Breastfeeding struggles

Hi all I had my baby girl on Friday morning, we have struggled with breastfeeding and last night the midwife had to give her a formula top up as she was so hungry and distressed. I feel so useless that I'm not able to provide for her, can anyone recommend anything I can do to get my supply up and to help little one this is my first baby so I'm completely new to it all! I've tried skin to skin and a variety of positions some I can't get the hang of (rugby ball) and some seem to work for a bit I really want to try and keep going with breastfeeding xx

12 Replies

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  • Congratulations on the birth of your little girl. I too struggled to get my son to latch on after birth and so he was given a cup of formula turns out he was very mucussy which was making him feel full although he hadn't fed. The whole cup made him gag due to bringing up the mucus. Having to give him the cup had really knocked my confidence though so I understand how you feel. I would say carry on as you are keeping her at your chest I don't know if there's much else you can do to get your supply up untill your milk comes in. As long as you've been stimulating your breasts as much as possible your milk will hopefully come in with avengence.

    I can't give much more advice as I don't know what the issue is. I found it difficult to get my son to latch due to tounge tie and flat nipples and so was given nipple shields to help him latch and it made things so much easier but that's what worked for me and may not be the solution for yourself.

    Hope she's had a good feed since you posted this x

  • Thank you for replying, she does have a tongue tie they said may need sorting so that could be affecting her latch, I managed 2 successful feeds and had to top up with formula will speak to midwife tomorrow x

  • Have you considered expressing breast milk into a bottle? You clearly want your child to have breast milk and she seems to drink from a bottle ok.

  • I haven't been able to get the hang of expressing, midwife had given me some tips so will give it a try xx

  • Congratulations! It took us a little while to get the hang of it and we needed forumla top ups for a short while. I felt like you did but I spoke to my health visitor and midwives who were really helpful and we got there. I was advised that when you are giving forumla, express some milk to build up your supply. You will get there but do ask for advice! It's so hard to know what to do first time around. You would think it would be easy as it's the natural way to feed!

  • You can try fenugreek tablets. It's a herb you can buy from holland and barratts. This helps big up supply just double check you can take it if you are on any other meds.

    Can I also say don't beat yourself up over this. Hundreds formula feed, I did and my son is absolutely fine! He is taller then average and smarter then average too (he is going to be 4 in august, so one of the youngest in his nursery class and can read independently already) also me and my son are incredibly close. So please don't let this bother you, if she is happy with the bottle and breastfeeding is stressing you both out maybe it's just not for either of you.

    Enjoy your baby xx

  • Don't be disheartened it's not always easy, I cried a lot first few days/weeks as I felt so useless ... I had to give formula top ups for a few weeks but then managed to breastfeed and went on till 14months. My lo was tongue tied too, and I do felt the tie made a difference once released at 3w although most people said it normally doesn't affect feeding, in my case i felt it affected the latch a lot.

    Make sure you are getting plenty of fluids. Look after your nipples, the purple Lanisoh cream was very good (pricey but worth it). If your nipples are getting v. Sore you are allowed a break ... you can try expressing too which will give nipples a break, but also stimulate your milk supply. And if worse comes to worse and you need to formula feed baby that's fine as well, as long as baby is healthy and you are keeping your sanity it doesn't matter.

  • Thank you all for your kind replies, we're keeping going so far, still not perfect and couple of bottles given by dad. I saw midwife today who was very supportive and showed me how to hand express so I know if she's getting milk, just hoping my milk comes in properly soon xx

  • Be patient. If breast feeding is something you are keen on, in the long term it really is a easier option. Apart from all the health benefits, just practicality of not having to make bottles in the middle of the night, or taking 10million items if you want to travel anywhere go out etc ... you just need your boobs!

  • hi milk supply can take 5 days to come in, usually gets more hefty day 3. Don't worry, you've done the sensible thing topping up. well done for keeping at it. As long as your getting wet nappies I'm sure your little ones getting enough. Xxx

  • Thank you, this heat is causing us problems too as she's so thirsty, I've tried some nipple sheilds today and we've had one successful feed so far with them so hopefully they'll do the trick x

  • Hi, wondering how you were getting on? I struggled with feeding my little one too and topped up at first, and still do occasionally but she's 4 months now and we're still going. If you are still struggling when the tongue tie is snipped I would strongly recommend seeing a lactation consultant, it's worth the money to avoid the heartache (and nipple ache!!)

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