Tuesday, 9 August 2011

breastfeeding dilemma


I am really struggling with breastfeeding. It has never come easy to Mia and i. She didnt nurse atall for the first two days of her life. She just couldn't latch and i couldnt get anything out when expressing. She was just so weak and floppy and slept for 2 days straight. The first night she was born, she actually slept through all night from 10pm until 8am with no wakeups for milk. She just starved for 48 hours and it was the most agonising moment! I just felt like i was failing her.
On day 6, i went in tears to a breastfeeding support group and started using nipple shields which worked perfectly! She finally nursed and it was the most amazing feeling! But because she nursed with the sheilds, her feeds were sloooooow! lasting around 2 hours a feed, leaving me around a 15 minute break before she needed nursing again. With a toddler running around, acting out as she wanted attention, this became really hard. People kept telling me to stop and just formula feed her but i just didnt want to. I perservered and one day she fed and then went 3 hours before her next feed! i was so amazed!

We continued fine and she was having a 4 hour stretch between an hours feed and was sleeping through the night. I thought we had cracked it and felt so relieved!
We then, one day, managed to feed without the shields, she just latched on as we were having skin to skin cuddles one afternoon. i was even more estatic that we were nursing normally and with no problems.
After a few weeks, i started to have problems with my milk supply. She was feeding for an hour then wasnt satisfied. She would pull off me and cry and in the end i just had to top her up with a bottle of formula. I knew there was something wrong.

How can a baby nurse for an hour and then take a full 7oz bottle of forumla straight afterwards!

Her weight shot up. I was double feeding her. I knew we couldnt go on like this. i started trying her with just the bottle first and she was quite satisfied afterwards and would go 4 hours in between feeds. I then tried it the other way around and again, she would take a full hour feed from both sides of me and then have to be topped up!

So here we are. She is having more bottles than breast at the moment and i just dont know which way to go. She isnt getting what she needs from me and if i didnt give her the bottle, i just know she would end up malnourished and not satisfied.
What do i do? I just love breastfeeding. Our nursing story has been a long journey. I have fed her for nearly 5 months and now it is getting close to weaning time. She had a tiny bit of apple just now and has fallen straight asleep. Her last milk feed was 4 hours ago so as you can see, she is quite satisfied on the formula but it really upsets me that i just cant make her satisfied with my milk!

Help Help Help!

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13 comments

  1. My twins were exactly the same - but at 3 months. They were nursing - then having a full sized bottled. It just got to the point where I wondered what the point was. They obviously weren't really getting anything from me. I was different though in that I didn't enjoy nursing at all and was very relieved to stop.

    If you enjoy the bonding you get then there isn't any need to stop unless you want to. My health visitor told me that even if they are only taking a small amount from you then they are still getting some antibodies. You have done so well to get to over 5 months - you have the luxury of choosing what is best for you and not feeling guilty. I kept feeding them once a day towards the end just to have that special time.

    Sounds like you have done a brilliant job!

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  2. Sometimes people don't produce enough milk and there's nothing you can do about that. It probably explains her eating for an hour and not being satisfied. It really stinks that some people can breast feed and produce enough milk for a LONG time and others can't. Sounds like you did a great job. Don't beat yourself up over it. I agree with ^ if you want that bonding there is no need to stop at all. I'm sure she's getting something even if it is only a small amount.

    Good luck hun <3

    In our sea of love

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  3. You are doing great! The sheer fact that you have held on this long and even breastfed at all is incredible. If it is time to wean, don't feel bad at all. You have given your little one an amazing, healthy start and you should be so proud of yourself.

