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Chamomile

Breastfeeding woes :'(

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Disydo2018

On nipple shields - I used the medela ones from the hospital and they did help although still not enough. But it was an improvement. You can get them at the chemist.

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Anonymouse-101

 

 

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

 

Sent :)

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blueskies12

Just wanted to also chime in and say what a wonderful job you are doing. I would suggest to keep searching for a private LC that will come to your home.

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SarahBelle48

You are doing an amazing job.

 

With the tongue tie release, was it snipped or laser? My second daughter had a tongue tie, lip tie and cheek ties and the resulting high palate. We got everything released via laser by one of the best people in the country, I then took her to the osteopath several times to loosen the muscles in her face and neck. We saw a massive improvement in her feeding and sleeping once all of this was done.

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MsLaurie

I also used the medela shields, you can get them at bigger chemists, about $15-20ish from memory. My older girl had fairly significant tongue tie and the shield helped. It kind of aims the milk deeper? The one I had was sort of a half moon shape, so bubs can still feel skin at the top, it’s not all plastic. If he’s having the odd bottle, the sensation shouldn’t be too difficult for him to adapt to.

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lucky 2

Unfortunately there isn't any solid research evidence re lip ties or buccal, positive or negative.

Results will be anecdotal, case by case. This worked for me, that didn't help etc etc.

Treatment pathways, or no treatment pathways, are not clear at this stage. It should be easier, shouldn't it?

Lots of women have your experience, ie stumbling along, meeting challenges as they arise, exhausted and confused.

As pps have said, you are doing a great job with your parenting. :)

Getting further, experienced LC support asap would be timely.

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Silverstreak

You are doing a great job, seriously.

 

Be gentle with yourself, these early days can be hard and it's okay to switch to formula feeding if you want to.

 

DS and I had a rocky start with breastfeeding:

 

He was in special care to begin with.

 

He was a very sleepy feeder.

 

I have inverted nipples and the nipple shields didn't really work.

 

I was exhausted due to an undiagnosed underactive thyroid that was picked up months later.

 

TMI but the large size of my boobs made it difficult to feed, I had to do the "football" hold and only feed DS whilst sitting on a couch with pillows, which was hard.

 

I saw a lactation consultant who visited at home, but we found it difficult to come up with strategies due to all the other things going on.

 

When DS was three weeks old my c-section site developed cellulitis and I was advised to go on antibiotics and pump and dump my milk.

 

In the end my supply waned despite pumping and I switched to formula only at five weeks.

 

Just before I switched I had DH take some lovely photos of me breastfeeding DS, so I could look back on them. I was sad that I couldn't go on breastfeeding, but relieved as well, as I could now focus on other things.

 

Anyway, just saying that sometimes things don't always go to plan with babies. All the best and good luck!

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HolierThanCow

I know there are some great LCs out there, but my breastfeeding experience with my 1st only improved after I ignored all their advice and tried to fix it myself (not suggesting you do this, it's just my own story).

 

Basically, pumping didn't work for me. It was slow, irritated my nipples and didn't seem to stimulate milk production very much.

 

The way I managed to increase my supply in the end was to sit at home with the baby on my boob for three days straight. I'm just throwing this in there amongst all the pumping advice; it doesn't work for a lot of women (I have met quite a few with similar experiences).

 

I also had problems with latching, and (as I have said on EB before) ended up waiting until the baby's mouth was open as wide as possible and then literally shoving as much breast in her mouth as I could.

 

I also had a clicking noise; the nipple isn't far back enough (you probably know this!)

 

I actually wish I had supplemented with formula in the early weeks... I think I would have had a happier and less stressful start to parenthood.

 

It sounds like you are trying everything, so hopefully things will improve soon... :-)

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Lou-bags

Hi OP,

 

You've got some really good advice and support from PPs in this thread. I just wanted to add a few suggestions to them.

 

The first is the Australian Breastfeeding Association. I don't think I saw them mentioned upthread.

 

You can call a fully trained breastfeeding counselor 24/7 on the national helpline. 1800 686 268

All counselors have extensive evidence based training, have breastfed at least one child for at least 6 months, and are volunteers. You could also visit your local group catch up where you could speak with a counselor in person and they could provide you with some tips and support.

 

They can also provide you with support for weaning if you decide to go down that road. It might be worth taking a look at some info on paced bottle feeding, too, regardless of if you continue to BF and pump or switch to formula bottles or mix of the lot.

