Advice and prayers - nursing issues - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Baby Luke is now 12 days old and has continued to lose weight. He was 8,14 at birth, then went down to 8,6 and 8,3...now today he was 7,5. He hasn't pooped in five days and is not having as many wet diapers as he should.  I have been really focusing on the nursing the last few days to try to make sure he's getting enough milk.  I've been nursing him as often as he wants and also making sure my diet is robust .  I'm also drinking a couple of cups of fenugreek lactation tea daily.

 

The problem seems to be that his strength has waned to the point where he just can't get the milk he needs, so our midwife came today and we're starting an aggressive plan to get things going in the right direction.  His body temp dipped down into the 96's this morning so we have cranked the heat up and are keeping him well bundled with his hat on. When she left it was up to 98 so that was great that he was able to respond well and quickly.

 

The really good news is that we were able to pump 2 oz out of each breast after he nursed (we also did a before/after weight check and he had only gotten a couple tenths of an ounce of milk) and then DH got 2 oz of the pumped milk in him with a bottle and now he's taking a great nap.  Our plan is to nurse and then bottle feed while pumping, every 2 hours for the next few days or until his weight has really rebounded. I have to say I shed a few tears during our initial conversation with our midwife today as she was using words like serious, critical, imperative. And then before we tried pumping she also laid out formula supplementation as a possibility which is my worst nightmare, esp with the food intolerance issues my other kids have had. The midwife feels like once he's getting the calories in his belly his energy will rapidly start to improve and his nursing will become more productive, so she sees this as a very short term thing but something we need to take very seriously. So fortunately I have enough of an assortment of pumping supplies and bottles around here that DH just needs to sterilize and then we're pretty much set. She left her electric pump with me to use and she also left her baby scale which we'll use to weigh him after 24 hours. She says he needs to have gained a half ounce at the minimum or we will have to take him in to the Dr. but she feels like he will respond well to this and we'll see more than a half ounce gain.

So prayers, etc would be greatly appreciated.  I am worried about this little guy. I feel like he just needs to get stronger and things will fall into place...am just hoping that it's not a more serious underlying problem.  She poked his heel to gather blood for the newborn screen which we had previously declined. It identifies metabolic disorders and thyroid issues, where babies can't process their food so she thought it would be good to be on the safe side and test for those things. :(  I try to just focus on the positive, especially that my body is making enough milk for him.  if we have the supply at hand then it's really just a matter of getting it IN him until he is strong enough to do it himself.
  I try not to let my mind wander over to worrying that it might be something bigger.

 

As an aside we think the main reason he's had so much trouble getting enough milk is that I have really big nipples, and latching has been tricky.  That will be an issue until he is stronger and his mouth is a little bigger!  My nipples weren't this big last time around so clearly the last three years of nursing had an effect on them. :)

 

I know issues like this are really common, I just am really shocked that it's happening to me as I nursed my other two children for 3 years each and never had any issues beyond the run of the mill latching adjustments and sore nipples. I even tandem nursed for 9 months.  They were both big babies that got so nice and fat from my milk, I was always proud of what a good job my body did nourishing them.

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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hug2.gif  I know things will work out for you.  Just keep chugging the milk into him.


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Old 10-08-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Prayers and good thoughts that this is all short-lived and he is nursing like a champ in no time.  It's gotta be difficult, I know I would feel the same way in your position.  *hug*


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Old 10-08-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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I went through this same thing with my 4 week old. And I did shed tears and at one point called DH and said "You have to stay home from work until this is resolved!" (We have 3 other young kids, so I needed him to take care of the other kids while I concentrated on nursing). My daughter gained weight very (emphasis on very) slowly. She also had jaundice and was a preemie, so those things were working against her (she lost about 17% of her weight). I had her nurse on each side for a few minutes, so she'd get the more fatty milk, then pump, and just keep working with her. It was frustrating, there were daily tears, and sleepless nights, but within a few days she was nursing better and you could see a change in her.. less tired, opening eyes more, crying for feedings more, etc. I did break down and buy formula, which we've rarely used, and I was concerned about nipple confusion, and that she'd prefer the bottle (she was also in the NICU the first 4 days of her life, so we already were behind with breastfeeding around the clock).

 

At this point, I give her a bottle maybe once every few days, and she's much better at nursing. She's a slow nurser, so it's not uncommon for us to have long nursing sessions (40 minutes each side). This is baby #4 and I went through this exact issue with #1, he's almost 6 and he's healthy, and he was a slow nurser as well.

