Aunty Lactivist is all of us, mums who can help with experience, advice or links to websites they have found useful.
Please leave a comment below if you can help.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I’m currently feeding my 4month old son who is my second child (my first was booby fed until she was 20 months) and I LOVE breastfeeding with a passion! Mummy milk truly does rock.
But I have a secret…Every time I have ever fed either of my babies, breastfeeding has made me feel depressed
I know what you’re thinking, how can I love it and be depressed at the same time? Well I only feel depressed for the first 30 seconds – 1 minute of each feed. I also feel nauseous and excessively thirsty. These feelings overwhelm me when I begin feeding. They literally hit me like a ton of bricks. But then after a minute they start to go away gradually and I can enjoy the time with my baby. At the beginning of each feed I can feel a variety of feelings from depression and anxiety to anger and frustration for no apparent reason! I often find myself just closing my eyes and breathing deeply until it passes. I also experience this right before each spontaneous let down. But I have nothing to feel upset or depressed about! I am generally quite a happy person.
What is wrong with me? Am I alone?
Why is this happening and can I fix it? Or am I just a freak of nature?
Aunty Lactivist is all of us, non judgmental mums with experience or ideas that can help.This question was originally posted on the Lactivist Facebook page – please feel free to add any ideas you might have to the comments below. The responses are cut and pasted from the answers on the Facebook page too.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
HELP! Any advice for 1 week old exclusively breastfeeding with possible colic?? Mama friend needs help quick!!
Infacol works brilliantly. But colic does pass in time.. Just stick with it
Colief helped my daughter a littleWhat’s in her diet?
Call LLL helpline 0845 120 2918
Sling and google ‘colic hold’I have a 4 week old EBF with colic.
We usually give infacol, walk around with her, give her a warm bath or swaddle her and snuggle until crying stops. She usualy falls asleep and wakes up half hour later much happier. Hang in there it does get better x
tell mum to cut out caffine and spices and to drink some fennel tea not too much though good luck x
More information than this please….!!! IF it colic try the Colic hold which is laying baby tummy down across your forearm in a cradle like hold and swaying/bobbing whilst rubbing babies back… Upwards x
Baby wearing is great, being held against you belly to belly will help loads so suggest a baby wrap not a bog standard baby carrier, you can get on with housework and the motion of movement usually has baby asleep in minutes and also colief works wonders it is expensive for a tiny bottle but it goes a long way and you can get it on prescription
Infacol worked for both my exclusively breasted little ones x
And to cut out all artificial sweeteners…. So no diet drinks… ‘No added sugar’ squashes… Etc…. Stick to pure juice…. Water… or ribena is safe (just not the sugar free one obviously) and if you must have fizzy… Full far coke is ok… Artifical sweeteners will cause colic… In babies…. X x
no caffeine and no farty foods…eg cabbage, onions, beans
My eldest son had colic bad too… I couldnt get him to feed off me so I had to express a lot of his feeds until he got past it due to lack of help and being a new mum.. but it ws a last resort…. he found it hard to lay in my arms to feed… but I was determind to keep breast feeding and eventually I got him back on the breast.. with my second chld when he showed signs I gave him Weleda Chamomilla 3X Granules – homeopathic remedy, and they really helped with the colic … and I didn’t have to express at all… they are great for teething too!!
Before going into diet I would have tongue tie ruled out by a suitably trained professional and make sure baby is latching well. http://milkmatters.org.uk/2011/04/15/hidden-cause-of-feeding-problems-however-you-feed-your-baby/
It’s not always obvious, the tongue can look ENTIRELY normal to the untrained eye…
I would find a local support group and see somebody 121 a one week old baby would be unlikely to suffer colic.
If you are in the UK I would suggest contacting Helios Homeopaths – you can chat over the phone – set up an account with them – name, address (for posting out remedies) and use (someones) card to pay over phone – the remedies are usually delivered the next day – worth doing this with children in the home, as can be used again and again – I only ever had homeopathy in the home with children as they cannot overdose and kill themselves or poison themselves if they get to it. My children used to read up – find the right remedy and administer homeopathy to each other. They loved playing ‘doctor’ to each other and were always spot on!
Here’s contact details for Helio (I would also recommend purchasing their homeopathic kits of 30 odd remedies with a booklet to identify which remedy is needed)
Helios Homoeopathy Ltd
89-97 Camden Rd, Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 2QR England
We are open Mon to Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm G.M.T. and 10am to 2pm on Saturday
email any queries you might have to: email@example.com
email any orders to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can contact us by telephone:
Main number ++44 (0)1892 537254 (14 lines)
Homeopathic Arnica and Aconite are musts in the home with children. I also found that offering remedies to children and getting them to find which one they are drawn to gets some brilliant and exact results.
That’s who I have used over the last couple of years .. they are brilliant great for making a homeopathic first aid kit too
cranial osteopathy cured my son’s colic. he was like a different baby practically overnight
Go to a local bf support group, see if there’s one near you www.realbabymilk.org having other bf mums around can make things easier for you and baby, there is often a professional bf support linked to a group
Real Baby Milk
YouTube colic massage, the video you want is by a user who’s name stays with d then followed by numbers (on phone so can’t link), but this worked wonders for us, as did lots of babywearing
im a midwife and i tried everything for my daughters colic – eventually i went to someone who practised bowdens technique and it worked after 2 sessions! x
Baby massage, keep baby upright preferably on chest, warm baths, skin2skin as much as possible, check your latch is on correctly (LL league or breastfeeding supporter) think about co sleeping (seek advise how to do this safely)….hang in there it will get better!
