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The breast feeding journey-
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#1 lucky 2

Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

Hi style_emoticons/default/original.gif ,

A member recently suggested a thread for positve stories of breast feeding, a place to document the journey, from the beginning to the end of breast feeding or whatever part you want to share.

Often our journeys are often mixed, struggles then resolution, perhaps new problems may crop up after that?

I feel sure that whatever you would like to share will be of value to others who will read it.
And it might also be helpful for you to document your experiences.

Kind regards,

lucky 2
Moderator of the Breast feeding forum

#2 lucky 2

Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:33 AM

I thought I'd go first, unless I'm too slow and someone else gets in first!

Dd was born at term after a normal vaginal birth (under epidural).
She was well and went on my chest, not moving from there until after her 1st feed.
I noticed she had quite a serious looking tongue tie as soon as she was born.
She had her first feed within the 1st hour with me sitting in bed with "dead" legs, but we did it. I can't remember much but I don't think it hurt and she fed for quite a while.
She continued to feed frequently and I did develop some minor nipple damage I presume was related to the tongue tie (because I know about attaching I think my did the best job possible in getting her on).
She developed some sort of twitching of her eyes, head and right arm after 24 hours and this needed to be investigated (Neurologist) but they really didn't understand and I was told it was likely the immature autonomic nervous system and it would pass in 3 weeks. Make that 3 months! It didn't interfere with bfing luckily, just interferred with me, ie anxiety etc.
She lost about 10% on day 3 and was very jaundiced and sleepy and she would not breast feed.
I continued to express by hand and cup feed her whatever amount I could get out (I reckon I hand expressed every 2 hours or so) and she lost more weight on day 5 but I still kept expressing by hand and she stopped losing weight from then on, but she didn't get back on the breast till day 10. I tried and electric pump but the milk wouldn't come out so I had to hand express until day10. My breasts were very firm and engorged but with all the hand expressing it eventually passed with breast feeding and mlk flow improving on day 10.
She continued to pinch my nipples and eventually I took her to a Dr who was also a LC and she snippled dd's tongue tie at 4 weeks.
We continued on with no more pinching.
From 3 weeks onwards she was screaming a lot during and after feeds, she would go on the breast and come off pretty quickly, crying, back arching, high pitched cry. This got worse and worse, she was so fussy I would switch her side to side (often 8 sides) to get her fed.
I got little sleep with lots of unsettledness and crying around the clock. At the same time I had increasing anxiety and fear of leaving the house.
At 10 weeks she was diagnosed with possible silent reflux (by a Neonatologist) and prescribed Zantac.
This helped but she continued to be a difficult feeder at times and I got worse with anxiety.
We went to a parenting centre at 3 months for both of us (4 night stay).
Breast feeding continued, she thrived on breast alone, I continued to deteriorate, eventually admitted to a Mother Baby Unit and started treatment for PND.
All through this I continued to bfed as per usual.
At 6 months she would feed 1-3 times at night and started solids with ease.

We got to 8.5 months and unknown to me she was sick with tonsillitis, both ears infected, cutting 4 teeth (top and bottom) from one feed to the next abruptly stopped breast feeding when her nose became blocked.
I took her to the Dr where she found the above and started her on her first course of antibiotics.
She never accepted my breasts again, I continued to try for about 6 weeks and in the meantime she needed to be fed.
She refused a bottle and teat (I wasted so much money and energy trying) and also refused a cup.
So I spoon fed her ebm mixed with solids and this is how I continued to feed her until she decided to start taking ebm in a cup at 10+ months.
I wasn't able to stop mixing ebm into her food until she hit 12 months as she still was pretty poor with the cup.
I continued to express and give her my milk until she got to 23months started to spit it out (on reflection it probably changed in taste, as production decreases the salt content rises).
The volumes ended up being 70mls per day with one expression daily and that was where we stopped at 23.5 months.
I never needed to express again.
That's my journey in a very big nutshell.

So much more happened because of my illhealth but I don't have a very clear memory of it all.
I just remembered I had very bad restless legs and sitting to breast feed was a kind of hell, especially at night.
This definitely added to my misery and I still feel annoyed that my very low iron level was not noted or treated after my blood was tested at 6 weeks postnatally.
It was discovered then but I have no memory of being informed and definitely was not treated.
Thank goodness I was taking a bfing supplement as it had a bit of iron, but not enough.
When I was hospitalised at 6 months the iron count was checked and it was extremely low and treated.
My restless leg symptoms went.
I can only wonder if I would have been as unwell emotionally if my physical problem was noted early and fixed. If you have never had restless legs (which ended up being arms too) then it would be hard to understand how miserable it is. Sitting still for 1/2 hour for a bf (dd was also quite leisurely) with restless legs was intensely uncomfortable.

I see I've written an essay but I feel somehow better after writing it down.

#3 lady lady

Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

WOW!!!  You are amazing Lucky2!!  Thank you so much for sharing your story ..... Your perseverance and willingness (particularly through your PND), is very inspirational  wink.gif !!!

I would often (and still do) read the BF threads when I was going through my own "early days" journey and get SO much inspiration to keep going.

