I'm writing for me and my wife, who explained our situation in another post this week at: http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...gue-tie-*LONG*
Any advice would be really helpful, thanks. She's determined to breastfeed (which of course is wonderful) but is so sad that it's been so difficult and would feel heartbroken to stop.
We haven't been able to breast feed solely, as our baby's latch is bad and he either doesn't get enough milk or has to be stopped when it's too uncomfortable.
We have ended up feeding expressed breast milk primarily, with as many added breast feeds as possible. However, my wife finds the regular failure heartbreaking - having to stop upsets our baby and she is also sad that she can't bond with him (as he immediately tries to feed and doesn't just enjoy the cuddle).
It feels as if breast feeding is controlling our lives, as it stops my wife enjoying a relaxed bond with our baby, hours are taken up with expressing and we can't go out properly, because we'd need to express constantly and transfer it to bottles.
Many thanks for any help you have....
A few things I have wondered are:
1.) How long is it possible to go without expressing (without it affecting production levels or causing issues?) My wife currently does it every 2-3 hours,as she is worried her supply will stop if she doesn't keep up. If we went out for a few hours, could we get away with just taking bottles out, and not worrying about expressing so often? (We could still do it when at home of course, but leaving the house would be very good for her happiness levels). What's a safe number of expressions each day?
2.) We have a bottle that is supposed to mimic a breast, but his latch is still very poor and seems to be worse this week. It's hard to tell if the regular bottle feeding is putting him off breast feeding - Does anyone have any experience of how you can make mixed feeding work? Breast feeding would be preferable, but it would really help to know.
3.) Does anyone have advice on how a mum can get more cuddle time with a baby, without it always being dominated by feeding?
4.) I know this is the unspeakable question, but is there ever a time when you should consider stopping breast feeding?
My wife sometimes feels that she is upsetting our baby by having to stop feeding him before he is ready. (Having to pump so often, the worry that she might be forced to give up, and barely leaving the house is also making her very unhappy). I tend to think that it's ok to try breastfeeding and fail, as long as the baby gets enough food overall?
5.) Do any of you express milk by pump when out and about (in cafes, pubs etc.)? I mean regularly (if we had to feed expressed milk in bottles as our principal way of feeding. ) We'd prefer breast feeding of course!
How do you do it? eg. under a shawl with a small pump, use a disabled toilet etc.?
Thanks again. I really want to look after my wife, as it's such an emotional issue for her and she'd love to breast feed. It's on her mind so much.