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Infant feeding

Where to go now?

13 replies

mrswishywashy · 05/11/2015 20:18

First born baby conceived by IVF
Born two weeks ago at 38 weeks
PROM, failed induction of 18 hours and emergency c-section
Low weight for date baby - 2436gms, 30gms lower and she would have had to go to SCUBA
I developed high blood pressure at week 36

Day two she was weighed and had lost 7.2% of birth weight and also had jaundice but not at treatment level
Day three she had put on 40grams but nursery nurse said it wasn't enough and to start to express and that I should be feeding more.
Until then I'd been feeding at least 1-3 hourly when she wanted and skin to skin as much as possible.
So added in expressing and had mixed messages whether to give EBM with syringe or cup

Day five we were released from hospital and I continued to express and feed as needed.
Day seven I was re admitted to hospital with out of control blood pressure and wound infection.
I was very unwell so introduced some formula, continued with EBM and also BF.
Blood pressure is now under control with a maximum dose of two medications and two antibiotics.

Feeding specialist checked her and she has posterior tongue tie however she said treating it may or may not work. She said latch was good and just need to practice more and preservere. She said we could try breast shields and also ask doctor for domperidone however I'm hesitant to introduce another drug into my regime.

We are back home and have been for 48 hours. Baby does latch sometimes it's a bit hit and miss, if she gets out of control crying and rigid we give EBM or formula by bottle.

Since been home I've been doing skin to skin, feeding as soon as she wiggles if she takes it, expressing 3-4 hourly round the clock. I'm still recovering from wound infection and feel quite shell shocked from the blood pressure issues and hospital stay.

For my job I am a maternity nurse and have helped all my clients succeed with breastfeeding and feel quite upset that I haven't achieved sole breast feeding myself.

Ideally I'd like to wean off the formula and breast feed and if needed use EBM but looking at the whole picture I need to protect my physical and mental health as well and that makes me feel guilty saying that as I so want to BF my daughter.

I just don't know where to go from here. Midwifes, health visitor, peadeatrcian amd feeding specialist all say to keep persevering but it seems all quite messy and I'm not sure if there's a better way.

Help greatly appreciated.

OP posts:
Cel982 · 05/11/2015 20:27

Congratulations and well done, you've been through a lot.

She lost less than 10% of her body weight, and was already gaining by Day 3. So I'm really not sure why the nursery nurse felt she needed to alarm you.

At this stage any formula will impact on your supply unfortunately. It sounds like you really want to breastfeed, and you're doing all the right things already. Can you just take to the bed with her for the next few days? Top off, baby in nappy only and just let her latch as much as possible. It should definitely be possible to get back to exclusive breastfeeding if that what you want.

Also, I think some real-life support would really help - is there a local group you can get to? Being surrounded by other breastfeeding mums is so helpful in the tricky early days.

Best of luck, and keep posting. You'll get there.

mrswishywashy · 05/11/2015 21:08

It was quite confusing re the mixed messages on her weight loss and jaundice. One pead wasn't concerned at all as her jaundice levels were not increasing dramatically but following the chart line. As for the weight loss my milk wasn't in by day three so I kind of expected a loss however another pead and the nursery nurse were concerned and put the pressure on to express and top up. While in tears at one point the paed came in and kept saying to nursery nurse "what's the next step when bfing fails", like there was no chance it could work. Looking back I'd say day three was also when my blood pressure went hay wire as well.

Today I've sat on the sofa skin to skin with her all day. When she latches she feeds really well (I switch feed but I don't think she's transferring milk well as I don't see it in her mouth although I do at times see and hear proper swallowing) however when she cries and goes rigid it gets me stressed which isn't good for my blood pressure. If she does get top up I express. Maybe I need to try harder at getting her to take breast. Have no plans pther than skin to skin and feeding her asides from doctor and midwifes appt.

There are support groups but I'm not well enough to go out yet - possibly a confidence thing as have been basically bed bound for two weeks and I'm scared of getting faint while out.

Lookimg back at her diary today she's had a majority formula.

