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to be panicking about breastfeeding?

72 replies

WaterWellies · 27/10/2018 09:16

My little boy is a few days old. He was very small when he was born and struggled with regulating his blood sugar, and this combined with him having zero brown fat, meant we had to top him up with formula.

I'm on day 6 now and still only expressing colostrum. I've just expressed a good 50mls, but because baby is still so small, he's still having to have it out of a bottle.

I'm panicking that my milk hasn't come in properly yet and it's day 6 already. I'm also worried I won't be able to wean him off bottles and on to my boob (though he does latch on okay, and sucks for a minute or so until he realises nothing is coming out/gets too tired).

Does anyone have any advice for me? Really, really worried as would love him to be ebf...

OP posts:
EmUntitled · 27/10/2018 09:22

I would advise contacting your midwife or birth centre or phoning the breastfeeding helpline

Blondebakingmumma · 27/10/2018 09:27

If it’s important to you keep trying. Loads of time on the boob. Lots of skin to skin contact to encourage your milk.

RELAX- your brain needs a chemical (can’t remember name) to be present to breastfeed. Take deep relaxing breaths. Think positive thoughts

After my first birth i had bub Wednesday morning and milk didn’t come in until Saturday. I breastfed her until she was 18months

Good luck op

Nothisispatrick · 27/10/2018 09:28

My milk didn’t come in till day 5 and latching continued to be difficult after using the bottle. We’ve settled now on a good routine of mixed feeding, which works for us as DP can feed her in the night. I’m using nipple shields with breastfeeding to help the latch.

IABURQO · 27/10/2018 09:34

Keep going and relax. Top up if he's really tiny and midwives say he needs it, but keep putting him on your boobs, particularly for 2am-5am feeds. If you have colostrum then your milk will come and as soon as he's big enough he'll latch nicely (or you can get help with his latch if not). Breastfeeding is so lovely once you're past the fears (with slight tiredness for through the night the cluster feeding at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 4 months!), good luck with it all. If you have very specific questions then call the hospital as the midwives can still help you; later on the childrens centres normally have weekly breastfeeding sessions, many osteopaths have lactation consultants weekly at drop-ins and you can call La Leche League for help too. There are loads of people who can help you in person; if you struggle to find somebody then post your rough area and somebody here can give you local advice.

Congratulations on your little baby, I hope he grows well and healthily for you x

OwlinaTree · 27/10/2018 09:36

Same as above poster for me, after 3 births milk came in on day 5 so it could be on the way.

I agree with seeking advice from midwife or le leche league or similar. In the mean time I'd keep offering the breast when he's hungry first so he keeps having a try at feeding and you keep producing the milk.

Good luck. Breast feeding is hard to establish but hopefully will become much easier and convenient once you both get the hang of it.

Flywheel · 27/10/2018 09:40

Dd1 was in intensive care after she was born and I was given a hospital grade pump to use (very powerful and can do both sides at once). I was probably a bit too enthusiastic but after a slow start was soon producing enough for twins. She eventually came home and ditched the bottles. Agree with other posters that you should get expert advice, but just sharing my story. I was able to rent one of the pumps after I was discharged.

artio0 · 27/10/2018 09:50

In my area (London) there are NHS lactation specialists that can come to your home and help you with breastfeeding – did you ask your hospital or midwife if there's any where you are?

bellajay · 27/10/2018 09:56

Fantastic advice from other posters above. Just wanted to add, be kind to yourself, and it’s okay to feel worried, stressed, panicked, etc. You’re still firmly in post natal hormones/baby blues territory which can make everything feel overwhelming. Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy and it sounds like you’re a fantastic mum.

mussie · 27/10/2018 10:02

If you're able to express 50ml each time, I'd say your milk is in already. Not everyone gets the 24 hours of engorgement when their milk arrives. It may not turn the white colour you expect for a couple of weeks. Ask your midwives for a visit if you're worried, but that sounds plenty of milk for a 6 day old baby.

Namechanger55555 · 27/10/2018 10:10

Hi there

Both my babies were too weak to latch and feed properly.
I wanted to breastfeed, so instead of giving bottles the HCA on the postnatal ward helped me feed them with a syringe. That way they don't get used to a bottle test and minimises nipple confusion.

Also like pp has said, if you have expressed 50ml that would be your milk. At first it's still very yellow as it's part colostrum and part milk. Within the next day it sounds like your milk will be fully in.

Do try the syringes until baby is a bit perkyer to try latching in to you Smile

Namechanger55555 · 27/10/2018 10:11
  • 50ml is too much to be just colostrum
Hobbes8 · 27/10/2018 10:12

My son was prem and was in a similar situation. His blood sugar kept dropping and he needed regular formula top ups - he was fed via a nose tube for a few days.

I kept up with all the advice above - kellymoms is a very good website. Lots of rest, lots of skin to skin, make sure you look after yourself with good nutrition (I was completely ravenous after I gave birth!).

Be kind to yourself though - if your baby stays mix fed that’s ok. He will still get the benefits of your breastmilk, but he may need additional calories. I was the same - desperate for my son to be EBF - but he’s a strapping 7 year old now who swims and does karate and football and it honestly didn’t matter that he had formula, although it felt totally all consuming at the time.

FermatsTheorem · 27/10/2018 10:18

Sounds very like my early experience. Did the hospital tube/syringe feed him, Water or did they give him a bottle?

My milk came through on about day 5 but DS was still rubbish at latching/sucking - he had a tongue tie that my health authority just wasn't prepared to do anything about (they suggested a private practitioner in the next county, 40 miles away, which was sod all use to a single parent with no car!)

