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Thread: BFing Troubles (AGAIN!) - Give Me Some Reassurance That 3 Weeks Is Not Too Late

  1. #1

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    Default BFing Troubles (AGAIN!) - Give Me Some Reassurance That 3 Weeks Is Not Too Late

    I had BFing problems with DD1, got completely stressed out, thought I was a hopeless mum and ended up expressing for two months instead. Now thinking I'm hopeless and useless is the major trigger for depression for me which luckily I've avoided for 10 years but it was getting to the stage where I thought that my mental health was at risk if I carried on tormenting myself about BFing.

    So ... I'm just saying that as background as to why I'm trying NOT to stress about this and trying to stay relaxed which some people may construe as being blase. It's just my way of finding a balance between giving it my best shot and not sending myself bonkers.



    OK, to business. DD2 is now 17 days old. At first she was doing reasonably well at BFing in hospital but just before my milk came in my boobs blew up like melons on Day 4/5 making it difficult for her to attach and as a result she went for a day, possibly longer without a decent feed (other than EBM). So she had lost the 10% on discharge. I wasn't TOO concerned at this stage as I know that's fairly common BUT the hospital was concerned as she was only 6lbs 11oz at birth so quite small (especially compared with Boofer DD1 who was 8lbs 10oz at birth).

    Anyway, so I was a little dispirited that BFing was once again tricky but did a combo of BFing, EBMing and formula for the first week we were home. I was quite chuffed that BFing seemed to be working with longish feeds. Obviously not all of them or I wouldn't have had to express and give formula but there were three days where I thought the vast majority were good feeds.

    Then another weigh-in and she had lost MORE weight at which I was upset and gobsmacked. In hindsight I think that maybe she wasn't swallowing properly, just sucking but her attachment always seemed to be good to me.

    THe MCHN told me basically that I had to get weight on her and that she knew I desperately wanted to BF but it was more important at this stage to get weight on. Which I agreed with. So, having lost my confidence in being able to tell whether DD2 was actually feeding or not, I went back to EBM and formula.

    Next weigh-in - phewee all round. She'd put on 80g in about three days. So I carried on doing that for another couple of days and now I'm trying again to put her on the boob.

    The good news is that my supply is fine and that she does make an effort to feed. But I have a feeling again that she is not feeding properly. I can't really hear the big gulpy swallows that she has when taking a bottle - just tiny little clicks. My boob does feel emptier, I guess but I can still get a fair bit out when I express straight afterwards and DD will still take more milk afterwards from a bottle. If only their mouths and our boobs were transparent and I could really see what was going on.

    I'm seeing a LC on Tuesday but I guess I just want some reassurance that having a break from the boob has not doomed me to failure and that with the right support, even though DD will be three weeks old, we can still make this work.

  2. #2

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    You can absolutely still make this work. Google biological nurturing, which is a way to help bub attach by themselves. This is still effective up to 6 weeks postnatally. If you are expressing then you will still have milk, which is the main thing. Keep doing what you are doing, expressing and offering bub the breast. I really recommend looking at the biological nursing website and giving the techniques a try, and hopefully the LC will have some good tips too.

  3. #3

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    Keep at the feed-express-top-up thing for a few more days, and then reduce the amount of expressing and topping up gradually. Bub will grow and her mouth will grow too - so as long as she practices BF-ing sometimes and drinks enough in total to grow then she will be fine.
    It took me a couple of months to get DS to BF exclusively - he was quite small too, and thought boobs were for sleeping on rather than drinking. But he did it, and is weaning now at 2 and a half. You've got the supply, and bub at least has some idea of how to feed - so just let her practise!

  4. #4

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    No not doomed!
    Glad to hear you're seeing an LC - I hope she has some solutions for you.
    You can try baby-led attachment (guess it's the same thing as T's biological nurturing) - there's a link on the ABA website.
    Sometimes it really does take a bit of time and practice, for both of you.

  5. #5

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    Hun, what a difficult time you are having It is definitely not too late and seeing an LC is one of the best things you can do right now. The other things I recommend are lots of skin to skin contact with your little one - as much as you can, and offering the breast frequently, even if she doesn't seem to be drinking it is still good and you can top up with EBM or formula afterwards if you need to.

    All the best with it hun. You sound very determined which is great

  6. #6

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    GL fionas, everyone else has given you great advice, and it sounds like you're really determined to get there.

    The other thing I'd say is DD really doesn't have a choice but to swallow with a bottle, milk is flowing into her mouth much quicker. So I wouldn't compare bb and bottle in the same way, IYKWIM. You do need to pay attention to her swallowing, but it certainly won't be the same kind of gulping.

  7. #7

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    Fionas - I don't have any wise advice, I think what the others have said above is great... I just wanna cheer you on. Seeing the LC sounds like a great idea - hang in there, you CAN do it! Actually I happen to know that you can do anything you set your mind to .

  8. #8

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    Thanks guys!

    Well I think I heard some swallowing tonight so that's good. Bloody frustrating when you really don't know how much they're getting especially when you've previously thought that all was good only for DD to lose weight. She's taken about 80ml after each feed which I know sounds like a full feed but ordinarily she would take anything between 80-150ml per feed so maybe she is getting some from the boob.

