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Breastfeeding our new babies - Page 3post #41 of 22410/3/13 at 11:57amJust talked to my MW and she agreed that a dairy sensitivity was a more likely culprit than overactive letdown since he isn't choking or gagging on milk and since he likes to nurse for so long. She said when he starts spitting my nipple out, we should just take a burp and diaper change break, walk around a bit, and then I should return him to the same breast.post #42 of 22410/3/13 at 2:04pmQuote:I think 2 weeks is a good, "do-able" window. My understanding is that it can take 1.5-3 weeks for it to leave moms system, but most people notice reduction in baby's symptoms within a week or so, indicating that dairy elimination is the right track to keep on. If there's absolutely no change within 2 weeks, it might be sensible to determine that dairy maybe isn't the problem, though you could certainly be more conservative and eliminate for a full month before re-evaluating. I think that it's pretty hard for a regular dairy consumer to keep avoiding dairy (especially because its such a good, easy source of protein and calories for nursing mamas), and if you spend a month on dairy elimination, and it's not that, you move on to wheat for a month, and if that's not it, soy, corn, eggs, etc. by the time you work your way through, baby is months down the road. JMO.
lilmamita here's a link to a cheat sheet for "hidden" dairy on food labels
http://www.kellymom.com/store/freehandouts/hidden-dairy01.pdfpost #43 of 22410/3/13 at 5:02pmThread Starter
I feed each baby on one breast, then swap them for the next feeding. each breast seems to fill up the baby, which is good since there is no second breast to switch them too. both twins eat about every 2 hours. maybe 3 hours if they have an especially good nap or deep sleep ( related to this, i am not getting a lot of sleep at night). i wonder if they would sleep longer if i had another breast to offer them, but there's no way to grow extra breasts and they seem satisfied once my breast has emptied, i.e. they are usually asleep or acting drunk. sometimes they still seem hungry when their turn is over, and i try to nurse them again sooner rather than later (30 minutes? an hour? on the opposite breast)
balancing supply and demand is tough. i usually try to do one bottle per baby per day and pump during that feeding window, just to make sure they remember how to take a bottle. i pumped a lot in the beginning to get supply up, but now i just don't have time for extra pumping sessions, and if i try to pump between feedings, the babies seem hungry at the end of the next nursing session.
breastfeeding twins is so totally different from what i expected (although i can hardly remember what I expected!). i wish i had been more realistic about how difficult and time-consuming it would be to breastfeed twins. seven weeks in and i still feel like i am just completely making this shit up. we change about 25 soaking wet diapers a day, though, and almost as many poopy ones, and both babies are over 8 lbs now. (they were 4 and 5 lbs when we left the hospital) so i guess things are going ok. it's definitely more of an art than a science right now.
Edited by mrsandmrs - 10/3/13 at 5:18pmpost #44 of 22410/3/13 at 8:53pmI'm amazed by you mrsandmrs. With how many questions and challenges I have had nursing just one baby, I can't even imagine nursing two. It is kinda crazy to me that with how crucial nursing clearly is to the survival of our species that it wouldn't come more naturally. Seems like most women have BFing challenges they have to work through.post #45 of 22410/4/13 at 9:08am
mrsandmrs, it sounds like you're doing an awesome job at keeping your babies full and growing! I cannot even imagine what it takes to feed two. Keep up the good work, you are one dedicated mama!
