I am the proud mommy of long awaited 3 week old Maegan Rain. We have a 9yr old son. I have questions, complaints and venting going on here! I am so tired, I feel at my wit's end, I am thinking of using formula and breastfeeding, and am desperate enough to risk a few minutes free time to ask for your awesome advice(some butt kissing here). My dd won't leave me alone, I know that sounds just awful and harsh and how much she needs me and how she just spent 9 months with me, I know. But I do need to make sure what I am doing is ok, etc.
First, she had a rocky start, so I feel very guilty thinking about using formula, she had miconium complications, colapsed lung, spent her first 3 days in the nicu, I was able to bf on her 2nd day in nicu. Then she was given a clean bill of health and after another 2 days in the hospital with me, we were sent home..
I know she is young, but is this normal....She will feed hungrily for 10-20 minutes then keep a latch with sleepy sucking for up to another 1/2 hour...I have only let it go this long a few times...usually when I myself was dozing in and out. Then she slepps for about 5 minutes or less and wants more. I have played this out for up to 4 hours before I burst into tears. I need to be able to at least go to the bathroom or get a drink, a refill, anything. I feel glued to the couch/chair/bed. And worse is I've been getting headaches and backaches. Other times she will feed 10-20 on one breast, get burped, spend 10-20 on the other (or the same, depending how fill I am), get burped, then want a third round, fine, she then gets burped, but then she wants a fourth round and I am getting desperate.
My dh is so supportive, but also frustrated that he can't console her, she has fallen asleep with him 2 times, once was with a bm filled bottle.
She has no pattern yet, I didn't expect one. Last weekend she ate and slept for 3 hour periods for 36 hours straight, I was able to rest and get things done. I am not stuck on getting things done, I and everyone has accepted the slack, and I do have some help, but I am simply looking for 5 minutes of uninterupted time. She seems to always want the breast, even as a pacifier. As soon as she falls asleep and realizes there is no boob in her mouth, she cries, and after 3 weeks I am too tired at any time of the day to rock or sway her.
A friend just bought me the maya wrap, but by the time I try to put her in it she is too fussy. I just missed a local LLL meeting. I believe in lots of attachment parenting, but also continuum concept lifestyle.
Tonight after a four hour eating frenzy, dh and I discussed giving her formula at nights, to fill her up. Then at least I will have a break and my breasts will too, so I can finally pump some for bottles. She latches well, and has taken a bm bottle a handful of times.
I am so tired, i hope I didn't ramble too much. Any advice would be apreciated! She is so grogeous, I don't feel any anger towards her, it's funny how that mothering hormone kicks in, if anyone else tortured me like this I would certainly end the relationship! lol. But she is just great and I've already fallen in love with her head shaking, eyes closed, nose flared, mouth open constant search for my boob!
Even if you missed the LLL meeting you can call the leader to discuss this. Best of luck and congratulations on your new babe!
My little boy did much of the same thing at first - he still loves to be latched on even when not eating but at first I felt like all I did was sit there with my top off!
I don't think it is a filling up issue, so I don't think the formula will be the answer...I think she needs the security of your breast right now...
It WILL get easier, I promise. 9 days is not very old. I would say go for it with the formula but that can just start other problems - problems with your supply (pumping is just not the same, especially at this early stage where it is all about getting the supply just right and personalized for her needs). It would be better for you to pump and give the ebm via bottle at night on occasion if she really is ok with going back and forth between bottle and breast.
I am no expert and others will probably have more expert advice. But, again - it will get better - you are doing a beautiful job just by nursing when she wants to.
One thing I have learned through nursing both of my boys - it is not just an eating thing. It is a bonding/comfort thing which is why these babes want to do it so much - they feel oh so safe while nursing...
