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Can we help my sister with BFing?

(8 Posts)
babyOcho Tue 22-Jul-08 23:18:58

My sis has a newborn (under 2 weeks) and has had problems BFing, is there anything that we can do to help her?

Here's the skinny, sorry it's long...

Her DD was delivered via c-section, and she lost a fair amount of blood (2 litres). Her partner told me that there was also issues with the uterus contracting and the consultant had to go in and sort her out (not too sure on that details, she doesn't even know anything about it).

They were discharged after 3 days and spent 2 nights at home. When the community midwife visited on the 2nd day her DD had lost 16% of birth weight and they were told to go back in to hospital. The LO was dehydrated. They thought it was an infection and gave her antibiotics (tests showed later that it wasn't) and they gave my sis a pump to express and she said that she "hardly managed to even cover the bottom of a bottle." So they gave what they could in a tube and then FF in the tube as well.

The hospital have prescribed her with Domperidone (I think, or something like that), and she is now BF and then topping up with formula. She said that DD's on for about 1.5 hours and then they give her a bottle.

So, how long does the drugs take to work?

Will she be able to drop the FF at some point, due to the drugs working? (I know someone who did manage to, but her DS was 4 months at the time and not a newborn).

Could the anemia impact supply? (I posted something earlier and someone said yes, can anything be done to help here?).

Could the uterus not contracting have had an impact?

Anything other words of wisdom that we can pass on?

I know that this goes on a bit, but we'd like to help her... I was lucky, I didn't have any problems in the early days with my DD.

callmeovercautious Tue 22-Jul-08 23:23:29

There are lots of people on here who have been through similar. I can't help but I do wish her lots of luck. Congratulations on being an Auntie smile I think Sparklygothkat had to tube feed her LO and they are now BFing very well - could have been lisad123 (her Sister) as they had LO very close together about 6m ago I think. Have a search for the names (if I have spelt them right!).

I am off now - am being a bit useless I think!

LackaDAISYcal Tue 22-Jul-08 23:30:27

bumping for some expert advice.

she should get in contact with a local breastfeeding counsellor. The helpline numbers are on VictorianSqualor's profile page, or here on

there is some information on domperidone on kellymom....scroll down the well as other naturally ocurring galactogogues (fenugreek, oats etc). there might be something on anaemia on there as well. It's a very sueful site.

I hope she can get things back on course; there are lots of positive stories about it on here smile

fruitbowl Tue 22-Jul-08 23:34:00

I don't know any answers to the medical stuff but carry on giving your sis huge encouragement> the best thing if she want to increase the supply / get LOs weight up and drop the formula is feed as much as she possibly can. And reassure her that she won't always feel like a milk machine - it's only this intensive for a few weeks while her supply sorts itself. She's doing brill to still be BF after all she's been through. And please don't be despondent about small amounts of milk being expressed. Many women who BF successfully just can't express alot with a pump (I know from experience!) It doesn't mean baby is getting the same amount of milk. Babies once they get the hang are much better at getting the milk than a pump.

1.5 hours sounds quite long for a feed but in the early days it's just a matter of perfecting the latch and figuring out when baby's actually drinking as opposed to sucking and snuggling mummy! There are some great video clips here showing what to look out for

Also, if she can avoid giving formula with a teat (try cups, haberman feeder etc) baby stands a better chance of feeding well from mum in these early days.

I'm sure you know lots of this, but wanted to send lots of support xx

AbricotsSecs Tue 22-Jul-08 23:43:34

Message withdrawn

tiktok Wed 23-Jul-08 08:20:22

babyOcho - hope your sis feels able to seek out more help via the contact nos here.

A large loss of blood can impact on the early days - and many people would wonder why she was discharged so soon after this and after her section From what you say, the baby was 5 days old before a healthcare professional noticed the breastfeeding was not working well. That's bad. Things should have been fixed sooner. This is not hard to do, if staff are trained to look for the appropriate things.

What she is doing now will almost certainly lead to full formula feeding - as well as being very stressful. Top up bottles have this effect and it sounds as if your sis's baby is having one at every feed. Instead, she needs support to bf effectively and frequently - not ditching the bottles immediately, but working on her breastfeeding so she can reduce them.

Expert help needed, as soon as poss...hope she gets it.

dairymoo Wed 23-Jul-08 12:51:35

Just wanted to add more support - and say that's she's lucky to have such an encouraging sister!

My DTs were in SCBU for 10 days after birth and were tube-fed until they were strong enough to suck, which wasn't until day 6 or so, I was pretty much attached to a pump whenever I could be - and also put the babies to the breast as the EBM was being poured down the NG tube, so that they associated sucking with getting full, IYSWIM? Also, what I found v helpful - and this is purely psychological - was to use smaller bottles for expressing into.

To start with I had these massive ones and I don't think I could cover the bottom either - but it was a real boost to my confidence to use ones half the size and be able to see a reasonable (albeit still tiny, but I was v proud grin) amount of milk.

Almost 11 months on and we're still going strong. Tell her good luck and to be determined and I'm sure they'll get it sorted really soon. smile

babyOcho Wed 23-Jul-08 16:16:56

Thanks for the info folks. I'll pass on all that I can and certainly try and get her to call for help and go to a group.

I forgot about the skin to skin thing as well.

dairymoo, great to hear that it's still going well after a rocky start. It's certainly encouraging.

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