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have i totally failed at this? advice needed (sorry, quite long)

(16 Posts)
glittercaz Thu 13-Sep-07 08:31:15

hi all...could really use some advice and help about feeding ds1, am getting so low about it.

he is 6 weeks old and was a big boy at birth - 9lbs 1. he lost 9% of his birthweight over the first few weeks...this really eroded my confidence in bf at the time. it was established that he wasn't opening his mouth wide enough when feeding (nipple feeding rather than bf). i was advised to top up with formula to get his weight up. didn't want to go down that road but would give a bottle of formula in the evenings before bed, which had the advantage of helping him sleep better. 2 weeks ago he was finally over his birthweight and seemed happy and thriving... i continued with evening bottles, and bf at this point waas still a bit of a struggle (fussing at breast, often falling asleep after just a few minutes despite my attempts to wake him) but I felt like things were slowly improving.

however, in the middle of last week i got a nasty tummy bug which left me totally exhausted and i couldn't bf as often...we started giving him more forumla feeds - first thing in the morning and again at lunch - so 3 per day. to be honest i felt as if he was enjoying this - crying less and so on, so even when i started to feel better i (probably incredibly stupidly) kept this up. initially i didn't notice any probs with my milk supply and he was taking to the breast as before.

over the past few days however, this has changed. his fussing at the boob has got worse (will only feed for a very short amount at a time) before pulling off or falling asleep. i'm worried my milk supply has gone way down - boobs don't seem to be getting hard between feeds and he never seems satisfied. i popped out for an hour last night after attempting to cluster feed him for over two hours - he fed on and off over that period but as soon as i was out started screaming and my DH had no choice but to give him a bottle of formula, which of course he wolfed down. i also feel that he's gone back to nipple feeding and won't open his mouth wide for me, despite following advice to correct this and using avent teats on the bottles.

my plan was to gradually decrease amount of formula feeds at breakfast and lunch over next few days until we're back to one evening bottle, and really persevere with the bf in the hope that he will start feeding for longer and the correct latch will return with work and effort. does this sound feasible to you? has anyone cut back on combined feeding successfully, even with a rather 'fussy' feeder?

thing is, i am incredibly worried that i am going to end up starving him if i do this. sad. the ff last night was given at about 8pm and he didn't feed well during the night - he now seems rather sleepy but i don't know if this is down to hunger or just that he's sleepy. i feel like such a failure when it comes to bf and feel so stupid for continuing with the formula because i was so concerned about his weight etc. some positive advice and encouragement would be really appreciated..am feeling pretty desperate about it all.xxxx

LilRedWG Thu 13-Sep-07 08:35:36

Bumping for you Glitter as I'm sure someone will be along shortly!

fishiapankhurst Thu 13-Sep-07 08:37:24

hello. lots of people here have established bf after a rocky start (me included), i am sure it is possible. but i think you need proper individual advice, to work out how much formula to give when etc.

who established that the latch was bad? why did they suggest topping up rather than fixing the latch? have you been in contact with a breastfeeding counsellor?

littlelapin Thu 13-Sep-07 08:39:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

callmeovercautious Thu 13-Sep-07 08:42:26

As you know the formula has quite probably interferred with your supply and on top of that he is now used to the bottles (it is easier for them).

You really need some professional advice and I am sure one of the fab BF experts will be along soon!

In the mean time, go back to bed with him and strip off and have lots of skin to skin. Offer him the breast all the time, if he falls asleep prematurely stir him gently by stroking his arm etc. Also carry on working on your latch otherwise you will get sore nips on top of everything else!

Good Luck!

callmeovercautious Thu 13-Sep-07 08:43:23

Well said LL!

glittercaz Thu 13-Sep-07 08:53:18

thank you - look forward to hearing from others also.

i did see a bf councillor early on - this was before i got ill though. when he falls asleep at boob it seems almost impossible to wake him up by stroking, i usually have to take him off and put him down for a minute.

would it be worth trying to get some domperidome to increase my supply, do you think...xxx

mimi1uk Thu 13-Sep-07 08:54:11

keep trying to stimulate ur supply, express off, which will increase milk, and gradually drop the formula feeds one every two days say that way u will increase ur milk supply, and if u have any left over breast milk u can freeze it for when u may need it within two/four days u should be making more, as ur body will supply on demand to a extent so expressing will do that whilst baby will not be missing out on all formula feeds straigh away hope that make sense...

mimi1uk Thu 13-Sep-07 08:56:38

also if baby is lazy at breat strip him off so only in a vest, untill he has feed well otherwise if really snug he will fall asleep quickly, and take socks off and tickle his feet to keep awake worked with my ds, obviosly just so he is not as snug not freezing lol, ur body temperature will keep him warmer too xx

fishiapankhurst Thu 13-Sep-07 09:10:05

glitter please ring one of these. you really need to speak to somebody to establish how your supply is, what to do to increase it and how to fix the latch. domperidone isn't going to sort any of these things out.

Breastfeeding Network 0870 900 8787
NCT supporter line 0870 444 8708
La Leche League 0845 120 2918
Association of BF Mothers 020 7813 1481 and 08444 122 949

i suffered with terrible latch problems which affected my supply but with the help of a counsellor all was sorted in the end.

fishie Thu 13-Sep-07 21:49:48

hey glittercaz, how are you doing?

smallwhitecat Thu 13-Sep-07 22:03:51

Message withdrawn

smallwhitecat Thu 13-Sep-07 22:07:33

Message withdrawn

kiskidee Fri 14-Sep-07 05:57:42

As have said before, contact a bf counsellor from one of the 4 organisations. And if you can't get through to one, try another one as the counsellors are mums themselves and fit the service in around their home/work life.

I second lots of skin to skin contact, day and night if possible. Also try co-bathing. Babies really get keen on bf in the bath. Another helpful thing to try is compression which will help with the falling asleep at the breast. There are also click on the videos of latching and how to do breastcompression among lots of other useful things on this site.

There are other possible reasons for losing 9% of birth weight besides poor latch. And sometimes latch can be improved for more effective removal of milk. So, it is something which you may like to have observed by a trained counsellor from one of the bf organisations just to put your mind at ease on this issue and to build your confidence.

tiktok Fri 14-Sep-07 14:55:54

glitter.... for you, as this is a confidence thing as well as a supply thing. It'll really help to talk to someone about this, and to set aside some time to have a good long chat about it...any of the helplines should fit the bill.

You are not stupid to have given formula - all you did was follow what was advised, and it's not your fault that the advice was so bloody awful. This is what often (not always) happens when formula is given - it erodes confidence and impacts on the milk supply. It is highly questionable whether a 9 per cent weight loss justified doing anything at all (and I am assuming here this was over a few days, not weeks as you say in your post) other than observing attachment and making sure it was good.

The majority of women will not make enough milk if they start supplementing as early as this....and once more bottles are introduced it can be a slippery slope that needs a lot of intensive work to climb up again....but it can be done. Your plan to decrease formula is a good one, and in fact it is the only one that will work...and you sound so motivated and determined, you have a lot going for you.

But you will need support and a cheer-leading team

Neverenoughhandbags Fri 14-Sep-07 15:14:01

Good luck glitter, keep it up , sounds like similar problems I had with all three babies.You can do it with some expert help from a LC.

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