Feel like a total failure

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by cat lover, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. cat lover

    cat lover Mummy to 2 girls

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    Hi ladies

    At LO's 5 day midwife check she had lost a tiny bit of weight which I was assured was normal. She has seen the MW today at 14 days and has lost a tiny bit more, I'm so gutted :cry:

    She seemed to be feeding fairly well, I don't understand it. I have tried expressing with a manual breast pump but it takes ages - 2 hours on and off -to get 60 ml!!!! Maybe I don't produce enough milk?

    MW says I have to supplement her feeds with expressed milk or formula. OH has gone out to get an electric pump in a last ditch attempt at not having to top up with formula.

    I feel I have failed her - I can't even feed my own baby properly :cry:

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? Advice appreciated :flower:
     
  2. Celesse

    Celesse Well-Known Member

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    Firstly you haven't failed her. Lots of babies are slow to start gaining weight. And there's a good chance she has lost then gained again since she was last weighed.

    A breast pump is no indication how much your baby is getting. Babies are much much better at getting milk out.
    Some questions so me and other experienced breastfeeders can maybe help work out whats going on and what you can do:

    Are you offering both breasts at a feed?
    How long is baby feeding for and how often?
    Has baby been checked for a tongue tie?
    Do you have any soreness to your nipples?
    Is baby generally settled between feeds?
    Lots of wet and dirty nappies?


    To get your supply up a nursing holiday would be a good idea. Take baby to bed, have her in just her nappy and you stay topless and just feed and feed and feed, have loads of skin to skin. Keep book or TV remote or laptop nearby for sainty as well as loads of drinks and healthy snacks. You could also try taking Fenugreek which is a herbal supplement that can do wonders for you supply.

    Expressing every 2 hours will also help get you supply up. You could try expressing after a feed, or during a feed. The more milk your boobs are asked to make the more they will make.

    Good luck. I had a big weight loss with my baby, followed by very slow weight gain. I did have to top up, but it wasn't the end of the world and when she got a bit bigger she got better at feeding and we got rid of the tops ups. She is still BFing at 15months, so you can get through this.
     
  3. Mummy2006

    Mummy2006 Well-Known Member

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    (((( hugs )))) I can't really offer much advice because I am going through the exact same at the mo my lo was admitted to hospital do tonthe amount of weight lost :-( I feel so bad but I am still batteling on I do not want to stop bf so have been using a pump feeding her as much as possable to stimulate milk production but have had to top up with either ebm or formula to get as much weight on her as loss and start to build her up
    Keep trying take care xxxx
     
  4. Nervous_1

    Nervous_1 Well-Known Member

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    I replied on the champions thread hun, good luck! :hugs:
     
  5. cat lover

    cat lover Mummy to 2 girls

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    Thank you for sharing your experience hon, its good to know I'm not alone but I hope that your situation improves. We want fat little babies! :hugs:
     
  6. cat lover

    cat lover Mummy to 2 girls

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    Thanks so much Celesse I have responded to your questions next to where you wrote them. I will try your suggestions, its great to know other people have got through this :hugs:
     
  7. gertrude

    gertrude Well-Known Member

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    Hiya :) a slightly different response from me,

    Firstly DON'T feel a failure - there really is no need. These things happen and there is never one thing that is the cause. So stop thinking like that and take it from here :)

    I was in your position exactly - I did top ups from 10days old and we're still doing them now (8weeks). I also had what I now think was the start of PND because of the feeding and I wouldn't want you to go there.

    My LO just doesn't seem to empty the boob properly which is very frustrating but we're still combi feeding happily. I did lost the plot (a lot) about it which is why I never pushed to get back to EBF but it can be done, if you want to. As it happens combi feeding suits us perfectly. I know she's getting the fat she needs and as we BF first at each feed I also know she's getting some of the antibodies from me, and we're also having that close time that I so love.

    It suits us like this because I was very very stressed and being able to have my OH take her and do a complete feed whilst I looked after myself for a bit was essential to me. It took me a long time to come to realising that though.

    She's now a very very happy little girl, very content and wonderful to be with - her need to gain weight NOW came before my want to BF her exclusively. If I have another I'll know what to do next time but in the here and now this is what was needed :)

    Please feel free to PM if you want love, I know how heartbreaking it is at first BUT please don't blame yourself x
     
  8. 1sttimemama2b

    1sttimemama2b Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly how you feel! I felt the same way as you, like I was failing my DS. You are doing your very best. In the beginning it's a learning process for both baby and mom. It just takes time and patience. Celesse and other made some great suggestions. I don't have much to add but to share my experience.

