comfort sucking

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.
rileigh
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comfort sucking

Post by rileigh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:41 am

I have started relactating and breastfeeding my 3.5 month old son after a 1.5 month break. It all seems to be going well but i recently noticed he never actually properly works for the milk, he is just comfort sucking or nibbling, which gives him a bit of milk. I really want to succeed the aecond time around, but im not shre what i can do to fix this :!:
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

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Nedsmum
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Post by Nedsmum » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:09 am

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'comfort' sucking - if bubs is latched on and there is sucking, then there will be some milk transfer...

Do you have a local ABA group ? Is there a lactation consultant at the hospital (if you had your baby a hospital) who can meet with you and look at your technique and baby's attachment ?

One thing is to make sure bubs has their mouth open properly... you could go through the list on this page and see if anything can help.

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... attachment

I don't believe really in 'comfort sucking' - the normal pattern of sucking is lots of small sucks, then once the milk starts to slow, a suck-swallow-suck-swallow patter. Nibbling on the nipple is going to hurt, but 'butterfly' sucks can be annoying but not painful - that 'butterfly sucking' my kids would do when they are half-asleep, and I'd just break the suction with my finger and if they were still interested I'd re-attach them properly, and if they were not interested it was probably because they were asleep.

All time at the breast is good practice....as long as it's not hurting you...

You have no way of knowing how much milk they are getting...if they are interested, just put them to the breast over and over again...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Penguin
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Post by Penguin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:21 am

I'm by no means an expert, but I thik that any sucking is good sucking with relactation. As long as it is comforting and you and your bub are enjoying it, then it's a step in the right direction.

Good luck :)
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rileigh
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Post by rileigh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:06 am

My idea of comfort sucking is he is sucking like i was a dummy, they are just soft nibbles, i know he's getting milk because i hear him swallow. I guess i just assume he's not getting as much as he could be because he's not doing the open-pause-close type of suck, he is attached properly and i guess it doesn't hurt because its so soft and he pretty much falls asleep almost all of the time, but still softly sucks. I know how he should be feeding because we breastfed for the first month and a half. I'm not sure about the ABA group and I'm waiting for a couple calls back from LC's. I was told by a couple of people i should post in here. I figured its good he's actually sucking, its just i won't be able to feed him properly if he's just comfort sucking, its not triggering a let down or anything.. we are certainly enjoying it though! :)
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:33 am

I'd agree that at this stage any sucking is good. You want him to feel happy and comfy at the breast. Some mums like to offer the breast at the start of the feed, others prefer the end. Whatever works for you.

Any nipple stimulation is good for your supply. An LC could certainly have a look at what's happening and give you lots of ideas, so I hope you're able to speak to one. I'm assuming you've also got access to a really good pump (your local ABA group can hire one to you), as that can make a big, big difference to things.

ABA also has a booklet on Relactation. You can get it online from our shop, Mothers Direct

http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/catalog ... astfeeding

Could you also call or email a counsellor for some more ideas? There's a link in the top right hand corner of each page of the forum.

Good luck.
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Karleen
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Post by Karleen » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:27 am

It's really common when bub come back to breastfeeding for them to take a while to get the hang of it (and lots of babies will even just hold the breast in their mouth and not suck at all!) so I wouldn't worry too much, it sounds like you're both doing very well. Tincture of time will likely fix it all. Just the same, it's really worth having someone who knows what they're looking at to watch a feed. If you can go to your local ABA group there will be a counsellor there who will be more than happy to do this and your ABA group will also be a really important support to you as you continue breastfeeding.
Congratulations with how well you are doing!
Karleen

rileigh
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Post by rileigh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:47 pm

I dont have a great pump, its just an brandname manual one and i only use it when bub won't feed from me, or is sleeping. I was told my my CHN to hand express after every feed because it's more efficient than a pump. Not sure what the go is with that. I have an appointment at next week. Hope they can help. But like one of you said, it just takes time for him to learn again, i go back to work in 2 weeks though :( thanks for the kind words and help :)
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

