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- Is Breast Best? What To Do When Breastfeeding Is Not Working
- The Benefits of Breastfeeding
- My Story
- What Happens if Breastfeeding Doesn't Work for You?
- So - Is Breastfeeding Not Working For You? What Could You Do?
- Try different holds.
- Ask For Some Breastfeeding Support
- Ask Someone To Check How Latching Is Going
- Consider Different Ways Of Feeding
- Do Remember Though - Baby May Not Be Able To Transition Breast To Bottle And Back To Breast.
- Freeze Any Extra Milk You Produce
- Try Not To Get Too Stressed
- Accept That It Just Isn't Going To Happen
- Try different holds.
Is Breast Best? What To Do When Breastfeeding Is Not Working
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Protecting against infections
- Preventing obesity in later life
- Reducing the risks of heart disease in later life
and even goes so far as saying that breastfeeding can reduce the risks of S.I.D.S.
Starting Breastfeeding Was Not Happening
And My Baby Was Hungry
Out of Hospital
What Did I Take From All This?
What Happens if Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work for You?
Low Lactation Supply
Your milk just may not come. I do think that having had breast surgery in the past, this was a main factor in why my own milk did not arrive. There are other medical reasons why your lactation supply may be low and you may just not produce enough milk.
There is a lot of talk about when your milk ‘comes’. Yes, I had that ‘full breasted’ feeling on about day 4 in hospital, but even then, it went down just as quickly. And at that point I was using an industrial pumping machine which did nothing but make my nipples quite sore! I think that I just had a low milk supply, and that nothing was going to work.
Your Baby May Have A Tongue Tie
Tongue Tie is one of the main reasons that a new bay has a poor latch. A tongue tie is when the baby has a piece of skin connecting the tip of the tongue too closely to the lower gums, or a large piece of skin that connects the gum to the inside of the lips. This means that the baby cannot get a good seal, and just finds nursing hard as it cannot get a latch.
I already knew a lot about tongue tie as a dental surgeon, so I did consider this option. But it is important to have this ruled out if you are having breast feeding problems. And I will say, it can be missed – it was missed in my niece who was born 5 months before my own little girl. And so my own sister in law also had some breastfeeding issues.
Sore Nipples and Mastitis
Sometimes the whole act of breastfeeding can make your whole breasts sore. Very sore nipples and even infection (mastitis) can be the result of struggling with breastfeeding.
There are a whole load of creams and ointments out there that can help.
So – Is Breastfeeding Not Working For You? What Could You Do?
Try different holds.
The rugby hold was a great one for me having had a caesarean, as it seemed easier. But there are a lot of different positions to try.
Ask For Some Breastfeeding Support
There are specialist breastfeeding counsellors and lactation consultants out there, A friend tried one. However, she did not find her too useful. You might, though, so it is worth bearing in mind.
Ask Someone To Check How Latching Is Going
If you are still having real trouble with latching you can ask your midwife or health visitor for more tips and support. My midwife did say that my latch was fine, which is just another reason that I think that my milk was just not there.
Consider Different Ways Of Feeding
Maybe consider expressing and using a bottle for your baby instead of breastfeeding. This can also help build your milk supply up.
I didn’t find the machines useful, but maybe buying (or borrowing) a machine may help.
Also with the machines, ensure you have the right type of nipple shield, as the wrong size may be more of a hinderance than a help. I did buy some bigger shields for my machine, but it still made no difference.
Another fellow mum found expressing rather than feeding much easier, and she even found a hand pump really useful.
Plus, a positive note from this is that your partner can help out with feeds by being able to give a bottle of your own milk!
Do Remember Though – Baby May Not Be Able To Transition Breast To Bottle And Back To Breast.
Everyone kept pointing this out to me when I tried to feed baby formula in hospital. I’ve since found plenty of mums who bottle AND breast feed and it isn’t an issue, but they kept stressing me out that I was making an irreversible decision.
I am therefore not sure if it is as big a deal as everyone makes it out. My little girl still was getting a good latch according to the health visitor even though she was having some formula in a bottle too.
It just stressed me out too much.
Freeze Any Extra Milk You Produce
Do remember that you can freeze breast milk in the event that you do make too much at one point. This can take a little pressure off you if you get some in the bank.
Try Not To Get Too Stressed
Try to relax. I do think that my medical condition after the birth, plus how stressed and tired I was really affected my milk production. Maybe if I could have been a bit less stressed, my oxytocin (happy love hormones) may have helped with my milk production. It can be hard to chill when you are so tired and anxious though.
So cut yourself some slack. You are enough.
Accept That It Just Isn’t Going To Happen