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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 10:59 AM   1
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Any tips on how to be More successful with breastfeeding ? ( failed twice-supply)

Baby 1- I had a hard time and breastfed only 3 days before I gave her a bottle and sort of tried combination but I was re admitted to hospital with an infection and tbh it just didnít work out and I switched to bottles quickly .

Baby 2- was determined to make this happen- asked and took all advice and fed on demand for 1 week . I was telling midwives that he seemed to need feeding unusually frequently but told this was normal . Told midwife at 1 week check who took the time to observe feeding - he was latching but not feeding long and was starving hungry ( lost a substantial amount of weight ) and I was told to give formula straight away . Stressful journey to supermarket ( had nothing in the house as I was so determined !!)

I kept up with feeding and topping up with formula but fed every time to stimulate supply ( and was trying to pump too ) but when pumping at 1-2 weeks post partem was only managing about 1 ounce of milk !

Eventually made the switch to formula only around 3 weeks as it was just too stressful .

I had 2 c-sections with complication . With my son (2nd baby) I was border line for a blood transfusion but not given one and had very low iron levels because of this which Iím told may have affected milk supply but Iím just not convinced this time will be any different ( planned c-section)

Has anyone got advice for me ? How I can give myself a better chance of succeeding ?!

I will be prepared this time with formula but Iíd like to be able to feed even just in the early days but obv not to the detriment of babies nutrition/health !

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Old Feb 19th, 2018, 05:41 AM   2
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I posted this on someone else thread and thought it might apply:

"1) get to know your support systems now - what support groups are there in your area, what voluntary organisations might do home visits (e.g LLL or NCT), what help from the hospital are you entitled to and maybe contact/visit them while still pregnant

2) educate yourself on what is normal/not normal in terms of feeding patterns/pain/pooing etc. Pain is common while you learn this new skill (you aren't going to get it right every time!) but continued agony during every feed and/or significant nipple damage means you could benefit from some help to improve the latch or investigate whether baby has physical trouble feeding properly (like a tongue tie or tight neck muscles etc.)

3) educate those around you so that you have their support and they aren't undermining you

4) give yourself a break - who is going to be looking after the other children in those first few weeks, doing the school run and cooking meals? Have you reached out to friends and family to help with these things so that you can stay in bed, rest and get to know your baby. Often with newborns the most comfortable feeding positions are lying down or reclined ones - pressure to be up and about while the two of you are learning how to do this new thing together can make it all the more difficult. Stress also makes breastfeeding harder, so anything that others can do so that you don't have to will be a help

5) normalise what it looks like - get on you tube and find videos of what successful newborn feeding looks like (or if you are in UK the baby Buddy ap has great videos). Look at how asymmetrical the latch is (loads of areola above baby's top lip and only a little or none below botom lip, how baby's head is tipped back and chin leads and how squished in close a feeding baby looks.

In other cultures where breastfeeding is usually successful they don't have a magic ability to latch their babies on better (although they have seen it happen more so might have a sixth sense about what looks off and what looks good) but they do have different expectations, and while they expect it to be difficult they also expect:
to get almost constant help and support to learn to do it better
to be looked after while they learn
to spend all their time learning this and doing little else

If you can make a success of breastfeeding, then past those early weeks it is really the quickest and laziest option and you wont even have to think about how baby is latching, whether he/she is on right, whether he/she is drinking etc. you'll just do it on autopilot in two seconds flat!"

I had a really hard time trying to get my LO to actively feed - she'd take a few deep sucks then just nibble, then get exhausted and fall asleep at the breast. People kept asking me if she was swallowing but I didn't know how to tell. I've seen lots of other babies in real life and on videos now, sucking and swallowing so I know what to look for - that might help you too.

Milk "comes in" (i.e starts being made) even in people who never breastfeed, so even if you struggle during the first few days and use formula or expressed milk to ensure baby is hydrated, this shouldn't affect supply. Once your milk has come in however, if your baby isn'y able to latch or suck effectively your milk supply can start to be affected. As you have had two babies and struggled with them you may want to arrange for a lactation consultant to observe feeds to see if baby has a problem extracting milk. You can express colostrum before birth to give to baby if he/she is very sleepy and unable to latch right away and this can give a reassuring breather to a mum who is very stressed about starving her baby.

There are sometimes physical problems in mum that can cause low milk - but these are much rarer than baby having problems getting the milk out, which is relatively common. Problems within mum can be PCOS (can cause under OR over supply), post partum thyroid imbalance, or insufficient glandular tissue (which in severe cases is usually apparent in puberty where breasts develop very little or become tubular in shape - not everyone with tubular breasts or few breast changes has insufficient tissue though!). To some extent all women have varying amounts of milk making equipment but someone whose breasts make a lot of milk will probably need to feed less frequently and therefore their breasts will eventually get the message and slow down production to match, whereas someone who makes less milk initially will need to feed more frequently but the breasts will speed up production to match. So not having as much glandular tissue than the next person doesn't even always affect breastfeeding!

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Old Feb 19th, 2018, 13:26 PM   3
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I’ve been exclusively pumping since baby was born and latching my daughter on seldomly. If you’d like to go this route I would suggest getting yourself a good pump. This is extremely important as it will be what suctions your milk out and ultimately help build your milk supply. Another very important key in successfully expressing milk is persistence. You must pump atleast every 3-4 hours around the clock EVERYDAY.

I tried breastfeeding and my nipples became so raw, I couldn’t bare another feeding. Fast forward to today, and I get up to 12 oz of milk per pumping session. My baby is only 3 months old! I find that since she’s a little bigger, her ability to latch is much better. However, I am one of the lucky few whose baby can latch and take a bottle. Though I should say that latching her isn’t always the best as she gets fussy at times because she’s used to her bottle. I latch her before she’s extremely hungry because if I wait until then, It’ll become nearly impossible!

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Old Feb 19th, 2018, 14:41 PM   4
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All as suggested above. I will add that usually milk supply is better with each pregnancy. My milk took 10 days to come in with my first, we had to supllimemt with formula and my OH did this at night and I slept. During the day I just kept on putting dd to the breast and pumping and it happened eventually! This time has been much quicker, but I had to pump initially a lot as baby was in SCBU. Now I am breast feeding with occasionally pumping to give at night.

The only other 2 things that I would add that really do help is drink lots of water, if need be you could try fennel tea, that helps some women with milk supply and get help so you can rest. Your body needs to be rested to make milk.

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Old Mar 8th, 2018, 13:15 PM   5
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I want to follow this post as I have had nearly the same issues as the OP stated. 2 babes and 2 failed bfing experiences.

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