Such conflict, need some new ideas

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:35 pm

Such conflict, need some new ideas

Post by Vnme » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:27 pm

Hello im new here.
Not sure what my question is so I will just spill.
After a 40 1/2hr labour my DD was born at 4.495kg it took a few days for my milk to come in so we got down to it on night 3 and just fed until the morn, it seemed to work however my breasts never really feel full and are always soft. The midwife had her on a four hour routine and recommened a dummy as she 'looks like a sucker'. So off we home and for the next two weeks everything was going fine.
At two weeks we took her to the city to meet some fam. Bam. Colic like symptoms, no sleep (was awake for 10 hrs straight) very unhappy baby. My grandma said she looked like she was wasteing. Had her weighed, not much gain at all 4.32kg. I had rung the ABA twice, and because she had enough wet nappies. Hang in there seemed to be the go. So i went to my mums and did nothing but feed for 4 days, she lost weight, i went to the GP he said she was fine just hungry and to start supplimenting. rang the hospital to ask about seeing a lactation consultant, got laughed at and they didnt return my call. Didnt want to but went and got the fomula.
New baby happy, settled. She is having 3 bottles a day 120mls each they
are given when she is fed up with me, I BF all day all night. I have been/ am on fenugreek, oats, guiness, using compression feeding. Tried a hand pump however seemed silly as she was there and willing. She has a perfect latch and i have suffered not alot of pain. I asked the GP about alternatives she said just keep doing what your doing she had to suppliment and it was fine.
I recently went to see the pedi and he said he had seen this abit, the supply doesnt seem to be the issue and he had sent some women in similar circumstances off to the dairy board to get thier milk tested (i live in a rural area) and the milk had a low fat content. He prescribed me medication to increase supply which has some effect (on the third day didnt need morning sup). Her weight is getting better and i have ordered an electric pump. The script just ran out hope we dont drop. She is now 6 weeks and 4.85kg. I still cant fill her up.
I would really like to wean her off the formula and have enough fatty milk. Perhaps a routine would make life easier?

So sorry about the essay. Very tired. its so hard to not feel like a failure when you are failing.
Any advice?

User avatar
Posts: 11292
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:10 pm
Location: The better side of the river ;)

Post by Esther » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:42 pm

Hugs. You are not failing if you are feeding your DD. You sound very sad that things aren't working as smoothly as they could, but the first rule is always, always feed the baby. While you feed your daughter and help her grow, you can find out ways that might help breastfeeding become easier for you both.

This website is great for suggestions about low supply

You can also search for a private LC at this address here

Oh, and it's very, very normal for humans to have a low fat content in their milk. That's why our babies need to feed frequently. The bigger the mammal, often the higher the fat content, because bigger mammals need to leave their babies behind sometimes while they go off and search for food. We're more similar to monkeys, which carry their babies around with them all the time.

ETA. This article from the ABA website also has links to the WHO charts for growth for breastfed babies. ... ight-gains
DD1 05, DS 08, BB 11, DD2 12
Storked by nat*4
Storked Ellie's Mum, foggylog, jessiemay, Ducks & nat*4

User avatar
Posts: 1061
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:35 pm
Location: WA

Post by Loli&Lulu » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:19 pm


I just wanted to send you some hugs and sympathy.

It is really hard when health professionals are not really supportive of your desire to do what you think is best. I had issues too.

My DD was putting on weight but was not sticking sufficiently to the curve for the doctors liking. He told me that since it was 6 weeks since she was born I would not be able to increase my supply (something i subsequently found out was untrue) and should supplement with artificial baby milk and to not be upset if my baby decided she prefered it. In my case I offered it to her after a breastfeed and she wouldn't take it as she was not hungry and if she got some in her mouth she actually spat it out. We tried a few times but she just wouldn't take it.

I continued to monitor her weigh and she kept growing at a nice consistent pace from about 4 weeks following the WHO charts and after she hit 6 months I stopped worrying so much and realized it was genetics that determined how big she was going to end up.