Warm bath for mum and baby, hand full of Epsom salts, skin to skin, colic is a fancy word for trapped gas. Relax and soothe. It will come up. No feeding restrictions. Love love love. X
There’s no evidence that Infacol works at all…
Cosleeping and feed with baby on her side propped up on your arm. Think about when u have bellyache, the last thing u want to do is lie flat. Raise the head end of whatever she sleeps in or let her sleep propped up on u. Also be reasonably firm when helping her wind. A gentle stroke is not enough to get gas up or down! A good move from yoga is laying baby down on back head propped if she prefers then bring both legs in bent to her tummy a few times x
I’d be really wary of deciding that a one week old has colic. Your milk has only JUST come in, her digestive system has only JUST started working. Colic doesn’t generally manifest until about 3 weeks, and even then it’s overdiagnosed, and its rare in EBF babies. What is she doing that makes you think it’s colic?
Very normal for a newborn to be feeding frequently and unsettled late in day at a week old. That’s not colic.
Dairy in mummys diet can cause terrible tummy ache for babes x
Aunty Lactivist is all of us so please help with any comments, links or ideas if you can help at all. There are many issues in this question, the mum didn’t get much contact with the baby in hospital, she feels the baby is not taking much from the breast but will from the bottle, she also feels she cannot express enough.
This post will feed through to the Lactivist Facebook page so I will cut and paste any advice from there and add it to the comments later.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I am wondering if you could maybe give some advice for my sister-in-law. She is currently living overseas and is not getting much help at all from the doctor’s/midwives with regards to breastfeeding.
Her daughter was born on 6 weeks premature and where she lives they do not allow the babies home until they are at what would have been the 38th week of pregnancy. However, my sister in law and brother in law brought the baby home after 2 weeks I think it was as the doctor’s said there was nothing medically wrong with her – other than being a premature baby – and kept wanting to do all these tests on her for no reason (they have to pay for each thing done over there).
While in hospital, the mum had to feed the baby by bottle every 3 hours – if the baby wanted more, she couldn’t have more than what was in the small bottle, she wasn’t allowed to be fed apart from every 3 hours. My sister in law did express (I’m pretty sure) the whole time so it was EBM the baby was getting. My sister in law also wasn’t allowed near the baby apart from during feeding time.
Anyway the past week she has been trying to breastfeed the baby as she’s been doing nothing but expressing and she’s really worn out. Here is some info from my Mother in Law.
She finds she is feeding the baby for a couple of hours – 45 mins on each breast , she is not taking much – then takes 90- 100 mls in a bottle. She then has to express 60 mls for the next bottle. Whilst some one is giving the bottle she is expressing the 30 – 40 ml top up. Last night at 11 p.m. she looked so weary & down – her husband was telling her to keep trying – she was pumping away and nothing was coming. All day and night she is trying to produce sufficient milk – apart from changing nappies and settling the baby. I really am worried about her – there is little joy in this routine. She hasn’t even been out to show the baby to anyone and has put off anyone coming to see her. A new Mum gets tired but should be having a bit of a life. The baby will be seven weeks on Sunday. I am making sure she is eating and drinking plenty and resting.
If there is anything at all you could suggest that I can pass onto my SIL I would be ever so grateful. When we see her on Skype she looks very tired and worn out – black eyes from lack of sleep, etc etc. I know I was tired after having my baby, but I don’t recall looking the way she did once I was out of hospital.
These are the Facebook page comments:
For a limited time only each order at www.lactivist.co.uk will contain one of these little cards. They are produced by mum, activist and ‘birth junkie’ Natasha Batsford who is passionate about empowering women.
One side has a gorgeous illustration by Emmie Tallboys and the other says “Thank you for breastfeeding in public, you make it easier for other nursing mothers to do the same”
Each card has a link you can read with a smartphone that sends you here for more information – http://maybe-diaries.blogspot.co.uk/p/hello-and-thank-you.html
If you get one of these cards, please hand it on and spread the thanks!
There are some different ones you can print yourself here http://www.lactivist.net/free-printable-thank-you-for-breastfeeding-in-public-cards/
This is a bit of an unsual Ask Aunty Lactivist – Laura is worried about the risks of full term breastfeeding. If anyone has any links they can share that would be really helpful.
This might be a bit of a random question but as a very, very pro-breastfeeder it has got me thinking…..
Can anyone answer it?!!
I am currently still bf’ing my second son who is now 26 months. I also fed my other son up until the age of 18 months at which point he self-weaned.
Am thinking of the day when my bf’ing will come to an end and then a question in my mind came up about the advantages of bf’ing, esp in regards to reducing cancers. I always thought that bf’ing reduced the risk of ovarian cancer, for example. But further reading would suggest that there is a bit of controversy here, with some studies finding no link. Also, when you are bf’ing you cannot take the combined pill which clearly does have a very good protective factor….the progestogen only pill, for example, does not anywhere near the same level of protection.
So actually, is what the ‘experts’ maybe are saying is that extended bf’ing may actually increase risk???
When you add it all up, I am sure there are yummy mummies out there who have, like me, been feeding for quite some time. My grand total is 3.5 years and counting! But then ‘pill’ debate just kind of hit me and I’d love to have a definitive answer if anyone in the know does know!
Food for thought!
