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  1. #1

    Question Birth Trauma and the Impact on Breast-Feeding

    As a doula I meet a lot of women who have experienced a traumatic birth, so it does not surprise me that up to 34% of new mothers claim to have experienced a traumatic birth experience. For those of us in this forum, this should serve as an important reminder that we are far from alone.

    Birth is one of the most important moments of a woman's life. These traumatic experiences stick with mother and possibly child for a lifetime. The effect on breastfeeding can be positive or detrimental, depending on how the mother handles the situation. This study addresses the two paths which a traumatic birth can lead a woman down in terms of successful breastfeeding. It is a good read, definitely worth a few minutes of you time.

    For those of you who have experienced a traumatic birth, how did breastfeeding turn out? Was it a success or did you have trouble? What role do you feel your traumatic birth experienced played in your breastfeeding experience?

  2. #2
    Hi Mom2Many,

    Thanks for sharing that pdf document. Interesting study!

    I'd say that my first birth was a mildly traumatic experience. Thankfully, having a highly skilled midwife in attendance made for a positive outcome (baby was healthy) but the birth was long and challenging.

    After the birth I was exhausted. I didn't even have enough energy to enjoy the announcement that I now had a daughter (we had waited until the birth to find out). I simply didn't care. My last 2 pregnancies were much easier and I had plenty of energy to enjoy my baby after birth.

    But with the first, I had an epesiotomy and we had to get baby out quickly. Plus she kept turning (posterior to anterior, back to posterior and flipped back to anterior) so labour progressed slower than it would have had she been in a good position during the entire labour.

    Milk production seemed to come in between day 2 and 3, but then I was engorged and baby wasn't suckling properly due to my inverted nipples, and I ended up having 3 very challenging months of establishing a good breastfeeding relationship.

    Anyone else have a story to add here?

    Kate

  3. #3

    72hr in labour with low milk supply problems.

    I have a 7week old boy and I have been struggling to breastfeed since he was one week old. At first we were doing well and he was close to his birthweight on day 5 but in the next weighing one week later he had lost 30g and I have had to supplement him with formula.
    I have tried to BF often and for a long time but lack of stimulation seem not likely to be the cause. I started to take fenugreek which worked only while taking it and then production dropped again.
    I am trying to not feel upset about not being able to feed my baby but it is not easy.
    Is there something I can do to solve this or will I have to wait and pray for the BM to kick in magically by it self?

  4. #4
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    buderimosteopath's Avatar
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    Firstly try not to worry too much as it sounds like there is temporary halt in your physiology re BM production. 72 hours in labour sounds pretty exhausting and you may have also had a dgree of shock which effectively puts a halt to many things.
    Cranial osteopathy, acupuncture or homeopathic intervention will often release this shock and get things started.
    Good luck.
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  5. #5
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    Hi Esoteria - have you seen a lactation consultant? I see many women and baby's with very similar experiences. Find someone who can take your full history, watch your breastfeeding and check you and your baby physically to see if they can identify the cause or causes of your difficulties. For instance if your baby had a tongue tie can decrease the baby's ability to breastfeed effectively (tongue ties are often missed in the baby's physical check)
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  6. #6
    I have a friend who had a baby who had a tongue tie. She struggled to breastfeed until a lactation consultant identified the problem. Once the tongue was free, she was able to breastfeed (produce enough milk, etc.) very successfully.

    I hope you are able to resolve the challenge quickly. There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  7. #7
    Yes I would also recommend seeing a lactation consultant. Getting the latch right is so important for successful breastfeeding and a lactation consultant can take the time to check this.

    My first son had a tongue tie which was only picked up at week 3. This was preventing him from latching on fully. Is it painful when you breastfeed? This is often a sign that the latch isn't quite right. A tongue tie is not, by any means, the only possible breastfeeding problem but getting someone to observe you feeding will help to check the latch etc.

    Breastfeeding on demand is best for producing a good amount of breast milk. It is advised to breastfeed whenever a baby seems a want feeding (day and night) as this will ensure you have a good milk supply. Only a small percentage of women still don't have an adequate milk supply when feeding on demand (assuming all other feeding problems have been ruled out). Eating oats can help to increase the milk supply in this case.

    The other factor that you might want to consider is that giving a baby a pacifier can mean you don't produce enough breast milk (as the baby is not sucking at the breast as frequently).

    Please do let us know how you are getting on and if any of these suggestions have helped.

    Best wishes,

    LJ
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 15th February 2013 at 04:45 AM.

  8. #8
    I'm going to eat oats though!
    Thanks for that tip!!!

  9. #9
    Thank you all for replying to my post.
    I have done a lot of those things you suggest already and I just might be in the small group of 3% of moms with lactating limits.

    My boy does suck strong and I did get sore nipples in the first weeks.
    The latch is right, checked by a licenced lactation consultant. Although one nipple is bigger than the other which he can not such as well as the other.
    I did see a cranio and acupuncture therapist which helped my energy levels and gave me strength to carry on trying. I plan to meet him again.
    The baby refuses to use a pasifier so that is not a problem.
    I did feed my boy every two hours for 20 min each breast for two days at first. Then I tried switching between breasts every 5minutes or so.
    I feed him as soon as he gives any signs of wanting to feed.

    My nurse thinks I am doing everything I can do and my extensive Internet reaserch is not finding more tricks to try. Except to use a herb called Torbangun that is supposed to be highly afficient in increasing milk supply in women.

    At the moment my only hope is my magic doctor (the cranio therapist) and time.

    Would you agree?

  10. #10
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    I'm sure when your energy levels pick up you will improve. Its really a case of keep trying and try (I know its easy to say) not too get too stressed.
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  11. #11
    Hello again. Well good news, I think things are getting better now. It seems like my baby is more content and needs less formula after breastfeeding. What made a difference I think was my third dose off fenugreek and I have been more relaxed about the whole thing. I still need to supplement a bit with formula but I am now more optimistic about getting to the point of not needing formula anymore. I will probably do another round of fenugreek to boost my supply. Appearantly, taking it for longer periot of time will affect negatively on production.
    Last edited by Esoteria; 17th February 2013 at 11:08 AM.

  12. #12
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    if you can find out more about this "torbangun" can you let us know please?
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    I never lactated during my pregnancy or after the miscarriage. Where did it go and can it be harmful that it was never released?

  14. #14
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    Women do not lactate after an early miscarriage (in the first three months). Some women do not notice colostrum (the first breastmilk) during pregnancy
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    It was in the third trimester I miscarried. 7 months

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