Reassurance please...: My newborn son is 9 days old and... - NCT

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Reassurance please...

jsth1979 profile image

My newborn son is 9 days old and I initially wanted to breastfeed but he cannot latch on. I have tried different positions etc and had lots of support but I feel it is time to let go.

I can't help but feel guilty because everywhere you look and things you read it is drummed into you that breast is best. But I genuely cannot do it and it is stressing me out.

My husband is supportive and will do whatever I want and we have been giving him formula as a top up to my expressed milk. However I cannot express very much and just the little amount I do express takes a long time.

I guess I just want someone to say 'it's ok' and for me to know I am not going to be doing my son some irreversible damage by not giving him breast milk. He has had breast milk every day since he was born just not exclusively.

He is much much more content now he is getting enough sustenance. When he was three days old we had to take him back to hospital as he was jaundiced and lost a lot of weight. Thankfully he did not reach the treatment threshold and the paediatrician was supportive of expressing breast milk and top up formula. They did NOT pressure me into breast feeding (unlike the midwives on the ward in hospital).

Sorry for the ramble but tiredness and new mum Blues are making this period quite difficult when all I want to do is enjoy my beautiful baby boy. We waited so long after tttc for 4 years and ivf ... He was even 15 days late so it's like we just waited and waited...

I just want the best for him and me...

Any advice or similar experiences would be appreciated so I know I am not alone... X

23 Replies

Hi to you. Congratulations on the birth. . We're you expressing into to increase your milk? Does he just not hold onto the breast?

jsth1979 profile image
jsth1979 in reply to nellynel

He just does not hold on. Impossible on left breast completely :-( Was expressing but just not enough to feed...

Hi, really wanted to say to you STOP worrying. I have a little boy who is now 16 months old. He wouldn't breast feed as he had a tongue tie. I fully intended to breast feed and went to all the groups and was devastated he couldn't or wouldn't. I left it 24 hrs before I made the decision to formula feed, after he was constantly screaming because he was so hungry. It is the best decision I could of made. My little boy is thriving, he has always been in the 98th percentile for weight and height, his development is as good as his breast fed friends, if not better and I wish I had formula fed him straight away. Do not feel guilty, do not berate yourself. You are a wonderful mother doing the best she can for her baby. This will be a stressful time for you, without the additional stress of this. If I can be of any more help, don't hesitate to contact me. I've been there and know how worrying being a new mummy is xx

Thank you so much. This is what I needed to hear. I couldn't reply sooner because I just kept crying and could not read or see to type...

I am feeling better about it all this morning and just need to empty my breasts now of what they have.

I will message you thanks x

Feed your baby and be happy you have him! What matters most is that you are bonding and loving him! There's nothing wrong with using formula if you need to. And the upside is your partner can help with the feeds too! Maybe he does the night feeds on the weekends so you can have a full nights sleep! 😃

jsth1979 profile image
jsth1979 in reply to Filmgirl101

Yes! My husband really is involved and has already done two full nights for me. He had three weeks off work so has been able to just be there whenever. It will be harder when he is back at work but I am hoping by then the little man will be more settled. He's not got a routine yet but I think that will come.

Thank you for your reply. You are right... he is feeding and this is the important thing. We are both bonding with him too with lots of cuddles and skin to skin time.

Maybe a coincidence, but I had baby blues from day 8-15 with my LO too. And we were TTC for 7 years then IVF too. Tiredness doesn't help either. Pamper yourself a little if you can.

jsth1979 profile image
jsth1979 in reply to Filmgirl101

I was also induced as he was term plus 2 weeks... it took two days for him to be born with forceps in the end and I had an epidural. So it's safe to say we've been through the mill...

We are going for a little photoshoot today so i am hoping the photographer who is also a make up artist will make us all look and feel fabulous!

Filmgirl101 profile image
Filmgirl101 in reply to jsth1979

I was in labour for 56 hours! we knew she was in an awkward position, but the midwife thought I might be able to get her out... They couldn't get the forceps in, a good suction on the vacuum, I finally just cried and cried about being tired (my waters broke Monday Night, she came Thursday Morning) they did an emergency csection! So I know all about long labours! And tired doesnt make nice milk. I Had an epidural as well, it was worth it! Although I wished I had asked for it sooner!

Have a great photo shoot!