Parents in Partnership South Wales are in the South Wales area and a list of breastfeeding groups, venues and times can be found at
Their objectives are to educate, advance and promote the physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing of families during pregnancy, post pregnancy and through the early years of child development.
The breasfteeding support groups are run by Mum’s for Mum’s.
All breastfeeding peer supporters have been OCN trained in Breastfeeding Peer Support, have breastfed themselves and most likely still are.
“We are here to support all breastfeeding Mum’s, if you are having problems with feeding or not. It’s a great way to meet like minded Mum’s for a chat and a coffee.”
Aunty Lactivist is all of us so if you can help with any ideas, links or experiences please leave a comment.
Sarah is asking this for another lady in the UK, can anyone help?
“I may be going mad – always possible but I am SURE I saw a solictor who specialises in breastfeeding support in separation cases but she’s split from the ex. Baby is 11 months he’s requesting 9-6 contact days babe is still fed a lot in the day – is she protected by anything? Everyone involved is so clueless saying he should have formula or she can pump etc no one is taking into account the baby feeds at the breast not via a bottle. Even the solictors and so on have said just express or wean or give cow’s milk ( he has dairy issues)”
This question was originally posted on the Lactivist Facebook wall and here are some of the answers given, I’ve made them anon -
here in TN it makes no difference, they don’t respect bfing. I was told, “he can just be given formula and you can pump during the days he’s gone!” UGH…….it was rough and he was sick all the time!!
- what about the rights of the child, why should it be forced to feed in a way it is not used to! You would have thought the father would want what is best for his child, that said you would hope the mother is not using BF as an excuse to stop the little one having time with its father, both loved each other enough to make a child surely one would hope they can find away through this until the little one weans.
- It depends partially on the state for the laws, but I would hope they can come to an agreement. There SHOULD be something that protects the baby when it comes to feeding. I know in Michigan there are guidlines with parenting time in regards to the child’s age and feeding behavior.
- I am in uk and went through a similar situation. Father took me to court when our son was 8 months old, his dad wanted long periods of unsupervised contact leading to overnights despite our son still bf frequently including during nights. The judge ruled only short contact sessions of 3.5 hours with me supervising and this stayed the same right up until our lo turned 18 months last month. His father now has no contact (his choice) as the judge would not order unsupervised and overnight contact yet as our son is not ready. Just remind judge that WHO recommends bf until 2 years and beyond and that is what is in best interests of child. 9-6 is a long day for an 11 month old and time needs to be built up accordingly.
As far as I understand it is all done in the Childs best interests, so for a bf baby, contact would be little and often, building up as child gets comfortable, overnights might not happen until age 3ish.
- What would the mother do if she went back to work and LO went to nursery? I’m not saying she should be forced to express, I’m just wondering.. I think 9-6 is a bit too long for a young baby to consistently be away from their mother anyway but maybe the day could be shortened slightly and the baby could have some expressed milk during the day? I don’t think she should have to give formula or cows’ milk, or wean, but I don’t see why a little expressed milk is such a bad thing? She chose to make a baby with this man, she sort of has to accept that he wants to see his baby too. Can they not meet somewhere in the middle? Shorter days away from Mum, expressed milk, still gets time with Dad but isn’t away from fresh milk from source for too long?
If we had continued going through courts, overnights would not have even been considered until age 2 at the very very earliest. If the judge is told that the baby does not take milk from a bottle and has dairy allergy issues then the judge should take all that into account and just order short and frequent contact sessions, possibly with mum on hand if baby needs feeding. We used to meet at a soft play and I would sit out of sight with my mum while my ex and his mum sat out the way with our son and ex would bring our son to me if he needed a feed during the 3.5 hours. Judge was happy with this setup and like I say it stayed the same from 8 months until 18 months. The only problem your friend may encounter would be if the visits are already quite long, as the judge will often go by what the parents already have in place and increase from there. For example we already had a schedule of 2 hour contact sessions in place before he took me to court, the judge then ordered 3.5 hours.
- A judge should not order a child to have formula when the child is breastfed
- The only thing I will say is that every judge is different and it is a very nerve racking and stressful time that I would never ever wish to repeat (but would do again in a heartbeat if it meant protecting my baby boy) but as long as the mother genuinely has the childs best interests at heart, is open to compromise and is appreciative of the childs needs/right to a relationship with their dad, then the judge will see this and will hopefully order something which suits everyone but most importantly the child.
I went through the courts with my ex for nearly 4 years over my son and to be honest they will not refuse a further visitation or contact on any grounds even if that means it being supervised or supported! Its all about compromise im afraid.. Thats all there is to it! X
A court will not order a child to have something that goes against the childs best interests e.g. Formula… And the lawyer wants it the baby to have cows milk instead us silly, expressing is the only realistic option and more frequent but shorter visits, let it go to court no judge in their right mind would order a mum to substitute breast milk… Good luck to your friend x x
- Can she ask her local lactation consultant to write a letter stating the importance of breastfeeding in the first year and beyond? Not just from a nutritional point of view but for the child’s emotional development and attachment. Cow’s milk not advised before 12mths. When I went through my divorce I was advised that overnight stays were not expected with the non resident parent until the child was at least 2yrs unless the mum/baby were happy to allow this.
- i know GP Jayne Donegan has helped with custody court cases re vaccination. dont know if she will help with breastfeeding, but worth contacting her as she may, or know others who do? http://www.jayne-donegan.co.uk/
- I know someone who went through this and she was successful as she was breastfeeding and as long as she decided to breastfeed, her ex had to work round it!
