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Breastfeeding Support - Page 9

post #161 of 242
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, I"m pretty proud of my stash too even though I don't really need it yet. It's great insurance.

 

Just when I'm complaining about being engorged this morning, I wasn't. My boobs have been feeling so soft.Then I started worrying about supply. Does it ever end? Too much, not enough worry on repeat in my head!

 

I saw this posted somewhere, though, and check out under six weeks it says...

http://www.thealphaparent.com/2011/12/timeline-of-breastfed-baby.html

 

"At this point you may start to notice that your breasts stop feeling so hard and full before each feed, and stay much softer, but fear not, they are actually producing more and more milk for your growing baby. Don’t assume you’re running out because your breasts are softer between feeds: your body is simply becoming more efficient. It is unfortunate that this change often occurs at the same time as the 6 week growth spurt, which naturally leads mothers to be unnecessarily concerned about their milk supply." But we're at 8 weeks, hmm.

 

Lyle has been feeding every hour during the day (one side each hour). That combined with his sleeping so much I think he's growth spurting, but the poor little dude also has infected ingrown toenails so he could also be fighting the infection and comfort nursing. Ouch! We're going to the doc tomorrow. I'm hoping 8 weeks is just as good as 2 months for the well baby for insurance purposes.

post #162 of 242

Glad it's working out, LilyTiger!

 

Thanks for that link, Boots.
 

post #163 of 242

I finally figured out what it feels like when I have letdown, it took me a little bit to associate all the new feelings and going-ons with my breasts with what they all mean, but my letdown is sort of itchy within the breast tissue.  I just had a letdown when I was watching a video on how to put a newborn in a ring sling and the baby started fussing...

 

How does letdown feel for you all?

post #164 of 242

So... I've been hesitant to write because the issues we've been having to some might be enviable, but it's making our breastfeeding relationship challenging. Still, it seems important to share in case some one else is in the same boat.  It seems like I have an overactive letdown and an oversupply of milk.  WHile initially this sounds like a laughable problem it's actually making me pretty bummed.  Eulalie has never nursed for very long and REFUSES to nurse for comfort.  Her longest feedings are about 20 minutes tops.  About two or three weeks ago Eulalie started exhibiting "colicy" behavior.  She would scream uncontrollably and was clearly in pain.  At the same time she began having explosive poos that were frequent, watery, and spinach green.  I knew green poop meant she was not getting enough hind milk and this became worrisome.  At the same time , however, she began refusing to nurse.  She would arch her back, claw and scream whenever I put her to the breast.  It was so heartbreaking and discouraging.  So, I spoke to a few nurse friends and started googling and realized what was wrong.  Often when I am nursing my breasts spray a tremendous amount of milk (at great force!) during the letdown.  (BTW, VV my letdown feels like a strong electrical pulse going through my breasts.  It kind of hurts).  The poor girls was being choked while she was trying to feed.  She would cough, gurgle, and scream.  After doing A LOT of reading I have found some tricks that work:  Using gravity to work AGAINST the flow of my milk, which means nursing side lying and semi-reclined rather than upright (nursing in public is kind of out of the question especially since she usually screams the first minute or so of nursing...no discreet nursing going on around here :( ), having a towel handy to unlatch her while the letdown occurs; using the towel to catch the milk, and block feeding.  Typically I will feed from one breast, and one breast only, for 3 or 4 hours at a time depending on the time of day and how full my supply is.   This allows her to get more hindmilk and less of the gas producing high calorie foremilk.  I have also stopped eating all pasteurized dairy, just for a good measure.  Eualie still will not comfort nurse and still has moments of extreme distress at the breast, but it's getting better.  Her poops are no longer super green although she still has about one slightly green poop a day (its predictable.  I know her poop will be green if she only nurses for a short time on one breast).   I'm still sad about it some days.  I wish she could take comfort from nursing and that it was something she enjoyed rather than just tolerated, but I'm hoping it will work itself out. And I know that I am lucky that I can nourish my baby, whether pleasantly or not.  Apparently many women with an overactive letdown in the early weeks begin having no problems after the three month mark.  We'll see.  I should also add that I looked into pumping as a way to help and everywhere I looked warned me that this would not only increase my supply, but that babies who struggle with this problem are prime candidates for nipple confusion as they tend to prefer a consistent flow from a rubber nippple rather than what they get from mom.  

post #165 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by justchanti View Post

