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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry this is going to be long. I am one guilty and sad feeling mama...<br><br>
I have a beautiful 6 day old baby boy. He was born by unexpected c-section (long story there too) but we did manage to get him on in recovery after. I had some help in the hospital with his latch and while I was sore, he was getting really good at it. He was a good nurser there and he really seems to love nursing. I really love it too.<br><br>
Well, after my milk came in overnight on Friday, it's a completely different story. My poor baby boy just can't get latched on. It was taking me 20 minutes of him screaming and trying SO hard to latch on, throwing his head back and forth searching for my nipple and every time I'd get it in, he'd suck for a few seconds and just start crying again. This is a baby who otherwise doesn't cry. I would catch his early hunger cues, he'd never cry b/c he was hungry, only when he was getting frustrated trying to get to me. I'd always eventually find his spot, but my heart just felt broken over hearing him cry like that.<br><br>
Problems we can identify...<br><br>
Obviously his latch, my nipples are now sore, bleeding, and raw.<br><br>
I had big breasts to start...I was a 36D to start, 38F by the end of pregnancy, and now I'm afraid to even know. I have small nipples, but per the LC not flat or inverted. He prefers the smaller one on the left. I don't know if this is part of the difficulty or not, but it seems to be.<br><br>
My supply...I have tried pumping. I get almost nothing, not even a full teaspoon in 30 minutes with an electric pump on the left. On the right, I was getting 1 ounce in 30 minutes Friday. I can now get 2 ounces from that side, give or take a little. The left side feels full, but I even tried hand expressing and still just small drops.<br><br>
His health...he was, as of yesterday, still losing weight. Not more than 10% of his birth weight yet (he was 8lbs6oz and was 7lbs10oz yesterday). But what was worse than that was that he was having 6 wet diapers, but barely wet AND he hadn't had a bowel movement in 3 days.<br><br>
He's a sleepy baby. He's extremely content. He will sleep for very long stretches and not wake up to nurse. I was waking him up to nurse. He'd nurse for a short time and then go back to sleep before I knew he was full and be impossible to awaken then. And then he'd go through a marathon nursing session from 3-7 AM nonstop.<br><br>
So, the signs were that he wasn't getting enough to eat. I saw a different ped from the one I will be seeing yesterday. She basically told me that I needed to supplement at least 1 ounce of pumped breastmilk or formula after every feeding. I guess I have felt too bad to call the LC over the holiday, but I will be doing that tommorrow morning.<br><br>
So, as of yesterday, I started pumping like mad. If I can get the 2 ounces she said he needed per meal, I will feed him expressed milk. If I can't I've been making up the difference in formula <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I did not want him to get formula. But I have my pumping supply up to where he doesn't get anymore thank God. He has started pooping. But I still have the problems getting him to the breast and of course, now I've gone and screwed everything up by getting scared and giving him bottles of expressed milk, plus a few ounces of formula <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I am crying through his feedings and missing nursing, but then I try to latch him on and the screaming starts all over and I feel guilty for that b/c he's hungry and I can help him faster.<br><br>
Is there any hope I can get him back on the breast with the LC's help? I'm afraid I screwed everything up already over the weekend. I will pump til my boobs fall off if I need to, but I want to really breastfeed him. If you made it through all of that, I really thank you...
 

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There is definitely hope, for sure. Pediatricians don't generally know lactation so you truly do need an LC. There is just no substitute for real life help from someone who knows proper bf management.<br><br>
Have you tried latching him on after pumping a bit to reduce the engorgement and the flow so he can latch on more easily? Sometimes engorgement makes it hard to latch on and the fast flow that rushes out at first can overwhelm and upset a little one, especially if he's already really hungry.<br><br><br><br>
Here's a link to look at that may have some other ideas for you... hang in there, your determination will be what sees you through.<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/back-to-breast.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html</a><br><br>
Also see their pages on nipple confusion/preference to help avoid that problem since he is getting bottles.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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First you may want to check out some of the articles here:<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/concerns/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/concerns/index.html</a><br><br>
They cover a lot of issues you're facing.<br><br>
Also look here:<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.html</a><br><br>
I would encourage you to stop giving bottles and start finger feeding if you are giving any supplements. At this point you can get him back on the breast more easily if he doesn't get used to the bottle nipple. If you are going to use a bottle, use a Medela or a low flow nipple, but be warned - almost all breastfeeding experts will tell you to absolutely avoid bottles if at all possible with newborns. Also formula takes twice as long to digest, so it diminishes your supply exponentially as baby demands less and less breastmilk. You might want to read the following article on nipple confusion:<br><br><a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/bf/supppit.htm" target="_blank">http://www.drjaygordon.com/bf/supppit.htm</a><br><br>
Also - what kind of pump are you using? Are you eating oatmeal, drinking some mother's milk tea, drinking lots of water, getting rest (tending to baby and nothing else), and nursing on demand? It took me a long time how to figure out how to get milk out through hand expression even when I had a very full supply - I could barely squeeze a drop - so that may not be an indicator.<br><br>
Other than the above info I'd encourage you to try to do nothing but nurse, nurse, nurse! You can use a supplementer if you need to (bag hangs over your shoulder and tube runs down to your nipple so baby gets the idea that milk comes from the nipple) while working to get your supply up. You can nurse in a hot bath with baby (after you're allowed when you're healed up) or when baby is sleepy - often will suck for comfort.<br><br>
Hope that's a few pointers in the right direction. You made a WONDERFUL decision to breastfeed your baby and to give him so many protections against illness and disease and a great start in life. Please come back here as often as you need it for support!!
 

