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BF second time around, how do I stop this happening?

(5 Posts)
bluesatinsash Wed 05-Aug-09 15:52:37

I'm currently expecting DC2 (had my 20-week scan yesterday after two mc so just starting to believe this is going to happen smile).

My DS is three and was exclusively breastfed for 11 weeks and 3 days. I was planning on doing it for much longer but...anyway, here's my story.

He latched on from the word go and was an excellent feeder. I was very lucky and other than minor initial engorgement had no cracked nipples/blocked ducts, nothing. Fast forward to 8 weeks and he started feeding for seconds then breaking away, fretting and crying. This happened twice more before I googled his symptoms and convinced myself he had reflux. I visited the Health Visitor who agreed (even though we was an excellent weight) and prescribed Gaviscon. What followed was four weeks of hell as I had to syringe gaviscon into his mouth 3 times a day whilst his feeding deteriorated and my boobs became engorged and sore. Several trips to 'breast feeding support group' didn't come up with any suggestions. It all came to a head when he woke for a night feed but 'refused' to feed from me sad.

Emergency appointment at Docs the following morning who said we have to establish if it was a medical or feeding problem and put him on a bottle. He was that afternoon and fed like a dream. I was left thinking I had 'poisonous' breast milk and gave up there and then sad sad.

Months later I was speaking to another Mum and recounted my story and she suggested my flow may have been too fast? Is this true? Could it have been and if so what can I do if it happens this time around?

I hope tiktok's out there!!

tiktok Wed 05-Aug-09 16:18:00

Hi - you called ?

My personal feeling is that reflux is over-diagnosed. I do think it exists, but it has been 'flavour of the month' too long.

From what you say, it could well have been something different. The struggle to get Gaviscon into his mouth - over four weeks shock - could have affected his behaviour at the breast. Feeding difficulties are often behavioural, in my experience, though there's not much literature on this.

Can you say more about what happened? Did he gain weight fast? Did he sometimes splutter at the breast and break off (oops, yes, you have already said this)? Did you have a fast let down? Did you sometimes feel 'overfull'?

have to go out now but I'll be back

bluesatinsash Wed 05-Aug-09 17:08:25

Hi tiktok and thanks for replying smile.

Some more facts:

He was 8lb 6oz at birth and 13lb 9oz at 8 weeks.

I never really knew if I had a fast let down hmm. I did get tingly between feeds and sometimes leaked but not excessively. I only really felt 'overfull' once his feeding went awry. He was always an efficient feeder from early on, normally feeding for 10-15 minutes max (on both breasts). Night feeds were a bit longer (I had a chart drawn up blush so can refer back). They were @ 20-30 mins.

I do wonder if it was a vicious circle of him associating gaviscon with feeding (I had to give him it before a feed). I didn't give him gaviscon during the night and that was his best time other than the night when it all unravelled.

I also worry that as I stopped cold turkey my milk ducts will be all 'blocked' as they didn't get the chance to slow down and stop.

I was never very good at expressing (one pathetic attempt so DH could give him a bottle) so could never tell what my 'yield' was...

This is quite cathartic writing it all down!

tiktok Wed 05-Aug-09 17:40:39

He gained weight fast, then - from 75th centile at birth to 91st at 8 weeks.

Typical time for overabundant milk supply to cause probs is any time from about 6 weeks, and while you will never know if this is what it was, the evidence is quite strong, I would say.

The 'treatment' for this is simple and effective - you put a dampener on the supply by deliberately 'block feeding' ie feeding on one side only every time the baby comes to the breast within a time frame of about four hours, and then swap sides and do the same with the other breast. You could have tried this for a few days to see if it made any difference.

Next time you'll know what to try first if it happens again. No, your milk ducts will not have been damaged by suddenly stopping.

Hope this helps.

bluesatinsash Wed 05-Aug-09 20:55:38

Thanks for this tiktok. I will definately try the block feeding if it happens again (fingers crossed it doesn't).

Mother nature's a cunning old bird as the whole experience put me off bf at the time but 3 years on I can't wait to do it all again smile.

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