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Thread: feeling lost

  1. #1

    Default feeling lost

    my baby is 6 weeks old and i don't know if she is getting enough to eat...well, i suspect she is not. here's the story (long).....

    she was jaundiced at birth and we were encouraged to supplement with formula. because of that, and maybe some other unkown reasons, i have a low supply. she is also not the most skilled breastfeeder, although she is a lot better at in in the last week or 2. so from early on we were supplementing with formula somewhere between 8-12 oz per day, depending on how hungry she seemed. we were trying to read her cues, not overfeed her with the bottle, while i worked on my supply. i'm trying everything (tea, taking fenugreek, other herbs, etc etc.) and bf'ing her every 2 hours or less.

    i started feeling more confident that she was getting more milk from me so we stopped the supplement. i now realize after reading online that we should have stepped it down gradually. we went 4 days without any formula. i'm on a bit of a roller coaster about all this and started feeling more and more concerned that she wasn't getting enough. she was pretty fussy a lot of the time and wouldn't sleep, etc. normal newborn stuff maybe but i just couldn't ignore the feeling that she was hungry.

    so we borrowed an infant scale from our lactation consultant and now i know how much milk i've given her in the last 24 hours. she's nursed 12 times and gotten 17 ounces of breastmilk. after the last feeding she was freaking out so bad after having nursed for over an hour that i freaked out in turn and fed her 2 oz of formula.

    what i'm wondering now is should we re-implement the formula and then try to step down from there? i think i read somewhere that EBF babies take in about 25oz per day, so obviously if she's been getting around 17 per day she's going to be one unhappy little one. i feel TERRIBLE about that for her. i don't want to starve my baby! her pees and poops are good, i should have mentioned earlier.

    any thoughts? the one thing i know i should be doing more of is pumping but i just can't figure out how to fit it in. i'm home alone with her during the day and with her not sleeping, not wanting to be put down, and nursing every two hours it just seems really hard to fit pumping in. i am also super stressed and i know that's not helping but what can you do.

    i am feeling really lost with all this and would welcome any advice....
    thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: feeling lost

    Well since she is six weeks, she could be going through a growth spurt. Both my kids were constantly on the boob (every hour or so) and were fussy and not willing to settle unless they were held during the growth spurts. This usually lasts just a few days. It's important to put the baby to the breast as much as needed during that time so supply can increase in response to the baby's needs. Re-introducing formula can affect/hinder your supply even more during a growth spurt...
    Also, I found carrying the baby in a baby carrier was a life saver as I was able to cook/clean while the baby sleeps

    The first few weeks are the hardest but it does get easier!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: feeling lost

    Breastfeeding is demand=supply. So the more your baby nurses, the more your body will produce. Is she is acting hungry it might be advisable to steer clear of formula and nurse, nurse, nurse. The more she nurses, the more your body will produce. Have confidence that your body can do this, that is often the hardest part of bfing. Your body knows what to do. You can do it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: feeling lost

    During the four days you went without formula, how was your LO's diaper output? If it was normal, I'd tough it out for a few more days and see what happens. Keep doing the measurements, obviously. This resource: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html says that average intake is actually 19-30 oz per day, so if your LO got 17 yesterday it sounds like you are very close to having all that you need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Kent, OH

    Default Re: feeling lost

    I went through something similar, but didn't have supply issues.... had and still have oversupply. We were advised to fortify my EBM with Human Fortifier vs. using formula outright to add calories. If your LO is gaining weight ok, she probably doesn't need the extra, but if not, you could see if your pediatrician thinks human fortifier would help you. It was Similac NeoSure, and our DD was a 36 week preemie who was hospitalized for 2 weeks b/c of jaundice and then inability to eat coupled with inability to maintain core body temp (due to slow weight gain)
    Full time working mama to a precious
    Due date was 05/02/2011 - born 04/04/2011 at 36 weeks exactly.
    and 14 months and still going strong

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: feeling lost

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm afraid that I don't have much time to write, but I did want to respond quickly that having gotten the scale will be a very valuable tool for you. Try to do weigh-feed-weigh as much as you can as that will be a good indicator of what milk your LO is taking in. A good suggestion for how much a young baby should get is 2.5 oz per pound of body weight, but every baby is different.

    A lot of new moms do struggle with wondering whether a fussy baby is hungry, so you're not alone. Despite that, though, some fussy babies really are hungry and do need supplementation if there is a true supply issue (my problem with my first) or a milk transfer issue (my problem with my second), and I think that continuing to seek hands-on evaluation and support will be key for you. Have you considered using an SNS to supplement at the breast rather than using a bottle (if you do decide to reintroduce supplementing)? It has the advantage of giving the baby practice breastfeeding and stimulating your supply at the same time. It can be used with either expressed breast milk or formula.

    My daughter needs my attention, but here's a link to my (long) story if you want to see my own experiences.

    I wish you both well.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  7. #7

    Default Re: feeling lost

    sounds like you are doing well mama!

    6 weeks is time for a growth spurt, so she will be fussy and want to nurse around the clock! she is building your supply with all the nursin, she knows what shes doing!

    growth spurts also happen around 3 months and 6 months so she will be extra hungry then too!

    after about 2 or 3 months the nursing sessions *usually* get spaced out more, so try to relax and enjoy the constant time with your baby, mama!
    SAHM of Baby Dominic, we

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