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Expert bf help needed! Have I cocked up breastfeeding?

(16 Posts)
Marymaymay Thu 18-Aug-16 11:30:01

Gaaaah! no-one picking up bf helplines so am turning to here...

DD is 7wks, has only put on 3 oz in 2weeks. Was horribly unsettled and couldn't figure out why. The unsettled bit seemed to stress me out and then she started sleeping a lot, missing feeds etc and it fed into a vicious cycle...

So...I gave her a bottle and the difference was immediate and amazing! Since Saturday I've been topping her up with 2/3oz 2-4 times a day. She was weighed monday which was when they noticed the poor gain (has now slipped from 50th - 9th centile

Obviously she now prefers the bottle! I've been in bed with her for 48 hrs trying to get supply up. I was shattered by the end of yesterday. I pump when I can, usually 2 times a day, but never get more than 1oz...

She is pretty sleepy, I think due to the formula which she guzzles so then its harder for me to bf her, just feels like comfort sucking.

Other than just switch to formula - what can I do?!

Marymaymay Thu 18-Aug-16 13:36:00


cudbywestrangers Thu 18-Aug-16 13:37:21

Check out the kellymom website, loads of good advice on there...
Good luck!

YorkieDorkie Thu 18-Aug-16 13:41:46

Has your supply increased with the 48hour session?

mikado1 Thu 18-Aug-16 13:45:21

Why are you pumping? I would go skin to skin as much as you can, offer her regularly and ditch the bottles if poss ie if you want to keep ebf . Also Google paced bottle feeding if you want to continue with a bottle for a feed a day or whatever. You can get it sorted. Kellymom great as a pp said. I had a nursing strike around this age and I just let an afternoon pass -he was quite happy in arms and got into bed later skin to skin and it sorted itself out.

Marymaymay Thu 18-Aug-16 15:21:29

Nope, no increase, infant I would say it has dropped further.... Am doing skin to skin too.

Am pumping to try and increase my supply - is this not the right thing to do? It's what all HV suggested...When I pump I feel like I am interrupting supply, there never feels like there is enough at the next feed.

I just looked at my other daughters growth chart - she totally did the same thing at the same age - between week 10-24 she put on less than 3 lbs. I can't believe looking back that I wasn't referred to paediatrics! The difference was that she never seemed hungry or upset, DD2 has been a right state for 2 weeks.

I feel such a mess about it all. She is an IVF baby, one of twins who was stillborn and I just wanted to give her the very best start. Not sure what else I can do sad

mikado1 Thu 18-Aug-16 15:37:43

I just remember I pumped during a strike thinking the same and had nothing then for actual feeding... there is an excellent fb support page with LOs, Bf counsellors etc.. I will pm you but whatever happens you will have done your best, just worth getting correct advice. Congratulations on your adored baby flowers

mikado1 Thu 18-Aug-16 15:39:14

Oh I have just read end of your last post. That is so sad. You need every support and also to be as kind as you can to yourself. What a difficult time..

YorkieDorkie Thu 18-Aug-16 19:31:56

I have pumped gallons of milk but I could only do it at the beginning when I was so full first thing in the morning. I pumped from one side and then DD had the other. At the time, she would only ever feed from one side whereas I know lots of babies do both sides right from the beginning.

If you want to increase supply by pumping then I would recommend feeding your baby on both sides for really good, long feeds - then pump afterwards. It doesn't matter if there's nothing left, it's the extra stimulation of your nipples which boosts the production. I wouldn't take the milk first in your case because your mum is not even close to as good as your baby for stimulation.

YorkieDorkie Thu 18-Aug-16 19:34:17

I'm so sorry I read that back and it sounds a bit boasty in the first sentence - that's not at all how j meant it to sound! blush

I just meant that I got loads of milk from being permanently engorged on a morning. I couldn't do it after a while because DD took more and then from both sides so I couldn't pump before her feed! She needed to go first and then I'd pump afterwards. I hope that makes sense!

Smellysaurus Thu 18-Aug-16 19:50:42

My most trusted midwife told me that top-up feeds can sadly be the kiss of death for bf-ing (but ultimately baby getting fed is the priority which is why they advise them).

So I would say you need to get your little DD back on the boob as much as you can including letting her comfort suck as she will draw milk in tiny drops too I would think. Put her on the boob every 2 hours day and night (shock) and avoid bottles all together if you can face it (I suspect she'll protest). Stay on the sofa or in bed if you can (can someone look after your older DD?) because rest is important for milk production. As is keeping hydrated. As are calories - get lots of chocolate in and get a box set to watch.

It will be exhausting for a couple of days I would imagine but your DD will be the best thing to get your supply back up (as opposed to a pump) and you can spread out the feeds and balance things out once she's back used to BF-ing. But it may be a couple of days hard slog to get there.

If no improvement I would try to see a cranio osteopath as this may help her if she has a poor suck reflex.

Otherwise, don't battle - feeding your baby full stop is the best thing. There is nothing at all wrong with switching to formula and if it causes less stress for you and for her then it's the best decision all round.

Good luck.

Girliefriendlikesflowers Thu 18-Aug-16 19:58:45

My dd was slow to gain weight due to health issues when she was born and I topped up feeds with ff up until she was 10 weeks, after that I ebf so disagree it means the kiss of death for bf'ing.

It sounds like you are doing the right things, I would bf as much as humanly possible but if she still seems hungry offer a top up as well and then make up by expressing iykwim. Always offer breast first though.

My friend was similar to you and the baby ended up in hospital as she was so reluctant to top up, at the end of the day the best thing for baby is to be fed and happy.

Smellysaurus Thu 18-Aug-16 20:01:11

That's great girlfriend! what did you do to maintain your supply during top ups?

5madthings Thu 18-Aug-16 20:02:23

What about using an sns system so she is topped up whilst st the breastfeeding which will help stimulate your supply?

Girliefriendlikesflowers Thu 18-Aug-16 20:09:42

As I suggested for the op really smelly I always offered breast first and would offer as much as possible. If dd was still unsettled or rooting around I topped up with a few ozs of ff and would then express myself to try and boost my supply. When dd was around 10 weeks I suddenly began to feel 'fuller' and noticed dd was needing less and less formula so stopped the top ups.

I know its often dismissed on these threads but personally I also feel that increasing how much I ate and drunk helped my supply, I aimed to drink a pint of water for every feed and ate as much as possible grin

Every baby and mum is different though and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for someone else!

Smellysaurus Thu 18-Aug-16 20:27:45

I'd heard that about a pint of water before every feed too. Never quite managed it myself but did try - bf-ing made me really thirsty.

Good luck op!

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