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Thread: Help with 2 week old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    57

    Default Help with 2 week old

    Hi! New here. This is my second child, but my first to be exclusively breastfed. Let's just say it was a rough start with my first that only got rockier, and our breastfeeding relationship ended at 3 months. I felt like a complete failure, and those feelings are coming back to haunt me. This time I am determined to do better! I've made it two weeks, but I'm so worried about a repeat of whatever happened with my first that I may be over-analyzing and over-stressing. Yikes. Novel. Sorry.
    My issue is this: My son will feed for a good 10-15 minutes on each breast at night and in the morning every 2-4 hours and seems satisfied after; but for some reason, he's constantly demanding to be at the breast all afternoon! He'll start around 2pm and scream inconsolably if I take him off until after 6pm! (He's fussy about it then, too, but may be too tired to cry for long?) He doesn't seem satisfied, but he's VERY lazy about sucking during this 4-hour stretch. Most of the time he's doing the non-nutritive sucking, which scares me because that's what my daughter did and it caused a lot of problems. I can't seem to keep him awake, and I'm dealing with a jealous toddler on top of it all. Any ideas on what's going on, or tips on what to do? I'm worried about whether my supply will decrease because of this and whether or not he's getting enough.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,173

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby! If you made it to 3 months with baby #1, I have no doubt that you can go longer this time, and reach whatever nursing goals you have in mind.

    It is totally textbook normal for babies to fuss and cluster feed in the afternoons and evenings (see this link: http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html). Both my girls have done this. A lot of people refer to these stretches as "the witching hour(s)" or "evenings-only colic."
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    57

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Thanks for the encouragement! I really needed to hear that today. And thanks for the link, it was very helpful.
    I barely made 3 months with my daughter. We were nursing maybe twice a day by then, on good days.
    My son had his 2 week appointment today, and apparently he's not gaining weight fast enough. I was told to supplement, which hurt and got me worried all over again. It's the same road I went down with my daughter. Help?

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Oh, rats! I hate it when a new mama has to hear the confidence-sabotaging "Your baby isn't gaining well enough, your only course is to supplement with formula". IMO, it's a failure on the doctor's part- the first thing that should be done is to refer the mama to a lactation consultant, preferably one who is an IBCLC. If there is a problem with nursing, the IBCLC is the one to helpyoufigure out what that problem is and how to solve it.

    So my first piece of advice would be to seek some hands-on help! There is nothing better when you have a nursing issue with a newborn.

    Can you please post the following:
    1. A complete weight history on your baby (birth weight, lowest weight, weight at each checkup)
    2. Tell us about how often your baby nurses on a given day
    3. Tell us how many wet and poopy diapers your baby produces in a day
    4. Describe your baby's poops (color, consistency- don't be afraid to be graphic!)
    5. Tell us about your birth- in particular, did you have IV fluids, a lot of blood loss, or a cesarean section?
    6. Tell us if you are using any artificial nipples- both bottles and pacifiers
    7. Tell us if your baby is at all jaundiced
    8. Describe your baby's nursing behavior at the breast- does he fall asleep rather quickly? Do you hear plenty of swallowing when he nurses?
    9. Tell us about any health issues you may have, in particular thyroid problems or PCOS
    10. Let us know if you are currently using contraception, and if so, what kind?

    The answers to these questions may help us help you figure out what, if anything, is going on.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    57

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    LOL "don't be afraid to be graphic!" Love that! I was a zookeeper. Poop was, and still is, a fact of life!
    I felt the exact same way when the doc said supplement and handed me a can of formula. She told me to supplement at the afternoon feeding when he's constantly at the breast. She also said use a bottle. I've been using one of those at-the-breast supplementers instead. I've only used it once (it's only been one day) but it didn't seem to help. It just pushed back his fussy time and he didn't nap at all from 2:30pm until he finally really fell asleep at 9pm!! How is that helpful?! He also didn't seem any more satisfied.