I often look at how many people view a thread (as opposed to post) and think that so many people (like me) get ALOT out of it but just don't post ...  Not sure why but it always makes us feel better to know someone else is expereiencing the same emotions and that we are not alone ...

Will be back to share my story/ journey ...

Not sure if it's possible but I think people often miss the "pinned" threads ... It would be nice to see a story or two on the first "current" BF page for a week or so before it get's pinned to the top ...

Thank you again for sharing original.gif

#4 TwiceTheWoman

Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

WOW - that is a fantastic story Lucky2, I love it !  What an inspiration you are - to go on expressing when your baby was so sick.
What stands out is your focus on what was best for your baby.
There's s much to be admired about all you did over those 2 years!

#5 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:42 AM

What a good idea.

This is our story so far.   I contracted shingles at 40 weeks.  My birth plan went out the window, and I spent 2 days in maternity in an isolation room trying to go into labour, until they turned the drip on way high and I wound up having a cs under general.  My son came out covered with spots and needed to be whisked off to children's hospital for IV antivirals for suspected chicken pox.  I don't remember this, but in recovery I threw a tanty and so they helped me give a little feed there.  

The kids hospital gave him 100 mls of formula (who knows why) which he promptly threw up.

The next 3 days were spent shuttling between hospitals, both of us officially in isolation, trying to work out how to breast feed with no LC support.  Luckily my sister remembered enough from the antenatal video to get him attached by shoving his poor screaming little face into my boob.  Poor little guy only got about 2 feeds a day for the first 3 days, but when I got him admitted back with me, we did some baby led attachment (which I saw in a DVD) and this helped us get back on track eventually, though we were about a week behind where we should have been.

My supply is still a bit dodgy but my boy has grown from 3.96kgs to 8.4 kgs at 3 months so there is milk in there somewhere.   I'm taking motilitum and fenugreek tea.    He still feeds very frequently which is driving me bonkers but I'm trying to push through without formula until he can start solids in a little while.

#6 Xiola

Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:42 AM

These stories are great!

meggs1 - what a journey.  Well done for keeping going and for his great growth so far!
lucky2 - congratulations for sticking with it, you've done really well!

OK, here is my story of feeding DD so far….

She was born via a natural drug free delivery at 37 weeks.  The labour was induced as her growth had slowed dramatically (I’d been having monthly growth scans for various reasons).  Compared to my boys she was very tiny (2.28kg) with a tiny little mouth and I had no idea of the breastfeeding struggles we’d have….

I’d fed my boys easily and successfully for over 15 months each.  I knew how to attach her but due to her size, I just couldn’t get her to latch on.  Her glucose levels were being monitored due to her size and as they dropped I was spoken to by the paediatrician about giving her some formula.  I really didn’t want to go down that path so opted for some intravenous glucose instead (they told me the formula would be fed to her through a tube in her nose…I thought the glucose would be the lesser of two evils).

While her glucose levels stabilised easily I still couldn’t get her to attach.  On day 2 I started expressing with an electric pump for 10 minutes each side every 2 hours to try and get my milk to come in.  Meanwhile I still tried to get her to attach whenever she woke which was about every 3 hours.  On day 3 I was flooded with sadness.  My DS2 was struggling with me being away from home and sobbed when he had to leave the hospital after a visit and my DD was still in the special care nursery.  I spoke (cried) to the LC who arranged for DD to come off the drip (she’d had stable glucose levels for a few hours) on the proviso that I cup feed her formula.  I agreed although I was worried that this would eventually effect my breastfeeding her.  My routine for the next 2 days involved pumping every 2 hours and feeding DD formula with either a supply line and my finger to suck on or through a cup every 3 hours.  I’d also try and get her to attach before her feed but she was so tiny and got tired very quickly so was told to only try for 10 minutes.  Honestly, it was so hard and frustrating that if it had have been my first baby and I’d never done it before I would have given up…..it seemed as though it would never work.

Most of the midwives agreed that it would take a lot of work to get her to attach, maybe even up to a month.  I wasn’t sure I could keep up this routine 24 hours a day for that long.  The LC felt that once I got home into my own environment things might be easier so they let me go home on day 5.  That night was tough.  I needed DH’s help to try and feed her with the supply line and the relentless pumping to keep my supply up was hard to fit in around her feeds.  I dreaded DH going back to work knowing I couldn’t do all this on my own and look after our boys too.

On the afternoon of day 6 I tried again to attach her and amazingly she latched on.  I was elated!  She had the best breastfeed she’d had and slept soundly afterwards.  I was concerned that it wouldn’t happen at the next feed by thankfully she latched on again and again and again.  It was difficult and time consuming for at least the first 6 weeks.  Getting her to latch on would sometimes take up to 10 minutes but eventually she became big enough and strong enough and now at 23 weeks is a real pro!!

I trusted my instincts and ditched the formula.  The home visit midwives felt I should top her up after a breastfeed as her weight gain at this stage was minimal but I knew she’d get there in her own time.  By the time she reached 4 weeks old she’d gained 700 grams…a huge amount for a baby so tiny and I knew it would all be fine.

