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compley

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Saturday, March 29th 2008, 7:46pm

Worried my supply will be affected

H has had a cold for the past few days. I have tried to keep bfing as normal, but he seems to struggle with the 4pm and bedtime feed. I think he is quite blocked up, and finds it difficult to breathe and feed!

All to be expected with a cold, and I expect him to not feed as well. Have tried saline nose drops, and decongestants on muslins, but it is as if he has got tired by this point in the day, and will suck for a bit, but then stops and cries.

When he had a cold a few months ago, we gave him a bottle of EBM, and he seemed to find this much easier to take. We have made the decision to introduce a bit of mixed feeding, primarily for when I go out, as I was finding expressing, and fitting it in around looking after H/with dh at work, a bit tricky!!!

Anyway, that is off the point! Basically we tried H with a bottle of formula after trying to get him to bf for an hour! He seemed to find it much easier, and we did the same at bedtime, again, he was ok. We offered one feed like this Thursday too, for the same reasons.

Today, as I had missed 2 feeds, I expressed, as was worried my supply would start to be affected. I expressed for half an hour, from both sides and only got 110mls. This doesn't seem very much to me, although I know pumps aren't as effective as babies! and also is it right that milk quantity may be lower in the eves, although the composition of the milk makes up for this?

I'm a bit worried my milk supply may be being affected, and am only doing this whilst H has a cold and finds bfing hard, as don't want him going without milk, if there is a way I can get some milk into him, he isn't a big baby, and apart from worrying about dehydration/nutrition, he can't really afford to lose much weight!!!!

xxx



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Bells

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Saturday, March 29th 2008, 11:29pm

If you replace a feed your body will realise that you don't need as much milk and will produce less. If you intended to replace one feed per day with formula forever then it wouldn't matter but if you want to replace a feed as a short term thing, because he finds it easier to suck, then you will need to express at around the same time so that your body trips into milk making mode.





compley

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Sunday, March 30th 2008, 3:23pm

Thanks Bells, that's what I thought would happen. H did the same thing today, fed fine during the night, and first thing, then refused at 11.00am, tried for an hour, leting him calm down, trying again etc, but he wouldn't have it! He still has his cold, so will see what happens when he is better. He took his solids fine, and I give these after his milk, as don't want him filling up on food, and refusing milk. I tried him with some EBM, but he wasn't too fussed with that either! I expressed again, only got 100 mls, tried for 40 mins, so gave it a good shot...just hoping he starts bfing properly again soon, it won't be as easy for me to express with dh at work tomorrow....



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compley

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Monday, March 31st 2008, 3:02pm

Am having a bit of a trouble with all this! ;(

After much perserverance and tears, H took the 4pm feed yesterday. We then had an absolute battle at bedtime, same thing he tries to suck, then starts crying hysterically....we tried and tried, but had to give a bottle again, which he drained....night feed and 7am feed, he took the breast fine....then lunchtime today, tried again, but he seemed to struggle again....I then tried to express, which was a complete disaster, as dh is at work today, so was here alone with H. I got 60mls! At the same time, was trying to prepare a bottle, and watch H...and what with having a cold myself, and really upset over all this, was in tears at this point....again he took the bottle like a dream....

I am really hoping things will get better when his cold completely goes, but know my milk supply could be affected. I really want to try and bf for another few months, am happy to do mixed feeding for when I go out etc, but just don't want this to be the end of bfing, because of something I couldn't do much about....

To me, the upmost important thing is H getting milk/fluids, because if this had been going on for 5 days, and I hadn't given formula, I may have had a dehydrated and poorly boy on my hands...so in that respect I feel I have done what is best for H.....But I just feel sad, worried, stressed....am I overreacting?.....maybe lack of sleep and not feeling great is making me lose perspective?

I suppose all I can do is keep offering breastfeeds, then formula as a back up. If I can express, do that, if it isn't practical, I can't! Hope that when H is better the feeding goes back to normal, if my milk supply has been affected, maybe I can get it back up again?....and worst case scenario, H is still taking the night feed, and 7am feed (the 7am feed is my fav one, cos we have lots of cuddles and a bit of quiet time together!)...so I will be able to carry these feeds on regardless...

xxx



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Bells

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Monday, March 31st 2008, 3:54pm

Ok..... I know it's very hard at the moment but I'm going to have to be honest. If you frequently offer the breast, he doesn't take it and then you're relying on the bottle as a back up... then your chances of successfully continuing to breastfeed are slim. I'm sorry that sounds very blunt but often, a few months down the line, Mums say "I wish I hadn't done XYZ!" or "I wish I'd know that XYZ would happen if I did this!". The problem is that nobody wants to put pressure on anyone so people offer advice like "just do what's best!" and often that leads to Mums stopping breastfeeding more through lack of support and advice than lack of milk.

