The fight for breast milk(28 Posts)
I've written a few posts about breastfeeding but here is where i'm at now.
My DD is just 8 days old and can't latch on to me because i have inverted nipples. The day she was born they just said to put her on formula and we would keep trying with these syringe things to try and draw the nipple out. This didn't work and i left hospital having fed her formula only.
At home I managed to draw out a little colostrum and give her that by hand at any rare opportunity.
the infant breastfeeding advisor said to keep pumping and see if that stimulated things but while my breasts did go hard on day 3, the milk never came.
Baby has had nothing but formula and from day 4 has shown signs of colic - every evening crying and fussing like crazy - i can't help think this is something i could change (MAYBE) if i was able to express milk?
Anyway - long story but now i've accepted she can't latch on - she actually cries at my nipple. So I just want to express - I've been using an electric pump and there were some droplets which is great - but how do I get enough for a full feed?? Tried again and nothing is coming out...
Anyone else been able to produce milk days/weeks after the birth / AFTER the usual milk arrival time with just pumping alone?
Any advice would be great - also understood pumping as much as possible is the way to go, and am finding it hard to get the time in - with feeds, colic bouts lasting 5 hours and little trips to doctors, midwives and registry offices getting in the way....
try posting again under "feed the world" instead of pregnancy to get help
OP - you are doing a brilliant job and doing the best for your baby.
You are doing as much as you can to make breastfeeding possible. Expressing what you can and feeding ad hoc to your baby is still valuable - it's what I did with DC1 - I had exactly the same supply problem as you.
There is nothing wrong with formula feeding. Give yourself permission to do a bit of both and go with whatever works for your family.
In a rush so this will be quick but have you tried nipple shields? That'll give something for your baby to latch onto.
You sound like a great mum op, and remember you haven't failed if your lot has formula.
You're doing really well to keep trying. Are you expressing every 2 to 3 hours day and night? I know it's a big commitment but that's what baby would be doing and it could really help to increase your supply. The night ones are important so if you could fit some in that would be great. Can you borrow a hospital grade pump? They can be amazing for boosting supply, ask your breastfeeding supporter or the Infant Feeding Team at the hospital.
I know you said it's because of your nipples but has the baby been checked for tongue tie?
In terms of pumping just keep going. Looking at your baby whilst you're pumping might help (can trigger the right hormones), as can trying to relax. Try not to watch the milk coming out; it can be very depressing.
Well done for trying this hard: well done xx
Oh I forgot to say, even if nothing comes out its not a wasted pumping session, any stimulation is good, even if it's just for 5 minutes.
My milk never came in. Was given meds that helped a bit, expressed through electric pump, but gave up after six weeks.
My kids are very bright and haven't had a day off school sick in years. One of them has had no time off school sick for 4 years.
They make you feel very guilty fir switching to formula but it was the right decision for me and my twins.
I wish i hadn't put up with all the breastfeeding pressure looking back it would have made the first few weeks much nicer if u had said fuck it, it's not working for me we are switching to formula.
Try looking at your baby/a picture of your baby when pumping to get the milk going?
Formula is fine. My DD had a tongue tie that wasn't spotted for quite a while, so didn't have a great latch, and I had pretty crappy supply anyway. Although we managed a few weeks of mixed feeding ultimately we switched to formula full time by 11 weeks. Keeping up a cycle of trying bf, pumping, etc was exhausting and really ruined the first few months of parenthood for me. I felt horribly guilty for ages. But she's two now, eats a wide range of healthy foods, is as bright as a button, and rarely ill, you would not be able to tell that she hadn't been breastfed.
Have you tried switching formulas? My DD got on a lot better with Hipp Organic.
Colic is one of those things, they grow out of it, but it's a hideous phase while it lasts. We used to call 5pm the start of the 'Bitching Hour', but in reality it was more like three hours of ugh.
I know how tiring expressing can be so you have my total sympathy. If you can, express at least once in the night as that should help stimulate milk production. If you're getting some drops then you are producing milk, so it's a question of trying to build up supply.
Also, don't give up on latching. You might find that as your baby gets bigger and stronger she might just be able to work out what to do.
Agreed having baby nearby or a picture to simulate milk, smelling their babygrow helped me. Colic happens to breastfed babies too iirc. Contact laleche league, they might have some advice on inverted nipples?
I also had inverted nipples, but my babies latched okay and they are no longer inverted.
I had to express when I returned to work and always found I could get much more if I nursed the baby on the other side at the same time. not very dignified, but hey ho.
perhaps you could latch with the help of nipple shields and then express the other side?
