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Trying to salvage BF

(13 Posts)
Elsbells Thu 12-Jul-07 12:48:19

My little girl is 5 weeks today (2nd baby - have a 2yr old son too) and we are having real issues bf. I was excl bf for the 1st 10days with the most horrible cracked bleeding nipples which then caused me to get mastitis. I was tired, fed up and in pain so stopped bf for 3 days as I had decided to stop bf all together. I have changed my mind (probably too late) and for the past 3 weeks I have been trying so hard to get back to bf but it has been a nightmare! I have tried taken Moltilium, More Milk Plus AND expressing 10times a day (throughout the night etc). Hardly anything comes out when I pump and my daughter will hardly nurse from me bar a few min at each breast if that and gets upset and unlatches herself screaming for food. I have of course been supplementing her with a bottle now for the past few weeks.

I am so sad and it is making me feel very low. Have I exhausted all resources to increase my supply? A laction consultant has advised me that by not bf or expressing for those 3 days in the beginning had begun the shut down process for the milk production.

I am also feeling guilty as I am not paying much attention to my toddler as I am obsessed with expressing and have to be at home to do. I am also too tired to do much with him as I am setting the alarm throughout the night to express on top of getting up to feed. Unfortunatley we do not have anyone to look after him.

This whole thing is making me feel down and a failure. I really want to bf but I am also driving myself mad for what I am starting to feel is too little too late.

Any advice?

ib Thu 12-Jul-07 12:51:46

You poor thing, sounds awful! Have you tried a suplementary feeder?

MarsLady Thu 12-Jul-07 12:54:50

You need to babymoon as much as you can. What help can you draft in to help you with the 2yo? If you can't then babymoon whilst the 2yo sleeps or have him there as well.

To babymoon you simply nest down in a nice comfy room. Keep things handy (drinks, snacks, the phone). Babymooning is like a honeymoon. Being nekkid with the one you love.

Also... have you tried to get some professional help?

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding Network

It's NOT TOO LATE to make it all work. But you do need to get some support in place. It may take some time but you have to be determined that it is what you want to do. Those first 10 days will have stood you in good stead.

hth... I'm sure that tiktok will come by soon with more advice for you!

Elsbells Thu 12-Jul-07 13:03:52

So is babymooning just lying naked with my DD?

I've been getting her to do the breast crawl but she never gets as far to latching on for some reason. I was hoping that would help stimulate the breasts.

I have tried to look online for the SNS system to buy but can't seem to source - any tips on where to buy (I was thinking that might be my last hope)

tiktok Thu 12-Jul-07 13:05:19

Els, I am not gonna say much, as I think you will get more help in real life by talking to someone who will listen, and who knows about bf.

MarsLady has given a couple of numbers to volunteer helplines, and there are others on mumsnet.

ib suggested a supplementer, which is a device which delivers formula/expressed breastmilk at the breast through a tube - it does help some people but it is very fiddly, and I would worry would complicate your exhausting regime by adding yet another layer to it.

The lactation consultant was probably right - but unnecessarily gloomy

The sort of things you can talk about to your chosen helper would be skin to skin, biological nurturing, babymooning, help with the toddler, better expressing techniques and support for you.

Good luck!

ib Thu 12-Jul-07 13:06:11

I got mine from my lactation consultant - if you call up medela they'll tell you where you can get it.

Kif Thu 12-Jul-07 13:08:07

Poor you - sending somecyberspace sympathy.

I'll have to be brief to begin with - my toddler will start eating the soap if I don;t serve lunch soon.

Health warning: I've no qualification. However, I'm a veteran of more than one salvage attempt, so I'll share with you what worked and didn't for me. Apologies that my thoughts will be disorganised.

1) Motilium (domperidone) takes a while to kick in. For me it was about three days, and suddnly I realised it was working.

2) Fenugreek (which is what more milk plus is based on) is quicker.

