Breastfeeding troubles - please any advice/reassurance!?
This is a very long story so I will try to be as brief as I can!
Initial problems faced with breastfeeding (first few weeks) were
Teething at birth meaning baby teething and soothing at breast, Oral thrush (which we treated and cleared up around week 2) and also very very painful nipples despite being told latch is as close to perfect as can be
From birth she has been feeding non stop and was not satisfied after a feed or at any point ever, kept falling asleep at breast from exhaustion of not sleeping for longer than 15 mins from being so hungry! She was also only putting on 10oz every week or so... For this reason I reluctantly introduced one top up of formula at about 10pm.
We then discovered at 5 weeks after so many conflicting ideas at breastfeeding support groups to get a IBCLC to come to the house and were diagnosed with 75% tongue tie and a high wide palette, dispite being told previously no tongue tie (we even got a letter and it written in our red book!) we then got this snipped a few days later.
Since this point I have had the IBCLC back and also used nipple shields (under the advice of IBCLC as it was the only way to her to latch). I also started expressing in the night and giving her that when she wakes up at about 3/4 as she just takes so long to feed it has been much easier! Things have improved which has been brilliant but I have kept the evening formula top up and am still expressing.
We are now 2 months old and still under this routine which kind of works for us.
To improve supply I have also been; expressing after feeds, taking goats rue, eating lots of fruits/veg and generally very healthily, breast massage.
Basically she still feeds off me all the time. When my partner works from home and takes her she seems to be satisfied and go to sleep, when she is with me however or I'm home alone (which is most the time) she feeds almost constantly or until she goes to sleep... any ideas on this please??
When she does fall asleep we cannot put her down, she wakes up (almost) every time within 5 mins? Have tried swaddling but she hates that so much and wakes up even faster and in a state. Again any ideas??
I am also starting to get less when I express in the night and am thinking of going back to breastfeeding, but do not want to go back to being as exhausted and unable as I was before. Expressing and having a bottle ready also means my partner can help if I'm shattered which has been a god send. I can't afford to have supply start to decrease.
I have not been able to ever pump more than 25/50ml per breast. Which again has been a massive concern. My daughter is 9lb.3oz as of yesterday and am so worried will not be able to keep up with her soon. It seems all attempts to boost supply (which I have tried absolutely everything) have just not worked - has anyone got anything unusual that I could try or just general advice on what worked for you?
I have continued breastfeeding because I really want this to work, I love the closeness and the bond it brings. I also love the convienience (currently not so much with still using the shields but we will stop them when we are ready- it really still helps her and she has trouble with nipple only) I just don't know how to carry on, every day is a struggle and going out is always so much hassle. I also do not like formula and really do not want to switch her over completely ever if we can help it. I just keep thinking "we are a third of the way to 6 months, you can do this" but I'm not sure that's going to get us there. I want to continue to 6 months minimum and I'm thinking if we can get there we can continue on along side weaning... Every hurdle I have clung on and done what I thought was best but it just isn't getting to the stage where I'm seeing the benefits and ease of breastfeeding...
Last question is, is there a age or weight that you saw significant improvement??? I'm thinking more awareness/understanding from baby could start to help, also the larger mouth!?
If you're still with me here thank you so so much for reading! If you could please offer any advice I would appreciate it so much!!
Reflux is posdible-really needs ranitidine to make it better. Does she do slightly sour smelling burp ups after a feed? Was she hiccupy in uterus?! What are you using to express? It's common to express less as baby gets older.
Can I just also add we have done lots of skin to skin, rebirthing in the bath. I have read what seems to be every post about breastfeeding and looked through every website and tried every bit of advice. I just have not read anything that has been the same as our journey and wonder if anyone has been through the same situation and come out the other side. Thanks again
Thanks for reply so quickly. We have infant gaviscon but it hasn't helped. Failed to mention she does also have reflux, can hear her bring it up and screw up her face, she's also very sickly as you said. Reluctant to go onto ratidine (sorry forgot how to spell it) as can cause early onset demetia later in life. I've been on omperazole and ratidine due to hernia causing reflux and so know all the side effects in later life and just didn't want to put her through that for the sake of me...
Am also using a medela symphony, have had support in using this so am confident technique is correct
OP, I could have written your post a year ago. Thrush, cracked bleeding nipples, nipple shields, posterior TT and high palate finally diagnosed, reflux, frequent waking, etc etc etc. I know exactly how hard it is and the determination it takes to keep going. It sounds like you're doing great! And it honestly can get better.
How is her weight gain now? Remember that what you can express is no reflection on your supply when baby is at the breast, so if gain is good I don't think you need to worry about keeping up with her needs. I would probably abandon the night time expressing and go back to BF, cosleep if you feel comfortable with it because you will get a lot more sleep that way when you have a baby who wants to feed all the time.
You mention reflux, but is she a happy feeder?
I think the best way to boost supply is just to let your baby be constantly attached to your breast. This is thier natural way to boost your supply - a supply and demand situation. It can be a pain and a restriction but that is breastfeeding. Things will get easier as she gets older and she will start to go longer between feeds. My DD had reflux too but now at 5mo she has mostly grown out of it. We tried gaviscon at the time and that made her constipated so we just stopped. I worried about the amount she was sick if she was getting enough or could be dehydrated but again, just feed often. Let baby fall asleep at the breast without removing her and when she wakes up feed again. Put your feet up and have a Netflix binge, get someone to run around making you tea and food.
Have you a link for the ranitidine dementia thing-I've certainly never heard of this and I research meds very carefully. Personally, infant gaviscon was crap and did nothing at all to help. Ranitidine made us all a lot happier.
I had lots of problems breastfeeding for the first few weeks/months (reflux, thrush, mastitus x2, very frequent feeding and very little sleep from baby) I used nipple shields as it was so painful and I was bleeding so much it was the only thing keeping me going. Bfing specialist told me not to use them, but they helped me through a difficult patch and eventually I managed to stop using them. I honestly thought it would always be painful and I'd just have to cope with it for the whole 6 months through gritted teeth (and lots of tears), but it did get better. Around 3 months is a bit of a turning point so do keep that in mind, everything gradually clicked into place as reflux tends to diminish as baby starts to move about a bit. I breastfed for over a year in the end! I wish you all the best, you are clearly doing an amazing job, I know just how hard it is. Stay strong
Op I've just researched the link between ranitidine and dementia and all the studies suggest it is only an issue in elderly patients taking it long term.
Fenugreek capsules boosted my supply when nothing else did. Took about 2/3 days and then was transformational. Though agree with PP, what you can express is not the same as what baby takes from you.
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