    My DS was born 3 weeks early and because of latch difficulties and other health issues we fed formula in the hospital. 2 weeks after getting out of the hospital he had neither gained nor lost weight. This was completely frustrating as we saw a lactation consultant who weighed out LO and assured us he had gained back to his birth weight just 3 days before we went for weight check at the pediatrician. I was completely devastated. I had been doing a combo of expressing and breast feeding and I thought all was going well. At this point my Dr. recommended combo feeding, offering breast for 5 minutes per side and then pumping for the next feed. This was exhausting and not a lot of fun but I really think it made a big difference. We did this for a week with a hospital grade pumps (neccesary in the beginning for establishing milk supply) and I took fenugreek supplements. Then all of a sudden something kicked in and LO had a huge appetite all of a sudden. Instead of waking him up to feed after 3 hours he was wanting to eat every 1.5-2hrs on his own. Since his appetite picked up he's gained an average of 2oz per day!!! When my dr. saw the weight gain she recommended switching to an every other feed schedule where I exclusively bf one feed and pumped and fed the next. I was really not feeling this schedule and neither was DS. Maybe I was impatient but I felt like we could both handle it if I switched to bfing almost exclusively. So that's what we did and his weight gain has continued. He is one month today and we still have our issues. I am still using a nipple shield and sometimes he falls asleep right away at the breast but it's gotten much better!!

    Here's what worked for us but everyone is different so do what feels right for you and your LO:

    Feed on demand: watch for hunger cues before crying sets in.
    Do what feels right to you: We had issues with getting conflicting advice and I was going mad trying to do what everyone told me to do. Turns out mother's instinct rang supreme again. Once I was able to trust mysel and relax it made a world of difference.
    Fenugreek: 2 caplets, 3 times per day. You will see marked increase in supply!! But you have to remember to take it each time or it doesn't really work.
    Express or Supplement: Don't feel bad about giving your baby what she needs. I beat myself up each time Dh or I had to give a bottle, esp after s long bfing session. At the enf of the day as long as he was getting what he needed thats all that mattered. Whether it be through expressing or formula. If you can do it with expressing I would try to do that first, but have some formula on hand just in case. One time DH has to go out at 3am to buy formula :( because I was trying so hard not to supplement anymore.

    Best advice: Try not to get down, believe in yourself and LO. For me once I was able to relax things went much more smoothly for both of us. I started to feel more confident once the weight came on (and it will for you soon). Now I express 1-2 times a day for night (because both DS and I are often too tired to stay awake for a really good feed) So I bf first an if he still seems hungry I give him expressed milk. If I don't have any I offer him formula instead.

    Also if you have any support groups: le leche league or others that can help it's really good to talk to other moms or professionals for insight. Good luck! You are already doing an amazing thing for your child by sticking with it!
     
  9. loopy82

    loopy82 Mummy to Matilda

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    My LO was the same, at 14 days she had actually lost more than 10% of her birth weight. The midwives gave her a couple more days to start gaining and luckily she did, she wasn't back to birth weight until around 5 weeks. Also I can't pump much, even with a hospital grade pump I'm still only getting around 50ml combined, I think my supply is ok.
     
  10. Celesse

    Celesse Well-Known Member

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    It really sounds like you are doing everything right. If you follow the advice to get your supply up and use your electric pump hopefully LO won't need top ups for long.

    What has the MW suggested you do for top ups? Is she expecting you to give LO a bottle after every feed or just 1 or 2 bottles a day? I found my LO went from no weight gain on one bottle a day to gaining on 2 bottles a day. I gave the same amount of EBM that a FF baby if the same age would have. Of course every baby is different. I would say that you are less likely to suffer from supply issues and nipple confusion if you just give a bottle as a seperate feed once or twice a day, and if twice a day make sure they are really spread out. We turned it into a positive experience and OH gave LO the feed after her bath whilst they watched the Simpsons together.
     
  11. kelly29

    kelly29 Guest

    your not a failure :nope::nope: never think that!!! your doing great hun i think its pretty normal for them to go up and down:shrug: sorry gtg lo is crying :haha::hugs::hugs::hugs: x
     

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