BFing second after failing with first?

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  • Posted: 5 May 2009 21:53

    BFing second after failing with first?

    Ladies,

    Just after opinions and stories really. With T, I really wanted to BF, but we just didn't get it together. Within 6 days of birth, T had lost 12.5% of his birth weight and we were sent to see a BFC at the hospital - he was also jaundiced and I doubt (in hindsight) that he was wetting/soiling his nappies. I was put on to a militant routine, consisting of :

    1. BF from both sides (took about 1 hour as T always seemed to fall asleep)

    2. Topping up with formula

    3. Pumping from both sides (about 30 minutes)

    And this roughly 2 hour routine had to be repeated every 3 hours "without fail". As an indication,I never managed to pump more than 5-10 mls in total over the 30 minutes, and don't really think my milk came in. He drank lots of formula (although the volume he had evades me - it was nearly 4 years ago)

    After a week or so, I was also prescribed domperidone which had no effect.

    We carried on for 4 weeks, after which T rejected me and we moved solely to FF. I was gutted and felt an extreme failure - I think the MW and HV were quite worried about me. I still feel very sensitive about the whole issue now.

    So, fast forward to now - I am due in 2 weeks and want to try feeding this one myself. I have a homeopath onboard (although no treatment yet), and osteopath and plan (where possible) to be proactive at seeking help.

    Can anyone share any success stories about probable failure to lactate the first time, but successfully BFing the second? Am I setting myself up for a massive emotional fall before I even begin?

    TIA

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 21:56

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    when i had alana i tried to feed her but it was so so painful and she would just cry afterwards and i could not express any at all so switched to FF at about a week and a half

    when 3 years later i had my son, he latched on straight away and fed every three hours from birth it was lovely.

    so just because it didnt happen first time doesnt mean it wont second time.

    x

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 21:59

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    It sounds like you had a really hard time of it last time Hug

    I've not been in this situation, but it might be worth you finding a really good BFC and having a bit of a debrief about what happened last time. Talk through what happened and what decisions were made then try and make a plan for this time. Definitely get the help lined up for right at the start - get someone in as soon as you can to check latch and make sure it's going OK.

    FWIW I'm amazed you manage to keep that kind of routine up at all, let alone for 4 weeks. I wouldn't have managed a week of it. It's worth remembering that the amount you can express is no indicator of supply - babies are much more efficient than pumps - so you could well have had milk. The expressing might have been aimed at upping your supply.

    I know there are people on here who did it second time round with no problems at all - Puss springs to mind.

    Have you got a good BFC in your area? If you let us know where you are, someone might be able to recommend someone.

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:04

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    not exactly the same situation but i only managed to feed N for 1 week during which time it became so painful i switched to expressing and formula. i totally understand that feeling of failure. when i found out i was PG with W i was willing to give bfing another go. i really found it helpful to debrief about what went 'wrong' last time with at bfc at our local bfing support group. this time round i questioned everything alot more and haven't been afraid to ask for help. W is now nearly 8 weeks and exclusively bfing, it's been HARD work but totally worth it!

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:06

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    Thanks ladies,

    I'm not sure about how good the BFC are in this area - I'm not really sure whether I should approach NCT or La Leche, or someone else. First time, it was the community/hospital MWs, but I wasn't overly impressed with the hosptial BF clinic, and the MW who put me on the routine was militant to say the least - over night T didn't used to wake every 3 hours, so I waited until he woke (mainly to try and get some sleep myself) - her response was that this wasn't good enough, the supply was best at night and I must wake him every 3 hours. I was shattered, probably not eating well, and verging on tears much of the time.

    If anyone knows a good BFC in the NE Hants/Surrey border area (I'm actually in Fleet), I'd love to get their details. Recommendation is always great, and the main thing I hear (which won't help) is that so many of the "professionals" give very conflicting advice.

     

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:21

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    This is my story in brief Smile

    The twins were born at 36+1 low birth weight and poor latch reflex. Their first feed was formula. I attenpted to bf them aged approx 16hrs old.... they spend 1 week in neonatal and i bf then topped up with formula - feeding took an hour per baby  I had fab bfc support (upto 4 hours a day) in hospital

    When home i didnt buy formula and stuck to the bf for 12 hours when it became apparent the twins *needed* formula. I did the whole bf then ff /expressed milk routine for 10 weeks in total. Was prescribed domperidone at 8 2 weeks post birth. All to no avail. And i know what hard work it all is too!

    jump to being pregnant with Arlo...i contacted the hospital and bfc straight away and they got me on a bf course early on - they also promised i could have a long stay at hospital if needed - and i honestly believe all of this helped me to relax. My birth plan was full of how i wanted baby to be delivered onto me etc etc all obviously if birth went well.