Practically, you do need to be able to go to the bathroom and eat and sleep - if you are comfortable co-sleeping, do that - it is the best way to get sleep. Have dh help out by getting you snacks, drinks, etc. whenever he can. Set stuff up ahead of time as much as possible - drinks, remote control, magazines, whatever. Keep healthful yummy snacks nearby. Also, have dh wash his hands and offer a finger while you go to the bathroom, grab a quick bite, a shower, etc. Also, a pacifier may help. Our first son took a paci with no issues. Max, otoh, prefers fingers - ours, his, doesn't matter...
My pedi said it best - the baby's only job right now is to eat, sleep and poop. So just go with it as best as you can...and check in here as much as you can for advice and lots of support. You are doing so well!!
I would call your LLL leader even though you weren't able to go to the meeting and see if there's someone who could come over and evaluate her latch. Or you might want to call an IBCLC certified lactation consultant. Although it's very possible your baby just needs to comfort nurse and/or isn't very efficient at getting the milk out yet, it's also possible she doesn't have a very good latch and isn't getting much milk when she nurses, and therefore has to stay on a long time to get the milk she needs. Either way, it would be great to talk to a professional and see if there are any problems that can be addressed.
Three weeks is also about the right time for her first growth spurt, when she needs to nurse and nurse and nurse to get your supply up.
I think giving formula/bottles right now is not a great idea. First, it could lead to supply issues, especially if she's in the middle of a growth spurt and is nursing all the time to get your milk supply to match her needs. Second, it may lead to nipple preference issues where she may not want to come back to the breast once she gets much quicker gratification from the bottle.
Third, there is at least one study that shows that formula feeding changes the chemical and biological balance of the small intestine before the baby's body is ready, leading to possible infectious diarrhea and introduction of allergenic cow's milk proteins to the baby's gut.
Hang in there, it does get easier!!
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I agree with Kama'ina Mama, a pacifier is not a bad thing. We depend on it. If Maegan is gaining weight then you can be sure it is not a nursing issue, it is probably a very intense growth spurt. I think a little formula every now and then is better than you cracking and Maegan having formula all the time. You need a little break. You are a very dedicated Mom and it doesn't sound like you are going to just up and quit breast feeding altogether. If you are worried about her prefering formula to b milk, you could mix the two together so that the tastes will be more similar. Since she likes bfing so much, she wants to feed all the time for comfort and pleasure, she will still prefer you to a bottle anytime. Make sure that you use a bottle with a slow nipple for her age. She will get a lot more comfort if you are rested. (And how else will you ever manage to get time to fill a bottle?) Don't worry too much about messing with your milk supply with formula everynow and then, it will allow you to build a milk supply. You will find you your baby's expanding and contracting milk needs fairly gracefully anyway.
Congratulations and good luck with all this! Nat
Growth spurts make sense, and I hadn't thought about bf as more than eating, that it is for comfort too, poor thing. I feel great becuz she slept 4 straight hours lat night then we co-slept on the couch, (we co-sleepin bed too)then dh came home(working 3rd shift temporarily) and held her while I ate cereal(after her breakfast, lol) and she wasn't fussy at all!
She has gained weight, she was born 6-15, we left the hospital 5 days later at 7-2, then a week later her 1st checkup she was 7-12! But I am a big girl, and big breasted and she is so tiny!
I will call lll today.
I am mostly worried because I work at home and need to return to work next week, I have a small homedaycare(2-4 kids a day) and have no idea how I can manage right now.
I don't want to use formula, really, but if things don't improve I may use it some, but I think I will go week to week.
Things do look better when you've had four hours of solid sleep, lol!
Thanks so much!
It would be great if you could contact a LLL person and get someone to come help show you how to sling and nurse effectively. It will still require you to use one or both hands most of the time, but you'll be able to move around and supervise the other children.
Remember that after a while of comfort nursing, if you need or want to get up, it's ok to slip a finger in there, break the seal and slide her off to snooze for a while.
I know how tempting the formula must seem. Trust me, though, bottles are *not* your friend this early in the game if you want to continue breastfeeding. Your baby needs your milk and the comfort it brings her now -- and believe me, it makes toddlerhood sooo much easier, too, when they're nursing!
Hang in there. We'll be rooting for you!