Quickly, here's my situation:
I had DS 2.5 weeks ago by c-section after 12 hrs of cervidil induction, 24 hours of pitocin, and 12 hours of epidural. I barely got to see him after he was born, let alone get any skin-to-skin action. I'm quite sure he wasn't getting anything from me for the first week of his life as evidenced by his nearly 1 lb weight loss by discharge and subsequent 5 oz loss the day after our arrival home. The ped recommended temporary supplementation with formula since the kiddo was obviously starving. We gave him 1 oz after each feeding and he gained something like 7 oz back overnight. We continued with this since I could hand express any milk and the pump (the Medela pump in style advanced) gave me only 1/2 oz total from both breasts. DS learned what it was like to have a full belly and probably really liked it! We've been through a growth spurt or two since then where he DEMANDED to eat 2 oz of the formula after nursing for nearly 45 minutes, so I reluctantly let him. (Btw, I'm a first time mom -- his "demands" may be misinterpreted, since I"ll admit that I don't really know what I'm doing!)
At our 2 week check, DS had gained back his birth weight + 5 oz. The ped clearly wanted us to scale back on the food -- especially since I had been feeling like he was still hungry after nursing and that I may not have enough milk for him still. He provided some breastfeeding/bonding advice that I've followed -- like ditch the pump (I had been pumping to know how much BM he got, giving DS that bottle and then giving him the formula as needed), increase skin-to-skin and start to wean from the formula. That last recommendation didn't come with very clear instructions.
So, with a situation that wasn't all that "quick", here are my questions that I'd love to hear your feedback to if you have similar experiences:
1) How do you tell when baby is satisfied? I need to know the difference between plain old fussing and hunger-fussing. I know about the tell-tale signs like sucking hands, rooting, moving his mouth and tongue, etc. But, I feel like DS reaches for his hands out of frustration over anything! I have read where they drift off to semi-sleep or go limp in their bodies when they are done. THe limpness is usually what I look for. If he is starting out the nursing session with tense clenched arms and fists and finishes loose and limp, has he likely had enough? It seems like he isn't fussing so much after a feeding since I've started the side-lying position with him -- since starting that (or maybe its coincidence), it seems like he's becoming satisfied from all nursing positions and I only gave him 6 oz of supplement today.
2) When I give DS as much supplement as he wants (which would be about 50% of his daily intake), he poops in nearly every diaper. As I diminish his supplement, he poops go with it. Today, with only 6 oz of formula, he's had 1 huge poopy diaper. They are nearly all yellow and seedy ... just wondering if soiled diapers will temporarily drop off as I wean him from formula supplement? I would suspect so as his body adjusts to 100% breastmilk, but just wondering what your thoughts are.
3) I am reading ALOT (and the ped agrees) that says pumps aren't as efficient as the baby at removing milk from the breast. I can pump only 10-15 minutes before I'm dry ... does that mean that the baby is done in that time or shorter? He typically nurses for a total of 40-50 minutes ... is alot of that time probably just sucking or can he trigger several letdowns and, if so, how does that happen?
4) Baby is sounding a little congested/mucousy in the last day or so and his one eye is having alot of gunk oozing from it -- could this be a reaction to something I'm eating? It's not in his nose and he can breathe clearly, so I can't suck it out ... not sure what's going on there or if it is breastfeeding-related.
5) At night, DS will sleep anywhere from 3-5 hours at a time before waking and asking to feed. Sometimes in the late evening, I need to wake him to nurse. Putting him back down after each feeding is virtually effortless. But, during the day, it seems like he wants to eat CONSTANTLY ... barely 1.5 hrs between each feeding and 45 min each session. It's usually first thing in the morning and throughout the day that he wants the formula supplement -- I think of it as if he's hibernating for winter ... but I'm not even sure babies can do that? Aren't their stomachs only so big? I'm not really worried about his sleeping times -- in fact, with the exception of the fact that he doesn't like to nap during the day, I'm happy that he sleeps so well at night. :) Just wanted to see what you all thought.
So - - thereyou go. I know those are alot of questions, but they are just all the things on my mind. Answer what you want/can. I'd appreciate any feedback you can provide! :)