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Relactating with 6 week old

(15 Posts)
TeenyTinyToria Fri 07-Aug-09 16:34:05

Sorry, this is going to be quite long!

I failed to bf my first child (flat nipples/latch problems), so expressed for 3 weeks until I could no longer meet his demands. With my second child I ran into the same problems with latching, and decided against expressing because I didn't think I'd be able to fit in the time to do it with a toddler to look after as well. I regretted giving up bf, and tried to start again when she was about two weeks old, but she got confused and started fighting both bottle and breast.

When she was 5 weeks old I decided that I wanted to have a proper go at breastfeeding again, as I was still producing a little milk. She latched on reasonably well, and for the past week I have been latching her on (first with a nipple shield, now without as soreness has gone). She goes to the breast before every formula feed, and I also express a few times a day, getting about 1-2oz a time.

She's now 6 weeks, and I want to know how to move forward with this to my goal of exclusively bf. She latches on well, but only sucks strongly for a few minutes, then "nibbles" on and off for a while, going back occasionally to the strong sucking for a minute or so. However, if I take her off the breast she is clearly still hungry. I don't know if she has got used to the fast flow of the bottles and doesn't want to work for it. I'm also not sure how much milk she's actually getting - it's not gushing out, but I can squeeze some out if I try.

I spoke to my health visitor today, and she basically said that she'd never heard of anyone doing this, and if I'd told her I was planning to, she would have advised me against it because it wouldn't work. However, she told me just to keep doing what I'm doing and top up with formula.

Is there anything else I should be doing, and how do I know when to drop the formula top-ups and move over to bf only? I'm very keen for this to work.

thisisyesterday Fri 07-Aug-09 16:38:22

i would talk to one of the breastfeeding helplines,
or go to a baby cafe if yu have one nearby

tiktok Fri 07-Aug-09 16:55:33

Great news, TTT....I remember your previous post. How lovely your dd has a good latch and an enjoyable nibble This is real progress.

Honestly, best thing is to talk to someone about it - call any of the helplines.

NCT's is 0300 330 0771.

Your HV is pathetic, frankly.... I do think you may need to ask her again, though, as the telephone helpline counsellor may not want to discuss actual amounts with you, without your HV being involved. Your main aim at the moment should be to have your baby at and/or on the breast as much as possible day and night, and if you can you should express so you can give ebm instead of formula when you have it available. Work on reducing the formula top ups gradually - an ounce or so at a time. But check with the HV this is ok.

TeenyTinyToria Fri 07-Aug-09 17:12:36

Thanks for the advice, I shall give the NCT a call.

My HV just sounded really surprised when I spoke to her, but positive about the idea - she just said she'd never heard of anyone trying this. I've found so much about relactation on the internet, I can't believe it was new to her!

ConnorTraceptive Fri 07-Aug-09 17:18:07

No advice but just wanted to say well done you!!

BelleWatling Fri 07-Aug-09 17:30:09

Nothing to add but good luck - you should be really proud of yourself. smile

TeenyTinyToria Fri 07-Aug-09 20:38:22

I rang the NCT and spoke to a lovely lady, who says I'm doing all the right things. She said that dd just needs to learn to suck well and associate the breast with food.

It's sort of a vicious circle, because I don't have a lot of milk, so dd doesn't feel encouraged to suck, so I don't increase my supply, etc etc. She suggested offering the breast as much as possible, and pumping regularly too.

I feel very encouraged, so will keep persevering. I figure that the time and hard work expended now will pay off when I can feed anywhere anytime with no hassle.

TeenyTinyToria Wed 12-Aug-09 00:07:07

Just wanted to update -

Today I expressed a 4oz bottle of milk this morning, and 2oz this afternoon, as well as feeding dd before each bottle feed. In 10 days I've gone from being able to squeeze out a drop to being able to express a full feed, so I think my supply may be getting towards being enough to nourish dd without formula top-ups. Just nervous about dropping the bottles altogether, and hoping she'll get enough from me!

She's starting to suck much better, and I'm going to the local breastfeeding support group tomorrow to check that she's latching ok.

Feeling very positive, and looking forward to being able to exclusively bf!

weasle Wed 12-Aug-09 05:02:03

Wow, what a great achievement, well done, i hope it continues to go well for you.

Perhaps the HV will be able to encourage another mother in the future after hearing about your story.

I am full of admiration for you!

blowninonabreeze Wed 12-Aug-09 05:52:07

Gosh, well done, such an undertaking with a toddler too.

helpivegottogivebirth Wed 12-Aug-09 06:22:48

what a nice story - made me feel quite emotional!

logrrl Wed 12-Aug-09 11:29:57

wow wow wow. what an amazing mum!

TeenyTinyToria Wed 12-Aug-09 23:35:03

Thanks blush it means a lot to have such support!

The HV at the breastfeeding group was much better than my own HV, and I feel more confident now.

BikeRunSki Wed 12-Aug-09 23:40:13

TTT - you are marvellous. Keep going! I wish I had had your support, encouragement and perseverance. Maybe next time?

treedelivery Wed 12-Aug-09 23:44:45

This is great stuff isn't it?

I might need to relactate in October so am greatly grin and smile to hear about it. I'll be looking out for tips from you should the need arise!

[am bfing at the mo but will need to stop for an egg donation cycle - am unsure if we will go back to bf as dd will be 9/10 months and may decline. We'll see. I have hope though.....]

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