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Have you stopped BF after a few weeks...is everything ok now? Would love to hear from u

(22 Posts)
Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 09:10:22

I am pretty much combo feeding DD right now (6 weeks today) and feel it may be time to just stop bf totally (well if you can call what I do bf).

After stopping bf/expressing for nearly 3 days a few weeks back due to mastitis and the most sore cracked bleeding nipples EVER I pretty much stopped producing milk.

Anyhow long story short I had a change of heart and want to get DD back to bf and been trying like mad to increase supply (using herbal tinctures, motilium, expressing throughout day/night and of course putting DD to breast at any given opportunity). It just doesn't seem to be making much difference.

DD sometimes bf from anything like 2-10min.

I'm tired of expressing and barely getting an oz and I am tired of DD fretting at the breast. I called the BF N and they reckon I should keep trying for at least a couple more weeks and see if my output increases.

Will I feel sad and guilty if I stop? Am I not determined enough anymore to succeed? I do also have a DS (2yrs next week) who has been glued to the telly during my feeds/expressing moments. Am I being fair/good mother to him?

Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated.

RBH Thu 19-Jul-07 09:21:32

No words of wisdom but I think it is probably worth sticking it for a couple more weeks as by around 8 weeks they suddenly seem able to do loads more including feeding better. I had a really difficult time with dd2 who was mixed fed for a number of reasons. At the point you are at I was definitely doing a day by day thing of deciding whether to keep on bf or not. However around 8 weeks it did all get suddenly easier. I think she coudl support her neck that bit more and her mouth was bigger so she latched better.

Oh and I used to get next to nothing expressing which I found depressing so I stopped expressing but kept on with bf. I even hired a double pump from NCT. That was fun when dd1 discovered the dial to turn up the suction!

Dd1 was 19 months when dd2 was born and she definitely has developed a grand old Cbeebies habit!

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 09:27:02

I'v hired a double pump too! DS LOVES playing with it.

I guess day by day is the way to go.
:-)

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 09:34:15

FBH
Forgot to ask
Did you continue mixed feeding? If so, does that work ok?

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 09:45:22

I agree that babies seem to find feeding easier after around 8 weeks or so when their heads are not so floppy - I found this with both my DSs.
Also its worth remembering that when a baby feeds he/she will take more milk than you can express, so your DD may well be getting more than you think even in a short space of time. (Expressing is not a good indication of how much you can produce.)
Dont want to lecture you but there are loads of health benefits for both of you if you can carry on for longer (see the thread for Increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK for lots of info).
Try not to feel guilty about your DS, that is just the reality of tyhe situation and breastfeeding does get easier and more efficient as you go on...

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 09:55:30

Trust me I know all the reasons to keep at it. I am very much for BF.

Will having to supplement her at each feed (with either expressed milk of formula) actually drop as well. It doesn't seem to and if I am honest I feel like I am just feeding or expressing all the time (first we bf, then supplement then I express). I have tried the SNS system to stimulate and supplement at same time and found it a nightmare.

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 10:04:53

Am no expert but I know the more formula you give the less milk you make, giving formula simply reduces your milk supply.
Also you might find your supply increases if you spend more time with your DD at the breast rather than expressing. Expressing is much less efficient at producing milk then a feeding baby.
The more time the baby is at the breast the more milk you will make.
Have you tried skin to skin with the baby and also warm baths? Both are good for stimulating milk production. Also if you can have the baby in bed with you and breastfeed at night this also hels increase your supply (and feels very nice and cosy too and doesn't interfere with your toddler).
I try and read to DS1 when feeding DS2 and this has got easier in the past 2 weeks (DS2 is 9 weeks now), since he is better at holding his head and feeds quicker.

RBH Thu 19-Jul-07 12:53:12

I mixed fed until dd2 was 4.5 months when she decided to stop bf. But I was in hospital for 10 days when she was two months which threw a spanner in the works supplywise. I would feed her then top her up with a bottle. As she got better at sucking- the NCT woman said she was an ineffective sucker!- I began to reduce the size of the top-ups gradually. By the time I ended up in hospital we were at under 2 oz, down from nearer 5 oz per feed. Don't think I cut down the amounts in the bottles until around where you are now as she would feed for ages but get very little as she only gulped every 4 sucks or so. Once her suck improved my supply definitely went up a lot. I think that if we had continued as we were we probably would have dropped most if not all of the bottles by the time she hit 3 months.

I also made the decision that I couldn't feed her for an hour every two hours which she would have done and which would have helped because it wasn't fair on my toddler and I had to balance the needs of two children.

RBH Thu 19-Jul-07 12:54:03

Oh and I drank loads of fennel tea cos that is supposed to help with milk supply.

jj131 Thu 19-Jul-07 13:00:29

I stopped around 6-8 weeks or so, I don't really remember exactly (DB is 6 mos now) and everything is perfectly OK.

