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Breastfeeding struggle

(20 Posts)
CatMum87 Sun 03-Jun-18 18:32:55

Bit of a long story so sorry but am so anxious at the moment.
My little girl was born at 37 weeks. I was induced due to suspected low birth weight which was discovered at 36 weeks. The time time leading up to the induction was stressful with daily monitoring and I lost my apetitie. DD was however thankfully born healthy but on the small size at 5lb 7. Over the first couple of days we had difficulty breastfeeding and we also had to go back into hospital for several nights as she developed jaundice which was a pretty low time for me being back on a shared ward and exhausted from the last few days. I was advised to keep feeding her as often as I could...which was difficult given how sleepy she was.
Fast forward to today and she is 16 days old however the breastfeeding is still making me feel miserable. She is still such a sleepy baby and I am having to wake her every 3 hours as advised to feed. We go through the whole palava of changing her to wake her up etc etc but after a few minutes on the breast she just falls back to sleep. Tickling the feet etc does nothing to keep her going. I've been told she may have a shallow latch so the effort of feeding just makes her too sleepy. I am exhausted with it all, my appetite is zero and I dread every attempted feed. i just dont feel like im enjoying my newborn. The last few nights I have been in tears and got DH to feed her a bottle. She guzzled this down and I felt really guilty but at the same time so reassured that she was being fed.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to get with this post but I am just so confised as to how to go forward and what to do for the best......

Greenwomanofmay Sun 03-Jun-18 18:42:05

Do what you want to do, if that’s continuing breastfeeding, switching to formula or mix feeding do it
Lots of people will say switch to formula others will say keep breastfeeding
My experience was long labour emcs no milk for 5 days baby losing weight back in hospital. I really wanted to breastfeed but had to top up as much as he’d drink after breastfeeding and we continued mix feeding for 3 months. Then we did just breastfeeding and then at seven months back to mix feeding ( prescription milk and no solids due to his cmpa and my exhaustion). The advice I would give is try giving some formula after a feed, it’s what I’ll do if I have another regardless of weight issues. It’s tough and whatever decision you make is the right one for you x

Whymustyoubringinthebirds Sun 03-Jun-18 18:45:03

Ultimately it up to you and you have to decide but pick what suits YOU!
No point continuing with BF to the expense of your mental health as that will also impact on your baby - happy mum, happy baby

Cheeseandapple Sun 03-Jun-18 18:58:27

Op I'm in the same position with regards to my DD falling asleep whenever I try to breast feed. She kept losing weight in the first fortnight (15 days old today) and so we've been mix feeding for a few days. She's on each side for 5-10 mins, inevitably falls asleep and then give her formula. It's hard work but she's gaining and getting benefit of breast milk. I'm planning to carry on until she's 4-6 weeks old and hoping to gradually increase breast feeds until EBF. She'll get stronger and so will cope with the little bit of extra effort BF takes. Good luck and please don't be hard on yourself! Xxx

GummyGoddess Sun 03-Jun-18 19:01:33

Are you able to express a few feeds so she can eat without much effort? If not then there is nothing wrong with formula, it will keep her fed and help her grow just as breast milk would.

Jloassofmeat Sun 03-Jun-18 19:05:58

Do what works for you but bf is going to help your baby more than formula - not starting a war hear but baby was early and bf will definitely help if it’s what op wants to do. If not then that’s fine. Her baby her choice

I was told to make baby uncomfortable when my early baby was born - take clothes off them, wake them up, tickle feet, blow cool air on them, keep them awake and more alert to feed

It’s hard going isn’t it bf? But purely from personal experience the bond really is something else.

Jloassofmeat Sun 03-Jun-18 19:06:51

Is also normal for babies to be sleepy. This can be for a few months x

CatMum87 Sun 03-Jun-18 20:06:49

Thank you for all your replies it is really appreciated smile. I just don't want to feel the devil if breastfeeding isn't working. I feel like I starved my little one in the womb and can't nourish her properly on the outside either! I'm going to go to a breastfeeding support group tomorrow and see if they can help with the latch issue. She is also being weighed and so we shall see whether she has put any weight on from last week. Maybe both will help me make a decision as to how we go on feeding. I love this little bundle in front of me and just want to do my best for her! xx

Jloassofmeat Sun 03-Jun-18 22:00:51

Ah op, you didn’t starve her x x don’t put that guilt on yourself x x

Lindah1 Sun 03-Jun-18 22:04:15

To wake ours up we stripped her off and put a desk fan on for a few seconds, midwife/hv said it was fine, if that helps. Hugs x

Moonflower12 Sun 03-Jun-18 22:08:33

Don't be guilty. She's just a little dot. Some are. My daughter was 5lb 9oz after having 10lb-ders, so a bit of a shock.
Have you had your latch checked by a breastfeeding support worker or La Leche? They can really help you. I would mix feed her for now as a pp suggested and then build up your feeding as she gets bigger and more alert.
Also get her properly checked for tongue tie by someone who knows- maybe in hospital or privately if you can afford it. It is very hard to diagnose and often missed.
It is hard but very well done for trying.

