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Reassurance that I haven't ruined it already?

(13 Posts)
DimpleHands Sun 13-Dec-15 01:59:07

I've just given my 3 week old DD a 40 ml top up of formula as she had been feeding for four hours and there was no milk left in my breasts (tried to hand express to check). Panicked that she was crying and I was starving her and sent DH out at midnight to get some formula.

She drank the formula but now I have more milk so I am thinking actually my supply is OK and she was just cluster feeding because of a growth spurt.

I have now scared myself googling that as soon as you introduce anything other than breastmilk you change the gut flora and destroy some of the immunities gained from breastfeeding.

Have I ruined things? Can I get the benefits of EBF back? Or once you have given formula does this mean you have permanently ruined the benefits of EBF?

Reading this back I know I sound a bit deranged but please humour me - I am very sleep-deprived and a real worrier about doing the best for this baby.

Kuriusoranj Sun 13-Dec-15 02:26:15

Oh bless, you do sound deranged but good lord I remember that feeling!

Breathe... you've not ruined anything! You fed your hungry baby. You're doing a terrific job and the two of you are just learning together. Step away from the Google and rest as much as you can. This crazy first few weeks will be over before you know it.

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 13-Dec-15 02:28:13

No you haven't ruined everything. From my understanding of the virgin gut theory (and it isn't necessarily a proven theory) it takes 2 to 4 weeks for the gut to return to its previous state.

I think you're right that she was cluster feeding because of a growth spurt, so don't panic about your milk supply. You will always produce milk when your baby suckles, it's just she's probably getting frustrated that the supply is slower than she'd like right now. But if you continue to demand feed then your supply will increase to match her demand.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sun 13-Dec-15 02:28:27

Well if you have I will join you on the bad mothers bench! I'm
Trying as hard as I can to exclusively bf my lad but his tongue tie means he's struggling to get nearly enough breast milk so needs topping up. It's so hard

Ughnotagain Sun 13-Dec-15 02:56:57

Oh OP don't worry flowers give yourself a break.

When DD was a few weeks (days even maybe, I forget) old I went to bed and left her with DH. I'd bought in a couple of ready-made little formula cartons just in case; I knew I never wanted to use them but I thought it might help me psychologically to know they were there if it really came to it. And DH bloody gave her some while I was asleep. At the time I was gutted but in hindsight it really wasn't the worst thing that could have happened!

Don't beat yourself up about it. It's one top up in your whole breastfeeding relationship. Do you have RL support - bfing groups etc? I found building a little support network for myself invaluable, especially in the early days, but even now!

Ughnotagain Sun 13-Dec-15 02:59:54

Oh, and if it's any consolation - that 3 week growth spurt I think was the hardest point for me. I remember crying loads and not thinking I could do it, and posting on here, and people saying it'd get easier, and it did. I was the same as you, I thought no way could there be any milk left, but it's all supply building in the early weeks.

redcaryellowcar Sun 13-Dec-15 03:19:29

You are doing great, as others say, just keep popping her on, switch sides frequently and you will produce more milk. My hv suggests a mummy and baby duvet day or two for growth spurts, just get comfy in bed and switch feed all day long, if you have a wiling dp/dh they can bring regular drinks, provide company, put on Christmas films, box sets, bring magazines or books etc. If not stock up before you get comfy. Rest lots, feed lots. I found by week four my confidence in feeding (and being a mummy in general) soared.

hinkyhonk Sun 13-Dec-15 03:44:18

There is a week 3 growth spurt? Explains ehy it feels like my nipples are about to fall off after a 3 hour cluster feeding session. How have I got to my third ds without realising this...

I'm off to google growth spurts. And op don't worry - easier said than done I know

Ughnotagain Sun 13-Dec-15 08:02:46

hinky have you heard of the Wonder Weeks app? I was a bit dismissive of it at first but it is actually really good at highlighting times when baby might be a bit trickier than normal!

More info on growth spurts:

DimpleHands Sun 13-Dec-15 14:15:01

Thanks everyone, I got a bit of sleep eventually last night and feel a little less unhinged! Can I just ask, I don't seem to be getting that engorged feeling after a few hours of not feeding - does that stop after a few weeks? Or is it a sign that I'm not producing enough milk?

daluze Sun 13-Dec-15 14:26:27

You get less of the engorged feeling as time goes on and your supply better adjusts to demand. It is higly unlikely that your supply dropped at 3 weeks if you feed on demand (one top up won't make a massive difference). If baby is gaining weight, plenty of we and dirty nappies, then you are fine. I hardy ever got engorged feeling first few weeks -I think my boy was emptying breast too often for that, and it felt like one continuous growth spurt.
Ensure you alway have a good latch, so your nipples are not damaged, and then make sure you have water, cookies, chocolate, kindle and remote before you sit down to feed!

kbro79 Sun 13-Dec-15 14:26:41

Oh I feel for you as remember having the exact same stress and giving formula for exact same reason. No one warns you much worry comes with Breast feeding!!

I saw this on supply which I found really really helpful. Bit long but worth a read.

hinkyhonk Mon 14-Dec-15 03:44:20

Thanks ugh I've downloaded that app. Feels like we've been on a three week continuous growth spurt. Right off to try transfer number 50,000 of the night...,

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