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Combi Feeding Help

(12 Posts)
LetItRain88 Mon 25-Sep-17 07:06:06

Hiya not sure this is the right topic but can't seem to find one more suitable... if anyone can recommend somewhere else for me to post plz let me know!

I have an almost 3 week old DS and I am a FTM. During his birth I suffered 4th degree tears and was taken immediately to surgery to get stitched up. I was thankful they let DS stay on my chest during the procedure so he could have his first feed while they were operating, however he was latched on at such a bad angle and I knew no better. Also I didn't even feel how bad it was, I think I was still in shock from the birth (or the anaesthetic went all the way up to my boobs maybe??).

This resulted in a very blistered, bruised and bloody left nipple blush

LetItRain88 Mon 25-Sep-17 07:26:36

Ughhh I hit post before I was ready!!

So anyway, Logan (DS) could then only feed from the right breast as left breast was in such a state and I would literally be crying in pain if he latched on to it.

DS was cluster feeding so my poor right nipple never got a break, and also as I was still trying to figure it all out ended up the right nipple getting a bit of a battering got so bad DH said that I would look at DS like he was some sort of bomb or dangerous animal every time he wanted a feed. And yet again I'd be sobbing in pain. When DS was about 4 days old I gave in and sent DH to the shops for some Aptamil. DS guzzled and entire 4oz, got totally milk drunk and fell asleep for about 4 hours.

I hated giving him formula when my own boobs were full and achey with milk, but even hand expressing wasn't possible at that time. All I could do to ease the pain was stand under a warm but very gently running shower and massage the actual boobs to release some milk and pressure.

All this on top of dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of the birth and tears meant I was pretty low.

A friend recommended Lansinoh nipple cream and it was amazing. Within 25 hours my nipples were almost back to normal and not painful any more. So I went to put him back on boob. He was reluctant but did eventually go on. But he would feel for literally hours on end and not be satisfied, he would get frustrated and 'nipple bang' and scream and scream until he was full but would only latch for a small amount of time. So I'd keep giving in and get him another bottle.

I've tried expressing with my hand and an electric pump and only ever get just under 2oz no matter how long I try and sit for. I did it for 2 hours the other day and still just under 2oz- this is from BOTH boobs together so probably just under 1oz from each boob. No wonder he was getting frustrated sad

At each bottle feed (every 2hours roughly) I am offering him boob, and it's the same thing every time. He sort of tries it for a little bit, licking and opening his mouth, latches on for a second and realises it's not a bottle, then starts to bang his head around, turns away from it, opens his mouth etc. And this goes on until he starts screaming the place down in frustration, kicking his legs and going all stiff. So I get him a bottle.

I'm still pumping what I can but I really do want him back on my breast.

How can I up my milk supply other than offering him boob at each feed (which I will continue to do) and how can I get him to latch on to my breast again?

The second he was born he was rooting for my nipple and was such a good baby for just knowing how to latch on etc. I feel like it's such a wasted opportunity for bonding and giving him the best from me.

I appreciate some are more than happy to bottle feed and I am in no way judging at all- I believe fed is best no matter how it happens, it's just my preference to try get him back on to my breast if possible. Xxx

cookiefiend Mon 25-Sep-17 07:59:33

Gosh you poor thing. I had some real problems feeding DD1 so can offer some tips, but an expert will be along soon I am sure.

So you want to try and move back towards exclusive breast feeding or close to it? At three weeks it isn't too late to sort it all out so reLax (easy to say).

The amount you express has no bearing on how much milk your son gets. I have bf two children (still am at 4 and almost 2) and in that time I twice got 50ml in one go. Other times it was about 20nl a sitting (so 10 from each side). Yet DD2 never needed formula- so she was able to take mutch more from me.

Don't ever express for two hours! Sobbing I told a bf counsellor once I did just that and got nothing. She said all would do was exhaust me and hurt my nipples. Express 15 minutes per side at most. also I found I could never get any hand expressing. At first I got more with a manual pump for some reason and eventually I could replicate that in my electric pump.

So to increase my supply for DD1 I would feed her for 20 minutes each side (bf counsellor says they don't usually recommend limiting time bf, but to manage this for supply increase you need to or you wouldn't have time). Then top baby up with formula- not too much. They calculated the amount she needed a day and divided by eight to work out each feed. This was slightly less than the amount the box of formula said she needed. Once he is settled express fir 15 minutes each side. Add the milk to his top up (at first there will be hardly any milk to speak of, just a dribble) but if you get 20ml over the course of the day (you can keep adding to it and give all at once for a sense of achievement) then that is 20ml less formula needed.

Eventually the amount you express increases and the formula decreases. Even if you don't express more you are sending a signal to your body to make more- so your son will get more and the amount of formula he beefs will decrease.

Now the hard bit... do this st least every three hours- especially overnight when your hormones get the signals they need for milk production the following day (the golden hours Are between about 12 and 5 I think so try and get two dress over night).

It is exhausting, but as his weight increases and you feel more confident the pace will slow and you will be able to cut down on expressing and formula.

