Forum home Babies Breast & bottle feeding

Can't satisfy baby - after a c section


My baby is now 6 days old and I had quite a traumatic 35 hour labour resulting in emcs.

In hospital I totally lost the plot on the first few nights and forgot there was a little one that needed my care but this was tricky as I was drugged up to the eyeballs, bedbound for 12 hours, recovering from the surgery and the route to labour meant I had gone without more than 2-3 hours sleep a night for about 3 weeks in the run up.

Hospital gave so much conflicting advice and baby shredded and made my nipples bleed where I was desperate to get something into him. Got very emotional and terrified of feeding plus noone seemed to be able to help me know roughly how often I should be attempting feeds.

On my last day in hospital (in for 5 days) a MW took him away at night and gave him formula so I could sleep as post surgery I'd had no more than 2 hours a night due to the feeding demand.

My milk has come in and we have tried to give him a top up of formula at night so he is getting enough but all day yesterday I fed - not leaving the bed and he still wasn't full. This makes me question the quality of the milk I have which is no doubt linked to lack of rest and possibly I'm not getting in enough food. Also he is a big baby - 8lbs15 so think he needs more.

MW visited yesterday and told us he is struggling weight wise as he's lost 12% instead of 10% of his weight. image

Feeling gutted about it!

By the time I got to midnight last night and he still wasn't full we did another bottle again and he took maybe 2oz so I think some of my milk did something as when he was starving he took about 3oz. I had to stop though as I went grey, was in pain from c section, felt hugely dehydrated and just exhausted.

I'm really VERY worried about my own health and almost called the hospital as I felt so unwell. Still feel poorly today but trying to keep drinking water and eat - still its hard with him still needing feeds.

I feel it might be pointless trying to solely bf him today though as my milk is no doubt shocking quality judging by how ill I feel but I want to keep bf! you think I can keep my supply coming in if I feed him formula today but try to regularly express separately too? Perhaps I can give him this as well but I just know my own supply is not rich enough yet for him. It can't be a volume issue as he was on all day and we really have got the latch sorted now.

I must have drunk about 6 glasses of water in an hour for a lot of the night I was that dehydrated.

I'm absolutely desperate and feeling awful and on top of this quite concerned I'll put myself back in hospital if we carry on like this. image


  • Forgot to say he was permanently on the boob for much of yesterday and I suppose if he is so starving and making up for lost time perhaps this is ok and will slow down a bit now we are supplementing with formula.

    What I worry about is that if I continue to feed him at that rate I will be dead...its not good for me or him if I am making myself so ill when I obviously have to recover from major surgery at the same time.

    The catch 22 is I need rest and more food to produce more and better qaulity milk but if I stop feeding to do this the milk will go.

    Hubby has just gone out for an electric breast pump to give us the best chance - reading through some old posts it seems if I do this 3 hourly I should keep the supply. Having a break for 3 hours in between will hopefully give me long enough to get some rest and to eat properly.

    I have no idea how I will survive on my own when hubby goes back to work. image
  • Hun I think you should ring the hospital or mw and say you need some extra support. You've had a tough time and as you say you don't want to make yourself ill. The pump is a great idea as it should keep your supply up if you pump regularly when you your boobs are full, around when lo usually feeds.

    There is a herb you can get I think to help boost supply I think its called fenugreek?
  • Hi,

    Thanks Fran.

    Actually my own midwife called round today and I was breastfeeding as she arrived. I finished just after and she took him to hold whilst I went to the loo.

    We then discussed the whole labour in depth and she gave me some advice on the feeding issues to avoid me having such a mammoth feeding sesssion again and risking my own health and sanity.

    To my astonishment my little boy went to sleep for 2 hours after the feed! image So I actually managed to fill him up for a bit - first time ever! Midwife was pleased and felt we had turned a corner and we will see how his weight is on monday.

    Since then I fed again and he only went for an hour before waking hungry but I had been interrupted during the feed and thought he might not quite be full.

    We're now on another feed and he took about 20 minutes which isn't a massive feed but I think he's getting more with each mouthfull now and I keep doing my best but he just falls asleep on the breast. Its difficult to test whether he's actually had enough or just got too comfy and will want to come straight back on again.

    Midwife suggested we split up the night shift between me and DH so we each have a set period where we are not responsible for the baby and can rest. If necessary hubby will give him a formula feed but we'll see. Midwife suggested never feeding for longer than an hour and then topping up with 1 oz of formula or as little as possible so I can get the rest and he will learn he can't just sit on there for comfort.

    Fingers crossed we continue to make progress.

  • Hi Tulip,

    I was going to reply to this earlier but got distracted by LO!!!

    I could hear the desperation in your post and am relieved to hear you feel more positive.

    I was going to say that the nurses on scbu advised me that I shouldn't feed for more than an hour and that if LO still wasn't satisfied that I should top up with formula. This worked well for us until I got mastitus and have lost most of the milk in one breast. :cry:

    Anyway, other advise I got to keep them awake and feeding was to change nappy mid feed when they fall asleep, undress them to make them slightly uncomfortable, wind them, change boobs, basically make them slightly uncomfortable to stop them falling asleep until they are satisfied.

    It sounds like you are doing really well and remember that you are allowed to cry and that you are a fantastic mummy.

    SB x
  • Glad its going much better hun, this breastfeeding business is tough at the best of times!
  • Hi

    Thanks so much for your advice and support - means a lot.

    The nappy change mid way through seems to wake him up enough and if not then we strip him down a layer.

    Its still tough but feel like we're at least moving forward now. I wish I'd known how hard breastfeeding can be and especially with the c section and recovering from the long labour we had.

    Spongebobby - I hope the mastitis has cleared up now.

    Thanks again xx
  • I think you are doing amazing. Let me tell you though there will be nothing wrong with the quality of your milk. Believe me. I have had 2 c sections and neither straight forward and 2 horrible recovery periods so I know how awful this all can be. The one thing I will say is the reason he feeds so often is that his tummy is tiny so he only needs the smallest amount of milk to feed him. His tummy is roughly the size of his fist so its tiny, and as breast milk is absorbed in an hour, unlike formula, he may want to feed as frequently as every hour. It will settle. My first baby took 8 weeks to get into a good routine and my second baby took 6 weeks. It sounds a long time, but after those weeks, it was and is a total breeze, but those first few weeks are hell. You're doing brill so don't knock yourself x
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions