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#1 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please. Please, please, please convince me not to stop breastfeeding.

I can't do this anymore. My darling DD feeds on the hour. She is 4 months old. She has been feeding on the hour for 2+ months. She didn't USE to eat on the hour, it was every 2 hours like clock work. Now she feeds on the hour, and sometimes more often. She won't eat for more than 7-10 minutes at the most during a feeding. I have tried switching sides, laying down when I feed her, nursing necklaces, changing positions, ect ect ect. She just won't do it.

I don't want to do this anymore. I literally spend a lot of the day in bed still nursing her, because it starts just as quickly as it stops with her. She gets mad REALLY fast if she doesn't eat. She won't take a paci if she would rather eat. All she wants, in her little world is to just be eating pretty much constantly. My DH and I are both at our wits ends. I am constantly engorged because she eats and eats and eats, gets milk started and then won't drain a breast. Or, she will have a few of these super short feedings and then DRAIN the hell out of it. She can't figure it all out, and I am so sick and tired of it.

I know it's what's best for her. But I can't even get meals in, or regular showers, or errands, or ANYTHING. It's amazing how much I CAN'T do because of this. I just want to brush my hair, and eat a meal on a semi-regular basis. I get to the point where I just give up, and I just don't even try to eat any meal in a given day except for dinner. Which, I can only imagine is messing with my supply.

Please. Pointers, tips, suggestions, camaraderie whatever. I don't know what to do here.
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#2 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Can you nurse her in a sling while doing other stuff (such as preparing food and eating it?)

Would you consider pumping and feeding ebm for some meals, while nursing at other times?

I'm wondering if there could be a formilk imbalance, or some other medical issue going on with your baby. How often are you switching sides when nursing her? Have you tried block feeding?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 20, Hannah, 19, and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#3 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Great big sympathetic for you. Those first few months are SO hard. Okay- thoughts- in no particular order. You say you're getting engorged- that's a good sign that supply is not a problem. Is she having enough diapers? What does her poop look like? How often does she poop? Is she showing any signs of reflux? Does she show any signs of reflux? Reflux babies like to nurse all the time to keep the acid down. Do you have a sling or carrier so that you can walk around while she nurses and maybe do a few things? Do you have someone who can come help for a couple of hours a few times a week? You need a break to eat and get a shower while you know that babe is held and safe.

hang in there!

-Angela
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#4 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post


Can you nurse her in a sling while doing other stuff (such as preparing food and eating it?)

Would you consider pumping and feeding ebm for some meals, while nursing at other times?

I'm wondering if there could be a formilk imbalance, or some other medical issue going on with your baby. How often are you switching sides when nursing her? Have you tried block feeding?
We feed off one side at a feeding. I have always done this because we initially did block nursing for in imbalance in the beginning.

I have to use a nipple shield, because I unfortunately was started on one in the hospital. Not knowing what I know now, I just did it. Now she REFUSES to nurse with out it. It makes it really hard to nurse in a sling, especially because she is one of those babes that likes to nod her head back and forth a lot and she knocks the nipple shield off (yet another thing that is driving me to the brink of insanity.)

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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Great big sympathetic for you. Those first few months are SO hard. Okay- thoughts- in no particular order. You say you're getting engorged- that's a good sign that supply is not a problem. Is she having enough diapers? What does her poop look like? How often does she poop? Is she showing any signs of reflux? Does she show any signs of reflux? Reflux babies like to nurse all the time to keep the acid down. Do you have a sling or carrier so that you can walk around while she nurses and maybe do a few things? Do you have someone who can come help for a couple of hours a few times a week? You need a break to eat and get a shower while you know that babe is held and safe.

hang in there!

-Angela
Lots and lots of diapers. She has a dirty one at least once a day, sometimes 2-3. She was having green diapers for a few days BUT, she had a cold. I think it was that and not an imbalance issue.

