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Chamomile

Breastfeeding woes :'(

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Chamomile

I have a 3 month old, and we have feeding problems, which means he also can't sleep for very long. So I never get a break.

 

Here's the story:

- He takes over an hour to feed and often wants more after 40-60 mins.

- Makes a clicking sound while feeding. Can't latch properly.

- LC said he had lip tie, tongue tie & high palate.

- Went to paediatric surgeon, they did an ultrasound while he was feeding. Confirmed need for TT release which we did.

- This has not solved the problem. Now they're saying that due to his high palate, "He may never feed well"

- He still can't hold a dummy in. Have tried the cherry shaped dummies.

 

He has trouble gaining weight. Has been as low as 2nd percentile. Currently 9th percentile (but feeding is all I do everyday).

 

- I am on motilium (2 tabs, 3 times per day).

- I pump after most feeds to give him expressed breast milk topups after most feeds.

- We give him 150mL formula once a day as a topup around midnight (I pump at the same time to avoid drop in supply).

- I have the ergo baby breastfeeding pillow.

- I just bought a Haakaa - doesn't seem to work for me (I have low supply due to his ineffective feeding).

- I have the medela double electric pump. I single pump to minimise washing up.

- Tried to get a private LC to come to the home, but they're not responding to messages.

- Tired of the public drop in sessions. They thought the TT was the problem, but there's obviously something else going on.

 

I'm on my own most days. It is really hard to feed, pump, settle etc.

 

Would welcome any suggestions. I am in Sydney.

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Crazyone26989

I am by no means a breastfeeding expert. My 6 month old had a tongue tie and he needed 3 sessions with an osteopath to fix his sucking issues.

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Riotproof

Are you wanting to exclusively express and feed by bottle?

 

My advice about pumping is to warm your breasts with a warm flannel first, then massage, then preferably watch a video of your baby while you pump, and lots of people swear double pumping works better.

 

Is it possible you have delayed let down?

 

Have you had a speech pathologist watch him feed?

Edited by Riotproof

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Chamomile

Thanks Crazyone! How did the osteopath fix his sucking issues?

I hadn't even thought of an osteopath so I really appreciate it.

If you are in Syd, would you mind sending me the name by DM?

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crazy87

Oh your poor thing....

 

Step #1 get the lip tie released. 50% of Drs don't believe it causes problems but it 100% does. Baby can't flange their lip so can't latch onto anything properly whether it be bottles, dummies, breasts whatever.

 

And honestly, this is completely up to you, but don't feel like you have to keep up breastfeeding. I did it for 3mths and nearly sent myself into PND. In hindsight I should've given up long before I did.

 

In my own experience, the poor latch means the baby is taking in so much air with each mouthful- which causes massive wind problems, lack of sleep, etc etc. And hell for the mother.

 

I would head to a dentist specialising in ties and get them to fix it. I can recommend one in the Hills area if that's anywhere near :)

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SplashingRainbows

A few things come to mind, but firstly it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job and if none of these statements are helpful then ignore them all.

 

1. If you no longer want to breastfeed, formula is a safe and effective alternative, so please leave that option open to yourself.

 

2. Would exclusively pumping give you more help/time? Baby probably wouldn’t take 40-60 minutes to have a bottle and once you’ve pumped you can move on to the next thing especially if you’ve got a good double pump.

 

3. It’s highly unlikely (IMO) baby is feeding efficiently for an hour. A LC review would be helpful but I acknowledge you’re not getting that. I know my eldest had me trapped in the lounge far too long because he was cuddling/sleeping. That’s fine, I did love the cuddles. But all day every day was too much and not helpful for my mental health.

 

Is he actively sucking that whole hour? What happens if you take him off after 10-15 minutes? How often are you switching sides? That may help? Can you reclaim some of your day this way?

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Chamomile

Thanks Riotproof. I think I do have delayed letdown. What should I do about it?

 

Yes, have also been to a speech pathologist. Should have mentioned this. She mainly said she thought he was ok and to flange his lip out while feeding. This hasn't really achieved much.

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Chamomile

Thanks SR.

He is a slow feeder, a few sucks, a break, just so slow. But he is holding on. If I try to take him off, he starts sucking again.

 

I am scared to exclusive pump. I'm worried I would lose my supply. I think I'd also need a lot of help to get this started, which I don't have.

 

LC suggested switch feeding, but I think we both hated it. Didn't seem to boost my supply unfortunately.

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Riotproof

Thanks Riotproof. I think I do have delayed letdown. What should I do about it?