#7 deejie

Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:19 PM

Gosh lucky2-- we were talking at our most recent local ABA meeting about things we would tell first time Mums struggling to breastfeed. Persistence was one of them and gosh, you sure had buckets of persistence. Good on you original.gif

DS1 and I struggled as well. He was born in a hospital and the midwife who "showed" me how to breastfeed basically slammed his screaming face in to my breast  sad.gif Another had him on a pillow facing away from me and "rolled" him towards my nipple. Both of course were completely wrong and resulted in a very poor latch, but being a naive first time Mum I just went with it. 5 days later, both nipples were shredded, cracked and bleeding. Advice from the MCHN was to "put some Lansinoh on it". First bout of mastitis on left side followed. It was excruciating to feed on that side, so I didn't. No one actually told me I had to get the milk out somehow!
Latch problems continued and second bout of mastitis on left side. I was in tears every feed time because it was so painful, so I sent DH out to purcahse a breast pump and was pumping most feeds because it was too sore to feed from either side. At this time I discovered the ABA hotline and a much more helpful MCHN referred me to a local breastfeeding day stay clinic.... but I had to wait 2-3 weeks to get in.
Follow third bout of mastitis on left side. The supply had dropped to next to nothing. I couldn't latch DS on the right side anymore because he had developed such a preference for the bottle.

When our stay at the clinic rolled around, it was such a relief to feed "nearly" painlessly. I cried! The LC was incredibly helpful and fixed 4 weeks worth of problems in a few hours. I left with a plan to increase the supply on the left side and armed with the knowledge to latch DS properly. It took me a few more weeks to get him off the bottles completely and with the help of a private LC, we finally settled in to BFing around 10-12 weeks.

We had other issues of course-- biting, breast refusal (many times!) and ironically once I got him "off" the bottles of EBM, when I tried to get him back "on" them at 6 months when I was returning to work 2 days a week.... the little monkey refused it flat out. Never had a bottle again.

By 4 months of age, he was breaking out in to hives after every breastfeed. He was covered in eczema and had recurrent skin infections. I knew he was allergic to something and felt like I was poisoning him from the inside. Prescription formulas were no good because
a) they stank
b) he wouldn't drink from a bottle anyway!
DS1 was finally diagnosed with multiple food allergies at 6 months (wheat, soy, cow's milk, egg, oats) and I had to cut all of these things out of my diet to continue feeding. This was incredibly hard and I struggled to maintain a decent diet and my weight (went from 52kg pre preg to 47kg and really did look too thin). He was reassessed at 12 months and I could reintroduce wheat in to my diet (oh the relief!) and also soy. Had to cut out sesame and almond though as he had developed allergies to those (no biggie there!)  The diet restrictions, especially the dairy/egg, were very challenging at times and sometimes I resented DS1 for making me "miss out". But I fed him until he self weaned at 23m when I was pregnant with DS2. Never was a woman happier for her child to wean biggrin.gif Oh, the things I ate that night.

Looking back I am very proud of my "persistence"... or as DH puts it, sheer bloodymindedness wink.gif

Thankfully I am finding the BFing journey with DS2 a LOT less challenging.... so far anyway wink.gif

#8 lady lady

Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

oops, will be back with my post just need to shorten it!!

Edited by lady lady, 18 January 2012 - 11:24 PM.

#9 Cranky Kitten

Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:05 PM

Wow, there's some amazing stories of persistence (bloodymindedness ha ha love it!) and perseverance here original.gif

My breastfeeding journey with DD was short but sweet. She quickly learned how to latch on and fed well from day one, growing well and sleeping well. We breezed through until she was 4 months old and I was heading back to work. I've always been bad at expressing, I don't know whether it was the pump I had or just my boobs not responding to it but my supply dropped incredibly in just two weeks, with DD fussing and crying from hunger I reluctantly switched her to formula.

This time around, DS had his first feed within minutes of birth, found the nipple himself and latched straight on. Apparently I have quite short nipples so have to watch his attachment very carefully, had a day or two of blistering and discomfort but that soon settled down and he's now feeding like a champ. It's early days for us but I am loving being able to feed him so easily without any problems from blocked ducts or mastitis, and am loving the way he just snuggles in and looks up at me while patting my breast as he feeds.

#10 lady lady

Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:34 PM

DD’s birth was a dream, she was born at 38 weeks exactly, I didn’t realize I was actually in “real” labour until it was a little bit too late, we arrived at the birth centre to have her in my arms 22 minutes later …..

I had skin to skin for the first hour, then the midwife helped me get her attached … it took a little bit of coaxing and I was already thinking, this is not easy ….. I went home about 48 hours later and the first week was going like a dream, I think I was running on adrenalin and DD hadn’t quite “woken up yet” …… at 7 days the CHN came to do the weigh in … and my world turned upside down ……. DD’s weight wasn’t what it should have been and the lack of sleep was really starting to kick in …..

