“I wanted to write this note to thank Catriona for the invaluable support we received when our baby arrived. Baby Shane was born on a Saturday morning and we had a tough few days in hospital trying to get the breastfeeding established, and getting a good latch. Shane was jaundiced and so it was very important that he was getting fluids. We got home from hospital on the Wednesday and contacted Catriona on the Thursday morning after a difficult first night home with our new baby. It would be fair to say that we were on the verge of switching to formula at that point. As our main concern was we had a hungry baby and my breast were very sore and engorged. That night we had given him a top up of formula as we were so concerned.
“From the moment I spoke to Catriona on the phone things began to turn around. And her visit later that day was the turning point for us. Catriona advised my milk was slightly late coming in, on day 6. Which explained a lot. She gave us invaluable advice and help on how to hand express, and on different feeding positions for the baby, and answered all the questions and any worries that we had. This was super to get the help with my technique and ultimately my confidence with breast feeding. Once that improved and I became more confident things have improved and we are now at a stage a week on and no more formula and we have a very contented baby, who loves his feeds, and loves his sleeps afterwards. Happy baby equals happy family and this is the gift I think Catriona’s consultation has given to us.”
– Susan Phelan
“Another Mum suggested that I contacted Catriona as I was having trouble breastfeeding my baby (he was 10 weeks at the time and feeding him was very painful, especially on one side and my milk supply wasn’t great). Catriona was able to come to my place the day I called. I felt comfortable with her immediately and she was extremely encouraging even before seeing my baby feed. She weighed my baby for me and explained the weight scale for breastfed babies. This put my mind at ease, as I’d had some pressure from the hospital about his weight. Catriona sorted out the painful feeding problem straight away by trying different feeding positions and she made some suggestions to help with my low supply – which worked! Catriona really listened to me and was very genuine about offering further help if I needed it, saying I could call or text her with any queries/problems (which I did!). She also gave me some tips about sleeping patterns and stimulating my baby, which I found very helpful.
“I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Catriona. If you have any difficulties or insecurities about breastfeeding your baby, call her as early on as possible. Even if you’re not up to seeing people, give her a call, as she’ll really help and you’ll feel a lot better.”
– Elsa Bertchi
“Hi Catriona, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you. (It has only taken me ten weeks to do so!) I am happy and very proud to say that Donnacha and I are,thus far, getting on well with feeding and this is in no small part thanks to your consultation and advice. When Andrea gave me the gift of your home visit, it was honestly the most valuable thing any friend could have done. I was going to ask her to cancel your visit the night before as I felt I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed my baby and should just move on to formula; here we are, nearly 11 weeks later! Being able to breastfeed Donnacha has given me so much confidence,and I only wish I had meet you when my first son was born. Thank you!”
– Máire Paget
“I called Catriona on day 5 of non-stop baby crying. She arrived to my home within one hour and quickly diagnosed what was wrong. Together we worked out a plan to correct things and within two days my baby was feeding OK again, hunger and wind largely gone. Most importantly Catriona was available on the end of the phone for me in the weeks afterwards. This support was great and encouraged me to continue with the breastfeeding at a time when my milk had gone and all around me were suggesting I stop.
“Now I’m feeding Airt very well, he’s thriving and I’m delighted I stuck with it.”
– Maryrose Lyons
“Having had a negative experience with breastfeeding on my first baby, I really really wanted to try breastfeeding again, and with my second baby due I rang Catriona for help and advice. Catriona listened to the concerns about my past breastfeeding experience. She explained what I needed to do and what to expect in the first few days.. From the start I felt, mentally more prepared and had a better understanding about breastfeeding.
“My baby girl Saoirse was born in January and breastfeeding was going okay, problems with latching and bleeding nipples were becoming an issue when we were leaving hospital. Catriona came to see us the day we left the hospital and observed a feed, she gave me some advice and showed me how to latch baby on.. To say “ I got it “ was an understatement… and we never looked back.
“Catriona’s help for me, was the difference between a successful breastfeeding experience and a
negative one. I can’t thank Catriona enough for her help and expertise.”
