HELP, I'm a human pacifier! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm calling the lactation consultant today also, but wanted to see if there were any pearls of wisdom I could collect here...

Conrad (ten days old) has gone from being the model nurseling, eating every 3-4 hours at night, to a constant nipple fiend who desperately needs to comfort suck. In the last 24 hours, I have not had more than 90 minutes between nursing sessions, and more often it is 45 minutes. It was a LONG NIGHT. This morning, in desperation, I gave him a pacifier. He's only ten days old and we have already worked through some challenges with his latch, and I hate to mess with that by giving him something else to suck on. At the same time, I'm so tired and desperate for him to go to sleep and leave me alone for an hour that I'm not being as vigilant about his latch as I should be, and my nipples are sore from the constant attention anyway.

Any thoughts on nipple substitutes, and/or ideas of how to get more rest for me? Help!
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#2 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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NO! The pacifier is a plastic mother-substitute, not the other way around. Your baby is probably going through a growth spurt and giving him a pacifier at this stage is likely to sabotage your milk supply and teach baby that he can't rely on you to meet his hunger needs. Keep the appointment with the LC, but in the meantime, take baby to bed with you to increase your sleep and use Lansinoh to help your nipples.
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#3 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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Congratulations!!!



Sounds like Conrad has hit his 10 day growth spurt and really needs to nurse. It is likely normal, and will get better once he has increased your milk supply by nursing a lot.

I hope the LC can give you some help with his latch, so your nipples won't feel as sore. Have you noticed what part of his latch is difficult? Someone here may have some ideas to tide you over.

Hang in there - you're doing great (And it sounds like Conrad is doing just what he needs to as well.)

Oops - for got to answer about the pacifier. Since this is likely a growth spurt, he needs to nurse and not have a pacifier. You may want to consider hiding it until you have the latch and your milk supply really well settled.
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#4 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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PP is right on the money. It feels like they are ALWAYS nursing those first few weeks or months even! I don't think I left the house for the first two months of DS's life! Just hang in there. And a LC will definitely help with the latch. It's hard but keep up with it!!!! Motrin and hot baths and showers were the best sore nipple remedies I found. Soothies are pretty good but they didn't cut the mustard for my girls
And if it seems like you might have a supply problem, try Mother's Milk tea. It worked wonders for us. I still drink it to this day eight months later!

Good Luck!
PS-Yes, no pacis until your nursing relationship has gotten better. I only gave my little one a pacifier due to his severe distaste for his carseat
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#5 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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You're not a human pacifier! Pacifiers are artificial breasts!!!

Your 10 day old is having his 10 day growth spurt! Your job right now is to nurse, nurse, nurse, and snuggle with him, and recover from childbirth. That's all you're supposed to be doing right now anyway! Nap with him if you can. Get somebody else to hold him for 10-15 minutes a day so you can shower. When he sleeps, you should be sleeping too.

I personally could never manage side-lying nursing before 3mo or so, so I would nurse sitting up in bed then put the baby down next to me and go to sleep. Or we'd nurse in a recliner and I'd doze off while holding the nursing baby. If you're able to nurse lying down, that would be even better- you can both go to sleep while nursing and not have to worry about getting enough sleep.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#6 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I had a constant nurser til around 3-4w. I have no idea when or what changed but one day I noticed I wasn't nursing all day long.

For sore nipples, have you tried wearing breast shells when you're not nursing? I wore them pre-emptively with this baby and haven't had any soreness.

I was also topless at home 24/7, that helped.

Hopefully the LC will help you.

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#7 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback... the latch issues we have had have been around getting enough of the nipple in his mouth. These seem resolved, but I'm still sore and need to continue being vigilant about the latch so that neither of us get sloppy.

Also, I would say that 75% of the time he actually is eating while at the breast, but the remaining 25% he really is just comfort sucking. No milk is being swallowed, no pause to gulp, just the constant flutter suck. I can be a trooper if he is actually EATING 18 hours a day, but I have a hard time just being something to suck on, KWIM?
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#8 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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Boy, those early weeks are tough.... it sounds like you're overwhelmed by the intensity of his needs and exhausted by their constancy. Your body has been through an enormous transformation along with your mind and heart - the newobrn period is really so brief, but it sure doesn't feel like that when you're living it.

I would encourage you to be careful about pacifier use, particularly if you've had latch difficulties. A baby who is sucking but not eating is "making milk for tomorrow" as an LC friend pointed out to me when I explained my exasperation with exactly the same thing. Right now, baby is making sure that you keep making lots and lots of milk for his needs - and to do that he needs to drain your breasts and stimulate your nipples.

Besides the supply side, a newborn is also still adapting to the outside world -you're the only familiar thing in it. Have faith that it will get easier (or there really would be no second children!) and go easy on yourself - perhaps a coupel days in bed with your babe will do you good .

Michelle, mama to Isabelle (03/04) and Tom (02/07)
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#9 of 19 Old 11-21-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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First few weeks are so hard... Keep nursing - it gets better!!! I didn't sleep for a full hour for the first several weeks - it's awful, I know... We gave in adn gave DD a pacifier when she was 9 weeks and nursing well. She has reflux and wants to suck, but will keep trying to suck when her tummy is full and she gets so upset and feels awful and throws up more, so she sucks happily on her binky now... But, we only introduced it AFTER we had a good nursing relationship going and I figured out her hunger cues so that I make sure she's eating enough...
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#10 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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My babe is 13 days old & I have similar issues... she falls asleep at the breast & it frustrates me because she'll cry if I take her off. so i put her back on & she falls asleep again... anyhoo, I digress...

