Let's talk about breastfeeding! - Page 6
Seeing the pediatrician tomorrow - I really hope that they can just do something for Norah in the office and that I won't have to go somewhere else. She's still on Medicaid only until January when she'll be double covered by Medicaid and my husband's insurance, and I'm concerned it might be a bit of a struggle to get any specialist visit covered. We'll have to see. Luckily, I have it well documented that she's had latch issues from the beginning, and I know I can get a referral. The pediatrician's office is very breastfeeding friendly as well, so I'm hoping they can help with the lip tie.
I've been watching her breastfeed, and I think I really do have to get something done, even though I'm reluctant to because she's thriving so well. Truth is, the only reason she's fine is because I pump so much and most of her feeds are with bottles. When she does nurse for anything longer than 10 minutes, it's obvious her jaw gets really tired - she flutter sucks constantly and loses her latch over and over again. She always relatches without issue, but it doesn't last long.
I hope this will be the beginning of a solution! Much luck to the rest of you as well struggling with this.
I hope everyone finds a comfortable solution for this often frustrating issue!
Well, had her one month appointment today, and the ped checked her for lip and tongue tie. She was very confident that she in fact doesn't have either! I was really surprised, but I did know that even if she did have it, it wasn't severe, so I suppose we're good to go. She's very knowledgeable, so I trust her judgment.
We talked about the things Norah has been doing re: her latch, and we're thinking it could be that she needs some more proper suck training. I think she really did form some bad habits in the NICU and it's just going to be a bit of a long road getting her there. Ah, well. At least pumping is going well! I have a referral for a LC again if I want it, but I'm going to talk to my midwife first at my 6 week appointment next week, since she's also a certified LC who runs the local La Leche League meetings.
Serafina, that is awesome! Norah is 8 pounds 9 ounces, meaning she's gained 2 1/2 pounds in one month since she was born. I'm pretty pleased with that, and the pediatrician is too. :) Obviously, she's starting out a bit behind, what with being only 6 pounds at birth, but man, she's catching up! :)
Been nursing frequently today, and I'm definitely noticing that she's a bit gassier because of it. :( My letdown is pretty fast, and I think she's kinda gagging on all the milk and swallowing too much air. But her latch is better, and I've been able to pump quite a bit after she's done eating. What I'm doing at the moment is nursing her on both sides, and then giving her an ounce or so of pumped milk if she's still hungry. Then, I pump if I can, usually about half the time. I figure that way my breasts are getting all the stimulation they need, and she's getting plenty of milk. Time consuming, but it works!
I don't know what to do about the gassiness. More frequent burping, I suppose. Or I might hand express some before I feed her? We have gripe water, I can give her that more frequently maybe.
BTW, hand expressing is one of the most useful skills I've EVER learned. It was tricky to pick up, but I'm so glad I did, because it's so useful!
Oral surgeon appt tomorrow morning. I'm nervous. If he recommends revising the lip and/or tongue it will be so nerve-wracking. Plus we have our 6-week follow-up appt with the midwife later in the day. I hope it's not all too much for both of us (or all three, really, since DH is coming to both!).
How long do you guys pump for? I heard you were supposed to pump until pretty much empty but I've tried up to 40 minutes and they never seem to empty. I used to just pump for 12 minutes every time but I got a clogged duct so I guess I wasn't going long enough. Now I'm doing 20 minutes but they still don't seem empty. Oh and my clogged duct is back.How do you know when to stop?
superbeans - Yay about the shield! I pretty much continuously get drips as well, so I've set myself a rule where if it's flowing or if the drips are frequent, I keep going, but if they're slow, I stop. Usually about 10-15 minutes. But what I've been doing lately and what's really helping is doing a 'power hour' where I pump for ten minutes, then rest ten minutes, then pump ten minutes, etc., until an hour passes. This seems to empty me out better and ups my supply. I do it at night when my husband is home to take care of the kiddo. Nothing ever really gets rid of my clogged ducts though except for her nursing. Pumping only relieves them temporarily. However, when I was using the shield, she still cleared out the duct no problem, so I bet that will help you!
And I COMPLETELY understand the crying baby while pumping thing. It makes me feel so bad. :( And it's pretty much just that she wants me to hold her. I usually try and wait to pump until she's sleeping, but that doesn't always work out.
slammerkin - best of luck!
