Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Looking for a little encouragement...

  1. #1

    Default Looking for a little encouragement...

    Hi all!

    After a typical "cascade of intervention" birth (SROM but no labour, followed by induction, followed by epidural, followed by emergency c-section, post-partum hemorrhage... ) despite our wonderful intervention-free, drug-free, etc birth plan... we've been having trouble with breastfeeding. Apparently what it comes down to is that I lost a fair bit of blood in the c-section, plus the trauma of a 15 hour long induced labour, and I'm having supply issues.

    At our first domicillary nurse visit (when Salma was 5 days old) she had lost 16% of her body weight. We were readmitted to hospital and put on 3-hourly feeds with an additional 40ml topup of formula, and expressing.

    Salma gained about 250 grams in 36 hours and we were discharged. A week later (last week Friday), at the lactation consultant (at the hospital), Salma hadn't gained any more weight at all - formula was upped to 75 mls and I was put on motillium.

    Tomorrow I'm back at the lactation consultant. I went to the MCHN on Monday and I know she had gained 170 grams over the weekend. I've also started taking fenugreek. I'm in regular contact with the ABA (been a member since I found out I was pregnant!) and my local leader is a real help. But I'm still worried.

    I'm just praying that she has gained more weight over this week, that we won't be readmitted (not that I think that's likely, but I'm scared of it since it happened earlier), and that the formula dose won't be increased. I only seem able to express 20-25mls each time, I think because of stress and worry over weight gain. I so desperately want to exclusively breastfeed.



    Does anybody have similar stories that they could share with me? Any more ideas for upping my supply? I could really do with some encouragement right now.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Warrnambool Vic
    Posts
    1,476

    Default

    Hi, there,

    You really sound like you are having a tough time. It must be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wonder, what was your feeding plan when you left hospital? Were you still feeding every 3 hours, day and night? Any formula or not? Was she jaundiced? The good thing is, she didn't lose any weight - so she must have been getting enough to maintain her weight. Are you still expressing? What type of pump?
    Sorry for all the questions - you will get there

  3. #3

    Default

    Hugs!! You're having a rough time hun but you know what? Your little one is still getting at least some breastmilk, and even a little bit helps!

    You probably know that the best way to up supply is with increased feeding. Other suggestions include oats, raspberry leaf tea, fenugreek, brewer's yeast (vegemite has this, or make a casserole with beer - that way the alcohol is cooked out of it). Some would argue that no food can really help, but others swear by it. So it might be worth giving these things a go. Also just the thought that it might be helping can relax you a bit, which helps enormously.

    I express full-time, so I can really see the effects of stress on my supply. And the effect is huge - usually I get around 800mL a day. I had a really stressful day on Monday, and I dropped to 735 mL (even with an added pumping). Also when I have been sick my supply has taken a battering - as low as 580mL. So I'd be really concentrating on your stress levels - can you go for a massage? I'm also guessing you're pretty sore after the c/s (I had one too) - are you getting enough rest and not overdoing it? You had major surgery remember! And are you eating well and drinking lots? Look after yourself.

    Also remember that there are plenty of women who have been in your situation and managed to get back to exclusive bfeeding. Some even give up completely then successfully re-establish it. So hope is certainly not lost! You'll get there, one way or another - your little one is lucky to have a mama who cares so much about her. Don't forget to enjoy her

    Let us know how you go. And do let Barb know the answers to her questions so she can help you - her advice is wonderful.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ever so slowly going crazy...
    Posts
    2,268

    Default

    Sweets, pumping, and feeding, and comp feeding is a LOT for you to handle... could you maybe drop the pumping and put bub on instead?? The more bub sucks, the more you will make.

    Pumping can be detrimental in some cases, and maybe bub suckling will help more??

    And that weight gain is great, you should be very proud!!
    Can you spend just one day in bed with bub... sometimes just one little day can make a MASSIVE difference!! Just you, topless, and bub.. so bub has free and easy all day access to the breasts... it can give a real boost to your supply, and bub can drink all day and get used to the breast over the bottle...
    Keep talking to ABA and the LC for more help and ideas sweets!! xoxoxo

  5. #5

    Default

    Wow, thanks so much for the support everybody. I'm getting a bit teary already. It has been an awfully tough few weeks, I'm just so grateful that I've got such a wonderful little baby, and such a supportive husband. They both put up with my tears very well.

    I lost the internet connection last night, and this morning we went back to the hospital to find out the Salma gained 320 grams in a week (poor little thing, we've been force feeding her so much!) and is now just 5 grams under her birthweight. So now I'm allowed to not express overnight, I only have to do it during the day (is this detrimental at all? Should I still express overnight, even though it tires me out?). We're still giving her 70ml top-up every feed, and hopefully I'll be able to increase my supply enough to replace that topup with EBM, at which point we'll know that she can get enough from just me and we'll be able to burn that tin of formula.

    Barb - I lost internet connection last night so I couldn't reply. Regarding your questions, after we left hospital the first time there was no feeding plan - just on demand. After the second time (when she lost weight) it was three hourly day and night, with formula topups as well. She was never jaundiced, the paediatricians kept on saying how shocked they were that she looked so healthy but had lost so much weight. I'm still expressing with the Medela Symphony - I tried double expressing but that was too hard, now I just do one side at a time. I'd really appreciate some advice on good routines for expressing (like, is it ok to not express overnight? Should I express straight after a feed, or wait a little while?) and any other advice that you have. I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment, despite the good news this morning.

