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Help me figure out what to do next.

(30 Posts)
alux Wed 08-Jun-05 10:04:05

Long but please listen.

I've been b/f for 7 wks now and I am at another crossroads. I have been giving DD one bottle of formula at night for 3 wks now so that dh can do this - on wkends when he is home from work and to make the evening routine go faster when he is not here. I have also given the odd top up of EBM at different times of the day - or like on sunday when whe travelled 1.5 hrs by car - one way. DD seems to be refusing to suck on the breast now. She gets frustrated after a short period of time, pops off and screams. Sometimes it is wind, sometimes it seems like she is annoyed about supply and demand. Last night (at 10.30) she wolfed down 4.5 oz of formula in under 10 mins - with a newborn teat - and that included the breaks I made her take to burp. This leads on to lots of burping and possetting between 1 am and 7 am this morning as I am sure we could not clear off all the air she swallowed. Of course I have had the question 'is my milk drying up?' but I have not taken any breaks from feeding that are inordinately long to cause this to happen imo. And since sunday I am becoming more diligent about doing it. I do however have trouble expressing or miss expressing or go past 3 hrs sometimes due to the pressures of life and being a 1st time mum.

I have shed many tears in the past 3 days as I do not want to start with a bit of formula and end up wholly formula feeding.

I want to keep b/f but know that come the first Sept, I am back at work full time and need to also consider that I cannot exclusively b/f then. (to me expressing to take to daycare will not be the answer.) I think the long term solution is that I need to learn to mix feed but I don't know how to start or how to go about it successfully.

How do I get from where I am to getting baby back to accepting my breast without frustration.

For the time being, I still want baby to be happy at my breast.

tiktok Wed 08-Jun-05 10:29:25

Hi, alux.....a call to one of the bf lines would help, I am sure, but in the meantime, you don't need to think about work and whatever you need to do to allow happy feeding with that. It's almost three months away.

Your experience is not unique, and it's one that rather undermines the advice of all those who say that babies 'must' get used to a bottle before X weeks.....a few ( by no means all) do end up with a situation like yours, where even this one formula bottle and the occasional EBM appear to have had an effect on the baby's preference.

To reverse it, I suggest not using the bottle at all. Forget expressing (why are you doing that?) and just hold her, skin to skin for as much as you can, and offer the breast whenever she twitches! If she fights, don't insist on her trying again until she is calm. If she is thriving, it won't matter if you feel she is not 'getting enough' for a day or so....she will probably end up enjoying the closeness of the cuddle and come back to the breast perfectly happily. Don't offer a bottle unless you truly feel you have to. Good luck

soapyprincess Wed 08-Jun-05 18:37:34

i have to agree with tiktok. How old is your baby? How old will your baby be when you have to return to work?

I would concntrate on bf at the moment an worry about bottlefeeding when the time comes.

alux Wed 08-Jun-05 20:17:46

Tiktok: I have been expressing as part of the Gina Ford routine. I had flu when baby was 2 wks old after being in hosp for the first week and found it difficult to cope as dh had to go back to work - 200 miles away. I started with Gina after the HV recommended topping her up because she was not putting on weight yet at 3 wks. It was a way of coping with her demands and giving me some structure as I felt like a ship lost at sea in those days.

I know that demand feeding sounds simple. But isn't there some guidelines I can follow? I am craving some guidance as I am so used to structure and have no family to call on to ask and reassure about even the simplest things about babycare.

We had a totally unstructured day today by the way. I took her to the town centre for the first time and then into work - unplanned but strategically good idea at the time - where she demand fed (I suppose) and after being out for 5 hrs we came home, went to bed and she fed as and when.

My concern is that she is so tired now, she ought to be hungry but sleeping thru it. She's been asleep since 5.30 pm. Surely I ought to wake her and offer her a feed.

alux Wed 08-Jun-05 20:33:51

Oh, while down with flu, baby was having sml frequent feedings all night and sleeping all day. After 3 nights I felt like I was going around the bend which also contributed to starting Gina Ford as it was doing neither of us any good.

Magscat Wed 08-Jun-05 20:54:42

Hi Alux. Not sure I can help with how to get some structure and demand feed at the same time but wanted to say that September is plenty far enough for you to not worry about how she will feed then.
When dd was 13 weeks I had similar problem with dd getting upset when I tried bf. I gave up trying to get her used to a bottle and just bf on demand. She settled back into bf and then just a few weeks ago (she's now 5 months) we introduced the ocassional bottle of ebm.
I've just gone back to work this week and she seems (touchwood) to be accepting bottles of ebm when I'm not with her and breast the rest of the time.

