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Thread: Unhappy with choices - long post

  1. #1

    Default Unhappy with choices - long post

    Hello all, am new to this site, my little girl is 14 weeks old and I have been mixed feeding her. When she was born I fully breasted for about 2 weeks and I really did not know all the things she was doing were normal - really the cluster feeding was the issue. She would feed non stop unless I went out in the car with her, I hadn't lay down to sleep for that 2 weeks and slept sitting up feeding her. I just assumed co-sleeping was dangerous and not to be done. She didn't lose any weight and gained weight well. She was born small at 5.5lbs but had no issues and nursed great from the first minutes being born. By the second week she had already put on over 1.5lbs and this should have been enough to reassure me really! But the nights and lack of sleep was taking its toll on myself and hubby who was at a loss how to help. So we made the decision to get an electric pump and I would express and feed this as well as still breast feed and give formula at night. Well it worked for a while and then the expressing started to take over so since about 9 weeks I've been nursing about twice a day and formula the rest. So while I'm still happy that she is getting some breast milk I don't even know if its enough to do any good.
    What I really want to know is is there any point now in trying to nurse more, would it be hell trying to get my supply back up? I don,t really want to go down the pumping route as I find it so stressful. I want to know all the info first really. I don't really have so much support anymore from hubby as he thinks the way things are are perfect as she gets some of my milk and is also a much happier baby in general now. He had enough of me always talking about it. She is now a good sized baby and thriving between 25 and 50th centiles so I don't want to effect this - quite good from starting at the 0.4th! I know I'm not happy with the decisions iVe made as I constantly look things up and read forums etc. I know I'm not even sounding like I know what I want now, but I find myself saying sorry to her all the time and getting upset. I feel jealous when I see nursing mums. Anyway my little girl has a good latch and loves feeding in the mornings when we lay on our sides I wish midwife could have suggested this those early days! Has anyone been in this situation and felt like this? Thank you for reading such a long post!
    Last edited by @llli*mary1981; February 24th, 2013 at 09:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Hi mama, and welcome to the forum!

    Those first few weeks really are tiresome, aren't they? Any amount of breastmilk is better than none, but if you can manage it, EBF is definitely best! The good news is that in most cases, supply=demand. You don't mention having any supply issues in the first couple weeks, so I assume that it was good to begin with? If you're not willing to pump, the way to increase your supply is to nurse. The more often you remove milk from the breasts, the more often your body gets the cue to make more milk. Here's a good site about weaning from supplements - it's a good idea to do it slowly http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/ . It's great that your baby is already still latching well. That's a definite plus!
    There are herbs that you can take, like fenugreek, to increase your supply, but I don't know dosages/frequencies. Oatmeal is supposed to help as well.
    As for your hubby...well, maybe you could tell him that 14 week old babies do tend to be happier than brand new babies anyway! Perhaps if you sit down with your husband at a calm time, and tell him about how unhappy you are with this decision and that you'd like to take another go at it, that would help. Tell him that you need his support so that you can give your baby the best nutrition possible. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby, and on making it to 14 weeks of nursing! The first few weeks are so exhausting, even when everything is going perfectly, and it's wonderful that you continued to breastfeed part-time. A lot of moms simply throw in the towel, and you didn't!

    The first thing to know about breastfeeding is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Even if you are "just" combination feeding, your milk is giving your baby huge health benefits. So if you simply decide that nursing a couple of times a day is what is right for you, you are still doing the right thing.

    The second thing to know about breastfeeding is that supply can be increased at any time. It is not too late for you to get a full supply. It might not be easy, but I don't think it's going to be "hell." And you can do it without the pump, simply by nursing more. The way I would do it would be to nurse first, and then offer a small bottle (say 2 oz), and then nurse at the conclusion of the feeding (so that baby associates that feeling of being full, comfortable, and satisfied with the breast rather than the bottle). The more you nurse, the faster you'll be able to wean from the formula. And FTR, this is how my mom got her supply back from the grave after 3 months of not being allowed to nurse.

    Now, if you want to go a little faster, you can use the pump. The way milk supply works is that supply = demand. The more demand you give your body, the more frequently and completely you empty the breast, the faster your supply will increase. So if you decide you want to throw a few pumping sessions in, in addition to nursing, I think you will see a positive effect. But I can totally understand not wanting to- pumping is annoying! Using the best possible pump is sometimes a lot less so- if you can get your hands on a top-of-the-line consumer model or, better yet, a hospital-grade rental, you should be able to get more milk in less time.

    I'm really sorry your husband isn't being more supportive. It's pretty common for guys to feel "at a loss how to help" when it comes to nursing. Often they want to help you by feeding the baby, not realizing that feeding the baby with a bottle isn't really helping. It's just screwing up breastfeeding, making you a slave to a pump... A guy who really wants to be helpful will be making meals (or buying take-out), sweeping the floor, diapering the baby, fetching you snacks and bottles of water, doing laundry... In short, everything EXCEPT feeding the baby! And it isn't too late to have your husband doing all those fetch/carry/clean tasks, while you get breastfeeding going again. My suggestion is to not make it negotiable. Don't ask your husband if he will, pretty please, help you while you put more effort into nursing. Inform him that you plan to nurse the baby a lot more, and that while you are focusing on that, you will need his help when it comes to other household tasks.

    We will be happy to support you every step of the way, and you really can do this!!! No need to feel jealous of the nursing mums. You are one of them.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Oh thank you for the replies, they really help, and its the first time I've voiced to anyone I feel like this, so I feel better already. I think I will start by dropping the dreamfeed bottle and breastfeed when she wakes. And I love the idea of feeding then offer bottle and feed again, thank you. And thank you for calling me a breastfeeding mum that makes me happy!! I know that pumping will help too, but before it was like panic that I hadn't done it for 3 hours or knew I'd be out all morning etc it really got me down. I did think I had supply issues but I now know I didn't and she was just doing what she was meant to bless her. I so wish there was more info when pregnant about it all!!!