Sore nipples:
My nipples were cracked & blistered & very very sore and my LC said to clean my nipples with water after BFing , and then put a tiny bit of Neosporin on them (baby has bacteria in her mouth). She said to not put the Lansinoh on after BFing because it would trap the bacteria in, but to put it on right before BFing instead.

My nipples cleared up in a couple days! They're still a little sore from latching issues, but they're SO much better than they were!

Cat
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#11 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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Only 25% "comfort" sucking at that age is very little. The first few weeks are just brutal. As mentioned- you are NOT a pacifier. A pacifier is a fake breast.

Hang in there!

-Angela
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#12 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Only 25% "comfort" sucking at that age is very little. The first few weeks are just brutal. As mentioned- you are NOT a pacifier. A pacifier is a fake breast.

Hang in there!

-Angela
: And you are still doing something even if he isn't feeding. Pacifiers lead to improper mouth development so even if he is just sucking it is helping his mouth develop properly while satisfying his instinct to suck.
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#13 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I agree with all the others. He is probably hitting a growth spurt right now. Also, babies at this age DO like to comfort suck a lot. It doesn't last forever!! I wouldn't mess with a pacifier. We would occasionally offer a pacifier after they were a bit older, but neither of my kids ever took to one (thank goodness!). The only time a pacifier worked for my DD was when she wanted to comfort suck, but my milk would let down and she would get upset because she didn't want milk. So, that was a time that the pacifier would work. My kids also were not thumb or finger suckers. I guess I was enough for them!!! I remember early on keeping track one day of how many times DD nursed and it was something like 17 times. So, the old "8 to 12 times a day" wasn't quite accurate for us in the early days. It does get better though. Especially after they find that there are things in the world BESIDES mama's breast. I used PureLan by Medela and put it on after each nursing session. It did wonders!
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#14 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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ITA with all the PP's. What you're describing is very normal. Hang in there!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#15 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Completely normal. Take solace in the fact that you have this wonderful, natural gift that allows you to comfort your baby. He NEEDS you! How wonderful to be needed and be able to give your sweet, tiny babe the comforting contact he needs. Hang in there.
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#16 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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I would talk to the lactation consultant, a person who is going to know the research on pacifiers and how they affect breastfeeding, about when it is ok to introduce a paci. My first dd used me as a human pacifier well into the second month of life and I was exhausted, sore, and in serious nipple and back pain. She would cry if she did not get to suck. She was colicky. She, also, suckled at times without swallowing. Her pediatrician, a strong breastfeeding advocate, told me it was ok to give her a paci. I think this was at 5 or 6 weeks of age. I was against them for all the reasons states but he convinced me that babies know the difference between a warm booby that has milk and a silicone substitute that does not. He was right. She took the paci and used it to suckle after she was done nursing and every thing was fine. She did not use it past age 12 mos or so and stopped all together just fine. No dental issues. I honestly do not think there are major problems with breastfeeding babies getting confused between a paci and a warm boob.

That being said, the first few weeks is very difficult for mom and you might just want to wait until you are through that and breastfeeding is well established before introducing a paci. Here is some good advice from an expert

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/concerns/pacifier.html
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#17 of 19 Old 11-22-2007, 11:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miche28 View Post
Boy, those early weeks are tough.... it sounds like you're overwhelmed by the intensity of his needs and exhausted by their constancy. Your body has been through an enormous transformation along with your mind and heart - the newobrn period is really so brief, but it sure doesn't feel like that when you're living it.

I would encourage you to be careful about pacifier use, particularly if you've had latch difficulties. A baby who is sucking but not eating is "making milk for tomorrow" as an LC friend pointed out to me when I explained my exasperation with exactly the same thing. Right now, baby is making sure that you keep making lots and lots of milk for his needs - and to do that he needs to drain your breasts and stimulate your nipples.

Besides the supply side, a newborn is also still adapting to the outside world -you're the only familiar thing in it. Have faith that it will get easier (or there really would be no second children!) and go easy on yourself - perhaps a coupel days in bed with your babe will do you good .

Oh, this brings back memories... For us trying the paci (even after 4 weeks) hurt DS's latch, which has always been iffy. Extra owies after that experiment. For my own sanity I had to relinquish my will to be in charge (or to pee when the need arose) and just went with the constant nursing. It is so so hard at the start--get as much support as you can. What you are doing is immensely important and you deserve to be catered to. Good luck and hang in there--it gets better like everyone keeps saying!
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#18 of 19 Old 11-23-2007, 04:20 AM
 
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Just wanted to echo everyone else. My babe went through the same exact thing. Sometimes there would be 4-5 hour stretches (or more) where I would just be couch bound or bed bound and he would nurse nurse nurse. Fall asleep wake up and nurse.And he wasn't always getting milk, but you can bet it's helping your supply. Go with it, trust your babe. Get comfy and try to enjoy it - it's a special time with your little one.

I kinda like being a human pacifier sometimes.
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#19 of 19 Old 11-23-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lunamegn View Post
I kinda like being a human pacifier sometimes.
I have overactive let down and I much prefer the marathon nursing to the ---screaming, gagging, puking, I want to nurse but I don't want milk--that happens sometimes. When I get the marathon nurser peaceful baby I am happy. When I get that other guy I just get frustrated. I think DS is each every other day.

DH is much more willing to do things for me when I am nursing. I have to say I milk that a little, no pun intended. :
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