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Struggling with breastfeeding- will my milk ever come in???

Hi ladies,

I am hoping that there is someone out there that can give me some advice/reassurance.

I had a c-section last Thurs (5th Aug) & it took over 24 hours for me to get DS to latch on as he was so sleepy. Even when he did latch on, he did not stay on for long & despite my best efforts simply fell asleep! By the end of day 2 I was tearing my hair out & the MW persuaded me to give him some formula- which he mostly threw up. Day 3 was much more of an improvement as he latched on & seemed satisfied after 10-15 mins feed. Since coming home on Sunday it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I have even used a pump to express so I can see that he is actually getting something to eat!! My milk has still not come in & he will be a week old tomorrow. I am continuing to express my colostrum- am getting about 1oz every couple of hours- is this normal? When he is latched on he seems to empty the breast in a matter of minutes!! I had to give him a top of formula last night as he seemed so hungry but this resulted in vomiting & diarrhoea.

The MW came to visit us yesterday & he has lost a pound in weight (was 8lb12, now 7lb11) so she is going to keep an eye on this. I am just hoping that it will be easier once my milk comes in!! It is driving me insane with worry!! Doesnt help that MIL keeps making comments insinuating that Im starving him!! To look at him he is a happy little baby, sleeping well, very strong & we are getting wet nappies so that is good surely??



  • did they tell you if your blood levels were low, after my section i had very low levels which i didnt realise at the time reduce milk production, there are meds the midwife can prescribe to help with production too if it doesnt improve, have you access tot he BF support counciler, they may be abkle to help x
  • They said my levels were fine- checked me over before discharging me. Spoke to the breastfeeding buddies whilst in hospital but they seemed to think we should just carry on doing what we're doing. x
  • hun i hope your milk comes in soon, mine never did but im a weirdo anyway! LOL if your getting some when expressing then it will get better, it can take up to a week for milk to come in as im sure some of the others will tell you, big hug and congrats on the birth. xxx
  • Hun are you drinking enough water? Are you running a slight temp? Your body needs LOADS of water to produce enough milk.

    I would say keep expressing as this stimulates the glands and lets them know there is still demand.

    But you may just be one of those woman whos milk just doesnt come in at all.

    Dont beat yourself up over it. What formula are you trying. Our lo had to go on formula when I landed back up in hospital (she was only 10 days old) and we had her on aptimal she threw it up with every feed and was so unhappy, when I got out of hospital I changed her formula to SMA and she has been on that ever since.
  • Thanks for your replies. I have been making an effort today to drink more water & eat bit more food - i didnt realise that this could affect my milk supply.

    I have been giving him SMA milk at night-time- maybe I should look at trying a different one just for the time-being

  • You MUST eat and drink enough for the both of you! Your body needs roughly 1200 calories to survive a day and if you are breastfeeding you need to up that to 1500 calories a day to supply your body with enough for milk production.

    And drink loads of water, it will also help with the healing process after your c-section.
  • Will do. Do you think its too late now for my milk to come in or is there still chance??
  • you still have colostrum so keep trying but be realistic about it. If it were me I would take a good multi vit, eat and drink more and keep trying. But perhaps for only a week.

    Perhaps you could ring a breastfeeding clinic / support line and see how common it is for milk to come in really late.

    Good luck honey
  • Hi
    I had this same problem after my c-section but I don't think that has anything to do with it. It can happen to women who give birth naturally too, my own grandmother is an example. She couldn't feed any of her 4 kids either. I tried and tried and couldn't get more than about 1oz after nearly an hour expressing. I heard good things about fenugreek but it was too late for me to try that by the time i heard it. You're already one up on me though by having LO latching on (mine wouldn't, think she knew there wasn't anything for her!) so that could help to stimulate. Keep making sure you put LO to the breast every time you would feed them and expressing too. And very good luck to you, I know how frustrating and heartbreaking it is so hope you manage!
  • Porridge increases milk supply. Eat as much food as you can get in you! Get in the bath with baby and put him on the boob to stimulate production. The pump might reassure you about what you're producing but it won't bring your milk in, the baby does that. Have baby in skin to skin in bed for a whole day, do nothing but hold your baby and eat, do nothing else. Bet you that your milk will come. The baby sends the message, let him get on with it. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
  • my milk came in on day 5 and as a result my LO went from 7lb5 to 6lb1oz! they were very worried and my LO was definitely starting to show signs of hunger and dehyration (his fontanelle was very visable) i was putting him to the breast every hour and he was latching on very well, my milk eventually came in but i never produced enough so had to top up with an oz of formula at every feed! i dont know whether the delay in my milk is linked with my limited supply but the breast support clinic i went to was brilliant for advice (it was there they told me to give formula along side breast) i pumped like crazy for 3 months and in the end i had to move over to EFF which was a shame but i was pleased to be able to feed for as long as i did,

