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Sister had c-section 2 days ago, struggling to feed, hospital giving bottles - HELP!

(27 Posts)
Enid Sun 13-Feb-05 09:05:23

My sister had a beautiful baby girl on Sat morning by c-section. She appears not to be producing any milk yet. Baby is hungry and has been given 2 or 3 bottles so far. She is not interested in the breast and thrashes about crossly after a couple of sucks.

Any advice? My sister is keen to at least start bfeeding, she is very tired though and worried about disturbing the other mothers if baby cries. She doesnt seem to be getting much support at the hospital and is very worried that giving the bottles will affect her ability to bfeed.

hermykne Sun 13-Feb-05 09:12:33

enid firstly i wouldnt worry about the other mums,
it may take a while for the milk to come in, i would just keep the baby nuzzled close to the breast so she routes and finds the nipple.

i am sure tiktok and mears will answerthis thread

aloha Sun 13-Feb-05 09:13:12

Enid, first congratulations to you on your new neice and to your sis on her lovely baby. My first though it is that it is totally normal not to produce any milk yet. Milk normally comes in on day 3 or 4 - until then she will be making colostrum - it's real wonder stuff, but does not look like milk -it's thin and yellowish but you don't have to see it spurting out or anything. I never saw any except once dribbling down dd's face! How do they know the baby is hungry? I think your sis should ask, as a matter of urgency, to talk to the hospital's breastfeeding counsellor. I eventually did this with ds, when he was being formula fed and I was getting very distressed by it, and she was fantastically reassuring. I did go on to breastfeed for 14months btw. I think your sister may need some help with positioning and - above all - confidence. Good luck. And don't let her make decisions about the best form of feeding for her and her baby out of fear of what other people * might * think. Her baby is more important than that, though in your hormone-fuelled, post-birth state, it can be hard to think clearly. Good luck, and give her lots and lots of support and encouragement to breastfeed - it can feel as if the world is against you sometimes in hospital.

pupuce Sun 13-Feb-05 09:26:47

Hi Enid

I agree with Aloha... get the BF brigade to help her.
First of all the more bottles the HARDER this is going to get (baby will be happier sucking on bottle - easier! - and wil get so much food that willl not stimulate her breasts as she won't be hungry and sleepy).... what about syringes and cups ! She can express (it will be small amount but that's normal) and give her that !
Good luck to her.... I do despair at the crap support women get !

Twiglett Sun 13-Feb-05 09:27:42

echo what aloha says (have you given your daughter a name yet? )

I thought milk didn't come in till day 3 or so

and giving bottles will just make it more difficult to breastfeed ( at hospital) .. she should demand a bf counsellor .. neither of my section babies were particularly hungry the first few days TBH

don't worry about other mothers, maternity wards are full of other babies

tiktok Sun 13-Feb-05 09:43:43

Enid - is this happening in the UK? If so, I am shocked your sister has been given such poor support. Milk doesn't come in until day 3 or later for most women. Unitl then (as aloha says) there is colostrum, which is important for the baby to have. The baby may be thrashing around because of interference and pushing and shoving. Instead, mum and baby need to be together, skin to skin, as much of 24/7 as possible. The baby will adore the closeness and will respond in her own time with feeding cues. Anyone leaping in and ramming baby on to breast should back off - this makes the situation worse. At the same time, your sis needs to be hand expressing colostrum several times a day while the baby is not yet feeding from the breast direct, and giving it to the baby by cup so the baby remains hydrated and her breastmilk supply is stimulated.

Hope she gets on the right track soon.

Enid Sun 13-Feb-05 11:35:02

I have to say I agree - am shocked at the lack of info and help she is getting. However...I believe that she has an ambivalent attitude to bfeeding and this may not be helping...

pupuce Sun 13-Feb-05 11:37:27

If she is ambivalent then I don't think she'll mind..... it is her decision and however sad the care is .... if she was that keen she'd be probably better informed and fighting her corner. the thing is she is probably too tired to fight or to a degree care !

NotQuiteCockney Sun 13-Feb-05 11:39:43

Cup feeding is easy enough to do, and greatly reduces the risk of nipple confusion. It would be worthwhile for her to try to do this instead, and of course keep trying to get the baby to suck. The midwives will know how to do cup feeding.

