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Is there anything else I can do / try before I give up?

(14 Posts)
snowydrops Tue 09-Jun-15 16:28:54

DD2 is three months old, she had a bottle from around two weeks (expressed) because she was tongue tie and I had bleeding nipples! She then had some inaction of bottles and breast until six weeks, almost all breast milk. At 6 wks she completely rejected the breast so we had to swap to expressing and bottles.

I pump 4-5 X a day for 30 mins a time but now I am lucky to get 2oz per pump session, often it's just 1oz. It seems a bit pointless now as its bloody hard work and detracting from having fun with both DD1 and DD2! I am probably going to stop soon as she only gets one bottle of breast milk a day now and it takes me approx 2.5-3 hrs to pump that which is a bit soul destroying.

I take 3 x 3 fenugreek a day. I bath before pumping when I can and I normally do it with DD2 next to me. I feel I have tried everything but is there anything else I can do?? I have the medela freestyle and did wonder whether it's worth hiring a hospital pump or would it make no difference at this stage?

Thanks

I

snowydrops Tue 09-Jun-15 16:34:03

Sorry I said I usually get 2oz but that's wrong, more like 1.5oz / 50ml per express and the evening one is usually just 10ml hmm

RedToothBrush Tue 09-Jun-15 17:05:21

Have you tried breastfeeding her again? DS did similar by the sound of it. Then at 16 weeks bizarrely started to refuse the bottle and would only breastfeed.

I found that doing a pump during the night did help get my supply up, but it terms of soul destroying this did little for my mental state and was the very definition of soul destroying.

Given what you've said though, I think that in your shoes I probably would be thinking exactly the same way as you. 3 months of expressing is good work. I had a big wobble at around 11 weeks, so I was thankful that DS either learnt to or grew into breastfeeding. If she did manage it even once a day, its got to be better than nothing for both of you.

Interestingly I subsequently found out that its not uncommon for babies to do this at around 12 - 16 weeks so DS isn't unusual. Worth a try?

Best time I found for trying it was when DS was sleepy first thing in the morning or mid afternoon, but before he got over tired (especially in the evening).

snowydrops Tue 09-Jun-15 17:40:18

Thanks red tooth. Yes I tried a few times last week to BF again and she screamed! Saying that it was mostly in the evening and she's most chilled in the morning so I'll try then again. It is hard in the morning as I have to get DD1 to nursery too...

I do still pump at night, usually just once unless she sleeps through and then I don't but that's quite infrequent. She usually wakes at 4 or 5 and DH feeds her and I pump!

FiftyShadesOfSporn Tue 09-Jun-15 18:04:03

In a similar situation, I was told that 83 % of the benefits of breat milk were transferred in the first 12 weeks. pat yourself on the back.

snowydrops Tue 09-Jun-15 18:56:27

That is good to know fifty shades.

snowydrops Tue 09-Jun-15 19:54:45

Does anyone have any advice re the hospital grade pump? Whether it would make any difference?

scandichick Tue 09-Jun-15 20:10:49

How about nipple shields. I'd recommend Medela, I breastfed with them for a year! Hospital pump is much better than an ordinary pump, but pumping is tremendously hard work - well done, I thought a week was bloody tough...

FiftyShadesOfSporn Tue 09-Jun-15 20:18:46

Seconding nipple shields here. I expressed for my ds for four months and nearly gave up quite a few times. Someone I met who had been in the same situation told me that her ds had finally latched on at four months**, so I managed to keep going until then. And lo! He did latch on, with nipple shields, at that stage.

I only had to pump for my dd for 8 weeks, then with nipple shields she managed to latch on too.

I b/fed for over three years in total.

Worth a try.

** she also gave me Cadbury's Dairy Milk from good old Blighty (we were in the US. If she's one here, flowers

snowydrops Wed 10-Jun-15 09:45:49

The thing is my DD can latch ok...but she tried a bottle and much preferred it (I think) as I think I have a very slow let down and flow. Red tooth, when your DS went back to the breast did you still have a good supply? I'm expressing now for the first time since 5am and 5mins in have approx 5ml!!!!

RedToothBrush Wed 10-Jun-15 10:58:22

I still had a fairly good supply yes.

DS preferred the bottle for ages because of flow.

He could latch on previously but it had been poor (painful) so neither of us had liked it.

It did simply change pretty much overnight. I suspect he may have been teething or seeking comfort for some reason as he had been off his food for a couple of days and I retried it as I was worried about him.

Upon reflection on my experience maybe there is another explanation / solution.

I had days when I struggled to express which were nothing to do with supply. I used a couple of different pumps with mixed success. One pump we bought to replace a broken one, and had to take it back because I couldn't get ANYTHING off from it. The previous day I had got 100mls off in 20 mins. Different pumps do work in different ways and I think work better for some people than others. If you try and hand express for a few minutes do you get much off with ease? If you do I would suggest its your pump at fault, not you. For me it wasn't the amount of suction, it was more to do with the shape of the pump and how it worked (so not loose connections that can be identified).

I also found that unless I massaged a lot, I got 'blocked up' and got less off as pumps are not as efficient as babies at clearing everything. Sitting in the bath, and hand expressing like a mad woman every so often seemed to get things going again. I found that hot compresses / baths on there own were a waste of time.

Funnily enough, my pump broke at 10 weeks and that's when I got the shit one that didn't work, which is one of the contributing factors to my wobble at that point.

So I think I might be tempted to suggest you hired a hospital pump if you could afford, if only to rule that possibility out. I can't say it will work, but if you are determined to try everything, then yes there perhaps is a justification for it.

RedToothBrush Wed 10-Jun-15 11:11:45

Oh and when I did get a replacement pump that worked it became apparent that my old broken one hadn't working for a while as it should but I hadn't noticed the motor had slowly died.

tiggy2610 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:31:33

DS was born with a severe posterior tongue tie and after 3 weeks of hellish attempts at breastfeeding I gave up and started expressing. Like you I felt like I was spending my days just attached to the pump (medela swing which was great!)

At 12 weeks I was exhausted with the constant pumping, often going without food because the 45minute naps were spent expressing! At a routine HV appointment I burst into tears and explained that I wanted to stop but the 'guilt' meant I couldn't. She was amazed I was still exclusively pumping and, in the nicest possible way, told me it was time to stop and it that was OK. This was exactly what I needed to hear and he has been formula fed ever since.

You've done amazingly well. If you want to stop expressing to concentrate on your children, do its But don't say you're 'giving up' or feel guilty, you should be proud that you've done everything you can to keep going for so long.

PomeralLights Wed 10-Jun-15 11:36:28

Have you tried breast compressions whilst feeding if dd latches ok? Also a bit of hand expressing just before she latches on so some milk has already been drawn down, IYSWIM

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