I would do whatever feels right for you now and forget about returning to work -you've got loads of time. Good luck.

alux Thu 09-Jun-05 12:03:50

quick update:
She is still refusing the breast at all feeds though it has improved. If it's v. full she will suck well if the let down is quick. when it's half empty, she gets impatient and has a hissy fit. I let her get over it, distract her a bit and soothe her then either try the same one or the other one. Mixed reviews but hoping for improvement.

last nite was mixed. Went to bed together with lots of skin to skin and demand feeding in mind. she slept till 8.30 pm, fed and went back down till 11.15 pm fed and napped and it continued like that till 3.30 when I realised she could not be powerfeeding from the long day before - it was comfort sucking again! She would suck for a little while, look sleepy, then scream and push away. I panicked a bit but resolved to swaddle her tightly, I put her at arm's length and kept the dummy in her mouth. After 30 mins she was away with the fairies till 6.20. Fed kept her awake till 8.20 when she napped till 10.20-ish. Fed again and by 11.20 she looked ready for a nap so I did the swaddling again, soothed her on my chest with some rocking - as I was planning to take a nap too after last night.

I have my fingers crossed for later today/tonight when my supply dips.

any thoughts or suggestions willing listened to.

chipmonkey Thu 09-Jun-05 13:41:21

Alux, your supply won't dip at night, it seems that way because babies cluster feed and your breasts are softer but they will always produce enough milk for baby.

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 13:57:09

alux - it is a falacy (sp) that your milk dips during the evening. Babies do like to cluster feed and you tend to be tireder in the evening and it can all seem too much. However, when you prepare yourself for it then it is not so bad. Make yourself some snacks to nibble away at. Plan out your TV for the evening. Prepare yourself to have her latched on for a long period and be relaxed over it. Once she has re-esatblished herself at the breast you will be able to get her back into a routine if that suits you better. Just go with her for a few days.
Demand feeding works both ways by the way. If your breasts are full and she is still sleeping then wake her. Better that you do not get overful and she doesn't get frustrated with hunger. I wouldn't let her go much longer than 3 hours at the moment. HTH.

alux Thu 09-Jun-05 14:13:17

thanks for that mears & chip. it had me worried. i am focusing on eating too. i'm also an advocate of waking baby to feed. i take it that means during the night too?

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 14:16:30

No, not during the night. If she sleeps, leave her.

oliveoil Thu 09-Jun-05 14:20:23

I tried the GF method and it drove me round the bend, as soon as I started to just go with the flow and fed on demand, things really settled down. I don't want to start a row about GF (please!) but it doesn't suit everyone. 7 weeks is still early days.


chipmonkey Thu 09-Jun-05 14:31:13

GF doesn't suit everyone because every baby is different. Babies can follow a sort of routine but its best not to be too rigid because you need to allow for growth spurts and gradually letting baby sleep for longer periods at night.

alux Thu 09-Jun-05 15:27:34

i aree that gf is not for everyone or every baby. i am planning to use her structure as a scaffold where dd's routine can develop. i think otherwise i am setting myself up for failure. i wish hat i can loosen up more sometimes too.

[baby feeding in one arm hence no caps]

oliveoil Thu 09-Jun-05 15:33:29

When I was going through this stage it seemed to last for ages and I felt like I wasn't doing anything at all right. But things will settle down. Even though I was sick of people telling me at the time, it doesn't last long. Don't think I had a routine of any kind until about 3 months , even though I tried.

Mears & co know what they are on about, I have seen them advise on loads of other threads, hang in there.


alux Thu 09-Jun-05 18:44:11

I just gave in after persevering all day and gave her 3 oz of ebm out of a NUK bottle. She just staunchly refused to suckle and was fighting sleep too. I am exhausted and need to look after myself at the mo. Let's see what tonight & tomorrow brings.

chipmonkey Fri 10-Jun-05 10:46:40

Alux, how's it going?

alux Fri 10-Jun-05 12:08:23

Still feeding on demand. Went to bed skin to skin from 9 pm till 2 am with her feeding and sleeping at will.

She seems happy to feed from the breast after that one bottle feed. but find that now I can't put her down to do anything for myself without her howling - as she just started. I am home alone a lot as dh works away during the week so I don't have another pair of hands to assist.

