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  • "Natural_Horse" started this thread

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 4:33pm

Help - day six and no sign of my milk coming in

Hi all

I gave birth on boxing day to a gorgeous baby girl. There were some complications and I lost a lot of blood and needed three blood transfusions. My iron levels are super low and my body is slowly recovering.

Right from the start I have had a problem with my supply. Hand expressing doesn't produce anything - even the midwife has had a go. My boobs are still incredibly soft and there's still no sign of my milk coming in. At the five day check weight gain was down by ten per cent, despite the topping up of formula that I do after each breastfeed.

My question is does milk come in for everyone or is there a chance mine won't? I breastfeed for a minimum of thirty minutes on each breast every three to four hours, most of the time it's skin to skin. I hand express After each session. Despite the hour long breastfeeding session I always need to top up with formula because she won't settle and she guzzled it down like she is starving!

Sorry for the rambling Post but I would really like to know if others have known of cases when milk coming in was delayed or just never happened.

Thanks.

Bells

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 5:07pm

Hi and congratulations on your Christmas baby!!

A glaring problem would be your blood and iron levels. Three units of blood is a lot to replace but maybe you would've benefitted from more. If not then what kind of iron supplements are you being given? You do need to get your blood levels up and your iron levels up to get your milk going.

Saying that, you're doing just the right thing by feeding frequently, ten percent weight loss is absolutely acceptable and normal, you're offering supplementary formula along with your good breastfeeds so that you can be confident that your baby is getting nourished and despite your breasts feeling soft, if you can hand express anything then you 'have' milk. Not everyone gets engorged, not everyone feels the let down reflex and after losing so much blood (and having rock bottom iron levels) it does sound like something that will come in time if you carry on doing just what you're doing now.

Of course the usual advice to 'check your latch' should be done first and foremost but I would imagine that the blood loss and iron levels are the big players in the way your milk is making it's grand entrance.

I know it's hard in the early days but you must eat well, drink plenty and rest a lot. Fortified cereals, fortified bread, supplements, green leafy veg, meat and as mch liquid as you can get down. You can't nourish a whole other person when you haven't even got enough reserves for yourself.





Fi'smum

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 5:15pm

Hi there,
Well the clue is in your first sentence! Heavy blood loss is a common reason for delay in the onset of lactation. Another question - were your placenta and membranes complete? Your m/w will be able to tell you if you don't know. Even a tiny bit of placenta/membrane retained can interfere with the hormone changes required for milk production. However, breastfeeding can help with that. Can I suggest that you just take your lovely daughter to bed with you, wearing just a nappy (the baby, not you! :snigger: ) Keep her next to your skin within easy reach of the nipple, relax and let her feed whenever she wants - the more often the better -1 - 2 hourly at least. I'm sure you'll find it will all happen. I have known women taking a week or more to start producing milk. I wouldn't try to express at this stage - the baby does a much better job of stimulation!
Try not to worry - easy to say, I know, but it won't help. I'm sure you'll have boobs like melons before you know it! :)
I

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 5:16pm

Hi Bells!
Cross posted there!
Happy New Year! :)

  • "Natural_Horse" started this thread

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 5:58pm

Thanks for the replies ladies. I know it must be the blood loss and low iron that is delaying things but I am getting so frustrated now.

A normal breastfeeding session lasts for over an hour and generally she just latches on and then falls asleep. I tickle, jiggle and everything else I can think of to wake her up but gosh she is good at ignoring me! I think she probably suckles for about 60-70% of the time she is on the breast. I do plenty of skin-to-skin feeding and in between the regular feeds when she gets a little grissly, I pop her on the boob as well. So Fi's mum - I reckon I probably do feed in some duration every 2 hours. In fact she is so often attached to the breast she has a milk/heat rash on her cheeks.

She seeks the boob constantly and that's the only way I can get her to sleep. The only problem is that once she detaches she screams the house down!

Bells - yes I am doing my best to feed myself, but lack of sleep makes it more of a chore.

Gosh I am feeling so horrible about this, like I am failing big time at being a mother. Sorry, I know it's the hormones and lack of sleep talking but it doesn't make things any easier to deal with.

