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Breastfeeding our new babies

post #1 of 224
Thread Starter 

I know a lot of us are in new breastfeeding relationships with our babes. (and a lot mor of us will be pretty soon!) I thought we could share stories, commiserate over challenges and help each other troubleshoot. So... How's it going? 

 

I am currently breastfeeding our three and a half week old twins. I have one really great nursling who is gentle and has a careful latch and seems so peaceful when he's nursing. It's so rewarding to nurse him. My other babe is aggressive, has a shallow latch, and screams at me whenever he pushes himself off the breast. It's really challenging. especially at 3am. And holy crap, my nipples are sore when he's done. My doula is a lactation educator, and she said his latch "looks fine" but of course, how can it be "fine" if it is causing me excruciating pain and making me reluctant to nurse him. My hope is that if I keep unlatching and relatching him and using all the "deep latch" tricks from youtube and all the books I've read, he will grow into a better latch or learn it, eventually. But in the meantime, holy crap. Ow. 

 

So, how's it going with you? 

post #2 of 224

Being still pregnant, it's not moving very fast, but I am prepared for breastfeeding when it does happen. However, MrsandMrs, about your breastfeeding concerns, I'd try a) nipple shields (they helped me a lot when I had trouble nursing DD1) and/or b) getting a second opinion with a another lactation consultant. If that's not possible, try a La Leche League in your area to see if they can help. I found breastfeeding one child challenging enough, kudos to you for managing with twins. I can't wait to meet you on the other side.

post #3 of 224
Mrsandmrs, I had some challenges with my first when we started. I loved to watch Jack Newman's videos: they showed what I was aiming for very clearly.
http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=videos

As for this little one, I have been so sleepy that I'm not being as careful watching his latch as I should. Tomorrow, I will do better with that.
post #4 of 224

I haven't had my baby yet, but I wanted to pop in and say with my daughter we had LOTS of pain for the first few months. I would cry just knowing I had nurse her and I wanted to give up. Everyone i talked to said she was fine with her latch and no tongue/lip tie. Just wanted to let you know you can do this and you will get past it. It doesn't last forever. We used a nipple shield for a short time but it was a bigger PitA so I said screw it and just dealt. Hang in there mama :) 

post #5 of 224
mrsandmrs - I think a couple of days with pain when nursing a newborn is pretty normal. But if it is lasting longer than that (as in your case) i would definitely seek a second, third, or fourth opinion until you find someone who cqn give you the help you need. Tongue and lip ties are a lot more common than people think and even a slight tie can cause a lot of pain when nursing and make getting a good latch really hard. And its really easy for a tie to get missed or misdiagnosed. I hope you get some relief soon!

AFM - I have been blessed with a second easy nursling so far. Jakob latches well. The only problem we have had is keeping him awake ti nurse as much as i think he should. He loves to sleep!
post #6 of 224
Still pregnant, but I've breast fed four kiddos so far. mrsandmrs-is Memphis the babe with the painful latch? I know sometimes the size of their mouth can make it difficult to get a good comfortable deep latch. If that's the case then over the next few weeks as he grows that should subside. I know with my youngest, George, I had pain and issues I never had with the girls, and it was about a month when we started to make progress with his latch. Also, sometimes there can be a tongue tie, or lip tie, that's not very noticeable and hard to diagnose. Our doctor specializes in breast feeding medicine and especially lip and tongue ties, and she sees a lot of cases that were missed or weren't cut enough. If the pain continues it may be worthwhile to seek out a specialist that may be experienced beyond the scope of a LC.
post #7 of 224
I've breastfed three kids now, and in my experience the first couple of weeks have always hurt, even when the baby has a "good" latch. I've come to think of it as a painful phase to be endured. I never really connected it to mouth size, but that makes sense. Hoping this new guy will surprise me pleasantly this time around smile.gif
post #8 of 224
mrsandmrs, I think it's worth a second opinion. It shouldn't be painful to nurse at this point. Without being there in person, it's hard to say what's up.
But, one thing to try is, rather than unlatching and relatching, once babe is latched, move his body laterally across your body away from nipple to exaggerate asymmetry in the latch, which will coax more breast tissue into the lower part of baby's mouth. So example if you're nursing on R breast in cradle, move baby toward your left armpit more, and really smoosh his hips and butt into your body, allowing his chin to get deeper. You could also try supporting your breast through the feeding if you aren't already...little babies sometimes have trouble stabilizing breast tissue to keep a deep latch until they grow some. HTH!
post #9 of 224
mrs&mrs you are amazing for nursing two babies! One is challenging enough in my opinion! Keep up the good work, and I hope the twin with the painful latch just needs to grow some more smile.gif