If you feel it's time to stop then it's right - follow your instincts. What's more important is enjoying this precious time with your baby. I am a 38 year old who was formula fed and I have no allergies at all! make sure you go easy on yourself and your baby will be happy if you are happy xx

jsth1979 profile image
jsth1979 in reply to Chitlin52

I spoke to my mum at length about it and it turns out I was formula fed too and I am a very healthy person (aged 36) and never had any development issues etc... I think she held off from telling me anything like this to let me work it out for myself and make my own choices.

I was born in the 70's in Spain too and they had little in the way of choice of formula or sterilising methods that we have to hand these days!

Reading your story was like reading my own....in fact for the first two weeks i kept breaking down, i thought i was failing my child and that if she got sick due to not receiving the nutrients in my breast milk it would me MY fault....if her immune system was weak as she grew it would be because i didnt breast feed. I did all the reading....which made me feel worse...because everywhere you look goes on and on about breast feeding...i even started paniking that my baby would not bond with me. I was exhausted...trying to breast feed on the hour and then supplementing with formula. It got to the point where i was so stressed that even if she did latch, my milk wouldnt come through.

As soon as i made the decision to bottle feed with formula (with some tears...ok alot) the baby became more content.

It wilk take a while to come to terms with it...but it does NOT make you a bad mother. The fact that you tried, makes all the difference. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty. You are doing what works for you and at the end of the day your LO will feel more relaxed if you are. Ive been there....i know exactly the emotions you are going through.

Take care and enjoy the blessing of being a parent xxxxxxxx

jsth1979 profile image
jsth1979 in reply to KikiB

Thank you... this made me cry (again)... hormones are ridiculous.

I fully appreciate and take on board all of your advice and the fact it is a similar story to yours.

The only hurdle now is getting a routine and combatting wind! He is such a guzzler I have to give him lots of winding breaks during feeding :-)

He had lost lots of weight but I think he has definitely put so much on in the past week :-)

KikiB profile image
KikiB in reply to jsth1979

Theree are some anti wind drops you can put in his formula...i used them for the first 10 weeks and they made a huge difference! My little one had bad wind and would not settle after a feed sometimes, especially at night. Try getting saline drops for babies...they make a world of difference xxx

i really do wish you all the luck on the world.. some really lovely replies

You need to do what makes you and baby happy. You could go and speak to a health visitor if you want some extra advise or if you really want to try and breastfeed you could look for local breastfeeding support groups. Not everyone can breastfeed and the best thing you can do is to not feel guilty if it doesn't work for you. Happy baby equals happy mum. You have given your baby the first few days of colostrum and this is the best stuff. Well done mummy. Xx

Just before you give up completely, try a nipple shield. It was impossible for us to feed without one to start with, but the shield made it possible, and a pleasure for baby and myself (we managed to bf without them from 4 months and continued bf for 26 months (over 2 years!) in all. They can sometimes cause nipple confusion, and some people warn that they can reduce supply in the long term, but if you're trying it as a last resort, you probably haven't anything to lose.

But don't feel bad if nothing works - lots of babies do well on formula. And a happy mummy is very important!

Good luck, and take care.

rachf profile image
rachf in reply to bjsabdjskabdj

I agree with this! I would have probably given up with breastfeeding on day three when my milk came in if it wasn't for the nipple shields. I had no support for breastfeeding here (in South Africa) and everyone was telling me to just give a little formula. Then I remembered the nipple shields my sister got me (she used them with hers for a few days when she had mastitis and her nipples were a mess). They were a last resort, but because of them, my baby was able to maintain a latch and get milk.

We're still dependent on them now 13 weeks later, think he got nipple confusion, although since about 10 weeks old he'll occasionally have a feed without them. I'm hopeful I can wean him off these and continue breastfeeding, but if not, he's growing and it's working for us.

If you do continue breastfeeding, just know you aren't alone finding it hard! And although it seems a long way away now, it will get so much easier around 6 weeks! And now 13 weeks on I'm so glad I persevered.

Sadly stress doesn't help your milk letdown, so the frustration with expressing small amounts is like a vicious cycle. But the more time the nipple gets stimulated, the more your milk supply will build up. Either way, formula or breastfeeding, try not to get worked up about it (easier said than done when you've got a screaming, hungry baby in your face!) Your baby will thrive on love regardless xxx

Congrats on the birth of your baby!

