Not working for us - made it to 1 year!

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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Serendipity
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Post by Serendipity » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:25 am

Hi Claire,

No words of wisdom to add, but a LOT of awe. It sounds like you are doing an incredible job. Sending best wishes your & DD's way.

:D
Genevieve Nisha - Feb 09
Rohan Teja Hira - Sept 11
Kiran John (stillborn) & Jocelyn Tara Alison - May 14

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Claire
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Post by Claire » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:21 pm

breastfeedingisnormal wrote: You mentioned that you had a 3.5 -4 hour gap between feed/expressing. In my experience, this is too long. While it will result in (over) filled breasts once or twice, over the long term, your supply will reduce. I wouldn't be leaving it any longer than 3 hours between expressing or feeding (and would aim for 2 hours during the day, if it was achievable). Breasts that are 'full' are not producing milk. There's a protein in milk called FIL (feedback inhibitor of lactation). When there is milk in the ducts backing up into the glands, they stop making milk. As soon as that milk is let down and taken from the breasts the glands begin to synthesise more milk. So, the more milk you take, the more milk you'll make.
I do normally express 2 hourly during the day, but I had to go out so I had to skip one session so I thought it was a good time to feed her so that there was more milk and it would be a bit easier for her. I dont want to push her too much as she still gets very tired when feeding, still. Anyway, once I hit 2hrs, my body lets me know its time to express - I dont really get full but I get this feeling that its time.
You'll be able to tell if she's getting enough to eat if she's still having big soft poos every day.
See this is what has really thrown me. At the same time she was loosing weight she was having wet and dirty nappies, so I thought she was getting enough. We are using cloth and I was changing her 7-10 times a day. An average day I would change her 8 times, 7 would be wet and 7 would be dirty as well. So I thought she was getting enough and that is probably the thing that has shattered my confidence the most because now I cant rely on it to tell me she is getting enough, even though it appears she is. Because I had low supply with DS I was really keeping an eye on the nappy count. She is having fewer dirty nappies now she is getting EBM, so I wondered if that has something to do with the amount of foremilk vs hindmilk she is getting? ie more hindmilk now its ebm. But I dont know enough about that. I was worried that she was getting enough but not absorbing it, but the dr has run a heap of tests and everything is normal and she is gaining now with EBM.

Today it just seems like too much. :( Having a crappy day. Feel a bit tired. Too many things that need to be done and not enough time to do them (and I dont mean boring housework either).
My two DC blessings:
DS born early @ 26 wks bf 3 years 1 day
DD bf 3 years 2 months.

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Post by Bailey's Mum » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:35 pm

Hi Claire. I don't think I've posted yet, but I've been following your story. I understand well how shattering it can be when your breastfeeding relationship doesn't follow the rulebook. We've been on this journey together before, and I'll be here to support and encourage you again this time.
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)

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breastfeedingisnormal
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Post by breastfeedingisnormal » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi Claire
Sounds like you are all over the supply=demand thing. I hope you didn't think I was teaching you to suck eggs - forum counselling can be tricky like that.
She is having fewer dirty nappies now she is getting EBM
That's normal ... babies bodies are able to use almost everything in human milk so there's not much waste.
At the same time she was loosing weight she was having wet and dirty nappies
Now that's just weird. Are we talking 7 poos at least as big as her hand or more the 'wet fart' kind? If they were big poos, then I think I'd be looking more seriously at the allergy/intolerance stuff - because if she was having 7 big poos a day, then she was getting enough milk. Therefore something must have been stopping her from absorbing it ... inflamed gut from CMP maybe? Have you gone dairy free, yet? I know you were talking about it. Maybe LO will feel a bit better if you do??? (From a dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free, yeast, cashew, cola nut, pineapple free mummy, I know it's easier said than done.)
Cheers
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JC
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Post by JC » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:37 pm

Claire wrote: <snip>
Yesterday thought I would try a whole feed. I skipped one expressing session so it was 3.5 hours since I expressed and about 4 hours since she fed. She attached really well and fed really well on the first side. She fussed a lot on the second side after about 5 mins - I cant work out why. I thought maybe the let down was taking too long or the flow too slow, but then I expressed after I finished feeding her and got 3 let downs in the time I was expressing. anyway, I switched her to other side and then back again, so she had 4 sides and about 45 mins of feeding. She came off asleep and then slept till it was 2.5 hours after the start of the feed. Yay, I was happy with that!
<snip>
Allow me to speculate as to why. Maybe she was almost completely full after the first side but, why not, let's have a little dessert back on side one. This was digested quickly, as it takes only 30 minutes or so to pass through the gut. Oh joy!! Time for second breakfast beginning on side two! Full of creamy hind milk with the sleepy hormones, she fell asleep satisfied. Having perfectly lovely dreams I've no doubt. :)

Hope you don't mind my speculation.
DS born July 2006; continued until 5
DD born November 2009; until 4

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Ari's Mum
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Post by Ari's Mum » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:53 pm

Claire wrote: Now I just have to get that tongue looked at. I have been encouraging her to poke her tongue out and she is getting it out further now, and for the first time since she was born I can see that little dint in the middle of her tongue. The dr and LC said there is no frenulum issue or nothing to snip. But the sub mucosal is under the skin isnt it, so is this different, harder to see? I found a document on the internet with pictures of lots of TT signs and she has a lot of them, so I still think this is her prob, even if there is nothing to snip.