Expressing is all well and good but my children would never take milk from anything but the breast. I can’t add anything about legalities but you do need to get people to understand how a BF baby works. When ill i have been told to just not feed for a few days, not exactly possible even now and my DS is 2! People are clueless unless they have experienced it themselves. I know many BFing single mums and none of the children have overnight visits to the other parent. I would be happy for my DS to stay with his Dad now but he is older and we still get along ok
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I discovered the Baby Greenhouse forum after I had suffered two miscarriages. I was 22 and didn’t know much about babies or pregnancy. I had no particular opinion on whether I intended to breastfeed or not, when (and if) I had a successful pregnancy.
One night there was a thread on Baby Greenhouse discussing the Nestle boycott. I read with interest and someone posted a link to a document containing official World Health Organisation research on breast-feeding and their policy on advertising and marketing of formula milk. It describes in detail the *actual* benefits of breastfeeding and the shocking statistics about the health effects of ‘not’ breastfeeding, according to the WHO research. It explains that due to pressure from American formula companies, some of the ‘scarier’ statistics were removed from a health campaign heightening awareness of the risks of ‘not’ breastfeeding. The reason given was that it “..might make (formula-feeding) mothers feel guilty..”
From the second I read the stats I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Up until that point all I’d really heard was ‘Breast is best’. I’d read all the usual stuff that you read in magazines, NHS leaflets etc. None of it really had that much of an impact. But this did. I was shocked. That this vital information would be down-played for fear of upsetting people…?? I couldn’t get my head around it.
With my third pregnancy I researched online and in books for information on breastfeeding. I read all the breastfeeding posts on BGH that I could find! I felt strongly that I wanted to do this for my baby and for myself.
Finally in December last year my dream came true and my baby girl was born. Unfortunately she was very ill. She had risky but life-saving surgery performed in the womb at 32 weeks gestation, causing me to go into premature labour and she was born by emergency c-section at 34+4. At this point I wasn’t really thinking about how I’d feed her – I was more concerned whether she would live or die .
When it became clear that she was going to recover and come home, I started to think again about the reality of caring for her. I knew that I still wanted to breastfeed, but the odds were against us. We had been separated for the vital first few days of her life (she on a ventilator, me immobilised from the section). We were unable to have skin-to-skin contact because she had a chest drain inserted which meant that she couldn’t leave the incubator. I was able only to hold her head and stroke her skin through the ‘port-holes’. I couldn’t smell her. I couldn’t hear her cries without bending myself at a 45 degree angle (!).
I looked into ways I could *try* and get breastfeeding established. I expressed milk every 3 hours to feed to the baby through her nasal-gastric tube. Beginning to express milk when I had no baby to stimulate me naturally was hard. And painful. I found the act of expressing more painful than the seven hours of contractions I’d had whilst in labour. At points I felt like giving up. But I kept going and eventually got used to the electric pump.
The premature baby charity Bliss had information about using a dummy to stimulate the baby’s sucking reflex whilst they received their tube feeds. The baby would hopefully begin to associate the ‘sucking’ with the feeling of a full tummy. I spent every day at the hospital, using the dummy with every feed. 12 hours from 9am – 9pm until my feet were sore and my back ached. I was completely exhausted, people kept asking me to take a break, have a morning off. I couldn’t bear to.. Every minute that I was awake and not there I felt ill. I had asked the nurses to use the dummy when they did her tube feeds overnight but I knew from observing them that they are often very busy, and doing this every hour on the hour might not be practical for them.
She spent 2 weeks in Intensive Care with some terrifying moments, including a collapsed lung before she was finally able to move out of an incubator into a cot. On the 21st December at 16 days old she was ‘allowed’ out to try sucking at the breast. I was over the moon when she began rooting around and after a few attempts she latched on. That night at home I cried with relief. The weeks of pain and emotion and uncertainty had been worth it. It is one thing to try breastfeeding and have it not work out: at least you know that you *tried*; it is quite another to not even have the *chance* to do it.
I was allowed to stay over at the hospital for the next two days with the baby in order to get breastfeeding established. Again it was difficult because suddenly I had the responsibility all to myself – DP wasn’t allowed to stay and I felt under incredible pressure. Of course I had put *myself* under this pressure but I knew that my reasons were good. After two days and nights of this, she had gained weight. Clinically she was given the OK to go home and that meant we could have her home with us on Christmas Eve.
Breastfeeding at home was harder than it had been in hospital. As she gained weight she needed to feed for longer. Her sucking became practised and STRONG! I had a cracked nipple on both sides for about two weeks. The pain of feeding through a cracked nipple was almost unbearable. I screamed and shouted and gripped the couch, but somehow we managed it. Through all of this, the only thing that kept me going was my determination. A determination which was brought about not by any health advice I’d received from doctors or nurses or midwives or friends or family, but from reading a post one night on Baby Greenhouse!!
My opinion on breastfeeding now is that more should be done in this country to encourage women to try it. I am sure there are thousands of women / girls who choose to bottle-feed because they investigate the options and bottle-feeding seems the easiest and most practical. The health benefits of breast-feeding *as advertised* by our health authorities are simply not ‘strong’ enough to outweigh the practical benefits of bottle-feeding. Even the midwife simply said “We don’t ask how you’re going to feed your baby, we only say that breast is best. It’s your decision.” This, of course, is true. But my personal opinion is that there is a responsibility on our healthcare providers to properly advise on the pros and cons of both methods. My honest opinion is that bottle-feeding *seems* to be easier because I like the idea of the baby’s Dad and other family members being able to do some (or all!) of the feeds. If I hadn’t read this document I would probably have decided to bottle-feed. And I do *not* blame anyone else who thinks this way. I blame the Government or NHS or whoever it is that doesn’t provide sufficient information for us to make a properly informed choice!