The thing is, once he realises that taking a bottle takes minimum effort, he's going to get cross when he's back on the nipple and has to work for his milk. Sucking from a bottle is so easy, he just lies back, sucks gently and the milk flows. To milk a breast he must open his mouth wide and use his jaw to massage the breast tissue while sucking the nipple to the back of his throat. It's hard work and that's why breasfed babies have better jaw development... because they have to really work for that milk. If he's fretting then try a different position, lying close to your breast may make him feel suffocated so try a rugby ball hold or prop him up on cushions and have his head higher than his tummy. Try to let him feel that he can move his head away and try not to fret yourself if he plays up.

So.... I know it's not what you want to hear and right now you're knackered and it's all so hard but if you do want to breastfeed then your heart has to be 100% in it. If you hadn't offered bottles over the past week he probably wouldn't be dehydrated or poorly (though you'd probably have torn your hair out)... lots of breastfed babies get colds and go through this and it can be very hard deciding what the best thing is to do especially when you have a sick child and sleep deprivation to contend with.

HOWEVER, if you feel happy to use formula milk then that is absolutely right for you and fine for you. The advice you get from me, Sun, limpet, Torisen and other pro-breastfeeders.... we advise people who want, need and are desperate to continue breastfeeding... we don't want to coax anyone into doing something that they don't want to or need to do. Sometimes our advice can sound militant to people who are not in that frame of mind but a new Mum who is desperate to succeed doesn't want wishy washy advice, she wants the cold hard facts. I hope that come across, that for those who want to breastfeed this is support, for those who don't this is pressure.

In summary... to breastfeed effectively you need to breastfeed, supplementary feeds can lead to the cessation of breastfeeding and these periods of difficulty can sometimes push Mums into making rash decisions. Yes, a lack of sleep with affect your perspective but you know... you're doing a GREAT job, you are a successful breastfeeding Mum and your baby is gorgeous. I'm confident in your ability to get through this rough patch and continue with the breastfeeding, you don't manage nearly 6 months without some real effort and determination and you have absolutely proven that you have those qualities





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Monday, March 31st 2008, 4:07pm

here here!

try steaming H before his feeds to get rid of some snot and persever hun....you know you can do it!

:hugs: bells is right, you have shown that you have what it takes to bf your gorgeous boy for as long as youd want to. it isnt easy but with support from these ladies you can do it sweety.

love k xxx



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compley

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Monday, March 31st 2008, 8:27pm

Thanks Bells, and Willow....I think reading that is just what I needed!

Bells, you are right, and I know that if I keep giving formula as a back up, it could spell the beginning of the end, which is not what I want, and actually this has made me realise even more that I do not want to give up yet!...and yes you are right, I think H is pretty switched on, and has realised he can make this business a whole lot easier for himself, and yes he has a cold, so it is making it harder, but the total hysterics could be partly down to the fact that he is a tad cross at having to work harder for his meal!...and I probably thought that a bit, deep down, but being his Mum, and him being ill, I haven't been objective, and just want to comfort him, so reading it, spelt out so clearly, has reiterated it all to me!....I have already thought today, 'I know if I give this up now, a few weeks down the line I am really going to regret it' and knowing what it is like to look back on an important situation in life and wishing with all your heart you could go back and change it, well I don't want to be feel like that about this, and this time the difference is I can really try to make this go the way I want!!!!

TBH, I am a worrier, and sometimes being told the facts in a straight way works much more effectively for me, it helps me really think things through, rather than be swept along by what 'I think I want to hear, and sometimes spells out what I know deep down, but is being clouded by things!'

It has been hard work, and alot of grit and determination along the way, but I am so glad I have carried on, and I really really want to carry on, so thanks ladies, for your straight talking advice, and encouragement!....It took me along time to come round to doing mixed feeding and felt quite happy giving the odd formula feed, or mixing it in his food, but wasn't ready to introduce alot of formula feeds, or switch, so think this week has scared me a bit really, just seeing how quickly things could potentially snowball, if I don't take control, and be strong.....I know it is also easy to think 'oh well, I have given formula now, may as well stop bfing, but instead I think H will get the goodness from every bf I do, and if done how I intended, mixed feeding can work'.....I just need to steer things back in the right direction.


Oh, and just to finish on a positive note, H protested at 4pm, but I perservered, it wasn't a great feed, but he took some, and I didn't give any formula, and again at bedtime, he tried to protest, but we got there, he bf, and is now sound asleep!

xxx



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compley

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Monday, March 31st 2008, 8:54pm

...oh and just been thinking about tomorrow, have the 60mls EBM I expressed today, am going to add that to his baby cereal, and offer each feed as usual, if he won't take it, am going to try very hard not to stress, and then do you think it will be ok to leave him, not give formula, and then hopefully he will get the message, this is how it is, and things will start to go back to normal, especially when he is properly over his cold?!.....will try my hardest to express at some point, if I need to, even if it means plonking him front of baby tv :innocent: which keeps him occupied for 20mins or so, and I can always add that to his food, thus getting some milk in, but avoiding offering formula?

.....Bells, what you said about children getting through colds, am I worrying too much about his intake at the mo? Do you think it will be ok just leaving him if he doesn't take the bf?...Like I say I'm a worrier, and get carried away with visions of dehydration, weight loss etc etc, dramatic I know, but like I say, I get carried away!



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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "compley" (Mar 31st 2008, 9:23pm)


Bells

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Monday, March 31st 2008, 10:07pm

Everyone loses the ability to be objective when they're going through the young baby fog. You eat sleep and breath your baby and it's easy to get so engrossed in it that it's impossible to see the big picture.

When considering his milk intake it's necessary to look at a few things. First he has a cold and we know that when we have a cold we often can't be bothered eating anything, however it's important that his fluids are kept up. Is he having any solids? If so then you can offer water as a drink, if not then your breastmilk is enough and as long as you give him the boob when he wants it then the chances are very good that he will be getting enough fluids. If he was formula fed you might find that he was still rejecting some feeds and so this could still be a concern for you.

Points to look at, is he producing plenty of wet nappies? Is he pink and alert, responsive and apart from maybe being a bit 'off colour' do you feel that he's actually 'alright' ... Mums instinct? If he's just eating a bit less because he's been poorly then yes, he might lose a bit of weight... as you would if you'd been laid up in bed with a cold. Again, use your instinct, has he had 'some' fluids? Are those nappies wet? Is he settling for you? If yes then he's alright.

You're doing great by the way :smile:





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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 9:11am

wow laura, you sound so positive! im proud of you sweety :]

i wish id have had the chance to do what you are doing for your little boy....he is so lucky to have a mommy who would fight for him to have the best.

:hugs:

k xxx



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compley

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 10:50am

Willow, Spud and H are very lucky to have such a great Mummy as you, your little boy and girl are gorgeous, and thriving, and that is down to you! :hugs: (and hopefully Spud will be back to full strength once the pesky chicken pox has cleared up!)

Bells, yes you are right, this past week I have done the checklist in my head, and nappies are wet, he is alert and happy, infact it puzzles me how babies can seem so well when they have a cold! He has good skin colour, tone etc....I have been offering him water with his solids, and adding milk into his food, with some baby rice.....so my instinct has told me he is fine, like you say it is hard, but need to look at those facts, and realise he is ok!

We had another bad night with him last night, he woke and wouldn't settle, but he took a good feed, and again this morning, and today I have cancelled our plans, moved up to the bedroom, and we are having a duvet day!!!.....Just chilling, the 2 of us!...he is asleep now, so laid in bed, relaxing!

Thanks for all your support again ladies, it means alot!

xxx



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Bells

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 10:55am

You're wonderful!





compley

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Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 7:55pm

Just want to say a huge thanks again to you both.....think I did really lose perspective over all this, and because of H being under the weather, and me feeling grotty too, struggled with it all, and I probably made it into a bigger issue, and was heading towards making things worse!....I have had times where he has refused to feed before, but dealt with it alot better, can't believe the affect lack of sleep can have!

Anyway, like I said earlier, we had a very relaxing day, I dozed when H slept, and fed him all snuggled on the bed, did a bit of skin to skin contact as well. When he did get upset, I tried the different positions you recommended Bells, and that worked well, especially at bedtime, when he got really upset, and I did the rugby hold, and elevated his head/chest a bit.

He has settled well tonight, and does seem more interested in bf's and solids today, and also slightly less snotty! Steamed up the bathroom this eve as well!....and that cleared his nose a bit too!

So, even though I could do with a good nights sleep tonight!!! the restful day today, and just chilling with H, has made a world of difference, and am feeling 100% better, knowing that I have hopefully got things back on course, and alot of that came down to your help and advice xxx



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