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Struggling with breastfeeding, please help!

(14 Posts)
aiti72 Fri 11-Jul-08 14:26:23

A little girl was born two days ago at 37+ weeks weighting 2.8 kilos, lots of pregnancy scares with her but she got a clean bill of health and we came home yesterday. Now I'm really worried about her feeding; am trying to breastfeed, but she is very very sleepy and only sucks for about 15minutes in every four hours. My milk hasn't come up yet so needless to say she's losing weight. Formula is ready for emergency (combined breast and bottle succussfully with DD1), but on the other hand I wouldn't want to upset her digestive system (she's much tinier than DD1). Tried extracting and only drew bloodsad. The baby looks otherwise well -but asleep. How long can I afford to wait for my milk, what would you do? Should I give her a little bit of formula just in case she hasn't got anything and see how she looks after? I am not a very enthusiastic breastfeeder as such(to say, giving formula is not 'wrong' in my mind), just want to do whatever is best for the little one. Sorry this was long -and probably placed under wrong heading- but I'm really worried about this sleepiness. Any advice/experience welcome!

MrsMattie Fri 11-Jul-08 14:27:54

Try the BF-ing boards - lots of great advice there. FWIW, my milk didn't come in until the night of my 3rd/4th day post natally, and I think this is very common.

scorpio1 Fri 11-Jul-08 14:28:08

My dd was this sleepy. day 3, milk came in, she woke up; all fine.

What do mws say?

hunkermunker Fri 11-Jul-08 14:42:47

You need to speak to someone - either ring one of the helplines on the right here, or your midwife who is supportive of bfing. Congratulations on the birth of your DD smile

harpsichordcarrier Fri 11-Jul-08 14:43:40

please don't worry! two days is very young and she will lose weight. she will not need milk until the milk comes in.
she is getting colostrum and that is what she needs right now.
it is very common for little ones to be sleepy too.
what does the mw say?
is it poissible she might be jaundiced? that might make her sleepy.
keep feeding her, try stripping her off and stroking her feet to keep her awake. put her to your breast as often as you like. get lots of skin to skin - get in the bath together?
are you co-sleeping? could you try bringing her nearer to you at night?
can you carry her in a sling?

tiktok Fri 11-Jul-08 14:45:58

aiti - initial weight loss is normal, as you prob. know. But you can help your baby get bf off to a good start with lots of skin to skin cuddling, biological nurturing positions (google it ) so she feeds frequently...it's early days to expect everything to be 100 per cent but smallish babies at 37 weeks can be a little slow off the mark and they need this physical contact with you to get their instincts going. I agree that four hourly feeding and a v sleepy baby is not what you want on day 3....

Ask the midwife about hand expressing - usually more effective than pumping at this stage. Give baby what you get out, and help her perk up.

A call to any of the bf helplines would be a good idea.

jivegirl Fri 11-Jul-08 14:55:28

Hi Aiti,

My DD is 2wks old - I had exactly the same problem as you (have a look at the message I posted).

Xan honestly say that things got 100% better literally 48hrs after posting. She still sleeps for Britain and I couldn't imagine how she would survive on what little she took, but 2wks later and she's put on plenty of weight and is thriving.

Kamillosan worked wonders for me on the cracked/bleeing nipples, and I used hot flannels on my boobs before feeding (gave up expressing as it was too painful!) the engorgement only lasted a few days, and now everything is so much better.

I also stopped trying to wake her to feed her (she woke every 4hrs) and stripped her/tickled toes etc. to keep her awake, changed nappy half way through, bathed her - anything to make sure she was awake enough to take a good feed. Some feeds were as short as a few minutes!

Please trust me - it will get better smile

foxythesnowfox Fri 11-Jul-08 14:56:39

I had the same with DC1 - my very helpful MW told me to hand express in pour in what little colostrum/milk I could from a teaspoonEven the very tiny amounts are significant.

But the best thing you can do is relax. It is very early days. Snuggle up, gaze at your baby, skin to skin, let her nuzzle and feed.

Don't worry, give it a chance to come good, it probably will. Let us know how you are doing smile

harpsichordcarrier Fri 11-Jul-08 15:55:57

if you want to express, you can also borrow one of those industrial machines from the hospital or NCT - again, call the helplines.
I managed to express 10ml of colostrum on day 2 smile I was enormously proud though it took HOURS

Ecmo Fri 11-Jul-08 16:03:14

when my dd was 2 days old she slept the whole day. She didnt even wake when I had visitors who passed her around! Eventually I woke her about 6pm and fed her but she just went to sleep again! She was only 6lbs 9 and she went down to about 6lbs 4. she was sleepy for the first 3 or 4 days

aiti72 Fri 11-Jul-08 20:31:54

Thank you so much, ladies, this site is heavensentsmile. Great advice from you, will try it, after I posted the midwife called and adviced to give her 20ml formula from syringe after every feed, which I've done twice now. She looks happy having the extra milk, but I try to keep her on the breast a lot(or as near as possible as most of the time she's too sleepy to take it).

halogen Fri 11-Jul-08 20:50:05

"only sucks for about 15minutes in every four hours"

My daughter never had a feed longer than ten minutes in her whole life and I breastfed her for 14 months. She was just v good and efficient at feeding, and if that's the case with yours you may be v grateful in the future! Don't give her formula, please, let her suck when she wants to as this will help your milk supply. Wait until your milk comes in and see what happens then. If it's still not working or she's still losing weight you can still go on to formula then if you want to. Some people don't get their milk coming in for four or five days and I understand this is absolutely within the normal range.

SazzlesA Fri 11-Jul-08 20:57:11

Message withdrawn

foxythesnowfox Fri 11-Jul-08 21:03:54

And Kellymom.com is invaluable for all things bf smile

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