v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 days

Breastfeeding, Bottle, Introducing Solids, Weaning, Nutrition, Health.

v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 days

Postby roslin78 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:44 am

Hi all,
10 days post elective c-section of our first baby my milk supply still is not in. Baby was snuggled skin to skin on me in surgery for a good few minutes (can't tell how long but it felt like ages) but then ran into breathing problems because of fluid in the lungs, "grunting" as they call it eg hard fast but not very effective breathing. So he was brought to recovery with DH and placed in an incubator to aid him. Shortly after I came out of surgery he was admitted to ICU and hooked to the CPAP, stayed in the incubator for 3 days straight except a single half hour skin to skin when it looked like he was able to come off cpap (but had to go back on it shortly afterwards). He spent another day in Special Care Unit, then was finally brought to me.
He was given IV + hand expressed colostrum (later, pump expressed) and formula top up, which I consented to for obvious reasons, he was a good 3 kgs and a bit but he needed all the energy he could get. I also consented to a soother, and later to bottle, as he was suckling his own hand for comfort when food was being siringed in his tube.

Our first attempt at nursing was a good 3 days after birth, he still had a feeding tube and he did not have much of a clue what he was supposed to do with my nipples, he was licking-suckling but not latching (which is fair enough, of course he was confused as to where food is supposed to come from!)

He latched on for about 10 minutes on day 4, then nothing until afternoon of day 5, shortly before we were finally discharged from hospital when, thanks to the wonderful lactation consultant at the Coombe, he nursed successfully if shortly from both breasts.

We have not been able to repeat the feat at home. One of the issues is, my supply is very very low, as in I am expressing no more than 10ml from both breasts. Between the trickle that comes out and the fact that it's hard work to suckle it out, baby gets frustrated if he is put at the breast when hungry, and instead of latching on he mooches on the nipples in between short demanding cries that stop immediately when a few drops fall in to his mouth or we give up and give him bottle. If he's not hungry he just lies there, maybe licks a little, but does not try to latch on.

It's been 10 days as I was saying. Can my supply still come in, and/or can I do anything to improve it?
Breasts have changed, they went up a good cup size, they feel sometimes empty and sometimes full but not sore, kind of day-before-period no more than that.
Pumping every 3.5/4 hours trying not to skip (that is the baby's feeding pattern, in hospital he was being fed every 3 hours but we found that he eats more and better if we leave him an extra 30 minutes to an hour, by the time we pick him up he is giving early cues of hunger). Pump is a medela swing, nipples not cracked or sore, I'm expressing since 6 hours after birth.

Anything else I can do?

I know I am sounding desperate, in truth I am a little upset but trying not to stress over it. I'm italian and to me BF is an normal as making myself a sandwich so there's no real hype about it. But I genuinely don't know if I am doing it all right or not. Actually the only part I find stressing is when he's at my breast and crying in frustration. My mum is here but she never had issues with her early supply (she just used to run out soon, but had plenty from early on) so we are puzzled. Next La Leche meetings are in 10 days time and I am concerned it'll be too late by then.
Any advice hugely appreciated :)
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Re: v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 da

Postby GalwaysGirl » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:19 pm

Id say keep trying baby on the boob so they can get the milk to come in. Maybe keep offering it when not starving as they ll find it harder to latch and get stressed. Offer before they're actually hungry. There's also tea you can get to help supply. Forget name. But Google it. Make sure your well hydrated also..drink loads water! That's all I can think off!
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Re: v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 da

Postby fairykitty » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:50 pm

Do lots of skin to skin, go topless at home and put your baby in a carrier or sling next to you. Ring the la leche league helpline to speak to someone asap, 10 days is definitely too far away
Mummy to a baby girl born on the 23rd January 2013!
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Re: v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 da

Postby Cinnabon » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:52 pm

Go back into the LC in the coombe if you can and get her to,help you out. I also second the advice not to wait until he is hungry as when he gets to that stage he is getting frustrated.

My cousin recently had similar issues post birth and she was also readatmitted due to infection and she us successfully feeding. Her LO is feeding for hours on end to make up for it.

Also pumping does not give an indication on how much you have - it works brilliantly for some but not for everyone.
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Re: v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 da

Postby tippergirl » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:44 pm

I didn't get to feed my lo until she was nearly 3 days old as she was in ICU in the Coombe for that grunting issue too! I was expressing too & then when I got her back to me on the ward I was doing lots of skin to skin, latching her on as much as possible & then giving the expressed milk. I continued this until day 5 & then she started to latch on properly herself.

I think get as much skin to skin as you can as it encourages your milk supply. Fennel tea & oats are said to ebcourage milk supply maybe try get some in every day. It's prob best to try her your lo to latch on before he gets too hungry as he can get frustrated too easily when tired & give up on it.

If you keep trying each breast as much as possible your breasts will fill up after each try & it might increase supply with the increased demand. Best of luck with it & don't beat yourself up over it one way or about her you're doing your best!
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Re: v.low milk supply after c-section + baby in ICU for 4 da

Postby babypanda » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:40 pm

As the other girls have suggested keep offering both breasts often.

Also, my supply was a bit low or seemed to be when I pumped. My friend made me "lactation cookies" which contain oats as well as brewer's yeast whiich are both meant to help. They seem to work as far as I could tell by amount I pumped. Now, I realize that you may not have much time to bake but if someone offers help, it's an iidea. This is the link to the recipe she gave me: http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-choc ... llo-192346
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