She shows no real pronounced signs of reflux now, although she did in the beginning. She refuses a bottle so we can't really do pumping, and I can't get very much at all when I pump. (I just did, and got less than 2 oz from BOTH SIDES).
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#5 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should add. I really don't want to quit. But I can't keep up with it like this. This is insanity, and I am losing myself in all of this.
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#6 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Mama, I know how frustrated you must be. I was there. I came to MDC for the same help. I kept going because mothers here are encouraging and supportive (usually). Anyway, I stuck it out and I believe it was the best thing I could've done for dd. Maybe your dd is having a growth spurt. Maybe she's teething and needing extra comfort. Either way, remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hang in there, Mama. You might save yourself a lot of grief in the end.
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#7 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Sabby! Listen, if you can hang in there, this will pass, and will, in hindsight, become a phase! Your super-intelligent little girl is just demanding what she needs, she is too young to know that it is hard for you. I am not knowledgeable about nipple shields, but maybe someone else here can help you figure out how to wean from it. Eat as well as you can, do as little else as you can get away with, go out with Autumn so you are not always home, and hang on! Big from me, I know it's intense, but you will regret if you quit now. (she said, with a giant preschooler hanging from her boob)

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#8 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks both of you. I just wish this 'phase' hadn't lasted for 2 freakin months. That would be one long growth spurt. :
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#9 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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if you move to winnipeg it will all get better instantly. enough of this seattle mumbo jumbo.



hey, you asked for advice, didn't you?
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#10 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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no advice unfortunately, just s and :guhs to you

Kelly, :Mama to Kevin, 10/1/05 & Seth, 7/7/06. ::
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#11 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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Is she urping up at all? Is it curdly or just plain old wet and looks like milk?

My aunt with 8 kids told me in my first week of motherhood that if they nurse for 7 minutes she feels they're doing good. That was good advice. The books are wrong on this point for many of us. 7 minutes is good. My son was a quick nurser all along the 18 months. (I think I might have a fast letdown and flow).

I experimented with how to rotate breasts so he got more hindmilk which helped him go longer stretches between feedings. Eventually we ended up nursing one side per session so he got the full effect of hindmilk. Then later on when he got even bigger, he would take both sides and drain them both.

Is it tied in with a sleep disruption problem coupled with a suck-to-sleep association!?? That was my problem with my first (I have another new baby now). Step 1) he wanted to suck to sleep (S2S) because that's what I taught him. Mainly, I didn't try out other soothing methods because the sucking worked and I didn't know better, was lazy at night. Step 2)He would then rouse from sleep and expect the nipple in mouth, then wake because it wasn't. I didn't know how long an infant CAN sleep when they DON'T have the S2S association, so I assumed his short naps were normal (which I supposed they could be in some babies). Step 3) He then wanted to nurse more often because he was waking up more often and I would nurse him back to sleep furthering the S2S association problem. BEGIN vicious cycle. Problem is, he liked sucking to start with so it wasn't ALL my fault. I wish I had at least TRIED the Happiest Baby on the Block methods to soothe at night and try to break the S2S early on. Breastfeeding is the first discipline. I try to parent very gently, however, discipline I feel is just a learning process. I might suggest putting the baby in a bassinette at night (just not right next to you) so that you HAVE to wake up when she cries (sometimes you latch them on when they are *just* fussy not hungry and this starts the S2S problem. Learning "fussy" vs. "distressed" or hungry is key.) I started my problem by latching on umpteen times per night and not even knowing it because I was half asleep!

Maybe try doing what you can to get more feedings close together and let them begin to be 1 right after the other so that you view a "session" as several on-off-on-off. Settle down and relax for awhile and stage your OWN nurse-in. Then, knowing she's FULL get her to sleep some other way, even if she fusses or cries in the sling (but giver her something else to suck on). Also focus on giving her some other cues to how she goes to sleep. My DD goes to sleep quite easily with the bathroom fan on I think because I trained her to do that by being consistently in there when I wanted her to go to sleep (it's always dark and the fan noise is soothing to her). Focus on the *last step* just before they nod off to avoid the S2S. Learn more in The No Cry Sleep Solution by Pantley.

Also, around 3-5 months she may find her hands and suck on those. It's a tough choice whether to encourage that. I did with my son by giving him a cloth lovey (cloth is easy for them to bring up to their mouth and it's like a reflex) and he sucks his thumb now and I don't forsee that changing until he's maybe 4(?). I don't want to have to do something to break him of it, other than some gentle re-training at most. But, it helped us get through some rougher times and eventually he could go back to sleep a little better with the thumb. He's still not a good sleeper, some of it must be personality.

Not so my daughter, she is a dream. She naturally doesn't want to suck, so no S2S problems here. Coincidentally (?) she also sleeps long stretches. Being able to compare these 2 babies makes me realize that babies are SO very different from each other.

