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I'm having a breastfeeding meltdown please help me

(29 Posts)
splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 10:01:43

Ok I'm basically at the end of my tether.

DS is 8 weeks old and still feeding all day. As in can't go an hour usually unless he's in the pram with a dummy (if no dummy then he screams in the pram).

Last week he had a tongue tie cut but there doesn't seem to be much improvement. I thought he seemed a little more satisfied between feeds but Im not sure. Basically I cannot seem to satisfy him, he seems hungry all the time. Sometimes he cries in frustration at my breast. My supply seems to be shot.

Yesterday he was weighed and he's now maintained his weight for a couple of weeks and has dropped off the bottom of the chart. Have been referred to paediatrics for the weight issue.

If it's relevant I have PND and severe anxiety - maybe the stress is drying me out? I feel so bleak and hopeless. ive tried expressing but when can I? He's always attached to my boob. HV has advised formula top up but I don't know how to even do that. How much should I be giving? And when?

Hollycopter Tue 23-Dec-14 10:15:38

I mix fed DS with formula and breastmilk in bottles after he was born. He had a tongue tie too that was cut at 6 weeks. It tool him a white to switch to breastfeeding as we had to learn how to from scratch.

I used to buy those little cartons of ready made formula at the start, they're very handy as they're ready instantly and you don't have to boil water let it cool etc.

I'm pretty sure it tells you on the side of the carton how much babies should be taking by age, but as far as I can remember I used to feed DS in 50ml increments then wind him until he'd lose interest in the bottle. He fed every 3 hours like clockwork.

I expressed at night and during the day while my DH fed DS, it was knackering and a pain to be honest. I pumped 15 mins each side and without a double pump it takes forever!

You've done really well to get this far. If you do want to continue breastfeeding as well as topping up with formula, how about getting in touch with the la leche league? They have a telephone helpline and will be able to give you information and reassure as to what's 'normal'.

Good luck!

Hollycopter Tue 23-Dec-14 10:18:29

Oh, meant to say, my DS was as happy on formula as breastmilk, so if it makes your life easier switch to formula without looking back! flowers

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 10:18:57

Did you end up breastfeeding at all? Or was it all bottles?

NakedFamilyFightClub Tue 23-Dec-14 11:08:41

I didn't breastfeed for the first 6 weeks, then I started to breastfeed but kept topping him up with bottles. Eventually we did switch to totally breastfeeding if he was with me and just gave formula if he was out with DH.

One thing that helped me was taking fenugreek capsules to increase my supply when we made the switch. I got them in Holland and Barrett and they really did work for me.

NakedFamilyFightClub Tue 23-Dec-14 11:09:20

Oops, name change fail! Sorry smile

Booboostoo Tue 23-Dec-14 11:54:07

I think you need to consider one thing at a time.

He's been referred which is really good news, when do you get to see someone? If you don't have an appointment date very soon push for urgent help or get your GP to chase this up for you.

If he feeds all the time your supply is not shot, it's been built up. Remember bf supply is a matter of demand, the more he demands the more you supply.

How long has he been feeding like this? Is it a phase or has it been going on since birth? What is his latch like and does he seem to feed well and long when he latches on? I think it takes a couple of weeks for a latch to improve after cutting a tongue tie.

If he is happy with a dummy why not let him have one and give yourself a break? Can you take it easy, set yourself up in front of the TV with nice food and do nothing but bf for a couple of days?

Cathyr90 Tue 23-Dec-14 13:46:35

Hi, sorry to hear you are worrying about breast feeding, don't stress out - that'll be the worst thing! I found this lady's advise really reassuring on have a read! good luck!

BertieBotts Tue 23-Dec-14 14:06:10

Where the tongue tie was cut does he have a diamond?

Are you being offered follow up care or was it just cut and then they've left you to it now?

You need tiktok - top ups might help weight gain but they're not always a good first resort. Topping up a small amount after every feed is a quick way to undermine breastfeeding - you should be offered support in how to offer top up feeds without compromising your supply. Unfortunately IME you have to fight for this kind of support angry

Sleepytea Tue 23-Dec-14 14:23:18

Have you tried breast compressions. There's a video on YouTube by Jack Newman that shows you how to do them. This is a really good way of helping your baby get the milk out if he/she is having to work hard to get it which it sounds as though your baby may be. Many mums find that doing this is enough to encourage baby's weight gain so that they don't need to introduce formula top ups.
If you do decide to use top ups then look up paced feeding to help prevent baby getting a preference for the bottle and causing other BFing problems. This is basically where you hold baby in an upright position rather than lying down. Hold the bottle so baby has to work to get the milk out and stop for regular breaks to simulate the breaks your body takes in between let downs.
And whatever happens, remember the most important time of BF is the first few weeks. You've done an amazing job to get this far so if you do have to mixed feed it's not the end of the world.

