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The fight for breast milk

(7 Posts)
user1465146157 Fri 10-Feb-17 00:58:58

Dear all

I've written a few posts about breastfeeding but here is where i'm at now.

My DD is just 8 days old and can't latch on to me because i have inverted nipples. The day she was born they just said to put her on formula and we would keep trying with these syringe things to try and draw the nipple out. This didn't work and i left hospital having fed her formula only.

At home I managed to draw out a little colostrum and give her that by hand at any rare opportunity.

the infant breastfeeding advisor said to keep pumping and see if that stimulated things but while my breasts did go hard on day 3, the milk never came.

Baby has had nothing but formula and from day 4 has shown signs of colic - every evening crying and fussing like crazy - i can't help think this is something i could change (MAYBE) if i was able to express milk?

Anyway - long story but now i've accepted she can't latch on - she actually cries at my nipple. So I just want to express - I've been using an electric pump and there were some droplets which is great - but how do I get enough for a full feed?? Tried again and nothing is coming out...

Anyone else been able to produce milk days/weeks after the birth / AFTER the usual milk arrival time with just pumping alone?

Any advice would be great - also understood pumping as much as possible is the way to go, and am finding it hard to get the time in - with feeds, colic bouts lasting 5 hours and little trips to doctors, midwives and registry offices getting in the way....

thanks x

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 12:05:12

Sorry you've had such a hard time OP flowers

It will be difficult to get your MIL supply back on track but I think it can be done if you accept that it won't be easy.

Have you got yourself a good electrical pump, I.e one that is designed for situations like this? Such pumps can be hired I believe.

Are you pumping off both breasts at the same time and for how long? At work we recommend double pump for half an hour then 2.5 hours after you've finished start again. During the night we tell mothers to get up at least twice to double pump. The idea is to stimulate how a baby would feed (frequency and length of feeds) to make your breasts make enough milk to sustain that baby. Breast milk production is completely supply and demand so unless you're expressing 10-12 times in twenty-four hours then it may be difficult to get your supply back on track to the extent that you can stop using formula altogether.

It sounds like life is very busy for you which won't be helping so it's fantastic that you are so keen to try and do this.

Remember though that every bit of breast milk is brilliant so even if you're only able to express enough milk for two feeds a day then it's still fantastic.

What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to ideally only give your baby breast milk or are you happy to mix feed? Sometimes setting yourself a plan or goal makes the problem easier to address because you can then set yourself realistic targets about what you can achieve.

Have you phoned any of the breast feeding helplines for their advice?

littledinaco Fri 10-Feb-17 14:23:29

Like writer says, it can be done but it will be difficult.

Can you afford a private lactation consultant? I know you have said baby has not been able to feed from you so far but it may be that getting baby to feed from you is easier than expressing. A good lactation consultant should be able to help you with this, even with inverted nipples (there are various techniques you can try but I would say you need someone really good to help you).

This is a good article in relation to bottle feeding. It may be useful to help with the colic and if you did want to try to move to breastfeeding then it will make it easier for baby.

When expressing are you massaging your breasts first? If you've not tried already then before you start to express, try massaging them for 5 minutes first.
Have you got baby with you when expressing? This can help.
Can you get anything from hand expressing? Sometimes it can be easier to hand express a bit of milk first and then swap to a pump.
Make sure you're nice and relaxed (easier said than done I know) but when you're all stressed it makes it difficult to get your milk flowing.
Often, once you can get the hang of expressing just once or twice, you can then get milk quite easily every time.

Congratulations on your baby!

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 14:25:21

And I meant to ask if you've tried feeding with nipple shields? I see huge successes at work with women with inverted nipples using nipples shields - the baby feeds lovely.

I also find that babies who have bottles adapt easier to nipple shields because they are used to having something firm and plastic in their mouth as opposed to suddenly being offered a soft breast and soft nipple.

user1465146157 Fri 10-Feb-17 21:29:42

Hello both PP's and thank you so much for your supportive comments.

I think i've accepted i'll never solely breast feed so I'm happy to mix, i just wanted her to have a little bit from me at least in the first few months.

I have been using an electric breast pump - one side at a time, the infant breastfeeding team have loaned it to me. Ive not been using it for long (2 days) and also not as much as I should due to time, but tonight, i had a show of milk! Theres about a teaspoonful from one side!

I know this isn't much but seeing it has spurred me on to at least try for more, and like you say i I can get just one feed a day i'd be happy that I was mixing at least.

I have the nipple shields but she latches and doesn't stay long as nothing was coming - i wonder if i try tonight she might get something...

thank you again. not a perfect story but i'm going to try this week to get something substantial collected. Just want to think at least i tried!

littledinaco Fri 10-Feb-17 22:09:55

That's fantastic you managed to express some!

Brilliant that baby is latching too. Remember, baby will be FAR more efficient at getting milk from you than the pump.

Every bit you give her is beneficial. Take it a day at a time and see how you go. You've done amazing preserving with the pump, I think most people would have given up when the left hospital so you should feel proud of yourself.

You could try skin to skin with baby and the nipple shields-if she gets milk great, if not you've still had lovely cuddles and she'll have benefitted from the skin to skin but it can make it easier for them to feed.

Good luck x

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 22:31:34

I'm glad you got some milk!!

In terms of putting baby to the breast with the nipple shield do that once you've been pumping for a while - when you start to see milk coming out pop the shield on and then try latching her on. If the milk is instantly available then it means she will hopefully feed as opposed to coming off in frustration because there doesn't seem to be any milk.

And I really would recommend pumping both breasts at the same time as even if you're pumping milk off one side it's still being produced in the other breast so you may as well empty them both. Empty breasts produce more milk so the more frequently they can be emptied via expressing/feeding the better.

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