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Breast feeding battles- any success stories?(11 Posts)
My son is 3 weeks old today and breast feeding has been a struggle. My milk was delayed coming in and I have struggled with supply. My son had a tongue tie and struggled to latch on initially. This has now been corrected and he is latching much better but still is not transferring a great deal from my breast- will spend hours on there and never satisfied after. I have been topping him up with expressed milk but he's such a hungry boy he always needs more formula. I developed mastitis this week and now feel like my supply is dwindling again despite pumping after every feed and power pump sessions. I started domperidone this week, not result yet but hasn't really been long enough to determine whether it's working.
Ive been working with a fantastic lactation consultant who has told me that I'm doing all the right things and don't give up. She said my son may still be adjusting to the tongue tie correction, hence the poor transfer of milk. I'm starting to feel disheartened as I have to keep giving him more and more formula. This is all exhausting and I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.
Does anyone have any success stories with their breastfeeding battles they could share with me? Need some inspiration to keep trying.
That sounds very hard, well done for carrying on this long.
My Dd had tongue tie that wasn’t diagnosed for 4 weeks so it was a huge battle to get her to feed properly. It was excruciatingly painful. Luckily when it was cut she then instantly latched properly. She then was breastfed for a year.
If your baby is still not feeding well might it be worth checking the tie was cut completely and there isn’t something else causing problems?
Could he be cluster feeding to try to stimulate more milk? It feels like they are insatiably hungry but actually just doing what they need to do to get the milk going- so if you’re feeding formula and then feeling the need to pump because your supply is dropping you might be better off just letting him feed as often as he wants. It’s exhausting though so you have my sympathy!
Are you eating enough and the right things too? Drinking enough water? Look after yourself as much as you can with a tiny baby because it’s so hard, even without feeding problems thrown into the mix!
Both mine had a tongue tie. My first DD really struggled and we were given a nipple shield which helped her latch on. We mixed fed as I had problems with my milk supply, but discovered fenugreek capsules (Holland and Barrett) which help boost your milk supply.
Has your baby had the tongue tie snipped?
Once she had it snipped it she still wouldn't feed without it. It used to really upset me; all my friends were breast feeding with no problems. I asked the health visitors how to wean her off and was told "she is lazy now". I was so angry. I stumbled across website with lots of suggestions and one of the things they suggested was trying to feed her in the bath. The water and the skin to skin contact relaxes them. For a while she could feed without the nipple shield in the bath but not out, and then one day as I went to put the shield on, she took the shield off herself and latched on!!
My second daughter, we had her tongue tie snipped and she went on to feed with no problems at all.
I know it's a scary prospect but if you haven't had the tongue tie snipped I really recommend it
At 3 weeks it is totally normal for them to feed constantly- that’s how they increase supply naturally. I know it seems wrong but cut the formula down otherwise you will lose supply. You need the constant feeding to boost it naturally.
As long as he is gaining weight he is getting enough.
How do you know how much milk is transferring?
It's a trap that many fall into, thinking baby isn't satisfied so topping up but this actually creates a problem that normally isn't there. I say this from experience- there's lack of support and info about breastfeeding. But basically baby being on and off for long periods (usually in the evening when the hormone for milk production is highest) is completely normal, it's your baby's way of getting your body set up to match his needs. What evidence do you have that he's getting milk from the breast. If you want to continue breastfeeding get yourself set up in bed or on the sofa tomorrow and feed him as often as possible and cut out the formula, this will really get your supply going. The first I'd say at least 6 weeks are tough but once cracked it's fantastic. Just take it one day at a time but also if it doesn't work out for whatever reason you've done great by giving him some breast milk.
I agree with all the posters here. Sit back, relax with some box sets and let baby feed and feed. (I couldn't express ever - so if that was an expression of how much milk I thought I produced it would be zero ...but I have 3 big strapping kids now.)
Also agree with ditching the formula if you can and just trying to accept that baby will fed what feels like endlessly for another few weeks.
I had a really tough start with both of mine, and it got so much better.
DC1 was early, jaundiced and had a severe tongue tie. Took them 9 weeks to finally cut it so I'd had to resort to nipple shields as feeding was so painful because she couldn't latch properly until it was done, and then had to unlearn all the bad latch techniques. Feeds took 50 minutes until she was 4 months and then basically overnight went to about 5-10 minutes which was life changing and she really started to gain weight well.
DC2 I had to use nipple shields from the start as he had a palate issue where he couldn't latch on his own. It took 3 months of total faff and ridiculously long deeds to eventually wean him off them when he'd outgrown the palate issue. Auddenly cut down feed times and now feeds are a few minutes and my sanity has been saved.
Keep at it, if you want to. It's normal and you're doing everything right!
It was so bad my milk stopped. The child was sleeping instead of feeding, I was hurting so much, I would cry from the pain and lack of milk. A complete mess.
Well I breastfed 24 month this little one. He's 12 now. I did not even know what was tongue tie was at the time.
First of all it's perfectly fine if you do mix until you wean him. Let it go.
Second if you want to switch to fully breastfeed, give yourself time to recover, you need energy : get some rest, drink a lot two litres of water per day (through soup, herbal tea and water).
Eat food that you really really enjoy, so he will want to eat your milk better (SWEET, SALTY, SPICY) than bland cow's milk.
I massaged my breast with my hands for a good minute (like the smush method, but gently) than went over my breast with a mild/warm cloth to make sure milk was coming out by itself, in cosy, calm and warm environment (oxytocin release) before breastfeeding, I would litteraly nest myself in blankets.
I said, the milk went away, so I did that once a day, then twice a day then 3 times until I came back to 8 times a day. By that time it's was on demand. It took me two weeks in total. He had formula instead of me : I would use the breast pump every two hours, put him on the breasts for the 10 minutes then give him the bottle, with little results, in term of milk expression but not feeling pressured as my son was fed, and I was doing it for stimulation, I know I would get there in the end. I could see that in the breast only sessions more milk was coming overall and he slept a wee little longer.
Transitioning helped primarily to recover the breasts (hurt), and get some rest. without rest no milk.
We did get there.
My son had severe skin reaction to cow's milk, I used ALL the formulas on the market even those that you only get from pharmacy, I had no choice. It can be done.
Ps. He still does not like cow's milk...
There, I shared. Seriously, I think that you are doing all the right things. There is no way you will not get there. Thumbs up. Congratulations for your little one.
I really struggled, baby had tongue tie which we paid privately to be treated on day 6. I was expressing every 2-3 hrs to get my supply in and up. Always offered breast then bottle but pace fed. Saw an osteopath twice to help loosen his neck, jaw and spine.
By 5 weeks he was breast feed in the day, one expressed and two formula bottles over night.
The NHS finally saw something was wrong and we were referred to look at tongue tie as sucking was weak still, he would take 3hrs of on off to feed each time.
At 6 weeks old I started feeding in the night and not giving up as soon.
Since then he's been 100% BF. His suck has gotten stronger, the referral showed he still has part of a tongue tie but can feed no issues now.
If All professionals say it should work keep going as long as you want to, I was going to give it one last push over Christmas when DH was home to help me... but baby got it by then... now he does a feed in 5-30mins, can latch himself without help... he's 17 weeks now and has been doing this for over a month.
Tongue tie snipped asap and saw about 12 different midwives, getting help with breastfeeding and going to children's centre most days. Speak to as many people as physically possible.
Now feeds like a trooper
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