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    mommal pretty much said it all. I would only add this suggestion-if you have not already, get the book Making More Milk. Very good info on rebuilding/establishing milk production.

    I so wish there was more info when pregnant about it all!!!
    me too. Oh how I wish OBs had meaningful and repeated conversations with their expecting moms about infant feeding choices and where to get accurate information!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Hi all, at the moment my baby will only take feeds from me when she wakes, I bring her in bed and we feed side lying and she feeds great, will sleep about hour and half then feeds other side then will usually be awake about hour and half then have nap. I can't seem to get her to want to breastfeed at any other time really, could this now be habit? She generally had first bottle around 11am but today I tried feeding her but I think she was too tired as she is asleep instead lol. She didn't want a bottle either so I will try again when she wakes. Can I ask if I feed constantly on average how many days can it take for supply to catch up? I still have some fenugreek from when I was expressing a lots so may start this agin too, although font want too much fore milk. I also wonder if our latch could need some revision now and maybe that's why lay down works best? So many things to think about!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    One of the biggest difficulties that moms face when they try to transition away from bottles and back to the breast is that their babies are pretty confused. They've gotten used to eating from a bottle and they don't necessarily want to nurse when it's not what they think of as the "right" time. The tips in this link may help: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ The skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques are said to be especially helpful. Just be patient, and keep offering. The fact that she will still nurse, and that you still have some milk, is a HUGE advantage! There are moms who start with less and get back to exclusive breastfeeding. If your baby associates the bed and the side-lying position with nursing, I suggest using that every time you want to nurse- maybe that will trip the switch in your baby's brain that says "nursing time" rather than "bottle time." And if you get her back to nursing frequently, you will undoubtedly be able to adopt other nursing positions in time.

    I wish I could answer your question about how many days on average it takes to get a full supply back. The "when" questions are some of the most frustrating, because the answer is so different for every woman. So much depends on your individual body, on your baby's willingness to nurse and effectiveness at the breast, on your willingness to pump... This could be a rapid process, maybe only a couple of weeks, or it could take much longer.

    At this point I would definitely take the fenugreek. "Too much foremilk" is really a problem of oversupply, not of low supply. And the more milk you have, the more likely it is that your baby will nurse, because she'll realize that there's a reward there if she does.

    ETA: One thing that might be useful right now is to make bottle-feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible. When it's time to give a bottle, open your shirt and put your baby close to your bare breast. Tickle her lips with the bottle nipple until she opens WIDE- don't let her adopt sloppy latch habits because she can get a bottle slipped into a half-open mouth. And pause the feeding frequently, after every oz or so of milk. That should help baby get used to the normal ebb and flow rhythm of breastfeeding. And of course, whenever possible conclude the feeding with the breast.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; February 6th, 2013 at 07:52 AM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Have tried some more nursing time yesterday and today, she even took enough to satisfy her for 1.5 hours yesterday but then didn't want the breast at all after, today she fed as usual side lying in bed but and then again when she woke again, but screams at me if I try to offer it again. I will keep trying. I know it sounds silly but yesterday I also bought myself a pretty new nursing bra, mine are looking worn out now and this made me feel a bit positive. I think she tries to take the bottles like a breast too, I can see her tongue lapping at the teat like at a breast. The funny thing is I wasn't even sure about breastfeeding when pregnant, I knew the colustrum was amazing stuff so wanted her to have that at least but beyond that wasn't sure, and was unaware of so many of the benefits, and now I love it! I'm just so glad she's still having some. Also I have some breast milk in the freezer, it's not out of date yet but is it going to have enough of what she needs at this age? As I know it changes for baby. Another thing I'm doing is only making smaller bottles now, so she will want to eat more often and I can try at the breast more often? Is this ok? One thing that is at the back of mind all the time is her weight, I am always worried about her going back down the centiles again, she's done so well and would hate that to happen, should I speak to the health visitor about my wanting to increase breadtfeeding? Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Use the milk! The changes in composition are not significant enough to be bad for the baby, and breastmilk- no matter if it's from the mom of a newborn or the mom of a toddler- is always going to be preferable to formula.

    I totally understand why you're worried about your baby dropping percentiles. When you had a baby who was born small or had trouble with weight gain, you're always going to be a little extra sensitive about the baby's weight. As you go through the process of getting baby back to the breast, it's important to remember that weight gain does vary over time, and that many babies drop percentiles as they become more mobile and start putting more calories into action, instead of packing them on as fat.

    I think it's a good idea to speak to your HV about wanting to increase breastfeeding, since hopefully she will be able to connect you with helpful resources in your area. But be aware that not all HVs are well-informed about breastfeeding. I cannot tell you how many times we have had moms come through this forum, all freaked out by bad information/advice from a HV. If the HV is anything other than encouraging, she probably doesn't know what she's talking about.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10

    Default Re: Unhappy with choices - long post

    Just a little update, things aren't really going that well, it's weird because she would always nurse whenever but since I made this decision that's when she's started refusing, maybe she knows, I don't know but it's really upsetting her and me. The only time she used to refuse was when she wanted to just suck and obviously milk came out and she didn't want it. So she will still nurse when she wakes but I'm struggling the rest if the time. I'm trying when she's not too hungry too. I know my supply is increasing though probably due to the fenugreek as I'm leaking a bit and this morning when I nursed on one side the other was dripping crazy. So obviously will keep trying. She is 15 weeks today! How time flies! I think my local breast feeding support group is on Monday so am hoping to go there. Thanks for all the advice so far ladies.

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