This is my journey starting from about 1 week after birth …

My baby cried (all the time), I cried (most of the time)

My baby fussed/ couldn’t attach at my breasts (every feed); I began to hate my breasts (every feed)

I questioned my supply….. and then …… questioned my supply some more …… and then possibly…. questioned my supply again ….

I would stare at my baby and just keep saying “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”....

I bought a tin of formula and stared at it every day but could not bring myself to open it....

I sat on the internet and tried to find the answer to my breastfeeding problems every day....

I felt I needed someone to attach my daughter for me at every feed and just sit with me.....why wasn’t that midwife able to come home with me for the next 12 weeks?

I had/ did/ felt:

  • milk that didn’t “come in” (although, I now (in hindsight) question this) This resulted in me being advised to take Motilium and pump after every feed, 3 hourly day and night, for about 12 weeks I then had to finger feed what I had pumped to DD … finger feeding bought me tears as I couldn’t co-ordinate it by myself, in the end I decided to ditch the finger feed and give the EBM through a bottle …. I later found out about the SNS system, which I wish I had of known about earlier!!
  • DD had such a little mouth that she had poor latch
  • DD was on the border line of “failure to thrive” (although, I now (again in hindsight) also question this)
  • DD cut her first tooth at 6 weeks
  • thrush
  • in the early days a sleepy baby at the breast (DD would fall asleep at the breast within 1 minute after I had just spent about 15 minutes trying to attach her)
    then from about 8’sh weeks - a baby that fussed at the breast ... OMG did she fuss at the breast!!!
  • irrational thinking
  • no ability to “reason” because I was just SOOO TIRED
  • slight regret at having a baby
  • mad mummy hormones and
  • a DH thinking WTF had he gotten himself into....
……I couldn’t accept that I couldn’t breastfeed, this is what drove me …I felt that nature intended for me to breast feed, I kept telling myself women in third world countries do this - there is no reason I can’t do this; I just had to find out “how” nature wanted me to breastfeed ….. It came with persistence and the support of my husband, my family and a fabulous network of professionals ….

……..I found a Lactation Consultant - the specialist of the breastfeeding world …… I’ll be honest - it took me three different LC’s before I got one that I “clicked” with … although looking back now, they were ALL fabulous and gave solid advice and assessment, I was just VERY TIRED and very unreasonable ….

THE FOLLOW UP! One visit was not enough - I saw my LC once a week for the first 4 weeks then once a fortnight for the next month …. I walked out of my first visit with my head held high, I thought all my problems were solved in one visit ………. only to end up in tears all over again a few HOURS later …… this was all free as a public paitent via a breast feeding clinic ...

I had to make myself STOP QUESTIONING MY SUPPLY… DD got weighed every week until she was 6 months old, this gave me peace of mind that her weight was going up so my supply was fine, some weeks where slow (50+ grams) but some weeks where huge (300+grams)…..

I then had to stop blaming breastfeeding for my DD being unsettled and accept that I didn’t have a baby that was peaceful and calm and slept through the night ….…

Breastfeeding Forums & Kellymom.com provided me with daily inspiration and support to keep trying. For me, this was better than any mothers group could offer…

Then it just happened, I actually began to relax ………. somewhere between, 12 - 16 weeks I just stopped questioning and doubting, I can’t even pin point when it happened, it just did …… I remember after one feed, Mum just looked at me and said “that is the first time I have ever seen you relax whilst feeding” ….. I can honestly say breastfeeding is the only thing in my life so far, I have persevered with such determination … truth be told, I usually start something then quit when it gets too hard ….

Hindsight has taught me a lot …. I know next time might be easier or it might be harder, I also know a lot more about breastfeeding.

DD is now 14 months, and will ask for “boobie” or the “udder one” ….… I look at her each day and thank myself, that for once in my life … I just kept trying …..

Edited by lady lady, 19 January 2012 - 10:38 PM.

#11 deejie

Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:17 AM

QUOTE (lady lady @ 19/01/2012, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DD is now 14 months, and will ask for “boobie” or the “udder one” ….… I look at her each day and thank myself, that for once in my life … I just kept trying …..

Well done  wub.gif It does make it all the battles worth it, doesn't it.

#12 lady lady

Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

bump ...

#13 Tess1

Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

My journey began with the birth of my daughter who was born at 40 weeks. She was placed immediately on my chest and was breastfeeding within an hour of being born. Over the course of my stay in hospital she continued to feed well, although I began to develop very sore nipples. I did have very supportive midwives, and the hospital that I gave birth at had a wonderful breastfeeding room with a LC in attendance for 12 hours a day.

When I left hospital I felt confident and determined that I would continue to breastfeed. Over the course of the next 2 weeks I continued to breastfeed successfully, despite toe curling pain from sore and cracked nipples and often through tears because of the pain.

By week 3 my nipples had improved, I was no longer in pain and I began to enjoy feeding. At 6 weeks I began to notice a red painful lump in my breast. Next thing I know I have developed mastitis and are bedridden. I continue to feed through the mastitis and recover only to find the lump has not.