So... I've been hesitant to write because the issues we've been having to some might be enviable, but it's making our breastfeeding relationship challenging. Still, it seems important to share in case some one else is in the same boat.  It seems like I have an overactive letdown and an oversupply of milk.  WHile initially this sounds like a laughable problem it's actually making me pretty bummed.  Eulalie has never nursed for very long and REFUSES to nurse for comfort.  Her longest feedings are about 20 minutes tops.  About two or three weeks ago Eulalie started exhibiting "colicy" behavior.  She would scream uncontrollably and was clearly in pain.  At the same time she began having explosive poos that were frequent, watery, and spinach green.  I knew green poop meant she was not getting enough hind milk and this became worrisome.  At the same time , however, she began refusing to nurse.  She would arch her back, claw and scream whenever I put her to the breast.  It was so heartbreaking and discouraging.  So, I spoke to a few nurse friends and started googling and realized what was wrong.  Often when I am nursing my breasts spray a tremendous amount of milk (at great force!) during the letdown.  (BTW, VV my letdown feels like a strong electrical pulse going through my breasts.  It kind of hurts).  The poor girls was being choked while she was trying to feed.  She would cough, gurgle, and scream.  After doing A LOT of reading I have found some tricks that work:  Using gravity to work AGAINST the flow of my milk, which means nursing side lying and semi-reclined rather than upright (nursing in public is kind of out of the question especially since she usually screams the first minute or so of nursing...no discreet nursing going on around here :( ), having a towel handy to unlatch her while the letdown occurs; using the towel to catch the milk, and block feeding.  Typically I will feed from one breast, and one breast only, for 3 or 4 hours at a time depending on the time of day and how full my supply is.   This allows her to get more hindmilk and less of the gas producing high calorie foremilk.  I have also stopped eating all pasteurized dairy, just for a good measure.  Eualie still will not comfort nurse and still has moments of extreme distress at the breast, but it's getting better.  Her poops are no longer super green although she still has about one slightly green poop a day (its predictable.  I know her poop will be green if she only nurses for a short time on one breast).   I'm still sad about it some days.  I wish she could take comfort from nursing and that it was something she enjoyed rather than just tolerated, but I'm hoping it will work itself out. And I know that I am lucky that I can nourish my baby, whether pleasantly or not.  Apparently many women with an overactive letdown in the early weeks begin having no problems after the three month mark.  We'll see.  I should also add that I looked into pumping as a way to help and everywhere I looked warned me that this would not only increase my supply, but that babies who struggle with this problem are prime candidates for nipple confusion as they tend to prefer a consistent flow from a rubber nippple rather than what they get from mom.  

I have the exact same problem, so you aren't alone. This is my second time around and I had the same issue last time, but it seems worse this time for some strange reason. I've never fed a baby from both breasts during a feeding. I have way too much! Have you also struggled with a diaper rash that won't seem to go away? We've had that problem and it seems to be a result of the overactive milk supply.

post #166 of 242

Sarah - I can't believe what you're (still) going through... how awful and scary!!  No patient should be treated that way, and that would make me lose even more confidence in "the system", ugh!!!  Sending you big hugs and healing vibes - you are one brave mama!!

 

CCoello - how are you feeling, no mastitis I hope?  Good luck w/your big move!  Hope the traveling goes smoothly, and be sure to give yourself enough rest!

 

Sol - BF'ing has definitely affected my appetite and I'm thirsty/starving while feeding as well (although I don't have any of the preggo "cravings" I had before)!  I put a pitcher of water and snacks on my nightstand to get me through the night.  Unfortunately, during the day (alone w/babe) it's SO hard to fix myself decent meals and feed myself adequately.  I find that I'm resorting to "junk food" more than ever now, just for the sake of convenience... are you still eating super healthy like you were during pregnancy?

 

Boots - 45 oz - Woohooo!!  And Penny - I'm totally impressed w/8 oz in one pumping, that's awesome!!

 

Lily - awesome to hear hat you're leveraging your pumping to get out and do some things for yourself, and finally feeling some peace w/BF'ing!  :)))

 

JustChanti - Wow that's a lot to go through, I don't envy you.... hopefully your "flow" will settle after a few months though - fingers crossed!  It looks like you've learned a lot through this experience and have made a ton of progress already... And it WILL keep getting better, keep up the great work!!

 

 

AFM - this week (wk 6) I'm finally really feeling that "letdown" like many of you are talking about, and yes it's quite painful for me too (so now I grit my teeth through both the latch AND letdown, not fun)!!  I can feel my ducts tighten/harden way up high on my breasts for a few seconds and then BAM - there's a burning sensation that shoots down to my nipple and I'm spraying all over the place (or soaking through my shirt).  It happens right when LO is due for his feeding (whether he's crying or not).  I'm hoping that this is just part of the overall process of my supply coming in and regulating....and that this too is just a phase which will pass!

