Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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megsy101
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Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by megsy101 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:01 pm

Hi everyone. Im new here and also a first time mum. I have a gorgeous 2 week old daughter who im formula feeding atm but shes getting constipated on it (hopefully seeing the doc about that). Anyway I was expressing up until 2 days ago but had trouble getting enough to have her completely on breastmilk via bottle.

Now the reason I started with the bottle had to do with when I was in hospital. I had natural labour with gas and an epidural. I ended up losing 1.9ltrs of blood, had an episiotomy and was extremely tired once that was over so never got to breastfeed my baby girl straight away. I saw her all of 2 seconds before the took her away and gave her some formula and expressed colostrum because I was bleeding so much. Then when all that was over and I was back in the hospital room I had to have a blood transfusion (I think that's what it was) and had that many needles poked in me it wasn't funny.

Then came all the midwives and the breastfeeding. All the midwives had a different way of wanting me to get her to latch on...though they all said it shouldn't hurt.....well it did after 2 days in hospital god knows how many midwives and different ways of latching each time i saw a new midwife, my nipples were extremely sore, one was bleeding and skin was peeling off. Needless to say I was turned off breastfeeding :( got home and put her on formula then started expressing.

Expressing was good I felt a little better knowing that at least she was getting some of my milk but I never had enough for all her feeds. I got down heartened and stopped expressing 2 days ago. My milk has nearly dried up but now with bub on just formula she is getting constipated so id love to get back to expressing again. I only have a single electric brandname pump. My questions are.....am I going to be able to get enough breastmilk expressed for her? Is there anything I can do for her constipation in the meantime? How can I make my supply of milk go up? And probably the biggest question can I get my supply back up when its nearly dried up? I tried expressing today and from both breasts managed only 40ml max. Id love to have too much so I can freeze some to have on standby if thats even possible.

sorry for the essay. I look forward to all your replies :)

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fellare
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by fellare » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:36 pm

No, you did not give up too easily. Wow, what an ordeal!

There are ways to re lactate and start breastfeeding now. Best you call the helpline. And if you're up to it, visit your local group. That way you can get ongoing support from well trained women.

If you're a member, you can also get email counseling. Just copy paste your post.

There is a booklet on re lactation, with some great tips. This is available through mothers direct. this page also has great info

Congratulations with your child!
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Mummy woo!
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:42 pm

Hi megsy

You have had a really difficult start to mothering and breastfeeding - such a lot in only two weeks.

Firstly, congratulations on expressing and giving your LO your milk for 12 days. She has had a great start, and the expressing would have helped tell your body to get started making milk.

Secondly, only you can decide when it is time to stop. It is your body, your baby, and you have to do what is right for you.

It might help you to know that you can change your mind at this stage. If you want to do explore going back to breastfeeding, I'd suggest calling the helpline to talk through your options, including where to seek face to face support in helping your baby to latch without causing you pain and further damage. The forum software has edited the brand name of your pump so I'm assuming it is not one of the ones we recommend and sell. The counsellor can talk to you about where to hire a hospital-grade pump from an ABA counsellor near you which should help with expressing.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do - you will make the right decision for you.
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Esther
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Esther » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:44 pm

Wow, what a lot you've been through in such a short amount of time! You sound like you have done an amazing job but would like to be able to breastfeed your little girl for some of the time?

Some suggestions I would make are to call our 24/7 helpline for some more ideas about how to go about expressing breast milk. We know that with breast milk, the more milk that gets taken out, the more milk is made. A really good double electric pump can help here. You can do both sides simultaneously, which cuts down hugely on time. You can hire a pump from your local ABA group - the counsellor on helpline will be able to give you details of who you can contact in your area.

There's lots of info here about what's called exclusive expressing. It might not be what you intend doing, but might give you some ideas of what other mums have done.