 

ABA also has a website full of evidence based information that you might like to look at. Stuff like how to pump and store your milk- I mention this specifically as it seemed from a comment before that you weren't already aware about how you can store your apparatus in the fridge without washing for the day, which is particularly helpful for multiple pumping sessions. The think I loathed the most about pumping was all the fiddly cleaning up!

 

The kellymom.com website is another excellent reliable source of information for breastfeeding.

 

Your story reminds me in some respects of my experience with feeding my second son. DS2 had upper lip and tongue ties, and quite a high palate. He did the clicking just like your baby, slipping off and so on. It drove me NUTS. Especially as because I'd breastfed one baby already without these issues I knew that it wasn't supposed to be like this!

 

I had the ULT and TT revised when he was 11 weeks old and like you found no significant improvement unfortunately (which sucked so bad, as it was traumatic for both of us, just horrible!). I was fortunate that my supply was good and let downs forceful so he got enough milk despite not being great at latching and staying latched without clicking and slipping off. So his feeds, despite being frequent (as were his big brothers- 2 to 2.5 hourly or more frequently until about 5 months old for DS1), were not long like yours are. That is really hard! You must feel like you're just feeding constantly you poor thing!

 

For me and DS2, we got lucky and at some point between maybe 4 and 6 months of age things started to get easier. He got a bit better hang of feeding, perhaps because he was bigger so could take more breast into his mouth, I don't know. Anyway he went on to breastfeed until 25 months old when he more or less weaned himself.

 

One thought I had reading your OP was maybe trying the formula top up earlier in the evening? Your milk making hormones are at their highest over night (and more so in the early morning) so maybe giving the top up earlier then heading to bed yourself as soon as baby is asleep would be more effective? Is your current top up plan one that you worked out with your LC? This is another thing a call or visit with the ABA might help you to fine tune.

 

Another thing would be to have your LC (or a counselor) watch your DS feed, and see if you can work out when he goes from actively breastfeeding to the more non-nutritive sucking style. You said he starts sucking again when you take him off but this may be for comfort more so than milk. My DS1 would have stayed attached all day if he could but I would often take him off once he was asleep and just "flutter sucking", even if he resisted. You may get a bit more of a break this way.

 

Some questions for you:

How often is he feeding?

 

You say he's struggling to gain weight- but being on a low percentile does not alone indicate this. Has a health care professional expressed concern about his weight gain? Is he staying on roughly the same percentile now, with his weight and length roughly matching? Perhaps a second opinion there might be reassuring?

 

I really feel for you in this challenging time, and I hope you're getting a lot of support around you. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. You really are doing a great job!

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Chamomile

OP here.

I just wanted to come back and share some updates.

Firstly, enormous thanks to all of you for your support and practical suggestions. They were spot-on and it made a huge difference to have such good advice.

 

Things are a lot better than they were.

 

- I've been double pumping as suggested. It really does boost supply.

- now only pumping once a day.

- I have weekly appointments with the osteo & breastfeeding counselor recommended by Crazyone :)

- I tried to see the LC recommended by Anonymouse but appointments didn't work out. But I can try again if we need to later.

- I still love my ergobaby breastfeeding pillow (using the flat side).

- Still topping up with formula, still taking motillium.

- baby is gaining weight without me having to worry about it.

- he still makes a clicking sound, but doesn't fall asleep while feeding.

 

The advice from the osteo & bf counselor was to:

- have more tummy time to strengthen baby's neck muscles.

- lots of suck training.

- improve my diet (more fruit and nuts) for better energy. Less sugar.

 

I think the suck training is what made the difference. Then it was an upward cycle of him receiving more milk, having a longer sleep, longer gap between feeds, so he feeds well at the next feed,

 

Feeds are also shorter now, 20 mins per side. I'm still feeding every second hour, but I think that's closer to normal now.

 

Overall, much happier mum & baby. We even go out occasionally!

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Lou-bags

Brilliant update Chamomile!

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PhillipaCrawford

What a wonderful good news story!

 

Thank you

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Crazyone26989

Yay! I am so glad the osteo was able to help!

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Riotproof

You made my day! I’m so glad everything is working.

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Silverstreak

Lovely update, thank you for sharing!

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Apageintime

I would make sure you see an international board certified lactation consultant. Anyone can call themselves an LC.

 

I'd also check the tongue tie hasn't reattached.

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SplashingRainbows

What a lovely update. Thanks for coming back to share. I’m so glad you’ve had some improvements.

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blueskies12

This is great news! Well done and thank you for sharing it with us.

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FuzzyChocolateToes

Great update! Woohoo!

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