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Breastfeeding support.. Rss

In my experience Breastfeeding can be so difficult, and the easiest solution looks to be to throw in the towel. But this is always a regrettable decision.. So, I'm Starting a SUPPORT thread for mummas who have had to seek breasfeeding advice..
I'd love to hear from mums who are dealing with BF problems and also mums who have had to seek help or advice in the past and gotten through it ON TOP.
Breastfeeding Support thread also in Baby forum
I'll start the ball rolling...

I have an 8 week old bub, Liam, and up until he turned 5 weeks I had a 'problem-free' breastfeeding relationship with him. In a matter of a day he went from a relaxed 'full feeder' to crying or screaming less than half way through a feed. Regular full feeds became occasional full feeds and alot of snacking on demand simply because I could not 'fix' the crying. I imagined this was a growth spurt till we had him weighed at 6 weeks and he hadn't put on any weight.. I cried so hard about it. I couldn't deal with that and the hard feedings, so I've started expressing. I also decided to supplement with formula for peice of mind. I'm expressing everytime hes having a bottle of either breastmilk or formula, but I cant keep up.
I've sorta concluded that with the 'snacking' he would not have been getting much 'hindmilk' so it affected the weight gain and that he may be going through a growth spurt since starting formula, because he's also feeding more regularly.

But I've been trying really hard to keep it going. I really want to continue to breastfeed but its so much work. Last night I started taking fenugreek tablets to boost my supply (fingers crossed it works) but even if i manage that i still have to work on the problem that landed me here in the first place. I can't imagine thats going to be easy. I am so tired already. <span class="emoticon sad">sad</span>

[Edited on 01/06/2009]

Hi there,

I think this is a really good idea. My DS took to breast feeding feeding like a duck to water. Attachment was great, supply was great and he gained weight wonderfully - for the first 2 weeks. He then became very windy. He would scream in pain for the 2 hours following each feed. He would scream during feeds and pull off my nipple. I know so many remedies for wind problems and am happy to share them with anyone who asks. I began to express milk and feed him with a bottle. This happened until he was 6 weeks old. During this time DH and I slept a couple of hours a day. We were told that he had silent reflux and was lactose intolerant. I changed my diet and sought advice from a lactation consultant. By 8 weeks DS had not put on any weight for 4 weeks and was still screaming in pain. He stopped taking my milk - even when expressed into a bottle so we ended up trying formula. He is now a different baby. Although my story does not have a positive breast feeding outcome - I have a lot of knowledge on problems that can arise and possible solutions. So am happy to provide encouragement and advice to anyone.
Cheers Mel

Alittle disapointed we only got 1 reply..
I imagined it would be something alot of Breastfeeding mums would find comfort in if they're struggling.

Unfortunately my outcome wasn't all that positive in persuit of a BF relationship with my Bub. Far too many problems were weighing down the possibilty. I was sent to a pediatrician and he told me to increase the amount of formula and stop breastfeeding. My childcare nurse asked wether I was happy with that and offered support if I decided to breasfeed. but the reality for me was that Liam was in desperate need of calories and to be sure he got this he would have had to continue fomula while I worked on my milk supply. I would have also had to put over 10 hours a day into increasing my supply and even more to sustain it if we still experienced feeding problems. While I would have done this intently, I have 3 other kids all under 5. So it was unrealistic.
I am devistated that it didnt work out.. I feel like I ripped him off by not being able to commit the time I needed into it. But I look at him now and I know he needed the change. After 3 days on 100% formula he put on 130grams.

If I could have committed I would have. He was my 4th bub but I was as determined as ever to breastfeed. Its such a huge shame that it had to end.

But right now, Id just love to see some more in this thread. Those who came through similar experience.. And those needing alittle support..

Hey Mummalici0us, Have you tried a nursing tea aswell? You will have a better outcome if you take a combination of herbs rather than sticking to one, also making sure you're getting a little rest everyday like 30min in front of the TV with your feet up? AND low iron?, Is it possible you're lacking iron?....Opps just saw you have stuck with the bottle, oh well maybe for someone else to read then...Contacting the ABA [Australian Breastfeeding Association] online or by phone can be a huge help-also if you can find a lactation consultant, they usually come at a fee and will come to your home but it is well worth it and will very, most likley be able to "fix" your problem and think of reasons and things as to why bubs wasn't feeding etc

The fenugreek tablets were working.. Supply was getting better but in my situation it would have been too long to wait. I know that with a conbination of the fenugreek and the expressing it could have definately work but again i would have had to invest time into it. And even after sustaining a good supply we still had problems with how he fed, which is why my supply dwindled in the first place.
He was only 40gram heavier than he was 5 weeks earlier. It was quite urgent that he got the calories he needed.
The pediatician and the nurse both gave me the impression that it was the best option but Im still running it through my head now though. I still have the opportunity to go for it..