 

Yes, have also been to a speech pathologist. Should have mentioned this. She mainly said she thought he was ok and to flange his lip out while feeding. This hasn't really achieved much.

 

I think the standard advice is actually a lot of the pumping stuff I gave above. Warming the breast, massaging to get letdown Before even trying to put him on. Then you can compress your breast while he is feeding to help him get more.

DD was premature and that is what I did to help her, but it may not be enough in your case. It sounds very challenging.

 

I do want to add that I agree with Splashingrainbows above.

 

I just saw your post and the time, and thought you might be in the thick of it right now.

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Crazyone26989

Thanks Crazyone! How did the osteopath fix his sucking issues?

I hadn't even thought of an osteopath so I really appreciate it.

If you are in Syd, would you mind sending me the name by DM?

 

She did some sucking exercises with him. She would put her finger in his mouth to encourage him to cup his tongue and then I had to do that at home too. There were a few other things too with his general body alignment. I’ll DM you the name of the lady.

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Hands Up

I switched to exclusive pumping after having a lot of BF issues. My supply improved. No pumps worked for me but I found hand expressing easy as I could feel where the milk was. I did it until I was fed up (three months) and then gradually introduced formula. It was such a relief and made a big difference to how I felt about parenthood.

 

I’m sharing my experience just in case you are thinking of a different path.

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Chamomile

I'm eating a lean cuisine as fast as I can, then back to feeding :(

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Riotproof

Don’t forget a huge glass of water.

 

Are you eating enough?

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Not Escapin Xmas

You poor thing. I would just go to formula. You’ve given it a red hot go but it’s time for a different approach. I really feel for you. Xxx

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rowd

I'm also not an expert but I had several sessions with a lactation consultant and these are a few things I did which helped when I had a prem/medically complex baby who had a lot of challenges with feeding:

 

Nipple shields. This was huge for us as they allowed her to latch a lot more easily and actually get a good flow of milk. She had a severe tongue tie and very high palate, but the shields seemed to eliminate both of those issues in regards to feeding.

 

Double pumping - it really helps with supply and is also a lot more time efficient. You can do it for 5-10 mins after feeding, or just simply during the formula feed.

 

Breast compresses while feeding, which helps increase flow and release the fattier milk, helping baby stay fuller longer. These need to be done for at least 10 secs at a time, it isn't just a quick squeeze.

 

And also seconding the osteo suggestion. This helped with both my kids.

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Dianalynch

That is such hard work, ds also had issues, I pumped for 2 months then formula, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I try to focus on what I did achieve - breast milk for 8 weeks, when we had ds’s pead saying from day 4 for very good reasons ‘this one’s not going to be breastfed...’

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Chamomile

Don’t forget a huge glass of water.

 

Are you eating enough?

 

Haha, I’m probably the only person who gains weight while BF. Another sign something isn’t right.

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Chamomile

 

Nipple shields. This was huge for us as they allowed her to latch a lot more easily and actually get a good flow of milk. She had a severe tongue tie and very high palate, but the shields seemed to eliminate both of those issues in regards to feeding.

 

 

 

Thanks Rowd. Any particular brand or type I should try?

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Beanette

Don't beat yourself up, you have done amazingly well for persisting for this long. What a gift to your son! Try to feel proud and not guilty (I know this is much easier said than done).

 

My DS was never able to latch properly, also with a high palate. His poor latch basically destroyed my nipples (right side is 50% scar tissue, left side is maybe 30% scar tissue) and so I wasn't able to BF DD either, even though she had a great latch.

I exclusively pumped for DS for 9 months. By 3 months with DD I was so pumping, and switched to formula with no regrets.

 

Does he take the formula and EBM bottles well? Switching to bottles could mean he can eat more effectively, then sleep better.

 

If you do decide to go down the exclusive pumping route, definitely try to double pump. It's more efficient for building your supply to empty both breasts at once (and if you keep your parts in the fridge between pumps they only need to be washed once every 24 hours)

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Chamomile

 

If you do decide to go down the exclusive pumping route, definitely try to double pump. It's more efficient for building your supply to empty both breasts at once (and if you keep your parts in the fridge between pumps they only need to be washed once every 24 hours)

 

Thanks, I didn't know this at all.

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Anonymouse-101

I have a 3 month old, and we have feeding problems, which means he also can't sleep for very long. So I never get a break.

 

Here's the story:

- He takes over an hour to feed and often wants more after 40-60 mins.

