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Pumping

(19 Posts)
melissa1215 Sun 12-Jan-20 15:06:43

Hi,

My 3 month old exclusively breastfed baby was hospitalised for a week over rapid weight loss and failure to thrive.

Ruled out all medical issues, it's a result of him being distracted, fussy, teething and not effectively feeding from me. I sat with a breastfeeding support worker for 5 days trying to get him to effectively nurse but it's just not happening.

I came away and was told to offer my breast every 3 hours and pump on the other breast to increase my supply. He needs a top up of breast milk every feed of 80ml- this worked in hospital and he gained 3 ounces

Well, I'm home now and incredibly sleep deprived and on my period feeling s**t and tried to nurse the baby and pump, I got 60ml, I was fairly okay with that and was going to try again in 3 minutes or so because that's all I could get during that session

Had a massive row with DH because he said "you need to make more right now, the baby is hungry" I explained I can't just click my fingers and magic up some milk

Baby was crying, situation was horrible. I've had to come upstairs to just have a minute to get myself back together.

Anyone know how I can increase my supply? I genuinely feel so low I've tried my best I already feel like a bad mum for not realising my baby wasn't feeding properly

I hate this so much. I don't know what else to do. I'm eating, drinking water. It was working well in hospital I had a nice routine going, tried before and it's all gone to pot already and I've only been home a few hours

Chuffingchuff Sun 12-Jan-20 17:48:31

You're exhausted. Youre doing your best!! But would it be the worst thing to relieve the pressure on yourself little and give them some formula? Not to replace the breast but just to help you not take all the pressure on yourself, that way DH could help out too.

Andersonx3 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:50:24

Sorry you're having a hard time. I EBF and pump
A few times a day, usually getting 30-50ml per session so 60ml is good in my books! Are you eating/drinking enough? Taking any multi vitamins?

YouJustDoYou Sun 12-Jan-20 17:54:48

You are trying your best! I pumped exclusively for three children three months each. It was a fucking torture. It was every two hours, day and night, non stop, for half a year each time and it wasn't fucking easy. It's honestly sometimes an "art" - takes practise, the right angle, the right machine, the right frame of mind.

DesLynamsMoustache Sun 12-Jan-20 18:06:11

I just about killed myself pumping for DD who wouldn't latch and stressed my head off about my supply. If I had to do it again, I would just combi feed without guilt. In your shoes, I would offer both breasts on demand frequently through the day and top up with formula till he was gaining well (and also consider doing a weighted feed in case the failure to thrive is something else). I understand the emotion that there is around breastfeeding, but honestly pumping took a part of our early time together that I won't get back. In my case I'm glad I did it because eventually DD did latch and I was able to stop, but if it had been a case of low weight gain I don't think it would have been worth it for me to breastfeed and pump just to avoid topping up with formula, looking back at it objectively now. And I am a massive breastfeeding advocate. But breastfeeding as well as pumping is hard work.

If your baby is hungry, feed him. DD screamed her head off in the hospital because she was clearly starving but it took three days for a midwife to suggest formula. I gave her a small top up and she stopped screaming. As long as you continue putting him frequently to the breast before offering top-ups, your supply will be where it needs to be.

melissa1215 Sun 12-Jan-20 18:26:35

Thanks for the replies everyone, I am at breaking point. I spoke with DH he's on board with the formula idea if it all gets too much, I'm pumping every 2 hours if I can't produce enough milk to match the 77mls top ups I have to rice him then formula it is. My body and mind are drained

thisyeargoodyear Sun 12-Jan-20 22:17:23

For me being stressed really affects my milk production. I had a recent stressful few days and my milk production halved! Once the stress was gone everything went back to normal. Make sure you are drinking lots of water and pump during the night if you can. If it were me in this situation I would give formula to relieve the pressure and once the pressure is gone I am sure your milk will increase. We put so much pressure on ourselves to breastfeed, in the end a fed baby is a happy baby (and happy mum), so ease some of that pressure on yourself.

I am almost exclusively expressing milk for my 6 week old son (breastfeeding isn't going well although I am going to see a lactation consultant tomorrow so fingers crossed I can get him latched on!).Good luck smile

5tarlight Mon 13-Jan-20 03:50:37

*on board with the formula idea if it all gets too much*
Sorry I think it already is. You can't keep going like this. You are absolutely doing everything right, but you are not a machine. Dh needs to understand this and support you, emotionally, practically. Stress definitely effects supply.

Use the formula to top up temporarily. You can get little 70ml bottles with teats supplied so can try without committing to sterilisers etc. My dd lost a fair amount of weight at first and was slow to gain. We used formula to top up for around 4-6 weeks. I was exhausted and not dexterous enough to pump whilst feeding on the other side. (Would maybe get 20ml in between feeds, not enough and also meant was either feeding or pumping, no break, was ridiculous and not sustainable). Also worked on latch, used sheilds to help. It worked, she started gaining the weight and we then dropped the formula. From that point we (almost) exclusively bf and still going at 9 months, so doing this did not adversely effect my supply at all (reason we use formula once a day is not supply related).

Don't torture yourself. You need a break. You can't pour from an empty cup. 💐

fruityconfusedhotdog Mon 13-Jan-20 05:50:47

As others have said, don't torture yourself. Breastfeeding to 3 months is a great achievement in itself!

Are you under the care of a dietician from the hospital? There's a powder you can get that you add to expressed breast milk to boost the calorie content, that might be n option worth discussing? Only if you did want to keep pumping, just to help your little one gain the weight back while you get your supply back up. I'd you do decide to switch to formula, they can also prescribe Infatrini, which is more calorie-dense than commercially available formula.

