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

  1. #37

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    typing one-handed.

    well i havent tried a bf for about five weeks and reconciled myself to giving up. i had a very difficult pregnancy which ive documented ad nauseum elsewhere (in brief dodgy pelvis which rendered me housebound for six months with a toddler having hourly meltdowns, gestational diabetes and trying to renovate the house, sell the house, buy a house, move house with all that going on plus my teenage step daughter deciding that would be a good time to go off the rails).

    so bf issues coming after all that was just tooooooo much. i just wanted to enjoy my baby and enjoy life without my life revolving around yet another issue. i think i made the right decision at that time. i feel relaxed, calm and am enjoying being a mum.

    but i'm really here for more advice. oddly, i still have traces of milk. i havent tried expressing properly bit if i give my boob a quick squueze i still have milk.



    plus i just tried attaching dd and it seemed really easy compared to weeks ago. she virtually went on by herself. obviously her mouth is much bigger nowwhich makes the difference. so what would be a good plan if i want to try again bearing in mind expressing is not a great solution for me. i have big nipples which get sore expressing and with a toddler running around its just too hard to fit it in. im thinking motilium for supply instead.

  2. #38

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    I'm glad to hear that feeding today was not as sore. You will be able to get supply up, motilium will help but the best way is to offer the breast to DD regularly. The more she suckles, the more milk your body will make. I found expressing very difficult too and could never pump much milk. Your baby is the best tool for getting milk out.

    In your shoes I would try offering her the breast before every feed, as well as for comfort, and switch to the bottle when she gets frustrated with the lack of milk. If you are doing this it will increase your supply without the need to express.

    Good luck!

    xx

  3. #39

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    I would start by just offering her the breast as often as you can - including before each bottle, but also at other times. Motilium will help too, but getting both of you used to attaching and sucking is a great first step.
    I would also suggest that once DD has finished her little bf and her bottle that you try and squirt out whatever you can - forget the pump, since it aint your friend, just try to empty whatever DD may have left there to send the signal to "make more please".

    In a little while, if attaching is going well, you may want to consider using a supply line, so that DD gets her formula while sucking at the breast too - and hence stimulating your own supply at the same time. They can be a bit tricky to use, so once you have not-too-sore-little-bfs happening you may want to get your LC back to show you how.

    Good luck!

  4. #40

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    I'd get on to an LC to come and figure out an action plan for relactating, if that's what you want to do. There are lots of options and possibilities, and it might be good to sit down and talk it through beforehand.
    In the meantime if she's happy to feed then great That's the best thing for supply, with some motilium to try and kick-start things.
    All the best

  5. #41

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    Sounds like you may have a more relaxed way to go forward. Nothing wrong with just putting her to the breast whenever you would like. Chances are now she's a bit bigger she finds suckling easier and her mouth is a better fit. GL!

  6. #42

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    Thanks guys - I think I'll just see how we go at attachment for the next few days. If it's as easy as it seems to be at the moment (although she's only attaching and sucking not actually feeding because there's not much milk there obviously) then I will give the LC a call and go get some motilium. Whole different ball game if attachment is manageable and I'm not trying to wrestle a small mouth on to a big nipple. Much less stressful. Have already tried three times today already when before I'd have to seriously psych myself up before each attempt.

    Am I the only one gobsmacked that I still have milk five weeks after last BF attempt and having not expressed a drop since either? And that DD would go on also after five weeks with no BFs?

  7. #43

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    Sounds like a good plan Fiona Sounds like you are so much more relaxed about it all, which is fantastic!

    Babies are born to breastfeed - that doesn't mean that it works out perfectly early on, but it is what they are designed to do. I totally understand that it's gobsmacking for you, but it really is normal

  8. #44

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    Fiona, maybe you can try a supply line as well? That way she is getting all she needs from the formula while you are building your supply, but she is getting it at the breast which will help with her latch and also stimulate the breast without having to use a pump.

  9. #45

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    Fiona, I stopped bfing six months ago after four years and I still get something out of my RHS. And that was down to one bf a day for almost a year. I can't get much, but a little. So I'm not that gobsmacked about five weeks. But I still think it's amazing what our bodies can do!

  10. #46

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    I'll look into supply lines but my first thought is it sounds fiddly and with a toddler running around, I'm keen to avoid anything fiddly (and that DD1 can rip off).

    I guess I'm surprised at the attachment/still having milk five weeks on because I've always got the impression from midwives that you have to go hell for leather and try, try, try each breastfeed otherwise your milk will dry up and if the baby has bottles, they will lose the instinct. I think the try, try, try approach was in my case detrimental, not helpful, to BF success and if it turns out that having a break and trying when I feel comfortable works then I don't know why that option was not presented to me earlier and I had to find it myself. I recognise that this is very, very early days and I may end up giving up again depending on my mental state and how well we're doing.