    Anyhoo, trying not to freak out too much by the fact that I really have two weeks to sort this out before DP goes back to work because it is tricky enough to attempt a breastfeed, then give formula/EBM then express with DP here either to entertain our toddler or do the bottlefeed. I really think doing all that will be impossible once DP goes back to work. It's like doing three feeds every feed instead of one so very, very time-consuming.

    I guess I just get a little frustrated that it's so hard to do everything that needs doing. More skin-to-skin would be lovely except that it's bloody freezing here. Seriously. It's not uncommon for it to be minus 2 in the morning. I tried the baby-led attachment last night when she should have been due for a feed. Put her on my chest, my boobs were actually dripping milk (yeah, glamorous I know) and DD just carried on sleeping. If I wake her before she's ready then she's too sleepy to feed, if I wait till she wakes then I run the risk of her turning into a screaming banshee and being more difficult to put on the boob. Sometimes I use a nipple shield because my boobs are a bit sore, then I get frustrated that one false move in positioning her means it goes flying. I should stay in bed with her for the day but I can't bloody well get comfy and find it hard to then change position if I don't get attachment right first go. I find it easier sitting in a chair where I can use my feet to move my bum. I feel guilty if I don't wake her to feed more often and feel guilty when I'm not expressing. I just have to keep telling myself that we're both learning and it will take some time and that's fine. I'm just not well-known for my patience when I'm not instantly good at something.

    OK, little vent over. Tomorrow is another day and we have a birthday party for DD1

  9. #9

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    Congrats on your little one Fiona!

    On the ABA website there is an article for grandparents and carers on how to bottlefeed EBM to breastfed babies. It talks about pacing the bottlefeed so bub still wants to go back to the breast, using a slow teat and giving baby breaks. Thought of you when i read it.

    Australian Breastfeeding Association - A Caregivers Guide to the Breastfed Baby

    hope the party goes well tomoz.

  10. #10

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    Default BFing Troubles (AGAIN!) - Give Me Some Reassurance That 3 Weeks Is Not Too Late

    You can do it hon!! My horrendous breastfeeding story is in the main breastfeeding forum somewhere. I won't go into it here but in a nutshell, it was hell for the first 12 weeks!

    My DD was a sleepy baby and a lazy sucker. She was born 6lb 8oz so only little. I think this had a lot to do with our issues in the beginning. When DD had gained bugger all weight in the 2 weeks of leaving hospital, I called an LC. It will be the best thing you could have done. Your feeding issues should be a thing of the past soon. Hang in there!! xx

  11. #11

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    I think you are doing a fab job! feeding is not always easy like it is for some!!! Hang in there! LC will hopefully give you all the help you need!!

  12. #12

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    Hope you're enjoying celebrating DD1's bday today! Happy birthday little girl.

    Fiona, this too shall pass. You won't be doing so much at every feed once it all settles down. Two weeks is a long time in bfing land, you will be a lot further along. The LC on Tuesday will hopefully be a huge help. Try the baby-led attachment somewhere like the bath, where it's warm, rather than first thing in the morning (unless you're in bed!) when it's minus 2. *brrrrr* You don't need to do it at every feed, just pick a time that suits you both.

    Let us know how you go on Tuesday.

  13. #13

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    So after a very frustrating morning where all I seemed to do was either try to BF or express or give a bottle or wash bottles, expressers and nipple shields finally topped off with an ouchy blocked duct and hot flannels and hand expressing ... we went to our MCHN appointment to find that DD has put on a WHOPPING 340g in a week and has grown 1.5cm. Now, we have not been doing too much in the way of BFing so this is not really a BFing woohoo but just a general woohoo that DD is putting on weight beautifully and I will now be much happier trying to give BFing a red hot go knowing that she has a bit of a weight buffer. Seeing the LC tomorrow.

  14. #14

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    Wow. That's great.
    Hope your appointment tomorrow goes well

  15. #15

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    Wow that's great hun. Well done!! What a relief for you

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    Well done on the weight gain, and don't be surprised if a chunk of that is from your bm. You mentioned she needed less in the bottles so that's a great indication she's taking a lot from you first. GL with the LC today.

  17. #17

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    OK, so LC came late this arvo. She was lovely, we showed me how to attach properly. DD had a great breastfeed. Was feeling very optimistic. DD then woke up half an hour after great breastfeed after LC had gone, tried her on the boob again, not so good. And then started screaming blue murder. Ended 2 hours later after giving her two bottles. I've now been in tears for over an hour. Feel useless and an idiot. Can't get the hang of what the LC showed me. There's no reason that DD can't be a breastfed baby except for the fact that her mum is an unco idiot. Top day.

  18. #18

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    hun. You did one fabulous bf. Is the LC coming back? And just one point of encouragement, if things are going to go badly, it's going to be in the evening, when you're not as settled and everything is a bit more rushed and tense. My bf baby used to have about four feeds in four hours before 9pm. One bf at a time, hun. You're not unco, just like everyone else it's tougher at the end of the day. For your DD too.

    Hope you have a good day tomorrow.

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