Feeding conundrum

(9 Posts)
sepa Sun 06-Mar-16 06:55:08

Morning. It's my first time coming to parenting board so hopefully I have the right place for this?

Before birth I was dead set on breast feeding which hasnt really changed in my mind but realistically not sure if it's the thing to do...

Background of last few days - my waters broke on Tuesday which lead to an induction on Wednesday with a pessary (x2) and oxytocin on Thursday morning. After a very traumatic induction (failed epidurals, lots of pain, baby not engaging) we moved to an emergency c-section with a spinal block and my LO was born on Friday morning.
I was very out of it by this time with drugs etc and first time mum so I didn't do skin to skin straight away (I would have dropped her) and didn't realise that it's a good idea to get her to the boob.
I have always wanted to breast feed but in hospital we have had to do top up feeds and I have no milk still 48hrs post birth. She gets very distressed when we try and encourage her to latch on. She has been very sleepy over the last 48hrs (a mixture of hospital dropping top up to encourage breastfeeding, having all the drugs in me pre birth and being born c-section)

So do I continue to try and force a baby who get traumatised to try and latch onto a boob which has no milk supply and wait for my milk to come in whilst using the cup fed top up feeds or do I move onto bottle feeding?

Has anyone regretted moving to bottle fed after wanting to breastfeed?

Also, I suffer with a arthritic condition which has caused pain in both hands and wrists due to the birth which has made doing bits for her hard so this is another consideration I suppose

Any experience will be really helpful if you don't mind sharing

boopdoop Sun 06-Mar-16 07:56:32

Congratulations! Sorry things have been so tough for you. My birth wasn't quite so traumatic and I did manage to do an initial feed but then DS ended up in special care for s couple of days so I couldn't feed him and he was fed by a tube. When he came out he was about 52 hours old and my milk hasn't come in and he hasn't bf since he was a few mins old. I was really worried it wouldn't happen.

We persevered with feeding and topping up with formula from a cup and then a bottle, and expressing after every feed to try and encourage my supply and to get something to give to him... And it worked.

Those first few days were hard, I was recovering from the CS, and every 3 hours we bf, then topped up, then I had to go and express... It was hard but we only had to do that for s couple of days and then things started to fall into place. One of the hardest things we also had was getting him to stay awake to bf, at one point me, DH and midwife were all trying to tickle him etc to keep him awake to feed!

The advantage is that we also ended up with a DS who mainly wanted to bf but could also happily take a bottle which was amazing. We continued to do one bottle a day to keep this up. Probably not advised but worked for us and meant we didn't have loads of stress moving him to a bottle when I went back to work.

If you do really want to bf, I'd say keep trying, it's almost always hard at first and it'll usually take 2-3 days for your milk to come in. Make sure someone is working with you to help estsblish s routine such as above that you can do to help encourage feeding whilst making sure she is getting the milk she needs.

But also, if you end up on bottles be kind to yourself, so many of my friends felt so guilty at the time and then a few months later regretted that they'd got so upset about it.

Good luck whatever you do. Hope you are getting to enjoy these precious first few days despite everything. Hugs.

Newtobecomingamum Sun 06-Mar-16 08:16:31

Excellent advice above. Only to add it took nearly 4 days for my milk to come through as I thought I wasn't getting any. Do as much skin to skin contact now and keep presenting the nipple and let baby touch it with nose and rub mouth but I would t force the baby. Are they helping it showing you how to express to help stimulate milk coming in? They showed me how to express colostrum with my hands and although it was tiny tiny drops and I thought it was ridiculous at the time it does work and help. If you really wanted to breastfeed then try and stick it out as I love it now! If I didn't have a friend who got me through the first 5 days I wouldn't have seen it through as it's incredibly frustrating but once your milk comes through it gets easier by the day! If it's too stressful go to bottle and formula and keep trying. Main thing is happy mum = happy baby!! Never feel guilty about going to formula if you need to! I had to with my son as I just couldn't get to grip with bf first time round as I had no one to help me and the MWs and HVs were useless that I had. I felt so guilty but air happier I wasn't so stressed and he's a perfectly healthy happy really intelligent 2 year old!! Be kind to yourself and do what's right for you!! Xx

Newtobecomingamum Sun 06-Mar-16 08:18:04

Sorry for typos just running after toddler!!

Gardencentregroupie Sun 06-Mar-16 08:24:07

Congratulations on your baby!

I ended up with a very medicated birth, no skin to skin for hours (very complicated tear) and DD was drugged and drowsy. She didn't latch and feed properly until day 4 or 5, I was starting to think it wouldn't happen and I was hand expressing colostrum. Once she got the hang of it she never looked back smile

The best thing to do is take to your bed with your baby for a few days, keep offering the breast, lots and lots of skin to skin while someone else feeds you.

Re your arthritis, I would imagine that to an extent breastfeeding, if established, would be easier on your hands and wrists than constantly prising open formula tubs, twisting lids on and off & trying to get the bottle brush right down to the bottom? But I may be wrong.

Good luck with whatever you end up doing!

honeysucklejasmine Sun 06-Mar-16 08:32:36

Congratulations on your baby flowers

Like your DC, mine struggled to stay awake long enough to attempt a feed, and we only got limited skin to skin. She can latch well, but still can't really be bothered to do more.

My DD is now two weeks old, and she still struggles with breast feeding. Her main food source is expressed milk in a bottle, but I offer her the breast at every feed, and she can do it. But she gets easily frustrated.

Tbh I was gutted at first but am slowly warming to it... Dh helps with feeds whilst I express, she still gets breast milk, and it's a lot less stressful! I also have a joint disorder which is triggered by stress, so staying calm and relaxed is ideal.

I do want to get to the point of her drinking straight from source, as it were, and hopefully as she gets bigger she will.

Good luck!

pitterpatterrain Sun 06-Mar-16 08:47:54

Congrats on your baby flowers

It took 4-5 days for my milk to arrive, also had a long induction followed by EMCS around lunchtime and I was still out of it 6-7 hours later with no skin to skin (no idea what they gave me but would prefer to avoid that again)

DD spent a lot of time asleep. The hospital did not suggest any top-up feeds and essentially said have a go and be patient. We went home on day 2 and I kept trying to pop her on the boob, must admit it didn't occur to me to try anything else as they had been telling me the first milk is really low in volume and milk will come eventually although is often delayed by EMCS

They said to expect a drop in DD weight post birth, particularly due to liquids pumped into both of us. Got a bit worried with the home MW visit (milk still not arrived and DD was weighed) but she said that I needed to eat/drink/rest(!) more and it would likely be ok. The long and exhausting time in hospital when you have so many steps involved really takes it out of you.

sepa Sun 06-Mar-16 18:21:25

Thank you for this. We have decided on formula feeding whilst trying to express every 3 hours until my milk comes in. Any milk that comes will be added to the formula until I have enough to start feeding her.

She is still very sleepy so it could be that even when my milk comes in she never really latches as she is a bugger to get food into at the moment. She isn't even 3 days yet though so I'm sure it will be ok soon.
I'm glad I haven't ruled it out completely at the moment

Caterina99 Mon 07-Mar-16 05:25:43

Speak to a lactation consultant. I had a very similar birth experience to you. Milk didn't come in til day 7. We had a supplemental nursing system. Basically baby latches on but is fed formula through a tiny tube taped to your boob. A right pain, but it did work. I'm in the US, but I hope they have similar in the UK.

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