I am also convinced that one of the issues we had was with silent reflux and that is what caused her to be so unsettled.

So huge sympathy for you.

In terms of getting your baby more of the higher fat milk, have you read anything about block feeding? There is some info on the ABA site about it, it is basically feeding repeatedly from one breast for a number of hours so the baby gets more of the hind milk before swapping to the other side and doing the same thing. Some of the ladies on here have used the technique so hopefully one of them might see your post.

It is worth ringing the ABA counsellors when you feel you need to. They are all volunteers and have all had different breastfeeding experiences, some days you might get someone who hasn't experienced what you have been through and can mostly offer sympathy and standard advice and other days you will get someone who has experienced exactly the same thing and can suggest things they tried (I certainly found that with respect to reflux).

Good luck to you, it is a challenge this motherhood thing!
DD#1 May 2010 - BF to 19 months
DD#2 August 2012 - super cute cheeky booby toddler - storked by AndyPandy. :-)
Proudly co-storked AndyPandy's DS#2.

User avatar
Posts: 11292
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:10 pm
Location: The better side of the river ;)

Post by Esther » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:20 am

Just another thought came to me overnight. Is there any issues of dietary allergy or intolerance in your families? Sometimes this can cause damage to a baby's gut. Once the offending food is removed, baby's gut can heal and things might settle down.
DD1 05, DS 08, BB 11, DD2 12
Storked by nat*4
Storked Ellie's Mum, foggylog, jessiemay, Ducks & nat*4

User avatar
Posts: 8880
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Perth

Post by Andypandy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:31 am

Just chiming in with some support.
DS1: May 09 Breastfed 2y7m
DS2: Oct 2012 Breastfed 2y1m I am pretending he is weaned
DD: Feb 2015

User avatar
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:38 pm
Location: Blue Mountains NSW

Post by Otty » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:31 am

Hi Vnme, sounds like you're doing a great job feeding your DD. My DS had low weight gains too. I managed to keep up the bf and like Loli's LO my bub would not drink formula. I found that medication helped and when he started solids his weight gain improved. Maybe you should ask the doc to give you another prescription.

I'm interested in what the ped said to you about low fat content in your milk. Is it low in fat compared to other women or to other animals? Sounds like a bit of a dubious claim to me. Did you have your milk tested? I've never heard of this being done before.

One thing I've learned from being a mum is that things change with babies all the time. Who knows maybe in time you will be able to wean her off the ABM. Hang in there! :D All the best. :D

Welcome baby Alice!

User avatar
Posts: 1660
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:09 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by Rachwa » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:10 am

Hi Vnme,

*hugs to you* it sounds like a difficult situation.

I've only got a sec but 2 things jumped out at me in your story - the 4 hour routine feeding and the dummy.

Are you still offering the breast four hourly? That is a very long time between feeds for such a young baby. My son was feeding every hour and a half at that age (and sometimes more often!).

My understanding is that formula takes longer for the gut to process so the baby feels fuller longer. A breastfed baby generally needs more frequent feeds as the breast milk is processed efficiently.

Also, the dummy can placate your baby when she is actually hungry...and then she'll get cranky later and scream for food. Can you try offering the breast instead of the dummy?

It sounds like your attachment and everything else is great, so you may find that offering more frequent feeds will satisfy your DD and also increase your supply to match her appetite.

A double pump can also help to increase supply but your baby is more efficient than a pump - so I'd just let her feed as often as possible.

You are not failing and you are not a failure. Your responsibility as a mother is to keep your baby warm and fed and safe and you're doing all that.

User avatar
Posts: 4826
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: Rural WA

Post by JennyD » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:42 pm

Hi Vnme

Sounds like you’ve had a hectic few weeks getting breastfeeding started. It is so frustrating when it doesn’t work out like we expect.

