I put an email into one of my birthy acquaintances about getting in touch with a local LC.
I dont think block feeding would work for us, since I cant seem to keep her latched on for longer than a few minutes without her screaming.
Hmmm, yeah, it sounds like you should talk to an LC. What did the doctor say about her crying so much?
I just want to say that of course I am no expert, and if your LC doesn't think you have foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, then don't pay this no mond, but if you DO think it might be FM/HM imbalance, here's my thoughts/experience. And don't be afraid to see more than one BF specialist!
Could you try putting yourself on a schedule? Three hours right breast, three hours left breast? So if she's nursing anytime between 8am and 11am, say, you use Righty, and between 11am and 2pm you only use Lefty, even if she's off and on every 20 mins? If she pops off after a couple of minutes, spacing your feeds won't work. I had foremilk/hindmilk imbalance (and oversupply) with DD, and her behaviour sounded similar - fussy, screamy, very frequent and short feeds, screaming at the breast, nursing strikes, lots of spitting up. She also pooped a LOT (3+ times a day) and it was often green and mucousy and vinegary smelling. I eventually had to increase my blocks to 8 hours per breast, and sometimes 12. I saw 4 different LCs/breastfeeding specialists. Oh, and she did not grow according to her curve - she was 75th percentile at 3 months, 50th at 6 months, and just 14th at a year.
The reason your doctor is recommending you space out the feeds is because frequent feeds can hyperstimulate your breasts to make more milk than you need (doesn't with all women, but some sensitive women it does) which is what causes the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance - you have so much milk, baby gets full on foremilk and doesn't make it to the hindmilk, but foremilk isn't satisfying, so they want to eat again really soon, and if you switch breasts for the very next feeding, they get foremilk again, and so on. But spacing doesn't really work for these fussy imbalance babies - they're delicate! Their tummies are upset all the time, they feel hungry all the time, they need lots of comfort nursing too. So that's why block feeding. It's end result is the same as spacing, but you get to love on your baby as much as she needs. Eventually, as she gets more and more of the hindmilk, she'll naturally start spacing her feeds out (maybe - my DD still nursed every 45 mins until she was almost 2).
Let us know what the LC says, and good luck.
Personally I wouldn't worry unless she's also peeing infrequently.
And Ash, the thing is, Bettie could just be teething and that's why she's pooping on and off the breast and crying a lot. I know you mentioned that she has been fairly grumpy from the start, but it's not always something that can be fixed. Some babies are harder to keep happy than others. Dd was like that. Unless I was walking around with her and showing her things all.day.long she would fuss and cry and then take 10 minute naps. Ugh. Sometimes I wonder how I survived that time! Anyway, I think block nursing is a good thing to try, but in the end, she just might be a skinny minnie! To help with the block nursing, you could try soothing her at the breast and then encouraging her to latch on. I offer Avery my pinky for a while if he's upset, wait for the milk to let down, and then offer the breast again. If a pinky doesn't work, maybe something else will like a toy to chew on or look at, a cool washcloth to gum, some singing, etc.
Keep us posted on how things are going!
Good suggestions! The transition to block feeding will be hard for her- she switches multiple times during nursing. She is finicky and fidgety.
I dont think her fussiness has anything to do with teeth or hunger, just personality.
Will elaborate more after I think on it...need to get kids to school right now.
So I think Im going to slowly transition to block feeding, and take Fenugreek to help me along. I have always had problems with low supply and I dont want this to be a trigger for a supply drop. Oddly, my ODD fed one breast at a time and that was great for her.
Its going to take some work to get out of the switch-switch-switch pattern we are in now.
Somehow my kids know the difference. I'm not sure if it's a taste thing, a positional thing, or one breast flows differently than the other, but they have all shown preference and sometimes I do have to switch to get Avery latched on. But that is not the case the majority of the time and usually once the milk is flowing I can get him latched on the breast I want.
I have no idea why B pops off so often. At first it was reflux, but now...maybe just habit? She cries, like she is uncomfortable. And she *knows* there are 2 boobs! She tries to sit up, and when she does sit up she opens her mouth and mashes her face into my other breast. Today I tried just feeding from one breast and have been unsuccessful every time because she cries until she gets the second.