Afm, nursing is going very well (knock on wood). The first couple weeks were painful, cracked nipples, tons of lanolin. But this week has been much less painful. Violet has been an awesome nurser from the get go. She has a good deep latch. So I lucked out there. She is a bit of a sporadic nurser some days, but that's ok. They are only little for a little while smile.gif I had so many supply issues with dd1. I'm so happy that I don't seem to be having those issues this time. I had to supplement dd1 for about a week (day 3-10 of her life) because her jaundice levels were high and my milk didn't come in for a week and even when it did it was in trickles. I'm so happy I haven't had to give Violet anything but my breast milk smile.gif I already have a good supply of milk going in my freezer. Overall things just seem more stable on the breast milk front for me this time.
post #10 of 224

mrsandmrs, I just want to second what many others mentioned, being a preemie brings some possible complications I am not familiar with, but with my daughter, I saw so many specialists before finally getting a posterior tongue tie diagnosis when she was 8 weeks old.  The most excruciating 8 weeks of my life.  Everyone said it looked like a fine latch, yet I was cracked and bleeding and crying every single time I nursed.  The posterior ties are much harder to diagnose and it usually takes someone who specializes in that type of tongue tie to recognize it.  After getting it clipped, it took a few more weeks to un-learn all of the compensatory strategies she was using trying to nurse but we ended up having a wonderful nursing relationship, until she was 26 months old. 

Hope things get better soon!

post #11 of 224
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the ideas and inspiration, everyone. otto (the bigger twin) is the aggressive one with the painful latch. memphis is a delightful nursling. memphis & i actually used a nipple shield for the first couple of weeks, since he was so small he really could not latch effectively. it helped him get over that hump, and now he seems to latch beautifully without it. i know that a lot of people are anti-shield for a number of reasons, but it was exactly what we needed to get through it. i tried to use it with otto for a while, but it really made him angry and he would beat my breasts with his tiny fists out of frustration, and rip off the shield, and then bite me with his gums (he has a lot of anger, for a baby). i realize that babies change all the time, though, so i tried re-introducing it this week and he seems more tolerant. it doesnt solve ALL of his latch problems, but it helps pretty significantly with the pain. maybe we can use it to get through his anger/bad latch phase. i have been reading the dr. newman breastfeeding book with every spare moment (i really like the book, despite what i am about to say). he makes it seem like a bad latch on a month-old baby is practically incurable, but i have heard that many/most babies grow into a better latch after a few weeks, so i hope we can just get through it. i forgot his site had all those videos, im going to watch them next time i have a chance. 

 

mamamash, i'm glad things have turned around for you! violet is going to be a supernurser! 

 

for your freezer supply, how do you know if you have a "good" supply of frozen milk? when i started pumping (after feedings, to relieve engorgement, etc) the babies ate like 1 oz per feeding, so pumping an extra 2 ounces seemed like a lot. now, they eat a lot more and the milk i pumped in the beginning seems like a paltry amount. i just cant imagine getting very far ahead of their demand. 

 

nursing two babes is really challenging, but i am really happy that we have made it 4 weeks and the babies have never had anything except breastmilk. it's all just one day at a time, sometimes one feeding at a time. i have a long-term commitment to breastfeeding them, but sometimes i cant think of anything except getting through this moment -- which is life, right? one foot in front of the other. 

