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Re-starting breastfeeding Help!

(14 Posts)
fiuf Sat 19-Dec-15 17:58:42

Today 17:53 fiuf

Hi all, I'm new here.
My LO was born at 36 weeks. I was exc. bf for 6 weeks until found out he wasn't putting on weight. He didn't latch on properly and was constantly crying :-(. He was hungry.
I started mixing pumped bm and formula and he has put on weight. He is now 11 weeks. Feeds are difficult as we gets a lot of wind and its v hard to burp him so cries a lot during and after feeds until he burps. HV suggested silent reflux but I'm unsure, I have a feeling it's just gas as he doesn't mind laying on his back and sleeps for 5 hours through the night.
I'd really love to bf again and I offer him my breast twice a day. He is not draining them completely but I do think the latch has improved. The bf support lady hadn't helped much. I really don't want to give up :-(. Any tips, please! I really appreciate it! I've attached I pic of his latch.

mrswishywashy Sat 19-Dec-15 21:34:26

Has he been checked for tongue tie by a ILBBC? Real life support will be much more helpful however.....

My daughter at six week so was taking a majority formula which started as top ups, I also expressed when I could. I would feed her both sides for up to 40 minutes and the give a top up of either formula or expressed milk and then express it was hard work. We had her tongue snipped and we don't need to do top ups at all now.

LovelyWeatherForDucks Sat 19-Dec-15 21:45:10

Can't quite tell from your picture but a 'textbook' latch would usually have baby's chin against your breast, I e head tilted up more toward you. Found a (rather rubbish) picture to illustrate what I mean!

Agree on getting tongue tie checked, and maybe consider trying infacol / gripe water.

tiktok Sat 19-Dec-15 23:28:06

I'm a breastfeeding counsellor fluf and that pic does not look great to me. If you had no problems or no history of problems, then it wouldn't matter, but he's just not close enough in, and he needs to be attached so your breast and nipple are at the top of his mouth and able to be drawn into the back of his mouth. Twice a day is not often enough to build up and maintain a supply, too. Is it possible for you to speak to a different bf support person?

BuffaloCustardbath Sun 20-Dec-15 07:28:33

I would also suggest having him checked for tongue and lip tie as a starting point to try to find out the cause for the poor latch and weight gain issues. Call the breastfeeding network helpline and La Leche League support line as a starting point to see if they can point you towards the right people in your area who will give you sound advice and practical help to get you on your way.

If you want to phase out formula and transition back to full time BF it will take some time and a lot of effort but it is possible - I would start by pumping every time lo has a bottle of formula, you need to tell your breasts how much milk to make and send them signals that this baby needs more milk so every time he's due a feed if you can put him to the breast so he is stimulating milk production, then pump, then offer him the pumped breast milk after his formula feed as a top up. As you continue doing this hopefully you will be able to replace oz of formula with your breast milk top ups and direct breastfeeding.
I would also start taking fenugreek to help with milk production and either make or buy yourself some lactation cookies/brownies - it'll all help! I have looooots of tips and info on increasing milk supply so don't be afraid to ask, I'll always help if I can.

Sleepybunny Sun 20-Dec-15 07:37:50

I had similar problems with my first. The advice I got was to attempt to latch at every feed, without upsetting baby if it wasn't going to happen. Then top up with expressed milk. Once settled, I'd express after each feed. A minimum of 8 times in 24 hours, with at least one pumping session at night.
You need to 'cluster pump' through the growth spurts to maintain supply and do 20 min at each breast. It was hell to be honest, but possible if you want it.
Someone also advices me about 'rebirthing' where you take your baby into the bath with you. Lots of relaxed skin-to-skin encourages them to latch.
Your picture looks good in that your babies mouth is open nice and wide, and his lips are flanged out, but as TikTok says he's not close in enough.

Curlywurly4 Sun 20-Dec-15 07:55:26

From the photo, I would say the latch isn't great. Ideally the baby should lead with their chin when latching on and feeding. It's the chin that massages the breast tissue to help transfer and move the milk. In the photo, the latch looks a bit shallow, and his chin isn't making enough contact with the breast.

To get a good latch, lining up the nose to the nipple is really important. They actually have to be far more down your body than people think. Keep him really close and when you get the big, open mouth it's a sideways movement, across the breast really, chin first to the breast tissue, then hook his top lip over the nipple - bit like hanging a coat hanger, up and over.

If you think when we drink, we tilt ours heads back so swallowing is easier. We can still drink with our heads straight but it's more difficult and you won't drink as much without stopping. If he leads with the chin first, he will naturally tilt his head.

Definitely get some Real life support with the latching and get someone to spend some time with you practising if you can.

Faa27 Sun 20-Dec-15 12:48:27

Thank you very much for your replies. Last night was tough w LO crying a lot. I'll take him to the GP tomo to check the tongue and possible silent reflu x as she is arching her back a lot during and after feeds. I do agree w your comments about the chin not close enough; it's really hard to!
I honestly don't know if I'll be able to do all this cluster pumping , feeding etc - I already feel exhausted and just the thought makes me want to cry.
I'm pumping something between 17 and 20 oz a day and I feel that's so much effort! My supply is ok I think but I'll buy tge fenug. Tablets.
Thank you all so much for your advices, I really do appreciate!

BuffaloCustardbath Sun 20-Dec-15 15:15:49

17-20oz is fantastic faa, you should be really pleased with that! The only thing you can do is give it a go and see what happens - if it's not sustainable you'll know that you gave it your best and tried. Depending on how baby is before each feed you could try latching her onto each side for 5 mins each before she has her bottle and that will do an even better job at stimulating your supply than pumping will, it just depends whether she would have the patience for that?? It'll also give you lots of latching practice too.

Faa27 Sun 20-Dec-15 15:27:50

Thank you so much! It's v encouraging
I'll keep on trying for a bit longer and hopefully she will latch on!
I'll get her tongue checked as well...
Thank you!

BuffaloCustardbath Sun 20-Dec-15 17:37:37

Let us know how you get on Faa, here anytime you need a chat.

whattodotoday Sun 20-Dec-15 22:48:59

sleepybunny, can you explain a bit about cluster pumping for growth spurts? Mix feeding and trying to ramp supply here with a 12 week old. Sorry to hijack!

BuffaloCustardbath Tue 22-Dec-15 15:24:25

You could try power pumping whatto, that's where you pump both sides together for 5 mins, then 5 mins off, then 5 mins pumping again for an hour - it's supposed to replicate a baby cluster feeding and signals to your body that it needs to make more milk than it has been making.

Another way to do it is to nurse from one side and pump from the other side at the same time as nursing every 30 mins - 1 hour for as many hours as you can fit in - this is the same thing, giving your body the same signals that a baby does when they cluster feed.

Sleepybunny Tue 22-Dec-15 17:42:50

It's just a bit like Buffalo described, although I would pump for a minimum of 10 min each side, every hour or whatever is possible. Try to keep your boobs empty and you'll find the following day you're supply ramping up.

Boosting supply is best if you can get the baby to empty your boobs, they're so much more efficient than a pump. Also pumping in the night helps.

Disclaimer: this is the most exhausting thing you can do sitting down. Don't drive yourself mad!

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