I just feel I've failed at every step:
Needed intervention to conceive
She didn't grow well inside likely due to blood pressure.
Needed all kinds of intervention to give birth (that said the birth was beautiful)
And now need intervention to feed her

OP posts:
MrsMallett · 05/11/2015 21:21

Not sure I can help with your specific situation but I just wanted to say please do NOT feel like you have failed. None of this is easy and the fact you have made it this far is amazing, and I say that as someone who has previously breastfed until 16 months but have not been able to bf my second child (currently expressing and using a bottle to feed) we all do our best and sometimes we just have to accept that our best efforts are enough and stop beating ourselves up Flowers

OffMyAyersRocker · 05/11/2015 21:31

Flowers and congratulations on your dd!

I know the guilt is terrible. I am giving dd2 ebm and top ups with formula as she had a tt that was cut at two weeks and has refused the breast (other than one daily feed Hmm) since.

Dd2 is now 6 weeks and I'm coming to terms with it. I bf dd1 until around 8 months so felt l was letting dd2 massively down.

However I've come to enjoy the routine of expressing in a very bizarre way and l know I'm giving dd2 as good a start as l can which has helped me mentally.

what I'm trying to say, badly, is work out what you can live with a go with it. You've had a lot going on and you need to look after yourself too.

hootatoot · 05/11/2015 21:46

My situation was similar to yours whereby ended up with c section after induction failed but no tt here. DD latched well and we joked that she would be the first baby in history to not lose weight as she was feeding so much. It came as a shock when mw came and weighed on day 4 and she had lost 12% of her birth weight. She was desperately feeding but my milk didn't come in. Readmitted, advised to feed as much as poss, pump and top up with formula. Had so much conflicting info from ppl, so understand your confusion and frustration! Felt like a total failure for not being able to feed her 100%. Prescribed domperidone at 9 weeks bit didn't really make any diff for me. Carried on feeding, pumping and topping up until 16 wks but still not really happening and weight gain was lower than expected. Decided to mainly ff but still bf for naps and during night (dd34 wks now) and is thriving.

Suppose the purpose of my mammoth post is to say that however you do it (bf, ebf,ff) so long as your baby is doing well, you are not failing.

Good luck, and don't beat yourself up. I know how hard it is xx

hootatoot · 05/11/2015 21:47

Oh, and of course CONGRATULATIONS!! Flowers

tiktok · 05/11/2015 23:39

Mrswishywashy, this sounds so, so difficult.

You have given a lot of great detail and I think the nursery nurse was very wrong to advise intervention on day three. Nursery nurses do not have the training to assess breastfeeding in this way. The regime of expressing and worry about feeding really messed up your confidence. Your baby was doing well. She was starting to gain. Weight loss (well within normal limits anyway) had ceased. what was she thinking?.

That said, you have continued to feed your baby valiantly and courageously through your own illness and anxiety, feeding her the very hardest way - expressed, formula and direct. No wonder you are feeling low :(

Perhaps now is the time for an overall new look: what can you do now to make things comfortable, easy and happy? I suggest calling any of the helplines and working out with them what you can do that will work towards a better situation. 'Just persevere' is not enough, though what you are doing will produce results if you keep it up.

Cel982 · 05/11/2015 23:41

OP, you haven't failed, at any of it. You've brought a beautiful baby safely into the world, and have successfully overcome a lot of obstacles to do so. You're a champion.

You just need some support, and unfortunately that can be very hit and miss among health professionals, as evidenced by that rather unhelpful Paed. Your baby is being fed, which is the most important thing - everything else can be worked on. Would your budget stretch to getting a lactation consultant to pay you a visit? A good one is worth their weight in gold and can make all the difference in getting feeding established.

mrswishywashy · 06/11/2015 20:48

Baby had a rough night last night and I got two hours sleep makes it so hard to think clearly.

Today she has latched on well most of the day and she's got some let down as I can hear her swallowing. She's seems quite comfortable. My nipples feel a bit grazed but it might me from the expresser, I keep adjusting her and she does go back on. We are doing paced feeding with bottle which seems to work better and she feeds from me to calm.

