Breastfeeding tips/help

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by swedengirl, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. swedengirl

    swedengirl Well-Known Member

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    Hi All!

    Currently expecting baby 2 and would love to exclusively breastfeed them. It’s a long post so I apologise and thank those who take the time to read.

    A little story about my experience with DD. She was born at 37 weeks and was really little at 2.2kg. She latched within 20 minutes of being born but within an hour the hospital gave her formula as she was so little they were worried about her blood sugar levels. I continued to breastfeed every 3 hours (we would wake her) and then give her a little formula after from a cup not bottle.

    After 2 days in the delivery ward, I was breastfeeding on demand. Within a week of giving birth she breastfeed near constantly and this continued and didn’t stop. She was never satisfied and even if she was feeding for hours (one day she literally was on my boob 8-13.00) she’d scream until I supplemented with formula. I started pumping as I was trying to stop with formula and supplement with breastmiIk instead (I’d get just enough for a full feed so don’t think itbwas a supply problem). I was breastfeeding on one side and pumping on the other.
    I did this until 4 months, a horrific cycle of feeding, pumping, and guilt everytime I needed to resort to formula. One day she just stopped eating. Everytime she latched to boob or bottle after a couple of suckles she’d turn her head. She just couldn’t eat. Eventually we ended up in hospital where she was diagnosed with severe silent reflux and said the constant feeding was initially comforting to her and gave her relief during the feed but as soon as she stopped the reflux caused pain needing her to eat again. Until she realised it was feeding causing the pain and she stopped. We were put on special formula and medication and within 2 days I had a completely different happy little baby who could go longer than 1.5 hours between feeds! My milk supply completely dwindled from her stopping eating and then switching to this new formula.

    BUT I loved breastfeeding and really wanted to do this until she was 1 year. Soooo this is my question. What did I do wrong here? Is there anything I can do differently next time to prevent this? Do you have any tips? They will do growth scans this time to check baby but if I have a small bubba again I’m wondering if I should refuse the formula supplement, or do you think that’s dangerous for baby?
     
  2. missielibra

    missielibra Well-Known Member

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    First of all hun, please don't think you did anything wrong. You didn't. You did everything you could. And reflux isn't easy.

    Now. I don't have all the info on why they did what they did for the formula supplement. But my son was born at 37+2. 2.4kg. I breastfed. From the beginning. I told them no supplements and no one seemed worried about his sugar levels? I mean they did the tests and all was well. At some point they thought he might not be getting enough (milk hadn't come in). So I asked for a chance to supplement with my own milk first. They agreed to test it for 1-2 days. We did...and we only had to supplement for...4 days? With my milk. I was clear about no formula. And he started gaining about 80g a day so they were like no yeah stop the supplement.

    So I mean. I know doctors can have reasons to do things but I think its good to also inform yourself. Like ask are the levels low? No? Then can I try?

    I hope it goes well this time. :hugs:
     
  3. swedengirl

    swedengirl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your kind reply!

    Yes I guess this part of me puts all the problems down to this initial supplementation. Like she got used to the feeling of quick fullness. They told me it was because as she was so little (they put it down to IUGR from pre-eclampsia) she didn’t have enough fat on her to maintain her sugar levels whilst waiting for my milk to come in and they couldn’t let her drop the 10% weight which is normally the case as she’d go under 2kgs. Hence the necessary supplementation. We did try pumping whilst in hospital but my milk hadn’t come in yet so they wanted me to continue with formula supplements for the first 3 days/my milk came in.

    I think I’m just terrified of going through this again, as looking back it was incredibly tough. Although I’m over my formula guilt- so if i have to this time I will get over that demon quicker. It’s more this time that I loved breastfeeding. I hated bottle prep. And obviously know breast is best.

    So wondered if anything stood out as a “oh try not to do that next time”. I think my gut feeling is to avoid supplementation or at least question this time as to if it’s absolutely medically necessary and I get the feeling you also suggest that might be good to!
     
  4. OnErth&InHvn

    OnErth&InHvn Waiting on Bee

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    my advice:

    GO to la leche league NOW!! Its FREE breastfeeding meetings all over the world. You can go while pregnant and after. They will help you!! The leaders are required to go through training.

    GO to a lactation consultant after birth. Have them look at your latch and weigh the baby before/after feedings. Keep going until you find one that listens.

    GO to a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician. Tell them your history and ask how they will PREVENT that from happening again.

    GO to your midwife ( NOT ob/gyn) and ask the same question above that you asked the Pediatrician.

    KellyMom and LLLi are reputable sites with good breastfeeding info. LLL has a forum that is active too.
    --------
    I formula fed the first two, breastfed my dd2 until she got failure to thrive (caused by autism) and im nervous with this baby. I have a plan in place though that i feel good about. You can too!!
     
  5. swedengirl

    swedengirl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your tips!
    My midwife as already agreed we will have an extra meeting to go through breastfeeding nearer delivery and hoping that will help but I’ll definitely look into your suggestions!

    Good luck with your breastfeeding journey too!
     
    OnErth&InHvn likes this.
  6. noon_child

    noon_child Well-Known Member

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    Please don't feel like you did anything wrong - you didn't cause silent reflux, and did everything you could to try to comfort your child as she suffered through it.

    What might be useful is to talk to people who have had fairly straightforward or "typical" feeding journeys, and people who are successfully feeding their babies now, to find out what it's like when feeding is going well.

    Most people will say "Oh frequent feeding is normal, they are on you all the time" but it's important to talk to people about what they really mean by this. "All the time" to some people is an hour break between feeds during growth spurts, for others it's 3 hourly feeds but then cluster feeding for 6 hrs straight at night, or for some people "all the time" just means more frequently than their friends baby, or it just applies to their first month of life. Knowing what is just a temporary "normal" breastfeeding experience will help calm you.

    Your experience of a baby never satisfied by food and constantly needing to suck/swallow for their first 4months of life was a symptom of something else entirely, it wasn't just what breastfeeding is supposed to be like. This empowers you with knowledge, so if it should happen again you can now say "No this isn't right!" and get professionals to listen to you and get any medication or help that may allow you to have a happier breastfeeding experience second time around.
     
    swedengirl likes this.
  7. swedengirl

    swedengirl Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your thoughtful answer! I think you’re right I’m armed with knowledge of what’s not normal and know to seek help earlier this time!
     

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