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HELP! can't get bf started what to do?

(44 Posts)
fishie Wed 27-Apr-05 17:58:18

first day home with 4 day old, didn't manage to get latched on at all in hospital. my milk is starting to come in, am cup feeding formula and hoping to get to an nct meeting tomorrow for some practical help. have a breast pump but no idea what to do with it.

meanwhile am carrying on trying and giving the formula - i'd really appreciate some advice on how much to give at a time, how often and what else i should be doing while i try to find someone to show me what to do.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Apr-05 18:03:38

Have a chat with someone on the NCT breastfeeding helpline - 0870 444 8708, or call your maternity unit and see if they have a breastfeeding counsellor you could see or a breastfeeding clinic you could go to.

It's not always easy in the beginning, well done for persevering.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Apr-05 18:07:20

Where are you? I can do a websearch to find you a breastfeeding cafe or something.

La Leche League is 0845 120 2918. Them or NCT will help.

Well done on sticking to cup feeding, I did that with DS1, and it didn't seem to cause any problems for latch.

Oh, are you pumping? That will keep your supply up, and then you can give him breastmilk in a cup.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Apr-05 18:10:09

Also, what seems to be the problem? Tiktok is a BF counsellor, and might be able to provide some tips, although going to see someone is much better.

Ameriscot2005 Wed 27-Apr-05 18:13:05

The more you use formula, the further away you get from ever being able to breastfeed fully.

Have you tried stripping both of you off (minus the nappy) and maximising skin to skin contact? Try to relax - keep lights low, quiet room etc.

aloha Wed 27-Apr-05 18:13:12

I think the formula may be a bad idea if you really do want to breastfeed. Does your hospital have a breastfeeding clinic? That's a good place to start. Otherwise, express your own milk and give that by cup, not formula. What sort of breast pump do you have?
How have you tried to latch your baby on so far? What happens when you do?

choccychic Wed 27-Apr-05 18:14:17

Yes, definitely get in touch with NCT. You may find that as the milk comes in properly baby naturally latches better than with the little bits of colostrum they get in the first couple of days. I found that even by No.3 the feeding became smoother when the milk came in (i.e it wasn't just my lack of experience the first time)
Keep trying ,get advice but don't put yourself through the mill if you don't succeed. Good luck!!

LIZS Wed 27-Apr-05 18:14:57

If you can manage to express some off it may make it easier to latch your newborn on, if you get engorged it could be even more frustrating. A warm shower may stimulate the flow and make expressing easier. There is a manual technique which may help get you going without the pump.

Do phone one of the helplines or the maternity unit - even if you need ot pop back to see oen fo the post natal midwives, or ask the community one to visit you as a start. I'm slightly surprised they let you go without established feeding or any support for you but well done for sticking at it.

good luck

WigWamBam Wed 27-Apr-05 18:18:37

You're presumably having daily visits from your midwife - they will be able to help you too.

LIZS Wed 27-Apr-05 18:24:24

Mears (midwife) has previously posted this link regarding hand expressing which may help. Hopefully either she and/or Tiktok (BF counsellor) will see your message soon.

tiktok Wed 27-Apr-05 18:35:37

fishie - you need to be doing some very important things:

1. lots of skin to skin contact and possibly co-bathing as well with your baby

2. hand expressing at least 8 times in 24 hours and then giving the baby what you get

3. seeing the midwife - you are an urgent case and need someone now

4. call the breastfeeding line, or any of the breastfeeding helplines, and they will confirm 1-3

5. if the baby is not getting sufficient breastmilk or colostrum, then yes, he needs formula - but this is undermining to breastfeeding longer-term, as your baby needs to suck at your breast to get things going. For amounts to give, see the midwife.

Keep us posted!

fishie Wed 27-Apr-05 18:52:56

not enough milk yet to pump. had cs which may have also affected this?

just simply cannot get attached at all - midwives tried at the hospital without success. did see hospital bf consultant but baby was asleep so no practical help, just some tips which i haven't managed to get to work. she's now off for couple of days and i haven't managed to find anything locally.

rang nct line this afternoon, there isn't anyone available in my area (newham), but there is a support group meeting tomorrow which i can get to, so am hoping that will help.

would breastfeeding cafe be better idea than nct? midwife will appear soon, but not likely to get daily visits, seems sensible to seek help now rather than wait.

i know continuing with formula is not helpful but don't know what else to do.

bundle Wed 27-Apr-05 18:54:44

fishie you must insist on daily visits from your midwife until you have this sorted..ring your community midwives number or the labour ward and ask them to be paged so an urgent visit can be scheduled for tomorrow. good luck

bundle Wed 27-Apr-05 18:55:05

(i had c/s both times, and fed well once it was established)

LIZS Wed 27-Apr-05 19:00:50

Have you actually tried expressing yet - I didn't think I had anything but still managed to get some colostrum out for ds when he was jaundiced and too drowsy to latch on. Just a few spoonfuls is a start and will get the supply stimulated. Would the hospital let you use their electric pumps to begin with ?

tiktok Wed 27-Apr-05 19:03:14

fishie, you will have colostrum, and you need to hand express to get it out.....bundle, fishie's in London, and she may not be able to get daily visits. However, fishie, you do need to see someone tonight if at all possible - you are an urgent case, as your baby has not yet fed from the breast.

NCT people can help a lot on the phone, and she will suggest lots of ways to do skin to cafe is a support group, go to whichever is nearest to you.

bundle Wed 27-Apr-05 19:04:32

tiktok, i'm in london too and 2nd time around i insisted on daily visits until i'd sorted things out. the midwives were very busy but did fit in a visit to help me.

tiktok Wed 27-Apr-05 19:12:49

Glad to hear it, bundle....wish more women would put their foot(feet?) down.

bundle Wed 27-Apr-05 19:14:17

tiktok, i had a bit of a fight on, because i live in a different health authority area to my hospital. but some of the midwives were "licensed" to come over the border...(ffs)

fishie Wed 27-Apr-05 19:29:34

have phoned - a midwife is coming tomorrow. am trying to express, there is a little coming but not enough to collect or pass on.

have given 60mls formula between 3pm and just now - prior to that nothing since 60mls between 2 and 4am. i want to keep him keen enough to explore breast, but am i starving him too? its all getting a bit fraught.

aloha Wed 27-Apr-05 19:32:19

Babies are born with stores on board. It's totally normal for milk to come in on day three or four and for babies to just have a little colostrum before that.
How are you trying to get him to latch on? Have you tried going to bed with him with you with him just wearing a nappy and and you naked so he can get skin to skin contact and get interested that way? How are you holding him? Does he gape his mouth open?

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Apr-05 19:38:46

fishie, is Newham far from Tower Hamlets? I know a very very nice local BF counsellor. She's with the BFN, I think, and is a friend. (I think Newham includes Stratford, doesn't it?) You might even be able to get help tonight, although of course I'd have to check.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Apr-05 19:41:40

re: expressing, the more you express, the more will come. It really helps to relax, do yoga breathing if that's what you're used to, or watch telly or whatever. Just space out. (This also helps to make let-down happen when you're breastfeeding.)

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Apr-05 19:44:07

Duh, Newham is just east of Tower Hamlets. We are in Mile End. If you want me to phone my friend and see if she can help, let me know. I know she's home tomorrow, during the day, it's her day off.

hewlettsdaughter Wed 27-Apr-05 19:55:06

fishie, congrats on the birth of your son . sorry the feeding isn't going well at the moment - best thing to do is to get help which you're already exploring. In the meantime, is there any useful info here ?

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