(I think milk takes longer to come in if the section was elective, than if she was in labour. But two days without milk is normal.)

givenupforlent Sun 13-Feb-05 11:40:16

When I had my dd 12 years ago by em c/s as I was absolutely exhausted and couldnt feed straight away, the hospital staff gave dd a bottle. After that I tried to b/f but dd also thrashed around and got upset after a couple of sucks. They sent down their BF Counsellor (100% success rate!) and she tried and tried too but with no success. In the end I had to bottle feed dd. BFC told me that the sucking action for bottle feeding and breast feeding is different and she felt it unlikely that dd was going to master the breast action

givenupforlent Sun 13-Feb-05 11:40:50

also BFC did try "spoon feeding" in a bid to break her bottle action

pupuce Sun 13-Feb-05 11:41:24

I totally agree wioth cup but it seems liuke no one has suggested it, syring would be OK too!
The more bottles the worse it gets and MWs know this too but it is easier to use a bottle than to spend time with a woman and SUPPORT her.... sad but true !

hercules Sun 13-Feb-05 12:08:21

Dh's cousin had a baby by c section and we visited 3/4 days after he was born. She hadnt managed to bf but really wanted to. The baby had been given 16 bottles by this stage and she'd had no help to bf. They gave her a pump but didnt tell her how to use it. Needless to say she didnt manage.

givenupforlent Sun 13-Feb-05 12:11:16

Thats very sad Pupuce but I can believe its true . That said, for my 5 day post natal stay I was never alone (unless I wanted it) the midwives at Bham Womens Hosp were brill.

tiktok Sun 13-Feb-05 13:05:15

pupuce, I agree, syringe is a useful option, and I have helped mothers who have found this easier than a cup...but I would say it would be 'foreign' to most maternity units in the UK, and knowledgeable support with a syringe is essential, as it can be dangerous used incorrectly (too much at once and the baby could even aspirate it). However, it does mean that every precious drop of colostrum is usable (not the case with cup or bottle).

Cross at what the bf 'expert' said to you, givenup....what a stupid thing to say, that she thought your baby would never master the sucking action at the breast. I have known many, many women succeed after weeks of using bottles.

irishbird Sun 13-Feb-05 13:19:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aloha Sun 13-Feb-05 13:43:10

really sorry to hijack this one Enid (btw your sis may feel abivalent because she is losing hope and she is getting such negative messages from her advisors - it's hard to fight your corner when you are on your own in a strange environment surrounded by people who are forcing you down a certain course of action - I know!)

Pupuce/Tiktok - please help. Breastfeeding has suddenly become absolute agony. It was never like this with ds. It hurts so much all the way through a feed (so much so I have had to stop and try expressing, but that hurts too). It even hurts when I'm not feeding. I am paying huge attention to positioning etc and it seems fine - big wide mouth, nose to nipple, tummy to tummy etc - and it didn't hurt in hospital. tips of nipples are very slightly scabby though (urk!) but not deep cracks or bleeding. Could this be thrush? And if it is, what shall I do? It's SO unbelievably painful. I really never felt anything like this before.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 13-Feb-05 13:49:24

I was told that if the tip of the nipple was a funny shape when you stopped the feed (not round, if you know what I mean), that meant latch was an issue.

I'd try to find a local BFC to have a look ... and try smearing hind milk and leaving boobs to air, when possible. (or lansinoh?) I'm sure pupuce or tiktok will be along soon.

aloha Sun 13-Feb-05 14:53:30


hoxtonchick Sun 13-Feb-05 15:10:09

that sounds very like me when i had thrush aloha, it was absolute bloody agony. i used dread feeds, & cry during them. ds didn't have any of the white spots inside his mouth, but that's definitely what we had. do you have a sympathetic gp? you need an anti-fungal drug to get rid of it - i think i took fluconazole/diflucan, & had to put nystatin drops in ds's mouth. really hope you get it sorted soon, good luck.

Enid Sun 13-Feb-05 15:33:27

aloha, I had this with dd2, unfortunately it was never resolved (it wasnt thrush) and I just had to wait for dd2 to grow a bit bigger and suddenly became easier at around 6 weeks. Her positioning was checked by a bf counseller and was fine. Lansinoh really helped me if you can get hold of some.

My sister has managed to feed her baby a bit, but is complaining of pain. I am beginning to feel like a breastfeeding 'nazi' and she's getting pissed off with my advice - she really wants to give bottles as I think she is very very tired - I guess I just have to respect her decision

pupuce Sun 13-Feb-05 15:40:27

Aloha fel free to ring me.
It could be thrush.... wonder what colour are yiur nipples after a feed ?

tiktok Sun 13-Feb-05 18:02:28

aloha, yes, I agree - could be thrush. Pain is sometimes described as needles or searing pain going into the breast...check out breastfeeding network's onlife leaflet on thrush. Sounds horrible - get it checked out soon.

pupuce Sun 13-Feb-05 18:21:31

Tiktok I have e-mailed her the leaflet earlier today .... not heard from her though !

Caligula Sun 13-Feb-05 18:23:09

Oh God, another tale of breastfeeding sabotage by medical professionals. {angry]

Nothing to add to what the others have said, just keep reassuring your sister that her baby's OK (my DS didn't eat at all for about 12 hours after birth!) and encouraging her as much as possible without making her feel pressurised.

You sound like a very supportive sister.

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