First of all I would agree with the other mums and say don't pressure yourself. That's when you get yourself all in a muddle and that's not good for you or baby!

My LG is now 3 months and breastfeeding like a trooper, but at the start we REALLY struggled because she has a tongue tie. She kept slipping off and was chomping, and my nipple hurt so much I was crying every time I fed her. But we persevered through it, supplementing with formula when we needed to, sometimes used a nipple shield, and after a few weeks it just clicked somehow. Now I don't supplement her at all and I'm so glad I didn't give up because I was so determined to succeed, and eventually did. Now she's thriving. So what I'm saying is that it can be extremely hard to get the hang of so don't be disheartened, keep going if you feel it's right for you.

But again, I really do support the other lovely replies in saying you are the only one who knows what's right for you and your baby, so don't feel bad if you choose formula! You haven't failed your baby, I can't emphasise that enough. You're doing great :) pamper yourself and enjoy being a new mum as best you can. Best of luck xx

Please don't despair. My LO is now 7 1/2 weeks (but was 5 weeks premature) and I have tried BF every day and am still trying but she just cannot latch on for long enough. A BF woman from a local support group finally realised last week that she is tongue tied so we have an appointment in a couple of weeks to have it cut. Ask your midwife/health assistant to check to see if your baby is as this can really affect them BF succesfully. We had to supplement with formula for a few days in hospital but I was absolutely determined to exclusively breastfeed and have managed this since those first few days by expressing. It's hard work and on top of the sleep deprivation and everything else with a newborn pretty tiring but if you want to do it you can :). Get a good electric dual breastpump (I've been using the Spectra 3 which only cost around £50 from amazon plus about £10 extra for the dual attachment) and pump every 2-3 hours to start off with around the clock and eventually you will start to produce more milk than you need - I got to this point around week 3. I now express around 7-8 times a day for 10 minutes a time. I have got some formula in the cupboard 'just in case' but I really don't think I will ever need to use it at this point. There were some times during those first few weeks where I was only producing enough for each feed at a time and almost gave up and reached for the formula but I persevered and got there in the end.

To help milk production try drinking fennel tea and eating plenty of oats (porridge or cereal bars etc) and make sure you keep well hydrated.

And if this doesn't happen for you don't let anyone make you feel bad about using formula - breast feeding is not easy! You have to feed your baby and as long as he is putting on weight etc then you are doing the best job for him :).

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Whatever you do don't worry - we have exactly the same situation and we're also doing a mixture of breast feeding & topping up with formula.

We have a 21 month old and a 14-day old. When our little girl was born we ended up being sent to paediatric A&E after 15 hours of dry nappies and it was discovered that she had lost a lot of weight and had very low blood sugar because of the limitations of my milk supply. I got very upset about it initially but then realised that it really doesn't matter and the most important thing is that they get the sustenance they need. I carried on doing combination feeding for about 2 months and then went exclusively to formula. The other bonus about combination feeding is that my husband could also participate more and not feel 'left out' of the feeding experience. We also had a far easier time than my NCT friends who exclusively breast-fed and then really struggled to get their little ones to accept a bottle/sippy cup when the time came.

The second time round we're doing the same thing and I'm far more relaxed about it this time.

The fact that you're thinking about it and persisting with breast-feeding goes to show that you are totally doing a great job - you have the confidence of knowing that you're giving your little one the best possible start.....breast-milk plus the right amount of food with the top up

You're doing a great job - you just have to believe it!

Helen :-)

I have 2 things to suggest: With my 1st child I had difficulty with latching on and I had to give it up which was really difficult, since I had been very keen. However, with my second I tried using something called 'nipple shields' which you can buy at Tesco, which really helped with the latching on. I was able to breastfeed my second for a year! So No.1: give nipple shields a try, you never know! No.2: If that doesn't work, you need to know that you are totally justified with finding it stressful and upsetting, and I really identify with it. You can get emotional help with that if you feel you need it. Wish you the best of luck, no matter what you do, you are doing a great job with your baby! X

Hey there, hope you are feeling well. Congrats on the birth of your son. Before I fully comment, are you still trying to BF or is he on the formula now? This feed is a few days old now so you may have 100% made your mind up xx

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