Ok, we saw the oral surgeon this morning. He said her tongue looks good, and she does have some minor tightness at the lip, but that it's not severe enough to cause her any problems in the future (dental, speech, etc). He said we could clip the lip, but that he really didn't think the potential benefit would be worth it right now. He said she DOES have a very high arched palate, which can make it hard for babies to get good suction. Since she is healthy and gaining, and I don't have severe nipple trauma, just some discomfort, he recommended we wait a bit longer and see if the breastfeeding continues to improve. I was kinda hoping for a "silver bullet" fix for our issues, but he really didn't think it would be that for us. If things get worse or anything before she gets to 3 months of age then we can revisit the issue of the lip. I'm comfortable with this recommendation for now. Her latch has improved somewhat over time, though it's still far from perfect. Hopefully it will continue to get better over the next couple of weeks. Everyone says that a lot of latch issues just resolve with time, so we'll see.
I feel like I am waayyy behind ya'll on the pumping/freezer stash thing. I haven't pumped a single time since the day after my milk came in. I seriously need to get on this and introduce a bottle to get her used to that for when I go back to work. DH wants to have a practice day soon for him to be alone with her all day, since he'll be home with her when I return to work. Tonight I'm gonna get the pump all ready and the parts sterilized, read up on storing milk, and then tomorrow I will try pumping, probably in the morning.
Edited by slammerkin - 11/20/13 at 1:45pm
I definitely see the U shaped lip when she cries, but the tongue tie must be posterior and not very severe, because she can reach the top of her mouth with the tongue. The lip tie is obvious and I can tell it's making the latch imperfect because the upper lip doesn't flange all the way out and air seeps in, causing frequent burping being needed. Except at night when she dream feeds and the relaxed, deep, rhythmic nature of the suckling is pretty perfect despite upper lip not being able to totally flange out.
I hope the ear nose throat specialist tomorrow will be able to give a encouraging prognosis about rectifying the lip tie.
Baby girl can finally latch on all by herself though she needs help at times. Things seem to be going smoother, she yells at me less now when I do her stretching/rubbing of her lip and tongue which is good. She continues to have a harder time in the evening before bed, nothing seems to calm her and she keeps rooting for the breast, I offer it and she keeps popping on and off and screaming, but this is only in the evening, otherwise shes doing so well. Anyone else have fussy babes in the eve?
I always imagined that nursing would be so easy the 2nd time around considering I nursed lil man over 2 yrs....completely different this time, its definitely been a learning experience for sure!
Jasper is also fussy in the evenings (6pm to midnight, something like that). I don't feel like it's colic, exactly. At least it's not colic in the unidentified crying kind of way. He sucks so much air when he nurses that I would be shocked if he DIDN'T have a fussy time of day. I'm working on learning what works best to get the gas out, but for now we're still experiencing a lot of unhappy baby times. Not fun, but I know it will pass.
Lily gets crabby in the evening too sometimes.. It's mostly if she has some gas or needs to poop. Sometimes a little gripe water helps her to feel better, other times she just wants to nurse allllllll evening. She had her one month check up yesterday (actually 5 weeks) and is up to 8 lbs 15 oz, and 21 inches long! I can't believe how much she's grown. I'm in denial that her newborn clothes aren't going to fit for much longer :(
Iri, I'm glad nursing/latching is so improved for you!
Irielyn - Norah does that exact thing in the evenings as well. I think for her it might be a combination of a little gas and being overtired, but I'm not sure. I know that the wanting to breastfeed with the latching and unlatching is maddening, so I feel your pain. :/ It makes me feel like something's wrong with me... and then I check and I've still got milk coming out, or I offer her a bottle and she does the exact same latch/unlatch and scream thing. So it isn't the boob, and I'm sure it isn't for you either. In the end, usually only swaddling and rocking/shushing her works.
I read somewhere it might be growth spurt behavior? I don't think it's gas for us, because I know her behavior when she's gassy and she's not doing any of those things like straining or pulling her legs up.
dahlia - I understand! I was changing the baby yesterday and started going through a stack of clean newborn sleepers in the laundry basket to find her something to wear... I had to step back and really look, and then I realized she wouldn't fit into any of them anymore. So sad! But at least I get to console myself with the fact that I have plenty of 0-3 cute stuff that she can wear now. :)
Ava was doing (and still is) the crazy wanting-to-nurse-but-crying-and-pulling-off-every-time thing too. I think it's just a desire to suck, and getting milk each time keeps pissing her off. If I offered her a full boob she would protest wildly. If I offered a fairly empty boob repeatedly for a couple of hours she would take it more willingly because she wouldn't get as much milk. We have finally started giving her a pacifier (she couldn't figure out what to do with it earlier anyway) and she sucks it like mad. I kind of feel like the pacifier is "cheating" and I SHOULD be giving her the breast, but it's so hard when she keeps fussing at the breast like that. :(