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Going back to breastfeeding after break due to medication - any advice? Please help!

(26 Posts)
MistyGee Fri 12-Dec-08 22:26:23

I breastfed my ds until he was 6weeks old, then had to stop due to medication i unavoidably had to take.
He is now nearly 14 weeks. I have been expressing, but my supply has been seriously dwindling.
Today i tried to get him to latch on but he was having none of it and started screaming!
Have been trying squirting a bit in his mouth to get him used to the taste, but i'm really worried he just won't take the breast any more.

Does have any experience in this situation, or any advice?

I would be really grateful, as i was so upset about having to stop, and now i'm feeling really dejected at the thought we might not be able to go back to it. I don't want to give up!

tiktok Fri 12-Dec-08 23:54:12

Misty- yay for the expressing all that time

Call one of the breastfeeding helplines and speak to someone, won't you? Help your baby start to love the breast again by bathing together, doing lots of skin to skin, and no forcing....gentle and patient will help.

What a blow to have to suspend bf for medication. This is so rarely essential. Most meds are safe to use when bf, the ones that may not be can sometimes be timed so the peak of the dosage does not reach the milk. What was the medication, if it's ok to ask?

MistyGee Sat 13-Dec-08 11:19:32

Hi Tiktok,
Thanks so much for responding.
I was using GTN (Glyceryl trinitrate) for an anal fissure blush
I coped with it for 6 wks after the birth..after 'going' in the morning i would be in agony from muscle spasm til 10pm ish, couldn't sit or even lie down, only thing that eased it was standing up, so i was bf standing up and walking around my flat all day. In constant awful pain, it wasn't healing and i just couldn't enjoy life, ds kept me going with being such a happy and patient baby!
So after wrestling with my feelings for ages and after dp said that in this state i wasn't being my best for ds anyway i decided to try the GTN ointment, and broke my heart over his last feed
Not to mention disapproving MIL making comments about whats 'best for baby' and even MY mum saying "oh well thats it then" despite my best efforts to express as much as i could....
Saw consultant yesterday (at last!) and she said there is a drug she had just run tests on that is ok with bf and i was so happy..if that doesn't work then plastic surgery on bum!! hmm
While i've been bottle feeding him i have been offering him the breast just to keep him familiar and he's always gone for it, so i was hopeful. Last night he went for it again, but once he twigged there wasn't much there and what was there he had to work for (unlike bottle i guess where it is just there) he squawked and was inconsolable til i gave him the bottle.
Not sure how to get around this as i can't see how my supply will increase unless i can get him back on there and taking some.
Will try calling bf helpline today, if there is anything at all anyone could suggest i would be really grateful.

TheProvincialLady Sat 13-Dec-08 11:45:40

Mistygee I wonder if a nursing supplementer might help you? It is basically a container for milk which has a tube coming out of it that you attach to your nipple. When DS suckles he gets milk from you and milk from the supplementer, so the flow is quicker and more rewarding for him. You can wean off it in time. It is GREAT that he will latch onsmile

here is the medela one

It is an incredible faff to stick the tube on!

Re the supply dip - could you have a 48 hour expressathon?! Express both breasts every 3 hours round the clock. This worked for my friend, who had stopped BF altogether and had very little supply.

tiktok Sat 13-Dec-08 13:01:05

MistyGee - what a dreadful time you have had.

I seriously doubt you needed to suspend bf - I will check (and I am not a medical professional but a bf counsellor) and post back. But normally, topical meds are fine - they are topical and not systemic because they are simply inactive if swallowed, and this means that if any did get into the milk (how??? when it was applied to your skin??? Topical meds normally only get into the system in tiny amounts) it would not affect your baby.

If this turns out to be the case then you should make a massive fuss!!

Keep calling the helplines.

tiktok Sat 13-Dec-08 13:28:56

Done a bit of hunting - seems caution is advised with this med, as it is not known what nitrates enter milk, even when used topically, but working out when to dose is an option....blanket 'don't breastfeed' is not necessary. It's a shame the alternative now suggested was not suggested before

tiktok Sat 13-Dec-08 13:29:29 a link which might help.

MistyGee Sat 13-Dec-08 13:42:46

TheProvincialLady - Thanks for the link, looks like an interesting idea! I've ordered one as its gotta be worth a try, as is the expressathon!

Tiktok- I can't believe you're saying i probably didn't need to suspend bf, i'm horrified! Feel like crying. If only i had found mumsnet earlier
Both my GP AND HV told me i wouldn't be able to bf and i agonised over the decision and felt like a totally shit mum when i decided to take the meds.
I will be making a HUGE fuss as i thought i was getting accurate advice from people who are supposed to know what they're talking about
Feel almost too angry to ring HV to ask about local bf help....
Thankyou both for your support, it means a lot.
Look forward to the information about topical meds and bf.

MistyGee Sat 13-Dec-08 13:49:57

You posted while i was writing mine..
Yes it is a massive shame that no one took the time to help me. Just goes further to support my distrust of healthcare 'professionals', especially after the birth of my ds, when i actually showed a midwife stuff hanging out of me and she told me there was 'nothing there'...days later i was back in hospital with an infection on the emergency list for an op to remove retained products!!!!!angry
You just feel like no one cares enough to go that extra little but out of their way to help you cause it's too much bother.

This just makes me really really sad
Sorry for the rant - must be positive and pro-active about getting back to bf.
Thanks so much again.

Sassyfrassy Sat 13-Dec-08 15:35:40

I had to stop breastfeeding for two weeks with dd1, she was 4 weeks old and I then started again when she was about 6 weeks old. It took a bit of work and the first couple of days I supplemented with bottles.

