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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
I am a new Mom of a wonderful 23 week old daughter. I happened to stumble across this site when I was frantically looking for answers (for a hundreth time) in regards to feeding my daughter! If you have any suggestions or comments I would love to hear from you... here is my situation:

I am very determined to give my daughter breast milk until at she is at least a year old. From day one we have had all sorts of problems with breastfeeding. Ranging from not really having enough milk, never feeling a let down, to her being a very active and restless child when she nurses. I never really got down to the bottom of why she was really hard to nurse but we have made it this far with it anyway. While she is not under weight she is still a little light for her height. For a long time I had a really hard time nursing her at night because my supply was very low and she simply wasn't getting enough. I tried EVERYTHING to increase my supply enough (from nursing every hour and pumping to actually trying medication to jump start my supply). Finally I had to pump consistently throughout the day just to get one 4 oz bottle to give her at night! I think she finally got frustrated with nursing and she was very ready to start cereal and baby food around 2 1/2 months old. However, I held her off until she was almost 4 months old and when I gave her cereal for the first time she took to it like she had been eating it since she was born. To make a long story short she has been eating fruit and cereal two times a day since. Now my problem is she is not wanting to nurse any more! I even tried to pump all the time to get her bottles (it comes out faster and it use to appease her more). Now it just seems she takes a little over 1-2 ounces and then she doesn't want anything to do with it but is still hungry! So I have to give her cereal. If it were up to her I think she would just eat cereal 3 times a day and only nurse a little in the morning and a little right before bed. I can't image this is optimal! The other concern I have is she wants to eat A LOT of food. She never really stops and refuses to eat it by spitting it out or turning away. Once I tried to see when she would finally stop eating but it went as far as her eating 1.5 oz of cereal and two 2.5oz jars of food! And while she was slowing down, she still would have taken more! I know her stomach is only the size of her fist so how is she wanting all that! I thought she was going to get sick or have a tummy ache but she never seemed phased! So with all that said I am not sure what to do. I have tried to nurse her a little before cereal and a little after but she still wants a lot of actual food and when I try to nurse she constantly latches and delatches. I have read everything on the La Leche web site and everything I can get my hands on but it seems that most people have the opposite problem with food than I do. I don't know how much I should feed her or how to get her to take breast milk! I seem to only be able to get a little in her by nursing (and it is not very pleasant) and then a couple ounces in her cereal. And it is so hard to pump even enough for her cereal, it takes over an hour to get 2 oz. Well with all this said, if there is any advice you can give me or anywhere you can point me I would greatly appreciate it. I am sorry for this long message, I am getting desperate for my pediatrician keeps telling me to just give her 1-2oz of food 1-2 times a day and to continue nursing but she is so hungry! Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and giving any advice you can.
 

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Most medical organizations including the AAP recommend waiting until at least 6 months of age before giving any solids because a baby's gut is immature and doesn't digest solids well.

Babies don't *need* solids during the first year or even longer. Solids during the first year should only be for fun. A baby's nourishment should be nearly all breastmilk.

Here's some info that might be helpful.

It would be wise for you to stop giving your child any solids and just nurse your baby. Stop giving bottles too since that is likely adding to your breastfeeding trouble. Your milk supply works on supply and demand. The more you nurse at the breast, the more you will produce. The more solids and bottles you give, the less you will produce. And breast pumps are not nearly as efficient as a baby's suck is at getting milk out. Your breastmilk is FAR more nutritious than any food you give your child. And cereal, has almost no nutritional value at all...you don't want to fill your baby's belly with that instead of breastmilk. Your baby is likely getting frustrated at the breast because she has to work harder to get the milk out of the breast than the bottle...reason not to use a bottle.

If you can, just spend a few days topless while holding your child and offering the breast frequently and whenever your baby seems hungry, around the clock. Get some movies, get in bed, and just focus on breastfeeding. No food for babe, no bottles. Try eating lots of oatmeal and drink lots of water, as that can help increase your supply. You should try everything you can to increase your supply again before you lose it.

Best wishes to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the tips. The bottles I do give her are breast milk. I don't use formula at all. For the first few month I didn't use a bottle at all to give her breast milk but she still seemed so frustrated while nursing. It has been very difficult from the start.
 

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ITA w/ AesSedai

This and this are other good sites for solids info.