I know, right? I keep wondering what would've happened if I were a mom in prehistoric times. Would Alden just have perished since we were having such a hard time getting started? Even now we're still using the shield otherwise it seems like he can't find his way. Maybe BF issues is one of those hidden causes of a higher mortality rate in earlier times?post #46 of 22410/4/13 at 9:49amSo, I had still been having a lot of nipple pain on my right side even though my left side was totally comfortable. Thought it was weird that his latch could differ between sides. Under the MW's advice for 24 hours I only nursed Simón on the left side and pumped on my right side, syringe-finger feeding him that milk. I applied lots of herbal salve throughout the day on my right nipple. I just nursed him again on the rivht nipple and it was pain free!! Hurray!!post #47 of 22410/6/13 at 8:57ampost #48 of 22410/6/13 at 9:07ampost #49 of 22410/6/13 at 2:48pmpost #50 of 22410/6/13 at 2:59pmThread Starterpost #51 of 22410/6/13 at 7:11pmJust came back from our 2 week checkup for Simón and he hasn't gained back his birth weight (and really he's 2 wks 2 days). The MW isn't too worried yet but thinks it's due to a low supply and has be doing tons to increase my supply. Taking goats rue tincture, using clary sage essential oil, eating oatmeal and alfalfa sprouts, drinking a glass of Guiness a day, and pumping after every feed. She is going to come by again on Tuesday to see how things are going.
It has me pretty down, feeling like I'm failing my son, and also feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the additional things I now need to do when I'm already exhausted and having trouble finding time to just shower and brush my teeth.post #52 of 22410/6/13 at 7:37pmThread StarterLilmamita, how many wet and dirty diapers does he have in a day? That would tell you if your supply is ok, right? I read somewhere that dairy dairy sensitivity can slow weight gain. If he does have that, your dairy elimination may help. Sorry you have to deal with that. I'm sure you don't need another thing t to worry about.post #53 of 22410/6/13 at 8:25pmLilmamita, I wouldn't necessarily worry if he hasn't gained back his birthweight. That's just a rule of thumb- is he close? I thought this article was pretty good http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newborns/scales.html
Adrian had his two week appointment on Thursday, and he was back up to 8lbs 1oz, but his birthweight was 8lbs 6oz. He'd lost quite a bit at first, and at 5 days was almost a pound lighter, so he had farther to go than normal, and his actual weight gain is good.
Don't be too hard on yourself! If I were you I might hold off on pacifiers for a little longer so he gets as much milk going as possible. But you're doing a great job!post #54 of 22410/6/13 at 8:59pmHugs to you lilmamita!! I'm sorry things aren't going more smoothly.
Have you had or could you have a visit with an IBCLC? Nothing against your midwife, but a breastfeeding specialist may be a better resource if things get complicated. If Simon is just shy of his birthweight, it's less concerning than being more significantly off the weight mark. If his overall loss was large, then it may take a bit longer to get back to BW than the 2 week mark. Once he started gaining, though, he should gain 20-30grams daily (about an ounce), or 5-7 ounces in a week. Less than that can indicate a BF problem. It's not necessarily a supply problem, though, and could be a latch/transfer problem. An IBCLC is best equipped to help you sort it out. But in the meantime, it's good to be pumping to boost and/or protect your milk supply. Keep a log of feeds, and poops and pees to give real day to day info about milk intake. Consider topping off breastfeeds with some of your expressed milk in a teaspoon or as you'd syringe-fed before.
Good luck as you move forward...don't lose heart! Many mamas and babies work through a bumpy start to nurse effortlessly for years. I had to nurse, supplement with donor milk and pump, along with using herbal galactogogues for about the first 6 weeks. We went on to nurse exclusively until 7 months, then introduced foods and continued to nurse until weaning at 2.5 years. It was very daunting for those first 6 weeks, but with support and determination, I did it.
Sending you good vibes for milk aplenty, a growing baby and peace of mind.post #55 of 22410/6/13 at 10:51pm
lilmamita - so sorry you're having such a rough time with breastfeeding. But it looks like you're determined to making it work, so just hang in there. I second the advice of trying to see an IBCLC if you can; at the very least it will be another perspective.