Please please please let me stress that in no way do I think formula is “poison”. I think formula is a perfectly acceptable substitute for breast-milk, when breast-feeding has not happened. Particularly if for medical reasons – HIV, milk doesn’t come in, low pain threshold etc. But I do believe that we should be encouraged to *try* it.
The reason I posted the article was in the hope that I’d reach someone who was like me two years ago.
copyright Mhairu Hamilton
Annmarie Thomas, PIPSW Breastfeeding Peer Supporter said
‘ PIPSW have worked so hard this year to expand the support network that we offer to new breastfeeding families in our community. We created an information table at Neath Port Talbot birth centre to celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Week and to provide information to women and their families using the ante natal clinics.
The table was covered all week by breastfeeding peer supporters that volunteer for Parents in Partnership and we thoroughly enjoyed engaging with so many expectant mums. We are looking forward to seeing them after they’ve had their babies and supporting them further.’
PIPSW Breastfeeding Peer Supporters Jane Anthony and Annmarie Thomas at the information table, Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
‘I would like to thanks Parents in Partnership, and all their mothers that gave up their time voluntarily to promote breastfeeding within the maternity clinic within Neath Port Talbot Hospital in support of breastfeeding awareness week.’
Carol Jones, Infant feeding coordinator for the ABMU
‘My son was born at 30 weeks after an emergency Caesarean section. I had always planned to breastfeed after feeding my first son for a year. I was concerned that because he was born so early and we were separated due to him being in special care, I wouldn’t be able to produce any milk. However, from the support and reassurance from the PIPSW breastfeeding peer supporter and the staff on the ward, I was confident that in time my body would produce the milk I was hoping for.
I was shown how to hand express which I did regularly and I used the electric pump. I was also provided by the Breastfeeding peer supporter, booklets from BLISS about having a premature baby and how to get breastfeeding off to the best start.
I found them extremely useful and I felt more prepared for the future. All the questions I had running through my mind were answered by the peer supporter, staff and amazing booklets.
I cant thank the peer supporters enough for volunteering their time and just listening to my concerns.
My son is doing well and im pleased, that thanks to my breastmilk, I am able to give him the best start possible and hell be home before we know it.
Thank you PIPSW.’
You can find out more about Parents in Partnership South Wales from their website www.pipsw.org.uk
“I have seen contradictory information about breastfeeding whilst pregnant. Some people seem to imply milk dries up so u have to stop? I’m hoping to bf my lo for a few yrs and hope to b pregnant at the same time…. Any advice? “
Aunty Lactivist is all of us and here are some of the answers to this question that were on the Lactivist facebook page.
If you can help with any ideas, links or your personal experience please leave a comment.
There’s a really good book called “Adventures in Tandem Nursing”
Think it really does depend on your body huni. I’m still bfing my 2 yr old and would like to be pregnant at some point this yr. what I have deduced that some toddlers self wean because the taste changes. Some ladies find the change of hormone balances can decrease milk supply, some still have oooodles! Maybe it’s going to be one of them situations where u just see how it goes xx
I’m 39wks pg and still feeding my 2.5yo It varies from mama to mama though, some find their milk stops during pg, others (like me) only notice a slight dip in supply. Some also find it painful or uncomfortable to feed, but I have been fine. Some LOs self-wean due to changing taste or supply, others like my LO feed without seeming to notice any difference! It really does vary but can be very possible.
I’m out and about so don’t have my peer supporter folder with me which has info on this bit do remember that you can successfully feed throughout pregnancy, the milk might change but it is possible to continue to feed your first!
I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant and breastfeeding my 2 yo. I have found it more uncomfortable and, to be honest, was hoping he would self wean now but he is showing no signs of doing so.
I tandem fed two children while expecting my third, having continued to feed my first child during the second pregnancy. My first son weaned himself during the third pregnancy at the age of 3 years 10 months, but my daughter carried on right through. It did get a bit painful, but we persevered.
I was one of the 30% whose milk disappeared almost overnight at about 20 weeks. My nursing was 23 months.
I am pregnant and still nursing my almost 15 month old no problems so far.. just have to eat a lot lol
My milk dries up when I am pregnant but my kiddos still nurse through it. Generally speaking even if your milk dries up they will still get colostrum (which starts to appear at about 20 wks). You don’t have to stop just because your milk dries up though
well if it really did dry your milk up or was risky I think the human race would have died out. It can change the quality of the milk because more of the nutrients will go to the baby in your womb, but you can eat more healthy food to compensate I think. Some kids self wean because of the change in the taste of the milk when you’re pregnant, but I think they’d only do that if they were ready to self wean anyway. My friend carried on breastfeeding her 2 yr old through most of her pregnancy with no problems. Around 7 months pregnant her daughter stopped asking for feeds and she stopped offering them. (she’s 9 months now so we’re just waiting for the new baby to arrive!)
