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Breastfeeding our new babies - Page 4

post #61 of 224
Agree w/serafina and livingsky. Matilda nurses every 1-3 hours, and anytime she's grunting, snuffling, rooting or wiggling, even with eyes closed (all of these are feeding cues) I feed her. I did the same w/DS. If they get to the point of crying, they're _really_ hungry.

Physiologically speaking, short and frequent feeds are better for milk supply boosting (hormone surges and keeping breasts emptied frequently) and getting enough milk to baby. You don't necessarily feel "full" when it's time to feed. As livingsky said, by the time I feel full, it's been too long (like 4 hours the other night).

Not gaining for a week and still being below birthweight at 2 weeks out are flags for more investigation. You were using nipple shield, right? Were you pumping in conjunction with that? Shields are rather notorious in connection w/supply issues because they don't allow for the same mechanism of milk transfer as a deep latch without shields. Are you still using a shield? Forgive me for not reading back through--I think you mentioned this a while back.

I'd say you should spend a day or two in bed w/baby, skin to skin as much as possible. Offer a feed whenever baby is not deeply asleep, even at the littlest wiggles, or at least every 2 hours, setting an alarm if needed for nighttime, allowing for a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep at night. Do breast compressions with sucking bursts to boost intake and thus, your supply. Take a look at Jack Newman's website for great videos (good drinking vs. nibbling, breast compressions, etc). Consider adding a few pumping sessions between feeds to boost supply, and you can feed the expressed milk with a spoon or cup to "top off" a nursing session and boost intake and weight gain. Consider an IBCLC visit.
Keep a log of feeds and wet/poopy diaper counts for a day or two. Should be at least 6 wet and 2-3 seedy yellow poops (US quarter sized) in a 24 hour period.
Hope any of that is helpful, and good luck!
post #62 of 224
I also nurse on demand. Every 90 minutes to two hours is her average. Even at night, the longest stretch we've had is three hours. I usually only pump once, in the morning.

She was 7lbs5oz at birth, 6lbs12oz at discharge and 8lbs10oz at her two week check up.
post #63 of 224
Just got back from the LC. Simón had lost weight and she told me if he doesn't get back to his birth weight soon he shouldn't be travelling. She wants me to supplement with 1.5-2 ounces every 3 hours on top if feedings. She said if I can pump that in addition to the feedings I can supplement with my own milk and if not I need to give him formula. I know I can't pump that much at this point. I asked about other options than formula and she kind of blew me off.

I've been so upset, crying since we got out of the appointment. Simón has been crying a lot today and it hurts so much to know it's because he's hungry.

I just talked to my MW and told her about the LC appointment. She said she'd come by to talk. Then she just called me back to tell me she got ahold of a hospital grade pump for me to use and she also found some mom's willing to guve us milk they have stored, so Simón doesn't have to get formula while we wait for my supply to get up. She's going to come by later with the pump and milk and we're going to make a new plan for getting my supply up.
post #64 of 224
Lilmamita, I hope the donated breastmilk works out for you! We had to give Sage formula one night when my milk hadn't come in yet and he had rendered both breasts unnurseable. I was glad to have it as a backup, but if you can get donated milk that would be great. ((hugs))

So it's been quite the journey so far over here - never thought breast feeding could be so difficult!! We have weaned Sage off the nipple shield, then weaned him off the finger / syringe feeding. Not quite a week later and my nipples are really sore again. I need to give my right one a break and pump greensad.gif anyone else going through those phases? I keep hoping my nipples will toughen up, but that hasn't happened yet at 2 1/2 weeks.
post #65 of 224
Hugs lilmamita! Take it one day at a time. You can do this. I had a similar situation with DS. Sending support your way!
post #66 of 224
Lilmamita-I'm sorry the LC wasn't more helpful. FWIW, I don't believe she was an IBCLC, not if she jumped to formula like that. It's generally believed that another mom nursing or donating should come before formula.

Anyway, I couldn't ever get anything when pumping until I got a hospital grade pump- holy moly what a difference!!! I hope it makes the difference for you that it did for me. Also, I know it's kind of obvious, but are you drinking plenty of water? I was told half my body weight in ounces of water daily to be properly hydrated.

Do you drink or eat anything with any kind of mint ? I found out when I had supply issues with my son that mint dries up milk, and if was drinking a tea blend with mint daily. Once I stooped the tea my supply was fine.