At first I kept going back and forth and back and forth again trying to decide whether or not to stop. When I finally did stop - I'd ask my husband every night for at least a week whether I'd done the right thing. And it was very hard during that time to watch my friends BFing, or even to have random strangers ask me if I was breastfeeding, as you know they do. Usually I'd lie and say I was, and when they gave me a big approving nod I'd want to smack them (don't worry, I didn't). And forget about looking at boards like these...as well intentioned as certain posters may be, they can inadvertently make you feel like crap.

Then, suddenly, I felt fine about it because I realized that for me and my ds, it was a good decision. I suddenly didn't care how other people were feeding their babies and I didn't care what they thought about how I was feeding mine. And although I wish that BFing worked for us, now I don't at all regret deciding to stop. I'm going to try to BF with my next one(s?) but if it goes the same way again I'll switch to FF again without guilt.

Maybe you should keep BFing or maybe you should switch to FF -- no one else can decide this for you. Do whatever you feel is best for you and your family and don't worry that you'll make the wrong choice and regret it forever, bc it's unlikely that you will.

laundrylover Thu 19-Jul-07 13:02:34

Elsbells,

In a rush but do a search on here on 're-establishing bfing' and also check out kellymom for advice.

You can do it but you're right to take it a day at a time. Bear in mind that night feeds are important too in establishing your supply so mastering feeding lying down/skin to skin etc. helps.

Also remember that loads of people mix feed longterm very successfully however it is important to establish your supply now for thsi to work or usually the formula creeps up and up!

Good luck and don't wory about your toddler - being ignored is the price to pay for being first born.

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 13:24:43

jj131 - I know exactly what you mean by not even wanting to have people around you bf. I get this weird feeling of jealousy (why can they do it so well) and sadness.

I think as I am still not too sure what to do I probably will keep until I am 100% sure on what to do.
Everyone seems to advise that it will get better.

I had my 6 week checkup today and my GP said she couldn't bf until dd was 8 weeks and I had plenty of time to increase supply. She went on to say that my DD is still young and will feed well and get better at it and so on.

I have decided to give her less top up and if she gets hungrier earlier then I put her on the boob. So far we have been doing it all morning and hasn't gone that badly.

Any tips on lying down and feeding - I have never done that one before.

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 13:53:19

Here is one link re feeding lying down:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6612573.stm

I'll find another which gives info on feeding while you and baby both lying on your sides.

laundrylover Thu 19-Jul-07 13:56:12

Lie on your side with your baby on their side, facing you and tucked in close. Latch DD on and lie back and relax. Depending on the size of your boobs you may be able to put her on the 'top' boob too when you get practised. If you have big boobs like me you can also lie on your back and do this this whilst trying to catch up on book group books. It makes night feeds soooo much easier IMO.

Have a bash!

meandmy Thu 19-Jul-07 14:00:15

i stopped bf at 6weeks had been topping up with formula from 5weeks.
i wished i had tried harder to continue bf as when im having a down day that is what bothers me the fact that i could have continued.
Also i felt like bad mother for weeks i wasnt giving my dd what was best for her.
if its what you want keep trying your dd wil bf if she hungry your supply will increase.

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 14:11:16

Here is some info on positions
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/breastfeeding/positions/
am sure there is more out there, hopefully someone else knows some good links too

Oblomov Thu 19-Jul-07 14:24:52

If you google "relactation", there are lots of good articles.

laundrylover Thu 19-Jul-07 15:16:00

Meandmy,

Please don't feel down about what happened - you should be congratulating yourself on managing to bf for the first few weeks and thinking about all the benefits that your baby got.

Move on and admit that you are fab mummy. If you have another baby just think - there'll be no stopping you!

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 16:45:57

Meant to say if its hard to find time in the day to take to your bed and have skin to skin with the baby then having the baby sleep in the bed with you in just a nappy is a great way of getting the skin to skin. It is also a good way of calming a screechy baby I found

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 21:56:48

Meandmy
Thanks for being honest as I am afraid that is how I will feel if I do totally stop. That is why I wanted to hear from people.

BUT no one gets a medal for trying for harder or longer...we can only do our best.

:-)

Elsbells Thu 19-Jul-07 22:01:17

Great instructions laundrylover and pannacotta the photo helped see what it should be like.

Wish me luck. I am sure it will take a few attempts.

I am doing lots of skin to skin anyway - feels nice to bond and cuddle.

Pannacotta Thu 19-Jul-07 22:19:35

Of course, good luck
Wanted to say that feeding lying down turned breastfeeding round for me. DS1 was a big and very hungry/demanding baby and I was really tired with all the feeding but once I worked out how to feed lying down I would do it this way as often as I could day or night (easier when you only have one child I know).

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