Karleen
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Post by Karleen » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi there,
Where abouts (roughly) do you live. Perhaps there might be an ABA meeting on this week near you so someone can watch a feed before next week? Do you think that this is something that you would like to do?
It seems that a gremlin has removed the name of the pump you are using. Can you resend (try misspelling it slightly)- the type of pump can make a big difference- there are lots of good ones but also some that many women find to not be very good. Hand expressing after each feed is a really good idea because hand expression is often really good at removing small amounts of milk. Hopefully, you have small amounts left after a feed (ie your baby is drinking most of it) and removing that little bit at the end makes your breasts super empty and the emptier you get your breasts the better because they then know that they need to make more milk.
Are you returning to work full time? Will you need to express milk while you are at work? If you do, it might be worth hiring a double electric pump for a while....
Karleen

rileigh
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Post by rileigh » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:27 pm

I live in tasmania and i'm able to travel. oh yeah im using an advent manual pump, i did have a tommie tippie electric pump, but that hurt my nipples and a hardly expressed anything (this was when i was breasfeeding before) its part time permenant, my longest shift is 8 hours thats only once a fortnight. I think i have full rights to breast feed at work, i only live up the road from work so my partner could bring my son to me, but i know its going to be very hard and stressful at such a demanding job... i do try to remove all the milk about every 3 hours, excluding night and im taking medication paramin i think its called. I have heard the double pumps are supposed to be great, id definitely hire one, i didnt know i could.
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

Karleen
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Post by Karleen » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:57 pm

The "Advent" pump might be fine for you. SOme mums really like it but others not so much. What do you think? And good that you got rid of the other pump- if pumping hurts it's not a good thing- unfortunately not all pumps are suitable for use!
Mums who are relactating often hire a double electric pump because it halves the time to express and also provides a bigger boost of prolactin which is important when you are relactating. But if your bub is feeding frequently then maybe you don't need to pump? It's really up to you. I'd suggest that you go to https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/contacts/groups where you can put in your postcode and it will come up with contacts for the closest ABA group to you. Those people will be able to tell you where your nearest group is and when it is meeting so you can go to a meeting and also will be able to tell you where you might hire a pump (a lot of ABA groups hire them out, sometimes local chemists do too).
Great that you've got some flexibility with work, makes it so much easier.
BTW how far along with relactating are you? How much do you need to supplement your bub?
Karleen

rileigh
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Post by rileigh » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:18 pm

I think its great. When i had plenty of milk it expressed well when i was able to get a let down. THank you for all that info! Its a great help, i will look into that. I started re lactating 2 weeks ago, im still having to give bub most of his bottle, from what i can make out about 40mls every 3 hours is being removed, but i could be far off. I dont know if thats good or not. I know i may not be able to exclusively breastfeed, Rileigh is currently having about 150mls every 2 hours during the day and 4 hours at night, so i have alot of work to do yet. Thats how it looks where im standing anyway.
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

Karleen
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Post by Karleen » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:09 pm

No worries at all.
yes, it sounds like you are still very much in the early days yet. You could try decreasing the amount of milk you are supplementing with but a little (5-10ml per feed) and that might mean that you'll have more frequent breastfeeds. Has anyone told you about breast compressions? They can be really useful when your bub is feeding at getting the most milk out.
I reckon that if you're finding that you are pumping every day at least once that a double electric would be worthwhile. You can hook it up so you are hands free (and able to do other things while pumping!) and that makes it easier to do. Do you have a copy of the ABA booklet on Relactation? It has a lot of practical information in it.

Do you mind if I ask what happened that you weaned in the first place?

Have you checked out your local ABA group details yet? (sorry so many questions!)

You are doing great! There is every chance that you will be able to exclusively breastfeed. Loads of mums relactate and go on to breastfeed with a full milk supply (and for long term!- we used to have a mum here on the forum who relactated with he first bub and then went on to keep breastfeeding through 2 subsequent pregnancies!)