- Makes a clicking sound while feeding. Can't latch properly.

- LC said he had lip tie, tongue tie & high palate.

- Went to paediatric surgeon, they did an ultrasound while he was feeding. Confirmed need for TT release which we did.

- This has not solved the problem. Now they're saying that due to his high palate, "He may never feed well"

- He still can't hold a dummy in. Have tried the cherry shaped dummies.

 

He has trouble gaining weight. Has been as low as 2nd percentile. Currently 9th percentile (but feeding is all I do everyday).

 

- I am on motilium (2 tabs, 3 times per day).

- I pump after most feeds to give him expressed breast milk topups after most feeds.

- We give him 150mL formula once a day as a topup around midnight (I pump at the same time to avoid drop in supply).

- I have the ergo baby breastfeeding pillow.

- I just bought a Haakaa - doesn't seem to work for me (I have low supply due to his ineffective feeding).

- I have the medela double electric pump. I single pump to minimise washing up.

- Tried to get a private LC to come to the home, but they're not responding to messages.

- Tired of the public drop in sessions. They thought the TT was the problem, but there's obviously something else going on.

 

I'm on my own most days. It is really hard to feed, pump, settle etc.

 

Would welcome any suggestions. I am in Sydney.

 

Hi, your story sounds very similar to mine - and I’m also in Sydney and suspect we may have seen the same doctor based on the ultrasound! I’m happy to PM you the name of the LC we saw at home if you like - she was much, much better than the ones at the droop in clinic.

 

My bub is now 12 months and we’re still feeding :)

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lucky 2

Hi, sounds tough. x

Perhaps try a different LC? Perhaps others are in your area.

Good suggestions re speechie but only if they specialise in bfing babies.

Flanging the top lip isn't helpful, the top lip can be neutral during feeding.

Having a lip frenulum severed will not come with a guarantee that bfing will improve, just as a tongue tie procedure can not give that guarantee.

It sounds like baby is having trouble holding your breast deep in the mouth.

Sure, the tongue release might have helped but a high arched hard palate is tricky.

Using a large nipple shield might help him fill his mouth but 3 month old babies often won't accept a shield, they get used to a direct latch.

Could you increase his milk intake so he will grow the average amount of weight?

If he has slow growth and is already having one dose of formula, can't he have more, ie after 2 or more feeds?

If he isn't growing well he may be less vigorous at feeds.

Perhaps bring him close, ensure he has as much breast in his mouth as possible, aiming your nipple to the back of his hard palate. Ensure his chin and both cheeks are tucked into your breast, ie not dragging on the breast.

When he slows, use gentle breast squeezes to help milk flow, when he is not swallowing, I'd try the switch feeding again. Gently remove him, if he is immediately upset just switch sides, if he is sleepy you could lie him on your lap.

How about a supply line, it might help but no guarantee. ?

If you've had enough expressing you could be, switch feed then bottle with formula to what ever volume he wants.

Who knows the future, your milk production could further decrease with not bfing and just expressing, but as a pp said, it might stay ok or increase ?

Good luck!

Have you had a chat with an aba counsellor? They may not fix the issues but it may also help to talk it through. ?

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Chamomile

 

 

Hi, your story sounds very similar to mine - and I’m also in Sydney and suspect we may have seen the same doctor based on the ultrasound! I’m happy to PM you the name of the LC we saw at home if you like - she was much, much better than the ones at the droop in clinic.

 

My bub is now 12 months and we’re still feeding :)

 

Thanks Anon, if you could pm me your LC that would be great :)

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rowd

 

 

Thanks Rowd. Any particular brand or type I should try?

 

I used the hospital supplied ones, so I don't know the brand sorry, but I think just try whatever they have at the pharmacy/supermarket. You do need to get the right size for your nipples but if in doubt just grab a couple of the standard sizes and try them out. They're very easy to use and nothing to lose if they don't work out (aside from maybe $10 or so!)

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Disydo2018

Chamomile, you’re doing an amazing job. I can’t advise as I wasn’t able to breastfeed - switched to formula after two weeks. It sounds like you don’t want to switch to formula and that’s completely your choice but I just thought I’d say what a difference it made to me. My baby is now almost 8 weeks and thriving - and I’m able to be a much better mother to him because I’m not spending my days crying and exhausted because I can’t feed him. The fact that you’ve persevered for this long with such severe issues is incredible and something you should feel really proud of. I guess I’m just saying that there’s another way of it all becomes too much. Take care.

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