My baby girl was born on Wednesday. We had a traumatic birth (emergency csection) and she was rushed off to NICU for a blood transfusion. I was in a lot of pain and unable to get to see her until that evening. The doctors had called and asked would I prefer they formula feed her or put her on a drip. I chose a drip as I wanted to BF. My midwife helped to express some colostrum to give her as well. Fast forward a few days and I was able to get down to NICU and try to feed her myself. She latched on absolutely fine but didn't really suck anything. I was still expressing so she was given that as well. I gave them permission to give her formula to top up so I could get her off the drip. They said she could only leave NICU once she was feeding properly so I didn't have much choice. As the days went on I started expressing enough that we were able to get rid of the formula and top her up with EBM which I was so proud of. When she finally came up to our room I was bf for about 6mins either side then topping her up with 30/40mls EBM. We gradually increased to about 10mins each side and started reducing the EBM to about 20mls. I was really excited about eventually getting her off the bottle completely. She was feeding 4 hourly and not waking up in between so I was happy she was full and we were doing the right thing.
We got home yesterday (Monday) and since then feed time has been an absolute nightmare. She is latching on for maybe 10mins one side and 5 on the other. She was then taking 30mls of EBM in a bottle. I was getting so down and stressed that she was starting to stop taking my breast very well. We called the ABA at 6am and they said we should drop the bottle because she was anticipating getting it and it was easier for her than having to work at the boob. We decided to have a go and so far today we haven't given her anything from the bottle. She still isn't increasing her time at the boob though and I'm getting really upset that she isn't drinking enough. She woke an hour earlier for her last feed which quite distressed me and made me feel like I haven't filled her properly. This feed she did 8mins on one side and 3mins on the other. I am seriously freaking out that I am under feeding my child and that I'm harming her in some way. I'm teary after every feed and I'm just really struggling.
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10-09-2013 18:54 #1
Really needing some support
10-09-2013 19:01 #2
Seriously I think you are doing an aweaome job. My dd woke nearly every 2 hours for feeds and fed quickly, where as my ds woke around 3 or 4 hourly and fed for upto an hour, point being every baby is different. Maybe give it a few days for her to geta routine and get feedin established, small frequent feeds are normal. If you can try and stop timing the feeds, to minimise your stress.
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10-09-2013 19:01 #3
*super hugs* i really hope a bf mumma can come and comfort you and tell you the right information.
From what little i do know is that newbies can sometimes feed like every two hours (or more!) the more she demands it the more your supply will build. You are giving her enough. But their tummies are so so tiny they fill and empty quite quick so she just might be a more frequent feeder and thats not got anything to do with your ability to feed her
Dont give up you are doing an amazing job considering the trauma you have been through and congrats on your precious baby xox
Mumma to two beautiful boys on the spectrum and one special little girl.
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10-09-2013 19:06 #4
Firstly, congratulations on your little bub and I'm so sorry that the birth was so traumatic for you.
I am not an expert but I know the loneliness and desperation of having a newborn when BF'ing isn't going quite as you had hoped. My first advice would be to stop looking at the clock when you're feeding. Relax, watch TV if you can or read. Secondly, never assume that what a newborn does one day they are going to repeat the next day! They are sneaky like that and like to keep us on our toes!
My suggestion would be to follow the ABA's advice about ditching the bottle as she may be getting confused or reluctant to take the breast as it's harder work for her. I followed the mantra of "put her on at every squeak" when I was establishing bf'ing with DD. Even if she had been fed just a few minutes before and she was grizzly then she would get boob again. When you're a newborn boob pretty much solves everything.
BF'ing can be very stressful but if you are giving complete access of boob to your baby then things should work out fine. She might be stubborn and want a bottle but if you keep offering boob she should hopefully understand it's boob or nothing.
Best of luck
10-09-2013 19:09 #5
Firstly, big hugs. You are doing amazingly. BFing is hard at the best of times.
I know it's hard but try not to focus on all the time frames while you settle into feeding at home. Newborns can be all over the shop. Feed her on demand and try to ignore the clock. I ended up covering the clocks - no joke! I was so obsessed with how long DS was going between feeds that I was stressing myself out. At this very early stage just focus on feeding when she wants to.
You are truly doing an amazing job after all you've been through. Hang in there and try to take things one feed at a time. Xx
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10-09-2013 19:13 #6
Well done so far, you sound like you are doing an amazing job!! It's a very emotional time, you still have lots of hormones etc running through you. I think it's quite common to she'd a few tears. You love your bub so much and want the best for her- which is you!! Hang in there mumma, you're the perfect mummy for your baby.
4 hours between feeds is a long time for a newborn. Don't look at the clock, feed bub when she wants it. There is also a school of thought which suggests waking bub if it has been longer than 3 hrs between feeds (during the day) but it's up to you. Her tummy is so tiny and breast milk gets absorbed so easily she needs milk often.
I suggest seeing a lactation consultant as soon as possible. A good LC are worth their weight in gold. She will listen to your fears and validate your tremendous efforts.
Make sure you are sleeping as much as you can. Everything is always better when you can address it with a rested mind. Enlist hubby or others to help.
You are doing a fantastic job, please try not to worry. Easier said than done I know but everything sounds normal and perfect- despite your rocky start. You are doing fabulously
10-09-2013 19:18 #7
Eta: if you are finding she is still refusing the breast, try giving her a dream feed. Basically when she is almost "due" for a feed, pick her up whilst she's still asleep and offer her the breast then. Don't wake her. Sounds weird I know but bub will be more likely to take the breast in a sleepy state.
10-09-2013 19:21 #8-
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You were certainly off to a rough start poor thing xxx.
Your bub is only young so I would throw any expectation regarding feed timings and duration out the window. Go by the number of wet/pooey nappies bub is having per day and the weight bub is putting on. Chart both if you need to.
If you need to put bub on the boob 24/7 for a few weeks then do it. Stuff the housework.
My boy used to take 45 minutes to feed! He was slow! Perhaps your bub is more efficient?
How is bubs latch? Do you have pain or bleeding?
For me things didnt really start to click until 6 weeks. Hang in there xxx
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10-09-2013 19:24 #9
Thank you all so much. Hubby is amazingly supportive and is up with me for every feed but I he just doesn't understand quite how distressing it can be to feel like you aren't doing the right thing.
10-09-2013 19:26 #10
All I can say is if she has 5-6 good wet nappies a day then you are giving her enough to drink. It's a common worry for many new mums when they're first start out BF and honestly her output is the best way to know that she's getting enough to drink. Also you can gently feel her front fontanelle - the soft spot. If it's nice and soft then she's well hydrated. If it's sunken in, then that's a sign of dehydration. Given your start to the motherhood/BF journey I think you're doing amazing. So many mums would just give up on the idea of BF in your situation as it can become too hard - particularly when you're desperate to get your LO out of the nursery and home with you. There are no set times to BF for. It all depends on your let down as well as your baby. If you have a good let down, then she may not need to feed for half an hour. Look in her mouth after a feed, does she have a milky mouth? That's a good sign of milk transfer and that she's getting milk from you. Stick to it and follow the advice and suggestion of the ABA.
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