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Intergrating b/f, ebm and formula - help and advice needed please...

(10 Posts)
JHelenA Sun 12-Aug-07 00:19:26

This is my first time on MN as new mum to 8 day old 1st baby.

We're really struggling to get b/f established. Sometimes it's perfect (mw described as 'text book' b/f), but at others (50+) he struggles violently, which is v v distressing for me. Anyway, really trying to find a way through. Have expressed and fed EBM successfully, but 1st offering breast and only resorting where baby gets upset. Have read on other threads about people usng formula as top up. How does this work? Any tips? My thought is that the hungrier/more frustrated he gets the less likely we are to be successful at b/f, so just looking for a way to take the edge off so we can have relaxed b/f time. PLEASE HELP!!!

Twinklemegan Sun 12-Aug-07 00:24:40

Oh gosh, where to start? I really do sympathise with you - it's horrible trying to feed a struggling baby. There are any number of reasons why he might be doing this. It's possible that your let down is too fast for him, or too slow for him, which is upsetting him. Or possibly he's just not hungry? I should clarify that I'm not an expert btw.

I wouldn't advise topping up with formula unless things are really desperate. At such an early stage this could have quite an effect on your own milk supply which would be a real shame as it sounds like breastfeeding is working well for you at least some of the time.

My feeling is maybe not to perservere for too long if he's struggling but try again later when he's calmed down. Have you noticed any pattern?

fiddlemama Sun 12-Aug-07 00:29:09

Hi JHelenA

Congratulations on your new baby!

Clarification please, Are you saying that he struggles at the breast but will take expressed milk from a bottle without any fuss at times?

Are you feeding on demand or are you trying to get into a routine?

JHelenA Sun 12-Aug-07 00:53:50

Hey responses already!!

Well, to clarify...he feeds from the breast sometimes, but on others I can't get him even close to the breast because of the reaction. My midwife has left a small syringe type thing as an emergancy measure. This means I can feed expressed milk, but not from a bottle. We're trying breast and when it's clear that's not going to work I give him some EBM to settle him. Sometimes I can then get him to feed from the breast after this.

We're doing lots of skin to skin and my midwife has referred me in to the specialist breast feeding worker at the hospital, but that might not be for a few days. His weight has dropped by >10% post birth, so guess bit worried bout that.

JHelenA Sun 12-Aug-07 00:54:43

p.s trying to feed on demand. Thanks

juliewoolie Sun 12-Aug-07 10:58:44

sounds a bit similair to me a few weeks ago.

Has your midwife checked for a tongue tie it is very common and can make it difficult for the LO's to latch on, and they become very frustrated and fight the boob.

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 12-Aug-07 11:26:16

Congratulations on the birth of your DS

I'm sorry you are having a tough time at the moment but don't lose heart. Even babies who completely refuse the breast at this age still go on to fully BF, and it is great that you are managing it 50% of the time.

If I were you I would get your partner or a family member to ring one of the BF helplines asap and hand you over when they get through (my DH did this for me because it can take a while). And try lots of skin to skin cuddles and maybe feed in the bath.

Have faith in yourself. You are doing really well to not give a bottle. I would advise not giving formula if you can possibly help it because it can mess up your supply. I know that expressing is tedious but hopefully you won't be doing it for long. Have you got an electric pump, as this at least makes it easier? And a double pump saves loads of time and stimulates your breasts even more.

I am no kind of expert BTW but I had a baby whi would not latch on and I'm just repeating some of the advice I was given by someone from the LLL. But you need advice that is specific to you so do consider ringing them.

Best of luck

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 12-Aug-07 11:27:32

LLL: 0845 120 2918 (open 24 hours)
NCT: 0870 444 8708 (open 8am to 10pm every day)
BfN: 0870 900 8787 (open 9.30am to 9.30pm every day)
ABM: 08444 122 949 (open 9.30am to 10.30pm every day)

(was just looking for somewhere to copy and paste this info from)

mears Sun 12-Aug-07 11:37:21

Are you doing loads of skin-to-skin contact? Try spending the day in bed with him in a nappy next to your skin. That way you won't miss him feeding cues. Sometimes when they are lying in a cot you can miss the little lip smacking movements that he might make. If he is next to you he will be able to access the breastwhen he wants it - he will actually be able to steer himself towards the breast.

Have you ever expressed EBM before feeding him? That way you might be able to tempt him with the taste of milk.

Another thing to try is taking him into the bath which is like a rebirthing experience for the baby. Lying in the water may encourage him to root more for the breast.

Try and avoid formula top-ups if you can. Formula is denser and harder to digest therefore he won't look for breastfeeds as often.

Congratulations for still persevering - it will click into place.

JHelenA Sun 12-Aug-07 19:36:37

Thanks all.

Have spoken to LLL and NCT etc, and midwife has checked for tongue tie. Feel like we've had bit of a calmer day, although he's still not gettng enough food from b/f alone. The syringe thing with EBM seems like the best support at the mo. Am currently using a hand pump, which is OK but not great so think I might buy the double electric pump advertised in the NCT catalogue. Hopefully this will help me to produce enough to keep going through this stage. Have a weigh-in tomorrow so will see what the m.w says. Don't think I could have coped without her!!

Thanks again.

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