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I'd like to express/breastfeed this time(23 Posts)
I already have one child, I so wanted to breastfeed but have no support at home except from my husband who obviously knows as little as I do. The birth was difficult and wound up in emergency caesarean and a week in the hospital as baby was very unwell. I tried to breastfeed but the baby kept getting a latch and then popping off it again. We had midwives doing all they could and in the end I gave up and went to formula after just a few days as baby wasn't getting anything and I wound up unwell myself. I thought about expressing but it seemed too late by then and I didn't have a pump (all the midwives prior to birth told me not to bother, I'd lose the colostrum and could hand express) hand expression yielded nothing.
So, this time I would like to try breastfeeding again. I'm no longer under the illusion that baby will know what to do so would love some advice please and some advice about pumping too, in case I decide or get forced down this route. Or at least tell me where to seek help?
It’s worth talking to breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant before baby arrives. To talk through what happened last time and make a plan for this time. The positive breastfeeding book is worth a read.
The other thing is find a buddy that has breastfeed who can “mentor” you. Someone that will support you breastfeeding even if things are tough.
Thank you, I think my main concern is being stuck in hospital for days with a baby who can't feed, I'll be having a caesarean so won't be allowed to leave for a while.
My midwife is setting me up with the breastfeeding consultant so fingers crossed.
I would recommend the calypso ardo double pump. I have had lots of problems with breastfeeding (lo is 5 weeks) and the pump has kept my supply going effectively.
I'd recommend the medela symphony double electric pump. I've successfully exclusively expressed since day 1 and I am now still expressing at 3 months and producing 24-26 ounces of milk a day.
I also have a pumping bra so I can be hands free and it's great! I watch tv and pump whilst baby is sleeping.
Thanks, I'll bear that in mind
I expressed antenatally and really believe this helped me. It was hard work but I plan to do it again if i have another. It meant that when the baby didn’t latch on straight away (naively I had completely expected this having watched an NCT video where the baby propelled itself across the chest to the nipple and began feeding straight after birth) I knew already how to hand express so could express a little to get him started. I then brought in to the hospital all the syringes I’d stored and was able to use them to sort of whet his appetite when he was reluctant to feed.
Obviously that’s just my experience and I’m certainly no expert but the lactation consultant should be able to advise if it would help you.
Another thing I’d consider next time is to plan to see a lactation consultant in the first few days and after a week or two just to make sure we were feeding optimally. In the hospital it tends to be that if he’s latching and everyone seems well then it’s fine whereas I don’t think mine has actually been feeding very efficiently the whole time.
Bella- interesting that you said you expressed antenatally. I was a bit worried about doing this but for the next baby I think I might give it a go. I guess you expressed your colostrum? At how many weeks did you start doing this?
Sorry just realised I said I have the Medela symphony, I actually have the Medela freestyle.
Google the Breastfeeding Network, they sometimes run antenatal breastfeeding classes as well as providing support afterwards. Also, contact your local children's centre to see if they offer any support groups or classes. Your midwife or health visitor may know about what's on offer local to you but definitely access the antenatal breastfeeding support if you can.
I think everyone having a ceasearean section, all first time breastfeeding mothers, anyone being induced... everyone basically.... should be assisted to hand c express and freeze colostrum from 37 weeks. At the moment it's just some diabetic mums in some hospitals. I'm a midwife and can't think of anything that would help more! Also, you sound the perfect combination of focused, driven and realistic. Plus, don't underestimate the difference between an elective and emergency operation to your recovery and also that you have handled a new born before!
I just wanted to share my experience, which may be of some reassurance. My first pregnancy was with twins and I really wanted to breastfeed, but it just didn’t work out. They wouldn’t latch on, were too sleepy and ended up back in hospital with severe jaundice and weight loss. Like you, I didn’t have the proper support and we quite quickly moved on to formula. No regrets now, as they are strong, healthy and happy, but I was bitterly disappointed at the time.
My third baby is now a month old and the experience has been totally different. She latched on within ten minutes after birth and has been a champion feeder ever since, losing only 4% at day five and now about a pound over her birth weight. I know it can be harder with a CS, but you may find that a calmer birth experience, as well as this being your second child, makes the process much easier. Good luck!
I’ve had three babies and all were / are still breastfed from birth to 15 months, almost 3 and still going at 15 months with the third.
They were all different feeders. All also had tongue tie which made a massive difference to the latch.