    Anyway. The stats you asked for:
    1. At birth he weighed 9 lbs 1 oz. He dropped to 8 lbs 4 oz by his first post-hospital checkup and was 8 lbs 7 oz at his two week checkup.
    2. He nurses every 2-4 hours from 6am to 2pm, then he's constantly asking for the breast until around 6pm. He eats well again around 8pm and sleeps from around 9 or 10pm to somewhere between 1 and 3am, eats, then sleeps again until around 6am.
    3. I'm changing 6 or so diapers daily, at least 4 of which are poopy. They're all wet.
    4. His poops look typical for a breastfed newborn: runny with little curds and anywhere from mustard yellow to somewhat brown.
    5. Birth was natural. No IV fluids, no pain meds, no hemorrhaging, no complications. I've been taking ibuprofen to manage the post-birth pain.
    6. My husband will offer a pacifier, the little green one they give at the hospital. Sometimes he takes it, sometimes he won't. It's not offered frequently, maybe once daily.
    7. He had minor jaundice when we left the hospital, but it's cleared.
    8. Some nursing sessions he's gung-ho and sucks well for 5-10 minutes, some sessions even longer (and he'll kind of burrow into my breast on these longer stints). I hear a lot of swallowing during these nursings. Other sessions, it's a chore to keep him awake (nearly impossible sometimes) and his sucking is very lazy; I don't hear much swallowing. He does more of the non-nutritive sucking during these sessions, and they're usually in that 2pm to 8pm stretch. He'll rouse occasionally and suck and swallow for a minute or two, but no longer than that.
    9. No health issues.
    10. Contraception consists of abstinence at the moment It's very much too early for that! When we do need it, we use condoms; I also chart my cycle so we have a decent idea of when it's "safe" and when we need to be more careful.

    Thank you again! It's nice to have somewhere to turn for help and support.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    57

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Oh! One more thing with number 8: During the good sessions, I think my milk lets down a couple of times. He'll stop sucking effectively for a while (little or no swallowing) then start again.

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    21,173

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Thanks for answering all those nosy questions! Based on what you've posted, I think I might do the following:
    1. Don't freak out. It sounds like things are going pretty well! Pediatricians like to see a baby back at birth weight by 2 weeks, and yours is still a bit below. It's possible that a difference in calibration between scales explains everything, or the baby's initial jaundice and sleepiness resulted in him having a slow start to weight gain. Either way, it sounds like things are on track now!
    2. See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help. Maybe there is something the LC will pick up on, some positioning trick that you can do, that will improve your baby's weight gain.
    3. try to keep the baby alert and active at the breast, using the following tricks:
    - Keep the room where you nurse dim (babies sometimes close their eyes in response to bright light) and cool, and keep a fan blowing (moving air can help keep a baby awake).
    - If the baby starts to doze off, take him off the breast, burp him, change his diaper, and put him on the other breast.
    - Use a cool damp washrag against the grain of his hair or on the soles of his feet.
    - Dress him lightly when it is time to nurse. A cool baby is an alert baby.
    - Use breast compressions to speed milk flow to the baby, particularly when suckling slows.
    4. If you must supplement, use the tube set-up, not the bottle!
    5. Take away the pacifier for now. (Pacis can screw up a baby's latch when given very early on, and when there is a weight gain issue you want the baby to do ALL his sucking at the breast.)

    I am that you are a zookeeper! I worked in a zoo when I was in high school, and man, it really is all about the poop! I vividly remember hosing down the galago cage.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    So we had two days of great feeding. He was sucking hard and long and staying awake. Today NOTHING will keep him awake or alert and feeding. He's done nothing but nuzzle since noon. I can't get him to suck and swallow for longer than a minute and I know there's milk in there. I feel like all the work I've done and everything we accomplished over the last two days is going down the toilet. If I pull him off, he screams, but he won't suck when I re-latch him. Help please! I've tried the wet rag, tickling his feet, and everything else I can think of. He's dressed only in a onesie. I'm going to strip him down and see if that helps, but I'm at my wits' end!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Pardon my freak out Apparently it was just a rough day for both of us. We seem to be back on track now. Those days scare me more than they should; I guess I'm still worried about a repeat of whatever happened with my DD. Thanks again for all the advice! It's working wonders!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,173

    Default Re: Help with 2 week old

    Mama, it is okay to get freaked out when your precious baby is what you're freaking out over! I don't think you can ever be totally blasé about such tiny creatures.

    You're doing awesome, and I am so glad today was a better day!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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