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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Breastfeeding fail - trust your instincts!

(15 Posts)
yourmama Sun 26-Mar-17 00:22:56

This is a bit of a rant about the NHS (just about had it with them to be honest) and the push for breastfeeding everywhere at any cost which turned out to be unhealthy for my DS!

I posted here before under a different username re: my DS health/feeding problems and that I was going to my native Germany to get him checked out properly (as things are forever "fine" for the NHS - every time I raised any issues re: feeding I was advised "not to worry" and carry on with breastfeeding as normal.)

Well turns out that if a single doctor we've seen even bothered to look at DS weight (30th centipede) in comparison to his head size (90th centile) they would have been able to conclude something was up - since the fact he dropped from 60th to 30th didn't worry anyone by itself confused That was highlighted by the ped back home straight away. She referred to ultrasound for his tummy, leg joints and heart (a slight murmur heard over his heart) - these shown underdeveloped kidney, not entirely developed joints and we are still due for the heart scan.

LUCKILY we were advised that things can improve in 2-3 months by themselves with proper care and improved nutrition but we absolutely have to start supplementing with formula! Apparently poor mite was just hungry all this time when I've been reassured that apparently "it's almost impossible to have inadequate milk supply" and that "babies due cry you know." It didn't help that he was absolutely refusing the bottle ( he has a lactose intolerance and the formula we had at the time was a regular one) leading me to believe there was nothing I could do.

I'm just so annoyed at the range of doctors in the UK who brushed his continuous wailing as nothingness more than "colic", encouraged us vigorously to not supplement and just "keep calm" without even a basic common sense check let alone any tests / proper examination! The home ped took a good half hour looking at him, checking his entire little body from head to toe, listening to his chest and back, scale, head and body measurements (length also on 90th centile - they don't even measure that where I live confused) - this should have been done at his 8 weeks check but the GP spent a mere 6 minutes with us and listened to DS chest for literally 10 seconds and through his vest (he was crying as well so I think she just couldn't be bothered.)

Please trust your instincts over anything that you are being told especially by some lactation enthusiasts, I'm so glad we've done these checks. We had to buy a feeding support system that basically tricks DS into eating formula when he's breastfed and I hope he'd be fine at the next check in 2 months. Had we not done that who knows I might have tried to breastfed until he was extremely malnutritioned and irreversibly underdeveloped!

yourmama Sun 26-Mar-17 00:28:43

Just wanted to add - all this time I had a feeling something was seriously off with DS fussing at the breast every time, eating for 2-3 minutes at a time only and sucking his fists :-/// I knew there was no way he was getting enough just annoyed with myself for believing some "specialists" over my basic common sense and instinct.

NewMum17 Thu 30-Mar-17 03:43:55

Wow! Thanks for letting us know. I do think breastfeeding causes a lot of pressure, it was the hardest thing to get my head around.

I'm glad you got it all sorted back home. Hope all goes well from now on. Please don't beat yourself up about it as you still did listen to your instinct and did the right thing.

HarleyQuinzel Thu 30-Mar-17 05:27:57

The same thing happened to me. My DS was absolutely miserable for the first 5 days. Constant crying and very few wet nappies, we were in hospital for a week. The midwives assured me it was normal. We had the pampers ones that change colour but we were told not to trust them and that 'he was probably fine'. I sensed something was wrong but was basically made to feel like I was imagining it. There was such a pushiness for BF.

Finally saw a pediatrician on day 5 who confirmed he was dehydrated and that is was actually ok to give my baby formula (turns out it's not rat poison!) so I did and the difference was remarkable. He settled instantly. Looking back I wish I made a complaint. It really isn't healthy to push breastfeeding so much.

Sounds like you've had an even more stressful time. It's good to know I'm not alone though, still feels a bit like I imagined it!

NewMum17 Fri 31-Mar-17 01:05:33

Oh dear, poor you too Harleyquinzel. It's a good thing you have it sorted now!