Good luck!

melissa1215 Mon 13-Jan-20 09:08:20

Hi guys, after a meltdown last night after being unable to pump no where near the amount the hospital stayed I needed to top up DS with on top of 3 hourly feeds (boobs were completely empty) I gave him formula, which has allowed me to pump and store. I'm going to do this today, once I have enough expressed milk I will go back to breastfeeding him 3 hourly and adding additional expressed milk via a bottle

Last night was one of the worst nights I'd had and I've never felt pressure and failure like it but he needed feeding and I physically had nothing left to give

5tarlight Mon 13-Jan-20 15:32:49

This is not failure at all, you are feeding your baby, this is all he needs. You are doing a brilliant and tiring job. Sorry it was such a crappy night, hoping for a better day for you.

I would be careful about just pumping today though, babies are generally much better at getting milk out than a pump, I would probably do a bit of both and formula in between? Also just a thought, my DD was feeding more like every 1.5-2 hrs, could you increase frequency by using the formula and thereby get more in? We also tried feeding off both boobs each time, a change of 'scene ' got her to take a bit more.

I found it easier to resign myself to a day (or several!) of nothing, no expectation of anything being done other than time with the baby, lots of skin to skin, watch some films, biscuits and drinks in grabbing distance, being more relaxed in that way helped the whole process.

It is really tough. Remember combi feeding or formula feeding are all completely fine, the important thing is a fed baby and a calm and healthy mum. It does get easier, I look back at months 1-3 with a bit of a shudder, a world away from how things are now. Good luck and if can be if any help let me know.

Mandarinfish Mon 13-Jan-20 15:36:09

I was lucky enough to breastfeed easily, but found pumping a nightmare. I'd pump for ages and get a measly amount! So when I left my DC they had formula. I still went on to breastfeed them for several months. I didn't feel a failure, I felt proud and so should you!

5tarlight Mon 13-Jan-20 15:38:22

Me again sorry, I just re-read your OP, you mentioned you're on your period. This can cause your supply to drop temporarily. So that is probably compounding the problem unfortunately. It should come back though with continued /increased feeding/pumping. Have a look at the Kellymom website if you haven't already, I find it gives good advice and information.

Hollywhiskey Mon 13-Jan-20 16:44:51

I don't understand why you need to top up if there is no problem with baby's health, latch etc. Have they explained this for you? Surely as baby is getting more milk out than the pump the best thing to do would be to feed more and express less? Boobs are like a river not a lake.
Is there any way you can just go to bed with baby for a day or two, loads of skin to skin, set up safe co sleeping and encourage baby to feed as often as possible. My four month old would be starving if she only fed every three hours but of course they're all different.
You are really important here. What do you want to do? What are your instincts telling you?
When my first wasn't gaining weight, I was given similar advice to you about a feeding schedule and top ups of expressed milk. In our case I didn't feel comfortable with expressing so I didn't. I had a lactation consultant check her latch then I fed her at least every two hours and probably much more often. It worked for us but obviously you're not me, I had different circumstances so you have to judge what's right for you. X

OhNoMyCheds Mon 13-Jan-20 16:55:51

I took brewers yeast and something else (which I will check when I’m home!) to increase my supply. It helped a lot. You can buy capsules from Amazon.

Your partner needs to be more supportive of you, not just having a go. I understand you’re both stressed about your little one but rowing with you isn’t fair or helpful.

I always find my milk supply is lower when I have my period. Don’t be disheartened. It does get easier.

Hercwasonaroll Mon 13-Jan-20 17:00:02

You are not a failure!! You are so far from a failure.... You've BF for 3 months. You are amazing!

Pumping and feeding is hard work. I did it for 2 weeks and it damn near killed me. I felt like I was permanently feeding or expressing.

Drink plenty, eat oats and look after yourself. If you want to introduce some formula to keep you sane, then do it!
Your DP however sounds like a total shit.

melissa1215 Mon 13-Jan-20 17:08:25

@5tarlight I am nervous about just pumping but he was hospitalised because he is underweight because he isn't getting enough from my breast sad they monitored me feeding him and came to the conclusion that he generally can't take to my breast, his latch is okay but he gets fussy and distracted yet he's got no problem with a bottle

I had no idea he wasn't feeding from me well, my supply has increased today and he's taking the formula really well I just want him back on breast milk

SkinnywannabeKBH Mon 13-Jan-20 17:12:34

Oh my goodness. Your OH is a prick in my opinion. He should have been cuddling you and supporting you instead of shouting at you for not producing enough. What a dick!

Well done for trying so hard and believe me when I srmay you are doing amazing. Whether it be formula, pumped milk or breastfed milk or all 3, you are doing brilliant.

I have flat nipples and unfoetunately no matter how hard I tried my girls would not latch on properly and just lost too much weight. My eldest is 8 and youngest 6 and still now I am devastated I wasn't able to breastfeed.

I had thee most amazing team of midwives visiting me and when they saw how gutted I was that our 1st Daughter wasn't getting enough she was able to source me a double electric breast pump and I was allowed to borrow up for as long as I wanted.

Ended up after 4 months using it I bought my own and pumped for a year with both girls.

I pumped religiously every 3-4hrs for approximately 10/15mins on both breasts at the same time. To keep my supply up I was advised to pump between. 1am-6am every night as this is the best supply time and keeps your body producing better. I did this even though both girls slept through the night from they were about 2/3mths old. My husband ensure I ate good food and drank plenty. Pumping is hard going, especially when you have to make sure you take your pump everywhere with you and ensure you have somewhere to keep your milk etc... But I would 100% do it again.

Please speak to your husband and ensure he knows you need his support not his criticism.

Good luck and well done again.

OhNoMyCheds Mon 13-Jan-20 22:00:03

Fenugreek tablets and brewer’s yeast.

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