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starting to struggle with bf

(10 Posts)
pinklemonade84 Sat 29-Oct-16 16:14:53

We're 6.5 months into our bf journey and I'm starting to find that I'm beginning to struggle with the night feeds.

To begin with I really thought we would only bf in hospital, but it went so well that I was adamant that I wanted to carry on (even though we have formula powder etc at home). And here we are 6.5 months later.

Things really started to go downhill when dd was admitted to hospital last month because she started having focal seizures. She went from waking once a night to now waking 2 - 3 times a night. And I will admit that I'm starting to struggle and get frustrated with her when she wakes (even though I know it's not her fault) as I feel so exhausted. I'm also starting to resent dh because he doesn't help me at night anymore. If I ask for a drink he says "in a minute", turns over and goes back to sleep. He just lies there and doesn't get up anymore. It's as if he's lost interest.

I also think my supply has changed. I don't feel full anymore. Not engorged as I've had that a few times when she was small. But I don't feel full of milk anymore. Despite me taking fenugreek and bf support vitamins. I know this isn't an indication of supply, but I can't pump as much anymore. A couple of months ago I would be getting 8-9oz from both breasts, now I struggle to get 3oz from both.

I don't want to resort to formula for many reasons, the main one being that my mil will want to take over (I've had major issues with her to the extent where I really thought I would end up with pnd because of her actions). But, I wonder if this switch would actually get me some support from dh?

I'm not really sure where to go from here. Not really sure what I want. I feel so sad at the thought of giving up bf, but I'm not sure what else I can do.

fluffypacman Sat 29-Oct-16 16:23:20

You could end up having to make bottles at night and still get no support at night. Your DH is being an arse but mine was also quite happy to leave me to it and to an extent, I knew he had to go to work and I didn't. TBH babies go through sleep regressions etc all along the way and how they're fed doesn't always make much difference. My non bf 3 year old has just gone through a stage of waking 1-3 times a night. It's a killer but it too will pass. Well done on getting this far.

5madthings Sat 29-Oct-16 16:26:47

What are your sleeping arrangements? Can you rig her cot up to be a Co sleeper cot so night feeds are easier?

It's normal not to feel full by this stage of feeding your breasts make milk on demand and your supply is well established now.

Can dh take baby in the mornings so you can get extra sleep or early evening? He can support you without stopping feeding and if babu will take a bottle then you can give a bottle of expressed milk or formula.

If you want to stop that's fine as well, my baby is almost 7 mths and I am finding it a bit relentless at the moment as well but I know it gets a bit easier soon as the crawl, eat more solids etc.

I would see if you can think of some ways to get some support without stopping feeding if that is what you want.

pinklemonade84 Sat 29-Oct-16 16:28:52

I forgot to add to my original post (sorry for the drip feeding) that dd was comfortably following the 75th centile since birth. And has dropped to the 50th at her 6 month check. The health visitor said to try and up her solids to 3 meals a day. But I know dd's main nutrition is still meant to be coming from milk, so I don't really want to do that.

WilliamHerschel Sat 29-Oct-16 16:32:14

Sorry to hear about your dd's seizures, that sounds scary. I hope she's ok now. I tried expressing several times in dd's first year and I could never get much milk out but my dd was still gaining weight, producing wet and dirty nappies etc so I knew she was getting milk. Really I'd pay no attention to expressing as an indicator of supply. The longer you feed, the less "full" you feel in my experience. I'm still breastfeeding my two year old and my boobs never feel that way and haven't for a very long time. Your body gets used to knowing how much you need for your baby so you stop getting engorged as the milk is only produced as you need it. (At least that's my understanding).

If I remember correctly, around 6 months is another growth spurt so it's normal for the baby to want to feed more. It could also be that she's wanting more comfort and reassurance after spending time in hospital.

As to whether your dh would do more if you introduced formula, it's hard to say without knowing him. One thing I have done since dd was born is always have a water bottle near me. I take one to bed every night so I always have a drink in easy reach. Whatever you do you should feel proud for breastfeeding her this long, especially considering you didn't plan to.

pinklemonade84 Sat 29-Oct-16 16:32:23

Her cot is rigged up to our bed on my side, so it's nice and easy to get her into bed with me to feed.

I don't want to stop the feeding as I feel like we've come so far when I wasn't sure we would make it to 1 week, let alone 6 months and more.

She will happily take expressed milk, it's just getting enough for a bottle that is the problem

WilliamHerschel Sat 29-Oct-16 16:33:59

My dd dropped from the 50th centile to 25 or lower at one point btw. It coincided with her moving more and she started gaining weight steadily at her new centile line.

pinklemonade84 Sat 29-Oct-16 16:34:49

Thanks for the advice everyone, I really do appreciate it smile

WilliamHerschel I think I'll try your idea of taking a bottle of water with me to bed. Then I can change which side I leave it on, dependant on which side I'm due to feed on next

5madthings Sat 29-Oct-16 16:35:44

The hv is daft as she will get more calories from milk than she can from food, she us only just starting weaning?
A drop of percentile is very normal for babies, esp at this age as bfed babies start to slow down with their weight gain, possibly she is getting more mobile? And she has been poorly.

Re amounts for a bottle she should have about an ounce and a half for each hour you are away. Kellymom has really good info on pace feeding and amounts bfed babies should have.

WilliamHerschel Sat 29-Oct-16 16:39:35

If you don't want to stop, my advice would be don't. Why don't you take it a day at a time. When my dd was going through bad (in my view) periods of wanting to feed a lot, that's what I tried to do. Just go with it and know that it will stop eventually. Usually at the point I'm tearing my hair out. As you know your dd will take a bottle of expressed milk, you could always try mix feeding her and giving her one bottle of formula rather than the expressed.

If you'd prefer not to give formula you could try looking up if there's any advice on how to express more milk. If you've not already tried,apparently looking at a picture of your dd whle you do it helps, though it never helped me!

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