I just had my 3rd child, and I was SO gung-ho about BF. I didn't even try with my 1st (NICU), had limited success with my second, until my ped advised me that he was losing weight and I had to do something about it.. and now I'm just so tired and frustrated.
I realize they eat a lot when they're wee, and I know he's growing even more because he was early.. and he's gaining weight (birth weight 6#7oz, yesterday he's at 7#10oz) But I'm EXHAUSTED. I've tried taking him to bed with me at night, but I can't sleep on my side, as tired as I am. He'll nurse on and on, but as soon as he drifts off to sleep and I move him, he'll scream and scream until I put him back on. Repeat, ALL DAY. I've started giving him formula at night because I'm just too tired to do it anymore by that time.
I don't know if my supply sucks, because when I pump, I'm only getting about an ounce out of each breast at a time. I started taking fenugreek last week, and it doesn't seem to be doing anything except giving me diarehha.
I know this is probably a big jumble of messy thoughts, but I'm so close to giving this up, and I hate that feeling. I just don't know what to do anymore.
Congrats on your newest arrival! :D
Pumping output is not a good indicator of supply, but your baby's output (diapers) IS! Look at your baby, not what you can pump. ;) Many mothers that have MORE than enough milk cannot even pump a drop! Remember that pumping is a learned response, and no pump is as effective at removing milk as a baby is!
Babies feed OFTEN during those crucial first weeks. Many mothers feel as if they are glued to a couch (and a baby!) all day long. The good news is that it doesn't last forever. Babies grow. Babies become more efficient at the breast.
Babies grow SO fast, and they really do need to eat frequently in order to keep up with that energy requirement. For this reason, frequent nursing alone is not an indicator of inadequate milk production. ;)
This is a good resource for info on frequent nursing. It is NOT a LLL resource, but I do believe you'll find the information helpful and reassuring:
And remember that you can't spoil your baby by holding/nursing him often!
Are you wondering how you can cope with taking care of your older children, AND the new baby, and your home, and YOURSELF? Here's some info:
This is NOT a LLL resource, but you might find the info helpful:
I don't want to overload you with information, so I'll stop for now. I'm hoping this will help a little. Please do reply with any questions you have, or any questions this information brings up! :D
Do you have a local LLL Group? A local IBCLC (board certified lactation consultant)?
Hey, I know how you feel about trying to move your baby over after he's gone to sleep. My son used to do that. I was told that if I waited fifteen-twenty mintutes before moving him, he sould be fully asleep and won't wake up. I would do this to my son when he was one month and it worked. I had to just keep on doing this so that he would get used to it, because I can't fall asleep with him next to me either. Maybe this will help you get some sleep at night at least. Mandy
Just wanted to let you know I can totally sympathize with your situation, as I remember those first couple weeks of breastfeeding were quite a challenge, as you do feel kind of "stuck" to your baby and they seem to want to nurse so frequently. But just know that it WILL get better! My daughter is now three months old and nurses every three hours during the day and she's also much more efficient than she was in the beginning so whereas it used to take me an hour to feed her, now she's usually done in about 20 minutes. So just hang in there... it will get better! And think of how wonderful what you are doing is for your baby!
I know what you mean. I'm not enjoying the breastfeeding much either. The first few days after he was born were fine - new and exciting. But then he became difficult to latch because he was so wiggly and then it became painful. He must have had a bad latch one day and the pain carried over for a few days. Excrutiating! My nipples are still tender but everyone keeps saying it'll get better. The most frustrating thing for me was this on top of the pain of recovery. It's a little much all at once.
Last night, we tried out the bottle. My husband got to feed him some pumped milk and I got to have a short break and enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner. Maybe it's a bit early for the bottle, but he went back to the breast just fine this morning. (I have a pretty active let down, so maybe the bottle isn't all that much easier for him.) Funny, but I actually felt a little jealous watching someone else feed him even though I was glad it worked.
It is REALLY hard at first. They nurse SO often and for so long each feeding when they are tiny. It sounds to me like he is growing well -- you're doing great! If you can persist a little longer, it will get easier.
I suspect your biggest problem right now is the exhaustion. If you can just get a little more sleep, I bet the whole picture will look a little brighter. When you take him to bed and nurse in the side-lying position, try wedging a couple pillows behind you, so you can fully relax in the precise best position for nursing. If you can get completely comfortable, I suspect you will soon find that you can sleep on your side while he's nursing.
I will caution you that giving formula at night may decrease your milk supply at night ... and when he hits his next growth spurt in a couple weeks, you may be in trouble -- it's a slippery slope. See if you can get creative about getting a little more sleep, and I bet that will work wonders for your self-confidence and commitment. Good luck!
One thing I've found really helps is swaddling the baby. When they're swaddled, they don't seem to mind being moved as much. If I nurse her unswaddled, no matter how sleepy she is when she's nursing, or how long she's been asleep after, she ALWAYS wakes up. When she's swaddled, not only can I control those little legs and arms (doesn't it seem like that have an even dozen of each?) but if she does fall asleep, she's much less likely to wake up. Plus, she feels snuggly and warm, a bonus in these cold winter months!