Traumatic birth - combination feeding after blood transfusions?


Our little girl is 6 weeks old today and is gorgeous:-) I had a very traumatic birth, I was induced after I detected reduced movement of my little one when i was at 41 weeks her heart rate dropped away to nothing a few times while we were being monitored and as i was overdue they broke my waters and got my labour going. There was meconium in the waters when they were broken and the labour was intense following the waters being broken. I had a epidural and everything was going ok for a vaginal delivery until her heart rate dropped to nothing for about 6/7 minutes then the big doctors got involved. They gave me all the possibilities which was I would get an hour to deliver vaginally otherwise they would take me to theatre and try to deliver with forceps and if that didn't work they would carry out a c-section.

To cut a long story a little shorter I had a c-section as my little ones's head wasn't budging! Once they carried out the c-section and had our little one out and safe, I had major complications. My uterus wouldn't contract and I started losing blood - I lost 4 litres, they eventually had bind it to get it to contract. They had given me 2 units of blood in theatre and lots of antibiotics in their attempt to get my uterus to contract. It was all very scary. Eventually I finished in theatre and was in the high dependance suite after for 48 hours. I had another blood transfusion 24 hours later to improve my progress and I haven't look back since as my recover has been great.

My one worry and problem at the moment is dealing with the aftermath of having major blood loss and transfusions. I am combination feeding as our little one is a very big baby (10lbs, 5oz at birth) and my milk is not enough after all the trauma at birth. I am looking for advice and some pointers on the combination feeding. How long should I be breastfeeding for on average (I have expressed a few times and I am empty after about 15-20mins - should this be my goal)? I find myself sometimes feeding for nearly an hour!! But there can't be enough for her to feed for an hour!

How much formula should I be giving - should I be giving what the side of the box says on top of what I can get out of the breast? I feel like I may be leaving our little one short some times as she is struggling to nap in the day time! I am going to call the brith centre tomorrow for advice but was also looking for other mums who may have gone through something similar with combo feeding after blood loss for some practical advice? Looking forward to your comments and pointers.

1 Reply

Hi my birth was fairly simular yours. Because it was my 41st week and they thought my son was very large I was induced on my 41st week. They tried everything to get things going and eventually the put me on the hormone drip. After that, despite being promised one on one care I was more or less neglected for 18 long hours. When I finally got taken down for a c-section it was because it had been so long and I was in so much pain I was having spazms. I had to fight tooth and nail for general anaesthetic only to loose 3 litres in surgery and so got lots of transfusions during and after. They also explained that they had to try all sorts to get my uterus to go down too, including rubbing it. During the night I got wheeled down to mri because they couldn't figure out why my blood pressure was dropping. Turns out both lungs collapsed in surgery and there were blood clots in them. Like you though I surprised the doctors with a fast recovery, however I had neither the strength nor the confidence to breastfeed for those first few days and so by the time I was strong enough, my supply was starting to run out and he wouldn't take to it. So you're doing much better than I was! So my advise would be don't give up! I would say, given on what the hospital told me, it should be about 15-20 minutes but your baby will be the one to tell you if it's enough or not. I would probably say make up feeds like it says on the box and use it as a top up if you need to. Your baby will know when she's full. After that judge how much she normally has and only make up slightly more. You should be able to work out the ratio of formula to water. The cow and gate comfort I use is a level scoop for every 30mls of water. Also you might want to get someone to come out and go over your notes with you to find out why you had to go through such on ordeal like I am. It's your legal right to see them. I hope I have been helpful and good luck x


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