Chispita-I would try to keep up with the block feedings. You could always hand express milk just enough to relieve the pain.
post #67 of 224
Dakipode- I second everything that has been said here! Violet feeds about every hour to two hours. She goes 2-3 hours at night. My breasts almost never feel full bu I get a good letdown every time she eats, even if she ate 30 minutes ago. These are all things I didn't realize my first time around too, so I totally get where you're at.

Lilmamita I'm so sorry you're going through this. I struggled with supply until we finally weaned at 4 months with dd1. It broke my heart. I still carry so much guilt from that. Your MW sounds amazing and like she is going to do everything as can to help you with your supply. Hugs!

Vc- how is his latch? Violet's latch has always been great, but honestly the first 2 weeks were hell on my nipples. And then miraculously they stopped hurting. Maybe you just need to nurse through the pain? Is it painful the whole time? A lot of times it can be painful when they first latch but the pain goes away once they really start nursing.
post #68 of 224

lilmamita - sorry the LC visit didn't go that well.

 

It pissed me off that more official / less crunchy providers shrug off and dismiss private breast milk donations. Sure, there are risks - spell them out and let mom decide; because breast milk is going to be a better option if available (as long as parents are aware of risks and comfortable with their chosen donor). I tried to bring this up when I had my problems at the hospital and was initially brushed off (or they tried) and then they sort of pushed me into doing the supplementation the very next feed, which left me no time to try to get milk - and ended up being moot anyway, because two pumping sessions later I had enough to supplement with my own breast milk. But I'm still pissed off about it - if mother is pushing for supplementing with breast milk, she has milk (so it's just a matter of upping production), and is aware and willing to take on the risks of a private donation, then work with her to make that possible!

 

Anyways, sounds like you're in the right track, here's hoping your body responds to the pump well.

 

Looks like you've got your donor situation sorted out, but you can check out the FB group Human Milk for Human Babies (and their regional subgroups) if you need more. 

 

vc - your nipple situation sounds a bit worrying. Have you seen an LC about it? Do they look bad or just feel bad? What shape are they when baby is done nursing? Do you get the feeling that at some point baby might just be chewing and playing with them instead of feeding? If so, you might try unlatching him when that happens distracting him (burping, change of diaper, etc), and then see if he wants to feed more. Also, what MamaMash said - feedings for me are painful when he first latches on, but then in about 15 seconds the pain goes away (that is, unless he starts doing weird stuff with my nipple when he gets frustrated by too much milk flowing).

 

thefreckledmama - thanks for the advice. I think the engorgement is getting better (or at least less painful). Not sure if baby is feeling better because we had a horrible night last night and he's been pretty sleepy and tired all day today, but he's still pretty gassy as usual. So we'll see how it goes.

post #69 of 224
Our dr who has a 8 week old herself was saying she has so much overproduction she had to do 5 hour block feedings per side, and can pump 12 ounces per sitting! I didn't even know what to say to that.

I get the painful nursing for like 15 seconds just on the left side then it stops. I think she has a lip tie too, but she's gaining well and it's not overly painful so I don't want to have it cut. Her tongue tie ended up being a lot worse and the dr had to go slightly into the tissue because it was so tight. I'm glad we did it but I'm not wanting to do anything else to her little mouth.
post #70 of 224
I wish Iived close to you Lilmamita. I would gladly give you some milk. I have probably close to 200 ounces in my freezer. I may need to look into donating some so it doesn't go to waste.
post #71 of 224

Ash will be 3 weeks on Thursday and we're doing better with nursing.  He's my first and I'm still learning.  I still don't know what a let down feels like, but he's gaining weight (birth weight was 6;bs, 7 oz, he was 6 lbs, 14 oz at 2 weeks) and definitely having a lot of messy diapers so hopefully everything is OK.  The first few days were pretty bad.  He was not latching right so his blood sugar was low the day after he was born and they wanted me to give him formula.  He was also really hungry and crying all night but I didn't even know he was hungry because I kept trying to feed him but he wouldn't latch.  The LC told me to use a nipple shield and it was a miracle.  Now I'd like to wean him off of it just because it's always falling off and making it more difficult to feed.  He did manage to feed a couple times today without it so that was awesome.  He varies in how often he feeds, sometimes it's every hour (or more!) and the past few days he's been sleeping 2-3 hours at a time, which has been amazing.