After an ultra sound I am referred to a surgeon who confirms that I have developed a breast abscess. For the next 6 weeks, I visit the surgeon on a weekly basis so the abscess can be aspirated with a very big needle as well as taking multiple courses of antibiotics. All the while I am continuing to breastfeed. Eventually, the surgeon advises me that  I should consider surgery to insert a drain into the breast to get rid of the abscess, but I would need to give up breastfeeding as it would not heal unless I did.

On hearing this, I was devastated. I absorbed this advise, went away and thought about it for a week and then rang the surgeon and said that I was not prepared to give up breastfeeding just yet and said that as the infection was now under control, I wanted to leave the abscess alone and see what happened. I'm happy to say, that after a couple of months, my body absorbed the abscess and I have not had any complications from taking this course of action. In hindsight, I don't no why I didn't contact ABA or a LC for advise.

Fast forward to when my DD was 4 months old and she was hospitalised for 5 days. Trying to feed while my DD was vey sick and had an IV in was very difficult. Add lack of sleep to the mix and a pead unit manager who refused to provide any hospital meals because I was breastfeeding; she said that if she gave me meals, then she would have to give them to all mothers staying with their children in hospital. I was the only breastfeeding mother and I have since learnt that it is standard practice to provide meals to breastfeeding mothers in paed wards looking after their children at other hospitals. I lost 5kg in 5 days through not eating enough. This is a hospital that had a plaque on the wall outlining their accreditation from WHO as a breastfeeding friendly hospital. Despite the stress of my DDs stay in hospital, again we managed to continue on our breastfeeding journey together.

When my DD reached 5 months I experienced what I later learnt was breast refusal. This went on for a week. After 24 hours of refusing my breast I gave her a bottle of EBM. After a week of expressing, my DD eventually took to the breast again and it was pretty much plain sailing from then on.

I managed to continue breastfeeding until she was 15 months old and I was 3 months pregnant. She chose to wean herself at this point and while I was sad, I was grateful that she chose to do so without any fuss and we managed to breastfeed together for so long.

If I look back in hindsight, I still cannot believe that I managed to get through some of those hurdles without seeking advise. I think it was just sheer determination that got me through. If I had my time over again I wouldn't have tried to do it on my own.

I now have a DS who is 12 weeks old. Our journey has generally be positive so far. He took to the breast straight after his birth and I have and minimal pain while establishing breastfeeding - sore nipples for a couple of days only. Unfortuanately, I did suffer from a post epidural headache for a week after the birth, then tonsilitis. While recovering from tonsilitis I developed mastitis concurrently in both breasts which just floored me for about a week. Needless to say it wasn't the breastfeeding itself but my health that made it difficult at the start. Although I felt awful for the first 3 weeks , I knew I would get through it and just kept saying to myself "that this too shall pass".

My DS was hospitalised at 7 weeks because of a viral infection and was on an IV etc. This time around we were at a different hospital with wonderful supportive staff.
Now at 12 weeks, everything is going well and I am hoping that our journey will continue until my DS is ready to wean.
Thanks for allowing me to share my journey.

#14 lucky 2

Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for allowing me to share my journey

You are most welcome, thank you for sharing your bfing experiences, you are definitely a dedicated bfing mum original.gif.

#15 Tikiboo16

Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:47 PM

Wow.. my story is quite as intense as some of these.. but I'll try anyway..

I've always believed in breastfeeding.. never even considered bottle feeding as I believe my breasts are there for a reason.. and why would I give my baby something artificial when I had 24x7 access to the most natural food supply a human being can have? I was very naive and I didn't realise that it was so difficult.

I had a difficult birth, even the epidural didn't help the pain entirely, and I bled very badly when DD was born. 800mL my OB told me later. I breast fed DD about 20 mins after she was born and she seemed sleepy and content... wasn't so hard!

DD slept most of her first day of life and didn't seem to want too much to eat, and I was very groggy and not really with it, so day 1 was spent mostly in bed staring at my DD. I was vaguely aware that nurses were taking my blood every few hours but didn't think much of it.

Then DD started screaming her little lungs out. She was hungry. I was putting her on my boob, but I hadn't seen the LC and really didn't know what I was doing. She would spend ages sucking away at me but nothing seemed to suppress the intense wailing. She would eventually fall asleep on my breast but would wake up within 20 mins and scream some more. She did that for three days and three nights.

On day 2 my doctor came to see me and told my why I was feeling like I had overdosed on valium. I had lost too much blood and was severely anaemic. He explained to me that my body would likely not produce much milk while my haemoglobin was so low, and I needed a blood transfusion right away. So I got a blood transfusion and expected that this would fix my screaming child and give me back the sleepy angel I had the day before.

...but she kept crying. The midwives started teaching me all sorts of holds and gave me as many tricks as they could, but DD kept screaming all night long. I was exhausted and started getting very emotional.

On day 4 they weighed DD again. She had lost more than 10% of her bodyweight and the nurses were now very concerned. They consulted the paed and he advised comp feeds. I was really upset.. I had tried so hard to feed her and I couldn't believe my body wasn't cooperating. I agreed to the comp feeds and DD settled right away.. finally I managed to get some sleep... but not for long. I was told I had to be back at 7pm to feed her again..

so I woke up 2 hours later and took my DD to the nursery for a feed. That's when they gave me my new feeding routine... breastffed for at least 20 mins on each breast.. then express for another 20 mins on each breast, then comp feed. The process took at least 1.5 hours all up and this had to be done every 4 hours. If I was 10 mins late I got harrassed by the LC.