The last thing I wanted to say is please don't feel guilty about how you feed your baby. Parenting is about so much more than how you feed your baby. The most important thing is that your baby is fed. If you then want to look into breastfeeding issues, you can also relactate (start breastfeeding) after a break from breastfeeding. The counsellor on helpline would be able to talk to you about this too. There's some stories about relactating here too.

Good luck. Please feel free to stick around. We love meeting new mums here :D
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megsy101
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by megsy101 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:59 pm

Thanks for all the replies. Making me feel alot better about my choices. :) I think id rather stick to just expressing as that way my partner can also feed her during the night which lets me get a bit more sleep! ;) what double pumps are recommended and how much are they to buy and hire?

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Esther
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Esther » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:11 pm

megsy101 wrote:Thanks for all the replies. Making me feel alot better about my choices. :) I think id rather stick to just expressing as that way my partner can also feed her during the night which lets me get a bit more sleep! ;) what double pumps are recommended and how much are they to buy and hire?
I think the rates from hiring from an ABA group are the same around Australia. Local groups generally hire Medela Symphony Pumps, which are in most maternity hospitals. There's a $100 deposit, refundable when the pump is returned in good condition at end of hire period. Hire is $50/week. 50% off if you're a member of ABA. You also need to purchase a personal milk collection kit with the pump. A double kit costs $69, but may cost more from a local ABA group depending on your area as they have to cover postage costs for themselves as well. It costs nearly $3000 to buy these hospital-grade pumps new. We usually apply for grants to buy the pumps.

There are some personal electric double pumps on the market. They can be a good option if you're looking at long-term expressing.

This article here might help you decide which way you'd like to go with a pump:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... p-best-you

This is our forum "sticky" on exclusive expressing

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=12229

Good luck.
Esther
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Jenbt85
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Jenbt85 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:40 am

Hi Megsy, I don't have advice beyond what the others have said but also wanted to say that it sounds like you've done a brilliant job under really trying circumstances.

As Esther said, being a mum is about so much more than just how you feed your child. Save the guilt for something worthwhile ;)

The hardest thing about things like breastfeeding is that there isn't always an option to decide later when you're feeling well rested and can consider all of your options in detail! It's difficult to learn about it and how to do it when you're at your most exhausted and overwhelmed.

Feel free to stick around and let us know how you go (whether you express or not) :) Best of luck!
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Nedsmum
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Nedsmum » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:03 am

I wanted to chime in and say it does not have to be "all or nothing" and even the bit of breastmilk you got today might help with the digestion - breastmilk has digestive enzymes in it that help the baby's body to process their food, and also some components that stimulate movement through the digestive tract, so it may help. These are not found anywhere else...

40mL is actually quite a good amount to start with, and I am sure you can build it back up if you can get some good strategies in place... Although I 'get" the idea of not wanting to do all the night feeds, directly feeding your baby (when it goes smoothly) is amazingly convenient compared to pumping and bottle-feeding in the longer run..

Oh, and contraception may be something to discuss as you might find your periods return very quickly when you have a break in breastfeeding... A friend of mine had similar issues and was combined feeding at 1 month and fell pregnant at the end of the second month - the two children are 11 months apart...generally (but not always) women who are 100% breastfeeding stop having a menstrual cycle for quite a few months... But there are always exceptions...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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PellyintheWilderness
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by PellyintheWilderness » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:18 am

Everyone else has touched on the important stuff, so I just want to say that I think you've done a great job so far in very difficult circumstances! I hope you can find a feeding solution that works for you.
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Yankee
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Re: Feeling guilty......did I give up too easily?

Post by Yankee » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:36 am

Just wanted to chime in with everyone else to say, life is too short to feel guilty about this! The most important thing is that your baby is fed, second-most important is to work out a way to do that that your family is happy with. If that means a few expressed feeds a day to compliment the formula, that's great - any breastmilk you can offer is a bonus and may help with the constipation. A different brand of formula may also help with the constipation, I know my bub didn't react well to one brand (I had to do formula top-ups in the early weeks too).
DD born September 2013

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