The vast majority of mums can and do produce milk with exactly the right nutrients and fat etc for their baby. Mums with serious health issues or extremely inadequate diets can have difficulty making good quality milk, but that is fairly rare. Mum’s milk quality is usually the last thing to be checked as it is the least likely thing to cause problems. Cows milk is very different to human milk, just as cows are very different from humans. We are a lot more intelligent than cows, so our milk is designed to grow our brains. Cows are a lot bigger than us and are designed to reach adulthood within 2 years, humans take about 20, so cows milk is designed to grow a strong healthy body fast. Completely different focus makes completely different milk.

Unsettled babies and low weight gains are usually caused by either problems with bub (sometimes causing them to not digest milk properly, or not be able to get it out of the breast), or not feeding often enough, so a full physical check up to rule out baby issues is really important. By the sound of it, once your milk came in your midwife had you feeding four hourly, which usually isn’t enough. Research shows that newborns need to feed on average 12 times in 24 hours, that means a lot of babies need to feed even more often than that, to get enough milk.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when your baby is hungry. Some mums wait until baby is crying for a feed, but this is a late hunger sign, it is akin to shouting in a restaurant for service. Most babies will attach and feed better if they are fed when showing early hunger signs such as: smacking or licking lips; opening and closing mouth; sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys or clothing. After these signs bub will display more active hunger signs: rooting around on the chest of whoever is carrying him/ trying to position for nursing; fidgeting or squirming; hitting you on the arm or chest; fussing or breathing fast. Only after these signs have been missed will bub start to move head frantically for side to side, or cry.

It can also be tricky to tell if a baby has finished a feed. The best way to tell is to watch them feeding. When she goes onto the breast, she will suck rapidly, this is to make the milk flow. Then once the milk is flowing she will change to a rhythmic suck, swallow, breath pattern, this means she is drinking milk. After a while the milk flow will slow down a bit, and she will repeat the whole pattern of rapid sucking then rhythmic sucking. She will go through this pattern 2, 3 or 4 times before the breast is empty, and after that it is time to swap sides. If she doesn't want the second side, then the chances are she is full, if she isn't full she'll happily take the second side. You'll notice that each time she goes through the pattern it gets shorter, that's because there is gradually less and less milk in the breast. So watching how she reacts at the breast is the best way to know when it is time to swap sides, basically when breastfeeding it is best to watch the baby and follow her cues, the trick is to learn to recognise them.

To wean off the bottles you may find it helps to offer the breast first each time and then only offer a small top up of 30 mls or so from the bottle and see how she goes. Some mums find that they can use the breast to top up, so they offer both sides, then have a short break, and then offer both sides again, and only then if bub still isn’t satisfied they offer a small bottle and then the breast again.

You may like to send an email to the email helpline for help, or try the phone helpline again. Both of these should be able to help you to gradually wean bub off the bottle.

woops sorry for the essay, I hope something I've written helps you

Gwen's Mum
Posts: 1837
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 10:08 pm
Location: Queensland...again!

Post by Gwen's Mum » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:20 pm

Everyone else has offered great ideas and words of wisdom, so I just wanted to add hugs and support! sounds like you're doing a great job.

I have a condition that means chronic low milk supply (NOT the norm, don't worry!) - I am still happily breastfeeding, and DD will be one next week. My point being - supply can definitely be increased over time, and if your little one is needing a bit more milk, rest assured that your body will heed the call! As others have said, more frequent feeds will help tell your body to make more milk in response. I also found breast compressions helped DD get more milk at the end of a feed when her sucking-swallowing pattern slowed down. There's a good description of how to do these on the Jack Newman website.

Hope things are looking up! Best of luck with your bfing journey. :)
Image Image

Welcome Daydreaming's DS! - 18 Sept '13
Welcome Feather's DS! - 27 Oct '13

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:35 pm

Post by Vnme » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:58 pm

Thanks ladies I remain hopeful and determined.
Keeping the baby fed and happy is my job and every time i look at my little content chubba i dont resent the formula one bit, infact, im greatful.
Thanks again.
I think your question about the dairy testing was answered. It sounded convincing when he told the story.

User avatar
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:10 pm
Location: Brisbane

Post by fiizz » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:59 am

Andypandy wrote:Just chiming in with some support.
me too


Post Reply