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Is he having trouble latching because you are engorged? (You mentioned that this problem started when your milk came in.)<br><br>
*So* much of your story sounds like what happened to us. What finally happened is the second LC I spoke to (my mom was the first) gave me a nipple shield, which gave him something to latch onto finally. Before, I was so painfully engorged and my small nipples were practically non-existent.<br><br>
Nipple shields are $6 at Target. Ask your LC if it's right for you. It saved our nursing relationship. I even credit the shield for helping to draw out my nipples a bit... when I stopped using it at around 8 weeks (once my cracked, cut nipples had healed) there was a lot more there for him to grab onto.<br><br>
Please don't feel bad for being scared or giving formula. It's perfectly normal to have absolutely no clue what to do at first! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But you're here now, and you're seeking advice, and you're calling the LC in the morning. You're getting back on track. It's not too late. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s to you! You are doing your best. Please don't feel guilty. You need to see an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant). It is the only "real" certification for LCs. Please don't buy a shield at Target and not see one, they can cause their own troubles in used when not needed. (Marisa - I realize that you were not saying to do that, but wanted to reinforce the call the IBCLC part!)<br><br>
Was the birth traumatic? You said a c-section, but could there be birth injuries that are paining him? Did you get anti-biotics? There might be thrush if so. These are things that the IBCLC can help you with.<br><br>
What you can pump vs. how much milk you can make is a big difference. Don't became downhearted. Just believe that tomorrow you will see the IBCLC and it will work its way out. The next few weeks will be difficult, but you will get through them and in the end you will be nursing your baby. Trust me, I have been there and know the pain that you are in.<br><br>
I will be thinking of you!<br><br>
Victorian
 

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The previous posters said all the right things.<br><br>
Just wanted to chime in and say - it WAS difficult for us (DD and I) in the beggining too, latch problems, my worries about supply, sore nipples, you name it.<br><br>
First - you are doing the right thing by asking for help and you will be learning from women here as well as from LC<br><br>
Second - you are not a bad mom for trying the formula. In our first days when I got too scared (over nothing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ) I also gave my daughter formula. That was her only formula feeding in her life and we continued a beautiful breastfeeding relationship for quite some time after that.<br><br>
Third - you are NOT too late. Keep on working on it, it is a new territory for you and your baby. You WILL succeed!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Please don't buy a shield at Target and not see one, they can cause their own troubles in used when not needed. (Marisa - I realize that you were not saying to do that, but wanted to reinforce the call the IBCLC part!)</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Absolutely. I wouldn't want anyone to have problems with the shield unnecessarily, and it's definitely not the most convenient (someone here compared it to a giant contact lens with a nipple, esp. when you drop it in the middle of the night...!) My own mom was hesitant to have me try it, in fact. That's why it's so important to get as much info and as much support (preferably IRL where they can see you!) as possible! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Mainly I just wanted to say how it's a fairly inexpensive and easily obtainable item that could turn out to be the fix that's needed. (Way cheaper than formula!)<br><br>
I hope that talking to the LC makes you feel more confident and gets you back on the right track! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Re latch - with big boobs plus the milk coming in, this could make it harder for him to latch on. Football hold worked well for me. Also ask your LLL people to help you with asymmetric latching. It's easier for someone to show you than to follow a diagram. Positioning is all important also. The best help I got was to hire a private LC to come to my home. The nurses/LCs in the hospital could get me positioned right but I had trouble replicating it at home. The latching is a learning process and it sounds like you're both on your way to improvement. Also sometimes the milk flow is too fast for baby - baby might object to that. It'll slow down and baby will get used to it.<br><br>
Your pumping output sounds perfectly fine for a baby that age. You're doing great there!<br><br>
Syringe finger feed or use an SNS/lactation aid if you can. See <a href="http://www.kellymom.com" target="_blank">www.kellymom.com</a> for more info on these and alternative feeding methods.<br><br>
A sleepy newborn is not always a content newborn. After my unexpected c/s, I also had a majorly sleepy babe for the first month. It felt like I was forever trying to feed her. It's a stage, keep working at it. Lots of good 'waking a sleepy baby' ideas on kellymom. Strip down to diaper, wet washcloth on face, baby sit ups and just putting my dd down seemed to help most. The shock of me not holding her seemed to help wake her up. Frequent, small feedings will probably be necessary until the sleepy baby stage is over.<br><br>
And don't worry - you can't totally screw up BF in one weekend. The human race would have died out long ago if that were the case. I had to supplement with formula for a while also but it worked out in the end. I used to think of it this way - without enough food, baby will get even sleepier and weaker and less likely to BF so when necessary, that little bit of formula used wisely can help BF get started. And you're doing wonderfully if you're already pumping enough BM! Congratulations.
 