Pre motherhood I wouldn't have been worried about what the nursery nurse and pead said but I felt judged when they both commented.

I've an appt tomorrow with midwife to see wound tomorrow, it's not leaking and I'm hoping that I won't need surgery and just extra time and antibiotics.

I've got the numbers of help lines and will try and call next week. We could stretch to a lactation consultant however I'm reluctant to seek one as am worried about the advice they will give. I'll try to go to a group next week as well.

Think I'll just take it one day at a time, if she latches great and maybe one day she will take a full feed until then I'll express and use formula. And try and leave the guilt behind.

OP posts:
daluze · 07/11/2015 05:20

I was in a similar situation 3 years ago - baby was coming from NICU, I had very litle milk at 2 weeks and was feeding, expressing and topping up. It was incredibly hard, lots of conflicting advice and I was getting really really low, crying at every top up. What helped was one amazing breastfeeding councellor, who deviced a feeding plan, which allowed me to get some sleep. It was still hard, but formula top ups started decreasing, and by 6 weeks the baby was EBF from breast only and later even was a bottle refuser.
Don't be shy of asking help - or if you are (as I was, feeling a complete failure), make your partner to call a breastfeeding councellor, I was very happy my DP did and he filled in the medical details before I had to talk - I was too exhausted and emotional for that.
Also, it maybe worth having a tongue tie snipped. We didn't do it for DS1, as everyone was saying it was too small to affect feeding, but I was getting a grazing feeling sometimes and had some problems with the latch. DS2 had similar posterior tie, but it wad snipped, and latch improved immediately (even though I though and was told it was good), no more any grazing feeling (which wasn't there always, but dissapeared completely).
Please don't beat yourself - it is such a hard work what you are doing! Please try to get some real life support. Why are you worried about the advice from the lactation consultant? In my experience with both babies, the breastfeeding councellors (I used local NCT ones) were very experienced, non judgemental at all and actually made me feel less guilty and more confident.
Sending you lots of hugs

VegasIsBest · 07/11/2015 05:48

Hi. Congratulations on your beautiful baby.

The thing that comes over from your posts is a sense of guilt and lots of angst about feeding. You don't seem to have much sense of joy at having your baby. Could this be because you're exhausted and the feeling that you have to keep trying to breastfeed while you're ill is just wearing you down?

Have you considered moving to formula? Then your partner could play a bigger role in feeding and you could get more sleep which would help you to recover.

In the big scheme of things it doesn't matter how you feed your baby - only that your baby gets enough milk and develops well. And that you feel well enough to enjoy being a mum.

OffMyAyersRocker · 09/11/2015 10:36

How are you goinh OP?

I think because of your job and experience with other mother's you are being very harsh on yourself.

I hope you're getting the support you need. It's still very early days and everything can seem huge at this stage.

I myself have decided to stop expressing next week when dd2 is 2 months old as it's getting to much for me, and our family. I've spent the last 3 days coming to terms with it (getting over the guilt!).

Anyway l do hope you're feeling better Flowers

mrswishywashy · 09/11/2015 19:21

Thanks for asking. Still having ups and downs. Two good things today had first GP visit and as blood pressure is stable then can start weaning of medications. Second had scan and there is no fluid in scar and things aren't looking worse so can stop antibiotics tomorrow and hope that it continues to heal.

My baby has had a rough few days like she was in pain so looked online and other babies have had similar reactions to antibiotics. So today I've just expressed and will freeze the milk as can't throw it, she's had formula and I hope it will help her tummy. She seems more relaxed anyway. So will do so for the next 24 hours and then see if she will,latch back on. And continue to work on bfing. I theory I know it doesn't matter as long as she's fed but I so wanted to have a chance of bfing.

Am hoping I feel up to going to bfing clinic next week to talk about options. It's tricky I don't want to look back and think I've not tried hard enough and yet I don't want to look back and only remember how stressed I've been.

I think i underestimated the huge change at having a baby, in maternity nursing I was so organised and everything ran smoothly but as a mother everything has felt out of control so things seem worse. Am hoping to get out and about and start meeting others.

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