Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:21 am
Post subject: Too late to breastfeed?
I'm a new mother to my 11 day old little girl. I tried to breastfeed her in hospital but it just wouldn't work for me, as I have inverted nipples. I gave up trying as my baby girl was very hungry and getting upset and this upset me also. I have been bottle feeding since then, but feel very upset that it didn't work for me and was wondering if it would be too late to try again at this stage? I tried to express a couple of days ago but only got a couple of drops! Is it too late to try again? My breasts feel like they are starting to get smaller, so I think it might be too late for me to try again! Does anyone else have any similar experiences or is there any hope for me? I really feel like I'm missing out by not being able to feed my baby myself, and would even be happy to be able to express. Thanks!
Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:58 pm
I dont know if you can or not but its worth a go. I personally struggled to BF my daughter and spent 5 weeks expressing and bottle feeding her breast milk.
These are my suggestions:
* POSITIONING - I couldnt manage the way I was shown (across your body) instead I feed her in the crook of my arm ( I can explain more if this isnt clear)
* Before each feed (have the bottle ready) try to BF your daughter. I know it will be horrible when she gets fussy and upset (try to anticipate her and try before she is really hungry)but this may actually help stimulate your milk. Do you leak when she cries?
* Express as much as you can, you may not produce much initially but it could get your supply going. I would do it as often as you can each day but not so much you make your boobs sore! The milk wont come instantly, even now it will take a few mins before any milk comes out when I express. I found expressing helped my nipples become less inverted!
* Do a lot of skin to skin with your daughter while also encouraging her to BF, let her nuzzle, lick etc and again it will stimulate your body to produce milk.
* If your daughter is still struggling to latch they try a nipple shield - they can a bit of a faff but it worked as a stepping stone from bottle to breast for me. (I used something called 'latch assist' to suck my nipple into the nipple shield so I got a better seal.
* Try to eat foods which boost your milk production - oats I believe help. You also need to drink plenty of water and make sure you are eating enough.
I am suggesting lots but I do think focusing on improving your supply is more important than buying extra equipment - the most important factor in helping me and my daughter breast feed was time. She simply needed to get bigger and get a better suck refex and the most important thing was that I kept my supply up so she could do that.
Lastly - if it doesnt happen, please dont beat yourself up. I was lucky to have had a really good maternity unit who supported me hugely. I couldnt master breast feeding during the 3 days I had to stay in, however they showed me how to express and keep my supply up until we could do it.
Good luck x
Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:49 am
Thank you so much for your help. I will try eating porridge and having more skin to skin time. I found with a little 3 year old boy (who is having a hard time adjusting to a baby in the house) it has been difficult making time for just me and Dd. Also it can take such a long time expressing to even get a couple of drops of milk these days! I am going to try though, because I am so obsessed with it now, it's starting to get me down.
I feel like I really have to at least try before I give up. It didn't work for Ds last time but I really tried before I bottle fed. And while he is a very happy, healthy, intelligent little boy, I feel it would be lovely to be able to breastfeed my daughter if at all possible. Fingers crossed I will get my milk supply back up and maybe even manage to express if nothing else.
Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:42 pm
When I was expressing I didnt give myself an end date, I just decided to keep on going until I felt I couldnt anymore. As I said I was lucky to have a lot of support in hospital and at home, it seems like your hospital didnt suggest expressing as an intermediate step.
All you can do is try and if it doesnt happen at least you know you gave it your best. I would try to express 3 times a day (Hard I know with a newborn and young child) give yourself 5-10 mins on each side, (increasing length and amount of times if you begin to get a supply of milk) if nothing happens in a couple of weeks then it may be too late.
Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:40 pm
I have also had problems trying to BF my little guy. Unfortunately I had some of the same problems that you had, and so to avoid the little guy getting too hungry, I also started bottle feeding him. Hopefully I will be able to successfully BF him later! Thanks for the tips though!
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Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:54 pm
Similar situation to myself. Although I breastfed in hospital but midwives were rubbish and made me feel like she wasn't feeding properly when she was actually just full. You know because they like to check they're feeding properly?
So I stopped and desperately tried again when I got home but nothing
Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:54 pm
It sucks that some hospitals are so unhelpful. Although they couldnt get my LO to latch - they helped me make sure I could express, feed her myself and keep trying.
If only better guidance and support was given in all hospitals. Because I had to express and bottle feed I saw how tiny the amount they initially have is and even though I knew in theory, seeing it was still surprising.
I am permanently trying to tell everyone what happened to me because it went against a lot of what I was told. Even while I was still trying MW and HV were telling me that she wouldnt latch after a week or two and yet after five weeks we managed!
It makes me so annoyed that women arent told about the fact they could express, which may give them more time to get the hang of it (if they want).
Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:56 pm
Roll the nipple between the thumb and index finger for a minute or two. Afterwards, quickly touch it with a moist, cold cloth or with ice that has been wrapped in a cloth. This method can help the nipple become erect. Avoid prolonged use of ice, as numbing the nipple and areola could inhibit the let-down reflex.
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