I'm really confused on what to do, I have a 10 week old son and up until last Tuesday he was exclusively breastfed. I actually have had so much milk previously that I had at least a litre frozen. For about a week I noticed he had become extremely fussy at the breast, then his nappies weren't as wet and he was becoming really unsettled. I actually mentioned it to the pead and health nurse that I though maybe my milk supply had gone down and they told me they thought he was fine.
I should also mention a few things happened 2 weeks ago, I developed mastitis twice in a week, which effected both breasts. I also started the mini pill, which I stopped just in case this was effecting my supply. I went up a nappy size so thought maybe the nappies were bigger so might not be as heavy or bulging when I changed him. Prior to this, bub was very happy and alert, wetting lots of nappies, sleeping great, anywhere from 5 to 9 hours at night and then a couple of naps during the day.
So I hadn't been taking his weight regularly as he was growing and happy and then on Tuesday I finally had a weeks weight gain to compare and he only put on 20grams. I rang a lactation consultant and we had a plan for 3 days where I would breast feed as much as possible then top him up with as much frozen ebm or formula as he wanted, then I would also express for 15mins. So I did this for the 4 days and then went to the clinic to see the progress. The good news was that he put on 300grams ( he was guzzling down about 120mls after every breastfeed) but when when I fed him at the clinic and we weighed him after he only took about 60mls of milk, so we offered him a top of formula and he easily took another 90mls. I then expressed and managed to get an additional 50mls but I don't understand why he is getting fussy or falling asleep on the breast if there is still another 50mls in there......
So to add onto this, they want me to continue with the top ups and expressing for another 2 weeks and see if my supply improves enough. I have been taking herbal supplements, tried lactation cookies and tablets were suggested to improve my supply but the lactation consultant thinks the herbal supplement is enough to improve my supply. She also wants me to wake DS at night for feeds (which I really really don't want to do) and not give him a dummy. The long sleeps and dummy have been happening since the beginning and was never an issue with feeding or weight gain prior to 2 weeks ago.
I'm finding the mix feeding and expressing extremely draining and it's making me really anxious when he is fussing at the breast and then settles down and feeds contently with a bottle. We have a lot going on at the moment with my husband being injured too and between the feeding and helping my husband I'm just not getting a break. I just don't want to continue mix feeding for a long period if time. I either want to breast feed or formula feed. I just wonder if it will be possible to have enough supply to return to exclusive breast feeding soon ( I don't know how much longer I can go with this routine)? Will I be happy that he is getting enough milk each feed if he is exclusively breastfed? Is he just being a guts right now to catch up on what he missed over the past 2 weeks so the extra he is taking now really isn't indicative of the supply I need in the future? If I continue mix feeding do I run the risk of over feeding him in the future, he is a very sucky baby hence the dummy? So many questions and emotions right now, I just don't know what to do :-(
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10-08-2014 10:49 #1
Continue to breastfeed or not???
10-08-2014 10:55 #2
And an example of what he is taking right now, I formula fed only last night and he took 180mls, I then expressed and could only get 90mls...... So even if he took it all at the breast, which I don't know if he will, he is still only getting half of what he would if I gave him a bottle if formula.
10-08-2014 10:55 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
I can't tell you what to do, you need to decide that. No matter what you decide though it will be the right decision for you and bub.
Just wanted to give you hugs and make sure you are drinking a bough water and trying to look after yourself - you sound like you have a lot going on.
10-08-2014 10:56 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
What you can express isn't an indication of how much milk bub is getting out. They are much better at removing milk than pumps are.
10-08-2014 11:05 #5
10-08-2014 12:33 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
if your son is happy either way, I'd choose whichever I'm comfortable with.
And I wouldn't worry about how much you are getting when expressing either. I breastfeed exclusively and I had to express and store for when I had to leave ds for a few hours with dh. I struggled to express 50ml with manual pump but straight after expressing ds wanted a feed and he was gulping! As amid said, babies are much better at getting milk out of boobs for sure! In my case I feel my milk coming only when ds is attached. (After all that effort, ds didn't drink any of it as he didn't like the bottle!)
I also noticed the amount my ds was drinking decreased/settled around 10 weeks? I wasn't weighing ds weekly after he was 8 weeks old but I knew he was fine because he was getting chubby. I also offered my breast as often as possible whenever he cried. Sometimes he just falls asleep without drinking but I think that a comfort thing. Plus breast milk make them sleepy I've heard... So I wouldn't worry too much as long as your son is happy! But definitely drink lots of water. Warm water is better than cold.
Anyway whichever way you decide to go, I think you are doing a great job
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10-08-2014 12:51 #7
You could try breast compression during a feed. This can help push out extra milk and means baby doesn't need to work as hard for it. I found I needed to compress using a few different hold to help each section of the breast fully empty.
When you breastfeed, do you return bub to the first side after he's finished the 2nd? They will get a 2nd letdown and it will all be creamy, filling hind milk.
Has bub been checked for tongue tie? Even a mild or posterior tie, while it may not stop baby from being able to breastfeed, it can make breastfeeding very tiring for bub, which in turn can give them a preference for the bottle.
I mixed fed both my babies due to low supply. I ended up really enjoying having more than one feeding option.
Pumping though is really hard work and can make you feel very discouraged when your supply isn't abundant. With my 2nd I rarely pumped as I preferred to have less milk and a good mental state rather than sending myself around the bend trying to build supply like I did with my 1st.
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12-08-2014 07:32 #8
Everything was so distressing I couldn't ever get him to latch onto the first breast for a second time but in the last 24 hours he has been a lot happier and taking it yay!
The lactation consultant said ds had a mild tongue tie ( underneath his tongue .... Not sure which type that is) but that she didn't think it would help much if it was cut, DS can stuck his tongue out quiet far and to be honest it didn't seem to be an issue prior to 2 weeks ago so it's not one of the first things I want to do.
Honestly the pumping and bottles and all the cleaning of equipment every few hours is driving me batty! But i think it's paying off, I'm actually going to try get a follow up appointment this week as DS hasn't taken additional formula for every feed for the past day and I feel like I have more milk. He seems to be a lot more content but I really want to know he is getting enough, I feel really awful thinking he might be starving. So fingers crossed I can drop all the pumping!
12-08-2014 10:29 #9
That sounds great like you're making some progress. If he's content without the top up formula then he's getting enough. It could just be that your body has been playing catch up after a growth spurt.
My 2nd had a posterior tongue tie. He could feed quite quickly but it was ruining my nipples as he was basically relying on suction alone to get the milk out since his tongue couldn't do the proper massaging action. He could also poke his tongue out to about level with the outside of his lips. He could not get his tongue up to the roof of his mouth though, so he never did the 'neh' hungry cry. After getting it cut he could, plus stick his tongue out about a whole cm. If you still worry that it could be a factor I would get it double checked.
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12-08-2014 10:49 #10
it can be quite difficult ... but you are doing a fantastic job.
I dont actually know anything about breastfeeding ... but I can give you a bit of encouragement ... and tell you that whatever you decide to do, you are doing the best you can for your bub, and that is all you can do.
Seeing a lactation consultant is a great step.
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