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breast and bottle Rss

My little boy is 6.5weeks old, he feeds very well on a little breast milk and the remainder, up to 190ml formula.
When he was first born, (i had a c section) he fed very well, once attached and appeared to have no problem getting the colostrum, however, by day five, my milk still had not 'come in' (no fullness, no tightness, and i could only express 1 - 2 ml) and he had lost almost 500grams.
We started to comp feed him, by syringe line, cup and then bottle to come home with (as well as expressing). I took a course of maxalon, with little effect, and 2 courses of domperidone, (motilium) and still nothing, we tried a feed line, halving his feeds to have him at the breast more often, and expressing like a woman possessed.
This almost drove us mad, but after much debate and many tears, decided just to keep the mini feed on the breast, before each bottle, (he gets around 10ml from each breast) He's just starting to reject the breast now, which is sad for me, but he's not fussed at all.
I just wondered if there were other mums out there who've had similar experiences and how you've coped with everything going pear shaped, when you'd expected a normal birth, and a fully breastfed baby, not to mention the time, expense and occasional inconvenience of having to prepare and carry the bottles. Thanks for listening!

new mum, baby boy

Hi Lynda,
My baby boy is 5 1/2 mths and I have been breast and bottle feeding since birth. Psychologically it was so hard in the beginning..and there have been times when I wanted to give up b/f and continue just with the bottle...but I perservered and came to realise - he at least is still getting some of my nutrients even though it's not a full breast feed. And besides I loveee the bonding time...He is in a routine now...I am now starting to wean him off me..I'm sure you feel confussed which is normal.. but think is your decision what's best and easiest for you or what is of benefit to your baby?? just remember your baby is dependent on you whether you breast or bottle feed...and will love you unconditionally...You are not alone..you'd be surprised how many women out there are in the same boat...Don't stress..it's not worth it!!
Dear Lynda, you sound like a great mum - you have tried everything and persevered where others would have given up weeks ago. In the long run what matters is that your beautiful boy is getting the nutrition he needs to grow and that you are enjoying him. You sound like you have done everything you could to breast feed and you should be commended on that. Don't be too hard on yourself - I'm sure you're little boy feels loved and cared for.
My baby Deb was born by C section also due to high blood pressure and wasn't a good feeder - made sleepy by the BP medication, then jaundice, so I expressed for a few days. I use a nipple shield to feed her now, which gives most people the horrors!, but if that didn't work I would formula feed her. Whatever it takes for her to grow and be content. I can't believe the pressure there is in our society to breast feed perfectly when every woman will tell you that it is not as easy as it is made out to be!
Hang in there, enjoy your boy and release yourself from guilt - as long as he is growing, producing many wet nappies per day and sleeps - goodonya!
Jen

Jen, 42, first baby!

Hi Lynda,

My first wouldn't take to the breast and my second took really well but for some reason my milk started drying up! I too tried to express madly but no help! I had to formula feed my little one fully! I didn't cope real well at first as I felt like I was failing my new little angel as everyone was, and still is, pumping the 'Breast Is Best' saying down my throat! I know breast is best, I'm not stupid but they don't realise that it's not possible for some mothers! I am coping better now but still get down every now and then as I really hoped I could breastfeed full time this time!
You are not alone so hang in there, us mum's who have to formula feed are just as good as the mum's who can breast feed!

Best wishes

Mum(29) - DS 7yr, DD 4yr & DD 2yr

My baby boy is now 12 weeks old and I had similiar problems to you in hospital. I had a c/s and my milk didn't come in until day 5. By day 4 my baby was dehydrayed and we had to give him formula after each breastfeed, then I would express. We also tried a supply line a couple of times and that seemed to help. My obstetrician offered me some medication to help the milk supply, but I refused because of the side effects. I also thought that if it didn't happen and I didn't have enough milk, I could continue bf and top up formula. Fortunately I was able to fully bf when I left hospital, but I was worried about having enough milk. At home I was feeding every 3 hours, holding him out even if he cried and I read that to ensure my supply is adequate I have to feed on demand, and when I fed on demand, every 1.5-2.5 hours, my supply improved and now my baby is breastfed 6 or 7 times per day and sleeps from approx. 10 pm - 8 am.