 

i hope breastfeeding is going really well for everyone who's doing it! 

post #12 of 224
Mrsandmrs, have you considered taking Otto to a chiropractor? I had always heard about babies with breast feeding/latch issues sometimes being helped by a chiropractor, but never had any first hand knowledge about it. At my last chiro appt Monday I was asking her about it because when I mentioned getting the baby adjusted after she's born to DF, he thought I was nuts. She kind of went down the list of reasons why it helps, then as we were walking out another patient jumped up and came over to tell us what a difference it made with her son and breast feeding. Anyway, that might be something else you could look into.
post #13 of 224
Also, I know others have already said so, but it does get better and you do reach the point where you look back and think "man, that was a really hard time", but then you realize you're already through it. I went through that with George-thrush, mastitis, an abscess. It felt like the issues went on and on and then one day I realized everything was so much better. Now it's only when I really sit and think hard to remember that I recall how spectacularly craptastic it was while being in the thick if it.
post #14 of 224
Yes to chiro and craniosacral therapy for working on nursing issues, particularly with a clamping/pulling/shallow latching LO.
post #15 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsandmrs View Post

thanks for all the ideas and inspiration, everyone. otto (the bigger twin) is the aggressive one with the painful latch. memphis is a delightful nursling. memphis & i actually used a nipple shield for the first couple of weeks, since he was so small he really could not latch effectively. it helped him get over that hump, and now he seems to latch beautifully without it. i know that a lot of people are anti-shield for a number of reasons, but it was exactly what we needed to get through it. i tried to use it with otto for a while, but it really made him angry and he would beat my breasts with his tiny fists out of frustration, and rip off the shield, and then bite me with his gums (he has a lot of anger, for a baby). i realize that babies change all the time, though, so i tried re-introducing it this week and he seems more tolerant. it doesnt solve ALL of his latch problems, but it helps pretty significantly with the pain. maybe we can use it to get through his anger/bad latch phase. i have been reading the dr. newman breastfeeding book with every spare moment (i really like the book, despite what i am about to say). he makes it seem like a bad latch on a month-old baby is practically incurable, but i have heard that many/most babies grow into a better latch after a few weeks, so i hope we can just get through it. i forgot his site had all those videos, im going to watch them next time i have a chance. 

mamamash, i'm glad things have turned around for you! violet is going to be a supernurser! 

for your freezer supply, how do you know if you have a "good" supply of frozen milk? when i started pumping (after feedings, to relieve engorgement, etc) the babies ate like 1 oz per feeding, so pumping an extra 2 ounces seemed like a lot. now, they eat a lot more and the milk i pumped in the beginning seems like a paltry amount. i just cant imagine getting very far ahead of their demand. 

nursing two babes is really challenging, but i am really happy that we have made it 4 weeks and the babies have never had anything except breastmilk. it's all just one day at a time, sometimes one feeding at a time. i have a long-term commitment to breastfeeding them, but sometimes i cant think of anything except getting through this moment -- which is life, right? one foot in front of the other. 

i hope breastfeeding is going really well for everyone who's doing it! 

Mrs&mrs the only reason I'm able to have a good supply going in my freezer is because she only eats on one breast at a time now. I can't imagine how you would get a good supply in the freezer while nursing twins. That's already so demanding! When I started pumping I would get about 4oz total between 2 pumping sessions and freeze that. Now I'm getting 3-4 oz per breast when pumping. So, each bag I freeze now has 6-8 ounces in it. Obviously she doesn't need nearly that much right now. But I don't plan on leaving her anytime soon so maybe she'll be eating close that amount per feeding by the time I would need to leave her with someone. I wouldn't worry about getting a supply in your freezer now if you don't have to. Feeding those boys is enough to worry about! Good luck with Otto. I really hope he gets better. Violet can be an angry baby too. She's pretty gassy and if I don't burp her really often during feedings she gets pissed and starts clenching and punching and scratching. If I let her get to that point I have to give up on nursing her anymore and give her gas drops and a binky to calm her down.
post #16 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by haurelia View Post

Yes to chiro and craniosacral therapy for working on nursing issues, particularly with a clamping/pulling/shallow latching LO.