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  4. Sigh. This is one of the things I don't look forward to about motherhood... It seems like so many women have trouble with breastfeeding. :/

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  5. I would say go with your heart. I have had one kiddie who hated feeding from me, another who lasted a couple of months and then little Esme lasted 9 months but i did both breast and bottle and then she weaned herself off me herself :-( If you still enjoy it why not try and keep the morning and evening feeds and drop the others or just do every other feed like I did with Esme with me and then bottle etc etc. Don't feel bad, you have done fantastically but I know how heartbreaking it is to stop as I still miss it to this day :-( x

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  6. Ava fed every 1.30/2 hours till she was 9 months, now she feeds once or twice!! I just went with the flow, breast milk is digested so easily, formula is very hard to digest that's why it fills them up more. Breast milk is the best milk for her put there but you need to be happy too xx

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  7. I had the exact same issue around the same time with my son and my second daughter. With my son, I ended up giving up and switching completely to formula when he was 5 months. With my second daughter, who is almost 8 months old now, I just kept nursing and prayed and nursed and prayed, and thank GOD we got through it, and she still hasn't taken a sip of formula. I don't know if it will work that way for you, but there is hope, because it worked for me! I nursed lots and lots, any time she seemed ready, for several days, and the "problem" just seemed to correct itself. Also make sure you're eating enough (I think you're supposed to be eating 500 extra calories a day) and drinking lots of water. Hugs and prayers to you! I know how hard this can be.

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  8. Oooh, I hope I haven't made you feel bad if you have decided to stop nursing. Whatever you decide, you are doing it out of LOVE and you are a GREAT mama! Don't forget that!

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  9. Let me start by telling you that you're a great mom. Bad moms wouldn't worry this much!

    You could have been writing about me and my daughter - our stories are so similar. I nursed, and supplemented, for a full year. To me, what she and I got out of it (bonding, quiet alone time) was much more important than where she was getting her nourishment. Thank goodness it didn't keep hurting, though, or I'd never have stuck with it! ;p

    Hang in there. Whatever decision you make is the right one for you and the baby.

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  10. Hi mama! You must be so frustrated! I found your blog on She Breathes Deeply and have just loved reading your writing. I am a mama to two little ones, a 5 month old and a two and a half year old, so I know what shoes you are in! Let me just start by saying, don't believe that you cannot produce enough milk, it's simply not true! Your body was designed to do this.

    You can do a few things to increase your milk supply to meet the demand of your babe. First is water. Water, water and more water. After every nursing you should drink a full 8 oz, just have it next to you, and down it.
    The second is drinking Mother's Milk Tea. It's a formulation just for nursing mamas to help increase their milk supply. Another thing you can take is called Brewer's Yeast, it increases milk supply and so does an herb called Fenugreek. You can order all of these online if you can't find it in a health food store near you. They're really common.

    Make sure you are eating quality, nourishing foods. Proteins, good fats, dark leafy greens.

    If you need, need to supplement with formula, always give the breast first, then the formula, otherwise it with diminish your milk supply as time goes on and you won't be able to meet her demands. The less you nurse, the less you produce. The body works on a supply and demand basis. The more she needs, the more your body makes. This is how it keeps up with growth spurts. You could eventually wean her off formula this way as your body makes more and more.
    I know during this time around 4-6 months is a huge growth spurt, so you may notice her nursing more, this is totally normal. She may not even sleep through the night when she once did, totally normal too.


    You can find local support in La Leche League: http://www.llli.org/

    And you can find more information on breastfeeding at: www.kellymom.com
    This website was the best I've found. So many questions I had as a nursing mama were answered here!

    I just wanted to encourage you, it's a hard job being a mama, and not an easy job weighing the different opinions. But you have options if you want to continue nursing her! Good luck mama! Feel free to contact or email me if you ever have questions. Love <3 obellanaturals[at]gmail[dot]com

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  11. Have you ever tried mother's milk tea? It's a blend of herbs made up of nettle, red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, dandelion, fennel, and more. All herbs that individually help increase milk supply. You could probably find it at your local market or on the internet. It's important to have lots of calcium in your diet, even a bowl of oatmeal and leafy greens and great whole foods that help.

    Also, if you are looking for a good alternative to breastmilk when feeding her from the bottle, goat's milk is the closest thing structurally to the mother's milk. I work in natural birth community, and lots of my mommy friends who can't breastfeed use goats milk mixed with cod liver oil and an infant multivitamin, and their little ones are so well, never sick because it's so similar to breastmilk.

    I hope you are finding peace in this and doing better!

    <3 Evie Marie

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  12. lovin the pic babydoll ;)

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