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BFing a scond child after not very good experience first time round

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by glitterkid, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Title says it all. Was wondering if there was anything anyone had tried to improve nipple shape during pregnancy. I was told part of my problem was flattened nipples (I am quite dubious about this as they seem normal enough to me). Anyhoo, when LO was just born I started using breast shells before feeds to draw the nipple out more. These were really awkward to use as the milk kept sloshing everywhere and seemed such a waste. I found out later that these are maybe more suitable during pregnancy. HV also recommended some sort of suction device to use which made me feel a bit squeamish.
    I had a rotten old labour last time and ended up needing blood transfusions and stuff so was also quite weak for a while which also contributed to lack of success. Ended up with a baby losing too much weight and then switched to formula. Just thinking if things could improve with No 2.
  2. Grr, wrote a long post and lost it!
    Chica started a thread recently about breastfeeding a second after tough times with a first which you may find useful.
    Is there a breastfeeding cafe or La Leche League meeting near you? You could go along and discuss your experience with your first and get some support for overcoming those problems with a second. Then you'd also have access to a support network if you needed any help feeding the second one.
    I'd also make Kellymom.com your second home, and read read read. Dr Jack Newman's videos are useful too for reference. Also make your midwife aware that you are keen to breastfeed and request that whoever does breastfeeding support in the hospital (they're called Maternity Support Workers at our hospital) comes to see you as soon as possible after birth and follows up with you at home in the early days if necessary.
    If you're on twitter there are a few IBCLC (lactation consultants) who post great advice, I can try and find their names so you have them handy.
  3. Thanks Bunique. It was all a bit of a whirlwind with my first and I think I was a bit shellshocked! I know there is a BFing group in my local library each week, unfortunately i was too weary to make it out last time!

    Thanks for the advice, I think i have chica's thread hotlisted somewhere.
  4. I'd also add that (with exceptions, obviously!) some midwives', HVs' and especially GPs' knowledge and understanding of breastfeeding is quite poor, and although it's difficult not to go along with what they say, it is often worth doing a bit of research yourself before making a decision on following their advice. I'm not saying ignore them, before anyone jumps on me! Just that a second opinion, even if it's one you form yourself through research, can sometimes lead to a better outcome than what they might be suggesting. As an example, the head of midwifery told us at a breastfeeding antenatal course that breastfed babies don't get wind, and my HV told me that drinking 7UP would give my baby wind...both total b*llocks!
  5. Er, I mean me drinking 7UP would give her wind, not her drinking 7UP, before I get nominated for the Worst Mother In The World award ;)
  6. If you happen to be too weary to make it out this time, it might be worth keeping the NAtional Breastfeeding Helpline number handy - 0300 100 0212 - it's open 9.30am to 9.30pm every day and is manned by volunteers who are or have been breastfeeders.
  7. Phew re 7up! I was trying to work out how to write a polite but funny post about that ... Didn't think it sounded like you!
  8. Lol at 7up! That may not give baby wind but eggs, my goodness!!! :-0 I was going to refer you to chic's thread too, I know there are people out there who couldn't first time but do fine second time. I also second the advice thatidwives don't have much training on bfing (or don't seem to anyway) so het the advice of a counsellor with current training. Good luck! Are you pregnant again? How old is your lo? X
  9. Thanks for all the replies. I found a real difference depending on the midwife you got - a couple were excellent but a couple were rotten to the point of me wanting to lodge a complaint (v unlike me!).
    Yup, clematis, up the spout again. only 8 wks so early days, just the BFing popped into my head the other day. LO is one at the start of next month - where did that year go to?!
    Must say the early pregnancy exhaustion is pants with a small child to run around after! And what a time for him to start waking up four or five times a night again [​IMG]
  10. Ugh, just ytped a reply and had it disappear into the ether!

    Thanks for all the replies so far, feeling a bit more positive about it.

    Clematis, only 8 weeks preggers - LO is one next month - where did that year go?! Tell you something, that early pregnancy exhaustion is pants when you have a little one to chase after. Also, permanent queasiness. YAY!
  11. Oh, congratulations Glitterkid!
    Another summer baby 2010 lady pregnant...

