This is my first post after months of reading. I have quite a long but complicated breastfeeding story and really need help. For the last 10 months I have read very book, forum and site and am stuck. My midwife said I should become a LC!
My daughter was born at 41 weeks by ventouse. We started out bf really well. Enthusiastic and good latch. Three days in due to weight loss in I had to give extra syringes of colostrum and she picked up. At home a week later things started going downhill, baby very fussy, long feedings, weight loss so was told to supplement with formula but was not told about pumping (sigh). A week later told to supplement with 4oz of formula. Not knowing much about bf and worried about babe I did it. Of course this resulted in almost losing my supply and a baby that would not suck. Keen to bf I started out on a long journey of bf education to win it back. I always put her on the breast and have done for everyday of the last 10 months. I started pumping and saw a return to suckling and reduction in bottles. At 6 weeks I called in a llli LC and we worked on a programme to get back to EBF with an intensive life of pumping, supplementing and bf. It went really well but after a two week lack of weight gain and a dropping milk supply, adding pumps (12 a day!) working with a SNS which failed as babe hated it, a suspected tongue tie was confirmed by a specialist. A sub-mucosal tie and a short tongue which was too fleshy to operate on for fear of creating more damage than good. (Turns out hubby has the same but did bf) Now at 10 weeks and pumping full time/snacking and comfort bf and all cried out I decided this was my lot. Bf slowly got a bit better but never enough to switch and also I was too scared knowing the tongue issue. Worked my ass off to get my supply up, increase the lazy right boob and dump the formula. Hard work after so many factors affecting my supply in the first month. I have quite small boobs, average output (3 to 4 oz very 3 hours, 5/6 at night but can provide all she needs.
Started baby led weaning at 6 months and noticed that the popping and clicking with bottles had stopped (have always used Medula Calma with great results) and that DD was .sticking her tongue right out to her chin. Also drinking increased amounts before a nap and especially at night/early mornings. Managed to drop two bottles for bf but still pumping 7 times a day to provide 6 x 4 oz bottles. DD will never take more than 3-4 oz at one go. She is small but feisty, goes all day and is gaining well. I am a SAHM, co-sleep and give DD 24/7 access to me. She will only go to sleep on the boob!
Last month we had a 7 day bottle strike due to ears and I was able to EBF to keep her ticking over.
Less nappy output in the beginning minimum but by end of week much improved and she really seemed to be understanding she could get more than a snack.
Since then I am stuck in two camps. Still pumping 7 times a day but DD is wanting boob, refusing more and more bottles or only taking one oz. Bottles are going down the sink. The milk is piling up in the freezer but she will not take it in a cup, off a spoon or in any other form than the odd bottle or from the boob. I have tried for 4 months and she just goes mad and bats it away? Same with water... will only blow bubbles into it or wash her hands. We are teething, on the move and it is the 10 month discovery explosion so need to add that to the mix. But still both hubby and I (and even sceptical parents) are getting convinced she wants the boob.
Even with all the teething she is still just off her bottle and perfectly healthy.
She is playing with my boobs all the time and experimenting with positions and bf well during night and mornings in bed. (I give her a dream feed at 4am before I pump and she drains one boob.)
I have read so much about switching to ebf but is all about premies and supplements. So my questions are.
Can I switch to EBF at 10 months? I am fed up with pumping if it is not being drank and just when I have pumped, you can bet she will want something. A the mo it is a full time job doing bf, pumping and bottles and like having a new born again.
How do I reduce my pumping but keep a good enough supply up? ( I am still willing to pump but must have a bit too much at the mo as DD is feeding and I have bottles and a freezer supply. Would like to get down to 4 times a day).
As I am doing BLW I know how important her milk still is and don't want to force solids on her so how do I ensure she has enough milk? Some days she eats well and others not at all. Still playing. Refuse to give in to parents who say she is weaning and needs spoon feeding. Still offering water with meals with limit success.
Is it worth visiting a cranial osteopath? Het latch could be better I think, especially on the right boob which is the smaller producer and I have no idea what the tongue situation is.
How do I plan my pumps and feeds in so that she can have a good drink without having to work too hard or get a just empty boob.
How do I encourage more feeding than snacking? I know it's good to keep offering but I am worried my boobs won't get emptied. Although I don't care if she wants to drink every 30 mins or reverse cycle. I am committed to bf her.
How many feeds and milk is reasonable for a small drinking 10 month old. She has plenty of wet nappies even when she has had no bottles and still plays all day from 9am to 11 pm with two naps!
Am I mad to even try this? She has been on the boob since day one and loves it. Me too of course. I don't want to jeopardise the bf we have as we have come so far. But this last month has been madness.
So there you go. As said I am really stuck between two camps and want to try and transition. I double pump 7 x 20 minutes including the 4am one.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long story, it's been a long 10 months!