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Thread: Desperately want to keep nursing...

  1. #1

    Default Desperately want to keep nursing...

    We have had problems breastfeeding since week 1. In the hospital, my 6 week old son did great but once home, we discovered that I had a forceful let down. The lactation consultant helped me to resolve this problem but we soon experienced more problems. He wasnt gaining weight like the pediatrician wanted so she asked us to supplement. We are currently 'supplementing' by giving him formula at night and I pump at the times he is up. This helps him to sleep better as well as gain weight like she wanted. This was working fine until about 2 weeks ago. He started making a strange squeaking noise that worsened when he became agitated or when he was feeding. We took him in and he was diagnosed with laryngomalacia or a floppy upper airway. He was started on Zantac for this and his reflux which seems to be helping with his feeding and has lessened his squeaking but since this, he's had difficulty nursing in the evenings. It's as if he isn't satisfied later in the day. He does fine in the morning and even takes 3 hour naps after eating but as the day goes on, he will nurse the same amount of time (sometimes even longer) and still not seem to be satisfied. Also, a lot of times while he's nursing later in the day, he will nurse for a bit and then become uninterested only to be hungry again 15 minutes later. I am a first time mom and in desperate need of some help because I am completely frustrated. I want to breastfeed and have always wanted to but, as many have said on here already, this is way harder than I thought! Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Desperately want to keep nursing...

    Congrats to you on making it this far! I know it can be a real challenge when it feels like things keep cropping up, doesn't it?

    Many babies at this age are fussy in the evenings. It's really common for them to start cluster feeding in the evenings as a way to "stock up" for the night. The best way to deal with this is to just set yourself down on the couch and nurse, nurse, nurse. Just keep putting him to the breast - one after another. It may feel like he's not satisfied, but what he's trying to do is to trigger your body to make more milk to help him meet a growth spurt - most likely. I would make myself a "nursing nest" at this time and get my phone, the remote control, my nursing pillow, kick up my feet and just nurse. Have your partner bring you snacks and drinks. Really, nursing is the best way to deal with this.

    As for the formula and "need" to supplement, did you receive IV fluids during labor? Those can often inflate your baby's weight and thus make it seem like they aren't "gaining fast enough." But in reality the baby loses a lot of fluids but it looks like they lost more because it's really basically water weight that they lost.

    For me, I would rather nurse than feed my baby formula, but you have to make that decision on your own. It may seem like it helps they baby sleep. That is sort of one of those ideas out there. The reality is that formula has lots of stuff in it that takes the body longer to digest. Breastmilk is more pure and therefore digests more easily. If you are thinking of trying to get your baby off the formula, there are way to do that. Some moms also use pumped milk and make double cream bottles to help boost weight.

    By feeding formula it's actually doing the exact opposite of what you want. If you want to keep nursing, you have to nurse in order to get the milk production up. Pumping is a good way to remove milk and keep your supply going, but generally speaking pumping for me never was able to boost my supply. Only really nursing was able to do it. Does that make sense?

    The squeaking sounds like a growth spurt coming on and cluster feeding to me, mama.

    Here are some links for you to read:

    http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

    You are doing a good job. Keep up the good work. I know it seems hard now, but it WILL get easier. In fact, it gets so much easier that soon you'll wonder why you'd ever want to pump or make a bottle of formula. Moms who nurse save a lot of time, and it really does get easier. You just have to stick with it. You can do it!



    ETA:
    You're in a good place to support your nursing relationship. You can do it, mama!

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,120

    Default Re: Desperately want to keep nursing...

    with almost all of what the PP said. I think that the fussy evenings are probably just normal baby behavior, and the best way to deal with them is to roll with them. Both my girls have been evening screamers, and here's what I found helpful:
    1. Nurse. Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse. And then nurse some more.
    2. Motion. Rock in a rocking chair, swing in a swing, ride in the car, stroll in the stroller.
    3. Fresh air. Take baby outside. Something about the change of scene always worked miracles for us!
    4. Warm water. A bath was always good for stopping the fussing for 20 minutes of so.
    5. Closeness. Wear baby upright in a swing.
    6. Decrease stimulation: turn down lights, turn off tv and music.

    I think the best thing you can do is to ditch the formula and nurse at night, because if your baby is capable of getting full meals during the day he is probably capable of doing that at night, too, and then you won't have to pump, which isn't as good at maintaining your supply, anyway.

    The only thing I disagree with the PP about is the laryngomalacia. I don't know that I'd want to contradict the doc's diagnosis when it comes to the squeaking. I might seek a second opinion, though!

    One thing that might help us help you would be a complete weight history for your LO. Can you post that?
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Desperately want to keep nursing...

    Thank you both for your suggestions!

    As far as the laryngomalacia, we have been to the pediatrician and a pediatric ENT who scoped him to officially diagnose the problem (horrible thing to have to watch btw). Apparently it's nothing serious and he will grow out of it by the time he is 2 if not before. The squeaking does cause a problem though. Even when he doesn't have to pull off completely to breath/squeak, he tries to stay latched and breath/squeak but he isn't sucking at those times which I think also contributes to the extra lengthy feedings.

    I did receive IV fluids during labor. He was born 7 13oz and was 7 12.5oz 2 days later when we left the hospital. At 1 week 2 days, he was 7 8oz and 4 days later he was only 7 10oz which is when the pediatrician said we should supplement. She said that she wants him to gain at least 0.5oz per day and he wasn't doing that. That was on Monday and by Friday, he had gained 11oz. We have supplemented from that appointment forward, and last week at 5 weeks 3 days he weighed 9 13.5oz. She said that she still wasn't thrilled with this gain but that it was a little better jump than previous visits.

    I would love nothing more than to ultimately stop formula all together. I plan to use the schedule from one of those links to get started. I tried to take a breather yesterday and rethink the whole breastfeeding thing. I have been so frustrated that I'm really having to pep myself up for this but I know it's better for him. I will say that today has been better. He has seemed to nurse better and I'm sure he can tell I'm more relaxed than usual. It's getting ready to hit that fussy time of the day so I'm going to prepare to take the advice and nurse nurse nurse!

    What exactly is a double cream bottle?

    Thank you again for your help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Desperately want to keep nursing...

    If you do have to supplement, try with an SNS. It will help your baby get practice and stimulate your breasts at the same time. However, as a mom with a special needs baby too, if the laryngomalacia is causing him to have some trouble breathing while nursing, making him slow down feedings, it could cause him to expend more calories than is ideal just to eat. What you are going through is one of the concerns we had with our fourth baby, born with a cleft palate. So...bear that in mind, and if you keep practicing, the day will come when he is stronger and will be a more efficient nurser. Don't give up!

    ETA: a double cream bottle is one you make by pumping some milk. Stand the milk, undisturbed, for some hours. You will see a layer of thick cream at the top. Skim that off and add to another bottle. If you look at the bottle, you will see a thicker milk at the top, and then the bottom will be a clear bluish milk. The thicker milk is also fatty, so you can take some of that too. You Re giving more fat, which increases calories. We had some concerns with our cleft baby at first, and we did that for a few days(not every feeding though) until his weight came up and the docs got off my case.
    Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; October 9th, 2011 at 04:58 PM.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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