Supply issues are far less common then people think. I can't even count how many times people believe they have a supply issue (especially at the beginning), when it is really just the body adjusting to this new function.

And the baby has to adjust also. Babies are born to nurse, but are not neccessarily "naturals". It takes practice and determination. If baby seems fussy, it may be because she is going through a growth spurt and impatient that the milk is a little slower then she wants. But don't give up, your body will make more.

Trust yourself to be able to provide for your baby. You'll be soooo happy you did.
 

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What led you to believe you had a supply issue in the first place? I have never felt a let down my self and never was able to pump a drop, but I exclusivley breast fed my son for over 9 months. He is still nursing now at 15 months. If you are serious about your breast feeding realtionship I would ditch it all, food, bottles, cereal. Have a nurse in. Spend the nexst couple of days with you shirt off lying in bed with her and get her back to the breast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For the first few months of exculusivly feeding, my baby wasn't gaining the appropriate weight and wanted to eat at every moment of the day. At night she would cry and try to feed but consistanly de-latch cry and try to feverntly feed again. I spoke with my doctor and they gave me tons of tips, drinking more water, oatmeal, teas, and others. I went through 3 weeks of drinking 2 liters of water after every feeding! All that did was make me have to pee every 5 minutes! I tried everything. Finally it was my OB that suggested some type of medication to jump start my milk supplu, thinking my body just needed a boost. You see I was in the hospital MICU for a 2 weeks with extreme pneumoia and was on bed rest for the last half of my pregnancy. Unfortuantly, I had a lot of medications to keep me breathing and to help build my lungs back up. So the doctors thought that might have hurt my milk supply as well. So with all the tests and medications my daughter received while I was pregnant, I am determined to breastfeed as much as I can to give her some type of compensation. For the last (almost) 6 months, every step of breast feeding has been very hard for both of us. The doctors wanted me to start her on formula but instead I fed her every hour and tried to get my supply in by pumping for short sessions in between each feeding. Needless to say, for 2-3 months I was either feeding, or pumping every waking moment and most of the night. I will give the all day nursing marathon another shot, but I had about a 3 month nursing marathon that didn't yield much results. My daughter was very happy to get solids, she basically begged for them while we ate in front of her. I think she was hungry most of the time for 3 months and now she is just happy that something is filling her up... but now she doesn't want to nurse at all. She just wants solids 24 hours a day! I know that is not good but it is so hard to see her not eating enough. I didn't go on the medication because I know that some of the medication goes into the breast milk and she has already been subject to a lot of meds and it didn't seem to help much for me anyways. Well thank you all for listening to my breast feeding woes.
 

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Oh Mama it sounds like you have had it really rough. And just because you may have had a low supply then does not mean you can't get it up now. Hang in there and give it another go with the marathon. Just so you know, it is pretty normal newborn behavior to want to nurse all the time. I don't think My bra was clipped closed for more than 20 minutes for months after Elli was born. In fact at 15 months old he will have days still were he wants to nurse once and hour. And most babies think eating looks interesting. I would give my guy an empty bowl and spoon and let him play. I am not trying to say you did not indeed have supply issues just that to a degree all little ones exhibit some of that behavior. Good luck and your little girl is blessed to have such a determined Mama.
 

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I would try to nurse her as full as possible THEN offer some solids. Also, self feeding is often better as she is in control of what is put in her mouth and it's harder to overfeed her.
I would also suggest a nurse-in...stay in the bedroom all day with skin to skin contact with baby...bring some toys and books in to bed with you....sing songs and nurse as much as possible

This sounds like a really tough situation and I'm so sorry you are going through this.
It's great you found these boards...there are lots of great mama's with great info here


Dawn
 

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Wow, you are one determined mom--good for you! And good for your baby! I think that half the battle is just realizing how important breastfeeding really is, so you are already halfway there.

I agree with PPs who recommended the nurse-in. It's an excellent way to bond with your baby (even more than you already have), it's good rest for you, and the skin-to-skin contact helps a lot to reinforce your milk supply. Make sure that you spend the *entire* time in bed with your babe, only getting up to go to the bathroom. Have your DP, mom, friend, or whomever bring your meals in bed, don't get up to answer the door, the phone, or anything. Just concentrate on your beautiful baby.

