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(22 Posts)
gillythekid Tue 22-Jul-08 06:43:14

I gave birth to my first child yesterday tried to feed immediately but there was no colostrum. He woke at 1am and tried to feed but again, nothing there. I called the hospital and was told to use my Medela pump which I've just done for 10 mins but still nothing. How long should it take to come through and will he be so distressed that he won't feed? I'm clueless on this as none of the books mention lack of colostrum.

EffiePerine Tue 22-Jul-08 06:49:56

ing one of the bf help lines - hang on will try and find a link

not sure you'd be able to expess any colostrum btw - surely you make v little?

EffiePerine Tue 22-Jul-08 06:54:54


when you say 'nothing there' was he getting distressed? I saw no evidence of DS feeding apart from him making swallowing noises before my milk came in at about day 3 o 4.

mangolassi Tue 22-Jul-08 06:59:31

Try not to worry too much, there's really only a tiny amount of colostrum anyway. Definitely nothing you can see (ime) if he's on the breast. Just keep letting him suck on demand. Until my milk came in - about the 4th day, I think - my breasts felt exactly the same as before I was pregnant. I think i saw a drop of colostrum on maybe the third day; before that, there was nothing. Everything was fine, dd gained weight really well.

Someone with loads of expertise will be here soon anyway - and there's always the kellymom website.

Congratulations on your little boy!

EffiePerine Tue 22-Jul-08 07:03:16

yes bung him on the breast whenever he cries or starts chewing his fists and see what happens

but do try one of the bf lines for rl advice (they may open a bit later tho - 9 ish?)

NotQuiteCockney Tue 22-Jul-08 07:19:30

There's only ever tiny drops of the stuff, I think I tried to express it once, and got drips, literally, a slightly damp pump. (He'll be much better at getting it out than any pump, though.)

Please stick with it.

Was your labour ok? Do you have good local support? If you say what area you live in, we can dig for local bf support, who can often come and see you and the baby.

isaidno Tue 22-Jul-08 07:50:59

I've never seen any colostrum with all 3 of my babies - just assumed it was there!
Keep putting him to the breast to stimulate everything.

LadySanders Tue 22-Jul-08 07:56:59

just to continue the reassurance, i never saw any with my 2 either... milk came in day 3/4 with ds1, and later with ds2, prob day 5 or so - so don't worry!

harpsichordcarrier Tue 22-Jul-08 07:59:56

yes, please don't worry. colostrum is produced in tiny quantities. after hours of pumping I produced about 3ml!
are you happy with your latch? when is the mw due to call? can you speak to her on the phone?
keep getting lots of skin to skin contact with your baby, keep putting him tot he breast, try to rest and eat and drink well.
if you can, take a bath with your baby then go to bed together, just have lots of cuddles and feed as much as you can today.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 22-Jul-08 08:03:19

again, I never saw a drop really, and trying to express never yielded any more thana few drops.

they need such a tiny amount at this stage anyway try not to worry.

As effiep said, keep putting him on the breast when he stirs and nature will do it's magic, but please call one of the helplines to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor. They will assure you in person that all is well.


for advice and support numbers.

Dragonbutter Tue 22-Jul-08 08:04:32

DS1 was ill and had to be tubefed for first few days. I had to hand express and pump express. What colostrum I collected was a tiny amount that i had to collect with a syringe to put in his tube.
Really there's hardly anything there.
But at about day 3/4 i suddenly was overflowing with milk.
Hang in there. Just keep letting him try.
It'll come.

tiktok Tue 22-Jul-08 08:16:34

Pumps are not the best things to get colostrum out - hand expression is far better. In addition, the tiny amounts removable get lost inside the pump.

to the maternity unit that suggests a pump on day one....without assuring you about how to feed direct.

Call your community midwife and ask her to come.

But don't need to remove colostrum anyway. A healthy term baby will get what he needs just by enabling him to attach to your breast.

Hope you have a good day!

charitas Tue 22-Jul-08 08:44:32

Because of latching on problems the midwifes had me handexpressing colostrum into 1ml syringes, me as new mum dutifufully spent three hours painstakingly collecting 4ml, yes a whole 4ml whilst dp looked after our piglet. Needless to say when weighed the next day he had lost hardly any of his birth weight and had been getting what he needed in short bursts of feeding and has turned out to be an efficient feeder. These were the same midwifes who shoved his head at my boob and told me to wake him up to feed on the first night following his birth, which was pointless and unecessary. So relax you'll certainly know when your milk comes in an imo expressing colostrum was a waste of time, not that there were not about 5 ladies on my ward being advise to do so and I was one of the few who could actually get any result

ScaryHairy Tue 22-Jul-08 09:05:17

Oh dear, this must be very stressful for you.

