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Reducing supplemental feeds

(4 Posts)
Mummyroundtwo Tue 30-Jul-19 16:54:44

Hi all, I'm having trouble breastfeeding my 3 week old baby.

She lost 12% birth weight at day 5, and midwife sent us to hospital as she was very very sleepy and would rarely wake for feeds (4-5 hours). I'm breastfeeding with a nipple shield (inverted nipples- whole other issue) and I can see LOTS of milk in the shield, and spilling when baby comes off etc, so supply is not an issue. Hospital said she is very jaundiced, but just slightly below the level needed for treatment, so said to just keep feeding feeding feeding to flush it out. They said to express milk after a feed and top her up about 50ml a feed, and try to get her to feed 2-3 hours.

This is so difficult, we've aimed for 3 hours, and still require stripping her down, sitting with a fan on against her back, putting ice on her feet etc just to keep her alert enough to take a feed. But slowly it's working and she's now passed her birth weight and putting on slowly day by day.

She's probably on the boob for about an hour, of which she's probably only feeding about 30 mins, the rest of the time we're trying to keep her awake. I've weighed her before and after a feed and calculate she's probably getting around 25-30ml breastmilk from an hours session.

Google tells me she needs around 600ml a day at her age, so if she's taking 30ml from boob, plus 50ml expressed, that's 80ml a feed every 3 hours, so that's 640ml a day which is perfect.

Now my issue is, I can't continue to have her on the boob for an hour, then express for an hour to make 50ml, then feed her, then wash bottles/pumps, sterilise, sleep, nappy change etc! I am completely shattered. I also have a 2 year old and my husband goes back to work next week. How can I cope with spending 2/3 hours just feeding and pumping?!

So I want to reducing the top up feeds but without affecting her weight gain, as she still is a little jaundiced, and we're going in the right direction I don't want to jeopardise her growth, but realistically this isn't sustainable. I don't mind if she fully breastfed, even if it is hours at a time because I can still interact with my elder daughter, play games, read her a book and walk around, but the extra hour sitting down attached to a double breast pump is a killer. And I really want to avoid formula feeding her if possible, and if anything, this will fill her up more so make short regular feeding sessions even harder?

I guess I'm asking if anyone has any advice on reducing the pumping sessions and top up feeds, and how to encourage her to stay on the boob for longer and be more proactive to get more milk directly from me?!

Sorry for the long rambling post!!!

OP’s posts: |
Mummyroundtwo Wed 31-Jul-19 16:34:32

Bump? Could anyone help? xx

OP’s posts: |
MyNameIsRachel Thu 01-Aug-19 09:52:40

No real help but I had a NICU baby and I left hospital on formula as I was so desperate to leave, then tried to get to exclusively pumping as I was used to my DH being able to give a bottle

It was pure hell. I had the same issue as you bar I didn’t have another baby. I’d be staring at my baby in the basket while I pumped, and decided to go to formula after 3 weeks

I am not suggesting you formula feed because I look back, forget the pain and wishes I tried BF

But there is a lovely lady on Instagram who responds to DM called ‘little peach London’

She might be able to help, her highlights also included tons and tons of advice

Good luck xxx and every drop of breast milk is a gift

Mummyroundtwo Thu 01-Aug-19 15:38:06

Thank you for replying Rachel. Hope your little one is in good health now. I'm not opposed to formula, I would just feel guilty if I haven't exhausted all other options first. The last couple of days have been increasingly difficult, and I feel like I will have to make a decision soon.

I will check out the Insta page xx

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