Ah I always write a lot. Time for bed now.
DS2 has a slight tounge tie like the one you describe, a dint in the tongue, but can get his tongue out with coersion. When he cries his tongue doesn't go up. I had an IBCLC diagnose this and a dentist when he was 13 weeks. My midwife missed it. I asked her if he had one because he never opened his mouth really wide when attaching and didn't have the 'textbook' attachment. It wasn't affecting our breastfeeding relationship so I havn't worried about it. The dentist said they will keep an eye on it in relation to his bite, jaw and teeth development. My dentist actually specialises in lasering tongue ties..

Anyhow just thought I would add a bit of my experience and hugs again. It sounds like you are going well with increasing your supply!
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Storked Norrie and proudly storked by Terramommy...

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Claire
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Post by Claire » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:59 pm

breastfeedingisnormal wrote: Sounds like you are all over the supply=demand thing. I hope you didn't think I was teaching you to suck eggs - forum counselling can be tricky like that.
Oh no, you only get snippets of what I do and what I know, so best to cover all bases in case I miss something obvious!
Now that's just weird. Are we talking 7 poos at least as big as her hand or more the 'wet fart' kind? If they were big poos, then I think I'd be looking more seriously at the allergy/intolerance stuff - because if she was having 7 big poos a day, then she was getting enough milk.
I cant believe I quoted a sentence about poo! :lol: It has definitely been the as big or bigger than her hand kind. I have all these gorgeous MCNs that are so stained because their hasn't been enough sun to get rid of the constant stains.

Anyway, when we were still in hospital something made me think (cant actually remember what now) that she had CMP allergy but everyone told me no it couldn't be, too early for that. Again with the dirty nappies I thought that but my mum was saying, no its normal. The paed is the first one to agree with me about the allergy because my son had CMP allergy and she diagnosed it in him. So you are probably right about her not absorbing for that reason. Why do I let people talk me out of my gut instinct? So I went to the supermarket and stocked up on dairy free things and I start tomorrow. Will miss cheese & my creamy coffees. :( Coffee is not the same with rice milk.

BM & JC, your post made me cry & laugh. Speculate away JC. You two are my inspiration - I still really remember those days after I joined this forum and we were all doing this then!

Ari's mum - Thanks for your story. I think we are improving with attachment, well from time to time anyway. And my supply is going quite well - best day ever today!
My two DC blessings:
DS born early @ 26 wks bf 3 years 1 day
DD bf 3 years 2 months.

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JC
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Post by JC » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:33 am

Dairy free, what a hassle. ah you're a good mummy. :) Hope it works quickly.
DS born July 2006; continued until 5
DD born November 2009; until 4

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Samby
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Post by Samby » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:41 am

It sounds like you are doing everything in your power to keep the breastfeeding going, well done. You are obviously a very strong and determined Mama. I am glad that your supply is getting better and that your LO is attaching well some of the time.

Re her being sleepy when feeding one thing I used to do with my DD was to undress her to feed her. I aso had a damp face washer that I would rub gently on her cheek if she started to drift off. It sounds mean but if she was a bit cold she didn't fall asleep and would feed much better.

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monstersmama
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Post by monstersmama » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:36 am

Hi Claire. I dont really have any advice, I just wanted to lend my support I supppose.

My son has sub-mucosal tongue tie, and it does sound like what you are describing. It was very easy for him to get tired at the breas and feeds would take 1.5 -2 hours initially as I would just let him take his time, doze, wake up and have more, or he wold be stimulated to feed by another let down.

I am fortunate that i have a strong let down and fast flow, however, my son learnt to get around his tongue tie issue by detaching his latch, making his gape narrower and essentially nipple feeding, which , as you can appreciate, is quite painful and has done some damage in the process.

At 11 weeks we are not quite there, but it is getting better. As he grows bigger the issue is less of a problem. Perhaps my son's is nt as pronounced as your DD's as I have been assured he wont need speech therapy.

It was great to have all our issues diagnosed at 4 weeks, because I really was starting to feel like a failure, but crushing when I learnt there wasnt really a simple solution like snipping in normal tongue tied babies.

