Thank you so much for all the advice, I knew you all would know how to help. In the last 36 hours I've done the following:
- Started to up feeding frequency. Currently Pob is only feeding 5 times in 24 hours. This is presumably because each feeding experience takes a long time - about 40 mins on the boobs, then preparing the formula, then giving her the formula - minimum 1.5 hours but has been up to 2 hours - at which point it became 2 feeds combined together and let's not talk about what happened then. Anyway. We are resolved to wake her 3.5 hours from when we last started a feed each time today, to get her doing at least 6 feeds in 24 hours instead of 5.
- Tried to pump in between feeds. This is a tough trade off with sleep - previously my mum and H had been sending me back to bed after I pumped to get in a nap in between feeds. Harder to do this but the counsellor I saw yesterday said minimum of 8 pumping sessions per day, so long as I get 5 hours uninterrupted sleep during the night. My mum managed to sabotage this through entirely good intentions last night, by giving Pob a bottle to settle her at about midnight, after H and I had finished a feed pump and bottle session at about 11 (having started at 9). Mum had come down from the gues room because she heard Pob crying and volunteered to take her to settle her so that we could get some sleep, and bring Pob down when she woke for the next feed. Of course having had another bottle, Pob didn't wake up til 6am, so I had a 7 hour space with no pumping. Not good. Oh well, on to the next day. It's now nearly 9 and I've pumped twice and fed Pob once, so hopefully we'll get into a rhythym (ish) today.
- In a minute H and I are going to go and have a bath with Pob. Or I am going to have a bath with Pob and H is going to supervise. This was another recommendation from the breast feeding counsellor I saw yesterday - she is very keen on naked time together and skin to skin contact, and she wants to help Pob realise that the boob is a good thing so that she stops pushing herself away when I put her on. It's a bit new agey for me, but I'll try anything at this point.
- Found a more supportive breast feeding counsellor (see above ideas). I found her name at one of the websites you recommended, can't remember which one now. She is absolutely lovely - a big contrast to the first one. Not unrealistic - told me that the next week was going to be hell, but incredibly sympathetic, creative and just kind. She spent 2 hours with us last night, watching me feed and pump and offering ideas.
- Spent some time with Pob in the Moby wrap. I can't say I've entirely got the hang of it yet, but it was enough to soothe her so that she was then happy to be put back in the moses basket while I got on with my second pumping session.
- Eaten oats for breakfast. Yuk. Must find a better recipe. I hate the texture of porridge. Any ideas?
- I was already taking 'more milk plus' and fenugreek, but I've upped the dose
- I've ordered domperidone, although it will take 2 weeks to get here
We've been busy.
My pumping volume is up a bit but not much. I'm trying not to despair. It's enough that both yesterday and today we had enough to have one feed which was just breast milk - combination of expressed and boob. My goal is now to get to 2 feeds, but I think it will take til Monday at least at this rate to get there. But I'm quite determined.
And just for clarification, when I wrote that post Pob was refusing to feed from the breast at all, so there was no way I could not give her formula. Since then she will mostly suck from the boob, but it takes her 6-8 sucks to get enough to swallow, so she gets knackered before she gets enough food. I'm not going to starve her, so we will continue to give her formula until she's not hungry. Also, she simply won't settle if she is still hungry, so we don't have many options there. I'm a bit worried about nipple confusion, but so far she does seem prepared to go back to the boob at the beginning of the next feed, and some feeds are just more successful than others.
Until I can talk about something other than my boobs, here is an early picture of Pob - it must be day 2 given I'm still in the hospital gown.