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and CamilleBethany, for sharing your story. It makes me feel a lot better. I am so glad to hear that your little one has recovered so well. My first baby was a slow nurser like that too, feeding sessions were regularly 45 minutes to over an hour.  I too am worried about nipple confusion esp with my nipples being how they are, but that is one of my more minor worries at this point.  I have already noticed him napping so much more soundly than he usually does, since he has gotten two feeds of 1.5 oz each of breastmilk from a bottle. He usually cat naps between short feeds and it is all I can do to keep him awake at the breast, he was only occasionally getting a good feed at the breast and it was usually in the wee hours of the morning.  So it makes me feel relief to see him fully satisfied.  I am very emotional today, amazing how something like this changes your perspective so radically. I was really expecting to see an increase at the weigh in and it was such a huge shock to see he had lost almost a pound in only four days.

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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This is scary to you mom, but is also serious for the baby as the midwife said.  My first son was born 11 lb 4 oz, and my milk came in right away and I was making tons.  He just wasn't latching right and could not get enough into him.  Unfortunately, he got jaundiced and his providers did not check his bili levels or his weight until he was 6 days old.  By then, he had dropped to 8 lbs, was severely jaundiced and dehydrated, and really too weak to nurse.  The doctor recommended pumping or formula and bottle feeding him 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours.  He started to get better but it was not enough and he ended up in the NICU for a week for the bili and dehydration.  So yes, this is serious if it doesn't get turned around soon.

 

After he was out of the hospital, we worked with a great lactation consultant in our area who weighed babies after every feeding, and I used a nipple shield for a bit before weaning him off of that, as well as "finger feeding" to improve his suction.  She was truly amazing.  Had I seen her in his first few days, all would have been fine.  From my son's whole situation, I learned that nipple confusion really isn't that much of an issue when you are dealing with a slow gaining baby.  Latch and better suction can always be improved later with the right techniques.  Weight gain and getting enough nutrition into them is number one.  If you have a lact. consultant in your area, I'd highly recommend it, though your midwife seems to be giving you some very useful advice. 

 

Good luck, and hope you can give some good updates in the coming days!


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Old 10-08-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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Something very similar happened to our DD as well. She would sleep all day, then cluster feed and scream at night. She also was not gaining weight. My pediatrician advised that I start nursing her every hour and a half during the day. I also got some fenugreek capsules (I think they are more powerful than the tea). Well, it worked. She gained 13 oz in 10 days. She also sleeps better at night and is awake during the day. Good luck! I'm praying for you!

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Old 10-08-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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I had a client that experienced this same issue. Baby didn't have a good latch (flat nipples) and he continued to lose weight. She could pump plenty of milk, so I suggested she pump and feed him the breastmilk from the bottle. He began growing and thriving because he was getting mommy's very creamy breastmilk although he was never able to properly latch. She finally came to the conclusion that WHAT he was being fed was more important the HOW he was being fed. He was still getting the best milk there is!

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Old 10-09-2011, 04:33 AM
 
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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Big hugs... how is his weight today?

 

My dd2 was a very "sleepy" newborn and I had to use every trick in the book to get her nursing and /keep/ her nursing.  It didn't get as serious as your situation, but it was still tough.  Hang in there!  Naked nursing, block feeding to get more hindmilk, cutting out dairy in my diet, and watching the clock to make sure we were nursing at least once an hour eventually paid off.  Also, I know it's nearly impossible, but do try to relax too... a relaxed mama makes more milk, and encourages relaxation in the babe.  Try to take warm showers, ask for a foot rub while you nurse, pull out some fun magazines or favorite stories or favorite dvds, grab some tea and oatmeal cookies, whatever you can to keep your own health and energy up.  Stay hydrated and hang in there! 

 

 

(we eventually learned that dd2 had a brachial nerve injury during the birth and that this may have played a part in her sleepiness/lazy latch... it's not "serious" and there isn't much you can do about it beyond chiropractic or CST, but it may be something to keep in the back of your mind down the road)


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Old 10-09-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good news first - Luke gained 3 oz in 24 hours due to pumping after each nurse (every 2 hours during the day and 3-4 at night) and feeding him the pumped milk with a bottle. He took about 12 oz from the bottle over 24 hrs and then whatever he was able to get from the breast. So that is great, very promising.

 

The main challenge today is that my supply isn't keeping up. I have gotten less and less each time I pump, usually less than the 1.5 oz he usually takes from the bottle. So my husband is buying some soy milk formula (due to my other kids' issues digesting cows milk protein) and we'll mix that with whatever I can pump for each feeding. I am doing everything under the sun to build my supply and am hoping it responds soon of course. I have been pumping with an electric pump every 2 hours, drinking tons of fluids, including fenugreek tea, drinking oat water (water that has had raw oats soaking in it) and eating oatmeal, and my husband is bringing me More Milk Plus tincture which I will take in addition to continuing the tea. Also today he's picking up a Medela Symphony to rent as the one I have is an old Pump in Style and isn't up to pumping both breasts at once.

