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White Gold (Infant Feeding Team)

Whoever said that you shouldn't cry over spilt milk was not talking about breast milk!

After our disastrous start to feeding and Little One’s discharge from Alder Hey I had a bit of a tearful conversation with my midwife. I was very upset about the whole feeding thing. Basically I had tried breastfeeding and it hadn’t gone well. I wanted to breastfeed my baby (or at least give her expressed breast milk) but so far that had not worked out. Before Alder Hey, in addition to the help from the community midwives I had some help from breastfeeding advisors at the walk in session at the childrens centre. This had mostly focused on checking that Little One could latch on but had not in any way addressed the fact that there may be a supply problem.

I wanted to help my Little One get back on the breast and knew I needed help but I wanted the help to come from the perspective of giving Little One the best start and as far as I was concerned being breastfed and hungry was not best for her!

The midwife told me about the infant feeding team at the Women’s and gave me their details.
We met up with them and chatted through our feeding history (from the first day when I couldn’t breast feed her; to the subsequent difficulty getting her to eat properly; to the Alder Hey admission; to the current situation which was that I was offering her the breast then bottle feeding and expressing).

We worked on expressing techniques and how to feed Little One so her sucking actions and positioning was similar to that of breastfeeding. Over the next few weeks I saw the feeding team at a mixture of their walk in clinic and one to one sessions.

They confirmed that although there are benefits to breast milk over formula, that formula is fine and that Little One will be properly nourished and that she would be getting some of this goodness from the amounts that I was expressing and giving to her.

We spoke about diet, hydration and routine (so that I would be expressing at the times of day when my body was most amenable to producing milk. We also went through feeding technique.
Personally I found the walk in sessions really helpful. They made me feel less alone and less like a failure. There was a mixture of people there including people with latching on problems or babies with tongue tie. One mummy in particular who I was chatting to whilst waiting to be seen… She had an amazing supply but her baby (who had been premature and in ITU for a while) simply wouldn’t latch on. During the session she had to feed her baby who wouldn’t take milk from her. She literally got a bottle and hand expressed about half a bottle’s worth in under 20 seconds!!!!!! To put it into perspective it would take me about 40 minutes to get about 15ml (about a tenth of what she had just produced).

After a few weeks I cut down the number of times a day I was expressing, mainly because Daddy had gone back to work and I no longer had the help to tend to Little One whilst I was expressing or to do things to let me sleep! Once Little One was about two months old I decided to stop expressing as we had made no progress.

I’m not generally a quitter but I found the whole thing exceptionally stressful and feel I wasn’t able to spend as much time with Little One or get other things done because I was spending so much time attached to a pump producing miniscule amounts of milk.

If I had another baby I would try to breastfeed again. Since parting company I have heard that some people start hand expressing from when they are 37 weeks pregnant and that this helps you have loads of cholostrum. I don’t know if this is an old wives tale but hopefully the clinical comment might tell us whether this is true… or give us other tips for getting a good milk

Clinical Comment

Joy Stewart (Infant Feeding Advisor)
Susan Saunder (Infant Feeding Advisor)

We are pleased that you found the drop-in clinic helpful and the support you received was helpful to you, not only with your milk supply but also helped you to feel you were not alone.

Every mother has a different experience and being able to access skilled support can be valuable for those mothers experiencing difficulties.

We aim to help mothers to feed their baby, ideally by breastfeeding or giving expressed breast milk.  However sometimes, other milk may be used for a short time when mother is having difficulties with her own milk supply. So by working on your expressing technique and how to feed Little One, our aim was to ensure that Little One was getting all the milk needed.

Lots of mum’s seem to appreciate the open format of the drop-in clinic and share experiences, realising that they are not alone.

All the breast feeding / breast milk your baby received had benefits for Little Ones health.
The majority of information regarding hand expression in the ante natal period relates to women who have diabetes where their baby may need additional colostrum in the first hours. It appears it is not clear whether this increases milk supply.

Top tips for getting a good milk supply:

  • Skin to skin contact as soon as possible after birth, continue until baby has had his/her first feed.
  • Skin contact at any time promotes a good milk supply.
  • Good positioning and attachment will help your baby to remove milk which will send messages to your body to make more milk.
  • Let you baby feed every time she/he wants, ensuring at least 8 feeds in 24 hours.
  • If baby does not latch on and feed, express your milk as often as you can, at least 8 times in 24 hours and give this milk to your baby.

Do you have a question for Anna or Simon? If so please email us at Feedback@lwh.nhs.uk or alternively use the feedback tool at the bottom of this page.

