard flowers

minipie Thu 06-Nov-14 19:41:41

Yes, I would definitely get the TT re checked, it does sound like it may have reattached.

He may have reflux but be aware that TT can actually cause reflux episodes because they swallow so much air due to the TT, that then causes them to bring up acid. So even if he does have reflux it may be connected to the TT.

Mummified123 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:00:48

Thank you pigsunited for writing back to me. We definitely could have writed each other posts.

I've been adding weeks on since he was born, if we do have to go on formula no one could say we didn't try, not that that makes it any easier.

I'm going to definitely get his tongue Checked, I may pay for a private consultant to have a look and also look at his latch and see if that makes things better

Who would have thought breastfeeding would be so hard with so much pressure attached!

Monikita Sun 09-Nov-14 22:29:56

Going through something very similar here too, mummified and pigsunited (remember you from my thread).

DD's tongue ties and lip tie laser at 11 days. She developed breast aversion straight after. After 5 weeks of exclusive pumping, last week I managed to get her back on the breast for 4-5 feeds a day and she was feeding really well (brilliant suck and swallow).

Just as suddenly in the last 2-3 days her suck has become really disorganised - right when I thought we were finally making progress. Am still pumping but really worried about re attachment. Don't fancy going through all the aversion again!

Really hoping her muscles have just got tired and she needs time to build up strength on the boob. sad

pigsunited Mon 10-Nov-14 01:46:40

Good mummified. You are right to take it week by week, or day by day, and that whether or not you decide to stop it is a huge achievement to have expressed for this long, it is so hard.

Monikita I'm really sorry to hear it has become difficult again after making such great progress. I hope it turns around for you soon. Did you wait until the suck training was going really well before coaxing your DD onto the breast? DS suck is still poor -actually worse than before the revision :-( - so I'm not sure it's worth spending so much time and emotional energy on coaxing him to the breast until it improves. He does still feed at night, which is great, but during the day only occasionally and generally not for a full feed.

Mamab33 Mon 10-Nov-14 02:58:04

Really feel for you. Who was it that dealt with the tt for you?

lentilpot Mon 10-Nov-14 03:27:44

Have you looked into cranial osteopathy? It's a bit woo and it was super skeptical but it totally changed my son's reluctance to latch - he had been screaming before every feed and the after the appointment would just latch on and feed! It's particularly good after an instrumental or traumatic birth.

Monikita Mon 10-Nov-14 08:20:25

It's so demoralising isn't it? Yet the urge to breast feed is really overwhelming! pigsunited I'm really sorry that the tt reattached.

I just carried on with the suck training (which DD hates) and then offered the breast straight after. She was able to bring her tongue over her gum but I didn't wait for that to offer the breast.

About 3 weeks ago someone very supportive from the baby friendly team visited and helped me with positioning (biological nurturing - which didn't become our feeding position in the end). She recommended nipple shields and DD latched straightaway. It worked well for a few feeds (DD was almost too efficient and couldn't cope with the letdown) and then that evening started damaging me through the shields and chomping.

I then just kept her on me for most of the day and kept offering bareback but she wasn't interested. I got a bigger size shield which stopped the damage but she was put off by the efficiency again.

About 2 weeks ago it just clicked and was even better when I could push more breast in. She did the proper suck and swallow and then just as suddenly she got disorganised!

Like you, the suck is now worse than before (although doesn't cause the same pain - I suppose her mouth is bigger).

Mamab33, Dr Levinkind lasered it.

Lentilpot we did a couple of osteopathy sessions but can't do anymore - DH is back at work and I'm still not fit to drive (can't even walk around the block).

pigsunited Mon 10-Nov-14 19:37:14

I agree Monikita, having had a few weeks to think about it (!) I am not opposed to DS being on formula. I think the reason I kept/keep pursuing breastfeeding is because I feel an urge to do it.

With regards to expressing OP, I just wanted to mention that I have now gone down to 4x per day, and seem to get a similar amount to when I was expressing 6x. It is much easier now, so if you do continue to express through the early weeks, it will pay off later when your supply is established and you can drop a few sessions.

Mummified123 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:19:34

Hey pigsunited I'm glad to hear things are getting better for you hopefully this means you can start to enjoy feeding a bit more.

I've been trying to express a bit more so I can try to feed without expressing but can never find the time as my lo is going through a crying phase at the mo!! I do need to increase it though as I can express a good amount I just don't seem to be able to do as often as lo would need to ebf without top ups

Oh well hopefully everything will come together soonhmm hmm

mrsjohno Tue 25-Nov-14 14:38:14

Hi ladies

I came across this thread and wanted to post to see how you're all getting on? I'm in exactly the same position at 7 weeks and going slowly crazy ... Monikita, you kindly answered my thread a few weeks ago - hope you're getting on ok?

pigsunited Tue 25-Nov-14 20:38:51

Hi mrsjohn. Sorry to hear you're also having problems. My DS is now 13 weeks, and I pretty much gave up trying to bf him during the day 2 weeks ago. So he is now on bottles (of ebm mostly) during the day, and is breastfed at night.

I saw the lactation consultant about 10 days ago, and his tongue had not fully healed from the second snip, but she said it felt like there might still be a small amount of restriction there but not much and it shouldn't be affecting his tongue motion. She was mightily unimpressed by his sucking, lateral movement and swallowing. She said she has only seen two other babies like him (poor tongue function and no signs of improvement after the snip), and couldn't really think of anything else to recommend.

In terms of expressing, the bonus of getting to 12 weeks is that my supply has regulated and I am now able to express fewer times per day. I went down to 3x a week or two ago (one was after the night feed), and that was more than enough for DS, and now I am going down to 2x per day. In any case the main reason I express is to keep a good supply for the nights as DS isn't the most efficient feeder and my supply will plummet otherwise (past experience!).

I think if he had shown any signs of improvement at any point, then I might have persevered with bf a bit longer, but as it was I had reached breaking point and felt like it was the right time for me to stop. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the situation and move on - DS was 6 weeks old when I first realised that bf might not get any better. And now, he is still not an easy baby to feed on bottles, although we are working on that and at least have found a better bottle which has made quite a big difference.

I don't know much about your situation, but if you have had a TT divided, then it is worth getting someone to check it has not reattached. Anyway, good luck, I hope things improve for you soon. I know how hard it is. I think at one point at every feed I was doing suck training, then trying to bf, then topping up with a bottle or finger feeding, administering reflux medication, and finally expressing.

Ps. sorry for the essay!

mrsjohno Wed 26-Nov-14 00:04:04

I think it sounds as if you've made the right move, pigsunited. It is so hard, isn't it?

Can I ask who checked your little guy's tongue? Apparently there's no reattachment here but she still can't get a deep latch at all and is clicking away. However her suck has got stronger and less random which is what is forcing me to keep trying. Also what bottles have you had joy with? I would move to ep'ing I think but she is very hard to feed by bottle as well so don't think it would make life much easier!

Just wish I was one if those people who says after the snip everything was a dream! We need to work something out soon as I have a 2.5 yr old who us at home full time and there's only so much cbeebies I can make her watch while struggling to compress milk into DD2's mouth/ express/ bottlefeed etc etc ...

Well done on turning a corner even if it wasn't the one you'd hoped for. And two pumps a day sounds like bliss!

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