I can recommend fenugreek capsules to up your milk supply. You need to take 6-12 a day but I noticed an increase after just a few days.

tiktok Sat 13-Dec-08 15:41:18

MistyGee - if you can, get an up to date issue of Medications and Mothers Milk by Dr Thomas Hale - the international reference for this sort of thing. and are links to his forum.

It sounds like continuing to breastfeed would have been an option, if that was the only med available to you, by timing the dose.

This is a lot less inconvenient than expressing for several weeks

TheButterflyEffect Sat 13-Dec-08 15:45:21

Message withdrawn

MistyGee Mon 15-Dec-08 09:10:08

Hi all,
Have started taking fenugreek capsules, and have ordered a nursing supplementer online.
The problem now is that he won't latch on at all. I don't want to force dp says 'well he'll have to learn' but i can't see what it'll achieve other than stressing him out and making him hate the boob! Not sure where to go from here. Will try contacting local bf counsellor now its monday....feeling down about all this.

fishie Mon 15-Dec-08 09:16:11

mistygee what an ordeal, very impressed with your determination.

yes ring counsellors.

have you tried going to bed topless with your baby? you can just stay there for hours. bath is also good suggestion, basically being as close as possible to encourage natural feeding instincts.

tiktok Mon 15-Dec-08 09:17:40

You're right not to force him, MistyGee. Look up nursing strike in the archives here or on the web (try as the same sort of things apply in your situation. Gentle patience, and continual availability without actually overtly offering can work. But it may not happen straight away.

How often were you/are you expressing?

TheProvincialLady Mon 15-Dec-08 19:05:48

MistyGee my DS was a complete refuser from birth and yet by 8 weeks he did latch on and feed. It is hard and very upsetting too I knowsad But you are definitely right not to force him - do anything and everything to make your breasts a pleasant place for him to be around, and try not to show any frustration or sadness (difficult I know).

Something that worked for me was feeding by bottle in a position that was akin to BF, skin to skin (me with my top off) with the teat right next to the nipple. I think it helped DS associate the milk with nice breast. It took a couple of weeks of doing this for almost every feed for him to get the idea though. Do contact a BF counsellor and look at kellymom. You are doing a great jobsmile

MistyGee Tue 16-Dec-08 12:12:53

HI again,
I have contacted the NCT BF helpline, tried to get hold of local bf counsellor but no luck so far - strange! Rang HV, all don't seem to have any more suggestions other than what i have been trying.
It does make you feel upset and sad. I tried cuddling him with my top off and him in his nappy yesterday with us both wrapped up but he got cross and felt like he couldn't get away from me fast enough, which was sad for me, even though he was prob just tired or grumpy.
Have been trying to feed him (as you say) in the same position as he would be bfed. This morning had him in bed with me topless, and squirting a bit into his mouth. Not interested, but not cross like before. Have to remain optimistic. TheProvincialLady - how wonderful that you got your DS to feed, that must have taken so much patience and determination. Thank you all for your posts, they have given me hope, which i think is the most important thing as it keeps me going with this. Hoping nursing supplementer will come in post today so i can have a go with that!

fishie Tue 16-Dec-08 13:30:49

keep trying helplines mistygee, do you know there is someone from nct in your area? have you got all the numbers? here down right hand side plus suggestions of how best to go about getting hold of someone. hope expressing is going well.

MistyGee Tue 16-Dec-08 16:07:23

Thanks fishie. Think i will try going to bf group at local children's centre tomorrow. Just tried nursing supplementer and was a bit of a disaster. He just got really cross until i gave bottle. Losing hope! He is such a lovely baby, he's keeping me from crying with his gorgeous smiles. Just don't know what to do. TPL's post about it taking a couple of weeks keeps me persevering. Thanks for all your support.

TheProvincialLady Tue 16-Dec-08 17:11:11

MistyGee it won't be easy but you are giving it your best shot. Have you tried cup feeding him?

MistyGee Wed 17-Dec-08 11:59:57

No i haven't. Do you mean with a doidy cup? That could be a good idea.

fishie Wed 17-Dec-08 12:12:37

i couldn't get ds latched on for first 5 days and used the lid of a baby bottle to cup feed, you can sort of squeeze it to make it more spoutshaped. i have heard those supplementer things can be fiddly, but worth a try.

are you co-sleeping? you could try napping with him, perhaps when he is half asleep or waking he might give it a go.

MistyGee Wed 17-Dec-08 14:06:55

Not co-sleeping, but do have him in bed with me in the morning when DP goes to work. I have tried it when he's half asleep but he's totally twigged now what i am trying to do. He doesn't mind, but he ain't playing either!
I am expressing a bit of breast milk and putting it in with his formula just so that he is getting something. The supplementer was so fiddly, i couldnt concentrate on it all at once as well as him, and he got cross with the faffing around, as well as milk spraying in his eye!! I will try cup feeding him at next feed. Poor thing is probably thinking "whats next?!"

TheProvincialLady Wed 17-Dec-08 17:23:53

Yes I meant with something smaller, like the lid of a bottle. Some babies really seem to hate it though - mine did (naturally!).

It is really good that he doesn't mind you trying to encourage him to BF. My DS would scream and scream and hated every attempt.

I guess the supplementer will help when (hopefully) he starts to latch and suckle again, but gets annoyed when the milk flow is too slow for him.

MistyGee Mon 22-Dec-08 17:26:55

Still nothing is working.
Unsupportive partner not helping. Feel rubbish about myself, and really cross that i probably could have kept bf-ing......
Just wanted to say thankyou for all your support.

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