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Don't lose hope! I had to pump for almost a month and use a nipple shield for a little while before my DS latched (c/s at 34 weeks, 6 days in NICU...gave bottle and paci w/o my consent etc.). I have large breasts and flat nipples, so DS was so frustrated. The shields can be a problem, but they can also really be a help if all else is not working. I think using them is better than a bottle, because the sucking will help your supply. I had to give formula for about 8 days, but DS hasn't had a drop since, and he's still going strong at almost 15 months. Please don't lose hope....it is definitely not too late!<br><br>
And BTW, BRAVO to you for trying so hard!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for asking <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I am doing OK, up and down. After some feedings I am encouraged and after others I am ready to give up on getting him to nurse and just pump til my boobs fall off...<br><br>
The LCs (there are 5 of them and I think I've seen them all now...my home away from home it seems <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) have been a big help. We decided to end the bottle supplementing and use a finger feeder. They gave me a nipple sheild, but he can really latch on very well on his own...I'm just not at all recovered from being chewed up so it hurts even when he gets it right. He's just sleepy and doesn't do a lot of productive sucking. Today we spent a half hour nursing there and he got 1/2 ounce <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> He wants to fall asleep at the breast after a few minutes. So we are still supplementing with pumped milk quite a bit, but at least I am getting enough of that that he doesn't get formula <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I need to just stay in bed and feed him 24 hours a day if I could just get past my anal need to keep doing laundry and dishes...
 

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DO NOT DO LAUNDRY OR DISHES OR ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
You need to recover from surgery, and get your nursing worked out with your baby, THIS IS YOUR FULL TIME JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
You can do the rest next week or next month or next year, your babies need for breastmilk WON'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
(said with lots of love and support)
 

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do you have a church group that helps people in need? I group of friends? Can you afford to hire a Postpartum Doula? The neighborhood teen? Get some help with the chores mama! Post up in the FYT thread that you need help and I am sure you will get some help from the lovely MDC mamas in your area.<br><br>
Trust me in two years you will still be doing the laundry and dishes, they can wait. Use paper plates, order take out. Tell DH "do the laundry or Mr. Winky will be hanging free".<br><br>
Breastfeeding is the ONLY thing you should be working on. Are you using breast compression?<br><br>
Sounds like you are doing wonderful, keep up the good work!
 

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Hi Someday Mom,<br><br>
I hope that things are looking up for you, all of this hard work will be worth it in the long run. Your baby will get less and less sleepy and more and more hungry. I would just suggest that you do what you can to keep your supply coming for when he has more energy to nurse longer. There are a lot of herbs and teas out there. I don't know all of them but I do know that fenugreek helps, and blessed milk thistle. I think that you can buy a tea that has these herbs in it. I didn't have a sleepy baby, but a very close friend of mine did and it was a struggle for a while, the ped told her to use formula, and like you, she kinda freaked out for a couple of days and supplemented but an LC helped her out and they ended up having a great nursing relationship.<br><br>
But the issue that can totally relate to is the large breast small nipples. I am a die-hard breastfeeder and I almost gave up around 7-8 days due to the excruciating pain from my sore nipples. One thing that really saved me was Lansinoh, but someone told me to warm it in my hand with a hair dryer so it was very melty and easy to put on. My nipples did change a lot in the first month of nursing. They got larger and hard, like a callous. I had to nurse by kind of pinching the areola so that my nipple would stick out further and my breast wouldn't cover dd's face. As she grew I was able to stop doing that. I didn't use a nipple shield, I guess because things cleared up right before I almost gave up.<br><br>
Keep up your hard work, it will be worth it, your body and baby were made to nurse!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> it sounds like you're having a lot of the same problems i had in the early weeks! kellymom.com is an AWESOME site. breastfeeding.com has videos in the "Help" section that are great also. i had a lot of help from LCs and moms here.<br><br>
for supply worries, and to get milk started before nursing, you can massage the breast with downward strokes towards the nipple, making sure to get around to all of the milk ducts. if there's too much let-down and that's why baby is fussing, or if engorgement is making the breast too firm to latch on to, you can express or pump for a minute or two so it slows down a bit and the baby can latch on. you can also express a little milk, rub it on the baby's lips, and also around your nipple, to get the lil guy all hungry for more. Willow would only latch on in the football hold and only if she was lying on a pillow, nothing else worked, so you can also try different positions to make the baby as comfy as possible.<br><br>
trust me, you don't want to supplement with bottles or formula! i had to wean because of medications, i initially tried to do combo feeding but Willow can't even nurse for comfort now, she doesn't scream but she just nuzzles me and doesn't even try to latch on no matter what i do to encourage her. the bottle nipples really are easier for them to get milk out of and they get confused very easily.
 