 

So just hanging in there, most important thing is that baby is responding really well and has been sleeping well too. Also maintaining his temp well.  I just keep telling myself this is temporary. I still have gotten cuddle time with my little guy but it's just not the same so I am emotional and missing him. It's also been tough on my other children as all of our attention has been on the baby all weekend long. My daughter (3.5) was a wreck by bedtime last night after receiving very little attention all day and spending a great deal of time in front of the TV. :(  Temporary, temporary, temporary.

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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Great news! You are right about it being temporary. It sounds like you are doing a great job! Hang in there smile.gif
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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Gracecody! I wish I saw this yesterday cause I went through the same thing right after Chloe was born. She was falling off the breast after nursing for only a short while and I dont think she was ever getting any hindmilk. She was what my lactation consultant called, "a poky feeder" and I would have to keep her awake to feed and waking her up was near impossible to do. It really scared me a lot!!! This is my third baby and I never had any issues with either of my two babies before her. You did the right thing by pumping and feeding him the pumped milk! I had to do the same but we chose to use tube feeding instead with the tube inserted next to my nipple. She picked up energy within twenty four hours and began feeding stronger each time. Here is something that really helps a lot:

 

http://www.motherlove.com/product/5100-More-Milk-Plus-Capsules.html

 

Ingredients:

 

(fenugreek seed, blessed thistle herb, nettle herb, fennel seed, non-GMO soy lecithin, modified vegetable cellulose, coconut oil)
All Herbs Certified Organic

This product does not contain any milk, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or gluten.

 

My LC (who has been doing her job for 30 years and is the mother of 8!) said she used to advise fenugreek tea but got so-so results. She said since she has been putting moms on this formula she hasn't had one mom tell her it didn't work. At first I took the advised 1 capsule 4x a day and now I just pop one or two a day when I feel like I could use a boost.

 

I really hope by now he is picking up speed. Poor latch,less nipple stimulation, less milk, sleepy baby, weight loss...it's a yucky pattern. I wish you and your little guy the best!!!

 

 

(((HUGS)))

 

Debi


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Old 10-09-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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Just sending good thoughts. Hang in there!
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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I was also thinking maybe you could try the tube feeding if he is having a hard time waking because if he is getting the bottle in between your breast feeding I wonder how much milk he is actually getting rather than slipping him the tube then you know he is getting the extra amount you pumped PLUS his normal feeding. It may be what he needs to get him over the hump. It sounds like you got him there already if he already gained 3 ounces that quick but you just got me thinking is all since this happened to us so recently. I was also told that the reason they don't poop is because they retain all the milk for energy. Chloe still only poops once a day but its a pretty good size blowout...I breathe a sigh of relief still every time I see the mustard yellow seedy sweet mess. Which reminds me...is his poop mustard yellow yet? Hers wasnt until we got her over the hump. The color is an indication that they are getting the hind milk. I truly wish you guys the best...please update soon!


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Old 10-09-2011, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:) Thank you! I just started taking the More Milk Plus tincture today!

 

I will talk to my midwife about tube feeding. My baby is also spending more time nursing directly from the breast as he gets stronger. It's so encouraging to see. I feel like we're making progress but still have a long way to go here.

 

Where did you find the tube? I don't know a lot about it and am a little intimidated by the idea for some reason.

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Gracecody! I wish I saw this yesterday cause I went through the same thing right after Chloe was born. She was falling off the breast after nursing for only a short while and I dont think she was ever getting any hindmilk. She was what my lactation consultant called, "a poky feeder" and I would have to keep her awake to feed and waking her up was near impossible to do. It really scared me a lot!!! This is my third baby and I never had any issues with either of my two babies before her. You did the right thing by pumping and feeding him the pumped milk! I had to do the same but we chose to use tube feeding instead with the tube inserted next to my nipple. She picked up energy within twenty four hours and began feeding stronger each time. Here is something that really helps a lot:

 

http://www.motherlove.com/product/5100-More-Milk-Plus-Capsules.html

 

Ingredients:

 

(fenugreek seed, blessed thistle herb, nettle herb, fennel seed, non-GMO soy lecithin, modified vegetable cellulose, coconut oil)All Herbs Certified OrganicThis product does not contain any milk, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or gluten.