    Not much more advice to give- but would agree with Bunique, a lot of health visitors etc have very little training on breastfeeding so it is always worth seeking a second opinion. There are several breastfeeding helplines and places to go and get support.

  12. I totally agree about first trimester and toddler/baby = enormous tiredness, and I'm sorry to say it's just as bad at this end (I'm 30 weeks and have a 17 month old)- should be asleep right now but got loads of work to do :-( Anyway- congratulations glitterkid, hope all goes well! :) X
  13. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Congrats Glitterkid! Another person as mad as me and deciding to have 2 close together....
    What were your problems with BF your first? My son wouldn't feed at all and lost loads of weight and we were told to formula feed by the midwife. Looking back they should've done more to help us BF but when you're a first time mum, emotional and scared because your child has lost so much weight you'll do what you think's best. And to be honest my son is 2 now and i don't really give a thought now to how he was fed as a baby because he's happy and healthy and he's not obese like they'd tell you formula fed babies are. If anything he's very slim and doesn't eat much at all.
    I was really desperate to BF my 2nd baby though (she's 8 weeks old today) and it all started well. She fed within half hour of being born and was feeding fine, but then after about 3 or 4 days it all went downhill and she started screaming and unlatching and i was sitting there feeding 24/7 which isn't fun with a toddler who needs your attention, so we started giving formula at night and now at 8 weeks i only BF her in the night and if i ever get chance in the day.
    I tried everything - had the midwives all check my latch, phoned a BF support line, went to a support group, saw a lactation consultant who said everything was fine so it must be my supply, so i went to the GP and got Domperidone and that didn't work. So, sadly it wasn't to be for me a 2nd time round and i'm very, very sad about it. I think she is just awkward though as she faffs about with a bottle too and it takes her 2 hours sometimes to finish one.
    I would maybe see a lactation consultant to begin with and make sure your latch is fine. You might be lucky this time and have no problems at all.
    If ever i am mad enough to decide i want a 3rd baby I am going to see a doctor first and get checked out to see if i have some sort of problem.
  14. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Nothing practical to add I'm afraid, but the Breastfeeding Network were very helpful for me, in hospital and at the Children's Centre baby groups (there seems to be a peer supporter or a BfN person at all the groups). The woman who'd seen me in the hospital (she said she only had 5 minutes, then stayed for over an hour) even rang me up the other week to see how we were getting on. I don't know if they're local to us but if you can find them near you, it'd be worth getting in touch.


  15. Sorry to hear it didn;t go to plan chica. I think my problem was that the hospital didn;t twig that i was as ill as i was - I lost a pint and a half of blood (nbot a great deal, but it made a difference!) when I delivered. I was semi conscious for the first hour of LO's life and all my plans of skin to skin contact and feeding quickly went out the window. I just wanted to be out of the delivery room and maybe played down my symptoms. I felt awful and anytime I tried to gfet out of bed, ended up dizzy, sweating and unable to catch my breath. At this point I called a midwife to help me lift out baby and she told me in no uncertain terms that the sooner I got out of bed the better I'd feel and they wouldn;t be able to come lift my baby out for me every single time. So I thought I'd better buck my ideas up, could barely hold the child, and was really upset I couldn;t get him to feed. After much faffing around a midwife brought me a pump to express colostrom (apparently this is ridiculous as it's too thick) and suggested giving him a syringe of milk. After almost collapsing in the bathroom they got my bloods done and discovered haemoglobin was 6.9 and they normally transufe at 7. So they got me some blood and I perked up so much mmore. Still couldn;t hold onto kid for long, but a BF consultant got me some donor milk to give him in a cup. We felt so happy about this until the next MW basiucally told me we were stealing milk from premature babies and what the heck was I going to do when he wanted fed next. She then said my nipples were flattened and said it obviously would be difficult to feed him, and i'd better get the hang of it because I wouldn;t be allowed out of hospital until he could feed properly. A MW at home got me to use shields and this helped enormously but it ended up that he was feeding 40 mins each side and then wolfing down 3 oz of formula. I know it's easier for babies to take from a bottle, but it felt like you said, that I was there 24/7. add to that how terrible I felt, and how he lost 13 oz and I was told to top him up more often I strarted thinking "what's the point" this isn;t going well, he's starving, I'm wrecked, give him a bottle.
    I was quite annoyed in the end, felt hospital could have done a lot more to support me - I was in a side room and found out from anopther mummy that out of the 8 women on the ward, only 1 had tried BFing and had given it up at the first try, soit's not like they had lots of women to helpwith this.
    This has been an awfully long post, sorry! I think next time I would need to get out to a BFing group and call upon resources available.