Hello, not sure if this will help, my dd was pretty jaundiced and was too sleepy to latch for the first two weeks or so, so I continued to pump and syringe feed her until she was awake enough to breastfeed. I've actually found that I get more milk faster using a handheld pump rather than the electric ones, they don't seem to have the speed or suction power equal to dd! But a hospital grade pump might make a bigger difference. Congratulations on your little one and well done to you for persevering, the colostrum is the most important milk for the baby at the early stage and even a little bit is worth it, it won't do her any harm to be on formula milk so don't feel guilty. However, if you do manage to get breastfeeding working for you, you may be lucky like me and your little one will take both bottle and breast, which will make your life easier in the long run. Good luck!
Don't be to hard on yourself. I ebf ds2 and wanted to do it again this time but baby made me so sore then he stopped. I was devastated but then he ended up in hospital with breathing problems so now I realise its not the end of the world.
HI thanks for all your posts - she's latched on using the nipple shields and while she's not getting a full feed yet she's getting something - so will top up with formula and keep going!
Thank you again x
If she is latching on, what I did to try to boost supply was feed on one side and then attach electric pump on that side while feeding on the other. You can cut an X in a nursing bra to allow you keep the pump in place handsfree. I would then double pump for a further few minutes after the baby had finished. It saves quite a bit of time and made it easier to pump from the first side.
I also had done limited success with the power pumping technique to boost supply - after your regular pimping session, rest ten minutes, pump ten minutes, repeat twice more. Doing this once or twice a day for two to three days in a row had some effect for me.
However your milk not coming in at all does sound like a problem - is it better now that your baby is latching?
For what it's worth, formula is an excellent food for babies - both mine were mixed fed before moving to exclusively formula - and colic is simply bad luck. Some things might improve it slightly, some make it a bit worse but if you have a colicky baby, unfortunately you just have to wait for it to pass. It is not your fault.
Was coming on to recommend nipple shields and so glad to see you have tried them. I fed my dd for 18 months on them - like you I couldn't get her to latch on without. We just kept using shields and kept going! Buy loads and sterilise them after each feed.
Really glad you can experience bfing!
Ps to build up your supply put her to the boob often - esp at night
And water!! You need to drink an extra 500ml-1 litre a day as this is the fluid you'll be giving baby
When expressing I found it helped me relax to watch something totally unrelated to babies (Top Gear worked for me!) and as a pp said not to watch the milk coming out (or not). I had got so stressed about trying to express that looking at the baby didn't help (had weight gain issues so a lot of pressure to get more milk into him).
Also, we had different issues to you but breast compressions really worked well for us to make the feeds more efficient, and I doubt they'd do any harm - look it up on the kellymom website, there's a really helpful page there.
Sounds like you've persevered a lot more than many people would so don't be too hard on yourself - formula plus feeding plus expressing is the worst of all worlds so don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work out longterm.
I am the same (fully inverted).and have been told shields won't really help. I have been advised to hand expels antenatal (too late for you!) and then hand express until milk comes in THEN use electric pump. I get loads more out hand expressing as it is a different kind of stimulation that mimics a baby rather than just suction. Hope that helps. Well done for being a trooper!
I had a tongue tied baby who struggled to latch, so not the same issue but I think some things that helped us might help you. As well as the nipple shields, I'd also try the suggestion of breast compressions while feeding - I could really tell my baby was getting more milk. I'd also try switch nursing which is repeatedly switching sides when your let down slows down and she stops getting milk and either just slow suck's or gives up. I found this article ( 27/worries-about-foremilk-and-hindmilk.html) about fore and hindmilk helpful for reducing my worry about her getting the wrong type of milk when switching sides like that. I also got more out handexpressing in the first couple of weeks, have you tried at least an hour after the last feed? Warming my breasts firat e.g. in a shower or bath or with a hot water bottle always used to help as well. Good luck!
2nd try at the link: www.nancymohrbacher.com/articles/2010/6/27/worries-about-foremilk-and-hindmilk.html
Essentially worry about the amount of milk first, type of milk 2nd - you only get separation into fore and hind milk when you have full breasts, not if you are feeding the milk as fast as it is being made.
Sorry if this is really obvious but don't forget to eat and drink lots of water. Things like oatmeal and dates. But to be honest i just ate things like fruit cake - anything to boost calories that was convenient and through night too. I mixed fed with formula until i was making enough at about 4 weeks-had big babies. I watched box sets of crap tv while i expressed for ds1 and managed to just bf/mix feed with ds2 because he woke up more! I used those little pre sterilised bottles to top up eith formula. Expensive but really convenient esp when you are expressing because its less bottle washing/sterlising. There's not enough hours in day otherwise esp if you're expected to remember to get dressed, washed and eat all those extra calories! Exhausting! Good luck op
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