 

All the extra herbs and stuff I've been taking seems to be helping somewhat (over 30 pills a day!!!) and we're making some small progress too in the pumping/supply dept.  As long as DH is home, he can give William a bottle while I pump during that time.  I've been able to get a little more each night (now up to 3 oz), but I'm spending almost an hour pumping which is ridiculous....  but at least (for now) I have a few bottles in the fridge which will help me get out of the house w/William over the weekend.  DH is away again for the next 5 days, so the pumping will have to be put on hold again for that time....

 

 

 

 

 

post #167 of 242
Newmumjoy, not cooking right now either.  If junk food makes it into the house I am more than happy to eat it since it is so easy.  My DH does cook some if home, grilling.  I live too far out for delivery.  Been eating a lot of easy stuff like boiled eggs, tuna, avocado, wheat bread, amy's frozen meals, and I keep larabars, bananas, apples, peanut butter, nuts, dried druit, dry cereal like granola or this http://shop.barbarasbakery.com/Shredded-Spoonfuls-Multigrain/p/BAR-206072&c=BarbarasBakery@Cereals@Shredded in a drawer in the bedroom for super easy access. I was eating greek yogurt and cheese every day but went dairy free.   

Edited by Sol_y_Paz - 9/28/12 at 7:01pm
post #168 of 242

Since a bunch of people have mentioned green poop as a potential warning sign, I also wanted to mention that it can be completely normal.  Piper has a few green poops a week (often at least one a day) and for a while was having almost exclusively spinach green poop.  My doc said that as long as she's gaining weight and not fussy, it's a totally normal infant poop color.  It can range from yellow to green to black without any real problems, so I wouldn't automatically assume a problem just because the poop is green.  My understanding is that consistency (mucousy or frothy) is more important than color.  Just a thought.  (And I always feed from just one breast, so I know it's not a hindmilk issue... I guess it's just something weird in my diet maybe...)

 

I asked my doc yesterday about my extremely painful letdown and she said it might get better... Some women experience some relief around three months, but others don't.  Sigh.  Hopefully we'll get some relief, NewMumJoy!  It's a pretty unpleasant sensation.  I find myself clenching my butt muscles when she initially latches on!  Kind of funny response.

post #169 of 242
I don't usually have latch pain unless other factors are involved (thrush!!) But I always have painful letdown. Even at 16mo when there's hardly any milk. It just always makes me cringe.
post #170 of 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyTiger View Post
I wouldn't automatically assume a problem just because the poop is green. 

I agree with this.  I had never seen it for 2 months then I introduced a large amount of two new foods in one day and then it was green yet had strings and mucous in it, the frequency and volume changed as well.  Once avoiding the two foods it took a few days, maybe a week then all went back to normal.  I think I figured out which food.  I didn't think it was foremilk issue since I have not done anything different in regards to that.  I have since cut out all dairy and will add things back in slowly after a few weeks.  


Edited by Sol_y_Paz - 9/29/12 at 12:25pm
post #171 of 242

Justchanti--I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. It sucks.  What you describe is exactly what I went through with my first. While I always did feel like as problems went it was as rather lucky one to have, it was pretty terrible going through it, and seeing that poor choking baby who was miserable on the breast made me so sad.  The good news is that for us at least, things really did turn around at about 3 months, when she was better able to handle the flow.  She even started falling asleep while nursing.  And slowly she became quite the comfort nurser-- in fact now at 2.5 she still is.  And having a big supply did start to feel like a blessing when I went back to work and was dealing with pumping. This time around, I still have the same basic problem, and my newborn still chokes at times on my milk and is really gassy, but I have a built in solution--a toddler who wants to nurse all the time.  It's really made it easier for my newborn who doesn't generally have to deal with the crazy engorgement my first did. It's insane though how much milk I must be producing. I'm supplying at least two newborns worth of milk every day, if not more, and I still feel like I have nearly an infinite supply.   I'm envious of the people who can just nurse their infants back to sleep at night.  My daughter is miserable after each night feeding (in part because the toddler doesn't nurse at night I imagine), and we have to spend a half and hour or more burping her, and keeping her upright before she'll fall back asleep. At least she's only waking ever 3-4.5 hours these days.