By this stage I had badly cracked and bleeding nipples as DD was trying to suck the life out of them in a vain attempt for a feed. Everytime I had to feed her I had to mentally prepare myself for the pain. I was tired, sore and a very insensitive remark from a midwife set me over the edge and I cried for an hour.. that's when they started watching me for signs of PND.

On my last day in the hospital, my OB came and saw me and started suggesting that maybe I should come to terms with the fact that I can't bf, and I should just be kind to myself and switch to formula. I didn't want to hear it, but a part of me was thinking that it would be a whole lot easier. The doc suggested motilium though and said that if I don't see results in a week, that I should consider giving up.

So I got the motilium and went home. That week I noticed that DD was a lot more settled and my breasts felt heavy.. my milk had finally come in. I was ecstatic. I still wasn't producing much.. only 10mls or so for the first couple of weeks.. but slowly, the bottles of EBM were filling up. I still had to go through my four hourly feeding, expressing and comp feeding routine for another 3 weeks or so, but I got there. My OB was shocked at my 6 week follow up when I proudly announced that I was solely breastfeeding.

DD is now 18 months and we still bf at morning and before bedtime and I'm loathe to stop it as it's "our time". I love that it's something I can do for her that no one else can.. and she still loves it.

wow.. what an essay.. didn't mean for it to be so long. If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening. original.gif

#16 lucky 2

Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:45 PM

Yay for you Tikiboo, what a rotten start you had but you did it! Fantastic.
A couple of things stood out to me, that even if you have a rough start you can build to a full supply. You did it with bfing, expressing and Motilium and of cours perserverence.
When you lose enough blood you will make milk (unless extreme and the pituitary gland stops working/very rare) but you will lose some of the prolactin that was in your blood, so the Motilium sounds wise.
Your OB didn't have faith in your female body, wrongly.
Also poor you being hassled by the LC, that's not a part of the job description.
Thanks for sharing original.gif, mine ended up an essay too.

#17 ladybeetle1

Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:36 AM

What inspirational stories. Breastfeeding stories always move me to tears for some reason, must be the hormones original.gif

I don't have much of a story, breastfed my first until she self weaned at 15 months and I am still feeding my second who is 11 months.

I found the first three weeks feeding both of them excruciating with sore nipples but once that healed we were fine. I have faced breast refusal with both of them when they have had tonsillitis/sore throat but have managed to get them feeding again.

I have loved the breast feeding journey with both of them and each journey has been different. We have encountered many stages where I wondered if something was wrong (eg baby fussing at boob) and my first born rejected my right breast (evil boob) towards the end of her journey. My second child is still going very strong and still feeds several times a night, sigh. But I know he will not need my boobs to settle himself forever. As my last child I am savoring those middle of the night feeds when the house is quiet and he is still, hungrily sucking with eyes closed.

I am looking forward to having some independence back when he self weans, but I know I will also be devastated that it is over. Such a magical time that I often cannot find the words to describe it.

#18 ez21

Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:33 AM

Here is my breast feeding journey.  I hope you find it interesting and helpful.

DS was born at 10.50am in August of 2010.  The birth was a little drawn out but other than that, I can't complain.  DS was born naturally and thankfully without the need for an epidural or any pain relief other than some gas.  He was 8lb 8ozs and healthy.  He was put on my chest immediately following birth but showed little interest in feeding and failed to latch on.

I had lots of support from midwives who tried to get him to latch but, I was forced to feed him colostrum with a cup for the first 2 days until he finally latched.

It was day three when one of the midwives discovered that DS had a severe tongue tie.  DS had inherited this from my grandfather who is still tongue tied to this day!  I was disappointed that it was not detected sooner because by the time that it was I had already sustained significant nipple damage from poor latch.

Day 4 was when the TT was released.  The procedure didn't even make DS cry.  His latch improved quite a bit but there was still something wrong with his suckling action.  He had a short chomping action and there was a clicking sound.  I knew this meant that the nipple wasn't being drawn back far enough and this was evident in the shape of my nipple after a feed - it looked like the top of a lipstick, with a distinct slope on one side.

I sought help from midwives and LCs but they couldn't help.  DS was still learning how to use his tongue properly.  He didn't even know how to stick his tongue out, which made a good latch impossible.

We left hospital at the end of day 4.  I battled on with feeding...I had numerous visits from LCs, nurses and speech pathologists.  All observed a problem with his suckling action but were unable to advise on how to correct it.  I was doing all that I could to ensure a good latch.  DS was still learning and it would take some time.

