anxious about breastfeeding
My baby girl is currently a week and a half old and had a rough start. She was born full-term but small. She weighed in at 5 lb 11 oz at birth. I nursed her from the start but unfortunately she was not receiving enough nutrients and her weight dropped to 4 lb 9 oz. She had to be readmitted to the NICU for dehydration and be placed on IV fluids. Talk about guilt. I still completely blame myself for this. During this time I felt such pressure from the nurses to meet their ideal time limits on breastfeeding that I ended up pumping and bottle feeding her. She has since regained most of the weight and was discharged from the hospital. I really want to breastfeed and drop the pump and bottles but my anxiety over not knowing how much milk she is getting and whether or not she is feeding long enough is making it difficult for me. My lactation consultant suggested that I try strictly breastfeeding for 24 hours without pumps or bottles before completely giving up. I have been trying this for the past 3 1/2 hours and she has fed twice, but for short amounts of time although she seems full and content afterward. Unfortunately the last time she fed, she threw up a lot of the milk afterward. Should I continue to risk her health in an attempt to breastfeed? Also any ideas about why she is throwing up after breastfeeding? And is it OK that she is not a marathon breast feeder and doesn't feed for long periods of time? I am so scared and frustrated about hurting her that it is really taking a toll on me mentally. I would appreciate any advice. :cry
Re: anxious about breastfeeding
Congrats on your new baby! I'm sorry you had such a rough start. That sounds really upsetting! :hug But so many ladies here have had big problems in the beginning, and gone on to have a great breastfeeding relationship, and you can too! :cheer
The best way to know that your baby is getting enough breastmilk is by counting diapers. If your baby is wetting six to eight diapers a day, she is getting enough. It's also good to shoot for nursing at least eight times a day (8 times per 24 hours) for the first weeks. But don't worry if your baby wants to nurse more than that - that's normal and great.
I think the lactation consultant's advice is right on, and you should ditch the pumping and nurse nurse nurse. Count diapers, to make sure she's getting enough milk, rather than relying on pumping and bottle feeding. If it's going in, it will come out.
Some babies do not "demand" to be fed as often as others and need to be prodded or reminded to feed more. See this site on "sleepy babies," it might have some good thoughts for you - http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...ns.html#sleepy.
Re: anxious about breastfeeding
It sounds a lot like how i started. My baby was born at 6lbs10 oz. and whithin the first 48 hours lots 9% of her weight. I was beign so stressed out at the hospital by the nurse who are so pro breastfeeding and obliging me to pump and this and that, that i couldn't do it. I wanted to breastfeed naturally with no pressure and people probing at my breast constantly. I beg the doctor to let me go home after the third day even though she had lost critical weight and was borderline dehydrated and agreed to come back to the hospital at 8 the next morning for her weigh in. Within 19 hours she had gained 25 grams and been gaining ever since. I was much more relaxe at home with my mom as a coach. Now at 3 months she is a great 13 lbs+ bundle of joy. Find a way to not see bf as a stressful situation but as a gift that you are giving to yoru little one. Don't worry about the spitting up, at least it tells you that she is getting something in there....And if you feel overwhelme don't do like me and wait till she is 7 weeks old to go to a LLL meeting or contacting a leader. Once you relaxe about the whole thing your little bean will too. Cause she can feel your anxiety and uncertainty. Give it another try and if it doesn't get better then find another solution...But give it time! Good luck