 

My LC (who has been doing her job for 30 years and is the mother of 8!) said she used to advise fenugreek tea but got so-so results. She said since she has been putting moms on this formula she hasn't had one mom tell her it didn't work. At first I took the advised 1 capsule 4x a day and now I just pop one or two a day when I feel like I could use a boost.

 

I really hope by now he is picking up speed. Poor latch,less nipple stimulation, less milk, sleepy baby, weight loss...it's a yucky pattern. I wish you and your little guy the best!!!

 

 

(((HUGS)))

 

Debi



 

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Old 10-09-2011, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He had a good poop  yesterday (first in five days) but hasn't yet today. However he has had some smears in his diaper and they are yellow! So we are getting there. You are right, I have never been quite so happy to see poop in all my life.

 

Did you have much trouble getting your supply up? I am too impatient I think. I have always had a problem with overabundant supply if anything with my two but I know that this baby not nursing enough during engorgement has  really taken a toll and I am hoping it can be reversed.

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I was also thinking maybe you could try the tube feeding if he is having a hard time waking because if he is getting the bottle in between your breast feeding I wonder how much milk he is actually getting rather than slipping him the tube then you know he is getting the extra amount you pumped PLUS his normal feeding. It may be what he needs to get him over the hump. It sounds like you got him there already if he already gained 3 ounces that quick but you just got me thinking is all since this happened to us so recently. I was also told that the reason they don't poop is because they retain all the milk for energy. Chloe still only poops once a day but its a pretty good size blowout...I breathe a sigh of relief still every time I see the mustard yellow seedy sweet mess. Which reminds me...is his poop mustard yellow yet? Hers wasnt until we got her over the hump. The color is an indication that they are getting the hind milk. I truly wish you guys the best...please update soon!



 

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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:) Thank you! I just started taking the More Milk Plus tincture today!

 

I will talk to my midwife about tube feeding. My baby is also spending more time nursing directly from the breast as he gets stronger. It's so encouraging to see. I feel like we're making progress but still have a long way to go here.

 

Where did you find the tube? I don't know a lot about it and am a little intimidated by the idea for some reason.



 


I was also intimidated and well, angry over the whole idea. When it was presented to me by a nurse practitioner at the pedi office I didn't feel the need to do so and I was almost offended. But two days later and barely an ounce gained regardless of increased feeding time I caved in to my pride. Pumped and had DH fill the syringe with milk and we slipped it in while she nursed. I got the tube and 25cc syringe from the pedi office. I'm sure your MW could get you one if she thought it would benefit you both. Its just a tiny tube that attaches to a syringe. Thats it. My only thought for you was it would double his intake at feeding time rather than you miss the opportunity to nurse him. I would still pump between feedings anyway so I could have an extra 2 ounces to or so to tube while nursing and keep up the nipple stimuli with nursing and pumping...the more the better. I guess the idea of tube feeding to me made me feel like I had this sick weak little premie in a nicu. Not a healthy 8 1/2 lb full term baby. I had to let that go and realize it was only temporary. It only took a couple of days before I was able to rely on my own supply with just her nursing anyway. It's pretty hard to tube feed on your own anyway. I tried once and ended up wearing more than she drank! Which was hard to see cause you know what a chore pumping is! I'd say there is a learning curve to the tube feeding, she knew when it went in her mouth and she would reject it a few times until we slipped it in on the right angle so she would suck the milk down and not spit it out. Totally worth it though. Her turn around was so fast! And that moremilk plus is a god send! I'm so glad to hear he is getting stronger! That is awesome and means he is getting more nutrition. They sleep more to preserve energy which means nursing less. It can be a big downhill spiral that happens so fast! I never expected any of this with a 3rd baby and no previous issues with nursing. Sounds like you are in the same boat. Well, being a week ahead of you guys or so I can say that my baby is doing 100x better now, my nipples are healed, she nurses like a Little piggy and she has gained over a pound in 2 weeks. Keep up the good work! You are already headed in the right direction! :-)

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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He had a good poop  yesterday (first in five days) but hasn't yet today. However he has had some smears in his diaper and they are yellow! So we are getting there. You are right, I have never been quite so happy to see poop in all my life.

 

Did you have much trouble getting your supply up? I am too impatient I think. I have always had a problem with overabundant supply if anything with my two but I know that this baby not nursing enough during engorgement has  really taken a toll and I am hoping it can be reversed.



