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Swapping from exclusive breastfeeding to exclusive pumping

(14 Posts)
Sephipops Wed 20-Jul-16 11:29:51

So my 6 week old has had hell with wind and tummy problems to the point we were put on gaviscon thinking it was reflux. She would scream on the breast, arch backwards, choke, projectile vomit after most feeds. Constant hiccups, never settle on her back, only on us and as soon as we put her on her back she would wake screaming, so we started sleeping her on her side.
I was also expressing so she would be able to take a bottle when my partner was in hospital so I could leave her with my parents. As an experiment suggested by my friend I tried her for a day on expressed bottles (with no meds!) and she was a different baby.
So now I'm thinking that I'm going to have to go down the exclusive pumping route. I'm feeling horrible and guilty that for the past 6 weeks it's been my boobs causing the issues. It's been two days since she's had direct boob and I miss it and I want to cry every time I give her a bottle, but she's a happier baby for it.
Does anyone have any tips for getting over my guilt, and for how the hell to exclusive pump? I spend an hour feeding her and then an hour pumping, for her to wake an hour later!

FurryGiraffe Wed 20-Jul-16 12:38:24

I can't advise on the expressing I'm afraid, but if wind/tummy are only a problem on the breast then it sounds like there's an issue with her latch. Would it be worth seeking some RL BF support to see if you can improve the latch before you take the expressing route? In particular I'd want to get someone to check for tongue tie- both of mine have had it and hiccups/wind/bringing up milk were hugely improved once we got the TT snipped.

FruitCider Wed 20-Jul-16 12:40:34

I would honestly avoid exclusive pumping like the plague. I did it for over a year. It was hell. Try a breastfeeding group X

Sephipops Wed 20-Jul-16 12:46:36

There are no breastfeeding groups in my area that I have found. The ones that my midwives knew about shut because noone went to them sad
Who would I take her to to be checked for tongue tie?

captainproton Wed 20-Jul-16 12:46:48

Hi if you came to my BF peer support group and i would assume your baby has latch issues. This could be tongue tie, so always worth getting this checked out, it's not always easy to spot and needs a trained medical professional to do so.

Exclusively pumping is very hard, you need a good pump and you need to be aware that pumps never get as much milk out of you as a baby can. Therefore there is a risk of dwindling supply.

But I think this is a latch issue, which ought to be relatively straightforward to resolve. You may find your baby won't have reflux if the latch improves.

captainproton Wed 20-Jul-16 12:47:58

Get in touch with your local children's centre they should be able to signpost you to s breast feeding or tongue tie clinic.

Sephipops Thu 21-Jul-16 12:04:58

I've managed to get in contact with the person who ran the group that finished and she's put me in contact with someone who is running a group nearby. Hopefully they'll help. 4 days in and I'm already sick of pumping, so this feed baby is getting her milk direct from the source and I'll deal with the consequences!
Although, having had a break from boob she seems to have latched on a lot better and isn't fighting or gulping as much!

FurryGiraffe Thu 21-Jul-16 17:21:16

That's good to hear OP. I hope they can help and improve things for you.

It's interesting that you mention gulping and fighting. That's exactly how DS2 was before we snipped the TT.

FruitCider Thu 21-Jul-16 18:47:09

If after the break the latch is better with less gulping, I wonder if it was an oversupply problem? How much milk did you express in those 24 hours? Babies between 1 and 6 months need approx 25oz in 24 hours, a week old much less than that! If you were expressing huge amounts I bet it was an oversupply issue and the pumping has reduced your supply.

Sephipops Fri 22-Jul-16 02:39:19

I was getting about 4oz a side, pumping every 4-5 hours. So over 40oz! If she was getting that amount of milk before it would probably explain how she went from the 25-50th centile for weight at birth to the 75-91st at 1 month...
The lady suggested it might be my letdown that's causing an issue, being too fast. She suggested that when she starts to gulp to unlatch her and catch the spray of milk in a muslin til it calms down. That also seems to have helped a bit, does lead to a very wet muslin though!

OlennasWimple Fri 22-Jul-16 02:48:32

Try expressing a little before DD latches on, so the initial let-down doesn't overwhelm her?

FruitCider Fri 22-Jul-16 10:31:29

Seems like my thoughts were right!

Have you tried laid back feeding? It can slow the spraying down when your let down reflex kicks in X

FruitCider Fri 22-Jul-16 10:32:13

Also try block feeding to reduce supply a bit eg offer the same breast for 2 feeds in a row for a day.

Sephipops Fri 22-Jul-16 11:11:35

I normally feed reclined either in bed or on the sofa - I found it more comfortable that way, so I guess inadvertently I was doing something right!
Would block feeding not lead to rather full and painful boobs? I usually have to give her both sides at each feed else I get too full from the one that doesn't get used. A but paranoid about getting mastitis back so I like my boobs to get drained...

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