All I can suggest is feed, feed, feed, lots of skin-to-skin, lots of cuddles, and top up with a syringe or cup so that it doesn't interfere with his ability/enthusiasm for BF. (I think the topping up is important - my DS eventually went into free-fall below the bottom of the weight charts, which is obviously not an outcome you want). Also if you can borrow a hospital pump that would be good - but I could never get more than a few drops out with a pump no matter how hard/long I tried for.

I managed 8 weeks before DS's weight got so concerning I had to switch to formula. I was absolutely beside myself over it, but 10 years on he is absolutely fine - lively, bright, healthy, no allergies. I remember how my struggles with BF felt like the be all and end all at the time, but honestly, they're only a tiny bit of being a mother. Hopefully you will have more success than I did, and I'm hoping you do manage, but even if you do end up switching to formula, it is not the end of the world. Flowers

AssassinatedBeauty · 27/10/2018 10:33

Both of my children were initially tube fed, and then bottle fed in hospital. I transitioned to EBF gradually once home, using formula as necessary until my milk supply caught up. So it is possible to get there.

You're still in the very very early days. It can be very stressful and dispiriting. I'd try very hard not to think about absolutes - you're doing a great job of feeding your baby, the exact proportions of breastfeeding/formula don't matter.

In terms of moving to more direct breastfeeding, it's great that your baby will latch on and feed. That's a great starting point. I'd offer the breast every feed, and then follow that with expressed milk/formula each time, then express to keep stimulating your supply. When they are tiny it is really tiring for them to breastfeed, so feeds might be short, but try not to let that get you down.

And, congratulations on your new baby 

iliketomoveitmoveitMOVEIT · 27/10/2018 10:36

Keep trying as it’s important to you, and there’s some excellent advice above, but do try to be kind to yourself and not to panic. After all, the worst that can happen is that you end up formula feeding - and that’s not a bad thing as a plan b. So long as you are happy and the baby is happy and fed, it really doesn’t matter as much as it feels like it matters Flowers. Remembering that might make it feel less momentous and that might help to calm you down.

Congratulations on your baby!

ButterflyWitch · 27/10/2018 10:40

Congratulations OP! some lovely advice on here. Be kind to yourself, take to your bed with baby - lots of skin to skin, and snuggles.

Can i ask if he was premature - why can he only take from a bottle?

Also why do you think he had no brown fat?

Be reassured that it does sound like your milk has come in Flowers. Try to reduce formula top ups to as little as possible to stimulate your own milk production

MaverickSnoopy · 27/10/2018 14:04

It sounds like your milk has come in to me, however I would say if you are concerned then speak to health professionals.

What's his behaviour like - is he happy/crying all the time? Does he have wet/dirty nappies? Has he been weighed since coming home?

I am breatfeeding my 3rd baby and my experience is a little different. I have always struggled to breastfeed and each time didn't really feel like I was satisfying their need. With babies 1 and 2 I topped up because they seemed so hungry and when they were weighed it had dropped by about 8% (in our area they allow 10% before referring you to hospital). I knew that something wasn't right and that they simply werent getting enough. For context I was feeding on demand, the latch was good and I was also expressing maybe 6-8 times a day. When I had colostrum I would get approx quarter of a little syringe in a whole day (so about quarter of a ml), but my milk always came in on day 3. You can't measure what they get but I noticed progressively they would fall asleep to eat and then not eat. Hence needing to bring in formula. With my first I did manage to go back with ebf but not with my second.

I've now got an 8 day old and it was exactly the same as above, except no topping up with formula and I tried even harder this time, with lots of extra expressing - although only getting 10ml at a time. Unfortunately she was so dehydrated she was admitted to hospital - shed lost 14% of her weight. We've been in for 4 days and just come home.

I know I did everything I could and even the midwives thought it was going well with plenty of wet and dirty nappies. It was just all of a sudden she became hysterical.

My advice is to trust your instincts and speak to professionals if you're concerned. Honestly though, I still now (after expressing 10 times a day and breastfeeding) don't get more than 20ml when I express. So I think 50ml is brilliant! Even in a worst case scenario there are medical professionals there to help.

AlmostAlwyn · 27/10/2018 15:01

Congratulations on your new baby! Flowers

At a few days old their stomachs are still so tiny - little and often is best and not always a sign that you don't have enough milk!

As others have said, call your midwife or have a look and see if there's an IBCLC local to you who could give you some advice.

Good luck! Sounds like you're doing a great job! CakeBrew

PinkyU · 27/10/2018 15:09

If you’re expressing 50ml it’s unlikely to be colostrum, I’d check with your mw but I’d be rest assured your milk is in. Also 50ml is a huge amount for a tiny baby (you don’t mention his size but from tiny I’d guess

WaterWellies · 27/10/2018 21:33

I think he might've finally got the hang of it but will only feed from my left side... Abu advice? :( this is all so stressful.

I thought it was colostrum because it was yellow. I'm so clueless I really feel totally useless right now. Teary eyed and tired.

OP posts:
WaterWellies · 27/10/2018 21:34

Thank you everyone for your advice so far. I've read and taken in to account every comment. Thank you

OP posts:
WaterWellies · 27/10/2018 21:35

@artio0 my midwife told me to go to the children's centre near us as they have a free class which is highly recommended but it's not until next Thursday. I'll absolutely be going.

OP posts:

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WaterWellies · 27/10/2018 21:37

@FermatsTheorem they just gave him a bottle. I really resisted and wanted to try cup feeding. They were quite negative about trying and didn't suggest a syringe though. That would've been a good idea...

OP posts:
GoldenBuns · 27/10/2018 21:39

Ask your midwife/google for local breastfeeding support groups. Mine was an absolute life-line. My dc are in their teens now, but I will never forget the support I got and the friends I made. Lots of luck to you OP. X

GoldenBuns · 27/10/2018 21:41

Ps Lansinoh for cracked nipples Smile

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