    So Arlo was born, delievered onto me and he fed for an hour minimum. He next fed about 12 hours later -again fine...i got someone to check my latch etc as tbh i didnt know what i was doing. We returned home 24 hours post birth.

    Arlo co-slept from day 1 and fed 1-1.5 hours pretty much 24 hours a day. Thankfully having been rather vocal throughout pregnancy all my notes and concerns were passed onto postbirth support and my hv contacted a bfc for me just for the support. She visited us every 2 days for a couple of weeks...mainly just to give me the suppoort and much appreciated praise. It all helped.

    I have gone from not knowing much but learning alongside Arlo. It has been hard work i guess but i never viewd it like that and i guess got to be thankful that the amount of feeding has given me some much needed time sat on my bottomWink

    The support of the bfc has been amazing and she will be with us for 2 years Smile through this i go to a group too where the bfc visits weekly-and i know she is on the end of the phone if i ever need her.

    We are now almost 8mths in and looking back to the twins i didnt have any milk(never experienced the let down/milk leaking/the milk around their mouths when they fed) but i have also learned that had i had the right supoort in place this couldve been worked on and we may have had a different outcome. I am currently training to be a bfc...something i never thought i could do...and so want to help especially those who have been through what we haveHug. Bf is still going strong here too..i have a milk monster and finally at 6mths bf i am leaking milk like i used to hear people talking about - the reasoning behind this is possibly down to me having less breast tissue so therefore my breasts dont store the milk close to the nipple like alot of people do Smile x

    goodluck x

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:22

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    Not me as I decided just to FF Jonathan from the word go after I boll0cksed it up with Matthew but there are a few Hitchers who've successfully managed to BF no 2 after not managing with no 1.  Puss and Nonie are the 2 that spring to mind.

    Good luck! Hug

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:25

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    In my experience, ABM (assoc of BFing mothers), LLL and BFN (BFing network) are pretty good. Some NCT ones are great, though I've had problems with others. I think I'd avoid the hospital/community midwives, or at least get a second opinion on stuff.

    There are some BFing groups listed here and the people associated with them might be BFCs or be able to recommend one.

    There are also these helplines:

    Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: 08444 122 949
    Breastfeeding Network: 0844 412 4664
    National Childbirth Trust: 0300 330 0771
    La Leche League: 0845 120 2918
    National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0844 20 909 20

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:38

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    honestbride:

    We are now almost 8mths in and looking back to the twins i didnt have any milk(never experienced the let down/milk leaking/the milk around their mouths when they fed) but i have also learned that had i had the right supoort in place this couldve been worked on and we may have had a different outcome. I am currently training to be a bfc...something i never thought i could do...and so want to help especially those who have been through what we haveHug. Bf is still going strong here too..i have a milk monster and finally at 6mths bf i am leaking milk like i used to hear people talking about - the reasoning behind this is possibly down to me having less breast tissue so therefore my breasts dont store the milk close to the nipple like alot of people do Smile x

    goodluck x

    HB, your story is an inspiration, especially the fact you are now training to be a BFC. I agree with your last statement about breast tissue etc - I have small breasts (an A/B) which have not increased in size with pregnancy. I have a feeling that my issues were linked to this, but also that T always seemed to fall asleep at the breast - I'm sure his latch was OK, at least when he went on, but obviously the falling to sleep possibly meant he then slipped down the nipple and made it unsuccessful.

    Hazel, thanks for the numbers. I'm on ML now, so will start making some contacts before the event. We're planning a home water birth, and I'm also planning a lot more kangaroo care with this one in an attempt to help.

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:46

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    OddBod i have learned and found the more contact with baby and the more he is offered the breast the easier all round it has become for us x I wish you every success Hug I think also as determined as the failure made me this time i was so much easier on myself too regarding the reality of it working ... which too i think helps you be more at one with yourself and therefore more relaxed x

  • Posted: 5 May 2009 22:59

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    Thanks! I'm sure I'll be on asking lots of questions when this one arrives!

    Can I ask what you did in preparation before the birth specifically?

  • Posted: 6 May 2009 9:16

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what I should do over the next couple of weeks (before baby arrives) to put myself in a position to get as much help as possible and make BF a success?