  • Read Anna's previous blogs

    Whoever said that you shouldn't cry over spilt milk was not talking about breast milk!

    After our disastrous start to feeding and Little One’s discharge from Alder Hey I had a bit of a tearful conversation with my midwife. I was very upset about the whole feeding thing. Basically I had tried breastfeeding and it hadn’t gone well. I wanted to breastfeed my baby (or at least give her expressed breast milk) but so far that had not worked out. Before Alder Hey, in addition to the help from the community midwives I had some help from breastfeeding advisors at the walk in session at the childrens centre. This had mostly focused on checking that Little One could latch on but had not in any way addressed the fact that there may be a supply problem.

    I wanted to help my Little One get back on the breast and knew I needed help but I wanted the help to come from the perspective of giving Little One the best start and as far as I was concerned being breastfed and hungry was not best for her!

    The midwife told me about the infant feeding team at the Women’s and gave me their details.
    We met up with them and chatted through our feeding history (from the first day when I couldn’t breast feed her; to the subsequent difficulty getting her to eat properly; to the Alder Hey admission; to the current situation which was that I was offering her the breast then bottle feeding and expressing).

    We worked on expressing techniques and how to feed Little One so her sucking actions and positioning was similar to that of breastfeeding. Over the next few weeks I saw the feeding team at a mixture of their walk in clinic and one to one sessions.

    They confirmed that although there are benefits to breast milk over formula, that formula is fine and that Little One will be properly nourished and that she would be getting some of this goodness from the amounts that I was expressing and giving to her.

    We spoke about diet, hydration and routine (so that I would be expressing at the times of day when my body was most amenable to producing milk. We also went through feeding technique.
    Personally I found the walk in sessions really helpful. They made me feel less alone and less like a failure. There was a mixture of people there including people with latching on problems or babies with tongue tie. One mummy in particular who I was chatting to whilst waiting to be seen… She had an amazing supply but her baby (who had been premature and in ITU for a while) simply wouldn’t latch on. During the session she had to feed her baby who wouldn’t take milk from her. She literally got a bottle and hand expressed about half a bottle’s worth in under 20 seconds!!!!!! To put it into perspective it would take me about 40 minutes to get about 15ml (about a tenth of what she had just produced).

    After a few weeks I cut down the number of times a day I was expressing, mainly because Daddy had gone back to work and I no longer had the help to tend to Little One whilst I was expressing or to do things to let me sleep! Once Little One was about two months old I decided to stop expressing as we had made no progress.

    I’m not generally a quitter but I found the whole thing exceptionally stressful and feel I wasn’t able to spend as much time with Little One or get other things done because I was spending so much time attached to a pump producing miniscule amounts of milk.

    If I had another baby I would try to breastfeed again. Since parting company I have heard that some people start hand expressing from when they are 37 weeks pregnant and that this helps you have loads of cholostrum. I don’t know if this is an old wives tale but hopefully the clinical comment might tell us whether this is true… or give us other tips for getting a good milk

    Clinical Comment

    Joy Stewart (Infant Feeding Advisor)
    Susan Saunder (Infant Feeding Advisor)

    We are pleased that you found the drop-in clinic helpful and the support you received was helpful to you, not only with your milk supply but also helped you to feel you were not alone.

    Every mother has a different experience and being able to access skilled support can be valuable for those mothers experiencing difficulties.

    We aim to help mothers to feed their baby, ideally by breastfeeding or giving expressed breast milk.  However sometimes, other milk may be used for a short time when mother is having difficulties with her own milk supply. So by working on your expressing technique and how to feed Little One, our aim was to ensure that Little One was getting all the milk needed.

    Lots of mum’s seem to appreciate the open format of the drop-in clinic and share experiences, realising that they are not alone.

    All the breast feeding / breast milk your baby received had benefits for Little Ones health.
    The majority of information regarding hand expression in the ante natal period relates to women who have diabetes where their baby may need additional colostrum in the first hours. It appears it is not clear whether this increases milk supply.

    Top tips for getting a good milk supply:

    • Skin to skin contact as soon as possible after birth, continue until baby has had his/her first feed.
    • Skin contact at any time promotes a good milk supply.
    • Good positioning and attachment will help your baby to remove milk which will send messages to your body to make more milk.
    • Let you baby feed every time she/he wants, ensuring at least 8 feeds in 24 hours.
    • If baby does not latch on and feed, express your milk as often as you can, at least 8 times in 24 hours and give this milk to your baby.
    Do you have a question for Anna or Simon? If so please email us at Feedback@lwh.nhs.uk or alternively use the feedback tool at the bottom of this page.

by Anna

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