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Saturday, January 1st 2011, 7:00pm

You are not failing as a mother, so get that out of your head right now!! You are doing everything just right. Do you have someone around who can keep bringing you food and drink on a regular basis? Have you had a Hb check since you were given blood? It should be showing a good rise by this time. If someone else can give your baby a little bit (not too much) of formula every 3 or 4 hours (while you're eating) it will reassure you that she's not starving and also take the edge off her frustration that her proper food hasn't arrived yet.

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Monday, January 3rd 2011, 10:33pm

I had the same problem when i had my DD. I needed a blood transfusion but for some unknown reason i decided to refuse it and went home with a HB of 6. My milk never came as much as i tried it did not come and whatever might have come just dried up. I would definately say you need to boost your iron levels up. I was told to have fresh orange whenever i took my iron tablets, it helps for the iron to absorb easier, so maybe try that. Keep trying with the breast, I gave up too easy and regret it. Your milk will hopefully have come by the time you log on next. Good luck and congratulations.

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Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 9:39am

Hi all,

Thanks for all your support. It's day 10 and my milk still hasn't come in so I have had to make the decision to just formula feed. I am gutted but if there's no milk there, there's nothing I can do really.

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Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 9:43am

Dont beat yourself up, at least this way DH can do night feeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 9:53am

Congratulations on the birth of your DD! I think you are doing the right thing starting on the formula. My milk didn't come in until over a week after I gave birth and then it wasn't anywhere near enough for my babies so I was in the same situation as you - they needed food and I couldn't provide it so there is no choice. I was gutted too but now looking back on it I know I did the right thing. It's just very upsetting at he time when lots of other people have plenty of milk and feeling seems to be easy for them. I think we have to accept that no matter how hard we try, everyone is different. Good luck with the sleep and looking after yourself too x

After 5 years of endo surgery, clomid, 2 x MM/C, 2 x ICSI cycles and 1 PGD cycle,
beautiful twin girls born 8th Feb 2010, we are so grateful

suki

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Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 10:06am

Just wanted to pop in and say I think you've done wonderfully well to presevere the way you have. At least with formula feeds you might get a bit more rest too as its bad enough being a new mum without having a low HB. I breastfed for 10 months and found the first couple of months really difficult and that was even with my milk coming in on day 2! so I think you've done wonderfully well, plus you've had all that lovely skin to skin bonding with your lo, well done you! I was reccommended something called 'spatone' to take after my DD , its basically a small sachet of natural mineral water with a very high iron content. You bung it in a glass of fresh orange juice, its tasteless and I'm sure I was allowed to take it on top of my iron tablets, but your midwife would be able to tell you. I'm vegetarian so was already eating everything I was supposed to but it can take a wee while to build up your iron again and this stuff didn't seem to have any gastrointestinal side effects. Take care xxx



nat :BFP: Feb 2008 mc 7wks

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Wednesday, January 5th 2011, 11:15pm

Hi again,
I'm sorry things didn't work out the way you wanted, but you did your best, and that's all anyone can do. So well done for persevering! Now you need to concentrate on getting yourself back to fitness, and enjoy your baby.
Just out of interest, did you find out about your placenta and membranes?

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Thursday, January 6th 2011, 11:13am

Hi hun - sorry to hear that your milk hasn't come in.

I know exactly how you feel as it happened with me and DS. I struggled and struggled and in the end he was so underweight that I had to give in and go for formula. I felt awful but at the end of the day, the difference in him within a week was amazing. He went from being on the 0.4th centile to the 50th centile by 4 weeks of formula. It definately was the best decision I made. I spoke to various health visitors and other mums who all said that it was quite normal for women and their 1st babies as your body just hasn't done it before and isnt quite sure what to do, plus with a big blood loss that doesn't help. This was the case for me too.

Hopefully you will see you Lily Jane flourish over the next few weeks, you'll feel less stressed because you can relax about her not getting enough food, and - your DH (and visitors) can take some of the feeding duties so you can chill and take time for yourself.

OOhhh - AND - you can have a big fat glass of wine now!!!!! LOL




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Thursday, January 6th 2011, 12:13pm

Hi ladies,

Your understanding really makes me feel so much better - in fact I have tears of gratitude in my eyes reading all your messages.

The good news is that Lily has put all her birth weight back on plus a little extra - not bad for a 11 day old who has only been on formula solely for about four days. She is a much content baby and we are now both sleeping much better. It was the right decision and I know I tried my best but it is a regret.