I found a good article by Dr. Sears about wet diapers. I was confused because with cloth she was having a ton of wet diapers, and with disposables they are not FULL wet diapers and its sometimes hard to tell when they are wet. I *so* wish my inserts didn't crap out on me, because in this time when I'm doubting myself I could really use the reassurance of what I know (which is how many wet cloth diapers she usually has). The article suggested taking a disposable and putting 4-6 tbs of water in it to feel what 1 wet diaper would count as. I'm actually horrified by how much the disposables can hold, because it BARELY felt wet! Where the hell did the liquid go?! Anyways...it helped me get a good idea as to how many wet diapers she is having, and I think it is on the very low end of normal.
SAP... super absorbent polymer aka polyacrylate gel. It can absorb 100+ times its own weight. What's wrong with your inserts again? Perhaps I have some ideas.
I have microfiber inserts. Which I think is the first thing wrong with them . They SMELL. Bad. Some of the cheaper ones smell constantly, some of them smell when she pees, some of them are fine after being boiled/stripped but smell again after a few uses and washes. I have boiled, used bac-out, tried washing on various different cycles, added water to the HE machine, presoaked, used different kinds of soap, different amounts of soap...
In the meantime, I have 3 kids, a husband, and a household to manage- and for the last few weeks I have spent WAY too much time trying to figure out how to fix this problem. My husband practically came home with a pack of disposables and said "here, use these, and if you could please do a load of laundry other than diapers I would love to actually have clean clothes tomorrow".
Ash, LOL to your dh. Sorry about your diaper woes. Have you bleached them? That would be my first suggestion. 1/4 cup bleach in a load. While you're at it, bleach all your diapers- covers, everything. Then do a couple extra rinses and see if that does the trick. My inserts are old, they're grey and they don't absorb nearly as much as the used to, but they smell fine.
I use pockets, can I bleach them or would it wear the plastic? I had a few I got from a friend and when I washed them on hot they quit working and started leaking right through the cover.
Im sure if I could get some damn SUNSHINE to sun and air dry everything it would make a difference too but its ALL rain around here.
You can bleach even the pockets. It's not like you're doing it every washing, but CottonBabies (the makers of bumGenius) actually recommends monthly bleaching to avoid this exact problem. The PUL will eventually give out whether you bleach or not. I have treated my diapers very nicely- mostly drying them outside- and the water proofing has gone on many of them now that they've been used on two children and onto my third. They're only expected to last something like 300 washes, but mine are waaaaaaay past that. I mark the diapers that have lost their water proofing with a big X on the tag or the back of the diaper so that I know I'll need to change as soon as he pees. Since we part time EC I'm changing all the time anyway and rarely have leaks. But when dh is taking care of the baby he'll wait too long to change and get peed on through the PUL.
I'm very frustrated with breastfeeding right now and don't even know if it feels worth it enough to keep going for much longer. The main problem is that Sora is hurting me so badly, I'm getting angry with her often even though I know it's not intentional. It puts me into a seriously bad mood. My upper arm and chest are so bruised up, it looks horrible and people have made comments. The baby is pinching me continually in the same bruised spots at this point! It is excruciating! I've tried redirecting her by wearing a necklace or handing her toys, but inevitably she tosses them aside and goes back to hurting me. Or she beats me with the toys! A necklace was more painful to be whipped with and yanked on than some of her hitting or pinching, so that was kind of pointless. I get tired of redirecting her over and over and over again... Then she has started biting my nipples REALLY hard. I have tried teaching her no with that, but she LAUGHS at me! She just thinks it's a game, even when I've screamed in pain and scared the heck out of her. She just finds it funny. She doesn't have teeth yet. I'm imagining it being even worse when the teeth arrive... I also can't even tell anymore when she's hungry or not. It's annoying. She pops off the boob disinterested so often, I'm entirely confused.
My initial goal was to make it to 6 months breastfeeding, but I really really want to make it to 12+ months. Breastfeeding is all I really know now, you know? If I supplemented with formula sometimes, I don't even know how I'd figure out when and how much to feed her since she's been fed on demand this whole time. That alone is intimidating... I'm thinking of working outside of the home again if I find the right job, and I know I will not want to pump at work. Just another factor in this whole debacle.
So much to think about.