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BF vs life(17 Posts)
Sorry for the demanding first time post... avid lurker here.
I absolutely believe in human milk for human babies as a first choice. I love breastfeeding when it works... the problem is that it's only about 1 in 10 feeds that goes ok and takes under 2 hours.
All my DDs awake time is spent struggling to feed, and crying because she's hungry and can't feed, then gets so exhausted she falls asleep. Rinse and repeat. We give her expressed milk from a bottle sometimes so she isn't losing weight .
I worry that all her awake time is spent struggling to feed, and wonder if the benefits of a traumatic disorganised breast milk feed outweigh a FF followed by some actual mental stimulation/play/trip outside the house?
Advice from lactation consultant is that she may be beyond it as she was given bottles early due to being not being able to latch as she was premature, showed me some positions etc, none of which helped
I love he bonding aspect of BF and she is so content the 10% of the time it does work... but I think that's my issue.
How old is your daughter? I had a few months of difficult, painful (for me) feeds and then one day, it clicked. She got the hang of it, her latch improved and I continued to feed for almost a year.
Has she been checked for a tongue tie?
Fortunately no pain on my part except for emotional after watching her cry with hunger but not be able to feed for 2-3 hours she's 8 weeks... no tongue tie
I was in exact same situation as you a couple of weeks ago. 8wk old came 4 weeks early and couldn't latch, I was expressing initially. He never seemed to be satisfied and therefore groucy. I found bf exhausting and then frustrating as I felt I couldn't satisfy him.
I made the decision to go formula, it wasn't easy and I struggled making it, but he has been much happier since. You can still cuddle and feed to bind but it also allows others to help to give you a break.
You need to do what's best for you and your LO x
It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can mix feed. Give some feeds as formula and choose when you'll breast feed so that it fits in with what you want to do.
You could also try giving her a small amount of milk in a bottle before trying a breastfeed so she's not starving and desperate for milk.
Also, she may yet get better at breastfeeding as she gets stronger and bigger.
Your LC sounds a bit rubbish. I would seek further real life support and as others said it doesn't have to be all or nothing. In the meantime if you want to add in a bit of ff to make both your lives easy go for it. I guess you are expressing as well if she's not really feeding. Must be hard on you both.
Give your local Le Leche league a call, your local leader will be able to come and see you and offer one to one support and their groups are great for peer support and getting out of the house.
There are a lot of things it could be, so I would hate to advise over the Internet, but there are lots of options rather than all or nothing with regards to bf. A friend had a similar issue (turned out to be a supply issue). A couple of weeks of formula top ups and expressing on top of feeds to increase supply and it was perfectly fine. Not saying that's the problem or that it's an easy solution, but it's certainly worth exploring. And if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. Formula isn't the end of the world.
Have you tried a nipple shield? My son is a 37 weeker and her cannot latch without one.
Did you see a proper IBCLC? That sounds fairly unsupportive. My thinking is that mix feeding might be the way forward for you. Formula is not poison. Formula saves babies. And sometimes it saves mummies too.
Should have said, I am now mix feeding. My son would not latch at all without a nipple shield but latches and feeds happily and well with a shield. The shield reduce flow and supply though so his weight gain was suboptimal with exclusive breastfeeding, but he is gaining weight at a rate of knots with a combination of breast feeding and top ups with expressed milk and formula.
Didn't know LLL could do visits, that might be helpful thanks for all your replies, I decided to bow out and bought a box of aptamil and she's done the last two feeds much better.... we'll see.
LC was the present LC at a baby cafe, I haven't heard great things about her tbh but she's the only one I could see for free....
I stupidly read something at 4am about the majority of their brain synapses developing in the first 3 months and don't want her to spend her first 3 months being cross and hungry
With Mix feeding, do they end up needing more volune of breast milk?
Thanks all again 😊
Agree I'd get more advice - I saw a brilliant lactation consultant with my babies (more, actually, incl hospital and breastfeeding cafes) and got great practical advice. Both had tongue tie - my first sounds v similar to yours. There are things you can do to improve each feed - e.g. "The flipple" latching technique; feeding lying down or lying back can help the latch; and crucially, breast compressions. and mix feeding etc all may well help. A friend started off unable to latch her son at all due to the, moved from full formula to mix feeding and is now still fully breastfeeding at 3. Google dr jack Newman who runs a specialist clinic in Canada - lots of specific advice and videos on his site. Good luck x
My DD never really got the hang of BF. She had partial facial paralysis for the first couple of days due to a forceps birth and had to be cup fed. I didn't get great advice so we struggled on for 3 months or so BF with nipple shields and topping up with formula.
8 weeks is good going if your baby is anything like mine was. If you can find better advice than I could it might get better.
Agree you should seek advice from LLL, or contact a private IBCLC. You have done amazingly well to maintain BF for the past 8weeks under the circumstances! It is not normal for feeds to take 2 hours and for it to be such a struggle. Seek support from someone qualified to help and things should get better. I know you said your baby doesn't have tongue tie, but this should only be assessed by someone qualified so it could be worth getting it checked again.
Spoke to a private IBCLC, she says Preterm birth, traumatic delivery, aeperatijg after birth for 10 hours and early bottle feeding (insisted on my hospital) have all contributed and she may never get it... she encouraged me to stop if I felt it would save my mental health. Weirdly I now feel chilled about it, will keep bottle feeding ebm and trying her on breast for comfort to see if she gets it. Just need a bloody decent pump... basically EPd for 8 weeks with a hand pump and feel like I'm getting RSI...
Thanks for your help and thoughts everyone 😊
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