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Breastfeeding - is there any point now?

(15 Posts)
ApocalypseThen Mon 01-Jun-15 08:07:07

I had a baby girl one week and two days ago. She was only slightly premature, good weight, good health. I had decided to breastfeed on demand, so I started as soon as I got a chance.

We were (I thought) getting on ok with it. I got an infection in hospital and was on iv antibiotics and I lost blood during her birth so there was talk of a transfusion, but I managed to avoid that.

The baby got jaundice. Apparently this is common enough with a ventouse delivery but the hospital put her in a light incubatior and it helped for a few days.

I recovered from the infection and was discharged, but the baby's jaundice was back so she was transferred to a high dependency unit where they told me that the real problem was that she'd lost too much of her body weight and they asked could they give her formula top ups. I agreed instantly, of course, and continued to express (very insufficiently).

She's home now. We got the same formula they used in the hospital and she's improving all the time. I'm still feeding her (snacks, really) but I feel quite demoralized about it and I wonder whether it's of any use to her? And now that she's had formula, would there even be any point in imagining she'll ever exclusively breast feed again?

Singleandproud Mon 01-Jun-15 08:18:00

Yes there is every point in breastfeeding if you want to, you can slowly wean her off the formula replacing the feeds with breast fed ones instead. Don't let how much you could pump be an indicator of your milk production because it isn't. Your milk will only just have been coming in and most women have trouble expressing. You will need lots of skin to skin contact and she will feed ALOT but that's ok because she's putting in her demands so that your body makes more milk, this milk will come in 24-36hours laterish and she will do this every time she has a growth spurt etc. so get yourself settled on the sofa or bed for the day, relax if you can as you are recovering too.

ApocalypseThen Mon 01-Jun-15 08:24:26

Thanks. I suppose I feel deeply inadequate that my feeding on demand was actually starving her and making her ill enough to be kept in hospital after I left. And I suppose I don't know whether a chain has been broken over the weekend where, because she'll never be ebf (she'll always have had a bottle) she'll never see the real benefits.

Maybe it's just exhaustion talking.

MrsDumbledore Mon 01-Jun-15 08:25:09

Please don't loose heart -it sounds like you had a really rough time. I know a few people who have had to top up with formula for a little while for similar reasons, and have gone on to breastfeed exclusively for ages after. It's definitely of use to her even if she doesn't get enough and needs some formula too. Perhaps talk to you hv, mw or find a local bf clinic and see if they can suggest ways of increasing bf.

Having said that, having had to mix feed for just one day with ds, I can imagine it is hard work having to think of both, and you have been through a lot, so don't beat yourself up if you decide you don't want to bf or feel you can't go on with it - she will already have got a lot of benefit from what you have already done.

Stealthpolarbear Mon 01-Jun-15 08:32:18

There is every reason to breastfeed even if it is mixed feeding!
Would it help you to talk to your health visitor or call nct or lll?
Congratulations on your new dd, I hope you are enjoying her and managing to eat and sleep x

ApocalypseThen Mon 01-Jun-15 08:39:12

It probably will help. I've got an appointment with my GP in the morning to check her weight and jaundice levels, so that will be a good opportunity to discuss it.

Glad I asked here, too, though. Thanks, all of you, for the supportive, encouraging and sympathetic comments. It has made me feel much brighter about our prospects today!

Stealthpolarbear Mon 01-Jun-15 08:46:15

Sounds like you had a rough time, hope it starts getting more fun. Have you registered her yet? Does she have a name?
I am NOT broody...much

PenguinPoser Mon 01-Jun-15 08:47:49

You are doing great. I have been where you are... And YES if you want to exclusively breastfeed then it is possible. Keep putting baby to the breast as much as you can. Any breastmilk that they get is doing good things. Use the top ups if you need to with the jaundice and don't feel guilty.

Yes speak to your GP but don't be disheartened if they don't have much useful advice - in my experience they don't have much training in breastfeeding issues. Join your local la leche league group (normally on Facebook) and chat to them - they're brilliant. Also look at kellymom website for useful bf info smile

Congratulations and look after yourself flowers whatever you end up doing as long as it's the right decision for you and your baby then that's fine!

Nolim Mon 01-Jun-15 08:49:55

Something similar happened to me op, jaundice and all. I did manage to bfe at six months, when it is time to wean. Sigh.

Anyway do what works for you, if you want to keep bf snacks then do so, if not that is fine. It is not the end of the world! As long as your baby thrives who cares?

Enjoy your baby.

fellowship33 Mon 01-Jun-15 08:54:20

Gps don't know much about breastfeeding (if anything) so if you want advice seek out your local bf group or call the association of bf mothers at abm.me.uk - they are usually wonderful and kind.

Bf for a lot of people is a struggle, and I found it easier to manage one day at a time - used to think I would get through today and give up tomorrow if I wanted to. I would persevere with feeding if I was you because you obviously want to - and breast milk has so many benefits. But try not to be mean to yourself - I ran a bf group for a while and every week some new mum would walk through the door and burst into tears. Many women need support to bf - but you have to be proactive in seeking out that support, which can be hard when everything is so new. Good you find what you need.

fellowship33 Mon 01-Jun-15 08:55:31

Hope you find what you need, I mean!

kalidasa Mon 01-Jun-15 09:11:44

I've breast fed two very greedy babies with no probs but have never managed to get more than a small amount expressing, so I wouldn't worry about that. It's a very different action/sensation. I think there is something uniquely depressing about expressing too, it made me feel totally dreadful every time - all the worst bits of breastfeeding with none of the nice bits!

It sounds like you are doing really well. Your milk was probably just a bit delayed because you were ill. There is so much pressure about breastfeeding, it is ridiculous and damaging. If you both enjoy it, then keep doing it, but in my experience there are real advantages in both methods. And by the time your baby is a toddler no one knows or cares how they were fed as a baby anyway. Honestly, it is not something I know or could guess about any of my toddler son's friends.

Bellaisnotmyname Mon 01-Jun-15 09:23:05

Yes there are enormous benefits in bf your dc now and for the foreseeable future. It's not just the nutrients in your breast milk but bf relaxes your baby and gives it plenty of happy hormones, all important for her development. There is nothing wrong with you or your body, you just had a rocky start (as did I and many others). Both my babies were jaundiced, I was advised to feed on demand and pop them with only a nappy on in a bright and sunny spot at home. I had to have dd2 checked in hospital after 6 weekes as her jaundice still hadn't gone away but they took a test and sent us home again. She was ebf and jaundice disbarred after about 7 weeks. (She was born by cs)

Unless you don't want to bf, there really is no need in ff. bm is signed to meet all your baby's needs, ff is artificial and commercial food, which is great and safe but not neede if you want and are able to bf.

Bellaisnotmyname Mon 01-Jun-15 09:23:53

Disbarred confused disappeared..

5YearsTime Mon 01-Jun-15 09:36:10

Yes there is every point!

My LO had to be mixed fed at one point in HDU because I couldn't express enough so they tried to keep my milk lasting by giving her half and half. Long story but basically she fed from me quicker than anyone thought she would and is now EBF.

Is your baby feeding every two hours? Are you keeping her awake during feeds? Stripping her off? Rubbing her feet? Tickling? Making noises. We used to feed for half an hour plus, every two hours around the clock for the first few weeks.

Even if you do end up mixed feeding you are still giving your little one what you can and comfort!

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