– Jacinta & Saoirse Bergin
Hi Catriona & Nicola,
Just wanted to send you on a status update as I’m sure your both interested to hear how we are getting on and also to let Catriona know that I have not absconded with your pump! Catriona, I spoke to Nicola subsequently about my issue which is why this mail is jointly addressed to her. I’ll be famous among the Dublin lactation consultants at this rate : )
So I am still breastfeeding. We have our up and down days. After a great run of really good success with the SNS, we seem to have hit a bit of a roadblock recently so trying to work our way through it. So just to let you know I believe I am now making about 14 oz a day so about a half supply. I think I have worked this up from the early days where I was making about 8 oz per day. At about 3 months I moved from Breast and Bottle to exclusively using the SNS (less confusing for him and more satisfying for me). This was shortly after getting his tongue tie released. I have always pumped after every feed as I didn’t think that he was clearing the breast effectively. At around 2 months PP, I also started pumping at night. So that’s 6 pumps on a good day, but usually 5. Conor has been sleeping through the night since about 2 weeks old! I think I may be the only woman in Ireland waking at night when her baby is asleep. Anyway, at the night time pump I usually get 3 oz. At the same time, I have been taking Fenugreek, MMSB, Goats Rue, Alfalfa and Brewers yeast. I also tried Motillium again. I think I went up to about 80 mg for 2 or 3 weeks but then stopped as it was just waaay to expensive as I was getting it OTC. I’m not sure what contributed the most to the increase I have experienced. If I had to say I would say that it was really the night time pump plus Goats Rue and Blessed Thistle (I got BT capsules first and now take it in the MMSB as BT is too hard to source locally). After taking the goats rue, I noticed that at night or the morning if I didn’t pump my breasts would feel quite lumpy. Maybe a slight slight increase in size. Also, when I was taking the BT capsules, my breasts felt very tingly and there would be a kind of a stabbing pain. This usually occurred around when it was time to feed and was worse if I hadn’t fed for a while. This seems to have gone away again of late so not sure what to make of that.
I’m at a bit of a cross roads at the moment. Conor seems to have realised the tube from the SNS is there now and makes every attempt to suck on it like a straw. I now have to latch him on and then insert the tube later. His latch with the SNS had gotten really bad and once I turn on the flow it gets shallower and shallower until he is just sucking the tube. He also appears to have gone on a bit of a hunger strike. For months and months now he has been taking between 21 and 24 oz a day through the SNS. 6 to 7 oz of this would be EBM. Of late I really really stuggle to even get 20 oz into him which is causing a lot of stress. He just never seems hungry. My version of on demand feeding is demanding that he eat! The PHN is not worried as he is tracking the 50 percentile for weight (he was 8LB 11 oz born and is now 16LB 11 oz). He has gained 3 oz a week for the past month but I am worried if this goes on that he will start dropping. I am still using the newborn teat on a bottle when I give it to him (rarely) although because he has become bad at the SNS I have given him a few more bottles than i would like recently. She says that this is exhausting him and I should move up to the next size. I’m not sure about this and it is contrary to all the advice I have been given. My grandmother recently passed away and with the funeral etc, I pumped for a day and just gave him bottles. This was how I realised that I made 14 oz. I’m not sure if this was just a fluke day. If anything I thought my supply had gone down recently and I was expecting it to be closer to 8 or 10 oz. Anyway, that day he only took 18 oz (and wasnt BF so thats all he got although 12 oz of that was BM). My friend was looking after him and he just flat out refused to take one whole bottle for her. I’ve just started him on solids also this week.
So my original goal was 2 months. Once we made that I sort of said in my head that I would aim for 6 months. We are nearly there now and I am thinking that I will re-evaluate where to go from here. Despite the difficulties we are having at the moment, he has started comfort nursing a lot more i.e. first thing in the morning and for his naps in the day (becoming a bit of a problem as he likes me to lie down with him also and complains loudly if he doesn’t have a boob in his mouth). I’m thinking that I will either (a) continue to nurse him and drop the pumps or (b) drop some of the nursing sessions and keep pumping. At the moment I am veering towards b as his latch is so bad with the SNS. I’m hopeful that some of that is just developmental as he has just mastered rolling. I guess time will tell. I think option B will free me up to get out and about more in the day as at the moment it could take an hour to get the feed into him. I may just have to put up with a drop in supply. I think I will keep going as long as I have one fully bottle for him a day via 4-5 pumps.
Anyway, thanks so much for all your assistance. I really really appreciate it. I will certainly be in touch on any subsequent pregnancies and let you know how i get on. If you encounter anyone else with this problem please do point them to the IGT sticky on the BF section of rollercoaster and the IGT/Low Supply FB group. Great support there! To me it has been totally worth the effort and a major boost to me to realise that on most days Conor gets half BM/half formula. Also we have been nursing now for longer than a lot of people with no issues. I feel like we can look back on it as a success rather than a giant fail.
Cationa, I bit the bullet and purchased a Medela Pump In- Style. Seems like a great pump. Just waiting on a voltage converter as I bough a US pump. I need to arrange with you to return the Lactina. Thank you so so much, you have been so generous with it. I will be in touch in next few days.
– Deirdre Enright
I’ve been meaning to write to you for some time to thank you for visiting me in my home back in early October.
At the time of your visit my daughter Cara and I were having a difficult time breastfeeding having had mastitis twice, cracked nipples and thrush. Since your visit our breastfeeding experience has been transformed, and we have very much enjoyed our last four months of breastfeeding.
Cara is 100% breastfeed, and I attribute our success to meeting you last October. Thank you so much for making the difference when things were tough. I just recommended you to a friend, and will no doubt recommend you to other friends.
Many thanks again.
All the best,
– Alisson McGuinness and baby Molly