  16. I can't believe how rude the MW were to you at the hospital! I'm actually really shocked and angry [​IMG] - particularly the bit about 'stealing' milk from premature babies! What a load of rubbish! Premature babies still have mothers who have milk - OK, they might need topping up with donor milk but that doesn't make your baby any less in need of it. If a baby needs milk, premature or not, they get it - from mother, formula or otherwise. Stealing it - tch! Not supportive in the slightest.
    I hope all goes well second time
  17. Your experience sounds horrific GK, and you were given some really awful advice! It is possible to pump colostrum btw, it's what mothers of prem babies can express to feed them - their stomachs are so tiny that they only need very little.
  18. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    This is the problem I had- the staff not knowing enough. The midwives and breastfeeding counsellor in hospital said my daughter was 'very switched on and her latch was great' while I was there, so I was discharged after one night feeling really positive about breastfeeding and glad I had it sorted. The problem was, although I'd attended a breastfeeding workshop and watched the NHS DVD, I didn't realise that the latch can look ok but not be ok, and that pain is subjective- a couple of days in it was hurting a lot and my nipples were sore but I assumed it would be uncomfortable so carried on without getting the latch checked again (and was too exhausted to get out to a breastfeeding cafe- sorting out the carseat, not being able to walk very far, etc was too much). After 4 days she had lost so much weight we were both readmitted to the transitional care ward, she was checked out at special care and I was put on the pump and told I would need to express every 3 hours as well as offering breastfeeds, making up feeds, washing and sterilising bottles and pump and giving formula top-ups, day and night for the next 2 weeks to re-stimulate my supply and make it work. I was totally shattered and hormonal and couldn't face it so went for formula full time.
    Next baby I will offer breastfeeds for the first few weeks but top up with formula every feed to try to avoid big weight loss which I found really scary. I would love to be able to BF full time but don't think I have the determination to do it especially with a toddler/ young child to look after. I didn't realise it was so technical and wish I had learned more about BF before having my first, but she's very happy and healthy and eats solids like a horse now so it's all worked out ok.
  19. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    That sounds awful Glitterkid, can't believe you were treated like that.
    With my son he wouldn't feed at all and kept throwing up. I expressed colostrum for him and he had that after about 36 hours and then he fed a bit. By day 6 when the midwife visited he'd lost 30% of his birth weight so we were told to give formula. I really think we should've been readmitted for support, and if that had happened this time i'd have requested that. We were in hospital 3 nights (he was born at 15:34 on a Tues, we got out at 10pm Fri) and they didn't even weigh him before we left. He'd been on IV antiobiotics while we were there.
    This time my daughter did feed, but she was just feeding and feeding and feeding and i don't think it's normal to feed for 5 or 6 hours non-stop and then have 4oz of formula. I couldn't even go to the loo without her screaming. We were discharged the evening she was born so i didn't stay in and apart from that feed in the delivery room (well, i was feeding from 30 mins after she was born until we left, apart from a quick shower break!) no-one observed me feed her.
    I think that, for whatever reason, i do have supply issues. I still feed her in the night, but i have to bring her into bed with me and let her sleep there or she wouldn't settle. I just think that at least she is getting one feed from me, which is better than nothing. I like doing it, and she likes it. I think it's a shame that I couldn't do it exclusively, but i know that once i start weaning her i will have that to concentrate on and my inability to BF will become less of an issue for me.
  20. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I did all that with my son to begin with. Pumping, feeding each side before offering formula, then obviously all the faff with the bottles. It still didn't work. I also did it all with my daughter (with a 2 year old to look after too) and again it didn't work. I did it for 10 weeks actually, but by then it was just the occasional feed.

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