By 5 am after 2 hrs of tetchiness - trying to put her down so I could eat! I was wondering how am I going to cope with this? And why am I putting myself and her through this grief? can I continue to bf for another month as hoping? Any insights into my quandry is welcome.

alux Fri 10-Jun-05 12:09:08

thanks for your last post oliveoil. it is heartening.

chipmonkey Fri 10-Jun-05 13:13:51

Alux, do you have a baby-sling? I have a sling-easy one and found it excellent when ds3 didn't want to be put down.

evansmummy Fri 10-Jun-05 17:58:04

alux, I and my ds had similar problems to you, only my dh was around during the evenings to help out.

We had a lot of trouble with ds until about 10 weeks, when he started to settle. I suffered terribly with sleep deprivation and worried constantly about if I was doing things 'properly'. Until I realised that there is no 'properly', and only what feels right for you and your baby!

I, like others have said, didn't even try to have a routine until about 14 weeks, when he was a bit older. Only thing I tried to do was have a bedtime routine that was always the same. Otherwise, I fed every three hours (except at night), and in fact ds didn't often want feeding more than that.

He also had a dummy and a bottle of ebm at night from about 5 weeks, and I really regret it. After having contacted La Leche and the NCT, they immediately thought it was what they call 'nipple confusion', and that the only way forward was to take away bottle AND dummy. I didn't follow thier advice (ds was well into his dummy by this stage!) and he's now going slowly off the breast (he is 6 months though).

I'd just like to reiterate what others have said: feed as and when your dd asks! I spent so much time at the beginning (it's my first too!) worrying about putting him down vs too much carrying, routine, bottle and bf etc, and it was all such a waste of time. People told me to relax and appreciate the months when baby is so small, it goes by so quickly! For next time, I know I'm gonna just exist in a bubble of me and baby and not worry about any of the silly things that gf and baby whisperer and all the others put in our heads. Do what feels right, relax and appreciate these moments with your dd.

Btw, we went onto gf at around 4 months and it worked brilliantly for us, but at the beginning I think it just puts too much pressure on mums with newborns, esp. first-timers!

Good luck and let us know how you go!! Sorry I've rambled!!

alux Fri 10-Jun-05 21:18:57

Good Heavens Evansmummy, I didn't know that was what nipple confusion was all about.

since maya's 1st poo since 10 am which was a proper one - she's had 2 streaky green 'poo's' ( if you can call it that, next to nothing in the nappy really) with mucus. I understand that this means that she is not getting enough nutrition.

How long does it take a meal for a baby to move from stomach to bottom? She has suckled all day but it's been no more than 10 mins at a go, including letdown time and time just tickling the nipple in semi sleep then she pops off. She has slept next to nothing (30 mins at lunchtime) unless in arms.

with those non-existent poos and with dh back home from scotland we have given her 9 oz of ebm (one at 5 pm the other at 7 pm) These were because we were desperate for her to have some decent sleep.

mears Fri 10-Jun-05 21:26:43

Green poos can actually be pretty normal in a B/F baby. Don't panic over it. Green poos are more of a problem in a baby trying to establish breastfeeding. At 7 weeks you have got milk supply established so lack of nutrition is unlikely to be the cause. It is not abnormal on it's own.

evansmummy Fri 10-Jun-05 21:29:25

alux, i don't pretend to be an expert, far from it! I can only tell you about my own experiences! I can understand you givning bottles though, when you get desparate cos she hasn't eaten/slept...

I wasn't aware that the poos you describe meant bad nutrition. I do understand, however, that newborn poos do all sorts of weird and wonderful things! One MNetter used the phrase 'all the colours of the rainbow'!!! My ds has had very dark green ones, which I felt was worrying, but apparently was quite normal. I'm not sure about the mucus, though, perhpas someone who's a little more clued up than me could answer that one??

Otherwise, the other thing you mention, bf babies can go up to a week without a poo, so you can't really count in time from stomach to bottom, or at least it's nothing to worry about. Sometimes they do store it all up, and then it all comes out at once in a most disgusting and distressing (for us!) manner!!

If things are still going badly, try one of the bf helplines. That's what they're there for!

evansmummy Fri 10-Jun-05 21:33:04

Numbers if you're interested:

NCT Breastfeeding line 0870 444 8708
Breastfeeding Network 0870 900 8787
La Leche 0845 120 2918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0870 401 7711

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