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Thread: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    10

    Default Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    Hi, this is the first time I have posted and I really need help.
    I'll try to give as much information as possible and I really hope that I haven't left it too late to successfully BF

    I gave birth to my daughter on 09/23/2007 and she weighed 7lb 1oz. She only lost 5oz and put that back on in a few days. She has been putting on 4-5oz per week since.

    I was determined to BF and gave her every feed she needed in hospital. When I got home I continued BFing and she had a growth spurt. I wasn't really aware of how this would affect the feeding and my 'support' network weren't very supportive! The problem lies in the fact that, just before my daughter was born, my husband and I moved back to his home town, and it's quite far from my mum. All of his family live close by but they all fed their children with formula milk. As soon as I encountered any sort of setback with BFing they started harping on about topping her up with formula. They said she obviously wasn't getting enough from me and I shouldn't feel bad because a lot of women can't do it. I persisted and said that I would continue feeding her myself, but after a few sleepless nights and the constant barrage of 'top her up, tope her up' I gave in and fed her with a few ounces of formula. She took it easily and this only fuelled my husbands decision that formula was best. I spoke to my health visitor and she said that I should take a few days to exclusively BF to get my supply going again.
    I decided to do this as BFing was all I wanted for my little girl. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling too well and I said to my husband that I was going to have to stay in bed. I told him that he could bring our daughter to me every time she was showing the feeding signs and I would feed her in bed.
    I fell asleep and woke up about 4 and a half hours later. Panicking, I went to my husband and asked him had she needed fed or what was wrong. He told me (and I know he had the best intentions) that he didn't want to wake me so he fed her 3oz of formula just after I fell asleep, and then another 4oz two hours later!! I was so angry!!
    now we're at the stage were she gets fed via the breast and gets 'topped' up twice. Once in the afternoon, and once before bed. She goes down at 12am and sleeps until 8am.
    I feel like I am not getting the support that I need and I feel like it's too late to successfully feed her exclusively.
    I have started trying to pump after a feed from the same breast to encourage milk, but I would sit for 45mins and only get about 1/2 an ounce.
    Am I better to persevere to get an ounce or should I pump for 15mins after each feed and just be happy with what I get??

    I SOOOO want to get back on track and I have sorted out issues with my husband. I've told his family to keep out of it!!
    Last night when I was feeding she was getting very distressed on each breast as if she wasn't getting any milk and I resorted to giving her formula. (I tried for an hour on each breast, massaging each one as she fed, before giving up) This hasn't happened before.
    Also, I seem to struggle more with my left breast when feeding, it seems to be harder feed from, and never feels as 'full' as the right.

    Please help, I just hope it's not too late and I feel like maybe I'm just being selfish wanting to BF. I don't want my daughter to suffer. I am so disheartened and ready to give up. But I don't want to!! I feel very alone and want to move back to my mums area as she breastfed me and would be so supportive. x x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    you have come to the best place for support! We'll take the place of your own family since they are so far away. And good for you for telling your IL's to butt out!

    Congrats on your little girl!!And it's never too late to breastfeed! Your milk can dry up and you can still relactate yourself again and start all over! But we don't want that.

    My suggestion to you is to get that formula out of there. Stop topping off, because that is signaling your breast that she doesn't need as much milk from you. Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. Whatever your LO takes out, it knows to make that much again at that time for the next day. Maybe you can take a few days off if you are working, and just spend it in bed while nursing her all day. Just get her at the breast. When your DH let you sleep those 4 hours he told your body that it didn't need to make any milk, thus letting your supply dip down a little.

    If she is having trouble latching, she might have nipple confusion? And of course she took that bottle of formula so easily because she didn't have to work for the formula at all and she has to work when at the breast. Maybe take a nice warm bath with her? That sometimes get the baby to relax and then she will nurse.

    I hope I was able to help you out at least a little bit!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,064

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    Hi and welcome to LLL! I'm sorry you've had trouble finding the support you need. It certainly does NOT sound like a lost cause to me! So, currently, the baby is getting two bottles of formula per day, correct? How much in each bottle? Two bottles isn't all that much, so I don't think you should have that much trouble getting back to exclusive breastfeeding.

    First, let me comment on the fussiness at the breast in the evening. This is actually very common, especially in babies under 3-4 months. It does not necessarily mean that baby isn't getting enough milk. Babies are often overstimulated, tired, and fussy at that time of day. They may have an increased need to suck. Also, they may "cluster feed" - nursing A LOT before the time that they go to bed. The flow may be very slow, since the breast is nearly drained, but breasts are constantly producing milk so there is always *something* there. Babies will often take a bottle even when they don't need/want it because the milk comes out so easily. Once they start sucking they really have no choice but to keep swallowing - then they fall asleep because they are worn out from gulping down so much milk.

    Depending on the amount of supplement baby is currently getting, you could try one of two things. The first would be to just cut out the supplements completely and nurse. Baby will likely want to nurse more frequently for awhile, in order to build up your supply. With only two bottles a day, though, it shouldn't take that long. Just put baby to the breast as often as she is willing to nurse. Also try to have lots of skin to skin contact (baby in just diaper against your bare chest). This encourages milk production as well as baby's natural inclination to nurse.

    If you feel like it is too drastic to cut out the formula all at once, you could try gradually decreasing it. Just put a little less in the bottle each day until they are gone. Again, baby will probably want to nurse again sooner than she would with the "full" bottle, and that's ok. That will help build your supply and ensure baby is getting all she needs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    not to long at all....
    maybe this will help:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

    how old is baby?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    Thank you for your help x
    In reply to the PP, it is two bottles. I have 5oz in each of them but sometimes she will take the full amount, and other times she'll take 2 or 3oz. But I only give her them after I have fed her myself (but after reading the replies I see that it's hurting my milk)

    I read that I could pump for about 10 or 15mins after each feed on the same breast that she fed, so that it would help to increase the supply, while at the same time feeding her myself and stopping/reducing the supplementing. Does this sound right or am I defeating the purpose?

    Thank you for taking the time to reply, and I hope that I have the strength to do this. I really want the best for my little one x x

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    10

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    She will be 6 weeks tomorrow x

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    6 weeks is still very young.. you can get her back to only breast milk..
    it might take about that long to build supply!
    But you can do it.....
    lots of moms have dad feed a bottle of formula at some point!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, MI
    Posts
    1,776

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    You are going thru a very rough time....growth spurts!!! They are the most challenging... it seems that she may want to eat every hr... and that is perfectly ok! Let her, it will tell your body to supply more milk. Mostt babies will take a bottle feeding just because they want to suck, not because they are hungry.... She maybe sucking for comfort also...which is ok too...

    And like the pp said, get the formula away! I know your hubby had good intentions, but just make sure you stress to him how important it is that you bf!!

    Good luck and stay encouraged, it gets better!!!
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    First and foremost Congrats on your bundle and !!!

    Second, you are definitely not a lost cause. I gave my LO formula a few times and then it was back to boob! He is now 10 mo and still nursing. You can do this. One thing I told my DH was that formula was the "F" word and not to be used in my house! Just explain to him how you feel (without anyone else around) and print off some articles about BF benefits Maybe that will help


    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Very Disheartened....please help!! (sorry, very long)

    It's definitely not too late! Good for you for hanging in there. I was there too, and it really helps to just make a choice to not give any more formula. You can do it!!!!
    Amber, mama to

    Henry 11~13~06
    Allergic to dairy, soy, egg, peanut, all tree nuts, wheat, barley, potato, chickpeas, pea


    Georgia & Miles 7~7~10

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