EmilyD84 Thu 07-Jun-18 08:24:50

My son was born at 35 weeks and he struggled to breast feed, he didnt have a strong suck and it takes them so much energy to do. He had to have formula tops to keep his weight up as we were in hosp 5 days and I didn't want him to have to go back in. Even finding a bottle he could manage to drink from was a challenge. I ended up exclusively expressing, he's 5 weeks now and breastfeeds brilliantly. He was the same though it was a struggle to keep him awake. I just kept offering the breast and if he was too tired gave him a bottle of expressed. He was mostly taking expressed but Eventually he got good enough to not need the bottle. Also expressing when he didn't feed fully kept my milk up. He now prefers breast to bottle but will still take a bottle which is handy.

Don't beat yourself up over it, I did and really fed is best so do what you feel is best, give it a bit of time and you may find she'll take to it no problem. I had days where I nearly chucked it in, just do what you feel is right for you and your little one x

JustEllie Fri 08-Jun-18 11:23:33

I was induced at 38 weeks the same as you. I wanted to breastfeed my baby but she didn't know how to latch, at the hospital, I was expressing my milk and tried to put her on the breast but without any luck. When we came back home, I was giving her formula and my expressed milk because I had a quite good supply but it wasn't working for us. I had to express so many times we could leave the house for longer than 2 hours and after the baby was always hungry and we were concerned she is loosing weight. Today she is 20 days old and gets only formula. I feel sorry for myself that I couldn't breastfeed her and we are loosing all the advantages of it but she gained her weight back, eating more regularly and I am less stressed.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 14-Jun-18 02:43:07

Have you tried breast massage/compressions. I find they help a bit.

Mamathebest Thu 14-Jun-18 21:35:41

Just wanted to share my experiences. My DS who is now 14 weeks was induced at 35 weeks for the exact same reasons. DS weighed 4 pound 11 at birth and lost 8% of his weight within 48 hours.

Like you, baby struggled to latch or would fall asleep instantly and breastfeeding was a constant struggle. I remember the tears trying desperately to BF. He was topped up with formula and we have continued to mix feed until now. DS is very healthy and has gained loads of weight! He was also never re-admitted to hospital. No problems at all and has never been ill. Looking back now I wish I was a bit more relaxed about it and enjoyed that initial period with baby.

I think if I didn’t mix feed I would have driven myself crazy. Ultimately it’s your choice OP. But please do not feel guilty for introducing bottles/ FF. it is not poison. There’s no need to think it’s all or nothing in terms of breastfeeding. The important thing is for baby to be healthy and mum to be happy!

HoneyWheeler Thu 14-Jun-18 21:37:58

You are doing a great job. You are the exact Mama that your baby needs, no matter what you feed her. This time is so flipping hard.

Mamathebest Thu 14-Jun-18 21:38:46

Just to add by about 6-8 weeks Baby’s latch got a lot better and it became easier to BF. Some women do choose to EBF at that point or continue mix feeding as I have.

Helbelle75 Thu 14-Jun-18 21:46:56

It's hard, and a really worrying time.
Dd was born by emcs after a (lengthy) failed induction. She lost 13%of her birth weight at day 3. We were put on a feeding programme, which included top ups of either expressed milk or formula.
We slowly reduced the top ups to one a day and she gained weight just fine.
It was a really worrying time, and what really helped me was the breaststart group at my local children's centre. I'm still a little obsessed with her weight, but only get her weighed every couple of months, if that, as I don't want her to pick up on it and it's obvious she's thriving.
She's 14 months old now and we're still breastfeeding, but she has a bottle of cow's milk at night now instead of a formula top up.
Looking back, I'm really pleased we mix fed. It means dd is happy to take a bottle, so dh can do bedtime, either giving me a break or allowing me to do my hobbies.
One thing I found really difficult was the conflicting advice we got from people around us. Every midwife and hv we saw had a slightly different viewpoint and in the end I went with my instinct.
I hope things work out for you and you find the best way for you and your family.

boomboom1234 Thu 14-Jun-18 22:26:50

You won't get this time back OP - don't spend it crying and upset. You say you don't feel you are enjoying your newborn so do what makes life easier and helps you feel more relaxed.

I bottle fed formula to my first and am currently doing so with my second as it's what worked best for me and my family. There is no right or wrong and one thing I've learnt about babies is they are all unique. I do think it's such a shame to be feeling so down at such a special time. I can't advise you on breastfeeding as I've never done it but I just want to tell you not to be so hard on yourself I'm sure you are a wonderful mum so look after yourself, try to get some sleep esp if your husband successfully gave a bottle - use that as a chance to have a few hours rest, some food and take stock of what's best for you. A bit of formula won't harm your beautiful baby tonight so you get some rest. Sending lots of love.

CremeDeSudo Thu 21-Jun-18 20:16:43

Hi OP how are you getting? What did you decide to do?

I found your post as going through similar with DD at the moment. I want to BF but I think the amount of expressing required to keep my supply up is going to make me miserable.

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