AFM - our initial breastfeeding problems (baby just wouldn't latch when very hungry, and even when he did he did not get enough milk - so we were pumping and supplementing with my milk) resolved, but now it looks like we're dealing with oversupply (and the associated overactive letdown). We've basically got every single symptom in the book, so even without an official diagnosis, I'm pretty sure that's it. I've been trying to do cluster feeding, but cannot go longer than two feeds on the same breast before the other one feels like it's going to explode; and nights are difficult with regards to engorgement, since we feed less often at night. The fact that I've cut off the pumping (instead of slowly reducing sessions as I originally planned to do), does not help; I'm just hoping I can avoid getting mastitis (again). I have an appointment with an IBCLC on Tuesday, so we'll see what she thinks about it, but if any of you guys have any suggestions or advice with regards to solving oversupply, that would be great.post #56 of 22410/7/13 at 1:07ampost #57 of 22410/7/13 at 9:22pmI have an appointment with a Lactation Consultant (I assume she's an IBCLC) at the WIC breastfeeding services center tomorrow to see what she thinks and what advice and recomendations she has. They told me to not feed Simón for 2 hours before the appt, which is going to make for an extremely unhappy and screaming baby. I'm trying to decide if I'm actually going to do that to him.
My MW is also stopping by in the afternoon cause she wants to weigh him with a digital scale before a feed and then again right after to see how much milk he's actually getting during a feed.
On Sunday (at 2 wks 2 days) he was still 8 oz short of his birth weight. He is having lots of poopy and wet diapers and doesn't appear dehydrated, which is why the MW wasn't super worried about his slow gain, but thought in addition to me cutting out dairy we should do what we can to up my supply. But it is pretty exhausting pumping every two hours and makes it pretty difficult to get extra sleep in while he's napping during the day. And honestly, it doesn't seem to have made much a difference in my supply yet. My boobs never get all that full. And when I pump, I usually only get about a half ounce from both boobs.post #58 of 22410/8/13 at 8:15am
I have some questions regarding feeding on a schedule vs on demand and would love some input from you more experienced mamas.
Right now we're feeding on a schedule about every 2.5 to 3 hours start to start, at night closer to 3.5 to 4 hours. The thing is: I don't know what feeding on demand means since keeping him fed every couple of hours means he doesn't really wake up crying and hungry. He's getting plenty of wet and poopy diapers but at his 2 week appt last week he basically hadn't gained any weight in a week and he was about 3oz shy of his birth weight. Our feedings are on average 20 minutes each breast, but about once a day we have a marathon session (1hr +). Does anyone else go this long? I can never tell when he's done. Usually when I try to pull away he'll start sucking again and it isn't until he clearly pushes away, after having spent at least 20 minutes, that I think he's full (or at least done on that side).
So I guess my questions are: does this sound like we're doing okay with feeding? Should I go shorter but more frequently? Is it okay for him to go up to 4 hours at night if he doesn't wake up crying and hungry? How do I look for signs that he's hungry besides the obvious waking and crying, i.e. do they exhibit signs of hunger while they're asleep? Also, with regards to feeding more frequently: it feels like my boobs fill up about every 2.5 to 3 hours; is there anything there for him if I started feeding before they feel full?
Lots of questions, mostly doubts about whether I'm doing the "right" thing. Any input and reassurances are welcome.post #59 of 22410/8/13 at 8:21amI've never given it that much thought. As soon as baby starts panting & rooting around (upon waking or while awake), looking for a booby, I offer one, and they stop when they are done. Of course sometimes they sleep up to four hours without waking and seeking milk, but not more than that. I have honestly not given it any more thought and never looked at a clock. There's always milk. They will trigger a letdown even if your breast doesn't feel full.post #60 of 22410/8/13 at 8:42amYes, what Serafina said! The more often they nurse the more milk you will produce. And they will always get something from you.
When my breasts feel hard and full I know Ive gone too long between feedings - Jakob typically eats every 45 minutes to an hour if he is awake. But he sleeps long stretches too so we nurse often to compensate. As soon as he shows any interest in sucking or rooting around I offer the breast, even if he just ate. I know he is done when he either falls asleep or goes down to only sucking/swallowing every few minutes.
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