I continued on with very damaged nipples and by week 6 I discovered that I had nipple vasospasm (I have suffered from Raynaud's Syndrome since my teens so this was not really a surprise).  The pain during a feed was bad enough but, I had to deal with pain from vasospasm anywhere from 1-2 hours following a feed.  The pain was like sharp knives being drawn through my breast and my Dr even thought I had thrush.  The pain would often bring me to tears.  I used heat pack and breast warmers, which helped a little.  I live in a cold climate so that didn't help.  I also had repeated mastitis, which was not fun.

My LC and I kept doing research on correcting DS' suckling action and I discovered the use of finger feeding as a possible solution.  The idea is to finger feed with a syringe of EBM, concentrating on keeping the finger back in the mouth and as flat as possible, to help prevent the constant hump in the middle of DS' tongue.  He slowly started to develop a roll of the tongue.  Instead of balling his tongue up into a hump, he started to use a wave-like motion  and stopped chomping.  As soon as I felt the correct motion, I would instantly put him on the breast and the difference was staggering.

Things really started to improve by week 7-8 and by week 10 I had the first pain-free feed.  I was ecstatic!

My breast feeding journey continued until around 18 months (only recently) and, I would have continued but he just wasn't that interested anymore.

I am so happy with our achievement and I thank DH who was incredibly supporting and encouraging.  My LC was also fantastic and even when she couldn't offer any new advice, her constant encouragement was great.  Support and determination is crucial...without it, I would not have succeeded.

I am now 7 weeks pregnant and I know I will be better prepared this time.  One thing won't change, I will always seek help when I need it.  Breast feeding is very natural but does not always come naturally to everyone, including your baby.

Thank you so much for reading.

#19 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:12 AM

Lucky2, I haven't finished readinypg your story and am already tearing. So sorry what you have gone through and so happy things worked out bfg wise. Hope you are well from PND today.

#20 Amica

Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

Breastfeeding hasn't been easy for me any of the times. I've experienced the same challenges and more as others but not breastfeeding was not an option for me so I moved mountains to make it happen.

My first baby was in SCN for 9 days. I also dealt with my nipples being torn to shreds and bleeding, tongue tie, unsupportive pro formula friends and family, not knowing or understanding the supply and demand (demand and supply more like it) process; a lot of stress. It was an uphill battle for a long time. I also went back to work for 3 days a week when he was 4 months so I was expressing a lot which took a lot of dedication. We remained breastfeeding for 22 months.

My short version breastfeeding story is on the below link.


I had an emergency C/S no labour due to an eclamptic fit and I spend 5 weeks in hospital all up. Then he was unwell so we were separated at birth for 4 days as he was flown to another hospital. He was in hospital for 6 weeks and I was not able to put him to the breast for the first time til he was about 4 weeks old as he was either ventilated or too sick to suck. I breastfed him through 2 minor and 2 major heart surgeries for 29 months. He was also in right heart failure for a few months and spent a lot of time in hospital for various reasons.

My third was a 32 week prem. I had an emergency C/S no labour with him also as my liver was was failing due to severe PE. He went to NICU and I went to ICU so we didn't meet til he was 3 days old. I had extremely low supply with him. The milk didn't come in til day 7 and when it did the amount was pathetic. He had milk bank milk until my supply caught up. He was on huge NG tube feeds as well. More milk than a full term new born would have just to fatten him up. I was expressing a lot. Much of the time by hand too. I was transferred and he was born 700km's from where we live and I didn't bring my breastpump. Hand expressing had left me literally black and blue and it HURT. Of course, I used the electric pumps at the hospital but we were only there about 8 hours a day with 2 other kids and Christmas etc. He was then flown back to our home hospital for the last of his hospital stay. That was much easier. My prems hospital journey was much less stressful then his big brothers. There is never a point where we were told he might die. His NICU journey wasn't as smooth as it could have been either though. He has been exclusive on breastmilk now for 10 months and counting.

I'm glad I persisted through the common hurdles and some more extreme and extenuating circumstances. It never came easy to me and there was certainly an easier option available. It was very hard, but very much worth it too.  original.gif

#21 Justaduck

Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

DD was born at 38+6 via planned c-section. I have breathing issues so both Ob & my respiratory physician decided that was safest method for her delivery.
She was looking for milk by the time we were in recovery. The nurse down there told me to wait until we get upstairs and a midwife could show me what to do. Bub was still hungry to I just let her try and work it out for herself rather than hold her off for an hour.

She ended up going a bit yellow and developed mild jaundice. Feeding her really hurt, I had heard this and didn't think much of it. I ended up getting big red and purple marks (hickeys) from her. She wasn't attaching properly. Time after time, feed after feed they would try and attach her properly but she wasn't having a bar of it. Her weight was dropping and she was getting yellower and more lethargic. They said she was tired & not wanting to eat because of the jaundice, but she needed to eat to help aid the jaundice. Her bilirubin levels were checked and just low enough to avoid the lights. I had to express into a medicine cup at first and syringe feed bub. Later on they brought a big mechanical pump in and I had to be hooked up to it & express and bottle feed bub. 4 days into the hospital stay & they said I could stay another night if I wanted. I stayed til 7pm and went home. I figured all I was doing there was pumping and bottle feeding which I would rather do at home (I had very slack care even though I was in what was rated as the best maternity hospital in the country). I had my antenatal teacher as my discharge midwife and she got a nipple shield for us to try. Bub had lost about 15% of her bodyweight by discharge.