RedKites Tue 23-Dec-14 14:43:22

Is there anyone in RL who has given you good support with BFing so far? Perhaps the person who cut the TT, or referred you for it? I would suggest you want to talk to someone in RL, who will help you to maintain and build upon your current BFing, and who can help you decide if (and if so how) you need to add in some formula while you build up your supply. If you aren't already, there are other things you could try first like breast compressions (mentioned by PP) and switch feeding (basically switching from side to side multiple times during a feed - means baby gets more letdowns and good for boosting supply too). If your HV hasn't mentioned these, I would perhaps suggest she isn't the one to give you BFing advice, but maybe she can refer you to more specialist support?

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 15:08:51

I've just met with a really nice bf support lady. We've agreed a plan which is I'll try to tweak the latch (still quite shallow) and compressions and fenugreek. We're also going to give two bottles a day of 2 oz each of formula until his weight is ok at which point we can try to return to ebf. I think I'm ok with this. I know it may be the beginning of the end for breastfeeding but that's better than me starving the wee mite.

lentilpot Tue 23-Dec-14 15:18:17

When my DS had his tongue tie cut the woman who I did it said it would be two weeks to see an improvement and there would be an extra improvement after about a month. They have to get used to feeding with their "new" tongue.

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 15:21:22

That's encouraging Lentil. Hopefully things will improve.

callamia Tue 23-Dec-14 15:25:31

Splendide, you're doing an out and out heroic job there. Two bottles of 2oz is a titchy amount, and will be easy to wean off (should things improve, and should you want to). Whatever happens from here, you should feel absolutely confident that you've done the very best for your son, and you're being responsive to what he needs. Nothing else matters.

LittleBearPad Tue 23-Dec-14 15:27:06

If you're doing 4oz a day top-ups then ready to feed formula is a good way to go for now. Less hassle than bottles (which once you're in the swing of them aren't particularly troublesome either).
I hope you were able to speak to someone about the PND (was on your other thread), hopefully a GP.

PoshPenny Tue 23-Dec-14 15:34:46

Splendide glad you feel better after seeing the BF support lady. Don't beat yourself up about it, some babies are much better feeders than others and it makes such a difference, my second latched on and was like a little limpet, it was a doddle with her, unlike my first one. I hope you're both back on track very soon.

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 16:10:38

I feel a little better still very worried about him but at least we have a plan. I got the ready to use stuff and he's had his first little bottle which he seemed to enjoy.

I'm really sad I didn't manage to make it work but I honestly tried so so hard.

I spoke to my GP Bear, thanks for thinking of me.

BertieBotts Tue 23-Dec-14 16:40:43

2 bottles a day is much better than a small amount after every feed, sounds like you've had good advice.

Why are you speaking like you've failed?! You haven't, at all.

LittleBearPad Tue 23-Dec-14 17:17:01

You definitely haven't failed. flowers

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 17:24:25

Ive failed to nourish my son properly but as I said I dir try I really did. And I'm still trying hard. This is just a tiny bit of his life isn't it?

LittleBearPad Tue 23-Dec-14 17:30:30

It's a tiny tiny part of his life and you are feeding him, bm or formula, both will nourish your son.

DD refused to feed, she had some bm up to six weeks when I gave up expressing, by then it was a dribble! She's absolutely fine and 2.6 years later it all feels like such a long time ago.

Hang in there. It will all be ok.

splendide Tue 23-Dec-14 17:31:44

Thanks Bear I'll try

mrsjohno Tue 23-Dec-14 18:08:20

Splendide, you have absolutely in no way failed anything. You've been dealt a really rubbish hand with the TT and you have given your son all you possibly can and more. My second baby had an awful TT and I'm still stuck on a feed/ express/ bottlefeed merry-go-round at 11 weeks (also poor weight gain) and there's a voice in my head saying I've failed her too. But having had a first, un-tongue tied baby I know how much harder it is this time round and that I'm only doing what I can. Please don't beat yourself up - you've done so well to get this far and this is just a tiny, tiny part of your life together with your lovely new baby (even though it might feel never ending right now).

girliefriend Tue 23-Dec-14 18:15:31

You have done really well to bf for 8 weeks - seriously it is not easy!

I combine fed and was able to do this for nearly a year which was a lot longer than I had anticipated bfing for in the first place. If he is taking a little bit of formula that is good (some babies would refuse) and please don't beat yourself up - you have done really well flowers

In the grand scheme of things these few weeks and how you feed him really won't matter all that much.

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