In addition to the oatmeal and water, I would also recommend Mother's Milk tea, fenugreek capsules, and perhaps some garlic. Many babes are more interested in suckling if mom has recently had some garlic. Also, since you are in NYC, you might have good luck with a Greek or Italian deli that has roasted Fennel. Delicious stuff, with a slightly garlic-y taste and also helps to increase your milk supply. You can also find Fennel capsules, or even add fennel seed to spaghetti sauce.

Good luck to you and your nursling!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well it didn't go very well. She was very fussy and cried for most of the two days I tried it. She was soooo hungry and didn't sleep at all because of it. I am not sure what to do at this point. I was thinking of trying to rent one of those hospital grade pumps and try to continue to pump through out the day so I know at least at night she can get one full bottle of breast milk and be OK at night. Does any one know where around Rochester, NY they rent them? I looked at the LLL site and they don't rent or sell them any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well before I even came to this site, I contacted my local LLL leader and she emailed me and said she got my message and would get back to me but nothing yet.... so it is going on 4 days with no responce... not sure who else to contact?! I was referred to them by my doctor and every one is telling me they are the experts but I think with the holidays and everything, she is most likly really busy. Ugh I thought this was suppose to be easy and fun! Now I understand why some women just give formula (though I never would!).
 

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Hugs to you mama, I can see where your problems probly started - by any chance where you given medications containing Psudophedrin(sudafed) for the pnomonia - Sudafed will kill a milk supply in a hurry and it is very very hard to get it back.
I had low supply with my first(due to getting pregnant whe he was 3.5 months) and I started solids early - it was a choice for me between solids and formula - I chose to give him solids. We did end up giving formula to supplement nursing and solids when he was 8 months until my milk came back in when his sister was born.
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but if all the natural milk boosters, dom, and pumping/ nursing don't increase your supply to the point your DD is growing on her curve then I would think about supplementing with milk from a milk bank(if you can afford it and it is availble) or with formula. Solids are alright if she just needs a little bit of supplumenting, but if your supply dosn't increase as she gets bigger then she will need something with more digestability and nutrients then solids can supply
 

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You should be really proud of yourself for working so hard to nurse your baby. I am a low supply mama and I can totally relate to the feeling of knowing your babe isn't getting enough and is feeling frustrated when everyone tells you that your body can make enough. With my first and second, I killed myself trying to nurse and it didn't matter what I did, I just didn't make enough milk. With my third, I tried domperidone and that worked for me (reglan did not work). I took dom for almost a year, from the time the baby was 5 months. I was able to be successful and nursed him until I got pregnant with my fourth last March.

I would definitely see a lactation consultant as soon as possible. You need professional help. I too called LLL and not no response at all!!!! I would not wait for them to call. Here is the website of a doctor near you who works with breastfeeding issues. If she can't see you, she should be able to refer you to someone. I tried to contact her with my third, but they were just too far away for me to go.

If you haven't tried domperidone, it might be worth ordering some. It really isn't that expensive and could be just what you need.

Remember to trust your own instincts and do what you think is best for your baby! Best of luck to you.
 

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I don't know if someone has suggested this, but what about using an SNS? That way, you can ditch the bottles and the baby can be getting extra breastmilk but from the breast which encourages more nursing and will help your supply. Just a thought..

Kudos to you for being so dedicated too, its wonderful
You have a very lucky little babe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all so very much for all the support and the advice. It is nice to know that I am not the only one with the frustration and that everyone seems to be very encouraging! It can be so hard and some people just don't understand. I am trying the mothers milk tea and the fenugeek tablets as previously suggested, for a couple days and see if that helps... other wise I will contact those doctors! Thank you all SOOOO MUCH AGAIN! I will keep you all posted on how things work out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"....by any chance where you given medications containing Psudophedrin(sudafed) for the pnomonia ...."

Honestly, I am not sure all the different medications I was given in the hospital. When I was first admitted, they didn't know what I had and gave me all sorts of antibiotics and medication. The tested me for everything from legionnaires disease to the bird flu!! Finally after the fourth day they had to do all sorts of X rays and even a CAT scan (despite my great fear because I was pregnant... but they made a good argument that if I died my baby would die too!!... can't argue with that ha ha). So needless to say my supply was probably killed before I even had it. Oh well, we work with what we have and just pray that it is good enough. I thank you all again!

"....but what about using an SNS...."
what is SNS?
 
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