Even if your baby needs formula (as DD1 did for some time) they are getting all the lovely benefits of breast milk. And if it is too hard don't beat yourself up- formula is not poison.

Be kind to yourself. Nap whenever the baby sleeps. Drink and eat. You could take fenegreek capsules which are meant to help. Oh and watch you tube videos if you are still getting nippier pain as there are great ones on latching. Google the flipple technique. Best of all go to bf clinic if you have one locally or call one of the many bf helplines nationally.

You will do this! People here will be along with good advice. You are doing really well to have gotten this far.

cookiefiend Mon 25-Sep-17 08:00:10

Sorry for the essay! I felt really alone when I stuggled so I hope that helps.

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:26:20

I am having a very similar experience - baby was jaundiced and treatment disrupted breastfeeding which had been fine on the first day. Baby used to headbang and scream when offered a breast and I couldn't express much so I resorted to formula. I found it so depressing that he refused me. I can offer a few tips that worked for, with varying success.

For pumping:
You may know this already but do keep up with pumping if you can't breastfeed. Even though it is hard work, it is so important to keep removing milk from your breast. I didn't know that if milk supply isn't established early on, it becomes very hard to increase it later. 2 months on, I still struggle with low milk supply and will privacy ahead be dependent on formula. You don't need to pump for 2h at a time - i was advised that 15 mins is enough and that frequency is more important than duration. Don't pump at set intervals either.

For bottle feeding:
Touch the bottle teat to his top lip and allow him to gape before offering the bottle, the way you might with your nipple.

For breast feeding:
I found that starting baby with a bottle for about 50ml or more helped to alleviate his hunger, and then if I tried to switch to breast he might be a bit calmer.

My baby also fed calmest overnight when he was sleepy and not thinking too much about whether he was getting bottle or not. So I've tried to feed him when he's started to wake up from naps. I haven't tried exclusively dark rooms yet but that could help.

Try dribbling milk on your breast and into his mouth before feeding.

Occasionally I found that I could trick him on by brushing his top lip with just the teat and then as he gaped, popped up nipple in. This didn't always result in a good latch though.

Have you seen your health visitor yet for advice? I would seek out all the help you can in these few weeks - breastfeeding cafes, feeding clinic at the hospital, lactation consultants - many will do home visits. Most of their advice will overlap, but you get some interesting tips now and then, and it's worth having someone suit with you both and watch him try to latch on to identify any problems.

I'm also taking fenugreek capsules which are horrible but I think have helped increase milk supply.

Look on the kellymom website for tons of tips. It was recommended by the breastfeeding clinic and cafes I went to.

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:30:21

Not contradicting cookiefiend, I was also told to pump at 3h intervals, but not exactly 3h, a bit before or after is better apparently. Just try to pump 8 times a day.

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:32:35

You could also rent a hospital grade pump from the hospital, breastfeeding cafe or direct from manufacturer. It will be a double (to save time) and is a bit quieter than the small electric ones.

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:34:15

Watch this for breast pumping tips. It was also recommended by my clinic and cafes.

CoxsOrangePippin Mon 25-Sep-17 08:39:33

Can you get a lactation consultant to visit you at home? I did and it was the best £90 ever.

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:40:38

Cookiefiend's schedule for feeding and pumping is what I was told too (though in dribs and drabs). It will feel relentless and you'll feel like you're pumping and feeding constantly, but hopefully you'll see an increase in milk in a few days and that will help motivate you. Get your DH to encourage/remind you to pump and fix you a hot drink while you do so. 😊

After a few weeks if things don't progress as well as you'd like, there is the option of domperidone.

In the midst of all this, enjoy your baby too!

Thishatisnotmine Mon 25-Sep-17 08:43:45

Don't think that the amount you express is in anyway an indication of how much your ds is getting when he's latched on. Lots of women just can't express much. But this is still quite early, you might find in a couple of weeks you can express more. But you could always freeze the milk you are getting to use later; it keeps for 6 months.

You need to ask your health visitor or do a bit of research to find breastfeeding help in your area. They can show you how to latch, what it should feel like, good posistions etc.

No advice on how to combi feed, I'm sure someone willbe along with tips on that. But don't feel bad! Think about how hard you are trying to feed your ds and keep him happy, you should be proud of yourself. Raising children is very much like childbirth - you can't plan for what will happen, you just have to go with it!

MenorcaSunrise Mon 25-Sep-17 08:56:04

I just wanted to add that the breastfeeding consultants told me it was more important to establish milk supply early on than trying to get baby on the breast and you can fix any breastfeeding issues later. So if it's taking ages and ages for beg to latch and feed, then prioritize pumping over trying to feed, even though it feels kind of crap.

I didn't pump often enough so my milk supply didn't increase much. On the plus size my baby calmed down at 6 weeks or so when breastfeeding and stopped head banging. Occasionally he'll refuse the bottle and paw for my breast instead! So they can still change and hopefully as your baby will mature and calm down too.

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