post #72 of 224
I'm pretty sure the LC I saw was an IBCLC. I didn't ask specifically, but the place I went to's website says they are staffed by IBCLCs. She was very nice and supportive and called me a few hours after we got home. But when I told her the MW had found donor milk she said I should call the milk bank and not just tale "any stranger's milk." I called them and got voicemail and she had already told me the milk bank requires a doctor's prescription. My MW later told me the milk bank reserves almost all of its milk for premature and ill babies and that when they do have extra it is very expensive. She brought me some literature about informed decision making with regards to milk sharing. I trust the milk she brought because the mom was a client of the MW's and had all her prenatal care (and thus exams and screenings for diseases that could be passed through milk). And my MW said she knows the woman has a healthy diet because of the nutritional counseling she provided for her. We have been giving Simón her milk along with nursing every 2-3 hours. But if it is going to take more than a day or two to get my supply up, I will need to find more milk. I posted on Human Milk for Human Babies and am going to look into Eats for Feets, which my MW recommended. She is also going to put out more calls to former clients.

I just pumped after a short feed with Simón and got an ounce which is a small improvement. I'll take it. This is going to be very trying, since I'm supposed to feed, supplement, and pump every 2 hours and that whole process takes an hour itself. I think if Simón stays asleep for more than 2 hours at night, I may do it every 3 hours or when he wakes at night just to keep my sanity. On top of that, lots of alfalfa sprouts, oatmeal, Guiness, herbal tinctures, and essential oils. Simón is still fussy, but far less so.

The LC wants me to come in tomorrow for a weight check, but I think I am going to call and say I am too exhausted but will weigh him at home on the digital scale the MW loaned us and call her to let her know his weight. I know she will ask about supplementation, so I will need to be armed with a "he is my child and this is my informed choice" response.

To all the other mama's dealing with different challenges, all my solidarity for you. I wish I could offer you some advice, but all I can do is share in y'all's setermination and perseverence.
post #73 of 224
Oh my gosh lilmamita I want to strangle that LC from what your describing. I had a few now give me very bad advice and push formula so IMHO I'd stick with your midwifes' advice and help. She sounds amazing. Amazing!!! I'm in the holistic moms network chapter for my area and they are an amazing resource for breastfeeding, they recommended this product to a mom struggling with supply:
http://www.nurturecenter.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3448

Also-- get your thyroid checked. Hypo/hyperthyroidism is notorious for creating lactation issues but hard to diagnose. Because the symptoms are so close to normal postpartum stuff.

Good on you for getting donor milk. I told the hospital when they discharged us that I would be doing that before formula and they looked at me like I was insane. It's really outrageous to me. Wet nurses were an everyday thing before formula was mass marketed.
Edited by tillymonster - 10/9/13 at 12:10am
post #74 of 224
I can't believe how different it is in the US to here in the UK. Breast feeding is the normal from birth in hospital, it's encouraged from all the staff and formula is only a very last resort. It's not considered crunchy to breast feed here, just normal.

I'm sorry your struggling lilmamita, I hope you get your issues sorted out.

I'm doing really well with BF, I was scared about it in pregnancy and I'm surprised I've taken to it so well. I had sore nipples the first couple of days but now they're fine. Sometimes I get the initial few seconds of pain when she latches but then it stops.
I do have a question though, sometimes when feeding liv she gets a bit fussy and keeps pulling of the nipple but searching for it to reattach. She gets a bit agitated, does this mean the boob is empty, she's full, needs to burp, oversupply ( sometimes she has to pull of to take a breather there's so much milk) or just being fussy?
post #75 of 224
Serena- Oliver does this too. Usually I try to burp him and sometimes that works. Other times I think it is a forceful let-down so he is kinda angry/ choking and pulls off but then still wants to nurse.
post #76 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by serena76 View Post She gets a bit agitated, does this mean the boob is empty, she's full, needs to burp, oversupply ( sometimes she has to pull of to take a breather there's so much milk) or just being fussy?

In my experience that's because baby is struggling with the discomfort of needing to pee or poo, and once they manage to relieve themselves, they will settle back to the breast just fine.  Or then it's a need to be burped.  Or an overactive letdown being an irritation. 

