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Demand and supply issues. Support / advice needed please!!

(22 Posts)
superdanovi Thu 15-Jan-09 18:19:30

Hello all,
I'm a garden variety terrified new mother to a 12 day old little boy and trying to get to grips with it all. My little boy is a hungry little one and I'm struggling to cope with keeping up, despite feeding and pumping around the clock. I've noticed that he's starving in the evenings yet my supply (as gauged by pumping) tends to decrease. Is this normal and can anything be done? I've had to resort to desperate formula top-ups when I couldn't cope and it kills me to think that I don't seem to be able to provide my baby with what he needs. For the last couple of days I've been using EBM bottles to bridge the gaps but playing catchup all day is exhausting and I'm really at breaking point. Am I doing the right thing? Any comments you all have would be gratefully received. Thanks so much! S

tiktok Thu 15-Jan-09 18:30:56

Hope we can help, super!

Ok - first off, call one of the breastfeeding helplines. I am an NCT bfc and our line is

here but there are others.

Secondly, why are you expressing? It is the worst way of i) guaging production and ii) guaging amount of baby's intake. You don't need to do it unless you have an overriding reason to do it (because baby can't suck, for instance).

Thirdly, just feeding him, keeping him skin to skin, and responding to his needs is easier for most mothers than trying desperately to stay ahead or bridging gaps or playing catch up. It is normal and excellent for a 12 day old baby to feed a lot and to object when he is put down to sleep - he is not 'starving' in the evenings, but signalling to you that he wants to be close because your taste, smell, touch and voice are familar and lovely to him Why, when less than 2 weeks ago he was inside you, would he want to be anywhere else but close to you and the food supply?

You don't need to do anything but feed and snuggle, and if you have help and support, your helpers and supporters should be waiting on you and doing all the other jobs.

I take it your ds is healthy, thriving, and showing this with lots of wees, yellow poos and that he has stopped losing weight and is now gaining?

I am sure others will help you here, too

tiktok Thu 15-Jan-09 18:34:03

Meant to add: you're not trying to only feed on one side at a session, are you, or timing or scheduling feeds?

Babies can have one, two, three or more breasts per feeding session, going from one to the other and back - it's fine

ilovelovemydog Thu 15-Jan-09 18:36:44

Both mine did a cluster feed in the evening, and am fairly sure that much of it was a comfort feed...

BabyStarlightsMum Thu 15-Jan-09 18:38:38

Congratulations on the birth of your baby.

The early days are simply about survival and are very demanding. This is normal. Your baby is behaving normally.

In our culture we can find this extremely tough because we are not expecting it perhaps, we do not live in close knit communities, co-sleeping is not normal and extended family being available to help is not normal.

Try to focus soley on your needs and your babies and get someone/anyone else to do everything else, and please take up tiktoks advice and call one of the helplines. You are making your life extremely difficult by expressing at the moment.

Good luck.

CantSleepWontSleep Thu 15-Jan-09 18:46:03

Stop pumping (simply pointless and unnecessary this early).
Stop formula top-ups (your body needs to know how much to produce and by giving formula you are telling it to produce that much less.
Have lots of skin to skin with your baby and feed as much as he likes.
And breathe and relax!

ilovelovemydog Thu 15-Jan-09 19:03:53

What helped me was a long bath in the evening! Preferably with Neal's Yard Lavender Bath Salts smile

Not sure there is any scientific reason, but felt more relaxed and happy to feed.... (and lots of chocolate for the night/early morning feeds)

superdanovi Thu 15-Jan-09 19:19:06

Thank you so much ladies! It's incredible how having a baby can turn a formerly self assured woman into a nervous and quivering wreck, unable to make to make basic decisions... let alone know how to deal with a crying, hungry newborn!!
He seems to be peeing and pooing with gay abandon and is gaining weight, so no problems in those departments thank goodness. I was expressing on the advice of our midwife and a couple of friends (to make the nights a little easier and to allow my husband to take over a couple of feeds to give me a break). Plus, my nipples have deep gashes in them, and so feeding has become an exercise in pain management (Haven't had a chance to see GP about it yet...). He is a cosy baby and loves being close and snuggly and its enormously easier to think of his constant feeding as a comfort thing rather than a starvation thing so thank you for that.
Tiktok, I am not timing or scheduling feeds... my boobs are there at his b3eck and call so to speak but I was told by the hospital to do one breast per feed. Would you suggest otherwise?
Thanks you all again! S

acaff Thu 15-Jan-09 19:21:18

i have a 4 month old daughter who i am bf but she fell ill with a cold before xmas and it co-incided with her growth spurt, my health visitor said to offer formula top ups which as i was scared i did, i have now spoken to a breastfeeding counsellor and they have told me to switch nurse for next two days to increase supply. we started the day off fine but the last two hours have been a battle she is starving and i have no milk!!! i have tried everything to increase let down, i have laid down i have drank water i have put her skin to skin and after seeing her distressed little face screaming for something i can't give her i gave in iand gave her formula. how do i get back to constant bf and satisfy her??? help ia m in turmoil!!!

tiktok Thu 15-Jan-09 19:24:55

acaff - start a new thread. It will get confusing to discuss your situation, as super's is a bit different, despite some similarities ... just click on the link to 'add a new thread'.