I’m still nursing at 39 wks pg. I think I lost most milk around 19 weeks, but my Ds was happy to dry nurse / comfort nurse and something that meant I heard swallowing (!) came back around 32 weeks I think. The Adventures in Tandem Nursing has helped me massively deal with lots of things around the feelings of nursing aversion and resentment so it is definitely worth reading if you get the chance x
I was lucky enough to continue to feed my 2.5 year old right through my recent pregnancy. She was quite happy and only seemed to notice a difference in the milk, two weeks before I gave birth my dd told me “the milks changed mummy”. I experienced some discomfort at times but persevered with it and am now tandem feeding both my daughters. Also found my milk returned within 2 days . I agree it seems to be a personal thing, good luck.
For me DS1 self-weaned I think because the taste changed but I believe my supply dried up causing DS2 to self-wean. It really does depend on your body as well as how often you’re feeding LO. I do know a few people who’ve continued through and beyond subsequent pregnancies though, so I know it’s perfectly possible!
I got pregnant with no5 whilst bf no4…. She self weaned at almost 14 months tho when I was about 13 weeks, there didn’t seem to be much going on in the milk dept so not sure if it did start drying up maybe? I think you just need to do what your body and your little one tells you. I was hoping to tandem feed but it wasn’t to be!
I’ve not read all the replies but I know a lot of them do wean around 20 wk or so. I’m 28wk pg and still feeding my son who will be 3 in July. I have very limited supply now and am unfortunately experiencing breastfeeding aversion:-( its not put him off at all though and he is still interested x x although I know it’s just comfort now
I have nursed through 2 pregnancies. My ds self weaned when I was about 34 weeks as he didn’t like the taste he was just over 2. He did have a few feeds after she was born but wasn’t that interested. L fed throughout Ms pregnancy and am happily tandem feeding her at 2 and 4 months and M who’s 8 months. Good luck.
Every mom’s baody is so different. I fed my toddler during the first half of my current pregnancy. I am 35 weeks right now. My supply was fine (pregnqant with #8) it always was OK. My toddler didn’t complain and my health was fine. AS a CLC I see moms all teh time with this question. Start healthy, eat healthy, and everything should be fine. I weaned my toddler because of my personal reasons during this pregnancy. Milk may dry up and come back. Some moms have a lot of nipple sensitivity some none at all. Take it one day at a time…..
I nursed my dd all the way through my pregnancy and even when the supply dropped to zero weeks 19-25 (I knew because I couldn’t hear dd swallow anymore) she kept nursing without complaint. The book “Adventures in Tandem Nursing” is well worth a read for excellent factual info and other mum’s experiences. I found nursing through pregnancy very worthwhile. I wish you all the best.
I’m 32 weeks and still nursing my 18 mth old. Like anything everyone is different so my advice would be go with the flow. We hit a ‘rough’ patch about 20 weeks where my milk either changed in taste or slowed down. I did find my boy wanted to nurse more which on sensitive nipples I found really hard. Adventures in tandem nursing by Hilary flowers is an excellent book for advice. X
I tried to bf my 14month old while pregnant but it didn’t work for me. I still had milk but it seemed to be less than she wanted – she was frustrated and I was exhausted, she would be nursing for 2 or 3 hours at bedtime and still not be satisfied. I agree it depends on your body and your baby. Mine was very dependent on the breast and didn’t really start eating properly until I stopped. There’s nothing to lose by trying though )
I got pregnant with number 2 when my eldest was about 16 months old. I did keep breastfeeding her. She ended up self-weaning at about 19-20 months or so.
However, she had already started to take cow’s milk before that and I was quite happy for her to gradually drink more and more of that and less breastmilk.
Also, she didn’t feed again until her brother was about 6 months old when all of a sudden she asked for “booby juice”. I saw no good reason to refuse so she had some. She has had the odd feed (maybe once every month or 2 ever since and she will be 5 next month. I don’t encourage her. I did not want her to start feeding full time again. I have seen some friends struggle with older toddlers becoming quite obsessed with it again and wanting to feed many times a day and I was a bit scared that would happen. So whenever she asked, I usually offered another drink first or told her she had to wait until I cleaned up the kitchen or something like that. But if she still wanted to, I let her. I didn’t want it to cause jealousy issues. I do not mind occasional feedings. I think it’s quite lovely, really.
We finished nursing at around 24 weeks pregnant as he lost interest. Throughout that time i had hyperemesis and was hospitalised for dehydration and not once did my milk dry up. I don’t think ds2 liked the taste change. If he wants to go back to nursing when the baby arrives that’s fine by me as he is only 2 1/2. Though it will be on a only if requested basis
My daughter was 4months when i got pregnant and i stopped bf when she was 7 months. I didnt notice a change in supply and she didnt go off it at all. Think our midwifes suggest stopping 6wks before due but not sure on what grounds. A friend of my aunts continued feeding successfully throughout and beyond pregnancy. I guess it would bring your milk in quicker? In any case i certainly never fully stopped lactating after my little girl stopped feeding.
Hilary Flower is the author of Adventures in Tandem Nursing.