We used shields to get over the damage. Theey also let DS feed however he wanted without doing more damage. But they slowed the flow so much they drove me insane as night feeds were taking so long. I ditched the shields a couple of weeks ago, and have only had a few grazes so far to deal with (although Im sure by now my nipples are leather :wink: ). I tried using a shield the other day as he damaged me a little at the ABA catch up in mebourne, but he wasn't having a bar of it. So back to feeding off the breast, but just having to really concentrate on what we are both doing.

Good luck! Hang in there. You've gone through so much already so hats off to you!
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Claire
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Post by Claire » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:46 pm

Thanks monstersmama. I saw you post about the tongue tie somewhere else and was going to ask you about it. I'm glad to hear it is getting better for you both.

We had an appt with a speech therapist. She had a good look at DD and said that she has good tongue extension - which is true, she can poke it out quite far and I have been practicing that with her the last few weeks, so that bit is good. What she seems not to be able to do well is cup the tongue around from the sides - I was so tired I forgot to ask her if this is what they consider to be sub-mucosal TT. :roll:

So she has given us some exercises to do with the Haberman and with a dummy to help her to strengthen her suck. Well not strengthen it really as she has a really strong suck, but to help her use her tongue better while sucking. So the advice is that she will only improve with more feeding - which is what I want to do, so I am trying to increase her feeds at the breast now. Attachment is ok most of the time, not painful very often anymore so that is a big improvement.

The really big problem I have is that she falls asleep while feeding almost all of the time, with both the breast and the haberman. They asked me to breastfeed her yesterday. She fell asleep. Then they asked me to use the haberman so they could observe her on that. I put 40ml in it and she fell asleep after maybe 10-15ml. I dont know how to keep her awake. I have tried stripping her off, tickling her feet, rubbing her cheeks, swapping sides, nappy changes, etc. Nothing works. She goes on, she falls asleep.

I have started with feeding her in the middle of the night feed. I have a faster flow then as I have more milk then. That is the only effective feed she has. This morning she fed from one side only for about 20 mins and was fast asleep, but I could see and feel her sucking and I could see and hear her gulping the milk down. She went 4 hours after that and I expressed 80mls from the other side. I had a sposie on her as all my cloth are still wet and it overflowed - so i'm sure she got enough overnight. If only every feed was like that, not the 4 hours but the effectiveness!

The next feed I tried her she just didn't suck well. Only a few strong sucks at the beginning and then really weak sucking after that. I offered her both sides taking her off to wake her up, but there is no way she got enough milk - I'm not even sure she got anything from the second side as her sucking was so weak. I dont know how else to stimulate her to suck.

I'm running out of ideas to get this to work and I really want it to work, but its taking its toll on both me and DS. I cant tell you how bad a day it was for him yesterday :( and he thinks I love DD more than him and that he doesn't matter anymore. :( :( :( I thought next I could try a breastfeeding clinic to get help over a number of feeds instead of one in isolation. Not sure if that will help, but anything is worth trying.

Oh and I've been dairy free for a week and it ain't so bad! :)
My two DC blessings:
DS born early @ 26 wks bf 3 years 1 day
DD bf 3 years 2 months.

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3 Little Woody's
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Post by 3 Little Woody's » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:05 pm

Does she get too comfortable on the boob maybe? DS use to get very sleepy and nod off mid feed quiet often, so I'd keep a cold washer beside us and wipe his face over with that to wake him up a bit, otherwise our feeds would last hours!!

I think you are doing an awesome job, I've read a few of your updates over the last few weeks, and I think "wow, she's still going!" :-D

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Samby
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Post by Samby » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:12 pm

Claire you are doing so well to keep going and making the effort to search out solutions. Just remember that each day and each feed is one step closer to the day you can ditch the pump and have her on the breast for all her feeds.

Hopefully her suck will increase in strength as she grows and gets stronger.

My offer to visit or shop or do whatever else you need is always open. If you do feel like getting out of the house you are also more than welcome at my place. I am sure that Coco would love a playdate with your J.

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Claire
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Post by Claire » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:19 pm

Woody's Mum wrote: I think you are doing an awesome job, I've read a few of your updates over the last few weeks, and I think "wow, she's still going!" :-D
I'm just stubborn, that's why I cant give up. Sometimes life would just be easier if I could let go!

I know she does get comfy on the boob, but she doesn't really get started on the feed before she nods off.

Thanks Samby! Shopping is under control at the moment, but if I need to escape we might just pop round! Do you think it would be silly to bring my pump to the ABA meeting? I know its ABA, but who brings their pump along? Usually its just the baby.
My two DC blessings:
DS born early @ 26 wks bf 3 years 1 day
DD bf 3 years 2 months.

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Andrew's Mum
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Post by Andrew's Mum » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:59 pm

Many ABA meetings I have been to it has been the baby, the bottle , the SNS, the nappies..... It's not been just the baby.
If you could do it I reckon it would be great- such an inspiration for others who are struggling, as well as a great chance for you to compare notes and get out of the house with people who aren't going to judge you but just be your cheer squad!
You're doing a fabulous job!
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