I have heard that stress can affect milk supply and I was stressed in the hospital because my milk didn't come in on day 3, "like it is supposed to". Before I had my baby nobody ever told me that it could come in on day 5 or 6 because of a c/s. I think it makes it very hard for mothers trying to establish breastfeeding and perhaps it needs to be explained to new mothers and more help needs to be available.

SA, 2 boys

Hi,
I was also the same. My milk started to dry up when my daughter was 4 weeks old and we have had to change to formula.
I still sxpress as much as i can for her as "breast is best" and all that and yes it has been a sad experience, i wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible, but Talana is growing and is happy and thats all that matters to me!

Mummy to Talana Michelle Kimberley (13/12/2003)

Hi Lynda
I am a first time mum to an 11 week old baby and have not been able to fully breastfeed him either. I tried for 2 weeks but he was very unsettled and didn't gain weight at all and I was a complete mess, which didn't help my supply! I also tried the supplements to increase my milk and they didn't work that well either. On doctor's advice I put him on formula after a breastfeed, and I have continued to do that for the past 9 weeks.
He has yet to reject the breast fully but I think that will come in time. I will continue to try the bit of breastfeeding for as long as we are both happy about it.
I felt quite sad that the breastfeeding didn't go well (because it is supposed to be completely natural after all), but the important thing is that he is much better off on formula than starving. When you try all that you can and it still doesn't work out properly, there is nothing to feel guilty about, despite the fact we are constantly told that breast is best! Several of my friends have also had difficulty in fully breastfeeding, so it helped to know that it wasn't an uncommon problem either.

Helen, Qld

Hi
My daughter is now 8 weeks old. She was breastfed for two weeks. I felt like a machine and started to get sore and depressed as all I felt I was doing was sitting down feeding all day. I put her on formula and expressed for another week. Now she is completely on formula. I refuse to listen to the breast is best "policy" because its not if your baby is not feeding enough or if you're not happy. My daughter is thriving and has gone from 8 pound 4 ounces at birth to 11 pound twelve ounces today. Do what is best for you both.

Baby: Jessika

Hi Lynda,
Once you starting talking about this, you realise it is such a common problem.
When my 3 month old little boy was born naturally I lost 1.5 litres of blood, because of this my milk did not come in on day 3 either. He was born 9lb 5oz, so such a big boy and no milk coming in he was so unsettled and was losing weight very quickly. 5 days old and I was going crazy and put him onto formula. He is a healthy little boy putting on lots of weight now. Even after putting him on the bottle I cried and felt guilty for days because of the pressure to breastfeed, and because i breastfed my first son, i felt like my second was missing out.
Breastfeeding is great for baby, but if you dont have a choice in the matter, you should not be made to feel guilty about it.

Tracy NSW, 2 boys, 4 and 2

Hi Lynda,
Like you I had a c section when my twin boys were born, due to the stress this caused (they were early and I had not planned to have a c section) and my milk not coming in for nearly 1 1/2wks my babies were given the breast (to stimulate the supply) and then topped up with formula - I was in hospital for most of the time but once I came home I was able to slowly stop the bottlefeeds and now they are fully breastfeed during the day and receive one bottle at night (10pm feed). Like you I had to express like there was no tomorrow - some times not getting any milk off, during those times I was thinking about giving up on trying to breastfeed as one of my sons was not taking very well to the breast but my family pushed me to continue trying and i'm glad I did, I think that as all babies are different you need to decide what is best for you and your baby and if you decide that you do still want to breastfeed keep trying, the more your baby sucks the more milk you will produce and the less he will need the bottles!

Good Luck
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