    Surprised - Yes, I've heard about those dietary things and I think I need to get onto them. I normally have oats every morning for breakfast but haven't got around to it since Salma arrived. I really appreciate you reminding me how much stress affects supply, because I really think that's the problem that I'm having. I have to relax!!!! I also appreciate you reminding me that it's possible to exclusively BF after an experience like this, I needed that.

    Pretty Butterfly - I'm a little scared to just put her on rather than the pump. The hospital have told me now that I'm to give her 70mls topup of either formula or EBM, so I would rather pump and make sure she gets some EBM. Do you know what I mean? But I love the idea of a day in bed with bub, I think she'd like that too! We might do that one day this week while DH is at work.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11,633

    Default

    Congratulations on your beautiful little baby!
    It is really hard work doing all three things! You're already a supermum and only a couple of weeks in

    I'm so glad to hear that you're in touch with the ABA and an LC. I hope they can help guide you through this.
    I agree with Pretty Butterfly - if expressing is not working well, ditch it and try to put her back to the breast at these times instead. At this age it's pretty typical for them to feed every 1-2 hours during the day and frequent feeding is definitely the best thing for supply. The alternative is to try a better pump - some mothers find one kind works much better for them than another.

    Try and take as much time out for yourself and bubs as you can - just concentrate on being together and feeding whenever she wants.

    Lots of mums struggle early on with feeding, you're not alone

    ETA - I may be wrong, but I think the topup thing is about 'certainty' with volumes, rather than actually necessarily being better. You don't know how much she'll get from teh breast, so they'd rather you give her a set amount from the bottle.
    That weight gain is fabulous - why not try breast & more breast for a week and see how you go? It really is mroe effective at stimulating your supply than a pump.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Warrnambool Vic
    Posts
    1,476

    Default

    Hi there,

    You are doing so well. YOu know, you hit it on the head when you said you had been forcefeeding her. 70mls is a huge feed every 3 hours. Why don't you try to cutting it down to 40mls per feed - and then top her up with the breast if she still won't settle - I bet she will be just fine.
    I would suggest that you breastfeed her every 3 hours - no more than 20mins each side, then top up then express no more than 10 mins each side. You will be fully breastfeeding in a few weeks (honestly!)

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ever so slowly going crazy...
    Posts
    2,268

    Default

    That is a massive weight gain, I agree with Barb, cut her top ups down.. and she will want the breast back earlier too for a feed if she isn't TOO full...

    Pumping can be detrimental if it makes you too tired to feed properly, as tiredness can affect your supply. It is also a BAD indication of how much milk you actually have.... you could have mountains of milk, but only express 30ml... its deceiving that way!!

    It can also affect how much you put bub on, and bub is better than pump!!

    If you still want to pump, please dont wake yourself up to do it... It works best between feeds, and in the mornings... if bub feeds at 7.ooam, and then 9.30-10am, a good pump time is around 8-8.30am... pumping in the arvo can affect your arvo supply IF you have a bub that wants to be on/off all arvo... the "witching hours!".. bub in this case will help boost your supply, so you can use bub not pump...

    Your doing a FAB job babes, and it does get easier!!! xoxoxo

  9. #9

    Default

    You sound like you're going great. Expressing is really hard work so if they say that you can cut down on doing it night then give yourself a break.
    The best way to encourage your milk is to put your baby to the breast whenever she wants it.
    By te sounds of it you'll be exclusively breastfeeding in no time.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi everybody, thanks for your wonderful and supportive replies (I haven't been able to get on the website for a little while, sorry I wasn't in earlier to thank you!).

    Salma continues to gain weight really well and so we're slowly dropping comp feeds. The comments about expressing are true, it is tiring so I'm just doing it when I get the chance and not stressing about it too much. Luckily I've got wonderful support from the ABA (my local group is AWESOME) and we're really cutting down the amount we comp feed her, when we do that.

    The reason why I haven't completely cut out the comp feeds is that I'm a little bit scared of her losing weight again... So for my own peace of mind I need to do it slowly. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm sure I'll be back again soon to announce that we're exclusively breastfeeding. Wish me luck, and watch this space!

    Thanks again!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ever so slowly going crazy...
    Posts
    2,268

    Default

    Oh babe, way to go!!!!

    Dont worry about cutting down slowly, your mental health is also very important to getting a great breastfeeding relationship going! You'll be exclusivly b/f'ing in no time!!

    Well done, you deserve to feel great about yourself, its not always easy, but pushing through and getting help is such a great gift to your daughter, AND for you!!!

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11,633

    Default

    Great work!

  13. #13

    Default

    It has been a really long time since I've been in here, but I just had to come in and share the good news...

    As of mid-December, Salma has been 100% breastfed! I was too scared to celebrate until she was weighed a couple of days ago, and she has continued to grow and gain weight as required - so we're there! We finally did it!

    Thanks again to all of those who gave us that much-needed support. I never realised how stressful and angst-inducing breastfeeding could be, and I know that Salma and I have both come out stronger for sticking with it.


  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Newport, VIC
    Posts
    1,885

    Default

    I love love love reading posts like these. Thanks for the update. You've inspired me for my next try.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Victoria
    Posts
    8,924

    Default

    That's great news! Congrats to both of you.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •