Hi there !
First of all, please excluse my english, as it isn't my mother tongue. And secondly, please excuse me for telling you all my story, I hope I won't be too long and bore you !
I gave birth to my sweet little boy Gabriel on march 20th, so he will be 3 months old tomorrow.
I wanted to breastfeed him really bad, but I didn't know if it would be possible as I have had a breast augmentation 7 years ago, with a trans-areolar incision. As you may know, it can result of damaged nerves and canals, so nobody could tell me whether I would be able to have a full supply or not.
The first 3 weeks went fairly well, he was back to his birth weight within 3 days and gain 1kg the first month. But then, at 3 weeks, he started screaming restlessly all day, even straight after a long nursing session, I was exhausted, so I just gave him a bottle of formula, to see what would happen, and he drunk it all super fast. I didn't feel my boobs full anymore, so I thought I dind't have milk anymore (that is what people told me at that time), and transitioned my son to formula.
But I just couldn't be comfortable with formula feeding him, and I wanted to know whether I could feed a baby or not, so I decided to relactate. For the past month, I have been pumping 8 times a day, takins domperidone and fenugreek, and I was able to increase my supply to the point that I almost reach my baby's needs.
In the meantime, I also found out he had a tongue tie, so it was clip 10 days ago.
As my pediatrician advised me, I started to replace my breast pump by my baby 6 days ago, and he is latching quite well. I still pump after feedings to empty my breast, and at night before bedtime because he goes to sleep early.
I am not giving him any complement because he doesn't seem hungry, but I am sooooo anxious about his weight gain, because I cannot see anymore what he is eating. I will have a weiht check on monday, but unitl then, I am constantly cheking his diaper output (OK) and his mood, I am so afraid of depraving him !
My problem is, since I put him back to the breast, he would spend the entire night feeding, comfort sucking, and sleeping with my nipple in his mouth. He gets restless whenever I try to put him back in his crib. I tried to cosleep but I don't sleep well with him sucking on me all night, and I am now exhausted.
During the day he wants to nurse often too, but I can never tell whether he is hungry, or just want to comfort suck.
I feel lost and it feels that I have a newborn at home, it is like the first few days when there is no rythm at all, and I kind of regret the pumping and bottle feeding, because at least we had a rythm and he used to sleep 7-8 hours at night. Now he waked up every 2 hours, newborn style !
My question is : does it get easier ? How can I avoid the constant night sucking ? Will we find a rythm by ourselves, or do I have to force things a little ? How many times should my 3 months old nurse at least per day ?
Any tips would be welcome, because for the moment I just can't stand how exhausting breastfeeding is !!!
First of all your English is great :)
I don't have any advice for you but i'm kind of in the same boat, trying to get my 7 week old back to the breast. I'm pumping 6-7 times a day and using dom but I don't have enough milk at the moment for her. I think it's great that your putting so much effort into breastfeeding her again, I hope it will work out for both of us and I will be following this thread for sure!
Hi Clairebear !
Thanks for my english, and thanks for sharing your story, we sure are in the same boat ;)
Is Claire your name ? Coz it is mine too ;) !
My baby boy latches but he gets nervous when the milk flow gets slower, and it is stressing me out. Tonight I gave him a bottle of expressed breast milk, so hopefully he won't wake up 4 times in the night, and I would rest a little bit !
Keep me posted about you and your baby !
I'm wondering if he is nursing like a newborn, because it is new again...maybe the novelty of it, as well as trying to regulate your supply to the perfect amount for him. It's also not unusual for a baby that age to start waking a lot again...breast or bottle fed
I also want to say how awesome you are for relactating and how awesome it is you got him back to the breast....and thank you so much for sharign such a an encouraging story!
Choukette, what a fantastic story! Yes, let me assure you breastfeeding does get easier. As a Lactation Consultant for many years I have helped many moms to relactate and at first it does seem like they go back to that newborn stage of nursing. But that is a short time. You have done so much to get your baby back to the breast and that is really the hardest part. For the first month after baby is back at the breast it was my practice to suggest that in order to build up and regulate the supply that baby's sucking needs be met at the breast. If you need to skip a feeding, make sure to pump so that you are stimulating the breast to make milk during that time. Also, 3 months of age is usually a time when babies are again experiencing a time of growth, so he may want to nurse more to increase your supply to meet his needs. When he gets fussy when your milk starts to get slower, switch breasts. If you have switched back and forth and he still seems fussy, take a short walk outside if possible, or if you have a mirror let him see himself in the mirror. This diversion gives you the ability to reduce your frustration with baby and can usually be a calming affect. Take deep breathes, stay calm, and feel confident that you have the instincts and skills to know what your baby needs. Some babies love to hear running water. Other babies love to be put in a sling or wrap and feel movement. You will find that sometimes movement can make a big difference.
At night, swaddling baby can help to provide the security that he feels when he is at your breast even though he is not actively nursing, and can help baby to feel more secure in his crib. While most breastfed babies may not sleep 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, as breast milk digests much more rapidly than formula, you may see increasingly longer periods of time between feedings.
You seem to know how to gauge if he is getting enough, but definitely using a scale every few days or once a week can help provide assurance. Sometimes setting a flexible schedule can help as well so that you can see and feel more of the rhythm of the day. A flexible schedule of approximate times for feeding, bath, stroll, play, bed can also help baby to adjust to the changes between breastmilk and formula.
Clairbear3 - how wonderful that you are relactating! Pumping 6 to 7 times a day and taking care of a newborn can be challenging, but it is so worth it! Keep pumping and giving yourself encouragement and you will soon have plenty of milk. Adding Fenugreek may help. Also I found that the Avent breastpump soft silicone petal insert helped to increase breastmilk production for a significant number of the moms I worked with, and this may work for you as well. In another post I mentioned one of my moms who relactated and used a supplemental nutrition system to help get more stimulation to the breast. One other thing I recommended was pumping at night once or twice as well as increasing to 8 to 10 times pumping in a 24 hour period until milk output matched baby's input. That may help, but only if it doesn't create too much stress on you. You need sleep and rest too.
You ladies both are AWESOME!
Wishing you enjoyable breastfeeding months ahead!
Thank you soooo much for your replies !
LilMomma83, That is what I think too, maybe it is like starting alla over again, and I heard that breastfeeding is established within 6 weeks, so maybe we need those 6 weeks again to both get used to the novelty of it !
Mom4Mom, thank you, it is great to have an expert's advice ! It is very reassuring for me to know that this constant waking up at night may be normal.
I feel bad because yesterday evening I gave him a bottle (of my milk) and at 1am too, because I just couldn't use my SNS, I was too exhausted and depressed.
I already put all the pacifiers away, as well as bottles, and try to complement him at the breast when he really gets frustrated, but I have to say that I totally HATE this medela SNS !! I coped well with the breast pump, but the SNS is not my friend...
This night was better, only waking up twice to feed, so I feel well rested and I will use my SNS again if needed, I know it is the right thing to do, because I really want to avoid nipple confusion. My husband also told me "You really should use your SNS instead of the bottle". It makes me laugh because he now knows much more about breastfeeding than most women I know !!
Now I will hang there until monday and that weight check, so hopefully it will go well and I will be less anxious about this whole "back to the breast" thing !! But I cannot complain because I am a lucky momma, my son LOVES to suck, although being bottle fed for 2 months, he still knows how to latch and love it.
I always wished they provided 2 bottles in the SNS to make it more user friendly and easier. Some of my moms actually bought two so that they could always be wearing one and have one ready to go when they needed it. Hopefully you won't have to use for a long period of time. It is great that your baby was able and willing to latch right on after taking the bottle for 2 months. Just remember to give yourself lots of praise for listening to your heart and your baby. Hope you get great results at weigh in!
Just in the past day, she seems to have improved her breastfeeding abilities. It seems like she's figured out how to really transfer the milk, instead of just swallowing milk from a let down. Remember that their tongues have to gain strength and learn to move in ways the tongue tie prevented.
I understand your fears about the baby not getting enough to eat. My LC said that at this age, the baby will definitely let you know if they are hungry. If my baby seems hungry and I feel like my breasts are empty, I will give her some expressed milk in a bottle and then have her nurse to sleep, so she ends up happy on the breast. In the past couple days I've decided that im not going to stress about giving her a bottle or two per day as we work on learning to nurse; the stress affects my supply, and I have four other kids, including a still nursing two year old, and sometimes I need the baby to be completely full and happy for a bit! I use a bottle with a premie nipple and hold her upright when she drinks it, so that its a very slow flow. My baby hates the SNS, and doesn't have trouble moving between breast and bottle.
Best of luck to you!
Truvie, thanks a lot for your reply, you really helped me feel better about the bottle thing. Sometimes I need to be sure he is full and happy too, or I just want to have some time for me, but I was feeling like I was ruining all my effort.
Today I was really thinking about giving up, because it is so exhausting... Does you baby nurse constantly at night too ? The lack of sleep is killing me... Tonight I slept for 2 hours, not more.
It seems that my boy is so happy to rediscover the nipple that he wants to always have it in his mouth !!
I am looking forward to do things again, go out, see my friends, go shopping, exercising... And all I am doing those days is staying at home with my little fella struggling to get him to latch properly...
Seriously, when does it get easier ?????
I thought I was at the end of a very demanding journey, pumping 8 times a day, but it seems that it is the beginning of another struggle... I don't know what to think, I am feeling really depressed...
I really need your support and good advices ladies !!
Choukette - yes i'm Claire as well :) I really hope you can start getting some more rest at night soon! And of course that your little bundle gains weight as his check-up. I'm only breastfeeding at night at the mo because I know that I fall short of up to 200ml a day of what she is drinking now, so I wouldn't pat me on the back too soon!
You deserve a medal for putting your babe so far in front of yourself :)