I had a lot of problems breastfeeding, but I can happily say my daughter is 22 months and we are still going. She was 8 weeks prem so spent the 1st 4 weeks in hospital with me expressing, I had an abundance of milk, but when it came to her attaching it wasnt working, I have a 15 year old and fed her to 19 months so I put it day to stress but when we got home I was still expressing and topping her up with formula.I ended up using a nipple shield for the first 6 months. She still wasnt putting on weight and at that stage she was feeding 6 times during the night and practically all day. After ringing the breastfeeding association which was my godsend at the time, as I was told by the paediatrician to give it up as it just wasnt nutricious anymore. The volunteer at the time told me to do what felt right to me. I have continued and am glad I did even after all the sleepless nights and crying. Unfortunately though my daughter was diagnosed at 14 months with cystic fibrosis which is why she wasnt putting on weight. I am glad I kept it up but sometimes it just doesnt work that way no ones fault. I tried that fenugreek when my supply when down it worked wonders. You have 4 beautiful children. Cheers Karen
I didnt see this thread until now!

My story....

Jack who is 28 months old was exclusively BF until he was 6 months old, and we continued the 'yum yums' until he was 20 months old. I only gave it up at the time as i was 4 months pregnant and i have a dodgy thyroid, so the exhaustion was pretty intense!!
During the 1st few months of feeding i used a nipple shield and had an abundance of milk, he could never attach properly and i was continually told to turf the shields as they would cause major supply issues down the road. PFFF to that. He was demand fed and a very happy baby, although he did have silent reflux and was on Zantac from 6 weeks till he started solids.
One late night feed i was sitting on the lounge with him and i fell asleep with him on the breast, i woke later to find the shield on my lap and him happily chugging away! So from that moment i never used the shield, but kept it safely hidden in the cupboard....
I cannot 'birth' my babies in the 'natural' way, so i feel that by ME bf'ding my child it was something that kept my feet on the ground and reminded me that i AM a woman and i AM doing something for my child with no doc!!

With my 2nd child, who is only 15 weeks old, we have had a DREAM run with the 'yum yums'!! But it was hard to start with. He was early, born at 36 weeks, and was tube fed for the 1st 7 days of life. He was in the SCN for 2 weeks, and i was worried as my milk just was not coming in! Every day i had hot showers with the water stream on my breasts, expressed every day to get that stimulation happening, drank heaps of water and really tried to eat as well as i could. Milk took about 6-7 days to come in, and boy when it came in it really came in!!!
I had leave from the hossy to get me out in the fresh air for a few hours and expressed to take the fullness out of my breasts and ended up with 200 mls and still plenty in the tanks so to speak!
Some days i have a low supply, but i find that if i keep my fluid up the milk always 'comes back'.
I have had mastitis once this time (so far - eeeek!) but with Jack i had it 6 or seven times. Not fun. SO im a bit of an 'expert' on that if anyone has a question lol.

By the way my name is Lucy, im 27 and have 2 boys!! You?

Hi there!
I breast fed LO1 to 22 months, stopping only when I was 5 months pregnant. He also demand fed 2 hourly day and night. It was pretty draining as he didn't really go for food till 14 months and even then very picky. He hasn't put on weight since and is now 2.5, so I was loath to stop BF anyway.
So the newbie took to it beautifully from the second he came out. I was so grateful he was doing 4 hourly shifts when we left hospital. He battled a bit when we came home as I moved into a new unfinished house the day we left hospital and poor LO1 hadn't seen us yet. DH is overseas so poor LO1 has been very needy and has made interrupting feeds an art form! So a bit colicy and stressed for a week, then settled down. Did nice nighttime gaps and 2-3 hourly during the day. Then it went pear shaped.
I have plenty of milk, but wonder at the quality. He is putting on reasonable weight, but is feeding more and more frequently. I wake him if he dozes off and offer number 2, but during the day he gets distracted VERY easily and feeding him out of the house is positively a nightmare. Sigh. LO1 was such a easy feeder, I could feed him ANYWHERE and did. I thought maybe a growth spurt but its gone on too long.

I am NOT going to combine feed as it is a recipe for disaster with BF.
Am wondering apart from feeding supplements and so on if anyone has any thoughts on increasing milk quality. I am very low weight but doing all I can there.
Do you think I should just stretch his day feeds out so he is really hungry and feeds more effectively?
Its a bit of a struggle with no support or backup juggling a very needy toddler with separate problems and trying to occupy the baby when he is hungry to drag them out.....
Hi,

ALL babies are different, even ones from the same family. I was ff from birth and I just didn't put weight on, it's who I am; my sister on the other hand has issues keeping weight off. Even now, I don't put on weight, usually only a little bit when pregnant (average about 10kg). Have you been plotting him in a book, or are you using the WHO bf charts because they are based on ebf babies not ff ones like most of the current charts.

Your body doesn't make a defective product, there is only one type of quality when it comes to bm and that is grade AAA. DS1 was mix fed from 4 weeks because they insisted that he didn't weigh enough and that formula would "fix" it; the only thing it "fixed" was my milk supply and he prematurely weaned from bf altogether at 9 months. The formula did naff all for his weight, though once he hit about 12 months he couldn't seem to NOT put it on. LOL When DS2 followed a similar trend I ignored all the comments, and the pressure from the health professionals to introduce solids early, feed him to a schedule (was always fed on demand for the entire 18.5 months be was bf) and increase his solids, which I knew based on an experiment I did meant he gained LESS weight. At about 13 months, he seemed to put on triple what he was gaining before, but he appears to have slowed down again.