A few days of the nipple shied at home and bub was attaching much better. Boobs were nowhere near as sore and red and we didn't need the shield any more. Problem was she still was not gaining next to no weight. Clinic suggested that I eat six high protein meals a day and stay home and not go anywhere for a week. I could not eat three big meals, let alone six, as much as I tried, and ended up a bit stir crazy from sitting around the house. Following week and no difference was made. The cdu suggested that I express and give her 50mL top ups at the end of the feed. All that resulted in was her throwing up the excess milk. She was a big chucker too and a lot of milk would get brought up. I ended up stopping 'burping' her as she wasn't actually expelling air, just bringing up more milk.

She was born at 3.57kg (I think the 50%ile). She is now 8.5 months and weighs 6.6kg (3rd %ile). The clinic next told me that I should give her formula to fatten her up so she could follow the scale. Talked to my GP and he has been amazing (no judgement here, if formula is what works best for you and your family then that is great too) in looking at her and not the scales. She was always alert, active, happy and exceeding milestones. I ended up stopping with the clinics as they just look at the scales and suggest formula now. DD has been on the move since she rolled at 17 days old. Her Dad has weight gain issues himself as well, so it could all be genetic. I did wish that if we had a daughter she got his metabolism (I am jealous that he eats like a horse and puts on no weight) and if we had a son he got mine (DP is jealous that I easily put on weight) but I was eating my words for a while there.
It was long and stressful having people fuss about weight gain, but at the end of the day I am just glad that we got through the initial attachment problems and had someone supportive of full breastfeeding for DD. We have stuck out the bfing this long and our intention is to go to a year old and go to cows milk (except for early morning and late night feed) and skip the formula stage altogether.

#22 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:41 AM

Thank you lady lady! You are describing me exactly in your post. I am still trying at bfg, only thing is I am also comping ATM. Telling myself to RELAX....

#23 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:10 AM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 17/01/2012, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just remembered I had very bad restless legs and sitting to breast feed was a kind of hell, especially at night.

Certainly identify with this. I keep myself entertained with mags and esp iPad.

#24 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:32 AM

These stories are so timely and amazing! I am learning so much. I really needed it as I am struggling at the moment and bubs only less than 4 weeks old and am contemplating quitting. Your stories just inspire me not to give up and I can bf. thanks!

Keep them coming.

#25 antsy

Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:09 AM

Great idea! I have really enjoyed reading these.

I have had a low supply with all three of my babies. I will write about my experience after having my third since it is the most recent.

Baby was born at 39 weeks via elective repeat c/s. BF in the first hour, latched on perfectly and all seemed well. Continued to BF very frequently over the next couple of days.

By day 2 baby is starting to act very hungry and stopped having wet nappies. By day 3 there are red marks in the nappies (a sign of dehydration) but I am assured it can also be normal. Baby is very unsettled and wants to BF continuously. He never comes off the breast looking satisfied. The lack of wet nappies is concerning me a lot. Midwives tell me to persevere and my milk will come in soon. Problem is, I think my milk has come in, but there just isnt much of it. I had sore hot breasts on day 2 and the milk has turned white, but I dont seem to be making much at all. Baby has lost just under 10% of weight and I am discharged home and told to keep persevering. At home baby seems a bit lethargic and there are hardly any wet nappies, you cant even tell if there is wee in them or not as they are so light.

Midwife does a home visit on day 4 and baby has now lost about 12% of his weight. I am advised to continue BF but top up with formula when needed. I also go to the doc to get motilium since it helped me with my previous babies. Things improve a lot after I begin the top ups, baby is weeing a lot more and seems more energetic. I am making sure my breasts are completely empty before giving a top up, so it doesnt affect my supply. Baby finally starts to gain weight by around day 12.

Over the next month I am BF every 1.5-2 hours in the day and a few times overnight. I am also giving 3-4 small bottles of top up formula a day. By about 2 months I notice that baby doesnt need as many top ups since he seems content after feeds, so I begin reducing them. By 3 months he is completely off the tops ups and fully BF. I am still taking the motilium.

I continue to BF throughout his first year. I now find it easy, convenient and a beautiful bonding time with my baby. There is nothing more adorable than the way they curl up into you while they feed. I still take motilium though, I have tried to reduce the number of tablets I take but notice a drop in supply when I do it.

Baby turns 1 and is still BF 4-5 times a day. I start trying to wean off the motilium. Slowly, over the next few months, I manage to drop from 8 tablets to 4. I notice a drop in supply but since baby is eating solids it doesnt really matter.

Baby is now 17 months old, BF about 3 times a day, and I am taking 3 motilium tablets a day. I am not making much milk any more but I guess it is just enough. I am so glad I perservered in the early days. There were a few times that I wanted to just give up BF since I was having so many problems, but I made it through and it eventually got easy. I feel so lucky to have gotten to this point because for a while there it looked like I wouldnt make it past the first few days.

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