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  1. #1
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    Default If I mix EBM & formula can I ever go back to exclusive breastfeeding?

    I'm struggling with breastfeeding big time - the midwives at the hospital have been helpful but my nipples are so torn up that it's just agony.

    I've been trying to express but it just takes so long each time & basically means the baby is almost constantly screaming.

    I still want baby to get as much colostrum as possible but I don't think I can express enough for every feed. Even expressing is making my breasts really sore, there's no way I can use a pump at this stage.

    Therefore if I supplement EBM with formula, will there still be the option of going back to exclusive breastfeeding when my breasts are healed??

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    I don't think you can know for sure. It's a risk that you will have to take. If you are struggling and see no other way, try to do the best to be in peace with yourself if you can no longer breastfeed I hope things work out for you!

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    How old is bub?

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    Hey heartstringz, congratulations. I really struggled in those early days. By day 6 I was mix feeding. I continued to express and take fenugreek to build up my supply and by 6 weeks I was exclusively bf. We are now 10wks and still exclusively bf and it is much easier. Ask to see the hospitals LC they are really helpful. I don't think I would have persisted if it wasn't for the support I received from the ladies on here. I bought a cheaper breast pump, avent comfort electric from chemist warehouse.
    Last edited by Ngaiz; 07-07-2014 at 17:08.

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    If you keep working on breastfeeding / expressing you should be able to increase your supply and therefore exclusively breastfeed / feed EBM if that's your goal, especially if it a nipple issue and not a supply issue.

    I remember how much my nipples hurt when I first expressed! It was horrendous! Lots of lanolin and hydrogel pads helped, and eventually they toughened up. Are you double pumping? This helped also and makes it a much more time effective task.

    Good luck x

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    Quote Originally Posted by heartstringz View Post
    I'm struggling with breastfeeding big time - the midwives at the hospital have been helpful but my nipples are so torn up that it's just agony.

    I've been trying to express but it just takes so long each time & basically means the baby is almost constantly screaming.

    I still want baby to get as much colostrum as possible but I don't think I can express enough for every feed. Even expressing is making my breasts really sore, there's no way I can use a pump at this stage.

    Therefore if I supplement EBM with formula, will there still be the option of going back to exclusive breastfeeding when my breasts are healed??
    Absolutely. If you're resting your nipples, continue to stimulate them by expressing and you should soon be on the right track. When was bubs born? If you can, give yourself a good 24hrs to rest your nipples before attempting the breast again. Try to express so you're one feed ahead. It might mean giving bubs a single full formula feed to settle her. Then express and use that EBM for her first next feed. Once you're 24hrs post delivery you should be able to use a breast pump for stimulation - alternate between breasts twice for 5mins (so 5min left side, 5min right side, 5min left side then 5min right side). Once you've done this then try to hand express whatever you can. Also express some colostrum onto your nipples, rub it in then let it air dry. This should help your nipples heal too. Every little bit of colostrum helps. Have you got someone who could maybe give bubs the formula while you express? It is horrible but if you can rest for 24hrs you'll feel so much better. Also having some EBM ready to go (whatever amount) will reduce the stress levels a little bit. Skin to skin with bubs as much as possible will help you too as it will stimulate the prolactin release. Good luck x

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    MilkingMaid  (07-07-2014),misskittyfantastico  (07-07-2014)

  9. #7
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    I would be seeing the lc about whether bub has a good latch, after the first few mouthfuls it shouldn't be hurting that much to have bub on the breast. I would persevere with bub on the breast rather than pumping at this early stage... And lots and lots of skin to skin contact...but see what the lc says. Good luck

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    Yes you can. This bf thing is hard work but if you are persistent and find the right support you can totally do it! Please seek out help and support. CHN, ABA, lactation consultant. If you have a bad experience with an unsupportive person just find someone else. You have been given great advice already but I just want to add that if you are told that your latch looks good but you are still in a lot of pain, please please look at tongue and lip ties. They are often overlooked but they have a huge influence on nipple trauma. Good luck xxx

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to RedCreamingSoda For This Useful Post:

    Bluebirdgirl  (07-07-2014),misskittyfantastico  (07-07-2014),Sookie Stackedhouse  (13-07-2014)

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    I totally agree with @RedCreamingSoda.
    It can be done with careful attention, perseverance and proper caring support.
    Ive had a cousin and and a friend in the same situation and both were a ke to exclusively bf after the first 6 weeks.
    Also ask about nipple shields. I know they are often frowned upon but they helped another lady I know get established as well.
    It may take some strong resolve on your behalf, give it your best.
    And if you find you can't manage you know you did your best
    good luck and congrats on your baby, I'd been following your other threads

  14. #10
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    I did! I expressed and topped up with formula for 5 weeks when DD was born as she couldn't latch.
    At 5.5 weeks we finally ditched the pump, bottles and formula and have been exclusively on the boob ever since.
    If your nipples are painful can I suggest 2 tips?
    1. Squeeze some milk out and rub into the nipple then air dry before putting back in bra.
    2. Hydrogel breast pads from the chemist (keep them in the fridge for added relief) are so soothing and healing.
    Good luck!


 

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