 

lilmamita, you are such an amazing mommy to persevere and persevere like this.  Your baby is so lucky you are willing to go through these harrowing challenges for him.  I really hope it gets much much easier, asap.

post #77 of 224
We are chugging along with nursing, supplementing with donor milk and pumping every two hours. I'm consistently getting 3/4 an ounce from both breasts pumping after he feeds on one breast. The WIC LC is calling me and kinda using scare tactics to try to get me to see a pediatrician (she said I have to do it today). MWs are licensed to provide newborn care for up to six weeks here and my MW doesn't think it's necessary. And she's not like staunchly anti doctor, she just doesn't think it's a crisis yet and she thinks things are improving slowly but surely. Plus she says it's a supply issue and pediatricians don't know much about that. My sense is that a pediatrician will just suggest supplementing with formula and frown on the donor milk that isn't from a milk bank. But then doubt kicks in and I wonder if I'm being crazy to not take my baby that isn't gaining correctly to a doctor. The WIC LC said it could affect his brain development, which is super scary, but my MW says we are nowhere mear that point yet.
post #78 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMash View Post

Vc- how is his latch? Violet's latch has always been great, but honestly the first 2 weeks were hell on my nipples. And then miraculously they stopped hurting. Maybe you just need to nurse through the pain? Is it painful the whole time? A lot of times it can be painful when they first latch but the pain goes away once they really start nursing.

 

i've had two appts with the LC post hospital, and we worked on the latch. last we spoke they (along w my doula) said i'm doing everything right, and that it's now up to Sage to "get it". right now, my left nipple only hurts in the beginning, so i'm nursing "through the pain". the right one hurts the entire time though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chispita View Post
 

vc - your nipple situation sounds a bit worrying. Have you seen an LC about it? Do they look bad or just feel bad? What shape are they when baby is done nursing? Do you get the feeling that at some point baby might just be chewing and playing with them instead of feeding? If so, you might try unlatching him when that happens distracting him (burping, change of diaper, etc), and then see if he wants to feed more. Also, what MamaMash said - feedings for me are painful when he first latches on, but then in about 15 seconds the pain goes away (that is, unless he starts doing weird stuff with my nipple when he gets frustrated by too much milk flowing).

 

they don't look bad anymore (that was in the first week). after nursing, they are usually not very long.. occasionally they are flattened. he definitely stops nursing at some point and is just sucking for comfort or so - but that doesn't hurt. 

 

saw my MW today and on her suggestion called the LC again. she said that babies who went through a long pushing phase during birth can end up "traumatized", and as a result, have some tension built up in their jaws. she also suggested going back to the nipple shield and that that's better (breast contact) than pumping. so i'm going to try that and to massage his jaws prios to nursing. she also suggested craniosacral therapy for baby to get rid of any jaw tension.

there is also the possibility that something is wrong with the positioning, since i can currently nurse on my left breast but not on the right one. so i might go back another time.

post #79 of 224
You are amazing lilmamita. Your determination is so impressive. It sounds like there are already improvements in your supply! I think everything you're doing is great and there is no need to involve a doctor yet. I'm sure he will start gaining now! Way to go mama!!

Vc- it definitely sounds like maybe he has some tension in his jaw. Fwiw my sister nursed with a nipple shield for a long time because her nipple was inverted and damaged from a piercing. It worked fine for her for the entire time she nursed. Her supply never suffered. Have you tried different positions on the right? Way to keep going through all these issues. All of you mamas with nursing issues seriously impress me. I feel so lucky that so far we haven't had any issues. Violet is still a very frequent nurser which makes me question my supply. But she's a chunk! And has plenty of wet diapers so I think she just likes to eat often.
post #80 of 224

I was able to attend the breastfeeding support group at the birth center today and asked the LC, who's been so patient and helpful since day 1, all my questions.

We got to weigh him and he's gained 20g a day since last time so she said as long as he's gaining okay I should start trusting my instincts a little more and learn to look for his cues rather than feed him on a schedule (i.e. every couple of hours like clockwork). I have been able to get a couple of feeds in without the shield as well so that's been a bit of a confidence builder. My hope is that we'll be able to transition off it in the next two weeks.

I feel much better today about the two of us learning to read each other. I will still set my alarm at night, otherwise I worry that I'll just sleep right through his subtle cues and not wake up until he's crying.

Thank you ladies for all your input and support, I remain hopeful that this will eventually become a fun bonding experience.

 

tilly, your comment about wet nurses got me thinking: I wonder how Will and Kate are doing it?

 

lilmamita: just want to cheer you on!

 

vc: I used the Lansinoh soothies gel pads for about a week and the worked wonders on my cracked nipples! They're pricy but they were definitely worth the comfort.

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