 

Absent finding a toddler who wants to nurse ;)  it sounds like you are doing all the right things.  For what it is worth, like you with my first I didn't pump at all because I was worried about increasing my supply, but if I had to do it over again, I would pump some. Not a full feeding or anything like that, and I still wouldn't give my daughter a bottle until breastfeeding was going better (even though waiting did produce its own issues, namely a daughter who never took to a bottle despite me working full time), but I would just pump manually for a  minute or two before at least some feeding to get off some of that initial crazy fast let down and some of the foremilk. In retrospect, to me at least it seems worth a try.  Still though, I totally get not wanting to pump at all.  

 

Sallyrae--yup, we were in a constant struggle with diaper rash, and still are (in fact, myolder daughter seems to be the only child who still gets "diaper" rash despite having been potty trained for a year)

 

 

Hugs to all of you dealing with infections. . . hope they clear up soon!!!

post #172 of 242

I wish I had more emotional and physical energy to respond to everyone else's posts. I do read them, and sympathize with anyone who is experiencing challenges and rejoice with those who aren't!

 

My week was a bit better in that I'm no longer afraid that I will need a mastectomy. The breast surgeon was much nicer after her initial attempt to scare the sh*t out of me. This past week I've been going for needle drainage (aspiration) in her office every day. The fluid keeps reaccumulating after every drainage, but in general my breast is looking and feeling much better (less red, softer, etc). On Thursday she sent the fluid to the lab, and she found out that the fluid is now all breastmilk, rather than a mixture of milk and pus. So that turns it from an abscess into a galactocele (a cavity filled with milk that is backed up). That is good news, of course. She hopes that if we keep at it with the aspirations and antibiotics, we might be able to get rid of the galactocele without any surgical intervention. But there is still a chance that it could get reinfected, or that I'm not able to loosen up the clogged area. So I'm not out of the woods.

 

I also got a PICC line put in early this past week. What a procedure! But it's been so nice because it means that I no longer have to spend hours of each day waiting in urgent care to get the IV antibiotics. Now my husband can give them to me once a day at home. Plus, no more IV needles! I was running out of veins for them. I stopped counting after I reached 50 needles in less than two weeks. I used to be afraid of needles, but that anxiety has long vanished.

 

However, the deeper emotional issue for me right now is whether I want to continue breastfeeding after I'm all healed from this. I'm exclusively pumping right now because I'm on such a strict regimen that there would be no time for me to rest if I was also nursing. We've had to supplement our LO with formula already because my affected breast was barely producing anything. Every time we give her formula, I feel guilty and sad inside. At the same time, I'm so deathly afraid of ever getting mastitis and/or an abscess again. I'm worried that these past two weeks have been so traumatic that I'll always associate breastfeeding with this horrible experience, and it will always be a source of anxiety for me.

 

One thing I have learned about myself, and which several doctors and my midwife have confirmed, is that I have a high tolerance for pain. That sounds nice, but I'm afraid that it gets me in trouble because it means that I'm out of tune with my body. For example, I had a virtually pain-free birth, which sounds great, but my labor was so much longer than it had to be because I was fully dilated for a couple of days before even knowing it. And with this breast abscess, I noticed no signs until it was suddenly extremely serious. I'm not very good at reading signs in my body. And that scares me. I won't lie--the thought of not having to worry about another abscess is so appealing, and it makes me feel like I could actually enjoy my little Elodie so much more than I am now. But then the guilt of quitting breastfeeding so early creeps in...

post #173 of 242

Joy, luckily I caught the mastitis just as it was getting started. Maybe I would have been able to beat it without antibiotics, but honestly  I was scared to wait and see. I felt a million times better about 12 hours after taking the first dose.

 

Sarah, give yourself permission to respond to your situation in an appropriate way. If discontinuing breastfeeding makes the most sense for you, they allow yourself to do it. No one else has had your unique experience - and no one else should make this decision for you. Your relationship with Elodie, your relationship with your body, and your sanity are important - and only you can weigh in the balance the benefits of breastmilk vs the struggle you are going through. If you'd like to find a middle ground, have you considered looking into donor milk? Maybe we could even set up a donor pool here from the forum! I could contribute a few ozs if you are interested, and maybe a bunch of us can pitch in. Of course, finding it locally might be easier.

post #174 of 242
Thread Starter 

I'm really hoping all the ladies with infections and other issues are feeling better now! Wow, I admire all of your perseverance through this. My friend (who is sort of sickly like me ;) told me mastitis is one of the worst illnesses she's ever had. Healing vibes, ladies!

 

Sarah, I agree that there are situations that discontinuing breastfeeding makes sense. I wish you and your family the peace and wellness that it will take to make that decision. No judgment here.