Your baby may have a strong suck need and you may consider giving her something else to suck on. That's why I asked those first 2 questions. She may be overfeeding due to wanting to suck?
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#12 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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but seriously, jack did that for a few months. i wanted to tear my hair out. i think i screamed a few times. it sucked. literally.

see? i'm living proof that you can survive it and will laugh about it later.
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#13 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Here's a random thought that just popped into my head: let's say you did wean. Now how easy is it going to be to comfort an infant who needs to suck alot, has to have bottles of formula prepared, etc. When I ran a home daycare, the hardest thing was comforting little ones, I always used to suckle my own kids to make them feel bettter. Liv and I have been butting heads all afternoon, but are now both calm because we are sitting and nursing.

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#14 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SabbathD View Post
I know it's what's best for her. But I can't even get meals in, or regular showers, or errands, or ANYTHING. It's amazing how much I CAN'T do because of this. I just want to brush my hair, and eat a meal on a semi-regular basis. I get to the point where I just give up, and I just don't even try to eat any meal in a given day except for dinner. Which, I can only imagine is messing with my supply.
By the way, I felt this same way. My son was sleeping on my lap for every bit of sleep he got! I only assume that the sleeping issues were totally tied with the breastfeeding and S2S causes.
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#15 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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Hugs to you mama!
I have found with my 2 oldest that by the 4th month, I was going insane, very emotional and ready to pull my hair out, then one day- it stopped.
I am convinced that the first 4 months are the time where mama and baby get to know eachothers rhythms and develop a comfortable nursing relationship. It just takes time, and like others have said, this too will pass, just a little bit longer, you can do it!!!!!!

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#16 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Sabbath, quick thought. You say that you can't pump because your babe won't take a bottle. If she won't take a bottle of EBM, you might be setting yourself up for even worse feeding problems and frustrations trying to bottle feed her only.

Just a thought. I'm sorry this is so tough. I remember those days very well

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#17 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I should add. I really don't want to quit. But I can't keep up with it like this. This is insanity, and I am losing myself in all of this.
Oh man, how well I recognize these feelings. The early months with my son are so similar to this... I thought I would go crazy - except I had gone back to work, so I did have breaks in that sense.

I don't have any profound words of wisdom, but I did want to add my reply. This too shall pass... and then one day wou'll wake up with a two year old begging to nurse. (not a lot of consolation, huh? )

Whoamama is right in that switching feeding methods wouldn't be much of a help in the matter (as you know, of course).

My first thought was "growth spurt" though you're right in that it sounds like an awfully long growth spurt. Do you know of a LLL in your area? Getting her off the nipple shield would be a huge benefit; then you would be able to nurse her in a sling more easily.

Sabbath dear. I wish I had more helpful advice.

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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#18 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:25 PM
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I don't really have much advice for you, but I can certainly empathize and sympathize with just how demanding (and hungry) little babies can be. I have a 4 m.o. too, and I've just started working again.

My showers come at the end of the day after she's asleep, if at all. It's gotten to the point that I will just give myself a wipedown before I change her in the morning, and forget about washing my hair or shaving my legs (though, honestly, I was never very consistent with the leg shaving anyway), and wash my hair once a week or so.

Re: popping on and off for little sips -- Mine does the "pop-on, pop-off, pop-on pop-off, the popper" a lot when she really just wants to cuddle but isn't very hungry. Or if she needs to burp. (Took me a while to figure that out.) Maybe just stop trying to nurse when she gets into the "popping" mode and walk around with her instead?

I am a weak pumper as well, and she refuses to take a bottle anyway, so I've slacked off completely now for the past month - so I can totally empathize with you on that point as well.

Maybe you could visit an LC or LLL group and work on weaning from the nipple shield? I think some mamas here have had success with that by starting out with the shield but then removing it once baby gets going and gradually reminding baby that milk comes from mom not silicone.

And maybe LLL would be a good place for some support in general, not just technical advice.

And hey, if you can stay here as an "unpopular" and amass 2800 posts, you've gotta be able to outlast one little baby, right?
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#19 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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im so sorry..my dd was the same way. I'm not sure what i will do if ithappens again. no way i can go through it again. hugs.