    I hope you manage to get some support and your milk comes in soon x x
  • You MUST eat and drink enough for the both of you! Your body needs roughly 1200 calories to survive a day and if you are breastfeeding you need to up that to 1500 calories a day to supply your body with enough for milk production.

    i added the extra calories in rolos!!!

    rest as well. my neighbour has never been able to express, but her baby just doesnt sleep through ever and is nearly 7 months. she was exhausted. the first time he slept through she expressed over 6 oz the next day!
    and dont forget baby is much better at getting the milk out than the pump.
  • Just had to pop back to say...stop expressing every couple of hours, put the pump away and let baby feed when he wants, you're not giving nature a chance to work. Midwives can be crap at encouraging women to have confidence in their own bodies and maybe I know nothing but does a baby sleep and seem contented when he's hungry? I didn't think so.
  • just want to echo a point that calleigh has made sometimes you aren't able to express my lo is 23 weeks and only the other day I was able to express 45 ml this is the first time it ever worked.

    I had problems with my milk at the start too and my hv made me do 3 days of total rest as running about and stress can affect milk production she had my oh on strict orders to feed me loads of grub and dont let me lift a finger after 3 days it really did make a difference, also like calleigh says the baby gets the milk out better than the pump, I can hear the milk squirt out and my son gulps away yet when I try to express nothing!!!!!

    another thing if you baby is sleeping he is satisfied my ds did not sleep AT ALL during the day he fed every 45 mins to an hour and half (and each of these times was on me for a good 30 mins) for about 8 weeks, it settled down for about 3 weeks and then went back to this again - not AT ALL trying to put you off but I think a common misconception is just how hard it can actually be for some people and it is sheer bloody determination fo keep at it, honestly out of everything I have done in life (and i have been through some shit lol) etc etc this has been the most difficult but also most rewarding xx
  • Thanks ladies. Well tonight I had a lovely bath with LO & then skin to skin for few hours. As well as eating & drinking loads. When I got up to go to loo I realised that I was leaking quite a lot. Tried to get LO to latch on with no success- still quite sleepy but decided to express some for later on just incase- & I managed to get almost 3oz out!!!

    Hoping that this is a sign that my milk is coming in. Am going to do lots & lots more skin to skin. Will keep u all updated. Thanks again for your advice.

  • i think your milk is in mrs xxx i dont think yould be able to express 3oz if it wasn't the firstabout 6 weeks are deffo the hardest xx
  • MW came round today- reassured me that milk will be there especially as he is sleeping so well. He latched on for a whole 20mins ths morning- massive improvement. I think I was doubting myself as everyone keeps saying that my boobs should be like boulders & really really tender but thats not been the case- up to now anyway. I am definitley leaking lots more today.

    Thankyou for reassurance ladies
  • glad things are getting better x
  • Hi Claire, congrats on the arrival!
    The same thing has happened to me although I didn't have a cs but had a huge bleed after delivery. Jason is 10 days old and my milk hasn''t come in and I had little or no colostrum. He ended up in casualty on day 3 because he hadn't had any wet nappies and lost 1lb so the fact that your baby has wet nappies is a really good sign that you have more than you think. Jason was admitted for fluids and I have had to put him on fm. While we were there the regional breast feedng specialist came to see me. She advised that I put the baby to my breasts at each meal time, top up with fm and then express each breast for 30 mons, every 3 hours. She said it was worh trying to get my milk to come in for 2 weeks and after that it is unlikely to come in. I have never been able to express more than 5 -10mls so again 1oz seems pretty good. She also advised that I ask my GP tp prescribe a drug called metiilium that is prescribed for anti nausia but lactation is a side affect. I'm going to see him tommorrow for that but to be honest its 2 weeks on monday and I am exhausted by the whole thing and have seen no improvement so don't hold out much hope.

    I hope you have more luck than me!!

    Faith x
  • Well done!!!!!! You wouldn't be leaking unless you had enough, in fact the leaking shows there's more than enough. Hoorah for milk!!!! Read up about growth spurts now because you'll be asking the same question all over again when he hits his first growth spurt, at about day 13 I seem to remember, and the answer is the same, yep your body produces enough milk, isn't it an incredible thing!
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