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Supply dropped after emergency op.. Not sure how to continue-stressed!!! Help!

(12 Posts)
Sawadee1234 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:03:48

I have a 16 week old dd, who up until last week was exclusively breastfed.
I was rushed into hospital last Thursday with suspected appendicitis. I indeed have one and needed to be operated on that day. I had to hand my poor baby over to her dad and friend knowing she would need to be bottle fed. I felt guilt, useless and worry about the sudden cold turkey she was going to have to go thru. They operated Thursday night. I came round Friday morning and it wasn't until I was transferred to the ward that I could pump properly. I wasn't allowed to feed her for 24 hours after the anasthetic anyway, and she wasn't allowed in anyway as I was on ward with sick people and they didn't allow it.
Obviously during this time she did as she had to, take a bottle. I was distraught she had to go thru this so suddenly, it was such a sudden and drastic change. I pumped as much as possible but my supply dropped massively. I decided I would try to mix feed and just BF her mornings and nights when I got back in Sunday.
It seemed to be going ok. She even took a bottle off me 2 x and I was starting to feel less guilty and more relaxed that I was at least managing to feed her a bit. However since yesterday she has refused all bottles. I gave in and b fed her at bout lunchtime as it had been over 5 hrs since she fed. She then refused bottle till bedtime feed and was clearly very hungry by then. The same has happened today and I gave in at 12pm to b-feed her. I couldmt take the screaming. I don't understand why she would do this when she had been taking a bottle for what is now a week?
The problem is my supply is so low now. Is it possible to get it back? I,ve read its v hard at 4 months to get it back up again. I am battling with the decision to give up entirely as I,ve done four months, and I,d rather her eat than not.
Has this happened to anyone else? Is it possible for a baby to refuse mix feeding? I feel guilty and hopeless. My family keep saying keep at the bottle, she will get it, and she will feed if she's hungry but is it possible for them to hold out feeding just for breast? Or don't they think that complexly? I don't want to starve her into submission. But I definatley don't have enough to go back to exclusively b feeding her. Thing is last night she woke up at 1am and downed 6 ounces from bottle. No trouble. What should I do?

paxtecum Fri 26-Dec-14 13:09:50

Fennel tea dramatically increases milk supply.
It is available in most supermarkets as well as health food shops.
Drink several cups of it each day.
Avoid anything with sage in .

5madthings Fri 26-Dec-14 13:12:11

Babymoon, go to bed with baby and let her nurse as much as she wants. Your supply should pick back up.

Fwiw the info you were given about not feeding for 24hrs after a general was wrong. Your hospital could and should have made provisions for your baby and dh to stay with you so she could nurse but in an emergency situation it will have Bern hard to accommodate.

But by 16 wks your ssupply is quite wrll established. I think tiktok would be best placed to advise but if I were you I would just let baby feed feed feed. Lots of it will be comfort feeding but it will stimulate your supply.

Sawadee1234 Fri 26-Dec-14 19:20:24

My problem is that I have to give up in 3 months anyhow as I.m back to work. As this had been forced upon me earlier than I wanted to stop I am unsure of how to go on. I would love to continue mix feeding. This afternoon I have offered her the breast as much as she wanted. Crying abit at the boob and pulling at the nipple but she's sucking away and not swallowing therefore there is nothing. I,ve tried to offer a bottle after to top up as I can see she is still hungry but she refuses. I habe a 23 month old toddler and can't go to bed n nurse nurse nurse. I drink fennel tea anyway, and did along before this happened as I know it's good. I don't want to confuse her by starting to try b feed and it doesn't happen n then having to switch to formula.
I was in portugal when the appendicitis happened so I had to go by their rules unfortunately.
Anymore advice appreciated.

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Dec-14 20:32:19

Phone for help, OP. There are 5 bf helplines in the UK. I find the LLL one excellent. Phone the Infant Feeding Specialist at the hospital you were in. She should be able to help you and she will want to know about the crap advice you were given.

Best thing is skin-to-skin. Bathe together, co-sleep naked from the waist up with baby in nappy, pop baby into a sling in just a nappy and you in low cut vest. Oats and fennel are good at boosting supply. You can get capsules and tea. Google lactation cookies and get your DH baking.

Domperidome (sp?) would also boost your supply. I would email Dr Jack Newman and then take his reply to your GP.

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Dec-14 20:33:04

Just saw you are in Portugal. Sorry.

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Dec-14 20:33:43

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Dec-14 20:35:07

An SNS may be an option to discuss with a bf supporter, or, preferably a lactation consultant.

tiktok Fri 26-Dec-14 21:24:00

OP, what a difficult situation. You did not need to suspend bf for any longer than the length of the op, but given that you did under doctor's orders, there is still no need to assume all is lost. Your supply will pick up if you take action now. Just babymoon, lots and lots of skin to skin, and drop the bottles as much as you can. This will build your supply up quickly. It makes no sense to not bf her because you worry you have insufficient milk. No sense at all sad

Please phone a helpline. Many take calls from abroad.

tiktok Fri 26-Dec-14 21:28:41

Not saying drop formula in total. Just gradually drop it. Then you can return to mixed feeding if you prefer.

Sawadee1234 Sat 27-Dec-14 21:09:55

Since yesterday lunchtime I have fed her.. I have put her to the breast as many times as possible.
The problem is the bedtime feed... She just sucked away and barely swollowed .. I switched breasts about 3 times.. She has gone to sleep, so I guess that means she's satisfied? But she should have more at bedtime feed. My breasts were empty..
How long before supply comes back? I always had a good supply before, she is quite chunky but don't want her loosing weight... How long do I give it before knowing I can't regain my supply? From what I have read n researched it's quite hard at this well established stage (4 months) to regain supply...
Feel worried for her.. That she.ll take the bare minimum but it won't be enough.. But she won't take a top up..

tiktok Sun 28-Dec-14 08:39:42

It's pretty easy to regain supply with well established breastfeeding. Where have you read it's not? Sounds to me that you have got it back. It is normal for breasts to feel empty, even between feeds, with well established breastfeeding. It is normal for babies to have shorter feeds as they get older.

What are you expecting to happen that will demonstrate you have your milk back?

On what you have written here, I don't think you have a problem now smile

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