My daughter was 6 mths wen we fell preg so really really wasn’t keen to give up that early. Dd carried on until I was 8 mth prg, no sore nipples/aversions, and we had a lovely time as she wud feed and talk to bump. She just stopped one day wen we were on holiday, kept offering even after no 2 was born but no interest until dd2 was about 12 mths and since then she’s been on and off, once or twice a week. All snouty, ur body, what makes u n ur family happy n comfortable. Oh and before dd2 came back to the breast, any milk u expressed for the fridge/freezer went to her…. Even tiny amounts proved to be a lovely treat. Far better received than anything else. Good luck with it hon and read the tandem feeding book. If the Lll doesn’t have it at the moment, I’ve got a nct homebirth group copy u’d b welcome to borrow
“Dear Aunty Lactivist
I had my preemie 6 weeks early. Her mouth is too small to be able to latch on well to the breast so she is having bottles of expressed breast milk. Atm im managing to express around 12-14oz a day. This is from 4 to 5 sittings per day. However i don’t express during the night as im so tired.
they tried to help in the hospital but agreed her mouths too small, shes only 4lb 8. i put her to me to still let her try n suckle x This is why i want to express so she still gets my milk and so i can keep trying until she is bigger and can latch on atm the latest i express is 10-11pm. Im going to set my clock tonight to wake up and express twice and try and slowly up it she goes 3-4 hours through the night so my plan is when she wakes tonight for bottles ill get my hubby to feed her next to me while i express x
Should i express during the night, also are their any other things i can do to maximise my milk and increase supply? or any handy tips?”
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Here are some answers from the Lactivist facebook page
Yup. Express at night. I know it’s really hard. It you want to go for 8-12 expression sessions in each 24 hour period
Yes during the night… Try to mimic her newborn pattern,
I would express at night for sure, my LC said to never go longer than 3-4 hours between feeding or pumping during the first few months.
You need to be expressing regulary. 8-12 times in 24hrs. Very important to express once during the hours of midnight & 6am. That is when your hormone levels are at the highest too Get help with latching on from your health visitor.
it is so hard but your prolactin levels are higher at night so pumping at night really helps improve supply. Lots of rest at other times, lots to eat and drink. Fenucreek can help as can domperidone/metoclopromide (available from GP). Good luck – keep going x
I had a preemie and at the beginning I did pump twice in the night. I tried to make it midnight and 4am, then when I got up in the morning. After my milk supply was established I dropped the 4am one and got up earlier to pump so I could get…See more
Express at night. I just wanted to say that my daughter was born 11 weeks early and we started bfing at 35 weeks. It took a while to establish it but we are still bfing now at 14 months. She was 2lb 2oz when born and only 1.79kg when we got home 9 weeks later. Bfing a premature baby can be done
I would recommend a LC that is independent and not with the hospital. Sometimes the hospital nurses don’t know nearly as much as a IBCLC would. Fenegreek, blessed thistle and alfalfa all help milk production as well. I’ve heard oatmeal does as well but not instant I think steel cut is best or rolled.
They say that your milk levels are highest at 3 am and 7 am I found that drinking milkshake helps me but everyone is different Hun xx
Like other posters have said, you definitely need to be expressing at night! My son was also born 6 weeks early, and the LC told me I needed to be pumping 8-12 times a day, but I could go a 4 hr stretch at night(during the day every 2-3hrs). I also rented a hospital grade pump. It does get easier. He never latched, but I was able to start doing a 5-6hr stretch around 12 weeks or so.
Also oatmeal and gatorade have really helped my supply.
I had a 34 weeker, I had to pump around the clock it was exhausting and unfortunately I only last 3 months, but I know you can go longer!.:)
just to add to all the great advise above i just wanted to say that my first little girl couldnt latch on so i was also expressing and bottle feeding EBM. She did however finally latch on at 8 weeks old and then breastfed to 29 months so hopefully your LO will do the same. Well done for keping it up and i wis you luck xxxx oh yes i dont think anyone has mentioned fennal, fennal tea is great xx
Yes pump at night, try and pump regularly every 4 hours or so! I would suggest (if possible) holding her to your breast whilst pumping the other one- it will stimulate milk flow and encourage her to get stronger quicker… Also it may encourage her to try and latch on bit by bit, as she’ll love your smell! Good luck, I’m sure you will be fine!! Xx
no more advise hun, just to say that yr doing a great job and good luck xx
Fenugreek is fantastic best way is capsule form and works really quick you will need to express to for her feed pattern so if baby is feeding 2 hourly you will need to pump the same. That way when you switch from bottles to breast you will…See more
My boy was 4 wks early and had to express a lot for the 1st few wks b4 I cld get him latched on. I expressed every 2-4 hrs night and day – it is exhausting – but it gets easier – by about 6wks we were breast feeding reasonably well wit no need to express. Also drunk lots of nursing tea. Keep it up, it gets easier I promise.
your hormones are higher at night time so may try to express about twice during the nightr about 10 to11 them about 4 this may help to get your milk supple up i had a preemie and she norm breastfed well she 10 months now and i have to express for her
Totally agree lots of skin on skin contact. So kick out all the visitors and snuggle up on the sofa. U actually have to nap when baby does. (Co-sleep wit right advice on how too).
i co slept with my son the problem with sleeping in the day is i have 4 other children lol.
Sorry keep thinkin about what I did! 9 times out of 10 I tried to feed him first b4 I expressed. (Especially in the day), So he had a lot of time to latch on. Used the calma medela bottles which were as close to the breast as possible. Fenugreek u can get in holland and barrett – its also in nursing tea – which u can buy online – even on amazon!
Yes! Keep expressing during the night
AMAZON for fenugreek xx
What a lucky baby! Look up biological nurturing it’s another way to encourage latching using babies own instincts, also lots of skin to skin will help both with milk supply and latching, get support via telephone or one to one with BfC or LC to help you emotionally during this tough time.
