As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.
7 days no milk!(11 Posts)
I gave birth to DD1 a week ago, lost a lot of blood during birth and surgery for retained placenta, and this affected my colostrum. Baby got dehydrated so we started formula feeding in hospital and have continued ever since. She gets plenty of skin-to-skin time every day but becomes very distressed if she goes anywhere near my nipples! Would like to express and bottle feed but 7 days after birth there's still no milk and very little colostrum. Am pumping every 3 hours, taking fenugreek, massaging boobs, doing skin-to-skin, drinking loads... anyone else have the same problem? I am determined to keep going until milk comes but starting to worry that it's not going to happen! Thanks everyone xxx
Sounds like you're doing all you can, so firstly hats off to you! You've had a really rough time and are doing amazingly. Also, don't panic - you're daughter is getting fed and plenty of nutrition, and that's the main thing.
I breastfed our baby for 4 days, then swapped to formula for a week and pumped (I was on medication which meant I couldn't feed), the mixed fed for a few weeks and a now breastfeed with a bottle of formula at night time, so I know a little about both and combining.
I've found speaking to La Leche League and NCT feeding helpline really useful - you could Google their numbers and give them a call, I found them full of ideas and very supportive. A visit with a breastfeeding counsellor (ask your local NCT) could be helpful too, to see you both in action and offer advice.
In terms of supply, It's said that a baby is far more efficient at drawing milk from your breast than a pump, so baby might get the milk flowing better than a pump could when she eventually feeds. A pump doesn't get all your hormones flowing in the way a baby does, which are essential when feeding, so you may find your supply will gradually increase once she does feed. And don't forget at this stage your supply would be relatively small in any case, as your baby only has a tiny tummy If she does start to breastfeed you can increase your supply by feeding regularly and supplementing with formula as need be, so don't worry about that.
In terms of encouraging her to breastfeed, could you try giving a bottle of formula in the position you would would breast feed, to get her used to the idea of feeding lying sideways? By which I mean lie her across your chest, doing skin to skin perhaps, and tilt the bottle sideways? Might be worth a try?
You could also try varying your breast feeding positions, eg lying her on her back and leaning over her, or 'rugby hold' etc.
It would also be good to try letting her latch on between her feeds or at the end if a formula feed when she isn't too hungry, so she'll likely be calmer and more likely to persist.
Also remember your mood is transmitted to her. Take some deep breaths, release your shoulders and loosen your muscles, smile (it fools your brain into feeling happier!) and remember if it doesn't work this time, you can try again in a hour or two.
If you have a partner, rope him / her into helping out too - checking her position, encouraging you, etc.
You could also make sure you're using teats which mimic the nipples as closely as possible - I use Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature size 1.
Also, do give yourself and her time - I don't know whether this if is your first baby, but whether first or subsequent, it takes time for the two of you to learn to work together on feeding, and time for the baby to learn the ropes - I only stopped having to encourage and 'coach' my little around a month ago, and she's just over 4 months.
Good luck and keep calm - if your baby is getting fed, that's the main thing!
Oh, and if you had ventouse / forceps (I did), your little one may have sore head which might make latching on painful for her. That was an issue for mine for a few days, and as the swelling subsided, feeding became much easier for her. It's early days, go easy on yourself!
Zamaz, thank you SO much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply; I (or should that be "we"?!) really appreciate it and will follow all your advice xx
If you feel you'd like some more responses it might be worth posting this in the infant feeding section? I think BF experts may be more likely to see it there. Good luck
Thanks CousinChloe, am new here so had no idea that existed! Have re-posted x
This may not be helpful but please don't beat yourself up if bf doesn't work out. I tried for months with my first but with all the advice and work in the world I never got any milk.
Good luck though.
I got to day 7 and My milk still hasn't come in. I saw counsellors and the midwives helped, they all scratched their heads and said I was a medical marvel
My baby got distressed, hungry and looking back I can't believe I held out so long and put him through it. We started formula and never looked back.
The same happened with baby 2&3. I just think I'm missing the hormone that makes milk!
I moved to formula a lot faster with those two as I was expecting it and I'm so pleased I did.
Don't beat yourself up. You can give formula and still pump and your baby will be a lot happier than they are now I promise.
Sorry I re read and saw you already started the formula. That's great - and just be aware the milk might never come. It didn't for me so it's possible just rare
I BF both my children for several months and never managed to express any milk at all. My boobs didn't leak. I never got so much as a glimpse of milk on it's way down. Expressing was uncomfortable and ultimately unproductive for me.
A lack of visible milk doesn't mean that your baby won't be getting some - I think you are doing brilliantly dealing with practical side of things with formula but trying to keep your options open.
Thank you so much everyone! I'm keeping a very open mind and we'll persevere and see what happens... I am so lucky to have a beautiful healthy happy calm baby, I want to enjoy these precious early days without stressing about milk! What will be will be x
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