 

I'm pouting again because Lyle's so colicky tonight he wouldn't nurse.  I finally pumped and told DH to give it to him in a bottle. I don't want to make that a habit AT ALL but I also want us all to get some sleep tonight. I've been down this road enough times not to freak out that he's rejecting the breast entirely, usually he's fine again in a few hours or at the very longest by morning. But geez kid, no reason to starve.

 

Speaking of that, during the stress of deciding to extend my maternity leave, I stopped pumping for a little over a week. Now I don't go back to work until January (most likely, or later) but I think I better not stop pumping. I was pumping at night after my shower during his fussy time, so I'd be ready to feed him an hour into it. I got to the point I was getting a good 3-4 ounces total, but I just strained to get 2. It's crazy how quickly your body adjusts, and like I said when I posted that link the timeline, my breasts haven't been getting as hard or full anymore. Anyway, I guess it's still good "practice" to keep pumping and storing milk and I am going to continue to keep up my supply.

During the day, he's starting cluster nursing in the afternoons, every one or two hours, one breast each session. I'm not really clear what that's doing to my supply.

post #175 of 242

Are any of you using slow-flow nipples?  I'm not sure where to post this, but I need some recommendations.  We've just been using the Medela bottles that came with the pump, but the nipple seems to collapse easily so I'm looking for another option.

post #176 of 242
Thread Starter 

We're using the Dr. Brown's slow flow nipples (stage one) in the Ameda storage bottles, so far so good. Seems slower than the avent bottles we've also used.

post #177 of 242

Medela has slow flow to fit the bottles.  I bought some, but he has yet to have a bottle since me and the pump are not great friends.

 

How long do people typically use the boppy?  I still have trouble feeding baby without it and/or lots of pillows.  

post #178 of 242
Thread Starter 

Sol, I agree, I have trouble nursing sitting up without the boppy or something similar. I don't know how to NIP without one, really, I've made it work sort of but not really, trying to balance the baby on the diaper bag.

 

I also thought I was being so smart and ordered a clip to use with my a+a swaddle blankets instead of a nursing cover. That would've been great, but I haven't seen the damn thing since he was born. I have no idea where I put it.

 

How is everyone doing? I like to think since this thread is quiet, our boobies and our babies are happy. :) Lyle and I are doing pretty well except I need to keep pumping to keep my supply up and I've been lazy. He's also just been taking one boob per feeding now, almost always. We used to do two boobs almost every feeding, but I guess that means he's getting enough from one.

 

I got a rec for a pediatrician today that is also a LC! I LOVE this idea, I hope they take our insurance.

post #179 of 242

Sol - I can nurse without my Boppy, but I never do if I have a choice. It leads to Baby Bird stretching my nipples a lot more, and is just less comfortable all around. I've never thought of the Boppy as something to wean myself off of - is there a reason you're concerned about using it? Or just because NIP/away from home is difficult?

 

AFM, BFing is going pretty well most of the time. I can't seem to shake the nipple soreness and itching, though. It keeps morphing and changing. irked.gif I did end up taking two doses of Diflucan for suspected thrush, and that seemed to help some, but for the past several days my right nipple has been extremely sensitive to touch. Like the pressure of my bra and nursing pad on it is almost unbearably painful. Latching on is excruciating, but actual feeding isn't that bad. Both nipples will have random attacks of soreness/itchiness, too. It's most common shortly after I feed him, but it can really happen any time. It's gotten a little better than it was a day or two ago, but it's still pretty bad.

 

I keep wanting to set up a meeting with an LC, but then things either get better and I put it off, or it turns out the LC doesn't have any openings listed on the website (yeah, I know, I should just call!), or we end up going out of town - like this surprise out-of-town trip this week. Bleh.

 

On the plus side, I did manage to pump several days last week. I'm slowly building a stash that might actually enable me to get a few hours of time away from the baby without worrying about him starving -  although I would have no idea how much to tell people to feed him. And I still haven't introduced a bottle and am still on the fence about whether/when to do so.

 

And of course, the fact that my little guy is gaining and growing - the real goal of this whole endeavor - is very gratifying. I'll be excited to see how big he is next week at his 2-month visit.

post #180 of 242

Monkey, I'm still having nipple soreness when she latches on, I think because of using the pump, because it is always worse after that.  Since it isn't the whole time I'm feeding her, I've just gone with it. I had stopped pumping for a couple days and then I didn't have an issue, so I guess the pump has a bad latch that is causing pain...irked.gif

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