 


I'll tell you what my LC told me. You successfully nursed to healthy babies previously, and as long as you haven't had any surgeries there isn't any reason you can't build it back up with some work. She said sometimes an over production on estrogen can effect milk supply or thyroid hormones but she felt it was just the cycle of poor latch (my sore nipples that gave it away!) started it all, which led to weak sleepy baby, weight loss, more sleep, no hind milk etc...It is proving to be so as well. Baby is doing great now and making nice yellow seedy poops and I am actually back to leaking like I use to with my other two babies. It took 2 weeks but I finally feel like we are normal. Her face is filling out nice and chubby again too. Keep up the fats in your diet. My LC said she didn't care if I was eating Oreos to get the calories she just wanted to make sure I wasnt on a skim diet cause I'd be producing skim milk! I didn't eat the oreos but I did have some ice cream! Yes baby is gassy and fussy but as long as she is wailing Im not worried about the dairy in my diet. To me a little fuss here and there is normal. Learning to digest food has got to be painful on a new body!

Well here is to nice yellow seedy poo, dripping boobs and full baby bellies!

Keep us posted and I will be sending little Luke good digestion vibes! :-)

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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You should be able to rent a supplemental nursing system from the LC or hospital, or contact your local LLL.  Otherwise, there are Medela systems that cost less than 20 dollars (http://www.nurturecenter.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1253 for instance).

 

Yay for the weight gain!  You go mama!  :)


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Old 10-10-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you again for the continued advice/info/support. It is making a huge difference to my mental state and I appreciate it so much.

 

So today's update - he gained 8 ounces over the past 24 hours! thumb.gif  His birth weight was 8,14 and he's up to just over 8 even now, having been down to 7,5 only two days ago.

 

Thanks to the Medela symphony and properly fitting breast shields, I am getting more from my pumping sessions, usually between 1.5 and 2.5 ounces every two hours. So that is *almost* enough, he needed 3 oz of formula over the past 24 hours to get through. Working on that! The more milk plus tincture does seem to have made a difference as I am starting to feel a let down when I get to that two hour mark. Yay.

 

I am definitely going to pursue the SNS as the original issues for us were big nipples/sleepy baby and I don't want him to start preferring the bottle as it's so much easier for him. We've already seen signs of that at a couple feeds, where he was very hungry but complaining at the breast.

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Old 10-10-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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As he gains weight he'll gain more strength to nurse better! I went so far as to get a dropper to feed my LO so she wouldn't get used to the ease of a bottle.

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Old 10-11-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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Good job Gracecody! thumb.gif

 

Here's a video about combining massage/compression with pumping to maximize production. It might be helpful. hug.gif

 

Also alternative feeding methods from Kellymom.


coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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Old 10-12-2011, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just updating here to hopefully close this one out!

 

We went to the pediatrician today for a once-over and weigh in, and Luke is now up to 8 lbs, 5 oz.  His birth weight was 8 lbs, 14 oz and he is 2 weeks + 2 days old today.  He has regained a pound since Saturday, that is really awesome. Also my supply is way up and I am regularly pumping 4 or 5 oz per session so that is getting me quite a bit ahead of him! He is taking about 2.5 ounces by bottle now. He's now up to 7-8 wet diapers a day which is great. Just today he started spending a lot more time at the breast and I backed off of the pumping a little bit. He is nursing much more productively, he is not nearly as sleepy. He is still a slow nurser and still not getting as much as he should but we are definitely making progress. He is not complaining at the breast at all and clearly feels very comforted there so I am not terribly worried about nipple confusion and weaning him off the bottle. I am just hoping that as we have better and longer nursing sessions he will gradually start taking less from the bottle. He is already wanting to go right back to the breast after the bottle so he can get some good hindmilk post-pumping and zonk out!

 

And best of all, he blessed us tonight (ha ha) with a GIANT POOP!!! He hadn't pooped since Saturday and not for five days before that so we were so happy!

 

This is one happy (and worn out) mama!

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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YEah!!! Congrats on all the hard work! It's just emotionally exhausting on top of the obvious physical, I know!!! He sounds like he is doing awesome. That is such wonderful news! Most excellent. :-)


And Baby makes five!!! grouphug.gif +dog2.gif x2!
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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All great news, Gracecody! Sounds like you've really turned a corner. I'm so happy for you. orngbiggrin.gif


coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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Old 10-13-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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That is so good to hear!  Very happy for you!


Love tocrochetsmilie.gifand have way to much yarn!   teapot2.GIF is always on at my place.  
Wife familybed1.gif, momma femalesling.GIF, teacher homeschool.gif and all that is inbetween to A b. 31/12/04,  W b. 27/10/06vbac.gif,  V b 17/01/09hbac.gif, and     G b. 09/09/11hbac.gif

 
 

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