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How to establish breast feeding and not go down the expressing route

(11 Posts)
Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 17-Nov-15 11:57:16

I have a lovely 6 day old DD. I had a normal delivery and stayed in hospital for 2 days to ensure that breast feeding was established. Told all fine so went home.

I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old whom I exclusively expressed for for nearly 6 and 7 months. They were both severely tongue tied. I did have the tongue ties separated but never managed to successfully re establish breast feeding. However - had an excellent supply of milk so on 4-5 expresses a day was managing to get 1.25 - 1.5 litres of milk a day so figured that at least they were getting breast milk and carried on with the bottle.

On day 3 - everything seemed to have gone a bit wrong. The midwife came in and weighed DD and she was only slightly above the 10% tolerance for weight loss. I had noticed she hasn't had a poo for a bit and her wet nappies seemed to be drying up - she also seemed to have some urates in her nappy which I know from the other two is s sign of dehydration

Midwife told me I needed to start topping up with ebm so I started expressing. That day, I had literally fed her all day and all night. My mum had a look at her and said that whilst it was normal to feed for comfort, it didn't look like DD was actually getting any proper feeds in and she looked hungry to mum. My mum breast fed my sister and I for over 9 months each - albeit in the 70s! - so she does have some practical experience

My DH is a dentist and has just completed the tongue tie course at Wolverhampton Uni. He has checked DD about 30 times at my instigation and said he is sure she is not tongue tied. I'm pretty sure too as she can move her tongue out if her mouth and much more freely from side to side than either of the other two.

I obviously have milk as an expressing about 500mls a day at the moment

But we just seem back in the same situation with the other two where - for some reason - DD just cannot transfer the milk.

As soon as she took the first bottle of expressed milk, she settled down and managed a 3 hour stretch of sleep. Previously the best she was doing was 20 minutes every 5 hours or so so I'm sure she was hungry as well as stimulating milk supply

I'm not sure where to go from here. Do I start the endless round of lactation consultants etc that I did with DS (with DD1, I just accepted the position and got on with expressing) who told me that everything seemed fine (although weight told a different story) blah blah blah or do I just go with the expressing for as long as I can?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 17-Nov-15 13:39:39

I'm not a bf consultant or any kind of mesical person, but I thought the milj came in on the fourth day? In which case, yes your DD is 'hungry' but that stressing-you-out hungry cry is one of the stimulants for milk production.
Oh sorry gave just read back and see that you're expressing lots. Have you tried calling an NCT bf counsellor? The ones I called completely nailed it for me each time I asked them with my three.

ohlittlepea Tue 17-Nov-15 13:46:38

Can you ring the breastfeeding network? They are fantastic. Or go to a local BFN group of they cover your area ? The best way for you to get help.Is for someone to observe a feed, they may be able to help with some pointers on positioning and attachment.

timelytess Tue 17-Nov-15 14:09:29

I was a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor for twelve years, shortly after Noah got down from the ark.
Don't go down the 'expressing' route - avoid that by not expressing.
Put the baby to the breast. Don't take her away from the nipple. Don't time how long each side. Make sure she's well supported on pillows (support your arm too) so that she doesn't have to tug at the nipple.
To check if she's properly latched on, watch for her ears wriggling.
Don't expect her to sleep. Her job is to stay at the nipple [and to wake screaming if you move away - this is so she doesn't get left behind when the hunter-gatherer community move on, its not 'control' as some people try to suggest, its survival]. She'll probably suckle for a few seconds every twenty minutes.
You will need help with the two toddlers.
Have your main meal at lunchtime so that the energy is available for evenings when milk production often slows.
Watch for her skin tone - if she looks healthy, if you press her flesh gently and it indents and springs back, she's probably healthy.
Expect weight gain of 2-4oz a week, not more.

timelytess Tue 17-Nov-15 14:10:21

her ears might be 'wiggling' rather than 'wriggling'!

SummerHouse Tue 17-Nov-15 14:17:22

I would make sure she maintains her weight with top up ebm or formula but just keep trying. Its such early days. Bet she will be a perfect breast feeder in no time. Congrats op. A lovely, healthy baby. Wish I could have enjoyed mine without the terror of whether they are getting enough milk. flowers

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 17-Nov-15 14:24:13

My midwife also said I was 'fine' with DC2, but she was actually sucking on my nipple instead of 'milking' the breast (which led to scream-inducing sore nipples a few days later); probably a good idea to get the latch checked.
Tummy to tummy and 'teasing' her cheek then pulling away a bit so she opens wide, then quickly aim nipple at the roof of her mouth, was what worked for me.

pookamoo Tue 17-Nov-15 14:30:56

Hi, congratulations on your baby!

Definitely see if you can get some 1:1 help from a breastfeeding counsellor. The NCT or the Breast Feeding Network can point you in the direction of your local person. They don't usually charge, so don't worry about cost.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 17-Nov-15 14:39:35

Just found this on another thread.
And congratulations, btw!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 17-Nov-15 16:51:43

Thank you. All advice is super helpful as is the video

Midwife been in this afternoon. DD has put on about 200g so not worried about weight loss now which is good. Also pooing for Britain

She showed me a sort of reverse rugby ball hold and got DD latched on. It's definitely latch - it's just too shallow. DH watched and hopefully can help with that as it was hard to see what was what as boobs in the way!

anothernumberone Tue 17-Nov-15 16:54:41

I needed to use nipple shields for TT and laid back BF is really good to get as deep a latch as possible. I had no supply issues or later a touch of oversupply so I had no issues with shields.

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