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  5. Rough Start - starving your baby

Rough Start - starving your baby Lock Rss

I brought my baby home on Thursday and while BF was sore (not a correct latch), it was do-able and she was feeding.
By last night though, I knew something was wrong and called my midwife because I had concerns after finding red stuff in my baby's nappy.

At the hospital I was told I may be in for cluster feeding to get my supply up. It wasn't cluster feeding. I was starving her and I didn't know it. The red stuff turned out to be urate and occurs when a baby is dehydrated.

I got assistance with latching and it was all good. Or so I thought. But over night, there was no improvement and it seemed I was feeding for a solid three hours because baby would cry every time I tried to put her to bed after a feed. She'd wake up and start rooting for something to suck on and she would be gnawing her hands.

So, anyway, today after a very fitful night, I rang the midwife and said I thought I needed to get a pump and try expressing and then feeding by bottle. She wasn't feeding properly (kinda sleepy on the breast) and I thought I had milk. My Mum was on the way out the door to get the pump and some formula, in case I couldn't express. The midwife rang back and told me Mum could get a pump from the hospital, which she did.

I've now used the pump twice and I'm just about dry. I have virtually no milk and have given baby two 25 ml bottles of formula. She now gets drowsy and goes to sleep properly. I'm still trying to express and will do so every few hours in the hope I can get milk, but I'll be honest when I say I'm not optimistic. I don't know if it's cause I had a rough birth and lost a lot of strength or because I couldn't identify a problem as it was mistaken for cluster feeding. It sucks having baby blues when you're also stressing that you're starving your baby, but hopefully I'll start to get some sleep too soon and that may help the emotions.

I am grateful that she's eating at all and it's not something worse. I never thought seeing a really pooey nappy could be such a relief. She still hasn't really peed, but hopefully soon. I'm sure she's making up for lost fluids.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had problems. Thanks for letting me grizzle.
Congrats on your new arrival!
Please don't feel bad about using formula, I think too much pressure is put on new mums to BF these days. It sounds like you are doing everything possible to improve the situation, but bubs need food in the meantime. I am happily breastfeeding now but when my daughter was born she was underweight so was given formula top-ups until I had a good supply. Hopefully your breastfeeding will get easier, but if not she will be perfectly fine on formula, and lucky to have a mum who tries so hard for her. All the best!
Congrats on the new bub, great birthday same as my DS. I'm guessing your milk hasn't come in? But if she needs FF top ups then so be it, maybe your milk will suddenly come in and you'll have heaps. I'm sure you will do what is right, have faith in your instincts. Enjoy the newborn time smile

DS - Nov 2008 & DD - Feb 2012

When did you have your baby and what colour is your milk? It could still be transitional milk (this type of milk comes after colostrum and lasts 7-10 days). You'll get more out than with colostrum but not as much as with mature milk. It will contain enough nutrients for your bub though. Babies have tiny stomachs at that age and need to feed small amounts frequently. Make sure you eat and drink enough - which I know is hard when you're busy with a new born. I found that drinking sustagen (hospital strength - from the chemist) helped. If you do find that your supply isn't increasing you could try these things. There are also things you can take to increase your supply. Make sure you wake up your bub for feeds at least every 3 hours. You can try things like undressing her, tickling/scratching her feet, touching her face with a cold facewasher, tickling her ear and rubbing the palm of her hand to keep her awake.
Also contact ABA.
And congratulations! <span class="emoticon smile">smile</span>
Congratulations on the arrival of your little one. For something that is meant to be so natural, for most it doesn't come naturally. My best advice is in regards to the expressing - I have awesome supply from day dot, but for the life of me cannot get more than 20mls with expressing. I now express from one breast while bub feeds from the other. Others have found that holding, looking or smelling baby whilst expressing can help too. GBHs the first couple of weeks are the hardest.

Hi Ladies,
Thanks for your support and your wonderful replies.

I have tried expressing three times today. The first two I had a couple of drops of milk and the last one I couldn't see any. So, I was curious and thought I'll see if I can get any by hand-expressing. And while there really isn't enough to feed a baby, I did get more than with the pump. Yet, the pump seems way more efficient, it clearly isn't. So, not sure what I can do here. I'm not up for torturing both baby AND myself after the ordeal we've just been through. So perhaps I can try expressing a little on to a towel, since there really isn't enough to warrant catching in a bottle.

Cruxy: The color of my milk looks like the color you would expect milk to be. It's possible it's still part colostrum, but I don't really think so. (I'm not sure, obviously.) When I next see the midwife, I'll get her to check out the color.

I found out today that my mother was unsuccessful at breastfeeding either of us kids and had to feed us on cow's milk. (I was a 70's child. We didn't have formula back then.) I'm really hoping I can BF, but thanks again for the support in case I can't. I really don't want to have to deal with the sterilization stuff for long. That's a pain in the butt!
I had a premmie and know how you feel. It took me 4 days to get a proper milk supply. So persist with the expressing every two to three hours. When i first started it was mere drops. But the baby stomach is very small to.
congrats for you. and hope it all works out
Do the formula while you establishing a milk supply and you can freeze breatmilk up to 3 month to. That way you can be happy that bub is full and you can have no stress in getting enough breatmilk to feed her.
Has your milk 'come in'? (i.e. have your boobs suddenly become huge?) Apparently newborns have very tiny stomachs and feed constantly in the beginning on the colostrum until the milk comes in. My milk came in on Day 3 luckily but I have heard of it taking longer, if your baby is really dehydrated has your midwife etc suggested formula? Good luck! It is really hard, I was in hospital for 5 days so was able to call on nurses and midwives all night to help, but must feel a bit overwhelming at home sad

Hi, I'm only a first time mummy-to-be at the moment so I'm not qualified to give any real advice but I have heard on other sites of breast-feeding biscuits. Sounds a bit crazy but lots of women swear by them. Something in the ingredients is meant to stimulate milk production, somehow. You would need to find the recipe and make them at home (maybe something your Mum could help out with), they are not store bought. I think the other site I heard of these biscuits is "Stay At Home Mum".

Just thought I'd throw it out there, just in case it could be of some assistance. I really feel for what you're going through!
Hi Silver Nailpolish,

Congrats on your new bub.

I had a rough start too, so i know how you feel. And i also used my hands at one stage to the point that the boobs were bruised because i was that desperate for milk for bub sad
Eventually more milk came but i was also topping up with formula incase bub was lacking milk + i have small boobs and bub was quite big.

Try to drink more water and proteins, that helped me with my supply. Also, try to not stress and get sleep as much as possible.

I hope more milk has arrived today xx
I would ring up the hospital and ask to see a Lactation Consultant. Another thing you could try is a hand pump. Electric pumps don't work for everyone.
But in the mean time try and get bub on the boob as much as you can. There is a risk of bub developing breast refusal if you keep bottle feeding. You could try syringe feeding or even cup feeding. On that website you will also find a Supplemental Nursing System. It can be helpful in increasing your supply - basically your bub gets formula or EBM but suckles at the same time so stimulates your breasts to produce milk. Anywho - a Lactation Consultant would be able to explain all the options to you.

It sounds like you had a traumatic labour though? Hope you're ok.
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