I am still keeping up as much skin-to-skin contact as I can though because it helps to settle her.

Fi's mum - placenta was delivered intact and all membranes were gone as well. And yes, I was given another blood test 24 hours after the transfusions - it was 7.4, 3.1 higher than before the transfusions but still very low. They gave me the option to stay in hospital longer and have another transfusion but at the time I refused because I wanted to take my baby home.

I am feeling much better now, another blood test needs to be done in four weeks to check my iron levels.

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Friday, January 7th 2011, 10:18pm

Hi there NH, Firstly congratulations on your Boxing Day baby! I gave birth to a baby girl on Christmas Day and named her Lilee too!

I can only echo the other posts and say that you can't say you didn't try. I had a similar problem with the BF, at the start my little girl wouldnt latch on because she tongue-tie which they clipped, but for for the first 3/4 days she wouldnt latch on. I had to express manually into a syringe and feed her that way. I felt like a complete failure as everyone else on the maternity ward seemed to be able to BF with no problem. My milk didn't come in till day 6, and even then it wasn't much. I was only able to express off less than 20 ml and that was from both boobs. So we were feeding her formula, then one night she decided to latch on and has been fine since. When she was first weighed she had lost 5% of her body weight which the MW said was fine, but she wanted to see an improvement the next time she came over. She did gain some weight and was gradually gaining weight, until I became ill last weekend. I have a womb infection and now they think my stiches are also infected too (had an episiotomy), so have been on anti-b's. The MW came the other day and Lilee had lost weight again, not a lot, but she said it was dissapointing. She told us to try and give her 1 bottle of formula a night, which we have been doing for the past couple of nights, and was weighed again today and she had put on some weight but not a lot. The MW said again that it was dissapointing that she hadn't gained as much weight as she had of hoped and has now said to try 2 bottles per day to try and bulk her up. I too am feeling the same as you, that I am some how failing as a mother to provide my baby with what she needs. I know the weight loss is not drastic but still I didn't think it would be like this. I am scared that my little baby will lose more weight and the MW will say to exclusively bottle-feed her, but you know what if this is the case, at least I can say that I have tried to BF and it didn't work out. What I am trying to say is that its easy to beat ourselves up over the BF issue - pressure from others and ourselves does not help. But I think you definately made the right decision and I hope your feeling better about it now and are enjoying that big fat glass of wine!

xxxxxx
Me (33) DH (34) LSC 2 x ICSI and 1 FET (09) - all BFN's!
ICSI MAR/APRIL 10 - BFP!!!! :happy: First scan 11/05 - saw the [zx076]
Dating scan 15/06/10 - Our gorgeous baby girl arrived on Christmas Day 2010 xx

bubble

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Saturday, January 8th 2011, 2:13pm

Hi Livinginhope and congratulations on your little girl.

I'm suprised at the advice that the midwife gave you. A 5% loss is completely normal and acceptable. If you want to continue breastfeeding the advice that she should have given you is to feed more frequently. Feeding one or two bottles of formula a day may help in the short term with her weight gain but it can only be detrimental to your supply, which in the medium to longer term is a big issue if you want to continue feeding her yourself. There is loads of advice on here on low weight gain babies and you do not have to feed formula unless you want to. It's sad that your midwife has used such terms as 'disappointing', especially when she has actually gained weight. That's not disappointing, thats a credit to you.

I'm not trying to persuade you to continue breastfeeding or otherwise - that has to be your choice - but if you do want to continue I think you need to be a bit wary of the advice that your midwife seems to be giving you about feeding. Please do ask on here if you have any questions.

x

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Saturday, January 8th 2011, 3:44pm

I agree with Bubbles - it's the M/W's advice that is disappointing here. It's understandable that your baby's weight gain faltered a bit when you were ill, but that was a temporary situation. Had she suggested (as she should have done) that you breastfeed more frequently to increase your supply, instead of going for the easy option for her of topping up with formula, your baby's weight would have gone up again. She clearly either doesn't know anything about breastfeeding or doesn't care. Either way, very disappointing! Suggesting that you give formula at night, when your milk-producing hormones are at their highest level, is particularly bad advice. Now that you're giving 2 bottles a day, if you want to continue b/f you have to try to reduce the amount and increase the frequency of b/f until you can get rid of the formula altogether.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Fi'smum" (Jan 8th 2011, 3:45pm)


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