Karleen

rileigh
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Post by rileigh » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:52 pm

Yeah i thought so. The only thing with decreasing the formula, is i put Rileigh to the breast before and between feeds, because he gets very fristrated with me if i try after a feed. I think i better spend the next couple weeks before i go back to work at home, breastfeeding, expressing and pumping. I dont think compressions help at all, he seems quite content to just softly suck and snooze no matter what i do. I would love to hire a double electric pump, (im sure they're expensive to buy) I dont have the book either.
I have send an email and asked about the pump and my local group :)

Well long story put short.. When Rileigh was about 5 weeks old, i was struggling alot to breastfeed him as he kept refusing, pushing away and instantly wanting the breast back, he would cry and this was a bit change, because we were breastfeeding perfectly untill then. My child health nurse just told me everything seems to be fine to stick with it and see if he improves. Then the day came thet he sreamed for most of the day, wouldnt sleep or feed, so then i decided to get formula and a pump. I couldnt express enough to feed him and he was feeding less and less, so i just decided it was best for both of us to give up. I was so unaware of support groups (and not having mush support around me) and tired, that it clouded my thoughts. I regretted it ever since, untill i decided im going to try again! (wish i did a lot sooner though!) Still dont know why he refused the breast though........ If it happens again, i know theres help out there for me.
Sorry thats sooo long!

Wow! Im just trying not to aim to high and get let down.

Its nice to have someone take interest :)
Happy mummy to my beautiful son Rileigh Joseph born 9/11/11

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Loli&Lulu
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Post by Loli&Lulu » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:28 am

Karleen is a fabulous source of information in this area, she knows so much!

I don't know anything about relactation but I just wanted to give you some support about breast refusal - my DD went through breast refusal on several occasions during our breastfeeding journey, the first time when she was about 6 or 7 weeks old where she wouldn't feed at all when she was awake but I could still sneak in some dream feeds during the night. The last bout was 8 days of complete refusal at 16 months when she had hand foot and mouth virus. She wouldn't take a bottle so I had to persist in the early days - I was spoon feeding or cup feeding her the EBM to get it into her. I understand how challenging it is and how hard it is to know what's right. I found the ABA book on breast refusal helpful with coming up with ideas of things to try to overcome the refusal. You can buy it online from the ABAs shop - mothers direct - or your local group might have it too. Ringing the helpline each time and talking it through with one of the volunteer counsellors also helped. Each time I managed to get her to come back to breastfeeding - I am sure she would still be going but my supply dropped really quickly after I got pregnant and there was nothing there. She still has a little go every week or so and may end up tandem feeding yet.

I started working 3 days a week when she was 8 months old and would feed her when she woke up, either just before we left the house or when we first got daycare, during my lunchbreak (about 10 minutes walk from my office), as soon as I got to daycare in the afternoon and then whenever she wanted to during the evening and overnight. I would express mid morning and mid afternoon and daycare would try and get her to take it then. Totally doable for me and a great way to stay connected with her.

Good luck with your journey.

:)
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DD#2 August 2012 - super cute cheeky booby toddler - storked by AndyPandy. :-)
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Karleen
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Post by Karleen » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:39 am

Hi,
Some intense concentrated breastfeeding and pumping might get you quite a way in a few weeks. Hopefully someone will get back to you today so you can find out about your local group and pump hire. While he's not transferring much milk at the breast pumping and hand expression might be really important to get your supply up.

The booklet can be ordered from Mothers Direct. http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/catalog ... astfeeding You can give them a call and say it is urgent and I am sure they will get it in the mail to you quickly so hopefully you will get it this week.

Hmmm, that's a puzzle with how Rileigh was refusing the breast before you weaned. I wonder what was going on. Perhaps one of the counsellors might have some ideas. You really want to avoid that happening again. He's quite happy now to hang out at the breast?

There's a youtube video that shows some breast compressions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RymUDeCAt18
If you can get some milk flowing into him he might start to get the idea to suck. How much milk are you able to express?

It is still possible to slowly decrease the supplement by keeping a track of how much milk is being given after a breastfeed and just making sure that there is a little less than before. With all these suggestions though it's really up to you. There is no one way of doing relactation!
Karleen

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