CPST
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#20 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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s s s

We had a phase like that for about 6 weeks. Lucky me, it was while I was supposed to be packing to move! I've never been able to nurse in a sling, so I was so incredibly unproductive

What worked for me was to just let him be angry for a few minutes and eat every 65 minutes rather than 60. In another couple days I pushed it to 70. Mind you, he was used to 65 so it was only a couple of minutes that he was angry but I'd go outside for a little while, help him pet the cats, watch the water fill up in the washing machine, take a bath and anything else to just keep him distracted for a few minutes while we stretched the interval just a bit.

I'm sure purists of on-demand nursing would disagree with that tactic, but if the current habits are keeping you from eating, then nursing is not giving your babe all the good nutrition it could be.

Titus is now a strapping 27 pounds at 11 months, so I don't think he was hurt by it at all.
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#21 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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I just had to add that for being unpopular, everyone sure loves you! there were 5 posts added while I was typing my reply!
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#22 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SabbathD View Post
We feed off one side at a feeding. I have always done this because we initially did block nursing for in imbalance in the beginning.
See my previous long post. Try modified block feeding which is more like switching back and forth. Do the first breast. Unlatch her before she's ready, and switch sides (give verbal cue for her to learn "Switch!" so she learns to accept that she'll get the other breast now instead of getting upset that she's being taken off.) Do a small amount on the second breast, then switch again. I think there are multiple reasons for this, one of which is my own theory: keep them interested i.e. not bored and get more milk into them in one feeding--trying to discipline them to "sit down and eat" instead of nursing all day, i.e. be a grazer. But, my main point here is that if you ONLY do 1 breast per session, maybe the flow tapers down and then she quits only to get hungry again sooner. Keep her interested for as long as you can and do both breasts to make sure she knows there's more available. Stay seated and nurse as soon as she will get re-interested.

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I have to use a nipple shield, because I unfortunately was started on one in the hospital. Not knowing what I know now, I just did it. Now she REFUSES to nurse with out it. It makes it really hard to nurse in a sling, especially because she is one of those babes that likes to nod her head back and forth a lot and she knocks the nipple shield off (yet another thing that is driving me to the brink of insanity.)
Can you talk to a lactation consultant about how to get her off the shield? If you birthed at a hospital, the H's lac consult may talk to you for free.


Lots and lots of diapers. She has a dirty one at least once a day, sometimes 2-3. She was having green diapers for a few days BUT, she had a cold. I think it was that and not an imbalance issue.

She shows no real pronounced signs of reflux now, although she did in the beginning.
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She refuses a bottle so we can't really do pumping, and I can't get very much at all when I pump. (I just did, and got less than 2 oz from BOTH SIDES).
Try a cup instead of bottle. See Womanly Art of Breastfeeding or just get an infant BFing cup.

You can get more milk from pumping by practicing. I got more as I learned the pumping process on my own from just trying for many many times. Your flow can increase (faster, bigger letdown) if you time it right and as your baby also gradually increases her usage.

Whatever you try, stick with it! Sometimes you have to try something for a few days to know if it's working. Then try something else next week.

Oh, and think in terms of using whatever is the BEST time of day for you to get a break to TAKE IT and choose only 1 thing to accomplish. Those early days were the beginning of me not taking a shower every day, and sometimes only taking a bath as a way to de-stress (instead of doing housework). As a mother you will never go back to your former life and this is the beginning of YOUR discipline! You must learn to use your time wisely! Prioritize! I started on a totally different way of life as a mother, and I'll never be the same. The discipline of Motherhood is so new, and it will define you anew. This will pass! When your DD is 2 years old you'll be amazed how quickly it went. REALLY!
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#23 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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. You might also want to check into the possibility of reflux. Some babies will nurse and nurse and nurse just to keep that burning acid from going up into their throat. When my 1st was your DD's age, he was doing the same thing. I was pregnant at the time and did not know it. So please take a pregnancy test and make sure you know *for sure*. Until you figure out what is going on, you need to keep nursing her on demand and do NOT offer supplements unless it is expressed milk.
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#24 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jasmyn's Mum View Post
Maybe your dd is having a growth spurt. Maybe she's teething and needing extra comfort. Either way, remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hang in there, Mama. You might save yourself a lot of grief in the end.
1. Yes! We usually gain perspective later on about the previous phase with our child. Frustrations are answered later.