Not shoving you off, but it makes it so hard to help 2 diff. questions

tiktok Thu 15-Jan-09 19:30:17

super - hospital told you wrong Not at all unusual - support for bf is poor in a lot of places. There is nothing wrong with offering one side only, if that's what the baby wants but it's an incorrect rule in the beginning. When the baby seems to have had enough of one side, and has a natural break, then offer the second side....he may or may not want it, or he may want it in five mins, or 10....just be responsive to his needs.

There is no point in expressing to give you a break if it takes up loads of time, makes you judge your milk supply (as I said, it's not an inidcation) and leaves you exhausted. In addition, if he has EBM and you go a longer time between bfs as a result...this will make you uncomfortable and could lessen your supply. Crazy

Your GP is unlikely to be able to help with the sore nipples - these are the province of a bf-minded hv or midwife, or breastfeeding counsellor.

ilovelovemydog Thu 15-Jan-09 19:55:16

Lansinoh

acaff Thu 15-Jan-09 20:40:29

i have a 4 month old daughter who i am bf but she fell ill with a cold before xmas and it co-incided with her growth spurt, my health visitor said to offer formula top ups which as i was scared i did, i have now spoken to a breastfeeding counsellor and they have told me to switch nurse for next two days to increase supply. we started the day off fine but the last two hours have been a battle she is starving and i have no milk!!! i have tried everything to increase let down, i have laid down i have drank water i have put her skin to skin and after seeing her distressed little face screaming for something i can't give her i gave in iand gave her formula. how do i get back to constant bf and satisfy her??? help ia m in turmoil!!!

CantSleepWontSleep Thu 15-Jan-09 20:46:35

acaff - you need the 'add new thread' link, not the 'add' link, which just adds another message to this thread.

Leanne5 Thu 15-Jan-09 20:47:29

Super-Your milk changes throughout the day. In the morning there is more protien and it is slightly thinner. By the evening your milk is slightly thicker and contains more fat. This is where baby is getting more calories. This is often why most babies cluster feed in the evening. They may not be getting the quantity as they do first thing in the morning making them feed slightly more in the evening and it is not a reflection on you not having enough milk, baby will be getting all the richness of oyur milk in the evening. As baby gets older it will settle down, it is very hard work in the begining but so rewarding.

You may have sore nipples as the postion of baby on the breast may just need adjusting. Do you have a breastfeeding clinic you can pop along too. Your nipples should look the same after a feed as they did before a feed, postion and attatchment is what causes nipples to crack and become sore. It sounds like baby needs to take slightly more of your breast in his mouth.

superdanovi Thu 15-Jan-09 21:44:40

Thanks again ladies, I do have a local breastfeeding clinic which I'll go to on Tuesday. I've been meaning to go, but haven't been very confident about leaving the house with him since we came home from the hospital. I have my first HV appointment tomorrow and maybe she can offer some help in the meantime... Let's hope so as sore doesn't begin to describe my nipples at the moment... Am using Lansinoh religiously, applying breast milk, and most of my day is spent walking around topless to allow air drying but none of it seems to help. ANyway, enough moaning on my part for now....
See you all tomorrow... sleep well!! grin.

BabyStarlightsMum Thu 15-Jan-09 23:11:52

superdanovi You're doing fabulously. Hope you have the confidence to ditch the expressing. How anyone with a normal and healthy baby on day 12 can keep up with the demands of bfing AND expressing AND bottle feed is totally beyond me and unnecessary.

I'm sorry you had poor advice and support. You'll be back on track soon enough though and best wishes to your nipples grin

Please DO call one of the helplines though. I had trouble bfing and didn't call them because 'breastfeeding's natural innit, so how stupid must I be to need help with something natural' but with hindsight I would have saved myself a lot of heartache if I'd just called.

Good luck

BabyStarlightsMum Thu 15-Jan-09 23:27:50

acaff Did you start another thread? Trying to find you and help if I can.

tiktok Thu 15-Jan-09 23:43:13

Leanne - just to comment on your post, sorry....the protein content of milk is pretty consistent (where did you hear it had more protein in the morning?).

Fat content does indeed change, with the degree of fullness of the breast. Frequent feeds mean creamier milk, because the breasts are not full. If the breastmilk is creamier in the evening, it's because the feeds are more frequent then - it's not to do with the clock, really. Frequent morning feeds would produce the same effect

happynewmummy Fri 16-Jan-09 01:03:44

Hi - you sound just like me (ds is now 9 weeks) I hadn't realised how difficult it could be (but so so rewarding!) Keep going and don't give in if you can. Lanisoh cream for nipples is excellent! I know it sounds crazy, but try having a 'bed day' - just snuggle down get lots of skin to skin and relax = if you feel more relaxed and happy you will find it easier. Loads of love and luck x ps I got so confused due to lots of conflicting advice! Trust your own instinct too (nct bf counsellors very good)

Leanne5 Fri 16-Jan-09 20:34:09

Tiktok- this information is from a very good Lactation Consultant that I trained with

tiktok Fri 16-Jan-09 23:13:27

I think she's got it wrong, then, Leanne, sorry, or you have misremembered.

I have just checked in the textbooks. Protein content of milk varies very little - nothing about differences in the morning, either.

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