Joffmognum Fri 31-Mar-17 01:51:37

Harley, it sounds like there was a problem with breastfeeding that you weren't getting support with. Maybe your baby had a tongue tie or a bad latch, so couldn't stimulate letdowns, or maybe you were given misinformation about how often he should be fed (I hear a lot of people say every three hours. I've even heard every four. This is NOT ENOUGH for the first few days).

It's probably not breastfeeding's fault - in places where mothers are given a lot more support and information about breastfeeding they are actually very likely to succeed. Cambodia has a 99.6% breastfeeding-at-12-months rate.

The aloofness you describe sounds gross sad

sycamore54321 Fri 31-Mar-17 02:27:23

I hate lactivism. Can you give any source - any at all - for a 99.6% breastfeeding rate in Cambodia? And then please post why this is a good thing? For example, what is the neonatal mortality rate in Cambodia? The infant mortality rate? The malnutrition rate? The rate of stunting in the under-5 population? Are these things we want to emulate?

"It's probably not breastfeeding' fault". IT IS. These babies were being starved and their mothers recognised it and sought help but the 'experts' told them they were wrong and to breastfeed more when breastfeeding was exactly the problem. And you want to blame them? Do you really think a woman who (rightly) believed her screaming, distressed, non-peeing baby was hungry and would then ignore and not feed that baby for the next three hours and forty-five minutes? Or is it not much more likely that breastfeeding, like absolutely every other bodily function, has a failure rate and does not always work perfectly, just like any other biological process?

NewMum17 Fri 31-Mar-17 02:37:09

It worked! Thanks for the tips grin

NewMum17 Fri 31-Mar-17 02:39:16

Oh gosh, sorry. Wrong thread!! shockconfusedJust expressed and used tips from others..clearly lacking sleep lol.

seven201 Fri 31-Mar-17 02:46:34

My dd was born at 85th centile and dropped to about 30. By one month as she hadn't regained her birth weight I was advised by a health visitor to top up with formula. I reluctantly did so. I went to bf clini, got latch and tongue checked etc. At the 6 week gp check she was diagnosed with silent reflux and cow's milk protein allergy. That was all the NHS and I didn't need to push for anything. Just saying that it's partly just luck about the hcp you happen to see and where you live. I love the NHS. I'm glad you're getting the support you need now flowers.

raviolidreaming Fri 31-Mar-17 12:20:41

sycamore54321 - thank you smile 👍

HannahNatalia Sat 01-Apr-17 19:08:34

Totally sympathise - my milk didn't come in, which i didn't know was a thing, and it makes me really cross that breastfed babies don't get checked til day 5 - we were in high dependency unit with pre-kidney failure and it makes me feel awful and guilty. There isn't enough support or information about all the things it is useful to know when breastfeeding. And it makes me cross that advice is not to give formula at all costs to build supply which i kind of understand but then i think about starving babies who just need food!!

HannahNatalia Sat 01-Apr-17 19:09:49

Plus all the different midwives/nurses in hospital gave different advice

StiginaGrump Sat 01-Apr-17 19:37:16

I think mother's instincts are best listened too and that hcps are just over worked in the postnatal phase. There is no huge conspiracy not to give formula to babies that aren't growing well enough - there are just individuals sometimes misreading the situation. The NHS can variously work well or badly for babies/mums for the bf/ff.

Are there some people overly invested in how your baby is fed - maybe but most are just trying to counter the generally poor understanding of how breastfeeding feeding works and to counter the marvellous marketing of the formula companies. The results are there in the questions about Cambodia - in our country we can access great formula in the right quantity and have access to safe water and sterilising. This isn't true for all in Cambodia so breastfeeding saves lives. Ff in third world countries or in areas where there are patches of poverty and lack of acces to the things above kills babies.

HannahNatalia Sat 01-Apr-17 20:25:54

I totally agree it's not a conspiracy in that sense, but advice and awareness about potential issues could be better

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