I had a 35 weeker, and fed her EBM exclusively for the first few months. I agree with Diana – renting a hospital grade pump makes things much quicker and easier. You will soon have a store of frozen milk and not be so attached to your pump. My daughter never did take to the breast, but with my trusty rented pump we did EBM for 4 months. xx
Fenugreek, milk thistle and phytoloacca 30 – go to see a herabalist. Pump every two hrs, 20 mins each side. I went from 12ozs to 30 in a matter of days. U r doing a great job and pumping a good amount. Well done and all the best x
you’re doing an amazing thing. Ask if someone can show you how to feed your baby your milk using something other than a bottle and teat. An infant feeding cup or syringe maybe. Those bottles won’t help her to learn to suckle from you. Good luck and keep the faith. You can do it. Look at all these people cheering from the sidelines. Jx. IBCLC
Get a decent double pump and hands free bra to pump saves ALOT of time! Well done though Eping is hard work have a look at our board on babycentre I wrote a post for mums of prem babies as difficulties can face are slightly different http:/…See more
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Dear Aunty Lactivist,
Where do you all stand on the night nursing v tooth decay debate?
Dentist told me today without looking at lo’s teeth that I should night wean by age two to reduce the damage. I had planned on her night weening when she was ready, now I dunno what the right thing is to do…help!?
Aunty Lactivist is all of us who have had experience or who have ideas that might help – please post a comment below if you can help this mum:
Dear Aunty Lactivist
Has anyone got any advice on how I can express more milk?
I’m going back to work in 3 weeks and want to try and get a store up and also need to express at work but at the minute I’m only getting an oz if that.
I’ve also tried expressing in the morning and only getting an oz. I used to get at least 5 oz.
Aunty Lactivist is all of us, mums with experience who support each other so if you have any ideas that can help this mum please leave a comment.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I need a bit of advice, me and O.H are having some disagreements on weaning and it’s becoming difficult feeding my son when I know his dad thinks its wrong at this age. He is 13 months old.
I’ve tried explaining about its actually recommended till age 2 and beyond but its going in and out his ears, I’ve even said so its ok for a baby to have a bottle (artificial breast) but my babies not allowed the real thing??? , but its not making a difference.
Has anyone had a similar experience and what did you do? I’m gonna keep feeding regardless, I know he’s pretty much slowly weaning anyway as his cut his feeds right down I just dont want any arguments
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There are more common and rare breastfeeding problems and solutions on the Ask Aunty Lactivist page.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
Hi I’m still after advice please.
My little one has started to bite me . She has bit me at least 5 time today I’m luck she hasn’t broke the skin as yet.
She’s got her bottom 2 teeth
I really don’t want to stop breastfeeding as she is only 7mths but I might have to if she doesn’t stop biting.
Any advice would be grateful
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Aunty Lactivist has solved problems for loads of mums over the last couple of years – you can see the list here : www.lactivist.net/?page_id=3379
Dear Aunty Lactivist,
Does anyone know a way to boost your breast milks calorific value. I’ve been breast feeding for nearly 11 weeks and my baby is not putting on much weight, he’s gone from the 75th centile at birth to under the 0.4th in his red book.
I’ve been expressing and putting him on the hind milk then topping him up with EBM after, been doing that for 4 weeks and yesterday was weighed and he hasn’t put on any weight in a week.
I still want to breast feed but I’m now having to top up with formula after a feed. Any ideas anyone on a way to boost my milk?
If you can help this mum with any ideas, personal experience or links to useful websites then you are Aunty Lactivist! The idea is that mums can support each other so please leave a comment if you can help at all.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I need some advice…
My 7 month old wakes about every 2 and a half – 3 hours at night, at first I put it down to needing more than milk but now she’s having 3 lots of mush a day – and she can polish a couple of icecubes at a time off – and her usual milk from me and she’s still unsettled at night.
As soon as she’s fed she goes straight back to sleep but I need to get more sleep!!!
I can’t remember the last time I slept for more than 3 hours at a time… anyone got any advice or tips? xx
Aunty Lactivist is all of us, so if you have any advice for this mum, any experience you can share or ideas that might help please leave a comment below.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
Nipple advise ladies!
I breastfed S exclusively for 6 weeks then introduced a bottle and continued with the boob too till she was 10 months. I hated every minute of it I have never felt pain like it, worse than labour and birth. I got thrush in my nipple but even when that cleared up it was just awful. I continued cause I thought I should.
Anyway, I know like pregnancy that it could be completely different this time so I am going to give it a go so I’m after advise on how best to prepare my nipples. I don’t think my milk production was the best as never at to wear a breast pad and never had that engorged feeling others talk about, even when I stopped feeding. Really want to enjoy it this time so please help xx
any advice would be fantastic
Aunty Lactivist is all of us so please leave a comment if you can help with any ideas, links to websites or personal experiences.
Dear Aunty Lactivist
I have very big breasts and want a reduction once I’m finished having children. the problem is I get back pain from the size of my breasts, and have just started getting pressure sores from my bra because my breasts are so heavy.
I can’t wear a non-wired bra because my breasts then rub on the skin they rest on because they’re not fully supported and it starts a whole different problem.
I’ve seen the doctor and have been offered a breast reduction on the NHS (waiting list 2 years). My dillema is do I go for the reduction knowing I will never be able to fully (if at all as I will be going from a KK to hopefully D/DD cup) breastfeed a child again, or wait until I’m finished having children and then pay for it myself.
My partner says I should have the reduction because it will benefit all of our children by having a mother who can run around with them, rather than worrying about giving any future babies we have formula.
I’m still on the wall about what to do. I feel selfish for wanting it, I know I need it, it’s just a question of when.