Early days can sometimes - but not always - be hard work
A few things I thought you might find useful
- water water water ( and food of course but drinking sufficient water makes such a difference)
- lansinoh creamfir sorenipples is a godsend and a little hues a long way
- skin to skin to encourage milk production and bonding
- experiment with different feeding positions and latch techniques. The cradle doesn’t work for everyone and if you have latveir snalletnipples different latching in the hniques may work better. YouTube is good for this
- I tried several breastpumps but the electric Nedela ones aren’t far the best. The swing has a great dual feature to mimic baby initially rapidly suckling to facilitate letdown
- get then checked instantly for tongue tie. Insist. A severe tongue tie inhibits milk uptake causes poor latch and is a major reason for mothers dropping as it causes pain and is very distressing.
- little and often at first and then you will have days and weeks where you feel pinned to the sod. But it does level off.
- I understand some experts say not to express straightaway but I did with two of mine and it seemed fine. But if you intend to express regularly to say for example avoid bottle refusal then you do need to compensate for the bottled milk replacing a direct breast feed and express so as not to reword supply or cause engorgement. Well I needed to!
- finally just to say it can sometimes feel overwhelming and exhausting but you do normally get to the point where you just pick them up pop them on and ta da!
Good luck with the birth of your baby
Apologies for the many typos. I was ironically feeding my baby at the time of writing this
It’s perfectly normal for your milk not to come in until day 3.
It’s perfectly normal for a baby to lose weight at first- don’t panic or allow yourself to be panicked.
If you possibly can, don’t start expressing until your supply is firmly established. They used to say 6 weeks.
Hi I had the same situation as you with my first. She would latch on but not suck so so I did then express for 16 weeks and it was exhausting. I'd need to feed her a bottle and then once she went to sleep I'd express day and night I was shattered and it was the hardest way I have fed.
Second time round and third they just latched on and went for it and we had no issues. Second point blank refused every type of bottle and milk till she was older but my third was happy to go between and he'd have an occasional bottle when needed except when he went a month refusing but I figured out it was because I started cold sterilizing in Milton and he didn't like the smell. Once I went back to just boiling the bottles he took them.
Look for your local breastfeeding group and pop along and the women can have a chat with you and then if you need any help after you can go along.
Tips I was given which have been amazing (from our awesome antenatal NHS. Midwife)
1. Hold baby so that their front is on your front, ie their whole body is turned to face boob and your body, NOT cradling them on their back in the crook of your arm as you would with a bottle.
2. Allow their head to move back - it actually needs to move really far back to get a good latch. This felt so wrong at first when you’re so paranoid about ‘supportingthe head’ etc. you do support the weight, but you allow them to extend their head right back. So you can’t hold the baby with one arm to achieve this. Needs to be arm on back/ body, other hand supporting head so as to allow it to move independently
3. Position them so their nose is by your nipple (do not just move your nipple to touch their nose as I initially thought). That way, when they tip their head back, they pull your nipple in parallel to their palate and it ends up resting against the soft palate at the back, hence not painful for you. Also that way, they end up taking more of the underboob into their mouth, with more of the areola visible above upper lip than below lower lip. This is the correct latch, baby then uses tongue to ‘pump’ that underboob.
4. I also gently hand expressed 1/ day from 38 weeks, just got drops but I think it really got me off to a great start
Having had lots of breastfeeding problems I am now able to combination feed, which I am very pleased about. The thing that really helped me was paying to see a lactation consultant. Was £48 but worth every penny. If I could go back in time, I would have booked to see one on day 5/6 once my milk had come in properly, as that would have sorted out the latch problems I was having before the double mastitis/infection/abscess episode I ended up having by week 4!
@Maryam18 I think I started at about 36 weeks. The first time it took about 30 minutes to get 0.2ml of colostrum and I did wonder if it was really worth it but after a while I could get 1ml in about 5-10 minutes. I did 1-2ml a day while I was on maternity leave and I’m so, so glad!
Try La Leche League for peer support, their leaders are breastfeeding counsellors. You can find your local group here www.laleche.org.uk/find-lll-support-group/ . It's not the greatest search, mine doesn't find anything by postcode, but putting in names of various bigger local towns does.
My local group the leaders will do video calls to try and help if you can't get out to see them. I think they offer national support as well if you don't have a local group.
OP, your story is almost identical to mine. As other posters have said going to breastfeeding groups is a really good way to build a support network in real life and also to familiarise yourself with how breastfeeding works. Also the facebook group 'breastfeeding yummy mummies' is a good group to follow and get support from if needed.
Good luck OP and congratulations
Thanks all, what's annoying is I went to an NCT class and hospital one, and spoke to the midwife so I totally thought I knew the method of it but then there was no help when this wasn't enough.
I literally had no idea that milk takes 3 days to come in until I saw a friend with her newborn who told me last week!
I also tried hand expressing with the midwives in hospital but it didn't really yield anything, so I'll definitely ask the breastfeeding support worker if I hear from her.
Watching my friend do it with such ease (I hope she doesn't think I was staring!) I'm quite envious but will just give it my best and move onto formula if I can't do it.
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