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Blood in expressed breast milk

(13 Posts)
usernametaken Tue 22-Sep-09 21:48:10

DS was born 5 days ago after a very traumatic (for him) placental abruption c-section birth. His reflexes have been slow to develop including hís ability to feed. He has a very poor suck, no interest in the breast, inability to suck from a bottle. We've been told things will improve.

In the meantime I am expressing feeds for him and teaching him how to suck/swallow etc. Tonight though there was a large amount of blood in the expressed milk- I failed to notice as I pumped so I binned the whole feed. One nipple is now bleeding and is very very sore.

What can I do? Use the other side for expressing and let the other side heal or pump until the bleeding starts? If I have to use formula to supplement, then so be it but I'd like to at least get the milk flowing and established incase DS manages to latch on, we try every feed but so far no success at all. He really has not had a good start so I'm doing my best and I seem to be failing.

Any tips, please. Many thanks.

thisisyesterday Tue 22-Sep-09 21:52:44

aww, sounds like you';re having a tough time of it!
tbh it is fine to feed him the milk with blood in, although i know (from experience) how weird and "wrong" it seems to do it!
but imagine if he was feeding direct from the breast, you'd never know and he would be fine!

i would carry on pumping from that side tbh, but just be a bit more gentle if you can

are you getting support from a local BFC or anyone?

MrMorocco Tue 22-Sep-09 22:01:40

I was surprised to learn this, but apparently it doesn't matter if there's a little of your blood in the breast milk (but I'm not sure about "a large amount" though, I'm sure your midwife can advise).

The trouble is with stopping using one side to let it heal up is that the milk supply works independently on each breast, so you could find that the milk supply dries up on that side

Are you using a hospital grade pump? They are more efficient than home pumps and you can hire them. Or have you tried hand expressing?

I hope your DS will be able to latch on. But if you do end up using formula then please be kind to yourself. You are not "failing"!

Jojay Tue 22-Sep-09 22:09:22

I remember this happening to me.

IIRC, my sore nipples healed really quickly and I was pumping from that side again within 24 hrs.

Squeeze out a bit of breastmilk and rub in on the sore bits - it works, really.
Also use Lansinoh to keep them supple.

Please don't feel that you are 'failing'. You are doing a brilliant job under tough circs by the sound of it. Eradicate that word from your vocabulary!

Jojay Tue 22-Sep-09 22:10:31

Also try to go braless for a bit (not a good look I know) - a bit of air will help with the healing process.

JetLi Tue 22-Sep-09 22:11:20

Hi - I nipped to my local drop-in BF support last week, very sore on one side. They recommended expressing on that side for a couple of days and exclusively feeding from the other to give it time to heal a bit. If you can manage it, it can be faster to feed and express at the same time although I've never managed to do it - would need 2 pairs of hands grin

fishie Tue 22-Sep-09 22:12:06

unt i have been through similar. what is causing the bleeding? lansinoh is brilliant.

have you tried having a bath together? and then skin to skin in bed.

usernametaken Wed 23-Sep-09 12:59:12

Thank you all for your suggestions. This morning DS woke up and we are back at square one with his feeding. Again we had to go through the suck, suck, swallow routine. He gets very windy from the effort so at the moment it feels like 'suck suck swallow wind' repeat. He is getting there though.

No blood in the EBM though today, i pumped only one side in the night so it seems to have healed ok and isn't painful now.

Thanks again, we'll just keep pushing on and hoping for a latch on.

fishie Thu 24-Sep-09 08:27:57

how are things today?

they just sick the blood up by the way, won't do any harm to the baby. ds did have some rather gory looking babygros as a little blood goes a long way.

JetLi Thu 24-Sep-09 10:44:01

Hi - hope you're all doing OK usernametaken smile

endoxana Thu 24-Sep-09 13:41:59

I hope the situation has improved but don't panic if it hasn't. I had a lot of problems breastfeeding my little one he did't latch on for probably a month in total, it was all very stressful. I think the key is to try to relax. I also found nipple shields a great help for latching on and nipple pain ( I also had bleeding from all the trauma of poor attachment ). The ' madwives ' go mad if you use nipple shields but I couldn't have managed to breast feed without them so surely that is better than not at all. I also went to a breast feeding support group and it wasn't all crazy hippies it was a great help to know that breastfeeding isn't that easy for many people. Try your best but if its not happening, its not the end of the world, as my mother pointed out you actually can't tell which adults were breastfed and which were bottle so its not that important.

usernametaken Thu 24-Sep-09 15:12:24

Thank you for asking. I am currently now expressing 5 times a day...too sore to do much more than that right now. DS is getting there. Today, half way through expressing, he managed to latch on for 2 minutes. I have to say it was the most painful 2 minutes of recent times so I take it his latch isn't right, but it was a start. He didn't appear to swallow or look like he got anything, but it was progress.

With the expressed milk, he still forgets to suck and swallow so ends up covered in milk after all feeds! He is still sooo sleepy though and needs to be woken for feeds.

I have a feeling that expressed milk will be the easiest for him. I'd obviously be happier BF rather than expressing, but when I think of the trauma he had with his birth, the fact my milk came in late (I never went into labour) have all contributed to this. I'll take each day as it comes and just be thankful he is here.

JetLi Thu 24-Sep-09 16:17:50

Hi - be kind to yourself - expressing is bloody hard work. A very small glass of red wine as a reward helps IME.
This is our BF story - I got loads of good expressing advice on here hence the link. We had a rocky start and I DD was bottle fed EBM but we got her back to the breast and we're doing great now at 10 weeks. As with endoxana my local BF drop-in was fab and a specialist NHS BF lady came to the house. I still pop back now to the drop-in smile

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