You've not said how old DS2 is, but those first 6-8 weeks of establishing supply are basically one giant growth spurt and our 12 week and 16 week growth spurt merged together so we had a hellish time as he seemed to be feeding ALL the time. LOL It finally ended when he was about 4.5 months when he went back to 3 hourly. I don't know about you, but when I told the health nurse that he was demand fed, but feeding roughly every 3 hours she told me to make him wait an hour! I stormed out and tbh I wanted to deck her! I was not about to allow my baby to scream for an hour because in her words he's just "snacking" what I should have said was "fine, if you come and sit with me every 3rd hour while he screams" so I can be elsewhere. The best judge of when they are hungry is them and following my DS2's lead never led us wrong.

This talks about concerns over weight gain; though I found these links particularly informative, they didn't really do much to make him gain faster. LOL There are also links to average weekly weight gains, based on their ages. BF babies tend to start to slow down their weight gain by 3-4 months anyway..............in the end, you have to do what feels right for you, but trying to "stretch him out" might have the same impact on introducing formula so you have to decide what is best for you. There aren't any right or wrong answers, just what is right or wrong for you as a family.


Thanks for your post Jamesmum2003.

So glad because it agrees totally with my ideas. I do not believe that breast milk varies in quality. It will be consistent for the baby's requirements at any time, and that it will rather strip from me than allow baby to go without. My weight is starting to drop, but I cannot fathom why every body and their dog insists I must ff instead of suggesting I concentrate on my health and well being first. I was 46kg when I fell pregnant and I am tiny, currently at 48kg, so even though LOs were 3.5 and 3.8kg, I wouldn't expect them to be enormous.

First time around it was the solids issue being rammed down my throat. From 2 weeks! When he turned out not to eat it was blamed on me exclusive BF so long (6mo), then it was because he was demand fed. Sigh. I of course take it all with a pinch of salt. LO1 turned out to have Oral Tactile Sensitivity and didn't produce saliva. A separate issue altogether. However it turned into such a mission I am determined not to have similar cause for concern this time around.

LO2 is 15 weeks tomorrow, and has been feeding as he is now since 12 weeks, which is why I figured a growth spurt. Reading what you say is interesting, as yes, he could just be carrying that through to the 16 weeks. He is happy and chubby and looks fine to me.
I did get into the habit of ignoring health professionals but I really start to question myself when every single person says you are doing it wrong! I think they take one look at me, greyhound, and just believe I can't possibly provide enough for baba. Stupidly I got told this week to FF because I would have poor quality milk even though she had just commented on what a big baby he was
I believe demand feeding is best. I am happy to distract him to delay the next feed, but not prepared to have him cry for it.
Thanks for the reassurance.
[Edited on 14/06/2009]
Sounds like what I put up with for EIGHT months. LOL When he was about 11 months I finally had it out with my Plunket nurse because though I knew what I knew about bf (and it's ALOT after all the drama with DS1)the constant weigh ins and flippant comments did start to get to me; I even went to my mother and drilled her. LOL My Plunket nurse finally conceded that maybe I did know what I was talking about, his genes were at work and I wasn't doing such a bad job after all *sigh* I got the formula thing for a different reason this time from my family, but it was because DS2 stopped sleeping at about 11 months and everyone assumes, rightly or wrongly, that it will fix that.

The other thing that bothers me is that they focus so much on what they weigh instead of looking at their overall growth; for example if he didn't gain alot of weight one month he gained heaps in his length and he's always had a big head. LOL The older they get you can start using developmental milestones as a guide (bearing in mind that there are varying degrees of "normal" there too) to decide if they are getting enough; for example DS2 was an "early" sitter, even though he was a lightweight. LOL I know sometimes it's hard, especially when society now has this warped sense of how bf babies "should" be and that the "fix" for any bf issue, however small, is to just "top up" with or switch to formula; but trust your instincts and your body, it's done this before so why would it now, all of a sudden, not know what it's doing?

Okay, pep talk over...as you were. smile]

Christina


Hi Ladies and bubs,

Hoping you may be able to shed some light on a BF issue and that this is the right place to ask... Little Mia Grace is 8 days old and bub #3.. It doesn't seem to get any easier though... She latched on quite well from the word go but she is a little lazy in that she won't open properly to latch on fully (OUCH!!!) I have worked out that the football position works best for us as my chest is quite large and I can control her head and keep her arms out of the picture (I usually wrap them to keep them/her under control)I am just after suggestions as to how to get her to open her mouth wider as we seem to have position right... When she does latch on properly she usually manages to pull herself off a little so that it then hurts again... Nipples are suffering but not tooooooo bad... I do pull her off as much as I can but there are stages where I just leave her in peace to feed and suffer the consequences.. I am seeing a lactation nurse tomorrow but was just after some friendly advice in the meantime...

Thanks for taking the time,
Kezz and Mia

Kezz, Qld,Maddy 11, Jai 3 & Mia 7 weeks

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