    TIA

  • Posted: 6 May 2009 9:31

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    I admire you for managing that routine for 4 weeks - it sounds like you had a real tough time.  I gave up bfing after 3 weeks - very painful, bad advice from MWs and literally couldn't do it anymore.  Nearly 9 mths after stopping it still makes me teary.  I am now 13 weeks pregnant and want to bf this time round with more success.  I've learnt a lot since having J - mainly from hitched!  I am intending to attend the Breastfeeding group down the road from me as much as I can - I'm a teacher so can attend through the summer holidays.  I will be seeking help from a BFC asap post birth - something I should have done first time round.  I will also have a contingency plan worked out - rather than muddling through painfully for a week until I can't take any more I will have a proper plan and would consider mix-feeding rather than a full switch from bf to ff.  I'm terrifed though that I wouldn't cope if it didnt work out a 2nd time.  I thikn having bf for some time you will be aware in advance of some of the issues/problems, so you can edcuate yourself in advance of solution/remedies - first time round I had no idea and was trying to find solutions to problems I didn't really understand if that makes sense and when I couldnt' get hold of BFC over the weekend had to just do what I thought was best, but might not have been.   Sorry if I've hijacked your thread a little, but hope that it might help a little.  

  • Posted: 6 May 2009 9:44

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    I tried my hardest to BF with Camperkid, but he wouldn't/couldn't latch on.  I ended up having to express etc for a few weeks and then my supply just got up and went.  I beat myself up for it for about 5 years or so.

    This time, throughout my pregnancy, I formulated a plan for bfing, which was to express a bit of milk to get the nipple into the right shape for the new baby to latch onto as I think that I was engorged last time..... So, when Camperbub turned up, this is what happened:

    As soon as she'd been checked etc. she was put to the boob and did try to feed.  Over the next day, she turned a nice shade of yellow, was taken to SCBU because she was jaundiced and too tired to feed.  She sunbathed for a couple of days and was fed formula through a tube. 

    When I got her back, she just couldn't take more than about 10 ml at a time.  So, I was expressing, trying to bf and giving her formula, just to try to get as much fluid into her as I possibly could.  Unfortunately, we had a complete numpty of a midwife who told me that it wasn't good enough that Camperbub was taking it over a four hour period, it had to be taken every four hours - and she worked in new money, which I couldn't understand - Camperbub was 5lb 8oz when she was born, so that equates to 3oz formula in old money - this midwife had this convoluted formula for doing it all metric.

    Anyway, I digress.  We were kept in hospital for a week and I had to have the consultant come down and say that we could leave - which was because Camperbub was my second baby, so I knew a bit more about what I was doing.

    Mixed feeding continued for a couple of weeks just to try to get the weight gain going.  But I managed to get more expressing done and so Camperbub moved solely onto breast milk.  One night I was just too tired to go downstairs and make a bottle for her (this was about 3am) so I put her to the breast in the hope that she would feed OK and she did, so that's how I managed to get her exclusively bf and we managed it for 10.5 months after all that.  HTH

  • Posted: 6 May 2009 9:50

    Re: BFing second after failing with first?

    Odd Bod:

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what I should do over the next couple of weeks (before baby arrives) to put myself in a position to get as much help as possible and make BF a success?

    TIA

    It might be worth going along to a BFing group somewhere to actually see people BFing and get a lesson on how to do it. It's something that's hard to show you ni advance but it's useful to see some examples of good positioning. You've also then made contact with some people in case there are problems.

    There are also some great videos on Dr Jack Newman's site (have a google). Also look on google and you tube for biological nurturing and the breast crawl. This is basically where you just plonk your newborn on yuor chest once tehy're born and let them root around to find the nipple and latch on. They've got so many instincts kicking and so much strenght that it's amazing to watch - and they usually end up with a perfect latch without even trying!

    BTW the size of your boobs doesn't make any difference to your ability to make milk. The important bit for milk production is the milk ducts and alveoli. The size of your boobs depends on how much fat you've got on top of that. In very rare cases, women don't have sufficient breast tissue with alveoli but that's really unusual.

    Not leaking milk doesn't mean you don't have enough milk either. I rarely have with C and I struggled to express too. It just meant that my boobs settled very quickly into making the right amount there and then. Most milk is made at the time, not in advance. Unlike cows, we only store a small amount behind the nipple for initial let down and most is made there and then. Cows are different and they make it all the time and store it up until it's needed. I might feel like a cow sometimes but actually I'm miles away ROTFL

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