New and struggling

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.

New and struggling

Postby AussieBritLu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:58 pm

Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I am desperate for advice.
I have already emailed using the top right link.

My problem.......I am really trying and wanting to breastfeed my daughter....she is 4.5 weeks old and I have been having to formula feed for some time, but I have been offering her the breast but she just doesn't really want to latch on....and when she does latch on, she just doesn't want to stay on and work. Which I understand is completely my fault for needing to formula feed.

The story.....for the whole first week after my daughter was born, I wasn't really shown how to breastfeed...nor was I told WHEN I should be feeding her......anyhow upon discharge she had lost too much weight for their liking, but we still went home (because I wanted to because I felt I was in the way etc).....and we returned 2 days later to get her re-weighed. She had lost even more weight.....so the midwife asked to see how we were going with breastfeeding.....and she was the one who said I was doing it wrong....she was doing it wrong....and she showed us the right way.....but at this point the main concern was my daughter needing to gain weight....so formula and breast was suggested.....as we had to return 2 days later again for her to be re-weighed. So I would attempt to put her on the breast, and then when she'd had enough on the breast (which she did very easily give up.....no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get her to stay latched on....so my milk supply never really established) so I would top her up with formula. Anyhow, her weight started picking up....then a few days later, my husband ended up needing surgery and was 100kms away, which obviously 10 days after her birth I was very emotional about being on my own with a newborn.....she wasn't the problem.....it was the fact he wasn't here to support me through breastfeeding......so I continued to try and put her on the breast, but it was so hard without support......and at the hospital my husband ended up in isolation and to visit we had to wear gowns and gloves, which made things even more difficult as visiting hours were so short and I thought it was more important to be able to spend as much time with him as possible, especially for our daughter. The hospital however jumped to the conclusion I had Post Natal Depression because I was very emotional....they also lied on several occasions and didn't really seem to care about the impact this was having on me. which in turn would also affect my "supply". So in the end I gave up trying to breastfeed her because she was getting herself too worked up and wouldn't even latch on in the first place, no matter how hard I tried.....which in turn made me feel utterly useless and very discouraged.
Now my husband is home....yet still recovering.....things are a lot better and calmer so figured I would give it another shot as I am still producing milk....just not alot.....I've been trying to express as much as I am able aswell as trying to put her on the breast before giving her formula. (as i've not got a good milk supply...as yet!) She's just not really wanting to latch on for very long and she gets herself all worked up....she continuously latches on and then pulls off.......so how can I get her to latch on and stay on? She's been doing a little better the last 2 days.....as I have started trying to give her some formula (to calm her down as she gets worked up).....then put her on the breast...she latches on and sucks for a while.....not a huge amount of time...but this is an improvement! Is there anything else I can do?? I just went and got fenugreek to try and see if this helps improve things.......because my main aim is to get her to breastfeed and off formula/bottle feeding if at all possible! And I just don't know if I am doing the right thing, or doing it right at all! So any advice I will really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading!

PS. I'm sorry if I have posted in the wrong place!
Last edited by AussieBritLu on Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DD1/2011 - FF
DS/2013 - BF 2yr4m. Weaned :-)
DD2/2016 - BF'ing
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Postby Lilypad » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:09 pm

Hi, Have you tried calling the hotline there's a link up in the top right hand corner of the page. the councellors are excellent and will be able to give you advice.
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Postby KarenMac » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:10 pm

Hi, no advice really but just wanted to suggest you re-post this in the "general issues" section as there's more "traffic" through there and other people are more likely to see it and be able to help. All I can offer is hugs and support, unfortunately. I know it is possible to re-establish BFing but I don't know about the mechanics of it all...just that it's a lot of work!
DD1 - 21/07/08 - Breastfed for 12 challenging months
DD2 - 27/10/10 - Breastfed for a blissful 17 months
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Postby s squirrel » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:11 pm

Sorry I can't give you a good reply as I haven't been in your situation, but well done for still trying, I found BFing hell for the first few weeks with both DD and DS, it will get easier!
Huge hugs, sorry for the short reply - I'm feeding my 11mth old octopus :lol:
If you can't fly, then run,
if you can't run, then walk,
if you can't walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving
forward.... – MLK
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Postby Lilypad » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:14 pm

Also...
I had low supply and bubs didn't gain weight well, it took a while for her to get the strength up to successfully BF. I always BF fed her first, then offered the bottle as a top up. I still top her up now at 4 months after each feed, but have been able to produce a good supply now, just not quite enough. I saw my GP who prescribed some meds to build supply as well. But the herbal products worked best for me.
I'm not much use with help on latching I'm afraid.

Sorry you've had such a rough time to start with. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
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Postby AussieBritLu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:15 pm

thank you. i've re-posted it in general issues
DD1/2011 - FF
DS/2013 - BF 2yr4m. Weaned :-)
DD2/2016 - BF'ing
Storked pseudo, lilypad & Vahvempi. Co-storked with Pelly for Jenbt85!
Storked by Giff for DS & Jenbt85 for DD2.
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Postby Bundy » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Hi, its great you are still producing milk, thats a great start. Try to spend lots of time with no shirt on and your bub in just a nappy. Put her against you and cuddle her into your chest, lots of skin to skin contact. Expressing can also help increase milk supply. Fenugreek worked wonders for me.
Are you in a position to hire a private lactation consultant to come to your home? Also alot of maternal child health nurses are lactation and consultants and can assist you.

Search youtube for "breast crawl" or breastfeeding crawl and see if your bubba can have a go at the same thing.

The bottom line is the more formula she has the less she will be interested in breast milk. So always offer the breast first. You can offer the breast every half hour if you need to ( it only takes 20-30 minutes for the breast to 'refill.') This will be great to increase stimulation of your breast which will help supply.

Obviously your situation is a complicated one. I am not a councellor, just a breastfeeding mum. Hopefully a counsellor can give you a tailored approach to your problem.

Good Luck!
******Mummy of Mr 4 and Miss E******
No longer feeding, her choice. You can lead a baby to the breast but you can't make it drink !
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Postby Monicat » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:27 pm

Could you try cup feeding her the ABM so she doesn't get used to the easy flow of a bottle? Otherwise as Bundy said lots of skin to skin time, and offer the breast first.
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Postby AussieBritLu » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:11 pm

Thanks everyone......having a very frustrating day with my daughter. *sigh* I know it's going to take time but I am feeling very discouraged right now! I just don't think I am going to be able to succeed with her because she gets soooooo cranky and worked up within seconds! :( but I don't want to give up.......but what and how on earth can I get her to attach without all the fussing.....it's getting her to attach that's the biggest problem at the moment....and trying to wean her off the dummy and bottles is going to be hard....because she's already getting so cranky.
DD1/2011 - FF
DS/2013 - BF 2yr4m. Weaned :-)
DD2/2016 - BF'ing
Storked pseudo, lilypad & Vahvempi. Co-storked with Pelly for Jenbt85!
Storked by Giff for DS & Jenbt85 for DD2.
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