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Congratulations on your new baby! I think that your determination to breastfeed is amazing. About the only thing I have to add to the wonderful advice you've received so far is - make sure that your DH knows what a proper latch looks like so that he can help at feeding time. My nipples were so sore for the first week that I panicked every time DD latched on and couldn't even get organized enough to break her suction and get her off the breast. I would just scream out for him, and he would come running, take the baby off the breast and help re-latch her. At first it took 5-6 tries before she was latched properly, and then she nursed and nursed and nursed and did nothing else for the first six weeks. She had jaundice and I think that made her sleepy. One day she nursed for 7 hours (in 24, not non-stop!). It was a lot easier after six weeks.<br><br>
So.....DH can be a huge help for correct latching. And don't worry about getting dishes done, they will still be around when you have more time in a couple of months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Just nurse, nurse nurse.<br><br>
Elisabeth
 

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SomedayMom, I agree, it's totally frustrating when you nurse for a good amount of time and they've only got 1/2 oz. Although not all feeds will be 'big' ones, some are just 'snacks'. I hired a scale and would do pre and post feed weight checks at home. It was enlightening - some feeds I thought were short and dd wasn't sucking much and yet she'd get several ounces, and then others where I thought she'd done well, she'd only get 1/2 oz or so. But it does get easier. Consider at least the 1st six weeks a learning process. I'm glad to hear you've got LCs help - it can really make a difference.
 

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You have a lot of good advice here so I won't add to that, except to say DON'T FEEL GUILTY! That does not good and you were doing what you could to help your baby! We were actually told by our LC (she was from LL) that we did the right thing by giving formula to our newborn. He was weak and hungry. We gave it in a little cup, like a medicine cup.<br><br>
Also, a word of encouragement here; my best friend just delivered a preemie by C-section last month. He was born with numerous problems, including a detached esophogus that required surgery. He had to stay in NICU for a month. She pumped while he was tube fed through a stomach tube. She kept trying to BF every day when she visited him. He was eventually given bottles, with her approval, and she figured oh well, I'm gonna have to pump forever now. But lo and behold, one day she went in to see him, put him to her breast, and he latched on! He has been BF ever since. This took like a month of trying daily. Considering the odds in his case it is amazing. I think she was successful is that she had so much support at the hospital. LCs everywhere. And of course he was being taken care of when she wasn't there, so as hard as it was, she could go home at night and sleep to build up her supply and strength.<br><br>
Point is: take care of yourself. Let those dishes and dust bunnies pile up. I think it is hard at first for new moms to let things go. You are used to doing things a certain way and having your routine, etc. Forget it for now. I was the same way; it took me awhile to learn that all that other stuff could wait! Now I can let those dishes sit with the best of em! LOL<br><br>
Kudos to you for trying so hard, hang in there and good luck!!!!
 

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I just want to wish you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/partytime.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="partytime"> on your new baby and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s for dealing with all these bf issues. I'm glad things are starting to work out for you- hang in there, it DOES get easier!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support and good advice.<br><br>
As it turns out, DS has a great latch and is capable of eating at the breast...he's just very lazy at it. He still does a lot more comfort sucking than eating and in about 30 minutes, he'll get an ounce or less and he's passed out asleep and hard to wake up. So I am still having to supplement the majority of what he eats with expressed milk. We determined that he wasn't having nipple confusion, so I dropped the finger feeder b/c it was making him cry and therefore just causing me more stress than needed. I feel a lot more human with our current set up but I am holding out hope that one day he just latches on and eats like a pro! In the meantime I'll be off to research the best ways to keep my supply up while I'm doing so much pumping...
 
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