As the others have said, you can't generally see colostrum. The most I noticed were my daughter's earlobes twitching as she sucked and the fact that she stopped crying when she was on the breast.

So, please try to relax, let him suckle as much as he wants. Your milk should come in in a few days. If he is crying, just put him to the breast and let him latch. His sucking will stimulate your milk supply to start in due course, and it will comfort him too.

gillythekid Tue 22-Jul-08 09:34:03

Thanks for al the wonderful advice and support. Baby only stays on the breast for a minute then cries, it's totally dry when he comes off. I think he might actually just be tired and not hungry yet! I've tried to squeeze a bit out by hand but there's nothing to see. My nipples were inverted before I got pregnant but have popped out somewhat but are still a litlle flat sometimes so may be a latch problem there too, they haven't grown at all (but was a 32G to start with anyway) Will persevere with skin to skin today and let him demand it. Thanks again x

LackaDAISYcal Tue 22-Jul-08 09:37:22

good luck gilly smile

babymooning is a lovely way to get things off to a flying start

witchandchips Tue 22-Jul-08 09:41:20

please don't worry. my ds and i did not get it for a few days but by day 3 he was feeding really well. Just keep on trying lots of cuddles lots of skin to skin

EffiePerine Tue 22-Jul-08 10:07:24

Ds really didn't feed much at all in the first day or so, despite latching on almost immediately after the birth. Think he was just tired! Keep offering and see what happens

But do get some expert advice, the bf lines are v good and there may be a counseller in your area who can come and see you if you're still worried.

HolidaysQueen Tue 22-Jul-08 10:20:24

Good luck gilly. I found with my DS that he needed to feed a lot until my milk came in (although it was really just 5-10 mins on the breast very often, rather than big feeds) and I thought it was because there wasn't much colostrum. My aboslute low point was on day 4 when my milk hadn't come in and he seemed so unhappy, and I could only express a few drops of colostrum (as tiktok says, pump didn't work at all and hand expressing got me the few drops out). I didn't realise at the time that that was normal for colostrum. Once my milk came in the next day it got a lot better. As everyone says, just keep putting your DS to the breast whenever you think he might be hungry and that should get your milk going - it gets much easier once your milk comes in. Skin to skin in bed is lovely, and a warm bath to relax you beforehand may help as well (my midwife told me this and it was a great idea)

LackaDAISYcal Tue 22-Jul-08 19:05:13

hope things went OK for you today gilly. keep us posted as to how you are getting on smile

gillythekid Thu 24-Jul-08 09:38:51

Thanks guys. Difficult few days. Migraine kicked in 24 hours post birth so may have blocked colostrum production but did start to produce some yesterday. In the meantime, DS became very distressed at the breast as there was nothing for him (as my instinct was telling me!) but La leche phone advice said to persevere as they were sure he was getting something. Anyway, cut along story short, caved in on Wed at 1am and gave him a small cup of organic formula, which he wolfed down and some more 4 hours later. Midwife came yesterday, DS is dehydrated with jaundice and been advised to top up with formula till milk is established as colostrum isn't enough to hydrate him, especially as he is not latching and VERY sleepy.
I still have a cracking migraine and am having a cranio treatment tonight so haven't read any posts. Needless to say, I'm in love with baby Nate despite my exhaustion.

tiktok Thu 24-Jul-08 10:17:54

gilly - glad you saw the midwife. It's a good example of why new babies need to be seen every day and why face-to-face observation is essential, over and above what you might read on the net or hear on the phone....I know when I am speaking to mothers of young babies, it's important to me (as a breastfeeding counsellor) to know the midwife will be around soon to actually see the baby - some jaundice is normal, of course, and physiological in a new baby, but the midwife should recognise when the baby needs intervention because of dehydration.

I still think you should have been helped to hand express colostrum if there was any suggestion the baby was not managing to get it out. Pumps are not good in the first days. Hand removal of colostrum might have averted the dehydration and the formula.

Hope things go well today.

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