Can't wait to get Silas in to a CST on the 23rd to bring him full circle from his tongue and lip ties that were clipped. It had amazing results on my daughter a couple years ago, as a 3mo. He's doing great nursing, but I know it'll help him even more.

post #17 of 224

I have a question about pumping and storing, as someone who has never nursed before (I'm trying to read up and prepare as much as a I can - mostly from the Dr. Sears Baby Book and some literature they gave me at WIC - but I still am not sure about this).  I won't be going back to work until the baby is 3 months old.  Up until that point, I think there might be a very few occasions where we want to go out for a short period and leave the baby with family or a trusted friend, or when I go out and leave the baby with DH...so I really won't need to have a huge supply on hand, but it would be good to have some in case of an emergency or for occasional outings.  At the 3 month mark, I will be going back to work, but I am planning on bringing the baby with me to work.  However, there might be one day a week or a couple half-days a week where I will need to leave him with DH or a trusted caretaker so I can go to meetings outside of the office that may not be as baby-friendly.  So my sense is that by 3 months, I will need to have a pretty decent supply stored at that point, but also won't really be pumping all day every day at work because I will usually have the baby with me.  So how does this work??  Should I be pumping and donating if we aren't going to use it in the first 3 months just to establish a good supply?  Do I pump after feedings, between feedings?  Ditto for after 3 months.  Since baby will be with me most days at work, should I just pump after he nurses, or pump between feedings in the evening?  I guess I'm just having a hard time figuring out how the pumping schedule fits in with nursing if I will be doing a mix of both.

post #18 of 224
lilmamita- pumping sucks. The logistics, the time, the actual act of pumping. I hate it all. But, I feel the need to be prepared with a good freezer stock because I am 100% committed to nursing for a year at least, barring any very serious reason that would force us to stop. To answer your questions (and I am by no means an expert.) you could donate the milk, but milk will last in the freezer compartment of a fridge (seperate doors) for 3-6 months and in a chest or upright freezer for 6-12 months. The way I find I get the biggest amount to freeze is to pump one breast while Violet eats on the other. We are now to the point where she only eats on one side at a time. If she needed both sides I have no idea how I would pump. I would be scared that there wouldn't be enough milk for her feedings if I pumped between her feedings. But, I guess eventually that wouldn't be an issue since it does work as a supply and demand. Also, you have the most milk in the morning so that is when I pump. I just pump during her 2 early morning feedings, fill a bag with whatever I get and call it a day. Hope this helps! Anyone else with better/ more knowledge on the subject chime in! Like I said, I am no expert.
post #19 of 224

lilmamita, you've been given some good advice by mamamash. 

What I usually recommend to clients who are planning to pump for return to work, or another separation, and are trying to build a freezer stash is this: give it a couple of weeks just nursing to allow baby to drive your supply. In your case, probably wait until you get back home so you don't have to fuss with transporting frozen milk!  Then, start by adding a pumping session between feedings, preferably in the morning when milk supply is higher from the nighttime surge of hormones that happens.  If you wait about an hour after a feeding, you'll collect a bit more volume and program more demand into your supply.  If you do as mamamash does, and pump one breast as you nurse on the other (takes some practice), you might notice more volume collected, because many mothers let down much more milk for their babies than strictly for the pump.  

Store what you collect in small increments, 2-4 oz, to avoid waste once frozen milk is thawed (it should be used within 24 hours of thawing).  

Kellymom has a good estimator for figuring out how much milk a baby might need when separated from mama. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

post #20 of 224
I hate pumping too but I want a freezer stash on hand just in case. Something that helps me is a product called a Milk Saver - http://www.mymilkies.com/milksaver. I leak so much from my other breast this keeps it from going to waste and helps build a bit of a freezer stash without taking the time to pump.
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