  11. #47

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    It is often presented as a black & white, either/or option. Same with mothers who feel they have to go full formula if they can't get a full breastmilk supply for whatever reason.
    Anyway, good luck with it all

  12. #48

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    Well, my softly softly approach is leaving me quite encouraged. I've been trying at attachment basically when I feel like it for the last few days and it seems a hell of a lot easier, Sadly, I got my period which I guess shows that the BF hormones have dwindled a lot but I think they stick around for up to 3 months (DD is nine weeks).

    Anyhow, the real reason for the pop-in is to see whether an ob can prescribe motilium? I'm off to the ob tomorrow so could potentially get some then and see how we go. I don't know any doctors in the town we just moved to so would prefer to get it from my ob if possible.

  13. #49

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    Maybe ring your ob before you go and ask?

    It sounds like you're getting somewhere with bfing, well done! I got AF back after a couple of months despite bfing exclusively. My ob told me that since my DD wasn't bfing overnight it was probable it wasn't effective at preventing my cycle from returning. Pretty much from birth I had 5-6 hour bfing gaps during the night. AF never seemed to bother my DD's bfing.

    Keep us updated - it's great to hear how calm you are and how much better things are going.

  14. #50

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    Sounds like going with the flow is working well for you Good on you! Yes, your Ob can prescribe Motilium. Be prepared though (and this is not a downer on Obs, I have one and love him to bits ), he may not be keen, and talk to you about how you've given it your best shot, it didn't work out blahdy blah blah, why resort to medication now etc etc. Of course, he may not, I don't know your Ob , but many are misinformed about breastfeeding, and don't prioritise it. My Ob gave me a script initially, no dramas, probably because I had a prem. But he was reluctant to give me a repeat, although he did in the end. I now buy it from a website that doesn't require a prescription, it's cheaper that way too.

    Good luck! As a PP has said, unfortunately breastfeeding is presented as an 'all or nothing' deal, which is definitely not the case. Yeah, exclusive breastfeeding is known to be best for baby, but for those who cannot achieve that (myself included) doing both is definitely workable. Feel free to ask any questions that spring to mind.

  15. #51

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    Thanks so much ladies - particularly for the reassurance re AF. I don't want to get you all too excited - I don't think she's getting anything out but seeing as our problem was always attachment and now that seems to be working, I'm much more encouraged that if I can get any sort of supply that we can give it a decent shot. Without being able to attach, that was obviously impossible.

    I'm also hesitant to see a LC again as the try every x hours, express, do this, do that in an effort to get fast results just doesn't work for me, it ends up with me stressed out and feeling like a failure if something doesn't work. My LC was lovely but it's hard to tell someone that y'know, I don't want to do that because it sounds like I'm being lazy which I'm not, it just doesn't work for me.

  16. #52

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    That's totally understandable Fiona, and it sounds as though you are well informed about how to go about this. You can always continue going the way you are, but if you feel you need extra help, you know where your LC is.

    I'm excited because I know this is something you wanted to do, breastfeed your baby. Just out of interest, how long is she sucking for when she attaches? I totally get that expressing/feeding lots isn't going to work for you right now, but another thing that will help is skin to skin cuddles. Heck, lots of any sort of cuddles will help! It gets that oxytocin flowing, which is so important in breastfeeding. Motilium helps increase prolactin levels, the other important hormone, so between the two you're starting off well I don't know if it's possible for you with your pelvis, but baby wearing is a good way of helping to increase supply, as is cosleeping.

    Good luck with the Ob

  17. #53

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    The other thing I forgot to mention is that since I got AF I now can't get any drops out when I hand express but if motilium can get any sort of supply going then I'm optimistic that we're in with a chance as my supply was always fantastic, it's just that we couldn't attach eg. I was getting 100ml+ in the first couple of weeks even without DD really breastfeeding very much, that was just with expressing.

    Janie - thank you She attaches for probably around 10 mins, sometimes more, sometimes less. However, I have also been using a dummy in the last 10 days or so which is not brilliant but was the only way I could settle her at the time (she was waking every 40 mins and rocking, patting etc. didn't work for her and she was miserable). So she may be seeing the nipple as a dummy substitute but the fact that she goes on at all and really easily is cause for much optimism for me. To put it in perspective, in the first three weeks our attachment success rate was around 10%, since I've had a try in the last week, our attachment success rate has been 100%. We cosleep so that's good but I'll try to up the cuddles during the day. It's been hard to do skin to skin during the day as it seriously has been freezing here. But we've got a new heater going in this week and the weather is getting warmer anyway. Maybe all the planets are getting into alignment

  18. #54

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    A dummy is really a substitute nipple - so to be honest she's using your boobs for one of their intended functions, even if she's not getting much out! The more you are her dummy the better - as long as you don't get too sore.

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