2. Nursing is a tool that's wonderful to have all the way through toddlerhood. Nursing them for their boo-boos or when they're just wigged out from no nap is really helpful! The later nursing times are worth the initial frustration.
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#25 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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I dunno. DD is bottlefed, I have to EP, but she ate pretty much every hour at that age. 1.5-2 hrs at the most. but then, she slept thru the night, so that helped. a lot. (she doesn't anymore!)
but I didn't eat regularly, shower regularly, I still don't get errands done as well as I used to. it's a huge adjustment, and yes it's HARD and it sucks (literally).
maybe work a little more on the bottle thing, have you tried different types of nipples? 2 ounces isn't bad, especially if you nursed not too long before that. then if your dh could give a bottle once in a while, you'd have a break to shower or do whatever. good luck. it WILL get better.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#26 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Try a cup instead of bottle. See Womanly Art of Breastfeeding or just get an infant BFing cup.
a shot glass or the cap for a bottle work well for cup-feeding. you just sit her up and feed her sips from the cup. it fills her up fast without the risk of nipple confusion, and she can't refuse it.
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#27 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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my son was just like that while we used the nipple shield (which for us saved our nursing relationship due to a tongue tie and very small baby).The milk transfer just isn't as complete, which leads to engorgement (and plugged ducts but that's another story). We were able to wean from the shield, though it took a lot of work. Esentially what I did was slip it off in the middle of the feed, and pretend nothing happened. The second he got frustrated I put it back on. We did that for several weeks until one day he just stayed on (and it was the longest feed ever at that point). We then worked on getting the sjield off earlier and earlier in the feed, until he could latch without it. It took us well over a month, though he eats much less frequently now (every 2 hours). I wish you the very best...TRY to get a break once in a while. I've noticed that if I get us out of the house he goes a little longer between feeds (maybe 2 1/2 hours or so), which seems like a huge break to me.
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#28 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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Another thought- if she likes nursing with the nipple shield so much, would she take the nipple shield as a pacifier?

Maybe try offering the same breast for 2 feedings in a row so she gets more hindmilk and stays full longer?

Another thing I'm having a hard time understanding is why you "can't get anything done" if she's nursing for 7-10 minutes out of every hour. That's 50-53 minutes of "not nursing time" each hour. I certainly understand that babies require care besides feeding, but maybe part of the problem is that you need to learn how to re-organize your time, and do housework and stuff in little chunks, rather than needing a whole hour to "do everything."

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 20, Hannah, 19, and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#29 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Don't throw in the towel just yet.

I left the hospital with a nipple shield, which was a last ditch effort to get my son to latch on (after trying a myriad of other options). The LC wasn't thrilled about it, but, hey, it worked. But it is frustrating. And with my, uh, generous cup size, manipulating both my breast and the #%^$ shield while trying to get the baby to latch on... AHHHHHHHHHHH!

I started trying to get my son off of it around 3 weeks. I would try not to use it at night. Whenever I tried to trick him during the day, it didn't work. Then, one night, the nipple sheild disappeared! (I think my roomate's dog carried it away!! LOL ) Anyway, since I was asleep, I just nursed him anyway... and it was like he knew it was gone... and I never used it again.

Visit a LC or a LLL leader to see about getting rid of the nipple shield. (I'm not knocking it, it allowed me to nurse, but things got easier for us once I got rid of it, once less thing to handle. And ds seemed much more content after nursing once it was gone.) If you qualify, many WIC offices have a LC on site you can see for free, if not, check with the hospital, you may be able to see a LC there.

I hope things work out for you... this is so hard, I know, I remember! BTW, my ds breastfed until he was 3!

Mom, wife, full-time student.  And tired.  DH, DS#1 (9/99) and DS#2 (9/09), and 2 dogs.

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#30 of 46 Old 11-09-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Another thing I'm having a hard time understanding is why you "can't get anything done" if she's nursing for 7-10 minutes out of every hour. That's 50-53 minutes of "not nursing time" each hour. I certainly understand that babies require care besides feeding, but maybe part of the problem is that you need to learn how to re-organize your time, and do housework and stuff in little chunks, rather than needing a whole hour to "do everything."
the problem really is that she's an unpop. her presence is required at the unpop thread, so her housework, hygeine and cooking all suffer. that is the sacrifice that us unpops have to make for our tribe. *tries to look noble*
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