3) They work in different ways. Roughly, motilium is good for 'hormone' issues, for example when you're trying to build up a supply after delivering a premie. Fenugreek is more of a 'kick up the backside', stimulating milk via stimulating the sweat glands.

4) Are you in painf when your baby feeding from you at the moment? Is your latch better now?

5) Feeling like s**t is normal and rational - your baby is tiny, you're exhausted and breastffeding will be playing havoc with your hormones. Don't 'believe' in it, iyswim - you're not a failure.

6) The comment from the lactation consultant sounds spectacularly unhelpful. Would it help you to know that I've a 'black book' of half a dozen 'professionals' who didn't believe in me when I was doing this kind of thing.

TBC - CAT me if you like.

Elsbells Thu 12-Jul-07 13:21:10

Thanks for everyones tips. I have just purchased the SNS system. What have I really got to lose? Right?

I have been to several bf clinics for help re latching so that is not really any issue anymore (thank goodness) so fingers crossed the SNS will work.

Kif Thu 12-Jul-07 13:32:46


Kif Thu 12-Jul-07 13:40:35

Good luck with everything.

If it were me, I'd use the supplementer, but ease up on the expressing. I think it would help you a lot if your baby started feeding from you properly again - you could start going out more with your toddler.

It's very hard - as you know - and I think you should feel proud of yourself the way you've knocked on every door to try to get the best solution for your family.

You know what helped me? I started a support thread for myself, and posted my progress in gory detail. It helped me keep focussed but sane iyswim. Gave my husband a bit of a break from hearing about it too. :-)

Kif Thu 12-Jul-07 13:53:40

OK, promise last post - I feel I'm killing your thread!

Kif's top tips for managing the toddler factor.

1) Co sleep when you can (nekkid if it's warm enough) - multitasking a babymoon and shut eye.

2) I had a family lunchtime nap. We all cuddled up together in the big bed. Stopped my daughter being too left out

3) My daughter was 3, so older, but we majored on arts and crafts as something that was an exciting treat, but done entirely seated. Tescos have a good range of easy bits to stick and paint.

4) It was a big deal for us to find a really reaaly nice playgroup. Going out there diffused the tension, and there was always a spare pair of hands there to give either one or the other sprog a cuddle. Conceivably you could pop into a side room to express for fifteen minutes.

5) Two words: Cbeebies and McDonalds

6) Consider goinfg to stay with grandparents for a while

7) Sling?

8) Slowest teats on bottles. Consider the variable flow ones, which are more like bf because they don't flow if baby doesn't suck

9) Take care of yourself, and let youtself off the hook if it really is too much.

10)Hand expressing can be pretty effective - and you don't have as much washing up.

11) Microwave pasta and rice preserve the illusion that you're still making an effort in the kitchen.

12)Talk to your gp - you'd save a packet if you got motilium on prescription

That's probably enough from me now . Ooops - didn't mean to get so caried away.

oregonianabroad Thu 12-Jul-07 14:05:09

I know how you feel, having been through similar with my first ds, born dramatically by emergency CS; took a long while to get BF underway, especially since I experienced the horror of cracked nipples as well. My 2 comments:
1. give it time. don't expect to get from hardly any milk to full on Bf in a day... hopefully, your supply will gradually build up as your body responds to the increased supply from your baby's stimulation. be patient and...
2. don't be so hard on yourself. it sounds like you are killing yourself trying to do the best you can for your kids, which is all any of us can do. when i was really stuggling with this, a friend said, listen, he'll be crawling around and eating chalk and mud in 6 months, so don't get too hung up on it!

Elsbells Thu 12-Jul-07 18:20:30

Kif thanks for the ideas on my ds getting some attention from me YET me still being able to crack on with bf dd. Going to start with family naps and getting out to a playgroup that suits our timings!!

My SNS purchase arrives tomorrow and I have hired a double pump too (the ones hospital use - will save time on expressing and hopefully more effective). Going to give it a go...I just need to know that I tried EVERYTHING how ever mad or over the top it is.

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